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The right approach doesn't work for Dodgers in 3-1 loss to Phillies and Cliff Lee


Ted Lilly pitched well again. Trouble was, the other guy pitched really well.

The other being Philadelphia left-hander Cliff Lee, who shut the Dodgers out through seven innings and pretty much dominated in the Phillies' 3-1 victory Monday.

Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly tried an all-right-handed lineup against Lee to no avail. He started Casey Blake at first for James Loney, sat Andre Ethier and batted Marcus Thames in the third spot.

Mattingly called Thames "hit or miss" against Lee, noting he had hit three home runs and struck out 15 times in 36 career at-bats.

The Dodgers made little noise against the Philly ace, but the two times they did, Thames unfortunately went the "miss" route.

The Dodgers opened the game with leadoff singles by Jamey Carroll and Aaron Miles -- both now slated for the bench with the Monday roster additions of Juan Uribe and Dee Gordon.

Thames, straight off the disabled list with a strained quadriceps, promptly bounced into a double play. Matt Kemp was called out on strikes, and the Dodgers had come up empty.

The Dodgers got two-out singles from Carroll and Miles again in the fifth, and Thames struck out. Those were all the chances they got against Lee (5-5), who struck out 10 and walked one.

The Phillies didn’t fare much better against Lilly, but cashed in on their opportunity in the third.

Wilson Valdez open the bottom of the inning with a double and Lee’s bunt sacrificed him to third. Lilly, who had walked only 12 batters in 72 2/3 innings, then walked Shane Victorino on four pitches.

Placido Polanco and Ryan Howard followed with run-scoring singles.

Lilly gave up only five hits in his six innings, but three of them came in the decisive third. He walked one and struck out four, giving up two runs. It was the seventh consecutive game he went at least six innings.

The Phillies added a third run in the eighth against reliever Mike MacDougal on a pair of walks and a Carlos Ruiz double. Walks killed the Dodgers all night.

The Dodgers did manager to avoid being shut out by scratching a run together against interim Phillies closer Ryan Madson in the ninth.

Uribe led off with a single, and then Gordon -- making his major-league debut -- pinch ran. Loney, who entered the game when Blake was thrown out arguing strikes, singled and the speedy Gordon took third. Ethier pinch hit and bounced out, Gordon scoring on the play.

But Madson struck out Rod Barajas and pinch-hitter Dioner Navarro to earn his 13th save.

After two uplifting victories the past two games in Cincinnati, the Dodgers had hit a familiar wall in Philadelphia.


Dodgers-Phillies box score

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Dodgers first baseman Casey Blake tosses the ball to pitcher Ted Lilly, but Philadelphia's Dominic Brown was safe on the play. Credit: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

Comments () | Archives (24)

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I really have no idea why Thames even played he should only be used to pinch hit. The sad thing is the Dodgers not hitting is no surprise.

feast or famine. that's this offense. pretty sad. still think DFA'ing Gibbons was the wrong move, but I have pretty much disagreed with everything Ned has done.

Mattingly is brilliant, lets bat Thames 3rd of all places never mind possibly 7th or 8th and actually playing one of their best players. No, that wouldn't make sense at all....Lets bat a dude who hits .200 3rd! God, this organization's management is full of retards, starting with the broke one at the top.

A day late (Halladay pitched yesterday) and a dollar (or $25 million) short proves to be the dudger downfall yet again - but - enough about the veterans being made to look silly by Philly (kemp the K machine & sluggo sands the amateur vs Cliff the Crackerjack and dioner the helpless vs... vs... well, anyone with an arm...


I hear the dudgers are going to play gordon... if so they'd better find a place at 2nd or 3rd or LF for BOTH carroll & miles.



Right now if you take those two guys out of the lineup the dudgers get held to just 4 hits tonight - all singles - and one of those coming by way a pinch-hitter, gwynn.

For that matter, tony needs to be in the lineup too... maybe he can catch (or maybe he can't) but if the choice on a day off for barajas is between navarro & russ mitchell, ellis still exiled AAA & 'jose' gimenez still knee deep in DL...

1st base? Have Helen Keller throw darts at the roster and whomever she hits... sluggo sands .207, whiney casey .267, tha-mess .158 & loney .245 offer a wide variety of mediocrity to flip a coin to.

Go Isotopes...

What r u talking about they out hit the phillies they just couldn't score

This has got to be the worst time ever to be a Dodger fan. I've been one since 1966, Koufax's last year and this is as bad as it's ever been. This team will undoubtedly finish in last place this year...hopefully, Selig will get this mess sorted out and decent local ownership will come in and in a couple of years, it will be safe to go to Dodger games again. My God, how could this have ever happened to our beloved franchise?

Might have been a little optimistic thinking blue would go ochento uno
y ochento uno, 81-81 for non hispanic fans.....despencia..(excuso)

Same theme all year long, choke in clutch situations when the game is on the line! How predictable these dodgers have become.

you want cheese with that whine?

I wouldn't say that Cliff Lee "dominated" or even out-pitched Ted Lilly, so much as that he was luckier tonight. I know it sounds like sour grapes, but... the two called strikes to Matt Kemp in the 1st inning were a JOKE--barely a foot off the ground. Blake was right to argue as well. The Dodgers were getting hosed all night. When a guy is getting calls like that plus fluke defensive plays (like Utley playing right behind second on Kemp's smash up the middle, and then Sands' hit up the middle deflecting off Lee's leg), it helps tremendously. Same old story vs the Phillies--the Dodgers outhit them but still lose. I guess the Phillies just have the magic against LA.

And Marcus Thames is just a right-handed Garrett Anderson. The guy has no business starting in LF, let alone batting 3rd in the lineup. He should be next on the DFA list so they can finally call up Trayvon Robinson.

Can't even come close to describing how much I hate the Phillies. Oh, and that ump SUCKED.

real simple....just go beat the other team, don't leave it close enough that richochets or painting the black matters...hit and score, not out-hit and hope its enough....if you're better, you take away those thin margins and win the game ... dodgers didn't, so we lose - we tip our cap to them, they made plays, they won, we didn't...real simple

and they don't have our number on anything...get out of the past - each of these teams are hugely different from the 2008 and 2009 playoff series, heck, from last year even...

this is who we are ... we sometimes bunch our talents and (could) score close to 10 runs, those are max nights ... most nights, those batting averages are exactly what they say they are, and combined they don't add up to many runs, if any runs at all... we've got one good pitcher, another playing so-so, and three who are as likely to give you an off night as an on night from outing to outing ... and our wusspen is susceptible to blow any lead, or manage to see how many different players can record a save in 162 games... we scare no one defensively, yet we don't play like the pre-Kelly Leak debut days of the bad news bears either

we're a .481 team, destined for 78 wins in a bump and grind that is often quite painful....but it is my team, my dodgers, and I'll pull for them no matter.

(heavy, heavy sigh......) but head up, no tears

Homer Plate Umpire Mark Carlson is a complete joke. At one point he missed eight of nine consecutive non-swing pitches according to ESPN's K Zone. Think about it. That's pretty hard to do, even if you're just guessing! Some of them were several inches off the plate, yet he called them strikes. A couple had most of the strike zone, yet he called them balls.
Cliff Lee doesn't need this kind of advantage to be effective, but give him some of those calls by Carlson, it's tough to even put a good swing on the ball. I don't blame Casey Blake for arguing. That first called strike three he took was nowhere near the plate. It had the RH batters box more than the inside corner. Just ridiculous!

Starting Thames was a bit of a head scratcher, but having him bat third was really flat out stupid. Coming off the DL and facing a top tier pitcher on the road in an RBI slot in the lineup was unthinkable. Of course, Donnie, maybe thought he could get a little lucky, but why not move up Kemp, the hottest batter in the league and put Blake or Uribe in the four hole?

Higgins and Airedale are right on.
I didn't see the whole game but a few of the batters I saw (Kemp, Blake, and Sands) all got burned by bad strike calls. Batters have no chance against Lee when he gets those types of calls.

I think Alan19 pretty much hit the nail on the head with his team assessment. I'll add that because of McCourt we can't attract nor sign any top tier talent; we can't acquire even slightly +VORP players because Ned is incabable of assessing talent in any way, shape, or form; and let's just say the apple hasn't fallen far from the tree when it comes to screwy moves from Mattingly.

"For want of a player, the franchise was lost..."

The Dodgers could have acquired Lee, Halladay, or Oswalt. Yet the Phillies ponied -up and got them.

The Dodgers could have re-recruited Jason Werth, yet Washington opened the Federal Reserve to pay him.

McCourt didn't seriously pursue any top player in the last three years, and I believe his financial inability and/or unwillingness to show such good faith will be viewed later, as a major part of his undoing.

For Want of a Nail

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.


I have felt restrained to criticize Mattingly given the injuries that have plagued the Dodgers, but yesterdays subsitution for one of major leagues top hitters (Andre Eithier) for a guy who just came off the disabled list is beyound me. Come on Mattingly lets get a clue!

It should be a good playoff series between the Giants, Phillies, and Cardinals. Good luck to the Dodgers for hitting the celler (celler dwellers). At the moment, the Dodgers have the worst team of any sports, including the Detroit Lions who won 2 games in 3 NFL seasons. I say move the team or defunct the team.

Geez... Everybody ragging on the Dodgers hitting. They were up against CLIFF LEE. The Phllies spent something like a zillion dollars for their starting pitching. It should be no surprise when ANY team has trouble hitting against them. Even MIGHTY MATT couldn't do anything against this guy... why give Thames a bunch of sith because he couldn't.

thanks labeldude

regarding donnie
really trying to give time and benefit of doubt to donnie, not over magnify, bear in mind how little he has been given to work with ... while I still struggle to find full confidence in him, I am optimistic he'll do things that will bring me around ... but clock is ticking ... I know he ain't no hitting coach, even if he could hit, but maybe he's a leader - gosh knows he's got a vagabond crew to coddle together and bull forward ...

on the positive side, how little he has to work with gives him ample ingredients to show his mettle as a manager

now let's go beat the fightin' fillies ... rubby, rubby, rubby

Thames was by far the worst swinger on the Dodgers last night. He was missing pitches by more than a foot. The K-Zone on espn revealed a lot. The guy is apparently less disciplined than the rookies he's playing instead of!

Vindicated to read all the astonishment at Mattingly's moves. Hey alanw19, if he manages like he sucks, he sucks!

Let's compare him to a real leader, a guy who showed the Dodgers how to do it the last time around and looks like he's showing us how again, Kirk Gibson. Another Dodger leader we looked up to leading another team better than our as-usual plucked-from-elsewhere crappy manager can. You can hear the raves for Gibby from Arizona, where he's got less to work with than Donnie has! The best i've heard about Mattingly has been pity, and the worst of it in the visiting announcers' intros about the mistakes he has made, hinting optimistically "maybe he'll do one for us tonight, stay tuned!"

well once again n.a. is either selectively reading or can't read...i dunno which

repeating for those in remedial need

I still struggle to find full confidence in him

two months and two weeks in, I can find no more solid reason he is a failure than I can find solid reason Gibson is a rousing success. Neither has managed before. Their marks are adding up, but they're both very early in their careers. They've each got totally different makeup on their clubs.

Maybe he's not 14 over .500 thru 60 games in his first season like Walter Alston, but I'm willing to give him a chance. Even if he has made moves I wouldn't have, or other managers wouldn't have. I'm just as interested to see this scrap-heap collection respond to him as I am to see his strategic decisions. Both will evolve, and neither could have been galvanized on March 31.

The Dodgers just have'ta turn the page and go back out there and after them again tonight. Like they say in the lottery, "You can't win if you don't play".


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