Bad news for Pacific Coast League hitters: Matt Magill is back from the big leagues, just as sharp as ever and all the wiser for his experience.
Magill, who returned to Triple-A Albuquerque to make room on the Dodgers roster for Ted Lilly, gave up two hits and three walks while striking out eight over six scoreless innings Saturday night as the Isotopes edged Nashville, 3-2, at Greer Stadium.
Los Angeles' seventh-ranked prospect, used his time with the Dodgers as a learning opportunity. Back with Albuquerque, he intends to work on implementing those lessons.
"It was great being able to learn from the older guys -- how to attack hitters, mentally, how to approach the game," he said. "All the guys were great. All the starting pitchers were especially great."
Magill (1-0) did not earn a decision in any of his four big league starts. The Simi Valley, Calif., native posted a 5.50 ERA, striking out 19 but walking 13 over 18 innings.
"All of my pitches were working [tonight]," he said. "My fastball command was working much better. I still had the three walks, so I need to go back to the drawing board a little bit there. But it was better."
Magill did not surrender a hit until Khris Davis belted a one-out double in the fourth. The Brewers' No. 14 prospect had the Sounds' only other hit off the 23-year-old right-hander, a double in the sixth.
"They've got great hitters," Magill said. "I was just trying to keep them off-balance, moving inside and outside the plate, trying to keep them off the fastball. That worked. And also, I had great defense behind me."
Magill, whose 2.16 ERA would rank fourth in the Pacific Coast League if he had enough innings to quality, turned the game over to Dodgers No. 10 prospect Chris Withrow. After falling behind, 2-0, to Brewers No. 4 prospect Hunter Morris, Withrow got him to pop out. He struck out Stephen Parker and Hainley Statia, requiring 13 pitches to get through the seventh.
"He's been lights-out," Magill said of Withrow. "Being able to watch him is huge. He's got really good command and he's been huge for this team."
Davis led off the bottom of the ninth with a single off Steve Ames and Morris drilled a 3-1 pitch for his ninth homer of the season. But Ames nailed down his fifth save.
"He's always spot-on," Magill said. "It didn't work out tonight, but you know what? Tomorrow he'll come out and be spot-on again and shut the door for us then."
Alex Castellanos, the Dodgers' No. 18 prospect, homered and leadoff man Matt Angle went 2-for-4 with an RBI for Albuquerque.
During Magill's time with Los Angeles, he appreciated the chance to watch Major League ERA leader Clayton Kershaw.
"Definitely being able to watch [Kershaw] was beneficial. He's just an animal," Magill said. "Even off the field, watching how he goes about his business is something you can learn from. Every day you've got to get better somehow, and that's something he's a master of and something you can learn from watching him."
Being with the Dodgers during a tumultuous month that featured speculation about manager Don Mattingly's job security didn't put a damper on Magill's experience.
"I just soaked in every moment. The Dodgers are going to turn it around, I know that. None of that bothered me," he said. "They have a great team and they have great coaches and they have a great staff.
"It was a dream come true and hopefully, I'll have the chance to be back up there again soon, if I can help the big club."