Dodger Thoughts

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

Emotional rescue: Dodger victory a big relief but could be costly

HanleyBy Jon Weisman

In their most emotional game of 2014, the Dodgers prevailed over St. Louis on Sunday, 4-3.

It was a game in which 2013 National League Championship Series hit-by-pitch victim Hanley Ramirez was drilled two more times by Cardinal pitchers, a day after Yasiel Puig was knocked out of action by an HBP. The latest one, which came in the ninth inning that saw the Dodgers deliver the tiebreaking run, looked serious enough to sideline Ramirez himself, but we’re awaiting reports as this was being published.

Ramirez was hit by an 0-2 pitch, which is a count that I’ve always found exonerated the pitcher (in this case, Trevor Rosenthal) from intent. You’re just too close to an out, especially in a tie game in the ninth, to give up a base voluntarily. It’s the same reason that I never felt Zack Greinke was trying to hit Carlos Quentin with his 1-2 pitch in early 2013.

Many Dodger fans online might not agree. In any case, the damage the Cardinal pitchers have been inflicting in the past nine months has been fairly ridiculous, which is why you can imagine Matt Holliday couldn’t have been too surprised by Clayton Kershaw’s first HBP of the year to start the bottom of the fourth.

Kershaw, whose efforts included his first career stolen base, eliminated Holliday from the basepaths on his very next pitch, thanks to a 4-6-3 double play, and seemed thoroughly in control, taking a 3-1 lead into the bottom of the sixth. But Matt Carpenter, a thorn in his side with an 11-pitch at-bat in NLCS Game 6 last October, worked a 10-pitch walk, and the next batter, Peter Bourjos, hit a game-tying homer.

That evened the game and left Kershaw (seven innings, six hits, one walk, eight strikeouts) with a no-decision after winning eight consecutive starts. The tie was broken in the ninth by Adrian Gonzalez, who stranded two runners with two out in the seventh but this time delivered an RBI single that scored Miguel Rojas, pinch-running after A.J. Ellis led off the inning with a double.

Kenley Jansen retired the side in order on 12 pitches to close out the game.


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  1. Since the umpires were too afraid to kick out the pitcher and Matheny, hopefully the Dodgers complained to the commissioners office and some sort of penalty will come down on the Cards. Unreal that major league pitchers “unintentionally” are allowed to hit batters with pitchers hard enough to break bones multiple times with no consequences. If they can’t control throwing inside without hitting the batter, they need to go back to the minors and learn how to pitch. But I don’t by that for a minute, if these guys were that “wild” all the time, they’d hit everyone.

  2. Agree with Don’s comment. I thought that once a warning was issued, “intent” had nothing to do with what happens once another batter is hit – the pitcher (and manager) are instantly gone. The umpires were totally intimidated – they should be ashamed of themselves.

    • Jon Weisman

      A warning is only a warning. If the umpire doesn’t perceive intent, ejection is not automatic and never has been.

    • It shouldn’t matter if it’s intentional is my point. Don’t throw inside if you can’t control how far inside you throw it, you’re not a major league pitcher then.

      • Jon Weisman

        You may not be an MLB pitcher, but you haven’t broken a rule. There’s no rule against being wild except that the batter gets to go to first base.

      • Again, you don’t have to be wild near the head, shoulders, and hands area to make a point of throwing inside, or even intentionally at the hitter. These excuses shouldn’t fly any longer in the MLB

  3. oldbrooklynfan

    It was a tough win for the Dodgers. Here’s hoping it could help them right the ship.

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