MLB continued their boring PED enforcement this afternoon as today was the day that MLB announced the Biogenesis suspensions. And boy was it boring! Around 20 players were handed out the most boring 50 game suspensions in MLB history, and Alex Rodriguez was given a suspension through the 2014 season. Indeed that was boring too. It just so happens that it was Arod’s first game back from the disabled list with the Yankees. So why am I even talking about Arod right now? Well because ESPN constantly followed him around all day and shoved him in our faces. It was like Arod central over at ESPN which was kind enough to cover tonight’s Dodger game. By the end of the night I had all the Arod news I ever want to hear again in my life.
ESPN bombarded us with constant boring and pointless Arod coverage throughout the day. They followed him around, showed every one of his at-bats and even discussed in length what his every facial expression, and bowel movement was. Possibly showing his facial expressions during a bowel movement. Every meal he ate, every quote he made was headline news at ESPN. They annoyingly cut from the Dodger game during every Arod at-bat. Despite this annoying, and boring pink elephant distraction from the Dodger game, we were able to get our daily Dodger fix in while KCAL is still dark for TWC customers in Los Angeles.
I’m glad all of the juicers are getting what they deserve but I don’t care about Arod. I’m sorry but I just don’t give a crap. The punishments are still not long enough in my opinion and the juicers will probably keep on juicing. And this MLB “investigation” was more boring than we could ever imagine. But anyways, back to the Dodgers.
The Boys in Blue were looking for a record 15th consecutive road win. We were all petrified to learn the news about Hanley Ramirez’s shoulder. I still don’t think it’s as serious as everyone thinks it is. Just don’t google jammed shoulder. Seriously no matter what anybody says to you. Of course Howard almost made me google it by just mentioning it. So I had to and it scared the crap out of me. Seriously don’t do it. (No Really don’t do it!) Never the less, the Dodgers announced that Hanley was sore and swollen and he would avoid the DL for now. Hanley sat out tonight’s opening game against the Red Birds. The Dodgers to play it safe, optioned Fife before the game and recalled shortstop Dee Gordon. It will be hard for the Dodgers to win without Hanley. And with Matt Kemp still out could the Dodgers overcome the odds?
I am pleased to announce the Dodgers fought for tonight’s win. They fought tooth and nail and even down 1-0 early, rallied to take the lead. Starter Zack Greinke was solid despite a shaky beginning. Greinke tossed 6.1 innings of two-run ball, allowing eight hits, and whiffing four, He walked just one and made 105 pitches. He also contributed with the bat again as well, adding an RBI single in the seventh which was a huge insurance run. Lost in the shuffle of all the Hanley worry and PED madness is that Greinke picked up his 100 win and ninth of the regular season.
The Dodgers’ three runs were a big deal since Adam Wainwright was on the hill and getting three runs against him is hard to do. Wainwright kind of has a lurch from Adams Family thing going on. Lurch pitched seven frames allowing three runs on seven hits and whiffing five. But Greinke just pitched a little bit better.
The Cardinals put runners on all day, threatening in almost every inning. It was scary guys, I was scared! You knew at any moment that any one of those Cardinal hitters can go deep or take a line drive down the line. A win can be blown in a heartbeat. Still, the Cards left eight men on base and were 1 for 9 with RISP. The Dodgers escaped a bases loaded jam in the third, a first and third jam in the fourth, and threw out a runner (Craig) at the plate on a good throw from Yasiel Puig, and a great relay throw from Nick Punto, who was playing in place of the injured Hanley Ramirez. A.J. made a great swipe tag and the Dodgers got out of it.
The Cardinals scored one in the first when Matt Carpenter doubled, and strolled into third on a Puig bumble. He scored on a fielder’s choice grounder from Carlos Beltran when Punto’s throw to the plate was high and wide.
The Dodgers fought back with two in the fourth. Gonzo walked, and Pug doubled him to third. Gonzo was held up at third obviously because he’s slow as molasses, but Puig got mad at Gonzo’s lack of speed. After the inning they were seen arguing, but later made up with a little kissy kissy on camera in the dugout. it was serious for a moment. Andre Ethier’s broken bat single, and A.J. Ellis’s run scoring grounder plated two, to put the Dodgers up 2-1.
The Dodgers went up 3-1 when in the sixth, with Lurch still on the mound, Punto doubled down the line and Greinke singled him home. 3-1 Dodgers.
The Cardinals got a run in the seventh to make it a 3-2 game. But the Dodgers got out of any further trouble. Belisario induced a clutch double play grounder to end the seventh, and then Paco pitched a solid eighth inning to preserve the lead. Paco remained in the game to finsish off the Cards in the ninth, and the Dodgers win again! Great game! Let’s go to the hightlights…..
The Dodgers get two hits in the top of the first but no runs. Carl Crawford starts if off with a blooper into left field. Mark Ellis immediately follows with a 5-4-3 double play that erases Crawford’s hit. Adrian Gonzalez singles up the middle, but Wainwright whiffs Yasiel Puig looking on a filthy curveball.
Of course the Cardinals immediately score off of Greinke in the first inning. Within seconds they have a 1-0 lead and with Wainwright on the mound and Hanley not in the lineup that may be all they need. Matt Carpenter’s lead-off double into the gap is bumbled by Puig allowing him to stroll into third. They give Puig an error on the play. Carlos Beltran’s fielder’s choice grounder to short scores Carpenter when Punto throws the ball over A.J. Ellis’s head. 1-0 Red Birds. Allen Craig sends Ethier to the warning track with a deep fly that allows Beltran to tag up second. Matt Holiday flies out to Dre, Beltran moves over to third. David Freeze grounds out to charging Juan Uribe and the inning is over.
Both pitchers exchange scoreless second frames with Greinke’s second inning much better than his first. The score remains 1-0 Cardinals after two.
Greinke struggles again in the bottom of the third. Wainwright flies out to Puig. Ethier makes a great sliding shoe-string catch on Carpenter’s sinking liner. Beltran doubles off of Puig’s glove in the gap. Craig is hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second. Holliday’s little dribbler to the mound gets by Greinke and Punto screws up another grounder and the bases are loaded. Somehow, Greinke fights his way out by getting Freese to ground into a force out. That’s some David Copperfield right there.
Dodgers fight back in the top of the fourth. Gonzo draws a lead-off walk. Puig blasts a double off the top of the wall in right. Andre Ethier’s broken bat slicing looping single into right allows Gonzo to score and Puig mvoes up to third. The Dodgers tie it up! A.J. Ellis grounds one to short and the Cardinals are unable to turn a double play. They’re able to get Ethier at second, but A.J. beats the throw at first. Puig scores on the play and the Dodgers now take the lead by a score of 2-1! Wainwright falls behind 2-0 to Uribe but gets the double play he missed last at-bat as Uribe ends the inning.
The Dodgers made their best attempt to surrender the lead back to the Cardinals as soon as humanely possible. Thank god Greinke was able to pull another disappearing act to worm his way out of the jam. Jon Jay singles to right. Tony Cruz’s piddly grounder goes right through the right side of the infield after M.Ellis breaks to cover second base. That puts runners at the corners with none out. Greinke battles again, whiffing Daniel Descalso. Wainwright’s sacrifice bunt moves the runner over to second. Greinke then whiffs Carpenter to escape the frame. The Dodgers hang onto the lead 2-1.
The Dodgers tried to get another precious run across in the top of the fifth, but were unable to do so. Wainwright looked like he was struggling. He walked Punto, and after Greinke sacrificed him to second, Crawford’s grounder to first moved Punto over to third. With two outs, M.Ellis’s comebacker landed right in Wainwright’s glove and the score remains 2-1.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Cardinals threatened again, but some nifty Dodger defense preserved the slim 2-1 lead. Allen Craig with a one-out single to right. After Holliday pops out to Gonzo, Freese doubles off the wall in right. Puig plays the bounce, and fires to Punto who makes a perfect relay throw to A.J. to cut down Craig at the plate! The Dodgers escape again!
The Dodgers go down in order in the top of the sixth. Greinke also sets the Carindals down in order in the bottom half of the sixth. The Dodgers add an insurance run in the top of the seventh, with Greinke helping his own cause. Punto doubles down the left field line and Greinke strokes an RBI single into center to score Punto. Dodgers take a 3-1 lead! Greinke is now batting .405 this season.
The Cardinals closed the gap and knocked Greinke out of the box in the bottom of the seventh, but the Dodgers escape with the lead again. Pinch-hitter Adron Chambers walks, and Carpenter singles. With first and second and none out, Beltran sacrifices the runners to second and third. Greinke is removed with one out, and right hander Ronald Belisario is called in. Belisario in relief is spectacular getting the tough Craig to ground to first. (although scoring Chambers), and Holliday’s grounder ends the frame. The Dodgers are hanging on to a 3-2 lead going to the eighth frame.
Move to the bottom of the eighth. Belisario remains in the game. Hes goes 2-2 and then plunks him with a pitch. Mattingly hooks him and brings in Paco Rodriguez to pitch to the lefty Jon Jay. Jay tries to bunt and pops it up to Gonzo for the first out. A huge out. Tony Cruz hits into a clutch inning ending double play! The Dodgers lead 3-2, heading to the ninth.
Kevin Siegrist whiffs Ethier in the top of the ninth. The Cards hook him and right hander Seth Maness retires A.J. and Uribe on grounders. On to the bottom of the ninth we go with the Dodgers still clinging to a 3-2 lead.
Paco whiffs Descalso. Pinch-hitter Matt Adams grounds out to first. Carpenter flies out to Ethier for the last out and the Dodgers win 3-2!
The Dodgers have now won five in a row, and 15 straight road games. The club improves to 62-49 and are now six games in front of the Dbacks who were idle today. The Dodgers look to continue to defy the odds as their historic run to the playoffs goes on. Can they keep their streak alive? With Clayton Kershaw on the mound it’s a good bet. The Red Birds will counter with Joe Kelly at 5:15 PM in game two.