Ted Lilly dominated the Colorado Rockies tonight, allowing only two hits and retiring nineteen batters in a row between the first and seventh innings, while spinning a shutout victory for the Dodgers, leading them to a 2-0 victory and their tenth straight series win over Colorado.
After allowing a one-out double to Dexter Fowler in the second inning, Lilly did not permit another Rockie baserunner to reach second base, though he didn't allow them many opportunities either, walking two batters and striking out 11. According to Eric Stephen, Lilly's game score was 92, the highest by a Dodger pitcher since Chan Ho Park in 2001.
Reed Johnson opened and closed the scoring by blasting his first home run of the year in the second inning well over the 375-feet sign in left field, scoring Casey Blake who had walked. Outside of the hanging changeup or splitter - post-game Johnson wasn't sure what the pitch was - that Jorge De La Rosa threw to Johnson, he was highly effective, scattering five hits in seven innings, but the two runs were enough to saddle him with the loss.
The Dodgers did have opportunities to extend to a more comfortable lead, but with one out and two runners on in the third, Matt Kemp lined into a double play. In the sixth innning, they had runners at second and third but De La Rosa escaped with three sharp grounders to corner infielders that could not bring a run home. The first two Dodger batters of the seventh also reached base, but Lilly popped out and Scott Podsednik hit into a tailor-made double-play to end the inning.
Tomorrow the Dodgers open a series with the Cincinnati Reds. Homer Bailey (2-2, 4.92) will start for the visitors, while Carlos Monasterios (3-3, 3.72) is expected to start for Los Angeles, although the Dodgers reversed themselves after earlier statements from Joe Torre that Vicente Padilla was going to the disabled list today. That move is still anticipated for tomorrow.
WP - Ted Lilly (7-8, 3.23), 9 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 2 BB, 11 K
LP - Jorge De La Rosa (4-4, 4.74), 7 IP, 2 R, 5 H, 4 BB, 3 K, 1 HR allowed
Note and Quotes:
- Brad Ausmus said that it was "almost like a night off" catching Lilly tonight, because he "did everything he wanted" and "hit all his spots". Ausmus also noted that this was the first time he had caught Lilly in a game and around the sixth inning he thought Lilly might be good to throw all nine innings tonight.
- Tonight was Lilly's fourth win in four starts for the Dodgers; with the Cubs he had eighteen starts and only three wins.
- Before tonight, Johnson's last home run was hit last season on June 19 off Cliff Lee.
- Joe Torre - "I credit Larry Bowa with that defensive alignment [for PH Jason Giambi] because normally we play way around, but with a man on, Larry wanted to play it the way we did [to pull, but not an extreme shift], and there was Casey Blake standing there for the line drive [to end the eighth inning]."
- Before the game, Torre said that Monasterios "should be fine for 80 to 90 pitches" as a starter tomorrow.
- Johnson and Lilly have previously been teammates in Toronto and Chicago.
- After warming up in the bullpen once tonight, George Sherrill had ice strapped to his shoulder and elbow while he worked crossword puzzles in a book in pen.