FINALLY the Dodgers were able to do something that has plagued them all season: get clutch, 2-out RBI's. In fact, 6 of their runs came with 2 outs, leading the way to a 8-3 victory over the Diamondbacks. It was Haren's first loss of the season in 5 starts.
As I stated before last night's game, this may have been the strangest of Joe Torre lineups yet. When Nomar Garciaparra is your cleanup hitter, it's probably a sign for desperate times. Last night, though, it worked. Nomar got the scoring started in the 1st with an RBI-single to score Rafael Furcal. James Loney then drove in Nomar for a quick 2-0 lead.
Pretty much each person in the lineup contributed to the win in some way. Furcal stole 2 bases to go along with 2 hits, raising his average to .398. Andre Ethier hit #3 and scored 3 times. Loney drove in 2. Matt Kemp hit another double and drove in 2. Chin-lung Hu got the start at 2nd for the resting Jeff Kent and went 2-3 with 2 RBI. Weird lineup or not, it worked.
But remember how I said "pretty much" everyone did well? That's because Andruw Jones, hitting in the 2-hole, did absolutely horrendous yet again. He was 1-5 with 2 K's, and the 1 hit was a puny single up the middle. He now is "hitting" .159 with 25 K's in 69 AB's. He continues to be a complete waste of space and the worst free agent signing of the year.
Derek Lowe turned in a good performance, so it was the Good Lowe last night. He finished at 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K. Unfortunately, he had to leave after the 5th because of right elbow tightness. Considering that he's right handed, and the elbow is part of his pitching motion, that can't be good. Hopefully it was just more precautionary and he'll be ok. More on that when I find out.
Jonathon Broxton got the hold and Takashi Saito got the save, but both had to throw a lot of pitches (Broxton - 32, Saito - 34). This is where the lack of available arms in the bullpen really showed. Scott Proctor got the night off, so Chan Ho Park entered in the 6th and pitched a scoreless inning. He got into trouble in the 7th, so Joe Beimel took over. Broxton then came in later in the 7th and pitched into the 8th, where Saito then got out of the inning when Miguel Montero pinch-hit and lined out to left with the bases loaded. The D-Backs put 2 more on in the 9th, but could not score.
With the amount of pitches thrown by Broxton and Saito, you have to wonder if they will be available tonight. They had to throw many more pitches than they're used to, so expect Proctor to get called on at some point. The Dodgers really need Chad Billingsley to throw deep into the game tonight. He has yet to last more than 5 innings this year. He was great for the first 4 innings against the Braves last start, but then fell apart. He's till young, so he'll mature gradually and learn to battle through rough spots.