*Update*-Apparently Lilly had pulled a side muscle, which was why he was yanked after the sixth inning. If that is the case, I can’t blame Donnie for the near meltdown. It just seemed weird, as was the discussion between Falsone, Honeycutt, and Lilly. Facepalm!* This should have been an easy breezy win in Coors Field. The Dodgers were leading 7-0 through five, as Ted Lilly was breezing. However Don Mattingly just couldn’t make things easy could he? He just had to bring in Lindblom in the seventh, hooking Lily after only 79 pitches. Besides the pen doesn’t need more work. Lindblom came in and had his first bad outing of the year, allowing three runs two on Tyler Colvin’s two run bomb. Jansen gave up a run in the eighth, but we saw the return of El Javy, as he got the last out by whiffing Cargo with the tying run on third.
The game was terribly managed. Lilly was hooked for no reason, despite the shaky overworked pen in Coors Field of all parks. Loney our number five hitter was asked to bunt, and Bison had a TOOTBLAN. How we still came out with a win is beyond me, but I sure will take it. The game featured Gordon’s first Major League home run, Mark Ellis had four hits, going 4 or 5, and there were home runs by Andre Ethier, and A.J. Ellis. Lilly pick up the win to improve to 3-0, and Javy gets save number 8. There were five home runs hit in the game. Not surprising, it’s the rarefied air of Coors Field in early May.
The first Dodger game of the Magic era begins with a bang, literally! Dee Gordon on a 2-1 count hits his first career home run. The shot was a bullet over the railing atop the second deck over the scoreboard in right field. I think Gordon was just as shocked as we all were. Gordon’s homer makes it 1-0 Dodgers. Think about this, Chacin had only allowed one home run to the Dodgers in ten previous starts. Chacin continued to struggle. Mark Ellis and Bison follow with consecutive singles, putting runners at first and third for Andre Ethier.
Ethier absolutely crushes a 3-2 Chacin meatball for his sixth home run of the year. This gives him a major league leading 27 RBI on the season. Amazing. I think we better get him his contract extension now. Loney grounds out to first for the first out of the inning. Gwynn playing in left field, grounds out to Mullet at short. We know Chacin is really struggling as he allows a two out single to Adam Kennedy. That is just Kennedy’s second hit of the season. A true rarity seeing a Kennedy hit. Almost like a haley’s comet. Anyways, A.J. Ellis ends the inning by grounding out to second, as Helton has to dig out a low throw from Scutaro.
Bottom of the first. Lilly starts out well by whiffing Eric Young Jr. Marco Scutaro the Rockies new second baseman acquired from Boston, shoots a double down the line in left, as the throw from Gwynn is just a bit late. Lilly plunks Cargo with a pitch, putting runners at first and second for Mullet Man. Lilly recovers nicly to induce Mullet to ground into an inning ending double play. Kennedy to Ellis to Loney. 4-0 Blue.
Top of the second. Chacin seems to settle down. Lilly whiffs. Gordon in his second at-bat pops out to shallow center. Ellis collects his second single of the game. Chacin pitches around Bison walking him to to put runners at first and second for Dre. Colorado has a meeting on the mound to discuss how they will pitch Ethier. Chacine falls behind Ethier, and also walks him. The bases are loaded, and we could have a confirmed Walkapalooza here. This brings up Loney, who hits very well in Colorado. Loney would be the third out once again, as his line drive is snared by Marco Scutaro.
It doesn’t take long for Loney to be in the thick of things in the bottom of the second. Todd Helton’s liner is snared by Loney for a nice defensive gem. Michael Cuddyer is retired on a fly ball to Bison. Ramon Hernandez the Rockies new catcher grounds out. End of inning.
Tony Gwynn leads off the top of the third, with a single, the Dodger’s seventh hit of the evening. With Kennedy at the plate, Gywnn steals second. Kennedy pathetically whiffs as usual. Chacin whirls around to try and pick off Gwynn and the throw gets away from Scutaro, and rolls into center field, allowing Gwynn to advance to third with one out and A.J. Ellis at the plate. Ellis doubles just inside and down the left field line to score Gwynn. 5-0 Dodgers. Lilly’s grounder advances Ellis to third. Gordon slaps a pitch into the center field gap, and EY makes a full extension diving catch to end the inning. Wow, I must admit a great play by EY.
Bottom of the third. Chris Nelson flies out. Chacin grounds out. EY grounds out to third, to end an easy inning for Ted Lilly.
Top of the fourth. Mark Ellis singles over the head of Scutaro. Bison whiffs. Ethier walks. Loney grounds into a double play to halt any chances of scorin’. Bottom of the fourth. Scutaro lines out to Gwynn. Lilly whiffs Cargo like a rented mule. Mullet grounds out, and Lilly has another quick inning.
Gwynn leads off the top of the fifth with a double off the scoreboard in right field. Kennedy flies out. A.J. Ellis takes Chacin deep, a hanging breaking ball, Ellis clobbers into the left field bleachers. That’s the second home run for A.J., the three run shot puts the Dodgers ahead 7-0. Just add another folk lore fact to the A.J. Ellis facts tumbler page. Lilly grounds out, and Gordon walks. Chacin is finally removed from the game after surrendering seven runs through 4.2 innings of awfulness. He made 112 pitches and whiffed three while walking four. What the heck happened to Chacin? Josh Reonicke is brought in to retire Mark Ellis and does. 7-0 Dodgers.
Bottom of the fifth. Helton walks. That is Lilly’s first walk allowed. Cuddyer pops out. Hernandez singles for just the second hit of the game for Colorado. Nelson fouls out behind the plate. The pitcher Reonicke is forced to bat since Colorado’s bullpen has been overworked. Lilly easily whiffs him to end the threat.
Top of the sixth. Bison leads off and whiffs. Ethier flies out to deep center field, making EY backpedal against the wall. Loney reaches base on a Mullet Man error. Gwynn grounds out to end things in the top of the sixth. Bottom of the sixth. EY singles. Scutaro pops out to Gordon. Cargo who is somehow the ted Lily kryptonite, bombs one into right field, for his fifth home run, to cut the Dodger lead to 7-2. That is the first home run allowed by Lilly all season. Ironically the last home run served up by Lilly was from…, you guessed it Cargo, last August. Lilly recovers and whiffs Mullet on a called third strike. Helton is retired on a nice sliding catch in left from Tony Gwynn.
Top of the seventh. Kennedy walks. AJ grounds into a double play. For some unknown reason to me, Lilly is removed for a pinch-hitter. There was some kind of conversation between head trainer Sue Falsone, Rick Honeycutt and Lilly. Rivera was the pinch-hitter and made out. That doesn’t matter though. Lilly only made 79 pitches, having another great start. Ted only allowed the home run to Cargo, and four hits, one walk, and four whiffs. Lilly’s ERA is now 1.38.
Josh Lindblom is brought in for the seventh inning. Here is where Don Mattingly’s predictable managing style strikes again. Lindblom first retires Cuddyer on a ground out. Then Boom, the box of pain is opened. Hernandez doubles. Boom. Chris Nelson doubles to score Hernandez. Boom. 7-3 Dodgers. Tyler Colvin batting for the pitcher homers into deep right field. Boom. 7-5 Dodgers. The Dodgers have a meeting on the mound to figure out whats wrong with Lindblom. It doesn’t matter because he should have never been brought in the game in the first place. EY takes Gywnn all the way to the warning track before he makes the catch or the second out. Scutaro singles. Now Mattingly is forced to take out Lindblom and bring in Elbert to pitch to Cargo with two outs. Look I don’t blame Lindblom, he can’t be perfect all the time. He is going to have bad games, however Lilly had only made 79 pitches. There was absolutely no reason at all to take out Lilly. None! It’s just bad managing. Elbert gets Cargo on a ground out, but the damage is done, and we still have six more outs to get!
Move to the top of the eight. With the Dodgers lead now cut to 7-5, Matt Beslisle comes in to pitch for the Rockies. Gordon grounds out. Ellis singles. Bison grounds into a force out, with Ellis erased at second. Then Bison gets picked off first base, and the TOOTBLAN ends the inning.
Bottom of the eighth. Kenley Jansen is brought in because it’s the eighth inning, and that’s what your supposed to do, as Mattingly sticks to his brainless script. Because the world would crumble if he deviated from the Lindblom in the seventh , Jansen in the eighth and Guerra in the ninth script. Must not deviate from script! No don’t do that! Anything but that!
Jasnen was very shaky. Mullet leads off with a huge triple into the left field corner. Helton takes Gywnn to the wall in left. It’s a long sac fly that scores Mullet cutting the lead to one run 7-6. Cuddyer grounds out for the second out. Then Hernandez singles. Muscle man Jason Giambi comes off the bench to face off against Jansen. Kenley whiffs that roider, and the Dodgers get out of the inning with a one run lead.
Reynolds pitches the top of the ninth. Ethier singles. Loney our number five hitter is asked to bunt. He can’t do it and pops out. Gwynn whiffs. Then of course Kennedy is called out on strikes. Now on to the cursed bottom of the ninth. Guerra enters for another chance to get back on track. We pray.
Guerra whiffs Colvin for the first out. Colorado has their back-up catcher Willin Rosario. Of course he singles to left. That brings up Scutaro. Then there is a passed ball, a pitch that bounces out of Ellis’ glove advances Rosario to second. Ellis saves the game by making a great play on Scutaro’s grounder to throw him out by a step. Cargo is the last out. With the count 2-2 and he runner at third, Javy whiffs Cargo on a wicked slider. Cargo breaks his bat on the ground in frustration. The Dodgers hold on and win another close one, by score of 7-6. El Javy is back!
I am relieved we pulled this game out, but I am frustrated by the poor managing and shaky relief pitching. But we got the win, so I il stop complaining. If I could just stop hyperventilating I should be fine. Join us tomorrow for the big press conference. It’s sure to be Magical! Oh yeah and Clayton Kershaw takes the mound for the Dodgers in the rubber game at 12:10PM. Drew Pomeranz will counter. Goodnight Dodger fans, Go Blue.