It was a game of good news and bad news for the Dodgers. They rallied for a pair of runs in the sixth inning to make a winner of Nathan Eovaldi in his major league debut, beating the Diamondbacks 5-3. But they also saw their shortstop leave the game with a shoulder injury, though Dee Gordon's injury doesn't appear to be too serious.
Eovaldi definitely had a debut to remember, in many ways. He threw just 10 pitches in the first inning and struck out Kelly Johnson and Justin Upton. Then in the second inning, Eovaldi got the first two outs but ran into his first bit of trouble. Two walks and a single loaded the bases with two outs for pitcher Joe Saunders, but the escape hatch proved anything but as Saunders singled to drive in two runs to give Arizona a 2-1 lead.
Eovaldi threw a whopping 30 pitches in that second innings, but recovered to throw just 37 pitches over the next three innings combined. Along the way, Eovaldi also helped himself at the plate. He singled to lead off the third inning, becoming the first Dodgers pitcher to get a base hit in his major league debut since Chad Billingsley in 2006. Eovaldi also scored, making him only the fourth Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher to score a run in his MLB debut, and the first since Hiroki Kuroda in 2008.
Through five innings, Eovaldi allowed two runs on four hits, and struck out seven. He was removed for a pinch hitter after throwing just 77 pitches, as the Dodgers had a runners on first and third base in the top of the sixth inning. Per MLB Gameday, Eovaldi threw 51 fastballs averaging 94.5 MPH, topping out at 97 once. He threw 14 fastballs at 95 MPH, and eight more at 96. With his seven strikeouts, Eovaldi joined some select company among LA Dodgers making their debut.
|Most Strikeouts By LA Dodger in MLB Debut|
|Eric Gagne||9/7/99||@ Fla||8|
|Nathan Eovaldi||tonight||@ Ari||7|
|Hideo Nomo||5/2/95||@ SF||7|
|*in relief; Source: Baseball-Reference.com|
Lowdown On The Rundown
Gordon was injured in the third inning on a rundown play. Kelly Johnson singled to lead off the inning, but Eovaldi picked him off. Johnson broke for second after Eovaldi threw to first base, and Juan Rivera threw to Gordon. As Johnson retreated back to first base, Gordon opted to race Johnson back to the bag rather than throw to Eovaldi, who covered the base in ample time and was waiting for a throw. Gordon had to dive to tag out Johnson, and in doing so awkwardly rolled over his right shoulder.
Team trainers came out to examine Gordon on the field, and after a few minutes Gordon left the field on his own power. The Dodgers reported during the game that doctors ruled out any separation or dislocation of Gordon's right shoulder, and that the shortstop is day-to-day. Gordon will be reevaluated on Sunday.
- Rod Barajas was 2-for-19 in his first two weeks off the disabled list but had three hits tonight, including a pair of RBI singles. Barajas has at least two hits in each of his last three starts.
- Matt Kemp walked in the third inning, his 53rd base on balls this season, tying his career high, with 50 games to go.
Andre Ethier had two hits, scored a run, and drove in a run for the second day in a row.
- Kemp was caught stealing in the second inning, the second time this week he has been thrown out trying to steal, after a streak of over three months without getting caught.
- The four pitchers who began the season with Double A Chattanooga and made their debut with the Dodgers this year -- Eovaldi, Rubby De La Rosa, Javy Guerra, and Josh Lindblom -- have combined for a 2.98 ERA this season with 96 strikeouts in 105 2/3 innings.
- Clayton Kershaw goes for the series sweep on Sunday afternoon, facing Ian Kennedy in a battle of 13-game winners.
WP - Nathan Eovaldi (1-0): 5 IP, 4 hits, 2 runs, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts
LP - Joe Saunders (8-9): 5 1/3 IP, 8 hits, 4 runs, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts
Sv - Scott Elbert (2): 1 IP, 1 hit