JC's Dodger Line Drives | April 10: Desert Dehydration for the Blue Crew

J.C. AyvaziSenior Analyst IApril 12, 2009

PHOENIX - APRIL 10:  Starting pitcher James McDonald #52 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the game at Chase Field on April 10, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Life was good for the Dodgers. At least it was for two and a half innings that is. A homer to lead off the third by Arizona's Chris Young changed all that. Dodger rookie James McDonald lost the location of the strike zone and three walks, a hit batter, and a single later he was cooked.

The Diamondbacks struck for five in the third on their way to a 9-4 victory in Friday night's series opener. Jon Garland allowed three runs in seven innings for his first win since trading in his halo and wings for scales and a forked tongue.


Wasteful Ways Continue

The Dodgers were able to get on base, eight hits and three walks, but stranded eight runners and getting only four hits in 11 chances with runners in scoring position. An improvement over the night before, but no where close to what was needed in this game.


O-Dog Goes Home

Second baseman Orlando Hudson returned to his old stomping grounds, having played for the D-Backs the last three seasons. He went 0-3 with a walk. All three outs were ground balls sharing the wealth—in order—to second, to first, and to short. He handled all five chances in the field flawlessly.


Ausmus Delivers In Dodger Debut

Veteran catcher Brad Ausmus, brought in to allow more rest for Russell Martin and consul the Baby Blue hurlers, singled in a run in his first Dodger at bat in the second inning, scoring Matt Kemp with the game's first run. He also refused to make the game's final out, singling for the second time to right field. Defensively, there were many pitches he was unable to catch as they were viciously abused by Snake bats.


Blake Bombs Second

Casey Blake cranked his second home run of the season, turning on an inside fastball and depositing it into the left field stands about five yards beyond the Snake Pit, err, Diamondback bullpen. The drive also plated Matt Kemp, who had doubled to left just before Blake's blast. Blake also drew a walk in the second, but his average still lies far below the Mendoza line at .125 after five games.


Troncoso To The Rescue

McDonald was relieved by Ramon Troncoso in the third and the Blue Crew a much needed 3.2 innings of work. Throwing 57 pitches, the same number as McDonald, but 41 strikes—which was 10 more—Ramon scattered five hits and one walk while striking out one and allowing one run. The first batter he faced, Chad Tracy, lifted a sacrifice fly to center. Then Mark Reynolds hit a comebacker to end the inning.


Mota's Mutation

Guillermo Mota followed Troncoso to the mound in the seventh and retired the side in order. He had no such luck in the eight after the Dodgers closed the gap to 6-4. A walk and sacrifice were followed by a run scoring single, a run scoring double and a walk. Will Ohman was brought in to close out the inning, but surrendered a single for the final Snake run.


Around The West

The Padres jumped on Barry Zito and the Giants for three runs in the first inning on their way to a 7-3 victory in San Diego. Shawn Hill pitched five innings for the victory and four relievers took an inning a piece to close out the game. In Colorado, the Rockies abused the Phillies, winning their home opener 10-3. Cole Hamels was tagged for seven earned runs in 3.1 innings but former Dodger Jayson Werth went 4-4 with two doubles and a homer.