Japan Day

The Dodgers were finally back in town after a long road trip.  It was Japan Day.  Ryu would be pitching.  He’s been getting better with each game.  I was excited to finally return again to Dodger Stadium.  However the  traffic was horrendous.  There were a couple of cars stopped in the middle of the freeway which probably contributed to the traffic problems.  I finally got to the stadium and thankfully in plenty of time.

The team was already warming up on the field.  Always good to see Yasiel.
They looked happy to be home finally
Here comes the big guy Kenley
They all love to bat, Clayton is no exception.
Kenta, on Japan Day, doing some interesting stretching.  Remember you’re on DL!!
Familiar faces…
Wonderful Yasiel stopped to make a boy’s dream come true.  Hey Michael!!  8 year old fan made out with the autographs.  
Almost every player he asked stopped to sign for him.
I took that trek up to reserve level to get my Japan Day tee shirts:  one for my son and one for ME!!  They are really nice shirts.  On the back is #18 and Kenta’s name in Japanese.
I then went to the club and rewarded myself to some fantastic Japanese themed food:  miso glazed tri tip, Japanese chicken seasoned with balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, fresh garlic and hot pepper, lime Japanese yams, yakisoba spaghetti, Mango teriyaki salad, Japanese potato salad (something my mom made to perfection) and pasta salad.  The food was excellent.
I returned to the field to find that Hyun-Jin was already stretching on the field.  He never makes the traditional walk from the dugout to the bullpen.  Yasmani also was already by the bullpen.  I spent too much time eating in the club.  Going to Reserve level had taken time plus I had to scan my extra tickets to get the special Clayton Kershaw giveaway coin to commemorate his perfect game.
It’s always nice to see CJ, future SF Giant ace.  Wrong team but who knows what the future holds for this talented young man.
First pitch by Japanese Olympic swimmer Kosuke Kitajima.
Pregame entertainment was provided by Japanese group MIZMO.  They also sang the National Anthems of Japan and the US.  Super job considering they probably didn’t understand a word of our National Anthem.
National Anthem 
I didn’t realize how tall Kelli Tennant with SportsNet was until she stood next to Kenta who is over 6 feet tall.  She looks almost a foot taller than Juan Castro.
Cody Bellinger signed way over there.  Unusual happening that he signed.  He never signs.  Funny thing..He was the only player who signed.
Joc who always looks happy
#Puigmyfriend seems to be everyone’s friend..even the opposing side.
Austin Barnes chatting with friends
Norma and me….Yikes do I look like I had worked all night the night before which I had!!  Is that Cody in the background photobombing us?
Yasmani and Honey walked to the dugout without Ryu who never takes the walk ever.
Getting ready for the first pitch
And here we go!!
In the first inning, the Marlins were out in order

In the bottom of the 1st inning, Chase Utley singled with Edinson Volquez pitching.  Volquez hasn’t won a game yet.
Corey also singled with Chase going to 2nd base.
Justin Turner singled with Chase going to 3rd, Corey to 2nd.
Cody grounded into a force out with Justin out at 2nd, Chase scoring, Corey to 3rd. 1-0.  We’re on the board in the 1st inning!!!
It started to look like trouble in the 2nd inning when Giancarlo Stanton doubled but was out on 3rd.  Huh?  Justin Bour (who’s that) hit a homerun tying the score 1-1.  Realmuto doubled but was left on base.  Limited damage.

Joc hit a single to right field.
Then Yasiel was up to bat.  I’m getting tired of all the Puig bashing.  All I hear is how inconsistent he is.  How he learned his lesson going to Triple A.  How people don’t like him.  I mean really.  I told him that I was going to his Poker Tournament on Monday for charity.  He looked happy.  His WildHorse Foundation benefits disadvantaged children.  Yeah, he’s a bad guy.  Not.  
And then he did what he does best…He hit a two run homerun which changed the tone of the entire game.
The score was then 3-1 and the Dodgers never looked back after that.
To everyone’s surprise, Ryu helped his own cause by smashing a double to center field.  What just happened?
Chase doubled scoring Ryu.  4-1.  I love the way Ryu runs.  He reminds me of my older brother.   What happens when Logan comes off of DL.  Chase has been hot!
With Corey batting, Chase stole 2nd base but Corey hit into a double play.  Once again the Dodgers were plagued with double plays.
In the 3rd inning, Christian Yelich hit a solo homerun making the score 4-2.

In the 3rd inning, Justin walked and then stole 2nd base.  Those steals are so important.
Adrian singled, scoring Justin. 5-2.  This was Adrian’s first game back since being on his first DL ever.  
By the top of the 4th inning, I was getting impatient with the in-seat service.  I hadn’t gotten my order so I went up to the club instead.

Seconds was just as delicious…!  Not happy with in-seat service.
In the top of the 4th inning, Bour walked but that was pretty much all the action for the Marlins who have been struggling lately. In the bottom of the 4th inning, Yasiel walked and Ryu was hit in his non-pitching arm.  I’m sure he has a huge black and blue mark on his arm this morning.

In the top of the 5th inning, Riddle singled, Volquez struck out, Dee was hit by a pitch.  Yellich ground into a double play ending the inning.

In the top of the 5th inning, the Dodgers were out in order for the first time this game.

In the top of the 6th inning Ryu was taken out of the game when a ball hit him in the foot.  Poor Ryu is probably sore this morning.  His arm…his foot.  Hatcher replaced Ryu.

In the bottom of the 6th inning, the Dodgers were again out in order with Joc and Yasiel grounding out and Kike out on a fly ball to left field.

In the top of the 7th inning, Luis Avilan replaced Chris Hatcher striking out the side.  In the bottom of the 7th inning, Chase walked and then was caught stealing on 2nd.

Justin singled to right field
Cody walked.  Justin to 2nd base.
Yasmani singled but Justin was out at home.  He limped into home and was helped off the field.  Chris Taylor replaced Justin.  We’ve heard that Justin pulled a hamstring.  Last season Justin was on DL with hamstring issues as was almost half the team.  Oh no!!  He will have an MRI to assess the damage.  Let’s hope for the best.
In the top of the 8th inning with Avilan pitching, Yellich walked.  Avilan was replaced with Josh Fields who then proceeded to walk Osuna.  With 2 out, manager Dave Roberts decided to go with Kenley to make the last 4 outs of the game.

And here he comes.. our closer Kenley.  He struck out Realmuto for the final out of the 8th inning.
Adrian ground out.

Joc walked.
Yasiel walked, Joc to 2nd.
Then Kenley was up to bat.  I haven’t seen that too often since he usually closes the game.

Kenley singled when the ball deflected off the Marlins 1st baseman Bour.  Joc to 3rd, Yasiel to 2nd.
Chase was out on a sacrifice fly, scoring Joc.  6-2.

Hey man.  This is fun!!!Corey walked, Yasiel to 3rd, Kenley to 2nd.
Chris walked.  Yasiel scored on the walk.  Kenley to 3rd.  Corey to 2nd.  7-2.  Cody was out with a fly ball to right field.
Dodger fans felt confident in the 9th inning.  Dietrich and Riddle were out on strikes.
And then the great Ichiro Suzuki came out to pinch hit.  Thank you Don Mattingly.  I love Ichiro as does the whole Japanese community.  Appropriate for Japan Day for everyone to see him.  We were thrilled.  He however made the final out.  Kenley pitched an immaculate inning, only the 79th in MLB history.  Congratulations to Kenley.
And the Dodgers win the first game of the Marlins series with a score of 7-2.
On Friday , the Dodgers and Marlins will have two left handed starting pitchers:  Alex Wood for the Dodgers and Justin Nicolino for the Marlins.  Our Alex was the National League player of the week for his 21 strikeouts in 11 scoreless innings in two outings.  Hopefully he can continue his amazing streak with some run support from our guys.

It will probably be a nice quiet day.  No giveaways.  The Dodgers are tied for 2nd place with the D Backs, only 2 games back.  Hopefully by the end of the series with the Marlins, we can change all that!!

Nice to see one of my favorite ushers Reggie.  He was promoted and now stays on the other side of the stadium.  I miss seeing him everyday.
Thanks for stopping by.  GO DODGERS!!!  Let’s sweep the Marlins!!!

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