Dodgers Dominated as Dee Departs Disastrously

That Cliff Lee was the most dominant pitcher on the mound tonight at Dodger Stadium came as little surprise. That he was also the best hitter on the field, well, that’s one you may not have seen coming. Lee’s day job first: over eight masterful innings, he struck out 10 while scattering just four harmless singles, two to Jamey Carroll (who attempted to give that goodwill back by making an error and whiffing on a grounder that really should have gone down as a second miscue). Demerit him for allowing Eugenio Velez to walk all you like, what we saw on the mound tonight was pure artistry.

On the other side of the ball, for all the jokes we have at Ted Lilly‘s expense, the veteran lefty was actually pretty solid against a good Phillies lineup. Lilly allowed just six hits and a walk over eight innings, which ties for his second-longest outing as a Dodger, and he even drilled Shane Victorino in the back for good measure. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Ted Lilly game if he didn’t allow a homer, and that’s how we get back to Lee, who took Lilly out to right field in the 7th inning. That made the score 2-0, though with the way Lee was pitching against the unimposing Dodger lineup, it might as well have been 200-0. (Casey Blake singled in Matt Kemp to cut it to 2-1 in the 9th, though that came against Ryan Madson).

So the Dodgers, with a lineup missing Juan Rivera (and just pause for a moment and try to realize that we live in a world where that’s a significant concern) lost to arguably the best left-handed pitcher in baseball. There’s no shame there, and no surprise either. But it’s also not close to being the most important outcome of the night, because the adventures with Dee Gordon‘s right shoulder continue.

Despite how serious Gordon’s injury looked after trying to chase down Kelly Johnson on Saturday, he missed just one full game, entering yesterday as a defensive replacement before starting tonight. In the 6th inning, he unsuccessfully attempted to bunt his way on, and in doing so attempted to evade first baseman Ryan Howard by diving around him, landing hard on his shoulder. Gordon could be seen shaking the shoulder repeatedly the following inning, as Vin Scully was sure to note. In the 8th, he came up against Lee, swinging hard at the second pitch and clearly re-injuring the shoulder. Gordon left the game immediately, thus putting Trent Oeltjen in the impossible situation of coming off the bench cold to face Lee, down 0-2. He grounded into a double play, because of course he did.

There’s no news yet on the severity of Gordon’s shoulder, but I can’t imagine he’ll play tomorrow – nor should he. While it’s certainly important to see if the raw Gordon can handle the 2012 job, it’s not as important as keeping his long-term health in mind. His shoulder, clearly, is not healthy, though since he’s held together by duct tape and chewing gum, perhaps that shouldn’t come as a surprise. With the season long over, the conservative route is the only way to play this.

Clayton Kershaw & Ted Lilly Discuss the Phillies Lineup

The official Dodger Twitter feed brings us this picture of Clayton Kershaw and Ted Lilly going over scouting reports, with the caption, “Ted Lilly, who gets the start tonight on Duke Snider Night, goes over the Phils w/ Clayton Kershaw”.

Somehow, I imagine the conversation went a little differently.

Kershaw: First, they have Jimmy Rollins. He’s not what he once was, but still dangerous, so be careful with him.

Lilly: /allows homer

Kershaw: Shane Victorino is next, if he’s not suspended. He’s kind of an asshole. It’d be best to get him out so there’s not men on base for Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Hunter Pence, but if you wanted to hit him in the face, I don’t think any of us would have a problem with it.

Lilly: /attempts to bean Victorino, allows homer

Kershaw: The meat of the Phillies lineup – Utley, Howard, and Pence – is among the most dangerous trios in the game. You can’t let them beat you. Fortunately, Utley and Howard are both lefties, so that should help out a couple of southpaws like us, right?

Lilly: /inexplicably strikes out both Howard and Utley, allows line drive single to Pence.

Kershaw: Pence hasn’t been running as often this…

Lilly: /Pence steals second

Kershaw: year as he has in years past…

Lilly: /Pence steals third

Kershaw: but you’ll still want to keep an eye on him.

Lilly: /Pence steals home.

Kershaw: Uh, okay. Well, at least now you have the dessicated corpse of Raul Ibanez, who is hitting just .240/.287/.419 overall, and even worse (.215 BA, .241 OBP) against lefties. No problem right?

Lilly: /induces Ibanez to hit a soft tapper back to the mound, which Lilly promptly launches into the stands behind first base.

Kershaw: Fantastic. This is a problem, because Carlos Ruiz is up, and he always kills the Dodg-

Lilly: /allows two-run homer

Kershaw: Well done. With Placido Polanco injured, they’ve been hitting something called a “Michael Martinez” 8th, can you at least handle that?

Lilly: /strikes out Martinez

Kershaw: Tough inning, Ted.

Lilly: What? I struck out the side. We must be losing because I don’t get enough run support.