Supercalifragilous?! Is that a word? How else can I describe tonight’s game. Sherblydoo? Is that a word? Ahh well, let’s just say the Dodgers are good, and they are lucky. The Dodgers were hoping to avoid losing back-to-back games for the first time since June 20-21. With the winning streak history, the Dodgers set out to start a new road win streak.
The Dodgers got a huge break before the chairs were warm when Carl Crawford’s first inning line drive struck opposing starter Shelby Miller on the arm. The injury forced him to leave the game after making only two pitches. The Dodgers took advantage by scoring thirteen runs off 18 hits against a depleted Cardinal pitching staff. The Cardinals were forced to bring in tomorrow’s starting pitcher Jake Westbrook, who obviously was not prepared to pitch. Westbrook allowed nine runs on 13 hits in 4.2 horrible frames. I have nothing against the Cardinals or their fans, so I sort of felt sorry for them. They’re kind of screwed and I guess they’re going to have to call someone up from the minors to pitch tomorrow’s game. (I’m hearing it’s one of their top prospects, but we’ll see) Miller reportedly has a contusion on his arm, but it looked more like a huge red welt. Yeesh. I’m sure the St. Louis heat didn’t do him any favors either. The midwest in the late summer is like a n oversized convection oven.
The Cardinals have been battling injuries too though. Every team has them. Catcher Yadier Molina is injured, and Allen Craig was a late scratch. Opportunity was knocking on the door all night for the Dodgers you could say. Did the Dodgers answer the door?
They sure did. And everyone contributed, in some way or another. Especially the bench guys, who for all intensive purposes have preformed admirably. Sure they’re not
good or anything ok they’re good. I’m just a boob. A big boob, but they’ve played some very solid Baseball of late. I am talking about Nick Punto, Skip Schumaker, (against his old team) and Jerry Hairston. I’ve been a little hard on Schumaker, and Howard let me know I was being a bit of a boob. So kudos to him for reminding me of my boobness.
Starter Ricky Nolasco pitched pretty good for the most part, but was unable to pitch past the fifth inning. This is become a pattern for Nolasco, who has good peripheral pitches, but struggles with his fastball. Nolasco rarely goes more than five frames, but today was doing very well until he faltered in the fifth, spurred on by the throwing error of all throwing errors. Nolasco made the throwing gaffe himself, tossing a ball into Milwaukee which ended up becoming a three base error. Still Nolasco went five, and allowed three runs, (all unearned) and seven hits. He whiffed five, and overall turned in a fairly good outing. Good enough for the win.
The Dodgers scored six run in the second frame, one in the fifth, and two in the sixth. Carl Crawford was stupendous, collecting four hits on the night. Tim Federowicz had three hits, and Ethier, Schumaker, and Dee Gordon all had two hits. (Gordon starting in place of the injured Hanley).
The Cardinals did score four runs off ten hits, but that wasn’t nearly enough. Jon Jay’s three hits on the night were of no consolation for the Cardinals.
The Dodgers had a two-run single from Hairston, and Schumaker (against his former team). Gonzo had an RBI single. More run scoring singles from Crawford, Gordon, and Schumaker. Andre Ethier drove in four runs. It got so bad that the Cardinals had to use their backup catcher Rob Johnson to get the last out in the ninth, which was Paco Rodriguez swinging.
The bullpen of Withrow, Paco, and Carlos Marmol worked the rest of the game with minimal trouble, and the Dodgers win a laugher 13-4. Let’s go to the highlights and try not to laugh at the star wars costumes we saw all throughout the crowd. Yes it was Star Wars night at Busch Stadium.
In the top of the first, Carl Crawford rips a line drive off of Shelby Miller’s arm. The ball deflects off of Miller and into left field, allowing Crawford to second base. Man that was brutal. Miller is unable to continue after getting hit on his pitching arm, and is removed after only two pitches. Rookie right hander Michael Blazek is called on for the emergency appearance.
After Blazek finishes making his warm up pitches, he retires Jerry Hairston on a looper to second. He whiffs Adrian Gonzalez on some high cheese. Yasiel Puig lines a smash to third, David Freese dives and gets his glove on the ball, keeping it from going down the line and saving at least a run. Crawford scampers into third, and the Dodgers have first and third. Andre Ethier works a walk to load the bases with two outs. Skip Schumaker predictably ends the rally with a soft pop to center, and the Dodgers leave the bases loaded.
In the bottom of the first, Nolasco gets Matt Carpenter to ground out back to the box, with Nolasco making the play. Jon Jay bunts for a hit down the third base line. Carlos Beltran follows with a single through the drawn-in infield. The Cards had first and third with one out, but Matt Holliday grounds into an inning ending double play!
The Cardinals are pretty screwed at this point, and decide to bring in starter Jake Westbrook. I have no idea when the last time he had pitched, but yeah, the Cards are screwed. Federowicz, and Dee Gordon both single, putting runners at first and third. Nolasco is ordered to sacrifice Gordon to second and does. The Cardinals then inexplicably intentionally walk Carl Crawford to load the bases for Adrian Gonzalez. Alright Cards, it’s your funeral. Jerry Hairston singles through the left side hole to score Fedex, and Gordon, Dodgers lead 2-0! Gonzo singles up the middle to score Crawford and give the Dodgers a 3-0 lead. Puig walks to load the bases. The Cardinals are flustering. Ethier lines out right back to Westbrook. Then Skip Schumaker’s line drive to center brings home Gonzo, and Puig, as Puig goes sliding into home plate emblazoning his endless talent in front of a sellout crowd in St. Louis. The Dodgers now lead 6-0! With the meltdown complete, Westbrook gets it together and whiffs Fedex to end the frame. But man is the damage done.
The Cards give up a single and a stolen base but otherwise pitch a scoreless third frame. The Cardinals threaten in the bottom of the third. Descalso flies out, and Westbrook whiffs. So there were two outs guys. Two outs! But of course, Dee Gordon bumbles a routine grounder, and gets charged with an error on the Matt Carpenter grounder. Jay singles to center as Ethier bobbles the ball. The Cards with first and third now, but Beltran’s slow tapper is fielded on the run by Nolasco himself who fires to first for the out, ending the frame. Great play!
Both pitchers exchange scoreless fourth frames, as the Dodgers turn a very acrobatic double play in the bottom of the fourth.
The Dodgers score some more in the top of the fifth. Fedex singles to left. After a flyout from Gordon, Nolasco sacrifices Fedex to second. Crawford collects his third hit of the night, a base hit to right which scores Fedex to give the Dodgers a 7-0 lead!
The Cardinals broke the shutout in the bottom of the fifth, and it was all Nolasco really. With one out, Nolasco throws away an easy Descalso grounder. Where the hell Nolasco was throwing to I’ll never know, but the ball sails down the line, and Descalso somehow ends up at third base. A three base error. Pretty bad. And then the flood gates open. There was a weak grounder back ot the box from Westbrook, and then boom goes the dynamite. Hits from Carpenter, Jay, Beltran, and Holliday score three runs. That makes it a 7-3 Dodger lead. Nolasco finally whiffs Freese for the third out but he’s reached 100 pitches.
The Dodgers then score three unanswered runs in the top of the sixth. Even more impressive is they did it all with two outs. Andre Ethier bangs a two-out triple down the right field line. Schumaker singles to center to score Dre. 8-3 Dodgers. Fedex singles Schumaker to second, and after a coaching visit on the mound, Gordon drops a single into right to score Schumaker. The Dodgers lead 9-3. Former Dodger Randy Choate, the big iguana had to come in and get the last out.
The Cardinals picked up a run in the bottom half of the sixth. With Chris Withrow on the mound replacing Nolasco, the Cards collect three hits in the frame. Matt Adams a single to center, and after a Cruz grounder, Descalsco’s single brings him home, to make it a 9-4 game. Withrow gets Kozma to whiff, and Jay to fly out to end the inning. The Dodgers strand two in the seventh inning, wasting a Descalso error, and a Puig walk. But it’s ok since they still lead 9-4. Withrow still on the mound in the bottom of the seventh. He whiffs Beltran and gets Holliday to fly out.
The Dodgers actually don’t score off of Keith Butler in the eighth frame, as he whiffs the side, (Schumaker, Fedex, and Uribe). Paco pitches a perfect bottom of the eighth, and the Dodgers score four more runs in the top of the ninth. I can’t keep up here. The highlights were Ethier’s three-run double, and an RBI single from Schumaker.
Finally Carlos Marmol finished the game in the bottom of the ninth. Pete Kozma whiffs. There’s a whiff to Jay, and Beltran’s grounder ends it. The Dodgers win 13-4!
Well that was fun right? We hope that Shelby Miller is alright. That’s a tough break for the Cardinals and we know how those are. We had plenty of those in the early part of the year. Well tomorrow is the series finale as the Dodgers look for a series win on getaway day. We know for sure that Hyun-jin Ryu will be on the mound for the Dodgers. Who knows who the Cardinals are going to start tomorrow. The Dodgers are now 63-50, and could be back to six games ahead in the NL West, pending the results of the Tampa Bay/Arizona game.
Tune into tomorrow, as the Dodgers continue their historic run towards October. Oh and Hanley Ramirez is reportedly feeling better and may be close to coming back, which is great news. Remember when we were worried about the offense? Yeah me too. Good times indeed. Go Blue.