Dodgers 5, Giants 3

This might have been the first game this year in which it could be truly said that Manny Ramirez was the central figure in a Dodgers’ victory. He was on base five times tonight, including a pair of two-out walks with nobody on base early and three doubles late. The last two of those doubles led off innings with the score tied, and each time, Ramirez ended up scoring the go-ahead run. The big one was the ninth. After Russell Martin struck out, Andre Ethier, easily the Dodgers’ MVP for this first month of the season, worked a 10-pitch at-bat against Bobby Howry, then drove a double off the left-centerfield wall for his 21st RBI of the season, and it’s tough to remember a bigger one. Matt Kemp followed with an RBI triple, and the Dodgers had all the runs they would need. First blown save of the season for Jonathan Broxton, although he was asked to get five outs, coming on with a one-run lead, two on and one out, and he walked two of the first three batters. Will Ohman wound up pitching a perfect ninth for just the third save of his career. Lost in all the late-inning confusion was the performance of Chad Billingsley, who gutted his way through 7 1/3 innings on a night when he clearly wasn’t at his best. He dodged bullet after bullet, proving once again that he is maturing as a pitcher because he now has the ability to improvise. Dodgers go to 14-7 and stay 2 1/2 up on the Pods. Eric Stults against Tim Lincecum tomorrow night at 7:15, so good luck.

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  • Marcel

    Today’s game story talks about a ‘possible breakout season’ for Billingsley.

    OK, does that mean last year when he won more games, had a better ERA, and more strikeouts than anyone on the staff was some sort of dream?

    This isn’t a “Dallas” episode. Billingsley has been an ace for a year now; his NLCS struggles do not negate that.

  • phillydodger

    A rough and rocky win, but maybe a character-builder as well. Good to see Manny become the Mann of the offense again.

    Please, somebody explain J. Martin in the four-hole?!?

    Torre does make my head hurt with these line-ups…he takes Martin, who is just barely heating up and moves him in behind Manny… a confidence booster? Who knows, but I vote for Martin in the eight hole.

  • Buddy

    As Joe Torre said, this was a strange but a good win. I actually liked his move to bring Broxton in the eighth inning. Even though he yielded a run, having your best strikeout relief pitcher in that situation was the best scenario to get out of the inning.

    Will Ohman certainly has the ability to finish a game and he did that quite well last night.

    The Dodgers will certainly be glad to have Wade back on Thursday but it would be nice to have another good hard pitcher in the bullpen to support the end of the bullpen.

  • GScott

    Tim Dierkes of MLBTradeRumors.com has an article of the best potentially available relief arms. Any opinions?

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/04/mailbag-relief-trade-candidates.html

  • ELManiaco

    Was Manny’s big night a result of him getting pitches to hit for doubles or is his timing still off, making late contact? Manny got lucky with 3 2B’s??? Regardless, I just hope its something Manny can build on! I hope this is a real break out year for Ethier, I’m sure he doesn’t mind hitting behind Manny. I’ve come to the conclusion that Kemp of now, will be Kemp of tomorrow? After all of this time in the MLB, he is still raw and has not eliminated his weak points! Hope I’m wrong on this! I think this move by Torre by putting in Broxton for a 4-5 out save followed by Ohman if a save is blown is something to expect. This was a good rocky game as mentioned before.

  • El Lay Dave

    Randy Winn, before last night’s game, on Chad Billingsley:

    “He’s had the stuff to be a No. 1 starter,” Winn said. “It’s just the teams he’s played for they had some more experienced guys, like Penny and Lowe. Now those guys aren’t there, so people are looking at him in a different light, but people who had to face him the last few years know he’s been really good.”

    The players have known all along.