Monthly Archives: April 2017

Dodgers 4-Run Rally in 9th Beats Philly

April 29, 2017

The Dodgers went wild in the 9th inning against the Phillies on Saturday night at Chavez Ravine.  LA hit back-to-back-to-back homers in a 4-run comeback to defeat Philadelphia 6-5 in walk-off fashion.

The Dodgers trailed 5-2 heading into the bottom of the 9th inning.  Yasiel Puig led off with a solo blast to left center field.  The next batter was Cody Bellinger, who crushed his 2nd homer of the game, this one off the right field foul pole, and suddenly it was 5-4.

That’s when skipper Dave Roberts sent Justin Turner to the plate as a pinch-hitter.  Two pitches later, Turner went deep to left field, tying the game at 5-5.  The homer also extended the Dodger 3rd baseman’s hit streak to 15 consecutive games.

“You always want to get the tying run to the plate, so that’s why I put Turner in and he responded,” Roberts said.

There was still nobody out in the inning after that.  After Chris Taylor struck out, Austin Barnes singled to center.  That promted the Nationals to replace Joely Rodriguez with reliever Hector Neris.  Neris got Andrew Toles to fly out to left, but Corey Seager singled to left after that, so the Dodgers had runners at 1st and 2nd with 2 outs.

Adrian Gonzales then came to the plate and drilled a ball that bounced off of 3rd baseman Maikel Franco’s glove, and rolled into left field.  That scored Barnes with the winning run from 2nd base.

“It had that topspin on the second hop and that makes it really tough for infielders,” Gonzales said.

The improbable victory moved the Dodgers one game over .500 at 13-12.  It was also the first time the Dodgers hit 3 straight home runs since August 18, 2012.

Grant Dayton (1-0) pitched a scoreless 9th inning for the win.  Brandon McCarthy got the start for LA.   He went 5 innings, giving up 4 runs on 8 hits, while striking out 3 an walking 1.  He threw 86 pitches, but did not factor in the decision thanks to the 9th inning rally.

Neris (0-1) took the loss.  Zach Eflin started for Philly and pitched well.  He went 7 innings, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits, and striking out 4.

The Dodgers will go for the sweep on Sunday afternoon at the Ravine.  Hyun-Jin Ryu (0-4; 4.64 ERA) will be on the mound for LA, while the Phillies will start rookie Nick Pivetta, making his major-league debut.

Rangers Snap Angel Win Streak

April 29, 2017

Carlos Gomez hit a 2-run homer in the 7th inning to complete his 2nd career cycle, and the Rangers defeated the Angels 6-3 on Saturday afternoon in Arlington.

Yu Darvish (3-2) picked up the win after pitching 6 strong innings and giving up just 2 runs on 3 hits, while striking out 10 Angels.  Darvish threw 125 pitches before departing.

Jesse Chavez (2-4) took the loss for the Halos.  He last 6 innings, giving up 4 runs on 8 hits, while striking out 3 and walking 2.

The Angels struck first in this one after an RBI double from Mike Trout, and a sacrifice fly from Albert Pujols, which gave them a 2-0 lead in the 4th inning.

However, the Rangers got 4 runs in the 5th inning to take control of the game.  Nomar Mazara delivered an RBI single, Gomez had an RBI triple, and Rougned Odor connected on a 2-run homer.

Gomez home run in the 7th made it 6-2 and capped the scoring for Texas.  The Angels only other run came on a sac fly from Cliff Pennington in the 9th inning.

The Angels had their 5-game win streak snapped with the loss.  Mike Trout went 2-4 in the defeat and extended his hitting streak to 13 games.

“The wind was crazy,” Trout said.  “I couldn’t even tell you what direction it was blowing.”

The rubber game of the 3-game set will be on Sunday afternoon in Arlington.  JC Ramirez (0-2; 4.16 ERA) will get the call for the Halos, while the Rangers will counter with Martin Perez (1-3; 3.60 ERA).

Oilers Shock The Ducks Again In Game 2

April 28, 2017

Cam Talbot made 39 saves and Patrick Marron scored power play goal in the 2nd period, and the Oilers defeated the Ducks 2-1 in game 2 of their best-of-7 series.  Edmonton now has a 2-0 series lead after shocking the Ducks by winning the first two games of the series in Anaheim.

Jakob Silfverberg scored on the power play at the 15:34 mark of the 2nd period, but that was the only offense for the Ducks all night.

Andrej Sekera scored 65 seconds into the game for Edmonton after beating John Gibson with a long shot from the left wing boards.

Gibson stopped 21 shots for the Ducks, who had gone 18 games without a regulation defeat before this series.  Anaheim has never recovered from an 0-2 series deficit, losing all seven series in franchise history after digging that early hole.

Talbot feels like the Oilers have definitely grown a lot in the last two games.  “We started the game the way we wanted to start it, ” he said.   “Down the stretch, we bent but we didn’t break, and that’s the sign of a good team.”

Silfverberg didn’t seem too worried about the 0-2 hole the Ducks are in.  “We’ve just got to keep doing what we’re doing.   We’re doing a lot of good stuff out there, and it’s the last piece that’s missing, and it’s correctable.”

The Ducks played without two of their top defenseman again.  Sami Vatanen missed his 5th straight game with an upper-body injury, as did Kevin Bieska, who suffered the injury in game 1.

Game 3 will be Sunday afternoon in Edmonton, with the Ducks trying to avoid going to down to a practically insurmountable 0-3 deficit.

Clippers Force Game 7

April 28, 2017

The Clippers forced a 7th and decisive game with the Jazz by defeating Utah on Friday night 98-93 in Salt Lake City.

Chris Paul led the way with 29 points and 8 assists, and held off a late Utah rally to force the 7th and deciding game of the best-of-7 series on Sunday afternoon at Staples Center.  The winner will play the Golden State Warriors in the 2nd round.

Doc Rivers said game 6 was all about CP3.  “It’s just Chris,” Rivers said. “He is as competitive as a human being as I’ve ever been around. When you put that with the talent and the will, that’s why he has performances like this in big games.

The Clippers began to pull away late in the 4th quarter, and went on a 9-2 run which was capped by an Austin Rivers 3-pointer with 3:58 remaining.  That gave the Clippers a 91-77 lead.

After another Rivers 3-pointer, the Clippers opened up a 96-86 lead with 90 seconds left to play, but the Jazz weren’t done fighting.  Gordon Hayward would score seven straight points to pull Utah within 96-93.  The Jazz had a chance to tie it in the final seconds, but Joe Johnson’s 3-pointer missed.  Paul made two free throws to put the game away.

Hayward led the Jazz with 31 points, George Hill added 22 and Rudy Gobert finished with 15 points and nine rebounds, but it wasn’t enough.

“We had to dig down on defense,” DeAndre Jordan said. “We had some big stops on defense. And then guys like Austin, CP, Jamal, they made big shots. But they made big shots because of our defense.”

Now the Clippers will have an overwhelming advantage in game 7 at Staples Center.  80% of home teams in NBA history have won game 7.  The Clips are 3-3 all-time in game 7’s.



Maeda Sharp In Dodgers Win Over Phillies

April 28, 2017

Kenta Maeda put together his best start in a while for the Dodgers, pitching 7 strong innings on Friday night, as the Dodgers beat the Phillies at the Ravine.

Maeda (2-2) had not gone past the 6th inning in any of this previous four starts this season.  However, he struck out a season-high eight and limited Philadelphia to five hits, a walk and two runs as Los Angeles snapped the Phillies’ six-game winning streak.

“It was a great day for me,” Maeda said through a translator. “I’ve had a string of bad outings and I felt the pressure going into the game. I knew I had to pitch well or something could happen. We have a lot of great pitchers.”

The only two runs of the game Maeda allowed came on a 3rd inning 2-run double from Freddy Galvez.  That extended his hit streak to 10 straight games.  The Dodgers tied the game at 2-2 after a wild pitch that scored Andrew Toles in the 3rd inning, followed by a Kike Hernandez RBI double in the 4th.

A Yasmani Grandal sacrifice fly in the 5th, and then a Justin Turner RBI double in the 6th extended the lead to 5-2.  Turner extended his career-long hitting streak to 14 games — the longest active hitting streak in the majors — with a first-inning single.  He had 3 hits on the night.

Jerad Eickhoff (0-2) took the loss, and gave up nine hits and five runs.  The Phillies managed to get a run on a sacrifice fly in the 8th inning off the Dodgers bullpen but they wouldn’t get any closer.

Kenley Jansen struck out the side in the 9th inning for his 6th save of the season.

The Dodgers learned after the game that they might be getting 3 injures players back next week: 2nd baseman Logan Forsythe, center fielder Joc Pederson, and left fielder Franklin Gutierrez.  Outfielder Andre Ethier won’t be back until June at the earliest.

The Dodgers and Phillies will be back at it tomorrow night at the Ravine.  Brandon McCarthy (3-0; 2.25 ERA) will get the start for LA, and the Phillies will send Zach Eflin (0-0; 1.50 ERA) to the hill.

Angels Make it 5 Straight

April 28, 2017

Yunel Escobar, Mike Trout, and Albert Pujols hit home runs, and Tyler Skaggs pitched strong 5 innings as the Angels defeated the Rangers 6-3 in Arlington on Friday night.  It was the Halo’s 5th straight victory, and moved them 1 game over .500 on the season.

Escobar went deep on the first pitch of the game to give the Angels a quick 1-0 lead.  The Rangers tied the game in their half of the 1st on a sac fly from Carlos Gomez.

It stayed that way until the 6th inning, when Trout went deep with Kole Calhoun aboard, and the Angels had a 3-1 lead.  However, an RBI double from Elvis Andrus and a Mike Napoli run-scoring single tied the game again 3-3.

In the 8th, the Rangers would not allow Trout to beat them again, intentionally walking the Angels slugger.  That put two on for Pujols, who made the Rangers pay with a 3-run shot.

“We weren’t giving into Trout at all,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. “Look, there was a situation there, he had hit the ball hard a couple of times, and we were not going to give in there. Move on to Pujols.”

Deolis Guerra (1-1) got credit for the win, and Jose Alvarez pitched the 9th to get his 1st save of the season.

The only bad news for the Angels was that they lost several players to injury.  CJ Cron fouled a pitch off his foot, and will be placed on the 10-day DL.  The same for Tyler Skaggs, who left after throwing 76 pitches due to an injury in his right oblique.

Game 2 of the 3 game set will be on Saturday night.  Jesse Chavez (2-3; 3.96 ERA) is on the mount for the Angels, while the Rangers will go with Yu Darvish (2-2; 2.91 ERA).


Chargers Draft Clemson’s Mike Williams

April 27, 2017

The Chargers surprised many in the 1st round of the NFL Draft on Thursday in Philadelphia by selecting Clemson Wide Receiver Mike Williams with the #7 pick.

Williams was a part of Clemson’s national championship team last season.  He had 98 receptions for 1,361 yards and 11 touchdowns.  During the Tigers’ win over Alabama in the National Championship Game, Williams caught 8 passes for 94 yards and a touchdown.

“I love the pick,” Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said. “We put in a lot of work, we like him, he was No. 1 on our board.”

Most pundits thought the Bolts would select a defensive player with their first round pick.  In fact, General Manager Tom Telesco recently suggested that the overall talent in this year’s draft was better on the defensive side of the ball, rather than the offensive.

Ironically, 7 of the first 10 1st round picks on Thursday night were offensive players.

Williams was not in attendance on Thursday night.  He was back in Vance, South Carolina watching on television with his family and friends.

As for the Rams, they do not have a draft pick until the 2nd round, which starts on Friday.  The Rams traded their 2017 1st round pick to the Titans in order to acquire Jared Goff last year.

Halos Get Back To .500

April 27, 2017

The Angels made it four in a row on Thursday at the Big A, with a 2-1 victory over the A’s.  The Halos completed a three-game sweep of Oakland, and evened their record at 12-12 on the season.

Ricky Nolasco pitched 5 2/3 innings, giving up 1 run on 3 hits, striking out 4 and walking 2.  He improved his record to 2-2 on the season.  Bud Norris earned the save, his 4th of the season.

In the 6th inning, Nolasco got Jaff Decker to pop out and Matt Joyce to groundout.  However, Jed Lowrie and Khris Davis walked, then Yonder Alonso reach on an error by Cliff Pennington.  That loaded the bases for Ryon Healy.  Mike Scioscia brought in Blake Parker, who struck out Healy, which ended the threat.

Kendall Graveman (2-1) took the loss for the A’s.  He pitched 6 innings, giving up 2 runs on 6 hits, while striking out 4.

Both Angel runs came in the 1st inning.  Albert Pujols singled home Mike Trout, and CJ Cron doubled in Pujols, and that was all the offense the Angels needed.

The only Oakland run came in the 4th inning came on an RBI single from Yonder Alonso.  That was just 1 of 3 hits the A’s generated on the night.

Blake Parker, David Hernandez, Jose Alvarez, and Norris did not allow a single run or hit in 3 1/3 innings of work.

The Angels now travel to Texas to open a 3-game series with the Rangers on Friday.  Daniel Wright will be in the hill for the Halos, while the Rangers will go with Nick Martinez.


Dodgers Beat Giants In 10

April 27, 2017

The Dodgers exploded for 4 runs in the 10th inning on Thursday afternoon at AT&T park and defeated the Giants 4-1.  LA split their four games series with San Francisco, with each team winning two games each.

Julio Urias made his 2017 debut, allowing just 1 run in 5 2/3 innings for LA, despite receiving a no-decision.  Urias allowed four hits, walked four and struck out four.

Kenley Jansen (1-0) got credit for the victory.  He pitched the 9th inning, and struck out the side.

“I felt good, I felt confident,” Urias said. “I felt like what I did last year was able to help me build confidence for this year.”

Giants starter Matt Moore allowed one run and two hits in seven innings, walking three and striking out eight.  Corey Gearrin (0-1) took the loss for San Francisco.

The Dodgers got off to a strong start on a solo homer from Corey Seager in the 1st inning.  However, the Giants would tie things up in the 6th inning when Christian Arroyo delivered an RBI single that scored Brandon Belt, which tied the game at 1-1.

After losing to the Giants in 10 innings on Wednesday night, the Dodgers turned the tables less than 24 hours later in the 10th inning Thursday afternoon.  Andrew Toles drove in pinch-runner Ross Stripling with the bases-loaded, which broke the tie.  Kike Hernandez followed with a sacrifice fly, and after an intentional walk to Corey Seager, Justin Turner delivered an RBI single.  Chris Taylor capped the rally with a based-loaded walk.

The Dodgers return home on Friday to begin a 3-game set with the Phillies.  Kenta Maeda will be on the hill for LA (1-2; 8.05 ERA), while the Phillies will go with Jerad Eickhoff (0-1; 2.55 ERA).



Giants Rally To Beat Dodgers

April 26, 2017

The Dodgers had a 3-0 lead on Wednesday night at AT&T Park, but gave it all back and lost to the Giants 4-3.

Hunter Pence hit a sacrifice fly with the bases-loaded in the 10th inning to complete the Giants rally.  San Francisco avoided matching their worst 22-game start in franchise history.

Gorkys Hernandez singled off of Ross Stripling to open the 10th, then stole 2nd base.  Connor Gillaspie walked, then Nick Hundley sacrificed, which allowed Hernandez to beat Adrian Gonzales’ throw to 3rd base.  That loaded the bases for Pence.

San Francisco didn’t record it’s first hit until the 6th inning.  Alex Wood pitched 6 shutout innings for LA, yielding only that 1 hit.

However, the Giants would start their rally against Sergio Romo in the 7th.  Christian Arroyo hit a 2-run shot to left center field to make it 3-2.

In the 8th, Mike Morse hit a pinch-hit home run against Pedro Baez, and the game was tied 3-3.  That set the stage for Pence’s heroics.

“Up 3-0, we’ve got to close it out,” Skipper Dave Roberts said. “I liked the guys in the spots that they were in for the last nine outs of the game. It just didn’t work out.”

All the Dodger offense came in the 6th inning.  Corey Seager hit a solo home run, Chase Utley provided an RBI single, and Andrew Toles hit into a fielder choice, scoring Yasmani Grandal.

The Dodgers will try to salvage a split of the four game series on Thursday afternoon at AT&T Park.  Julio Urias will make his 2017 debut for LA, and Matt Moore will go for San Francisco (1-3; 5.87 ERA).