Dodgers Lose A Game That Doesn’t Count
[Note: This article does not contain any April’s Fools humor. And no, this note itself is not an April Fool’s Joke. Aren’t you April Fooled out by this time of day? Let’s be serious, People!]
On a chilly night in Dodgertown, the Dodgers bullpen froze to death, and the Cleveland Indians won a matchup that didn’t count. The 6 to 3 contest was the only pre-season game played at Dodger Stadium (the next, and final is Saturday.) The Dodgers open the regular season on Monday in Pittsburgh.
Knuckleballer Charlie Haeger (now the Dodgers fifth starter in the pitching rotation) held the Cleveland Indians to one run in five innings. The problem for the Dodgers wasn't those innings. Relief pitchers George Sherrill and Ramon Troncoso combined for five runs (two earned.) Part of the sloppiness owed to Dodger fielders earning a few fielding errors, and a Sherril wild pitch that backup catcher Brad Ausmus couldn’t find with night vision goggles and a butterfly net.
The Indians won the old fashioned way. They moved five runners across home plate in innings seven and eight courtesy of a slew of hits. Their offense was anchored by Grady Sizemore, who was the only Indian to solve Haeger’s knuckleballer, hitting a solo homerun in the fifth inning.
The bulk of the Dodgers offense came in the home half of the second inning, with Manny Ramirez’ a single to center off of Indians starting pitcher Fausto Carmona. James Loney, entering the batters box to Afrika Bambataa’s “Looking For The Perfect Beat,” nearly found the perfect pitch as he crushed a long double to center field. The two sluggers scored thanks to a pair of RBI ground outs from Casey Blake and ex-Angel Garrett Anderson.
Real Dodger baseball begins in Los Angeles on Tuesday April 13 when the Arizona Diamondbacks come to town for Opening Day. Spring Training draws to a close this weekend as the Dodgers drive down the 5 to Anaheim for a Friday game against the Angels, then back up the 5 for a Saturday afternoon game to end the mini-Freeway Series at home.
This Spring has seen the club play 26 games in Arizona, two games in Taiwan, one in Las Vegas, and tonight’s at Dodgers Stadium. (The vibe here was very “First Day Back To School.”)
Temperature at game-time was 56 degrees. The general consensus was: that sucked.