A week ago, we asked how the Dodgers did at the Winter Meetings. You weren’t impressed.
My, how things can change in a week.
Less than a half-hour after the final out, the sun was shining brightly over Camelback Ranch. But by then the fans were gone, players were changing into street clothes, and the final score — the Dodgers’ fourth tie of the Cactus League season (8-4-4) — seemed an insignificant afterthought. At least, no one in the press corps seemed bothered by the managers’ decision to end Sunday’s game after five and a half innings.
“We don’t want to sit out there and try to fight weather all day long after being here all day,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “The guys who needed work got their work, I’m happy with going home, to be honest with you.”
The actual game recap is a brief one:
The Angels’ Kole Calhoun scored in the first inning on a sacrifice fly by Mark Trumbo. Juan Uribe singled in Adam Kennedy for the Dodgers’ only run in the fifth. Both starting pitchers, Chris Capuano and Anaheim’s Dan Haren, allowed a mere two hits. John Grabow and Mike MacDougal worked one scoreless inning each out of the Dodgers’ bullpen.
After MacDougal’s last pitch, rain (and later hail) began to pelt the field hard enough that a tarp was rolled over the infield 1 hour and 16 minutes after first pitch.
The only semblance of drama for the Dodgers on this day took place before and after the game, when the second round of roster cuts was announced. Four players left the room in the morning, and catcher Gorman Erickson, catcher Matt Wallach, infielder Lance Zawadzki and first baseman Jeff Baisley were re-assigned to the minor league camp. More on that in tomorrow’s editions.
A few more notes:
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:
Clayton Kershaw was brilliant, the Dodgers’ offense was balanced once again, and the relief corps did just enough to secure a victory in the finale of the rubber game with the Angels, 5-3.
Kershaw delivered a near-virtuoso performance tonight: seven innings, four hits, four walks, and no runs. The 21-year-old, operating without his best stuff, struck out only five but got 11 ground ball outs. He threw 107 pitches in his seven innings of work, his longest outing since May 17 in Florida.
For the first seven innings, the Dodgers offense wasn’t too balanced. It essentially relied on two guys: Matt Kemp to single, and Juan Pierre to send him home with an RBI double. Joe Torre’s recent decision to bat Matt Kemp late in the order as a sort of second leadoff hitter began to really pay dividends tonight, as Kemp’s speed on the bases allowed him to be both a table-setter and potential table-clearer.
Eventually, James Loney hit a two-run shot in the eighth (it was reviewed by the umpires and upheld) and Casey Blake hit an RBI base knock in the ninth to cap the Dodgers’ twelve-hit performance.
After Kershaw exited, Ramon Troncoso came in for the eighth. He got two outs but put two runners on before being pulled. Situational lefty Brent Leach — who’s been nearly twice as effective against right-handed hitters as lefties — got Angel pinch-hitter Kendry Morales to hit a grounder to Blake at third.
Blake delivered an off-line throw to Loney at first, however, and the Angels scored their first run of the night. Jonathan Broxton then came in and walked Gary Matthews Jr. — the perpetrator of last night’s ninth-inning homer — before striking out Erick Aybar to end the inning. Broxton ran into a bit more trouble in the ninth, allowing two runners to score, before getting Napoli to ground out to end the game with Rivera at first.
Big win for the Dodgers, who move to 46-24. Angels again stay a half-game back of Texas at 36-31. The Blue have a day off tomorrow while they travel to Chicago to take on the White Sox in a three-game set beginning Tuesday.
Dodgers lefthander Clayton Kershaw seems to have grown up quite a bit in the last few weeks, showing a lot of poise in escaping out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the fifth. Despite struggling somewhat with his control — he’s thrown four walks — Kershaw has only thrown 78 pitches through five innings. I say only because he has averaged more than 90 per five innings entering tonight. He should be able to last at least seven barring an offensive attack from the Angels.
Offensively, the Dodgers managed to put a run together in the top of the fifth via a Matt Kemp single and RBI double by Juan Pierre.
Angels starter John Lackey has thrown 91 pitches through six innings; he’s also walked four but has scattered three hits.
National TV tonight, as Clayton Kershaw and John Lackey match up on ESPN. The 30-year-old Lackey hasn’t been his normal self since returning from injury on May 16. In seven starts (really six, because of that two-pitch debacle where he hit Texas’ Ian Kinsler to lead off the game and was tossed) Lackey’s totaled a 2-2 record and 6.10 ERA.
Kershaw hasn’t lived up to his big expectations just yet, but the 21-year-old lefthander hasn’t been nearly as awful as you think, recording a 4.13 ERA in 69 2/3 innings pitched. His last time out was a dandy — four hits, three walks and no runs in five and 2/3 innings against the A’s last Tuesday.
Russell Martin, taking the day off behind the plate, moves up to sixth in the order after an eye-opening 3-for-4 performance last night.
One interesting note: both of these teams — as good ones tend to do — start pretty much the same guys every night. You won’t see Joe Torre or Mike Scioscia send out a typical Sunday lineup in this one.
S. Rodriguez, 2B
Happy Father’s Day to all those dads out there. Enjoy it. In-game updates to come.
Jeff officially won the battle of the Weavers’ over Jered, and it wasn’t even that close. Jeff went five innings, allowed six hits and two earned runs, and earned his fourth win of the season. Jered lasted five and 1/3, gave up 10 hits and three walks, and was charged with six runs and the loss as the Dodgers beat the Angels 6-4.
It was a balanced offensive effort for the Dodgers. Russell Martin appeared to break out of his June gloom with a 3-for-4 performance, including his first home run of the season. Matt Kemp had a simply sensational running, leaping catch of an Erick Aybar fly ball in the second, and reached base three times. Rafael Furcal drew three walks. Casey Blake and Andre Ethier had big RBI knocks.
Belisario entered the game in the sixth for Jeff Weaver and lasted 1 2/3 innings before he exited with two outs in the top of the seventh. Ramon Troncoso got the job done, getting Chone Figgins to ground into a fielder’s choice. Troncoso also worked the eighth before Dodger closer Jonathan Broxton entered in the ninth in a 6-2 game. Broxton hadn’t pitched since Tuesday and didn’t look all that sharp tonight, allowing a two-run homer to Gary Matthews Jr. before getting Aybar to ground out to end the game.
So the eighth different (and 21st total) brother-versus-brother matchup in MLB history ends with the older brother, Jeff, victorious. In history, the older brother has earned 11 wins to the little brother’s The Dodgers move to 45-24, eight games ahead of the Giants in the NL West. The Angels fall to 36-30, just a half-game back of Texas in the AL West.
Clayton Kershaw and John Lackey in tomorrow night’s Sunday Night Baseball battle.
Jeff has been the better brother thus far, holding the Angels to only two runs in five innings. He hasn’t walked any and has scattered five hits.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers have really tagged Jered, scoring two runs in the third inning and three in the fifth.
Russell Martin hit his first regular or post-season home run since Game 1 of the 2008 NLDS, and the Dodgers scrapped together two more runs before Andre Ethier delivered the big blow with a two-RBI triple.
The moment we’ve all been waiting for is finally here, as the Dodgers’ Jeff Weaver and the Angels’ Jered Weaver will face off in Anaheim in one hour’s time. Jered has been dominant so far this season, recording a 2.08 ERA and 7-2 record in 90 2/3 innings pitched; Jeff has done the job in ten appearances (and three starts) for the Dodgers this season after joining the club in late April.
Joe Torre has switched up the lineup a bit, batting streaking center fielder Matt Kemp ninth and struggling catcher Russell Martin eighth. Kemp has a .333 average in June; Martin has hit .125 this month.
Mike Scioscia is using nearly the same lineup as last night, switching in only Jeff Mathis at catcher for Mike Napoli and leaving the order intact.
The Dodgers have dropped 17 of their last 21 contests at Angel Stadium of Anaheim.