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Dodgers Make Giants Look Really, Really Bad
X-Dodger Brad Penny gave the Dodgers Stadium crowd of 52,438 quite a thrill on Saturday afternoon. And in doing so he lost his first game as a San Francisco Giant, 12-1.
Allowing seven runs in 2 and 2/3rds innings, Penny (10-9 overall, 3-1 NL) gave up three home runs to his old team. Ronnie Belliard’s first inning grand slam jump-started Penny’s nightmare.
“Belliard got us off on the right foot with the grand slam,” said Dodgers Manager Joe Torre.
Belliard’s long shot (#8) to left field plated Matt Kemp, James Loney, and Casey Blake. The trio had either walked or singled off Penny. The two solo home runs he allowed in the third, to Kemp and James Loney, really brought out the “Penny sucks” chants.
The Giants often-anemic offense was just that. While knocking two less hits than the Dodgers, the Giants couldn’t produce any runs.
“We got Jon a lead and he knew what to do with it,” said Torre of Jon Garland’s 11th win, squaring his record at 11-11.
“He is the kind of pitcher who is not going to overpower you, but he will keep you from looking for one pitch because he can do so many things. It’s great to see a veteran pitcher with a lead make them hit the ball.”
Garland’s quiet dominance across eight frames held the Giants to seven hits and one run. He also struck out three in a game that bought the Dodgers a half-game in their 5.5 game NL West lead.
“Garland was throwing the ball pretty good today,” said Belliard. “He put people down.”
“I think the guys are definitely warming up to me a little more,” said newcomer Garland. “I’m starting to be more a part of this team each and every day.”
Garland has yet to lose a game in a Dodgers uniform. His lone run was unearned, courtesy of Manny Ramirez’ fielding error (#4) in the first inning which allowed Eugenio Velez to reach second base. While hit-less, Ramirez reached base on two walks, scoring a run.
The Dodgers offense resembled the one that blew the Giants out on two consecutive nights in San Francisco last weekend.
Kemp (#25) and Loney’s (#13) back-to-back solo home runs in the third were the ninth time this season Dodgers batsman have done so. Blake DeWitt added his second home run of the year in the seventh, the same inning the Mercy Rule would have been enacted had this been a Little League game. (Though, had this been Little League, no players in today's game would have been eligible to play.)
“It’s a breath of fresh air,” Garland said of pitching behind a big lead.
“Everyone contributed,” said Torre. Nine Dodgers hit safely in the game.
While the two team’s bullpens have the two lowest ERAs in the big leagues, the Giants didn’t chose to show it today. Merkin Valdez, Joe Martinez and Randy Johnson all gave up earned runs.
Yes, that Randy Johnson. It was his first relief appearance since July 2001. Pesky doubles to Furcal and Ethier, each hitting a far outfield corner, greeted The Big Unit. He lasted but a third of an inning.
Thanks to Garlin’s eight innings, the Dodgers needed only one relief pitcher, Jeff Weaver. He pitched a scoreless ninth inning.
The Dodgers only scored an extra point less than USC.
The Dodgers have re-tied their season best 29-games over .500.
James Loney's home run was his first this year in Los Angeles.
Brad Penny, let go by the Red Sox last month, was 7-8 with a 5.61 ERA with them.
Tomorrow: Dodgers face former Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum (14-5, 2.30 ERA) in tomorrow’s 1:10 p.m. rubber match. Randy Wolf throws for The Good Guys (10-6, 3.24 ERA.)
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