The Dodgers dropped a pair of road games today, 8-7 in Scottsdale to the Giants and 19-7 in Surprise to the Royals. It was not a good day for the pitching staff, but the main concern is an injury to Casey Blake.
Blake left the game with the Giants after the top of the first inning with tightness in his lower back. Blake felt tightness while trying to beat out a bunt -- he is the number two hitter, you know -- in the top of the first. "It's been a little tight this week and I've been managing it the last several days," Blake told Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. Blake is listed as day-to-day.
Maybe there won't necessarily be a second southpaw in the bullpen after all. With Scott Elbert battling his eternal struggle with control, veteran Ron Mahay seemed to have a good shot at a spot in the pen. However, Mahay has been terrible so far this spring. Again, for the umpteenth time, take these spring numbers with a grain of salt, but Mahay has made four appearances this spring, and has been scored upon in all four appearances. He gave up a single run in each of his first three Cactus League outings, but today he began his outing allowing two inherited runners to score. Those runs got charged to Ted Lilly's ledger, but Mahay gave up four more runs of his own. In 3 2/3 spring innings, Mahay has allowed three home runs, a double, three singles, two walks, and seven runs, while striking out two.
- Before yesterday's game, Dodger starting pitchers had allowed four earned runs in 39 Cactus League innings, an ERA of 0.92. In each of the three games since then however, the Dodger starting pitcher has allowed at least four runs, including Lilly (6 ER in 2 2/3 IP) and Tim Redding (4 ER in 4 IP) today. The spring ERA for Dodger starters is now 3.31.
- Tony Gwynn Jr. had three hits today in Scottsdale, and stole his sixth base of the spring. Gwynn hasn't yet been caught on the bases.
- Ramon Troncoso, who gave up no runs in his first 4 2/3 innings this spring, allowed four runs and five hits in 1 2/3 innings in Surprise.
- On a day when most Dodger pitchers gave up runs in bunches, Allen Webster made his first spring appearance and pitched a scoreless inning, striking out one.
- Hong-Chih Kuo threw a 31-pitch bullpen session today, showing off his changeup, writes Gurnick. Kuo is scheduled to pitch again on Tuesday.
- Also scheduled to pitch Tuesday is Clayton Kershaw, who is battling some tenderness in the middle finger of his left hand, per Gurnick.
- If you want to see today's game against the Giants, it will be on MLB Network tonight at 8 p.m.
- The Dodgers play two games tomorrow, including one game in Las Vegas against the Cubs. Rubby De La Rosa will start that game, which will be televised live on Prime Ticket. Carlos Monasterios and Wilkin De La Rosa are also slated to pitch, and Rod Barajas, James Loney, Rafael Furcal, Jay Gibbons, and Matt Kemp are scheduled to make the trip as well.
- The other game is at Camelback Ranch against the White Sox, and that game will be on Prime Ticket as well, but on delay, after the game in Las Vegas. Hiroki Kuroda will start in that game for the Dodgers, and be followed by Jonathan Broxton, Matt Guerrier, and Mike MacDougal.