With the highest payroll in the league, it’s not surprising that the Los Angeles Dodgers find it difficult to give batting opportunities to all of their outfielders. In an extra innings 3-2 win over the Detroit Tigers, it was Carl Crawford who made the biggest impression, hitting a walk-off double to clinch the first game of the series.
It was Phil Coke who came to the mound in hope of rectifying what Joba Chamberlain did during his inning, but Crawford doubled off of him and Chone Figgins won the game, coming on for J.P. Howell, who was the pitcher who got the win to his name with a solid 10th inning, striking out one batter.
I was just trying to stay short and take it the other way. Once it got past the outfielder, I knew Chone was fast enough to score.
Overall it was a pitcher’s kind of day, with Dan Haren doing well for the Dodgers in the six innings he played. He allowed only three hits and one run. The Tigers got plenty from their ace Max Scherzer who struck out eight batters in seven innings, allowing 8 hits and two runs.
I can only control what I can control. The win-loss thing is a fluke. All last year, I said: ‘I’m 21-3 because I had a good offense behind me.’ But I’m sure those guys will pick it up and they’ll score 10 more runs for me.
Carl Crawford has been batting very well to start the season and was 3-for-5 against the Tigers, improving to .296 this season. Dee Gordon (2-for-4) and Juan Uribe also had multiple hits in the game. Gordon also gets on base more than anyone on the Dodgers at the moment with a .406 OBP.
The Tigers didn’t get much from their bats. Austin Jackson hit his first home run of the season, just like Gordon for the Dodgers, but the Tigers were only 5-for-32 at bat, finishing with 1-of-7 with runners in scoring positions, and overall found it very hard to get around the excellent pitching from the Dodgers’ crew.
But not the loss was the most worrying thing for the Tigers; seeing Torii Hunter jamming his left knee going after a foul ball seemed to be more of a concern. Hunter was replaced by Don Kelly and the 38-year old didn’t carry on after the fifth. However, it seems like a bruise is the best way to describe what happened to him, which means he won’t be out for long.
The style that I play, I play rough. I try to get everything. It’s just my instincts. I can’t help it. Unfortunately, I’ve got a swollen knee because of it. We iced it three times just to get the swelling down. My wrist is jammed up and my shoulder’s a little sore. But it’s not going to keep me out — hopefully not at all, and I’ll be ready to go tomorrow.
The series will conclude with a second game as Josh Beckett will pitch for the Dodgers, his first time since coming over from Boston, while Anibal Sanchez, who had a short four-inning performance on his debut this season will be on the other side for the Tigers.