Slam dunk for the Dodgers, 4-1

Crashing the boards.

A 4-1 victory over the Pirates pushed the Dodgers to a 5-1 record in this young season. It wasn’t a perfect game, but one that was the ongoing equivalent of rebounding your missed shot and putting it in the hoop.

Chad Billingsley gives up a home run to light-hittting Clint Barmes in the third, but recovers to shut Pittsburgh out through his three remaining innings. Billingsley gives up two hits with one out in the sixth, then wraps things up when Neil Walker hits a soft liner with two on and one out for an inning-ending double play.

The Dodgers waste two baserunners in the first inning, but score a tying run in the bottom of the third and a go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth. Dee Gordon starts his night 0 for 3, then doubles to kick-start a two-run seventh.

Los Angeles is winning even as half their lineup clanks one shot off the rim after another. They’re doing so because Matt Kemp (3 for 4), Juan Rivera (3 for 4) and Andre Ethier (2 for 4) keep banging the boards, and because the bullpen (Matt Guerrier, Kenley Jansen and Javy Guerra) keeps running a nice pick-and-roll at the end of the game.

The words “enjoy it while it lasts” come to mind. Fair enough.

  • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

    It’s great watching Bills start off so strong. Yeah, it’s the Pirates and Padres, he’ll hit some bumps I’m sure, but good for his confidence and his stuff looks good to me so far. 

    Also a pleasure to watch our defense this year.  I just wish Loney would start hitting since we know he can field (because otherwise they may have to sit him). But the D is very solid. 

    Lastly, after listening to him much of tonight, sorry guys, I know some of you are okay with Lyons, but I still think he’s awful. His analysis is nonsensical much of the time and I finally muted it in the 8th after his bit about playing centerfield. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=713935344 Jason Ungar

      “i’d like to see Gordon steal 3b here, cause even if he gets caught it dosen’t matter with a 4-1 lead” because you know, a 2 out steal of 3rd base is more important than a possible 4 run lead.

  • Anonymous

    Been watching some basketball recently Jon?

    • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

      Not really, actually.

      • Anonymous

         Fair enough – I appreciate creative analogies when they come up! And in other news – only 85-ish more wins to go…

  • Anonymous

    So far this season, it feels like the team is made up of Koufax, Drysdale, Maury Wills, Duke Snider,
    Carl Furillo – and Juan Uribe, James Loney, Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang.
    It makes for an interesting mix…

  • Anonymous

    Unexpected win by the Kings tonight in Vancouver, 4-2, in the first game of their playoff series.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=713935344 Jason Ungar

      15 more to go :) 

    • http://web.me.com/kakitadoug/geekblog/Blog/Blog.html DougS

      Not entirely unexpected, since Jeff Carter returned to the lineup. They’re a much more dangerous team with him

      I’ve also heard it argued that Vancouver is kind of overrated because they play in a pretty weak division. 

      But it is true that the Kings were more disciplined and resilient tonight than they have been in the playoffs the last two seasons. Could be a sign that this team is coming of age.

      • http://twitter.com/snakealicious75 Snake Smith

        I was so fired up at the end of my Flyers win that I stayed up on the east coast to watch Flyers West.  Richie and Carter both with nice contributions and both with some good playoff experience.  The Flyers got a huge game out of Brayden Schenn so the trade appears to have paid off for both sides.

  • Anonymous

    I guess by birthright I should be cheering for the best team Canadian team this season. But now that the Jets are done for the year, I’m feeling ambivalent and/or apathetic…

  • Anonymous

    Broxton blown save and loss in unusual fashion:
    Bottom 12Pitcher Change: Jonathan Broxton replaces Tim Collins.1.Daric Barton called out on strikes.Offensive Substitution: Pinch hitter Seth Smith replaces Collin Cowgill.2.Seth Smith reaches on fielding error by shortstop Alcides Escobar.3.Jemile Weeks walks. Seth Smith to 2nd.4.Eric Sogard walks. Seth Smith to 3rd. Jemile Weeks to 2nd.5.Coco Crisp grounds out, second baseman Yuniesky Betancourt to first baseman Eric Hosmer. Seth Smith scores. Jemile Weeks to 3rd. Eric Sogard to 2nd.6.Yoenis Cespedes hit by pitch.Coaching visit to mound.7.Jonny Gomes hit by pitch. Jemile Weeks scores. Eric Sogard to 3rd. Yoenis Cespedes to 2nd.

  • Anonymous

    77 pitches in 6 innings, one run on a poorly placed pitch.  Bills could’ve gone 8 tonight with ease if he had some offense.  I’m hopefully optimistic the old Bills is back.

  • Anonymous

    Well, the good thing is the Dodgers are winning games that they are supposed to win.  Also, I just love to watch Dee as he reminds me of Wills except Dee is faster.

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    David Pinto of Baseball Musings on the Dodgers’ hot start: http://bit.ly/IHjQVf

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    From Elias:
    “Twenty-two-year-old Madison Bumgarner faces 49-year-old Jamie Moyer Thursday.  That’s the largest age gap between opposing starting pitchers since 59-year-old Satchel Paige went up against 29-year-old Bill Monbouquette on September 25, 1965.”

    • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

      It’s kind of unbelievable to think about the number of wins that Moyer already had before Bumgarner was even BORN. 

  • Anonymous

    So glad baseball is here again..
    It certainly does look like this club has left off where it did towards the end of last season.
    Not a bunch of “World Beaters” … but, certainly fun to watch and root for…
    Dee’s so fun to watch…  Kemp’s finding his groove… Ethier’s rollin’ …..
    Keep it up boys! 

  • Anonymous

     Also… way to go up there and “get it done” last night…. T-Gwynn, Jr….
    (one pitch…. one insurance run…. simple) 

  • Anonymous

    What was the start in 2005? Wasn’t it something like 12-2?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7PNAFNXM7T73BGEJ4GML6UCTC4 scottF

    We are playing the Padres & The Pirates.
    Can someone wake up Uribe & Loney.

  • Anonymous

    The Dodgers did start out 2005, 12-2, losing on Opening Day to the Giants and then the next Sunday in Arizona 5-4. 

    Then they lost 6 of the next 7.

    By June 18, they were under .500 and Bill Plaschke was ready to have Paul DePodesta strung up on the highest yardarm.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for the confirmation and the new nautical vocabulary word :)

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    NPUT

  • Anonymous

    I know its early,but 5-1 is better than 1-4!! (and our Ace has not been just smashed everywhere)

  • Robin Warren

    Jon-
    I always come to your blog excited to read educated opinions on the Dodgers, my beloved sports franchise, a team I will love and support until the day I die. But I always end up closing the page disappointed because from someone who seems to love the Dodgers as much as I do, there is a consistent tone of negative criticism, dread and lack of confidence within your reporting that I find disoncerning, but also downright unfaithful! LOOK, i know the Dodgers dont have ALL the pieces, and of course they didnt make anything more than medicore aquisitions in the offseason (relying mostly on comeback performances by Loney, Uribe, Ethier) but have some DAMN PRIDE in YOUR TEAM!! Theyre winning! They have the best record in the NL! So be happy! It might not be sexy winning and it definitely wont last forever but its better than last year! So enough of this enjoy it while it lasts crapola! Just say “Hell yeah! Go Dodgers!” And be done with it! Positive thoughts truly translate to positive energy and as a result, postive results, and whether you think thats bogus, fine. BUT, I dont see how constant negative insight will help or encourage fans to support. OK im done.