The Dodgers salvaged a point in the standings before an announced crowd of 13,655 — a Cactus League record — at Camelback Ranch. [box score]
Dodgers right-hander Aaron Harang pitched four interesting innings; the stage was set when a whipping wind blowing out to left field picked up prior to the game. Brandon Belt benefited when his fly ball to left turned into a two-run homer that gave the Giants a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning.
But those were the only runs Harang allowed, thanks in part to a first-inning double play started by Justin Sellers at third base. Harang walked none, struck out four, and allowed seven hits in his third appearance of the spring.
The Dodgers got a run back in the bottom of the first. Sellers led off with a double and came around to score on a single by Juan Rivera. That was the only run the Dodgers’ lineup — counting only Rivera, Matt Kemp, James Loney among the projected opening-day starters — could produce against journeyman left-hander Brian Burres in three innings.
Kemp singled in Tim Federowicz in the fifth inning and Luis Cruz homered (to left field, naturally) in the sixth to put the Dodgers ahead 3-2.
In the eighth inning, Gregor Blanco doubled off minor-league pitcher Shawn Tolleson and scored the tying run on a sacrifice fly by Belt.
That accounted for all the scoring which, naturally, barely accounted for the story in the Dodgers’ third tie game of the Cactus League (8-4-3).
Prior to today’s broadcast –his first of the spring –Vin Scully was asked how he and the team would potentially be affected by a change in ownership. His answer:
This is just my own particular feeling: The things that happen in the front office, I don’t believe, have any affect whatsoever on the players or on us. It’s like on a ship, we’re down there shoveling coal and the big discussion is up on the bridge with the captain. Same thing. we’re not involved with them. So I can’t see any change in ownership having any effect at all. … The team finished up the last third of the season 41-25 – 16 games above .500. that’s pretty good baseball. If they can come up with two thirds like that in this division, they’re going to be very highly competitive. I don’t think the new ownership matters at all. The only difference perhaps, and I’m only guessing, but with a new ownership not as hard pressed for money because of the bankruptcy situation, maybe that will help Ned Colletti later on, because he certainly has not had much to work with this time of year.
Again, I repeat, ballplayers, they are remarkable. They have such unbelievable sense of concentration. I’ve seen players going through terrible divorces and scandals, God knows what, they walk up to the plate and somehow or another everything is screened out. That’s why I don’t think anything going on in the front office has anything to do with the players at all.
More from Scully about his reduced broadcast schedule in tomorrow’s editions.
The Dodgers rallied from a four-run ninth-inning deficit before losing, 8-6, to the Colorado Rockies on Saturday before an announced crowd of 12,465 at Salt River Fields. [box score]
Tim Wheeler‘s two-run, walk-off home run off Logan Bawcom — a reserve reliever from the Dodgers’ minor-league camp — ended the game.
Dodgers starter Nate Eovaldi threw three innings, allowing four hits, no walks and striking out one. His fastball reached into the mid-90s — per the in-house radar reading at Salt River Fields — in his third spring appearance.
Most impressively, Eovaldi was able to work out of some jams to preserve the shutout. He allowed a leadoff single in the second inning that led to a first-and-third, one-out bind, but struck out Wil Nieves and inducing a groundout by Guthrie to end the inning.
Eric Young and Marco Scutaro singled to lead off the third inning. Each moved up a base with one out, but Eovaldi escaped this jam, too.
The Dodgers announced their 2012 broadcast schedule on Saturday.
First things first: Vin Scully will call more than 100 games this year — his 63rd behind the mic — including all home games, and road telecasts in California and Arizona. The first three innings of each of the games Scully calls will be simulcast on the radio.
Approximately two-thirds of the games will be televised on PRIME TICKET, the other third on KCAL 9. National and regional telecasts on FOX and ESPN complete the schedule. On the radio, fans can listen to all games on Dodgers Radio AM 570 Fox Sports Los Angeles and in Spanish on Univision Radio’s KTNQ 1020.
Nine games are listed as “to be determined.”
The complete schedule in .pdf form is here:
James Loney, back in the lineup after being sidelined by a strained calf muscle, went 2-for-3 with his first home run of the spring in a 5-2 win over the Texas Rangers before an announced crowd of 11,082 at Camelback Ranch. [box score]
“James was out a couple days, came right back and looked exactly the same,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “Seems like he’s confident. Should be an interesting year for him.”
Loney is hitting .357/..471/1.113 with four RBIs in four at-bats.
Juan Rivera and Juan Uribe also had two hits apiece as the Dodgers (8-3-2) started their expected opening-day lineup against the Rangers’ Greg Reynolds. The right-hander lasted three innings, giving up seven hits, four runs (four earned), walking one and striking out two.
Starter Ted Lilly allowed one hit — a triple — and no runs in four innings of work
against the Rangers. The left-hander struck out two, walked none and threw 27
of his 44 pitches for strikes.
Lilly said the results “were probably better than I threw the ball,” but the manager liked what he saw.
“His stuff is crisper right now than it was last year for sure,” Mattingly said.
Javy Guerra, Scott Elbert, Wilfredo Ledezma and Scott Rice threw scoreless innings out of the bullpen. Kenley Jansen allowed both Texas runs, on solo home runs by Brandon Snyder and Alberto Gonzalez.
A few more notes:
Clayton Kershaw will take a one-day vacation from spring training to receive the 2011 Sportsman of the Year award at the seventh annual LA Sports Awards tonight. The Sportsman award is “given to the local male athlete whose performance and character best exemplified the ideals of sportsmanship during the calendar year.”
The show is from 7:30 to 9 p.m. tonight at Club Nokia at L.A. Live.
Here are Kershaw’s winning credentials, per the Awards committee:
Kershaw won the National League Cy Young Award, earned the Players Choice Award as the National League’s Outstanding Pitcher, captured a Rawlings Gold Glove Award, was selected as a Sporting News NL All-Star and won the Warren Spahn Award as the game’s best left-handed pitcher, among other accomplishments. Off the field, Kershaw was a finalist for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet for his charitable endeavors and recently co-authored a book, Arise, with his wife, Ellen, about their charity work together in Africa.
Amending the abbreviated version that ran in today’s editions, here is the full version of my story on Dodgers shortstop Dee Gordon, and how many bases he might steal this season.
The Dodgers chased Jered Weaver after 1 2/3 innings and collected 12 hits in an easy win over the Angels. At 6-1-2, the Dodgers trail only the Detroit Tigers (6-1-1) for the best overall spring training winning percentage, and are in sole possession of the best record in the Cactus League. [box score]
Juan Rivera went 2-for-3, tagging Weaver for a double and hitting his third home run (in three days) off reliever Andrew Taylor. All four of his Cactus League hits (4-for-12) have gone for extra bases.
Trent Oeltjen went 2-for-2, Matt Kemp scored a pair of runs and stole a base, and Dee Gordon stole his fourth base of the spring on his fourth attempt.
Starter Aaron Harang (1-0) allowed an RBI double to Angels catcher Chris Ianetta, the only run he allowed in three innings. Harang struck out two, walked none and allowed three hits.
“I was just making sure overall I was mechanically feeling right,” Harang said. “I executed some good pitches. … I still have to get a feel for (my slider). It’s still early. A couple things I’ll work on in the bullpen next week and in my next two starts.”
Weaver, who allowed three runs — all earned — saw his spring ERA rise to 7.36. The Dodgers tacked on four more runs against non-roster invitee Matt Shoemaker, who has a photo of Billy Mays hanging from his locker in the Angels’ clubhouse.
More in tomorrow’s editions. A few notes:
Ted Lilly (1-1) threw three shutout innings and a four-run second inning lifted the Dodgers to their second shutout victory in three days before an announced crowd of 10,380 at Camelback Ranch. [box score]
Lilly allowed one hit, a single, and walked one in his second appearance of the spring.
“I treated this game more like a regular-season game. The only pitch I didn’t throw much or well is my slider,” Lilly said, adding that the slider was “ineffective” against his former team.
The Dodgers needed only seven hits. Two came off the bat of Trent Oeltjen, including a hustle double on a routine grounder up the middle that made Cubs center fielder Marlon Byrd look lazy. Matt Guerrier, Todd Coffey, Mike MacDougal, John Grabow, Alberto Castillo and Will Savage all threw scoreless innings out of the bullpen. None has allowed a run so far this spring.
Guerrier made it interesting by loading the bases in the fourth inning on three walks, but he got out of his own jam. After the game, manager Don Mattingly had nothing but praise for Guerrier: “Last year [the movement on his pitches] looked more side to side. This year it’s late,” Mattingly said.
As for the team’s 4-1-2 Cactus League record?
“Last year I’m saying that they don’t really matter and we’re losing,” the manager said, “and it’s the same this year.”
A few more notes:
Here’s one side effect of the World Baseball Classic its founders didn’t foresee:
When California native Ted Lilly was chosen to pitch for the United States in the 2009 WBC, he had to begin his off-season throwing regimen earlier out of necessity. The first games were March 5 — roughly the same time most spring training games begin. His stats in the tournament (2 start, 6 1/3 IP, 4 ER) were nothing special but the season that followed was, especially in comparison to the year before:
Record Pct ERA G GS IP Hits HR BB K
2008 17 - 9 .654 4.09 34 34 204.2 187 32 64 184
2009 12 - 9 .571 3.10 27 27 177.0 151 22 36 151
So the left-hander began throwing earlier every off-season since.
“I’ve started to throw more off the mound, but I throw lighter in terms of effort,” Lilly said, noting he had two throwing sessions before he arrived at Camelback Ranch this year.
Lilly tossed three shutout innings Sunday against his former team, the Cubs, a marked improvement compared to his rocky first outing against the Giants.
One stat that you may have noticed above: Lilly made seven fewer starts in 2009 than he did in 2008. He bounced back to make 30 starts in 2010 and 33 in 2011, his first full season with the Dodgers.
“I take pride in answering the bell every five days,” he said, “but I want to be more effective coming out of the gate.”