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Pirates Sink Eveland and Dodgers

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With Dodgers’ starter Dana Eveland notching a 0.60 ERA in his two starts with the Dodgers, it was apparent that it was unsustainable considering his lifetime ERA of 5.52 in seven seasons in baseball. After breezing through the first inning, the law of averages got its revenge in the second inning in the Dodgers’ 6-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

“I didn’t have my best stuff,” Eveland said after the game. “I made a couple of mistake pitches and gave up a couple of hits.”

With Ryan Doumit on first base and two outs in that second inning, Eveland gave up a double to Ryan Ludwick that sent Doumit to third base. Brandon Wood hit a single that brought Doumit home and tied the game. But the law of averages wasn’t done with Eveland.

No. On the first pitch Eveland threw to opposing pitcher Ross Ohlendorf, the ball went opposite field just over the Pirates’ bullpen gate in right field. A pitcher who had never hit a home run much less an RBI with a .070 batting average lined the ball over the wall for the three-run dinger.

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“I figured I could get ahead,” Eveland said. “Unfortunately he decided to hit it over the fence.”

And Eveland looked human once again, his reign of stats of superheroic proportions cut down in one mighty swing of a pitcher.

“I made a couple of mistake pitches and gave up a couple of hits,” Eveland said. “But obviously the biggest one was to the pitcher. More than anything he surprised me. He put a really good swing on a pitch that wasn’t a terrible pitch, wasn’t a good pitch - a decent 0-0 fastball in that situation. Nine times out of ten it might have turned into a ground ball.

“Things happen and you move on.”

To Eveland’s credit, he did fight through giving up a hit in each of the next three innings but keeping the Pirates off the board. While not stellar, Eveland said he could live with it.

“I wasn’t on top of my game, but I wasn’t going to try to pitch around guys because I wasn’t at my best. I was still going to challenge them, and if I get beat I’ll get beat giving up hits not walks.”

Meanwhile starting behind the plate for the first time in the big leagues was Tim Federowicz, the player the Dodgers got in return from the Boston Red Sox for shipping outfield prospect Trayvon Robinson to the Seattle Mariners in the three-way deadline deal.

“He had some good at-bats,” Manager Don Mattingly said. “He handled himself back there and blocked some balls. He looked all right.”

Federowicz was a little less subdued.

“I was nervous, but catching someone I caught before definitely helped,” he said.

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Federowicz got his first Major League hit in the fifth inning - a single to centerfield - and worked a two-out walk to load the bases off of Evan Meek to bring up the tying run to the plate in the ninth inning.

“I was trying not to be too aggressive,” Federowicz said. “[Meek] was throwing a lot of balls, walked Russ Mitchell in front of me. I was just trying to get a ball out in the middle of the plate that I was trying to drive. I got to a good count, made him throw me a couple of strikes which he did. I fouled off a close pitch 3-2. Luckily he walked me.”

For a prospect whose offense wasn’t highly rated, his approach to this at-bat combined with the discipline to follow through on the approach was quite impressive. Unfortunately Federowicz also had a passed ball in the eighth inning with Matt Guerrier pitching.

However a loss is a loss, and, for anyone who cares, the Dodgers are now eliminated in the NL West race. Also the win to Ohlendorf was his first win in his last 16 starts.

Bitch, Please. What the hell crawled up Tedy Bruschi’s ass, died, then made him god? Oh wait. I know the answer to that question. (The password is: ESPN.) Someone get him some Preparation-H, stat. I don’t know what is more unseemly about this: Bruschi’s reaction or the fact ESPN fed on this to sustain itself for two days.

Bitch, Please Part II. A group of Denver Bronco fans are going to spend $10,000 to put up a billboard in the city that tells head coach John Fox to start Tim Tebow. This despite the fact Tebow couldn’t even beat out Brady Quinn for the backup position. These are the people who have disposable income in our society? I think I will commit suicide.


LA Angels at Baltimore Orioles. 4:05 p.m. FSWest, AM 830 KLAA.

Pittsburgh Pirates at LA Dodgers. 7:10 p.m. FS Prime Ticket, AM 790 KABC.