LOS ANGELES: For those who wondered if Nick Swisher was a fan of interleague play, his bulging-eyed glare said it all.
The Indiansí first baseman/designated hitter found himself on the bench again Monday night as the Tribe opened a three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium.
No designated hitter is allowed to play in National League parks. In the two-game series at Arizona against the NLís Diamondbacks that started this eight-game, three-city road trip, Swisher was limited to two at-bats, both as a pinch-hitter.
Swisher entered Monday hitting .193. He had one hit in 11 at-bats on the road trip with two walks and a run scored.
Swisher has started 49 games at first base this season, but only three since he came off the 15-day disabled list June 12 with a hyperextended left knee. Two of those came in the previous two games in Seattle against the Mariners, which he said helped him get back in the rhythm of the game. The rest of the time in June heís been at DH.
ďItís hard, we donít have a DH, I wish we did,Ē Indians manager Terry Francona said. ďI donít know what weíre going to do the next two days, but tonight heíll be ready to pinch-hit.Ē
In the pre-game clubhouse, Swisher said, ďI donít even know what to say.Ē
ďThis year has been a crazy year, thereís no doubt about that,Ē Swisher said. ďItís been a crazy first 200-something  at-bats. Iím just looking forward to the rest of íem.
ďIíve been dealing with some bad luck, some adversity, some injuries. Itís all kind of come up in one. This is the first time in 11 years Iíve gone through something like this. Itís unchartered waters for me. I try to be the best teammate and get my work in.Ē
Asked if not playing in the field was affecting his hitting, Swisher said little. Carlos Santana has been holding down first base since he suffered a concussion as the backup catcher and returned June 6 from the seven-day concussion disabled list.
ďI donít want to make too much of it,Ē Swisher said of his lack of time at first. ďWeíll see what happens.Ē
Historical setting ó The new visitors clubhouse that seemed no bigger than a Hollywood starís walk-in closet was giving the Indians fits, but some were excited about their first trip to Dodger Stadium. The Indians havenít faced the Dodgers since 2008, when the Indians took two out of three in LA.
ďAll the new ballparks are trying to get this same feel with newer amenities. If you like baseball, this is one of the fun places to come,Ē Francona said.
ďI donít know if itís necessarily the park, itís more the tradition, the players who have played here. I went into their weight room today. Down the hallway thereís pictures of [Sandy] Koufax, [Don] Drysdale, and itís a long hallway. Thatís what makes this place pretty special.Ē
Feeling better ó Ryan Raburn said he still had a slight headache from his hit-robbing dive in Seattle Saturday night, but it was not nearly as severe as before.
ďItís always worth it,Ē he said of the physical sacrifice. ďEspecially at a time like right now when Iím not swinging the bat like Iím capable of. To be able to get a little defense and help your ballclub, thatís always a positive.Ē