For those in the audience who are historically-challenged, Pipp was the Yankees first baseman in the 1920s who told his manager he had a headache and would like the day off. "OK," Miller Huggins said. "I've been meaning to get some playing time for that kid Lou Gehrig anyway." It took 2100+ games and a fatal disease to get "that kid" out of the lineup and Pipp had to find work elsewhere.
No one expects DeWitt to put together the same sort of streak, although the Dodgers would be delighted if he hung around as long as Gehrig.
Brad Penny, who was unable to make his previous start due to arm stiffness, and was pounded for five runs on nine hits and four walks in six innings. He left with the game tied at five each.
With Andruw Jones in the dugout with a bad knee and Penny struggling again, thinks looked dicey.
However, the guys from the OK Corral bullpen rode to the rescue, working three scoreless innings, allowing zero runs and one hit.
Matt Kemp pumped his average up to .320 after a 4-for-4 evening during which he failed to score a run although he did knock in one. DeWitt had a pair of hits along with Juan Pierre, Andre Ethier and James Loney.
"With the bases loaded, you're just looking to have a good at-bat, stay out of the double play make something happen," DeWitt said. "You know the pitcher's got to come to you because he's not going to walk you. So if you're patient, you're going to get a good pitch to hit. I figured he'd throw a two-seamer away, just because they needed a double play."
Russell Martin got the ninth inning off to a good start by beating out an infield hit to the second baseman. And when he threw the ball over the first baseman's head, Martin ended up on second.
Jeff Kent bounced out, moving Martin to third with the winning run, and both James Loney and Matt Kemp were walked intentionally to load the bases and set up a double play. Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker found that didn't work so well when DeWitt stroked an opposite-field hit to left to drive in Martin.
After Penny, Joe Beimel and Jonathan Broxton held the Reds an inning each and Takashi Saito (2-1) earned a rare win with a perfect ninth as the Dodgers came back from a four-run deficit -- the largest they have overcome this young season.
Penny was hit early and often, allowing single runs in the first and second innings and a three-spot in the third when Adam Dunn tied a club record by homering in his fifth straight game.
Dunn's home run streak is the longest of his eight-year career. It ties him with some pretty big names in Cincinnati history: Ted Kluszewski (1954), Johnny Bench (1972). The 6-foot-6 left fielder is three behind the major league record shared by Dale Long, Don Mattingly and teammate Ken Griffey, Jr. (2003), whose homer streak came with Seattle.
Griffey, who began this seven-game road trip needing three home runs to become the sixth player with 600, has gone 83 at-bats since his previous homer on April 23 against Houston. The Dodgers are pulling for him to his #600 -- but in the Reds' next series against San Diego.
But this night belonged to the kid who Torre called, "a godsend."
"He has the ability to use the whole field, and that's his biggest advantage. I thought his first swing, where he missed, was forced. But the rest of his at-bat was very poised, which is very uncharacteristic for someone with his limited experience."
DeWitt said he was just the right batter in the right place that Baker elected to pitch to. "You can't blame them for going around Loney or Kemp," he said. "Who are you going to pitch to?"
"You have to visualize yourself in those situations and be confident and stay with what you do," DeWitt said, sounding many years older than the 22 listed on the roster.
The Dodgers improved to 23-21, five games behind the idle Arizona Diamondbacks.
The two clubs will meet again tonight with Chad Billingsley getting the call for the Dodgers.
Billingsley was solid in his last start, at Milwaukee, but has been inconsistent. He gave up one run and three hits in seven innings against the Brewers and will be making his third career appearance against the Reds. He is winless (0-1) against them despite a 1.42 ERA over 6.1 innings. He gave one run and six hits in five innings against the Reds on Aug. 8, 2007, at Dodger Stadium. Billingsley leads the Dodgers staff with 53 strikeouts in 45.2 innings.
RHP Matt Belisle (1-3, 7.45 ERA), a converted reliever, will be making his second start of the season and his seventh career appearance against the Dodgers. On April 21 in Cincinnati, the Dodgers pounded Belisle for seven runs (five earned) and 12 hits over four-plus innings. Lifetime, Belisle is 0-1 with a 12.54 ERA against the Dodgers and a 23.14 ERA at Dodger Stadium.
Score by innings Cincinnati 112 010 000-5 Los Angeles 002 030 001-6 Los Angeles ab r h bi ave Pierre lf 4 1 2 0 .286 Ethier rf 5 2 2 0 .291 Martin c 5 1 1 0 .320 Kent 2b 4 1 1 0 .241 Loney 1b 4 1 2 1 .287 Kemp cf 4 0 4 1 .320 DeWitt 3b 5 0 2 2 .322 Hu ss 3 0 0 0 .172 Penny p 2 0 0 0 .222 Young ph 1 0 0 0 .280 Beimel p 0 0 0 0 .000 Broxton p 0 0 0 0 .000 Sweeney ph 1 0 0 0 .118 Saito p 0 0 0 0 .000 Totals 38 6 14 4 Cincinnati 32 5 10 5 2b hits- Ethier (9). RBI- Loney (28), Kemp (27), DeWitt (223). SB- Pierre (17). LOB- Los angeles 12, Cincinnati 8. Los Angeles in h r-er bb so era Penny 6.0 9 5-5 4 2 5.34 Beimel 1.0 1 0-0 0 0 0.61 Broxton 1.0 0 0-0 1 2 5.00 Saito (2-1) 1.0 0 0-0 0 1 1.96 HBP- by Beimel. T- 3:15. Att- 34,699.Jones Out With Bad Knee An MRI exam performed Monday showed that Dodgers center fielder Andruw Jones has "some fluid and a soft tear in his cartilage," Torre said and that Jones will probably not play for the remainder of the Reds series and that he will be re-evaluated Friday.
"We'll see where he is at on Friday and go from there," Torre said. But normally when a club talks about possible surgery, that's what happens.
Matt Kemp started in center field, Juan Pierre was in left field and Andre Ethier started in right field. Kemp went 4-for-4 and had two outfield assists to take over the Major League lead with seven.
Jones' injury comes just as it seemed he could be turning the corner at the plate. Ever the optimist, Torre said he thought he saw some positive signs in Milwaukee on the last road trip, although Jones was only 3-for-20.
"The last two days he's gotten away from where he was headed. In Milwaukee, I thought I saw some really good signs. He had a home run, a couple of line drives up the middle and he put the ball in play. The knee was part of the problem. It got him out of his game and led to some strikeouts."
The struggling center fielder has a .167 batting average in 42 games, with two home runs and 17 RBIs in 132 at-bats in the first season of a two-year, $36 million contract.
New Kid on the Block?
Tony Jackson of the Los Angeles Daily News reported that some guy wandered in off the street and somehow found his way into Dodger Stadium while the team was on the road. So got down to the clubhouse area, and puts on a full bat boy's uniform, jersey, pants, socks, the whole deal. Then he goes onto the field and starts running sprints. Security approaches him and he tells them that he is a player the Dodgers have just called up from the minors. While security is trying to confirm a story they're pretty sure isn't true, the guy takes off running, right out the centerfield gate. He was quickly caught and arrested.
Dodger Blue Notes
Torre said Nomar Garciaparra will have additional tests performed this week on the sore left calf that has sidelined him since April 26. "He still feels it," Torre said. "It's not unbearably painful, but it's still there and hasn't gone away for him, so it's frustrating. ...Shortstop Rafael Furcal can come off the disabled list on Wednesday. "I guess there is a chance he can be activated Wednesday," Torre said. "A lot of it depends on what we see in the next few days. My guess would be Friday. ...The Chinese national team took batting practice at Dodger Stadium this afternoon, under the watchful eye of its manager, former Dodgers infielder Jim Lefebvre. ...Catcher Gary Bennett admitted that he has talked to sports psychologists about his throwing problem and that it seems to be getting better as a result. He had difficulty throwing the ball back to the mound, something he says he began experiencing last year. ...Chin-lung Hu played short and and batted eighth after Luis Maza had been penciled in at short but Torre changed his mind.