What’s Good, What’s Bad

  As they say, there’s always good and bad in everything.  That includes Dodger games.  The good on Saturday included seeing some of my favorite people:  Coco and her family, Dylan, Stephanie and her baby Jackson.   The above is Coco’s big brother Brooks.  He is holding the other “good” of the day:  my Corey Seager autographed jersey.  
  I had gone to the Top of the Park store to get a jersey personalized.  He did a super job. He said it was his first Corey Seager jersey and he was anxious to see what it would look like.  My next mission was to get it autographed by Corey himself.
But back to the beginning of the day.  It was early batting practice as usual.  I think that the Dodgers must be tired of all the “fans” who continually ask for balls and autographs while they warm up and practice. I’m afraid that one day they won’t let anyone watch.  

   
 They are now standing a bit further away from the stands.

  Zack and his famous ponytail.
  Kike had a signing at another Northgate Market for his Chiquita banana endorsement.  I don’t really know anyone who went this time but there were many fans at the game dressed as bananas.  I think that the rally banana isn’t so popular now that Kike is on DL.
  Some fans snagged Mike for an autograph because he was standing too close and he never refuses to sign.
  And Scotty was asked for a ball in the field while he ran by.  No wonder they all are trying to avoid the fans.  They all went in through the underground tunnel by the bullpen. They are concentrating more on clinching the division and winnng games.  If all the early batting practice fans could just watch instead of yelling for balls and autographs, it would be better.
  Andre
  Kike taking a swing
  By the time we were allowed to go by the dugout, everyone was inside.  The dugout was again empty.  Yasiel peeked outside.
  As did Jose Peraza.  Jose was asked for his autograph.  No wonder they stay clear of the fans. I’m not sure who they were looking for.
  But maybe it was Buehler who was a draft pick.  He had Tommy John surgery which will keep him out for a couple of years.
  It was time to eat.  The penne Afredo was really outstanding.  I had a second helping.  The curry chicken also was yummy.
  I was excited about the macaroni salad and I wasn’t disappointed.  So good.  Do I ever eat a Dodger dog?  Almost never.
I went back out to the seats.  I was disappointed to find out that my usual spot was taken by two people who are not my favorites.  They tend to hog up all the space so no one else can see.  They are not small people.  I like to stand on the step by the gate since I am short so I need a good vantage point since everyone is taller than me except maybe little Coco.  I stood to the right in front of my friends’ seats.  While I was taking pictures, one of the ushers who I’m not familiar with told me I had to move because it was too cluttered in the front row.  Brooks and his friends had already told me they didn’t mind if I stood with them.  My friend Dylan was also with me.  Brooks reassured me several times I was welcome where I was standing.  His Dad is the season ticket holder of the 4 seats.  He and Coco were sitting in the Dugout section since all the baseline seats were taken or he would have told the usher it was ok where I was.  Of course the other people who were taking up all the space in front did not move.  I explained to the usher that I always stand there with Coco and her family.  Another usher who I know hurried over and asked me if everything was ok.  It all worked out anyway.  I never break any rules at Dodger Stadium so I wanted to make sure everything was straightened out.  That was the good and bad.  I was happy that Corey signed his jersey but those annoying people almost ruined it for me.

Everyone assumes that when Zack or Clayton pitch, the Dodgers would win.  That was not to be on Saturday.  Clayton lost his first game since June 27.  It was apparent already in the first innings, that he was not his usual perfect self.  Liriano, the Pirates pitcher, however, had a great game.  He retired 16 straight Dodgers with 9 strikeouts and held the Dodgers to 5 hits and 2 runs.  Sometimes I question the umpires’ strike zones.  So-so pitchers have many brilliant games at Dodger Stadium.  Just saying.  When Ruggiano looked at the umpire with frustration, I started to wonder.

 

I hope that Clayton isn’t getting worn out already since it is almost the end of the regular season.  I’m glad that Mattingly didn’t stick with 4 starting pitchers giving them short rest.  

  Howie Kendrick returned from DL on Saturday and immediately singled in the first inning scoring Ruggiano. 1-0.
The Pirates next overtook the Dodgers when Mercer and Liriano scored in the third with an Andrew McCutcheon double. 1-2.

  The score stood until the 7th inning when AJ doubled scoring Guerrero tying the score.  2-2.
In the 8th inning, Chris Hatcher was brought out relieving Kershaw.  There were already runners on first and third.  Aramis Ramirez doubled in Polanco.  2-3.  And that was the final score.

Justin Turner left the game in the 5th inning with a sore knee.  That’s bad news.  Justin has always had bad knees.  He already walks like a catcher.  

  Not even a little sorbet cheered me up.
Sunday’s game is a dreaded day game.  The temperature at game time will be 93 degrees.  Mike Bolsinger is making his bid for a spot in postseason.  Unforunately he is facing the Pirates’ ace Gerritt Cole who has a 2.60 ERA and is 16-8 for the season.  I’m already planning on spending most of the game in the club since I have to go to work after the game.  I’m praying that Mike has a super game.  

Pittsburgh’s magic number is 4 to clinch a spot as a wild card.  The Dodgers magic number is 7 since the Giants luckily lost yesterday.  

Another good thing…Carl Crawford is ready to play again.  Hopefully he will be in the starting lineup.  Carl tends to bring good luck.

There are many who are quick to criticize  Mattingly for his varying lineups and his coaching decisions but remember the Dodgers are in first place in the Western Division and have been there most of the season. There are many Dodgers who are on DL,  Ryu and McCarthy since the beginning of the season.  Puig has been out with hamstring issues along with Kendrick.  Others on DL include Kike and Rollins.  Justin Turner has been on DL as well with that MRSA infection.  The team has done amazingly well with acquisitions Justin Ruggiano and Chase Utley, and with rookie Corey Seager.  The bullpen has been unpredictable but that’s not Mattingly’s fault.  He has what he has to work with.  The bullpen sometimes are amazingly good but at the other spectum, they are amazingly bad.  He also had to deal with Matt Latos who never did work out.  Mattingly is criticized harshly when the Dodgers lose but never praised when they win.  

No matter how bad the day seems, there are always bright spots.  Thank you Dylan for the great company before the game.  It was good to see my little Coco.  Stephanie, your baby is a cutie.  Always love to see my buddy Norma.  And thank you Corey Seager for the big smile and autograph on your first and only jersey at Dodger Stadium.  It was all worth it.

Thanks for stopping by.  Hopefully I don’t melt during the game and have to call off sick because I disappeared.

GO DODGERS!  Magic number is 7!!!

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