Heart and Hustle

When the Cubs came to town over the weekend and the heart of your club had been traded, you just want to hang up your guitars.  Oh, wait a minute, we are talking about the Dodgers who have played lately with true grit.  Take into account all the injuries.  Consider that almost all your starting pitchers are on DL:  Kershaw, McCarthy, Anderson, Kazmir, Wood, Ryu.  Your starting pitchers for the series against the best team in baseball are two rookies, one who just turned 20 years old and what do you get.  You get a team who has played with all heart and true grit.
The Cubs have the best record in baseball.  I was worried about the outcome of the weekend considering that team mom AJ Ellis had been traded to the Phillies for another backup catcher Carlos Ruiz.  I feel a little better about it since AJ was welcomed with open arms to the Phillies.  They will appreciate his sense of humor and his leadership.  Maybe it’s ok that we are sharing him.

The team was still reeling from the trade.  Carlos Ruiz was asked to start as catcher on the day after he found out he was traded.  I’m not the biggest expert on baseball but I doubted the wisdom of throwing a new catcher into a game without preparation.  Yes, Carlos is a veteran catcher, but come on..let him get his feet wet in another game.  We’re talking about the Cubs.  I seriously think that the Dodgers could have swept the Cubs if it were not for that decision.  Ruiz did the best he could.  I’m not saying it’s his fault.  As a result, Ruiz has decided to work in the bullpen and catch every reliever.

Friday was Beatles Day.  Most fans were not even born when the Beatles were popular.

The music was fun anyway.  It brought back memories.
The twins made an appearance with their parents.
The food was good,
It just wasn’t the same.
Bud Norris started.  And Carlos was already at the bullpen ready to practice.  So a few hours of practice will prepare him for the Cubs.
A new face to learn.  He’s only 5’10” so he seems short.  Maybe because everyone else on the team is tall except Andrew Toles.
I was happy to see Jack at the game.
Bud warmed up
Corey and Kike warmed up
Corey signed a few autographs
And we all got our first glimpse of Carlos Ruiz.
The twins were all ready when the Fab Four announced that it was time for Dodger baseball!
We didn’t know what to expect.  The umps always give Vinny a tribute before the game.
First pitch
In the first inning, Dexter Fowler started it right away with a single but was out at single with a Kris Bryant ground out.  Anthony Rizzo walked and Addison Russell singled scoring Kris Bryant.  0-1.

Howie singled but was left on base.
In the second inning, Kike walked and Ruiz was hit by a pitch.  
Chase lined out but scored Kike.  1-1.
Howie walked in the 3rd inning, Corey hit a double.  Justin ground out scoring Howie.  2-1.
In the 4th inning, Chase doubled.  Bud Norris hit his first MLB hit by a bunt.  Howie ground out into a double play but scored Chase.  3-1.
Corey hit a double but was left on base.  The Cubs were getting nervous.  They gained a run in the 5th with a walk by Montero who eventually scored. 3-2.
Also in the 5th Kike reached on an error by Kris Bryant.  Ruiz singled but both were left on base.
In the bottom of the 7th inning, Adrian hit a solo homerun making the score 4-2.
In the 8th inning with Joe Blanton pitching, Kris Bryant hit a solo homerun. 4-3.

Kenley came in to close the game.  Unfortunately Carlos Ruiz wasn’t familiar with Kenley’s pitching.  Jason Heyward doubled and then Kenley threw a pitch that Ruiz couldn’t handle.  On the wild pitch Heyward scored tying the game. 4-4. That was the turning point of the game.  Adam Liberatore allowed a single by Fowler and a homerun by Kris Bryant. 4-6.  I left the game at that point.  I was a little unhappy about the way the game turned out.

On Saturday, we all put our lipstick on and put on a stiff upper lip hoping for the best with the Cubs.  As they always say when there is adversity, let’s just turn the page.
I was lucky to get a pic with Brock Stewart.  Honestly, I didn’t know who it was.  We had to ask.  After Sunday’s game, we all know who he is.
The food was delicious.  Maybe things can go back to the way it was before.  I wasn’t feeling as depressed.
Jackson brought his parents to the game.
I almost cried with relief to see Yaz and his not-pink drink.  I was so glad to see him.
Julio was a sight for sore (from crying) eyes
Our Julio is no longer a teenager
But not much older than these Little League champs
Andrew Toles, Chase (of course) and Corey were the only ones on the field but ran in without signing.
There  was only one player (Ross) and two coaches out on the field for the National Anthem.
OMG, it’s Cat with her camera
Oh that’s her??  Yikes! Brett without his hoody.
I was thrilled to see Julio and Yaz.  Julio has gotten better and better.  I wanted him to get a win.  He seems to be pitching against the best teams.  I wanted him to get a win against first place Cubs.
Julio got ready to pitch.  It was a day game and I wasn’t sure how long I could last in the sun but I was going to stay out there as long as I could.  I haven’t been able to go too many places because of my knee.  Just going to my seat is a challenge.  Never mind the Think Cure auction or the team store.  Those places are too far.  I don’t make many trips to the club either.  The steps are sometimes way too painful.  
First pitch.
In the top of the first inning, it looked dismal when first up Dexter Fowler walked.  Then Kris Bryant singled scoring Fowler.  0-1.  That was all the damage.

Corey matched that with a solo homerun to center. 1-1.
In the top of the 2nd  inning, Contreras singled but was left on base.  In the top of the 3rd, Anthony Rizzo also singled but also was left on base.

Jason Hammel was the Cubs pitcher
Andrew Toles doubled
Julio psyched the Cubs out looking like he was going to bunt but hit a single to left field.
Chase Utley singled scoring Andrew Toles. 2-1.
Justin hit a single scoring Chase 3-1.
Definitely have to discuss this.  Jason Hammel was taken out at this point.
Onto the 9th inning, with Kenley Jansen pitching and the score still 3-2, the Cubs were out in order.
Hugs all around!
But wait, it’s not time to go home yet.  Time for Celebrity baseball.  I wasn’t familiar with most of the names but I did know a few.

Robert Patrick of Terminator fame.

He also threw out the first pitch.  Very nice guy.
Jamie Foxx whom I met years ago when he was filming Collateral at my hospital.
The Dodgers should do this every time they go yard.
Cutie Charlie Culberson was definitely star struck but was happy to sign autographs.  
We had a great time that day.  Thank you Norma.
Sunday was the final game of the series with the Cubbies.  I saw Clayton Kershaw on the field.  His top was a torn mess.
But he looked great.
One of my favorites: Brandon McCarthy
Justin Turner
Bud Norris

Not sure why I look so apprehensive.

Then it was time to eat:  most of the food was breakfast food.  Who doesn’t like bacon.
The guys were relaxed on the field
Joc was being interviewed.
You must have at least 100 pics of me drinking this stuff.
Brock Stewart
And you have at least 500 pics of me stretching
And they all came out to stretch
My good friends:  Christian and Veronica.
Christian was lucky enough to get a Clayton Kershaw autograph.
What??  He got my autograph?  Wow!
Charlie speaking to the enemy
Yaz and Brock
Good to see Carol after the recent birth of her daughter Elsa.
The umps in their day attire. Speaking of that, it was the second day game in a row.  I had sat out in the sun the day before.  I didn’t think I could handle it for another day.
First pitch
In the first inning, Dexter Fowler walked but was left on base.

Howie walked but also was left on base.
I stayed in my seat until the 3rd inning.  Then I struggled my way to the club, sweating and limping all the way.

The melon was a welcome treat.

It was a pitching a duel between veteran Jon Lester and rookie Brock Stewart.  It was just as well that I was sitting in air conditioning.  Nothing happened until I ventured out in the 8th inning.

Andrew Toles walked after being hit by a pitch.  Howie went to first on a throwing error.
Justin was out on a foul tip, there was a challenge when Andrew Toles scored on a fielders choice by Adrian.  1-0.  I was amazed that he Dodgers won a review.  It seldom happens.  That was the only score and it was through sheer determination.  Corey took lessons from Chase when he ran all out to second and made it safely.
Have I lamented enough about those stupid beach balls??
Kenley came out to save the game.  I was confident that we would win the series against the Cubs by that time.
I was not disappointed.

The Dodgers had won two games out of three using rookie pitchers.  They had beaten the Number One Cubs.  It was sheer heart and hustle.  I am so proud of my guys.  Even though their hearts had been torn out their bodies with the trade of AJ Ellis, they still came through in the end.  I LOVE MY DODGERS!!!  They are still number one in the National League West.  Baseball season is slowly winding down.  Every game counts.  The Dodgers won both series this homestand against two teams that need to be beat.  It was definitely a playoff atmosphere at the stadium.
They are in Colorado playing the Rockies for a 3 game series.  They will return on Friday night to play against the Padres and then the D Backs.  

Thanks for stopping by.  Also thank you everyone for your continuing support of my blog.  You make it worthwhile.

One comment

  1. Richard Watts

    As the Pirate fans and the players are fully aware, the Cubs have deliberately injured your second baseman in a suspect slide play. They have also deliberately injured Matt Holiday of the Cardinals by hitting him with pitched two years in a row. Both incidents were at Wrigley Field. I am very concerned for the safely of your players when they play tonight against the Cubs. I hope that nothing happens but the Cubs team has a win at all costs philosophy.

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