The boys went up against one of the best pitchers in the league tonight and got schooled. But they let Brandon Webb get through seven innings on 90 pitches. Same old story, so don’t get me started. But for a pitcher who didn’t need any help, the Dodgers hitters made it awfully easy. Meanwhile, Randy Wolf was off from the start, and the obviously tired bullpen showed signs of wear, even though Joe Beimel retired all four batters he faced at garbage time. Tomko WAS held back from his side session, as I predicted, so he could pitch an inning in lieu of a side. But true to form, he didn’t make it through that inning, walking two batters, giving up three hits and allowing two earned runs in two-thirds of an inning. When Grady came out of the dugout to get him, Tomko picked up the rosin bag and heaved it to the ground in frustration. Kind of summed up the Dodgers’ entire evening. … The boys fall to 15-11 and trail the now-first place Snakes by a half-game. Nighty-night.
This one was over before it started, because Webb is totally locked in. Of the 18 outs he has recorded, 12 have come via the ground ball. The Snakes will leapfrog the Dodgers into the division by a half-game. … On the positive side, both Hong-Chih Kuo and Yhency Brazoban had successful rehab outings at Triple-A Las Vegas yesterday. Brazoban will pitch on back-to-back days later this week, after which he MIGHT be ready to come off the DL. Kuo is slated to start again on Thursday and go longer than the two innings he went this time. … D-backs 7, Dodgers 0, middle 7
The Dodgers just blew a scoring chance after Ethier led off the third with a double, breaking up Brandon Webb’s perfect game. Lieberthal struck out, and after Wolf’s grounder to the right side moved Ethier up and Furcal walked, Pierre grounded back to the mound. Dodgers are now 0 for 3 with RISP, and you wonder how many more RISPs they are going to get on a night when Webb appears to be in Cy Young form. Webb has a 3.91 ground ball-to-fly ball ratio since the start of 2002, the best in the majors during that span. Of the six outs he has recorded tonight, six have come on the ground. The National League West’s OTHER Chris Young hit Randy Wolf’s second pitch of the game just over the wall in right-center, and the Snakes have runners on first and second with none out now. D-backs 1, Dodgers 0, bottom 4
Grady had planned before the 17-inning game yesterday to go with Russ Martin behind the plate for the 11th consecutive game. But understandably, the marathon changed that. Lieberthal catches tonight, but everyone else is back in there as usual. As a result, Wilson Betemit and his .133 average (that’s 0 for 11 from the right side) were moved up to sixth in the order.
SS Furcal — 5 for 12, 1 HR against Brandon Webb
CF Pierre — 6 for 17 off Webb
Got home at half past midnight. After a day game. That started at 1:05. Actually, part of that was my fault, as I stayed in San Diego to have dinner with a couple of friends, and it was worth it because we had a nice time. But I slept in a little this morning and managed to get a few menial chores done around the house, and here I am at the old yard, ready to watch some more ball tonight (hopefully only nine innings of it). I’m working on a freelance piece tonight and a couple of other odds and ends the next two days, so my colleague Billy Witz is going to cover the entire Snakes series for the Daily News. But I will be blogging regularly. There is a smoggy haze hanging over the park right now. The field is set up for BP, but nobody is out there yet, although one of the D-backs pitchers is throwing a side session in the visiting pen. … BTW, a couple of you have commented on this blog about the strange blue tape that Furcal was wrapping around his head yesterday. I haven’t had a chance to ask him yet, but I’ll try this afternoon.