Well, as big a win as you can have in Game No. 79, anyway. This gives them a winning road trip and a touch of momentum — especially offensively — heading into the big series with the Pods. This lineup has really come alive since the change of hitting coaches. On this 10-game trip, the Dodgers have reached double figures in hits seven times. Assuming they don’t tack on a few more in the ninth, they will average 5.5 runs a game on this trip. The guess here is that Bill Mueller will be the hitting coach as long as he wants to be … but nobody, including Bill Mueller, knows how long he wants to be. … Dodgers 9, D-backs 3, bottom 8
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.