Nathan Eovaldi Wins Debut On a Day That Nearly Lives in Infamy

August 6, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Posted in Dee Gordon, Nathan Eovaldi | 16 Comments

With apologies to the impressive debut of Nathan Eovaldi, which we’ll get to in a second, just about everything else that happened tonight was nearly overshadowed by the seemingly serious injury suffered by shortstop Dee Gordon on a third inning rundown. As the Dodgers play out the string in 2011, few things are more important than seeing if Gordon can handle the position full-time in 2012, and with fans already reeling from Rubby De La Rosa‘s elbow injury and the trade of Trayvon Robinson in the last week, another blow to the team’s young core might just be the gut punch that pushes us over the edge. As Gordon lay in pain on the ground, we could be forgiven for thinking the worst. What if Gordon was out for the season? What would that mean for 2012? If he required surgery on his throwing arm, what would that do to his superior arm strength? Would this be the excuse Ned Colletti has been waiting for to bring Juan Castro out of retirement? Call it fatalistic if you must, but after all we’ve seen this year, a serious injury to another top prospect at this point would be less “ugh, that’s disappointing” and more “he’s hurt? You know what? Of course he is.” Fortunately for our collective sanity, initial tests ruled out a dislocation or separation, and though Gordon won’t play on Sunday, he’s not likely to head to the disabled list, thus avoiding blue-tinged mass suicides across the nation. (Gordon took to Twitter following the game to claim he wasn’t seriously hurt, as well.)

Back to Eovaldi, he was a winner in his big league debut despite throwing 30 pitches in a second inning that saw him allow two walks and two singles, the final one coming off the bat of pitcher Joe Saunders, which scored the first two Arizona runs. The two walks and two runs were the only of either he allowed in his five frames, while striking out seven. As Eric Stephen of TrueBlueLA notes, the seven strikeouts were tied for fourth-most in a debut by a Dodger starter since they moved to Los Angeles, matched by Clayton Kershaw, Hideo Nomo, and Don Sutton – three names who had or are having pretty solid careers in blue. (Kaz Ishii, Pedro Astacio, and Eric Gagne were the three who had more, and volumes could be written about their ups and downs as Dodgers.)

If anything, the second-inning struggles of Eovaldi made the following innings seem even better, as he could have easily let the game get away from him as the baserunners piled up. After getting Willie Bloomquist to fly out to end the second, he retired eight of the remaining ten hitters he saw, allowing two harmless singles. All in all, things couldn’t really have gone better for the newest Dodger.


Speaking of Robinson, you probably saw he made a fantastic catch in his Seattle debut on Friday. How’d he follow that in his second game?

(Yeah, that was supposed to be an animation of the homer, just like I had of the catch. Unfortunately, that’s pretty difficult to do when once again, Time Warner has decided that having reliable service is beyond their capabilities, so video isn’t doable right now. The point is, Robinson is off to a great start, TWC continues to suck, and this trade isn’t looking any better right now than it did when it happened.)


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  1. Oh good. Dee looks to be alright. Now I don’t have to do Blue Sepuku

    • No? how bout when trayvon makes an allstar game one day? while we’ll be sittin’ pretty with our invaluable… utility catcher.

      fire ned.

      • Meh, if he does, good for him. Least he’s in the AL. Possibility of losing Dee, esp. after losing Rubby is enough to make me go apeshit.

  2. Thankfully Dee is going to be fine…imagine the alternative of Velez playing everyday…

  3. My one wish is to see the Los Angeles Dodgers win a World Series title before I die. I am 25 now and the way things are looking with our front office, it looks as though we will become the next Chicago Cubs…

    • Is this wish from this day forward, or basically in your lifetime (since birth), because, you know, they did win the World Series back in 1988…23 years ago.

      • …and I understand, it’s not the same thing to “see” them win a World Series now versus “seeing” them winning it when you were 2 years old. I was just curious how you meant it.

        • As a Pittsburgh Pirates fan since birth (1978), I invite you all to be quiet. Seriously, they gave me hope this season (of over .500, not necessarily playoffs), now they’re in the process of eviscerating me by going winless on a homestand against the Cubs and Padres. I nearly lost faith in sports after 1992, only the Penguins’ back-to-back Stanley Cups kept me going, and just when I thought I’d give up for good (the Super Bowl XXX loss to the hated Cowboys), I went to college at Arizona and they won the damn NCAA Tournament in 1997 when I was a (drunk) freshman. My faith was restored. You shall live again, Dodger fans, even if you have to rely on other sports to keep you sustained for a very, very, VERY long time.

  4. I feel ill.

  5. Along with the poise and stuff shown by Eovaldi, we would be remiss not to mention the two dominating innings by Blake Hawksworth. He was in total command. I particularly enjoyed the way he locked up tattoo boy Ryan Roberts with consecutive curves and then just blew high heat past him up and in.

    I expected Lindblom in for the ninth, or at least after Montero’s at bat, but it worked out when they let Goldschmidt swing at a 3-0 Elbert pitch and he popped up for the second out.

  6. Ned is really cementing his reputation as the GM every other GM wants to trade with because the other GM always wins.

    Yesterday, went to the Giants/Phillies’ game at PacBell and got into a great conversation with an intelligent Giant fan (I know, rare as hen’s teeth) and according to her, the only thing Ned brings to the dance is his ability to brown nose. She had the misfortune of speaking to the man when he was picking up Sabean’s dry-cleaning and his basis for baseball knowledge is Street & Smith’s from four years ago. She said her Pomeranian knew more about baseball than he does. The most interesting aspect is that when she asked him about some kid on the farm (Jonathan Sanchez, at the time) and he didn’t know anything about him. Pretty much proves what we all know, Ned is the most unprepared, least knowledgeable and poorest GM in the game.

    • I think Ed Wade gives Bernie a run for his money. The current version of Jim Hendry does as well, but I give Hendry credit for building the Cubs of a decade ago. But since Bernie’s field is publicity and he’s never known anything about baseball or sabermetrics, taken with his track record, I think you have to put Bernie and Wade up there as the two worst, with Hendry a close third.

  7. Help! I’m dumb. Who/what is TWC?

    • Time Warner Cable (or The Weather Channel–LOL)

  8. How much longer until NC will be terminated?

  9. [...] was traded to St. Louis, and made it only a week before seeming to seriously injure his shoulder on a botched rundown play in Arizona. He missed just one full game before re-injuring himself on August 9 against Philadelphia, first in [...]

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