First inning for Penny: 29 pitches, with a nine-pitch at bat for Dunn. Penny's curve seems to have dissolved in testosterone. He's throwing straight fastballs and not a whole lot else. We have the second-half "Me throw hard, get you out" Penny back for this inning. Sigh. The Reds' run is attributable to the weak arm in left field unable to hold the runner to a single, and an overshift leaving a glaring hole to poke a hit through. Sigh again. Gonzalez is an asset why again? I hope that Penny will recover.
First inning for the Dodgers hitters: They fit three outs exactly into one Dunn-at-bat. By which I mean that it takes exactly nine pitches to complete the inning, the same amount of pitches that Dunn saw in his first at bat. Sigh.
Second inning for Penny: Thank goodness for Furcal's rocket arm.
Second inning for the Dodgers hitters: Hey yay! A run! A few hits. Unless we can single and steal and sac fly our way around the diamond, it just doesn't happen, does it? I want less s's and more extra bases. But I'll take the runs however they come!
Third inning for Penny: Good hands and happy feet, Furcal!
Third inning for the Dodgers hitters: Furcal is making a habit out of flyball outs, isn't he? And Pierre, the guy everybody loves to rip, gets one of the best-hit singles he's had so far this year. But he also gets thrown out on a pitchout! Oh Pierre, Pierre.
Fourth inning for the Dodgers hitters: See what happens when you are a bit patient, Kent? Gonzo gets a little bloop hit to match Nomar's little bloop double, all with no outs. Two outs with the runners moving up one, LaRoche gets the IBB, and then the Dodgers get a run the only way they know how when the bases are loaded. Right now this team just doesn't hit with batters in scoring position. And that walk was to Penny! Then the Dodgers get another the only way they know how, with Furcal shanking out a little hopper and the shortstop mrrrping to all directions without having a play. The cameraman's fake and zoom gives us an indication of what it must have felt like fielding the ball down there. I grab my husband as he tries to get up from the coach to go get more pizza. He has to keep his rally butt on the coach! And THEN, Pierre loops out weakly, except he doesn't and two runs get to go home! The Dodgers tack two hits with bases loaded onto their total on the year - almost doubling it! Even more amusing, neither of those hits were clean. Eventually I have to get up to go check on food in the oven, and Kent strikes out looking. Maybe we each had a cheek of some imaginary rally butt and I broke the spell but getting up. Either way, the Dodgers and their fans shouldn't delude themselves thinking the offensive struggles is over. This inning was built on good fortune, and the baseball gods do not fork that over consistently.
Fifth inning for Penny: Furcal is good people! Ross flares out. And Hopper eventually falls to an ill-advised take on full count.
Fifth inning for the Dodgers hitters: A leadoff walkie to Gonzo! Outs for Martin and Ethier shuffles him over, which always makes me hope for a wild pitch. And I almost get it, with the ball in the dirt kicking up towards Ross' crotch. No wild pitch, no run, though.
Sixth inning for Penny: little comebacker for Penny. Then he plugs one into the dirt and bops poor Martin in the chest. Furcal makes the putout on the second out. The third out at first makes me think that it would be Penny's first HR given up this year, but then I see Ethier settle under it and I breathe out. For some reason seeing this reminds me of a baseball cartoon where somebody has to go get the center fielder because he settled under the Goodyear blimp.
Sixth inning for the Dodger hitters: Furcal leads off with a single and Vinny says "Second hit for Furcal tonight." I go: mrrrp what? before I remember about his little leg infield single in the big inning. Nomar gets on on a ball that rattled all round Gonzalez' glove, but Kent lines in to a big old DP to end the inning.
Seventh inning for Penny: Little leaves him out there to put two on for one retired before coming out to hook him. Good work, Penny. A flare to right and Ethier shows why a good arm in the outfield is a good thing to have. I first typed "oldfield" there for "outfield", but of course, that is what the Giants had last year. Tsao gives up a hard-hit last out for the inning.
Seventh inning for the Dodgers: Gonza legs out a triple after a missed dive thingy from the Reds' center fielder. He might have tried for home if he was 10 years younger! He has to chug home on Ethier's line out ( poor Ethier! ) too, so I'm guessing that Clark will be subbed for him. Seanez in the bullpen! Ack. He's not as horrid as the Hamulack-Carter mop-up-turns-stuff-up double-ick we had last year, but I still shudder at the sight of him preparing to take the mound.
Eighth inning for the bullpen: Tsao wobbles through two hitters, and Beimel comes in. He gets Griffey chasing low and away for the last out.
Eighth inning for the Dodgers: I always feel that teams should get the option of not batting in the eighth inning either, if they lead by a really lot. And then, if they need to take that eighth inning ... uhm, what then? And when do the pitcher and fielders rest? Well, that's why they don't do it!
Top of the ninth for Beimel: Pierre makes a good diving catch! Man, I hope this guy's turned the corner a little bit, 'cause we don't need a useless lump in the leadoff spot and at center field for the next five years. After a lined single, Beimel puts a good curve down to tie a knot in Dunn, but walks the next bat, and two runs come home on a somewhat sloppy play of a double. Beimel makes me make a frowny face, and then Seanez trots in. He gets the last out off a slightly nippy right field fly. Dodgers win! Slightly flattering score, but you take them any way they come. I finally get my two wins in a row I've been asking for. Yay!