Dodgers win home run derby

If you’re crazy for the Dodgers, well tonight, they were crazy for you.

Los Angeles hit four home runs – including three in a row for the first time since 2007 – yet had no other hits while coming away with a 6-2 victory over Atlanta.

Within a quartet of pitches from Ben Sheets in the second inning, Hanley Ramirez, James Loney and Luis Cruz hit the Dodgers’ first back-to-back-to-back home runs since Hong-Chih Kuo bat-flip night, when he followed Wilson Betemit and Matt Kemp with dingers.

Then in the sixth inning, after walks to Kemp and Andre Ethier, Ramirez hit his second homer of the game on a 3-0 pitch, giving the Dodgers’ a 6-1 lead. On the roadtrip, Ramirez is 17 for 38 with a .463 on-base percentage, three home runs, 14 RBI in nine games and 28 total bases.

But before, during and after the four home runs, there were no other Dodger hits.

To my shock, two teams this year (Colorado and Baltimore) have had games with five home runs and no other hits, joining the 2004 New York Yankees as the only squads since at least 1918 to do so. The record-holders in this category are the Cleveland Indians, who hit six home runs (three by Joe Carter) with no other hits on June 24, 1989.

Nevertheless, the Dodgers tonight became only the third team in MLB history to hit four home runs and have no other hits. One of those teams was the 2002 Dodgers, who got two home runs by Shawn Green and solo shots from Eric Karros and Alex Cora off Ramon Ortiz – who still threw a complete-game victory on June 14 that year.

The Dodgers also came within one batter of winning a game without leaving any runners on base for the first time since June 1, 2002, as Bob Timmermann noted, but Loney drew a two-out, ninth-inning walk and was stranded there by Cruz.

And finally, the two teams completed the rare feat of combining for nine hits without any singles.

The effort made a winner of Aaron Harang, even though the righty began the game with a simply awful first inning. He started by walking leadoff hitter Michael Bourn on four pitches and then allowing an RBI double to Martin Prado two tosses later. Jason Heyward flew out on a 2-0 count for the first out, before bench coach and acting manager Trey Hillman decided to walk Chipper Jones intentionally. Freddie Freeman did a favor by fouling out on the first pitch he saw, but Dan Uggla walked on four straight balls to load the bases.

On a 3-2 count, David Ross struck out on a high and inside pitch to allow Harang to escape the first inning with only one run against him, despite facing seven batters and being credited with only eight strikes.

But Harang found his center of gravity after that. Though he only retired the side in order once all night, from the first inning on he held the Braves scoreless into the bottom of the seventh on two walks, two doubles, and a triple, striking out four of the last five batters he faced (capping a 115-pitch outing that featured 57 balls and 58 strikes). Randy Choate entered the game with two out, Bourn on third and Heyward at the plate. And just as people were hoping would happen Friday before the Dodgers’ that night lead was lost, Choate struck Heyward out.

The eighth inning was nearly a repeat of the first. Javy Guerra and Shawn Tolleson combined to walk the bases loaded despite the five-run lead, before the well-rested Kenley Jansen came in to strike out Friday’s hero, Juan Francisco, on three pitches.

Jansen did give up a ninth-inning home run to Prado, but retired Chipper Jones to wrap things up.

  • Anonymous

    Road Hanley is Best Hanley

    • Anonymous

       So far.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7VN5CNNJSLBZQXS3NX7DTIUTA4 jasonu

      SS Hanley is the best Hanley as well. Before tonight he was OPS’in .906 at SS this year and .873 for his career. At 3b in a much smaller sample size (373ab vs 3346) and maybe just totally random it is .766..

  • Anonymous

    Old Friend Eric Stults blew a 4-1 lead to the Giants in the 5th and it’s 5-4 Giants at PETCO heading to the 6th.

    • Anonymous

      Carlos Quentin has tied it up, of Eric Hacker (really, that’s his name) in the sixth.

      • Anonymous

        Poor Barry Zito won’t get the win.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    It’s been a very strange road trip
     
    I glad our record is so good so far 6-3
     
    Let’s win the series from ATL tomorrow and head home with a 7-3 record
     
    Remember tomorrow’s game is @ 1030 PST

  • Anonymous

    i’m to lazy to look it up right now but is it a trend for Harang to hit a wall towards the tail end of the season?, or is this a bad month for him historically? 

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    Fred Lynn: 
    “I still wake up in the middle of the night thinking about the 1975 World Series, the 1978 playoff game and 1982,” Lynn said. “I’m 60 years old, out of the game for 20 years, and those things still haunt me. When you don’t win a ring, I don’t care if you’re in the Hall of Fame, it just doesn’t feel good.”
    http://lat.ms/QcWs4M

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    Johnny Cueto is 11-0 with a 1.62 ERA in 13 day games this season.

    http://scores.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=320818217

    • Anonymous

      On average, is there a consistent advantage in MLB for either the pitchers or the hitters in day games as compared to night games?

      • Anonymous

        this is for 2012 up to yesterday, correct?

        • Anonymous

          Correct, figures per ESPN’s team batting and team pitching pages.

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    Rubby De La Rosa tonight for Rancho Cucamonga: 4 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 BB, 2 K – followed by shutout inning from Guerrier atmilb.com/QcX5v3

    • Anonymous

      Puig is 0 for 3 with a walk, and might not bat again.  This is his fifth game with RC, and could be his first without a hit.  In his previous four games, he went 7 for 16 (.438).

      Granted, this is small data, just like going 12 for 30 (.400) with 4 HR at Arizona (Rookie) was, but gee whiz, the guy has been on fire during that short period of time.  Some people questioned the signing but so far he looks like he’s for real.

    • Anonymous

      Can Rubby take Blanton’s place in the rotation for the rest of the season?  Please please please???  :)

      • Anonymous

        no kidding right! but i doubt it, it’s going to be cool watching him pitch though. :0)

    • Anonymous

      the game was 0-0 after Guerrier pitched the 5th. RC scored 2 in the top of the 6th. Garrett Gould gave up 2 in the bottom of the 6th and a 3 run homer in the 8th. RCV lost 5-2, Gould’s record 4-8. The team is in an extremely close race for a play-off spot in spite of their being in last place in the second half. They had won 6 in a row before tonight. 
      Gould is the youngest pitcher on the team just 21 last month so I’ll hope for better in the future; his stats were great last year in low A iirc.

      • Anonymous

        He was the one being offered for Carlos Lee, right?

        • Anonymous

          right

  • Anonymous

    One other oddity about tonight’s game: the Dodgers batted 1.000 with runners in scoring position!  (The only two PAs with RISP were Ethier’s walk and HanRam’s 3-run tater.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/jcpratty Jordan Pratty
  • Anonymous

    I’m sorta hoping to see some “Melkywood” signs in the left fielder bleachers on Monday night.

  • Anonymous

    Weird game – love the victory – figures Choate comes in and strikes out Heyward, huh?

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    Not a night the Angels will easily forget. 

    • Anonymous

      Could say the same for us! I think opposing pitchers might be a bit wary of us now

    • Anonymous

       Their free agent starter’s a turkey, and the bullpen could use help from FEMA.

  • Anonymous

    As Watergate taught us, it’s not the crime, it’s the coverup that gets you in more trouble.
    (Apologies for Rule 5 violation there.)

    The New York Daily News is reporting a somewhat harebrained scheme by Melky Cabrera’s agents to avoid a suspension through the creation of a phony website.

    It’s rather bizarre.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/exclusive-daily-news-uncovers-bizarre-plot-melky-cabrera-fake-website-duck-drug-suspension-article-1.1139623

    • Anonymous

       Merle Haggard has written a new song entitled “Melky Tried…”

  • Anonymous

    Programming note for those outside the L.A. area.  Today’s game will be cablecast on TBS, and tomorrow night’s game will be on ESPN.  That’s three games in a row on national cable TV!

    • Anonymous

      TBS is using Michele Smith as one of its analysts alongside John Smoltz (Ernie Johnson doing play-by-play). It’s supposed to be the first time a woman has had that role on a national baseball broadcast.

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    NPUT