Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Larry Bowa tossed, Dodgers win in comeback

Tuesday night's game against the San Francisco Giants was rolling along like any typical National League game. Both starting pitchers dominated, the hitters could not get anything going, and the innings were flying by. Then came the bottom of the 6th, when Larry Bowa decided to act like... well, Larry Bowa.

Let me rewind here for a second. Sometime in the offseason, Major League Baseball decided to make their umpires start enforcing the "Coaches Box" rule, where 1st and 3rd base coaches had to stand inside. Normally, most coaches aren't anywhere close to them. This was in response to Colorado Rockies minor league coach Mike Coolbaugh being killed by a line drive along the 1st base line last July. In addition, coaches are also required to wear batting helmets on the field. These precautionary rules are completely understandable given what happened.

But, Bowa does not like either new rule. In Spring Training he threatened to never wear the helmet until Joe Torre stepped in and told him to. Now, he's pitching a fit about the box. Larry, I like you bud, but I'm afraid you're fighting a losing battle here. I highly doubt MLB will back down just because he's complaining. He'll either have to adjust to the new on-field rules, or he'll be on the bench in no time.

Onto the game itself, which saw the Dodgers erase a 7th inning 2-0 deficit to win, 3-2. Rafael Furcal is loving life as not only a leadoff man, but a healthy one as well. With 2 on in the bottom of the 7th, he singled up the middle to plate Blake DeWitt and pinch-runner Chin-lung Hu. Tied at 2 going into the bottom of the 9th, pinch-hitter Delwyn Young hit an infield single that scored a hustling Furcal for the win.

Perhaps lost in all of this after the whole Bowa tirade was how good both Matt Cain and Derek Lowe were. Cain threw 113 pitches in only 5.2 innings, but surrendered no runs. Lowe was cruising until getting into some trouble in the 7th, and then was knocked out of the game when he took a hard-hit grounder off his left leg. He finished with 6 IP, 9 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K.

The first look at the Jonathan Broxton-Takashi Saito combination was perfect. Broxton K'd 1 in his inning, and Saito struck out the side to pick up the win. Joe Biemel and newcomer Ramon Troncoso also combined for a scoreless inning. That's all great signs for the bullpen.

The Dodgers will look for the sweep tonight in a matchup of 2 young, stud pitchers in Chad Billingsley and Tim Lincecum. That game could be a mirror image of last night's with hitters looking lost. But, it's nice to know that the Giants are still the Giants, which means they'll find ways to lose. Let's get a sweep!

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