Monday, September 22, 2014

Post-Game 157 Thread: Missed Opportunities

GIANTS 5, DODGERS 2 (13)

Kevin Correia sucks. That much is clear.

But the only reason why we had to see Kevin Correia in the first place is because we wasted an opportunity in the 11th inning when Matt Kemp GIDPd, and then another in the 12th inning when Juan Uribe GIDPd. You bring in Kevin Correia, after walking a tightrope with Brandon League for two innings, and you are playing not only with fire but also with gasoline and lighter fluid and a bunch of other flammable items that would terrify me otherwise. Maybe Donnie had no other moves; maybe he just loves playing Russian Roulette to begin with. What a fucking disaster.

The worst part was, in watching this game, I saw Dodger after Dodger swing for the fences in extra innings, instead of trying to score like we scored all game--getting some runners on base and trying to move them over on the occasional XBH. And as a result, we looked idiotic flying out to Hunter Pence and such. Whatever.

Lead shrinks to three and a half; magic number sticks at 3. The Giants are still alive. They outhit us 12 to 4, and we had three errors to boot, so we didn't deserve to win this game. But damn, we should have won. We should be embarrassed.

Game 157 Thread: Sept. 22 vs. Giants, 7p

Dan Haren (13-11, 4.14) vs. Jake Peavy (7-13, 3.82).

It's the final countdown! One last homestand to the 2014 season!

And this is the last series we'll have this year with the Giants. And the season series is currently tied 8-8.

If we play our cards right, we'll get a chance to celebrate clinching the division at home, in front of the Giants. All we would need to do is win two of the next three games (which would also award us the season series victory, if my math is right).

Helping our cause will be the absence of center fielder Angel Pagan, out with an inflamed nerve in the lower back, and someone who absolutely kills us when he's in the lineup. Left fielder Michael Morse is also probably out for this series with injury, but all I got were dots and dashes from him.

I also should add that I'm watching today's game from enemy territory (wearing Dodgers shirt and cap). The last Dodgers/Giants game I watched was among friends and family (other Sons).  This time, it won't be so friendly. Let's see what happens.

Good luck, Danny boy!

Dodgers Dream Foundation 5K

In order to work off all of those calories from delicious Dodger dogs and nachos, I started to run a couple of years ago.  Over the past year, I have started to enter in races and when the Dodger Dream Foundation opened the inaugural Dodgers 5K, I was one of the first to sign up (the first 1000 received a reserve ticket to selected games).  The day finally came and this past Sunday I strapped on my running shoes, sneaked past SOSG security, and joined about 3,204 Dodger fans to run around Dodger stadium.

For their first race, the organization was fairly smooth.  Race packet pick up was well organized and there was some serious "swag to be had."  I picked up my Dodgers tech dry fit shirt, bib, timing chip and an AJ Ellis Bobblehead.  Apparently the people that picked up their packet the day before also received a Dodger backpack.  Already the day was a success!  The Dodger legends present were Al Ferrara, Dennis Powell, Derrel Thomas and Tim Leary.  The grand marshal was Carmelita Jeter, the fastest woman in the world and London gold medalist in the 100m dash.  I was lucky to take a picture with her and her medal before the race. SO COOL.  


They seemed to have the START/FINISH banner reversed, but this was right before the race



Ferrara, Powell, Thomas, and Leary

For you runners out there, the course was a little difficult at the start.  Beginning in centerfield behind lot G, we ran counterclockwise around the inner circle - which meant straight uphill to start it off.  Then we looped into the reserve parking lot on the left, came back out and down the other side of the inner loop.  The rest of the race were switchbacks along the outer parking lots that looped around to the finish. For my sixth race of my "career" I finished in the top 10 for my age group.  Not bad, but consider that BOTH a 11 AND 12 year old girl absolutely CRUSHED my time, not much to write home about.  Seriously check it our for yourself http://www.geminitiming.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/dodgers_overall_14.htm
But the important part was that I finished!  And the Dodger legends and volunteers were handing out the medals at the finish line.  After the race we were able to warm down along the warning track of Dodger stadium so I took some pictures.  
Retired numbers


Dodger Dugout

Panorama shot from centerfield
Oh how I wanted to jump the wall and sit down after that race

The sponsors that I saw were KIND bars, Coconut water (am I the only one that thinks coconut water tastes like feet?), Powerbar, and Avita water.  The medal is totally awesome as you can see from the pictures below.  It is fairly large and heavy and the colors make it pop.  After the race, I ran into the Dodger Dream Foundation coordinator and told her how great the event was organized.  We talked about how they are planning to expand this event (as the Giants have THREE races in Scottsdale, San Jose and San Francisco) and possibly a 10K next year.  If they do, I will be sure to sign up!  If there are runners or walkers out there that are thinking about it, strap on your running shoes and start training for next year. You won't be disappointed.  GO BLUE!


Dodger Swag


Probably my favorite medal of my small but growing collection

Polls Like This Scare The Crap Out Of Me

Screenshot taken from ESPN.com's Sportsnation poll, Sunday Sept 21, 11.43p PT.

HanRam, The Soda Can

Found this funny reference about Hanley Ramirez in a Buster Olney "Ten Burning Questions" column from Friday (link insider only):

4. What is Hanley Ramirez?

He’s like a soda can that has been kicked down a road for five months, with dents all over him and all kinds of physical ailments that seem to have hurt his defense, especially. But the Dodgers are still better with him in the lineup, and after missing Wednesday’s game with an elbow strain, he was back on the field Thursday, pitching in a couple of hits and runs.

As someone who knows Ramirez’s situation explained the other day: We are far beyond the time when he can be healthy in the postseason. It’s only a question of how much he can help.

Look, we've got ailments all over this lineup, and it seems like our whole postseason chances are being held together with bailing-wire tendons and duct-taped muscles. Hanley Ramirez is one piece of the puzzle. But I hope we can clinch early enough to get him, and some others, some rest.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Post-Game 156 Thread: Three Is A Magic Number

DODGERS 8, CUBS 5
PADRES 8, GIANTS 2

When this video gets to the second verse ("A man and a woman had a little baby; yes they did, they had three in the family; and that's a magic number"), I feel the good vibrations of the seventies warm me up all over.

Which is probably how Don Mattingly and the Dodgers felt, having survived "Bullpen Day" at Wrigley Field, starting Jamey Wright for two innings, then letting Carlos Frias take a turn, before parading in Chris Perez (who got the win, retiring four batters), Paco Rodriguez, Pedro Baez, and Kenley Jansen. Wright only lasted two innings and gave up three hits and 1 ER. Frias was a bit shakier (3.0 IP, 3 H and 3 ER), but nowhere near his last outing; plus he got out of a fifth-inning jam with the tying run on second by pulling off a big strikeout of Chris Valaika (Frias was actually seen on camera pumping himself up before the fateful pitch). Scattering only five Cubs runs over the course of the day, the Dodgers were able to actually survive throwing a spaghetti-like bullpen arms against the wall, just to see which ones could stick long enough to register 27 outs.

And that of course was due to the offensive heroics of the rest of the lineup, who seemed to take to the challenge by rising up. Yasiel Puig was 2-for-5 with 4 runs scored; Adrian Gonzalez was 2-for-5 with a run and an RBI; and Matt Kemp was 4-for-5 with a run and 4 RBI, two of which came on a third-inning HR to right field. Hanley Ramirez went 2-for-4, Carl Crawford went 2-for-5, A.J. Ellis got when 1-for-5 to raise his average (don't get me started). In fact, the only 0-fer in the starting lineup was Dee Gordon (0-for-5). All in all, a pretty good day with the bats: 16 hits in total in the victory.

What's more, the Padres took to their camouflage outfits and completed the sweep of the Giants, dropping Ryan Vogelsong and the Giants 8-2. According to MLB.com, "in eight games since their euphoric 9-0 rout of Los Angeles on Sept. 12, the Giants are batting .201 (52-for-259) with 14 runs scored. They've mustered two runs in five of those games and have been shut out twice."

So the Dodgers' magic number for winning the NL West is now three. And serendipitously enough, the Giants' magic number for securing a wild card spot (over Milwaukee; the Pirates are tied with the Giants for the two wild card spots) is also three. So three truly is a magic number.

Hat tip to Dusty for referencing this song (I think!) in the GT. I didn't see it until afterward, but it appears we're on the same wavelength. As Sons should be, I suppose.

Game 156 Thread: Sept. 21 @ Cubs, 11.20a

Jamey Wright (5-4, 4.30) vs. Jacob Turner (5-10, 6.20).

Saturday we choked the party.
Giants lost because they're sorry.

Sunday, please don't crumble once again.
Cause it really ain't much fun
When the bullpen gives up runs
And we won't enjoy the weekend with a split

I've been stranded with a blank tv
(Thanks to the hacks at TWC)
Even had to listen to Charley for the games
But I'm going to take a shit
On Security Benefit
If I have to hear that fucking commercial with the grandpa and the kid one more goddamn time

Today, it's Wright.
(Donnie is crazy.)
But Wright just may be the lunatic we're looking for.
Just try to last
And don't throw BP
You may be old, but that's okay; you're Jamey Wright.

#JumpingTheHashtagShark

Not sure how I feel about this. #Dodgertober? Uh, okay.

(Who am I kidding, I know I'll buy one.)

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Post-Game 155 Thread: Dodgers Choke, But Giants Fall Too

CUBS 8, DODGERS 7

How does one reward Adrian Gonzalez for two home runs, putting him ahead of all others in the major leagues for RBI (with 111)? Certainly not by collapsing up and down the bullpen (thanks to another ineffective start by Roberto Hernandez), most notably by J.P. Howell (0.2 IP, 4 ER) and Brian Wilson (0.2 IP, 2 ER). A 6-1 lead evaporated in the seventh and eighth innings in Wrigley Field, and the Dodgers lost a chance to gain ground on the Giants.

On the positive side, however, there was this Yasiel Puig highlight:

So that was pretty cool. Cooler than the bullpen.

Meanwhile, we found out later tonight that the Giants fell short in their ninth-inning rally, falling 3-2 to the Padres. So the lead stretches back to 3.5 games, and the magic number diminishes to 5 with seven to play (eight to play for Giants). Let's take the finale tomorrow and worry about the rest back at home.

Rookie Hazing Continues

Joc Pederson does a Starbucks run in Chicago — in full uniform.

photo from Pederson's Instagram

That sucked in so many ways

And then I had to make it down all these steps after all you can drink and eat. 


Tough loss.  Especially if you're wearing dodgers gear in chi town.   

This might help. 

ZZzzzzzzxxzzxxxxxzzzxx

Must....keep.....going

All you can eaaaatttttttt.......all you can drink.... Trouble breathing.   


Not beaten up yet.  But getting there 

Greetings From Wrigley


Actually I'm at a rooftop bar across from Wrigley.  All you can drink and eat.  

This might be my last broadcast

Game 155 Thread: Sept. 20 vs. Cubs, 10a

Roberto Hernandez (8-11, 4.06) vs. Felix Doubront (2-1, 1.50).

Is it me, or are these games getting earlier and earlier? As the Dodgers go to the third game of this series, let's hope that the Wrigley Field's confines can continue to be just as friendly for the visiting team as they were in the first two games. Not hoping for much given the Dodgers throw Roberto Hernandez, 0-2 in his last three starts, supported by a bullpen which had to put in an uncharacteristic amount of work yesterday in early relief for Clayton Kershaw. Doubront has apparently impressed in his three starts since joining the rotation August 30. But look, if this one goes bad, you can just hit snooze, turn off Fox (that's right, you will actually be able to see today's game!), and go back to bed.

Dodgers' magic number:

Friday, September 19, 2014

Post-Game 154 Thread: Postseason Bound!

DODGERS 14, CUBS 5

I was over at Dodger Stadium this afternoon, and despite the fact that the game was on televisions in the Top of the Park store, and the fact that I wrote the Game Thread for this game, I totally spaced out that it was a live broadcast of today's game. Maybe it was the fact that I don't normally get Time Warner Sportsnet broadcasts. Maybe it was the fact that the Dodgers had a ridiculous 14-3 lead at the time (to which either Nomar or Orel mentioned that the Cubs needed at least a touchdown to narrow the gap). Or maybe the thought of A.J. Ellis having two HR in a single game seemed totally preposterous.

When I finally got done perusing Dodgers items for purchase (more on this in a later post!), I realized that it was today's game, a pummeling at Wrigley Field at the hands of A.J. Ellis (two two-run HRs, in the first and third innings), Matt Kemp (a three-run HR in the first), and Yasiel Puig (a three-run HR in the sixth). With a six-run inning in both the first and sixth innings, the Dodgers cruised to victory on offensive power, which was fortunate as Clayton Kershaw battled control to eke out five innings (7 H, 3 ER, 3 BB and 9 Ks) and barely earn his major-league-leading 20th win of the season. Congratulations, Clayton; you've lifted the team so many times this year, it's the least they could do to lift you up for once.

With the Pirates' comeback victory over the Brewers, catalyzed by former Dodger Russell Martin's eighth-inning, three-run HR off of former Dodger Jonathan Broxton, the Dodgers have clinched a berth in the playoffs. (At this point, I think we want Milwaukee to start winning, in the hopes that they steal a wild-card spot from the Giants.)

More importantly, with the Giants' defeat to the Padres tonight, led by Tim Hudson allowing four runs in the first inning, the magic number for the division diminishes to 6 with eight games to play (nine games to play for the Giants). Favorable outcomes in only six of those 17 opportunities means the Dodgers win the West. Keep it coming, boys!

Game 154 Thread: Sept. 19 @ Cubs, 11.30a

Clayton Kershaw (19-3, 1.70) vs. Edwin Jackson (6-14, 6.09).

If the Dodgers can just focus in their last nine games, they've got a shot at locking the playoffs by the end of today, and the division as soon as...hmm, I guess the home series with the Giants early next week (magic number is 2 for the playoffs and 8 for the NL West title). Let's start by watching to see if Clayton Kershaw can earn his 20th win, for only the second time in his career (2011, Kershaw's first All-Star year). The Giants don't start their series with the Padres until later in the day, so wouldn't it be great if we could extend our lead back to three games before they take the field? All we need is some...focus.

SUCCESS!!!!

NLCS Home Game 3.

Go big or go home.

More to the point, go big or stay home during earlier playoff games.

And are people really confused by "Print at Home?"

PLAYOFF TICKETS ON SALE - NOW!!!!!!


Chances for D.D not looking so hot... 



Thursday, September 18, 2014

Post-Game 153 Thread: Good Dodgers!

Happy-sided Two-Face!

DODGERS 8, CUBS 4

The Dodgers flew to Chicago last night, but they opted not to show up until the seventh inning. Down 4-1 thanks to an uncharacteristically off Zack Greinke (5.0 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 1 BB and 5 Ks), the Dodgers decided to break out the whupping sticks and not lose to a sub-.500 team.

Hanley Ramirez started off with a one-out single; Carl Crawford followed with a single; Juan Uribe reached on a force out that scored HanRam. But the floodgates opened when Andre Ethier, PH for A.J. Ellis, hit a double to left-center that scored Crawford (and probably should have scored Uribe, who went to third), to make it 4-3. Justin Turner grounded out to third, scoring Uribe and tying the game. And then Dee Gordon doubled in Ethier (5-4 LA), and Yasiel Puig singled Gordon in. 6-4 Dodgers, thanks to a five-run seventh inning.

The Dodgers added a run in the eighth (Drew Butera with a bases-loaded walk), and in the ninth (Matt Kemp with a sacrifice fly to left field). The Dodgers may have showed up late, but they won the game and picked up a half-game on the idle Giants, to extend the lead to 2.5 games with nine to play (ten for San Francisco). Let's hope the good side of the Dodgers' duplicitous nature continues to turn up.