Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Dodgers lose Kemp, win game, confuse fans, and run bases in unusual manner

This pinch-hit Dodger Thoughts post is dedicated to Dave Hansen.

After having nearly nothing go right for them in Friday’s 5-2 loss to the Giants, the Dodgers, despite their best efforts, pulled out a 3-2 win over the Giants Saturday afternoon at AT&T Park. And now they are back to where they were Friday afternoon, 4 1/2 games behind the Giants.

It looked like it would be a game like just about every other game the Dodgers played this week when the Dodgers failed to score in the first after getting the leadoff man and then the Giants pushed across a run with three hits to take a 1-0 lead. Chris Capuano looked to be headed for yet another disappointing start.

Then, Capuano started mowing down Giants hitters, retiring 12 in a row at one point.

Still, there was the small matter of the Dodgers scoring runs off of Matt Cain. The Dodgers hadn’t been able to score much off of anybody. And Matt Kemp was out of the lineup with a sore shoulder that required an MRI.

The luck then started to change a bit for the Dodgers. Gregor Blanco reached first on a bunt single in the fifth, although replays indicated he was out. Cain sacrificed Blanco to second. Blanco then took off for third seeing the base uncovered, but AJ Ellis hustled up the line to take the return throw and tag Blanco. Who was called out. We’ll leave it at that.

Capuano had a one-out single in the sixth. Mark Ellis singled Capuano over to third. With the Dodgers in desperate need of either a sacrifice fly or a wild pitch, they got the former. Shane Victorino’s fly ball to center was plenty deep enough to score Capuano to tie the game.

But, like a typical Dodgers-Giants game, it would not be easy the rest of the way. Buster Posey led off the seventh with a double off of Capuano. Hunter Pence sacrificed Posey to third. Brandon Belt then belted the ball, but right at Capuano’s glove. Instead of line out, it turned in to a 1-3 ground out and Posey scored to make it 2-1 Giants.

The Dodgers got up off the deck in the eighth however. Juan Rivera hit a drive to right that Pence fielded like a guy who is new to AT&T Park. Rivera ended up at second with a double. AJ Ellis sacrificed Rivera over to third, and then Rivera departed for pinch runner Alex Castellanos.

Don Mattingly then called on Bobby Abreu to bat for Capuano. With Adam Kennedy likely done for the year, the Dodgers choices for pinch hitters from the left side, pretty much begin and end with him. (Unless you really like Nick Punto, who is a switch hitter.)

With visions of a 1997 Eddie Murray batting against Rod Beck, Dodgers fans hoped for a sacrifice fly or a wild pitch. This time, they got the latter. Cain’s ball four pitch to Abreu went to the backstop to allow Castellanos to score the tying run, making Charlie Steiner go crazy on radio and starting Rick Monday on a scolding lecture of Posey’s pitch-blocking technique.

The Giants got two on with two outs in the eighth against Ronald Belisario, but Pence fanned to end the inning.

Now, the stage was set for one of the Dodgers most exciting and annoying innings of the season. Adrian Gonzalez hit a drive to deep right that was so far away that even he could get a triple. Hanley Ramirez doubled to give the Dodgers a 3-2 lead. Then, on a ball four to Andre Ethier, Ramirez tried to steal third. He was … not safe. With Luis Cruz up, Ethier tried to steal second. He was … not safe. The Dodgers took a 3-2 lead into the ninth.

Enter Brandon League, the Dodgers closer du jour. He retired Joaquin Arias and Belt, but then gave up a double to Blanco. Pinch hitter Hector Sanchez had a chance to make the Dodgers day miserable. Sanchez hit a line drive, but it ended up in Cruz’s glove, and, for a day, the Dodgers had moved their NL West pennant status from “grave” to “critical.”

The race for the second wild card spot is still going on. The Pirates are playing the Cubs and the Cardinals are taking on the Brewers as this is being posted.

Sunday evening the Dodgers turn to Clayton Kershaw to give them a series win and a level of hope that is slightly above that of “glimmer.” Barry Zito will pitch for the Giants. ESPN will carry the game, so expect lots of discussion about how Terry Francona got along with Josh Beckett and Adrian Gonzalez.

Update: Dylan Hernandez of the Times tweets that Kemp is out with shoulder inflammation and a fraying of the labrum. He may return to the lineup Tuesday.



Series of Great Import Part II Game Chat


Happy Koufax Day!


  1. Anonymous

    >> With Juan Cruz up, Ethier tried to steal second.

    Who was up???  Don’t you mean Luis Rivera? :)

  2. Anonymous

    >> the Dodgers, despite their best efforts, pulled out a 3-2 win


    I like this btimmer guy…

    • KT

      I like the part: “Who was called out. We’ll leave it at that.” talking about the AJ play at third.
      I personally believe it was the baseball gods setting things right

  3. Anonymous

    I would say from “life support” to “grave.” But going in the right direction, at least for today!

  4. Anonymous

    Reading this recap was more fun than watching the game.

  5. KT

    Cubbies up 3-2 in the 5th
    Stl down 3-1 in the 4th

  6. Anonymous

    A.J. could give the Poseur a tutorial on swipe tags.

  7. This sounds a little worse than it is, but it isn’t exactly great news…

    MLB ‏@MLBINJURY UPDATE: @Dodgers OF @TheRealMattKemp out until at least Tuesday with frayed labrum and inflammation in bruised left shoulder.

    –At least they DID win today, even if there were goofups and near heart attacks. I wouldn’t mind a frickin’ 10-0 win for once.

    • Anonymous

       Sounds like maybe an arthroscopic cleanup in the off season. At least it’s not his throwing shoulder.

  8. Marty Lurie, a benign Giants homer, er, historian who does some pre and post game shows, said, re the Dodgers baserunning today, “The Giants are playing like they have GPS on all the time, they know what they’re doing and what the other team is doing. The Dodgers are playing like they’re on a country road, don’t know which direction they’re going, and it’s getting dark.”

    This sounds really clever–and hard to disagree with him about HanRam’s baserunning in 9th tonight–but I think it’s kind of an obnoxious and leaky analogy.  You’d also thought Giants had won today after listening to this part for a few minutes. 
    Still, some frustrating mistakes on the paths, no doubt. I think HanRam’s was the most egregious, the others were just great throws from Posey and possibly a botched hit and run in one case. Dodgers also hit and run at least one other time today that kept them out of a DP. 

  9. KT

    MacD gone after 6 2/3 in Pitt. losing 3-2 with runner on 2nd & 3rd

  10. Anonymous

    Does the wild card game take place at the home of the higher-seeded wild card team?

  11. KT

    Castro allows a two out error to a runner in scoring position…next batter hits one off the scoreboard to tie the game at 3

    • Anonymous

      I told you, don’t ever count on the Cubs to win, and you won’t be disappointed.

  12. Blue-eyed Gal

    I think the weird baserunning was indicative of the Dodger situation right now: Wiley E. Coyote has run a few feet over the edge of the cliff, and he’s not making much progress, but he hasn’t entirely digested the fact that his #2 and #3 pitchers, closer, and Kemp are all on the DL or should be.

    It remains to be seen whether he can get back onto solid ground before gravity asserts itself. At which point we’d better strap on the ACME rocket. 

    Speaking of which, should we expect to see Lily again this year? And would it be wise, since he’s been on the shelf so much of the season? He was so good before he went down.

  13. KT

    Dejesus hits a 2 out single with runners on 1st and second to put the cubbies up 4-3

  14. Anonymous

    Love the retelling of the game in this thread. I caught the last inning on the radio and was amazed by the almost catch in left field in the ninth. Wow. Wow. Wow. Clayton needs to come up strong! Ds just need to settle down and win one, followed by another and the next thing, viola, a freakin’ winning streak!!!

  15. Anonymous

    Isn’t this the point when the Cubs usually bring in Carlos Marmol to blow the game?

  16. KT

    Samardzija with the cubs 1st complete game this season…Cubbies beat the pirates4-3…His last game of the season also his 1st mlb complete game

  17. Anonymous

    Hey, now we’re all alone in third place for the wild card!

    Unfortunately, although the Cards are down by 2, they have runners at second and third with no outs in the bottom of the eighth.

  18. KT

    Cards now trail 4-3 bottom of the 8th 1 out man on second

  19. Anonymous

    I happened to check the AA Chattanooga game when it was 2 outs in the top of the 9th with the Lookouts at home winning 1-0.  They won to make the games 1-2 in the 5 game series. Chris Reed started giving up a hit and a walk in the first inning then 1-2-3 in the next two. He was replaced by 23yo LH Onelki Garcia our other Cuban. Garcia struck out 3 in a row on 11 pitches in his first inning then 4 more in the next 2 while giving up only a walk. And, the walk was erased by a CS. He was followed by 22yo Juan Dominguez who allowed a single in 2 innings striking out his first 2 batters but no others. Chattanooga scored on back-to-back doubles in the 8th and Steven Ames, the 24yo team closer gave up a single but K’ed 2 in the 9th for the win.

  20. KT

    Cards going to top of 9 trailing 4-3

  21. Anonymous

    Been otherwise occupied, what happened to Adam Kennedy?

  22. KT

    5-3 brewers as ramirez hit one out

  23. KT

    6-3 Brewers

  24. Anonymous

    Fraying sounds terrible but Im not a doctor. Wonder if it will affect his swing?

    • KT

      my fraying only affected my throwing and I had a 12-6 tear/fraying…actually had 3 surgeries each on both shoulders and it took a hip replacement to take out my swing

      • Anonymous

        I read a quote from Pete Reiser where he said it was the shoulder injury that affected him more than the concussions. Good news then for Matty.

        • KT

          I just read something ontwitter that said matt said MRI is just inflamation

  25. KT

    Cards lose 6-3 we are now back .5 of the last wild card spot

  26. Anonymous

    The Brewers are now 5 back of the Cardinals. The DBacks could move to 5 1/2 back if they hold on.

  27. KT

    BT, I have a question that has been bothering me. 
    2 post ago you stated that if the Dodger went 23-0 they might not make the playoffs.
    At the time the Dodgers were 1.5 behind the cards and the cards have 24 left
    say the cards win their extra game that would put them 2 up and then we win 4 so that would put them 2 back
    Is my math correct? we would then be at least the last wild card

    • Anonymous

      The Pirates have two extra games to play and none against the Dodgers or Cardinals. It may have changed after today’s results.

  28. Anonymous

    For the second week in a row Bruins cover the spread handily – while beating a ranked and favored Nebraska team in the process.
    For the secong week in a row, Trojans fail to cover.

  29. KT

    David Vassegh‏@THEREAL_DVKemp said MRI showed just inflammation hoping to return to lineup in AZ, but we’ll see how he feels. #daytoday
    Retweeted by Los Angeles Dodgers

    • Anonymous

      Ya shoulda left it up there.  We would have been more than happy to correct you.

  30. Anonymous


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