Today was a great DRE for the Dodgers at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona. Andre Ethier slugged his second home run of the spring to lead the Dodgers to victory against Milwaukee despite a so-so effort from Chad Billingsley and an awful appearance from Ramon Troncoso. The Dodgers would hold onto beat the Brewers 7-6. I guess I should thank Eephusblue for the title idea. Here are the highlights and low-lights from today’s game…..
The Dodgers started off by scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning off of opposing starter Chris Narveson. Dee Gordon led off the game with a triple to center over the head of center fielder Carlos Gomez. Mark Ellis’ bloop hit easily brings home Gordon. 1-0 Dodgers. Kemp singles, and after a Rivera fly out, Mark Ellis scores on a RBI fielder’s Choice grounder by Andre Ethier. 2-0 Dodgers. Next James Loney doubles down the left field line to score Ethier, 3-0 Dodgers in the first.
Milwaukee would answer with two runs of their own in the top of the second off of an inconsistent Chad Billingsley. Mat Gamel singles. Brooks Conrad goes bomb the opposite way on a Bills meatball over the heart of the plate. 3-2 Dodgers. The Brewers would tie the game in the following inning. Nyger Morgan would double as the ball got by Ethier in right field. Carlos Gomez plates Morgan with an RBI single into left. Rivera bumbles the ball for another error. The good Bills gets Aramis Ramirez to ground out to end the frame. We are tied at 3-3.
The Dodgers would retake the lead in the bottom of the 5th. You can close the books on Chris Narveson, who goes 4 innings allowing three runs off 7 hits and one walk. Marco Estrada comes in for relief. Mark Ellis leads off the inning with a walk. With two outs, Andre Ethier bombs one deep into the Camelback Ranch seats. That’s the second home run of the spring for Ethier, who is now hitting .440 this spring. The two-run jack puts the Dodgers back up ahead 5-3. Where are all the Ethier haters now? The guy is raking it this spring. All of those Dre haters are going to look real foolish this year.
Chad Billingsley was replaced in the 5th inning. He pitched 4.2 innings, allowed three runs, five hits, two walks, and four whiffs. It seemed like he was his usual Jekyll and Hyde self on the mound. I was having a discussion about his issues with @Eephusblue and Dustin Nosler of Feelinkindablue.com on twitter. It seems like Bills is nibbling way too much, and throwing too much of his cutter. More on him later.
With Wil Ledezma on the mound in the 6th, Catcher George Kottaras walks and steals second when nobody is covering the bag on an attempted pick-off play. The ball is thrown into center-field, allowing a run to score. This cuts the lead to 5-4. Former Dodger and old friend Cesar Izturis whiffs during that at-bat. There is a walk to Gindi. The inning ends with A.J. Ellis throwing out Gindi trying to steal third.
Move to the bottom of the 6th. The Dodgers pick up two more runs. They would turn out to be very important. With two outs, Federowicz walks, Gordon singles, putting two on with two outs. Mark Ellis doubles down the left field line scoring two. 7-4 Dodgers!
Flash forward to the top of the 8th. Resident suck-master Ramon Troncoso is brought in and nearly blows the game. He allows two runs, and very nearly lost the lead. Somehow, someway, he gets out of it. Tron allows three consecutive singles to Scooter Gennett, Taylor Green, and Kentrail Davis. Then he is able to get a double play to clear the bases. However Caleb Gindi doubles, and finally Logan Schafer grounds out to end the frame. The Dodgers lead is now 7-6. What in the world happened to Ramon Troncoso? His sinker ball just does not sink anymore.
Anyways, Angel Guzman comes in to finish the game, and the Dodgers hold on for their ninth win of the spring. The Dodgers improve to 9-5 in Cactus League play.
Dee Gordon, Andre Ethier, and Mark Ellis all had great games. Gordon had three hits, including a double and a triple. Ellis had two hits, and Ethier hit a home run and drove in three runs. I could see giving all three of these guys the game ball.
Chad Billingsley was on and off again. It seems like he just cant get his rythym going. He is throwing too many cutters. What happened to Bills being a power pitcher?
The Juan Castro (You all know what I mean with this)
Good lord Ramon Troncoso. I think we have seen enough of Tron haven’t we? It is not 2009 anymore. I am sorry to say, but they need to cut him immediately. Watch out Tron, you’re on the chopping block!
All in all the bats looked good, and the pitching was good enough to win. Despite Troncoso’s awful outing of course. The Dodgers’ bats are heating up this spring. Join us tomorrow as the Dodgers take on the Padres at 1:05 PM. Lefty Ted Lilly will take the mound for the Dodgers, and San Diego will counter with Tim Stauffer. BTW go check out Dustin Nosler’s newest post on the troubles of Chad Billingsley. Good day all. Go Blue
Topics: A.J. Ellis, Andre Ethier, Chad Billingsley, Dee Gordon, Dodgers, James Loney, Josh Lindblom, Juan Rivera, Juan Uribe, Mark Ellis, Matt Kemp, Ramon Troncoso, Spring Training, Ted Lilly, Wil Ledezma