Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Dodgers Report [Print without images]

Saturday, April 27, 2013
Pitcher Matt Magill pushes into foreground

By Mark Saxon

LOS ANGELES -- It's fair to say the Los Angeles Dodgers' owners didn't approve $210 million in upgrades to their team's pitching -- luring frontline starters Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu and stacking up depth from here to Albuquerque -- hoping to have the sixth-best rotation in the National League.

Matt Magill
The Dodgers got a major lift from Matt Magill, who filled in for the injury-plagued pitching lineup Saturday and tossed into the seventh inning in his first major league start.

But as April winds down, that's what they've produced so far. Dodgers starting pitchers have a 3.58 ERA -- not bad, but trending toward blah.

The semi-disappointing results, particularly of late, have been partially due to attrition. The Dodgers have used nine starting pitchers in 23 games.

The results are otherwise due to some forgettable pitching by some memorable names.

Until Saturday night, the Dodgers have had just one starter work into the seventh inning in the previous 13 days. They haven't had a starter win a game since Ryu on April 14.

All of which is why Matt Magill's better-than-solid major league debut Saturday night is more important than the backdrop -- a game blown by reliever Matt Guerrier. The Dodgers desperately need starting pitching depth right now and Magill's 103-pitch, seven-strikeout, four-hit performance in a 6-4 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers instantly adds some.

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

Magill, a 23-year-old from Simi Valley, Calif., could return to join his teammates at Triple-A Albuquerque as soon as Sunday. Or, he could be stashed for a while in the Dodgers' bullpen. The team won't necessarily need him to pitch again for a while, considering Chris Capuano should be back within the next week.

But he looks like a guy who can handle a big situation at a young age. When the game started speeding up on him in the first inning -- with the Brewers putting a couple of runners on base with two outs and Rickie Weeks at the plate on a 2-and-0 count -- catcher A.J. Ellis jogged out to the mound for a little consultation.

Magill got Weeks to ground out to shortstop and, aside from a third-inning traffic jam, he didn't have much trouble with an above-average lineup the rest of the night.

"I told myself, 'Hey, I've done this before,' pretend like I'm in Little League and just play," Magill said.