De Jesus, McDonald Honored

The Dodgers honored RHP James McDonald and SS Ivan De Jesus as their Pitcher and Player of the Year in a ceremony held before the September game in Dodger Stadium. It is the second such award for McDonald.

The 23-year-old McDonald went 7-4 with a 3.26 ERA in a combined 27 games (26 starts) with Jacksonville and Las Vegas in 2008. He was 5-3 with a 3.19 ERA in 22 starts with Jacksonville, and went 2-1 with a 3.63 ERA in five games (four starts) there. 

The Long Beach native was selected by the Dodgers in the 11th round of the 2002 draft and was a mid-season Southern League All-Star. 

He was promoted to Las Vegas on August 4, McDonald was recalled to Los Angeles on September 1 when rosters expanded, and he has yet to appear in a Major League game. He entered 2008 as the No. 4 prospect on the LADugout.com list.

  The 21-year-old DeJesus, making his Double-A debut, led the Southern League with a .419 on-base percentage and ranked fifth with a .324 batting average. He finished second in the circuit with 76 walks and tied for third with 150 hits. 

He ended the year with a 23-game hitting streak, batting .420 (37-for-88) with 27 runs scored. He hit .438 (46-for-105) with five homers, 16 RBI, and 31 runs scored in 27 games in August.

DeJesus, son of former Dodger infielder Ivan De Jesus, Sr., was named to the SL's South Division All-Star team, but played in the XM Radio All-Star Futures Game at Yankee Stadium. 

In 128 games overall, DeJesus had 21 doubles, seven homers, and 58 RBI. He also was 16-for-18 in stolen-base attempts, and batted .353 (41-for-116) with runners in scoring position. He had entered the season as Los Angeles' 12th-best prospect on the LADugout.com chart.

Ivan De Jesus Jr. laughed when the L.A. Times reminded him that in order to extend the 23-game hitting streak with which he ended this season, he will have to begin next season right back in the Double-A Southern League.

"It'll just have to end, then," he said. "I'm never going back there."

De Jesus will head to the Arizona Fall League, which begins play in a little more than two weeks, then to the Puerto Rican Winter League.

A Fleeting Thing
The Dodgers losing for the third time in five games and the Arizona Diamondbacks suddenly winning six of seven games (not counting Monday night) is a reminder of how quickly leads can disappear.

After splitting the final two games at Pittsburgh and losing two of three to the Giants at home, the Dodgers' main concern is maintaining their lead, not extending it.

The gods of baseball shift their allegiance on the drop of a hat, or when you don't score with the bases loaded and none out.

A few weeks ago, when the Dodgers could do no wrong, and it would have taken just one of the line drives that were caught to have fallen in safely and we would have been talking about the great 1-0 win.

The Dodgers' magic number remains at five, with six games left on their schedule. The Diamondbacks have seven games left -- a four-game series that in St. Louis and a three-game series at home against Colorado.

Forget about Furcal
It's becoming obvious that the Dodgers are not going to have shortstop Rafael Furcal in any form for the final six games.

"It's hard for me because one day I'm feeling like I'm ready to go, and when I do a lot of stuff then it takes three or four days to feel better again," Furcal said. "It's coming from that back. It feels like an irritated tendon.

"It's a pinched nerve going into my leg and it feels so bad like if you pull a hamstring. It's in my nerve coming from the back problem. My back feels 100 percent healthy so right now we're looking to work on my hamstring."

That leaves the Dodgers with a tough problem, to sign Raffy or not to sign him, that is the question.

Rare Occurrence
Sunday the Dodgers and Giants went into extra innings with the game tied at 0-0 for the fourth time in Los Angeles Dodgers' history today. The Dodgers publicity department reports that according to retrosheet.org, the other times were Aug. 13, 2006 (Dodger win), Sept. 8, 1976 (Giants' win), and Sept. 22, 1972 (Giants' win).

No Words Left to Describe Him
Dodgers Assistant PR Director Joe Jarek noted "Dodger left fielder Manny Ramirez continues to out-hit any English language superlatives. The left fielder went 3-for-4 with two home runs, five RBI and a walk and is now hitting .399 with 16 homers, 13 doubles, and 49 RBI in 48 games since coming to Los Angeles on August 1. The Dodgers are 27-21 in those games and Ramirez is now one of five players in Major League history with at least 15 home runs in each league during a season.

Unwanted Record
By striking out twice Sunday against the Giants, Matt Kemp moved to within one strikeout of tying the franchise single-season record of 149 set by Billy Grabarkewitz in 1970.

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