It was on this day in 2004 that Alex Cora (then with the Dodgers) engaged the Cubs' Matt Clement in an epic at-bat. In the bottom of the seventh, Cora fouled off 14 consecutive pitches from Clement before finally sending the 18th pitch of the at-bat over the fence for a two-run homer. Los Angeles went on to win the game 4-0, and Cora went on to hit a career-high 10 home runs that season.
Some news items from both of Los Angeles' teams…
- Commissioner Bud Selig said the outcome of MLB's investigation into the Dodgers' finances is not "predetermined," as Frank McCourt claimed weeks ago. "We wouldn't have to go through all this if it was predetermined. I'm doing it because I think it is the right thing to do," Selig said. Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times has the full transcript of Selig's remarks to the media.
- Hong-Chih Kuo's agent says his client isn't considering retiring due to his latest bout with "the yips," reports Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. Kuo was put on the disabled list yesterday with anxiety disorder. The left-hander has an 11.57 ERA in 4 2/3 innings of work with the Dodgers in 2011 after posting a 1.96 ERA over the previous three seasons.
- This is Kuo's second bout of the yips in his career, and the fact that he has overcome these issues before is a good sign, Pirates broadcaster Steve Blass tells Ken Gurnick. Blass would know — the yips became known as "Steve Blass Disease" in the early 1970's when Blass went from one of the Bucs' top starters to unable to throw the ball over the plate.
- Howie Kendrick's hot start is largely due to such unsustainable peripheral stats as a .396 BABIP, writes Chris Cwik of Fangraphs. However, as Cwik notes, "Even with the regression, Kendrick might post the most valuable season of his career."
- The Angels are keeping calm over the news that Kendrys Morales will be out of the season, reports MLB.com's Lyle Spencer. "It messed us up last year when we lost Morales," said Torii Hunter. "It was a huge blow. We didn't know how we'd replace him, and we struggled all year with it…This year, we've adjusted. He's not here. We've played without Kendrys now." Mark Trumbo will get the bulk of the playing time at first base and while Trumbo is inexperienced, as Spencer recalls, "few experts thought Morales could replace Mark Teixeira" at first for the Halos in 2009.