For the Dodgers, it's good to be home again. After yet another poor start from James McDonald (three runs and four walks while only getting five outs), the Dodgers somehow persevered and came out on top, 8-5 over the Padres.
Jeff Weaver, whose contract was purchased from oblivion today, welcomed himself back into baseball with four huge scoreless innings of relief. Joe Torre, after the game, was impressed:
[Jeff Weaver] sucked up a good portion of the game, which was important for us.
Since he left the Dodgers after 2005, Weaver has been a poor pitcher (a 5.96 ERA, 74 ERA+ in the majors, and a 6.17 ERA in AAA). So much so that the above quote would have been more accurate if "up" were removed. However, the Dodger uniform seemed to rejuvenate Weaver, at least tonight.
I'm only speculating, but I would be shocked if Weaver didn't start next Tuesday against Arizona. James McDonald looks like he could use some time on the farm to find his control. McDonald has only thrown a strike in 53.2% of his pitches thus far in 2009, second worst in baseball. Long term, I believe McDonald will be fine, but keeping him on the roster doesn't help anyone right now.
Matt Kemp's range was on display tonight, as he seemed to catch everything from foul line to foul line in the outfield. Kemp also caught a ball in short center in the 8th inning, stumbling over Orlando Hudson on the play. It appeared that Hudson hurt himself on the play, but he played the final inning.
Six of the eight Dodger non-pitcher starters had two hits (the two homerless ones were the only holdouts), fueling the all-too-familiar home offensive juggernaut. In seven games at home this season -- all wins -- the Dodgers have scored 58 runs, an average of 8.3 per game. The last time a Dodger team had an April winning percentage as high as .652 was 2005. That year, the pitcher that led the club in innings, wins, and strikeouts was...Jeff Weaver!
I'll have a month in review up tomorrow morning to put this month in some historical perspective.
Tomorrow's matchup looks epic: Jake Peavy vs. Clayton Kershaw