10/08/06 2:19 AM ET
Notes: Nomar's Game 3 role reduced
First baseman limited to pinch-hit groundout in fifth inning
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
Sounds like Nomar Garciaparra's in even worse shape.
"I'm really leaning toward not using him at all," manager Grady Little said before Game 3, after discussing with Garciaparra the partially torn left quad muscle that has turned the first baseman into a likely spectator for the rest of the postseason.
Little, however, did draw a comparison between Garciaparra and Gibson, whose walk-off homer against Dennis Eckersley won Game 1 of that World Series.
"In my memory is that home run Kirk Gibson hit in this park for this team," Little said. "We'll see what happens. The game situation would be important in the decision. [One possible situation is] the bottom of the ninth, Billy Wagner pitching, where one of [Garciaparra's] swings might make a difference in the game.
"If he hits the ball between third and short and has to bust it, he's on the operating table. Do I want to do that to him? That's the way I look at it."
Garciaparra did take batting practice Saturday. He was removed from Game 2 of the National League Division Series after a sixth-inning groundout, two innings after aggravating a quad muscle he strained last month. Garciaparra, named National League Comeback Player of the Year earlier Saturday, also is hobbled by a sprained right knee and a strained right oblique muscle.
"He's looking after my interests, and that's what makes him special," Garciaparra said of Little. "He's a good manager and a better person. Nobody wants that [surgery]. That wouldn't do anybody any good, and you have to weigh that. The first time I strained it, I knew if I kept it under control I wouldn't tear it, but now there's a tear. I don't know.
"I got here this morning for treatment, had treatment at home last night and probably will have treatment during the game. I got here about 10:30 or 11 o'clock. [I put] ice on it at home last night. I have special ice. My personal ice-maker is awesome. But there's a tear, and time is the only thing that will repair it. I kind of wish I had a magical ice box, and I could come in and say, 'Hey, I can play today,' but I don't. Sub-Zero can only do so much."
Garciaparra ended up pinch-hitting in the fifth inning, but grounded out with the bases loaded and two outs.
With Garciaparra unable to start, Little settled on moving Marlon Anderson into the third spot in the lineup. He earlier said he was also considering Jeff Kent, J.D. Drew, Wilson Betemit and James Loney for the role, but chose Anderson because of his baserunning ability. Loney is playing first base in Garciaparra's place.
"[Anderson] gives us another option at the top of the lineup to get activity," Little said. "The top two [Rafael Furcal and Kenny Lofton] can get going, but if they don't, Marlon gives another option. He can get on and create disturbance once he gets on."
Beimel addresses club: Injured reliever Joe Beimel met with teammates and staff in a pregame meeting, and apologized for the circumstances surrounding the injury that kept him out of the playoffs and his misleading story about how it happened, according to Little.
"He apologized for his actions, to everybody," said Little, who declined to discuss specifics.
Little has not hidden his dismay over Beimel, who cut his pitching hand in a bar accident and initially told management it occurred in his hotel bathroom. Beimel, who confessed once true details of the incident surfaced, played a key bullpen role this season as the situational left-hander.
Little did say that Beimel might be available to pitch if the Dodgers advance to the next round, and the decision would be made based on his health. The club has maintained that if disciplinary action is taken with Beimel, it would be after the postseason.
"Our objective is to win, and if we're playing next week, there's a possibility he'll be fine to pitch," Little said.
Beimel underwent plastic surgery to close the wound on Thursday. He was left off the roster for the NLDS when the wound continued to bleed despite the 10 stitches he received Tuesday.
Beimel left the clubhouse after Saturday's meeting, highly unusual for an injured player who helped get the club this far.
"We think it's more comfortable for him and everyone concerned, with the circumstances being what they are," Little said, when asked why Beimel did not remain with the club for the game.
Penny's doubleheader: Brad Penny, scheduled to start for the Dodgers if there's a Game 4, will have a starter Sunday regardless. He is co-owner of Gift's in Excess, a 3-year-old filly running in the sixth race at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meet.
In an interview session before Saturday's game, Penny was asked to describe the mood of the team.
"It's pretty upbeat," he said. "You'd think it would be the opposite, but Derek Lowe was talking about Boston coming back and winning. The team is capable of reeling off three in a row."
Repko's toothache: Reserve outfielder Jason Repko left Friday's workout early because of a throbbing pain that required root canal surgery, but said he's OK to play.
"I had this really bad ache between my cheek and temple and was just taking Tylenol, but they wanted me to take care of it. So I got there after the workout, and in 30 minutes it was done and the pain is gone," said Repko. "The dentist said it only would have gotten worse if I hadn't taken care of it."
Lowe throws: Preparing for a possible Game 5, Lowe had his regular bullpen session before Saturday's game.
First pitch: Dodgers Hall of Fame outfielder Duke Snider threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Saturday's game.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.