[Los Angeles Times] [MLB.com Highlights]
I’m here, staying up late to tell you a story. To tell you about one of the greatest days of my life. To tell you about what could have been the last time I see Dodger Stadium with these two eyes, in person. I’m here to try to tell you how incredible today was.
I’ve been to hundreds of baseball games. This was the top game I’ve ever seen live, my favorite game. From the time I was a kid into my adult life. I’ll try to capture every moment that happened on this June 7th, 2017 day down at Chavez Ravine. When the magic I speak of Dodger Stadium so often that exists, and I felt it.
Thanks to my buddy Dave who now works for the Seattle Mariners and Logan Forsythe, we landed some great seats today. This is where we picked up our tickets.
I didn’t get to do the ballpark tour like I wanted, but I got to see the special concourse level on the way to our seats that featured a few absolute gems like this one. This man is a reason I love baseball and the Dodgers. I’ve discussed this before.
The no-hitter cleats Clayton Kershaw wore on that night I was watching and waiting on my daughter’s arrival back in my condo.
We came back, and I got what I came for and then some. We hung out in Echo Park nearby before the game started. A cool little ethnic neighborhood. I wonder what those people must experience living within walking distance of the park.
The Vin Scully Press Box. Bucket list item crossed off.
To think about the greatness that’s entered this room so many times….. it was almost too much for me.
Tommy Lasorda and Frank Sinatra. Two great things in one place. This is so Los Angeles.
Here was my first view from our seats today before the park started to fill. It started out an overcast day.
So, they do have actual stands with grilled Dodger Dogs. These are the ones you want as opposed to the steamed. I got my fourth and final Dodger Dog of the trip, a veggie Dodger Dog. It was great. You couldn’t even tell the difference.
Cody Bellinger getting ready for the start today.
A better view of the mountains out in left field than I had the other night.
Just absolutely beautiful. #CaliforniaBaseball
Clayton Kershaw didn’t have his absolute best stuff today, but he without a doubt had the heart of a warrior on the mound and on the field today.
Kershaw clearing the mechanism. He showed me today live and in person why he’s a sure fire Hall of Famer and possibly the best pitcher of my lifetime. Of them all.
I’ve always thought center at Dodger Stadium was just a cool thing. And of course, the ’76’ is always an association with Dodger baseball. They’re on every corner out here. Very Grand Theft Auto V-ish.
Kershaw squares off against Bryce Harper in the top of the first inning.
Today Corey Seager, you’re going to do something incredible. Are you ready to do something incredible? You look ready.
Yes indeed, you are ready to do something special in a few short hours. After failure, there will be great triumph.
The boys getting ready. I told my friend David they weren’t getting swept today. Not with us both at the park. Not with Kershaw on the bump. Bet the house on the Dodgers. They weren’t losing. And it looked in peril for a good long while today before the magic of Chavez Ravine took over.
Corey Seager and Chris Taylor getting ready in the bottom of the first.
It’s going to be a day I’ll never forget because of you Corey Seager.
Chris Taylor gets robbed of a double by Ryan Zimmerman (who homered off Kershaw in the bottom of the second inning), but Taylor had a key tough at-bat later in the ballgame that softened up Stephen Strasburg. He played a nice centerfield too. He’s a versatile, good little player.
Round one of Strasburg vs. Seager went to Strasburg. Strikeout. Round two of Strasburg vs. Seager went to Strasburg. Strikeout number two. But Seager would get off the mat before three falls…..
You wonder how much longer Adrian Gonzalez can keep the sun up in the sky. How long can he old off Father Time? He’s getting ready here for his first AB, and he did indeed rip a single to left field shortly thereafter. He also attempted a stolen base in the bottom of the 8th! Caught stealing. I like Adrian Gonzalez. I don’t recall hearing the Speedy Gonzalez theme batter walk-up song that I’ve came to know him by.
Cody Bellinger just had an intentional walk today that I barely noticed. He’s going to be a force for a long time for the Dodgers.
Another view of the great batter’s eye at the greatest ballpark on earth. The sun had started to creep out.
I’m a Logan Forsythe fan for life for today. He didn’t get it going today like I hoped. But I am going to continue to pull for this guy. His best baseball is still ahead of him in a Dodgers uniform. Thank you again Logan; for the seats today. I’ll never be able to thank you in person. But you made today possible for me, my wife and one of my best friends.
I caught Bryce Harper yawning! That’s about a $15,000 yawn I would guess. Bryce Harper makes $15,000 when he yawns.
Stephen Strasburg had no-hit shit today. He was absolutely shoving. The Dodgers didn’t get to him early, and it was a problem. He was absolutely cruising and mowing down hitters at an alarming pace, matching Kershaw step-for-step and then some. It looked like the Dodgers would get shutout as Strasburg held down the Dodgers and clinged to the 1-0 lead provided by the Ryan Zimmerman bomb off Kershaw in the second.
Michael Taylor has had some rough times past in center at Dodger Stadium. Today he made another crazy error that let Chase Utley reach third base.
Anthony Rendon has been a force. He leads baseball in OPS since he had that 6 for 6 game in late April.
A little more #CaliforniaBaseball for you.
So this is when I knew something special was due to happen today. The wind blew just enough for this to blow down, and fall in my wife’s lap. I thought the note was from a fan; but it actually blew right out of the SportsNet Los Angeles booth that Orel and Joe Davis sit in. This was a talking point during the broadcast, I’m sure. I will forever wonder when this sits in my mancave whose handwriting this is. But yes, Kershaw did walk Stephen Strasburg when things began to look bleak for the Dodgers.
The Vin Scully microphone. Paying homage to the man who made me love the Dodgers right here. Miss you, Vin.
This was one of my favorite shots of the day. This is Dodger Stadium. This is as #CaliforniaBaseball as it gets.
One more #CaliforniaBaseball for you.
Worry not, Corey. You’re going to find a way today to bring the 43,230 to their feet and amaze them like they’ve almost never been amazed yet one more time. It’s coming.
Clayton Kershaw locked in on a pitch. He had a moment that changed this game today, but at the plate. With Strasburg in the low-70’s on his pitch count and cruising, Kershaw took his bat and went to work on an eight-pitch at-bat. It ended with a groundout; but he got a standing ovation from the crowd that was electric. You could feel that he softened up the dragon just enough to give his team some wiggle room. The way Kershaw; a pitcher, not only hung on today with just okay stuff but battled at the dish because he wanted the win was something I’ll never forget. And it gave me the feeling that something was coming. I remarked that it was a game-swinging at-bat.
Trea Turner tripled to the gap late in the game; but the Dodgers would escape it with some magic from Pedro Baez.
The out of town scoreboard for the American League on this date.
Corey Seager came out of the dugout with a different lumber in the bottom of the 6th inning. While Chris Taylor battled Strasburg for a tough-AB and got rang up on a tough full-count pitch; Seager got loose with his JJ2 Marucci. I could feel that something special could be coming. Remember, at this point Strasburg had owned Seager in two straight at-bats, striking him out swinging both times.
I said to my friend before this at-bat that something big was coming. I felt it with every fiber of my being. I had come thousands of miles to see Corey Seager play at Dodger Stadium and in a big moment like this with the sun shining. I felt some stars aligning.
Another chapter in your young storybook career is moments away, kid. The way you play the game with humility and class is something I am going to be proud to show my son. And that’s why you’re Brody’s favorite player.
Dig in young warrior, you’re about to get more famous.
When Seager climbed in the box for Strasburg vs. Seager round three, I said one thing: ‘Find the seats, you’re due. Find the seats right here’. And that’s exactly what Corey Seager did. On a day when Stephen Strasburg had the kind of stuff that could barely be touched; on a day when you knew no one had any business going deep and leaving the yard off Stephen Strasburg; the Dodgers had battled and softened him up just enough in the bottom of the six so that he would make one critical mistake.
Corey Seager was going to leave the yard against Stephen Strasburg to tie the game 1-1. I had trouble judging the ball to center all day long, which is not typical for me. When Seager connected with this ball, a missile just to the left of the stands in center; I knew right away. I’ve been riding this horse long enough to know on this one. I may have been the first guy in the stadium to say it, and I exploded.
“HE GOT IT! HE GOT HIM!”
It was the 8th of his 2017 season, and the 37th of his career. And forever, I’ll be able to say I saw it.
From there, the Dodgers would add another with a double from Yasmani Grandal to go up 2-1.
Kershaw battled like a warrior today for those nine K’s. I’ll never forget it. It was an odd thing how he hit for himself in the bottom of the 7th with two out and Dave Roberts still pulled him for Pedro Baez.
Kenley Jansen got hot in the pen, and I knew one of my bucket list items was going to happen. Hearing Kenley Jansen; the perfect closer for South Central Los Angeles’ baseball team coming out to the anthem for Southern California.
Here’s Kenley Jansen coming on. California Love.
— Diamond Hoggers (@DiamondHoggers) June 7, 2017
The troops watching the unstoppable man get ready.
And Kenley shut down the Nationals for the inning and a third save. It was his 10th of the season.
And the Dodgers, they gave me my bucket list item. They found a way. I got to hear ‘I Love L.A.’ blare on the loudspeakers after all.
#ILoveLA incredible pic.twitter.com/0SjkOcBshq
— Diamond Hoggers (@DiamondHoggers) June 7, 2017
And as I walked out of the park knowing the greatness of what I had just seen on the most picture perfect day at a ballpark I’ve ever been provided, the organ played Happy Days.
I couldn’t write a better script for a day. If this was my final goodbye to Dodger Stadium, it was something right out of a storybook. I have to thank God for this day and these moments.