With three innings in the book Eric Stults was king of the world. As Stults headed into the fourth inning today he had combined to throw an eight inning no hitter, and seemed to be doing what he needed to do to hold off the pretenders to his spot in the rotation.
Then the fourth inning began and for Eric Stults is must have seemed like it would never end. For him it never did.
1st batter -Easy ground ball to 2nd base, one out
2nd batter - Walks Sizemore, Steals 2nd
3rd batter - 3 -1 count, Hafner doubles in Sizemore
4th batter - 3 - 2 count, Kearns homers
5th batter - 3 - 2 count, Rodriquez Walks
Per Eric Stephen his game inning broke down this way:
29 pitches in the 4th (17 balls)
63 for the game
29 balls, 34 strikes
1st pitch strike to 7 of 14 hitters
(At least a) 3-ball count to final six hitters he faced.
Is this bump in the road enough to derail the Stults Express? I would hope not, but we have seen him get a small rope in the past so who knows.
Ramon Troncoso did nothing to make anyone feel good about the state of the bullpen based on spring numbers with another poor performance. He only allowed one earned run but he did give up four hits in 1 2/3 innings of work.
Blake DeWitt continued to show the promise of his bat with another home run, while at the same time making a routine error on a ground ball to 2nd. His home run was pulled right down the line, just inside the foul pole. He finished up his game with another walk. If he can continue this blend of power and patience, Dodger fans will allow the occasional transgression in the field.
Xavier Paul on his profile day, lead off the game with a double, then looked like he had no business playing CF when Aaron Miller took the mound. First he was playing an extremely shallow CF which is okay if you can run down fly balls to medium deep CF, but he couldn't.
Garrett Anderson did what he's been doing his whole career, lining shots into the outfield with a line shot into right field, followed that with a loping line drive into the left center field gap for a triple, and finally a sharp ground ball single into right field.
Aaron Miller Gig:
1st Batter - triple, scored on error by Paul. Paul really sucked on this play, he got an incredible late jump and was playing a very shallow CF to boot. The ball landed well in front of the warning track, it looked like a simply fly ball on the replay.
2nd Batter - Pop up to 2nd
3rd Batter - 4 - 3 ground out
4th Batter - Hard single in right field
5th Batter - Sizemore - Pop fly double
6th Batter - Hafner - Two run single up the middle
7th Batter - Kearns - Home run opposite field
Not what you want in your spring training debut. As someone said, not everyone can be Chris Withrow. Luckily for Aaron Joe Torre missed the whole thing. I wish I had.
The best part of today was the return of Vin Scully, it was almost worth watching this fiasco.