Dodgers 9 13 3
Giants 1 8 3
WP- Lilly (4-0)
LP- Zito (1-1)
for the Dodgers. We hope that this is just a bump in the road for Guerra who took over closing duties last season when Jonathan Broxton and Hong-Chih Kuo were troubled so to speak. Fans might be hating on Guerra right now because he is going through a rough patch, but we can’t forget what he accomplished last season. That being said, blown games in the ninth inning are not fun. I’m tired of watching them and predicting their inevitability once it’s clear that a bullpen meltdown is ensuing. We’ve been tortured by these late-inning failures since the beginning of the 2011 season. When it comes down to it, any game lost is going to cost us come September. Relief pitching needs to be on the GBM’s short-list.
To usher in the new era of the GBM, pre-game ceremonies included the first pitch by Jackie Robinson’s widow Rachel, the Robinson family, Don Newcombe, and Magic Johnson. The new owners are looking to further embrace the legacy of Jackie Robinson.
What better way to kick off the homestand and the new ownership than the first Dodgers/Giants clash of the season? Ted Lilly goes to the mound trying to defend his undefeated record on the season and to pick up his first win against the Giants since 2008. Lilly quickly retires Angel Pagan, Ryan “TOOTBLAN” Theriot, and Melky Cabrera in the top of the first inning all on ground balls to the left side of the infield.
Barry Zito starts off by walking Dee Gordon in the bottom half of the first, but then Gordon is caught stealing second by a good throw by Sanchez. Matt Kemp slices a single down the right field line with two outs. Andre Ethier singles on a ground ball that Theriot throws to Posey and which is bumbled off his glove. Juan Rivera then grounds into a force out when Joaquin Arias makes a good throw from the hole.
Buster Posey draws a leadoff walk in the second. Lilly strikes out Brett Pill on a big curveball for the first out. Matt Kemp makes a nice running catch on a well-hit Arias fly ball to save an extra-base hit. Posey takes second base on a wild pitch, but Lilly comes back and whiffs Hector Sanchez. Lilly has really been pitching fantastically this year.
Bobby Abreu‘s opening at bat at Dodger Stadium is a double to left field. Juan Uribe pops out in foul territory for the first out. A.J. Ellis lines out to center, and Ted Lilly goes down on strikes to strand Abreu.
Ted Lilly has a sketchy third inning, but he manages to escape the jam. Barry Zito singles with one out, and Angel Pagan replaces him after hitting into a force play. With Theriot batting, a passed ball by Ellis allows Pagan to go to second. Pagan then picks Lilly’s pocket, and he steals third. Theriot draws a two-out walk, and Cabrera grounds out to end the threat.
Mark Ellis doubles with one out in the bottom of the third, and the Giants intentionally walk Kemp to bring up Ethier. Ethier walks to load up the bases. Juan Rivera hits a very slow roller to second base, and it’s good enough to bring in a run with Ellis, 1-0 Dodgers. Abreu grounds out to end the scorin’ rally at just one.
In the fourth Posey flies out, and Pill whiffs for the second time. Arias times a slow curve from Lilly, and connects for a base hit up the middle. Hector Sanchez then goes down on strikes for the second time as well for the third out.
Zito strikes out Uribe to start the Dodgers’ half of the fourth. A.J. Ellis’ line drive is caught by a falling Zito for the second out. Lilly strikes out to wrap up the fourth.
The camera pans over to Magic and Cookie Johnson for a moment. That’s a sight we should get used to now. Then Dee proceeds to get not just one but two errors on a Melky Cabrera ground ball. First he boots it for a fielding error, then he picks it up and throws it way wide past first for a throwing error. Pagan advances to second on the embarrassment of a play. Luckily Ryan Theriot is up to bat with two outs, and he flies out to Ethier to end the inning.
The Bison hits a line drive for a two-out base hit in the bottom of the fifth, but that is all the Dodgers can muster in the inning.
Melky Cabrera singles and reaches second on an error by Kemp when his soft fly to shallow right is outran by Matt Kemp. Buster Posey is called out on strikes for the first out. Arias flies out to Abreu and his bright red glove in left field. Ted Lilly’s second wild pitch of the night allows Cabrera to move over to third with Arias at the plate. Arias then promptly singles in Cabrera, and the game is tied up at 1-1. Sanchez strikes out swinging, and the damage is contained to just one run.
Bobby Abreu singles on a soft groundball to third base. Conor Gillaspie‘s throw is not in time. Abreu is surprisingly quick on the base path. Zito walks Uribe, and he’s up to 97 pitches. A.J. Ellis slices a double just fair down the right field line, and Abreu scores giving the Dodgers the lead, 2-1! Tony Gwynn Jr., pinch-hitter, bunts for a base hit, and Gillaspie’s throwing error and Theriot’s juggling attempt allows Uribe to score, 3-1. Gordon grounds out, and Mark Ellis flies out to end the inning.
Ronald Belisario comes out of the Dodger bullpen to pitch the seventh inning for the Dodgers. Ted Lilly goes 6 innings, allowing 4 hits, 1 run, 2 walks, and 6 strikeouts on 93 pitches. Pinch-hitter Nate Schierholtz gets a one-out single against Bely. They get the second out on a force hit into by Pagan. His line drive was smoked toward Dee who almost catches it, but drops it and picks it up into time to get Schierholtz at second. Theriot makes out as usual, and Bely pitches a nice scoreless inning. Theriot is now hitting below the Mendoza line.
Steve Edlefsen comes out of the pen for the Giants. Barry Zito goes 6 innings, allowing 8 hits, 3 runs, 4 walks, and 3 strikeouts on 103 pitches. Matt Kemp doubles down the right field line to begin the bottom of the seventh. He goes 3 for 3 on the night. The error fest continues as Edlefsen makes a wild throw to third base which goes into left field and allows Kemp to score and Rivera to reach second on the fielder’s choice. 4-1 Dodgers. Rivera moves to third on a signature Loney groundball.
Josh Lindblom pitches the eighth inning for the Dodgers, and he quickly serves up a leadoff single to Cabrera. Posey and Pill fly both fly out. Arias doubles, and the Giants suddenly have runners at second and third with two outs. Hector Sanchez grounds out sharply to James Loney who makes a sensational play to stop the ball from going down the line, and he saves two runs from coming in!
A.J. Ellis singles to lead off the eighth for the Dodgers, and Bruce Bochy quickly brings in the hook for Edlefson. Travis Blackley, lefty, comes in to pitch and does his best to impress the Dodgers with his late-inning meltdown skills. Tony Gwynn bunts, and reaches safely on an error by Buster Posey. That’s the sixth combined error for both teams. Dee Gordon bunts, and Gillaspie can’t get to it, and Dee’s bunt single loads the bases up with nobody out. Blackley walks Mark Ellis to bring in a run, 5-1 Dodgers. Adam Kennedy gets a rare base hit, and the Dodgers score again! 6-1. The Dodgers keep it going, and Andre Ethier singles bringing in two more runs, 8-1 Dodgers. Still nobody out. A wild pitch advances Kennedy and Ethier to second and third. Rivera’s ground out is still good for another run, and it’s now 9-1 with one out. Birthday boy James Loney hits a little ground out, and Ethier goes to third. Uribe, the former Giant, grounds out for the third out but not before the Dodgers score 5 runs.
Scott Elbert comes in to pitch the ninth with a eight-run lead. Gregor Blanco singles up the middle with one out. Pagan strikes out, and Theriot is at the plate as the Giants’ last batter of the night. Quite fitting. He grounds out to Dee, and the Dodgers win their 19th game of the year. Ted Lilly wins his 4th of the year. He has been downright impressive. The defense wasn’t pretty, but luckily for us the Giants bullpen and defense was that much worse. After that awful series in Chicago, we needed the warm fuzzy feeling of a blowout against the Giants.