Playing the Rays

The Dodgers had a brief 2 game series with the Rays on Tuesday and Wednesday.  They split the series, the Dodgers winning on Tuesday with a score of 3-2, the Rays prevailing on Wednesday with a score of 1-3.

Tuesday was a gorgeous day.  It was nice to be back after the long break.  There was the all star break and then the Dodgers had been on the road.  It added up to be a very long time away.
Dave Roberts was having a few words with Clayton Kershaw
Kenta Maeda was putting his translator Will through the paces.
Kenta was instructing some kids.  They must understand Japanese or maybe the universal language of baseball.
Doc (as the players call him) talking to Scott and JP

Clayton, AJ blowing a pitiful bubble, Andre who has spotted me, Scotty and Howie

Brandon McCarthy,  Brett Anderson, Pedro Baez and Luis Avilan

Wow!!  Did you see that???
Kenley Jansen the all star
And then they all went in for a meeting.

Steve Yaeger stopped long enough to say “Hi darling” to me

Honey, the pitching coach, went by with unknown young player.  Any guesses?
Dave Roberts stopped long enough to say a quick hello
I decided to up to the club to eat.  I missed the food during the long break.

It was Japan Day but they were serving cheese enchiladas.  Really?  There also was amazing paprika roast beef, shrimp penne pasta, and for salads:  broccolini salad, watermelon salad, tomato and tangerine salad and field greens salad.
Japan Night was hosted by Japan House which is a new initiative by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan to showcase various aspects and values of Japan. It was also bobblehead day.  I wasn’t too unhappy about it because the bobblehead was Kenta Maeda.  
The Nisei Week queen and princesses were presented.
Yasmani made his walk down the field and made sure to hydrate.  He just so happened to be the hero of the game.
His moment of meditation
Then starting pitcher Bud Norris made his way down the field.
And he stretched and threw a few pitches
Tony Gwynn Jr. was the guest on Sportsnet
Probably the better interview was Justin interviewing his double, Sesame Street’s Monster.
Chase Utley
Corey Seager
Joc with the enemy
Andrew Toles

Things never change.  Someone always staring at me during the National Anthem
Corey appears to have gotten a haircut
Kenta in a maze of Japanese media.  
First pitch was thrown by Consul General of Japan, Akira Chiba, first bowing to Kenta Maeda who was catching.

Kenichi Ebina performed an amazing dance prior to the game.

Some more running and stretching
Corey signed for fans
Bud and Yasmani made their walk from bullpen to dugout
All set with plenty of hydration:  Robert with nephew Matt and darling Lily enjoying cheese nachos.
Hopefully those umps aren’t staring at me.
The guys waiting in the field for the first pitch.
Bud getting ready
Checking to see whether it’s really a baseball
A little prayer
And here we go.
The Rays pitcher Chris Archer is on the Dodgers radar.
There was no scoring until the 3rd inning.  Joc went to first base on an error and then went to second on a Bud Norris sacrifice bunt.

Chase went to first on another Rays error.  Joc to 3rd.  Very costly Rays errors.

Corey singled, scoring Joc.  1-0.
Justin Turner singled, scoring Chase.  2-0.
In the top of the 7th inning, after walking Steve Pearce, Bud was replaced by JP Howell.

After allowing a walk, JP was by Pedro Baez.

The score remained 2-0 until the bottom of the 7th when Yasmani hit a solo homerun.

With Joe Blanton pitching, pinch hitter Tim Beckham singled, Logan Forsythe singled, Brad Miller doubled, scoring Beckham.  3-1.  Uh oh.
Luis Avilan replaced Joe Blanton.
There was a review when a wild pitch by Luis Avilan scored Logan Forsythe making the score 3-2.  Of course the Dodgers lost the review as they usually do.
In the bottom of the 8th inning, Justin singled but he was the only base runner.
Kenley Jansen came out to save the game.  We all held our breaths when Oswaldo Arcia singled and Logan Forsythe was hit by a pitch.  With two runners on base, Brad Miller struck out ending the game.
That was when it was obvious that Yasmani Grandal had won the game and helped us avoid extra innings.

The game on Wednesday was a day game.  The predicted temperature for the day was 88-90 degrees.  My plan was to stay in the air conditioned club.  I’m not stupid.  Brandon McCarthy had his worst game since coming back from DL.  He only lasted 4 innings.  I don’t know how the guys can play when it’s so hot.  Yasmani loves the hot weather because then he doesn’t have to warm up.  

There was no one on the field even at 10:00am.  It was already hot.  

I went up to the club to eat and was happy to see one of my favorite ushers, Rochelle with her look alike Mom.
There was a nice variety of breakfast and lunch food.  The BBQ beef and guava chicken was delicious.  I love French toast and bacon.  The roasted vegetables pasta was tasty.  I told the people in the club that I would be staying there during the game and to please save my table.
A very nice smile from AJ as he walked from dugout to the bullpen.  He was rewarded later for that smile.
It was horribly hot.
Next came Brandon McCarthy who had been amazing since coming back from DL.
He stretched and threw a few pitches and then went into the bullpen with AJ.

Chris Taylor was the first Dodger to brave the heat.
Not sure why the bear was on the field.  I think it was a bear.  Too hot to wonder too long.
Scott Van Slyke came out soon after that.
And was nice enough to pose with Corey.
It looks nice enough but the heat was oppressive.  Why they insist on playing baseball during the day during the summer  is beyond me.  It is just too hot!!
Chris Taylor had a nice chat with the enemy
Then he played catch with Corey
The National Anthem.  Uh hi Kenta and Luis.
Corey without and with his hat.  These pics are for all of you who love Corey which includes just about everyone.
Justin came out to brave the heat
And then Joc
A few more pictures of our guys.
And then Corey came to the side to sign autographs.
Brandon and AJ.  I felt sorry for them.  It would be well into the 90’s by game time.
Justin Turner and Howie waiting for the game to start.
First pitch
A few shots of Evan Longoria who had a great game.  He is a local boy, graduating from Cal State Long Beach, my alma mater. 
Howie Kendrick singled in the first inning.
Justin walked.  That was it for the first inning.
In the second inning, AJ singled and then stole 2nd base.  This was the first steal of his long career.  Actually Clayton Kershaw, his best buddy, “stole” the base pad and had it authenticated as a souvenir.
The Dodgers lost this game with a score of 1-3 so they split the series, each winning one.  I couldn’t stand the heat but made it through the 1st inning before going up to the club to watch it on tv.  Just as well since it wasn’t the best game anyway.

I ate ice cream.

Went shopping in the team store for some Dodger ware for my son’s kids who will be attending the game 8/12.

I bought myself some tee shirts.  I love both Joc and Corey.

I ate more guava chicken.

I took a picture with some of my favorite people.  No Crystal.  Sad face.

I also had a photo opp with Donna, Norma and her niece look alike Brandi.
The Dodgers have a day off on Thursday.  They are having a dinner honoring Vin Scully.  The cost to attend $1500, a little too steep for me.  It would include a concert by Fleetwood Mac, their only one this year.  I am working anyway and can’t justify spending that much.

Friday they return to a 3 game series with the Arizona D Backs.  Zack Greinke is on DL so the Dodgers will not face him this time either.  The Dodger starting pitcher will be Kenta Maeda 9-7, ERA 3.25.  He will face Zack Godley 3-1, ERA 5.88.  

I saw this shirt on Japan Day.  We Japanese have a strange sense of humor.  I thought it was funny.
Thanks for stopping by.  Hope everyone has a great day.  GO DODGERS!!!

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