So There, Joc Haters

  Sunday was a sunny day but the shadows were all over the stadium.  Shadows are the bane of baseball players’ existence.  The players, pitchers, infielders, outfielders, hitters alike have to play through them.    It was a good game but of course there usually is a surprise…Corey’s 2 run home run yesterday and Joc’s 2 run home run on Sunday.  There are always criticisms about the players, but Joc usually is the chosen one in every conversation.  I’ll always support Joc no matter what.  But then again, let’s go back to the beginning of the day.
Oddly enough the Dodgers schedule had the team playing at 7 on Friday, 6 on Saturday and 5 on Sunday.  Strange times.  On Tuesday they play at 4 in Atlanta.  It was nice having a Sunday evening game rather than the usual day game.  The heat would have been terrible had it been played at 1 as usual.  The temperature hovered around the 80’s.

  Batting practice as usual…the shadows were already giving me a hard time. As usual the players were paying attention to what was going on.
  The relief pitchers tend to cluster together
  The starting pitchers hang out together
  And manager Dave Roberts makes the rounds
  Good to see Carl Crawford feeling better.  Carl is one of the nicer players on the team.  He will be back on Sunday.
  Charlie Culberson who has been a valuable addition to the team
  Steve Yaeger our catching coach
  Did you see that???? Again the shadows.
  Time to check out the food.  The carne asada tacos were wonderful.  Crystal’s suggestion to try a squeeze of lime was spot on.
  The salads were again delicious.   There always is a variety with a mixture of greens, fruit and veggies.
  The Swiss chard reminded me of my childhood.  We used to grow Swiss chard in the backyard.  The shrimp pasta tasted as good as it looked.  The chicken was perfect.  I have to compliment the chefs everyday for the delicious fare.  Back to instant ramen for me when the Dodgers are on the road.
   
    
 Yaz had something on his finger that he kept picking at.  Hopefully whatever it is doesn’t put him on DL.

   
 He has hit well against the Giants.  He broke up Cueto’s perfect game on Saturday in the bottom of the 5th.  Oh well!  It was one consolation that day,   The game being the most frustrating game of the homestand.

  The boy band Los 5 made their way across the field.  They actually sounded pretty good.  Their rendition of the National Anthem was inspirational complete with kettle drums. I was surprised at their versatility.
  The Good Year blimp cast more shadows.
  And here is Jon SooHoo, Dodger photographer.  He is my true idol.
  A nice surprise…Jackson with mommy Stephanie.
  Robert with Jackson.  He’s getting in practice for new little one due in August.  Congratulations to Robert and Carol.
   
 I was holding my breath waiting for Kenta Maeda, the starting pitcher for Sunday’s game.  He had not allowed  a run yet before this game.

   
    
 I feel like the Japanese paparazzi taking many many pictures of him.  He’s probably getting used to it since the Japanese media follow him everywhere.

  He went into the bullpen so I focused my attention on the other guys who had just come out on the field to stretch.
   
   Chase Utley is usually the first out.  He is a very intense, all-out player.
   

Corey and Howie

 Chase and Justin

  National Anthem.
  Joc and the trainer
   
 Kenta made his way from the bullpen deep in thought and totally focused.  He never looked anywhere except straight ahead.

  Corey Seager, the hero of Saturday’s game
   
   Puiiiiiiig!
  Sunday’s umpires just trying to figure out how to squeeze Kenta.
  The kids took the field with the Dodgers.  
   
   First pitch
Maeda didn’t seem in control the first inning.  Maybe the umpires think that Japanese pitchers should have a different strike zone.  Kenta figured it out throwing another excellent game.  He only allowed one run in 7 innings pitched, a third inning home run to Joe Panik.  It raised his ERA to 0.47.  He proved he can get himself out of a jam.  He  walked two in the first inning but did not allow a run until the home run in the 3rd.

  

Puig again was aggressive, stealing second after singling and scoring on a Yasmani single.

   
 
   
But it was Joc’s 2 run home run that had sealed the game in the 5th inning.  Yasmani was involved in both run producing at-bats.  Let’s give him a pat on the back.

  Obviously not happy.  Is he giving me hard looks?

  Much discussion when the Dodgers started scoring.  Wah Wah Wah.

  This was about the time when we started to believe that the Dodgers would win the game.
   
 Chris Hatcher seems to have found his way now that his baby is here.  The whole  bullpen seems to be doing better.

  Hmmmm.  Maybe I need a shave finally.
  Will he hit the ball already
  Let’s see.
  Oh good, here comes the ball.   The many faces of Corey Seager.  
   
   The outfield:  Trayce, Puig (a little rumpled and dirty as usual) and Kike
  Justin Turner
   
   A little break in the action for ice cream, cookies and pictures.  CJ, only in high school but well over 6 feet tall, and an excellent pitcher.   Mika, who speaks excellent Japanese, is my translator.
  My doggie bag:  a Dodger dog to eat so I don’t fall asleep driving home, my cookies compliments of wonderful chef Bud, and my strawberry ice cream which I will eat before it melts.
  But back to the action…let’s get this done Kenley.

  Top of the 9th.  One out.
  Clayton always seems to be having a good time according to my spy cam.
  Joc is hoping for a win, AJ is thinking about his wife running in the Boston Marathon for charity.  Everyone please donate to the cause. @#teamellisfamily.com.
  Dave Roberts and various coaches are hoping for a win
   
 And Kenley once again saves the game.

   
   Victory is so sweet especially against the Giants and especially since the game was televised on ESPN.  You can see Kenta in the background in the typical humble Japanese way.  Have I said enough how much I LOVE Maeken???
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Maeda is the first pitcher in Dodger history to begin his Dodger career with 3 straight appearances of at least 6 innings and one or fewer runs allowed.  He is also the first Dodger since 1992 to begin his career with 14 scoreless innings.  And now they are comparing him to Greinke who is not faring so well with the D Backs.  I always liked Greinke and still do.

The Dodgers are now 8-5, the Rockies close behind with a 7-5 record.  The Giants who are predicted to win the West are 7-6.  The Dodgers had to deal with the Giants best pitchers during this homestand.

Now on to Atlanta.  We are finally playing a team other than the Giants!!!  Back to work for me tonight.  It’s been an exciting Opening Week.  I’m tired but it’s a good tired.  

Thanks everyone for stopping by.  It’s been wonderful seeing my Dodger friends again.  Please stop and say hi to me if you are at the Stadium.  GO DODGERS!!!  Go Joc!

 

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