Sunday, March 11, 2012 – 12:05 p.m., Camelback Ranch - Glendale
LHP Ted Lilly vs. RHP Matt Garza
Spring Game 8/Home Game 3
Todays Starting Lineup:
Dodgers: Gwynn DH, MEllis 2B, Loney 1B, Sands LF, Uribe 3B, Oeltjen RF, Federowicz C, Selelrs SS, Angle CF, Lilly LHPUpcoming Spring Training Schedule:
Cubs: DeJesus RF, Baker 2B, Castro SS, DeWitt 3B, Byrd CF, Johnson LF, W. Castillo C, Rizzo 1B, Garza P
SPRING FORWARD!: After a win and a tie yesterday, the Dodgers take on the Cubs this afternoon in their first of two spring meetings with the rematch taking place on March 30 in Mesa. With three wins and a tie in its last four games, Los Angeles has the Cactus League’s best record with a 4-1-2 mark through seven contests. The Dodgers also have the best record among National League clubs and trail only Detroit (6-1, .857) for the Majors’ best mark so far in the spring season.
GETTING OFFENSIVE: Los Angeles ranks fourth among National League teams with a .290 team batting average and is scoring an average of 6.29 runs per contest (44 runs) through its first seven games. The Dodgers lead NL clubs with a .380 team on-base percentage and have also hit for power, slugging 10 homers and posting a .498 team slugging percentage.
(Kemp injured, Tommy ran him over, via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2012)
DOUBLEHEADER: Los Angeles played a pair of Cactus League contests yesterday, tying the Mariners 5-5 in Peoria in an afternoon tilt and defeating the White Sox 10-6 last night at Camelback Ranch. The first game was highlighted by 3.0 scoreless innings by Nathan Eovaldi and a clutch two-out, two-run single by Josh Fields in the eighth inning to tie the game at five runs apiece. Fields had two hits in the contest and is batting .636 (7-for-11) with two doubles, a triple and two RBI in five games this spring. Cory Sullivan’s ninth-inning grand slam was the difference in the nightcap as Los Angeles won the back-and-forth marathon over the White Sox. Juan Rivera and Jerry Hairston Jr. also homered in the victory.
HEY, I KNOW YOU: Ted Lilly takes the mound today for his second Cactus League start and faces Chicago, where he pitched from 2007-2010 before being acquired by the Dodgers at the trade deadline. The 36-year-old finished the 2011 campaign on a roll, posting the Majors’ lowest opponents’ batting average (.169) over the final two months of the season and a 2.09 ERA (16 ER/69.0 IP) in his last 11 starts. The left-hander is one of only three National League pitchers to have won 10 or more games in each of the past five seasons, joining teammate Chad Billingsley and Cole Hamels, and his 66 wins since the start of the 2007 season are tied for the second most on the circuit behind only Tim Lincecum (69).
FIREMEN: Lilly will be followed to the mound this afternoon by the veteran lineup of RHP Matt Guerrier, RHP Mike MacDougal, RHP Todd Coffey and LHP John Grabow, who spent three seasons with the Cubs from 2009-11. Guerrier and Coffey have been two of the game’s best at inducing groundballs since 2005, with Guerrier ranking third among Major League relievers (732) and Coffey ranking fifth (683) in that span. Chad Qualls leads big league relievers with 891 ground balls induced in the past seven seasons with Shawn Camp (765, 2nd) and Mariano Rivera (692, 4th) rounding out the top five.
(Uribe grounds to left side to get run home for 2-0 Dodgers lead, via twitter @gbakermariners)
HAPPY HAPPY: The Dodgers would like to wish a very happy 24th birthday to catcher Gorman “Griff” Erickson! Erickson, who is in his first big league camp as a non-roster invitee, was the starting catcher for the 2011 California League All-Stars and batted a combined .293 last season with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga and Double-A Chattanooga, setting career highs in home runs (13) and RBI (66) in 104 games. He was originally selected in the 15th round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft out of San Diego’s Westview High School.
GOING TO BE A CLASSIC: The 3rd annual Dodgertown Classic is just two days away and will take place on Tuesday, March 13 at Dodger Stadium with UC Irvine taking on Pepperdine at 2:00 p.m. and USC battling their crosstown rival UCLA at 6:30 p.m. There will be discounted concessions and free parking with an all-day ticket costing only $7 in advance and $12 on gameday.