06/22/10 7:50 PM ET
Scioscia central figure in Freeway Series
By Spencer Fordin / MLB.com
Perhaps that's because of the laid-back atmosphere in Los Angeles, and maybe it's because the two teams have never met in the World Series. Whatever the case, Scioscia said that the fans of the Dodgers and Angels seem to coexist more peacefully than their peers in other two-team cities, a phenomenon that will be in display in Wednesday's game.
"The last couple years both teams have played well, gotten in the playoffs," he said. "In Chicago, you're either a Cubs fan or a White Sox fan. Same thing in New York. I don't know if the lines are as firm out here. It's the nature of the proximity of the two teams."
And this year, there's an even bigger blurring of the lines. Garret Anderson, who carved a huge swath out of the Angels' record book, is playing with the Dodgers and returning to Angel Stadium for the first time in an opponent's uniform. Anderson is the Angels' all-time leader in games (2,013), at-bats (7,989), hits (2,368), runs (1,024) and extra-base hits (796).
"Garret, seeing him in a Braves uniform last year and now in a Dodgers uniform, it looks strange," Scioscia said of his former charge. "No matter what he does anyplace else, his mark was made in an Angels uniform. And that's what you remember."
The middle act of the series will feature an intriguing pitching matchup between rookie John Ely and veteran Joel Pineiro, both of whom have had their share of success and struggles this season.
Ely won three of his first four decisions but has hit the skids in recent weeks, allowing 15 earned runs in his past three starts (two of them losses).
"I don't know worry about the word getting around. I just worry about he feels about himself," said Dodgers manager Joe Torre, deflecting questions about Ely's second tour through the league. "It's really not what other teams know about him, it's that he's not doing what he was doing before. It's important, I think, for his own psyche more than anything else. ... With what he has, I don't think there's any question [he can pitch here]. He doesn't need to be overpowering, but he throws enough assortment to keep you from sitting on any one pitch. But you need to get ahead in the count, at least more often than he has the last few starts."
Dodgers: Torre wants Ely to be aggressive
Ely walked more than one batter just once in his first five starts, but he's issued at least two free passes in each of his past five outings. And while that may not sound like a big change, it is when you're living with little margin for error. Torre, a former catcher, wants Ely to get back to throwing strikes and being aggressive, making his pitches instead of giving in to the hitter.
"It's inexperience to me when the results aren't the same all of a sudden," said Torre. "Now, you may decide instead of pitching to the outer third [that] you're going to pitch to the outer 10 percent or quarter. You're not giving yourself enough room. It sounds simple and it probably is simple, but not to him. But you get a little defensive and once you do that you're going to wind up pitching 2-0 [and] 3-1. And once you do that, you can't hide anywhere. You've got to throw it over the plate."
Angels: Pineiro is cruising
Pineiro may have gotten off to a slow start in April, but he's been tremendous in his past few starts. The right-hander has won three straight outings, and he's completed at least six innings in eight of his past nine outings. Pineiro went eight innings and allowed just one earned run in his most recent start, and before that, he pitched a complete game in a 10-1 win over the Dodgers.
Pineiro has walked more batters than he's struck out in just two starts this season, and he's given up more than one home run on just two occasions. The former 12th-round Draft pick leads the American League with three complete games, all of which have come in his past seven starts. For his career, Pineiro is 3-0 with a 2.67 ERA against the Dodgers.
The Dodgers have lost five straight games, matching their longest skid this season. ... The Angels are 22-9 in their past 31 Interleague games and hold the second best Interleague mark in the Majors since 2000 (116-77). ... The Angels are 17-6 since losing first baseman Kendry Morales to a season-ending injury. ... The Dodgers have lost four straight to the Angels and are just 7-17 in their past 24 games in this natural rivalry. ... The Dodgers are 13-25 all-time at Angel Stadium, which is their worst record at any current stadium. ... Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal could be activated from the bereavement list in time for Wednesday's game. The Dodgers are also expected to activate knuckleballer Charlie Haeger from the disabled list to start Thursday's finale.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.