Friday, September 14, 2007

Dodgers Get Well(s) vs. Maddux

When the Dodgers recently acquired pitcher David "Boomer" Wells, many people (myself included) were very skeptical. With a very high 5.54 ERA, very few questioned his release by the San Diego Padres a month ago. The 44-year-old "Boomer" made his fourth start for the Dodgers and once again made the naysayers like me look bad - a good thing if you're a fan of the Blue Crew! Then again, it probably shouldn't come as too much of a surprise as former teammate Greg Maddux said he can "step it up a notch when he has to."

Ironically, Maddux took on Wells last night in the rubber game of the three game series. The game was all but over early as the locals hit Maddux hard and often. James Loney continued to be red-hot for the Dodgers, doubling in Rafael Furcal to score the first run of the game in the bottom of the first inning. Loney would be the future first ballot Hall of Famer's nemisis again in the third inning as a slow grounder up the middle found a hole to score Furcal and Juan Pierre to give the Dodgers a 3-0 lead. After a Jeff Kent single, Luis Gonzales would single in Loney for their fourth run. In the bottom of the fourth, Matt Kemp led off with a single for the Dodgers. After a ground out by Tony Abreu, Wells knocked Maddux out of the game with his second hit of the game. Furcal then squeezed in Kemp with a perfect bunt down the third baseline against reliever Kevin Cameron. Loney would strike again, scoring Furcal with a solid single to right. That closed the book on Maddux. 10 hits allowed, six earned runs and one strikeout, to go with no walks allowed. Other than the lack of walks, it was not your typical Maddux performance.

Conversely, "Boomer" was very much on his game last night. Through five innings, he had as more hits himself (two) than he had given up (one). He tired in the sixth though, giving up three more hits - After a Josh Bard single, Morgan Ensburg hit a long home run deep to center. Moments later, Mike Cameron crushed a ball the other way, deep into the right field pavilion. Wells would pitch out of further trouble, but that was the end of his night. From there, the Dodgers bullpen of Scott Proctor, Jonathan Broxton and Takeshi Saito masterfully took over, pitching three hitless innings to secure Wells' third win as a Dodger. The Padres pen was very good as well, pitching no-hit ball over their final four innings of work, but it was too little, too late for the Padres. The Dodgers 6-3 win pulled them within 1 1/2 games of the Padres for the N.L. Wild Card spot.

Tonight the Dodgers begin a crucial three game series against the division leading Arizona Diamondbacks at Chavez Ravine. Doug Davis takes on Brad Penny in the game which begins at 10:40 ET/7:40 PT.


1 comment:

Tom San Diego said...

Boomer is a BIG GAME PITCHER, period. He didn't look that bad in the last few starts for the Madres, but the Cheapball/Moneyball dummies here thought they were better off saving the $176,000 incentive money he was getting for every start, and I am glad he stuck it in their ear.

Hey, maybe every 44 year old pitcher should have a 2 week rest in August, and come back to be the foxy old pro - as Boomer does not have that 95 MPH heater to call upon any more.

Tom in San Diego - becoming a Big Blue fan again. Love these young guys, and old salt Brady Little leading them.