Torre will probably manage his final game in the Major Leagues on Sunday at Dodger Stadium. He announced on Sept. 17 that he was stepping down. Despite speculation that linked him to other jobs, Torre said that Sunday would probably be the final game in a managerial career that began on May 31, 1977, when he sent Craig Swan to the hill for the Mets against the Expos at Olympic Stadium. On Sunday, Torre will hand the ball to Ted Lilly. The D-backs will counter with Rodrigo Lopez. The clubs split the first two games of the series.
"Sunday will be it," Torre said. "If I show up managing, it will really be a long shot. I don't think any question, it will be emotional. I thought when I left Yankee Stadium [in 2007], I thought that was it. I've tried not to think about it. On the last trip, I thought about the finality of the whole thing. It will be nostalgic, but not sad. This is something I want to do. Not many get to make the choice in this line of work. I look forward to what's next."
Lilly, in his second stint under Torre, will be looking to head into free agency with a strong finish. He threw eight strong innings in his most recent start, fanning eight and making only one mistake that became a solo home run. He said afterward that he was pleased with his breaking ball.
"I just tried to be more aware of releasing it down in the zone, knowing there's a tendency for it to stay up," he said. "I don't think it was all that sharp. I got away with a few hangers."
Lopez, on the other hand, allowed three runs on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings in his most recent start, a loss to the Giants.
Still, it will be tough to upstage Torre on his final day as a Major League manager. He's won 2,325 games in the big leagues, including the first one. That day, Swan threw 7 1/3 innings and allowed two runs in a 6-2 win.
D-backs: Webb takes step
It's been a long road back from a shoulder injury for D-backs right-hander Brandon Webb, but he cleared another hurdle on Saturday.
For the second time, Webb threw to instructional league hitters, using 23 pitches while facing four batters and striking out two. Webb also threw 15 pitches in the bullpen.
"My curveball was better, my changeup was better, my fastball was 81-83 [mph] which was better than last time," Webb said. "It was another good step. I'm getting a lot more out of these games than I did throwing batting practice or simulated games."
Webb hasn't pitched in a Major League game since Opening Day 2009. He will throw again in an instructional league outing on Thursday. Webb will be a free agent at the end of the season.
Dodgers: Limiting Furcal
Rafael Furcal battled through a hamstring strain this year, which landed him on the disabled list for 52 games. Still, he's performed well enough that his average entering the weekend with a .301 average. His reward: three days off.
Torre said that he wanted to hold Furcal back over the season's final stretch, to make sure that the infielder finishes with at least a .300 average. Furcal may get an at-bat on Sunday, his manager said.
"He's fine, he's just not going to play," Torre said. "He's hitting .300, I'm just not going to put him in there. He had a tough year, on the disabled list and fought his way back, and certainly we're a different club with him. I'll get him an at-bat tomorrow, I think he can have one at-bat."
Furcal, 33, enters Sunday with eight home runs, 22 steals and a team-leading seven triples.
Dodgers infielder Jamey Carroll served as the club's manager on Saturday. Catcher Brad Ausmus took the reins for Torre on Friday. Sunday's game will likely spell the end of Ausmus' playing career, but his managerial career could be just beginning.
"This isn't really the end. It's the beginning of the end," Ausmus said. "Or, near the end of the end. Or, maybe a new beginning. Actually, I'm not really concerned about it. I know it's there. I'm not overly sentimental. Maybe looking back I will be, but not right now. I'm looking forward to going home and spending time with my family. Most people that are close to you understand that this business is very tough on the family."
Sun, 10/3 4:10 PM ET
Torre sent out a winner
Ted Lilly gave up just one run over seven innings and Matt Kemp blasted his fifth homer in as many games to help the Dodgers send off Joe Torre with a victory in his final game as their manager against the D-backs.
|Abreu, T, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||2||1||.233|
|Roberts, R, 2B||3||0||0||0||1||1||2||.197|
|Parra, G, RF||4||0||2||1||0||1||2||.261|
|Rosales, L, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Ellis, A, C||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.278|
|Johnson, Re, LF||4||1||1||0||0||2||2||.262|
1-Ran for Ausmus in the 8th.
2B: Ryal (7, Lilly).
TB: Abreu, T; Ryal 2; Parra, G 2.
RBI: Parra, G (30).
2-out RBI: Parra, G.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Allen; Ojeda; Schmidt.
Team RISP: 1-for-8.
Team LOB: 6.
SB: Abreu, T (2, 2nd base off Lilly/Ausmus), Gillespie (1, 3rd base off Lilly/Ausmus).
E: Abreu, T (10, fielding).
Outfield assists: Parra, G (Theriot at home).
DP: 2 (Roberts, R-Ryal, Ojeda-Roberts, R-Ryal).
2B: Ausmus (2, Lopez).
HR: Kemp (28, 1st inning off Lopez, 1 on, 2 out).
TB: Theriot; Ethier 2; Kemp 4; Blake; Ausmus 3; Johnson, Re.
RBI: Kemp 2 (89), Ethier (82).
2-out RBI: Kemp 2.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Theriot; Kemp; Loney 2; Gibbons.
Team RISP: 1-for-7.
Team LOB: 9.
HBP: Ethier (by Lopez).
Pitches-strikes: Lopez 94-58, Norberto 7-5, Rosales, L 15-9, Hampton 9-4, Heilman 11-7, Lilly 104-72, Jansen 14-9, Kuo 16-8.
Groundouts-flyouts: Lopez 2-4, Norberto 1-1, Rosales, L 0-0, Hampton 1-0, Heilman 2-0, Lilly 5-6, Jansen 1-0, Kuo 2-0.
Batters faced: Lopez 22, Norberto 3, Rosales, L 4, Hampton 3, Heilman 4, Lilly 27, Jansen 3, Kuo 4.
Inherited runners-scored: Hampton 3-1.
Umpires: HP: Alfonso Marquez. 1B: Brian Knight. 2B: Greg Gibson. 3B: Gerry Davis.
Weather: 81 degrees, partly cloudy.
Wind: 3 mph, Out to RF.
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media