Archives for posts with tag: The Times

la-sp-clayton-kershaw-shutout-20150708The plush toy of a certain “little girl” (don’t call her a cat) may have been smaller than people expected, but pitcher Clayton Kershaw made up for it with his best performance of the year last night, one that looked like the Kershaw of old, before baby and big contract took a little of the polish off.

Before the game, when the on-field hipster hosts were pushing for votes to get Kersh into the All-Star Game, my friend Liz said she wouldn’t vote for him because she wanted our ace to think about his season so far — 5-6 with a 3.03 ERA, not a bad number for a mortal, but way too high for Kershaw. (The losing record was only partly his fault, as he got virtually no run support in any of his starts.)

Liz thought Kershaw needed a timeout over the midseason break. She said, “If Kershaw pitches a no-hitter, I’ll vote for him.” (Both she and I — season ticket holders — missed his no-no last year, which we regret every day.)

But I offered this suggestion: “What if he pitches a complete-game shutout? Will you vote for him then?”

Liz thought about it, and said, “OK.” And that’s exactly what he did, beating the Phillies, 5-0, and increasing the Dodgers’ lead over the Giants and D’Backs to 5 games.

It was a beautiful thing. Even though he struck out 13 batters, Kershaw got in jams several times — two men on with no outs … guys on the corners with one out — but he and his favorite catcher, A.J. Ellis, got out of every one of them unscathed.

And speaking of A.J. Ellis, he broke out of a hitting slump big time, going 3-for-4 with a 2-run homer in the 2nd.

Get voting, Liz!

I Thought It Would Never End
The gem by Kershaw was my kind of game, unlike the slogging trudgefest two nights earlier, when I was sure we were going to see the longest regulation 9-inning game in history.

Monday’s 10-7 victory over Philadelphia fell 14 minutes shy of the longest National League game ever, thanks to the lack of a Dodgers starter for the evening. Why is the “best team money can buy” putting the ball in the hands of relievers who can’t even be trusted to win when they’re handed a lead?

There wasn’t a single 1-2-3 inning. Nearly every batter ran the count full. San Francisco started their game after us, and were finished losing before we had an out in the top of the 6th. The 7th-innning stretch came at 10:27.

Then, in the top of the 9th, with a 10-7 lead, Kenley Jansen walked the first batter and gave up a single to the second, putting the tying run at the plate. I figured he still wanted to try for the record, but he was just teasing the 50 or so fans still in the stadium, and the final out came 4 hours and 13 minutes after first pitch.

Back-to-Back Home RunsNot only did Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez hit back-to-back home runs in the 9th inning today (the first time for any Dodgers this season), but they won, believe it or not, for the second time in a row. Wow! That constitutes a string for this team.

The two dingers lifted the Dodgers out of a 1-1 tie just in time to call in Kenley Jansen to save the thing. So a 6-1 win Saturday, and a 3-1 victory Sunday, that makes a great weekend, even if it means a split series and no ground gained in the standings. At least no ground was lost, either, right? (I’m trying to make lemonade out of the lemons we have all been handed as Dodger fans, all right?)

This little boy’s impassioned 5th-grade graduation speech brought tears to my eyes. (Thank you, Bill Plaschke, for sharing.)

I used to have that blind faith in my team, and I wish I could see them with blinders on again.

Yesterday, we won the night game of a doubleheader, 6-0, but that day game was very depressing. We could have won it, too, were it not for the bonehead mistakes of one Ronald Belisario. My unhappiness with No. 51’s ineptitude is getting tiresome, so I won’t dwell.

Oh yeah, one more thing, Go Dodgers!