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After disappointing 2-1 loss yesterday at Dodger Stadium against their hated rivals the San Francisco Giants, the Dodgers looked to regroup and get aboard their first place winning ways.
On Wednesday Giants Tim Lincecum looked to do battle not against his nemesis Clayton Kershaw, but against Chad Billingsley. Billingsley looked sharp early, until he faced rival pitcher Tim Lincecum who hit a single to help his own cause that scored Joaquin Arias.
Buster Posey RBI single in the third inning extended the Giants’ lead to 2-0.
It wasn’t long until the Dodgers got on board thanks to Bobby Abreu who singled to advance Andre Either to third base. Later Juan Uribe reached out on an infield single that scored Either. In that same inning Tony Gywnn Jr pinched hit for Billingsley, who tripled to right, Abreu, Uribe, and AJ Ellis all score to help the Dodgers take the lead 4-2.
The Dodgers offense didn’t quit in the sixth inning, catcher AJ Ellis tripled to deep center to get on base in scoring position. Scott Van Slyke (son of Pirate great Andy Van Slyke) came in to pinch hit for pitcher Jamey Wright. Van Slyke hit a huge single that scored Ellis.
In the eight inning Uribe showed up again as he doubled to deep center, and with a man on base, James Loney hit an RBI single to left that scored Uribe. With the bases loaded Giants manager Bruce Bouchy decided a change was necessary and Steve Edlefsen relieved Clay Hensley. A very smart move because with Matt Kemp at the plate, Kemp grounded out to shortstop which caused Adam Kennedy to be called out to end the inning.
Kensley Jansen came in to close out the ninth inning, and after walking Gregor Blanco, settled down and for the final out to strike out catcher Buster Posey swinging.
Chad Billingsley lasted just four innings, allowing two runs and seven hits while striking out five and walking four.
Tim Lincecum gave up four runs, eight hits in five innings with eight strike outs.
Dodger reliever Jamey Wright pitched two superb innings and with two strike outs to pick up the victory.
*Dodgers OF/1B Juan Rivera was placed on the 15-day DL due to a significant strained left hamstring, Dodger manager Don Mattingly said earlier he expected Rivera to be out more than two weeks.
Hall Of Fame Dodger broadcaster Vin Scully returned Sunday for his first broadcast of the season at Dodger Stadium. Scully had missed every game of the home stand due to recovering from flu like symptoms. He missed the team’s home opener for only the second time in his 63 year broadcasting career. Scully (84) was back in the booth sounded greater than ever, and waived at fans across the stadium.
The Tuesday of the Dodger home opener, Scully accounted that e was so sick he couldn’t get out of bed, and the doctor told him he was step away from pneumonia. Scully said he felt better way before Sunday’s game but was urged by doctors not to return due to the cold weather, to avoid a relapse of the symptoms.
Scully said even while terribly ill, he was humbled by the outpouring of support and the on-air mentions during telecasts of the games he missed. He was also humbled and honored by a tweet sent by Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp, who sent Scully well wishes.
What a day to return to a sunny Dodger Stadium on Jackie Robinson Day, a man whom he watched for seven season and became good friends be honored across the league. Scully also called and witnessed a great walk off single in the bottom of the ninth by Dee Gordon, the way only he could’ve called it.
*Scully began his broadcasting career in 1950, and since then has gone on to call three perfect games, 19 no-hitters, 25 World Series and 12 All-Star Games. He was behind the microphone for Kirk Gibson’s enormous game 1 homer in the 1988 World Series.
Welcome back Vin Scully, it’s always great to hear that Golden Voice of summer, the Dodgers and Dodger Stadium wouldn’t be the same without you.
Dodgers pitcher Ted Lilly had a goal in mind and that was to continue the winning streak over the Padres. Fresh of the disabled list, Lilly struggled a little as he gave up a single to Cameron Maybin. He also gave up another key hit to Jose Guzman allowing Maybin to score and the Padres took the the 1-0 lead.
Lilly would settle down as got into a comfortable rhythm to get out of the inning.
Dodger bats hit often and early, as Padres pitcher Joe Wieland walked Dee Gordon, which is dangerous for any defense when Gordon gets on base. Tony Gwynn Jr, hit a deep sacrifice fly to center, Gordon advances to center. Next up Matt Kemp as the crowd loudly chants M-V-P, and Kemp connects on a two run homer, giving the Dodger the lead. The Bats didn’t cool off as Andre Either next up, hit a huge home run, to increase the lead. As James Loney made it on base, Adam Kennedy hit a great sacrifice fly, that caused Loney to score, 4-1.
Wieland wasn’t done handing out gifts, as Gywnn singled and got on base, Kemp reconnected with the ball hitting a monster home run, his second of the day to increase the lead 6-1 in the bottom of the second inning. Lilly was sensational, striking out batters, mixing up his pitches to keep the Padres bats shut off from any hope of scoring.
It was MacDougal time in the eight as Mike MacDougal relieved Lilly to strike out 2 and cause Parrino to fly out to center to end the inning.
Jamey Wright came in to close out the ninth, causing Guzman to fly out to right and end the game giving the Dodger the dominate victory 6-1 over the Padres.
Lilly pitched seven innings on 79 pitches for two hits, four strike outs and one run, while Wieland pitched five innings, on six hits, three home runs and one strike out.
Lilly spoke how he wanted to go more innings “For the most part I was throwing strike one, getting them in swing mode early and then expanding the zone. I felt like I could have stayed in there, but we had a couple of guys who could use some innings.”
Wieland also discussed his dismal performance “I would have liked to start out a little better, but I didn’t locate my fastball early. First-time jitters definitely affected me in that first inning.”
SAN DIEGO – Today begins a new era, not just on the field but off the field as well. “It’s time for Dodger baseball….” when you hear those magical words from the golden voice Vin Scully, you know it’s Opening Day. With the nonsense of Frank McCourt out of the way (well not until April 30th officially), and new owners Magic Johnson, Stan Kasten, Mark Walter & Guggenheim Group seem to be on the right path and heading into a winning direction.
With everyone in the front office seem to be in place this season, Dodger fans can look forward to this ownership group unlike with McCourt, to spend money in the right way for the right players to make this team competitive and a future World Series contender. This team has a solid start with 2011 NL Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw on the mound, with pitcher Chad Billingsley, along with the possible MVP in Matt Kemp, who lost out in 2011 to Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun (@ryanbraun_8). Kemp (@TheRealMattKemp) has promised to be in what he calls “Beastmode” and go for 50/50, 50 home runs, and 50 stolen bases. His on base percentage should increase as well. Andre Either should have a much better season and last throughout the season this year, because according to him his legs haven’t felt this great in a long time. James Loney (@JamesLoney7) seems more focused, and ready for the season, along with speedy, and improved base runner Dee Gordon (@skinnyswag9). Who if Gordon has a solid year could be the Dodgers X-factor to assist them with a wild card playoff berth or even contend for a NL West title.
The Dodgers still have a young and talented outfield with Kemp, and Tony Gwynn Jr. With a couple of trades at the deadline and some key off season acquisitions, it will make the Dodger a serious top notch contender for years to come.
Today’s game verses San Diego in beautiful Petco Park should be a manageable yet a win for the Dodgers with Kershaw starting today. The Padres offense is not good at all, the pitching staff is nothing in comparison to the ace that Kershaw is. I expect the Dodgers to take 2 out of 3 at least in this series. They have all the tools in place for now, including solid ownership, which they have lacked for several seasons.
It’s the Dodgers time, the 50th anniversary of Dodger Stadium, possibly Vin Scully’s last year announcing, new ownership, all I have to say is………Dodger That! Lets Play Ball……
LOS ANGELES – The NL West rivalry heated up on Tuesday night as Diamondbacks slugger Gerardo Parra hit a home run, then as he crossed home plate began to taunt many in the Dodger dugout which allowed Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw to get into a heated war of words between Parra and former Dodger, now Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kurt Gibson.
Many wonder what Wednesday night would bring at Dodger Stadium since Kershaw was the starting pitcher going for his 19th win against the now hated Diamondbacks. Would he retaliate or would he keep his cool and focus not only on the win, and take the opportunity to make an even stronger case for NL Cy Young award?
Kershaw came out on fire in the first inning and his teammates Tony Gwynn Jr who craftily slid home safe to score the first run, thanks to a Matt Kemp single. The Dodgers weren’t finished as Jerry Sands drove in another run, hitting a single in shallow center giving the Dodgers a 2-0 lead. Kershaw was magnificent only allowing one hit until the sixth inning.
Diamondbacks starting pitcher Daniel Hudson showed Los Angeles no mercy as he shut down the Dodgers just allowing two runs through seven innings of work.
In the sixth inning, as Parra batting at the plate, Kershaw threw the pitch which seemed to lose control somewhat, actually hit Parra, and home base umpire Bill Welke immediately ejected him.
Kershaw singled out Welke about the same time as Dodgers manager Don Mattingly sprinted out on the field to seek Welke out and ask him why the sudden reaction. Kershaw attempted to plead his ephemeral case that he pitched inside and not intentionally hit Parra. When Kershaw hit the showers, the Dodgers seemed even more determine to get the win not only for themselves but their fallen comrade.
In the eight inning, Dodger hitter Aaron Miles ended the drought as his RBI single gave the Dodgers more run insurance in their attempt to close out the game in the ninth inning.
Dodger closer Kenley Jansen gave up a one run single to Miguel Montero, cut into the Dodger lead 3-2. The next Arizona batter would not be so lucky as Jansen focused and struck out center fielder Chris Young on a breaking ball to end the game.
Dodgers held on to get the victory 3-2. Even though Kershaw was ejected, he got the win, which brings him to an impressive (19-5) record.
After the game Kershaw spoke about his what seem to be unjust ejection “Bill [Welke] is back there just trying to make sure that everything is OK. I understand that he has a job to do, but at the same time, just pay attention to the game and understand what’s going on.”
Manager Don Mattingly who was also ejected for arguing the call also chimed in on Kershaw’s ejection and how his pitching staff pulled it together “The momentum could change there with Clayton coming out of a game he was pretty much dominating. But Josh came in and really did a lot more of the same.”
According to Arizona pitcher Daniel Hudson the Diamondbacks were contacted by MLB and given a swift warning before Wednesday nights game. No one in Dodger organization could confirm if they receive that same MLB warning.
LOS ANGELES – After a roller coaster season for the Los Angeles Dodgers both on and off the field, the team managed to hold on to finished above .500 yet they only played 161 games. The two highlights of the season were the Cy Young accomplishments of pitcher Clayton Kershaw (21-5) and the MVP and triple crown efforts of outfielder Matt Kemp.
An interesting point was voiced by 710 ESPN’s Max Kellerman (host of the Max & Marcellus Show) in Los Angeles, where he stated that Kemp was being robbed because the Dodgers only played 161 games this season, and not having that extra game could cost Kemp a shot at the MVP award.
Which is true, Major League Baseball did not reschedule the second game of a rained out doubleheader against Washington earlier in the season.
Due to the lack of scheduling by MLB, this could definitely cost Kemp his chance at the MVP. There is no way that Ryan Braun should win MVP, Braun who played in only 150 games, batted .334, with 111 RBI’s, 34 HR’s, 33 stolen bases, while Kemp finished the season 39 HR’s, batted .324, 126 RBI’s, 40 stolen bases. He also played in all 161 games this season and a sharp outfielder.
It would be a complete travesty if Kemp didn’t win the award, especially him putting up the best numbers in the National League, with the exception of batting average. Now in all actuality Braun should win the batting title, but thanks to a real weak sucker move by New York Mets’ Jose Reyes, who when at the plate bunted and made it to first base. After doing that, he increased his average up to .337 after reached first base, took himself out of the game to keep his batting average at .337.
Matt Kemp had no help in his lineup and was still able to put up phenomenal numbers in comparison to Braun who had Prince Fielder, and Rickie Weeks who are significant hitters in the Brewers lineup.
Its about who’s most valuable, and Kemp has proven he’s the most valuable not only to his team, but to the National League as well. If he doesn’t win, we can all blame the sports writers who have a vote, and MLB who refused to reschedule that 162nd game, that Kemp and the Dodgers so desperately deserve.