We're born again, there's new grass on the field
Zack Greinke is great and I love him (or something less fangirly)

Final score: Philadelphia Phillies, 2 @ Los Angeles Dodgers, 5

Zack Greinke has been solid all season, but today, he was in excellent form, and more efficient than he’s been all year. For the first time, he pitched into the 7th inning, getting through it on 107 pitches. He struck out an impressive 11 batters, his high as a Dodger; he walked one, but it was intentional (at least, it wound up being intentional).

To that point, Greinke had allowed a sole run on 4 hits. For some reason, he came out to pitch the 8th inning, and gave up a home run to the first batter he faced; he has now given up at least one home run in each of his five starts (but he hasn’t allowed more than 2 runs in any start).

Greinke also had a good day at the plate. With two out and a runner on first in the 5th, Greinke drew a walk that extended the inning, allowing Yasiel Puig to come up and drive a run in with a base hit. When Greinke batted with two outs in the bottom of the 7th, he doubled, then scored on a Puig triple.

In addition to Puig’s 2-for-4 with two RBIs, Matt Kemp went 2-for-4 with a single, a double and a run scored; Hanley Ramirez went 2-for-4 with a solo shot; Scott Van Slyke, starting at first base to give Adrian Gonzalez a break, was 2-for-4 with a single, a double and a run scored; even Drew Butera went 2-for-4.

J.P. Howell retired all three batters he saw in the 8th (including 1 K), and Kenley Jansen delivered a perfect 9th (with a strikeout of his own).

Dodgers lose in idiotic fashion

Final score: Philadelphia Phillies, 3 @ Los Angeles Dodgers, 2 (F/10)

I’d written a fairly lengthy post about this game on my phone, but of course it didn’t save when I went to check the box score and I lost it.

I’m not going to bother writing it again. Just know that I’m exceptionally frustrated with Hanley Ramirez, who has 5 errors on the season, including one tonight (and it should’ve been 6, as the play that put the winning run on base was really his fault) and is OPSing a mediocre .733 (which isn’t terrible but is subpar for him). He’s a mess right now, and it’s hard to watch, possibly even concerning.

That’s all I care to say right now.

Cliff Lee dominates Dodgers

Final score: Philadelphia Phillies, 7 @ Los Angeles Dodgers, 0

I’m going to be without a computer for a few days, but for completeness’s sake, I’ll still do brief recaps from my phone.

Thanks to Cliff Lee, there’s not a ton to say about this one. Lee was brilliant, absolutely shutting down the Dodger lineup with just 4 hits and no walks over 8 scoreless innings, recording 10 K’s in the process.

Paul Maholm was considerably less awesome, delivering 5 innings and yielding 5 runs (4 earned) while waking 3 and striking out 2.

Brandon League pitched two scoreless frames, striking out 1. After being recalled from AAA Albuquerque, Jose Dominguez pitched two innings and struck out 2, but he also gave up a 2-run homerun that capped Carlos Ruiz’s 3-for-4 night.

Puig does Puig things to lead Dodgers to victory

Final score: Arizona Diamondbacks, 1 @ Los Angeles Dodgers, 4

My laptop is pretty much dead right now so here’s an extremely fast, not-detailed phone recap!

Puig made an awesome throw to rob Miguel Montero of extra bases. He later hit a three-run home run after Adrian Gonzalez was intentionally walked to get to him. (The other run was the result of a Carl Crawford triple.)

Josh Beckett delivered 5 innings of scoreless, one-hit baseball, and the bullpen didn’t blow it.

Kenley Jansen struck out the side in order in the top of the 9th, looking nasty as ever.

Yay!

Another strong outing for Dan Haren

Final score: Arizona Diamondbacks, 6 @ Los Angeles Dodgers, 8

Dan Haren cruised for the first two innings, needing just 20 pitches to retire the Diamondbacks in order. He first ran into trouble in the 3rd, hardly helped by some sloppy infield defense. The first hit he allowed just rolled up the middle, right on by Hanley Ramirez. Later, with men on first and third and one out, Hanley failed to catch a throw that should’ve been turned a double play. Instead, a run came in for Arizona. Haren hit the next batter, and proceeded to give up two line drive hits, leading to three runs to coming in.

Other than that, Haren was pretty darn good—and pretty darn efficient, too. With his 7.1 innings pitched, this outing was the longest for a Dodger starter so far this year, even with the shoddy defense behind him. Further, he struck out 5 and didn’t walk any.

Haren was backed up by a newly-awakened Dodger lineup that took advantage of the rookie Mike Bolsinger. The first runs came in the bottom of the 4th on a 3-run shot by Andre Ethier, his second dinger of the season.

The Dodgers took the lead the next inning with a 5-run rally, started by a single off the bat of Haren. Singles by Dee Gordon and Carl Crawford loaded the bases. Then, Hanley Ramirez was on the other side of some bad defense, as Martin Prado mishandled a potential double play ball and a run came in to tie it. The bases remained loaded for Adrian Gonzalez, who singled in another pair of runs (AGon, 2-for-4 on the day, has an 14-game hitting streak); Ramirez and Gonzalez then scored on a Matt Kemp double (Kemp also 2-for-4).

The Dodger bullpen made things interesting again…again…as Brian Wilson, still looking pretty rusty, relinquished two runs on a walk and two hits in his 2/3 IP. Kenley Jansen gave up a base hit in the top of the 9th, but got Paul Goldschmidt swinging to end it.

Tomorrow, it’s Josh Beckett on the mound against reliever-turned-starter Josh Collmenter. Game time is 1:10 PM.

Dodger bats look anemic as Arizona snaps losing streak

Final score: Arizona Diamondbacks, 4 @ Los Angeles Dodgers, 2 (F/12)

In his fourth start of the season, Zack Greinke once again had issues with pitch count. Though he made it through 6 innings allowing just one run, his control wasn’t what we know it can be. That seems a little funny to say when he struck out 8 batters, but he still missed the zone a good deal; it’s worth noting that the 2 walks he issued doubled his total for the season thus far. Miguel Montero was the one who really gave him a hard time, drawing a walk, putting on a 12-pitch at bat and hitting that home run.

Still, 6 innings of one-run ball is generally a pretty good thing. Wade Miley nearly topped that by delivering 6 scoreless innings before giving up a solo home run to Scott Van Slyke in the top of the 7th.

Jamey Wright pitched a scoreless 7th inning, and Chris Withrow delivered a perfect 8th. The 9th inning was a different story. Withrow walked the first batter he faced—that darn Montero again. Tony Campana came in to pinch run and stole second, then advanced to third on a groundout. With a two-ball count on Martin Prado, Don Mattingly called for an intentional walk—only Withrow threw the ball about a foot over Tim Federowicz’s head, allowing the run to score.

Brandon League was called upon for the last two outs, which he got with little incident.

In the bottom of the 9th, with Addison Reed on the mound and one out, Juan Uribe delivered a shot down the left field line to tie it.

League pitched the top of the 10th, and it was a weird frame. First, Parra hit a ball off of League for an infield single. Later, with one out, Paul Goldschmidt struck Federowicz on a swing and took first on the interference. It may have been a blessing in disguise, as the next batter grounded into a double play.

Chris Perez pitched a perfect 11th inning, though Cody Ross sent one to the warning track that gave us all a good scare.

Perez’s scoreless streak came to an end in the top of the 12th. He gave up a double to A.J. Pollock and hit Cliff Pennington with a pitch; both runners advanced on a bunt and came in to score on a single by Aaron Hill. Yasiel Puig made an impressive play to trap a bloop hit by Paul Goldschmidt, and was able to throw it to second base to get a force out. Goldschmidt was then caught stealing for the third out.

The Dodgers went quietly in the bottom of the 12th, and the Diamondbacks have finally won as many games total as the Dodgers have won against them.

Tomorrow, it’s Dan Haren vs. Mike Bolsinger (making the first start of his Major League career), with an early start of 5:10 PM.

Ryu helps Dodgers avoid sweep

Final score: Los Angeles Dodgers, 2 @ San Francisco Giants, 1

This is a ridiculously belated recap on account of the fact that I had to leave after the 7th inning to see Bryan Cranston kick butt on Broadway as LBJ in All the Way. Afterwards, I talked to him about seeing him throw the first pitch at Dodger Stadium last year. He said he was “awful” on account of the fact that he’d had shoulder surgery and can’t throw anymore. He also mentioned that he’d played shortstop when he was younger. Pretty cool!

Except this isn’t supposed to be a recap of me meeting Bryan Cranston, it’s supposed to be a recap of today’s Dodger game.

After the Giants roughed him up last time, Hyun-Jin Ryu turned things around with 7 innings of scoreless baseball. He struck out 3 and walked 1 while allowing just 4 hits. Only one baserunner reached second base while he was on the mound, and that was by way of a steal.

For once the Dodgers actually got to Madison Bumgarner. Mind you, they hardly shelled him—2 earned runs is hardly a blowout—but they made him work, as he threw 99 pitches through just 4 1/3 innings. Bumgarner gave up 6 hits and issued 3 walks, and while it’s possible newbie umpire Seth Buckminster deserves some credit/blame for squeezing him a bit in strike calls, he still hardly looked as dominant as he usually does against the Dodgers (though his 6 whiffs remind us of what he’s capable of doing).

The first run came in the top of the third when Scott Van Slyke drew a two-out walk, Juan Uribe reached on an infield single and Tim Federowicz—yes, that’s correct—drove Van Slyke in with a base hit.

The second run came in the top of the 5th, as Justin Turner doubled, took third on a Yasiel Puig fly out, and scored on an Adrian Gonzalez single (extending his hitting streak to 10 games).

More notable than the offense was, perhaps, the Dodger defense—and for (mostly) good reasons! With one out and a runner on first in the bottom of the 2nd, Brandon Hicks hit a fly ball to Puig, who attempted to catch it with one hand and wound up dropping it. He recovered quickly to throw to second and get a force out; while dropping the ball was appallingly stupid, the result was the same as if he’d caught the ball, and it was a lot more entertaining. THEN, on the next play, he made an impressive, over-the-shoulder catch of a Gregor Blanco’s fly ball. Just. Watch it all here.

Matt Kemp also had a nice play of his own on a deep fly ball off the bat of Michael Morse.

Brian Wilson made his first appearance since his activation from the DL, giving up a double and a walk but not allowing any runs and picking up a strikeout.

Kenley Jansen had yet another shaky 9th inning, but, once again, he was something of a victim of circumstance. He struck out the first batter he faced, but Federowicz did not handle the ball well and Morse was able to reach first base. Jansen got a ground ball for a force out, then struck out another batter before issuing a walk. Ehire Adrianza then singled softly to right field to bring in the first Giant run of the day. It finally ended when Jansen got pinch hitter Brandon Crawford to fly out.

Now, it’s back home for three games with the Diamondbacks, who are in the midst of a six-game losing streak. Friday is Zack Greinke vs. Wade Miley, 7:10 PM.

mlb:

#BaetLA

mlb:

#BaetLA

Dodgers drop another series to the Giants

Final score: Los Angeles Dodgers, 1 @ San Francisco Giants, 2

From the very first at bat of the night, in which Dee Gordon placed a bunt that hugged the foul line until it stopped fair, this was a weird game. Unfortunately, for the most part, it was also exceptionally frustrating.

In the bottom of the 1st, Hunter Pence hit a fly ball to left center. Carl Crawford called for it before realizing it was Matt Kemp’s ball, and Kemp got his glove on it but dropped the ball before he could cleanly transfer it to his throwing hand. Pence wound up on second (though he would stay there for the remainder of the inning).

The top of the 2nd was even weirder. Adrian Gonzalez hit a pop foul and Buster Posey went to go catch it, but Gonzalez remained in the batter’s box, initially blocking Posey’s path. Gonzalez was called out on interference.

The next batter was Kemp, who drew a walk but was promptly picked off. Don Mattingly challenged the play, but it was upheld.

In the top of the 3rd, Juan Uribe singled, but was caught stealing when Drew Butera missed the hit-and-run sign.

Paul Maholm, who was actually pretty decent and deserves to be commended for his 6-inning, 1-run effort (even if a line of 5 H, 2 K, 3 BB isn’t stellar), also scored the Dodgers’ only run of the game. He drew a two-out walk in the top of the 6th, and came in on a Dee Gordon triple.

In the top of the 7th, Hanley was hit by a pitch and had to come out of the game. It looked like it really hurt—a 90 MPH fastball that got him somewhere on the hand/arm. Fortunately, nothing is broken, and hopefully he’ll be able to play tomorrow.

J.P. Howell pitched the 7th and walked the first batter he saw on four pitches; Joaquin Arias would then take second on a sacrifice bunt. After getting two outs, Howell intentionally walked Hunter Pence to face Pablo Sandoval. Sandoval singled Arias home.

Gordon singled with two outs in the top of the 8th, and left-handed specialist Javier Lopez came in to face Carl Crawford. Why Scott Van Slyke didn’t pinch hit for him, I’ll never understand; Crawford, predictably, grounded out weakly.

For some reason, Brandon League was tapped to pitch the 8th inning, even though Chris Perez had thrown just 3 pitches in the 7th. However, League faced the minimum, giving up a single but getting some help on a nice double play started by Gordon, then picking up a strikeout.

Sergio Romo then did what he does, pitching a perfect 9th inning with a pair of K’s.

The series concludes with Hyun-Jin Ryu facing Madison Bumgarner in an afternoon game, 12:45 PM.


One of the myths of the game is that Robinson was chosen by Rickey because of his forbearance, his ability to absorb slurs without hitting back.
To anyone who knew him, the notion of Jackie Robinson turning the other cheek, putting up with insults, was laughable. I have never been able to find one veteran chronicler of the early Robinson days who remembers Jackie being anything but truculent and unbending in the face of slurs and insults.
Jackie made sure you treated him as a man. He didn’t suffer fools gladly. … He was as deeply suspicious of the flatterers as he was the bigots.
 Jackie wore no man’s collar. Ever. Long before Rosa Parks, he had refused to move to the back of the bus—in the Army. He was court-martialed. He was acquitted.
I remember once, in a kind of confidential exchange I had with him, I was brash enough to suggest incautiously, “But, Jackie, on the whole, wasn’t there less bigotry and intolerance out there than you expected?”
Jackie fixed me with a glare.
"There shouldn’t have been any,” he said sternly.
You never argued with Jackie Robinson. He made America live up to its promises. [x]

One of the myths of the game is that Robinson was chosen by Rickey because of his forbearance, his ability to absorb slurs without hitting back.

To anyone who knew him, the notion of Jackie Robinson turning the other cheek, putting up with insults, was laughable. I have never been able to find one veteran chronicler of the early Robinson days who remembers Jackie being anything but truculent and unbending in the face of slurs and insults.

Jackie made sure you treated him as a man. He didn’t suffer fools gladly. … He was as deeply suspicious of the flatterers as he was the bigots.

Jackie wore no man’s collar. Ever. Long before Rosa Parks, he had refused to move to the back of the bus—in the Army. He was court-martialed. He was acquitted.

I remember once, in a kind of confidential exchange I had with him, I was brash enough to suggest incautiously, “But, Jackie, on the whole, wasn’t there less bigotry and intolerance out there than you expected?”

Jackie fixed me with a glare.

"There shouldn’t have been any,” he said sternly.

You never argued with Jackie Robinson. He made America live up to its promises. [x]