What a day, right? The Dodgers kicked things off this afternoon by recalling Dee Gordon, and then finally rid us all of Juan Castro and Jay Gibbons. With the #16 pick in the draft, they selected Stanford’s Chris Reed in the first round.
Oh, right – they played a game, too.
The less said about that the better, however, because the Dodger lineup was completely dominated by Philadelphia starter Cliff Lee. Now you may have heard both that Lee is somewhat good at baseball and that the Dodger offense outside of Matt Kemp is something less than imposing, so this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, particularly with a wide strike zone benefiting both pitchers. Still, Lee was masterful in striking out 10 over seven shutout innings. The Dodgers briefly threatened when Jamey Carroll & Aaron Miles (who combined for five of the nine Dodger hits, all singles) both hit bouncing singles to start the game, but Marcus Thames grounded into a double play, and only once more before the 9th did they manage to even get a runner to second.
Ted Lilly tossed out a decent enough start only to be victimized by the total lack of run support, holding the Phillies scoreless in five of six innings, though being touched for two runs in the third on three hits and a walk. Blake Hawksworth looked good in his return from the disabled list, tossing a perfect 7th, before Mike MacDougal began his inevitable regression to being Mike MacDougal, allowing two walks and a Carlos Ruiz double to put the third run on the board in the 8th.
Really, the first eight innings are barely worth noting, but we finally saw some action in the 9th, when Gordon made his debut running for Juan Uribe after the veteran infielder had singled. James Loney followed with a single to right-center, and Gordon easily ran to third.”Easily” probably isn’t strong enough there; Gordon barely looked like he was exerting himself in blazing around the bases. Whatever concerns we may have with his offense and defense, there is absolutely no question that his speed is as good as advertised.
Anyway, with Gordon on third and Loney on first with no outs and the Dodgers down two, it looked like the Dodgers might actually have something going against Phillies closer Ryan Madson. Andre Ethier, hitting for Jerry Sands, nailed a hard-hit grounder to shortstop Wilson Valdez. A better shortstop could have perhaps started a double play, but it was hit so hard that it was all Valdez could do to knock it down and force Ethier at second. Gordon scored to cut the lead to two, with a man still on first with one out, but with the bench emptied, they were forced to stick with catchers Rod Barajas and pinch-hitter Dioner Navarro. Each struck out – Navarro particularly looked bad while doing so – and the game was over.
But forget about the game. Gordon’s here, and likely to start tomorrow behind Rubby De La Rosa. Sure, they’ll have to face Roy Oswalt. But if you’re not optimistic about the present, this will at least be a good glimpse at the future.