There are a few special events in Baseball that still make me stop what I am doing to watch. One of those is a perfect game. Today Philip Humber of the White Sox pitched a perfect game against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field in Seattle. Humber made 96 pitches and whiffed nine batters for the twenty-first perfect game in MLB history. An extremely impressive accomplishment indeed. Last night was a strange night in Baseball. There were two inside the park home runs hit (Alex Presley, Norichika Aoki), and Eric Hosmer lined into a triple play.
So with a perfect game, two inside the park home runs, and another triple play all occurring over the last 24 hours, this tells us how unpredictable Baseball is. You just never know what you are going to see each day.
It was Kemp, and Kershaw who derailed the Houston Astros, beating them for the second straight game, 5-1. Clayton Kershaw finally picked up his first win of the season, pitching seven shutout innings, and Matt Kemp hit his ninth home run of the season as he continues his torrid hitting. It was a monster blast to the deepest part of center field. James Loney also hit his first home run of the season for the Dodger’s third run. Andre Ethier added a two-run single in the eighth.
Gordon leads off with an infield line drive single off the glove of third baseman Jed Lowrie. Weiland begins to bird dog Gordon at the first base bag,with Adam Kennedy at the plate. Gordon is then thrown out trying to steal second by catcher Chris Snyder. Kennedy grounds out to first. The noob Weiland whiffs Bison to end the first.
Kershaw now back to normal from his flu bug, whiffs Jordan Schafer to lead off the bottom of the first inning. Jose Altuve, the little annoying 5’5″ second baseman for the Astros hits a liner in between shallow left center. Matt Kemp makes an amazing backhanded diving full extension catch! Wow! What a great catch from Bison! He can do it all folks. Kershaw then quickly whiffs J.D. Martinez like a rented mule, and it’s no score.
Ethier leads off the top of the second, and pops out to left. Juan Rivera pops out to Lee. Then out of complete nowhere, Loney blasts a solo home run to right field. It is the first home run of the year for Loney, and everyone is in shock, including myself. A true rarity. Next, Sellers immediately whiffs, and It’s 1-0 Dodgers.
Bottom of the second. Carlos Lee flies out to Rivera. Lowrie singles to center. Kersh tries to pick-off Lowrie, and the umpires call a balk on him. I couldn’t see anything that would have looked like a balk, but the umpires say so. Kershaw argues a bit, but to no avail as Lowrie is awarded second base. Kershaw only had one balk all of last season. Chris Johnson grounds out to third, as Sellers looks the runner back to second. Matt Downs pops out, and Lowrie is stranded at second.
Top of the third. A.J. Ellis grounds out to short. Kershaw singles up the middle. Remember Kersh can hit. Of course Gordon ruins this rally by grounding into an inning ending double play. Gordon is really struggling right now. We’re seeing growing pains for the young speedster. Bottom of the third. Snyder grounds out to Kennedy. Kyle Weiland in only his fourth career at-bat, grounds out to Kennedy. Schafer is frozen pizza on a called third strike to end the third.
Top of the fourth, with the score still 1-0 Dodgers. Kennedy leads off and predictably gounds out. Can somebody please tell me why in the hell does he have to bat second? The 25-year old rookie goes full count and whiffs him on a borderline called strike three. Weiland then whiffs Ethier as well on another called third strike. Geez this kid is dealing.
Kershaw begins the bottom f the fourth by whiffing Altuve. Next Martinez walks. Kershaw gets Lee to ground into an inning ending 5-4-3 double play! It’s a thing of beauty!
Top of the fifth, Rivera cranks a double down the third base line. Loney draws a full count walk. Sellers pops out after trying to bunt, wasting his at-bat. Of course A.J. Ellis grounds into an inning ending double play, as Lowrie backhand flips to Altuve who throws to Lee. We are seeing a lot of double plays today. The Dodgers don’t score, but still lead 1-0.
Bottom of the sixth. Lowrie hts a sharp liner to the whole at short, and Gordon makes a great stop and throws him out. Loney also gets credit with a nice pick. Johnson whiffs for Kershaw’s fifth whiff of the game. Downs hits a little blooper down the line in right field that falls just fair inside the line and bounces into the seats for a ground rule double. Catcher Chris Snyder who is hitting a blistering .095, is walked intentionally to go after the opposing pitcher Weiland. He grounds into a force out to end the threat.
Move to the top o the sixth. Kershaw whiffs. Gordon bunts for a hit. With Kennedy at-bat, Gordon’s speed flusters Weiland, causing him to make an errant pick-off throw,that bounces several feet away from Lee and rolls down the line. Gordon flies around to third. Kennedy, the out-maker, pops out to shallow right field. It’s not deep enough to score Gordon, although he bluffs but goes back to third. Matt Kemp comes up and just crushes a monstrous home run to dead center field that lands somewhere above the railing rafters too high for the cameras to see. I think his ball is still orbiting Minute Maid Park. That s Kemp’s ninth home run of the year, and he now has 22 RBI, has homered in three straight games, has a ten game hitting streak, and is OPSing three billion. Oh and in case your wondering, the Dodger record for most homers in April is 10 held by Gary Sheffield back in 2000. Kemp is just one home run short of tying that record. The Dodgers also extend their lead to 3-0. Ethier ends the frame by flying out to left field.
Kershaw whiffs Schafer and Altuve to start the bottom of the sixth. Martinez singles off of Kershaw’s glove, but Lee grounds into a force out to end a quick inning for Kershaw. Top of the seventh, with Weiland still in. Rivera grounds out. Loney whiffs to end the frame.
Bottom of the seventh. With Lowrie at-bat, and the count 2-2, Kershaw is charged with a ball, for putting his hand to his mouth, which is now illegal when on the mound. Kershaw protests, but the count is 3-2. Of course it does not matter, as Kersh whiffs Lowrie anyways for his eighth whiff of the game. Kershaw then gets Johnson to whiff on a pitch in the dirt. That’s nine whiffs for Kershaw. Downs pops out to Gordon, and it’s a 123 inning for Kershaw, who is up 3-0. Weiland is removed for Rhiner Cruz in the top of the eighth. Weiland goes seven innings allowing three runs on six hits, one walk, and six whiffs. Weiland comes out losing 3-0, and can only lose or get a no-decision.
A.J. Ellis walks to lead off the eighth. Kershaw is allowed to bat, and he bunts into a double play. Kershaw thought the ball was foul at first and got a late jump out of the box. Tis ok Kersh! Gordon then smacks a double off the right field wall for his third double of the season. Kennedy walks. With Bison at-bat, Brad Mills makes a double switch. Justin Maxwell goes into right field, and right-hander David Carpenter comes into pitch to Bison with two outs. Carpenter pitches around Bison walking him to load the bases for Ethier. Of course Ethier is as cool as the other side of the pillow, and he smacks a two run base knock to right. Gordon and Kennedy score to give the Dodgers a 5-0 lead. Ethier now has 21 RBI, second only to Bison in the National League. Gwynn walks, to load the bases again. However Loney pops out to end the inning.
Bottom of the eighth. Kershaw is lifted after 105 pitches. Kershaw goes seven scoreless frames. He allowed just three hits, two walks, and whiffed nine. Dougie is brought in to get some work in with the Dodgers up by five runs. Dougie gets Snyder to ground out to second. Maxwell gets a broken bat single to center. Schafer walks. Then Altuve walks, and we have another walkapalooza. Of course Mattingly makes another bases loaded pitching change and brings in Kenley Jansen. I get why being up 5-0 is a good time to get Dougie some work in, but when he can’t throw strikes, why wait until the bases are loaded?
The walkapalooza continues as Jansen forces in a run by walking Martinez. It’s 5-1 now. Lee pops out for the second out. Lowrie ends the inning by lining out to Matt Kemp, who makes the catch on the run. This annoying little walkapalooza finally ends. We should not have to burn Jansen in a 5-0 game. Of course if guys like Dougie, Guerrier, and Elbert could throw strikes when they come into games, then maybe Mattingly wouldn’t have to burn Jansen today, but anyways, back to the game.
Move to the bottom of the ninth. Jamey Wright is asked to pitch the bottom of the ninth for the Dodgers. Wright goes full count, but gets Johnson to whiff on a pitch inside. Pinch-hitter Marwin Gonzalez softly lines out to Gordon for the second out. Bogusevic grounds out to end the game.
The Dodgers improve to 12-3, Kershaw gets his first win of the season, and Matt Kemp continues to destroy National League pitching. The Dodgers remain red hot, and will go for the sweep tomorrow. Chad Billingsley will take the mound for the Dodgers looking for his third win of the year, as Houston will counter with Wandy Rodriguez at 11:05 AM. Check in with us tomorrow as the Dodgers play what could be their final game at the Juice Box.
Have a great Saturday evening Dodger fans! I am so giddy from all this winnin’! Go Blue