If you didn’t watch the game, and you’re just seeing that the Dodgers won 9-0, you probably think it was a laugher. Not quite; it was 4-0 until the 8th inning, and while seeing Andre Ethier break out with two doubles (off a lefty!) and a homer among the six extra-base hits by the Dodgers was sure fun, it’s obvious that Vicente Padilla is the story here.
Padilla took a no-hitter into the 7th in throwing his fourth career shutout (and first as a Dodger), baffling the Padres with painfully slow “soap bubbles” scattered among 90+ mph heaters, with James Loney just inches away from snaring a liner that may have kept the no-no going.
That, amazingly, is Padilla’s eighth straight start without having allowed more than two earned runs. No, really: look at his game log since his return from the DL:
As I mentioned on Twitter earlier, I can’t wait to see what the free agent market does for him. He missed two months with arm trouble, accidentally shot himself in the offseason, has a long reputatation as a jerk… and is pitching like an absolute ace.
To top it off, he even contributed two hits, which means that every time I make the joke that “Torre shouldn’t have pinch-hit Garret Anderson for the pitcher, because Anderson’s not any more likely to get a hit than the pitcher is,” it’s all too true.
TOOTBLAN alert! We have a TOOTBLAN alert! It took Ryan Theriot only four games as a Dodger to do it, but we saw a real live TOOTBLAN tonight. In the bottom of the 7th, he reached second on an error by Chase Headley, and advanced to third on an Andre Ethier groundout. With one out, Matt Kemp hit a hard grounder to the shortstop. Theriot, for some reason, broke home and was out by approximately the distance between Chicago and Los Angeles. Now that’s a TOOTBLAN.
I would love to go one game, just one, without dropping some negativity about Joe Torre. I don’t really enjoy it as much as it probably seems I do. It’s just, we all know about Hong-Chih Kuo‘s injury history. When you have a guy like that, you know that his arm could go at any second, and you use the bullets he has on high-value innings. So after needlessly using him last night (Ted Lilly had only set down twenty Padres in a row), Torre had Kuo (and Jonathan Broxton, for that matter) warming up in the 8th inning in what was at the time a four-run game.
Kuo, of course, was never needed, but since he had to throw two days in a row, it’s fair to question his availability for tomorrow’s game. Every pitch rolls on that odometer, so for the one millionth time this season, leave Kuo alone unless you need him.