Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 5/22/12

Talk about taking the bad with the good. The Dodgers completed a sweep of a three-game series against the World Champion Cardinals Sunday night only to get more bad news along two fronts.

Rookie Scott Van Slyke (right) was the unexpected hero Sunday night when he hit a pinch-hit, three run home run that turned a 5-3 Dodgers deficit into a 6-5 win.

First, second baseman Mark Ellis had to undergo emergency on his foot to fix an injury that, according to team doctors, if left untreated, could have resulted in an amputation. He is expected to be out at least six weeks.

In Friday’s night’s win against the Cardinals, Ellis was hurt while attempting to turn a double play against the St. Louis Cardinals.  The runner, Tyler Greene slid into Ellis’ leg with what most are saying was a typical takeout slide.  Although X-rays did not show any broken bones, the ankle continued to swell.

On Saturday, Ellis underwent a procedure, known as a fasciotomy, which relieved pressure on the leg’s muscles. The team physician, Dr. Neal ElAttrache, told manager Don Mattingly that the surgery came not long before doctors may have had to amputate the leg.

“Doc said the muscle basically dies, doesn’t get any blood flow,” Mattingly told the Los Angeles Times. ”(ElAttrache) said (Saturday) night that if that thing goes another six or seven hours, he has a chance to lose a leg.”

Ellis has been an integral part of the Dodgers rising up to own the best record in baseball.  He was batting .273 with 2 home runs.

For more details on the injury click here.  

The second story was about something Dodgers fans never wanted to hear again-violence in the Dodger Stadium parking lot.  Echoes of the  Bryan Stow beating could be heard when it was reported there was another fight after Sunday night’s game. Here is the official Dodgers press release issued Monday afternoon :

Sunday night, at approximately 8:40 P.M., two vehicles were involved in a minor collision as they were exiting near Dodger Stadium’s Gate C. According to witnesses, the drivers of the vehicles immediately confronted each other and this led to physical contact between them. Three male friends of one of the drivers also became involved in the altercation.  Los Angeles Dodger security personnel and uniformed LAPD officers arrived on scene within moments and apprehended both of the drivers and the three males. 

The quick security response prevented the confrontation from escalating further.  All persons involved in the incident were examined for injuries at the scene and provided with immediate medical attention.  One of the drivers and a female passenger were transported to a local hospital and subsequently released.  The other four men involved in the incident were taken into custody.

Northeast Area of LAPD is investigating the incident with the full cooperation of the Dodgers.

I have often wondered why the Dodgers can’t work out better mass transit to the stadium. Maybe it is silly to believe better public transportation would lead to less cars and therefore smoother sailing in the parking lot but maybe this incident will at least reignite long simmering plans to add new options for getting to the stadium. I also won’t be surprised if alcohol was involved.

I was at the game Sunday night and two 20-something fans, one in a Cardinal jersey and another wearing a Matt Kemp jersey, started arguing. They eventually calmed down but I saw the Cardinal fan get at least two, sixteen ounce beers during the game. The Dodgers fan had at least one beer and was with three friends so I imagine I missed him downing one or two more.  It seemed to be the beer that provoked their little exchange.  If beer turns out to be the culprit for the parking lot incident, my hunch is it won’t be long before we see teams  emulate the Toronto Blue Jays and limit sales to one beer per trip to a concession stand.


On the field, things are going well, even with a line-up that, on paper, looks like it couldn’t rip the paper the names are on. Yet each night, someone rises up.  Sunday, rookie outfielder Scott Van Slyke, who up to that point had a whopping 8 plate appearances in the major leagues, hist his first major league home run. And it was big one.  He hit a pinch-hit, three run home run in the seventh inning to turn a 5-3 Dodgers deficit into a 6-5 lead and eventual victory. Monday, journeyman catcher Matt Treanor, who is hitting .225 and has a total of 16 home runs in a nine year career, hit a two run shot to propel  the Dodgers to a 6-1 win over the D-backs.

With the Dodgers sitting at 29-13, the old argument of how much a manager matters has become fodder for sports talk radio.  Don Mattingly has gotten much more out of the ragtag group surrounding Kemp and Andre Ethier than anyone ever imagined.  The Dodgers are 69-41 since last year’s All Star break yet this team is supposed to be climbing out of the hole dug by Frank McCourt. What do you think Mattingly brings to the table?

Final note on the upside: Since blowing a save on May 5th which resulted in him losing the closer’s job, reliever Javy Guerra has reeled of seven straight scoreless appearances.

Follow me on Twitter: @isportsken



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