Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

So Close to a Real Confidence Boosting Win...Kudos to Ted Lilly

I had this post already prepared, after Hairston’s amazing catch recording the 2nd out in the bottom of the ninth, I was within seconds of submitting an article to the blog.  It was about the amazing resurgence of Ted Lilly and his ability to reach down and out-duel the Mets ace.  I started it in the 7th inning and I continued it into the bottom of the 9th.  It went like this:

“Who would have figured that Ted Lilly would hold his own against the Mets ace phenom Matt Harvey?  Baseball is that way though, you never know how things will turn out.

(AP Photo by Kathy Willens)

There have been a lot of running jokes about Ted Lilly by Dodger fans over the last few years.  One is that he’s on the D.L. due to a neck ailment caused by the quick turn he makes after releasing pitches to watch homers being pounded into the outfield seats.  The other is the Lilly construction worker hardhat that some LF Pavilion faithful wear when he takes the mound.

It is accurate to say that Lilly was having difficulties retiring Lake Elsinore Storm hitters as little as a week ago.  Yet today he gave the big club a quality five innings  and earned his first win in 10 months.”

Oops, scratch that. Ted Liily gives up the game tying hit to David Wright.  Edit...edit...

“...he was within an out of earning his first win in 10 months.  Unfortunately, the bullpen let him down.  It was a gritty performance by Lilly, who mixed his assortment of off speed pitches, breaking stuff and fastballs (ranging between 83 and 89 MPH) to constantly keep the Met bats off balanced.

Working himself into trouble in the bottom of the 5th, Lilly yielded a run and three straight hits.  Deep inside I was wondering to myself why Mattingly wasn’t bringing the hook with him.  It was probably because nobody was warmed up yet as the rally developed so quickly.  But Ted gutted it out.  Facing the heart of the Mets order, he retired the 2, 3, and 4  hitters consecutively to put a stall into the Mets mini-drive.  That was it, Lilly was done for the night.  86 pitches thrown, 5 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB and 7 SO.

When the Dodgers broke out the bats in the top of the 6th, Matt Kemp delivered an opposite Field home run, his first of the year and Lilly departed the game with a 3-1 lead.

Five innings of 6 hit, 1 run ball was more than the Dodgers could ask from Lilly in his first start of the season.”

What a shame that the bullpen faltered again.    I have to wonder why League put anything near the plate to clutch hitting David Wright when he had two bases open and being within an out of recording a save.  A win tonight would have been a real confidence booster.  Oh, well.  Just one of 162.  Go get ‘em tomorrow.

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