You know what annoyed me even more than the umpiring in today’s game? Joe Blanton’s employment. The employment of Joe Blanton and the ocean’s eleven umpiring crew rode into PNC Park to snatch what would have been a delicious sweep of the Pirates from the Dodgers grasps in a frustrating 10-6 loss.
“Let’s Go Dre”
Joe Blanton was predictably pathetic allowing eight runs, seven hits, four walks, and three home runs in 4.1 terrible innings. Matt Kemp, and Don Mattingly were both ejected from the game by home plate umpire Angel Campos in the top of the second inning. Apparently Kemp had only yelled “Let’s Go Dre” from the dugout, but who knows what Campos thought he yelled. Kemp charged out of the dugout and came close to making contact with Campos (via a chest bump), and may face a suspension from the League.
Garrett Jones hit two home runs and drove in six of the ten Pirate runs. Pedro Alvarez also hit a home run, and Clint Barmes was 2 for 4 with a two run single, and RBI triple, and three RBIs. Despite the poor pitching from Blanton, the Dodgers still scored six runs on eight hits. Without Bison, James Loney homered! How often does that happen? Hanley Ramirez hit his 150th career home run. Mark Ellis, Loney, and Ramirez all had two hits each in the loss. The Bucs A.J. Burnett picks up the win, number 15 for him, despite struggling through 6.2, and allowing six earned runs. Almost lost in all of this was the Dodgers had won nine in a row versus the Bucs, and were looking for a season sweep.
Why are getaway games always this frustrating? Here is how this crazy game went.
Shane Victorino leads off the game with a little dribbler up along first. A.J. Burnett underhand flips to Sanchez to record the out. Mark Ellis draws the count full before being called out on strikes on a ball that looked two feet off the plate. Sigh..Umpires. Matt Kemp goes down swinging as well to end the first.
Starling Marte starts the bottom of the first with an infield single to short, beating Hanley’s throw by a step. Jody Mercer grounds into a force out. Andrew McCutchen walks. Then Garrett Jones lowers the boom, a three run shot into the right field seats. Gaby Sanchez whiffs. Pedro Alvarez doubles, and Big Rod flies out to finally end the frame. However it’s 3-0 Bucs now.
Top of the second, and this is where things get wild. With Andre Ethier at the plate, someone begins yelling out of the Dodger dugout at the home plate umpire. We can’t see who it is, and then of course we see home plate umpire Angel Campos eject the arguer. Don Mattingly runs out to find out why whoever it is was tossed. Then we see who it is, and it’s Kemp of course. Bison runs out to argue and get his money’s worth. Mattingly, Victorino, and Trey Hillman try to hold him back. Finally Mattingly is tossed himself. I don’t know why these umpires act like such Nazis. Not only can you not say anything to them, you can’t even say anything from your own dugout. Nope, because if they hear you, they toss you. It’s called a power trip.
Anyways after all of that nonsense, Ethier grounds out. During this inning, James Loney homers into right field. No, really, he did. Loney! Yeah. His third home run of the season. The solo shot makes it a 3-1 game.
Bottom of the second. Elian Herrera just called up to replace the injured Jhair, takes over in center field for the Dodgers. Blanton recovers to retire the Bucs in order. Blanton gets Clint Barmes to pop out. A.J. Burnett lines out to Kennedy. Marte grounds out.
Move to the top of the fourth. The Dodgers rally back to plate three runs. Mark Ellis leads off with a ground rule double down the left field line that bounces into the stands. Elian Herrera playing in place of the ejected Bison, bunts for a hit down the third base line. Buc’s third sacker Pedro Alvarez throws the ball away. Ellis easily scores, and Herrera winds up at second on the throwing error. Ethier grounds into a force out. Hanley Ramirez takes Burnett deep to right center field for a huge two-run home run to put the Dodgers on top 4-3! That’s Ramirez’s 150 career home run. Congratualtions Hanley! Loney whiffs. Kennedy walks, and then steals second. AJ grounds out to end the inning.
Of course the Dodgers have the lead for about 12 seconds before Joe Bumton blows it. After Pedro Alvarez walks, Blanton Walks Big Rod. Isn’t Blanton supposed to be the big control guy? Barmes triples over Victorino’s head to score Big Rod all the way from first base. My lord, have you guys ever seen Big Rod lumbering into score all the way from first? It’s not a pretty site I tell you. Anyways, Burnett grounds out, and Marte is called out on strikes. The Bucs tie it up though at 4-4.
In the top of the fifth, the Dodgers let Joe Bumton bat for some reason. Mattingly is ejected so Bench Coach Trey Hillman is managing. Bumton whiffs. Victorino whiffs. M.Ellis grounds out.
Bottom of the fifth sees Bumton predictably explode allowing five runs on two home runs. Mercer singles, and McCutchen walks. Jones again homers, for his second blast of the day to put the Bucs up 7-4. After Sanchez grounds out, Alvarez launches a home run into the center field shrubbery, to make it an 8-4 game. Finally the Dodgers have had enough and hook Blanton. Javy Guerra is called in to restore order. Blanton finishes with a pitching line of 4.2 innings, seven hits eight earned runs, four walks, and four whiffs. A truly pathetic outing, from a pathetic pitcher. Big Rod pops out, and Barmes flies out to end the inning.
Burnett is still on for the top of the sixth, and retires the Dodgers in order. Herrera whiffs on a foul tip. Ethier flies out to left, and Hanley whiffs. Javy retires the Bucs in order as well in the bottom of the sixth.
The Dodgers come back to score two more in the top of the seventh to cut the lead to 8-6. Loney singles to center. Kennedy pops out. AJ singles to left, sending Loney to second. Luis Cruz pinch-hits for Guerra, and flies out to deep center. Loney tags up to third on the play. The Burnett loses it. Victorino is hit by a pitch in his knee to load the bases. Mark Ellis reaches on an infield single that’s deflected off of Burnett. M.Ellis slides head first into the bag and is safe! Loney scores to make it an 8-5 game. Juan Rivera comes off the bench to pinch-hit for Herrera, and he is also hit by a pitch. This forces in the second run of the inning, and it’s 8-6 Pirates. Burnett is hooked and the lefty Tony Watson is called in to pitch to Ethier. He gets Dre to grounds out to end the frame.
Jamey Wright is on to pitch for the Dodgers in the bottom of the seventh. McCutchen singles up the middle, then is promptly picked off by Wright. Jones walks. Sanchez grounds into a force out. Alvarez singles to left, Sanchez goes to second. Big Rod singles to right, to load the bases. Of course Barmes singles in two runs, to give the Bucs a 10-6 lead. The Dodgers have to hook Jamey Wright, and bring in Randy Choate to get Snider to pop out to end the inning.
Jason Grilli replaces Watson, and pitches the eighth. The Dodgers threaten but don’t score, but of course. Hanley singles. Loney drives what looks like a hit into left center field, but McCutchen makes a running diving catch to rob Loney. Go away McCutchen. Juan Uribe bats for Choate, and grounds into a force out. Grilli throws the ball to the wrong guy, and Hanley is safe at second. Where was Grilli throwing to? AJ lines out to Sanchez who makes a running over the shoulder catch to end the frame.
Shawn Tolleson pitches a scoreless bottom of the eighth. Joel Hanrahan comes in for the Bucs to close it out. Cruz flies out, Victorino reaches on another throwing error by Alvarez. M.Ellis grounds out. Rivera grounds out to short to end the game.
I’m listening to the postgame interview with Don Mattingly right now. Apparently Kemp only said “Let’s Go Dre”. Bison was tossed out of the game for cheering for his own teammate. What kind of BS is this? Mattingly is threatening to go to the league after this. I don’t blame him. Something has to be done about these umpires going forward. They’re on some kind of power trip.
While this game was most annoying, let’s not get too upset by the loss. We all feared how bad Blanton would be on the road, and our fears were confirmed. He’s terrible. Nobody can tell me he is any better than Stephen Fife. He is allowing more than nine hits per nine innings (9.5), and has allowed 23 home runs. Despite all of this the Dodgers are still in first place, and are swinging the bats very well. They still win the series and have won five out of seven so far on this road-trip. The Dodgers remain a half game ahead of the idle Giants with a 65-54 record.
Topics: A.J. Ellis, Adam Kennedy, Andre Ethier, Dodgers, Don Mattingly, Elian Herrera, Hanley Ramirez, James Loney, Jamey Wright, Javy Guerra, Joe Blanton, Juan Rivera, Juan Uribe, Luis Cruz, Mark Ellis, Matt Kemp, Randy Choate, Shane Victorino, Shawn Tolleson