Dodgers- 2 6 0
Angels- 3 10 2
WP- Isringhausen (2-0)
LP- Jansen (4-1)
S- Frieri (5)
HR- Trout (6)
Los Angeles is abuzz this Monday night as the Kings capture their very first Stanley Cup. Down the street, cross-town rivals were playing at Chavez Ravine. The Dodgers are trying to make this season a trophy-worthy one as well. Tonight was the first game of six between the rivals in the pseudo “Freeway Series.” I’m a traditionalist, and the true Freeway Series has historically been the exhibition series between the Dodgers and Angels which immediately precedes and kicks off the regular season. Nonetheless, the Dodgers were looking to come out victorious against the Halos. It was not to be. Chris Capuano walked the tightrope all night, but it didn’t matter much anyways as the Dodgers couldn’t muster more than two runs plated in the first inning off two Angel errors. Mattingly decided to let Jansen pitch to Pujols in the ninth inning with the game tied, and well that didn’t work out so well.
We have our first look at 20-year old Mike Trout as Chris Capuano strikes him out swinging to begin the game. Torii Hunter follows with a single up the middle. Albert Pujols is welcomed by Dodger fans with a chorus of boos. He proceeds to continue to give Cappy a hard time, and he singles. Capuano walks Mark Trumbo to load the bases up with just one out. Miraculously Howard Kendrick hits into an inning ending double play! Cappy made 15 pitches in the inning, but he escapes unscathed.
Dee Gordon leads off against Garrett Richards in the bottom half of the first for the Dodgers. Gordon draws a walk, and as Vin Scully likes to say, “a rabbit is loose.” Gordon starts going as Elian Herrera flares a double over the head of Callaspo, and Gordon ends up at third. He possibly could have scored on the play, but a fan grabbed the ball. Gordon then scores on a ground ball hit by Ethier, and the Dodgers lead 1-0! The former Angel, Bobby Abreu, draws a walk with one out. Jerry Hairston Jr. flies out. Garrett Richards throws the ball into center field on an attempted pickoff at second, and Herrera scores on the error by the pitcher. Also on the play Trout overruns the ball, and his throw is not in time to get Herrera at the plate. That would be two errors on that play. Loney pops up, but the Dodgers score two runs on the two Angel errors!
Erick Aybar reaches on a bunt single with one out in the second inning. John Hester follows suit with a single as well. Once again Cappy is making things difficult for himself. Richards strikes out swinging, and Trout flies out to end any hope for the Halos in the second.
After getting the first two outs, Cappy allows a single to Trumbo. Kendrick walks, and once again the Angels have a couple of runners in the inning. Callaspo walks to load the bases up. That prompts a mound visit by Rick Honeycutt to try to settle Cappy down. Aybar grounds into a force play, and Cappy narrowly averts disaster again.
Dee Gordon, who has been hitting better of late, doubles to center field to lead off the bottom of the third. Gordon tags up on a fly ball from Herrera. Ethier strikes out on a foul tip. Abreu strikes out as well, and the Dodgers waste the Gordon double.
Capuano is struggling, and he walks John Hester to begin the fourth inning. Richards grounds into what looks like a double play, but Dee bobbles the ball to make it a mere force out. Capuano picks off Richards when he is caught leaning too far (important play). Immediately following the pickoff, Mike Trout crushes a breaking ball out for a solo homerun, and the Angels are on the board, 2-1. Luckily the Dodgers just had erased those two base runners, otherwise the Angels would be leading right now. Hunter doubles off the glove of Herrera and down the left field line. Capuano is not looking good, folks. Here comes Pujols with two outs and a runner at second. Albert flies out to right field, and the Angels have to settle for one.
James Loney singles, and AJ walks in the bottom of the fourth. Tony Gwynn grounds into another inning ending double play (his second of the night) as the Dodgers fail to score.
Capuano finally sends the Angels down in order in the fifth on three consecutive ground outs. Loney makes a nice pick to get Callaspo on Herrera’s less than stellar throw.
Capuano whiffs for the first out of the bottom of the fifth. Dee Gordon singles, and he now has two hits and a walk so far tonight. With Herrera at the plate, Dee Gordon steals his 17th base of the year. Herrera walks as the Angel battery is crossed up and flustered. Ethier strikes out. He is really slumping. Gordon runs right into the probable base hit by Abreu for the final out of the inning. Another spectacular display of base running by the Dodgers.
Aybar leads off the sixth with a double to left. Donnie has seen enough, and he hooks Cappy before anymore runs are served up. Josh Lindblom is brought in with nobody out and a runner at second. Adam Kennedy comes into the game at third base with the double switch. Hester pops out in foul territory for the first out. Kendrys Morales will pinch-hit for Richards. Morales also pops out in foul territory to Kennedy. Mike Trout singles to right field on a 0-2 count, and the Angels have tied it up. Trout takes second on the high throw from Ethier. With Hunter batting, Trout steals third. Lindblom fans Hunter, but it’s now a 2-2 game.
Chris Capuano pitched 5 innings, allowing 8 hits, 2 runs, 4 walks, and 2 strikeouts on 86 pitches.
Garrett Richards pitched 5 innings, allowing 5 hits, 2 runs, 5 walks, and 4 strikeouts on 102 pitches.
LaTroy Hawkins comes in out of the Angel bullpen for the bottom of the sixth. A.J. Ellis walks for the third time of the night with two outs on the board. It doesn’t matter much since Ellis is picked off at first.
Lindblom is back in for the seventh, and he walks Pujols to start off. Trumbo pops up. Kendrick grounds into a double play, and the game remains tied.
Hisanori Takahashi , lefty, will pitch the bottom of the seventh for Anaheim. Gwynn strikes out swinging to lead off. Kennedy flies out, and Gordon grounds out to end the inning.
Ronald Belisario will get the ball for the eighth inning. Belly sends down the Angels in order for a scoreless inning. We haven’t touched on it much, but Belisario is having quite a nice “comeback” season. He’s 1-0 with a 1.04 ERA.
Ivan DeJesus leads off the bottom of the eighth with a single. Ethier strikes out for the third time of the night. Ouch. Abreu whiffs. Mike Scioscia goes to the pen and brings in Jason Isringhausen to pitch to Hairston. IDJ steals second, but then JHair grounds out to end any chance of scoring.
We head to the ninth with the rivals still with locked horns. Kenley Jansen gets the nod for the ninth. Trout walks with one out, and he steals second. Jansen strikes out Hunter for the second out. Now Kenley has to battle Pujols. Of course instead of walking Pujols they decide to pitch to him, and he softly singles to left to bring in the run. 3-2 Angels. Pujols steals second, and the Angels continue to pick the pockets of the Dodger pitchers tonight. Trumbo strikes out to end the inning, but the damage is done.
Ernesto Frieri will work the bottom of the ninth and try to shut down the Dodgers at home. Loney flies out. A.J. Ellis walks for the fourth time of the night. Juan Rivera pops up. Juan Uribe comes up to bat to pinch-hit after being recalled from the DL today. Frieri hits Uribe with the pitch in the elbow. Dee Gordon flies out, and that’s it.
The Dodgers fail to win their 40th game of the year, and they are now 39-23. The Dodgers have now dropped five games in a row at home. We’re heading into rough Interleague waters here, Dodger fans.
On the bright side: during the game we got some exciting news. It has been reported that the Dodgers and Andre Ethierare close to agreeing
on a 5-year $85 million contract extension with a 6th year vesting option which would make the deal valued at $100 million. I have been waiting a long time for the Dodgers to lock in Dre! The deal is expected to be announced tomorrow.