Dodgers fall, 5-1, to Cubs
For those who still find Phoenix still too far a trip to take in a spring training game, the Dodgers offered Wednesday afternoon.
Warm weather, a bunch of players you barely heard of and a crowd that almost could be counted one by one.
That the Dodgers turned this into a 5-1 loss to the Cubs was about as stunning as "McCourts buy mansion."
The Dodgers lineup wasn’t helped when Andre Ethier and his hitting streak was scrapped with a sore elbow. Only one Dodger in the starting lineup had a batting average of more than .250 -- Matt Kemp at .364.
Then it got worse when Juan Uribe was hit by a pitch in the fourth and left the game shortly afterward with a bruise. [Update at 4:33 p.m.: The Dodgers said X-rays on the hand were negative and they expect Uribe to be able to play in their next game Friday in New York.]
At the point, the Dodgers lineup read: Tony Gwynn Jr., (left), Aaron Miles (second), Jay Gibbons (right), Kemp (center), Jamey Carroll (short), James Loney (first), Dioner Navarro (catcher), Russell Mitchell (third) and Ted Lilly (pitcher).
Those poor Cubbies, it’s amazing they found the courage to take the field.
The Dodgers managed one run on six hits against, Gibbons actually driving in the only run on a sacrifice fly. Right-hander Carlos Zambrano, whom the Dodgers had chased with six runs in five innings on April 24, went eight strong innings.
Lilly matched Zambrano early, but then allowed three home runs -- or one more than he had allowed in his previous five starts.
The Dodgers announced this all happened before a crowd of 28,419, and didn’t snicker or anything. Announced crowds are actually for tickets sold, and since the Dodgers have sold more than 17,000 season tickets, the figure will never drop nearly as low as Wednesday’s thin crowd -- is that still a fair term? -- actually was.
Ethier’s 29-game hitting streak will continue until he actually fails to get a hit in a game he played.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Los Angeles Dodgers starter Ted Lilly pitches to the Chicago Cubs in the second inning of a game in L.A. Wednesday. Credit: Reed Saxon / AP