The Dodgers did well in the series against San Diego at Petco Park, winning 3 out of 4 games. They have the most homeruns (162), this is their 11th win in the last 13 games and are now 78-54 in the season. It appears that now Dodger fans are counting down how many more games before they clinch. Hopefully they do it in fine fashion at Dodger Stadium. I have fond memories of celebrating with Darwin Barney last year. I hope that I will again be sprayed with whatever celebratory liquid they choose and that I get high fives all around.
Looking at the San Diego games, I can see a new energy, a new baserunning strategy initiated by new third base coach Ron Roenicke, a new urgency spurred by team ace Clayton Kershaw. The two best acquisitions made to date, in my opinion, are Utley and Ruggiano. Ruggiano was acquired from the Mariners on 8/31 for that vague player to be named later. He had spent most of his time in Triple A Tacoma. He had played for the Marlins and the Cubs. Since being acquired, he’s been huge. Now that it appears Puig may be out for the rest of the regular season, he will probably play a bigger role. Utley has played a role being an impetus along with Roenicke for more aggressive base running.
Although the Padres are no longer contenders for any title, the series was hard fought. The Padres are now 13 1/2 games out of first place thanks to the Dodgers. Matt Kemp still shines, even on a team that no longer has a chance. The Padres had been many sportswriters choice to win the division before the season started. The Dodgers were second or third with the Giants always rated higher. The Dodgers have maintained more time in first place than they haven’t. Matt Kemp who had been my favorite player the entire time he was with the Dodgers still plays his heart out. He has reached base 25 straight games which is his career best, best in the National League, 3rd longest in the Majors. My heart still hurts when I think about him being on a team other than the Dodgers. There are many Dodger fans that share my sentiment. I miss Matt and his mother, Judy as do many of his other fans. One of my cars still sports the license plate ❤ Matt27. I will probably never change it.
To sum up the Padres games, the Dodgers were able to win the series, 3 games out of 4. On Friday with my personal favorite Mike Bolsinger pitching, there were a total of 8 homeruns hit in Petco Park which broke a record. Mike pitched 5 innings before he was replaced with pinch hitter Andre Ethier who was pinch hit with Ruggiano. Mike only gave up 2 hits but they were homeruns, one being a two run homerun. Shields pitched 107 with only 60 strikes, 6 walks. It was a Dodger experiment of using 6 starting pitchers to rest the 5 starting pitchers during the final stretch. Greinke, Kershaw, Wood Anderson and (gulp) Latos, letting Bolsinger tryout for the 6th spot. His Dad had been vocal about his son being sent down to the minors despite doing well as a starting pitcher. When Matt Latos and Alex Wood joined the Dodgers before the trade deadline, Mike was relegated to Triple A where he was groomed to be in the bullpen and also took his turn as a starting pitcher. His last Triple A game, he had 7 scoreless innings. He has said that he would pitch from the bullpen if he was asked to. Mike is well known for his easy going ways. He is definitely a team player. He was at first upset about being sent down but he worked hard to prove himself and with a stellar record while being in the Majors, he was brought up for a second chance. Matt Latos, on the other hand, still seems to be his difficult self. He still thinks he has no problems with his pitching. He wants to stay deeper in the game even if he gives up a number of runs. It’s too late in the season to do that. The Dodgers haven’t really given him a vote of confidence by skipping over him, putting him in the bullpen (they never called on him in that capacity) and then sending him to Arizona to work on his pitching. The management are reluctant to admit that his signing was a huge mistake. Alex Wood, on the other hand, has done well, his last outing against the Padres, being his best one with 3 hits and 7 scoreless innings. That was the Saturday game which also produced a stellar performance by the bullpen with 3 scoreless innings making the final game on Saturday 2-0.
Friday’s game in San Diego was the most entertaining with 8 total homeruns. James Shields allowed 3 homeruns: Schebler (just brought up from Triple A), Ruggiano,, and Crawford. Ruggiano hit a 2 run homerun in the 6th inning when Mike was taken out and replaced by Ethier. The Padres put out a left handed pitcher. Mattingly then pinch hit pinch hitter Ethier with Ruggiano who kills left handed pitching. Good strategy on Mattingly’s part. The score was then 5-3. Ruggiano sparked the homeruns to follow. The final score on Friday was 8-4.
Saturday’s game with Alex Wood pitching ended up with a Dodger win 2-0. It was the 17th time this season that the Padres were shut out. Andre went 3 for 4 with a walk and 2 doubles
Sunday’s game ended up with a score 5-1 with the Dodgers winning the series. Padres pitcher Cashner allowed 2 earned runs in 6 innings: in the 3rd, Andre hit a sacrifice fly scoring Carl Crawford. In the 6th inning, AJ singled with the ball bouncing out of Justin Upton’s glove. Brett Anderson allowed one earned run to Gyorko with a homerun, 4 hits, 4 walks before leaving the game with a left calf cramp probably from being dehydrated. Brett says he has to start hydrating about 2 days before game day to prevent getting too dehydrated since he sweats a lot. He is scheduled to make his next start. In the 6th inning, AJ singled which bounced out of Justin Upton’s glove which scored Turner. 2-1. In the 7th inning, with the bases loaded and 2 outs, on a throwing error by Padres relief pitcher Vincent, 3 Dodgers (Rollins, Gonzalez, Turner) were allowed to score. Andre Ethier hit a slow roller up the first base line which went into right field into the corner. 5-1.
The Dodger start a 3 game series with the Angels Monday Labor Day with our co-ace Zack Greinke starting matched against Nick Tropeano, who is 1-2 with an ERA of 5.51. Tropeano was a callup frrom Triple A Salt Lake. Zack now has a 15-3 record with a 1.59 ERA. The Dodgers swept the Angels in August and have won the last 6 against them.
I know everytime I say I will never go back to Angel Stadium because I always get lost in the parking lot. Why can’t they mark the lots so it’s easier to find your car?? I went the last time for an exhibition game before this season. I parked in a lot outside the stadium thinking it would be easier to find my car but it was pitch black when the game was over. I am going to the game tonight hoping I have better luck. One motivation is the Oakley Store inside the Stadium. Maybe I can buy another pair of sunglasses. They will customize sunglasses for you. OK OK, so I like shopping. Another motivation is that there are only 13 home games left. Any extra occasions I can see my Dodgers would be a plus.
I thought it would be fun to share with everyone a fun experience. There is a cap store in Lakewood Center called Lids.
They will personalize caps for one low price no matter how many letters. Here is Alonzo who was very sweet.
My choice was of course my favorite player who also has a name containing many letters. I definitely got my money’s worth. There was a good deal going on: buy one hat and get the second half off.
The final product is shown earlier in this blog. I’m wearing it to the game tonight along with all my Dodger blue. I hope that Mike will see that I am still his number one fan.
Thanks for stopping by. GO DODGERS! Sweep the Angels.