STARTERSOur pitchers keep dropping like flies!

Just one short month ago, the Dodgers’ problem was too many starters. They trade Aaron Harang, and then in the blink of an eye (or a rush of the mound) Zach Greinke puts his shoulder into a charge by Padre Carlos Quinton — snap, bam, alla-kazam — and Greinke is in surgery and out of the rotation for months.

No problem! We activate Chad Billingsley, who had hurt his elbow last year but swore he was all better. He pitches great … one time … then he sucks and says his elbow hurts again. Now he’s had the surgery he should have had last year, and he’s out for the next 12 months.

OK, let’s pull Chris Capuano into the rotation. Good thing we have so many starters, right? Well, he pulls something in his leg while rushing into the fracas with Quinton in San Diego, and he makes it worse running to cover first in his next start. So Cappy is gone for who knows how long.

fife copyThat leaves Ted Lilly, but he hasn’t fully recovered from an injury last year, so we need to call up a minor-leaguer to fill in until Lilly is 100%. We know just the guy! Stephen Fife. He’s been good for the Dodgers in spot starts in the past. He will do the trick! And he does all right enough for the Dodgers to win the game, only the game would be his first and last of the season so far. He was put on the DL because of right-shoulder bursitis.

So where does that leave us? Ace Clayton Kershaw, new guy Hyun-Jin Ryu, iffy guy Josh Beckett and Lilly. Uh-oh. We’re a man short.

Matt Magill went 6⅔, gave up two runs on four hits and struck out seven in his Major League debut.

Matt Magill went 6⅔, gave up two runs on four hits and struck out seven in his Major League debut.

So straight from Albuquerque, here comes Simi Valley’s own Matt Magill, wearing the number 36, donned in the past (Thank you, Vin Scully) by such Dodger luminaries as Casey Stengel, Don Newcombe, Jeff Weaver and (my favorite short-timer) Greg Maddux. (Vin didn’t include Maddux, but I still have my “36” T-shirt from his brief stint with us.)

Welcome to the team, Magill! Live up to that number.

P.S. It wasn’t his fault the Dodgers lost in his first start. The bullpen blew it again.

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