Dodger Thoughts

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

Category: Postgame (Page 2 of 21)

#4peat! Dodgers win NL West again


By Jon Weisman


And for Vin Scully, unbelievable.

At Vin’s final day broadcasting at Dodger Stadium, as the shadows crept across the infield, Charlie Culberson homered — his first of the season — to give the Dodgers a 4-3 walkoff, 10-inning victory over the Colorado Rockies — and their fourth consecutive National League West title.

After going the life of the franchise without making the playoffs in three straight years until 2015, the Dodgers have extended their streak by one. Dave Roberts joined Tommy Lasorda as the only rookie managers ever to lead the Dodgers to a division title.

The victory sets up a National League Division Series matchup with the Washington Nationals, who clinched the NL East on Saturday. Game 1 of the NLDS will be October 7, with the Dodgers narrowly behind the Nationals in determining home-field advantage. The Dodgers own the tiebreaker if the teams finish with identical records.

In a season replete with resolve, the Dodgers rallied from two deficits — and won without leading until after the final pitch was thrown.

In his first MLB start since August 13, Brandon McCarthy made his longest appearance since July 22. Retiring the first six batters he faced on 25 pitches with four strikeouts, McCarthy then allowed two runs in the third inning, but recovered to face the minimum in the fourth and fifth innings.

For the day, McCarthy threw 79 pitches in 5 1/3 innings with six strikeouts, and notably walked only one. It was his three consecutive starts walking a career-high five in early August that signaled his need to return to the disabled list.

Following a Howie Kendrick single and Justin Turner double to begin the third, the Dodgers cut the Rockies’ lead in half on Yasiel Puig’s sacrifice fly, but couldn’t convert any of their other eight baserunners in the first six innings into runs.

After Turner singled in the seventh, however, Corey Seager ripped a shot down the right-field line — his team-leading fifth triple — and suddenly the Dodgers were tied, at home, with a direct look at the promised land. Then came the final at-bat …

David Dahl’s ninth-inning home run off Kenley Jansen looked to deny the Dodgers their opportunity to win their way into the NL West title. The immediate consolation, as Dahl’s drive sailed over the fence in right-center, was that San Diego took a 4-3 lead over San Francisco in the bottom of the seventh, extending the possibility of a home clinch.

But with two out in the bottom of the ninth, Seager drilled a 112 mph shot off Rockies reliever Adam Ottavino (aiming to rebound from his five-run, ninth-inning meltdown August 31 against the Dodgers) to tie the game again.

Joc Pederson, batting for Yasiel Puig, walked against Boone Logan. Gonzalez came to the plate and hit a solid opposite-field drive but a can of corn nonetheless, and we would play on.

With two out in the bottom of the 10th, Culberson, who spent much of the season in the minors, no-doubted an 0-1 pitch over the fence in left, and the celebration began for the Dodgers — bot thanks to the Giants, but thanks to themselves.

Dodgers clinch tie for NL West, with Giants holding up the party


By Jon Weisman

Well, hello there, from inside a tantalizing moment.

Behind a dominant performance by Clayton Kershaw and the offense, the Dodgers have clinched a tie for the National League West title after annihilating the Colorado Rockies, 14-1.

In theory, that should have settled the issue for the night of whether the Dodgers are division champions. But the Giants, who started their game at San Diego 30 minutes before the Dodgers did in Los Angeles, were still playing.

San Francisco led 3-0 after the first inning and 6-0 in the fourth, in a game started by Madison Bumgarner, before San Diego scored in four consecutive innings to tie the game. Moments before the Dodger game ended, the Giants took a 9-6 lead in the 10th inning.

That was the only tension in a night that was otherwise Carnival at Chavez Ravine.

Kershaw struck out six in seven innings of 91-pitch shutout ball, extending his streak without allowing an earned run to 19. He’ll have one more start before the postseason, but — just between us folks — he looks ready.

For Kershaw, it was his first win since returning from the disabled list. Sixteen Dodger pitchers had been credited with victories in between.

Meanwhile, the Dodger bats poured it on against Colorado with four in the second inning, four more in the middle innings and sixth in the seventh, capped by Josh Reddick’s first Dodger grand slam.

Justin Turner tied a career high by reaching base five times, with the Dodgers tallying 21 baserunners in all.

And the waiting continues …

NL West title in sight after Dodgers top Rockies


Yasmani Grandal tags Nolan Arenado in the first inning after receiving a throw from Andrew Toles. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

By Jon Weisman

The Dodgers’ fourth consecutive division title could arrive inside of 24 hours.

Read More

It’s vintage Puig in Dodgers’ romp over Giants


By Jon Weisman

As the catch was made, as the third out was recorded, as the crowd roared, as the legendary announcer uttered one more “¡Que viva Cuba!” at his final Dodgers-Giants game in Los Angeles, the outfielder’s teammates gathered in a handful near the third-base line, unwilling to wait for the prodigal son to return to the dugout.

They needed to see him there, then, on the field, in the moment.

Yasiel Puig, baseball’s living, breathing roller coaster, had done the full loop.

Read More

Dodgers can’t duplicate comeback, lose 2-0

toles-cant-catch-itBy Jon Weisman

Eduardo Nunez gave the Giants another self-generated run when he homered just over Andrew Toles’ glove and off a camera housing in the fifth inning tonight, and unlike Monday, the San Francisco Giants made it stand up.

Adding an insurance run on Brandon Belt’s ninth-inning homer, the Giants came away with a 2-0 victory.

San Francisco cut the Dodgers’ lead in the National League West to five games, and perhaps more interestingly, forged a three-way tie with the Mets and Cardinals for the two available NL Wild Card spots at 80-71.

The Giants held on despite needing 3 2/3 shutout innings from their maligned bullpen, after a left groin strain forced Johnny Cueto from the game. San Francisco also lost shortstop Brandon Crawford when he dislocated his left pinky while trying to go from first to third in the second inning.

Read More

After strong outing, Kershaw savors Dodger comeback


By Jon Weisman

So, no surprise Clayton Kershaw was in a great mood as he met reporters tonight. Even with a no-decision.

“That was incredible,” Kershaw said of the Dodgers’ 2-1 comeback win over the Giants. “That was such a fun game to be a part of. We know that their bullpen has had struggles. Our bullpen did a great job of keeping it at one run and gave ourselves a chance in the ninth inning.”

Read More

Go ahead and look: Dodger rally stuns Giants in ninth

[mlbvideo id=”1176956883″ width=”550″ height=”308″ /]
kershaw-verticalBy Jon Weisman

After the Giants’ starter told the Dodger outfielder not to look at him, the Giants’ relievers only made him want to look away.

Trailing 1-0 in the ninth inning, the Dodgers rallied against the beleaguered San Francisco bullpen, parlaying three singles and a walkoff Adrian Gonzalez double into a 2-1 victory that put them a season-high six games up on the Giants with 12 to play. Magic number: seven.

A seventh-inning brouhaha (minus the haha) between Madison Bumgarner and Yasiel Puig on the edge of the first-base line added another layer of intensity to the Dodger-Giant rivalry, a prelude to a victory almost as cathartic as it was important.

San Francisco had one base hit that went past the infield tonight in Los Angeles, and it had nothing to do with the outcome.

Instead, what happened within the infield made the difference for 8 1/2 innings.

Taking the equivalent of a Big Wheel ride around the bases, the Giants motored their only run on an infield single, stolen base, error and wild pitch.

With two out, Eduardo Nunez hit the equivalent of an errant miniature-golf tee shot to Kershaw’s left. Three starts into his return from a disk herniation, Kershaw lunged but couldn’t reach it. Chase Utley charged to glove it, but couldn’t get a desperate throw to first in time, despite Nunez’s head-first, dirt-burst slide.

With two out and two strikes on Angel Pagan, after nearly being picked off by Kershaw, Nunez took off for second. Yasmani Grandal’s throw sliced like a screwball, out of Utley’s reach at second, allowing Nunez to slide in safely and then scamper to third.

One foul ball later, Kershaw bounced a slider in the dirt in front of home plate and through Grandal, and for the low, low investment of that 60-foot single, Nunez had earned 360 feet of bases and the shutout-breaking run.

That unearned run was the only mole on the Kershaw visage in his six innings. With the Dodgers trailing 1-0, he left for a pinch-hitter, having allowed three hits and a walk (his 10th of the season, compared with seven strikeouts on the night and 162 strikeouts in 2016).

But the Dodgers couldn’t make half the dent in Bumgarner that he made in them. Only Yasiel Puig had a hit against the Giants’ lefty, though Grandal and pinch-hitter Rob Segedin were hit by pitches.

[mlbvideo id=”1176809383″ width=”550″ height=”308″ /]

puigThe biggest noise came at the end of the seventh, when Puig hit a cue shot near the first-base line that Bumgarner turned into the final out of the inning. Reflexively, after yelling “Expletive yeah!” when the out was made, Bumgarner was angry at Puig,

“Don’t look at me,” Bumgarner said while looking directly at Puig, winning the approval of the Irony Committee. Benches cleared, but little came of it.

Except Bumgarner didn’t throw another pitch. Though he has crossed 100 pitches in his past four starts, Bruce Bochy decided that 97 of them to 24 batters with 10 strikeouts was enough for Bumgarner tonight, using a pinch-hitter in the top of the eighth and turning the game over to what has become a notorious bullpen.

With two out in the bottom of the eighth, pinch-hitter Carlos Ruiz got the Dodgers’ second hit, but nothing came of it after Derek Law retired Howie Kendrick on a fly to right.

In the bottom of the ninth, magic pixie dream hitter Andrew Toles came off the bench and singled sharply to right.

Javier Lopez replaced Law. Corey Seager, one strike away from his fourth whiff of the game, drilled a grounder past a diving Joe Panik for another single, pushing Toles within 90 feet of tying the game.

Hunter Strickland replaced Lopez. Justin Turner, also with two strikes against him, shot a third straight Dodger single to right, scoring Toles.

Gonzalez came up, and he rocked a ball to the wall in right center. Tagging up for a potential catch, Seager shifted into forward gear when right fielder Hunter Pence came up empty, and roared around the bases for the winning run and the biggest celebration at Dodger Stadium this year.

Dodgers make massive comeback before falling

[mlbvideo id=”1174805683″ width=”550″ height=”308″ /]

By Jon Weisman

Not only did the Dodgers make their most sudden comeback in a season filled with them, they did it against left-handed pitching.

Trailing by six runs before they got their first baserunner, and down 7-1 in the sixth inning, the Dodgers battled back to take a 9-7 lead … only to fall in 12 innings, 10-9.

The Dodgers’ six-run sixth matched their second-highest tally in one inning this year — and represented the biggest single-inning deficit they’ve erased all year.

Read More

Early bird Dodgers get the win, 3-2

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

By Jon Weisman

The Dodgers scored two runs with their first three batters tonight — and didn’t do much after that — but it was enough for a 3-2 victory over Zack Greinke and Arizona, reducing Los Angeles’ magic number to clinch the National League West to 12.

Read More

As streaks end, Dodgers go down Hill

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

By Jon Weisman

When Rich Hill struck out Brandon Drury in the second inning tonight, that gave him 27 consecutive outs — the final batter he faced September 3, plus all 21 on September 10 and the first five Diamondbacks this evening.

The next hitter, former Dodger minor-leaguer Kyle Jensen, homered. In his 21st inning as a Dodger, Hill had given up his first run.

Things started to unravel slowly after that. Arizona scored another run in the third inning, then sported a Big 5 in the fifth against Hill and Louis Coleman, on their way to a 7-3 victory over Los Angeles.

Hill was charged with four earned runs for the first time in 2016. Coleman, who hadn’t allowed a run or inherited run since July 22, was hit with both, the topper being a three-run homer by 18-game veteran Mitch Haniger.

Down 7-1 in the seventh, the Dodgers scored twice with nobody out, but their next nine hitters were retired. Chase Utley, who had reached base his first four times up, made the final out.

Kershaw nearly perfect in second September stint

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Clayton Kershaw in the first inning at Yankee Stadium today, when the sun still glowed. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

By Jon Weisman

As Clayton Kershaw showed he was ready to reign over New York, the only problem was how much it rained over Clayton Kershaw.

In his second start since returning from the disabled list, Kershaw threw five shutout innings — the first four of them perfect — despite being interrupted by two separate rain delays, in a game ultimately won by the Dodgers in the ninth, 2-0.

Read More

Dodgers escape from New York, 2-0

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

By Jon Weisman

Scoreless for 17 innings, the Dodgers left Yankee Stadium as winner of tonight’s game, winners of this week’s series and holders of a five-game lead in the National League West.

Read More

Julio Urías leaves early (but remains impressive), Dodgers lose late

Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Yankees 3, Dodgers 0
Home runs on consecutive pitches by Jacoby Ellsbury and Didi Gregorius in the bottom of the seventh broke a scoreless duel. Ross Stripling, in his third inning of relief, took the loss. Gary Sanchez added a third Yankee homer in the eighth off Jesse Chavez.

By Jon Weisman

If tonight’s was in fact Julio Urías’ final start of 2016, as Dave Roberts told reporters today, what a journey it has been. And whether it’s the bullpen for the remainder of the season or the starting rotation in years to come, what a journey we have to look forward to.

Urías bookended his run of starts this year where he began it — in New York. And as he did against the Mets on May 27, Urías walked more Yankees than he struck out tonight. Those are the only two nights Urías pitched this year in which that happened.

As symmetrical as those moments might be on the surface, Urías seemed to improve with every outing in between. Since June 7, his ERA was 2.80. Since the All-Star Break, it was 2.02.

Read More

A Hill of beans in this crazy world

[mlbvideo id=”1157258183″ width=”550″ height=”308″ /]

Dodgers at Marlins, 10:10 a.m.
Chase Utley, 2B
Josh Reddick, RF
Corey Seager, SS
Adrián González, 1B
Yasmani Grandal, C
Joc Pederson, CF
Andre Ethier, LF
Howie Kendrick, 3B
Kenta Maeda, P

By Jon Weisman

I guess my wife and I picked the wrong day to take the family to Disneyland.

Exactly 51 years and one day after Sandy Koufax threw the last perfect game by a Dodger pitcher, Rich Hill nearly did the same (in a 5-0 Dodger victory). And in the process, he became the first Dodger pitcher since Hiroki Kuroda in 2008 to throw seven perfect innings — and the first ever to do so without facing another batter.

The controversy arose from the latter fact. In the overnight chatter since Hill was removed, many have had a chance to weigh in, and so with the Dodgers’ next game already about to start, I’m just going to highlight a few points …

Read More

Dodger offense sets strikeout mark in loss to Marlins

Marc Serota/Getty Images

Marc Serota/Getty Images

While the focus was on Clayton Kershaw’s reunion with a big-league pitcher’s mound tonight, Miami’s Jose Fernandez quietly stole the show.

The 24-year-old — who trails only Kershaw among MLB starting pitchers in ERA since 1920 — struck out 14 Dodgers, the most by any single pitcher against Los Angeles in 14 years, in a 4-1 Marlins victory.

With Miami’s bullpen producing three more strikeouts, the Dodger offense set a team record for strikeouts in a nine-inning game with 17. The previous mark of 16 was reached seven times, most recently in 2014.

Read More

Page 2 of 21

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén