For the first time since April 7, the Dodgers are over the .500 mark. For a change, I'm thankful to say that it's their bats doing most of the talking.
Staked to a 4-1 lead entering the 7th inning, the Dodgers' bats absolutely unloaded on the helpless Florida Marlins. Between the 7th and 8th innings, they sent 18 men to the plate, scoring 9 runs on 7 hits. Throw in some walks, stolen bases, and errors, and the Marlins must have thought the game would never end. The Dodgers still don't hit home runs, but when they are stringing hits together and showing their speed, they are really tough to beat. Tonight was the perfect example of that.
Even with the big offensive output, a better story may have been Chad Billingsley's dominating effort. He's pitched well before, but has always managed to run into a wall later in the game. In the 5th tonight, he was faced with a bases loaded, 1-out situation. After getting a big out by forcing Dan Uggla to foul out to 1st, Jeremy Hermida hit a cheeseball infield single to score 1. Needing another big out, Bills K'd Jorge Cantu swinging. The bats took over soon after.
The final line for Billingsley was 7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 8 K. After 4 loses to open the season, he finally has his 1st win. He's pitched better than his 5.20 ERA indicates, he just found a way tonight to avoid getting shelled in 1 inning. On the road against a scrappy Marlins team, it's a big win.
With the exception of Billingsley and Andruw Jones (big shock), every starter got at least a hit. Leading the charge as usual was Rafael Furcal, who was 5-6 with 3 runs and 1 stolen base. Other contributors were Matt Kemp (3-5, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 SB), Russell Martin (2-2, HR, 3 R, 1 RBI, 3 BB), and Blake DeWitt (2-5, 4 RBI). In the 7th and 8th, both James Loney and DeWitt had huge, 2-out, bases loaded triples.
Thursday's game will be an early one for you LA people, as it starts your time 9 a.m., my time at noon. I'll admit that with the exception of those ridiculous games overseas that Major League Baseball forces 2 teams to open the season in, I'm not used to waking up and watching a baseball game. I guess that means you have the rest of the day free, which is cool. Anyway, Hiroki Kuroda gets the ball and will look to bounce back from a poor start against Colorado last Friday.
2 sweeps in-a-row would be SWEET.