The winning run scored on Russell Martin’s sac fly, plating Matt Kemp in the bottom of the 13th at 12:19 a.m. But the real hero for the Dodgers tonight was Chan Ho Park, who got over the fact he was passed over again for the fifth starter’s spot and turned in three shutout innings at a point when the slightest mistake could have led to disaster. He stranded two runners in scoring position during that time and fielded his position well, logging four assists. … Andruw left the game with a bruise and tightness in his left calf, Nomar left with a strained left calf. Nomar’s injury sounds serious, which probably means Blake DeWitt is on his way back to the majors. He doesn’t have to stay in the minors the minimum 10 days if Nomar goes on the DL. … Martin went 4 for 4 with two walks and was on base every time he came to the plate except for the last one, when he endd the game with that sac fly. … Dodgers go to 10-13 and pull even with the Rox for third place, seven behind the Snakes. Giants are 6 1/2 back.
He gets the nod over Chan Ho Park. Kuo goes back to the bullpen. … Meanwhile, the club has released veteran reliever Mike Myers, who agreed earlier this month to go to Triple-A Las Vegas until the Dodgers needed. I guess the fact they called up Cory Wade from Double-A on Thursday came across to Myers as a message that the club would never need him, so he requested his release. The Dodgers have a full 40-man roster that doesn’t have a whole lot of guys on it that club officials want to risk losing through waivers, and that’s probably why Myers didn’t get the call. There simply wasn’t a way to get him onto the 40-man. … Padilla is covering the game tonight. I’ll be working ahead on other stuff, but I’ll also be blogging.
It was a two-game split, but when one of those teams leads the division by six games and the other is seven games back, the effect is that the rich get richer. Every D-backs win gives the rest of the division one less day to catch them over the next five-plus months. Billingsley got a tad testy — or as close as the mild-mannered Billingsley ever gets to being testy — when I asked him after the game about the similarities between his fifth-innings struggles in each of his past two starts. In fairness, he DID strike out a career-high 12 tonight, shattering his previous high of nine. He actually pointed out that unlike Saturday against Atlanta, he had actually run into trouble BEFORE the fifth inning tonight. Maybe so, but the effect on the outcome of the game was the same. Saturday, he led 1-0 before giving up four in the fifth. Tonight, it was 3-3 before he gave up two in the fifth, but that was too much for the Dodgers to overcome. Not that it was all Billingsley’s fault. The Dodgers went 2 for 8 w/RISP and stranded seven runners, five of them in scoring position. They also failed to score after loading the bags with one out in the sixth, largely because Matt Kemp struck out on a breaking pitch that broke about a foot off the plate. It also would have been interesting to see what would have happened if James Loney HADN’T curiously tried to tag and take second on Andre Ethier’s sac fly in the fourth, which plated Jeff Kent with the tying run. Not only did Loney almost get thrown out for the final out of the inning BEFORE Kent crossed the plate, which would have negated the run, but even by barely sliding in safely, Loney left first base open so No. 8 hitter Matt Kemp was walked intentionally to bring Billingsley to the plate. Chad grounded out to end the inning. … Dodgers fall to 9-13 and back into third place, seven behind the Snakes. Rockies in for three starting tomorrow night.
Blake DeWitt was eventually going back, and there was no way around. But he took it like a pro, even engaging a group of us hacks for a few good quotes on his way out the door. When we were done with him, we headed out of the clubhouse and ran into Cory Wade on his way in, and he engaged us for a few quotes, too. Said he had no clue this was coming. He was only added to the 40-man this winter, and his best hope for 2008 was a remote chance at a September callup. Well, it ain’t September yet, and he is in the majors. This guy is a strike-throwing machine, and he can go multiple innings at a clip, so he was the perfect guy to cap off what is now a seven-man bullpen. He had six appearances at Jacksonville. The most recent on, on Monday night at Montgomery, lasted just one-third of an inning. Of the other five, the SHORTEST one was two innings, and the longest was four. … Still no decision on a Sunday starter, but I’m guessing it’ll be Chan Ho Park.