The Dodgers magic number continues to dwindle as a division title appears to be imminent. The Dodgers completed a three game sweep of the Padres on Sunday afternoon with a 2-1 victory in the final game of their nine game home stand. The Dodgers will immediately leave following the game to begin a six game road trip, which will see them travel to Colorado and Cincinnati. The club will begin a three game series at Coors Field starting on Monday afternoon.
Before the game the club called up their first wave of players as we enter the first day of September and expanded rosters. The Dodgers called up Scott Van Slyke, third string catcher Drew Butera, Dee Gordon, Peter Moylan, and Stephen Fife. Chris Withrow will rejoin the team on Tuesday in Colorado, and more guys should be called up later in the week. Newest Dodger and MSTI favorite Michael Young will join the club on Monday afternoon.
The Dodgers used a similar ohfer early score late approach that was able to beat the lowly Padres and complete a three game sweep. Zack Greinke turned in another solid performance winning his sixth game in a row, and fourteenth on the season. He allowed one run on two hits through seven frames with seven whiffs. His opposing starter was very tough. Tyson Ross an Oakland native pitched five innings and gave up one run on five hits and whiffed ten Dodgers. All total 14 Dodgers whiffed against San Diego pitching today.
The only mistake Greinke made was in the top of the third. When Raymond Fuentes walked, stole second, advanced to third on a grounder and scored on an Alexi Amarista RBI single. The Dodgers immediately tied it up with a run plated in the bottom of the third. Carl Crawford with a one-out ground rule double down the line and scores on a clutch line drive RBI single from Mark Ellis.
The Dodgers took the lead in the bottom of the sixth when Yasiel Puig bombed a solo home run into the left field seats to put the Dodgers ahead for good with a 2-1 score.
The Dodgers had one scare in the top of the eighth. A Fuentes single and a wild pitch put a San Diego runner at second base, and then third base with one out. But Paco is money and comes in and whiffs Venable and gets Denorfia on a comebacker to escape the frame with the lead intact. Kenley Jansen pitched another perfect ninth for a save, and the Dodgers win 2-1, and sweep the Padres!
The Dodgers improve to 81-55 on the season and with Arizona losing could move to 11.5 games in front in the NL West. (AZ did lose to the Giants) Their magic number to clinch the NL West is now at 16. Onto the highlights!
The Dodgers threaten but don’t score in the bottom of the first. Carl Crawford draws a lead-off walk. Mark Ellis a called strike three for the first out. Adrian Gonzalez rips a wicked line drive back to the box which deflects off of Ross’s glove and falls to the front of the mound. Ross gets disoriented and is unable to find the ball, twirling around like a whirly-bird doing a 180 before finally picking up the ball and throwing out Gonzo at first. Man Gonzo is slow. Crawford safely advances to second on the play. Yasiel Puig grounds out back to the box to end the first inning.
Both pitchers exchange scoreless second frames, and we move to the top of the third as the Padres plate a run to take a 1-0 lead. With one out in the third, Raymond Fuentes walks. Opposing starter Tyson Ross sacrifices Cedeno to second. Greinke struggles and walks Venable as ball four is a wild pitch (later changed to a stolen base) to allow Fuentes to go to third. The little feisty Alexi Amarista slaps an RBI single to left to put San Diego up 1-0. Greinke ends the frame by whiffing Gyorko.
The Dodgers tie it up with a run in the bottom of the third. Carl Crawford reaches on a two-out double down the right field line. Mark Ellis’s line drive single to left plates Crawford to tie the game at 1-1. Gonzo whiffs for the last out of the frame.
The Dodgers rally again in the bottom of the fifth with the score still tied at 1-1. With two outs, Greinke singles up the middle. With Crawford at the plate, Greinke steals second. That’s not a typo. Zack Greinke stole a base. Easily too. He picked the Padre’s pockets. Then an infield single from Crawford puts runners at the corners for M.Ellis, who whiffs on a check-swing and the Dodgers can’t score again. That’s Ross’s tenth whiff of the game which sets a career high for him.
Dale Thayer enters the bottom of the sixth to replace Tyson Ross. Ross has a career day going five frames, allowing one run on five hits, walking one and whiffing ten Dodgers. Thayer doesn’t fare as well as Ross though as Yasiel Puig bombs a monster home run into the left field pavilions. The solo shot puts the Dodgers ahead by a score of 2-1 in the bottom of the sixth.
From then on it was a battle of the bullpens with the Dodgers up 2-1. Greinke pitched one more frame in the top of the seventh, whiffing Mark Kotsay, and getting Hundley and Cedeno. The Padres threaten to tie the game in the top of the eighth against Ronald Belisario. Raymond Fuentes singles to center and takes second on a wild pitch uncorked by Belisario. Jesus Guzman’s grounder moves Fuentes to third. Mattingly brings a hook for Beli and goes to Paco Rodriguez to get out of the inning. Paco whiffs left hander Will Venable, and gets Chris Denorfia on a grounder back to the box, with Paco firing to first to record the out, and preserve the lead. Nice work!
Move to the top of the ninth. Kenley Jansen in for another perfect ninth inning. Jansen whiffs Gyroko swinging. He whiffs Kyle Blanks swinging. Kotsay’s grounder to second ends the game. The Dodgers win!
Good game. Crawford, M.Ellis, and Puig all collected two hits each. Puig went 2 for 4 with the home run, and Greinke got a single, and even stole a base. (The third of his career) and is now hitting .347. The Padres are jerks, and I love to see them get swept. I would love to see less base running mistakes of course, but they won so I’m all good. The Dodgers will now get on a plane and fly to Colorado to begin a three game series at Coors Field. MSTI hero Michael Young will join the club in Denver, as Clayton Kershaw counters rookie Chad Bettis tomorrow afternoon at 1:10PM on Labor Day. Join us then. Have a safe and happy labor day weekend everyone.