Before tonight's game against the Atlanta Braves at Dodger Stadium, the buzz around baseball was Bud Selig and MLB taking over control of the Dodgers. Understandably, this could have provided a distraction, though several Dodgers spoke with the media before the game and said things on the field would not be affected by the news. Then, they went out and proved it, beating the Braves 6-1.
Vin Scully began the broadcast by delivering the statement today from Selig, but then added, "That is the extent of my knowledge, so help me, and I would much rather be giving you these starting lineups, anyway." It was classic Scully, always steering the viewer toward the game itself. In the game itself, Juan Uribe (yes, Juan Uribe) and Andre Ethier provided the offense to back a superb start by Jon Garland.
One way for the Dodgers to not get hurt by the bullpen is not to use it. Garland threw the first complete game for the Dodgers this season, and the 11th of his career. He allowed four hits and one run, while walking two and striking out four Braves. Dodger starting pitchers in the last four games have combined to allow three runs in 30 1/3 innings.
Uribe came into the game with three runs batted in, but drove in four tonight by the second inning. Uribe delivered a pair of two-run singles in the first two innings off Derek Lowe, who was less than stellar tonight. The Dodgers coaxed Lowe into throwing 63 pitches in the first two innings, and he was finished after three innings, giving up five runs.
Andre Ethier collected hits in each of his first three at-bats, including a double and a home run. Ethier extended his hitting streak to 17 games, the longest in baseball this season. During his streak, Ethier is hitting .415/.472/.600. The home run by Ethier was the 100th of his career, tying him for 24th place on the all-time Dodger home run list.
On the season, both Ethier and Matt Kemp have played all 18 games, and the duo is hitting a combined .404/.468/.589 this season.
Near the end of the game, Frank McCourt issued a statement in response to MLB overseeing the finances and day-to-day operations of the Dodgers. Nearly seven hours after the announcement by MLB, McCourt was short and to the point, saying, "Major League Baseball sets strict financial guidelines which all 30 teams must follow. The Dodgers are in compliance with these guidelines. On this basis, it is hard to understand the Commissioner's action today."
Tomorrow's series finale with the Braves is an afternoon affair, the first of four straight day games for the Dodgers. Both teams on Thursday will be wearing throwback uniforms, and tomorrow's 12:10 p.m. game will be started by Clayton Kershaw and Jair Jurrjens.
WP - Jon Garland (1-1): 9 IP, 4 hits, 1 run, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts
LP - Derek Lowe (2-3): 3 IP, 9 hits, 5 runs, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts