By Jon Weisman
Trite but true: The Dodgers’ 13th starting pitcher of the season brought good luck tonight.
Backed by six runs in the first three innings, Ian Thomas had a successful first Major League start for the Dodgers, leaving for a pinch-hitter in the top of the sixth with a 6-1 lead.
Thomas didn’t inspire confidence from the get-go tonight. He started with two balls against Curtis Granderson before getting a full-count groundout to third, then went 3-0 to Ruben Tejada before allowing a single to left.
But with a 72 mph curveball, Thomas induced an inning-ending 3-6-3 double play from Daniel Murphy, and from that moment on, whether it was coincidence or confidence, the 28-year-old rookie took charge.
Thomas allowed only two more baserunners over his next four innings, while striking out five. He finally conceded a run in the fifth inning on a bloop double and two groundouts, but by that time, he was firmly in control.
Though 32 of his 81 pitches were called balls, Thomas walked none, and of the 17 Mets that he faced, four hit the ball into the outfield.