After feasting on the NL West for 28 of their first 33 games, the Dodgers faced a new challenge with nine games against three teams in the more competitive NL East. After taking two of three on the road against both Philadelphia and Florida, the Dodgers completed their sweep of the New York Mets Wednesday night, with a 2-1 victory at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers are on fire right now. No matter how they play, they just keep winning, especially at home. In three games against the Mets, the Dodgers had ten runs, 23 hits and hit just .228/.316/.277, including four for 30 with runners in scoring position. Yet they won all three!
The Dodgers tied a modern major league record by beginning their season at 17-3 at home. Per the Dodger postgame notes, "many teams hold this record, and the most recent club to turn the trick was the 1998 Yankees, led by manager Joe Torre (thanks to Elias’ John Labombarda)."
Jeff Weaver, starting for the injured Eric Stults, pitched five solid innings, again, giving up only one run and six baserunners. Weaver, pitching on three days rest -- he took the loss Saturday in Miami -- was lifted after throwing 69 pitches in his five innings. He was locked in a duel with Livan Hernandez, who allowed but one run in seven innings himself.
Orlando Hudson, who injured his shoulder in Tuesday's game, continued his iron man streak by starting his 42nd consecutive game. Hudson told Prime Ticket's Michael Eaves after the game:
It's kind of hard to sit out in front of these beautiful fans that we have. Last night was a little bump, a little bump and bruise, a little sore, but nothing for me to sit out, especially against the mighty, mighty Mets. We came out with three big wins against an unbelievable team.
Brent Leach, brought into a high-leverage situation in the eighth inning -- tie game, runners on second and third, one out -- induced two groundouts to end the inning without any runs scoring. Manager Joe Torre explained his use of Leach in such a tough spot:
I really wasn't concerned about bringing him in. I continue to really enjoy watching this kid grow.
Since Russell Martin drove in Hudson for the go-ahead run in the bottom of the inning, while Leach was the pitcher of record, Leach got his first major league win.
Jonathan Broxton, who got the save, was used for three straight days for only the second time in his career (the last time was June 2006).
This was the fifth sweep of the season for the Dodgers. All sweeps have come at home.
Following our own Phil Gurnee from the night before, Orel from Sons of Steve Garvey was in the blog spot in the Dodger press box tonight, and he covered the game like a pro. See his details here, here, and here. Yours truly will occupy that post during Saturday's game against the Angels.
Thursday is an off day for the Dodgers, as they await the showdown with the Angels.
WP - Brent Leach (1-0): 0.2 perfect innings
LP - J.J Putz (1-3): 1 inning, 2 hits, 1 run, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts