Thursday, April 17, 2008

4-run 1st buries the Pirates

For once, it was nice to see the Dodgers jump on a team from the get-go.

After being victimized by allowing 1st inning runs way too often this year, it was the Dodgers who hung up a 4-spot and then 2 more in the 2nd for a quick 6-0 lead. It was cruise control after that as the Dodgers collected 15 hits for the victory, 8-1.

All of the great hitting aside, it was Brad Penny who looked like his old self. He finished at 5.2 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K. After coming into the game with a 1.61 WHIP, he surrendered 0 walks, finally gaining his pinpoint control back. Granted, the Pirates aren't exactly the world's greatest hitting team, but still. I was a little surprised he was taken out of the game in the 6th, but it's still early in the season. He'll have bigger games to pitch as the year goes on. Of his 87 pitches, 62 were for strikes. Good stuff.

Just like last game, it was the top of the order that got the job done. This time, it was Rafael Furcal, Russell Martin, Matt Kemp, and Jeff Kent that went 10-17, 6 R, HR, 4 RBI. That includes a perfect night for Furcal, going 4-4 and raising his average to .407. It's amazing what a healthy Raffy can do. James Loney now has the hitting streak at 15 games with a single in the 7th. He had 2 sac-fly RBI's earlier in the game.

Perhaps the most interesting night belonged to Matt Kemp. He got the scoring started with an RBI single in the 1st. Then when Jeff Kent singled into right, scoring Martin, Kemp tried to go to 3rd and was hung up. Somehow, he was able to dip underneath the tag and make it to 3rd. Really athletic play, although he should have been a dead duck. He also threw a perfect strike to Martin to gun Xavier Nady at the plate to end the 2nd. Quite the eventful night.

Nomar Garciaparra found his way back into the lineup, and was 1-2 with 2 BB. He also committed an error later in the game. It's good to see him back, but I can only hope that Blake DeWitt is not forgotten about. He has played pretty well himself.

The Dodgers get a travel day on Thursday before a 3-game set with the Atlanta Braves starts Friday. Derek Lowe gets the ball and will look to continue his great pitching.

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