Dodgers-Reds: Jason Schmidt Earns Win in First Start Since '07

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Dodgers-Reds: Jason Schmidt Earns Win in First Start Since '07

Jason Schmidt made his first start in more than two years as the Los Angeles Dodgers (59-34) beat the Cincinnati Reds (44-48) at Dodgers Stadium 7-5 on Monday night.

Vin Scully deemed it “A pier six brawl” after the wild first inning action but the scoring slowed after an explosive opening frame.

Russell Martin went 3-for-3 and Manny Ramirez and Andre Ethier each hit a home run as the Dodgers two-through-five hitters all collected multi-hit nights in an offensive effort that aided Schmidt’s first win of the season.

Schmidt last pitched in the Majors on Jun. 16, 2007 and much has been made of his lofty contract that cost Los Angeles $47 million dollars. He displayed a fast varying between 80-87 MPH but showed hard snap on his breaking ball. 

Saying that things did not start well for Schmidt and that may be the understatement of the year.

After giving up three runs on four hits in the first inning, Schmidt adjusted and surrendered just one more hit. His line for the night turned out very respectable at five innings, five hits, three earned runs, three walks, and two strikeouts; he threw 91 pitches.

The explosion in the first inning saw the Reds do their best Michael Jackson impression and go off the wall three consecutive times to start the game.

It should be noted that on the third hit, Manny Ramirez should have caught a foul ball down the line by Joey Votto earlier in the at-bat. Ramirez pulled up no more than a step short of where the ball dropped and could have made the catch in plenty of time.

It’s the third time in the past four games he has blatantly loafed towards a ball.

After Votto stole second and the throw skipped into centerfield, allowing Hairston to score from third, and Brandon Phillips hit a fly ball into right center field. Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier couldn’t decide who should catch it and the ball dropped between the two of them just short of the track.

Votto scored and pushed the Reds lead to 3-0.

One out later Schmidt issued a four-pitch walk before getting Chris Dickerson to pop out in foul territory to end the inning. It took the 36-year old right-hander 36 pitches to work out of the first inning.

But the Dodgers offense had Schmidt’s back after a shaky first inning from the man who had not appeared in a Major League game in 765 days.

Rafael Furcal led off the game with a slap bunt double over the bag at third and was followed by a Russell Martin single to place runners at first and third with no outs.

After a Manny Ramirez strikeout (on three pitches), Los Angeles strung together three straight RBI hits, including back-to-back doubles from Andre Either and Casey Blake, and capped off by a single from James Loney to pull ahead 4-3.

Ramirez got his redemption next time up with two outs in the second.

He absolutely destroyed a fastball from Owings and landed it halfway up the left field pavilion, pushing the Dodgers lead to 6-3.

The home run also put Manny into sole possession of 15th on the all-time home run list (537) after being locked in a tie with Mickey Mantle since last week.

Ethier also added a long home run in the bottom of the fifth when he led off with a solo shot, giving the Dodgers a 7-3 lead, and tacking on one more insurance run for Schmidt.

Schmidt actually settled in after the tough first frame and, despite drilling a batter in the head to lead-off the second, retired six in a row. That streak ended in the fourth when he walked the first two batters of the inning.

The free passes prompted Joe Torre to summon James McDonald to warm-up for the second time on the night but Schmidt was able to put the next three hitters down in order to end the threat and he managed through the fifth to earn the victory.  

The Reds would add two runs in the eighth, but Jonathan Broxton came on in the ninth to earn his 23rd save of the season. He is a perfect 12-for-12 at Dodger Stadium.

 

 

 

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CIN

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WP: Schmidt (1-0)

LP: Owings (6-10)

SV: Broxton (23)

 

Notes from Monday night

 

Initial Reports: Hudson is OK

 

The Dodgers official website reported that All-Star second baseman Orlando Hudson did not do serious damage to his surgically repaired left wrist. The injury appears to be in a different spot than where the repair happened.

Joe Torre said after the game on Sunday, "It doesn't seem to be anything, I don't want to say a major problem because when it hurts, it's a problem, but it's something he's had before and we've sat him down for a day or so."

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