Archives for the month of: July, 2013

It almost seems like it couldn’t possibly have really happened.

FansThere are the Blue Jay fans, cheering on their closer as he tries to protect a slim one-run lead against the hottest team in baseball.

Puig at firstKasey Janssen (no relation to Kenley Jansen) has somehow sent Yasiel Puig to first with a base-on-balls. (I say somehow because Puig has not shown a great deal of patience in his at-bats of late.) Somehow, Puig doesn’t try to steal second as Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez both strike out swinging.

DreTwo outs, Andre Ethier at the plate. He used to be called Captain Clutch, because he almost always came through for the Dodgers when they needed him. Here he goes again, on a 1-2 count (Dodgers down to their last strike), he bloops one into center field for a base hit, and Puig takes off like a bat out of hell.

RasmusEthier’s ball hits the artificial turf and bounces high over the head of Blue Jay center fielder Colby Rasmus.

Puig kickPuig — just a blur sprinting past third — comes home to tie the score, 3-3.

This is a team that just doesn’t give up. The day before yesterday (Tuesday, July 23), the Dodgers came back from an 8-3 deficit going into the seventh to beat Toronto 10-9 in the second game of the series.

Yesterday, after Ethier and Puig (and the error by Rasmus) combined to give the Dodgers one more inning to try to sweep, they took spectacular advantage of it, lighting up poor Juan Perez for five more runs in the 10th (homers by second baseman Mark Ellis and Puig, a two-run double by Captain Clutch himself) — final score … 8-3.

Matt Kemp congratulates Yasiel Puig in the dugout after he scored from first to tie the game in the 9th inning.

Matt Kemp congratulates Yasiel Puig in the dugout after he scored from first to tie the game in the 9th inning.

Another sweep, their 10th consecutive win on the road (an L.A. Dodger record), and a perfect 6-0 since the All-Star break. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again … it seems like they just can’t lose at this point. Every game, no matter the obstacle (three costly errors in yesterday’s game, for example), they find a way to win and win big. Oh my goodness.

Even Charlie Steiner’s jinxes can’t stop these guys!

Standings copyWe’re No. 1! We’re No. 1!

Us Dodger fans haven’t been able to say that all year, until now. As I write, just 2½ hours before the Dodgers start their second game against Toronto, the Blue Crew is in first place. Last night, they mopped up against the Blue Jays, 14-5, for their 21st win in 26 games. At this rate, we’ll end the season with a 100-62 record. I can dig it.

Meanwhile, the Chicago Cubs beat the Diamondbacks, 4-2, so they fell behind the Dodgers by half a game. (Ordinarily I hate anything that starts with the C-word, but I’m a Cubs fan as long as they are playing the D’bags.)

This game was a blowout of a different kind. The power came from where you least expected. Five RBIs and a two-run homer by my favorite catcher, A.J. Ellis. Two doubles by Andre Ethier, who seemed to be hustling like we didn’t know he could. (He scored three runs.) And the capper came when Skip Schumaker, who before the game lamented that this could be the year he doesn’t hit any home runs, smashed an inside pitch to the right-field bleachers to drive in the Dodgers’ final three runs. “This isn’t the one!” he screamed as he raced back into the dugout with hugs and high-fives coming at him from every direction. “This isn’t the year!”

Speaking of Schumaker, he made perfectly clear his feelings on the use of performance-enhancing drugs, the Biogenesis investigation and Ryan Braun’s suspension for the rest of the season:

Dodgers utility man Skip Schumaker

Dodgers utility man Skip Schumaker

“I can’t stand it. It needs to be eliminated from the game. I have an autographed Braun jersey in my baseball room that I’ll be taking down. I don’t want my son identifying what I’ve worked so hard to get to and work so hard to have — I don’t want him comparing Braun to me.

“In my opinion, he should be suspended, lifetime ban. One strike, you’re out. It’s enough. It’s ridiculous. You’re still doing this? This guy is one of the main guys that are the face of the franchise and the face of baseball. For him to do this and maybe get caught twice already is ridiculous. … He lied. He lied to a lot of people. I was convinced, after that MVP, that he didn’t do it. I think he should hand over that MVP to Matt Kemp.

“Suspend them all. It needs to get out of baseball, so how are you going to do it? I know we have an agreement; we all agreed upon the agreement — 50, 100. I thought that was enough at the beginning of it. But apparently not. Watching him talk right now makes me sick.”

I hear ya, Skippy! Couldn’t agree more.

It’s one thing to cheat, and another thing to lie about it. But it’s a whole different ball game when your lies ruin the professional reputation of an innocent man while letting you walk away scott-free.

Well, your mendacity has caught up with you now, “MVPiece of S*#t”.

The Dodgers congratulate each other after sweeping the Nationals on Sunday.

The Dodgers congratulate each other after sweeping the Nationals on Sunday.

Wow! Other than Kemp hurting his ankle in the 9-2 finale of our series in Washington, this weekend was just about the best way the Dodgers could possibly have started the season’s second half.

The Bison went 3-4 with a homer, 3 RBIs and a walk in his return from the D.L. just in time to injure himself again. Hopefully, the ankle turn wasn’t anything serious. He might get the reputation for being made of glass.

A day after edging out the Nats, 3-1, in 10 innings on Saturday, the Blue Crew completed the sweep behind fantastic pitching by our ace, Clayton Kershaw, and super power from Kemp and Hanley Ramirez, who also went long and had 3 RBIs.

The Dodgers even had a share of 1st place for a little while, until the D’bags eked out a 3-1 win to stop the Giants from sweeping them in San Francisco. So they still have a ½-game lead over the Dodgers, who are now 50-47. Can you believe it? Three games over .500!

Keep it up, guys!

Baseball Reliquary exhibitAt the library
My photo of Ian Kennedy pitching (and losing) at Opening Day, 2010, is part of a photo exhibit organized by Terry Cannon and the Baseball Reliquary at the Pasadena Public Library, 285 E. Walnut St., Pasadena CA 91101, (626) 744-4066. Here is map.

Baseball Photo Exhibition Flyer

There’s a lot of really cool stuff in the show, which is spread out in several display cases scattered throughout the reading rooms. Check it out!