You know Matt Kemp has gone loco. But are you aware that Ted Lilly has too?
The veteran lefty, who started 2012 on the disabled list, has taken over the major-league lead in ERA. Lilly pitched seven innings of one-run ball, retiring his final 10 batters, and left with the Dodgers ahead tonight against the Braves, 2-1.
The Braves rallied to win the game in the ninth inning, 4-2, with Dan Uggla singling in the tying run immediately after Dodger reliever Javy Guerra took a line drive from Brian McCann to the chin, and then took the lead when Chipper Jones drove in the go-ahead run.
Kemp actually helped put Lilly over the top, hitting a tiebreaking homer off Brandon Beachy – No. 10 on the year for the Bison – in a rainy sixth inning. Beachy led the league in ERA when the game started, but thanks to that blast (and an earlier RBI groundout by Dee Gordon), Beachy left the game with his ERA at 1.05.
For that matter, Lilly’s ERA went up as well, to 0.90, but for the first time this season, he has enough innings to qualify for league ERA leadership: 20. That will last him until Saturday, when the Dodgers play their 21st game, and then he’ll try again next week.
Lilly struck out only two but surrendered but four baserunners. He extended his streak without allowing a home run to 62 1/3 innings, and opponents are batting .138 against him this year (.001 behind league-leader Matt Cain).
Kemp’s 10th home run tonight matched Gordon’s 10th stolen base, which means that while Kemp might never become a 50-50 player, the duo are on pace to become an 85-85 combo. Each leads the majors in their respective categories.