The Dodgers returned to Coors Field on labor day, to start a six game road trip which will be their final series of the season at Colorado. The Dodgers have lost seven of thirteen previous games to the Rockies, but won two of three back in July in their last series at the death trap that is called Coors Field. I think I hate Coors Field more than I actually hate the Rockies. This ball park is a joke, and it’s claimed many a Dodger over the years with her stupid, stupid outfield walls. Coors Field is a you know what. Covering these Coors games in any conventional sense is nearly impossible.
I was just hoping the Dodgers could get through the game without anyone getting injured, but then Yasiel Puig was removed after the fifth inning on an awkward slide into third base. Reports are that it’s a strained right knee, and he’s listed as day to day. Coors Field claims yet another victim.
This was perhaps the most Coors Field-ish game ever actually. The two teams combined for 18 runs and 33 hits in the game. The game took nearly four hours, and every inning seemed to go on forever. Just the typical Coors Field game. On a day where Kershaw did not have his best stuff and gave up five earned runs in less than six innings, he still somehow got the win. Pitcher wins, I know, I know. Hey not many can pitch in this nightmare of a park anyways. Kershaw was due for a bad start at some point. Rather have him get it out of his system now, then in October. I know what you’re saying, Kershaw gave up five runs in five frames? Yes, Coors Field cares not for who’s on the mound, it abuses all pitchers.
If you remember the last time Clayton Kershaw pitched at Coors Field in July, he pitched a shutout. Tonight he didn’t look comfortable from the beginning and turned in his worst outing of the year, This was Kerhsaw’s shortest outing in his last 22 starts. This is against a Colorado lineup that was without Troy Tulowitzki, without Cargo, and without Dexter Fowler, who are all out with injuries. Kershaw still gave up five earned runs in 5.2 innings before being lifted. The Dodgers had to come from behind early. Kershaw did help in that regard with a two-run single in the fifth.
The beginning of the game saw sloppy play from both teams in the first few frames. Shoddy defense and poor base running ruled the early stages of the game for both clubs. Colorado rookie starter Chad Bettis allowed five earned runs as well, on eight hits and walked four but was removed in the fifth inning.
The Dodgers scored a run without the ball ever leaving the infield in the top of the first. A walk to Crawford, and a single to Puig put runners at first and third. Puig runs right into DJ LeMahieu on Adrian Gonzalez’s grounder to second. Puig is called out for runner’s interference, and the other runners have to stay put. Nobody was hurt on the play, but LeMahieu couldn’t field the ball cleanly.
Hanley’ walks to load the bases. Andre Ethier’s sharp grounder to first is snared by Jordan Pacheco, but his errant throw to second is wide and hits LeMahieu in the ribs, allowing a run to score. The Dodgers lead 1-0. But that’s all they get as Mark Ellis’s soft looper to left, and A.J. Ellis’s swinging strikeout end the frame.
Colorado scored three in the bottom of the first off of a shaky Kershaw who didn’t look right from the start and struggles to get though the first inning, giving up three runs on four hits and a walk. Josh Rutledge opens the inning with a walk. DJ LeMahieu singles Rutledge to third than steals second on a ball that gets away from A.J. Two consecutive singles from Cuddyer, and Rosario score two, and another run scores on a Nolan Arenado double play. After a Charlie Culberson double, Kershaw gets a Jordan Pacheco ground out to end the inning.
The Dodgers picked up a run in the third when Andre Ethier walked, Mark Elllis singled, and A.J. Ellis’s single scored Ethier to bring the Dodgers to within one run.
The Dodgers scored three runs in the top of the fifth to take a 5-3 lead. There’s an Ethier double, an A.J. walk, and an RBI single through the infield from Juan Uribe scores Dre to tie the game. Then after Bettis is replaced by Jeff Manship, Kershaw singles home two, and the Dodgers lead now 5-3. The Rockies score again, to tie the game in the bottom half of the fifth, when Cuddyer singles, Arenado doubles and Jordan Pacheco’s run scoring single brought him home.
The Dodgers battle back with three in the sixth. Puig reaches on a throwing error from Arenado. The second throwing error of the game for the Rockies. Gonzalez singles Puig to third, and he slides into third base awkwardly which is where he hurts his knee. Hanley’s sac fly scores Puig, and then he’s taken out of the game for precautionary measures. Skip Schumaker took over in right field. Andre Ethier then homered which gave the Dodgers an 8-3 lead.
Brandon League almost gave up more runs in the sixth after taking over for Kershaw. He gave up a double to Herrera and a single to Rutledge but gets a key double play on Cuddyer to get out of the inning without allowing anyone to score.
Colorado clawed back into game and got to within one run of the lead. Charlie Blackmon doubled, and one out later, Corey Dickerson doubled him home. One more run was plated on a Rutledge RBI single to make it an 8-5 game. The Dodgers get another key double play to escape when Belisario gets you know who, Michael Cuddyer to ground into another double play.
The Dodgers added two more in the top of the ninth to make it a 10-7 game, on an RBI single from Uribe, and an RBI ground-rule double from Crawford. Despite a solo home run from Rosario in the bottom of the ninth off of Kenley Jansen, the Dodgers would hold onto win it by a very Coors Field score of 10-8.
Andre Ethier had a great game with three hits, a double and a home run. He went 3 for 4 with three runs driven in, and his bat is really starting to heat up. Uribe had three hits and three runs driven in as well, and Kershaw himself had two hits, even though he gave up five earned runs. Not to worry though, Kershaw’s ERA is still at 1.89.
I can’t believe the Dodgers won this game, because they made a ton of mistakes. Sloppy play and base running mistakes will always hurt you unless you’re the Dodgers I guess. It seems no matter what they do they still come out on top. it’s quite amazing. The Dodgers had two outs picked off on the bases, and Gonzalez made a throwing error. They left ten men on base, yet they still won anyways. Amazing.
Arizona lost to Toronto, so the Dodgers are now 12.5 up in the NL West, and their magic number is now 14 to clinch the division title. It won’t be long now until the Dodgers hoist the NL West championship flag above Dodger Stadium. It’s time to focus on preparing for the postseason, as the team announced it will start Edinson Volquez on Wednesday.
Oh and in case you’re wondering, Michael Young made his Dodger debut in a pinch-hitting role, and struck out. So there’s that for the Michael Young marching and chowder society. The two clubs will go at it again tomorrow night at 5:40 PM. Ricky Nolasco will take on Jhoulys Chacin in game two. The game will be on KCAL 9, and in case you haven’t heard, CBS and Time Warner cable have finally reached an agreement, allowing TWC Dodger fans to be able to view KCAL 9 games again. Thank God, and thank you for reading We’ll have more later as the Dodgers steam roll into October. Happy Labor Day all!