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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Dodgers Vault Past Volstad: Dodgers 6, Marlins 4

I saw there was some chatter in yesterday's DT thread wistfully recalling the allegedly great Cody Ross, especially considering the ex-Dodger hammered a two-run jack against starter Eric Stults. It struck me that this was a sort of odd mancrush, considering his .210/.244/.363 line currently; even without Manny Ramirez in the lineup, he would almost certainly be playing in AAA with those kinds of weak numbers. Of course, he did manage a .335/.411/.653 season in 2007, but that was certainly a fluke, and his OPS+ numbers have tended to be right around league average when he's gotten a significant number of at-bats.

Chris Volstad had the Dodgers eating out of his hand for the first five frames, with the boys in blue failing to get past second base and going down in order all but one of those innings. He got badly touched in the fifth, giving up consecutive homers to Casey Blake and noob Xavier Paul, getting a dose of Vitamin X; it was Paul's first major league dinger. He almost got out of the frame, too, but Rafael Furcal reached on a close play at first, and when Orlando Hudson whistled a clean single to right, that set the stage for a sac fly by Andre Ethier.

The Dodgers tacked on more on when Juan Pierre came up with the bases loaded in the top of the seventh and one out. Facing Kiko Calero, he knocked in a pair with an RBI single (I, personally, was hoping for a freak grand slam). The Marlins got one back when Emilio Bonifacio hit a one-out triple off Brent Leach and Chris Coghlan pushed him home with a scoring groundout to James Loney at first. Florida pieced together a rally in the eighth that looked like they might get more, but then things started to unravel. The umpires disagreed on a hit-by-pitch call by home plate umpire Joe West subsequently overruled by first base umpire Ed Rapuano. Dan Uggla, who took the pitched ball to the wrist, was said to have drawn his bat back, and this therefore was not a hit-by-pitch but a foul ball. The umpires subsequently ejected both manager Fredi Gonzalez (arguing balls and strikes, though he claims it was over whether the bat was withdrawn — isn't that the same thing?) and Uggla himself (for slamming his bat down).

The Dodgers increased their lead again with an Andre Ethier single in the ninth. Florida followed that with another rally and another ejection, as Bonifacio was called out on a close play at first; replays showed he was safe, and the understandably emotional Bonifacio got tossed. The Marlins' rally continued as Broxton lost his command for the second game running, walking two straight batters, but he held it together for the save. A really entertaining game.

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