Matt Magill, 2012 Lookouts' Ace, Impresses In MLB Debut

Stellar Start Is Spoiled By Bullpen Failure

Sunday, April 28, 2013 - by Report
Matt Magill pitching at AT&T Field in the summer of 2012.
Matt Magill pitching at AT&T Field in the summer of 2012.
- photo by Tim Evearitt

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers' bullpen squandered a quality start from Matt Magill in his Major League debut and an opportunity to beat the Brewers with a patchwork lineup late Saturday night.

Matt Guerrier served up a two-run homer in the seventh, plus another in the eighth, and the Dodgers lost to the Brewers, 6-4, on Saturday at Dodger Stadium.

The Chattanooga Lookouts staff ace in 2012, Magill, 23, started in place of Stephen Fife, who was placed on the disabled list before the game with right shoulder bursitis.

The right-hander, called up from Triple-A Albuquerque, didn't appear to be rattled under the bright lights and allowed two runs on four hits in 6 2/3 innings. The Southern League's strikeout leader last year with 168 in just 146 innings, he struck out seven against two walks and made 103 pitches.

"I was just amazed by his confidence and his composure and his ability to slow the game down," catcher A.J. Ellis said. "He was in complete control of his mannerisms and his body and he was great. He was amazing. It was a big pick-me-up for our team."

Magill, ranked No. 7 among the Dodgers' top prospects walked off the field to a standing ovation in the seventh after striking out Jean Segura to end his outing. As Magill headed to the dugout, it looked as if he would go out a winner with the Dodgers leading, 3-2.

"Walking off the field was awesome," said Magill, who grew up in nearby Simi Valley. "Everyone cheering for me, that was huge and I really appreciate all of it."

The Dodgers aren't planning on keeping Magill in the rotation for an extended period because Chris Capuano is likely to return from the disabled list as early as May 6. Nevertheless, Magill said it felt good to show the organization he can be an effective Major League starter.

"I just wanted to come and show that I could do it," Magill said. "Whatever happens here on out, I have no control."

The more immediate concern for the Dodgers is the bullpen.

Paco Rodriguez relieved Magill and allowed a bunt single to Norichika Aoki. Second baseman Skip Schumaker, starting in place of the injured Mark Ellis, grabbed the slow roller with his bare hand and fired it into the Brewers' dugout, allowing Aoki to move into scoring position.

Guerrier came on for Rodriguez, and Gomez took the right-hander deep to left on a 1-1 curveball that caught too much of the plate. Gomez was looking for that pitch too, and didn't miss it.

"I knew he was going to come with a front-door curve on the inside," said Gomez, a former teammate of Guerrier's with the Twins. "I was going to stay back, wait until the moment I could drop the head [of the bat] to the ball, and that's what I did."

It was the matchup the Dodgers wanted, though. Gomez had been 0-for-3 with two strikeouts in his career against Guerrier.

"Matt has good numbers with these guys, good numbers with Gomez and it didn't work out tonight," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly.

Guerrier returned for the eighth, and Martin Maldonado belted a hanging slider into the Dodgers' bullpen.

"That's what happens when breaking pitches hang in the zone a little bit longer than you want," A.J. Ellis said. "It's kind of the fine line you have to play when you're throwing breaking balls. When they're good and down in the zone, you get a lot of outs and swings and misses. But when they hang and they stay up, they go a long way."

The Dodgers tried to mount a comeback, but came up just short.

Andre Ethier launched a solo shot to left to lead off the eighth and cut the deficit to 6-4.

In the ninth, the Dodgers had runners on the corners and two out. A.J. Ellis hit a grounder up the middle that looked like it would reach the outfield, but Brewers shortstop Alex Gonzalez ranged to his left to snag the ball, turned and bounced a throw to first to end the game.

"Off the bat, I thought it had a chance up the middle, but that's one of the best defensive shortstops of all-time in my opinion," said Ellis, who had an RBI single in the third. "As soon as I saw him enter the picture, I knew it was going to be tough [to beat the throw]."


Dalton State Women Third At Chick-Fil-A Intercollegiate

Two of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics’ top teams were tied for the lead after the first day of the Chick-Fil-A Intercollegiate Women’s Golf Tournament at the 5866 yards, par 72 Stonebridge Golf Club. No. 4 SCAD-Savannah  (310-299=609) came away with the championship. No. 6 Dalton State (310-311=621) finished Tuesday’s final round four stokes behind ... (click for more)

UTC Golfers Finish Sixth At Palmetto Intercollegiate

The Chattanooga Mocs women’s golf team ended its fall season with a sixth-place finish at the Palmetto Intercollegiate. Today’s 305 gave the squad a 54-hole total of 895.   Maria Pineiro led the Mocs in the final round with a 75. Holly Morgan was one behind her at 76 with Monica San Juan and Cristina Perez each carding 77s.   San Juan posted her first top 10 of ... (click for more)

In Surprise Vote, Chattanooga City Council Turns Down Short Term Vacation Rentals

In a surprise vote, the City Council on Tuesday night turned down allowing a process to legalize short term vacation rentals in Chattanooga. Only Chip Henderson and Jerry Mitchell voted in favor. Opposed were Carol Berz, Yusuf Hakeem, Larry Grohn, Moses Freeman, Ken Smith and Russell Gilbert. Chris Anderson was absent. Afterward, Councilman Smith said, in light of the vote, ... (click for more)

Cold Case Unit Makes Arrest In Murders Of Brothers In Brainerd Almost 20 Years Ago; Detectives Say Brainerd Jeweler Rick Davis Tied To Incident

The Cold Case Unit set up by District Attorney Neal Pinkston has made an arrest in the murders of two brothers in Brainerd almost 20 years ago. The Hamilton County Grand Jury on Monday indicted 52-year-old Christopher Jeffre Johnson on two counts of first-degree murder in the January 1997 deaths of Sean and Donny Goetcheus. The 25-year-old Sean Goetcheus and his ... (click for more)

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Picture a sold-out baseball game at Wrigley Field or Nationals Park packed with 40,000 fans. That image represents roughly the same number of women and men who die from breast cancer each year.  In Tennessee alone, an estimated 900 women will die from the disease in 2016. It is a sad statistic, but there is some good news: thanks to early detection and improved treatments, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: What Southerners Sing

Barry Norris plays the organ at Birmingham’s East Lake United Methodist Church and two days ago the church hosted what we used to call “A Singing on the Grounds.” Today it is called a “Hymnfest” and, believe it or not, it is has to be just as fun today as it was 100 years ago when our forefathers tied their horse and wagon to a tree. It just so happens I know a little bit about ... (click for more)