Matt Rogina

Matt Rogina is a member of the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America (IBWAA), and has been blogging about the Dodgers and Major League Baseball off and on since 2005.No information is provided by the author. You can follow him on twitter @MattRogina

May 012013
 

Rookie sensation Hyun-Jin Ryu wasn’t the only Korean celebrity at Blue Heaven on Earth Tuesday night. Controversial, but undeniably popular Korean pop star Park Jae-sang, better known as PSY, was also in attendance to watch the star pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Best known for his hit single Gangnam Style that has taken the world by storm, PSY adds to an already large celebrity representation at Dodger Stadium. Even though PSY has the first, and currently only, music video in the history of Youtube to reach one billion views, his presence could prove a public relations faux pas for the Dodgers.

As for the game itself, PSY may prove to be a good luck charm of sorts for Ryu, who pitched the best game of his short MLB career so far.

Dexter Fowler led off the game for the Colorado Rockies by striking out looking for the first out of the game. While Dodger fans didn’t know it then, this was a sign of things to come. The very next batter was Josh Rutledge who struck out swinging and it was starting to become clear that Ryu was in the zone. He gave up a solo home run to Carlos Gonzalez to put the Rockies up 1-0 early, but Ryu wasn’t fazed and struck out Michael Cuddyer to record the third strikeout of the  inning.

The Dodgers came out of the gate fast with Jerry Hairston, Jr., filling in for Carl Crawford because of tightness in his right hamstring, singling to shallow center field and Nick Punto reaching on a bunt single to first base, giving the Dodgers’ struggling Matt Kemp a chance to capitalize. Much to the delight of Dodger fans, Kemp delivered with a single to left field, plating Hairston, Jr. to tie the game at 1-1 and advancing Punto to third base. With runners on the corners and nobody out, Adrian Gonzalez hit a sacrifice fly to left field that was deep enough to let Punto tag on the play and score. Hanley Ramirez, in his first start since being activated off the disabled list, grounded out to first base, but moved Kemp up 90 feet to second base. Rockies pitcher Jorge De La Rosa got out of the jam by getting Ethier to pop out to right center field. But, the damage had been done and the Rockies had already squandered their lead and now trailed 2-1.

Ryu picked up in the second inning right where he left off in the first by striking out Jordan Pacheco to lead off the inning. This was Ryu’s fourth consecutive strikeout against the Rockies lineup. Nolan Arenado broke up that streak, but wasn’t able to reach base safely either. He grounded out to second base. Yorvit Torrealba also grounded out to second base to end the inning.

A.J. Ellis led off the bottom of the second by drawing a walk and Juan Uribe singled to shallow left field, giving the Dodgers two runners on with no outs for the second inning in a row. Ryu came up to bat and grounded into a double play, with Uribe being the sole safe runner, advancing to second base. Hairston singled to shallow left field, and Uribe rumbled around third and scored to increase the Dodgers’ lead to 3-1. Hairston advanced to second base on the throw home. Punto followed that up with a single of his own to left field, plating Hairston and extending the lead to 4-1. Matt Kemp hit into a fielder’s choice to end the inning, with Punto being thrown out at second base.

The Rockies’ bats were dominated once again in the top of the third with the second 1-2-3 inning in a row for Ryu, who started the inning off by striking out Jonathan Herrera and De La Rosa for two quick outs. He then got Fowler to hit a comebacker to him, which he tossed to Gonzalez at first base for the third out of the inning.

Gonzalez led off the bottom of the third by striking out, but Hanley Ramirez decided to take a page out of the Manny Ramirez playbook and hit a home run on his own bobble head night. Ethier followed that up by doubling to right field. Ellis grounded out to third base for the first out of the inning. That brought up Uribe with the pitcher in the batter’s box. The Rockies decided to give Uribe a free pass and face Ryu. The move backfired. Ryu singled to shallow right field, knocking in Ethier to give himself an insurance run. Uribe advanced from first to third on the play and subsequent throw, giving the Dodgers runners on the corners for Hairston. De La Rosa got out of the jam by getting Hairston to pop out to shallow left field for the final out of the inning, but not before the Dodgers could cross the plate two more times and extend their lead to 6-1.

Rutledge led off the fourth inning by grounding out to shortstop. After that, Gonzalez worked the count and drew a walk, but he wouldn’t get past first base. Ryu struck out the next two batters – Cuddyer and Pacheco – with ease.

Punto led off the Dodgers’ half of the fourth by popping out to left-center field for the first out of the inning and Kemp followed that with a pop out to second base. Gonzalez hit a two-out single to shallow center field and Ramirez moved him to third base on a double to shallow right field, keeping their inning alive. Unfortunately, Ethier grounded out to second base to end the threat, giving De La Rosa his first scoreless inning of the game.

The top of the fifth was pretty much the same for the Rockies as the rest of the game – Another quick 1-2-3 inning dominance by Ryu. Arenado started it off by flying out to center field then Torrealba struck out looking. Herrera  struck out swinging for the final out of the inning.

The Rockies decided to go with their bullpen in the bottom of the fifth inning. Edgmer Escalona relieve De La Rosa and Reid Brignac took over shortstop duties to complete the double switch. Escalona tossed a perfect frame for the Rockies, striking out the trio Ellis, Uribe and Ryu for a three strikeout inning.

Brignac led off the sixth inning by striking out with his bat on his shoulder. The speedy Fowler followed that up by hitting an infield single to second base. Rutledge grounded out to third base, advancing Fowler to second base. Gonzalez drew a walk and Fowler stole third base on ball four, giving the Rockies runners on the corners with two outs. Cuddyer finally came through for the Rockies by doubling to shallow right field, plating Fowler and advancing Gonzalez to third base. The run scored inched the Rockies closer, now trailing just 6-2. Ryu struck Pacheco out to end the inning and kill the Rockies’ rally.

The bottom of the sixth inning was pretty lackluster for the Dodgers. Hairston led off the inning with a fly out to shallow left field and then Punto lined out to left field. Kemp got a two out single to right field but Gonzalez lined out to first base to end the inning.

Ronald Belisario got the call to come in as Ryu’s relief to help preserve the game. He got things started off right when he got Arenado to ground out to third base for the first out of the inning. Torrealba drew a walk and the Rockies sent out a pinch hitter for Escalona. Ryan Wheeler lined out to left field for the second out. Brignac kept the inning alive by singling to right field, advancing Torrealba to second base. Belisario responded by striking out Fowler for the final out of the inning.

Matt Belisle relieved Escalona and he struck out Hanley Ramirez to start off the bottom of the seventh inning. Either drew a walk before Belisle struck out Ellis for the second out of the inning. Uribe grounded into a fielder’s choice with Ethier getting thrown out at second base to end the inning.

The Dodgers made a double switch for the top of the eighth inning. Luis Cruz took over third base duties from Uribe and Kenley Jansen came in to relieve Belisario. Jansen gave up an infield single to Rutledge to start off the inning, who slapped a hit to the shortstop but was able to beat out the throw. Gonzalez cancelled that out by grounding into a 6-4-3 double play. Cuddyer popped out to shallow right field to end the inning.

Rex Brothers relieved Belisle for the bottom of the eighth inning and got Cruz to line out to shallow right field to start the inning. Hairston responded by singling to right field but Punto flied out to right field for the second out of the inning. That brought up Kemp, who subsequently struck out swinging to end the inning.

In a non-save situation, the Dodgers stuck with hard throwing Jansen for the ninth inning. He coasted through an easy inning, garnering three routine fly outs to Pacheco, Arenado and Torrealba to preserve the win for Ryu.

Ryu had a career-high 12 strikeouts through six innings en route to his third win of the season. He gave the jersey he wore during the game to PSY after the game.

”I’m just very thankful the game turned out the way it did,” Ryu said through a translator. ”It would’ve been a really different situation if it went the other way. I’m glad he came by.”

”He (Ryu) pitched well,” said Pacheco”It does make it difficult when you haven’t faced a guy. You don’t really know his tendencies or what he likes to go to. But at the same time, he hasn’t faced you so it goes both ways.”

Pacheco struck out three times against Ryu.

The 12 strikeouts overall were the most by a Dodgers rookie since Hideo Nomo struck out 13 in 1995 at Shea Stadium in New York.

”He was really good,” Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. ”He had his A game and it was going to be tough to put together a big inning or put together something big against him. He was in control.”

De La Rosa’s career record against the dodgers fell to 0-8.

”It’s like they know what’s coming,” said De La Rosa, who had recorded quality starts in his first four starts. ”I have to do something different the next time I face them.”

Crawford is expected to play Wednesday night after receiving an unscheduled rest day and staff ace Clayton Kershaw is expected to rejoin the team in time to pitch Friday against the San Francisco Giants. He has been on bereavement leave since his father passed away on Sunday.

The Dodgers recalled former closer Javy Guerra from Triple-A Albuquerque, swapping him with Josh Wall to give Wall some time to work on his mechanics and confidence.

 05/01/2013  Posted by at 12:22 pm Dodgers Rumors No Responses »
Apr 302013
 

Throughout the course of any season, there is always a game that the fans and players just want to forget. This game was exactly that – an ugly game by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Before starter Ted Lilly was even able to record an out, the Colorado Rockies had jumped out to a four run lead and the 31,570 fans who came out to Blue Heaven on Earth for an enjoyable Monday night of baseball immediately got a bad feeling in their stomachs.

The Rockies sit atop the National League West and lead the entire league in runs, but the season is young and most attribute those numbers to playing in the thin air of Denver. Most thought that being on the road in the pitcher-friendly confines of Dodger Stadium would help bring the Rockies’ bats down to Earth.

The Rockies’ plane had mechanical issues en route to Los Angeles and was forced to stay in Phoenix for an extra eight hours and they didn’t land at LAX until after 4AM Monday morning. As a result, Rockies manager Walt Weiss cancelled batting practice to give his team some time to rest. Unfortunately, Ted Lilly decided to accommodate then and tossed three innings of batting practice.

Dexter Fowler started the game off by hitting a home run to deep left-center field and Jordan Pacheco followed that up with a single to right field. Carlos Gonzalez drove a double to deep center field, giving the Rockies two more runners in scoring position for Wilin Rosario. Ted Lilly lobbed a pitch to him and he crushed it to deep right field for a three run home run and extended the lead to 4-0. Lilly, finally realizing that he wasn’t the Rockies batting practice pitcher, dug as deep as he could and retired the next three batters, in order. Michael Cuddyer flied out to deep center field, Nolan Arenado grounded out to shortstop and Josh Rutledge flied out to right field to let Lilly off the hook.

Tyler Chatwood took the mound for the Rockies and added salt to the Dodgers’ wound by tossing an easy 1-2-3 inning. He got Carl Crawford to ground out to third base and A.J. Ellis flied out to right field for the second easy out. Adrian Gonzalez then hit a weak grounder to shortstop to end the inning.

Lilly went back out there like a trooper in the second inning and Jonathan Herrera led off the inning by grounding out to shortstop for the first out. With the pitcher coming up to bat, Dodger fans were optimistic that Lilly would have a quick inning and be able to rest his fragile arm a little. No such luck. Chatwood hit an infield single to second base for his second base hit of the season. Lilly got a little bit of revenge when he struck out Fowler for the second out of the inning but then he walked Pacheco and gave up a single to Gonzalez to load the bases for Rosario. Luckily, Lilly was able to get Rosario to ground out to third base, ending the inning without giving up another run.

Matt Kemp led off the second inning with another lackluster at-bat by grounding out to third base but Andre Ethier and Skip Schumaker followed that up with back-to-back singles to center field, breathing a little bit of life into Dodger Stadium. Unfortunately, with Hanley Ramirez fresh off a rehab assignment, Dodgers skipper Don Mattingly decided to play Luis Cruz and it was his turn to be a rally-killer. He was up to the task, lining into a double play to end the inning.

Cuddyer led off the top of the third by lining out to right-center field for a quick first out. Arenado reached first base safely when Lilly committed a fielding error, adding to the frustration of fans. Rutledge flied out to deep center field for the second out of the inning. Herrera hit a bloop single to shallow left field, advancing Arenado to second base. Once again the pitcher was coming up to bat and once again Dodger fans were hopeful Lilly could get out of his current jam. Once again, Lilly failed to do so. Chatwood hit another infield single, this time to shortstop, to load the bases for Fowler. Lilly ended up walking Fowler, extending his deficit to 5-0. Surprisingly, Lilly was able to strike out Pacheco to end the inning and strand three Rockies on the bases.

Justin Sellers led off the bottom of the third inning by striking out looking and Dodgers skipper decided three innings to late to abandon Lilly and pinch hit for him. He called upon Juan Uribe to be the pinch hitter and in true Juan Uribe fashion, he grounded out to first base. Crawford singled to center field but Ellis hit into a fielder’s choice that saw Crawford get thrown out at second base to end the inning.

Josh Wall came in to relieve and he did even worse then Lilly. He gave up a warning-track fly out to deep center field to Gonzalez for the first out of the inning. He wouldn’t fare so luckily after Gonzalez though. He gave up a double to Rosario and followed that up by issuing a walk to Cuddyer. Arenado singled to load the bases with just one out. Ruttledge slapped a single to right field, plating Rosario and keeping the bases loaded. Herrera flied out to left for the second out of the inning, bringing up Chatwood. The Rockies pitcher hit a two run single to center field with Cuddyer and Arenado crossing the plate and extending the lead to 8-0. Fowler drew another walk to load the bases for the Rockies once again. Pacheco hit a ground rule double to deep left-center field, plating Rutledge and Chatwood to bring the lead to double digits. Wall was finally able to get the final out of the inning when he got Gonzalez to pop out to right-center field.

Gonzalez led off the bottom of the fourth inning for the Dodgers by grounding out to shortstop. Chatwood then hit Kemp with a pitch before giving up a right field single to Ethier. He regrouped, however, and got Schumaker to strike out for the second out. Cruz continued to show that he is more of a lifetime minor leaguer then a big league fixture by hitting into another weak fielder’s choice for the final out.

Wall started out the top of the fifth by giving up a single to Rosario before recording the first out of the inning on a line drive by Cuddyer. He then served up Arenado’s first career home run putting the Dodgers in an even deeper hole at 12-0. After Rutledge hit a bloop single to shallow center field, Wall was able to get out of the inning by striking Herrera out and getting Chatwood to his a soft grounder that was fielded by Ellis, who easily threw him out at first base.

Chatwood tossed another perfect inning in the bottom of the fifth. He got Sellers to ground out to third base and then got Jerry Hairston, Jr., who was pinch hitting for Wall, to strike out looking. Crawford grounded out to third base for the final out.

Hairston stayed in the game, replacing Crawford in left field to give him some extra rest in a lopsided game and J.P. Howell came in to relieve Wall. Howell gave up a lead off infield single to the speedy Fowler before getting Pacheco and Gonzalez to hit into back-to-back fielder’s choices for the first two outs of the inning. Cuddyer, the only Rockie without a hit, then struck out swinging for the final out of the top half of the sixth.

Ellis struck out to start off the bottom of the sixth. Gonzalez singled to deep left-center field, which brought up the struggling Kemp. Perhaps as a sign of the desperation of the game or even perhaps his season to date, Kemp struck out on a wild pitch that allowed Gonzalez to advance to second base. But, the inning came to a close when Ethier flied out to left field.

Matt Guerrier came on to replace Howell in the top of the seventh inning and actually pitched a pretty good inning, retiring the side, in order. Arenado flied out to right field for the first out, Rutledge grounded out to third base for the second out and Herrera hit a comebacker to Guerrier, who threw him out at first base.

With the win pretty much secure, the Rockies went to their bullpen. They brought in Adam Ottavino to relieve Chatwood. Schumaker led off the inning by reaching first base safely on a fielding error by shortstop Rutledge. He then got Cruz to strike out and he got Sellers to line out to left-center field for the first two outs of the inning. Hairston then hit a two-run bomb to deep left field, plating Schumaker for the first two runs of the day for the Dodgers. Haley Ramirez then made his season debut as a pinch hitter but struck out looking to end the inning. But, the Dodgers were finally on the board, albeit trailing 12-2.

Paco Rodriguez came out for relief help and took over duties from Guerrier. Rodriguez tossed a perfect inning by striking out Ottavino and Eric Young, who replaced Fowler in center field the previous inning, and getting Pacheco to ground out to shortstop.

The Dodgers continued their show of pathetic baseball in the bottom of the eighth inning. Ellis flied out to right field and then Gonzalez and Kemp struck out swinging to end the inning.

The top of the ninth was the highlight of the game for most Dodger fans. Skip Schumaker was brought in as a relief pitcher for the second time in his career. He struggled, like everybody expected from a career second baseman, but whenever a position player gets a chance to pitch, it’s a beautiful thing. The few remaining Dodger fans in the stands got to see a rarity and even though their beloved Dodgers were getting humiliated, they could enjoy this brief oddity. Schumacker gave up a lead off single to Gonzalez and didn’t even bother to try and hold him on first – the unwritten rules made it clear that he wouldn’t try to steal a base with a ten run lead. Ryan Wheeler, in his first at-bat of the game since taking over first base duties, lined out to left field for the first out of the inning. Cuddyer then followed that up with a a fly out to right field and it looked like Schumaker was going to coast and embarrass the other pitchers. But, as we have learned, nothing ever seems to come that easily in these types of games. Arenado advanced Gonzalez to second on an infield single to second base and Rutledge drew a walk to load the bases on Schumaker. Much to the delight of Dodger fans, Schumaker got out of the jam and got Herrera to ground out to first base to end the inning without giving up a run.

The bottom of the ninth was played only because the rules required it. Truth be told, it was just a technicality that the players likely just wanted to get over with. Wilton Lopez came on to relieve Ottavino and the Dodgers’ lineup made yet another Rockies pitcher look like a Cy Young contender. He tossed a perfect inning that began with an Ethier line out to second base and finished with a Cruz fly out to center. Sandwiched between the two of them, was the pitcher spot, and Mattingly correctly allowed Schumaker to hit for himself. And even though he struck out, at least he went down swinging.

In the end, the only Dodger that seemed to have life at the end of the game was Schumaker.

When all was said and done, Colorado had pounded the Dodgers’ pitching staff with 19 hits, which is the most the Dodgers have ever given up in the Vin Scully era.

Seven different Rockies had at least two hits. Arenado, one of the organization’s top prospects playing in just his second career game, had his first three hits. Rosario and Gonzalez also had three hits apiece.

Coincidentally, the last time Schumaker pitched was in 2011 when he was with the St. Louis Cardinals. His opponent? The Dodgers.

And another interesting stat is that the last time the Dodgers used a position player as a pitcher was in 2009 which is also the last time they made it to the National League Championship Series.

After the game, Chatwood sought out Kemp to apologize for hitting him with a pitch that ricocheted off his shoulder into his earflap, causing a scare in Los Angeles.

”I wanted to make a point to apologize, so I apologized, and he said no harm, no foul,” Chatwood said. ”I’ll probably try to find him tomorrow and apologize again. Whenever you hit a guy in the head, it’s scary for everybody.”

On a positive note, Hanley Ramirez is scheduled to make his first start of the season Tuesday night, which is also his bobblehead night. To make room for him on the roster, the Dodgers placed Clayton Kershaw on the bereavement list.

 04/30/2013  Posted by at 2:31 pm Dodgers Rumors, Recaps From The Ravine No Responses »
Apr 282013
 

Clayton Kershaw was back to his dominating self on Sunday. At one point he retired 18 consecutive batters, while striking out 12.

It started out a bit rocky for the lefty staff ace, however. After striking out Norichika Aoki to start off the game he gave up back-to-back singles to Jean Segura and Ryan Braun. But, Kershaw didn’t wince and didn’t let it get to him. He induced an inning-ending ground ball double play to Jonathan Lucroy and that was that.

Carl Crawford led off the bottom of the first with a solo home run to deep right field on the first pitch he saw, giving Kershaw and the Dodgers an early lead. Nick Punto followed that up by hitting a single to right field before Milwaukee Brewers’ starting pitcher Kyle Lohse was able to get Adrian Gonzalez to pop out to left-center field for the first out of the inning. Matt Kemp followed that up by grounding into a fielder’s choice with Punto getting thrown out at second base. Andre Ethier came up to bat and flied out to center field to end the inning with a 1-0 lead.

Rickie Weeks led off the top of the second inning by hitting a double to shallow center off of Kershaw. Carlos Gomez flied out to deep right-center field and Weeks tagged and advanced to third base. Yuniesky Betancourt flied out to right field, but the Brewers decided not to test the arm of Ethier and Weeks stayed put. Kershaw then struck Martin Maldonado out to end the inning.

Ramon Hernandez, getting the start to give A.J. Ellis a rest day, struck out swinging before Juan Uribe singled to left-center field. Justin Sellers struck out swinging for the second out and Kershaw grounded out to shortstop for the third out of the inning.

Fans at Blue Heaven on Earth started to see the Kershaw they have all grown to love over the years since he was drafted out of high school in 2006. He struck out Lohse to start the third inning and then got Aoki to pop out to left-center field. Segura proved to be no match for Kershaw, flailing at strike three to end the inning.

Crawford led off the bottom of the third by flying out to left field and Nick Punto singled to shallow right-center field. But that was all the Dodgers would muster as Gonzalex popped out to shallow right-center field and Kemp grounded into a fielder’s choice, forcing Punto out at second base.

Kershaw tossed a perfect fourth and recorded another two strikeouts by getting Braun to whiff and miss and catching weeks looking. In between those two strikeouts he got Lucroy to fly out to center field.

Lohse reminded baseball fans that he can be dominant as well. He got both Ethier and Hernandez to fly out to center field and right field, respectively and struck out Juan Uribe for a perfect frame for himself.

That was followed up by a perfect fifth inning by Kershaw who got Gomez to fly out to right field before striking out another pair – Betancourt and Maldonado.

Sellers led off the bottom of fifth inning by flying out to left field for the first out of the inning. Kershaw came up to bat but fouled out to the catcher to record the second quick out for Lohse. Crawford showed Kershaw that the offense had his back and he hit his second home run of the day, another solo shot to deep right field to give Kershaw and the Dodgers a 2-0 lead. Lohse struck out Punto to get out of the inning.

Kershaw pitched his fourth perfect frame in a row when he mowed down Lohse and Aoki on fastballs to strike them out to start off the top of the sixth inning. He then induced a comebacker from Segura, which he flipped to Gonzalez at first for an easy inning.

Lohse matched Kershaw in the bottom half of the inning with a 1-2-3 inning of his own by getting Gonzalez to fly out to deep right and getting Kemp and ethier to each ground out to end the inning in quick fashion.

Kershaw continued his dominance in the top half of the seventh inning. He got Braun to ground out to shortstop, Lucroy to fly out to center field and got Weeks to ground out to second base for his fifth perfect frame in a row.

Once again, Lohse matched Kershaw batter-for-batter. He was able to get Hernandez to ground out to first base to start off the inning. Then he was able to get Uribe to pop out to right-center field for the second out of the inning. Sellers then flied out to center field to end the inning and give Lohse another three up, three down inning.

Gomez led off the eighth inning by finally getting through to Kershaw and hitting a double to deep center field. Betancourt followed that up striking out looking. Maldonado hit into a fielder’s choice, advancing Gomez to third base. The Brewers then went to their bench in hopes of breaking through against the lefty phenom from Highland Park, Texas. The called on Khris Davis to pinch hit for Lohse. But, as is usually the case when it comes to Kershaw, it didn;t matter. He struck out Davis for the final out of the inning.

Michael Gonzalez came in to relieve Lohse to face the Dodgers in the bottom of the eighth and Jerry Hairston, Jr. led off the inning, pinch hitting for Kershaw. Hairston fouled out to left field for the first out of the inning and Gonzalez struck out Crawford for the second out. Punto then reached on an infield single to shortstop before Gonzalez lined out to right field to end the inning.

Brandon League relieved Kershaw in the top of the ninth and worked a perfect ninth for his eighth save of the year in nine chances. He get Aoki to ground out to shortstop to open the inning and then got Segura to pop out to shallow right field for the second out of the inning. He finished off the game by getting Braun to ground out to shortstop.

Kershaw improved to 3-2 on the year while lowering his earned run average to 1.73. He scattered four hits over eight innings and didn’t walk a single batter. He hasn’t allowed more then three earned runs in 18 consecutive starts, which is the longest active streak in the majors.

 04/28/2013  Posted by at 8:55 pm Dodgers Rumors No Responses »
Apr 282013
 

The Milwaukee Brewers spoiled the debut of rookie Matt Magill and Carlos Gomez got a little bit of redemption in the process after being the goat of the previous nights game where he misplayed a fly ball he lost in the sky that fell for a double that ended up costing his team a victory.

Magill was visibly nervous in his debut, which was evident early on. He started the game off by issuing a walk to leadoff hitter Norichika Aoki. He was able to get Carlos Gomez to swing and miss for his first career strikeout and got Ryan Braun to fly out to deep center. After standing on first for a couple of batters, the speedy Aoki was able to get a good read on Magill and stole second base off him to move into scoring position. Yunieski Betancourt hit a single, advancing Aoki to third base for Rickie Weeks. Magill got out of the jam, however, when he got Weeks to hit into a fielder’s choice, forcing Betancourt out at second base.

Wily Peralta took the hill for the Brewers and shut down the Dodgers 1-2-3 to start off the game. Crawford struck out swinging, A.J. Ellis grounded out to shortstop and Andre Ethier flied out to center field in a quick inning for the Dodgers offense.

Magill had a much better second inning. It started out by striking out Maldanado. He then got Blake Lailli and Alex Gonzalez to each fly out to deep center to record his first perfect inning in the majors.

Matt Kemp continued his lackluster season thus far by grounding out to short stop to lead off the Dodgers’ half of the second. Skip Schumacher then grounded out to second base for the second out of the inning. Jerry Hairston, Jr. followed that up with a two-out double to center field, breathing a little life into the Dodgers’. Unfortunately, Luis Cruz couldn’t capitalize and flied out to shallow right field to end the inning.

Peralta struck out swinging to start off the third for the Brewers, but Aoki followed that up be drawing a walk. Gomez, who was the player of the week last week, hit a shallow single to shallow right, advancing Aoki to second base. Ryan Braun reached on a fielder’s choice that netted zero outs for the Dodgers, as both runners were safe advancing. With Aoki on third, Gomez on second and Braun on first, Betancourt singled to shallow shallow center field, plating Aoki for the first run of the game. Weeks followed that up by hitting into a fielder’s choice that got Betancourt out at second, but allowed Gomez to score in the process to extend their early lead to 2-0. Magill struck out Maldanado swinging to end the inning.

Juan Uribe led off the bottom of the third inning by singling to shallow left-center field, which brought up Magill for his first major league at-bat. He did what was expected of him and sacrificed Uribe over to second base. Uribe then advanced to third base on a wild pitch by the pitcher, which allowed Ellis to knock him in with a bloop single to shallow right center field, cutting the deficit in half. Ethier grounded out to third base to end the inning, but the dodgers were on the board and only down  by a run.

Magill had another perfect 1-2-3 inning in the fourth when he struck out Lailli and Gonzalez before getting Peralta to ground out to first base to end a rather quick inning.

Kemp led off the Dodgers’ half of the inning with a single to shallow center field and then proceeded to show that he can still be a threat on the base paths by stealing second base. Schumacher hit a grounder to shortstop but Gonzalez made a bad throw, allowing Schumacher to reach first safely and then advance to second on the miscue, while Kemp ran around third to score the tying run. With no outs and the go-ahead run in scoring position, the Dodgers looked primed to have a big inning. However, Hairston was unable to advance the runner by grounding out to shortstop and Cruz flied out to left-center field for the second out of the inning. In a move that rarely happens at Blue Heaven on Earth, Juan Uribe was intentionally walked to face Magill. The move worked and Magill hit a weak grounder to third base for the final out of the inning.

Magill came out for the fifth inning with a renewed vigor and a new game, tied at two apiece. He got Aoki to ground out to shortstop before Gomez got on board with a single. But Magill was able to get Braun to fly out to right field and got Betancourt to fly out to right-center to end the inning.

Peralta had a three up, three down inning in the bottom of the fifth, getting Crawford to fly out to deep center field, Ellis to hit a comebacker that he successfully tossed to first base, and getting Ethier to fly out to left field to end the inning in a rather quick fashion.

Magill retaliated with another 1-2-3 inning of his own. He got Weeks to ground out to shortstop, Maldanado to fly out to right-center field and Lailli to ground out to shortstop.

Kemp led off the bottom of the sixth inning with a bloop single to shallow right and Schumacher followed that up with a bloop single of his own to left-center field, advancing Kemp to second base. Hairston flied out to center field, but it was deep enough to allow Kemp to tag on the play and advance to third base. Cruz then grounded out to second base, but it still scored Kemp for a 3-2 lead. Juan Uribe came up to bat, and predictably grounded out to end the inning.

Gonzalez led off the top of the seventh by grounding out to third base and then Magill got Jean Segura, who was pinch hitting for Peralta, to strike out looking. Paco Rodriguez then came on to relieve Magill but Aoki hit a bunt single to second baseman Schumacher, who committed a fielding error on top of that, allowing Aoki to advance to second base. Matt Guerrier then came in to relieve Rodriguez and served up a two run home run to Gomez and spoiling Magill’s debut. He then walked Braun, but Braun decided to try and steal and Ellis nailed him at second for the final out of the inning, but the damage had been done and the Dodgers’ lead had turned into a trailing 4-3.

Tom Gorzelanny relieved Peralta in the bottom of the seventh and pitched a perfect frame. He got Gonzalez to ground out to first, Crawford to line out to second base and Ellis to line out to center field.

Guerrier stayed in the game to start the top of the eighth and got Betancourt to pop out to third to start the inning. Weeks then hit a single off of him to center field and then Guerrier served up a second two-run home run, this time to Maldonado. Now down 6-3, Dodgers skipper Don Mattingly went back to his bullpen and brought out J.P. Howell, who struck out Lailli and got Gonzalez to ground out to second base to end the inning.

Former closer and current set up man, John Axford got the call by the Brewers for the eighth inning and Ethier welcomed him to the game by hitting a solo shot to right field, cutting their deficit to 6-4. Axford regrouped, however, and retired the next three batters, in order. Kemp grounded out to third base, Schumacher grounded out to shortstop and Hairston struck out swinging.

Khris Davis was announced as the pinch hitter for Axford and the Dodgers responded with bringing in Josh Wall to relieve Howell. The Brewers then decided to call on Logan Schafer to pinch hit for pinch hitter Davis. The series of moves worked, and Schafer singled to shortstop to start off the inning. Aoki sacrificed Schafer over to second before Gomez struck out swinging for the second out of the inning. Wall gave four free passes to Braun and got Betancourt to ground into a fielders choice at third base.

Jim Henderson came in to relieve Axford and preserve the win for the Brewers. He got Cruz to pop out to first base for the first out of the inning before walking Punto. Gonzalez popped out to shallow center field for the second out. Punto realized he could make it to second freely as the Brewers weren’t going to throw down to second with such a large lead, so Punto took the free base. Crawford hit a grounder to third base, but Betancourt couldn’t field it properly and Crawford reached first safely on the error and Punto advanced to third as well. Crawford then stole second base to put the potential tying runs in scoring position, but Ellis grounded out to shortstop to end the game.

After the game, Gomez explained how he was able to hit the two-run shot off of Guerrier and chalked it up to being familiar with him and his tendencies, as he has played with and against Guerrier and had an idea of what pitch was coming in the seventh inning.

”I saw the first pitch he threw me was out of the zone,” Gomez said. ”I knew that he was going to try to throw me a curve on the inside. I was just going to stay back and wait for the moment to drop the head on the ball and that’s what happened.”

Overall, Magill pitched six and two-thirds strong innings, struck out seven Brewers and retired 12 of the final 13 batters he faced. Unfortunately for him,  that final out of the seventh inning was the one that the Dodgers couldn’t get quickly enough.

”We still would have gone to Guerrier at that point,” Mattingly said. ”We knew he (Magill) had gone further than we talked about and we weren’t going to put him in that position.”

Magill was the ninth starting pitcher the Dodgers have used in their first 23 games this season. The last time they used nine or more pitchers in their first 23 games of the season was in 1945.

 04/28/2013  Posted by at 7:57 pm Dodgers Rumors No Responses »
Apr 282013
 

Josh Beckett went into Friday nights game winless on the year and pitched a pretty  good game, allowing just three runs over five and one-third innings against the Milwaukee Brewers, who scattered seven hits against him, including a pair of home runs by Ryan Brain and Yuniesky Betancourt. In the end, he didn’t get the decision, but for the first time all season, the Dodgers recorded the win in a game he started. Hopefully this is something for the team, and Beckett, to build on.

The Brewers looked like they wanted to jump out early against Beckett when lead off hitter Norichika Aoki drew a walk, but a rare base running gaffe, negated that free base. After Jean Segura flied out to right field, Braun stepped up to the plate and hit a fly ball to right field. The Dodgers’ infielders Mark Ellis and Justin Sellers duped Aoki into thinking it was a ground ball, confusing him long enough for Ethier to catch the fly ball in right field and fire it to Adrian Gonzalez at first base to end the inning on a double play and getting Beckett off the hook for the lead off walk, to give the Dodgers two on, with two outs. Or, as the legendary Vin Scully likes to say, “deuces wild”. Andre Ethier stepped up to the plate and hit a single to shallow left-center field, knocking in Ellis and advancing Kemp to third base and putting the Dodgers ahead early 1-0. A.J. Ellis flied out to left-center field for the final out of the inning.

Carl Crawford flied out to deep center to start off the bottom of the first for the Dodgers, but Mark Ellis followed that up by singling to left field. Brewers’ rookie pitcher Hiram Burgos got Adrian Gonzalez to hit a ground ball to his counterpart, Alex Gonzalez, for the second out of the inning, but it was enough to advance Ellis to second base. Matt Kemp drew a walk, bringing Andre Ethier up to the plate. He singled to shallow left-center field, but it was enough to score Ellis from second and allow Kemp to advance to third and put the Dodgers on the board with an early 1-0 lead. A.J. Ellis hit a fly ball to left-center field for the final out of the inning.

Josh Beckett threw a perfect frame in the top of the second inning. First, he got Jonathan Lucroy to strike out looking. Rickie Weeks flied out to right field for the second out of the inning and Carlos Gomez flied out to right field to end the inning.

Burgos matched Beckett in the bottom of the second. He got Juan Uribe to line out to third base and Justin Sellers flied out to left field. This brought up Beckett’s spot in the lineup and he promptly flied out to center field to end the inning.

Betancourt led off the third inning by flying out to left field, Gonzalez flied out to center and then Burgos struck out swinging to complete another perfect inning for Beckett, who faced the minimum amount of Brewers through the first round of the lineup.

Crawford led off the bottom of the third with his second home run of the season, extending the Dodgers’ lead to 2-0. Burgos retired the next three Dodger batters, in order, to limit the damages. Mark Ellis grounded out to shortstop, Gonzalez flied out to left field and Kemp hit a warning track fly ball to center field that was brought in for the final out of the inning.

Aoki grounded out to shortstop to start off the fourth inning and Segura struck out swinging for the second out of the inning and the tenth Brewer in a row retired by Beckett. Braun ended that streak and the shutout by hittng a two-out home run to deep right field for Milwaukee’s first hit of the day, and cutting the lead in half to 2-1. Lucroy followed that up with a single to center field before Beckett walked Weeks prolonging the inning. With two on and two outs and the Brewers trying to tie the game up, Gomez stepped up to the plate. After working the count, he grounded out to shortstop for final out and getting Beckett out of an early jam.

Ethier led off the Dodgers’ half of the fourth by striking out looking and A.J. Ellis followed that up by flying out to right field. Juan Uribe managed to draw a walk, but Justin Sellers hit a grounder to shortstop, who flipped the ball to second base to force the slow Uribe for an easy third out to end the inning.

Beckett lobbed a home run pitch to Betancourt to lead off the fifth inning, allowing the Brewers to tie the game at two apiece. Gonzalez followed that up with a single to shallow left field. Burgos sacrificed Gonzalez to second for the first out of the inning. With the potential go-ahead runner in scoring position, the Brewers had the top of their order due up. Aoki grounded out to second, advancing Gonzalez 90 feet away from scoring. Segura then hit a bloop single to shallow right field to plate Gonzalez, giving the Brewers their first lead of the day, 3-2. Segura then stole second base, but Braun struck out swinging, letting Beckett off the hook once again.

The Dodgers led off the bottom of the fifth with Beckett, who promptly struck out swinging before Burgos hit Crawford with a pitch. Ellis grounded out to the pitcher, but it was enough for the speedy Crawford to advance to second base. Gonzalez doubled to shallow right field, scoring Crawford. Matt Kemp grounded out to end the inning, but the damage was done and the Dodgers tied the game.

Nick Punto took over second base duties for Ellis to start off the sixth inning because of what appeared to be a groin injury he suffered in his previous at-bat. In a somewhat surprising move, Dodgers skipper Don Mattingly left Beckett in, who promptly gave up a lead off single to shallow center field to Lucroy. He struck out Weeks but then gave up another single to Gomez, who hit a bloop single to left field. Mattingly then went to the bullpen and brought in Matt Guerrier who induced to ground into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.

The Dodgers barely gave a whimper in their half of the inning with Ethier leading it off with a pop out to left center field, A.J. Ellis striking out with his bat on his shoulder and Uribe flying out to deep right field.

Gonzalez led off the the top of the seventh for the Brewers by singling to left center fielder and the Brewers, sensing a chance to capitalize, brought in Logan Schafer to pinch hit for Burgos. The Dodgers responded by making their own change, calling on Paco Rodriguez to relieve Guerrier. Schafer sacrificed Gonzalez over to second base and Aoki singled to shallow center field. Kemp committed his fourth error of the season on the play when he overran the ball. This allowed the speedy Aoki to circle around to third base on the play. The Dodgers then made another move, this time a double switch. Mattingly brought in Belisario to relieve Rodriguez and put Jerry Hairston, Jr. in at third to replace Uribe. Aoki got caught stealing when Segura messed up a suicide squeeze. Belisario threw him out at home with ease. Segura then proceeded to strike out looking, ending the threat.
With a potential win under the belt of Burgos, the Brewers went to their bullpen for the bottom of the seventh. They called on Burke Baldenhop to come in on relief. He gave up a lead off single to Justin Sellers, who blooped the ball into shallow right field. Hairston sacrificed Sellers over to second to put the potential tying run in scoring position for Crawford. The Brewers called upon Michael Gonzalez to face Crawford and he was able to get Crawford to fly out to center field for the second out of the inning. That brought up Nick Punto for his first at-bat of the game and he worked the count and drew a walk on four straight pitches to keep the Dodgers’ chances alive. The next batter was Gonzalez, who ripped a double to deep center field, plating both Sellers and Punto, giving the Dodgers a 5-4 lead. With first base open, and the lead evaporated they chose to intentionally walk Kemp to face Ethier. Gonzalez was able to get Ethier to fly out center field, to end the bleeding.
The top of the eighth started out with Hairston committing his first  error of the season, allowing Braun to reach first base safely. Lucroy then lined out to shortstop and Weeks struck out whiffing for the first two outs of the inning. Gomez then hit a grounder to third base, but Hairston was unable to field the ball cleanly, allowing him to reach first on his second error of the game and the season. Belisario was able to keep focus thorough all of this and after each error he was sure to pat Hairston on the butt and let him know not to worry about it. Sure enough, Belisario had the needed composure to work through the errors and he struck Betancourt out to end the inning.
Brandon Kintzler took over for Gonzalez to start the bottom of the eighth and almost immediately got A.J. Ellis to hit a comebacker to him, where he tossed the ball to first base for the first out of the inning. Luis “Cochito” Cruz got the call to pinch hit for Belisario and the fans at Blue Heaven on Earth showed their love for him by chanting his name, even though he has been mired in a slump to start the season. He must have felt that love and he came through for the fans by belting a single to left-center field. Sellers followed that up with a double to left field, and Cruz advanced to third base, to give the Dodgers a couple of runners in scoring position with just one out. Hairston came up to bat, hoping to make up for his two error inning. He grounded out to third base, but was able to plate Cruz in the process and moving Sellers over to third. Crawford was the next batter and blooped a single into shallow left field to knock Sellers in for another run. Punto popped out to shallow left to end the inning, but the damage was done. The Dodgers added two insurance runs and led 7-4.The Dodgers’ closer Brandon League took things over for Belisario in the top of the ninth with Cruz staying in the game at third base. League gave up a quick single to Gonzalez to center field. Blake Lalli got the call to pinch hit for Kintzler. League threw a wild pitch, allowing Gonzalez to advance to second base. But he regrouped and got Lalli to strike out swinging and then induced Aoki to hit a ground out to third base, advancing Gonzalez to third in the process. Segura singled to the pitcher, allowing Gonzalez to score. In a rush, League committed a fielding error, which allowed Segura to advance to second ont he play. With a runner on second, Braun stepped up to the plate representing the potential tying run for the Brewers. League dug in and got Braun to ground out sharply to first base, to end the game and record the seventh save of the year for League.After the game, Beckett was in a position he enjoyed better then that last three starts. He may not have gotten the “W”, but the Dodgers did.”It’s just nice to be standing here talking to you guys after a win,” Beckett said. ”I don’t really care who gets the win. That’s something I haven’t gotten a chance to do yet this year. I left a couple of pitches up, but the bats came alive there towards the end and the guys rallied.”Adrian Gonzalez spoke highly of Beckett in a post game interview. ”He’s throwing the ball great and he’s kept us in games,” Gonzalez said. ”We just haven’t been able to get those extra runs to get him a W.”

 

 04/28/2013  Posted by at 6:39 pm Dodgers Rumors No Responses »