Monday’s game, the third of spring training for the Dodgers, began at 1:06 p.m. The Dodgers’ second batter stepped into the batter’s box 18 minutes later.
That’s because the Dodgers’ first batter, Dee Gordon, led off the bottom of the first inning with a 17-pitch at-bat against Chicago Cubs starter Carlos Villanueva. (Gordon struck out looking.) In the top of the first, Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley allowed hits to the first four batters he faced and surrendered two runs. It had the makings of a long game from the outset and it was: Three hours, 25 minutes total.
The afternoon was probably more memorable if Vin Scully was narrating it — which he was, if you had a radio Monday.
Some less colorful takeaways:
Two players who participated in the Dodgers’ open tryout Thursday signed contracts: right-handed pitcher Blake Johnson and shortstop Brandon Mims. That means the baseball dream is again on hold for Minnesota Vikings safety Jarrad Page, bat boy Chico Herrera, and veteran left-hander Doug Davis, among others.
Johnson was a second-round draft pick by the Dodgers in 2004. He made it to high SIngle-A Vero Beach, going 4-5 with a 4.92 ERA in 20 games (18 starts), before being included in the 2006 trade that sent Odalis Perez to Kansas City for Elmer Dessens. The Royals traded Johnson – by then a reliever – to the Rockies in 2011, and he spent most of last season in Triple-A. His career Triple-A record: 5-3, with a 7.79 ERA.
Mims, 19, was a ninth-round pick by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2010 draft. He got two at-bats for the Jays’ rookie-league affiliate last year (struck out once and singled). Listed at 5-foot-10 and 160 pounds, he has some room to grow -maybe off the field, as well. Here’s a rather lengthy scouting report on him from last year.