Dodgers

Dodgers Shut Down Angels 4-0

July 27, 2017

Joc Pederson hit a three-run homer and Kenta Maeda threw a career-high seven shutout innings, as the Dodgers shutout the Angels 4-0 on Tuesday night at the Ravine.

Maeda gave up just four hits, struck out six batters, and did not walk anybody.  He improved his record to 6-3 on the season.

All four Dodger runs came in the 6th inning.  Chase Utley lead off with a double against Jesse Chavez, then Logan Forsythe walked.  After Chris Taylor flied out to center, Utley tagged up and moved to third base.  That prompted Angels’ skipper Mike Scioscia to bring in reliever Jose Alvarez to face rookie-sensation Cody Bellinger.

Bellinger then drilled a 1-0 pitch to left center for an RBI single, which scored Utley.  Austin Barnes was up next, and his ground out to first moved Forsythe to third and Bellinger to second.  That set the stage for Pederson, who ripped an 0-1 pitch over the center field wall for his 7th home run of the season.  That gave the Dodgers a 4-0 lead, and was the only offense either team would produce on the night.

Since returning from the DL on June 13, Pederson is hitting .319 with five home runs.

Brandon Morrow pitched the final two innings for the Dodgers.  He gave up only one hit while making an efficient 16 pitches.

Jesse Chavez (5-8) took the loss but pitched well.  He pitched 5 1/3 innings, and was charged with 2 runs while giving up just two hits.  He struck out five and walked four.

Both teams rested a number of everyday players.  The Angels rested Albert Pujols and Cameron Maybin.  The Dodgers sat Yasmani Grandal, Corey Seager, Yasiel Puig, and Justin Turner.

Game 3 of the series shifts to the Big A on Wednesday night.  Hyun-Jin Ryu (3-6, 4.30 ERA) gets the ball for the Boys in Blue.  The Halos will counter with Alex Meyer (3-4, 4.20 ERA).

Halos Snap Dodger Win Streak

June 26, 2017

Yunel Escobar drove in a two runs and Ricky Nolasco pitched into the 7th inning, as the Angels surprised the Dodgers 4-0 on Monday night at the Ravine.  The Halos snapped the Dodgers 10-game win streak.

Nolasco went 6 2/3 innings, and picked up his first win in two months, improving to 3-9 on the season.  The former Dodger gave up five hits, struck out five, and walked two.  He left the game after getting hit with a line drive off the bat of Enrique Hernandez.

Cam Bedrosian, Keynan Middleton, and David Hernandez continued the shutout over the final two plus innings.

Escobar delivered a two-run single in the 3rd inning off of Rich Hill, which scored Cameron Mabyin and Kole Calhoun.

Danny Espinosa added a sacrifice fly in the 4th inning that scored Andrelton Simmons.  Martin Maldonado capped the scoring with a solo home run off of Sergio Romo in the 9th.

Hill went seven innings, giving up three runs on four hits.  His record dropped to 4-4 on the season. He struck out seven and walked two after making 99 pitches.

The shutout also meant that the Dodgers ended a streak of 17 consecutive games with at least one home run.  That tied the longest stretch since the team moved to Los Angels prior to the 1958 season.

The Angels won for the fourth time in the last five games, and moved two games over .500 at 41-39.

Game 2 of the series goes down tomorrow night at the Ravine.  Kenta Maeda (5-3, 4.62 ERA) gets the ball for the Boys in Blue.  Jesse Chavez (5-7, 5.15 ERA) takes the mound for the Halos.

Dodgers Rally To Sweep Rockies

June 25, 2017

The Dodgers rallied for three runs in the 7th inning and Cody Bellinger hit two more homers, as LA beat the Rockies 12-6 on Sunday afternoon.  The win gave the Dodgers a three-game sweep of their weekend series at Chavez Ravine.

Kenley Jansen recorded his 2nd career five-out save, as well as an RBI double in the 8th inning to put the cap on another big offensive day for LA.

The Boys in Blue have now won 10 in a row and 16 of their last 17 games.  They also continue to hit the ball out of the park, connecting on at least one home run in each their last 17 games.

Trailing 6-4, the Dodgers rallied against Rockies’ reliever Jake McGee in the 7th.  Justin Turner singled with one out and Logan Forsythe doubled with two outs.   Adam Ottavino came in to pitch for the Rockies from there.  After an Austin Barnes walk loaded the bases, Ottavino threw a pair of wild pitches that scored three Dodger runs to give them the lead.  The first wild pitch allowed Justin Turner to come home, while the second scored both Forsythe and Barnes.

The Dodgers exploded for four more runs in the 8th.  Two of them came off of two more wild pitches by Ottavino (1-2), who took the loss.  Bellinger added a 2-run homer for his NL leading 24th of the season, and 2nd of the game.  Bellinger now has 6 multi-home run games on the season, which is a Dodger rookie record.  Jansen’s run-scoring double was the final blow in the 8th.  A total of four of the Dodger runs coming courtesy of wild pitches.

The Rockies built a 5-0 lead against Dodgers’ starter Brandon McCarthy by the 3rd inning.  McCarthy issued a leadoff walk to Mark Reynolds.  After a pair of wild pitches to Raimel Tapia, Reynolds advanced to 3rd.  Tapia walked and Reynolds would score on a third wild pitch.  Ian Desmond reached on an infield single, allowing Tapia to get to 3rd.  Then an errant throw by Yasmani Grandal trying to catch Demond stealing allowed Tapia to score.  An RBI single from Tony Wolters later in the inning made it 3-0.  The Rockies would get two more in the 3rd on an RBI single from Reynolds, and an RBI fielder’s choice from Tapia.

That was all for McCarthy.  He lasted just 3 innings, giving up five runs (four of them earned) on four hits.  He struck out two and walked two, but was victimized by the three wild pitches and a pair of fielding errors.

The Dodgers got four runs back in the bottom half of the third.  After a Chris Taylor leadoff double, Kike Hernandez connected on his 8th homer of the season.  That’s a career-high for Hernandez.  Then a Justin Turner double set the stage for Bellinger, who ripped his 23rd homer of the season, and first of the game.

Rockies’ starter Tyler Anderson didn’t last long either.  He went 2 1/3 innings, giving up four runs on five hits.  He departed after just 55 pitches, leaving with a knee injury after an extensive discussion with the training staff.

The Dodgers loaded the bases in the 5th inning after a single from Joc Pederson and a pair of walks to Enrique Hernandez and Justin Turner.  With two outs, Cody Bellinger had a chance to give the Dodgers the lead, but flied out deep to left field to end the threat.

The Rockies would add another run to make it 6-4 in the 5th.  Desmond produced an RBI single to center against Ross Stripling, which scored Nolan Arenado.

Pedro Baez (2-0) got credit for the win after pitching a scoreless 7th.  The only bad news for the Dodgers was that Kenley Jansen gave up his first walk of the season after 32 innings.  The game was the longest nine-inning game in Dodger Stadium history, lasting 4 hours and 19 minutes.

The Dodgers will now open a four-game series with the Angels beginning Monday night at the Ravine.  The first two games of the series will be at Dodger Stadium while the next two will be at the Big A.  Rich Hill (4-3, 4.73 ERA) gets the ball in game 1 for the Boys in Blue.  The Halos will counter with Ricky Nolasco (2-9, 5.23 ERA).

Dodgers Make It Nine In Row

June 24, 2017

Clayton Kershaw pitched six strong innings and Joc Pederson hit another home run as the Dodgers shutout the Rockies 4-0 on Saturday night at Chavez Ravine.

Kershaw improved his record to 11-2 on the season, giving up just four hits, striking out eight, and walking one.  He lowered his ERA to 2.47.

Brandon Morrow, Pedro Baez, and Sergio Romo combined for three shutout innings out of the Dodger pen to finish things off.  They gave up just one hit over that stretch.

All the Dodger offense came in the 2nd and 3rd inning.  Kike Hernandez start things off with an RBI single in the 2nd.  Pederson’s homer made it 2-0.  Grandal delivered an RBI single that scored Justin Turner from 1st base after an error from right fielder Raimel Tapia.  The Dodgers would load the bases later in the inning, and Kershaw drew a walk to force in a run.

Tyler Chatwood (6-8) got the start for the Rockies and took the loss.  He went 3 1/3 innings, giving up four runs on three hits.  He walked eight and struck out three.

The Dodgers have won nine in a row and 15 of their last 16 games.  They are the first team in the NL to reach the 50-win mark this season.

Pederson’s solo blast made it 16 games in a row that the Dodgers have hit a home run.  It’s the first time the Dodgers have reach that mark since 1960.

Corey Seager sat this one out for the Dodgers after injuring his hamstring on Friday night.  LA is hoping to avoid putting him on the DL, but he is expected to miss 3-4 starts.

The Dodgers will go for the sweep on Sunday afternoon.  Brandon McCarthy (6-3, 2.87 ERA) is on the hill for The Boys In Blue.  Tyler Anderson (3-5, 5.75 ERA) gets the start for the Rockies.

Dodgers Handle Rockies

June 23, 2017

Alex Wood pitched another six solid innings to improve to 8-0 on the season, as the Dodgers beat up the Rockies 6-1 on Friday night at the Ravine.

Wood allowed just one run on three hits, while striking out seven batters.  He walked just two in his 98-pitch outing.

“We’re really rolling right now,” Wood said.  “It’s going to be tough for anyone to come in here right now.”

Wood did not allow a hit after the 2nd inning.  He retired the last ten batters he faced while lowering his ERA to 1.86.

Yasiel Puig his a solo homer off of Rockies’ starter Kyle Freeland in the 4th inning.  That gave LA home runs in 15 consecutive games, which is the fourth-longest streak in club history.  Their record is 24 from the 1977 season.

The Dodgers did most of their damage during the first two innings.  Cody Bellinger’s sacrifice fly and Corey Seager’s RBI single gave the Dodgers their first two runs.  Justin Turner delivered a run-scoring single, and Bellinger added an RBI double in the 2nd, and it was 4-1 LA.

The only bad news for LA was that Seager left the game after scoring in the second inning with a right hamstring injury.  The Dodgers are hoping it was just a cramp, however, skipper Dave Roberts said Seager was unlikely to play on Saturday.

The Rockies only run of the game came on an RBI double from Tom Murphy in the 1st inning.  Left-fielder Franklin Gutierrez reacted slowly trying to cut off Murphy’s hit, allowing the ball to roll by him for the double, which scored Raimel Tapia from first base.

Freeland (8-5) took the loss after giving up 5 runs on 10 hits on the night.  He pitched six innings and made 110 pitches.

The Dodgers have won 14 of their last 15 games, and have opened up a 2.5 game lead on the Rockies and D’Backs in the NL West.

The Dodgers and Rockies will do it again on Saturday night at the Ravine.  Clayton Kershaw (10-2, 2.61 ERA) is on the mound for LA. The Rockies counter with Tyler Chatwood (6-7, 4.08 ERA).

Dodgers Sweep Mets


June 22, 2017

The Dodgers hit three more home runs on Thursday night, defeating the Mets 6-3 at Chavez Ravine.  The win completed a four-game sweep over New York.

Justin Turner, Kike Hernandez, and Joc Pederson all hit homers.  Pederson’s homer was the go-ahead blow in the 7th inning.

The Dodgers hit a club-record 15 homers in the series.   It was also the most the Mets have allowed in a four-game series.

Curtis Granderson and Travis d’Arnaud homered for the Mets, who have lost seven of their last eight games.

The Dodgers have won seven consecutive games and 13 of their last 14. Kenley Jansen pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth and got the final four outs for his 16th save. It was his sixth four-out save of the season.

Pedro Baez (1-0) got credit for the win.  He had just his third career plate appearance, and drew a bases-loaded walk that gave LA a 5-3 lead.

LA improved to 48-26 on the season, the best record in the NL, and 1.5 games ahead of Arizona and Colorado in the NL West.

The Dodgers will now host the Rockies for a big 3-game series at the Ravine beginning Friday night. Alex Wood (7-0, 1.90

Dodgers Stay Hot & Beat Mets

June 21, 2017

Yasiel Puig hit a three-run homer and Yasmani Grandal hit a pair of homers as the Dodgers crushed the Mets 8-2 on Wednesday night at Chavez Ravine.

Rich Hill (4-3) got the win after pitching five strong innings.  Hill gave up just one run on four hits, while striking out eight Mets.  His 98-pitch performance was one of his best of the season.

The Dodgers have won six in a row, and twelve of their last thirteen games.  They also moved into 1st place by .5 games over Colorado, who lost to Arizona.

Puig’s 4th inning homer came off of Tyler Pill.  When Puig rounded first base, he angered Mets 1st baseman Wilmer Flores,  The two exchanged words, and Puig looked back at him while heading toward second base, continuing the verbal exchange.

“I don’t think he knows what having respect for the game is,” Flores said. “We’re playing horrible right now. He disrespected us.”

Hill’s only blemish was a leadoff solo homer by Curtis Granderson.  The Mets loaded the based on the 4th inning with nobody out, but Hill struck out the next three batters to get out of the jam.

The Dodgers have hit 12 home runs in the first three games of this four-game series.  They’ve also outscored the Mets 30-8 over that three-game stretch.

Pill (0-3) yielded six runs and five hits in six innings. He walked three and struck out six in his third career start.

The Dodgers will go for the sweep tomorrow night at the Ravine.  Hyun-Jin Ryu (3-6, 4.35 ERA) will be on the mound for LA looking for his 2nd straight win.  Steve Matz (1-1, 3.21 ERA) makes this third start of the season for New York.

Corey Seager Hits 3 Homers In Dodger Win


June 20, 2017

Corey Seager hit three homers as the Dodgers defeated the Mets 12-0 on Tuesday night at Chavez Ravine.

It was the second time in Seager’s career that he’s hit three homers in a game.  The Dodgers hit five home runs against the Mets on Tuesday night.

Cody Bellinger and Yasmani Grandal also hit homers for the Boys in Blue.  Bellinger now leads the NL with 22 homers.  He has 10 homers in his last 10 games.  Seager finished the night with 6 RBI.

“We’re having a great time,” Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts said. “As much as we’re excited for Cody, we’re playing very good baseball and ready to go tomorrow.”

Brandon McCarthy started for LA, improving to 6-3 on the season.  He pitched six shutout innings, allowing just four hits.  Brock Stewart earned his first career save with three hitless innings.

“Hitting is contagious,” Seager said. “Everyone’s starting to roll. When one guy starts going — a guy like Bellinger comes in — everyone’s excited, everyone wants to get on base, everyone wants to be the guy.”

Rookie Robert Gsellman (5-5) gave up four homers and eight runs over 4 1/3 innings.

The Dodgers have won nine of their last 10 games, but still trail the 1st place Rockies by .5 games in the NL West.  LA also has the best run differential in baseball at +114.

The Dodgers and Mets will go at it again tomorrow at the Ravine.  Rich Hill (3-3, 5.14 ERA) will try to rebound from last week’s poor start for LA.  Tyler Pill (0-2, 3.75 ERA) gets his third career start for the Mets.

Bellinger With 2 More Homers vs NY

June 19, 2017

Cody Bellinger hit two homers and Clayton Kershaw became the MLB’s first 10-game winner this season as the Dodgers defeated the Mets 10-6 on Monday night at Chavez Ravine.

Bellinger connected on a three-run homer in the 1st inning, and a solo blast in the 2nd, which opened up a 7-0 lead for the Dodgers.  He had four RBI on the night.

The Dodgers rookie now has 21 homers in his first 51 games, which is the best mark of all-time in the first 51 games for any MLB player.  He now leads the league in home runs.

Justin Turner had an RBI single in the 1st inning inning, and had a solo blast in the 2nd inning.  Turner and Bellinger’s 2nd inning long balls were back-to-back.  Turner had four hits and four RBI.

Kershaw improved to 10-2 on the season, but had an unusually rough outing.  He gave up six runs on six hits in 6 1/3 innings.  He gave up four home runs on the night.

The Mets got two home runs from Jose Reyes, and one from Jay Bruce and Gavin Cecchini.

The Dodgers would add two more runs in the 7th inning on an RBI single from Chase Utley, and a solo homer from Chris Taylor.

Grant Dayton and Chris Hatcher pitched the final 2 2/3 innings, giving up just two hits over that stretch.

Zack Wheeler (3-5) took the loss, giving up seven runs on eight hits.  He lasted just two innings, allowing the three homers to Bellinger and Turner.

The Dodgers and Mets will be back at it on Tuesday night at the Ravine.  Brandon McCarthy (5-3, 3.14 ERA) will be on the mound for LA.  Robert Gsellman (5-4, 5.50 ERA) goes for New York.

Dodgers Hold Off Reds For Sweep

June 18, 2017

Logan Forsythe and Justin Turner homered as the Dodgers held on to beat the Reds 8-7 on Sunday afternoon at Great American Ball Park.  The win gave LA a 3-game sweep over Cincinnati.

Kenta Maeda (5-3) got the win after pitching five strong innings, and driving in two runs.  Kike Hernandez also made a game-saving catch in the 8th inning to help LA get the win.

The victory was the Dodgers’ ninth in the last ten games.  It also completed a six game road trip in which they went 5-1 against the Indians and Reds.

“It got a little close for us,” Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts said. “Our bullpen has been lights out all year. They put some good at-bats against us. Like I’ve said, that’s a very good offensive club. To get out of here with three (wins) is huge.”

Maeda, in his first appearance since June 9 and first start since June 4, allowed just three hits and one run in five innings.

Kenley Jansen came in to record the last three outs for his fifteenth save of the season.

The Reds rallied for six runs against the Dodger bullpen, including three home runs by Scooter Gennett, Adam Duvall, and Eugenio Suarez.  They came against Grant Dayton, Josh Fields, and Pedro Baez.

Bronson Arroyo took the loss, falling to 3-6 on the season.  He gave up five runs on seven hits in just three innings of work.

The Dodgers now return home to begin a four-game series with the Mets beginning Monday night at Chavez Ravine.  Clayton Kershaw (9-2, 2.23 ERA) gets the ball for LA.  Zack Wheeler (3-4, 4.48 ERA) goes for New York.

Dodgers Power Past Reds


June 17, 2017

Yasiel Puig hit a pair of homers, as the Dodgers  the Reds 10-2 on Saturday afternoon at Great American ballpark.

Cody Bellinger hit his 19th homer of the season as well, and Joc Pederson also homered for the 2nd straight day.

Hyun-Jin Ryu (3-6) got the win after pitching 5 innings. He gave up 2 runs on 8 hits.

Bellinger had three hits and three RBI. He also tied Gary Sanchez for the most homers in a major league players first 49 games.

”The offense today was the star – team offense,” manager Dave Roberts said. ”It’s an offense that’s relentless and pretty constant at putting pressure on you.”

Asher Wojciechowski (1-1) took the loss after yielding six runs on five hits in 2 1/3 innings of work.

The Reds have lost eight straight games, and seven straight to LA.

Pete Rose unveiled a bronze sculpture of his headfirst slide in front of Great American Ball Park before the game. That was the only enjoyable part of the night for the Reds’ fans.

Justin Turner had the day off. He has hit safely in 12 straight games. Logan Forsythe started at 3rd base.

The Dodgers will go for the sweep on Sunday afternoon. Kenta Maeda (4-3, 4.95 ERA) will be on the hill for the Boys In Blue. Bronson Arroyo (3-5, 7.01 ERA) goes for the Reds.

Seager’s Heroics Help Dodgers Top Reds


June 10, 2017

Corey Seager delivered a walk-off RBI double, scoring Yasiel Puig in the bottom of the 9th inning, as the Dodgers got by the Reds 5-4 on Saturday night at Chavez Ravine.

Seager hit a ball to left field which caused outfielder Scooter Gennett to dive for the ball and miss it.  The ball bounced up against the fence, which allowed Puig to score easily and win the game for LA.

Kenley Jansen pitched a scoreless 9th inning to improve to 4-0 on the season.

The Dodgers built a 4-0 and 4-1 before giving it all back to the Reds.  Josh Fields came into the game to relieve Alex Wood in the 6th inning.  He came into the game with two on and two out.

Devin Mesoraco greeted Fields with a 3-run homer, tying the game at 4-4.  It was his 5th long ball of the season.

The Dodgers built a 3-0 lead against Reds’ starter  Asher Wojciechowski in the 1st inning.  Seager drove in Chase Utley with an RBI double, then scored on a sacrifice fly by Adrian Gonzales.  Cody Bellinger drilled his 13th homer of the season to cap the 1st inning rally.

Former Dodger Jose Peraza got the Reds on the board in the 3rd inning with an RBI single.  That snapped a 27-inning scoreless streak by Wood.

Wood went 5 2/3 innings, and was charged with 3 runs on 5 hits.  He struck out seven, but did not factor into the decision.

Wojciechowski gave up four runs on 6 hits and 5 innings of work.  Drew Soren (1-2) took the loss after allowing two one out singles in the 9th.

The Dodgers will go for the sweep on Sunday afternoon at the Ravine.  Hyun-Jin Ryu (2-6, 4.08 ERA) will be on the mound for LA.  Tim Adleman (4-2, 4.42 ERA).

Dodgers Beat Up Reds 7-2


June 9, 2017

Justin Turner came off the disabled list and hit a 2-run homer in the 1st inning, as the Dodgers dominated the Reds 7-2 on Friday night at Chavez Ravine.

Enrique Hernandez had a solo shot and Franklin Gutierrez added a 2-run single, as the Boys in Blue won their 2nd straight game.

“It just feels good to be back in there,” Turner said. “I used Cody Bellinger’s bat. There must be home runs in it.”

The Dodgers got 5 solid innings from Rich Hill, who improved to 3-2 on the season.   He allowed just 1 run on 2 hits.

Kenta Maeda pitched the final four innings for LA out of the bullpen.   He retired his first nine Reds until Joey Votto led off the ninth with his 17th home run.  Maeda allowed three hits, all in the ninth, did not walk a batter and struck out six.  He was credited the save.

Yasiel Puig, Adrian Gonzales, and Yasmani Grandal were all held out of the starting lineup for rest.  Puig came into the game in the 6th inning, and batted twice, but was 0-2.

Alex Wood (6-0, 1.69 ERA) is scheduled to come off the DL Saturday and take his 23 1/3- scoreless-inning streak against the Reds.   Asher Wojciechowski (1-0, 4.50 ERA), is scheduled to make his third start of the season for Cincinnati.

Kershaw Bests Strasberg & Dodgers Win

June 7, 2017

Yasmani Grandal came through with an RBI double in the 6th inning, and Clayton Kershaw outdueled Stephen Strasberg with seven strong innings, as the Dodgers edged the Nationals 2-1 on Wednesday afternoon at Chavez Ravine.

Kershaw improved to 8-2 on the season, allowing just three hits while striking out nine batters.  The only run he allowed was a solo homer by Ryan Zimmerman in the 2nd inning.

Pedro Baez came recorded the first two outs of the 8th inning, then Kenley Jansen recorded the final four outs of the game for his 10th save in 10 opportunities.

Strasberg was brilliant as well, despite falling to 7-2.  He allowed three hits while striking out eight Dodgers in six innings of work.  However, LA finally broke through against him in that 6th inning.

With two outs, Corey Seager hit a solo homer 422-feet over the center field wall.  The next batter was Adrian Gonzales, who appeared to strikeout, but was able to reach 1st base safely on a pass ball.  He would advance to 2nd on a wild pitch, setting the stage for Grandal to bring him home with a double into the left center field gap.

The Nationals had a great chance to tie the game in the 8th inning, but the Dodgers escaped with the lead.

Trea Turner lead off the inning with a triple.  Ryan Raburn struck out, then Baez snagged a ball hit off the bat off Bryce Harper, catching Turner in a rundown.  Jansen came in to retire Zimmerman on another comebacker.

In the 9th, Jansen worked around a lead off single from Daniel Murphy, who later stole 2nd base, to end the Nationals final threat.

Jansen is having a remarkable start to the season.  He has now appeared in 23 games this season, pitching 24 1/3 innings.  He has an ERA of 1.11, a WHIP of 0.66, 42 strikeouts, and has not walked a batter.

The Dodgers will now have an off day, then begin a 3-game set on Friday night against the Reds at the Ravine.  Rich Hill (2-2, 4.15 ERA) gets the start for LA.  Amir Garrett (3-4, 7.17 ERA) will go for Cincy.

Nationals Edge Dodgers 2-1


June 6, 2017

Max Scherzer pitched 7 strong innings to improve his record to 7-3, as the Nationals defeated the Dodgers 2-1 on Tuesday night at Chavez Ravine.

Scherzer allowed just one run on three hits while striking out 14 Dodgers, during a spectacular 105-pitch performance.

Oliver Perez pitched a scoreless 8th inning, while Koda Glover recorded his 8th save of the season after pitching the 9th inning.

Glover allowed a one out single to Chris Taylor, who stole 2nd after Logan Forsythe flied out.  However, Yasiel Puig struck out swinging to end the game.

Puig and Glover exchanged words after the final out, but the war or words was quickly broken up by their teammates, some of whom poured out of the dugout.

Brandon McCarthy (5-3) took the loss despite pitching well.  He also went 7 innings in an efficient 87-pitch effort.  He allowed 2 runs on 3 hits.  He struck out 4 and walked 2.  Pedro Baez, Grant Dayton, and Chris Hatcher combined to pitch the final two shutout innings, allowing just one hit in that stretch.

The Nationals two runs came on a pair of sac flys.  Bryce Harper had one in the 1st inning to give the Nationals a 1-0 lead, and Daniel Murphy would add another in the 4th for the decisive run.

The Dodgers’ only run came on an RBI single from Adrian Gonzales in the 1st inning.  That scored, Chase Utley, but it was only one of four hits on the night for LA.

The Boys In Blue left 7 men on base, and were just 1-10 with runners in scoring position on the evening.

The Dodgers will try to avoid the sweep on Wednesday afternoon in what will be a star-studded pitching matchup at the Ravine.  Clayton Kershaw (7-2, 2.28 ERA) gets the ball for LA, while the Nationals counter with Stephen Strasberg (7-1, 2.91 ERA).

Nationals Double Up Dodgers 4-2


June 5, 2017

Anthony Rendon homered and Bryce Harper had an RBI single for his first hit in 16 at-bats, as the Nationals beat the Dodgers 4-2 on Monday night at Chavez Ravine.

The loss snapped a 5-game win streak the Dodgers had against the Nationals at Dodger Stadium.  It was also the 2nd straight loss for the Boys in Blue.

Gio Gonzales improved to 5-1 on the season, pitching 6 innings and giving up 2 runs on 4 hits.  Gonzales walked 2 and struck out 5 in a 107-pitch performance.

Oliver Perez recorded the final out of the game for his 3rd career save.  Perez struck out Yasmani Grandal with a man aboard to end the Dodgers’ final threat.

The Dodgers scored both their runs in the sixth. Chris Taylor doubled in one and Franklin Gutierrez had an RBI groundout.

Hyun-jin Ryu started for LA, falling to 2-6.  He went a season-high seven innings, but allowed four runs and seven hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out four.

Rendon’s solo shot in the 2nd gave the Nationals a 1-0 lead.  Matt Wieters delivered a 2-run single in the 4th, followed by Harper’s run-scoring single in the 5th.

The Dodgers and Nationals will do it again Tuesday night at the Ravine.  Brandon McCarthy (5-2, 3.38 ERA) will try to get LA back in the win column.  Max Scherzer (6-3, 2.56 ERA) will go for the Nats.

Brewers Shutout Dodgers 3-0

June 4, 2017

Zach Davies pitched a 3-hit shutout into the 7th inning, improving his record to 6-3, as the Brewers blanked the Dodgers 3-0 on Sunday afternoon at Miller Park.  The win helped Milwaukee avert a 3-game sweep.

The Brewers got solo home runs from Eric Thames and Domingo Santana.  Eric Sogard delivered an RBI single as well.

Kenta Maeda lasted only 4 innings, giving up 2 runs on 2 hits.  He fell to 4-3 on the season, throwing 92 pitches, striking 7 and walking 3.

The Dodgers didn’t get a runner to second until Adrian Gonzalez and Cody Bellinger opened the seventh with singles that chased Davies.  However, Yasmani Grandal bounced into a double play and Austin Barnes flied out.

Corey Knebel struck out the side around a walk for his fifth save.

The Dodgers return home to open a 3-game series on Monday with the Nationals.   LHP Hyun Jin Ryu (2-5) taking the hill for LA.  Gio Gonzales (4-1, 3.03 ERA) goes for the Nats.

Taylor’s Slam Leads Dodgers Over Brewers


June 3, 2017

Chris Taylor delivered the go-ahead grand slam home run in the 9th inning, as the Dodgers outlasted the Brewers 10-8 on Saturday afternoon at Miller Park.

Taylor drilled a 2-2 pitch over the center field wall off of Carlos Torres with one out, capping a 5-run 9th inning for LA.

The Dodgers trailed 8-4 in the 8th inning, but Yasiel Puig hit into a run-scoring force out to get within three runs of the Brewers.  With one out in the 9th, Corey Seager walked, then Yasmani Grandal reached on a throwing error by Milwaukee first baseman Jesus Aguilar, who threw to second base to try and get Seager but hit him in the back instead.

Pinch-hitter Austin Barnes walked, then Cody Bellinger followed with another walk that forced in a run.  That set the stage for Taylor, who homered off the batters’ eye behind the center-field fence.

Brandon Morrow (2-0) got credit for the win after striking out the side in the 8th inning.  Kenley Jansen allowed a one out single in the 9th inning, but came away unscathed for his 9th save in 9 opportunities.

Dodgers’ starter Rich Hill needed 97 pitches to get through four innings, allowing three runs — two earned — three hits and four walks.

Matt Garza started for the Brewers, giving up two runs – one earned, on three hits in four innings of work.  He left the game with a bruised chest after colliding with Aguilar after Cody Bellinger’s grounder in the 4th.  He remained in the game, but the Brewers pinch-hit for him in the bottom half of the inning. Torres (2-4) took the loss after giving up all 5 runs in the 9th inning.

The Brewers got solo homers from Aguilar and Hernan Perez, as well as a grand slam from Travis Shaw which helped them build the 8-4 lead.

The win improved the Dodgers to 35-22 on the season, and kept them .5 games in front of the Rockies for 1st place in the NL West.

The Dodgers will go for the sweep tomorrow afternoon at Miller Park.  Kenta Maeda (4-2, 5.21 ERA) gets the ball for the Blue Crew, while the Brewers counter with Zach Davies (5-3, 5.18 ERA).

Dodgers Outlast Brewers In Extras


June 2, 2017

Cody Bellinger hit a go-ahead solo homer in the 12th inning and the Dodger pitchers tied a major league record with 26 strikeouts, as they defeated the Brewers 2-1 in extra innings on Friday night at Miller Park.

Clayton Kershaw pitched 7 strong innings for LA, giving up just 1 run on two hits, and striking out 14 batters.  The only run he gave up was a solo blast to Domingo Santana.  The Brewers held that 1-0 lead until the 9th inning.

That’s when Yasmani Grandal delivered a solo homer to tie the game at 1-1.  With one out, he hit a 3-1 pitch into the right field stands off of Corey Knebel.

Pedro Baez, Grant Dayton, and Kenley Jansen combine to pitch the rest of the way for LA, giving up just 3 hits and striking out 12 more Brewers combined.

Jansen (3-0) got the win after pitching the final two innings.  He avoided trouble in the bottom of the 12th after Jonathan Villar hustled to 2nd base for a one out double.  He would later steal 3rd base, but Orlando Arcia struck out and Travis Shaw popped out to Corey Seager to end the game.

Neftali Feliz (1-5) took the loss after giving up the home run to Bellinger in the 12th.  The homer was also the 12th of the season for Bellinger, which is as many home runs as his father hit in 311 career at-bats.  Bellinger now has 135 career at-bats.

Jimmy Nelson started for Milwaukee and pitched well.  He threw 8 shutout innings, giving up just 5 hits and striking out 11 Dodgers.  He did not walk anybody and threw 101 pitches.

The Dodgers are Brewers will go at it again tomorrow afternoon at Miller Park.  Rich Hill (2-2, 4.09 ERA) goes to the mound for the boys in blue.  Matt Garza (2-2, 3.98 ERA) will be on the hill for the brew crew.

Cardinals Beat Dodgers 2-0


June 1, 2017

Adam Wainwright hit a 2-run homer in the 2nd inning and pitched 6 shutout innings, as the Cardinals blanked the Dodgers 2-0 on Thursday afternoon at Busch Stadium.  The Dodgers and Cardinals split  their four game series.

With 2 outs in the 2nd inning, Wainwright drilled a 2-2 pitch over the left field wall.  It came with Paul DeJong standing on 2nd base, after singling earlier in the inning, then advancing to 2nd on a groundout.

Wainwright improved to 6-3, allowing just four Dodger hits.  He has not allowed a run in his last 16 1/3 innings.

Matt Bowman, Trevor Rosenthal and Seung Hwan Oh pitched an inning each to complete a five-hitter. Oh threw a one-hit ninth for his 13th save in 15 chances.

The Dodgers managed to get two on with just one out in both the 4th and 5th inning.  However, they could not capitalize against Wainwright.

Brandon McCarthy (5-2) took the loss.  He gave up just the two runs on on seven hits.  He was removed from the game after four innings, leaving with a blister.

Adrian Gonzalez and Yasmani Grandal were ejected in the ninth by plate umpire Marty Foster.  Each of them struck out, then Austin Barnes popped out to end the game. Gonzales was ejected after yelling from the dugout.

“Once he threw me out, I might as well go out there and let him have a little more,” Gonzalez said. “The funniest thing is he told Dave (Roberts) afterwards that he’s been calling pitches off the plate all game, so he wasn’t going to change.”

The Dodgers will now head to Milwaukee for a 3-game set with the Brewers beginning Friday.   Clayton Kershaw (7-2, 2.37) will be on the mound for LA.  The Brew Crew will counter with Jimmy Nelson (3-3, 3.83 ERA).

Cardinals Edge Dodgers 2-1


May 31, 2017

Dexter Fowler hit the go-ahead solo home run in the 8th inning off of Ross Striping, as the Cardinals defeated the Dodgers 2-1 on Wednesday night at Busch Stadium.  The Cards win snapped the Dodgers six-game win streak.

Fowler’s home run came on a 2-0 pitch with 2 outs in the 8th.  The ball was drilled 429 feet into the right field stands.

Dodgers lefty HyunJin Ryu made one of his best starts of the season, allowing just one run in six innings in his return to the rotation.

“He did have a really good look in his eye,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Ryu. “The change was really good. He was throwing a little cutter in on right-handers and the fastball played up and it was as much velocity as we’ve seen this year from Hyun-Jin.”

The Cardinals took a 1-0 lead against Ryu on an RBI double by Paul DeJong in the 2nd inning.  However, LA tied it up on a sacrifice fly by Adrian Gonzales, scoring Corey Seager.

Carlos Martinez (4-4) got the win after allowing one run on four hits while striking out nine, in eight innings of work.  Seung-Hwan Oh pitched a scoreless 9th inning for his 12th save in 14 opportunities.

Brandon McCarthy (5-1, 3.28 ERA) will start for the Dodgers in Thursday’s series finale at 10:45 a.m. PT.  He’ll go up against Adam Wainwright (5-3, 4.20 ERA) of St. Louis.

Dodgers Move Into 1st Place


May 30, 2017

Chase Utley had three hits and finished a home run short of the cycle, as the Dodgers defeated the Cardinals 9-4 and moved into 1st place in the NL West.  It was LA’s 6th straight win.

Logan Forsythe and Chris Taylor combined to reach base 8 times, combining for four runs, and LA got another great effort from their bullpen.

The Dodger bullpen utilized six relievers, giving up just 1 run in 5 innings of work.  Brandon Morrow (1-0) got credit for the win after pitching a scoreless 5th inning.

Kenta Maeda allowed 3 runs in the first inning, but settled down after that.  He made it through four innings, giving up those 3 runs on 4 hits.  He departed after 82 pitches.

After falling behind 3-0, the Dodgers got four runs in the 4rd inning .  Adrian Gonzales delivered a sacrifice fly, Utley had an RBI double, and Kike Hernandez came through with a 2-run single.  The Dodgers got a pair of bases loaded walks and an RBI fielder’s choice from Forsythe in the 5th to make it 7-3.

Yadier Molina hit a solo homer in the 8th inning for the Cardinals.  Molina had 3 RBI, and his solo blast off Chris Hatcher broker the Dodger bullpen’s scoreless innings streak of 24 2/3 innings.

Michael Wacha (2-3) took the loss, pitching just three innings, and throwing 77 pitches.  He was charged with 4 runs (3 of them earned) on 5 hits.

Game 3 of the series will be on Wednesday evening at Busch Stadium.  Hyun-Jin Ryu (2-5, 4.28 ERA) gets the start for LA after Alex Wood was placed on the DL.  The Cardinals counter with Carlos Martinez (3-4, 3.32 ERA).

Dodgers Hit 3 Homers Against Cards


May 29, 2017

Chase Utley, Cody Bellinger and Logan Forsythe all hit home runs, as the Dodgers defeated the Cardinals 5-1 on Monday afternoon at Busch Stadium.

Rich Hill (2-2) rebounded from a poor start against the Cardinals last week by pitching 5 strong innings, giving up just 1 earned run on 2 hits.  He struck out 4, walked 2, while throwing 86 pitches and picking up the win.

“We’re starting to hit the ball out of the ballpark,” skipper Dave Roberts said. “To see Logan get a homer, obviously Cody’s been doing it. Chase really quality at-bats and starting to hit the ball out of the ballpark, but I think if you look at our lineup, there’s guys that are really grinding that aren’t swinging the way we’re capable of.”

The Dodgers have now won 5 in a row, and with the Rockies’ loss Monday, LA is just .5 games out of 1st place in the NL West.

Mike Leake (5-3) took the loss.  He entered the game leading the majors with a 1.91 ERA, but allowed a season-high four runs in 6 2/3 innings.

The Dodgers got a pair of runs in the 3rd inning on Utley’s solo blast, and an RBI single from Corey Seager, which scored Yasiel Puig.  Utley has hit 3 home runs in his last 5 games, while hitting .461 and driving in 6 runs in that stretch.

Bellinger’s solo shot in the 4th inning made it 3-0.  it was his ninth home run in May, tying Joc Pederson and James Loney for the Dodgers rookie record for home runs in a month.  The Dodger rookie also leads the club with 11 homers and 29 RBI.

The Cards’ only run of the game came on a sacrifice fly in the 4th inning by Jedd Gyorko, scoring Tommy Pham.

The Dodgers would add a sacrifice fly in the 7th from Yasiel Puig, followed by Logan Forsythe’s first homer as a Dodger.

Brandon Morrow pitched a scoreless bottom of the ninth in his season debut for the Dodgers after having his contract purchased from Triple-A Oklahoma City.

The Dodgers and Cardinals will do it again at Busch Stadium on Tuesday night.   Kenta Maeda (4-2, 5.08 ERA) will face St. Louis for the 2nd straight start.  The Cardinals will send Michael Wacha (2-2, 3.66 ERA) to the mound.

Dodgers Complete Sweep Over Cubs


May 28, 2017

Cody Bellinger and Kike Hernandez drilled 3-run homers, as the Dodgers hammered the Cubs 9-4 on Sunday afternoon at the Ravine.  LA completed a 3-game weekend sweep over the Cubs.

The game figured to be a pitching duel with Clayton Kershaw going up against Jon Lester, but neither pitcher was on their game.  Kershaw did not factor into the decision after giving up 4 runs on 11 hits, unable to get out of the 5th inning.  Lester (3-3) took the loss after going just 3 1/3 innings, and giving up 6 runs on 7 hits.

After trailing 1-0 on a home run by Wilson Contreras, Bellinger’s 3-run homer in the 2nd gave the Dodgers the lead, then Hernandez 4th homer of the year made it 6-1.

Javier Baez and Anthony Rizzo went deep off Kershaw to make it 6-4, however, the Dodgers would extend the lead in the 5th.  Austin Barnes connected on a solo homer off of Mike Montgomery, then in the 7th, Yasiel Puig delivered a 2-run shot off Hector Rondon to make it 9-4.

The Cubs were outscored 18-4 in the series, losing the first two games by scores of 4-0 and 5-0.

Josh Field (2-0) got credit for the win.  Fields, Sergio Romo, Adam Liberatore, and Kenley Jansen provided 4+ innings of shutout relief, in which they did not even allow a hit.

The Dodgers have won 9 of 11 overall and 11 of 13 at home.  LA remains a 1.5 games behind the 1st place Rockies in the NL West.

It’s on to St. Louis now for the Dodgers, where they’ll begin a four game series starting Monday.  Rich Hill (1-2, 4.76 ERA) will try to get back in the win column after a rough outing last week for LA.  The Cardinals will go with Mike Leake (5-2, 1.91 ERA), who stifled the Dodgers last week.

Dodgers Shutout Cubs Again

May 27, 2017

Chase Utley drove in 3 runs and Chris Taylor belted a 2-run shot, as the Dodgers shut down the Cubs 5-0 on Saturday afternoon at the Ravine.

Brandon McCarthy pitched 6 shutout innings, yielding just 2 hits. He improved his record to 5-1 on the season, with two of those wins coming against the Cubs.

Ross Stripling came out of the bullpen to give the Dodgers 3 innings of shutout relief. He allowed just 1 hit. He recorded his 2nd professional save. His first since 2013 when he was in Double-A.

Utley gave the Dodgers a 1-0 lead in the 4th inning with an RBI single that scored Kike Hernandez with two outs.

LA would pad their lead in the 4th on Taylor’s 2-run shot to left off John Lackey.

Later in the inning, Utley came through again with a 2-run single that scored Yasmani Grandal and Hernandez.

“We know what Chase can do, and that it would be just a matter of time before he got out of whatever he was in,” said Grandal. ”He’s been really good for like 40 years, right? It was nice to see the back-to-back homers (on Thursday and Friday night) and now these hits today.”

Lackey (4-5) was done after 5 innings. He gave up 5 runs on 6 hits. He walked 4 and struck out 5.

McCarthy had pain in his knee and left the game to have his knee examined after departing in the 5th.

Chicago has been shut out in three consecutive road games and held scoreless in four of its last six games away from Wrigley Field, scoring five runs in that span.

The Dodgers will go for the sweep tomorrow afternoon at the Ravine. Both teams will throw their aces. Clayton Kershaw (7-2, 2.01 ERA) for the Dodgers and Jon Lester (3-2, 3.19 ERA) goes for the Cubs.

Wood & Dodgers Cruise Past Cubs

May 26, 2017

Alex Wood threw 5 more shutout innings while improving his record to 6-0, as the Dodgers blanked the Cubs 4-0 on Friday night at the Ravine.

Wood allowed 2 hits while striking out 8 and walking 2.  He extended his career-high scoreless innings streak to 25 1/3, longest in the majors this season.

“I definitely feel confident now,” Wood said. “The consistency of my stuff has been there and that’s where my confidence is coming from.”

Pedro Baez and Chris Hatcher combined to throw four hitless innings after Wood departed.

Chase Utley connected on a solo homer off of Jake Arrieta in the 3rd inning to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.  Yasmani Grandal doubled in Corey Seager in the 4th, and Adrian Gonzales drilled a 2-run shot to center in the 6th.

Arrieta (5-4) took the loss, giving up 4 runs on 5 hits.  He struck out 9 and walked 1.  He departed after 6 innings and 95 pitches.

“I thought it was somewhat of a victory getting Wood out after five,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “He started out hot. His numbers were high, but then all of a sudden his velocity came back down. But their bullpen was that good.”

Game 2 of the series will be on Saturday night.  Brandon McCarthy (4-1, 3.76 ERA) is on the hill for the boys in blue, while the Cubs go with  John Lackey (4-4, 4.82 ERA).

Maeda & Ryu Duo Beat Cards

May 25, 2017

The Dodgers are finding all kinds of creative ways to use their abundance of starting pitching.  On Thursday night they got 5 strong innings from Kenta Maeda and another 4 solid innings from Hyun-Jin Ryu to beat the Cardinals 7-3.  The Dodgers took two out of three from the Cardinals during their 3-game set.

Maeda (4-2) picked up the win after giving up just 3 runs on 7 hits.  He struck out 4 and walked 2, while throwing 78 pitches.  Maeda also delivered a 2-run single during a 3-run 4th inning that saw the Dodgers take the lead for good, after the Cardinals had jumped out to a 3-0 lead.

Ryu was convinced by skipper Dave Roberts to come out of the bullpen.  He reluctantly agreed, but pitched very well in his first stint.  He allowed just 2 hits while pitching 4 shutout innings.  That effort earned him his 1st career save.

The Cards got 3 in the 1st inning after Jedd Gyorko hit a 2-run double, followed by a Yadier Molina RBI single.

Michal Wacha (2-2) took the loss after giving up 6 runs on 7 hits.  He lasted only 4 innings before giving way to the St. Louis bullpen.

LA began their comeback in the 2nd inning when Chase Utley connected on a solo homer to right center field.  Yasiel Puig added an RBI single in the 4th, followed by Maeda’s 2 RBI.

A wild pitch from Brett Cecil in the 5th allowed another Dodger run, making it 5-3.  Adrian Gonzales and Chris Taylor would each provide an RBI double later on, which rounded out the scoring.

Up next for the Dodgers will be a 3-game weekend set with the Cubs at the Ravine beginning Friday night.  Alex Wood (5-0, 1.88 ERA) gets the ball for the boys in blue, while the Cubs counter with Jake Arrieta (5-3, 4.80 ERA).

Cards Beat Up Dodgers

May 24, 2017

Mike Leake gave up 1 run in 8 innings of work, as the Cardinals hammered the Dodgers 6-1 at Chavez Ravine on Wednesday night.

Leake (5-2) got the win after allowing just four hits, striking out five, while not walking a batter.  He has a National League-leading 1.91 ERA.

“He’s got a lot of movement on his ball,” Dodgers rookie Cody Bellinger said. “He was hitting his spots. He has been effective all year, and he has got a good thing going. We just didn’t execute well tonight.”

Jedd Gyorkoa had three hits and scored a run in the 2-run second inning that gave the Cards the lead for good.

Rich Hill (1-2) took the loss in four innings of work.  He gave up 5 runs on 4 hits.   He walked 7 and struck out 4, while throwing 82 pitches.

“It was a bad outing. It was terrible,” Hill said. “I accept full responsibility for that. I just gave them the game. That is unacceptable.”

Kolten Wong delivered a 2-run single in the 2nd inning to give the Cardinals a quick 2-0 lead.  Gyorko added another 2-run single in the 5th, aided by a throwing error from Bellinger.  Yadier Molina would add a sac fly, and then connect on a solo homer in the 7th to make it 6-0.

The only Dodger run of the game came on a sacrifice fly by Bellinger in the 7th inning.  LA couldn’t get much going offensively.

Chris Taylor started in center field for the Dodgers, replacing the injured Joc Pederson.  Pederson collided with Yasiel Puig the night before, and is being monitored for concussion symptoms.

The Dodgers and Cardinals will be back at it on Thursday night in the rubber game of their 3 game set.  Kenta Maeda (3-2, 5.03 ERA) will be on the mound for LA, while Michael Wacha (2-1, 2.74 ERA) gets the ball for St. Louis.

Forsythe’s Heroics In 13th Help Dodgers Win

May 23, 2017

Logan Forsythe delivered a walk-off RBI double in the bottom of the 13th inning, as the Dodgers outlasted the Cardinals 2-1 on Tuesday night at Chavez Ravine.

With two outs in the 13th, Kike Hernandez walked, setting the stage for Forsythe.  The Dodger 2nd baseman drove a 1-1 pitch into the right field corner, which bounced off the wall, allowing Hernandez to come all the way around to score the winning run from 1st base.

The game was a great duel between Clayton Kershaw and Cardinals’ starter Lance Lynn, resulting in a 1-1 draw between both sides after 9 innings.  Neither pitcher received a decision.

Kershaw pitched 9 innings, giving up just 1 run on 3 hits.  However, he took a 1-0 lead into the 9th inning when Randal Grichuk lead-off with a single to center.  Grichuk advanced to second on a groundout from Tommy Pham, then scored on a wild pitch that Kershaw uncorked.  That was Kershaw’s only blemish in an otherwise brilliant performance.

The Dodgers’ ace threw 104 pitches.  He didn’t walk anybody and struck out 10.   It was the 53rd time that he has struck out 10 or more batters in a game.

The Dodgers’ only other run of the game came on a solo homer from Yasmani Grandal in the 1st inning.  That was one of only two hits that Lynn would allow on the night.  It just so happened that one of them went 418 feet.

Grandal has at least one extra-base hit in 10 of his last 13 games.  In one of those 3 games without, he had 1 at-bat as a pinch-hitter.  The homer was his 5th of the season.

Lynn was equally as brilliant as Kershaw.  The Cardinals’ ace went 8 innings, giving up just the 1 run on 2 hits.  He struck out 10 Dodgers and walked 2, while making 123 pitches.

With Kenley Jansen pitching the 10th inning, he retired the side in order, however, a scary moment occurred on the final out of the inning.  Yadier Molina hit a fly ball to deep right, which was chased down by both Yasiel Puig and Joc Pederson.  Puig caught the ball but collided with Pederson, who took an elbow to the head.  Pederson also slid into the wall, cutting his forehead and then leaving the game after that.  He was replaced by Kike Hernandez.  Puig stayed in the game, despite grimacing and grabbing his side after the collision.

Forsythe’s heroics came on the night he returned to the lineup for the boys in blue after missing the last 30 games with a toe injury.  He started at 3rd in place of the injured Justin Turner, who was out of the lineup with a hamstring injury.  Forsythe batted lead-off and struck out 4 times and walked once before coming through in the 13th.  Yasiel Puig also returned to the lineup and started in right field after sitting out for two games with a back injury.  He was hitless in five at-bats.

Game 2 of the series will be on Wednesday night at the Ravine.  Rich Hill (1-1; 2.77 ERA) goes to the mound for LA, while Mike Leake (4-2; 2.03 ERA) gets the call for the Cardinals.

Gonzales Leads Dodgers Over Marlins


May 21, 2017

Adrian Gonzales had 3 hits and drove in 3 runs, as the Dodgers defeated the Marlins 6-3 on Sunday afternoon at Chavez Ravine.  LA took 3 out of 4 from Miami during their weekend series.

Brandon McCarthy retired the first 14 batters he faced, and allowed just 1 run in 6 innings of work to improve his record to 4-1 on the season.  He attributed his success to finally being healthy.

“A lot of it is just focus and getting reset after two years of being up and down and all over the place,” McCarthy said. “I had a healthy offseason where I could focus on myself and pitching again instead of just focusing on my arm. I kind of brought back the me that I would like to be. I’ll just try to hold that through the season.”

Yasmani Grandal added three hits, including a pair of doubles for the boys in blue.  Joc Pederson had a solo homer in the 4th as well.

Vance Worley (0-1) made his Marlins debut but took the loss.  He allowed 3 runs on 6 hits in 4 innings of work.

The Dodgers grabbed a 3-0 lead by the 4th inning after a 2-run double from Gonzales and Pederson’s homer.

Gonzalez was 1 for 8 in his first two games back but was back on track on Sunday.  “That’s what I pride myself in,” he said of driving in runs. “It’s not like I’m putting more responsibility. It’s just what I try to do.”

Former Dodger A.J. Ellis put the Marlins on the board in the 5th with an RBI single.

However, Gonzales’ countered with an RBI single just half an inning later to make it 4-1.  Brett Eibner  had a pinch-hit 2-run single in the 6th, and that was all the offense the Dodgers needed.

The Marlins managed to get a couple of runs in the 8th and 9th inning off of Pedro Baez and Kenley Jansen.  Justin Bour hit a solo blast off of Jansen.

Yasiel Puig was held out of the line with a back injury for the second straight day.  He pinch hit in the eighth and struck out.

The Dodgers will be back in action on Tuesday night against the Cardinals, in the first game of a 3-game set.  Clayton Kershaw (7-2; 2.15 ERA) will try to keep LA rolling while the Cardinals will go with Lance Lynn (4-2; 2.78 ERA).

Marlins Rough Up Urias & Dodgers


May 20, 2017

Giancarlo Stanton had 3 doubles and 3 RBI, as the Marlins took down the Dodgers 10-6 on Saturday night at Chavez Ravine.

It was a rough start for Dodger pitcher Julio Urias (0-2), who gave up 7 runs (6 earned) on 7 hits in just 2 1/3 innings of work.  He took the loss, while walking 3 batters, and throwing only 71 pitches.

J.T. Riddle also had 3 hits for Miami, including a homer and 4 runs batted in.  The Marlins came into the game losers of 10 of their last 11 games.

Dan Straily (2-3) picked up the win and gave the Dodgers a lot of trouble in the early going.  He went 5 2/3 innings, giving up 3 runs on 4 hits.  He struck out 8 batters, and walked 3.

The Dodgers did not generate a hit off of Straily until the 5th inning, when Kike Hernandez connected on a solo homer with two outs in the 5th.  At that point the Dodgers trailed 10-1.

LA would try to rally over the next two innings.  An RBI double from Yasmani Grandal in the 6th, along with home runs from Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger in the 7th got the Dodgers within 4 runs.  However, that’s as close as they would come.

Even the Dodger bullpen, which is usually reliable, gave up 3 runs in an extended 7+ innings of work on the night.

Bellinger became the fastest Dodger to hit 9 home runs in franchise history.  It took the rookie just 24 games.  His teammate Yasiel Puig took 44 games to hit 9 home runs in 2013.

Puig was held out of the lineup on Saturday as a precautionary measure after tweaking his side during an at-bat on Friday.

The Dodgers will try to make it 3 out of 4 against the Marlins in the series finale on Sunday at the Ravine.  Brandon McCarthy (3-1; 4.15 ERA) will be on the mound for LA, while the Marlins go with Vance Worley, who will be making his Marlins debut after being recalled from Triple-A New Orleans.

Alex Wood and Dodgers Beat Up Marlins


May 19, 2017

Alex Wood pitched 7 1/3 innings of shutout baseball and improved to 5-0, as the Dodgers defeated the Marlins 7-2 on Friday night at the Ravine.  The game also included a bench-clearing incident between both sides in the 9th inning.  Dodgers’ reliever Ross Stripling and bench coach Bob Geren, along with Marlins manager Don Mattingly were all ejected.

The benches cleared when Stripling threw a pitch behind Marlins’ slugger Giancarlo Stanton’s back.  That appeared to be retaliation for an 8th inning incident in which Marlins’ reliever AJ Ramos hit Brett Eibner with a pitch.  Ramos insisted afterward that the pitch just got away from him.

“If they have a problem with it, they can see me before the game, after the game, whenever they want to see me,” Ramos said. “It doesn’t have to be at the game.”

That 8th inning also featured a 2-run homer from Cody Bellinger.  Chris Taylor connected on a solo homer in the 3rd, and Eibner, a 2-run shot in the 4th.

Bellinger’s eighth home run came in just his 23rd major league game, becoming the fastest Dodgers players to reach that mark.

Outfielder Yasiel Puig left the game in the five innings with lower back tightness.

Wood gave up just 6 hits in his 7+ innings of work.  He walked 2 and struck out 4.  It was his 3rd straight start without allowing a run.

The Dodgers and Marlins will do it again on Saturday night at the Ravine.  Julio Urias will be on the mound for LA, while Miami counters with Dan Straily.

Dodgers Lose Turner But Beat Marlins


May 18, 2017

Yasiel Puig hit a 2-run homer and Hyun-Jin Ryu picked up his 2nd win of the season as the Dodgers defeated the Marlins 7-2 on Tuesday night at the Ravine.  The win came with some bad news for LA, which lost 3rd baseman Justin Turner to a hamstring injury.

Ryu (2-5) pitched 5 2/3 innings for the Dodgers, giving up 2 runs on 7 hits.  He struck out 3, walked 1, and departed after throwing 79 pitches.  Kenley Jansen recorded the last four outs of the game for his 8th save of the season.

With the score tied 1-1 in the 2nd, Puig connected on an 0-1 pitch, driving it into the left center field pavilion, with Joc Pederson aboard.  Chase Utley would add an RBI single, making it 4-1 Dodgers.

The Marlins only offense came courtesy of a pair of solo home runs.  Justin Bour hit one in the 2nd and Christian Yelich in the 3rd.

Adrian Gonzales came off the disabled listed and delivered and RBI single in the 3rd inning, scoring Turner.

Edinson Volquez (0-6) took the loss for Miami.  He gave up 5 runs on 8 hits in 6 innings of work.

Turner was injured in the 7th inning trying to score on a single by Yasmani Grandal.  He was thrown out and came up limping on the play.

The Dodgers would add two more in the 8th inning on a sacrifice fly by Chase Utley, and a bases loaded walk by Chris Taylor, who came into the game for Turner.

Chris Hatcher, Luis Avilan, and Josh Fields pitched 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.  They did not allow a hit.

Game 2 of the series will be on Friday night at the Ravine.  Alex Wood (4-0, 2.27 ERA) goes for the Dodgers, while the Marlins counter with Justin Nicolino (0-0, 1.50 ERA)

Tempers Are Hot But Kershaw Is Cool

May 17, 2017

Clayton Kershaw pitched 7 shutout innings on Wednesday afternoon at AT&T Park, and the Dodgers avoided getting swept with a 6-1 victory.  The game featured a heated exchange between Yasmani Grandal and Johnny Cueto, resulting in both benches emptying in the 3rd inning.

Kershaw (7-2) allowed just 3 hits while throwing 89 pitches.  It was his 9th career scoreless start against San Francisco,.  The Dodgers snapped a 3-game losing skid, while their ace struck out five and walked none for his seventh win of the season, and third straight.

LA started quickly with a 2-run double from Grandal in the 1st inning.  While the Dodger catcher was standing at 2nd base, he and Cueto exchanged words.

In the 3rd, Chase Utley and Corey Seager started things off with back-to-back singles.  Justin Turner sacrificed to move Utley and Seager into scoring position.  After Cody Bellinger lined out, Grandal came to the plate.  On a 1-0 pitch, Cueto tried to pitch up and in to Grandal, but the ball sailed to the backstop.  Utley scored on the play with Seager moving to 3rd, and it was 3-0 LA.  However, the drama continued just after Grandal flied out to end the inning.

While Grandal was running back to the dugout and Cueto was coming off the mound, both continued their heated exchange.  That prompted both benches to clear, although no physical altercation occurred between either side.  Later, Cueto reveled that he was upset that Grandal was relaying signs to hitters when he was on base after his 1st inning double.

Afterwards, Turner explained that stealing signs happens all the time. “Their guys try to get pitches, the Rockies try to get pitches, every team does it,” he said.

Despite Cueto’s anger, the Dodgers apparently didn’t know what the Giants’ signs were.  “We didn’t actually have the pitches,” Turner said.  “We had no idea what his cadence was.”

LA would add to the lead in the 6th, when Yasiel Puig came through with a 2-run single, scoring Turner and Cody Bellinger.

In the 7th, Bellinger joined the party, driving in Seager with an RBI double.  That made it 6-0, which was plenty of run support for Kershaw.

Kershaw improved to 20-9 in his career against the Giants with a 1.62 ERA.  He is now tied for the MLB lead in wins with 7.

Pedro Baez pitched a scoreless 8th inning.  Despite giving up a solo homer to Eduardo Nunez in the 9th, former Giant Sergio Romo recorded the final 3 outs of the game to secure the victory.

The Dodgers now leave San Francisco trailing the 1st place Rockies by 2.5 games in the NL West.  Up next will be a four-game series with the Miami Marlins beginning Thursday night at Chavez Ravine.  Hyun-Jin Ryu (1-5; 4.99 ERA) goes to the mound for LA, while the Edinson Volquez gets the ball for the Marlins.

Giants Take Down Dodgers Again

May 16, 2017

Brandon Crawford singled in the 6th inning, scoring Brandon Belt, and the Giants defeated the Dodgers 2-1 on Tuesday night at AT&T Park.

Brandon Belt also homered for the 4th time in 6 games, and San Francisco won their 5th straight game.  After a brutal 9-game trip, Giants are now 5-1 on this homestand.

Rich Hill returned from the disabled list to pitch 5 innings, giving up just 1 run on 6 hits.  He struck out 6 and didn’t walk any.  Belt hit his 8th homer of the season off of Hill to lead off the 4th inning.

The Dodgers tied the game at 1-1 in the 6th inning on a home run by Chris Taylor.  Taylor crushed a 2-0 pitch into the centerfield bleachers, his 4th off the season.  It came off of Giants Starter Ty Blach.

Belt lead off the 6th inning with a single against Dodger reliever Luis Avilan.  He advanced to 2nd on a wild pitch, then scored on Crawford’s single to right-center, giving the Giants a 2-1 lead.

Blach (1-2) picked up his first win of the season.  He went 7 strong innings, giving up only the home run to Taylor, and allowing five hits.

Derek Law pitched the 9th for his 4th save of the season.  Hunter Strickland allowed a pair of hits, but pitched the seventh inning unscathed for the Giants.

Cody Bellinger and Corey Seager were given the day off by Dave Roberts.  However, Bellinger entered the game in the 6th inning, playing left field.  He lined out in his only at bat.  Seager pinch-hit in the 8th inning, grounding into a double-play.

The Dodgers will try to avoid getting swept on Wednesday afternoon at AT&T Park.  The boys in blue will look to their ace, Clayton Kershaw (6-2; 2.43 ERA) to stop the bleeding.  The Giants will go with Johnny Cueto (4-2; 4.15 ERA).

Giants Continue Giving Dodgers Trouble

May 15, 2017

Brandon McCarthy came off the disabled list on Tuesday for the Dodgers, but he endured a rough start as the Giants defeated LA 8-4 at AT&T Park on Monday night.

McCarthy (3-1) suffered his first loss of the season,  pitching 5 2/3 innings and giving up 6 earned runs on 8 hits.  That included a four-run fourth inning, when McCarthy allowed a 2-run infield single by Eduardo Nunez, and lost track of a base runner.

With the score tied 1-1 and runners on second and third, Nunez hit a broken-bat grounder up the middle, which Corey Seager fielded.  Buster Posey scored from third on the play, but Brandon Crawford appeared in trouble when he didn’t stop at third and Seager hurried the ball to McCarthy on the mound.

However with his back to the plate, McCarthy didn’t see Crawford caught between third and home and instead focused on Nunez, who took a wide turn around first and didn’t stop. McCarthy had to wait to throw to second until Seager got back there and Nunez slid in safely, while Crawford easily scored the third run of the inning.  Crawford began the inning with an RBI double as well.

Nunez then stole third when McCarthy failed to keep him close and scored on a sacrifice fly.  The Giants would go on to add two more runs in the 7th inning on a solo blast from Buster Posey, off of Grant Dayton, and then an RBI double from Nunez.

The Dodger offense came very early and very late.  Yasmani Grandal knocked in an RBI double to give LA a 1-0 lead, but the Dodgers wouldn’t score again until the 9th inning, when they were already down 8-1.  Chris Taylor had an RBI double and Franklin Gutierrez added an RBI single, but the rally wasn’t nearly enough.

LA lost for the 5th time in 8 games against the Giants this season.  Matt Cain (3-1) picked up his 2nd win of the season against the Dodgers.  He gave up only 1 run on 5 hits in 6 2/3 innings.  Cain also became the 12th Giants pitcher to reach the 2,000-innings mark with the franchise.

Game 2 of the series will be on Tuesday night at AT&T Park.  Rich Hill (1-1) is set to come off the DL because of a blister to make the start for the Dodgers against Ty Blach (0-2).

Rockies Outlast Dodgers 9-6

May 14, 2017
Pat Valaika hit a pair of home runs and had four RBI, as the Rockies took down the Dodgers 9-6 on Sunday night at Coors Field.  The win resulted in a split of the four-game series between the NL West division rivals.

Antonio Senzatela (6-1) got the win despite allowing four runs in five innings, which was his shortest outing of the season.  The Rockies’ rookie right-hander is tied for MLB lead in wins.  It was also a very emotional day for Sanzatela, pitching on Mother’s Day, as his mother died of breast cancer last July.  He used a pink bat to raise awareness about the disease.

Nolan Arenado also went deep, as the Rockies extended their NL West lead to 1.5 games over the 2nd place Dodgers.

The Dodgers got home runs from Corey Seager and Yasiel Puig.  They also led 4-3 in the 4th before Valaika’s first homer of the game put the Rockies ahead.  It was a 2-run shot that cleared the center field wall off of Julio Urias.

Uris (0-1) only lasted 4 innings, and took the loss  He gave up 6 runs on 7 hits, while making only 68 pitches.

After Arenado’s 2-run homer in the 5th, the Rockies lead 7-4.  The Dodgers attempted to rally in the 8th.  Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger each had RBI singles, pulling LA within 7-6.  However, it was Valaika’s 2nd homer of the game, another 2-run shot, which put the game out of reach.

Greg Holland struck out the side in the 9th inning, earning the Rockies’ closer his 16th save of the season.

The Dodgers will now travel to San Francisco to open a 3-game set with the Giants at AT&T Park on Monday.  4 of the Giants’ 15 wins this season have come against the Dodgers.  Brandon McCarthy (3-0, 3.10 ERA) is on the mound for LA in game 1, while the Giants give the ball to Matt Cain (2-1, 4.54 ERA).

Dodgers Blank Rockies


May 13, 2017

Alex Wood threw 6 innings of shutout baseball at Coors Field on Saturday night, as the Dodgers shutdown the Rockies 4-0 and moved closer to 1st place.

Wood (4-0) gave up just 5 hits, struck out 10 batters, and walked 1 while throwing 88 pitches.

“You have enough bad ones here, eventually you’re able to have a good one,” said Wood, who also had a squeeze bunt that scored Austin Barnes to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead in the 2nd inning.

Earlier in the inning, Barnes delievered an RBI double that scored Kike Hernandez.
LA got some additional offense from Brett Eibner, who hit his 1st homer of the season in the 5th inning, and Justin Turner, who had an RBI double in the 7th.

Tyler Anderson (2-4) took the loss for Colorado after allowing 3 runs in a little more than 5 innings of work.
Josh Fields, Pedro Baez, and Kenley Jansen combined for 3 scoreless innings of relief after Wood departed.

Skipper Dave Roberts took no chances and made sure Jansen finished the game. “By the book, it was a non-save situation but here in Denver, it’s almost like four runs is a save,” Roberts said.

The Dodgers will try to take over 1st place with a victory Sunday against Colorado. Julio Urias (0-0; 1.06 ERA) goes for LA, while the Rockies counter with Antonio Senzatela (5-1: 2.86 ERA).

Kershaw & Dodgers Win in Colorado


May 12, 2017

The Dodgers needed a win and Clayton Kershaw came through like he has many times before.  The Dodgers’ ace pitched 7 strong innings, and Cody Bellinger hit his team-leading 7th homer of the season as the Dodgers beat the Rockies 6-2 at Coors Field on Friday night.

Kershaw (6-2) allowed just two runs on seven hits, but managed to pitch his way out of trouble repeatedly.  He was also supported by three double plays turned by the Dodgers’ defense.

When the Dodgers score 4 or more runs, Kershaw is a lifetime 89-0.  He’s also 20-6 in his career versus the Rockies, surpassing the win total of left-hander Randy Johnson.

LA got 5 runs in the 2nd inning, highlighted by a 2-run triple by Chase Utley.  Joc Pederson followed with an RBI double, then Corey Seager delivered a 2-run double.

The Rockies would get a couple of runs back in the 3rd and 4th off of Kershaw.  DJ LeMahiedu hit an RBI single, then Carlos Gonzales added a run-scoring single of his own.

Rockies’ starter Tyler Chatwood (3-5) took the loss, giving up 5 runs in 4 1/3 innings.  He left after 85 pitches.

The 5 runs were all the offense that Kershaw would need.  Bellinger’s solo homer in the 8th would add some extra insurance.  The victory pulled the Dodgers within 1.5 games of the 1st place Rockies.

The Dodgers used Luis Avilan, Pedro Baez, and Kenley Jansen out of the bullpen to shutdown the Rockies after Kershaw departed after 7.  Baez and Avilan combined to strike out the side in the 8th inning.

The Dodgers and Rockies will play game three of their four game set on Saturday night.  Alex Wood (3-0, 2.73 ERA) will get the start for LA, while Colorado will go with Tyler Anderson (2-3, 6.69 ERA).

Rockies Outlast Dodgers


May 11, 2017

The Rockies jumped out to a big lead on Thursday night at Coors Field, then held on to beat the Dodgers 10-7.

Colorado jumped out to a 10-0 lead, highlighted by 2-run doubles from Ian Desmond and Nolan Arenado.  Both of them had two doubles on the night.

Carlos Gonzales snapped out out his slump with 2 hits and 3 runs batted in as well, as the Dodgers had their 5-game win streak snapped.

The Dodgers tried to rally, scoring 7 straight runs, but it was too little too late.  Jeff Hoffman (1-0) picked up the win, allowing 3 runs over 5 1/3 innings after being recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque earlier in the day.

Hyun-Jin Ryu (1-5) came off the DL and had a rough start.  He took the loss, allowing ten runs, five of them earned, and walked six over four innings.  His re-instatement sent Kenta Maeda to the DL with a hamstring injury.

Greg Holland picked up his 15th save of the season for the Rockies.  Holland struck out Yasiel Puig with Cody Bellinger standing on 3rd base to end the game.

“It is Coors Field and anything can happen,” said Cody Bellinger.  “Even though we were down 10-0 we were like listen you know where we’re playing.  So we never gave up and we made it close.”

The Dodgers and Rockies will be back at it on Friday.  Clayton Kershaw (5-2, 2.40 ERA) will try to put LA back in the win column, while the Rockies will go with Tyler Chatwood (3-4, 4.74 ERA).

Bellinger & Dodgers Keep Rolling


May 10, 2017

Cody Bellinger continued his offensive onslaught, and the Dodgers completed a sweep of the Pirates with a 5-2 victory on Wednesday night at the Ravine.

Bellinger connected on a 2-run homer in the 1st inning, which was his 6th long ball on the season.  That was part of a 3-run first inning after Chase Utley delivered an RBI single later on in the 1st, which scored Yasmani Grandal.

Kenta Maeda (3-2) got the win after pitching a career-high 8 1/3 innings, giving up just 2 runs on 5 hits.  He struck out 5 and did not walk anybody.  He made 104 pitches.

Utley added to the lead in the 4th inning, knocking in Chris Taylor with an RBI double.  Utley started at 1st base after Bellinger was moved back to left field due to the season-ending knee injury to Andrew Toles.

Chad Kuhl (1-3) took the loss for the Bucs.  He went 5 innings, giving up 4 runs on 6 hits.  He was lifted for a pinch hitter in the 6th inning, and ultimately was buried by the two-out rally the Dodgers put together in the 1st inning.

Yasmani Grandal made it 5-0 in the 8th inning with an RBI double, scoring Corey Seager.  Grandal was 3-3 on the night, with a walk and a run scored.

Grant Dayton came in to record the final two outs of the game for the Dodgers.  He came into the game after Francisco Cervelli broke the shutout with a 2-run homer in the 9th of of Maeda.

With the sweep, the Dodgers have now won 5 straight games and improved their record  20-14.  They lead the NL in run differential.  LA is now 1.5 games back of 1st place Colorado in the NL West.

Speaking of the Rockies, the Dodgers will open a four-game series against Colorado beginning Thursday evening at Coors Field.  Hyun-Jin Ryu (1-4; 4.05 ERA) will get the ball for LA in game 1, while the Rockies go with Tyler Anderson (2-3; 6.69 ERA).

Dodgers Lose Toles To Torn ACL

May 10, 2017

The Dodgers learned on Wednesday that outfielder Andrew Toles will miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL.

Toles was injured in the 7th inning on Tuesday night after lunging for a ball hit by Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen, which ended up breaking up Julio Urias’ no hit bid.

Toles slid on the warning track but jammed his right knee in the process.  He was removed from the game, yet managed to walk off the field.

“It’s disappointing,” Toles, on crutches, said outside the clubhouse. “I was swinging it pretty good, feeling good, playing pretty good defense, and it all kind of came to a halt.”

Toles was just getting hot too.  In the past 11 games he hit .375  with a 1.005 OPS, 2 homers, 3 doubles and 7 RBIs.  He was tied for second on the team with five home runs.

The Dodgers will now move Cody Bellinger to left field.  They recalled 1st baseman/outfielder Scott Van Slyke, along with outfielder Brett Eibner.  LA also placed reliever Adam Liberatore on the 10-day DL with a groin injury.

Barnes Heroics Help Dodgers Beat Bucs

May 9, 2017

Austin Barnes drilled a walk-off RBI double in the 10th inning, and the Dodgers defeated the Pirates 4-3 in 10 innings on Tuesday night at Chavez Ravine.

Barnes was used as a pinch-hitter with 1 out in the 10th, and Ross Stripling was used as a pinch-runner as well, scoring on the play.

Kenley Jansen (2-0) got the win after pitching a scoreless 10th inning.  Julio Urias started for LA, taking a no-hitter into the 7th inning until Andrew McCutchen doubled to lead off the 7th inning.  The 6 1/3 innings were a career-high for Urias, who allowed a run on two hits, two walks, with five strikeouts.  He threw 95 pitches.

The Pirates took a 3-2 lead in the 8th inning when John Jaso connected on a pinch-hit home run off of reliever Pedro Baez.  However, the Dodgers would tie he game in the 9th inning when Cody Bellinger delivered a run-scoring single, which brought home Corey Seager.  LA nearly won the game at that point, but Jody Mercer turned a spectacular double play.  Mercer scooped up the ball while keeping his foot on the bag after pitcher Tony Watson bounced a ball wide of second base.

After breaking up the no-hitter, the Pirates scored two in the 7th inning to tie the game at 2-2.  Francisco Cervelli doubled in McCutchen, which put the Pirates on the board.  Max Moroff followed with an RBI single, which scored Cervelli.  That was Moroff’s first major league hit and first career RBI.

Yasmani Grandal gave the Dodgers a 2-0 lead in the 4th inning with a 2-run blast to center field off of ivan Nova.  The ball landed int the center field bleachers, and was Grandal’s 4th homer of the season.

Nova pitched 6 1/3 innings, giving up only those 2 runs on 7 hits, striking out 2 and walking 2.  Daniel Hudson (0-2) took the loss for the Bucs, after giving up the game-winning hit to Barnes.

The Dodgers will go for the sweep on Wednesday night at the Ravine.  Kenta Maeda (2-2; 5.81 ERA) is on the mound for LA, while the Pirates give the ball to Chad Kuhl (1-2; 5.54 ERA).

Dodgers Roll 12-1 Against Pirates


May 8, 2017

Chris Taylor hit a a grand slam during a 6-run first inning, and the Dodgers crushed the Pirates 12-1 on Monday night at Chavez Ravine.

Yasiel Puig also homered in the 1st inning, and Alex Wood (3-0) pitched a 2-hit shutout in 5 innings of work.  Wood struck out 11 Pirates and walked only 1.

“I’ve got to continue to be consistent,” Wood said. “I’m just going to build off that, and get ready for the next one.”

The Dodgers jumped all over Pittsburgh starter Trevor Williams (1-2).  Williams lasted just 3 innings, giving up 8 runs (6 earned), on 7 hits.  He was filling in for Jameson Taillon, who had surgery on Monday for suspected testicular cancer.

It was Taylor’s first inning blast that put LA in the drivers seat.  “That really set the tone,” outfielder Joc Pederson said. “We built off that the rest of the game.”

Taylor and Pederson had three hits apiece.  Pederson, Yasmani Grandal, and Enrique Hernandez each drove in a pair of runs.

Ross Stripling pitched 3 innings of relief, giving up 1 run on 3 hits for LA.  Adam Liberatore pitched a scoreless 9th.

LA put Brandon McCarthy on the disabled list after he dislocated his nonthrowing shoulder in the weight room last week.  That resulted in Liberatore getting called up, and Wood getting the start, which the team announced early Monday afternoon.

The Dodgers will try to keep it rolling tomorrow night in game 2.  Julio Urias (0-0; 0.84 ERA) will get the start for the boys in blue, while the Bucs will give the ball to Ivan Nova (3-3, 2.14 ERA).

 

Bellinger Hits Grand Slam In Dodgers Win


May 6, 2017

Cody Bellinger hit his 1st career grand slam, as the Dodgers routed the Padres 10-2 on Saturday night at Petco Park.

Bellinger was 2-4 on the evening, with 5 runs batted in.  Clayton Kershaw (5-2) pitched 7 1/3 innings, giving up just 1 earned run on 5 hits, striking out 9 Padres along the way.

The game was scoreless until the 4th when Bellinger got things started with an RBI single that scored Justin Turner.    The Dodgers would tack on two more in the inning on a pass ball from Padres’ catcher Austin Hedges, scoring Franklin Gutierrez, and then an RBI single from Yasiel Puig, which scored Bellinger.

Kike Hernandez made it 5-0 in the 5th inning with a 2-run double, scoring Justin Turner and Chris Taylor.

That was all for Padres’ starter Clayton Richard (2-4).  He allowed 5 runs on 7 hits on the night.

The Friars only offense of the night came on a solo homer by Ryan Schimpf, his 8th of the season, which came off of Kershaw in the 8th.  They would also add an unearned run in the 9th inning on a fielding error by Justin Turner.

Bellinger is now hitting .357 for the Dodgers.  In the first two games of this series, he’s 5-9 with 3 homers, 9 RBI, and 4 runs.

Chris Taylor walked three times and scored twice.  He is one of just five MLB players this season with at least 30 plate appearance whose OBP and OPS are greater than .470 and 1.07 respectively.

The only bad news for LA was the amount of exertion Kershaw and Kenley Jansen put forth for a 10-2 rout.  Kershaw threw 118 pitches, and Jansen threw 33.  Skipper Dave Roberts said that Kershaw would likely get an extra day of rest before pitching again, while Jansen indicated that he likely would not be available tomorrow.

The Dodgers improved to 17-14 on the season, and remain two games back of 1st place Colorado in the NL West.  The Dodgers are scheduled to go for the sweep on Sunday afternoon at Petco Park, but Roberts was told it is “unlikely” they’ll be able to get the game in based on the weather forecast. The scheduled starters are Brandon McCarthy (3-0; 3.10 ERA) for the Dodgers, and Trevor Cahill (2-2; 3.60 ERA).

Bellinger Still Hot As Dodgers Top Padres


May 5, 2017

Dodger rookie Cody Bellinger had his 2nd two-homer game in the last 7 days, and the Dodgers beat up the Padres 8-2 on Friday night at Petco Park.

Bellinger started at 1st base after the Dodgers put Adrian Gonzales on the disabled list for the first time in his 14-year career.  Bellinger delivered a solo homer in the 4th inning, and a 3-run homer in the 9th, which highlighted LA’s victory.

“I’ve said it before, him going on the DL, you never want to see it,” Bellinger said. “He’s been awesome to me. He’s been a guy that I looked up to growing up and he’s kind of taken me under his wing. A healthy Adrian is a scary Adrian for opposing pitchers.”

Kenta Maeda got the start for the Dodgers.  He went 5 innings, giving up 2 runs (1 earned) on 3 hits, while walking 3 and striking out 8.  Sergio Romo (1-1) got credit for the win after getting the final two outs of the 6th with the based loaded.  Josh Fields threw 1 1/3 innings for his first save of the season.  Maeda and 5 relievers combined on four-hitter.

After Bellinger put the Dodgers up 1-0 in the 4th, the Padres tied it in their half of the 4th after Cory Spangenberg came through with a leadoff double, which was the Friars first hit of the night off Maeda.  Yangervis Solarte walked and Ryan Schimpf delivered an RBI single, knotting the game at 1-1.  Solarte was thrown out by Yasiel Puig on the play.

San Diego actually took a 2-1 lead in the 5th inning after Manuel Margot had a sacrifice fly, which was an unearned run.  The Padres took advantage of a Bellinger throwing error on a sacrifice bunt by Jhoulys Chacin just before Margot’s sac fly.

Chacin allowed just one run on four hits in 5 1/3 innings.  Jose Torres (1-2) took the loss for San Diego after allowing a 2-run double by Andrew Toles in the 7th inning, which put the Dodgers back in front 3-2.

LA would add to the lead in the 8th inning on an infield single from Chris Taylor, which scored Puig.  Yasmani Grandal made it 4-2 in the 9th, which another infield single, scoring Corey Seager.  Then it was Bellinger delivering the big 3-run blow to make it 8-2.

Even after Gonzales is healthy enough to return, the veteran 1st baseman feels that there still could be a place for Bellinger.  “If he keeps playing well, obviously there should be a spot in the lineup for him,” Gonzalez said.

The Dodgers and Padres will be back at it on Saturday evening at Petco Park.  It will be a pair of Clayton’s going at it.  LA will give the ball to their ace, Clayton Kershaw (4-2; 2.61 ERA), while the Padres go with Clayton Richard (2-3; 4.29 ERA).

Giants Get 3 In 11th To Beat Dodgers

May 3, 2017

Brandon Belt and Gorkys Hernandez each had an RBI single in the 11th, and Hunter Pence added a sac fly, as the Giants defeated the Dodgers 4-1 on Wednesday night at Chavez Ravine.  San Francisco won two of the three games in the series.

The Giants got a very strong start from Jeff Samardzija, who pitched 8 strong innings, giving up just 1 run on 3 hits, while striking out 11.  He did not walk a batter.

Steven Okert (1-0) pitched 1 2/3 innings to get credit for the win.  Mark Melancon earned his 6th save of the season after pitching in the 11th.

Grant Dayton (1-1) took the loss for LA, after giving up the 3 runs to the Giants in the 11th inning.  Julio Urias started for the Dodgers and pitched well.  He went 5 innings, giving up only 4 hits, and shutting out the San Francisco.  Urias threw 88 pitches and did not factor in the decision.

The Dodgers only run of the game came on an RBI single from Chris Taylor in the bottom of the 6th inning, which scored Yasiel Puig.

However, the Giants tied the score in the 8th inning against Ross Stripling.  Buster Posey had an RBI groundout to 2nd base, which scored Hunter Pence.

Before the game, Los Angeles inducted longtime broadcaster Vin Scully into the team’s ring of honor. Rather than retire a number for Scully, the Dodgers hung a sign with a microphone and Scully’s name.

The Dodgers now head to San Diego for a weekend series with the Padres.  Kenta Maeda (2-2; 6.58 ERA) will get the start for LA on Friday.  Jhoulys Chacin (3-3; 5.82 ERA) will be on the mound for the Padres.

Dodgers’ Offense Comes Alive Against Giants

May 2, 2017

Yasiel Puig drove in four runs and Cody Bellinger delivered a 3-run triple as the Dodgers hammered the Giants 13-5 at the Ravine on Tuesday night.

Puig went 2-5 with 3 hits and scored 2 runs to go along with his 4 RBI.   Bellinger had 2 hits, 2 runs that went with his 3 RBI.  Franklin Gutierrez hit his 1st homer of the season, and the Dodgers rallied from a 4-run deficit to win for the 5th time in 6 tries.

Alex Wood (2-0) got the win for the Dodgers, pitching 5 innings, yielding 5 runs (4 of them earned) on 7 hits.  He struck out 8 and walked 1.  He threw 82 pitches in the first three innings, but fought through it to get the victory.

Matt Moore (1-4) took the loss for the Giants.  He only lasted 3 1/3 innings, giving up 9 runs on 6 hits.

The Dodgers fell behind 2-0 in the 1st inning after Moore hit a 2-run single to right center with the bases loaded.  Brandon Belt connected on a 2-run double to right in the 2nd, and it was 4-0.

Gutierrez got the Dodgers on the board with his solo blast in the 2nd, and Bellinger’s triple tied the game at 4-4.  Alex Wood helped his own cause with an RBI single, and then Justin Turner hit a sacrifice fly to right, which capped a 6-run rally for LA.

San Francisco got 1 back in the 3rd on an RBI single by Joe Panic.  However, the Dodgers would blitz the Giants for four more runs in the 4th, and another four in the 6th, capped off by an RBI single from Adrian Gonzales.

LA is now 15-13 on the season, and they are 2 games back of 1st place in the NL West.

The rubber game of the three game set will be on Wednesday night at the Ravine.  Julio Urias (0-0; 1.59 ERA) will be on the mound for LA, and Jeff Samardzija (0-4; 6.32 ERA)

 

Giants Get By Dodgers

May 1, 2017

The Dodgers usually don’t lose when Clayton Kershaw is on the mound, but the unusual happened on Monday at Chavez Ravine.  The Giants beat Kershaw and the Dodgers 4-3.

Hunter Pence and Buster Posey hit home runs off of Kershaw, and Johnny Cueto went 7 strong innings to improve his record to 4-2 on the season.

Kershaw did not look as invincible as he usually does on this night.  The Dodger ace pitched 6 innings, giving up four runs (three of them earned) on eight hits, striking out five, and yielding a pair of home runs.

The Giants didn’t waste much time getting on the board in this one.  With one out in the 1st inning, Christian Arroyo singled, then Hunter Pence hit a 2-run shot to left, and it was 2-0 San Francisco.

The Dodgers got one back in their half of the 1st inning on an RBI groundout from Yasmani Grandal. They had a chance for more, but Adrian Gonzales struck out, which stranded Corey Seager at 2nd base.

Kershaw would help his own cause in the bottom of the 2nd inning, delivering an RBI single that scored Cody Bellinger, which tied the game 2-2.  Bellinger led off the inning with a ground rule double.

In the 3rd, the Giants got to Kershaw again, with Buster Posey smacking a 2-run homer to left field, giving San Francisco a 3-2 lead.

Arroyo added to the lead in the 5th, delivering a run scoring single that scored Gorkys Hernandez.

Chris Taylor pinch-hit in the 7th inning, and got the Dodgers a little bit closer with an RBI single that scored Bellinger.  Taylor is now hitting .607 since he was recalled from the minor leagues.  However, the Dodgers would not get any closer than 4-3.

Over the course of Cueto’s 7 innings, he gave up 3 runs on 6 hits , striking out 6 and walking 1.  Derek law recorded the final out of the game, earning him his 1st save of the season.

Justin Turner went 0-4, which ended his 16-game hit streak.  He lined out twice.  The loss also snapped the Dodgers four game winning streak.

Pence came into the game batting just .100 in his career against Kershaw, without a home run.  The Giants also entered the game with a season-low 16 home runs, prior to hitting a pair against the Dodger ace.

The Dodgers will try to get back in the win column on Tuesday night at the Ravine.  Alex Wood (1-0; 2.29 ERA) gets the start for LA, while the Giants will send Matt More to the hill (1-3; 4.80 ERA).

Ryu and Dodgers Sweep Phillies


April 30, 2017

Hyun-Jin Ryu picked up his first win of the season, and Andrew Toles hit a 3-run homer, as the Dodgers defeated the Phillies 5-3 on Sunday afternoon at the Ravine.  The win completed a 3-game sweep over Philadelphia.

Ryu (1-4) pitched 5 1/3rd innings, giving up just 1 run on 3 hits, while striking out 9 Phillies.  He walked 3, and lowered his ERA to 4.05, after a rough start to the season.  Ryu threw 93 pitches before being pulled with 1 out in the 6th.  Sergio Romo came in at that point, and he would strike out the next two batters to end the inning.

Luis Avilan and Pedro Baez each threw scoreless innings, and the Dodgers gave the ball to Grant Dayton in the 9th.  Dayton gave up a 2-out, 2-run homer to Odubel Herrera, but Kenley Jansen came in after that to earn his 7th save by striking out Cesar Hernandez.

The Phillies took a 1-0 lead in the 1st inning on an RBI single by Freddy Galvis, which scored  Hernandez.  Hernandez opened up the game with a triple, after Yasiel Puig had deep fly ball pop out of this glove.  After Galvis run-scoring single,  Daniel Nava walked to put two on with no outs, but Ryu struck out Maikel Franco, then got Aaron Altherr to fly out.  The final out of the inning came when Michael Saunders struck out.  Ryu cruised through the next four innings, needing only 56 pitches, after throwing 24 in the 1st.  He allowed just 1 hit over that stretch.

Justin Turner extended his hit streak to 16 games with an RBI single in the 1st inning, which tied the game 1-1.  One inning later, Chris Taylor hit a solo homer to left center giving the Dodgers the lead.  The Dodgers would maintain that lead until the 6th, when Toles extended the lead to 5-1 with his 3-run bomb.

Nick Pivetta (0-1) took the loss for the Phillies.  He allowed two runs and nine hits in five innings of work in his major league debut.

Turner and Yasmani Grandal had three hits apiece.  Turner raised his batting average to .404 on the season.

The Dodgers continue their homestand on Monday night, when they open a 3-game series with the San Francisco Giants.   The first game of the series will feature Clayton Kershaw (4-1; 2.29 ERA) on the mound for the Dodgers, while Johnny Cueto (3-1; 5.10 ERA) will get the ball for the Giants.

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.

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.

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 27, 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).

Kershaw Gets Dodgers Back In Win Column

April 25, 2017

As usual, Clayton Kershaw stopped the bleeding for the Dodgers.  This time, he gave another strong start in San Francisco, to guide the Dodgers to a 2-1 victory over the Giants.

Kershaw pitched 7 innings, giving up just 1 run on 6 hits while striking out 7.  The Dodger’s ace improved to 4-1 on the season while throwing 90 pitches.  Kenley Jansen earned his 5th save of the season, giving up 2 hits during his 4-out effort.

Ty Blach (0-1) took the loss for the Giants.  He was starting in place of the injured Madison Bumgarner, and pitched 5 innings, giving up both Dodger runs on two hits while striking out 2.

The Giants took a 1-0 lead in the 3rd inning on an RBI single from Buster Posey.  That scored Blach, but Kershaw would get Brandon Crawford to ground out back to the mound, and that would minimize the damage.  The Giants didn’t reach 2nd base against Kershaw after the 3rd inning.

The Dodgers tied it up in the 4th on an RBI single by Yasiel Puig, which scored Justin Turner.  Adrian Gonzales followed by hitting into a fielder’s choice at 1st base, which scored Justin Turner.  That gave the Dodgers a 2-1 lead and that’s all the offense they needed.

With Joc Pederson placed in the DL with a groin injury, the Dodgers recalled Cody Bellinger from Oklahoma, and started him in left field.  Bellinger is considered the best offense prospect in the Dodgers farm system.  He went 1-3 in his major league debut.

“I wanted it to be as soon as possible, but I didn’t really expect it,” Bellinger said. “I’m ready for the task at hand. We’ll see where it goes.”

Kershaw also pitched through a brief scare in his right leg.  At one point, Kershaw’s right foot bothered him as he broke out of the batter’s box on a ground out.

The Dodgers and Giants will go at it again on Wednesday nigh tat AT&T Park.  The Dodgers will give the ball to  Alex Wood (1-0, 3.29 ERA), while the Giants go with Johny Cueto (3-1, 5.25 ERA),

Dodger Woes Continue In San Francisco

April 24, 2017

It doesn’t matter if its right-handed or left-handed pitching.  The Dodger offense can’t seem to hit either, and it happened again on Monday night in a 2-1 loss to the Giants at AT&T Park.

Matt Cain beat the Dodgers for the first time in 4 years, pitching a 2-hit shutout over 6 innings, and improving to 2-0 on the season.  Cain had not thrown six innings without allowing a run since July 7, 2015.  The last time Cain beat the Dodgers was on May 5, 2013.  Mark Melancon pitched the 9th to  picked up his 4th save of the season for San Francisco.

Joe Panic produced a 2nd inning sacrifice fly, and Hunter Pence added an insurance run with an RBI single in the 7th.

The Dodgers only run of the game came on a fielder’s choice that Chris Taylor hit into during the 8th inning.  Chase Utley scored on the play.

Hyun-Jin Ryu fell to 0-4 on the season, despite a strong start for the Dodgers.  Ryu went 6 innings, giving up just 1 run on 5 hits, and striking out 3.  He has lost his last six starts since Sept. 12, 2014, still seeking his first victory since August 31, 2014.

Sergio Romo pitched the 8th inning for LA, and the former Giant got a taste of the NL West rivalry from the Dodger side of things.  Fans chanted “Beat Ro-mo!” when he was on the mound.

The win snapped a four game losing streak for the Giants.  The Dodgers on the other hand have lost six straight games in San Francisco.

Game 2 of the series will be on Tuesday night, with Clayton Kershaw (3-1; 2.54 ERA) on the hill in attempt to stop the bleeding for the Dodgers.  Madison Bumgarner was supposed to start for the Giants, but after injuring his shoulder in a dirt bike accident and going to the DL, San Francisco will start Ty Blach.  He’ll be making his first start of the season.

Dodgers Avoid Sweep In Arizona

April 23, 2017

Brandon McCarthy pitched seven strong innings and the Dodgers exploded for 6 runs in the 5th inning, as they defeated the D’Backs 6-2.  LA managed to salvage one game in their three game set with Arizona and avoided being swept.

McCarthy improved to 3-0, giving up 2 runs on five hits and striking out six in his seven innings of work.  The only two runs he allowed came on a 2-run shot from Paul Goldschmidt in the 1st inning.  The D’Backs could only muster two hits off McCarthy after that.

Shelby Miller took the loss for Arizona, falling to 2-2 on the year.  He made it through 4 shutout innings, and then the Dodger offense woke up in the 5th.  Miller walked the first two batters and then gave up an RBI double to Corey Seager, which made it 2-2.  McCarthy scored, as did Joc Pederson after an error by 2nd baseman Brandon Drury.  After throwing one more pitch, he was visited by the Arizona trainer, and left the mound after that.  There was no word on an injury.

Randall Delgado came in for the D’Backs and the Dodgers continued to do damage.  Adrian Gonzales doubled in Seager and Justin Turner, and suddenly, it was 4-2 LA.  The next batter was Yasmani Grandal, who capped the big inning with a 2-run shot to right center field.  It was his 3rd long ball of the season.

McCarthy and the bullpen took it from there.  Pedro Baez and Sergio Romo pitched the 8th and 9th inning, allowing just 2 hits over those two shutout innings.

The Diamondbacks lost at home for just the second time in ten games this season.  Meanwhile, the Dodgers improved to 9-10 on the year.  LA is in 3rd place in the NL West, 4 games back of the Rockies in the early going.

The Dodgers will now travel to San Francisco to take on the Giants for a four game set beginning Monday at AT&T Park.  Hyun-Jin Ryu (0-3; 5.87 ERA) will start the first game for the Dodgers, while the struggling Giants will counter with Matt Cain (1-0; 3.31 ERA).  San Francisco comes in with the worst record in the National League at 6-13.

D’Backs Pound Dodgers Again

April 22, 2017

Yasmany Tomas hit a pair of home runs for Arizona, and David Peralta hit a franchise record four doubles, as the Diamondbacks hammered the Dodgers 11-5 on Saturday night at Chase Field.

Kenta Maeda got roughed up in 5 innings of work, giving up 6 runs on 9 hits.  He struck out 5, but gave up 4 home runs on the night, falling to 1-2 on the season.

Robby Ray got the win for Arizona, improving to 2-0, despite laboring through 5 1/3rd innings.  He gave up all 5 Dodger runs on 9 hits, but struck out 6 and got plenty of run support.

The Dodgers got off to a quick start in the 1st after Kike Hernandez homered in the 1st inning to make it 1-0.  However, the D’Backs answered in the bottom half of the inning with a 2-run homer from Jake Lamb, followed by a solo shot from Tomas.

An RBI single from Justin Turner in the 3rd cut the Arizona lead to 3-2, but in the 4th Chris Herrmann hit a 2-run shot to make it 5-2.  That would be all for Maeda, after throwing 83 pitches.  Tomas hit his 2nd homer of the game in the 5th to make it 6-2.

“I threw a lot of pitches at the heart of the plate and a lot of hitters took advantage of that,” Maeda said through a translator. “My wish was to go deep in the game knowing the bullpen was taxed. I just didn’t execute at all.”

The Dodgers rallied for 3 runs in the 6th, after an Austin Barnes RBI double, an Adrian Gonzales RBI infield hit, and a bases loaded walk to Chris Taylor.

The rally wasn’t enough though as the D’Backs would go on to add 5 more runs in the 7th and 8th inning, against Chris Hatcher and Ross Stripling.

Skipper Dave Roberts indicated that he was unsure of Maeda’s future status in the LA starting rotation after all of his recent troubles.

“We are going to talk through some things and see what is best for Kenta,” Roberts said.  Maeda has not lasted more than five innings in any of his four starts.

The Dodgers will try to avoid the sweep on Sunday afternoon at Chase Field.  Brandon McCarthy (2-0; 2.12 ERA) will be on the mound for LA, and the D’Backs will go with Shelby Miller (2-1; 3.50 ERA).

Dodger Bullpen Implodes In Arizona

April 21, 2017

The Dodgers and Diamondbacks were locked up in a tight game on Friday night until the 8th inning. That’s when Arizona erupted for 9 runs resulting in a 13-5 D’Backs victory at Chase Field.

Paul Goldschmidt, Yasmani Tomas, and Chris Ianetta each drove in two runs during the late rally against the Dodger bullpen.  Arizona put together 6 hits and 5 walks in the 8th.

Chris Taylor’s home run gave the Dodgers a 5-4 lead in the 7th, but things went south in the 8th inning.

Luis Avilan walked in the tying run, then Sergio Romo was called for a balk that brought home the go-ahead score.  It was the first balk of Romo’s career.  What followed was an avalanche of Arizona runs.

“It got called a balk regardless of what I think,” Romo said.  “It was a balk in a big situation.”

The Dodgers had gotten off to a strong start after Corey Seager hit a 2-run homer in the 1st inning which gave LA a 2-0 lead.  A.J. Pollock hit a solo shot in the bottom half of the inning to cut the lead to 2-1.  It remained a 1-run game until the 8th inning when the D’Backs blew it open.

Ross Stripling pitched a little more than an inning, and suffered the loss.  Archie Bradley got the win for the Diamondbacks.

Alex Wood got the start for LA, in place of the injured Rich Hill.  He last 4 2/3rd inning, giving up 4 runs on 7 hits, and striking out 6 batters.

The 2nd game of the series will be tomorrow night at Chase Field.  Kenta Maeda will take the mound for the Dodgers, and he’ll go up against Robbie Ray.

Dodgers Get Much Needed Win Over Rockies

April 19, 2017

The Dodgers encountered a critical early season matchup with the Rockies on Wednesday night at the Ravine, and came away with an important 4-2 victory behind ace Clayton Kershaw.

Kershaw went 7 innings, giving up 2 runs on 5 hits, while striking out 10.  He improved to a 3-1 on the season, but his 97 pitch effort was not as typical as the Dodgers usually get from their ace.  It still required the use of three relievers to secure the win.  That included Luis Avilan, Sergio Romo, and Kenley Jansen, who earned his 4th save of the season.

The Dodgers started the night 3 full games behind Colorado in the NL West.  A loss would have been a big set back, even in this early in the season.  Skipper Dave Roberts acknowledged the importance of the win.

“April 19th , you don’t want to say you’re in a must-win mode, but I do believe, when your ace takes the mound it’s a must-win game,” he said.

Kershaw’s start was anything but smooth in the 1st inning.  He walked leadoff man Charlie Blackmon, then gave up back-to-back singles to DJ LeMahieu and Nolan Arenado, so the Rockies had the bases loaded with nobody out.  However, Kershaw limited the damage by striking out two of the next three batters, while giving up a sacrifice fly in between.

Scott Van Slyke tied the game in the Dodger half of the 2nd inning, hitting a solo homer to center field.  It was his first home run of the year.

The Dodgers would tack on three more in the 5th inning.  Kike Hernandez hit an RBI double to left, scoring Chris Taylor.  Corey Seager followed with RBI single to right, scoring Kershaw.  Two batters later, Adrian Gonzales recorded an RBI fielders choice, which made it 4-1 after Hernandez crossed the plate.

The Rockies got one back in the 6th inning on an RBI single from Stephen Cardullo.  Kershaw shut down Colorado after that. Avilan, Romo, and Jansen combined to give up just 1 hit over the remaining three innings.

The Dodgers improved to 8-8 on the season.  They are 3-1 when Clayton Kershaw starts, and 5-7 when anybody else starts.

LA will now travel to Arizona to open a 3-game series with the Diamondbacks on Friday night.  Kenta Maeda (1-1) will get the start for the Dodgers, while the D’Backs go with Taijuan Walker (2-1).

Rockies Hold Off Dodgers

April 18, 2017

Nolan Arenado hit a pair of home runs, and Trevor Story added another, as the Rockies held off a late Dodger rally to win 4-3 at Chavez Ravine on Tuesday night.

The Dodgers tried to rally in the 9th inning, but came up short.  Justin Turner had an RBI single, scoring Chase Utley.  Yasmani Grandal had a run-scoring single as well to pull the Dodgers within 1. However, Adrian Gonzales grounded out to short to end the game with runners at 1st and 2nd.

Despite giving up the two runs in the 9th, Greg Holland earned his 4th save.  Chris Ruslin earned the win in relief for the Rockies.  Kyle Freeland went 4 innings for Colorado, giving up 4 hits and 1 earned run on 87 pitches.  Hyun-Jin Ryu took the loss for LA, falling to 0-3 on the season.  Ryu gave up 4 runs on 6 hits, in his 6 innings of work.

Arenado got the Rockies off to a strong start in the 1st inning with a 2-run shot to left field.  Story connected on a solo blast in the 4th.  Joc Pederson put the Dodgers on the board in the 4th, reaching on an infield single which scored Kike Hernandez.

However, Arenado and the Rockies answered in the 5th again, after he put another ball into the Pavilion.

The boys in blue fell to 7-8 on the season, and are 3 games back of the 1st place Rockies in the NL West.

The Dodgers are back at it tomorrow in the 2nd game of the series.  Clayton Kershaw will be on the hill for LA, and the Rockies will counter with Tyler Anderson.

Dodgers Can’t Hold Off D’Backs

April 17, 2017

Jake Lamb hit a solo homer in the 8th inning, and David Peralta added an RBI triple in the 9th, as the D’Backs beat the Dodgers 4-2 at the Ravine on Monday night.  Both teams split the four-game set with two wins apiece.

The Dodgers had a 2-0 lead in this one after a 2nd inning sacrifice fly from Logan Forsythe, and a solo homer from Enrique Hernandez in the 4th inning.  That was all the offense that LA could generate against Robbie Ray.  The Arizona lefty went six innings for the Diamondbacks, allowing the two runs on three hits and four walks, while striking out 10.

Brandon McCarthy started for the Dodgers, allowing two runs on five hits and three walks in five innings. He struck out eight.  Neither starting pitcher got a decision.

J.J. Hoover got the win for the D’Backs and Fernando Rodney earned his 5th save of the season.  Chris Hatcher took the loss for LA.

Arizona tied the score at 2-2 in the 5th inning, when A.J. Pollock and David Peralta had back-to-back RBI singles.

The bullpen has been very reliable for LA, but unfortunately on this night this they were unable to hold down the opposition.

“They’ve been great,” skipper Dave Roberts said of his bullpen which has thrown 49-1/3 innings already this season (among the most in the majors). “Lamb’s an aggressive hitter. Hatch tried to stuff it in there, but it just leaked back over the plate.

The Dodgers will now begin a short series with the Rockies on Tuesday night at Dodgers Stadium.  Hyun-Jin Ryu will get the ball for the Dodgers, and the Rockies will go with Kyle Freeland.

Hill Injured Again & Dodgers Lose

April 16, 2017

Rich Hill had more trouble with the blister on his finger while Taijuan Walker pitched 5 solid innings for Arizona, as the D’Backs beat the Dodgers 3-1 on Sunday afternoon at the Ravine.

Hill came off the 10-day disabled list on Sunday, after missing some time with a blister on his left middle finger.  However, he re-aggravated the blister after making 54 pitches.  The Dodger left-hander departed after just three innings of work.

The D’Backs got a solo homer from Chris Ianetta in the 3rd inning, followed by a based loaded walk to Jake Lamb, which gave them a 2-0 lead.

The Dodgers got on the board in the 4th inning with an RBI double from Yasiel Puig, which scored Yasmani Grandal.

However, Sergio Romo gave up an RBI single to Paul Goldschmidt in the 7th, which made it 3-1.  That gave the D’Backs all the offense they would need on this day to hold on for the win.

Walker picked up the win to improve to 2-1 on the season.  He struck out 7, while allowing just a single run on four hits and a walk.  Fernando Rodney pitched the 9th inning for Arizona to get his 4th save.

Hill took the loss.  He gave up 2 earned runs on 5 hits in his brief three innings of work.  He was visibly frustrated after the 3rd inning and went straight to the clubhouse.  He returned for the start of the 4th inning, but skipper Dave Roberts and the LA trainer met him on the mound before he threw another pitch.  That’s when he was pulled from the game.

Logan Forsythe did not start for the Dodgers, but he was available to pinch-hit.  After aggravating his right hamstring on Saturday night, he is expected back in the lineup on Monday.

The final game of the four game set will be on Monday evening.  Brandon McCarthy will go for LA, while the Diamondbacks will counter with Robbie Ray.

Puig Leads Dodgers Over Arizona

April 15, 2017

Yasiel Puig hit a 3-run homer and drove in 4 runs, as the Dodgers beat the D’Backs 8-4 on Saturday night at the Ravine.

The Dodgers offensive outbreak was much needed on this night.  They overcame a poor start from Kenta Maeda, and 3 defensive errors to win their 2nd straight game.

Austin Barnes also went deep for LA.  Alex Wood pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings to get the win for the boys in blue, and Kenley Jansen recorded a four-out save.  It was his 3rd save of the season.  Patrick Corbin took the loss for Arizona.

Maeda lasted just four innings, giving up four runs on four hits and striking out five batters.  He departed after throwing 71 pitches.

The Dodgers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the 1st inning on an RBI single from Corey Seager, and a sac fly from Puig.  However, the D’Backs took a 3-2 lead after a 3-run bomb from Nick Ahmed off Madea in the 2nd inning.

Barnes homer tied it at 3-3 in the 2nd inning.  Ahmed made it 4-3 in the 4th inning with an RBI single, and Maeda’s night was over shortly after that.

Seager’s sac fly in the bottom half of the inning tied the game at 4-4, and then Kike Hernandez scored in the 5th on a throwing error to make it 5-4.  The game stayed that way until the 8th inning when Puig delivered the big blow.

The Dodgers honored Jackie Robinson before the game, unveiling a statue outside of Dodger Stadium.  Every player on the field was wearing the number 42 to honor Robinson.

Logan Forsythe left the game for the Dodgers in the 4th inning.  He didn’t seem too concerned about the injury though, saying “It didn’t pop or grab so my level of concern is not high.”

The Dodgers will try to make it three straight on Sunday at the Ravine.  Rich Hill will be back on the mound for LA, and he’ll go up against Taijuan Walker.

Kershaw Bests Greinke

April 14, 2017Clayton Kershaw got the better of former teammate Zack Greinke, and Andrew Toles hit a 2-run shot as the Dodgers beat the D’Backs 7-1 at the Ravine on Friday night.Kershaw pitched 8 1/3rd innings, giving up 1 run on 4 hits while striking out 8.  The Dodger’ ace improved to 2-1 on the season.The Dodgers jumped on Greinke early in the game, getting a pair of run-scoring singles from Adrian Gonzales and Logan Forsythe in the 3rd inning.An RBI double from Justin Turner in the 4th, followed by a sac fly from Yasiel Puig in the 5th made it 5-0.  That was all for Greinke.Greinke pitched 5 innings, giving up 5 runs on 10 hits.  He walked 3 and struck out 4, and suffered his first loss of the season.Toles homer in the 8th was the final blow the Dodgers delivered.  Pedro Baez recorded the final two outs of the game for LA in the 9th inning.Game 2 of the four game set will be on Saturday night at the Ravine.  It will be Kenta Maeda on the mound for LA against Patrick Corbin.The Dodgers got some good news on Friday as well.  Rich Hill will be coming off the DL on Sunday to make a start against Arizona.  Hill had been suffering from a blister on his left middle finger.

Dodgers Offense Still Quiet In Chicago

April 13, 2017

The Dodgers still could not get their offense going on Thursday in Chicago, losing to the Cubs 4-0.  Chicago took two out of three from LA in the early season series.

The Cubs deployed left-hander Brett Anderson against the Dodgers, who stifled his former team, pitching 5 shutout innings.  Anderson spent two seasons with the Dodgers, with his 2016 campaign being marred by injuries.  He threw 90 pitches, and gave up only 3 hits to pick up his first win of the season.  He has an E.R.A of 0.84 in his two starts with Chicago.

Chicago took a 1-0 lead on a solo home run from Anthony Rizzo in the 1st inning, and then made it 2-0 on another solo shot from Addison Russell in the 4th.  Those homers came off of Dodger starter Hyun-Jin Ryu, who gave up two run-scoring hits in the 5th to Kyle Schwarber and Rizzo.   That made it 4-0, and it was all the offense the Cubs would need.

Ryu took the loss, lasting 4 2/3rd innings, and giving up all 4 runs on 6 hits.  He fell to 0-2 on the season, and has an E.R.A. of 5.79 in his two starts.

Although Anderson is another left-handed starter that gave the Dodgers trouble, their offensive issues were not limited to just lefties.

LA only generated 3 hits off of Cubs relievers Carl Edwards Jr., Koji Uehara, and Wade Davis, who are all right-handed pitchers.

During their 3-game set with the defending World Series Champions, the Dodgers were just 1-24 with runners in scoring position.  They left 26 runners on base, and they scored just four runs in the three games.

Dodger Manager Dave Robert didn’t seem too concerned.  “We look at our club and we know we’re evenly matched,” he said. “I think they know it as well. They won the series. We’ll get them at our place. They know we’re not going anywhere.”

The Cubs also made some great defensive plays on Thursday.  Corey Seager was robbed by Albert Almora Jr in the 1st inning, who made a spectacular leaping catch on a fly ball hit to the wall.  Two innings later, Seager was robbed again.

Seager came to the plate with two outs and Kike Hernandez at 2nd base in the 3rd inning.  The Dodger shortstop hit another drive to the wall but Albert Almora Jr. leaped at the ivy to make another spectacular catch.

The Dodgers are now 5-5 on the young season.  They’ll return home tomorrow for the first of a four game set against the Diamondbacks.  Game 1 will feature a pair of aces going at it.  Clayton Kershaw gets the ball for the Dodgers, while Arizona will counter with his former teammate, Zack Greinke.

Dodgers Shut Down Cubs

April 12, 2017

The Dodgers got a solo blast from Andrew Toles, and 6 strong innings of work from Brandon McCarthy to defeat the Cubs 2-0 at Wrigley Field on Wednesday night.

McCarthy gave up just four hits while striking out 4 batters in his six innings of shutout ball.  He also collected a win against San Diego last week, so he is now 2-0 on the season.

Tole hit his 1st leadoff home run, which came off of John Lackey.  It was Toles 2nd home run of the season, which gave the Dodgers a 1-0 lead all the way until the 9th inning.

The only other run of the game came when Chase Utley scored from 1st base after a dropped third strike and a throwing error.  Utley barreled through Cubs reliever Hector Rondon.

Ross Stripling, Luis Avilan, and Kenley Jansen allowed just 1 hit over the next 3 innings.  Jansen picked up his 2nd save of the season.

The Dodgers will return to action on Thursday afternoon in the rubber game of the 3-game set.  Hyun-Jin Ryu will be on the mound for LA, and he’ll be opposed by former Dodger Brett Anderson.

Dodgers Lose To Cubs In 9th

April 10, 2017

Anthony Rizzo singled against Kenley Jansen in the bottom of the 9th inning on Monday night, and the Cubs beat the Dodgers 3-2.  The game was finally played after a one-hour and 56 minute rain delay.  It was the home opener for the Cubs, which saw them raise their World Series Championship banner at Wrigley Field.

The 9th inning began with a John Jay single off of Sergio Romo.  Tommy La Stella pinch-hit for Wade Davis, then advanced Jay to second base on a groundout to shortstop.  That’s when Jansen came in for Romo.  The Dodger closer would strike out Kris Bryant, and it looked like he might get out of the jam.  However, Jay stole 3rd during Bryant’s at-bat, and Rizzo would single on a 1-1 pitch to give the Cubs the win.

The Cubs jumped out to a 2-0 lead in this one.  Bryant hit an RBI double in the 3rd inning off of Dodgers’ starter Alex Wood.  Wood went just 3 2/3 innings, giving up 1 earned run on 3 hits, and striking out 4.  Cubs’ starter Jon Lester made it 2-0 on an RBI fielder’s choice in the 4th.

However, the Dodgers would answer in the 6th.  Corey Seager doubled to right, scoring Joc Pederson, which got the Dodgers on the board.  In the 8th, Chase Utley reached on a fielder’s choice, which scored Logan Forsythe to tie the game at 2-2.  Utley looked like he was going to hit into a sure double play, but Addison Russell threw the ball away when tossing it over to first base.  The play was reviewed to make sure Justin Turner did not interfere with Russell while sliding into 2nd base, but the umpire ruled that no interference occurred.

Lester pitched six strong innings for the Cubs, allowing just 1 run on 4 hits, and striking out 7.  The Dodgers couldn’t generate much offense against the Cubs’ bullpen.  LA had just 2 hits against 5 different Cubs relievers, and only 1 unearned run to show for it.

The Dodgers had their chances but couldn’t capitalize.  LA was just 1-7 with runners in scoring position, and left 8 men on base.

Game 2 of the series will be on Wednesday night at Wrigley.  The Dodgers will give the ball to Brandon McCarthy, while the Cubs will counter with John Lackey.

Dodgers Get A Win Colorado

April 9, 2017

The Dodgers avoided being swept on Sunday by defeating the Rockies 10-6 at Coors Field.  Corey Seager hit a 2-run homer, Justin Turner added a 2-run double, and the Dodgers finally produced some offense against a left-handed pitcher.

Kenta Maeda pitched five innings, giving up 4 runs on 5 hits, while striking out 5 batters to earn his first win of the season.  Logan Forsythe also had a breakout performance for the boys in blue.  The Dodger 2nd baseman had 3 hits, scored 2 runs, and had an RBI.

Forsythe was acquired to help the Dodgers overcome their issues against left-handers.  Sunday was the first time this season we saw him do just that.

“It was definitely more of a feel thing,” Forsythe said. “Mechanically, it wasn’t anything too different. I just had to try and find that feel again.”

LA blitzed Rockies lefty Tyler Anderson for 5 runs in his 5 innings of work.  That snapped the Rockies  3-game win streak.

“It was big to get a win today, salvage the series and get out of here on that note,” Turner said. “For whatever reason, we always seem to have a tough time playing here.”

The Dodger bullpen held the Rockies scoreless until the 9th, when Kenley Jansen gave up two runs. However, it was too little too late for Colorado.

The Dodgers improved to 4-3 on the season, and now head to Chicago to take on the defending World Series Champions, the Cubs.  It will be a 3-game series with Alex Wood getting the ball for the Dodgers on Monday.  The Cubs will counter with Jon Lester.

Rockies Get To Kershaw

April 8, 2017

For the first time in his career, Clayton Kershaw gave up back-to-back home runs as the Rockies defeated the Dodgers 4-2 at Coors Field on Saturday night.

Mark Reynolds and Gerardo Parra hit the back-to-back homers in the 6th inning, extending the Rockies’ lead to 4-1, which the Dodgers would never recover from.  Nolan Arenado also homered for Colorado.  The three home runs were the most Kershaw had surrendered since 2013.

“I didn’t know that,” Kershaw said. “That was cool, for a little bit, I guess. You never expect to give up home runs.”

Kershaw gave up 8 home runs in 21 starts last year.  In his first two starts, he’s already surrendered 4.

The Dodgers meager offensive output continued to be a problem as well on Saturday.  Their only offense consisted of a solo home run from Andrew Toles in the 5th inning that tied the game 1-1, and an RBI single from Adrian Gonzales in the 8th inning.  After some explosive offensive outputs against the Padres, the Dodgers have just three runs in their last two games.

“It’s not from lack of effort,” skipper Dave Roberts said. “We’re going to hit. We’re going to score runs. I don’t think we’re too concerned over these first two games.”

LA couldn’t get the bats going against Jon Gray, who gave up just 1 run on 4 hits in a little over 5 innings of work.  Mike Dunn recorded two outs in the 6th inning to earn the win, and Greg Holland pitched a perfect 9th inning to earn his 4th save of the season.

The Dodgers will try to avoid getting swept on Sunday afternoon at Coors Field.  Kenta Maeda will be on the hill for LA, and the Rockies will go with Tyler Anderson.

Rockies Edge

Dodgers

April 7, 2017

The Dodger struggles against left-handed pitching continued on Friday in Colorado. This time it was Rockies lefty Kyle Freeland leading Colorado to a 2-1 win at Coors Field.

Freeland pitched six strong innings, and gave up just one run on four hits. Colorado also got a solo homer from Dustin Garneau in the 5th off of Hyun-Jin Ryu.

Ryu only went 4 2/3 innings but had an encouraging start after sitting out much of the last two seasons with injury. Ryu gave up two runs on six hits and struck out five, while throwing 77 pitches.

The Dodgers only run of the game came on an RBI ground out from Kike Hernandez in the fourth inning. Nolan Arenado gave the Rockies a 1-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI double off Ryu.

Both bullpens, as expected, were effective. Ross Stripling, Josh Fields, and Grant Dayton retired all 10 batters they faced.

The Rockies bullpen got three scoreless innings of their own, with Jake McGee pitching a scoreless ninth for the save, his first of the year.

The Dodgers stacked the lineup with 7 right-handed hitters and switch-hitting Yasmani Grandal. It didn’t help though, as the Dodgers were 0-5 with runners in scoring position.

Before the game, LA placed Rich Hill on the 10-day DL with another pitching blister.

Game 2 of the series will be tomorrow night. Clayton Kershaw gets the ball for LA, and he’ll go up against Jon Gray.

Dodgers Blow Out

Padres Again

April 6, 2017

The Dodgers got a pair of home runs from Yasiel Puig and beat up the Padres 10-2 on Thursday.  It was the final game of a four game set with San Diego, in which the Dodgers took 3 of the 4 games.

Brandon McCarthy got his first win in his first start of the season. McCarthy went 6 innings, giving up 2 runs on 4 hits, while striking out 4. Luis Avilan and Chris Hatcher shut down the Padres the rest of the way.

The Padres only offense came on a 2-run homer from Wil Myers in the 6th, off of McCarthy. The Dodger right-hander underwent Tommy John surgery in 2015 and suffered from a case of the yips last year.

Dodgers’ outfielder Joc Pederson was ejected in the seventh inning after he slammed his bat and helmet after being called out on strikes.

Puig’s two homers came off of former Angel Jered Weaver, who was making his Padres debut. Weaver went 5 innings, allowing 4 runs on 5 hits.

The Dodgers will now travel to Colorado to take on the Rockies for a 3 game set. LA will give the ball to Hyun-Jin Ryu, while the Rockies counter with Kyle Freeland.

Puig Leads Dodgers

Over Padres

April 5, 2017

Yasiel Puig hit his first home run of the season, and Rich Hill pitched 5 strong innings as the Dodgers defeated the Padres 3-1 on Wednesday night at the Ravine.

It’s was a rough spring training for Hill, but he got on track in his first start of the season.  He went 5 innings, giving up just 2 hits, and allowing only Hunter Renfroe’s solo home run in the 4th inning.  Hill also struck out 5 and walked 3.

“I only threw 75 pitches and I made one mistake on the home run, but it’s early, and I felt good tonight,” Hill said. “I made some mechanical adjustments, and I feel good about it.”

Sergio Romo, Alex Wood, and Kenley Jansen pitched the rest of the way, shutting down the Padres. Jansen picked up his first save of the season by pitching the 9th.

The Dodgers took a 1-0 lead on an RBI double from Adrian Gonzales, which scored Corey Seager.  Gonzales would score later in the inning on a fielding error from Padres 1st baseman Will Myers.

After Renfroe cut the lead in half in the 4th, Puig put the ball over the left field wall in the Dodgers half of the 4th.  It came on a 2-1 pitch to extend the Dodger lead to 3-1.

“I’m trying to make better swings,” Puig said through an interpreter. “I’m not used to batting that low in the order, but it keeps me in the lineup so I have to do my job.”

The 4th and final game of the series will be on Thursday night at the Ravine.  Brandon McCarthy gets the call for the boys in blue.  The Padres will counter with former Angel Jered Weaver.

Dodgers Shut Down

By Padres

April 4, 2017

The Padres got 8 shutout inning from Clayton Richard on Tuesday night, and they defeated the Dodgers 4-0 at Chavez Ravine.

Yangervis Solarte hit a home run and the Dodgers grounded into four double plays on this night.  The Dodgers were limited to just 5 hits after exploding for 14 hits and 14 runs the day before.

“Clayton’s goal is to put the ball on the ground and he’s a high percentage sinker,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “When he’s doing that, he’s going to be tough.”

Corey Seager went 0-4 for the boys in blue, with a strikeout, and hit into two double plays.  Kenta Maeda went 5 innings, and gave up 3 runs on 6 hits in the loss.

“It’s a long season,” Maeda said. “We still have a lot of games to play.  I was a little bit too excited, being the season opener,” he said through a translator. “(Richard) really moved the ball well and kept the hitters off balance. He kept the rhythm off balance, which is something I wasn’t able to do for my team.”

Solarte also had an RBI single in the 1st inning to put the Padres ahead 1-0.  As sacrifice fly from Ryan Schimpf made it 2-0 after the one inning.  After Solarte’s solo blast in the 3rd, Will Myers tacked on an RBI single in the 8th.  That was all the scoring the Padres needed.

The game brought back memories of the Dodgers’ struggles against left handers last year.  “I hate to go back to last year, but it feels like they were anxious at-bats against left-handers,” third baseman Justin Turner said. “Not waiting guys out, getting mistakes over the plate. But we’ll get better.”

Game 3 of the series is on Wednesday night at the Ravine.  Rich Hill will get his first start of the season for the Dodgers, and he’ll be opposed by Trevor Cahill.

Dodgers Crush

Padres In Opener

April 3, 2017

The Dodgers started the 2017 season off on a positive note by pounding the Padres 14-3 on opening day at the Ravine.

Joc Pederson hit a grand slam home run in the 3rd inning, and Yasmani Grandal followed with his first of two homers after that, and the Boys in Blue cruised to victory.  Clayton Kershaw scattered just 2 hits in 7 innings of work for his first victory of the season.  Kershaw struck out 8, walked 1, and retired 19 straight batters before giving up a solo home run to Ryan Schimpf in the 7th.  It was the only earned run the Dodgers’ ace would allow.

The win was the 7th consecutive opening day victory for the Dodgers.  Corey Seager homered in the 5th inning for LA, a 3-run blast, and Justin Turner contributed 3 hits and 2 runs.  The Dodgers hit a  franchise-record four opening day home runs.

The Padres got on the board in the 1st inning, taking advantage of a two-base error by Seager.  A wild pitch, followed by a single from Yangervis Solarte gave the Padres a 1-0 lead.  However, a Pederson sacrifice fly in the bottom-half of the inning tied the score at 1-1.

After Pederson and Grandal broke the game open in the 3rd, the Dodgers continued their onslaught in the 4th.  Justin Turner hit a two-run double, and LA would tack on two more runs off of two wild pitches from Padres pitcher Christian Bethancourt.  After Seager’s home run in the 5th, the Dodgers led 12-1.

Kershaw made only 84 pitches, and was replaced by Chris Hatcher, who pitched the last two innings.    Hatcher struggled in spring training, and gave up 1 run and 3 hits in his two innings of work.

Grandal’s 2nd home run of the game came in the 8th inning, and was a 2-run blast.

Game 2 of the four game set will be tomorrow night at Dodgers Stadium.  The Blue Crew will send Kenta Maeda to the mound, while the Padres will counter with Clayton Richard.

Utley Re-Signs

February 10th, 2017

The Dodgers have re-signed infielder Chase Utley to a one year deal.  The deal was reported by LA Times reported Andy McCullough.  Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Utley was the teams everyday second baseman last year, appearing in 138 games and often leading off for the team.  With the acquisition of Logan Forsythe, it appeared as though there was no place for Utley with the Dodgers.  However, his leadership and clubhouse presence was a key reason LA wanted him to return.

A six time All-Star with the Phillies, Utley hit .252 with 14 home runs and a .716 OPS last season.  He will be an important left-handed bat off the bench for the Dodgers, and will likely see time at both 2nd and 3rd base.

This was a busy week for the Dodgers, just before pitchers and catchers report to Camelback Ranch on February 15th.   They also agreed to a one year $2.6 million deal with outfielder Franklin Gutierrez.  The Dodgers hope Gutierrez will help them against left handed pitching, as he had an .884 OPS last season against lefties while playing for the Mariners.

Earlier this week the Dodgers signed former Giants reliever Sergio Romo to a one year $3 million deal, plus some incentives.  Romo should help the Dodgers middle relief, after posting an ERA of 2.58 in 400 career innings with the Giants.

Dodgers vs Braves: How They Matchup

Dodgers-Vs-Braves-Odds

October 3rd, 2013

The Dodgers finally make a return to the post-season on Thursday, for the first time since 2009.  The Boys in Blue will be going up against the NL East Champion Atlanta Braves.  The Braves finished 96-66, while LA was 92-70.  Atlanta also won the season series with the Dodgers 5-2, but all of those games took place before LA’s historic winning streak.  The Dodgers cooled off quite a bit in September, going just 13-14, but they may have caught a break.  Atlanta cooled off just as much, going 12-15.  Even though the Braves have home field advantage and the best home record in baseball, the Dodgers posted baseball’s best road record.

THE PITCHING

This Dodgers have a major advantage here.  In games 1 through 3, they’ll be sending Clayton Kershaw, Zach Greinke, and Hyun-Jin Ryu to the mound.  The Braves will counter with Kris Medlen, Mike Minor, and Julio Teheran.  Medlen is nice, but he’s going up against the best pitcher in baseball, and Greinke is the best #2 starter in the game.  Any questions?

Advantage: LA

THE LINEUPS

The Braves have an explosive offense.  They have a notable advantage at catcher with all-star Brian McCann, who has great power, more consistency at 3rd base with Chris Johnson, and in the outfield with Justin Upton and Jayson Heyward.  Atlanta lead the National League in home runs, and they have two of the league’s top 3 hitters with Johnson and Freddie Freeman.  Meanwhile, the Dodgers are missing some power in their lineup with Matt Kemp out, and Andre Ethier limited to pinch hitting duties.  Even with Kemp, their offense has struggled to score runs in the last month.  They’ll need Hanley Ramirez, Yasiel Puig, and Adrian Gonzales to come through.

Advantage: Atlanta

THE BENCH

The Dodgers have quite a bit of depth here.  Andre Ethier can supply some solid hitting off the bench, and Michael Young can come in to play either corner infield spot.  Nick Punto is also a very solid utility player, who is capable of coming up with clutch hits.  The Braves don’t have much here.  Just BJ Upton, who has played more like Kate Upton this year.

Advantage: Dodgers

THE BULLPENS:

The Braves have had the best bullpen in baseball all season.  They posted the lowest ERA in the majors, and suffered just 15 losses all year.  Their bullpen is also anchored by Craig Kimbrel, who led all NL closers in saves and ERA.  If he gets the ball, the game is over.  The Dodgers bullpen isn’t exactly chopped liver though.  Kenley Jansen, Brian Wilson, and JP Howell were lights out in September.  The Dodgers are counting on their starters working deep into the game.

Advantage: Braves

PREDICTION:

The Braves are capable of hitting the ball out of the park, but they also struck out more than any other NL team.  This means they sit back and wait for the long ball, instead of manufacturing runs. This could be big problem against the best starting pitching staff in the game.  Remember, pitching has always been the great equalizer in the post season.  The Dodgers will also have to start Skip Schumaker in center field, with Andre Ethier injured.  However, Schumaker has championship post season experience with the Cardinals, and has even hit well against Medlen.  If the Dodgers can return to the timely hitting we saw in July and August, they should be able to win this series easily.  Dodgers in 4.

Is Kemp’s Season Over?

DODGERS VS NATIONALS

September 7th, 2013

Just when you think Matt Kemp is ready to play again, he suffers another injury.  I could almost feel Dodger fans collectively roll their eyes over all forms of social media on Friday, when they discovered Kemp pulled his hamstring again. This latest setback could end Kemp’s season, which has been a train wreck.  Even Andrew Bynum thinks Matt Kemp gets hurt a lot!

Kemp had been recovering from a sprained right ankle, which he suffered on July 21st, against the Reds.  This was his third extended trip to the DL this season, as he has battled shoulder and hamstring issues all year.  He started a minor league rehab assignment about a week ago, but struggled harder than Charlie Sheen does after a Saturday night bender.  Kemp was 0-18 with 7 strikeouts while playing single A baseball.  His performance was so atrocious, he was sent to Arizona to rehab at the Dodgers spring training facility instead of being a part of the minor league playoff roster.

Kemp is hitting .263 with just 6 home runs and a career low .700 OPS.   It was only one year ago that he was considered one of the best all around players in baseball. After the Dodgers put together a historic two months of baseball without him, they sound like they are totally ok moving on without him.  With just 23 games left in the season, Kemp doesn’t have much time to get it together to make the Dodgers playoff roster.  ”We’ve gotta move on.  We’ve gotta continue to play,” said GM Ned Colletti.  ”They’re not going to stop the season for us or give us a bye.”

With Yasiel Puig in the Dodgers lineup it sounds like Colletti isn’t just moving on.  He sounds like he just dumped his girlfriend who’s gained a few pounds for Kate Upton.  Considering that Colletti signed Kemp to a 7 year $160 million deal last year, I’m not sure how easy that break up will be.

The Dodgers may feel that they can get by without Kemp for the rest of the year, but lets not lose perspective here Dodger fans.  Kemp is an unstoppable force when he’s healthy, and it sure would be nice to have his bat in the World Series, especially with the DH.  LA may be giving up on his return, but Kemp isn’t.  Today, he took 15 swings in Arizona, and might try running tomorrow.  Time is running out this season for Kemp to return and make an impact, but he certainly cares a great deal, and wants to help this team win the World Series.  You also can’t underestimate his leadership in the clubhouse, and how much his teammates respect him.

I keep hearing from Kemp’s critics that he doesn’t have good fundamentals, and doesn’t play hard.  I don’t hear any of these critics talk about Yasiel Puig’s game the same way, even though he never hits the cutoff man.  The Dodgers have the luxury of having 4 good outfielders, and that’s important because all 4 are very high risk to injury with their style of play.  I sure hope the Dodgers think long and hard about that before trading anyone this winter.

Do The Dodgers Have To Trade Somebody?

Ethier swing

August 15th, 2013

In life, there are certain advantages that having more money gives you.  No, I’m not talking about rich Republicans using it to their advantage.  I’m talking about the Dodgers, and the advantage of their $220 million payroll.  LA is currently paying 4 outfielders a total of $55 million this year.  Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford, and Yasiel Puig.  Conveniently enough, all 4 have never been healthy enough to play at the same time.  So having 4 quality outfielders hasn’t been a problem……yet.

When Kemp gets healthy in the next two weeks, having this depth will be a luxury.  A perfect example was last night, when Don Mattingly summoned Andre Ethier off his bench to pinch-hit in the bottom of the 9th inning, and Ethier delivered a game tying 2-run homer.  In a few weeks, one of these stud outfielders will be coming off the bench and playing less.  However, if the Dodgers keep winning, everyone will remain happy.

But what about after this season?  Should the Dodgers keep all 4 of these guys or consider trading one?  Puig is already a superstar on a very affordable contract, so he can’t be traded.  Matt Kemp has the most trade value, but he’s only 28, and was playing like an MVP just one year ago.  Carl Crawford is still a useful leadoff hitter for LA, and his contract would be expensive for many other clubs.  Andre Ethier’s numbers have been down this year, and probably wouldn’t return much in a trade.  Why not keep all 4?

Trading the likes of Ethier or Crawford would probably bring back nothing more than an expensive, underachieving, veteran pitcher in return.  That is something the Dodgers don’t need.  What they will need in the winter is a 3rd baseman.  That’s why they need to teach Ethier to play 3rd.  Puig’s arm is to good to move from the outfield.  Kemp is still a gold glove center fielder.  And Crawford is a bit fragile at this stage of his career to play the hot corner.  That leaves Ethier, who has the arm and the athleticism to learn the position in the off-season.

All 4 of these outfielders are getting paid great money for the next several years, so keeping them happy shouldn’t be hard.  As long as the team continues to win, why not give a great lineup a chance to be even greater?  Moving Ethier to 3rd would mean an everyday lineup of Crawford-Puig-Kemp-Ramirez-Gonzales-Ethier, which would be the new “Murderer’s Row”.

When you can afford a $220 million payroll, you can afford to have 4 expensive outfielders.  The Dodgers should make every effort to keep all 4 of them, and give them every opportunity to succeed together.  Ethier at 3rd not only allows all of them to play everyday, but provides great depth and flexibility for the Boys in Blue if one of their outfielders get hurt.  In that case, Ethier could move right back to the outfield.  In the meantime, this situation seems to be working itself out because the Dodgers are rolling,

Dodgers At The Break

Hanley High Five

July 17th, 2013

Trying to figure out what type of team the Dodgers are is about as hard as trying to keep Lindsay Lohan from getting drunk.  The Dodgers were just 30-42 after 74 games, and in last place in the NL West.  However, they went on to win 17 of their next 22 games, to even their record at 47-47, and are now just 2.5 games behind Arizona for first place in the division.  So is the glass half full or half empty?

It’s fair to say that with a $209 million payroll, LA has underachieved.  If you have the highest payroll in baseball, you shouldn’t be a .500 team.  If you have a $200 million payroll, you should probably have a closer that doesn’t wet the bed every night, and some consistency on the left side of your infield.  More importantly, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier, two of the teams highest paid players, should be hitting the ball out of the ballpark.    All of that has the makings of a team that is an expensive bust.

Then again, injuries have slowed the Dodgers down.  Hanley Ramirez has spent half the season on the DL, Matt Kemp’s been on it twice, and even when he’s been in the lineup, he’s been ailing.  Zach Greinke was a moron in San Diego, and spent nearly two months recovering from a broken collar bone.  Carl Crawford has recently spent time on the DL, as have starting pitchers Chris Capuano and Ted Lilly.

All of those things aside, since calling up Cuban phenom Yasiel Puig, the Dodgers have had the best record in the National League.  Their re-surgence has not only coincided with Puig doing his best Bo Jackson impersonation, but also, with Ramirez, Greinke, and others getting healthier.  Manager Don Mattingly also seems to have temporarily solved his bullpen issues by putting Kenley Jensen in that role, and exiling Brandon League to a remote desert island.

Nearly every team in the NL West has made a run thus far.  The D’Backs have been in first place for most of the season, but had one stretch where they lost 8 of 9, and their division lead over LA has shrunk from what was once 9.5 games.  The Giants spent some time in first place early in the season, then dropped 14 of their next 16 games.  The Rockies spent parts of April and May in first place, but came back to earth and are now 3 games under .500.  The Padres went 33-21 over a 54 game stretch and were in 2nd place in the division, but have only won 4 of their last 22 games.  In other words, the remaining 68 games figure to be crazier than Mr. Toads Wild Ride.

With Puig in the fold, the Dodgers are definitely a different team.  He has completely energized the entire ball club, and saved Don Mattingly’s job for the time being.  LA has one of the best starting pitching staff’s in baseball, led by Clayton Kershaw, who has the lowest ERA in the game.  Zach Greinke has looked very good of late, Hyun-Jin Ryu has been excellent for most of the season, and the newly acquired Ricky Nolasco looks reliable.  The bullpen remains a question mark, but with Jansen closing and the recent emergence of Paco Rodriguez, the Dodgers relief core has been stabilized for now.

The Boys in Blue seem like a good bet to make the playoffs at this point.  They are only 2.5 games back in the division, and 5.5 games out of the wild card.  If LA can remain reasonably healthy and Puig and Ramirez continue to tear it up, playing in October isn’t unreasonable.  For $209 million, the Dodgers aren’t the most well balanced, and well constructed ball club.  However, they can still become an elite team if Matt Kemp can get healthy again, and become the power hitter he was early last season.  As for Andre Ethier, he may just end up being an expensive 4th outfielder, but it’s just money and the Dodgers have plenty of it.

Dodgers Get Nolasco

ricky-nolasco

July 7th, 2013

The Dodgers have quickly become buyers as we approach this years MLB trade deadline.  LA acquired Marlins right-handed pitcher Ricky Nolasco for 3 minor league pitchers.

The Dodgers also received an international signing bonus slot of $197,000 in the deal. That gives them a total of $2.5 million they can spend on international players this year.  In return, the Marlins received Josh Wall, Steven Ames, and Angel Sanchez, who are not prized prospects.

Nolasco will be a free agent at the end of the season, and the remainder of his $11.5 million salary will be paid by the Dodgers.  He should give the Boys in Blue some extra depth in their rotation.  Nolasco is 5-8 with a 3.85 ERA in 18 starts for the Marlins this season.  He has a career record of 81-72 with a 4.44 ERA.

Earlier in the week, the Dodgers acquired reliever Carlos Marmol and $200,000 in international salary cap space from the Cubs in exchange for reliever Matt Guerrier.

 

Season Over For Beckett

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June 29th, 2013

Remember when the Dodgers had a surplus of starting pitching to start the season?  Now they are desperate just to find pitching.  LA got some bad news today, as right-hander Josh Beckett will undergo surgery and miss the remainder of the season.

Beckett has been diagnosed with Thoracic outlet syndrome, and has been experiencing nerve irritation in his neck, as well as numbness in his pitching fingers.  The surgery is expected to sideline Beckett for 3-5 months, and will be performed by Dr. Greg Pearl in Dallas.

Although Beckett wasn’t slamming fried chicken in the clubhouse like his days in Boston, this season he’s been more abused than a battered housewife.  He went 0-5 with a 5.19 ERA.  He’s also owed $15.75 million this year and next year.

Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter underwent the same operation last July, and is currently experiencing a slow recovery one year later.  This means the Dodgers will now have two pitchers under contract next year, who may miss time recovering from injury in Chad Billingsley, and Beckett.

Getting Mean At The Ravine

McGwire v Williams

June 12th, 2013

These brawls never seem to go well for the Dodgers.  The boys in blue got into another brawl with a division rival on Tuesday night at the Ravine, but this time, Zach Greinke wasn’t dumb enough to charge into somebody and break his collarbone.  Even though nobody was injured and the Dodgers won the game, that doesn’t mean it won’t prove to be costly for LA.

The Dodgers rookie sensation Yasiel Puig may be suspended for his role in the brawl, which would be another blow to a team that has been sinking faster than the Titanic.  Puig has suddenly become the team’s best player, which explains why his teammates protected him after he was hit in the nose in the 6th inning on a pitch by D’Backs ace Ian Kennedy.  Zach Greinke does deserve credit for fearlessly plunking Miguel Montero in the next inning, but the game of revenge should have stopped there.  Greinke was plunked by Kennedy near his head in the bottom of the inning, which resulted in the bench clearing brawl.

The best part of the brawl was the fact that the old-timers on both sides took center stage.  Mark McGwire tossed around Matt Williams, and Don Mattingly took down Alan Trammell.  The only thing that would have made this more entertaining is if Charlie Steiner had stormed into the Diamondbacks broadcast booth and body slammed Bob Brenly.

Why the hell is baseball the only sport that allows this nonsense to go on?  Even in hockey, where they allow fighting, they never allow the benches to clear.  Then again, I’m trying to rationalize the rules of a league that refuses to eliminate cheating and use more instant replay to help its umpires.    I forgot that Bud Selig must be trying to preserve “the purity of the game”.

Regardless of this ridiculous culture, pitchers should never throw at anyone’s head.  They are messing with players careers when they do it, and they need to be punished for it.  Ian Kennedy should be suspended for at least a month for doing this not once, but twice!

As for the Dodgers, the notion that “they finally put up a fight” is absurd.  Most of the fight was handled by the old-timers on their bench anyway.  That’s like your grandpa standing up for you when you’re getting your ass kicked in a bar by somebody half your size.   The real fight these guys need to put up is in the batters box, where with the exception of Puig, the Dodgers have been getting a beat down.

Puigsanity

Puig

June 5th, 2013

Can Yasiel Puig save the Dodgers?  It’s only been two games, but he’s already 5 for 8 with 2 home runs, 5 RBI, and 3 extra base hits.  Just to put that in perspective, Puig already has as many home runs as Matt Kemp.  He has more extra base hits than Luis Cruz, and nearly half as many hits in 34 fewer games!  This dude can play, and he probably should have been playing in the majors 20 games ago.

Puig is much less polished than Angels outfielder Mike Trout was when the Halos called him up last year.  However, he is already creating a tremendous buzz at Dodger Stadium that we haven’t seen since everyone was sporting those Manny Ramirez wigs.  Puig is going to make mistakes, but there is no doubt the Dodgers need to keep him in the lineup as long as possible because he is currently their best chance to win.

The Dodgers are 7.5 games back in the NL West, and 8.5 games back of the wild card.  These are  deficits that aren’t insurmountable, but they’ll need Puig and Hanley Ramirez to carry the load offensively.  That jolt could pull the Dodgers out of the NL West basement, but at some point Puig figures to regress toward the mean.  He may end up being a great player for LA, but he’ll take some time to put it all together.

Puig reminds me of a young Raul Mondesi, which is actually scary because he has the same maturity issues as Mondesi.  Nevertheless, every time this guy comes to the plate, everyone stops what they are doing to see how special Puig could really be.

At some point, if the Dodgers are going to do any damage, Matt Kemp or Andre Ethier will have to pull their games out of the crapper.  Everyone wants Andre Ethier ejected from the universe immediately after just two solid games from Puig.  I say ride the wave until his hot streak ends, and maybe it will push Ethier and Kemp to get their games together.  Until then then, enjoy the Puig Party!

Should We Boo Matt Kemp?

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May 30th, 2013

For about a week now, all I’ve heard is how upset Matt Kemp is that he is being booed by Dodger fans.  I’ve also heard Dodger fans being criticized for how terrible they are for not being supportive of their star player.  I’m here to tell you that as a fan, you have every damn right to boo your brains out with the way he is playing!

We’ve played two months of the season, and Kemp has 2 home runs, and 17 runs batted in.  That means he is on pace for exactly 6 home runs and 54 runs batted in for the entire season!  He’s already struck out 60 times in 51 games.   The Dodgers have no chance of succeeding with their best player playing like dog shit, and everyone knows this.

As a paying customer, it is my every right to let my voice be heard.  That means sending a message to Matt Kemp and the Dodger organization that he needs to play better, and that is done by booing.  How many times does Kemp expect to come up to the plate with runners in scoring position and strikeout while the fans continue to support him?  Each and every one of Kemp’s at bats is getting as painful to watch as a kick in the balls for Dodger fans.

Professional athletes need to treat boos as motivation to pull their heads out and start performing. This isn’t personal for Kemp, or any other athlete that is getting booed.  Everyone knows that Matt Kemp is a great guy, and he’s doing everything he can.  It also has nothing to do with the fact Kemp is making $20 million a year either.  It’s clear that he isn’t physically or mentally prepared to play ball right now, and Don Mattingly and Ned Colletti need to sit him down until he’s ready.

Nobody expects Matt Kemp to be at his best all the time.  Every player is going to have good days and bad days.  However, every fan expects him to perform far better than he has.  Kemp said “I’m taking a beating from the fans”, and that it’s “shocking”.  Dude, you’re taking a beating every time you’re in the batters box.  The fans aren’t against you Matt, but we all expect you to perform better, and you need to know that.  We aren’t spending our hard earned money to see you strikeout 4 times a night.  Get it together Kemp, and tell your friend Andre Ethier to do the same, or else the fans voice will continue to be heard.

Basebrawl: Greinke Loses Composure

Greinke-Quentin 2x

April 12th, 2013

Zach Greinke is a moron in disguise.  In Thursday night’s game against the Padres at Petco Park, Greinke hit San Diego left fielder Carlos Quentin with a pitch, causing Quentin to charge the mound and slam into the Dodgers $147 million pitcher.  Quentin wrestled Greinke to the ground, igniting a bench clearing brawl, and when it was all over Greinke was left with a broken collar bone.

Everyone seems to believe Greinke when he says “I never hit him on purpose.”  Everyone also seems convinced that in a 2-1 game, and on 3-2 pitch, Greinke would never intentionally throw at somebody.  Everyone is also forgetting that’s the perfect time for Greinke to send a message to Quentin.

These two players have a “well documented” history according to Quentin.  Quentin has been hit 3 times in 31 appearances against Greinke.  Even though Quentin has led the majors in being hit by pitches the last two seasons, Greinke has hit Quentin more than any other player he’s faced.  Quentin was hit by Greinke in 2008, and 2009, while he was playing for the White Sox, and Greinke with the Royals.  Quentin nearly charged the mound back in 2009 before the umpire stepped in, but Quentin threatened to take action against Greinke if it occurred again.

Greinke was well aware of this history, and had many reasons to take aim at Quentin.  In the first inning of the game Thursday night, Padres starter Jason Marquis threw a pitch that nearly hit Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp in the head.  This action could have easily given Greinke more incentive to target Quentin at a much more inconspicuous point in the game.  Greinke also had the chance to diffuse the situation with Quentin immediately after hitting him, as the Padres outfielder walked towards the mound before running at him.  Only after Greinke uttered something to Quentin, did he drop his bat and charge the mound.  Quentin himself even admitted that had Greinke not uttered whatever he did, he might not have charged the mound.

Was it worth it Zach?  Now you’re on the shelf for the next eight weeks, and immature decisions like that are already putting your $147 million price tag in question.  Even if Greinke’s intention was to defend Kemp, he certainly could have picked another player on the Padres to throw at other than one he had history with.  He probably could have also elected not to slam into a player shoulder to shoulder, when the player is 40 pounds heavier than him.

For all the pitchers that have hit Quentin, he has never reacted in the same way he reacted to Greinke.  It’s no coincidence Greinke has hit Quentin three times.  Whatever personal vendetta Greinke felt the need to satisfy, it was selfish, immature, and may end up costing the Dodgers in their chase for this year’s NL West title.

 

 

 

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