Apr 16

No cause to replay Sunday’s ninth inning

A debate about Sunday’s triple play has been launched by this Dave Cameron column at Fangraphs. You can read the comments there to see it unfold.

Cameron argues that Major League Baseball should step in and order the game to be replayed from the moment umpire Dale Scott appeared to signal a foul ball on Jesus Guzman’s ill-fated bunt. His two main points: The call was different from the typical blown umpire’s call, and its effect on the outcome of the game could have affect this year’s playoff races.

I’m a friend and fan of Cameron’s, but we don’t see eye-to-eye on this at all — and I’d feel the same way if the call had gone the opposite way. (Longtime readers will be familiar with my live-and-let-live approach to on umpire rulings.) It was at best a confusing play, at worst an incorrect one, but in the end, one of those things that we live with every day in baseball.

Here’s my longest statement in the comments:

Even if Scott had been perfect on the play, did you see how fast Ellis picks up the ball and fires to third? The Dodgers certainly get two outs on the play (third and first) if not the out at second as well. Dale Scott did not keep the Padres from having a bases-loaded situation.

That said, the result isn’t the thing that determines my opinion on this. I realize the issue is Dave’s contention that the play should be dead from the moment the arms were waved (assuming that’s even something in the rule book – I’m not sure if it is or isn’t). However, the umpires huddled, discussed the play and made a decision. At that point, it’s in the books unless it’s protested and the protest is upheld.

If the Padres protested the call, I’m not aware of it.

I think the whole pinning the fate of the playoffs on this call is part of what’s off base in this column. Because there are so many bad calls that affect wins and losses, the idea that this one in particular needs to be addressed to save the integrity of the postseason, even given the play’s unusual genesis, is melodrama defined. Dave is basically arguing that the Dodgers have a tainted win, despite the fact that there would probably have been at least two outs on the play had it been called without drama and despite the fact that the Dodgers scored in the bottom of the ninth. He’s making a pretty massive leap. Do you think there won’t be a bad call against the Dodgers this year that costs them a game?

It was an unusual play that might have hurt the Padres, but they had the rest of the game to overcome it, just like the Dodgers did in the season opener when Dee Gordon was incorrectly called out for stealing, and in Game 2 when Ethier was incorrectly called out at home.

If the umpires had decided to rule foul ball on the field, based on Scott’s arm-waving, I wouldn’t have had a problem with that at all.

But the idea that MLB should step in on this play today, after the umpires had time to discuss it and after the Padres deemed it unworthy of protest – something, with the mid-inning break, they had ample opportunity to do — just doesn’t hold water.

Apr 16

Scully reminisces about ‘Public Enemy No. 1′

Vin Scully came back to the ballpark Sunday in first-rate storytelling mode. This morning, Sons of Steve Garvey passed along this big Jackie Robinson anecdote.And in the midst of Clayton Kershaw’s sixth-inning struggles Sunday, Scully talked about one of my favorite memories.

“You know when Clayton Kershaw really got my attention?” Scully began. “I don’t know that it’s a big deal that it got my attention – I don’t mean that, but it’s just something that I will forever have in my mind when I hear his name.

“It was an exhibition game, in Vero Beach. … And it was just one of those games, and here was this kid lefthander named Clayton Kershaw. And he had two strikes on a veteran left-hand hitter by the name of Sean Casey. Remember Sean Casey? Good hitter – Cincinnati Reds, later on went on to the American League. Casey came up …

“Kershaw threw maybe the greatest single pitch I’ve ever seen. It was just such a great big overhand curveball at just that moment. I’ve never forgotten it. And every time I’ve come to see Clayton pitch, I’ll always remember Sean Casey — frozen. I mean the players laughed, not really at Casey, but just the inability of anybody to hit that pitch.”

Here’s the audio (clumsily recorded by me) that goes with it: Vin on “Public Enemy No. 1.”

* * *

  • It was far from inevitable that baseball would integrate had Jackie Robinson not succeeded in the big leagues, writes Keith Olbermann at Baseball Nerd.
  • At the Hardball Times, Chris Jaffe recalls Burt Hooton on the 40th anniversary of his no-hitter. (Without meaning to single Jaffe out, he also perpetuates one of the odd things about Hooton – I’m not sure I’ve seen a player – including Doug Mientkiewicz – who had his name more frequently misspelled by so many writers.)

    … As April 16, 1972, came to an end, Hooten had pitched 30.2 IP in his career and only allowed eight hits. Yes, only eight.

    It’s actually a bit more extreme than even that implies. In June of 1971, Hooten came up for a cup-of-coffee start and couldn’t get out of the fourth inning. He allowed three runs in 3.2 innings on five walks and three hits. In his next three starts, Hooten tossed three complete games, allowing a total of five hits. Yeah, that’ll get people’s attention.

    The second and third starts came in September of 1971. In his second start, Hooten allowed only three hits while striking out 15 batters. That tied the Cubs all-time franchise record for punchouts in a game. Oh, and those three hits allowed? They all came late in the game. Hooten went 6.2 innings with a no-hitter intact.

    In his next turn, Hooten pitched a two-hitter for his first career shutout. There was no flirting with a no-hitter, as Bud Harrelson led off the game with a single, but it’s still five hits allowed over two games. Many fine pitchers never did that in their careers.

    But the main event was April 16, 1972….

  • Jaffe also has a story about the peculiar career arc of former Dodger manager Jim Tracy.
Apr 15

Oh, the insanity! Triple play leads to Dee-day, Dodger hooray

www.ajellisfacts.tumblr.com

Runners were on first and second with none out in a tie game in the top of the ninth when Javy Guerra threw a pitch so far inside that it nearly hit Don Mattingly in the Dodger dugout.

Jesus Guzman, attempting to bunt, tried to get out of the way, but instead of turning his back and earning a trip to first base the hard way, he kept his bat out – and the ball found a spot in between his hands on the wood. It landed on the dirt just behind home plate, and as umpire Dale Scott began gesticulating, it rolled fair.

The most underrated player in baseball in 2012, A.J. Ellis, picked up the ball the moment it went fair and fired it down to Juan Uribe at third base, starting an around-the-horn triple play that showed, with incredible authority, that Guerra absolutely has the stuff to dominate the ninth inning.

It also kept the Dodgers alive on an afternoon in which Clayton Kershaw had some rare struggles, alive long enough for Dee Gordon to single in the game-winning run with two out in the bottom of the ninth for a 5-4 victory over the Padres.

The Dodgers have won six games in a row and still have baseball’s best record at 9-1. (Milwaukee lost today, ensuring that the Dodgers will go at least another three games before playing a team whose record is above .500. )

Matt Kemp hit his sixth homer in the season’s first 10 games and had hits in his first three at-bats to raise his batting average at one point to .500. Andre Ethier drove in his 15th run of the season, and Juan Rivera had two RBI. Thanks largely to their contributions, the Dodgers led 4-1 after three innings.

But Kershaw wasn’t his untouchable self today, allowing seven hits in the first five innings (and an unearned run thanks to a third-inning Gordon error) before walking the bases loaded in the sixth. A one-out, RBI single by Orlando Hudson ended Kershaw’s day, and a two-run single by Jeremy Hermida off Josh Lindblom handed the defending Cy Young Award winner his third straight no-decision to start 2012.

Los Angeles, which ultimately left 15 runners on base – including the three celebrating the victory after Gordon’s hit – nearly scored the go-ahead run in the sixth inning (when Ethier struck out with two on), seventh inning (when Gordon struck out with three on) and eighth inning (when Kemp’s no-out near-single was turned into a double play by Hudson, who was covering second because Mark Ellis was running).

Gordon hadn’t exactly been having the best day, though he had stolen two bases (giving him an MLB-high seven on the year) and made a fine running catch in left-center in the eighth. But he went with the last pitch he saw in the ninth and hit it sharply into left field, ending all the drama except for whether his small frame would survive the mammoth Kemp-led dogpile.

Matt Guerrier, Kenley Jansen and Guerra combined for three shutout innings to keep the Dodgers close after their lead went away.

A.J. Ellis went 0 for 2 but walked three times to give him eight on the season (in eight games), tied for fourth in the National League. And he also had the presence of mind to start the game-saving triplet-killing.

I was at the game for the Dodgers’ last triple play at Dodger Stadium, on June 13, 1998, and that also came on an attempted bunt and was just about as bizarre. From 100 Things Dodgers:

Kurt Abbott of Colorado popped up a bunt attempt – enough to freeze teammates Jamey Wright and Neifi Perez on first and second base (the infield fly rule can’t be called on bunts). Pitcher Darrren Dreifort let the ball drop, and then the throws went from Dreifort to shortstop Jose Vizcaino to force Perez, then to Eric Young at first base to retire Abbott, and finally across the diamond to Bobby Bonilla at third base to tag out Wright. The ol’ 1-6-4-5.

Apr 15

Look out – Vinny’s back in town

Vin Scully on his way to the broadcast booth Sunday at Dodger Stadium. © Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Padres at Dodgers, 1:10 p.m.
Kershaw CXIX: Kershawstakovich
Dee Gordon, SS
Mark Ellis, 2B
Matt Kemp, CF
Andre Ethier, RF
Juan Rivera, LF
James Loney, 1B
Juan Uribe, 3B
A.J. Ellis, C
Clayton Kershaw, P

I feel privileged that I’ll be able to be home in front of the TV set today to see Vin Scully’s return to Dodger Stadium.

J.P Hoornstra of the Daily News has a quick blog post chronicling Scully’s reunion with the media this morning.

… “As God as my judge, I did not sleep one wink Saturday night,” Scully said, while sitting in the Vin Scully Press Box as the Dodgers took batting practice on the field below.

“You try not to cough because you know when you’re going to cough, you’re going to become hoarse. So I packed the pillows up to try and prevent myself from coughing. Well I cut down on the coughing but I packed the pillows up so much that I wasn’t sleeping. I went to the ballpark [a week ago] Sunday and I thought, ‘oh, Lord, if I can somehow get through this one.’ We did the game, [Chase] Headley hit the grand slam home run, the Dodgers lost the game and I went home and I was done. I could not have done anything from then on, almost until today.”

The bad cold that forced the 84-year-old broadcaster to miss the Dodgers’ first five home games of the season is gone, and Scully will be calling today’s game against the San Diego Padres on Prime Ticket.

It is Jackie Robinson Day, a fitting day for Scully to return, but more importantly it’s a day game.

“The doctors kept telling me if you go and it’s cold you could easily have a relapse or, more importantly, in your weakened condition you could pick up something else and then you’re really in trouble,” he said. “So that’s why I stayed away.” …

Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A. has more on Twitter, which I expect he’ll compile into a blog post shortly.

Apr 15

Crazy stats from a crazy start

It’s been weird. Just how weird? Check it out …

With two hits Saturday, James Loney has a positive OPS+ for the first time this year: 12. Just for fun: If you add together the OPS+ for the Dodger infield, you get 174, which is less than the OPS+ of Andre Ethier (201). And if you tally the infield plus Juan Rivera, the sum of those five OPS+ is less than that of Matt Kemp (300).

Kemp has 15 RBI in the Dodgers’ first nine games. “The only other Dodger with 15 or more RBI in his team’s first nine games is Hall-of-Famer Roy Campanella, who had 16 in 1953,” notes the Elias Sports Bureau (via ESPN Stats and Information).

Mark Ellis is the only Dodger starting infielder with an OPS over .500. Dee Gordon has gone 2 for 20 with two walks and two steals in his past six games. His OPS has fallen to .498.

Off the bench, Jerry Hairston Jr. is 4 for 12 with a double and two walks this year.

Overall, the Dodger infield has a .577 OPS with one home run in 161 at-bats – and that’s if you include catcher A.J. Ellis. Ellis is the only Dodger besides Ethier and Kemp to homer in the team’s first nine games.

The Dodgers are 8-1 despite their leadoff batters for their 79 offensive innings having a .241 on-base percentage and .243 slugging (.484 OPS). In contrast, the Dodgers’ OPS with two out is .817. With runners in scoring position, the Dodgers have a .429 OBP and .507 slugging (.936 OPS).

And quickly turning to the pitchers: The Dodgers’ team WHIP (walks plus hits/divided by innings pitched) in 82 innings is 1.037, and they have 9.7 strikeouts per nine innings. Only seven individuals had better figures in 2011: Justin Verlander, Clayton Kershaw, Cole Hamels, Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, Josh Beckett and Cliff Lee. And only Zack Greinke and Brandon Morrow had better K/9s last year.

Opponents are batting .189 against the Dodgers this year.

The Dodgers have used 13 pitchers this year. Two of the 13, Mike MacDougal and Jamey Wright, have ERAs between 1.00 and 5.00.

Who, by the way, would have thought the Dodgers would have eight wins before Kershaw got his first?

Each of the past two years, as well as 2006, it took the Dodgers 17 games to win eight. In 2008, a postseason year, it took the Dodgers 19 games to win eight. Of course, the 2005 Dodgers started 12-2 before finishing 71-91.

Apr 14

Let the 2012 Matt Kemp Triple Crown Watch begin*

Pirates at Dodgers, 6:10 p.m.

(Padres starter Joe Wieland is making his major-league debut. The 22-year-old had a 1.80 ERA in Double-A last year.)

Dee Gordon, SS
Tony Gwynn Jr., LF
Matt Kemp, CF
Andre Ethier, RF
James Loney, 1B
Jerry Hairston Jr., 2B
Adam Kennedy, 3B
Matt Treanor, C
Ted Lilly, P

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*No offense to Andre Ethier.

* * *

Vin Scully is set to return to the Dodger broadcast booth Sunday. Hooray, I say!

* * *

Todd Coffey has indeed gone on the disabled list to make room on the roster for Ted Lilly (and preserve Josh Lindblom’s roster spot).

Apr 14

A journey to ‘Harvard Park’


Shawn Coyne is a part-time filmmaker and full-time baseball fan that served as head researcher, interviewer, 2nd assistant director and mastermind along with his brother, director Bryan Coyne on the upcoming documentary Harvard Park, about the South Central Los Angeles park that was the sports birthplace of major leaguers including Eric Davis and Darryl Strawberry. It premieres Sunday (Jackie Robinson Day) on BET at 11 a.m.

Shawn Coyne is also a longtime reader of Dodger Thoughts, and I was happy to turn some space over to him to discuss the project. Enjoy …

Continue reading

Apr 14

More notes from Friday’s frolic

A.J. Ellis shows the ball used for the ninth consecutive strikeout thrown by pitcher Aaron Harang. © Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Kenley Jansen was apparently the latest Dodger to play with the flu, according to Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com.

… Jansen has been battling a mild case of flu in recent days, which could have accounted for the velocity drop.

“I’ve been battling the flu, but that’s not an excuse at all,” Jansen said. “You still have to make good pitches and keep us in the game and try to help the team win. That is what it’s all about.”

Both manager Don Mattingly and pitching coach Rick Honeycutt noticed the slight dropoff, but neither seemed alarmed by it. Honeycutt said it might have been due to the cold weather or illness. Mattingly said it might have been the difference in the eighth inning and the ninth, which almost anyone in baseball agrees is fairly huge except for the pitchers who actually pitch in those innings.

“It doesn’t feel any different,” Jansen said. “You have to treat the eighth inning just like it’s the ninth inning, just come in and get the job done.”

But catcher A.J. Ellis said Jansen did seem a bit out of sorts at the beginning of the inning, when he walked the first batter, Chris Denorfia.

“He was a little more tentative than I have seen him,” Ellis said. “But after that first batter, he was definitely locked back in. He came right back to strike out the next two batters on six straight pitches. Chase Headley is a good hitter, a three-hole hitter in the National League, and that pitch ended up over the middle of the plate.”

Jansen was trying to throw it in on Headley, but said it ran back over the middle. At any rate, the hope is that the velocity drop was a one-time thing — although he gave up a double to Yonder Alonso after Headley’s home run, Jansen still looked pretty unhittable in striking out the three batters he did. If it continues, though, it could become a source of alarm. …

Jackson also noted, as Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A. did late Friday, the possibility of Todd Coffey going to the disabled list with a hobo knee. (That’s like a bum knee, only with a different word for bum.)

Also, bullpen coach Ken Howell is getting treatement for his diabetes, and will be replaced for the time being by organization pitching coordinator Jim Slaton.

* * *

Some more notes from Aaron Harang’s amazing night, from Elias Sports Bureau via ESPN Stats & Information:

… Three other pitchers had nine straight strikeouts in one game: Mickey Welch in 1884 (the first year in which overhand pitching was permissible), Jake Peavy in 2007 and Ricky Nolasco in 2009.

Harang tied the major-league record by recording nine strikeouts through the first three innings.

Two other players have done it, only one in the “Modern Era”:
Mickey Welch, NY Giants, August 28, 1884
Don Wilson, Houston, July 14, 1968 (G2)

Harang tied his career high with 13 strikeouts and is the first Dodgers pitcher in the last 90 seasons to have at least 13 strikeouts in a game and pitch fewer than seven innings. The last pitcher on any team to do it was Yovani Gallardo last year.

The last pitcher with exactly 13 strikeouts on Friday the 13th was Dwight Gooden on June 13, 1986 for the Mets against the Pirates.

* * *

Bryan Stow’s 13-year-old son Tyler threw out the first pitch before the Giants’ home opener, reports The Associated Press, while Bryan himself appeared on the stadium videoboard.

Giovanni Ramirez, who was mistakenly accused of beating Stow, attended his first Dodger game Tuesday, according to KCAL via the Huffington Post.

* * *

Despite what became a tumultuous hearing, federal bankruptcy court approved the sale of the Dodgers by Frank McCourt to the Guggenheim group. Bill Shaikin of the Times has all the details.

Here’s one excerpt:

… The settlement includes confidential provisions about how the league could treat revenue from a Dodgers-owned regional sports network, Bennett said. He declined to elaborate, but the provisions are believed to limit how much of the Dodgers’ television proceeds must be shared with other teams via revenue sharing.

Those conditions — and the ability of the mediator to enforce them regardless of what Selig might say — represented what Guggenheim attorney Michael Small called a “substantial component of the value proposition of the transaction.”

Guggenheim agreed to pay $2.15 billion — a record price for a sports franchise — to buy the Dodgers and half-ownership of the Dodger Stadium parking lots. McCourt, who did not have to sell the land under his settlement with MLB, gets to retain half-ownership.

“We really are concerned about the parking lot situation,” Lauria said.

Lauria said that Walter had pledged to MLB owners that he would not buy the Dodgers unless Guggenheim controlled 16,500 surface-level parking spaces — that is, no parking structures. Once the sale was announced, however, Lauria said Guggenheim refused to provide any details about how the joint venture to own the parking lots would work.

The Dodgers submitted some of those details under seal this week, and attorneys for the Los Angeles Times had asked Gross to compel the team to release the details publicly. The Dodgers instead withdrew the document and said they would release it at a later date, although Bennett said Friday the team’s lease for the lots would be extended from 25 years to 99 years. …

Apr 13

Dodgers blow lead but walk off (literally) with victory, 9-8

The blown lead avoided becoming a nightmare. Tied 8-8 in the bottom of the ninth, with two out …

Mark Ellis walked. (He stole second.)

Matt Kemp walked.

James Loney walked. (Joe Thatcher then replaced Andrew Cashner.)

Andre Ethier walked.

And just like that, the Dodgers won the game, 9-8, running their record to 7-1. What a night – the craziest Dodger-Padre game since the 4+1 game. Instead of four homers in the bottom of the ninth, we had four walks.

It was the Dodgers’ first walk-off walk since May 23, 2009 … when Juan Pierre, of all people, did it. On June 3, 2003, the Dodgers won a game in the bottom of the ninth with a hit batter and three walks. They had three straight walks to end a game on September 26, 1989. I can’t find a game dating back to 1973 that ended with four straight Dodgers drawing walks.

Unfortunately, I’m bringing my kids to the game Saturday, so the four-game winning streak will probably end. But hey, new streak Sunday!

Dodger pitchers struck out 18, tying a team record for a nine-inning game last matched the night Ramon Martinez did it all by himself against the Braves on June 4, 1990.

The team record for extra innings is 22, in a 2-1 19-inning loss to the Reds on August 8, 1972.

Dodger pitchers have 81 strikeouts in 73 innings this season: 9.99 strikeouts per nine innings.

Update: “After the game Don Mattingly said Todd Coffey has been getting treatment on his knee,” tweeted Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A. A disabled list trip for Coffey could keep Josh Lindblom on the roster where he belongs, instead of him going down to the minors to make room for Saturday starter Ted Lilly.

Hopefully, we don’t find out that Kenley Jansen is hurt. The last time Jansen blew a save, on May 23, he was headed to the disabled list one outing later.

Apr 13

People, please act like you’ve seen baseball before

Is it asking so much?

Kenley Jansen’s pitching stats since June 1, going into tonight: 37 2/3 innings, 138 batters, 13 hits, four runs allowed, one home run, 12 walks, 69 strikeouts, four saves in four opportunities, 0 of 11 inherited runners scored, 0.96 ERA.

Some of the reaction on Twitter after Jansen struck out two batters, then gave up a game-tying home run tonight:

@culverfan he’s not a ninth inning guy. it’s upstairs

@DodgerBaseball2 Jansen is not a closer, not his fault Mattingly has got to stick with what works

@DRMustang22 Jansen proves again that he is not ready to be a closer. Mattingley blew it unless Javy is injured or something.

@TK0N Kenley Jansen about to be reassigned to AAA Albuquerque.

@JesRey7 Send Kenley Jansen to the minors #KeepJameyWright

@kingofbbqs Jansen blows it like the ol’ broxton days …take his ass out

Maybe Jansen didn’t have his best velocity tonight, but can people ever not overreact? Just to be clear, this was his first blown save in nearly one year.

And also to be clear, I’m not calling for Jansen to be the closer. I like that he’s not the closer. But not because I don’t think he “has it upstairs.”

Apr 13

Harang sets Dodger record with nine straight strikeouts

Aaron Harang gave up a leadoff single to Cameron Maybin, then fanned the next nine batters tonight against the Padres to break the Dodgers’ record for consecutive strikeouts set 49 years and nine months ago by Johnny Podres on July 2, 1962.

Harang needs to strike out Will Venable in the fourth inning to tie Tom Seaver for the major-league record and needs to fan Chase Headley to break it.

A strikeout in the fourth would also get Harang halfway to the MLB record for strikeouts in a nine-inning game held by Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson and Kerry Wood. The Dodger record for strikeouts in a game is 18, held by Sandy Koufax and Ramon Martinez.

The Dodgers, meanwhile, have parlayed an error, a two-run infield single (!) by Mark Ellis, walks to Matt Kemp and Juan Rivera and a broken-bat two-run single by Andre Ethier for four runs in the bottom of the third – great for the team, maybe not so great for Harang’s groove.

The Dodgers, meanwhile, have parlayed an error, a two-run infield single (!) by Mark Ellis, walks to Matt Kemp and Juan Rivera and a broken-bat two-run single by Andre Ethier (who now leads the majors with 12 RBI) for four runs in the bottom of the third – great for the team, maybe not so great for Harang’s groove.

Update: Well, you could almost see that coming after Harang sat in the dugout for so long. Starting the fourth, Venable hit a 3-1 pitch for an opposite field home run to left field. Harang gave up two more runs in the fourth before notching his 10th strikeout – but the Dodgers came back with four more runs in the bottom of the fourth, capped by Kemp’s two-run homer, for an 8-3 lead.

Update 2: Harang struck out one in a perfect fifth and two in a perfect sixth to tie his career high with 13 strikeouts. He has thrown 97 pitches.

Remember, Harang threw six no-hit innings at his last Dodger Stadium appearance, pitching for the Padres on July 9. So if you could ignore the fourth inning tonight, Harang would have allowed one hit with 19 strikeouts in his past 11 innings at Dodger Stadium.

D.J. Short of Hardball Talk notes that Harang, who led the National League in strikeouts in 2006, had gone 44 straight starts before tonight without fanning nine in a game.

Update 3: After giving up a one-out walk in the seventh inning on his 109th pitch, Harang’s night ends with 6 1/3 innings, four hits, two walks and 13 strikeouts. Reliever Todd Coffey gave up consecutive hits to allow a fourth run to score off Harang, whose season ERA slivered from 6.23 before the game to 5.91.

Update 4: Josh Lindblom put out the fire set by Harang, Coffey and Scott Elbert, retiring all three batters he faced in the eighth inning to protect an 8-6 lead. With Javy Guerra scheduled for a night off after saving three games in a row, Kenley Jansen came in for the ninth. He gave up a walk, struck out the next two … and then, one out from victory, surrendered a game-tying home run to Headley.

Jansen then gave up a double to Yonder Alonso off yonder outfield wall. Jeremy Hermida was intentionally walked, but Orlando Hudson struck out to end the ninth inning.


Apr 13

Kuroda goes eight shutout innings in Yankee Stadium opener

I’ve probably never been happier over a Yankee win. Hiroki Kuroda pitched eight shutout innings, allowing five hits, two walks and striking out six before 49,386 at the Bronx Bombers’ home opener today, a 5-0 victory over the Angels.

Kuroda didn’t allow a hit after Peter Bourjos’ fifth-inning single until an infield single by Bobby Abreu in the ninth on the former Dodger’s 109th pitch, after which Kuroda left the game to a standing ovation. A highlight was a called strike three against Angel slugger Albert Pujols in the sixth.

I’ll always be a fan, Hiroki. Good for you.

Apr 13

The ultimate Dodger Stadium ‘Don’t try this at home’ moment

Via Kevin Kaduk at Big League Stew:

… Showing that he can rely on the elements in any situation, television survivalist Bear Grylls lit a baseball on fire before throwing it for the Los Angeles Dodgers’ first pitch on Thursday night. Why the “Man Vs. Wild” star did this is anybody’s guess, but it was worth it just to see Dodgers catcher Matt Treanor squirm behind the plate. …