it’s 107 degrees outside, but Chase Field, with the roof closed for the first time in the series, is a comfortably airconditioned 79 degrees. Meanwhile, the Dodgers bats are hot — especially Russell Martin’s. He has a two-run homer off Randy Johnson and a double that set up Jeff Kent’s two-run single. The Unit was done after three, having thrown 70 pitches. Amazing how much more the Dodgers are working counts now that Eddie Murray is gone. It LOOKS like the Dodgers are going to go 6-4 on the trip and come home tied for first with the Pods, making this weekend’s showdown with them at Chavez Ravine that much bigger. But then, the Dodgers have blown a six-run lead in this park before. I remember it like it was yesterday, even though it was April 2006. Odalis Perez gave up a solo homer to Shawn Green, whom he absolutely hates, to make it 6-1. I turned to the guy next to me and said, “He’s going to blow the rest of this lead now.” By the end of the inning, he had. It was 6-6, and the Snakes went on to win. I’m guessing the same fate won’t befall Randy Wolf this afternoon. … Did anybody catch that Paris Hilton interview on Larry King? I saw about 10 minutes this morning, and that was about all I could stand. Talk about somebody who has NO clue how the rest of us live. But then, I have no clue what it’s like in jail, either. … Dodgers 6, D-backs 0, middle 4
Picked up Frank DeFord’s new novel, The Entitled, at Barnes and Noble today. Read the first chapter in about 10 minutes. I’ll give a full report on this blog when I finish it, but so far, it’s a page-turner. The main character (so far, anyway) is a manager of the Cleveland Indians who was a bad minor-league player, worked his way up gradually and finally got a shot to manage in the bigs (sound familiar?) who now senses he is about to be fired. That’s just the lead-in. I won’t spoil anything after that, but suffice to say, that ISN’T the primary storyline.
Nomar is going to sit tomorrow. Grady told us after the game, right after he told Nomar. This guy is really struggling. Those last two at-bats, he struck out on a total of six pitches. This was a game that could loom large later in the season, especially if these two teams end up battling it out to the end, probably along with the Pods. The Dodgers went 0 for 12 w/RISP, left 13 men on base and lost by two runs. If you were ever going to beat Brandon Webb, this was the night. He gave up seven hits and walked five batters in seven innings, and the Dodgers couldn’t score off him. And don’t forget, they also stranded 15 runners on Saturday night at the Trop and lost by one run to the D-Rays. Wow. Two losses that could have been reversed with a well-timed hit here or there. … Dodgers fall to 44-34 and back into third place, a half-game behind the Pods and D-backs.
That quick game we anticipated with these two sinkerballers going simply hasn’t materialized. They already have five walks (one intentional) between them. Derek Lowe threw a staggering number of pitches in the first inning, when he walked two of the first three batters and should have gotten out of the inning, but a throwing error by James Loney negated a sure out and allowed the Snakes to score an unearned run. Since then, though, D-Lowe has settled in and become more efficient. Brandon Webb doesn’t look the part of a Cy Young winner, either, but the Dodgers stranded five runners, three of them in scoring position, in the first three innings. Nomar just hit into a fielder’s choice — on the first pitch, of course — to run his hitless streak to 13 ABs. … Snakes 1, Dodgers 0, top 4
Mr. Weisman asked on another thread whether it was true that the Dodgers had signed James Adkins, a lefty out of the University of Tennessee who was their second-round pick. It is true, indeed. Inked him for $787k. Club has now signed all but one of its first 17 picks, the exception being fifth-rounder Kyle Blair, who probably isn’t going to sign anyway because he has a scholarship to the University of San Diego and wants more than fifth-round money