Amidst much media frenzy, the Dodgers entered today with the best record in the National League and their best start after one month since 1983. After Matt Kemp showed the hype kiddies of Washington how a real MVP ballplayer does it which succeeded a furious rally of wonderfulness. The Dodgers looking for the sweep, were hoping to carry the momentum of last night’s exciting win. The Nationals decided to throw yet another rookie phenom prospect at us. Washington placed Mark DeRosa on the DL, and they called up rookie prospect Tyler Moore. The Nats put him in the lineup, batting sixth and playing in left field. Kid Hype, Bryce Harper, moved from left field to center and batted seventh.
Despite all the hoopla over the kiddies, the Dodgers were able to pull out the win 2-0 and sweep of Washington despite still having several players that are bruised and banged. Juan Rivera sat out another game with his strained hamstring. Mattingly has said a DL trip might still not be out of the question, but it seems like he is improving and was available to pinch-hit.
Hairston is still nursing a bruised hand after getting plunked in last night’s game. X-rays were negative, so he is listed as day-to-day. Todd Coffey is ready to come off the DL on Monday, and is expected to be activated for the start of the Dodger’s road trip. Nathan Eovaldi is rumored to be the pitcher sent down to make roster room for Coffey.
Washington was able to keep Kemp and Ethier quiet today, holding them hitless all day. Both teams were pretty quiet on offense today. The Dodgers only had three hits, a Sellers double, the two-run single form Loney, and a Matt Treanor single. The game featured a solid pitching duel between Chris Capuano and Gio Gonzalez. Gio entered the game with a 20 inning scoreless streak, and Cappy was looking for his third win of the year. Both pitchers would lock horns until the sixth inning. the Dodgers scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth, and had to make those two stand up. They did. Three consecutive walks, and a Loney two-run single was enough for the Dodgers to beat Washington 2-0 and sweep the three game series. Cappy picked up the win, Lindblom pitched two plus scoreless frames out of the pen, and Jansen filled in for Javy by closing out the ninth. While Washington will head home to nurse their wounds, the Dodgers head for Colorado to start a six game road trip and three game set at Coors Field. The Dodgers spanked those little Washington kiddies all weekend, showing them how it’s done should they continue to develop.
Cappy starts the game by whiffing Ian Desmond, as Vinny talks about his economic degree background. Lombardozzi flies out to left. Cappy then whiffs Espinosa swinging to end things in the first quickly. Gio Gonzalez takes the mound in the bottom of the first for Washington, and he walks Tony Gwynn Jr. to start the inning. Gonzalez recovers to whiff Mark Ellis, as we learn from Vin, that opposing hitters are now 0 for 43 against Gonzalez with two strikes. With KeMVP at the plate, Gonzalez loses his control again, and a wild pitch in the dirt advances Gwynn to second. Bison whiffs on a 2-2 count, so that is now 0 for 44. Andre Ethier whiffs for the third out. 0 for 45. Ughhh.
Top of the second, Cappy whiffs LaRoche on a called third strike. Nady grounds to third. The Nationals new over hyped kid prospect, 25-year old Tyler Moore, grounds out in his first plate appearance. The game remains scoreless. Gonzalez begins the bottom of the second by getting Uribe and Loney to hit into weak grounders. Sellers, playing for Dee who has a day off, slaps a double just fair inside the foul line in right field. That is Sellers third hit of the season. However Matt Treanor, our backup catcher, flies out to right ending any hopes of scorin’.
The second coming of Jesus, also known as Bryce Harper, A.K.A. Kid Hype, grounds out to Uribe thereby ending his hall of fame candidacy. Cappy than effectively whiffs Jesus Flores and retires Gio Gonzalez on a fly ball to left. Cappy is straight dealin’. He has now retired nine in a row. Cappy leads off the bottom of the third by whiffing. Desmond makes a nice back-hand grab of Gwynn’s blooper. Mark Ellis whiffs to end the frame.
Vinny notes the Nats lead-off guys aren’t setting the table, and that Washington is table-less, or without tables to set dinner on. Desmond then of course leads off by doubling against the Dodger bullpen gate. Lombardozzi sacrifices him to third. Cappy whiffs Espinosa for a clutch out. Cappy pitches around LaRcohe, and eventually walks him. This seems smart, especially with the struggling Xavier Nady coming to the plate. The move works, as Cappy whiffs Nady on a breaking ball in the dirt. The Dodgers get out of it, with the scores still tied at nada, nada.
Bottom of the fourth. Bison smokes a line drive off of Gonzalez’s arm. He recovers and is able to throw out Bison. There is a meeting on the mound to make sure Gonzalez is alright, and he is. Ethier walks. Uribe slams one to the deepest part of Dodger Stadium, in straight-away center field. Kid Hype, goes back to the wall, and makes a great leaping grab as he crashes against the center field wall. I hate him, but must admit, that was a great play by the kid. With two outs, Loney sharply grounds out to LaRoche, and there is still no score.
Top of the fifth. Mini-Hype Jr., collects his first hit, a single into the right field gap. Cappy recovers to fool Kid Hype, getting him to swing and whiff at a ball out of the strike zone. Sellers makes a great play, by leaping to spear the line drive off the bat of Jesus Flores for the second out. Cappy whiffs his opposing starter, and the ohferfest continues.
Bottom of the fifth. Sellers grounds back to the box. Treanor singles to center. Cappy sacrifices Treanor to second. Gwynn fouls out, and we are still scoreless. O-H-F-E-R-L-I-C-I-O-U-S. It’s not fictitious.
Top of the sixth. Desmond whiffs again for Cappy’s ninth whiff. Lombardozzi flies out. Cappy walks Espinosa, and has to face LaRoche. He gets him to fly out to center. Both pitchers are locked in now.
Bottom of the sixth. Ellis pops out. Bison draws a one out walk. Ethier also walks. With two on and Uribe at the plate, Washington has a meeting on the mound to discuss how to pitch him with Loney due up after. Gonzalez looks flustered, and walks Uribe on four straight pitches to load the bases. Loney with two strikes mind you, comes through by blooping a base hit to center field to score two runs. The Dodgers take the lead 2-0! Bloops or no bloops, we will take it! Sellers whiffs swinging for the second out. Gonzalez recovers to also whiff Treanor to end the inning. However the damage is done as the Dodgers end Gonzalez’s 25-inning scoreless streak, and they lead by two runs.
Cappy starts the top of the seventh by retiring Nady on a fly out to center. Mini-Hype Jr., Tyler Moore, was hitting more like Mary Tyler Moore and flies out to left. Kid Hype singles to right with two outs. With the count 2-0 on Flores, Mattingly comes out to talk to the home plate umpire, which can ony mean one thing. A double switch. Mattingly brings in Dee Gordon to play shortstop and Josh Lindblom to pitch. Lindblom gets his man, as Flores flies out to left, and crisis averted for now. Cappy goes 6.2 innings, allowing no runs, three hits, two walks, and nine whiffs. Cappy made 105 piches.
Bottom of the seventh. Coldwater Ohio’s finest, Craig Stammen, takes over on the mound for Washington. Gonzalez goes six innings of work. He allowed two runs on three hits, walked five, and whiffed seven. Gordon leads off and grounds out. Gwynn flies out. Ellis flies out. End of inning.
Top of the eighth. Josh Lindblom still on the mound. He easily whiffs Ankiel. Demond whiffs as well for the second out. That is the third time Desmond has whiffed today, and makes 11 Washington plate whiffs. Lombardozzi singles to right. Fear not because Espinosa grounds out, ending the frame.
Bottom of the eighth. Stammen whiffs Bison for the first out. Ethier bounces out. Uribe draws his second walk of the day, and that brings up Loney. No more heroics this time. Loney flies out.
Jansen enters to close out the game in the ninth with Javy banged up and sucking of late. LaRoche walks to lead off. Mattingly has a meeting on the mound, possibly to stall for time, as this time Javy warms up behind Jansen. He recovers though to whiff the weak hitting Xavier Nady. One out. Pinch-hitter Chad Tracy is completely over matched by Jansen, whiffing for the second out. With Kid Hype at the plate, LaRoche takes second base on defensive indifference. Kid Hype walks to put runners at second and third. Jansen finally shuts the door, by whiffing Flores to end the game. The Dodgers show the kiddies of Washington how it’s done by sweeping the series, to improve to an NL best 16-6 record.
What an exciting homestand! The Dodgers head out to Colorado to take on the annoyances of Cargo, Mullet man, notorious Dodger killer Todd Helton, and the Rockies. Join us for more Dodger coverage as the Dodgers hit the road on Monday. Stacie and I will also be guest appearing on the Loudmouth Experience, a show co-hosted by our good friend Nick Hamilton tomorrow at 8PM. We will have more info on the show tomorrow later tonight.
Take notice Washington. This is how it is done. Just call Matt Kemp and the Dodgers the bus drivers, because they were talking the Nationals to school! Sorry D.C. kiddies school is now out! Go Blue