Lilly takes over NL ERA lead, but Dodgers fall in ninth

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.

  • Anonymous

    Too bad it didn’t rain.

  • Anonymous

    I know it’s early in the season and I haven’t read the other threads, but….
    Guerra Jansen (switch) (please)

    • Anonymous

      I agree, we gave him a shot, he blew it, i think at least 3 times so far this season and twice in a row. Seems like a guy always gets on when even if he does close it. 

      • Anonymous

         Despite all the saves, Guerra has never given me the comfort as an
        “automatic.”  Broxton didn’t.  Saito did.  And thanks to some “happy juice,” Gagne did as well. 

        What I don’t understand is that his stuff did look good
        tonight – he got two quick strikes on many of the batters, but just didn’t have the skill to put them away.  Frustrating.

  • Anonymous

    So Guerra is no longer the closer after this?

  • Anonymous

    Tony Jackson reports that Nathan Eovaldi has been called up. But, who is he replacing?

    • Christopher Staaf

      Hopefully Adam Kennedy and his 1 for 16 hitting ability.

  • Anonymous

    Eric Stephen says that Tony Jackson says Eovaldi will join the Dodgers’ (crowded) bull-pen.
    .
    Repeating myself from earlier, I was very surprised when Lilly came out in fact I was thinking he might pitch a complete game.

  • Christopher Staaf

    I blame Mattingly for pulling Lilly after 79 pitches. Lilly was rolling and I am sure he could have struck out too like Uribe did to lead off the home 7th. BTW, I would give Guerra one more shot. I never had much faith in him. Last year, there was no book on him and it is a lot easier to close out games for a team not in contention than to close out games for a division leader. Thing is, we might not have any other alternatives but Guerra. Jansen might have the stuff but he just might not have “it” to be the closer, Lindblom is another Guerra type, and Elbert is too inconsistent. Guerra might have to close games by default until the new owners get us a new closer. 

  • Anonymous

    LHH: Braves have 4 regulars and 2 on bench; Washington has 2 regulars and 2 on bench.
    If Tony Jackson is correct Eovaldi comes up for Antonini
    If it’s not about LHH Eovaldi comes up for MacDougal.
    My great hope; Coffey has been traded for a ML PH or even a starting LF and Kennedy goes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ryan.hindinger Ryan Hindinger

    Last night’s final inning was so hard to watch I had to turn it off.  Every year I forget how painful 70+ games of the season are going to be.  Good reminder last night.

  • Anonymous

    Be careful what you wish for… Some of you are assuming KJ would be a better closer simply because he has a better fastball; maybe, maybe not. Remember Broxton? It is just possible that Mattingly sees something in KJ’s make up that makes him want to keep him in the setup role. What was it LaSorda said in his famous tirade about the difficulty of the job …

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

    NPUT

  • Oski’s Revenge

    I had to sit through that 9th inning in person and i’m still smarting from the acute pain of having to see a collapse like that in person.

    i don’t know what took Mattingly so long to bring the hook? why pull Guerra after giving up 3 runs, why not let him keep going and give up 12? at that point, what’s the difference? After taking the comebacker on the chin/collarbone, then giving up the equalizer, what exactly is DonDon looking for before he’s ready to bring in Lindblom? And like mentioned above, with Lilly pitching as well as he was, why pull him after 7 IP?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/SPCTCSMLGSAQ3O2TXLTP4EUF4A Ramon

    Mattingly micro-managed last night. He should have left Lilly in the game for the 8th, and even the 9th if he still had his stuff at that point. Jansen and Guerra are being overworked in the early going due to so many close games. The Dodgers offense needs to put up some blow out wins to give the back end of the bullpen some relief. 

    I’m still putting my support behind Guerra. He’s still our guy in the 9th.  We can’t send the lynch mob for him because he’s blown a few saves.  Let’s see what adjustments he makes now that the scouting reports are out on him  

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

       I think you are exactly right. The offense is a bigger problem then the closer.