Now that everyone is all partied out, including myself after a good night of celebration. This of course our natural reactions to the wondrous news of the purchase of the Dodgers from Frank McCourt by beloved LA sports icon Magic Johnson, and the Guggenheim Baseball Management group, otherwise known as the GBM. We have done enough Magic talk for one week, and with opening day now just a mere week away, it is time to talk some Baseball.
The Dodgers returned home to Camelback Ranch to take on the Chicago White Sox, for the fifth time this spring. The Dodgers have won the previous four meetings, and have won 12 games total this spring.
There is still no news on Ted Lilly’s rusty neck. His neck remains rusty, and the Dodgers will need to make a decision quickly as to whether Lilly will have to start the year on the DL or not. If the Dodgers choose to DL him, they will move Chris Capuano up into his number three slot, and skip Capuano’s old spot because of an off-day the Dodgers have in their schedule after the opening series in San Diego. They also have rookie Nathan Eovaldi waiting in the wings should Lilly miss any considerable amount of time. Lilly is expected to throw a bullpen session tomorrow, but the Dodgers will need to make a decision soon regarding his status. That decision could come as soon as tomorrow.
The Lineup was nearly the same, with most of the regulars penciled in. A couple of changes though. Juan Rivera was at first base batting cleanup, giving James Loney a day off. Josh Fields played left field, and batted sixth.
Today’s pitching match-ups featured young lefty flame-thrower, Chris Sale, countering the Dodgers Aaron Harang. Sale is a young pitcher I picked up for my fantasy league team, and today he reminded me why. He is very good, and was especially sharp today. Sale a reliever last season, is being moved into the Chicago starting rotation. New White Sox manager, and former Dodger Robin Ventura, has already named John Danks as the Pale Hose opening day starter. You could make an argument for Sale though, he was quite sharp. Sale pitched six innings allowing only one run four hits, walked none, and whiffed seven Dodger batters.
Harang was almost as equally effective, and impressive. Harang went six innings, allowing just one run as well, on six hits, walking one, and whiffing six White Sox. Unfortunately the Dodgers were unable to get any Magic out of their bats today. However there is still Magic in the air around Chavez Ravine.
Harang allows a single in the top of the first, but gets Beckham to fly out, and whiffs Adam Dunn, to start the game. Sales responds back by whiffing the side in the bottom of the first inning. Gordon, Mark Ellis, and Matt Kemp all go down whiffing. Each pitcher exchanges 123 innings in the second. With Sales whiffing two more Dodgers. Each team singles in their respective halves, but that’s all. Still scoreless after three innings.
Juan Rivera doubles in the bottom of the 4th inning, but is left stranded in scoring position. The White Sox break through with a run in the top of the 5th. With one out, Dayan Viciedo singles. He goes to second on a wild pitch from Harang. After Harang whiffs Thompson, Eduardo Escobar singles up the middle on a ground ball that Mark Ellis decides to try and get the runner at third. I am not sure why he didn’t try and get Escobar at first, I know he runs well, but a good throw might have beat him. Anyways, it cost the Dodgers a run, as Alejandro De Aza singles to left, scoring Escobar, and it’s 1-0 Chicago.
The Dodgers would come right back with a run in the bottom half of the fifth inning. Josh Fields and Juan Uribe lead off with consecutive singles. A.J. Ellis knocks in Fields with a Sac fly to center. Tie Game. Fields has been pretty impressive, and is battling with Justin Sellers, and Luis Cruz for that last spot on the bench. Stacie will have more on Josh Fields later.
Move to the top of the 8th. Lefty Scott Rice, who graduated from the same High School as me, enters the game to pitch. Brent Lillibridge leads off with a walk, and is sacrificed to second base. The ogre, Adam Dunn, singles home Lillibridge, giving the White Sox a 3-1 lead.
After Ray Olmedo, whiffs, former Dodger Hector Gimenez, who is inexplicably now with the White Sox, grounds into a force play. The Dodgers go down 123 in the bottom of the 8th inning. Ronald Belisario comes in to pitch the top of the 9th for the Dodgers. Matt Thornton comes in to silence the Dodgers in the bottom of the 9th.
Kemp leads off by whiffing for the fourth time today. Yikes. Talk about a bad day right? Rivera whiffs as well. Josh Bard grounds out to end the game. The Dodgers drop their 11th game of the spring 3-1 to the White Sox. I think we are all ready for the season to start, so I am not going to get worked up about this game. A poor offensive performance today, yes, but Harang looked very sharp, so I will take the goods that I can on a losscap.
Tomorrow the Dodgers have a split squad day. They have one game against the Brewers at Camelback Ranch, and the other game against the Cubs in Meza, AZ. The game at Camelback is televised on Prime Ticket, the game in Mesa, is not. just can’t wait for the season to start. Ok Dodger fans get back to celebrating some Magic! Go Blue
Topics: A.J. Ellis, Aaron Harang, Andre Ethier, Chris Capuano, Chris Sale, Dee Gordon, Dodgers, Josh Fields, Josh Lindblom, Juan Rivera, Juan Uribe, Magic Johnson, Mark Ellis, Matt Kemp, Nathan Eovaldi, Ronald Belisario, Scott Rice, Spring Training, Ted Lilly