The Dodgers really don’t plan on losing like ever again. Seriously, they may never lose again. Of course I kid, I kid, and eventually the Boys in Blue are bound to drop one, but they may not. but seriously they could sweep this entire road trip. The Dodgers beat the hapless Phillies tonight by a score of 4-0. Before the game we had some interesting news. The Dodgers announced that Dee Gordon had been optioned to Albuquerque and Scott Van Slyke had been recalled. But that wasn’t the interesting part.
The Phillies announced they fired manager Charlie Manuel and hired former Cubs second baseman Ryne Sandberg to manage. According to the Phillies, Manual will remain with the club in a different capacity. No surprise since Manuel is like a 100 years old. So could the newly managed Phillies give the Dodgers any trouble?
Nope. None whatsoever, I mean dam the Phillies are bad. Even the Mets put up a bigger fight than the Phillies did tonight. But still there was reason for trepidation. The Dodgers came in with an eight game winning streak and had to face the never ending thorn in our side that is Cliff Lee. Doesn’t it always seem like whenever the Dodgers are rolling along they have to face Lee?
This time we got him. I am happy to report that Cliff Lee, the evil Lee has been vanquished. If you remember last season the Dodgers won five of seven from the Phillies, and swept all four at Citizen’s Bank Park. This time Zack Greinke, outdueled Lee, and the Dodgers used an early two-run home run (A line drive missle to left) from Hanley Ramirez to roll right over Philly.
The Dodgers scored two in the fourth when Gonzalez singled, and Hanley blasted a two-run shot into the left field seats. That put the Dodges up 2-0. Greinke never really had any trouble from the beginning until he started to tire in the eighth. But the Dodger bullpen rode to the rescue. Greinke picked up his eleventh win of the season pitching eight innings of shutout ball, allowing only two hits, four walks, and whiffing three. Lee whiffed six in eighth frames but was not able to match Greinke’s dominance.
The Dodgers added one more in the seventh when A.J. walked and Mark Ellis doubled him home on a ball terribly misplayed by Brown. The fourth run came in the eighth when Hanley reached on an infield single, stole second, went to third on a throwing error, and scored on a Scott Van Slyke RBI single. Scott whiffed twice against Lee, but knocked in the fourth run for the Dodgers.
The bullpen took things the rest of the way. When Greinke ran into trouble in eighth with a walk to Rollins, and a single to Young, got help. Paco whiffed Chase Utley, and Belisario escaped a bases loaded jam with a huge strikeout on Darin Ruf.
Kenley Jansen pitched another perfects ninth frame, and the Dodgers win their ninth in a row! This is their longest winning streak since 2010 when they won nine in a row. They have now won 41 of their last 49 and are 71-50 on the season. Arizona lost, so the Dodgers pick up another game, going up by 8.5 games on the Snakes in the NL West. Take a look at how this one played out….
Cliff Lee retires the Dodgers in order in the top of the first, which is a normal thing during Lee games. Carl Crawford flies out to right. Yasiel Puig grounds to second. Adrian Gonzalez’s broken-bat liner to second ends the inning.
In the top of the second, Hanley flies out. A Scott Van Slyke ground out is the second out. There’s a Uribe single up the middle, but AJ lines out to third, and that’s the frame. Greinke works around a two-out double by rookie Cody Asche in the bottom of the second, but gets Darin Ruf to pop out, and John Mayberry to fly out to right.
In the top of the third, the Dodgers Mark Ellis whiffs, and Greinke and Crawford ground out. Birdman retires the Phillies in the bottom half of third, despite a Hanley error, and a Lee Sac bunt. Rollins and Young make out, and we move into the fourth in a scoreless tie.
In the top of the fourth, After Puig flies out to right, Gonzalez singles. Then Hanley blasts a two-run shot into the left field seats to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead! I do believe Hanley made up for his error, and possibly put a crack in the liberty bell. Van Slyke whiffs, but Uribe doubles over Mayberry’s head. A.J.’s grounder is the third out. The Dodgers are up 2-0.
The Phillies threaten in the bottom of the fourth. Greinke walks Utley to begin the frame. Domonic Brown a long fly ball to left, that makes Crawford run all the way across the foul line to make the catch. Darin Ruf grounds a single up the middle, just under Hanley’s glove. The runners aren’t going to run on Puig, so they hold at first and second. Asche’s right side grounder is scooped up by M.Ellis to run a force at second base, but that’s all he can get. Finally Greinke gets Mayberry to tap out in front of the plate for the last out. The score is still 2-0.
The top of the fifth Mark Ellis a deep fly to center for the first out. Greinke a fly ball to center as well, and Crawford’s grounder ends the top of the fifth. A key double play gets the Dodgers out of the bottom of the fifth without damage. Greinke walks Lee with one out, but Rollins grounds into an inning ending 1-4-3 double play. The Dodgers don’t score in the top of the sixth, so we move to the bottom of the sixth. Greinke retires the Phillies quickly and efficiently in the sixth. He whiffs Utley and retires Yung and Brown. Dodgers still lead 2-0 after six.
The Dodgers get a gift run in the top of the seventh. With Lee still on the mound. After Van Slyke, and Uribe both whiff, Lee walks A.J. Ellis. Mark Ellis’s sinking liner to left is misplayed by Brown. The left fielder dives for the ball but it skips (not Schumakers’) past him and goes to the wall, allowing A.J. to easily score, and it’s 3-0 Dodgers.
Grienke annoyingly walks Ruf to lead off the bottom of the seventh. Greinke then whiffs Asche for the first out. That’s the fourth whiffs for Greinke. Uribe picks Mayberry’s slow roller to third and gets a force out at second. Carlos Ruiz’s fly out to right ends the inning. We go to the eighth.
Lee who is still in the game, retires the Dodgers in order in the top of the eighth. In the bottom of the eighth, Greinke gets Kevin Frandsen to fly out to Puig. But he tires out before he can get the third out. A walk to Rollins, and a single to Young puts runners on first and second. Don Mattingly brings a hook for Greinke, and here comes Paco Rodrgiguez to squelch the rally.
Paco does his job and whiffs Utley swinging on a 2-2 pitch. One more obstacle in the way of Brown. But Paco walks him on four pitches and now the bases are loaded. Uh-oh. Here comes Mattingly again, and this time he brings in Ronald Belisario, to pitch to Darin Ruf. Belisario blows away Ruf and the Phillies leave bases loaded.
Lee is out of the game in the top of the ninth, and Justin De Fratus takes over on the mound. Hanley beats out a broken-bat infield single. Hanley steals second base and then takes third on a throwing error from Ruiz. In moves the Phillies infield. Van Slyke drills a single past the drawn-in infield and its now 4-0 Dodgers! Uribe strikes out on a weird play that looked like the ball hit him or something. It was a check swing, I think. Van Slyke picks the Phillies pockets while Uribe is at-bat by stealing second base. A.J.’s grounder advances the runners to third, and then M.Ellis is hit by a pitch. There’s a pitching change from Philadelphia, Cesar Jimenez gets pinch-hitter Andre Ethier to ground out to second, but barely as Utley nearly screws it up.
On to the bottom of the ninth. Enter Kenley Jansen in a non-save situation. Jansen whiffs Asche, and gets Mayberry and Ruiz to ground out. The Dodgers win again! The incredible run goes on.
Join us again tomorrow, as the Dodgers continue the series with Philadelphia in game two. Tomorrow Clayton Kershaw will draw Kyle Kendrick at 4:05 PM. Brian Wilson is with the team right now, but was not activated, It appears the Dodgers might wait until the Miami series before activating him. We’ll keep you updated on that, but otherwise, go nuts! These games coming up are going to be a piece of cake. The Dodgers are on top of the world right now. Sounds pretty nice doesn’t it? Go Blue.