Sunday, September 02, 2018

At-Game Recap: Kemp HR Lifts Dodgers To First Place

Went to the game last night and had a blast watching the Dodgers' dramatic comeback 3-2 victory over Arizona, putting us in a first place tie for the division. With apologies to Allan Malamud, here are some notes on a scorecard:

  • Went to the game with my father and my brother-in-law and his wife. My brother-in-law is a Giants fan and wore a Giants spring training shirt to the game. I told him he was on his own.
  • I know it was a sellout crowd (announced attendance, 52,394), but there was no line at the Kings Hawaiian Barbecue in left field. Had a lobster roll before the game and was pleasantly satisfied. This is becoming my go-to place.
  • Took my position on the third base side, field level. Views were awesome as usual, despite that horrible netting which makes it more difficult to see the right-field scoreboard. Man, I love it here.
  • Saw the brand new beer-delivery-in-seat guy, but I had already gone up to grab my second beer, so I didn't partake. Was excited to find out that you could get beer at the Michelada Express line, which saved me a long wait.
  • The Dodgers looked woeful in those opening innings. I wasn't scared by Clayton Kershaw's two HRs yielded, as solo shots aren't deathblows and I knew Kershaw would settle. His line: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 Ks.
  • What was pissing me off, though, were all the missed opportunities. In the third inning, the one-out double by Justin Turner, stranded when Manny Machado and Matt Kemp both struck out, was infuriating. But the following inning was worse: Second and third with one out, Austin Barnes taps back to the pitcher who nails David Freese at home, but Barnes was so useless on his FC, he didn't even take second base (Puig, at least, was smart enough to take third on the baserunning gaffe). It ended up being irrelevant since Kershaw grounded out for the final out, but still.
  • I'm actually not sure why Brian Dozier was in the lineup (0-for-3 in the leadoff (?) spot, though he made a great defensive play). Or Austin Barnes (1-for-2 in the 8-hole). New addition David Freese batting fifth was weird, but he went 1-for-2 and also had some great grabs at first, so I'll take it.
  • Got a text from my mom, who was up in loge, complaining that I wouldn't stoop to visit her from the snooty field level. As I went upstairs, I bumped into with Stan Kasten. "Hi Mr. Kasten, I'm enjoying the game!" I said. "I'm not," said Kasten, "because we're losing!" But I got a selfie with him as we went up the escalators.

  • Said hello to my mom in the unremarkable fifth inning.
  • Also said hi to SoSG Alex Cora, in the house!
  • Then went back down to field level to see SoSG Orel, also in the house! He too was with a Giants fan, wearing said cap...who ended up liking the game after seeing the dramatic victory (probably doesn't get many of those up north). SoSG Orel was also sitting with SoSG regular Johnny Blanchard. Good to meet you, Johnny!
  • Kenta Maeda was dealing in the eighth inning, with 2 Ks.
  • The fateful bottom of the eighth played out like this. Turner singles to right, so I get excited. Machado works a ridiculous walk, which flustered Arizona reliever Archie Bradley. Kemp came up and after swinging late on two fastballs, watched a knuckle curve miss before slamming the fourth pitch into left center for a three-run HR. Why Bradley didn't throw more heat, I don't know; a second straight curve seems really stupid, and Kemp made him pay for that mistake. But Matt freaking Kemp? Who has had a horrible July / August, to balance out his torrid first half? HE hits the home run to take the lead? That was totally surprising.
  • My father, ever the optimist, called the Kemp HR. I, on the other hand, ever the realist, was calling "anything but a GIDP, Matt!" I'm glad my dad was right.
  • I did my part, though. I have a Dodgers cap from Sydney Australia (from the March 2014 games they played in that country to kick off the baseball season), and I like this hat but unfortunately it has not been good luck for Dodger games. So I turned it inside out for the late innings, and wore it upside down. It WORKED. That's good, as I like wearing that cap.
  • I was also wearing a Real Madrid jersey (the away jersey, which is dark blue). It's a weird call; I almost always wear Dodger shirts to the game. I felt like we needed a change of pace, though. And maybe this worked as well.
  • Kenley looked Kenley-esque last night, which was a nice change. Hopefully he's back?!
  • My brother in law got shit from some fans for his shirt, and I told him he was on his own.

So with that 3-2 victory, we're now in a tie for first, with one more game in this series this afternoon, and 26 games to play in the season.

Let's get schwifty!


Orel said...

Good stuff Sax!

"Even though the Dodgers won, best game I've seen in a while." —my guest

QuadSevens said...

Pretty cool to run into Kasten and get a selfie. Nice recap!

Dusty Baker said...

“Saw the brand new beer-delivery-in-seat guy, but I had already gone up to grab my second beer, so I didn't partake.”

What a pansy-ass move, Sax.

Steve Sax said...

Hey man I was with family, I couldn’t go at my usual pace


Steve Sax said...

@Quad: Kasten wanted to buy out, but we are holding out and negotiating