June 6, 2009 – Tony Jackson’s Blog – Missed most of the game tonight because I was at the gym — when you’re unemployed, you have time to do things like that — and I caught up with it just as James Loney was drawing that critical, seven-pitch walk in the ninth inning, which I would like to say was the key to that whole rally. But it wasn’t. The key to the whole rally, quite obviously, was the boot by Pedro Feliz, because the game would have ended right there if he had made that play.
This was exactly the kind of rally I was talking about a couple of nights ago here, when I likened these Dodgers to Joe Torre’s early years with the New York Yankees — although it’s tough to imagine anybody talking about the ghosts of Dodger Stadium, given that most of the guys who starred there back in the day are all still alive. Anyway, there were two outs and nobody on against Brad Lidge, who had sliced through Rafael Furcal and Orlando Hudson like butter, and it appeared that all hope was lost. But a single here, a walk there, an error, and the boys were in business.
The interesting thing was that Andre Ethier’s game-winning double came on the very next pitch after Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee went to the mound to confer with Lidge. Wonder what he told him.
Rough night for Eric Milton, but not as rough as it appeared. When all was said and done, although he couldn’t get out of the fifth inning and was lit up for eight hits, he only gave up one earned run. And given that he was in constant danger, that means he was constantly finding his way out of danger, so he made some big pitches when he had to. Phillies left at least one man on in all five of the innings Milton started, and they left a man in scoring position in four of those frames.
Besides having 13 saves and continuing to forge a reputation as one of the league’s most dominating and intimidating closers, Jonathan Broxton is now 6-0. It seemed a curious choice for Joe to bring him in for the ninth tonight with the boys trailing by a run, especially with a quick turnaround before tomorrow’s day game, but I’m guessing his rationale was that the meat of the Phillies order was coming up, and it was absolutely critical there that they not score another run. Obviously, it worked.
Not to tread on Lawdog’s turf, but Jaime Pedroza hit for the cycle for Great Lakes tonight. He was the Dodgers’ seventh-round pick in 2007, a local guy who played three years at UC-Riverside after graduating Northview High School in Covina. In other minor-league news, Claudio Vargas made another rehab appearance at Inland Empire, pitching two innings and allowing one run and one hit, both on a solo home run.
Finally, congratulations go out to Mr. Ryan Plunkett and the rest of the Oxford Academy Patriots, who on Friday afternoon captured the California Southern Section title for their classification with a 5-1 win over some team from the High Desert area. Game was played at Blair Field at Long Beach State (or, if you prefer, Cal State-Long Beach). Ryan, a senior outfielder, is the elder son of Orange County Register Angels beat writer (and former Dodgers beat writer) Bill Plunkett, who despite his advanced age forced himself to fly home from Toronto (missing the opener of the Angels’ series in Detroit) on Thursday night, then is forcing himself as we speak (or as I type, I guess), to take a redeye to Dallas, whereupon he will catch a morning connector flight to Detroit to catch up with the Halos. That’s one dedicated parent, ladies and gentlemen. More power to him.
Dodgers go to 38-19. Los Gigantes won, as well, so the lead stays at eight games.