Saturday, April 26, 2008

Don't ever gid rid of Russell Martin!

On a night where the Dodgers lost both Nomar Garciaparra and Andruw Jones to injuries, Russell Martin showed why he is the true MVP of the team.

Martin started off the night as the catcher, moved over to 3rd base for the first time in his Major League career when Nomar was hurt in the 9th inning, and hit the game winning sacrifice fly in the 13th to get the W, 8-7. He ended the game at 4-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, and raised his average 40 points to .276. Not a bad night.

This was a back-and-forth game much of the night, as each team puts runs on the board in innings 2-4. The Rockies took a 4-1 lead off of Hiroki Kuroda in the 3rd on a run-scoring double by Matt Holliday and a 2-RBI single by Garrett Atkins. The Dodgers immediately responded when Rafael Furcal and Andrew Jones (no... really) each reached base to start the bottom of the frame. Furcal scored on a Nomar single, Jones on a wild pitch, and Martin and Juan Pierre added RBI-singles for a 6-4 lead.

Kuroda ended up pitching 6 innings, but gave up 5 runs on 9 hits, his first poor start in 5 outings. Cory Wade made his 2nd appearance and gave up 1 run in an inning. Takashi Saito had a blown save, part his fault and part backup catcher Gary Bennett's fault when he let a passed ball score the tying run. The game could have been MUCH worse with Scott Podsednik on 3rd with nobody out, but a flyout by Troy Tulowitzki and a double-play ball by Matt Holliday ended the inning.

Just as the Rockies benefited from an error, but Dodgers started their rally in the 13th thanks to an error by Clint Barmes at SS to put Matt Kemp on. After a Bennett single moved Kemp to 3rd, Martin's sac-fly scored him with 1 down for the game winner.

Much like Martin, Chan Ho Park deserves plenty of praise as he pitched 3 scoreless innings in "overtime." His WHIP is really high at 1.73, but he's managed to get key outs when he's needed them to keep is ERA at 3.00. Last night works out huge for him in keeping his job in the Majors.

The Dodgers have been on a win one, lose one streak this week, so they will look to break that today when they send their top guy, Brad Penny, to the mound against the awful Mark Redman. A night start will work well for everyone, and may mean that Martin will talk his way into the lineup again.

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