When The Baseball Gods Answered

It was Tuesday.  My favorite Mike Bolsinger was pitching and I had been praying fervently to the baseball gods that he would get a win.  It was another beautiful Southern California day.  When I arrived at the Stadium, batting practice was underway.
The Dodgers all looked upbeat because they had victories the last two outings and were hoping for another one on Tuesday.

I wore Mike Bolsinger’s personal  jersey.  It was way too big but I felt comfortable in it.  I was hoping it would bring him luck.  Funny thing…I wore it all night and didn’t even have to put a jacket on even though it had dipped to a cloudy 63 degrees.  It had kept me warm.  How did that happen?

Closer Jansen was having a discussion with manager Dave Roberts.  You can only realize how big Kenley is when he is standing by an average size person.
There was a helicopter hovering above us.  I wasn’t the only one who noticed.
Everyone was in a good mood after the win by Kershaw the night before.  It does feel good to win.  And then the game was short:  2 hours 11 minutes so everyone had plenty of rest…such a difference from the extra innings games over the weekend.
It would be uplifting for sure if the Dodgers could sweep the Reds.
I was really too nervous to stay out on the field.  I forgot to take pictures at the dugout, that’s how jittery I was.
I went up to the club to eat.  I decided I would have to eat fast and get out on the field as soon as I could so I could get my usual spot where I like to take pictures.  I also had to be there to cheer Mike on.  I wanted him to know I was there.  I had recruited my buddy Yoshiko to help me.

The food was good I think, I don’t remember.  Beef brisket, chicken sofrito, rice, squash and green bean medley.    All I could think about was Mike, winning, getting my spot in the front.  I was a little distracted.
Alicia, one of the ushers, always has a big smile for everyone.
The SportsNet crew was minus Orel Hersheiser.  They were interviewing Ned Coletti.
I was nervous still about the game.  I anxiously was waiting to see Mike.  Grandal was catching for him.
He didn’t have his usual pink drink.  
He did some stretches.
I was waiting for Mike to make an appearance.  You would think I was pitching, I was so nervous.

When I saw him finally I didn’t recognize him.  He had cut his hair and shaved his beard off.  I wonder if he did that when he was sent back down to minors after pitching the last time.  The guys seem to do drastic things like that.  I don’t know Mike without his facial hair.
The more I looked at him, the more I thought he looked different
But then he looked at me and I realized he was the same.
He kept looking my way.  I am his #1 fan and he realizes it.  I have stood by him from his very first time at Dodger Stadium.
He stretched and threw a few balls.
He looked at me several times during his workout.  Or is it my imagination working overtime?

Sorry, I think I got a little carried away with my Mike pictures but after all he is my favorite.  He went into the bullpen to finish warming up.
And then Trayce and Chase came out to warm up.
I took a few extra pictures of Trayce since he is my friend Veronica’s favorite.  I hope you like these pictures.  

Clayton was having a conversation with friends at the dugout and then signed a few balls.
Everyone’s favorite Corey came out to the field.  Is there anyone who doesn’t like Corey?
And then breakout player Joc made an appearance.  He said hi to me before he started his workout.
It was military appreciation day and all branches of the service were represented.
A little more Trayce.
Joc who seems to have matured this season and has become the difference maker in games.  I don’t think even the harshest critics can say anything negative about him anymore.
I think this time it’s the coaches that were staring at me.
They presented the colors and we sang the National Anthem.
Trayce is still having his head shaved apparently.
With all that, believe it or not, I almost missed Mike and Yaz going by as they walked to the dugout.  Yoshiko and I were his personal fan club and yelled “Mike!!”  I saw him smile broadly as he walked by.
Trayce ran back into the dugout, then Joc.  Justin left the field too.
He played catch with Kike for a while to warm up.
Then Corey left without signing autographs much to the disappointment of the fans.  This is unusual since he always signs.
I checked out the dugout while I waited anxiously for the game to start.  You can pretty much tell how the game will go in the first couple of innings.  I know Mike would be limited to an 80 pitch count limit because he just came off of DL.  I was glad to see him smiling before the game.  I get the feeling I was more stressed than he was.  I was still praying to those baseball gods.
The umpires and coaches always start out very friendly but it usually changes during the game.  No one usually sees the strike zone the same, especially me.
He looked in my direction…I think he was trying to remember where I sit.
First pitch.  A little of my anxiety was slowly going away but my stomach was still doing some flip flops.
Daniel Wright was pitching for the Reds.  He was just brought up from minors and was probably the only bright spot for the team.  His whole family: parents, sister and wife had all come to witness his debut.
It was a quality start for Mike.  The baseball gods had answered me.  The Dodgers were able to score first in the very first inning when Justin Turner singled Chase Utley in. 1-0.

The Reds catcher was unable to “catch” Utley as he raced in.  I guess I wasn’t able to catch him either on film.
Mike was able to keep the Reds scoreless until the 4th inning when Adam Duvall hit a two run homerun scoring Jay Bruce.  That was the only score for them all night.  1-2.  I was dismayed because we were behind.
But at the bottom of the 4th inning, Joc doubled in Trayce.

Sorry about the blurry picture but I was a little excited.  2-2.  The score was tied.
Later in the 4th inning, with Yaz at bat, Joc stole 3rd base inducing a throwing error by the Reds catcher and was able to score.  3-2.  It was an amazing 4th inning for Joc.
Mike Bolsinger was taken out of the game because of his pitch count; his pitching was efficient.  

In the bottom of the 6th inning, Yasiel singled scoring Trayce. 4-2.

In the same inning, Yasiel scored on a fielding error by Joey Votto.  Errors were killing the Reds chances of getting back into the game. 5-2.  The momentum changer seemed to be Joc’s 4th inning.

It was so nice to see Jennifer with her adorable daughter Sarah.  She has grown up a lot since I saw her last.  It definitely looks like she was enjoying the game.

I can’t forget the other cutie.

It was a pleasure to see Rick and his wife April again.  They have season tickets but find it difficult to get to the game because of the traffic.  1 1/2 hours from Manhattan Beach is terrible.  I always enjoy seeing them.  Please come more often!! I again forgot to take a picture of them.  I think I was stressing out over Mike.

I had to go get my ice cream when they took Mike out of the game.  I was afraid to leave because he knows where I sit and didn’t want to distract him.  
In the bottom of the 8th inning, Justin singled, scoring Howie and Chase. 7-2.
Adrian singled, scoring Corey.
The stadium was already emptying out at the top of the 9th inning.  The score pretty much guaranteed a win for the Dodgers.  I never leave when the Dodgers are ahead .
Adam Liberatore came out to finish the game.  The dugout was happy.  Where’s Mike??
This is real excitement time.  9th inning, 2 out, 2 strikes.  There is no better feeling.
Last pitch of the game.  Everyone in the dugout is serious now.
And the Dodgers win with a score of 8-2.  It was an exhilarating high scoring game for the Dodgers.  That means 1/2 price pizza at Papa Johns among other things.  But where’s Mike?
Notice who the first one out of the dugout during a victory is??  Clayton, the ultimate team player, who is just as excited for others, and cheers every feat of his team members.  We all love Clayton.
It was a satisfying victory for the Dodgers.    Justin had 3 RBI’s.  There were no Dodger home runs but the game was still high scoring for them.  It was team play…the little ball.  Mike had a quality start.  I’m happy.  Maybe they won’t dump him back into the minors.  Last year they did just that when they acquired the sorry Matt Latos, even though Mike was doing well.  I hope they remember that Mike was to be the 5th starter before he had his oblique injury.  He had proved himself in Spring Training already.  I was happy.  

I wondered why Yasiel was taken out of the game after the 6th inning.  Apparently Dave Roberts did this as a disciplinary action when he didn’t hustle from the plate.  He should have had a double but was only able to get to first base after he paused rather than running right away.  Puig took his punishment gracefully.

Wednesday the Dodgers are hoping for a sweep of the Reds.  The Reds, unfortunately for them, are on a nine game losing streak.    Scott Kazmir will start.  His last outing with the Padres resulted in 7 walks and 5 earned runs bringing his ERA to 5.23 with 3-3 record.  The Dodgers must be tired since they haven’t had a day off in 20 games.  The opposing pitcher Dan Straily however has a 2.85 ERA.  The Dodgers are 2nd behind the Giants with a 24-23 record.  They are however 4.5 games behind.  

I didn’t realize until the end of the game that my little friend Ashlyn was there with her friends.  I know that’s ice tea in her hand.

It is a short homestand, 3 games.  For some reason, I fell exhausted.  Today I’ll be on the field with Robert.  Thank you Tess.  My big objective is a picture with Kenta Maeda.   I always like being on the field because I usually get awesome pictures with the players.  I don’t usually get autographs but I might for a friend.  Since I don’t get autographs, it stresses me a little to ask.  Robert and I will probably go to the enemy side and check it out.  We both love going on the field because it gives us a different perspective.

Thanks for stopping by.  I appreciate it.  GO DODGERS!!

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