Printer Friendly

NIGHT AND DAY DODGERS SHAKE UP NATIONALS' PITCHING DODGERS 4, WASHINGTON 2.

Byline: Tony Jackson Staff Writer

With his club mired in its worst run-scoring drought since, well, most of last year, Dodgers hitting coach Tim Wallach said several times in recent days he liked what he was seeing. For the most part, the opposing starters' pitch counts were still astronomical, the at-bats were still interminable, and the execution of the game plan was nearly flawless, even if the results were not.

On Tuesday night, the game plan was taken to an extreme even Wallach would have had a hard time imagining. And this time, it did come with results, including a cathartic, 4-2 victory over the Washington Nationals in front of 41,190 at Dodger Stadium.

The news wasn't all good for the Dodgers, though. Third baseman Jose Valentin, who broke out of an 0-for-27 slide with a critical RBI single in the fourth inning, left after six innings with a sprained right knee. He will have an MRI today and be re-evaluated. If he has to be placed on the disabled list, the Dodgers likely will call Antonio Perez back from his minor-league rehabilitation assignment early because his injured left hamstring appears to be sound.

True to form, the Dodgers worked Nationals pitcher Zach Day to a frazzle and forced him out of the game early. The amazing part was just how early. Manager Frank Robinson came to get Day with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning, a point at which the right-hander had allowed only two runs but had thrown a ridiculous 88 pitches.

Day had walked three batters, gone to three-ball counts on several more and struggled on numerous occasions to put away hitters who kept fouling off two-strike pitches. Although he artfully dodged trouble through the first three innings, when the Dodgers characteristically went 0 for 4 with runners in scoring position, in the fourth, Day finally collapsed under the strain.

With one out, Ricky Ledee smacked a double off the centerfield wall. That brought up Valentin, whose aforementioned drought ended quickly when he lined a hard single to right to drive in Ledee. Valentin took second on Jose Guillen's throw home.

Jason Phillips then did the one thing a slumping No. 8 hitter can do to help the cause, which was make Day throw six more pitches before striking out. Dodgers pitcher Jeff Weaver followed with a dribbler down the third-base line that neither Day nor third baseman Vinny Castilla had any chance get.

Day loaded the bases with a walk to Cesar Izturis, and the suddenly sizzling Hee-Seop Choi tied the game with a single to right.

With that, the frazzled Day was done for the night.

Reliever Jon Rauch escaped the jam by getting J.D. Drew to fly out to center, but the Dodgers didn't have to wear out Rauch (0-1) to get to him. They scored two more runs off him in the fifth on a two-out, two-run double by Phillips, snapping an 0-for-7 swoon. Valentin, who had walked, scored the second run by sliding in just under the tag of catcher Brian Schneider, who couldn't hold onto the relay throw from shortstop Cristian Guzman.

That slide likely is where Valentin's injury occurred, although he played one more inning in the field before being replaced by Norihiro Nakamura. The Dodgers (17-9) maintained their 1 1/2-game lead over second-place Arizona in the National League West after the Diamondbacks beat San Francisco.

Weaver (3-2) was shaky throughout, but seemed to settle in after the Dodgers tied the game in the fourth. He retired seven of eight batters over the next two innings, then was lifted after issuing a leadoff walk to Schneider in the seventh.

Tony Jackson,(818) 713-3675

tony.jackson(at)dailynews.com

CAPTION(S):

2 photos, 4 boxes

Photo:

(1 -- color) Dodgers third baseman Jose Valentin, right, slides home safely past Washington catcher Brian Schneider Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium.

(2) Jose Valentin tags out Washington baserunner Jose Guillen. Valentin left the game after six innings with a sprained right knee.

Andy Holzman/Staff Photographer

Box:

(1) GAME RECAP

(2) HOW THE RUNS SCORED

(3) DODGERS vs. WASHINGTON

(4) ALMANAC
COPYRIGHT 2005 Daily News
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2005, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:May 4, 2005
Words:692
Previous Article:RAIL CRASH HORROR RECALLED INJURED ENGINEER 'SAW PEOPLE FLYING AND ... TRAIN COMING APART'.
Next Article:VOLLEYBALL NOTEBOOK: VALENCIA TAKES LESSON FROM LOSS.


Related Articles
PLAY RESUMES, PADRES GET BEST OF DODGERS SAN DIEGO 6, DODGERS 4.
DODGERS, PADRES DO THE BEST THEY CAN SAN DIEGO 6, DODGERS 4.
DODGERS WRITING COMEBACK STORY.
PARK'S RUT DEEPENS IN LOSS; `I DON'T KNOW WHAT IS WRONG,' DODGERS PITCHER LAMENTS : ARIZONA 8, DODGERS 5.
O'MALLEY FAULTS UPHEAVAL IN DODGERS.
DODGERS NOTEBOOK: PEREZ SCORING AS QUICK LEARNER.
NOT EVEN PADRES CAN CURE DODGERS SAN DIEGO 4, DODGERS 1.
NIGHT AND DAY DODGERS SHAKE UP NATIONALS' PITCHING DODGERS 4, WASHINGTON 2.
THE NEW DODGERS LOOK LIKE THE OLD WEAK HITTING LEADS TO ANOTHER DEFEAT WASHINGTON 6, DODGERS 2.
ROOKIE DELIVERS FOR DODGERS HOULTON HELPS L.A. TOP BREWERS DODGERS 2, MILWAUKEE 1.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters