Category Archives: Los Angeles Dodgers

Chicago Cubs reach the first World Series in what seems like ever


[Box Score]
[Bleed Cubbie Blue] [Chicago Now] [Bleacher Nation] [Obstructed View]

October 22nd, 2016 was the fateful date in history that the Chicago Cubs were meant to take the National League pennant. If Cubs fans had known how this chapter in the story went all along – maybe their lives would have been a little more at ease.

The Cubs took it to Clayton Kershaw early and often. The game was somewhat uneventful until ‘Go Cubs Go’ played over the loudspeakers and the final out was recorded, partially due to the fact that it was never close and also because Kyle Hendricks was on.

Throwing what he said was his best performance of the year, Hendricks gave up a lead off single to Andrew Toles and then not another until the last batter he faced in the eighth inning.

Anthony Rizzo homered to make it 5-0. When that ball left the park, you really knew it was over. People preceded to cry in the stands. The sold out crowd sang the Cubbies victory song. Harry Caray was correct back in 1991 when he said that someday the Cubs would be in the World Series.

This blog has seen underachieving Cubs teams, Cubs teams that were talented but simply not ready, Cubs teams that lost 100 games and now finally a Cubs team that is the finest team in baseball.

On the way out, there is simply no knocking the Los Angeles Dodgers of 2016. They were a gritty, gutty team that was a lot of fun to watch. They were perhaps the second best team in all of baseball this season. They took this Cubs team to six games and deserve a ton of credit. You aren’t hearing the last out of that Dodgers nucleus. They just ran into a juggernaut Cubs team that will now open a World Series in Cleveland on Tuesday. Baseball history will be made.

Wrigleyville can rest easy, for once. There’s a fair chance it won’t at all.

Your Saturday Baseball Post


It might be an NCAA fall Saturday, but I think we’ve got an all-timer on our hands tonight at Wrigley Field in game six of the NLCS.

It’s Hendricks-Kershaw, in the primetime; with a nip in the air from historic Wrigley Field. It’s the best pitcher in the game trying to extend the Dodgers season and the Cubs trying to win one game to get to their first World Series since 1945. It’s going to be complete insanity. And as I’ve said since the beginning of this series – I think it’s going the full 18 rounds. Dodgers find a way tonight and extend this season one more day.

And of course it’s a Saturday. A glorious Saturday. Thank you for your continued support of Diamond Hoggers. Enjoy your Saturday, and you better be tuned in tonight at Chicago.

The Dodgers try to lean on the magic of The Ravine one last time


It’s game five of the NLCS out in wild Los Angeles. Grab your game notes, your pop corn, your cracker jacks, your Fireball… whatever it is people do…. and get ready for a showdown.

What a wild, magical summer it was out at the gem of baseball, the mecca that is Dodger Stadium. It’s hard to believe the leaves have fallen (although not in L.A.), and that this could be the last time we get to watch a game at that park all year unless the Dodgers win two out of three.

I think there are points and counterpoints and a case you can make for both of these teams winning this series – and which is better for baseball. Personally, it’s just hard to root against the damn Dodgers in Vin Scully’s farewell season with all these magical moments. It just feels like it isn’t meant to end in the next few days.

Then you’ve got the Cubs, and what kind of super villain would root against them?

So you settle in, you soak it in, and enjoy the 18 round heavyweight fight we thought this would be.

NLCS Game Two: Kershaw Dazzles on a Sunday Night at Wrigley


[Box Score]

Clayton Kershaw gave the Dodgers the game they absolutely had to have from their ace. Seven scoreless innings, one walk, two hits, and six strikeouts at rabid Wrigley Field on a Sunday night to even the series. Kenley Jansen worked the final two innings for the save in a 1-0 ballgame. It’s becoming a theme of the 2016 postseason to see the relief ace in weird spots, before the ninth inning. And for the most part they’ve delivered.

And the offense in this game was as depressing as the late Sunday night it was played on. The lone run of the game came on an Adrian Gonzalez home run to center field.

After everything that happened in game one, we’ve got a series. And now there are three games in Los Angeles where the Dodgers just seem to have some added magic. This is going to be a long, great series if you couldn’t tell from the first two games.

Corey Seager kicks the Nationals-Dodgers series off with a Bang



Man, the Nationals and the DODGERS. Wow. Two teams I love. This means no matter what, I’ll have a team to root for in the NLCS. I’ll sign up for that right now. This also means that a team that I really like has to die. It feels a little bit like I felt on this night, so many years ago.

Let me take you back to the Ironman Match, Wrestlemania X:

Yes, that’s how it feels. I liked Shawn Michaels, the Heartbreak Kid. But I LOVED Bret Hart. And damnit I didn’t know how to feel. My emotions were twisting inside me.

And it’s our first 2016 MLB Postseason post. Corey Seager has had so many huge moments this season, I don’t know where this one will rank. But as you’ll see, he DESTROYS a Max Scherzer pitch in the first inning to set the tone.

And suddenly I didn’t know how to feel. My wife is making me feel guilty – telling me we named our daughter after Bryce Harper – and how could I root against that? I wasn’t. I just like both of these teams and whoever emerges here is my horse.

All in all, it wasn’t the pitching duel that Sonny Koufax flew out to Washington for. Maybe he lives there, Hell I don’t know.

Clayton Kershaw went five to get the victory, but was just satisfactory. Scherzer went six and allowed all four Dodgers earned runs, including another big bomb to Justin Turner.

Game two tomorrow, and I won’t have to worry about who to root for because I’ll be at a pumpkin patch telling my two-year old not to touch the goat because the goat has disease. So, there you go.

Lasorda Friday’s: Tommy Lasorda Destroys the Phillie Phanatic in 1988

We haven’t honored fun Tommy Lasorda on Friday’s enough through the years. It was done at least once, and abandoned.

But the gem that is this man will not be ignored on this Friday. Here we have a clip we had not seen in full prior to today. It’s late August 1988, and that rascal Phillies Phanatic is getting under Tommy Lasorda’s skin.

The best part of this clip is not when Lasorda starts to take off with the Phanatic’s ATV. It’s not when the Phanatic razzes the angry man who is mad at a mascot that is making fun of his belly by sticking his mascot tongue out at him. The best part of the video isn’t even when Lasorda chases him down in anger (look at how fast Tommy moves in those turf shoes, he looks like sprinting Super Mario).

The best part of this video is around the 1:13 mark when Lasorda pulverizes the Phanatic with that stuffed Lasorda and the mascot plays dead, on cue. Like he’s really hurt. I’ve watched this no less than 15 times today, and it gets me every time. I love this.

Vin Scully’s send off at Dodger stadium was magical


I am so numb right now.

It’s been a tough day. Between the death of Jose Fernandez (and Arnold Palmer also passed), and the goodbye to Vin Scully; I am just emotionally spent.

The Dodgers had an incredible walk-off win today for Vin Scully’s final game at Chavez. Dodgers trailing 3-2 in the ninth, and there’s two down. But Corey Seager was at the plate, and of all the greats that Scully has seen play, you better believe it’s special that Seager did this to tie the game and “pull the sun back up in the sky” just a few more moments with Scully in the booth:

Charlie Culberson would of course homer in extras to give the Dodgers the 4-3 win. But there were no fireworks.

For the first time that I can ever remember, I sat and had a good cry over something to do with sports. And the reason I cried is because Vin Scully addressed the crowd one final time, and then sang “Wind Beneath My Wings” to them.

And my wife saw it all. For all in this world that is ugly, and patronizing, and backwards; and it’s everywhere right now…. there’s a prince like Vin Scully. Something that is the real article. That’s what I said to my wife. And then I told her that I hope they win it all as I might have wiped a tear out of my eye. And I do.

I have been listening to this guy for as long as I can remember. The truth is, I wasn’t ready for this. I would have never been ready for this.

In-Depth on Corey Seager’s Record Season


After Tuesday’s game, Seager is now hitting .316 with 185 hits, 25 home runs and 40 doubles. The only rookies in Major League history, according to Baseball Reference, to hit at least .300 with 25 homers, 40 doubles and 185 hits as a rookie are: Albert Pujols (2001), Nomar Garciaparra (1997), Tony Oliva (1964), Ted Williams (1939), Joe DiMaggio (1936), Hal Trosky (1934) and Dale Alexander (1929).

He is on track to having the greatest OPS+ by a rookie shortstop all time. Chicago Cub Charlie Hollocher (1918) is the current record holder at 134. [Dodgers Insider]

Yasiel Puig, Madison Bumgarner, and Vin Scully describing the Scene

Just when you thought you had seen the last of Yasiel Puig, Dodgers outfielder. The Bums win another wild one last night, 2-1 at Chavez.

This was too good not to get on the site, somewhere. Seriously though: eff Madison Bumgarner. Guy is an asshole.

h/t: Deadspin for the video.

“And it’s a grand slam from Andrew Toles! And the dodgers have come back from the dead!” – Charlie Steiner


So you’re telling me that the Dodgers signature moment of the 2016 season wasn’t called by Vin Scully, came in a game that Corey Seager actually had zero hits, and came from a big hit from a guy named ANDREW TOLES?!?!

Maybe this wasn’t magic at all. Maybe it was just Coors Field. And Rich Hill was supposed to pitch but he has the blister again.

Dodgers win 10-8.

Corey Seager, Dodgers Record Holder


This one was very meaningful. On a picture perfect Saturday afternoon at Dodger Stadium in a 3-2 win against the Cubbies, Corey Seager got the scoring started with a home run off Jason Hammel, his 23rd of his rookie season. This was also significant because it’s the Dodgers record for a shortstop.

This was of course, a textbook Seager home run. He’s not dead-pull. He’s not always going the other way. He sprays the ball. What a season the 22-year old is having.

Kris Bryant’s MVP Game


[Cubs 6, Dodgers 4 (10 innings)]

Last night’s game at Dodger Stadium was EVERYTHING you could have wanted in a baseball game. It was an early instant classic of the regular season. And I had the pleasure of watching the entire thing for the most part.

The Dodgers looked in control of this one, and should have won the game. National League MVP candidates Kris Bryant and Corey Seager squared off. With the Dodgers up 4-2 in the 8th inning after an Adrian Gonzalez home run, the Cubs needed life. Bryant crushed his 34th home run of the season to cut the deficit to 4-3, and this put his average over .300 on the season.

Things weren’t done from there.

Kenley Jansen entered in the ninth, and if you watch baseball at any regularity you figured this game was ending 4-3. But Jason Heyward made himself somehow-useful. He doubled off Jansen to begin the ninth and would score the tying-run with one out on a wild pitch.

Bonus baseball was awarded with Vin Scully on the call. And I might have to change my MVP vote from Seager to Bryant on a count of what happened next.

Bryant comes back up against a southpaw – Dave Roberts has no clue how to manage a bullpen, God love him – and Bryant hits a predictable two-run shot that ices the game for the Cubs. It was his 35th home run of the season and he’s at .303 on the year.

The Cubbies absolutely stole this one with their best player headlining it. We’re all better off having seen this one, if you saw it.