09/26/12 6:45 PM ET
Dodgers fans can win home visit by grounds crew
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
Circle this Sunday on the calendar. One of the newest gifts for Fan Appreciation Day will provide the winner with several garden enhancements provided by members of the Dodger Stadium grounds crew.
Fans will be visited by members of the crew, led by turf manager and grounds director Eric Hansen. Fans can choose three of the following garden enhancements:
Mow/edge and blow lawn.
Plant a square of Dodger Stadium grass.
LA logo stenciled onto lawn.
Installation of one regulation base.
Warning track or infield dirt to be spread in designated location.
"We all think this is a great idea," Hansen said. "We're kind of excited and looking forward to the visit and see if there's any way we can help."
Hansen said the most valuable offering might be the irrigation inspection.
"We'll check all the zones and make recommendations on the coverage and anything we might see that would help out," he said. "It's an opportunity to visit with fans and let them run questions by us about yard care."
Mattingly plays matchups, holds out four regulars
SAN DIEGO -- For Wednesday's must-win game against the Padres, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly had four regulars out of the starting lineup.
Outfielder Shane Victorino was scratched because of continued soreness in his sprained left wrist that bothers him batting right-handed. Second baseman Mark Ellis was sick all day and on IV fluids. Outfielder Andre Ethier sat because he is hitting .143 lifetime against San Diego starting pitcher Clayton Richard. And catcher A.J. Ellis, 3-for-11 lifetime against Richard, had started six of the last seven games.
So Elian Herrera (1-for-3 against Richard) started in left field, Juan Rivera (0-for-8) in right field, Nick Punto (2-for-5) at second base and Matt Treanor (2-for-7) behind the plate. Rivera was not in the original lineup but replaced Victorino.
Mattingly -- whose club entered play 4 1/2 games out of the last National League Wild Card berth with eight games to go -- bristled at the suggestion he was waving the white flag.
"You can perceive it how you want it," he said. "That's not the case. This is what I feel gives us the best chance to win. Mark Ellis and Vic can't play. A.J. hasn't hit this guy. He can use a day and today is that day.
"Dre, this guy has given him a lot of trouble and that tells me to change it up a little bit."
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.