Brown Makes Pitch to Start on Opening Day
The chances of Kevin Brown pitching opening day improved dramatically Saturday when the Dodger right-hander threw 70 pitches in a 7-3 exhibition victory over Florida, giving up one run and four hits and striking out five in 32/3 innings.
Brown made a 26-pitch jump from his last start, when he threw 44 pitches against Houston on Tuesday, and he’ll have one more start Thursday to get his pitch count to 90 or so. That will probably be enough to convince the Dodgers he’ll be ready to start against San Francisco on April 2.
Brown’s fastball was clocked between 92-95 mph Saturday, but what impressed catcher Paul Lo Duca the most was the life on his fastball and his curveball.
“He was nasty today--his ball was moving all over the place like a Wiffle ball,” Lo Duca said. “And that was the best curve I’ve seen him throw in a while. He felt great and wanted to keep going, and that’s a good sign.”
Lo Duca’s best friend on the team was reliever Matt Herges, but Lo Duca did not find out Herges had been traded until after the Dodgers’ game. Herges did not travel with the team to Viera.
“No comment,” Lo Duca said, when asked about the deal. “I don’t want to say anything right now.”
Guillermo Mota, the reliever acquired from Montreal, is from the Dominican Republic, but unlike many players from that country, he was not found to have a false birth certificate. Mota did have visa problems last winter, though.
Mota, 29, tried to pass off a nephew as a son on his visa application, so he could get his nephew into the country. But he was caught, and Mota missed five weeks of spring training in 2001.
Reserve outfield candidate Mike Kinkade had three hits, two runs and a run batted in Saturday.