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Dodgers Huff their way to 7-5 victory over Giants


What a game plan. Worked to perfection. It’s a big field out there, but the Dodgers knew exactly where to hit it. And did, too.

Of course, the Giants knew about this offensive strategy too -- hit it to right-fielder Aubrey Huff!

Hours before the game, reliever Dan Runzler had sprawled out on the right-field grass while teammates outlined his body in tape, leaving the police-type outline meant to be Huff vainly reaching for a fly ball.

I’m thinking Runzler wasn’t finding the humor after the Dodgers’ 7-5 victory Sunday night.

The Dodgers opened the scoring in the first, looking like they were going to make quick work of light-throwing Barry Zito, whose pitches never topped 85 mph. Rafael  Furcal singled and then Jamey Carroll hit a sinking drive to Huff.

That would be Huff, who is not exactly light on his feet. Picture a rhino in cleats. Huff charged, or at least ran forward, awkwardly putting out a glove as the ball fell in front of him, skipped under his glove and went almost to the warning track. Where it was chased down by center fielder Andres Torres.

Furcal scored on what was ruled a triple, and then Matt Kemp homered.

After the Giants tied it in the top of the seventh, the Dodgers went back to aiming for right field in the bottom half. Must be a reverse English thing. It can’t be that easy.

The Giants brought in Runzler, who about now is probably a big believer in karma. After James Loney singled, Marcus Thames hit a deep fly to Huff, who turned so many different ways while retreating it looked like he was inventing a dance. Finally the ball went off his outstretched glove. It was ruled a triple.

That scored Loney, pinch-hitter Aaron Miles’ single to right scored Thames, Furcal’s double to right plated Miles, and after a pitching change, Andre Ethier’s single to right scored Furcal -- that’s four consecutive hits to right. Huff did not misplay any of them, but you could tell what the Dodgers were thinking.

The victory enabled the Dodgers to take three of four games from the Giants in their season-opening series. And in each victory, the Giants’ defense provided an assist.

Like it wasn’t part of the Dodgers’ game plan.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Giants right fielder Aubrey Huff hits the wall after falling to the warning track while trying to catch a triple by Dodgers left fielder Marcus Thames in the seventh inning Sunday at Dodger Stadium. Credit: Gus Ruelas / Associated Press

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And just wait until the Giants play a team that can actually hit!!

I never knew it was possible to take three of four games in a series and have a -6 run differential. Leave it to a team who consistently fails to get batters on base to make that happen.

Aside from Huff, it was relaxing to see some runs come across the plate for a channge-- for US. Finally some support for our pitchers while they maneuvered through the Giants' lineup. Good to see Broxton outfox them with his 3rd save already.

Starting the season by taking three of four from the Giants—it's hard to argue with that. Though I have no doubt that 86blowschunks will do just that.

To err is human... to fail divine from history/believe dudger luck will hold is unforgivable.

As I said another blog, dudgers will go only as far 'World Champion' Giants & rest the NL teams err-low them to; so far, serendipity... this too shall pass.

Giants 'won' the only game of the series, dudgers failed to 'win' a single game (same scenario in KC, where the similarly inferior midwest version dudgers (Royals) prevail over an superior west coast same version Giants (Angels).

Qu'ils mangent de la (upside down) brioche!

All the Giants flukish gifts to the dudgers aside, constants remain - alas, other aspects foretell a danger and of dashed Yaz/Robby hopes ahead.

* dudgers still can't hit or score runs (-3 & -6; SF also won the decisive series battle for defensive impotence at +2... it only seemed spare).

* broxton is still broxton... he is a man in need only of a stage (to fall off of.)

* huff is still a 1st baseman... the time spent off-season practicing with fellow contortionist marcus thames's' really paid off (for the dudgers).

* kuo looks very mortal this season... a portend the calm before the torn ('nother elbow blowout)?

* ethier (think 'Triple Crown') has yet to hit a home run (or triple, or double) - nothing to get famished about unless you're an itinerant carnivore. The rf'r reportedly partnered with a supplier to donate food to a rescue mission in LA for every home run he hits this year... oh well, fasting does a body good.

Fast 'start' aside, 3-1 will beget mac & cheese soon enough. If the glass slipper doesn't fit - doesn't - team cinderel-la we cannot acquit.

And just wait until the Dodgers play a team that can actually field!

Did you know that Baltimore, Pittsburgh and KC are leading their divisions, also?

huff brought back memories of LA's failed attempts to put a first baseman in right field....also, confirmed earlier theories to let outfielders play outfield, infielders especially first basemen (aka former free agent dunn) play infield and first base.

broxton....tis sad...he's not even the shell of a closer he once was...94, 95 on the fastball with an 89 slider and he has no command of the zone with the fastball - he will continue to get lit up...he goes fastballs then a slider while ahead in the count and gives up a dinger to the first batter he faces, then falls behind every remaining batter...wish he could work it out, but its strange for him to have 3 saves and probably no closer in the majors could have less confidence and command.

bullpen questions were very evident sunday nite, tho they managed through it...hope Kuo's early going is simply result of not much, by plan, spring training work and he'll round into form...I mean, he's already given up a hit (granted, a dink) to a left-handed hitter and it took a whole season for that last year...and how about that contract year Kemp is playing into? My, how times have changed...knew he would do it, but glad its counting for my team for now...

uribe...what a joke...that's why overweight players like he and belly-rd are not wanted...Blake makes that play easy, glad to hear he'll be back this week, just wish Carroll would be kept in the lineup at second and in the 2-hole of the batting order.

so an off day on Monday and thursday - how many regulars have to rest either Tuesday or Wednesday in snowy Colorado?

That was some curious strategy by Mattingly when he pulled Kuo. The tying run was a lefty hitter in the on deck circle. Kuo had walked one and had a bloop fall in that Gwynn either got a bad jump on, or was playing on the warning track in left center. When Guerrier walked the first batter, and Belt came up, the strategy looked really bad.

Loney for Huff, straight up !!! I'd take this guy, and put at first in Dodger Blue.
It's obvious Loney will never live up to the hype he has had. The guy has no power.

Huff looked like a Dodger last night.

I know nothing about the Giants, but it was obvious from watching Bochy on camera that he was ready to implode. Huff as an outfielder is a failed experiment. I'd guess that Bochy will make a change within a week. Not sure what, they obviously want Huff and Belt both in the lineup, but the NL doesn't give managers a pass on these tough decisions. No DH here, you have to play through it.

At the very least, the Dodgers saw the weakness and were able to exploit their open wound. Winning 3 of 4 against the Gnats was a nice opening series. I'll take that anytime.


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