Dodgers Ride Lilly's Complete Game to Victory
Ted Lilly (W, 7-8), coming into the game with a 3-0 record and a 1.89 ERA since joining the Dodgers on July 31, continued his dominant streak with a complete game two-hit shutout while a powerful Reed Johnson supplied the offense in the Dodger’s 2-0 victory over the Colorado Rockies in the rubber match of the three-game series.
“He has had great starts every time out for us, but tonight, needing a lift, he just took it on his shoulders,” Torre said. “I’ve seen him mature in a different uniform. He’s come a long way.”
Lilly breezed through his fifth complete game and third career shutout, his first since August 23, 2004 as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays against the Boston Red Sox, and put an exclamation point to it by saying good morning, good afternoon and good night to Ryan Spilborghs.
“Six years later I’m glad I’m still in the big leagues,” Lilly mused on the time between his last shutout. “I’m pretty lucky to be here.”
Lilly, after giving up a strange double to Dexter Fowler with one out in the first inning, retired the next 19 batters until Troy Tulowitzki singled up the middle with two outs in the seventh inning.
That Fowler double lined down the third base line tipped by the glove of third baseman Casey Blake sending it to the base of the tarp that abuts the wall of the left field box seats. The ball ricocheted back toward the infield for a most awkward looking play.
“I’m trying to throw strike one and work off of that,” Lilly said about his dominance. “I’m feeling good about what I’m doing. I’m going to enjoy this tonight and tomorrow start to prepare for Milwaukee.”
One person who didn’t need to wipe sweat off his brow was his battery-mate Brad Ausmus behind the plate.
“It was almost like a day off for me,” Ausmus joked on his first time catching Lilly.
Filling in for a resting Andre Ethier in right field, Johnson seemed to conjure the power of the position being one of among the least expected power sources for the Dodgers. In the second inning Johnson belted a two-run homer to the power alley in left centerfield off of Rockies’ starter Jorge de la Rosa (L, 4-4) for his first homer of the season and his first homer since June 19, 2009 for the Chicago Cubs against Cliff Lee and the Cleveland Indians.
“It feels good,” Johnson said of hitting his homer. “We had our opportunities tonight, and that’s a start.”
The Dodgers had a couple of chances to break the game wide open. In the third inning with Scott Podsednik on second and Ryan Theriot on first with one out, Matt Kemp lined into a double play to end the inning.
In the sixth inning with Podsednik on third and Theriot on second with no outs, Kemp and James Loney grounded out. After an intentional walk to Casey Blake, the second inning hero Johnson grounded into a force out to end the inning.
“We’re still lacking offensively,” Torre said. “We’re getting a couple of opportunities - not a lot. Tonight Matt Kemp hit the ball on the button to third base. So did Reed Johnson. We just got the two-run homer from an unexpected source and made it stand up.”
Home plate umpire Laz Diaz was shaken when hit in the mask by a pitch by Jorge de la Rosa in the third inning to Scott Podsednik. After being looked at by Dodgers head athletic trainer Stan Conte, Diaz remained in the game.