Ok... so it was only the first game of Spring Training, but right now, the Dodgers are undefeated and sitting on top of the world!
All kidding aside, Joe Torre started off his Dodgers' career with a 5-4, comeback victory over the Atlanta Braves in Vero Beach today. The Braves took a 4-2 lead into the bottom of the 9th, but non-roster first baseman John Lindsay hit a 2-run single to end the game. Dramatics indeed.
This is Spring Training, so it's kind of hard to post a complete recap considering everybody and their mother made some sort of appearance. I'll just stick with the important stuff. Jason Johnson started after Chad Billingsley was scratched with a tight left groin and threw 2 scoreless innings. Tanyon Sturtze, Mike Myers, Brain Falkenborg, and Mike Koplove all followed with scoreless innings apiece.
The down side, however, was Tom Martin, who gave up 2 runs in 1 inning of work. He also wedged in 3 hits and a walk. He's battling Mike Myers for a bullpen spot of lefty specialist, and he's definitely in a hole to start. Myers is already a Torre-guy considering their time together with the Yankees, so Martin will really need to strut his stuff if he wants to make the team.
While it's still WAY too early to judge and just about anything, I couldn't help but laugh at a couple of things. The first is that Matt Kemp made another boneheaded baserunning blunder when he ran to 3rd with James Loney already there. How did that happen, you ask? Kemp didn't look at Larry Bowa's directions when he was running. As I've said in the past, it's stupid decisions like this that really put people in doubt about how good he could be.
The other was yet another clutch, 2-out single by Juan Pierre. Yes folks, I'm being sarcastic. He grounded out with Loney on 3rd to end the 3rd inning. Again, it's just 1 at-bat in a season full of them, but it's typical for that to happen. This is the same guy who hit .245 last year with runners in scoring position, and a whopping .071 with the bases loaded (1-14).
Yes, I know I'm pretty much contradicting myself by saying in one sentence, "It's too early to judge anything yet," and then in another sentence, "Kemp and Pierre were their normal dumb selves." But, it is what it is, so deal with it!
Tomorrow's game is on ESPN at 1 p.m. (EST). Hiroki Kuroda will make his first appearance in Dodger Blue, to be followed by Esteban Loaiza, who will be battling for the 5th spot in the rotation. So, if you're at work like me, try to weasel your way to a TV or tape that sucker. It's good to see Spring.