Category Archives: Los Angeles Dodgers

Yasiel Puig is back tonight

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The baseball season has been just a little bit quieter this season, save for 11 games played in April. Yasiel Puig just didn’t have the opportunity to get much going before hamstring problems sidelined him for almost two months.

He’s been activated, he returns tonight late-night at Dodger Stadium; and he’s hitting third against a pretty tasty left-hander in Jaime Garcia.

We love Yasiel Puig – we have really missed him being a part of this 2015 season. There are great odds that he does something very Wild Horse tonight, kicking out a few stable car windows and leaving destruction in his wake tonight. With Clayton Kershaw on the bump and Vin Scully on the call, there’s a nice little Dodger Blue homeostasis going on right now at baseball’s mecca.

Joc Pederson is Roy Hobbs

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And here you thought Roy Hobbs was fictional. We have to admit in full disclosure: we knew so little about Joc Pederson at this time last year, we thought the damn guy was black! To be fair, it was spring training 2014.

We know him now. Everyone else should too. He’s hitting home runs at a record clip for a rookie. He homered again last night while you were sleeping. This was the fifth straight game he’s done that. 4He’s up to 17 now, one behind Bryce Harper for the National League lead. We thought that Yasiel Puig’s beginning to his career was amazing (it was), but this has turned into an entirely different animal.

The guy is on some kind of incredible roll. We have no idea where he ends up, but clearly he’s a reason that we think the Dodgers are the favorites in the National League to reach the World Series even with their problems. And to be able to pair Roy Hobbs next to the Wild Horse for the next decade if they want… times are so good in Los Angeles.

A Great Read on Steve Garvey, Los Angeles, Life off the Field, Hollywood, the Dodgers, etc.

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We had thought we linked this story done in 1980 for Newsweek, Inside Sports by one of our favorite writers – Pat Jordan – long ago. Stumbling through the archives, it’s nowhere to be found. We originally read this last year via the Deadspin Stacks.

If you’ve got some down time on a Saturday and you’re around the computer, and you want to read a weird story about what it was like to be a star player in Los Angeles in the 1980’s (which later became infamous writing with some of the things that came out about Garvey), you should read this.

Friggin’ love Pat Jordan. Some of his Deadspin excerpts here.

Giancarlo Stanton hit one out of Dodger Stadium and into the San Gabriel Mountains last night

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[Box Score]

Something about Los Angeles, Chavez Ravine, The Dodgers, everything out there in California has a real mystique and magic about it. It’s my number one bucket list place on earth.

Last night, Giancarlo Stanton added to the legend that we consider the grandest lady of them all.

The Marlins are such a strange group right now. This was the only run they scored. They lost once again. But you can count on Giancarlo Stanton just going out and giving a phenomenal effort despite where the Marlins are in the standings. A true warrior who will not rest until they’re atop the mountain.

On Tuesday evening, Mike Bolsinger provided the kerosene for a legendary Stanton bomb.

Adrian Gonzalez has a Special night in Los Angeles

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When Vin Scully asks his listeners ‘can you believe it?’, something special is going down at Chavez Ravine.

It happened tonight, as I’ve just watched Adrian Gonzalez homer for the third time off that Hillbilly Andrew Cashner. Gonzalez now has 264 home runs in his career, and is proving he’s still one of the game’s elite bats.

With the way he’s going, I probably shouldn’t finish this post to make sure he doesn’t go and hit a fourth. Cashner is out of the game now so that probably lessens the odds for the big fella.

And a three homer game becomes all that much more special when you own a guy on a couple fantasy baseball teams!

An Ode to the 2014 Washington Nationals

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Welp, that’s a wrap. For all intensive purposes, baseball season ended for us tonight a bit prematurely. In a matter of hours, two teams we love to watch completed the foursome of elimination in the League Division Series with the Cardinals getting past Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers and the Giants breaking the hearts of the Nationals out in the Bay Area.

I never dreamed when this postseason started that a World Series would exist without at least one of these two teams. It almost seems unfair – but it’s not. The Giants and Cardinals took the fight to these teams. They just went out and took it, with the help of a little more clutch hitting and better management.

I spent a TON of time watching Washington and Los Angeles this season. They were entertaining, yet flawed teams. Until the spring comes, I won’t see them again. If you want to see the remaining teams left in the playoffs, find and buy sports tickets to do so.

Bryce Harper homers off Clayton Kershaw at Dodger Stadium

Clayton Kershaw was so good, so on his game last evening in Los Angeles that he only allowed three hits in eight innings of work. This was the only one that counted for anything in a Dodgers 4-1 win.

No sooner did Vin Scully finish telling viewers of the broadcast that Bryce Harper was a ‘pleasant fellow’ when the lightning quick bat flipped through the zone; and oh-my-gosh Bryce Harper just took the game’s best pitcher deep into the Chavez Rivine night to legit right-center on a night when he’s got his best stuff.

In our opinion, that’s why this one – the 53rd home run of Bryce Harper’s big league career – is his most epic yet. It came on a night when he started in centerfield, at a ballpark where he’s had a season of his career wrecked.

It’s obvious that there are just few left-handed hitters in the game who can do this to Kershaw. It’s obvious that this shows what Harper is capable of when he’s right and he’s on. But more than anything it’s just epic that he took top-of-his-game Kershaw out to those deep yellow bleachers in a pitchers’ park on a night when Kershaw was nearly unhittable (and had owned Harper pretty good in the first two at-bats).

Albert Pujols Mocks Yasiel Puig

The Freeway Series between the Angels and the Dodgers kicked off last night in Chavez Ravine. A solid pitching matchup between Zack Greinke and Garrett Richards was on the docket, burgeoning superstars in Mike Trout and Yasiel Puig were in each team’s respective lineup and two teams with a couple of the better records in baseball settling in for regional supremacy.
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Clayton Kershaw brings more storied history to Los Angeles with one of the greatest games thrown since 1913

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[No Hitter Box Score]

[LA Times] [Dodgers Digest]

I watch the Dodgers almost every night. Last night I was feeling rather tired from an early morning start, and I passed out in about the third inning; before history started to weave a magical web.

Wouldn’t you know that I missed it all. I missed the finest game thrown in 100 years, waking up in the middle of the night to a swarm of ESPN alert texts about the historic game that Kershaw threw.

I’ve got to document it here. It was one of the greatest games ever thrown. It ranks right there with Kerry Wood’s 20 strikeout performance one-hitter from back when we were in high school.

I hate myself not just for missing Kershaw’s game, but for missing Vin Scully calling it. This was probably one of the last great moments that Scully will tell the story for up in the booth.

Sure, the Rockies weren’t at full-strength. But they are a formidable lineup who has actually handled Kershaw very well as a group. That it went down in Dodger Stadium on a Wednesday night in June; well that just shows why this sport is so amazing.

It can grab you, sweep you up, captivate you at any moment because just that quickly and randomly it can be so magical.

Clayton Kershaw has the first no-hitter of his career. None of the youngsters were awake to see it, just like back in April of 1993 when Chris Bosio threw his no-hitter at the Kingdome; I remembered hearing about the big deal the next morning but I was fast asleep when he completed it.

Magic in a Time Capsule forever:

I went to see Yasiel Puig play today

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[Box Score]

[Game Highlights]

Another item can be crossed off the baseball bucket list; I spent an afternoon in the same ballpark as Yasiel Puig.

That said, I didn’t get to my seat until the fifth inning, meaning I saw exactly four and a half innings of baseball. Let me go on a small mini-rant now if I may to relieve some frustration.

It was a Reds ‘business day special’. I’ve went to two or three of these in my life, but it was always when I was working downtown and didn’t need to find a place to park.

My friend and I learned today that you don’t go to a Reds business day special unless you work downtown. We arrived around 12:15, twenty solid minutes before the scheduled first pitch. Every garage was ‘PERMIT ONLY’ and the one parking garage that a cop told us we would be able to park in behind the US Bank Arena was full. We drove around in one-way street traffic for a solid hour it seemed. Finally we found a lot about two miles away. We parked, and we walked what seemed like forever.

Alfredo Simon and Zach Greinke cruised through the first four innings. By the time we parked, took a leak, fought through the lines and grabbed a hot dog and some peanuts; the game was into the fifth inning and I had missed two Puig AB’s and two Bruce AB’s. Not good.

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I missed Puig hitting a single in the first inning – his only hit on this day – but I did not miss his caught stealing to end an inning. Here he is heading out to right field after getting caught stealing. Dee Gordon and Adrian Gonzalez can be seen in the shot.

The Dodgers on this day as a whole (for the half game I saw) looked like a team ready to get back to Los Angeles. They just looked tired and went through the motions. How else to explain Alfredo ‘Big Pasta’ Simon throwing eight strong innings of one-run baseball? The Dodgers had no fight in them. And by the way, Alfredo Simon has tied Adam Wainwright at least for the time being for the National League lead with nine wins on the mound.

Baseball is completely unpredictable.

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And it is that unpredictability that keeps me rabidly interested. I feel like going to a baseball game live is like buying a ticket and playing the lotto. As you are on your way to the game, you have no damn idea what you’re about to see as a whole or in terms of what each player is going to do. I thought about this on my way to the game – was today going to be the day I hit the Yasiel Puig lotto and possibly see a two homer game?

My ticket was a dud. He was 1 for 4 with a couple of ground outs and of course the aforementioned caught stealing.

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I didn’t hit the lotto on Jay Bruce either. It seems his number is coming up further and farther in between these days. I remarked during the game that Bruce seems disappointingly like a player who is simply content with being ‘good’. He appears to realize that it’s no longer possible that he will be a ‘great’ player.

I realize he’s had to play through some problems with his knee. Not much has changed since his return. He’s hitting .212 on the year now – there isn’t much you can say about a guy hitting .212 – other than I think he was a better hitter all around when he came out of the minor leagues. He’s just a pull-happy guy with some power now who is never going to hit for much average, strikes out too much, plays a solid right-field, and will not get noticed outside the Reds fanbase. I had higher hopes for Jay Bruce to be honest.

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I did get to see Aroldis Chapman lock down another save, his tenth of the season. One thing that will never get old to me is seeing this guy pump 99, 99, 101, 101, 102 in the ninth inning. Blowing 3-1 fastballs past Matt Kemp when Kemp has to know it’s coming and he still can’t touch it.

Chapman struck out the side in the ninth inning to reward the Reds with their victory. He struck out the second hitter of the inning with a 92 MPH slider down. Just filthy. This guy is a God-given talent and a gift to be able to watch. He’s why you buy the ticket.

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The Todd Frazier lottery numbers came up today, as he hit his 14th home run of the season. Of course, I didn’t see it; we were behind the left field bleachers on Mehring Way when the fireworks were going off listening to it on 700 WLW.

The Reds shouldn’t have business day games if there isn’t a better solution for parking, plain and simple. If you plan to attend one of these games, be ready to have it really dampen your entire experience. I didn’t get to walk around the park, I didn’t get to try any of the new concession stands, I just sat in my seat for what seemed like ten minutes because we arrived so late because it was a true downtown-disaster. I doubt there are these problems around Wrigley.

I’m over it, and happy I got to spend an afternoon watching a few innings of baseball. And I got to see Puig play a few innings. And the Reds split a tough series, even if I know it will end up meaningless.

And next time I buy a ticket, I just might win some kind of baseball lotto!

Happy Anniversary, You Puig

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It was one year ago tonight that it all began for the prize-winning Puig, and what better way to celebrate than by posting a cool GIF that shows his career accomplishments that that polygonal Puig MLB The Show graphic.

One year into a career that has featured more ‘holy shit’ moments than any other I can remember one year in, and the guy is a .326 hitter. To his detractors who said things like ‘he’s going to bust’ or ‘Puig should be the one the Dodgers look to move’ it’s time to admit you were wrong. To those who have enjoyed the unique skill set that seems like a hybrid of Bo Jackson and Manny Ramirez rolled into one, it’s time to rejoice a little bit. This kid is for real and he might be the game’s finest player at the moment.

The best part about his one year anniversary is it signifies that he’s just getting started. Viva La Puig!

Homer Bailey Riled up Cuban Yasiel Puig the other night – then Puig homered

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Yasiel Puig is doing his best to turn this into the comprehensive Yasiel Puig Blog.

The other night in the 6th inning in Los Angeles he did something else that caught my attention, and I liked it. Homer Bailey had his ‘A-game’ and was dealing high 90’s fastballs. The Dodgers trailed 3-1 and he buzzed an 0-1 pitch up and in at 96 MPH on Puig. Puig seemed to scowl back at Bailey; he didn’t like it one bit.

I said to myself that this was either going to do one of two things – it would serve to rile up the big fucker and take him mentally out of the rest of the at-bat; or it was going to do just enough to get him angry and summon some focus.

What followed on the next pitch was some type of 87 MPH pitch right down the middle, and Puig hit it a ton and out to right-center. Bat-flip, and another kill. It was Puig’s 11th home run on the season. The Reds would win the game, hanging on to defeat Clayton Kershaw 3-2; but Puig again provided anyone watching with the game’s signature moment.

You have to love Homer Bailey’s expression after the homer stops flying. He’s like ‘aw shit, he got me’. On this same evening I read about Puig’s historic start over at Fangraphs.

The Josh Beckett No-Hitter

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[Box Score]

[Los Angeles Times]

More history goes down in the annals of this great game we all love. My personal connection to this one is that I saw 97% of the game and had it on before it was really a thing. I’ve been watching the Dodgers a lot lately due to owning (and loving) Puig, Dee Gordon, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Kenley Jansen, and Clayton Kershaw in fantasy.

And the reason I didn’t see 100% of it is my pregnant wife decided out of the blue that she had to have Chipotle Guacamole; so I had to run to the burrito shop and get it for her while she still had an appetite. On my way out the door I tested my wife and said ‘keep your eyes on this game, he’s going after a no-hitter and I want you to tell me if he still has it when I am out’. Like a good wife when I was on my drive home she texted and said he was four outs away. I knew this because; I had the game going on the radio.

I made it time in home to see Beckett blow away Chase Utley for the final out and the 24th in Dodgers history. The last time the Dodgers had a no hitter I was 14 years old, and it was Hideo Nomo at Coors Field. The last time the Phillies were no-hit was in the late 70’s, and I wasn’t even born yet. How amazing is baseball history as it ties your life together in some small way?

And on this Memorial Day Weekend in Philadelphia, Josh Beckett had the signature moment. And I’ll always remember that it came the day after finding out I’m having a baby girl in the fall and while running to get the pregnant lady her precious guacamole fix.