Normally we give out game balls to the player or player’s excellent performance that directly contributes to their team’s win. We might have to start handing out goat balls for the exact opposite. If we were to hand out a goat ball today, it would have to go to Lance Zawadzki, who botched a tailor made double play ball in the top of the 7th, directly causing the Dodgers to blow their 5-2 lead.
Of course Mike MacDougal didn’t help his own cause by being completely inaffective, but still, that double play ball would have gotten him off the hook. I’ll get to that later though. In between Dougie’s inability to get outs and Zawadzki’s gigantic screwup, there was some entertaining moments.
To start, Chad Billingsley wasn’t very impressive, but at the same time was still somewhat effective. Billingsley, who has struggled to find his mechanics this spring, pitched 3.2 innings, allowing one run on 4 hits, two walks and one strikeout. As for his opposing pitcher Danny Duffy, he didn’t fare much better, allowing two runs on four hits through 3 innings.
The Dodgers broke through first in the bottom of the first inning. Dee Gordon walks, and then picks Duffy’s pocket by stealing second base uncontested. Hairston singles, and then a balk is called on Duffy scoring Gordon. (this was the first of two balks called on KC today) Kemp singles home Hairston with a single to left before being thrown out trying to advance to second base. 2-0 Dodgers.
Top of the fourth sees Lorenzo Cain bomb one into the seats, cutting the Dodger’s lead to 2-1. The rest of the game would play out like that looney tunes song. In the bottom half of the fourth, De Jesus and Treanor lead off with hits, and two outs later, Todd Coffey, who had entered the game in relief, is allowed to bat for himself. Hilariously, he singles to right field, driving in De Jesus, 3-1 Dodgers. Coffey who has never had a hit in the major leagues, was all smiles. Ivan De Jesus had a great game going 3 for 3, he drove in another run in the 5th inning, giving the Dodgers a 5-2 lead at the time.
Move to the top of the 7th. Dougie is brought in to pitch. Cody Clark opens the inning with a hit. The next play is a ground ball to Lance Zawadzki who was playing at second base. He was able to get a force out at second base on that play. There’s a walk, putting runners at first and second with 1 out. Getz hits a taylor made double play, right at Zawadzki, who proceeds to field the ball, but can’t get anyone out. All he had to do was flip the ball to second base, but instead he tries to tag the runner, who avoids the tag. Once this happens he freezes like a deer in headlights and the bases are loaded. Great play kid.
Somebody tell me why he wasn’t cut with the rest of the minor leaguers? He looked completly lost out there, but I digress. Eric Hosmer’s two run single cuts the Dodger’s lead to 5-4. Hosmer drove in four runs on the day to secure the game ball for the Royals. (FYI at least I have Hosmer on one of my fantasy league teams, just trying to look on the bright side here) Ah yes, the spring just would not be complete without a good ol’ fashioned meltdown now would it? John Grabow is brought in to replace Dougie, and immediately blows the lead by giving up a two-run double to Clint Robinson. 6-5 Kansas City. That was all she wrote. Once the Dodgers lost the lead, they went down meekly. The Royals added two more runs in the 9th, and won 8-5. I won’t get too upset about a meaningless spring training game, that doesn’t count, however I just hate seeing lackadaisical plays like that, no matter what point of the season were in. Jonathon Broxton would have been proud…..of the Dodgers that is. Meltdowns are his specialty.
Another entertaining moment in the Dodger’s third loss of the spring came in the top of the 5th when Jerry Hairston, while playing at third base, tried to do his best Kevin Seitzer impersonation Kevin Seitzer blows ball foul in 1987 by attempting to blow a little dribbler with his mouth foul. Hairston did exactly like Seitzer, by getting down on his knees and comically trying to use his breath to bow the ball into foul territory. Much Like Seitzer, he was unsuccessful. Ironically Seitzer did this as a rookie for the Royals in 1987. You may remember this funny blooper which was in all the highlight reels back in those days
While we did get to see a Todd Coffey RBI single, and some hilarity from Jerry Hairston, otherwise it was a pretty forgettable game. We did learn that several Dodgers were cut and sent to their respective minor league camps. This was the first cut of the spring for the Dodgers. Chris Withrow, Alex Castellanos, Russ Mitchell, Shane Lindsay, Michael Antonini, Steven Fife, Josh Wall, Scott Van Slyke, and Alfredo Silverio, were all re-assigned today.
Several Dodgers are still on the mend from injuries. James Loney is still day-to-day with a tight calf muscle, but according to Manager Don Mattingly, he is improving. Matt Guerrier has been suffering from a rusty back, but is also starting to show improvement. Ronald Belisario has rejoined the team, apparently recovering from strep throat. Speaking of rustiness, we may have seen the end of old friend Casey Blake as a Baseball player. Blake who was signed this winter by the Rockies, is not doing so well in spring. According to this-Bill Shakin Tweet
Blake is still having nagging neck injuries, and has not had one hit with the Rockies this spring and is in danger of not making the team. Wait a minute, you mean to tell me that Casey Blake has a rusty neck? Shocking!
Anyways, the Dodgers will take on the Texas Rangers tomorrow, at 1:05 PM televised on Prime Ticket. Ted Lilly will take the mound for the Dodgers. The Rangers will counter with righty Greg Reynolds. Remember Saturday’s game is Vinny’s first game of 2012. I can’t wait to hear his beautiful voice. Only about two and a half weeks until we hear those five beautiful words we love to hear….ITS TIME FOR DODGER BASEBALL! Tough loss today guys, but its just a spring game, so keep your heads up. Go Blue