Schmidt Lights up Angels, Not Speedgun

Jason Schmidt was questioned most of the spring about the fact he was not hitting 90 on the speedgun. He was less than concerned about the problem then and is certainly not now after smothering the Angels for four innings in a 13-4 Dodger win at Dodger Stadium before 46,000+ fans.

Schmidt signed a three-year, $47-million contract in December and it was presumed he would be a big part of an overhauled rotation, a rotation that some called the best in the National League. He did little to dispel that assumption Friday night, allowing five hits and a single earned run over four solid innings Friday night, although he needed 72 pitches. Schmidt walked one and struck out two. "It's kind of like all the other years," Schmidt told the Los Angeles Daily News. "You get locked in in that last start of the spring. I feel pretty happy with it. I'm pretty much right where I've been in the last couple years."

The Dodger Stadium radar gun clocked his fastball consistently at 84-86 mph, with a high of 89 mph. The scoreboard operator couldn't determine the difference between his fastball and change after each of them were clocked at 83.

The Dodgers smashed a 10-game winless streak against the Angeles in the series, winning their first game since 2003 with a barrage of 18 hits, including home runs by Wilson Betemit, Russell Martin and Matt Kemp. Olmedo Saenz had a pair of doubles and drove in three. Juan Pierre and Nomar Garciaparra each had three hits and one RBI.

In five spring starts, Schmidt went 1-1, had a 5.06 ERA and his speed had writers wondering if something was wrong.

But the non-problem never concerned manager Grady Little. "Everyone knows what he can do. I liked him then and I like him now. He hasn't had the best of springs, I'm sure he's had better. But we know what he can do in the long season."

Catcher Russell Martin said, "They say he's always like that. He starts slow and picks up velocity throughout the year. He had the best stuff he's had all spring. He was locating his pitches well and changing speeds well."

The Dodgers made his life easier with a five-run first and put the game out of reach in the third with four more.

Juan Pierre showed the big crowd how his game works, beating out a bunt and stealing second to open the game. Nomar Garciaparra and Jeff Kent followed with singles and with one out Olmedo Saenz long double to center made it 3-0. Wilson Betemit's first homer of the spring made it 5-0.

The Dodgers KO'ed Santana in the third when Luis Gonzalez led off with a double down the right-field line and Saenz his second double to center. Betemit singled and after Andre Ethier was hit by a pitch, Pierre's single -- his third hit of the game -- and Martin's sac fly and Garciaparra's RBI single made it 9-1.

Outfielder Matt Kemp, seemingly destined for Las Vegas, continued his late season renaissance with a three run homer in the sixth inning that ended the scoring for each team.

Mark Hendrickson, a reluctant member of the bullpen, allowed one earned run in his two innings of work and Rudy Seanez continued his quest for a spot on the staff with a scoreless inning as did Jonathan Broxton and Takashi Saito.

The Dodgers and Brad Penny meet the Angels in the third and final game of the series tonight at Angel Stadium and the two teams start playing games that really count on Monday, with the Dodgers opening the season in Milwaukee.
 Score by innings
Angels	001 102 000- 4
Dodgers	504 013 00x-13	

 Dodgers	        ab r  h bi ave
Juan Pierre cf	        3  1  3  1  .393  
 Andy LaRoche 3b	3  0  0  0  .179	
Russell Martin c	3  1  1  2  .245
 Kelly Stinnett c	1  0  0  0  .161	
 James Loney 1b	        2  0  1  0  .409
Nomar Garciaparra 1b 	3  1  3  1  .319	
Jeff Kent 2b	        2  1  1  1  .263
 Tony Abreu 2b	        2  0  0  0  .340
Luis Gonzalez lf        3  1  1  0  .300
 Brady Clark lf	        1  1  1  0  .500
 Larry Barnes 1b-lf	0  0  0  0  .267 	
Olmedo Saenz dh	        2  2  2  3  .356
 Marlon Anderson dh	2  1  1  0  .231
 Blake DeWitt dh	1  0  0  0  .000
Wilson Betemit 3b 	3  2  2  2  .241
 Matt Kemp rf	        2  1  1  3  .246
Andre Ethier rf 	2  1  0  0  .302
 Ivan DeJesus ss	2  0  1  0  .313
Wilson Valdez ss-cf	3  0  0  0  .333
 Adam Godwin cf	        1  0  0  0  .333			
   Totals 	        40  13  18  13	
   Angels	        35   4   8   3

 Error- Betemit (3). 2B -Loney (6), Gonzalez (3), 
Saenz 2 (6). HR- Betemit (1), Martin (1). 
Kemp (4). RBI- Kent (6), Saenz 3 (6), Betemit 2 
(5), Pierre (8), Martin 2 (5), Garciaparra (10), 
Kemp 3 (9). SF- Martin. SB- Pierre (5). 
LOB- Dodgers 7, Angels 7. 

 Dodgers	         in  h  r-er bb so era
Jason Schmidt (2-1)	4.0  5  2-1  1  2  4.50
Mark Hendrickson	2.0  3  2-1  1  0  5.49
Rudy Seanez	        1.0  0  0-0  1  2  1.93
Jon Broxton	        1.0  0  0-0  0  2  8.31
Takashi Saito	        1.0  0  0-0  0  2  1.04
 PB_ Stinnett. HBP- Ethier. WP- Schmidt.
Time- 3:06. Att- 46,368.
Player Moves-- Texas placed closer Eric Gagné on the 15-day disabled list and St. Louis placed LHP Tom Martin on the DL. A number of former Dodgers were optioned to the minor leagues by their current major league clubs. They included: C Sandy Alomar, Jr., and RHPs Chan Ho Park and Lino Urdanetta (Mets), RHP Paul Shuey (Orioles), LHP Kelly Wunsch (Astros), OF Karim Garcia (Phillies), RHP Gary Majewski (Reds), RHP Francisco Cruceta (Texas) and INF Jolbert Cabrera (St. Louis).

Dodger Blue Notes-- With one game to go in the exhibition season, the Dodgers are 17-15-1. …Catcher Mike Lieberthal survived what he described as one of the four or five hardest collisions in his career with little more than a headache. …Vin Scully, who is in his 58th season in the Dodger broadcast booth, is delighted spring training is over. "To me, Spring Training has always been an endless rehearsal," the announcer, who joined the Dodgers in 1950 as part of a team that included the legendary Red Barber, told "I'm going to quote [longtime Washington Post baseball columnist] Thomas Boswell, who wrote a book called 'Why Time Begins on Opening Day,'" Scully said. "I know I'll get goose bumps when the crowd roars. I'll get goose bumps, and I'll know it's begun." …The Garciaparras named their twin daughters Grace and Ava.