Today was D-day as in D for draft. While Vinny beautifully explained about the real D-day almost 70 years ago, the Dodgers, on draft day were again drafting pitching in the first round of this year’s annual amatuer player draft. They selected power pitching right hander Chris Anderson with their 18th pick overall. Anderson is 22 years old and from Jacksonville. Meanwhile you may call today D-day, but it was actually P-day for Puig day as the rookie sensation put on another show at the Ravine. His incredible Grand Slam home run in the bottom of the eighth amazed even Vin Scully during tonight’s 5-0 whitewashing of the Atlanta Braves. That doesn’t mean it was an easy victory for the Boys in Blue. Not even close. They had to fight for this win.
The first place Atlanta Braves strode into Dodger Stadium on Thursday night to begin a four game series. The Dodgers were unable to secure a series sweep of San Diego last night despite Clayton Kershaw pitching in what ended up being an annoying 6-2 loss. The Dodgers were still able to win only their second series of the season against a division rival.
It seemed unlikely the Dodgers would be able to match up with the mighty and powerful Braves. But these are the new and improved Puig-lead Dodgers. Ok maybe they’re not new and improved, but they have Puig, and apparently that’s enough to win.
During day four of Puig watch, the amazing young slugger was again batting in the lead-off spot. The youngster saved his best performance for his last at-bat. With the Dodgers leading 1-0 in the bottom of the eighth inning, and the bases loaded, Puig launched a grand slam home run into the right field pavilion seats. That was more than enough for the Dodgers to hold on and win 5-0. Puig was 2 for 4 with the grand slam and a single. He also made several great throws from right field
Of course that didn’t really tell the whole story of this game. This was a tight pitcher’s duel up until that fateful eighth inning. Zack Greinke and right hander Tim Hudson dueled for seven and a half innings. Greinke was very strong after coming off of three consecutive lousy starts. The former Cy Young winner turned in one of his best starts of the year. Greinke held the Braves to just four hits over seven frames, walking three and whiffing seven. Hudson nearly matched Greinke pitch for pitch. Hudson pitched seven frames allowing one run on four hits, walking none and whiffing five.
Greinke only allowed a first inning single to Jason Heyward, and a second inning double to Ramiro Pena. Greinke’s last inning was the most nerve wracking to watch. With the Dodgers up 1-0, After allowing singles to Freddie Freeman, and Brian McCann, which put runners on first and third, Greinke recovered and whiffed Uggla. Pena lined out to Van Slyke who fired a great throw into home to keep Freeman from tagging up and scoring. B.J. Upton flied out to right, and the Dodgers got out of it.
The Dodgers only had four hits until the bottom of the eighth. The lone run until then scoring in the second inning, when Van Slyke singled and took third when Andre Ethier’s pop fly double fell in between Upton and Heyward. Skip Schumaker’s RBI grounder scored Upton.
The Dodgers also got a big break in the top of the eighth. When an Atlanta base runner forgot to touch second base afte overunning the bag on a fly out. Jordan Schafer singled, and was called out when he rounded second base on a Simmons fly out and forgot to touch second base on the way back. You of course have to touch the bag once you round it and take a step past the bag. Neener neener Simmons. The Dodgers recorded a double play and got out of that inning with their 1-0 lead intact.
The Dodgers rallied in the bottom of the eighth off of rookie Cory Gearrin. After Fedex whiffed, Schumaker singles to extend his hitting streak to 13 games by the way. Cruz a flare single to left, and a walk to pinch-hitter Hanley Ramirez loaded the bases for guess who? Yasiel Puig. Grand Slam. Yes, Puig slugged a grand slam home run that went into the right field pavilion seats to give the Dodgers a 5-0 lead, and send Dodger Stadium into a frenzy!
Even Vin Scully was amazed. Scully astonished said “I don’t believe it!”. Indeed Vinny, neither could we.
Puig was 2 for 4 with a single and the grand slam and four RBI. All total, he is hitting .438 with three home runs and nine Runs driven in! Just incredible! Matt Guerrier pitched a scoreless ninth inning, and the Dodgers win 5-0! Greinke picks up his third win of the season, and Hudson takes the hard luck loss, his fifth of the year.
Great game! I am still in shock. Join us tomorrow as the series against Atlanta goes on. Tomorrow night Paul Maholm will battle Hyun-jin Ryu in a battle of lefties at 7:10 PM. Kind of ironic how on 6-6-13, number 66 hits his first career grand slam? Coincidence? I think not. Viva La Puig! Go Blue.