The first fastball hit 97 mph, the second 99 mph, the fourth 101 mph.
It’s a little too soon to say Jose Dominguez can do for the Dodgers this year what Francisco Rodriguez did for the Angels 11 years ago, but putting a kid fireballer in your bullpen never hurts.
Dominguez electrified the Dodger Stadium crowd in his major league debut Sunday, pitching a perfect eighth inning. He threw 10 fastballs, all but the first hitting at least 99 mph, and a nice selection of off-speed pitches. He received a standing ovation, rarely accorded to a setup man.
“It felt great, really great,” Dominguez said.
Dominguez, 22, was clocked as fast as 103 mph at triple-A Albuquerque this season. The Dodgers left him unprotected in the Rule 5 draft last winter, so any team could have claimed him.
He said he was not nervous before his major league debut.
“It’s the same game, here, everywhere,” he said.
Dominguez was followed to the mound by fellow rookie Chris Withrow, who was clocked as fast as 99 mph. On Saturday, the Dodgers called up Dominguez and demoted veteran reliever Peter Moylan. On Sunday, the Dodgers called up Withrow and designated veteran reliever Matt Guerrier for assignment.
Guerrier, 34, in the final year of a three-year, $12-million contract, had a 4.80 earned-run average. Mattingly said the time had come to replace relatively unproductive older relievers with young, power arms.
“I’ve got to have some guys that can make a mistake and still miss a bat,” Mattingly said.
The numbness and tingling would come and go, usually in a day or two. For Josh Beckett, this went on for years, an uncomfortable side effect of pitching for a living. This time, the condition persisted for six weeks.
“I’d throw a bullpen, and I couldn’t feel my hand,” he said.
Beckett is set to undergo season-ending surgery next week, in which a rib is expected to be removed to relieve pressure on a compressed nerve. He has not pitched since May 13.
Beckett, 33, is 0-5 with a 5.19 earned-run average. The Dodgers acquired him from the Boston Red Sox last August. They are paying him $15.75 million this season and again next season, the last one in his contract.
“The most frustrating thing is just the time. I’ve never missed this much time,” Beckett said. “I’ve kind of just been a body around here.”
Beckett has been on the disabled list 15 times in his career. but he said he never has had surgery, despite pitching more than 1,900 innings.
“Hopefully, we can get another 1,900 innings in,” he said jokingly. “Then the next one won’t matter.”
Miami Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco remains a top target of the Dodgers, so much so that team officials asked former teammate Hanley Ramirez for his opinion. Ramirez endorsed a trade for Nolasco. Said Ramirez: “He’s a good pitcher. He’s a gamer. That’s what you want. The guy comes to the field every day and competes.” … The Dodgers have no plans to promote pitcher Jonathan Sanchez, who can opt out of his minor league contract Monday. … Ted Lilly is scheduled for an examination Monday, after he was hit on the leg by a line drive and knocked out of a minor league rehabilitation start Sunday. Lilly pitched three innings and gave up four runs, five hits, two walks and a hit batter.