Friday, October 20, 2017

AL GORE GOES INSANE IN THE MEMBRANE OVER THE DODGERS!

Mazol Tov to the Most Exciting Dodgers Squad Since Orel, Kirk and Fernando.

Mazol Tov to All The Sons Of Steve Garvey, Living And Deceased

To All The SOSG-Maniacs, Past, Present and Future

To QuadStevens

To Karen

To Erin

To Todd and His Pounds of Peanuts

To Alyssa Milano

To Vin

To Dusty Baker's Toothpick

To Fred's Brim

To Paul

To Karina

To Spank

To all our fellow Dodger bloggers.

To All The SOSG Readers, and those SOSG fans who never learned how to read.

And To Eleven Years of SOSG, which began so humbly with one single post ELEVEN YEARS AGO TODAY!

I've lived in Los Angeles for almost 20 Years. I've seen USC win a National Championship... thanks to someone who mis-spelled their face value tickets on craigslist as "Rose Bow." I've seen the Kings hoist the cup. I've seen the Chargers bring football excitement back to Los Angeles (okay, that's a lie - nobody's seen them).

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

But the Dodgers winning the pennant, watched in a wine bar in Burbank, that will not be lost in time.

Note: It's 3:35am and I just woke up in said wine bar. Has anyone seen my pants?

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Finally. Finally. Finally. Finally. Finally. Finally. Finally. Finally. Finally. Finally. Finally. Finally. Finally. Finally. Finally. Finally. Finally. Finally. Finally. Finally. Finally. Finally. Finally. Finally. Finally. Finally. Finally. Finally. Finally.

NLCS Game 5 Thread: Oct. 19th @ Cubs, 5p


Clayton Kershaw (18-4, 2.31) vs. Jose Quintana (11-11, 4.15)

Me, in the Game 4 Thread:

"A Game 4 with no need to run a short-rested Kershaw out there? How can this be? Everything about this postseason has been weird, but weird is working. Weird is winning. Weird is WONDERFUL."

WELP. Don't listen to me. Weird is dumb and bad. The Dodgers threw roughly half a lineup out there last night, and lost. So, now it's "End The Cubs: Take 2", and Kershaw will indeed be called upon. He's made us nervous this postseason, but has been kinda sorta OK. He needs to be better than just OK tonight. Not giving up a bunch of dingers to the Cubs would be a GREAT start.

Also, Curtis Granderson better not come in, even as a pinch hit decoy. That guy needs to sit and think about what he hasn't done.

We still believe in #ThisTeam and we want this one bad. The World Series is right through that door...KICK IT DOWN.

LET'S GO DODGERS!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

NLCS Game 4 Thread: Oct. 18th @ Cubs, 6p


Inside the mind of Dave Roberts before the Yu Darvish walk.

Alex Wood (16-3, 2.72) vs. Jake Arrieta (14-10, 3.53)

#ThisTeam is one win away from its first World Series in twenty-nine years. Repeat: ONE. WIN. AWAY. It's so close, we can taste it. After years of tasting our own bile in October, this is a pretty nice palate cleanser. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. The work isn't done yet. One game at a time, as all the post-game interviews say. Alex Wood (Remember him?) gets the start to try to outlast SoSG nemesis Jake Arrieta. No, seriously, we irrationally hate that dude.

I can't even write a proper preview for what may happen tonight. My brain is completely scrambled, but, like, in a good way. I just want it to be 6:00 already so we can get this going.

A Game 4 with no need to run a short-rested Kershaw out there? How can this be? Everything about this postseason has been weird, but weird is working. Weird is winning. Weird is WONDERFUL.

Let's get weird.

Post-NLCS Game 3 Thread: Dave Roberts Is A Genius, But SoSG Sax Deserves Credit For The Win

Darvish At The Bat

When the lineup for NLCS Game 3 was posted, I have to admit I thought Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts was nuts.

Cody Bellinger batting second so Puig could bat cleanup Andre Ethier, in his first start this postseason, batting fifth? Chase Utley, in his second start this season, batting sixth? Joc Pederson, who didn't even make the NLDS roster, batting eighth? What the hell is going on here?

And sure enough, all of Roberts' crazy moves paid off. Well, almost all of them: Ethier went 2-for-4 with a HR, and protected Puig, who went 2-for-5; Pederson went 1-for-3 with a run scored after hitting a double; only Utley went 0-for-3 and is hitless in this postaseaon.

But even the Utley thing could be tolerated (not only because we're down an infielder, with Corey Seager out for the NLCS), when Dave Roberts had the tactical cojones to bat Yu Darvish for himself in the top of the sixth, with two out and the bases loaded. Instead of substituting a pinch hitter, Roberts sent Darvish up to the plate. Darvish was 1-for-17 lifetime (.059 BA) with 14Ks. Darvish has a career OPS+ of 8. Darvish has one total base in his entire career.

But Darvish did some crazy bunt-feigning mime act up there at the plate, and on four straight pitches, Cubs pitcher Carl Edwards Jr. walked Darvish. The Dodgers stretched a 3-1 lead to a 4-1 lead with the bases-loaded walk, and from then on, Wrigley Field (to quote a tweet from Alanna Rizzo) quickly became a morgue.

Charlie Culberson was at the plate when, after feebly striking out, he watched Cubs catcher Wilson Contreras lose the ball of his bicep (that's why they give catchers that big glove, by the way) and scampered to first to extend the inning, allowing Logan Forsythe to score. Kyle Farmer, he of the 20 AB across his full career, came in to pinch hit and had a sac fly to score Austin Barnes and make it 6-1 LA.

Unbelievable, this Roberts guy. Every move he makes seems to yield dividends.

IN DOC WE TRUST.

But the unsung hero of this game, however, was not Darvish and his game-winning line (6.1 IP, 1 ER, 7 Ks and 1 BB, and 1 RBI), nor Chris Taylor and his HR + triple night, nor even Roberts the genius himself.

No, that honor goes to me, and here's why.

Up 6-1 in the bottom of the ninth, Roberts went to Ross Stripling, who gave up the bullpen's first hit this whole NLCS and got into trouble when Alex Avila singled and Albert Almora Jr. followed with a ground-rule double that got stuck in the Wrigley ivy. The Chicago crowd started to stir. A HR from Addison Russell would make it 6-4 with none out.

Roberts, wisely, went to Kenley Jansen.

SoSG Sax, even more wisely, moved from the large living room television back to the smaller kitchen television, where the first eight innings of the game were watched and where the Dodgers were rolling.

Clearly, the change in television and room choices at the start of the ninth inning was not working for the Dodgers. So, sure, Jansen came in and got Russell to pop to first, and then Tommy La Stella and Ian Happ to strike out, ending the game. But the move back to the kitchen, when Stripling exited and Jansen entered, was a critical move and a tactical stroke of brilliance that will be discussed in history books forever more. Yeah, Roberts and Jansen had something to do with the Dodgers' preserving the victory, putting the team up 3-0 in the NLCS.

But we all know who really won the game last night for us.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

NLCS Game 3 Thread: Oct. 17th @ Cubs, 6p


Homer attempts to describe the scene after Game 2's walk-off.

Yu Darvish (10-12, 3.86) vs. Kyle Hendricks (7-5, 3.05)

After the Dodgers took the first two games of the NLCS in pants-crappingly, Twitter-breakingly dramatic fashion, the series shifts to Chicago for Games 3, 4, and (hopefully not) 5.

As Dodger fans, we are not used to things going this well in October, and we don't quite know what to do with ourselves. The sense of dread is still there, sure. It's been way too long for it not to be. But, boy, did it ever get shouted down by the voices of 54,000 plus at Dodger Stadium watching Justin Turner murder a John Lackey fastball.

#ThisTeam clearly has a plan. Starter keeps them in it for 5, bullpen shuts the Cubs down for the rest, offense gets rolling at some point in between (sometimes slowly). It's a good plan, and it's working. Let's keep it going.

GO DODGERS!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Dodger Mania Is Even Causing Porn Stars To Act Erotically

I meant erratically. From the NY Post:

Porn star Mia Khalifa was reportedly ejected from a baseball game after an altercation with a fan. The adult film star, 24, attended the Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Chicago Cubs game on Saturday when a fan tried to take a selfie with her without her permission, The Daily Mail reported.

According to reports, Khalifa punched the fan in the jaw before being removed from the game. The Twitter account @HooliganBaseball shared a video of Khalifa being escorted out of the stadium while fans booed. However, the newly-minted sports talk show host shared a photo of herself at the game on Instagram denying the incident.

Sidebar: when you google "Dodger Porn Stars" looking for potential optics for this article, here's the first two images that pop up. (No pun intended).

The Morning After: Post- Post-NLCS Game 2 Thread: Selected Press

On anniversary of Gibson's blast, it's a Turner classic in Game 2 for Dodgers (Bill Plaschke, LAT, 10/15/17):

It is, indeed, the first walk-off homer of his major-league career. It happened just before 8 p.m. at Chavez Ravine, bottom of the ninth, game tied at 1-all, Dodgers on first and second base and an entire stadium holding its breath. Turner dug into the second pitch from the Cubs’ John Lackey and just blasted it. More than 50,000 fans immediately stood as if they knew it was gone. Turner watched it sail, and sail, and, just before reaching first base, stuck out those arms as he could fly.

Chavez Ravine rattled and rocked and swayed with a deafening roar. Turner rounded third and spiked his helmet and skipped into a mob of Dodgers who still might be dancing.

“It was the most electric thing I’ve ever been part of, it’s crazy,” reliever Ross Stripling said.

Many of the players were not even born when Gibson hit his home run, so it’s understandable that they had no idea about the historical significance of the moment until they entered the clubhouse. Yet once they learned, though, a few eyes widened and a couple of jaws dropped.

“That’s all so incredible,” Stripling said. “Just to think, this team is trying to do what that 1988 team did. This home run, following in the footsteps of that home run, a lot of corresponding things that make it feel like destiny.”

Joe Maddon's call for John Lackey to relieve was Cubs' downfall (Dylan Hernandez, LAT, 10/15/17):

With two outs, the top of the order was up, starting with the right-handed-hitting Chris Taylor. Davis wasn’t warmed up but Lackey was.

A career starter, Lackey didn’t make an appearance in the division series. Now, he was being asked to make a relief appearance for the second consecutive night, this time with a runner in scoring position.

How the inning played out was pitifully predictable.

When starting pitchers make relief appearances, there’s a reason managers prefer the bases to be empty. Starting pitchers are greater risks to not have command immediately.

“I’m just betting on his experience right there as much as anything,” Maddon said.

The wager was lost and Lackey walked Taylor. Now, the Dodgers were sending their best hitter to the plate in Turner.

Maddon acknowledged this spelled trouble.

“I liked him a lot on the first guy, Taylor,” Maddon said. “Once that walk occurred, all bets were off against Turner. Nobody is a really great matchup against Turner.”

Turner launched a 1-and-0 fastball into the center-field side of the left field pavilion.

Lackey was his prickly self after the game. Asked about his final pitch, Lackey replied dismissively, “I’ll talk to my pitching coach about that.”

Meet Keith Hupp, the man who nabbed Justin Turner's walk-off homer (Arash Markazi, ESPN, 10/16/17):

"When JT came up to bat I turned to my son and said, 'Hey, it was almost one year ago today that he hit that home run, wouldn't it be cool if he hit one and I caught it again?'" Hupp said. "During his first three at-bats I was envisioning the flight of the ball and he didn't hit a home run.

"And in the ninth inning, he hit it, and it looked like it was tailing and going into center field and man, did I get lucky. I ran across as quick as I could and I reached out three or four feet and caught it."

After the game, the Dodgers brought Hupp and his son back to meet Turner. Hupp gave the ball to Turner and he and his son took photos with Turner and Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen. While there was no official exchange on Sunday, Hupp expects it will be similar to what he got in return from Bellinger.

"I didn't ask for anything, but they told me they would hook me up, and I'm sure they will," said Hupp, who had 213 text messages on his cell phone by the time he got home before midnight. "That was the biggest ball I've ever caught. I thought the biggest ball I'd catch in my life was earlier this year when I caught the game-winning home run ball from Ian Kinsler when the USA won the World Baseball Classicat Dodger Stadium."

Hupp said he is donating that ball to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. While he has a vast baseball memorabilia collection at home, he said doesn't collect home run balls for money.

"I retired a couple of years ago, and I said I was going to spend my retirement income on baseball," Hupp said. "Last year I went to 109 games, and this year I went to 127 games. I went to all the games at Dodger Stadium this season and 46 games on the road. I've gone to all the playoff games. I always sit in the outfield because I try to catch home run balls.

"I'm an old guy, I'm 54 years, and when I see the ball coming at me, it's such a rush. I got mobbed after I caught the ball [Sunday]. There is nothing like it."

Other articles:

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Post-NLCS Game 2 Thread: Ginger Jesus Walks Off


DODGERS 4, CUBS 1

29 years to the day of Kirk Gibson's famous walkoff HR in 1988!

NLCS Game 2 Thread: Oct. 15 vs. Cubs, 4:30p


Rich Hill (12-8, 3.32) vs. Jon Lester (13-8, 4.33)

The Dodgers took Game 1 of the NLDS, in rather stress-free fashion! Apparently, it's the first NLCS Game 1 they've won since 1985. That's both amazing and very, very sad.

Chris Taylor and Yasiel Puig strung together a #DONGALINE, and that was enough to win. The overturned call at the plate, after Wilson Contreras violated the Buster Posey Rule, gave the Dodgers some insurance. (Don't let anyone tell you it was the difference in the game, because it wasn't.)

And can we just take a minute to appreciate the 2017 version of Yasiel Puig? He's found the perfect balance of maturity and, well, PUIGNESS. It's a combination that's made him the must-watch player of this postseason. (And he's still getting under the skin of cranky old men. It's glorious.)

Now the story turns to Rich Hill and Jon Lester. The Dodgers strategy last year of doing ludicrous dances on the basepaths to try to rattle Lester failed miserably. They should probably stick to just being patient at the plate. It's worked out well so far. And Rich Hill doesn't have to worry about going too deep into the game, as the bullpen has been solid so far. Kenta Maeda, in particular, has been amazing. If Kershaw can get pulled after five, ANYTHING can happen.

Let's go, #ThisTeam!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

NLCS Game 1 Thread: Oct. 14 vs. Cubs, 5p


Lisa is all of us after the Corey news.

Clayton Kershaw (18-4, 2.31) vs. Jose Quintana (11-11, 4.15)

It's never easy for #ThisTeam.

Let's get the worst out of the way. Corey Seager is out. Not for Game 1, but for the entire NLCS. This sucks. A LOT. Confident Dodger fans woke up to the news of his back injury and were immediately flooded with memories of Hanley Ramirez and Joe Kelly. Not the feelings you want to be having before an epic NLCS rematch.

All is not lost, however. Clayton Kershaw has the ball for Game 1. He was wobbly in Game 1 of the NLDS, but at the end of the day, he's still Clayton Kershaw. Pedro Baez was left off the NLCS roster too, despite (thankfully) never making an appearance in the NLDS. Charlie Culberson is taking Seager's spot on the roster (with Joc taking Pedro's), and while he hasn't played much lately, we know Charlie's got the potential to make history.

The Dodgers' biggest advantage is that they're well-rested, while the Cubs had to scratch and claw and burn through starting pitchers just to barely survive against the Nationals. In fact, when you think about it, the Dodgers' and Cubs' roles are reversed from last year.

Let's hope the end result is too.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Scoreboard Watching: NLDS Game 5, 5p

CHC @ WSH
Kyle Hendricks vs Gio Gonzalez.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Scoreboard Watching: NLDS Game 4, 1p

WSH @ CUBS
Stephen Strasburg Tanner Roark Stephen Strasburg vs Jake Arrieta.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

NLDS Reading: Sweep Edition

The Wild Horse hasn't been tamed, but he has been reined in.

Monday, October 09, 2017

NLDS Game 3 Thread: 10/9 @ D'backs, 7p

Dave Roberts says the Dodgers won't jump in the Chase Field pool if they win, but there's always this....

Yu Darvish vs Zack Greinke.

Yeah, we may be getting ahead of ourselves in dreaming of pool antics, but what a huge freakin relief it is to be in this position, up 2-0 in the NLDS, after getting shellacked in our last six regular-season games against the Snakes.

How did we do it? Above-average starting pitching — your turn, Yu Darvish. Offensive production from the top of the lineup in Game 1 and the bottom half in Game 2 — how about some Wonder Twin power uniting tonight, guys? Oh, and more defense like in Game 2 (zero errors) rather than Game 1 (2 errors).

Listen: Old friend Zack isn't going to roll over for his old team, so let's hope we take a page from the Rockies' playbook and chase him early. Nine more victories!

NLDS Game 2 Post-Game Thread / At-Game Recap: Are The 2017 Dodgers Back?

Not the greatest start to the night, but still servicable

SoSG AC and I went to NLDS Game 2 Saturday night, and you could cut the tension with a knife.

It's funny, when watching Game 1 on the tele, it sounded like the Stadium was rocking. But SoSG AC told me that at the start of Game 1, there was so much tension, it was crazy. It was almost like the fans were afraid to cheer, until Justin Turner smashed a three-run HR in the first to break the seal early. And yes, it got closer later on in the game. But that top of the first, AC said, was brutal as every Dodger fan in the house had gnawing and churning stomachs.

On television, you'd never know.

So there I was in Game 2, and once again, the tension was high. At the Stadium, you could feel it, even with the fans streaming into the Stadium at 4p for the 6p start. There were no Dodger fans screaming down the corridors. There were no Dodger fans covered in facepaint, ready for war. Even the pre-game Diamondvision banter, focusing on a handful of fans in the left field pavilion, plus shots of the guys carrying the crazy-huge Dodgers flags up and down the main pavilion walkways, were met with sort of tepid cheers.

Maury Wills' tribute and first pitch was brilliant, steeping the Dodgers back into our hallowed tradition. And the unaccompanied national anthem guy was also solid. But it didn't do much to get Dodger fans alive.

And then came Rich Hill's meatball to Paul Goldschmidt, who with one out smoked a HR to left that was never in doubt (I think the exit speed off the bat was something like 108 mph, if I'm not mistaken). Down 2-0 early, and we went quietly in the first. Hoo boy, I thought.

Luckily, Robbie Ray also had control issues and his three WP led to the Dodgers' first and game-tying second run, the latter of which was in the fourth when Logan Forsythe (who had reached on a one-out single) came home to tie the game during a Kyle Farmer AB. Farmer struck out, but then Chris Taylor got a two-out single to score Austin Barnes (who also had singled) and take a 3-2 lead. Finally, the Dodgers crowd could exhale a little bit, and it got a whole lot louder.

And the fifth inning opened the can of whupass like the Dodgers had done through most of this season, this time advancing runners around the diamond without the benefit of a HR. Justin Turner opened the inning with a HBP, but was retired with a Cody Bellinger force at second. The Snakes went to Jimmie Sherfy again thinking that the Dodgers would wilt before the unknown rookie. However Curtis Granderson, he of the four absolutely awful at bats in Game 1 (2Ks, 4 LOB), came through with a single (and advanced to second on the errant throw by JD Martinez). Forsythe singled in Cody to make it 4-2; Barnes doubled to make it 6-2; and then Yasiel Puig greeted Jorge De La Rosa (remember this guy?) with a RBI single to make it 7-2.

The Diamondbacks got closer in the seventh on an absolutely mammoth three-run HR off of Brandon Morrow, but Morrow settled after that fateful first pitch and got the next three outs, and then the Dodgers tacked on another run off of Archie Bradley in the seventh when Ketel Marte let one through the five hole. 8-5 LA through seven, and that's where she ended.

The scoreboard operators (not to mention Rich Hill) had to implore the Dodgers fans to MAKE SOME NOISE multiple times in the evening, but by the end of the game and Randy Newman's famous song, the place went nuts. Dodgers win, 8-5, and lead the NLDS, 2-0.

-----

AC and I were commenting on how Dave Roberts was playing this game like a Game 7: Rich Hill pulled after four innings. Tony Cingrani brought in for one batter (leadoff hitter David Peralta) in the fifth, up 3-2; and then Kenta Maeda in for two surgical outs over four pitches (K, ground to short) to retain the 3-2 lead.

Maeda looked like he was done when Yasmani Grandal (talk about weak bats of late) was in the on-deck circle, but after Puig's RBI single, Maeda stayed in to bat (pop out to second to end the inning), but then struck out JD Martinez in the top of the sixth before Doc went to Tony Watson for the next two outs. When Watson struggled with two singles to start the top of the seventh, Roberts went to Morrow, who started poorly but settled; Josh Fields got the first out of the eighth and then gave up a double to Daniel Descalso, and then Kenley Jansen came in for the five-out save (which was largely efficient, thanks in part to a great play by JT to end the eighth on a rocket to third that he handled smooth like Santana).

Roberts had Granderson come in at the right time. He played Ethier, who took a walk in the seventh. Roberts saved a catcher on the bench in case he needed him. He also wisely never went to Pedro Baez, particularly given the Snakes' big bats who would have feasted on fastballs.

We got four servicable innings out of Rich Hill. We found a great spot for Maeda, who delivered.

Logan Forsythe, after a season full of offensive mediocrity, went 3-for-5 and is batting .500 with a 1.056 OPS in two games.

Austin Barnes went 2-for-3 with 2 RBI and has a 1.800 OPS, leading the Dodgers (Turner at 1.475; Puig at 1.445; Corey Seager at 1.125).

On the negative, Cody Bellinger looks kinda lost, going 0-for-5 with some bad Ks that I have to think are rookie jitters. Stay on target, Cody. Stay on target.

Puig keeps getting ahead of himself, following his fifth-inning RBI single by getting picked off at second, when I've gotta think he didn't have a "go" sign. That said, Maeda was at the plate anyway, but once again he has to keep his ego in check despite his prodigious talents (3-for-4 with 2 RBI). Let's hope Roberts can keep guiding Puig to be a team player.

In Doc We Trust, AC said. In Doc We Trust.

-----

So this sets us up for a third game in AZ with the Dodgers starting Yu Darvish.

The Diamondbacks have trust in Zack Greinke, he of the tiny head, which I suppose is exactly what you'd want your skipper to say even after lasting only 3.2 IP with 4 ER in the pivotal Wild Card play-in game. This is why we got Darvish in the first place, though, and this is Yu's chance to step up on the big stage. Let's hope all the talk of his simplified delivery yields benefits.

And, just like the start of NLDS Game 2, I'm nervous again.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

NLDS Game 2 Thread: 10/7 vs. D'Backs, 6p


Operation Whacking Day continues!

Rich Hill (12-8, 3.32) vs. Robbie Ray (15-5, 2.89)

The Dodgers took game one from the Snakes, thanks to a potent offense comprised of five Justin Turner RBI and one Yasiel Puig tongue. It wasn't all fun and games though, as THE DREADED KERSHAW SEVENTH INNING reared its ugly head again, and Grandal and Granderson might as well have sat on the bench for all they contributed. They'll do just that tonight, as Barnes and Kiké start in their place.

Last night's game was attended by Dodgers royalty in the form of Vin, Sandy, and Tommy. How do we top that tonight? With SoSG's own Sax, AC, and Dusty! If you're at the game, shout us out in the comments and they'll try to say hi.

Friday, October 06, 2017

NLDS Game 1 Thread: 10/6 vs D'backs, 7:30p

The preferred result tonight.

Clayton Kershaw (regular season: 18-4, 2.31) vs Taijuan Walker (RS: 9-9, 3.49).

Based on the wild card and playoff games played so far, here are some things we can expect from this game:

  • a three-run home run in the first inning
  • starting pitchers get rocked
  • Jose Altuve hits three home runs (how he gets in this game I don't know but trust me on this one)
  • useless reliever (Pedro Baez) faces sure-thing slugger (Paul Goldschmidt) (yikes emoji!)
  • an 18-out save (paging Kenley Jansen)
  • people complaining about TBS's tiny score bug

Other than that it's business as usual. Hey Dodgers — we just want to tell you good luck. We're all counting on you.

Monday, October 02, 2017

What A Season





Trust me, I’m right there with you.  Like you, I have suffered through many years of the Dodgers World Series drought.  I was at the stadium for Juan Uribe’s game winning homerun during the 2013 NLDS and thought we had it.  I was heartbroken watching Matt Adams hit that 3 run homerun off of Clayton Kershaw in 2014.  I thought we could do it against the Mets in 2015.  Last year, I was ecstatic watching Kershaw come in for Kenley to secure the save over the Nationals, only to be demoralized with the loss against the Cubs in the next round.  This year, hopefully, will be different.  New pieces, old veterans, solid pitching, should all come together for 11 more wins.

(Disclosure: This post was also for me to document my time at Dodger Stadium before my early onset dementia kicks in - I realize it is a laundry list)

However, if we DON’T make it, I still will cherish this season.  Maybe it was because I splurged and was able to get 4 seats for a 21 game mini plan so I could sit with my mom and aunt for the games.  Maybe it was because I witnessed so many wonderful moments at dodger stadium.  I was there for opening day when Joc Pederson hit a grand slam and we crushed the Padres.  On April 19th, I saw Chris Taylor hit two doubles as a call up for injured Logan Forsythe.  On April 29th, I stayed for the most incredible game I have ever seen with Yasiel Puig, Cody Bellinger, and Justin Turner hitting back to back to back homeruns to tie it in the ninth and Adrian Gonzalez win it with a single.  ABSOLUTE MADNESS.  Of note, my Dad can be seen on TV witnessing the event with one of the best amazed facial expression I have ever seen him display.  Despite the loss on May 1st, I was able to see Kenta Maeda go 8 1/3 innings and Cody hit his 6th homerun on May 10th.   On May 18th, I saw Yasiel Puig crush a homerun (442 feet!) against the Marlins.   On May 23rd, I saw Logan Forsythe hit a walk off double in the 13th inning to beat the Cardinals.  On June 6th , I saw Yasiel Puig almost get into a fight in a loss to the Nationals.  Then on June 10th, I was treated to the old timers game and then watch Corey Seager hit his first career walk off in the ninth inning against the Reds.  On June 21st, I saw the Dodgers slide into first place behind two Yasmani Grandal homeruns against the Mets.  Against the Angels on June 26th, I saw us lose despite Rich Hill going 7 innings.  However, July 6th proved to be another game winning walk off hit against the Diamondbacks, this time provided by Chris Taylor.  We lost again on July 20th against the Braves, but I again saw a walk off win on June 26th, this time provided by Justin Turner (8th walk off win of the season!).  On August 12th, I saw the Dodgers win their 82nd win behind Puig’s baserunning.  Austin Barnes helped me witness the Dodgers go up 50 games over .500 on August 15th.  On August 25th, I had incredible seats in the Dugout Club (thanks Brother, I’m on TV!), was able to get Cody Bellinger’s autograph on a ball, and saw the Dodgers beat the Brewers on Player’s Weekend.  Unfortunately, the next day I saw us lose (maybe I was too tired).  Then September rolls around and I start to see us lose more - September 6th against the Diamondbacks, September 8th and 9th against the Rockies.  Fortunately, we righted the ship and for my last game of the season September 26th, when I saw us beat the Padres behind homeruns from Yasmani Grandal, Corey Seager and Adrian Gonzalez. 

I was also able to fly out to Washington DC and watch the Dodgers crush the Nationals on September 15th.  We stayed at the hotel right across the street from the ballpark.  I lived in Washington DC from 2000-2004 and had not been back in a long time.  In fact the ballpark wasn’t even built yet and that area was known as a dangerous place to hang out.  So to walk around that area now was a completely new experience.  They have really done a nice job with the ballpark and the surrounding area (gentrification anyone?).   I went to the stadium early to watch batting practice and even caught a ball (well more like picked it up from the ground after it bounced near me).  We also splurged on seats right behind the Dodgers dugout and was able to snag a ball from Charlie Culberson which I gave to a 7 year old Dodger fan from Utah sitting right next to us.  The game was great because we absolutely demolished the Nationals from the start, especially since the cheerleaders couldn’t use their huge “Beat LA” signs they waved before the game.  My record this season was 15 wins and 8 loses.

Other little things that made this season special was meeting Justin Turner, Cody Bellinger, Okyea Dickson, Manny Mota, Brook Stewart, Mickey Hatcher, Dave Winfield, Andrew Toles, Brandon McCarthy, Kenta Maeda, Yasmani Grandal, Ken Landreaux, Alanna Rizzo, Trayce Thompson, and Chris Taylor at fanfest, around the stadium, and at various events.  So again, this season has already been special for me.  Thank you to the Dodgers organization for making so many wonderful memories.  

That said, lets go out and win this damn thing.  GO BLUE!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Series Thread (Games 160-162): Sept 29-Oct 1 @ Rockies

Well at least this Rock(ie) is serious.

The Colorado Rockies are going to have to take this final series of the season seriously, being only two games up on Milwaukee with three to play for the final wild card spot. The Dodgers, owners of home-field advantage through the NL playoffs, still need one more win (or one Cleveland loss) to get home-field advantage through the entire playoffs.

I mean, sure, one more win also gives the Dodgers their most wins since moving to Los Angeles. But I have to think that aside from keeping Kershaw on regular rest, we're not taking this series as seriously as the home team.

Friday 9/29 5p: Hyun-Jin Ryu vs. Chad Bettis

Saturday 9/29 5p: Clayton Kershaw vs. German Marquez

Sunday 9/29 12n: TBD vs. TBD