Monthly Archives: May 2017

Young Gets Angels By Braves

May 31, 2017

Erick Young Jr. hit his 1st home run of the season in the bottom of the 8th inning, as the Angels edged the Braves 2-1 on Wednesday night at the Big A.

The Braves jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a solo home run by Matt Kemp.  It was his 2nd home run in two nights.

It remained that way until the bottom of the 7th inning.  The Halos got a pair of infield singles, putting runners at 1st and 2nd.  Then Shane Robinson came to the plate and hit a chopper to 3rd baseman Rio Ruiz.  Ruiz stepped on 3rd base to get the force out, but made a throwing error in attempt to get the ball to first base, which allowed Danny Espinosa to score from 1st base and tie the game at 1-1.

Jesse Chavez went seven innings for the Angels, giving up the one run, five hits and a walk, striking out four.

Jaime Garcia also went seven innings for the Braves, allowing one unearned run, five hits and three walks.

Blake Parker (1-2) picked up the victory with one inning of work, while Bud Norris got the final two outs for his 10th save.

Arodys Vizcaino (1-1) took the loss after giving up the solo blast to Young Jr. in the 8th.  Vizcaino had made 12 consecutive scoreless appearances until giving up the homer to Young.  Young was called up after Mike Trout was put on the disabled list with a thumb injury.

The Angels now open a four game series with the Minnesota Twins on Thursday evening at the Big A.  Alex Meyer (2-2, 5.79 ERA) will come off the disabled list to make the start for the Halos.  The Twins will go with Adalberto Mejia (1-1, 4.64 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.




Angels Crush Braves

May 30, 2017

Albert Pujols hit the 599th home run of his career, and the Angels dominated the Braves 9-2 on Tuesday night at the Big A.

Pujols three-run shot in the 3rd inning off of Bartolo Colon began a 9-run explosion, which put the game away early for the Halos.

Colon did not make it out of that 3rd inning.  He fell to 2-6 on the season after giving up 9 runs (2 of them earned) on 7 hits.  The Braves made 3 errors during that brutal 3rd.

Parker Bridwell got the win in his first major league start.  He went 6 innings, giving up 3 earned runs on 6 hits, while striking out 4 and walking 1.  He allowed a 2-run homer to Matt Kemp in the 3rd inning, and then a solo homer to Tyler Flowers in the 7th.  He walked off the mound to a standing ovation.

Deolis Guerra and David Hernandez pitched the final three innings of the game.  They yielded just 1 hit in that stretch.

The rubber game of the three game set will be on Wednesday night in Anaheim.  Jesse Chavez (4-6, 5.09 ERA) gets the ball for the Halos.  Jaime Garcia (2-3, 3.58 ERA) goes for the Braves.

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).


Braves Double Up Angels 6-3

May 29, 2017

The Braves exploded for 6 runs in the 3rd inning on Monday night in Anaheim, as Atlanta took down the Angels 6-3.

Matt Adams and Danny Santana each had two-run doubles in the 3rd, highlighting the early rally that put the game out of reach.

It was the first game the Angels played after learning that they will be without Mike Trout for the next 6-8 weeks.  The center fielder elected to undergo surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb.

“We have to be more than one guy, and feel we are,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “It’s a big loss in the clubhouse and on the field, but hopefully the surgery goes well and he’s back in a reasonable amount of time and we’ll have our offense in gear by the time he gets back.”

Ricky Nolasco fell to 2-5 on the season, and lasted just 2 2/3 innings.  He gave up all 6 runs on 6 hits.

“It looked like Ricky was trying to throw his way out of jams instead of pitching,” Scioscia said.

The Halos 3 runs came on 3 solo home runs.  They led 1-0 after Andrelton Simmons 5th of the season.

Albert Pujols connected on his 7th home of the year in the 4th, which was the 598th long ball of his career.  Luis Valbuena followed with a solo blast of his own to make it back-to-back.

However, Julio Teheran (4-4) got the win after holding the Angels to those 3 runs on 6 hits.  He pitched 6 1/3 innings, departing after 91 pitches.

Jim Johnson pitched the 9th inning, picking up his 11th save of the season.

The Angels and Braves will be back at it on Tuesday night at the Big A.  Parker Bridwell will make his major league debut for the Halos.  Bartolo Colon (2-5, 6.96 ERA) gets the ball for the Braves.


Angels Lose Trout To DL

May 29, 2017

The Angels got some bad news on Monday.  They learned that center fielder and reigning AL MVP Mike Trout will be sidelined for a significant period of time with a torn ligament in his left thumb.

Trout was injured on Sunday afternoon when he stole 2nd base in the 5th inning against the Marlins. He jammed his left thumb while sliding head first into the base.  He stayed in the game, but was removed from the game the following inning.

The Angels and Trout have not yet determined whether or not he will have surgery to repair the ligament.  If he opts to go that route, he would be sidelined up to 8 weeks.

Team doctor Steve Yoon was scheduled to arrive in Anaheim later Monday night to meet with Trout and discuss his options.

This is the first time in Trout’s 6-year career that he has landed on the disabled list.  He entered Monday tied for the AL lead with a .337 batting average.


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.

Monday Morning Coffee

May 29, 2017

So the Warriors and Cavs will be playing for the NBA Title for the 3rd year in a row.  Who could have seen this coming? Oh that’s right…..everybody!  The playoffs haven’t been competitive, so I’m sure everyone is hoping that we’ll finally get a great series to end things.  However, that’s not going to happen.  The Warriors should just hold a fan contest with the winner coaching the team for the NBA Finals since it doesn’t matter who coaches them.  Golden State should win in 5 games.  Last year it took a Draymond Green suspension, an injury to Steph Curry, and a historic performance from Lebron for the Cavs to win.  This season, not even a great performance from Lebron can stop the Warriors, and especially not with the addition of Kevin Durant.  The games might be somewhat close, but the series won’t be.

Being an NBA reporter these days is easy.  Apparently all you need to do is come up with some suggestion and everyone will consider it a fact.  That’s what ESPN’s Zach Lowe did when he suggested the Spurs should try to sign Chris Paul this summer.  Apparently not many stopped to consider the fact San Antonio doesn’t even have the cap room to give Paul the supposed 4 years and $153 million max contract they could give him.  At the moment it’s mere $6 million a year they can offer.  However, just for a second, I’ll play along with the rest of you that forgot to use their brains.  Even if the Spurs could somehow come up with a max contract for CP3, and somehow maintain their current roster (totally impossible), they still wouldn’t beat the Warriors or Cavs.  CP3 is 32 years old, and isn’t leaving an extra $53 million on the table to go sign with a team that is far from a favorite to win the NBA title.  I guess this story is what counts for good journalism though.

Speaking of CP3, former NBA Commissioner David Stern played revisionist history a few days ago when it came to the the trade he famously vetoed in 2011.  Stern claims that the trade could have been re-worked but Mitch Kupchak “panicked” and traded Lamar Odom to Dallas prematurely, destroying the possibility of a deal.  These are some cute alternative facts Mr. Stern, but we know you are just blaming Kupchak to preserve your own legacy, especially since Kupchak is too classy of guy to even respond.  The trade never should have been vetoed in the first place.  It was simply the result of Stern succumbing to the pressure of 28 owners in the league complaining that the Lakers making this trade was unfair.  Apparently those other owners were unhappy that at the time, the Lakers were smart and they had money.  Meanwhile, they considered themselves stupid as well as poor.

After the Ducks were eliminated by Nashville last week, I’m sure Kings fans were lining up at the airport to greet them back at LAX to congratulate them on their loss.  That means the Predators and Penguins will be playing for the cup beginning tonight.  If you learn nothing else, just remember, it’s called “The Stanley Cup Final” and not “The Stanley Cup Finals”.  If you’re planning on going, you should probably go to games in Nashville, where it will cost you a minimum of $300 a ticket to get in, where in Pittsburgh it will cost you at least $1,000 to get in the building.  Plus in Nashville you’ll get some quality BBQ.  The real question in the series though is who will get the award for best actor: Sidney Crosby or P.K. Subban? I’m going with Crosby, but I’m also going with the Penguins in 6.

I know most of you are going to tell me that the Dodgers just told me to “shut the hell up” after taking 5 out of 6 games from the Cardinals and Cubs.  They were nice wins, but remember, it’s not always who you play but when you play them.  The Dodgers just caught the Cubs in an offensive slump that is so bad, high school seniors scored more at last week’s Prom than Chicago has of late.  If Brandon McCarthy, Alex Wood, Hyun-Jin Ryu, and Kenta Maeda actually stay healthy and pitch that way come October, then I’ll actually be impressed.  In the meantime, the Dodgers have their work cut out for them just trying to overtake the Rockies in the NL West.

The Angels are a perfect example of why baseball is just a weird game.  They have a bunch of nobodies pitching for them on a nightly basis, who have given up more home runs than any other staff in the league.  They are also in the bottom third of most offensive categories in the American League, consistently putting 3-4 guys in their lineup that can barely hit .200.  I wouldn’t even think Mike Trout’s greatness could overcome this.  In spite of all this and losing 4 of their last 5 games, they are still in the thick of the AL Wild Card race.  Hopefully Trout doesn’t miss any time with that thumb injury he suffered yesterday.  Imagine how much better the Halos would be if Albert Pujols lived up to his contract?  He typically reaches the maximum annual social security contribution limit ($118,000) after his 1st at-bat in every game.

Browns quarterback Brock Osweiler must be pursuing a new career as a comedian.  Osweiler claimed that the “proof is in the film for the last two years” that he should be Cleveland’s starting quarterback.  The only thing more hilarious than his comments was the tweet by former NFL wide receiver Steve Smith that showed his reaction……

What a huge missed opportunity by Italian Cycler Tom Demoulin.  Despite the fact that he became the first Dutchman to win the Giro D’italia, he blew a huge marketing opportunity.  Earlier in the week he had his lead in Stage 16 narrowed after pulling off to the side of the road to go to the bathroom.  Sorry Tom, I realize having to go to the bathroom while riding a bike isn’t all that comfortable, but when you are in stage 16 you go to the bathroom in your pants, explain it to the media, then you’ll have Pampers or an adult diaper maker calling you the next day for a sponsorship.  Instead, he gave this explanation….

Finally, The Bachelorette is back and the season premier went down last week.  After just one episode I can already tell that this season won’t be nearly as entertaining as the last season of The Bachelor, especially without Corrine.  I did enjoy her 30 second cameo appearance at the beginning of the show though.  Rachel Lindsay’s judgement is already in serious question, given that  “The Tickle Monster” and Lucas (a.k.a.- “Wahboom!”) have been given roses.  Meanwhile, Blake K got sent home, apparently for being the most normal and successful guy on the show this season.  It seems to me like all the brothas on the show are actually there to marry Rachel, while all the other guys are just there to launch their reality TV career.  For all those guys on the show that cried after getting sent home after 1 episode, you should have your man card revoked immediately.  Wahboom!

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.

Angels Lose Trout & To Marlins

May 28. 2017

Giancarlo Stanton had three hits including a home run, as the Marlins knocked off the Angels 9-2 on Sunday afternoon at Marlins Park.  The real concern for the Angels was the fact that slugger Mike Trout injured his thumb stealing 2nd base.

Trout slid head first into 2nd base in the 5th inning, jamming his left thumb on the play.  He stayed in the game but left in the 6th to be examined.  X-rays were negative, and Trout is scheduled to undergo an MRI Monday when the team returns to Los Angeles.

“A scary thing,” Trout said. “Hopefully it’s just sore and just jammed, a bad jam. I’m obviously bummed out, but Monday if it feels a little better, we’ll see how it goes.”

The Halos totaled four hits, left the bases loaded in the third and fourth innings, and went 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position.

After Stanton gave the Marlins a 1-0 lead with his solo blast to center field in the 1st, Martin Maldonado gave the Angels the lead in the 4th, connecting on a 2-run blast to left field.

The lead wouldn’t last long.  The Marlins got three in the 5th on an Ichiro RBI single, followed by a 3-run homer from J.T. Riddle.

That would be all for Matt Shoemaker (4-3), who took the loss, departing after 4 2/3 innings.  He was charged with 4 runs on 7 hits.  The bullpen didn’t fare much better, giving up another 5 runs on 5 hits.

Jose Urena (3-2) got the win, pitching 5 innings and giving up just the 2 runs on 3 hits.  He made a labor intensive 103 pitches.

The Angels dropped to 26-27 on the season, and went 4-6 on their 10-game trip.  They’ll now return home for a 3-game series with the Braves beginning on Monday.  Ricky Nolasco (2-4, 4.37 ERA) gets the start for the Halos, while the Braves go with Julio Teheran (3-4, 4.88 ERA).