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).

Lakers Ready To Ball

June 22, 2017

The Lakers drafted UCLA and former Chino Hills High School point guard Lonzo Ball on Thursday night with the 2nd pick in the NBA draft.

Since the Lakers are run by the greatest point guard of all-time, Ball gave respect to the Laker legend after being selected.

“He’s one of the best to ever do it, and I can’t — there’s never going to be another Magic Johnson,” Ball said. “So I’m trying to be myself, but if I can come halfway short of him, you know it’s going to be good.”

Ball, 19, was one of three UCLA players drafted on Thursday night.  The others were TJ Leaf, who was selected 18th overall by Indiana.  Ike Anigbogu also went to the Pacers with the 47th pick.

Ball is known for his unselfishness and playmaking ability.  Those intangibles are what coach Luke Walton really liked.

“When he’s on the floor, all four guys out there with him become better instantly,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said. “That’s a quality trait that not many people have. The great ones all have it. I hope by the way he plays, everyone else on our team becomes better.’’

The Lakers also selected I selected Utah forward Kyle Kuzma with the 27th pick, which they received  earlier in the week from Brooklyn.

LA then traded the 28th pick, which they originally received from Houston, to Utah.  In exchange, the Lakers received the 30th and 42nd pick.  They took Villanova guard Josh Hart with the 30th pick and Indiana center Thomas Bryant with the 42nd pick.

And so the Ball era begins in LA…….


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 ERA) will be on the mound for LA.  Kyle Freeland (8-4, 3.42 ERA) is scheduled to go for Colorado.

Angels Outslug Yankees 10-5

June 22, 2017

The Angels rallied for four runs in the 7th inning on Thursday night, defeating the Yankees 10-5 at Yankee Stadium.  The Halos took two out of three games from New York.

That 7th inning featured three errors and two wild pitches by the Yankees.  Albert Pujols delivered a run-scoring single that gave the Angels the lead for good, scoring Cameron Maybin.

Maybin also lead off the game with a home run against Luis Severino, who took the loss and fell to 5-3 on the season.  Maybin stole his AL-high 22nd base, and scored three times.  He has safely reached in a career-high 26 straight games.

Yusmeiro Petit (2-0) threw two perfect innings in relief of starter Jesse Chavez to get the win.  The Angels trailed 5-1 before scoring nine unanswered runs.

“You get knocked down,” Maybin said, “but we don’t get knocked out.”

Aaron Judge connected on a three-run homer that was his major league-leading 25th home run of the season.

The Angels are back at .500 with a record of 38-38.  They are 1.5 games out of the 2nd and final AL Wild Card spot.

Alex Meyer (3-3, 3.52 ERA) will get the start on Friday as the Angels open up a 3-game series with the Red Sox at Fenway Park.  Rick Porcello (3-9, 5.05 ERA) gets the ball for the Sox.




Kings & Ducks Lose D-Men in Expansion Draft

June 21, 2017

The Kings and Ducks both lost defenseman in the NHL Expansion Draft on Wednesday night.  The Las Vegas Golden Knights selected Brayden McNabb from the Kings, and Clayton Stoner from the Ducks.

In addition, the Ducks traded defenseman Shea Theodore to Las Vegas, and in exchange, the Golden Knights agreed not to select Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen or Josh Manson.

Under the Expansion Draft rules, Las Vegas was required to select at least one player from each of the 32 NHL clubs.  However, since some teams had trouble deciding which players they wanted to protect from selection, they made trades with Vegas, like the Ducks did, sending them additional players so other unprotected players could not be selected.

In the case of the Ducks, they were forced to leave talented defenseman Vatanen and Manson unprotected, caused by having several players on their team with no-movement clauses, which forced them to protect those players.

Stoner was injured for much of last season, and carried a cap hit of $3.25 million.  That’s a big win for Anaheim.  However, Theodore was a promising young defenseman that needed to be traded in order to prevent the loss of two very talented young defenseman.

In the case of the Kings, there were several players who were candidates to be selected by Vegas such as forward Trevor Lewis, Kyle Clifford, Nic Dowd, and possibly even Dustin Brown.  However, the Golden Knights chose the young, hard-hitting defenseman McNabb.

The loss of McNabb gives the Kings an additional $1.8 million under the salary cap.  Although the Kings can bear the loss of McNabb’s talent, they were likely hoping a higher salaried player like Brown would be taken.

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.

Yankees Double Up Angels 8-4

June 21, 2017

Didi Gregorius and Matt Holiday each hit home runs, as the Yankees beat the Angels 8-4 on Wednesday night in Yankee Stadium.  The Yankees snapped a 7-game losing skid.

Angel starter Ricky Nolasco was roughed up again, falling to 2-9 on the season.  Nolasco went 5 1/3 innings, giving up five runs on seven hits, including two home runs.

After the Angels fell behind 2-0, Martin Maldonado tied the game with a 2-run shot in the 2nd inning, with Andrelton Simmons aboard.  That came off of Yankee starter Jordan Montgomery.

Montgomery improved to 5-4 on the season, giving up two runs on five hits in 5 2/3 innings.

Maldonado tacked on another meaningless two-run homer in the 9th inning, pulling the Halos within 8-4, but that’s as close as they would come.

After Holiday’s home run gave the Yankees a 3-2 lead, New York would add two more runs in the sixth, and two more in the 7th to put the game out of reach.

Angels reliever Mike Morin came out of the bullpen to pitch 1 2/3 innings.  He gave up three runs on five hits during that stretch.

The Angels and Yankees will do it again on Thursday, in the rubber game of the three-game set.   Jesse Chavez (5-7, 4.85 ERA) is on the hill for the Halos.  Luis Severino (5-2, 2.99 ERA) goes for New York.


Lakers Trade Russell & Mozgov To Nets

June 20, 2017

The Lakers have traded D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Brook Lopez and the 27th pick in Thursday’s NBA draft.

The move was largely driven by salary cap savings from the Lakers’ perspective.  LA opens up an additional $22 million in cap space for the summer of 2018, and a total of nearly $60 million that will allow them to offer two max contracts.

It just so happens that the summer of 2018 free class is expected to include Lebron James, Paul George, Russell Westbrook, and DeMarcus Cousins.

Lopez will be entering the final year of his contract that will pay him just over $22 million in 2017-2018.  The 7’0 center was an all-star in 2013, and averaged 20.5 points and 5.4 rebounds for the Nets last season.  He also led the NBA in three-point attempts by centers, while making a reasonable 34% of them.

Moving Mozgov was the most significant part of the deal, after he signed a 4-year $64 million contract last summer.  He fell out of the Laker rotation midway through the season.  However, it was Russell who was a casualty of getting rid of Mozgov’s contract.

Russell was selected #2 overall in the draft by the Lakers two years ago.  He averaged 15.6 points and 4.8 assists in 63 games.

It was an up and down two years for the 21-year-old.  During his rookie year he video taped his teammate Nick Young admitting that he cheated on his then current fiancee, Iggy Azalea.  That video was somehow released onto social media, causing a rift between Russell and his teammates.

This past season he was the team’s starting point, but went down with a knee injury in December, causing him to miss 12 games  He was removed from the starting lineup for three games in March.  Upon his return, he scored a career-high 40 points against the Cleveland Cavaliers.  He had a strong statistical finish to the season, while starting at shooting guard.

The Lakers continue to be engaged in talks for Paul George according to multiple sources.  However, it appears likely that they will keep the #2 overall pick for this Thursday’s draft and select UCLA’s Lonzo Ball with it.

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.



Angels Top Yankees 8-3

June 20, 2017

Cameron Maybin hit a tie-breaking solo homer in the 7th inning, as the Angels took down the Yankees 8-3 on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.

Maybin’s homer was part of a three-run 7th, which also included a Yunel Escobar RBI triple, and an RBI single from Luis Valbuena.

The three runs came against Yankees’ reliever Tyler Clippard, who took the loss and fell to 1-4 on the season.

The Halos would put the game out of reach with some insurance runs in the 8th and 9th inning.  Maybin delivered an infield single, scoring Martin Maldonado.  Luis Valubena hit a solo shot in the 9th.

Blake Parker (3-2) got credit for the win after coming in to pitch the 6th inning.  He gave up a solo homer to Gary Sanchez that tied the game at 3-3.

The Angels took a 3-0 lead behind an Albert Pujols RBI single, and RBI double from Danny Espinosa, and a run-scoring single from Kole Calhoun.

The Yankees rallied against Halos’ starter Parker Bridwell, who allowed a sacrifice fly from Chase Headley in the 4th, followed by Aaron Judge’s 24th homer of the season in the 5th.

Bridwell went five innings, giving up two runs on on two hits, striking out three and walking five.  He made 95 pitches.

The Angels moved back to .500, while the Yankees have now lost seven straight games.

Game 2 of the series will be tomorrow night in the Big Apple.  Ricky Nolasco (2-8, 5.01 ERA) starts for the Angels.  Jordan Montgomery (4-4, 3.78 ERA) goes for the Yankees.