It must mean something when the great Magic Johnson is pleased with the new additions to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Johnson, a part-owner of the club and NBA Hall of Famer, can only hope the fresh faces will help reap more success for the club this season.
"Man, I have to give both Stan (Kasten) and Ned (Colletti) a lot of credit. They were working very hard and there were so many different scenarios going on," Johnson said on the team's website. "They pulled off some really good trades starting with Hanley (Ramirez) and then on and on and on."
The Dodgers' latest addition, outfielder Shane Victorino, could make his L.A. debut tonight in the finale of a three-game series versus the NL West-rival Arizona Diamondbacks and was acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies before Tuesday's trade deadline in exchange for reliever Josh Lindblom, minor league pitcher Ethan Martin and a player to be named later or cash.
"We're excited to add an All-Star caliber player with postseason experience," general manager Colletti said. "He plays the game with passion, gives us a top of the order bat from both sides of the plate, can steal bases and is solid defensively in the outfield."
Victorino is expected to bat leadoff with possibly Mark Ellis, Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Ramirez following suit. He was originally selected by the Dodgers in the sixth round of the 1999 First-Year Player Draft.
Los Angeles fell one game back of San Francisco for the NL West lead after last night's 8-2 loss in which starting pitcher Chris Capuano was tagged for five runs and six hits, including three homers, in six innings.
"I seemed to struggle executing with guys on base," Capuano said. "And for me, I need to spend a little more time in the bullpen making those good pitches with guys on base, because right now I'm not making the same quality pitches out of the stretch that I am out of the windup."
Ellis hit a solo homer, Ramirez added an RBI and Kemp went 2-for-4 with a run scored for the Dodgers, losers in two straight and five of eight. Los Angeles is 0-2 so far on a nine-game homestand.
Dodgers hurler Stephen Fife is hoping his third start will be a charm, as he aims for the first victory of his career tonight versus the Diamondbacks. He should a have an easier time in this one since he had to face Roy Halladay and Matt Cain in his first two appearances.
Fife first replaced an injured Chad Billingsley and made his MLB debut in a 3-2 loss to Philadelphia. He was strong over six innings and allowed just one run and four hits for the no-decision. By placing reliever Scott Elbert on the disabled list in late July, L.A. gave Fife another shot at San Francisco on July 27, when he tossed 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball for another no-decision.
The right-hander will face Arizona for the first time.
Arizona is playing well right now with nine wins in 12 tries, and will pursue a three-game sweep of the Dodgers.
After posting a 7-2 win in the series opener, the Diamondbacks were at it again last night thanks to home runs from Paul Goldschmidt and Miguel Montero. Goldschmidt was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and newcomer Chris Johnson recorded three hits and two RBI.
"We're playing good baseball right now," Montero said. "The guys are pitching better. We just have to try not to do too much and just do our thing."
Wade Miley improved to 12-6 with eight innings of one-run ball and seven strikeouts. He allowed three hits and walked just one batter for Arizona, which is 3 1/2 games off the NL West lead.
Earlier in the day Arizona traded reliever Craig Breslow to the Boston Red Sox for outfielder Scott Podsednik and pitcher Matt Albers. The two players could be in uniform for this evening's contest.
The D-backs are 2-0 on a 10-game road trip and will hand the ball to Patrick Corbin Wednesday. Corbin is expected to be recalled from Triple-A Reno and is 2-4 with a 4.15 earned run average in 10 games (5 starts) in the majors. The young left-hander has faced the Dodgers twice in 2012, going 0-1 with a 3.24 ERA in two games (1 start). Corbin lasted 5 1/3 innings and allowed two runs in a 6-1 loss back on May 21.
Arizona has won seven of 11 meetings with Los Angeles this season and five in a row overall.