Penny's Spectacular Start Results in 2-1 Loss

Los Angeles, California--Baseball purists were in their element Tuesday night as Chicago's Carlos Zambrano demonstrated that he is the real ace of the Cubs' staff. And over the first eight innings, Brad Penny demonstrated why the Dodgers were willing to give up so much to acquire him. But the bullpens took over and the Dodgers again lost that battle, losing a 2-1 in 10 innings. The Dodgers were held to one hit, a bloop RBI double in the third by All-Star-in-waiting Cesar Izturis.

Brad Penny Penny was nearly as spectacular as Zambrano, working his best game as a Dodger and becoming the first starter in six weeks to pitch eight innings, allowing only one run on six hits with three strikeouts and no walks. All it got him was a third consecutive no-decision -- during which he has posted a 1.61 ERA.

Trailing by a run in the bottom of the 10th, with the tying run on second and one out, catcher Mike Rose, just called from Las Vegas with five career at-bats in the big leagues, was due to bat.

Manager Tracy took his chances with the lefty-hitting Rose, who flied out, and saved Olmedo Saenz for last. Saenz grounded out to end the game, leaving the Dodgers with a second straight loss to the Cubs in front of 37,221 at Dodger Stadium.

Should Los Angeles go back to a traditional 11-man staff to give them more flexibility in just such a situation?

"Not at this stage," Dodger GM Paul DePodesta said. "I don't think our pitching staff is capable of doing that. There are a couple of guys in our starting rotation that we can't expect to get six or seven innings out of each time. Until we can, I wouldn't be comfortable in the least going with 11. You would end up asking more of (pitchers) than they're capable of giving."

Obviously the Dodgers have big problems on the offensive side of the books.

Things are so bad that Tracy had his #3 hiter J.D. Drew attempt to bunt Jayson Werth to second after a leadoff walk in the bottom of the ninth (he failed) and had slugger Hee-Seop Choi bunt Antonio Perez into scoring position in the last of the 10th (he succeeded).

After the game Penny wasn't talking about the lack of run support, rather he wants to talk about a contract extention. After 108 pitches with a fastball hitting 95 at times, an extention would seem like a good thing. The only Cubs run he allowed scored on a second-inning groundout by former Dodgers catcher Henry Blanco that scored Aramis Ramirez, although the key at-bat in the inning was a double by rookie Jason Dubois.

Eric Gagne followed Penny on the mound and nearly ended the game in the ninth, needing 24 pitches to get out of the inning after allowing a pair of hits.

Yhency Brazoban (2-1), allowed a pinch-hit single to Michael Barrett leading off the 10th, a sacrifice bunt by former Dodger Todd Hollandsworth, then Neifi Perez lined a single to left field.

Hollandsworth held up halfway between second and third to see if the ball would drop and might have had to hold up at third, except the ball glanced off left fielder Ricky Ledee's glove for an error and he scored the tie-breaking run easily.

The loss means the Dodgers finished May with an 11-17 mark, matching the worst record for the month in franchise history.

The third-place Dodgers, now just one game over .500, fell a season-worst 6 1/2 games behind San Diego in the National League West and are on the brink of a possible three-game sweep at the hands of the Cubs.

Roster Moves--The Dodgers designated right-handed pitcher Buddy Carlyle for assignment, promoted career minor league catcher Mike Rose from Triple-A Las Vegas and sent catcher Dioner Navarro back to their Pacific Coast League team. Carlyle appeared in 10 games during his two stints with the Dodgers this season, allowing 13 earned runs, 16 hits and four home runs in 14 innings. He was optioned to Triple-A following Friday night's game at Arizona to make room for left-hander Derek Thompson. Navarro, 21, was obtained by the Dodgers from Arizona in the three-way trade that sent Shawn Green to the Diamondbacks and Randy Johnson to the Yankees. He was backing up Jason Phillips while Paul Bako was on the injured list, but didn't get into a game. Rose, 28, spent almost all the previous 10 seasons in the minors. His major league experience consists of two at-bats with Oakland last October after 854 minor league games. The Dodgers signed the switch-hitter as a free agent in December. He was a fifth-round pick by Houston in June 1995.

Bradley Out--Milton Bradley latest MRI showed that the outfielder suffered a slight tear of the ligament in his right ring finger that holds the flexor tendon in place. manager Jim Tracy said the finger would be put in a brace for three days, when it is hoped Bradley will be able to swing a bat. Bradley left Sunday's game at Arizona after popping up in the top of the ninth inning, grimacing and grabbing his right hand with his left. Bradley said after that game that the finger had been sore for a few days, something he blamed on getting jammed by several pitches. Surgery has not been discussed, but if necessary, it would mean the disabled list for Bradley, which would mark another key setback for a club that already has had 11 players spend time on the shelf this season.

Dodger Blue Notes--Although he has allowed 11 runs and five homers in eight innings over two starts, left-hander Wilson Alvarez will get one more start Saturday night against Milwaukee. Lefty Odalis Perez still isn't close to returning from the disabled list, and although Tracy had alternatives in rookie D.J. Houlton and veteran Scott Erickson, he went with Alvarez knowing that a fifth starter won't be needed again until June 18. … Rookie Derek Thompson will get a second start Thursday night against the Brewers. … Elmer Dessens, disabled since April 20 with shoulder problems, threw a two-inning simulated game with no problems, and expects to begin an injury rehabilitation assignment with Las Vegas later this week.

LA Dodgers Insider Top Stories