Dodgers 3, Diamondbacks 1

A big win for the boys in advance of the home opener. Randy Wolf went seven-plus, allowing only a run on two hits on a day when he said he didn’t really have his fastball and had to rely almost entirely on offspeed stuff. One of the two hits he gave up was a first-inning double by Felipe Lopez after Wolf appeared to have struck him out with a 2-2 pitch, only to have plate umpire Larry Vanover called it ball three. Hong-Chih Kuo and Jonathan Broxton were an outstanding eighth inning-ninth inning punch to close it out. James Loney had another big day, going 2 for 4 with an RBI single to raise his average to .270. Now that the game is over, though, all anyone seems to want to talk about is that first run the Dodgers scored on that weird play. … It was a big weekend for recent Dodgers’ high draft picks. On Saturday, 2008 first-rounder Ethan Martin gave up two hits over five innings for low Single-A Great Lakes, and 2008 second-rounder Josh Lindblom allowed a run on five hits over five innings, striking out six, for Double-A Chattanooga. Today, 2007 first-rounder Chris Withrow pitched five no-hit innings for high Single-A Inland Empire against Rancho Cucamonga. … Dodgers will bring a 4-3 record into their home opener. They are in second place alone in the N.L. West, one game behind the Pods.

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  • Brooklyn Dodger

    Oops, typo. Loney’s hitting .370. Of course, averages this time of year, high or low, are pretty meaningless.

    It was nice to see Russell Martin get a hit to right field late in the game. Seems to me that he brought into this season some of the bad habits with which he ended last year. Namely, swinging too hard, and trying to pull everything. A nice relaxed approach, and hitting balls where they’re pitched would seem to be the best approach for him. Who knows, maybe Mattingly had a little talk with him between innings.

    Not only did Kemp contribute with his ninth inning double, but he made a nice catch on the drive hit to the gap in the bottom of that inning. I’m not sure Pierre, who doesn’t get good jumps on balls, makes that catch (and he probably doesn’t get the double either).

    Nice to hear that the young pitchers down on the farm got off to good starts. The Dodger farm system has begun to thin out over the past couple of years. Understandably the promotions of younger players to the big leagues has played a large role in that. However, it appears to me that the Dodgers have not been very active in signing international prospects the past couple of years. Given that they forfeited their first round pick this year (17th overall) with the signing of Orlando Hudson, I would hope that they make use of the bonus money they saved, and put it toward signing some international talent. They need to keep filling the pipeline to the major leagues. It not only creates Dodger prospects, but also creates capital that can be used in trades.

  • Brooklyn Dodger

    A little more on Kemp’s catch in the ninth inning. It was clearly aided by the fact that the ball was hit to his glove side. The lefthanded Pierre, even if he got a good jump, would have had a more difficult play, since he would have had to reach across his body. Of course, no one knows before the inning starts where balls are going to be hit. So the above is just an observation. Bottom line, Kemp is just a better outfielder, who has shown marked improvement on his reads the last couple of years. Just another example of a young player beginning to grow up. I expect there is more to come.

  • GScott

    Actually, having watched the first 7 games, Kemp is getting outrageously unforgivable jumps on balls, but is making up for them with his speed. He very often can be seen watching the ball to see where it’s going then sprinting to catch up to it. I used to think Andruw Jones did this with Atlanta so he could make diving catches and get those gold gloves, but Kemp does it from lack of experience. It’ll come though.

  • crzblue

    Kemp is also playing with new contact lenses.
    Emma
    http://crzblue.mlblogs.com/