Today’s rubber game against the Dodgers and the Fish, was a tight pitcher’s duel for the first seven innings. The Dodgers had a slim 1-0 lead until the top of the eighth when they exploded for four runs off of Heath Bell. But the story wasn’t the usual inconsistent Dodger offense. The story of the day was Chris Capuano, who perhaps pitched the greatest game of his Dodger career today. Cappy carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning with one before it was broken up by Jose Reyes. Overall Cappy only allowed two measly hits, and no runs through eight fantastic innings. Cappy whiffed ten Fish batters, and walked three while making 102 pitches and picking up his eleventh win.
Opposing starter lefty Wade LeBlanc was no slouch either. He allowed just one run on six hits through seven frames, but takes the tough luck loss. LeBlanc whiffed four, walked none, and also made 102 pitches.
The Dodger’s offense didn’t do much, but finally came to life in the eighth inning. It was Cappy himself who started a mini-rally in the third inning. The Dodgers loaded the bases, on back to back hits from Cappy, And Victorino, and an infield hit from M.Ellis, on a bunt attempt. Cappy scored on a sac fly from Hanley Ramirez.
The Dodgers plated four in the top of the eighth on consecutive hits from Mark Ellis, Kemp, and followed by a two-run leg double from Ramirez. Ethier followed with an RBI single of his own to plate the fourth run. Cruz followed suit with a double to plate the fifth run. Hanley Ramirez was 6 for 13 in the series against his former team.
What was surprising was how many experienced Baseball folks jinxed Cappy by talking about his no-no on twitter. The twitter-sphere exploded with no-hitter tweets. Come on guys, we all know better than that right? I’ve learned since I was a kid, that when someone has a no-no going you never ever mention or talk about it. You can indirectly mention it, but don’t ever just come right out and say it. I blame Dylan Hernadez, and Eric Stephen for jinxing Cappy. Ok, I am just joking of course, but seriously next time be quiet. Let’s get to the highlights!
The Dodgers threaten in the top of the first, put men on base, and of course don’t score. Shane Victorino grounds out, but slips getting out of the box. Mark Ellis reaches on an error from Jose Reyes after he drops Ellis’s pop up. Matt Kemp flies out to deep center. Hanley Ramirez amongst a chorus of boos, doubles down the left field line, sending Ellis to third. Andre Ethier flies out to center, and the Dodgers don’t score. Shocking I know.
Wade LeBlanc sets the Dodgers bottom of the lineup down in order. Juan Rivera, Luis Cruz, and Matt Treanor all go down in order. In the bottom of the second, Carlos Lee pops out. Austin Kearns walks. Donovan Solano grounds into an inning ending double play. The Dodgers load the bases in the top of the third, but only are able to plate one run. Again, lousy situational hitting prevents the Dodgers from scoring more than one measly run.
Capuano, and Victorino both lead off with singles up the middle. M.Ellis tries to bunt the runners over, and the bunt lands in no man’s land, dribbling up along third base, and staying fair. The bases are loaded. Matt Kemp comes up and whiffs. Ouch. Tough out. Hanley’s sac fly to left field scores Cappy, and the Dodgers take a 1-0 lead. Ethier grounds out to end the frame. Cappy continues to deal in the bottom of the third. Nick Green, and Brett Hayes both whiff, and Leblanc grounds out.
Rivera, Cruz, and Treanor all make out again, off of LeBlanc in the top of the fourth. LeBlanc has really settled down now. Cappy sets down the Fish again in the bottom of the fourth. Hernandez whiffs. Ruggiano flies out to left. Reyes walks. Lee flies out to Kemp.
LeBlanc sets the Dodgers down in order again in the top of the 5th. He has now retired nine in a row. Both pitchers horns are locked. In the bottom of the fifth, Cappy continues to make fish fry out of the Marlins. Kearns walks for the second time today. Solano whiffs. With Green at the plate, Kearns is thrown out trying to steal by Treanor. It could have been a botched hit and run play. Green then pops up, and the inning is over. The score is still 1-0 Blue.
The Dodgers go down again in order in the top of the sixth. Kemp lines out to left. Ramirez flies out to right. Ethier grounds out to third. In the bottom of the sixth, Hayes flies out to left for the first out. LeBlanc grounds out. Hernandez whiffs. Cappy is straight dealin’!
Of course the Dodgers again, can’t do anything with their bats. Did someone put lead in them or something? Rivera whiffs. Cruz singles just past Lee’s glove. Treanor whiffs. Cappy grounds out. Bottom of the seventh. Cappy enters with a no-hitter still intact. Ruggiano whiffs. Reyes singles to center, to break up the no-no. It was a clean hit. At least it wasn’t a cheap hit. Lee flies out, and Kearns grounds out.
With the Dodgers still leading 1-0, Miami brings in struggling former closer Heath Bell to pitch the top of the eighth. The Dodgers explode to plate four runs this frame. Victorino lines out to center. M.Ellis beats out an infield grounder to third for a hit. Green’s throw is too late. Kemp doubles down the line in left, past the diving Nick Green. With runners on second and third now, Hanley singles past the drawn in infield to score both Kemp and Ellis, and give the Dodgers a 3-0 lead. Kemp has to actually jump over Reyes who was in the middle of the base runner’s lane to eventually score. Hanley takes second on the throw home. The Fish fans rain boos upon poor Hanley. Ethier singles up the middle to score Hanley, and the Dodgers extend their lead to 4-0. Bell is hooked, and Miami brings in Chris Hatcher from their bullpen. Rivera whiffs. Luis Cruz doubles over the head of Gorkys Hernandez to score Dre. Treanor’s force out ends the frame. The Dodgers score four, and lead 5-0.
Cappy continues to dominate into the bottom of the eighth. Solano pops out. Green reaches on a lucky pop fly single that lands a few feet inside the right field line. Cappy then recovers to whiff Hayesm and Stanton to end the frame. That gives Cappy ten whiffs now on the game.
The Dodgers threaten in the top of the ninth, but don’t score off of Chad Guadin. Adam Kennedy singles as a pinch-hitter. Victorino walks. M.Ellis’s grounder advances the runners to second and third. Kemp, and Hanley both whiff to end the inning for the Dodgers. Move to the bottom of the ninth inning, with the Dodgers leading 5-0. Jamey Wright is called in to finish the game. Hernandez grounds out. Ruggiano whiffs. Reyes grounds out to end the game. The Dodgers win the game and the series. Final score is 5-0.
This was a true team effort today. The Dodgers improve to 62-53, and now await the results of the Rockies/Giants game. The Dodgers are just a half game back of first place. If the Giants lose, the Dodgers will move back into a first place tie.
The Dodgers will fly to Pittsburgh to take on the Pirates tomorrow. In the first game of a tough four game series, the Dodgers will start Aaron Harang. The Bucs will counter with Jeff Karstens. Join us tomorrow as we continue to document the Dodger’s Baseball seasons. Go Blue.