We found out

September 15, 2011

On Tuesday night, Gerardo Parra hit a home run, then paused before running the bases just a little too long to suit the Dodgers.  The home run followed a previous at bat by Parra in which he had to duck an errant throw from Hong-Chih Kuo.   A.J. Ellis yelled “You’re better than that.” to Parra after his showboat antics when he crossed the plate.  Clayton Kershaw went ballistic in the dugout and traded shouts with D’backs pitcher Daniel Hudson, who at some point asked Kershaw what he would do about the situation.  “You’ll find out!  You’ll find out!”, came the heated reply from Kershaw, well within earshot of hundreds of fans, players, coaches and umpires.

Last night, leading in the 6th inning 2-0, Kershaw threw a pitch several inches inside to Parra, nicking him on his elbow.  Home plate umpire Bill Welke immediately ejected Clayton from the game.  While Rod Barajas and Kershaw were arguing about that decision in disbelief, Don Mattingly emerged from the dugout just about as angry as he has been this season and argued the case.  Soon however, he crossed a line and was also tossed from the game.  It was highly unusual that Kershaw was thrown out of the game since there were no prior warnings given.

Rookie pitcher Josh Lindblom hurriedly warmed up then took over the pitching duties, determined to hold the lead for Kershaw.  Lindblom made 29 pitches while striking out five batters in two innings.  He was removed for pinch hitter Trent Oeltjen in the bottom of the 7th inning.  Nathan Eovaldi and Kenley Jansen followed with solid performances and the Dodgers won 3-2.

Despite his ejection, Kershaw improved his standing in the race for the Cy Young Award by winning his 19th game and throwing five shutout innings and striking out five.  Welke’s poor judgement robbed Kershaw of the chance to pitch more scoreless innings and build up his strikeout total, further improving his Cy Young chances.

Tony Jackson has more on this event and the reactions from Kershaw, Mattingly and umpiring chief, Tim Tschida in his column.

Today’s probable starters are Dana Eveland, 2-0, 0.60 ERA going against the Pirate’s Ross Ohlendorf, 0-2, 8.03 ERA.

This Day in Dodgers History

September 15, 1978 – In front of 47,188 fans at Dodger Stadium, Don Sutton throws a six-hitter to beat Atlanta, 5-0. With tonight’s attendance, Los Angeles becomes the first team to draw three million fans at home in major league history.


Thank you sir, may I have another?

September 14, 2011

The Dodgers, who were still flying high less than a week ago, took another paddling yesterday from the still scorching Arizona Diamondbacks.  The boys in blue, blew a 4-2 lead after climbing back from their own 0-2 deficit.  The D’backs climbed back and tied the score with a run in the third and seventh innings.  The Dodgers could not respond and the game went into extra innings.  The normally lights out Javy Guerra melted down and after a single, sacrifice bunt and a swinging strikeout by Justin Upton, Guerra intentionally walked Miguel Montero to put runners on first and second with two outs.

As Vin Scully so often points out, walking a batter intentionally sometimes messes up a pitchers control.  Unfortunately, that was the case with Javy Guerra.  He next walked Paul Goldschmidt, loading the bases and causing a visit from Rick Honeycutt.  Whatever Bunnynutts said had no effect as Guerra then walked Chris Young on four straight with Geraldo Parra scoring the go-ahead run.

In the bottom of the 10th, after Justin Sellers struck out swinging, Matt Kemp was then called out on strikes.  After Rod Barajas, pinch hitting for Javy Guerra, drew a walk and was replaced by pinch runner Eugeni0-for-ever, James Loney grounded meekly out to second baseman Aaron Hill to end the game.

The Dodgers have now had their butts whipped for the last three games.  Hopefully Sergeant Kershaw can put an end to the corporal punishment and stop the spanking.

This Day in Dodgers History

September 14, 2002 – Chin-Feng Chen becomes the first Taiwan-born player to appear in the major leagues as he walks and scores as a pinch-hitter for the Dodgers against the Rockies. The 24-year-old first baseman-outfielder played for the 1990 Taiwan team which won the Little League World Series.


Ghost of De La Rosa Future

September 7, 2011

Yesterday the buzz throughout the MLB was the return of Stephen Strasburg.  I have to admit that I was curious to get my first look at this supposed phenom after all the publicity he had last year.  With all the press he got, I almost expected to see some type of super performance with fastballs clocked well over 100 mph like those of Cinncinati’s Aroldis Chapman who has thrown 105 mph.  Strasburg was good and had command of his fastballs that routinely hit 97 mpg and touched 99 mph.

Strasburg shut out the Dodgers over five innings with just 56 pitches thrown, four short of his 60 pitch limit.  Maybe he is not a supernatural freak, like the subject of a fantasy baseball movie or Twilight Zone episode, but he looked like he could be the Nats version of Clayton Kershaw some day.

All of this is great news for Rubby De La Rosa, who must have been watching with keen interest.  If Strasburg and several other pitchers could successfully pitch in a major league game just over a year from Tommy John surgery, the prospects for De La Rosa are bright indeed.  Of course each person reacts differently to the surgery and arduous rehab process.  But the chances suddenly look good that we may see a return of our 100 mph fireballer a year from now.

The Dodgers made a great comeback from a 3-0 deficit in the rain delayed game and finished on top 7-3 with some clutch hitting by Rod Barajas and Andre Ethier.

Hopefully today Mattingly will put Jerry Sands in the lineup either in a corner OF spot or at 1B.  Sands finished with 29 homers and 88 RBI in 370 at-bats at high altitude Albuquerque.  It will be interesting to see if he has home run power at sea level Washington, D.C.

This Day in Dodgers History

September 7, 1962 – With four steals in a 10-1 loss to the Pirates, Dodger Maury Wills breaks the modern National League record for stolen bases in a season with his 82nd swipe. Cincinnati’s Bob Bescher established the mark in 1911 playing left field with Cincinnati.


Conundrum Amongdem

July 18, 2011

Since its on everyone’s mind – who do we root for this series? On the one hand, how can you ever root for the Gnats? On the other hand, we know what Ned’s thinking.  A three game sweep by the Gnats almost assuredly means Ned at least won’t be a buyer at the trade deadline. A three game sweep by our boys in blue would almost certainly mean Ned will trade the farm, or what’s left of it. I’m of the opinion even winning two will encourage Ned into thinking he can find the right piece(s) to make a run, even though we’ve already lost a game in the standings since the all-star break, which flies in the face of Ned’s “if we can make up one game a week” scenario.

Billingsley may make the decision easier.  He’s been pitching well of late, but not so coincidentally it was with A.J. Ellis behind the plate. Now that A.J. is back in the desert and its Barajas/Navarro, will Billz revert back?

Who will you be pulling for this series?