Dodgers 6, Braves 1
If ever there was a team that should have been distracted, it
was the Los Angeles Dodgers. That wasn’t the case against Atlanta’s
Derek Lowe, who threw way too many pitches to their liking on
Lowe started for the Braves on three days’ rest and lasted three
innings, giving up five runs and nine hits in a 6-1 loss to Los
Angeles. His shaky performance against his former team came hours
after Major League Baseball announced it was assuming control of an
embattled Dodgers franchise increasingly paralyzed by its owners’
It was Lowe’s shortest outing since he pitched three innings
against the Mets on Sept. 16 – another occasion in which he worked
on short rest.
”Tonight had nothing to do with how many days’ rest. I just
never got into a good rhythm,” Lowe said. ”I never at any point
really felt the game was going to spiral out of control. But it
just kept adding up. They did a lot of taking (pitches), and it
beat me up. I wasn’t very sharp and they took advantage of
Lowe is one of three ex-Dodgers who played for Los Angeles while
Frank McCourt was the owner, along with backup catcher David Ross
and reliever George Sherrill. Commissioner Bud Selig told McCourt
he will appoint a MLB representative to oversee all aspects of the
business and the day-to-day operations of the club.
”We were getting asked questions all last year about, `Does it
affect you? Does it affect you?’ And we always said: `No, not if we
don’t have to answer questions,”’ Sherrill said. ”But I don’t
know much about it, except that the divorce is already done and
they were kind of going back and forth with the mediator to see who
gets to own the team.
”Bud said he was going to name somebody to oversee day-to-day
stuff,” Sherrill added. ”What’s important is whatever moves them
forward, whatever gets them through it, whatever has to happen to
just move past it all. No matter who takes over, no matter oversees
what, just as long as it’s over and done with – whenever that may
Ross, whose only full season with the Dodgers coincided with
McCourt’s first season as owner in 2004, also had more than a
casual interest in the day’s events.
”You hate to see things go south in anything in baseball,
especially a team that you’ve been a part of and have great respect
for,” Ross said. ”They’ve kind of fallen on hard times because of
some mistakes that were made by the people on top. But I think
(MLB) will get under control. Baseball’s a strong game. And the
organization, the Dodger name, and the city of Los Angeles is so
big that I don’t think they’ll let it keep going south.”
Juan Uribe broke out of a severe slump with four RBIs in the
first two innings, helping Dodgers manager Don Mattingly celebrate
his 50th birthday in style. Andre Ethier had three hits, including
his 100th career homer, to extend his hitting streak to a major
league-best 17 games – the longest by a Dodger since Matt Kemp’s
19-game stretch in 2008.
Jon Garland (1-1) pitched a four-hitter in his second start of
the season after missing the first 13 games with a strained oblique
muscle. Garland threw 108 pitches and gave up his only run in the
third on Martin Prado’s sacrifice fly.
It was Garland’s 11th career complete game and first since Aug.
2, 2009, when he tossed a seven-hitter for Arizona in a 5-2 win at
the New York Mets. The two-time All-Star signed a one-year, $5
million contract with Los Angeles over the winter after going 14-12
with a 3.47 ERA last year with San Diego.
”We were popping some balls up early and he was getting quick
outs. And when you do that, you’re able to go nine,” Braves
catcher Brian McCann said. ”He was able to throw all four of his
pitches for strikes and mixed them up real well.”
The Braves, who have allowed 19 first-inning runs in their first
19 games, fell behind 2-0 on Uribe’s two-out single. The hit scored
Casey Blake and Ethier, who reached on a ground-rule double into
the left-field corner.
Lowe walked Garland with one out in the second and gave up a
hit-and-run single by Blake before Ethier drove in the Dodgers’
third run with a broken-bat single. Kemp reached on an infield hit
and Uribe made it 5-0 with another two-run single.
Uribe came in batting .183 with just three RBIs in his first 60
”I threw way too many noncompetitive pitches. And walking the
pitcher with one out just led to disaster,” Lowe said. ”Both of
Uribe’s hits came on hanging breaking balls. If you drew a circle,
they’d probably both be in the same spot. Sometimes you get your
brains beat in, that’s what happens. Garland pitched a great game,
so the combination wasn’t very good.”
Ethier, who hit a career-high 31 homers in 2009 and dropped off
to 28 last season, got his second of the year with two out in the
fourth against Christhian Martinez. It ended a stretch of 53 2-3
innings by Braves pitchers without allowing a home run.
NOTES: The game was played in a crisp 2 hours and 17 minutes.
… The Dodgers are 602-551 in the regular season since McCourt and
then-wife Jamie bought the club from the Fox Group on Jan. 29,
2004, marking the third ownership change for a franchise that has
been in business since 1890. They made it to the NL championship
series in 2008 and 2009 after obtaining Manny Ramirez from Boston,
but still owe the retired slugger $8.3 million this season and the
same amount in each of the next two.