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Saturday, July 04, 2009

Belisario Beats LA: Padres 7, Dodgers 4

I didn't really have anything to say about yesterday's 6-3 cruise to the finish line over the Padres because (a) I was at the Angels game (duh), and (b) it was really a pretty dull game, what with the Dodgers roaring out to a 5-0 lead in the first and never looking back; the 13-0 rout of the Astros in San Francisco at least had the dramatics of seeing the likes of the Molina-like Pedro Sandoval triple.

But this one was entertaining, what with Manny's first dinger since his return, in his first at-bat, giving the Dodgers an early 1-0 lead. Unfortunately, after leaving the game in the sixth with a 1-1 tie, starter Randy Wolf got his twelfth no decision. It was especially painful considering his offense got him a 2-1 lead in the top of the seventh on a scoring wild pitch, the first of Kyle Blanks' appearance, that drove in Casey Blake from third.

Sadly, the lead didn't hold. The usually reliable Ronald Belisario saw to that, giving up a walk, a hit, and then for good measure, plunking left fielder Kyle Blanks to load the bases with nobody out. (The trouble really began when he started blaming home plate umpire Larry Vanover for the ball four to walk the leadoff man, catcher Eliezer Alfonzo; Alfonzo himself was a late call to the game, as starter Henry Blanco pulled up lame in the second.)

That opened the floodgates, and Everth Cabrera, in the middle of everything (he drove in three of the Pads' six RBIs), knocked in two on an RBI single that Matt Kemp misplayed. Kemp should have sent the ball to the plate, but instead threw to shortstop Rafael Furcal, where it could do no good, as Cabrera wasn't remotely tempted to take second, and Tony Gwynn might have been nicked at the plate with a good throw.

It was a lost opportunity that, as it turned out, really didn't make much difference. The Padres kept pounding away, adding three more in the eighth against Ramon Troncoso, in part on a throwing error by Blake that allowed two runs to score. David Eckstein slapped another in on an RBI single, and what looked like a reasonable shot at a comeback withered into nothing as the Dodgers put men on second and third in the eighth; with Heath Bell on the mound, asked to get five outs, he did, and though the Dodgers were able to score one against him, it wasn't enough.

One of the more ridiculous moments of the game came in the audio broadcast when Charlie Steiner was talking up Juan Pierre's ability to get down a bunt, claiming that he still knows how to play the game in a fundamentally sound way. Now that Manny's back, I won't have to hear such stuff too often.

Interesting factoid: though this is Wolf's twelfth no-decision, it is only the team's fourth loss among them.

Yahoo boxDodgers recap

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