JC's Dodger Line Drives: Padres Swamped by Chad Billinglsey | April 8
The Dodgers beat the San Diego Padres today, 5-2, behind six innings of mixed work from the Dodgers second ace, Chad Billingsley. Bills was supported by some excellent relief work from the top three arms in the Dodger bullpen: Cory Wade, Hong-Chik Kuo, and Jonathan Broxton.
The offense was sparked by Manny Ramirez driving in three runs on two hits and a blast from Casey Blake.
Padres Honor Military
San Diego wore their camouflage third jerseys in this game. It was a desert version, two tones of brown with green lettering and caps. I've always liked this style jersey, it should be worn more often. However, this year's model seems shinier than previous editions.
Welcome To The Bigs, Rook: Pt. 1
The Padres starting pitcher, Walter Silva, made his major league debut in this game. The 32 year old is a seven year veteran of the Mexican League. He threw 95 pitches in five innings, giving up a run in each of the first two innings. Silva struck out one and walked four.
Welcome To The Bigs, Rook: Pt. 2
San Diego also broke in a new shortstop, Everth Cabrera, who was a Rule 5 selection from Colorado. In what can only be described as a successful debut, Cabrera went 1-for-2 with the hit being a double. He walked and scored a run as well while successfully converting all eight chances in the field.
Blake Blasts Off
Dodger third baseman Casey Blake collected his first hit of the season, a no-doubt blast to left in the second to plate the Dodgers second run. 'Twas a beautiful sight and fitting way to welcome Silva to "The Show."
Tablesetters Provide Quality Spread
Rafael Furcal and Orlando Hudson paced L.A.'s victory, each going 2-for-5. Furcal scored twice and Hudson once. The Dodgers have announced that Furcal will rest in favor of Blake DeWitt tomorrow. This follows manager Joe Torre's spring pronouncement to give Furcal more rest this season as not to overwork his previously injured back.
Manny Cleans Up
The dreaded dreadlocked wonder picked up his first three ribs of the season, with a grounder in the first and a well placed opposite field double just beyond the outstretched glove of Brian Giles in the seventh. Manny also smoked a single to center in the third.
I'll Say It Again
After the opening day victory, I suggested the Dodger lineup should be tweaked by moving Loney into the four hole after Manny, followed by Kemp fifth. Either batting sixth and Martin seventh should follow. Wadda say Joe?
Walk On The Wild Side
Dodger starter Chad Billingsley made his life a bit more difficult by revisiting his wild tenancies from early in his career. He surrendered four walks, including the first three batters in the fifth. Billingsley previously walked Padre slugger Adrian Gonzalez in the first, before striking out Kevin Kouzmanoff to end the inning.
Wait Until You Are Asked
Before Manny's two run double in the seventh, Padre manager Bud Black went to the mound to speak with Padre hurler Edward Mujica and motioned the infielders to gather around. In the bullpen, Cla Meredith mistook the signal to mean he was being summoned. He ran in from the center field 'pen almost reaching second base before Black waived him off. Had he stepped onto the mound, by rule Mujica would have been forced to leave the game.
Good Night Now
Dodger closer Jonathan Broxton wrapped up his second save of the young season, getting Adrian Gonzalez on a bunt back to the box then striking out Kouzmanoff and Chase Headley to put the game on ice. His body language on the mound seems more impressive than in previous years. Maybe the time he spent with team USA during the World Baseball Classic added to his confidence.
Elvis Has Left The Building
In Texas, Elvis Andrus of the Rangers hit the first home run of his career. It was also the first homer in Major League History by someone named Elvis. A Hound Dog reports the blast left pitcher Rafael Betancourt All Shook Up while Indian coaches have Suspicious Minds. There'll be A Little Less Conversation now as I head off to the Heartbreak Hotel before being dragged away to break some Jailhouse Rock(s).
The series in San Diego ends Thursday with a 12:30 game when Joe Torre sends Clayton Kershaw to face the Padres Kevin Correia. The game will be televised on Prime Ticket.
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