The Los Angeles Dodgers are coming off a rough road trip in Colorado, looking to turning things around by sending their ace 2011 Cy Young Winner Clayton Kershaw against the Philadelphia Phillies and Vance Worley. The Dodgers have lost 6 out of their last 7 games, and have lost 9 out of 12 games vs. the Phillies.
The Phillies are one of three teams that Kershaw has not won against in his career as a starter. Kershaw has been on a bit of a slide as he has lost two straight.
Will tonight prove differently for the boys in blue? The Dodgers need to give Kershaw much needed run support.
One bright spot will be the return of Juan Rivera to the Dodgers line up tonight. Andre Either must continue his hitting ways along with AJ Ellis, and Bobby Abreu.
It’s going to be a tough four game series for the Dodgers vs. the Phillies, as they hang on slightly to having the best record in baseball.
On a night where it seems that the Los Angeles Dodgers were facing the biggest rival health with their players that included Juan Rivera and now Matt Kemp.
Kemp was placed on the 15 day DL, Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers would have to continue to fight without their premier warrior.
On the other side of the ball, Arizona D-backs pitcher and 2011 Cy Young runner up Ian Kennedy had something to prove against Kershaw, and to remind him how he never forgot how he should’ve won that prestigious award.
Kershaw got out of the first inning rather quickly making way for the Dodger bats to light up hard and fast, as the speedy Dee Gordon singled to left, and thanks to a throwing error by Kennedy, Gordon made it safe to third base. Mark Ellis grounded out to second, but it allowed Gordon to score as the Dodgers took the lead 1-0.
For the next several innings Kershaw was masterful, showing Kennedy and others why he was the Cy Young winner and still a force to be reckoned with on the mound. Frustrating Arizona batters, Kershaw was virtually untouchable, and so was the Dodger offense in the bottom of the sixth inning, Andre Either smacked a solo home run to right center, as Kennedy watched and pounded his glove in disgust. Catcher AJ Ellis singled to center, then James Loney singled that advanced Ellis to third base.
Adam Kennedy stepped up and hit a key sacrifice fly to center that scored Ellis.
Kennedy threw a pitch behind Kershaw and to the backstop before he walked. Kershaw returned the favor in the fifth inning, making Kennedy bail out of the batter’s box on a first-pitch fastball before he walked him.
After pitching seven strong innings, Josh Lindblom relieved Clayton Kershaw who left the field amongst cheers and applause from the Dodger Stadium crowd.
Lindblom was pretty solid, until he gave up a solo home run to Arizona’s Aaron Hill deep to left field that would prove to be the D-backs only run of the game. Lindblom settled down and go out of the inning with any further damage.
Kenley Jensen came in for Lindblom to close out the game, and did an exceptional job, especially getting R Roberts to pop out at first base to end the game, as the Dodgers defeated the D-backs 3-1. Jensen picked up his fourth save in five attempts on the season.
Matt Kemp talked about how he felt about not playing “I’m disappointed. This is my second time being on the DL, and the first time was a long time ago [April 2007]. I like playing every game, but I’ve got to be healthy and playing at 100 percent for me to be effective. So I’ve got to let it heal.”
Kemp is still on course for his goal of 50/50, and should win the NL MVP award this season, as he’ll continue to play at a high level once he returns from injury.
Kershaw talked about the warning by Umpire after the incident between him and Kennedy, “Old-school baseball’s one thing, and I understand what the manager’s trying to instill over there, but there’s no place for that here. It’s obvious what they were trying to do, but I don’t agree with what they did. It just felt wrong. He’s a good pitcher, he had an awesome year last year and I have a lot of respect for what he does on the hill. But if that’s how they want to do it, that’s fine. He missed anyway, so no big deal.”
After disappointing 2-1 loss yesterday at Dodger Stadium against their hated rivals the San Francisco Giants, the Dodgers looked to regroup and get aboard their first place winning ways.
On Wednesday Giants Tim Lincecum looked to do battle not against his nemesis Clayton Kershaw, but against Chad Billingsley. Billingsley looked sharp early, until he faced rival pitcher Tim Lincecum who hit a single to help his own cause that scored Joaquin Arias.
Buster Posey RBI single in the third inning extended the Giants’ lead to 2-0.
It wasn’t long until the Dodgers got on board thanks to Bobby Abreu who singled to advance Andre Either to third base. Later Juan Uribe reached out on an infield single that scored Either. In that same inning Tony Gywnn Jr pinched hit for Billingsley, who tripled to right, Abreu, Uribe, and AJ Ellis all score to help the Dodgers take the lead 4-2.
The Dodgers offense didn’t quit in the sixth inning, catcher AJ Ellis tripled to deep center to get on base in scoring position. Scott Van Slyke (son of Pirate great Andy Van Slyke) came in to pinch hit for pitcher Jamey Wright. Van Slyke hit a huge single that scored Ellis.
In the eight inning Uribe showed up again as he doubled to deep center, and with a man on base, James Loney hit an RBI single to left that scored Uribe. With the bases loaded Giants manager Bruce Bouchy decided a change was necessary and Steve Edlefsen relieved Clay Hensley. A very smart move because with Matt Kemp at the plate, Kemp grounded out to shortstop which caused Adam Kennedy to be called out to end the inning.
Kensley Jansen came in to close out the ninth inning, and after walking Gregor Blanco, settled down and for the final out to strike out catcher Buster Posey swinging.
Chad Billingsley lasted just four innings, allowing two runs and seven hits while striking out five and walking four.
Tim Lincecum gave up four runs, eight hits in five innings with eight strike outs.
Dodger reliever Jamey Wright pitched two superb innings and with two strike outs to pick up the victory.
*Dodgers OF/1B Juan Rivera was placed on the 15-day DL due to a significant strained left hamstring, Dodger manager Don Mattingly said earlier he expected Rivera to be out more than two weeks.
On a cool, crisp, party cloudy Wednesday at historic Dodger Stadium, Wednesday was the day that the city of Los Angeles and Dodger fans across the globe could breathe alot easier, thanks to new ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The three main faces of the new ownership group, Guggenheim CEO and Chairman Mark Walter, new Dodgers President & CEO Stan Kasten, and part owner & CEO Earvin “Magic” Johnson sat before reporters, city officials, and fans watching on the internet to unveil their plans to revive the Dodger spirit.
The press conference was held in center field. Lots of classic Dodger superstars and ex-teammates were in attendance such as the great Maury Wills, Don Newcombe, Steve Garvey, Tommy Lasorda, and others. It was only fitting that the golden voice of baseball and the Dodgers Vin Scully was the master of ceremonies. The crowd heard from Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and councilman Ed Reyes both were excited about the new ownership group taking over the Dodgers.
The sale of the team, Dodger stadium and land surrounding Chavez Revine became official on Tuesday as the group closed its $2 billion purchase, finally ending the McCourts’ terrible eight-year ownership run.
Vin Scully introduced the three main owners in a fashion only he could express “it’s time to meet the group that will bring the Dodgers higher than the Sistine Chapel.”
Magic Johnson graced the podium as only he could with the larger than life personality and bright billion dollar smile, opening with “God is so good, and I know that because, I’m standing here a Dodger owner, wow.” An excited Johnson continued to say that he spoke to the employees, and informed them that it starts with you, excellence travels all the way to the players on the field. He also stressed to the media and the public that this will be a very safe and family friendly environment, and he reminded us all that that this group is totally committed to winning. Johnson was so eager he expressed that he would start working today, but his office won’t be ready until Monday. “Mr. O’Malley, you put pride in the Dodgers,” Johnson said, as he asked the former owner to stand. “What we want to do is bring the pride back to the city and organization. We want to win on the field and make sure the fans have the best experience they’ve ever had.
Johnson also announced that the parking will be cut from $15 to $10 starting with the next home stand on Monday against the San Francisco Giants.
Former Dodger owner Peter O’Malley who took over the team for his late father Walter owned the team until he sold it in 1998.
A very elated Stan Kasten former president of the Atlanta Braves, Hawks, Thrashers, and Washington Nationals reassured the crowd, “we’re in a market where fans expect to contend now. There’s this real thing called Dodger pride. As someone who has competed 3,000 miles away, it’s a feeling that doesn’t exist with other franchises. Players feel it the first time they put on their uniforms.” He also stressed that they weren’t going to wait two years, if they have the opportunity to win now, that’s what is going to happen.
“We commented the other day when we spoke to the team that we would build a winning way, a culture of winning from top to bottom. For me, it begins with player development. It was pioneered by the Dodgers in Brooklyn. That’s the tradition we’re going to continue.”
Kasten will be working along side of current GM Ned Colletti with player personnel and other moves to restore the Dodgers to greatness.
A very tall and smiling CEO Mark Walter approached the podium and said he grew up not far from the “Field of Dreams” an Iowa based baseball movie starting Kevin Costner, and called this an incredible happy day. Along with that he thanked his parents for teaching him the value of hard work and love.
Announced March 27 the purchase, was the key element in the Dodgers’ emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Frank McCourt was force to file for bankruptcy last June when he couldn’t meet player payroll, after MLB Commissioner Bud Selig declined to approve a $3 billion agreement between FOX Sports and the Dodgers to extend their television rights. One of the best things Selig did to aid in the process of turning the franchise around.
Scully recognized Dodgers greats Steve Garvey, Ron Cey and Tommy Davis, all wearing Dodgers jerseys. Bill Russell, Maury Wills and a collection of stars from the past appeared also.
Jim Hill questioned Magic about how much it meant for his involvement in such a ground breaking franchise like Dodgers, when they brought in Jackie Robinson, and now to break that cycle in ownership. Johnson fixed his Dodger hat, fighting to hold back tears responded “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Jackie Robinson and also all the other unbelievable players we have here.” As he continued maintaining his composer “it’s very emotional. I can’t even put into words how it is. … It’s a great time — loving this community, loving the Dodgers, loving baseball — to be part of this. My wife Cookie is here, my son Andre. My staff is here. We’re going to get it done.”
Mark Walter added “As much as this is a big day for us, we’re very, very happy to be here, this is not about us. This is about the Dodgers, one of the most honored and storied franchises in history. We are passionate about making this organization the best that it can be from every respect, from winning, from its relationship with the community, from all the philanthropic and other things that it can be a platform to help with.
And as always there were a few dumb questions by a couple of reporters, and a very stern Magic Johnson spoke after the questions had already been answered by Kasten and Walter in regards to the involvement of McCourt. “We own it 100 percent, he won’t get a dime for the parking. Now we don’t need to even mention Frank McCourt, we’re here, we should be clapping about that!”
Walter continued to stress that McCourt can profit only from future development, “We don’t have any current plans for development. Nothing can be developed unless we think it’s good for us.”
Following that, a message from Dodger superstars Clayton Kershaw and Matt Kemp played on the jumbotron expressed how elated they were about the new ownership taking over the Dodgers. Kemp, also reminded Magic he could take him one-on-one in a scoreboard video message, received a response from the great point guard.
“Matt Kemp challenged me, Matt we’ve got to win the World Series first. Ad after that then you’ll get the chance to play me.”
Vin Scully concluded the press conference by saying that this would be the last ownership exchange that would have his involvement.
On that note this was a great day for baseball, Dodger fans, and sports enthusiast alike as we witnessed history, and I trust we will experience more history and ground breaking moves withing the coming days, weeks and years.
*The Guggenheim Baseball Management is the third owner of the team since 1998.
LOS ANGELES – Thanks to a Atlanta Braves third baseman celebrating his 40th birthday with a home run and a win on Tuesday night, the Los Angeles Dodgers look to rebound and grab a good win in the final game of the three games series.
It was a very solid pitchers duel between the Dodgers Ted Lilly and the Braves Brandon Beachy as neither one gave any runs in the first three innings. Lilly ended up giving up the first score, after Freddie Freeman doubled to right, Brian McCann grounded out which advanced Freeman to third base. Dan Uggla blasted a single to left, that caused Freeman to score, Braves were up 1-0.
Just an inning later with Tony Gywnn Jr. and A.J. Ellis on third and second base, Dee Gordon grounds out to second, allowing Gwynn to score and tied up the game.
In the bottom of the sixth in the rain, Matt Kemp bashes a solo home run, his 10th on the season, that gave the Dodgers the lead.
Kensley Jensen came in for Lilly who pitched an outstanding game, seven strong innings.
Jensen set it up for closer Javy Guerra to do what he does best, get three outs and the victory for the Dodgers. Not so fast, as the ninth inning proved to be the game clinching inning for the Braves. Freeman singled to right to get on base. McCann reached on an infield single that ricocheted off of Guerra’s face, to advance Freeman to second base. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly and the Dodger Training staff came to the mound to check on Guerra who continued the inning.
Next batter Dan Uggla hit a single to right center, Freeman scored and advanced Wilson to third base. Chipper Jones had a big clutch RBI single to right that scored Wilson, and moved Uggla to third base. Jason Heyward also hit a key single to left that caused Uggla to score and at that point, it was Jason Lindblom time as Guerra was replaced in the inning by Mattingly.
Lindblom ended the inning while getting Juan Fransisco to ground out into a double play. The Dodgers had one last inning to at least tie or win the game and take the series lead.
However that wouldn’t happen on this night, as reliever Craig Kimbrel struck out A.J. Ellis, and got Gordon to ground out to third base to end the game, as the Braves stole two out of three in this series from the Dodgers 4-2.
Chipper Jones left Dodger Stadium for the last time with more great memories to add to his collection.
Lilly threw 79 pitches, allowing a run and three hits, while Beachy allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings, ironically a year ago he picked his first victory at Dodger Stadium.
Chipper Jones talked about his final trip at Dodger Stadium “I mean, that’s what you play the game for moments like that. You don’t know how many times I’ve rehearsed that very moment in my backyard growing up, only I was a Dodger.” He also added “It’s been a storybook season so far, it’s been one highlight after another. I’m savoring each and every one of them because you never know when the last one is going to come. To have revered this ballpark and this organization the way I did as a kid, and to leave it here tonight like this, it’s awfully special.”
Dodger first baseman James Loney spoke about the toughness of closer Javy Guerra “That just shows you how tough he is and how much he wants to be out there and compete. And you want a guy like that on your team! He has the mentality of a closer. You just shake off the last bad day and come out ready for the next one.”
*Jonny Venters picked up the win for the Braves as Guerra (1-3) was handed the loss for the Dodgers.
The Dodgers will have to indeed shake this loss off and prepare for the Washington Nationals who come to town on Friday for a weekend series, as they prepare to win the next three games.
The Los Angeles Dodgers look to continue their winning ways as one of the hottest team in Major League Baseball, as ace Clayton Kershaw looks for his first win against the Houston Astros starter Kyle Weiland.
Kershaw started out solid as usual, allowing no runs as he continued to focus on the mission at hand, a victory. However Weiland had his work cut out for him, starting with giving up a solo home run to an offensively awaken James Loney.
Weiland continued to hold his own against Kershaw, even striking out Kershaw at an at bat. Weiland on misguided bunt play, allowed Dee Gordon to get on to first base in the top of the sixth inning. Then Gordon took off for second, but thanks to bad guided throw that resulted in an error, allowed the speedy Gordon to make it to third base. Can we say deja vu all over again, as slugger Matt Kemp bashes another two run home run as he did yesterday.
Kershaw continued to dominate, the same could not be said for Weiland as he was replaced in the eight inning by Rhiner Cruz. Cruz immediately walks AJ Ellis, Kershaw bunted into a double play that got Ellis out at second base. After walking Adam Kennedy, Cruz was relieved by David Carpenter who loaded the bases with a Matt Kemp walk. And of course Andre Either cashes in on single to right, allowing Gordon and Kennedy to score 5-0.
The Dodgers bullpen has had trouble throughout the young season, showed it struggles, as Mike MacDougal relieved Kershaw, only to give up a center field single to Justin Maxwell. After that walking both Jordan Schafer and Jose Altuve, which made Dodger manager to make a quick personnel change bring in Kensley Jensen to finish out the inning. By then the damage had been done after walking J Martinez, Maxwell scored to avoid the shutout. Jensen was able to get out of the inning with out any further runs to set up Jamey Wright to close out the ninth inning and grab the save and victory for the Dodgers 5-1. Kershaw finally gets his first victory of the season, as Kemp has homered in three consecutive games.
Kershaw spoke about his great outing “I didn’t have great fastball command tonight. I struggled with my fastball. I didn’t exactly know where it was going all the time. I was fortunate to get some outs here and there. It was a battle tonight.”
Kershaw struck out nine and allowed three hits in seven scoreless innings for his first win this season after experiencing no decisions in his first three games of this year.
Weiland pitched seven innings, struck out six with two home runs. Weiland talked about that monster home run by Matt Kemp “I did the exact opposite of what we wanted, coming out there in that situation, you can’t give him anything close to hit. I dropped my elbow a little bit there and the pitch just spun up there.”
The Los Angeles Dodgers looked to avoid a sweep by the Brewers at Miller Park, something had to change to prevent them from not picking up a road victory.
Dodgers pitcher Aaron Harang who pitched a record setting game at Dodger Stadium last week, answered the call to throw against former Dodger and current Brewers pitcher Randy Wolf.
In the opening inning both Wolf and Harang looked sharp for their impressive clubs, and one knew that this would be another close yet dramatic game as this series has proven to be by the previous two games.
Thanks to a wild pitch by Wolf that hit batter Jerry Hairston Jr, and walked James Loney to load the bases with Hairston and Andre Either respectively at second and third, Wolf had to figure his way out of a jam. After Matt Treanor hit a brilliant sacrifice fly allowing Either to score, and the Dodgers took the early lead 1-0.
Harang got into a bit of trouble as well, with George Kottaras and Alex Gonzalez already on base in scoring position Travis Ishikawa doubled to right center scoring Kottaras.
To further his own cause, pitcher Randy Wolf hit a sacrifice fly to right allowing Gonzales to score and the Brewers took the lead.
Wolf made a huge mistake by letting Kemp single to get on base, then allowed Juan Rivera to to single to right causing the tying run in M Ellis to score. The Dodgers weren’t done as a big time slugger Either hit a good single to right, Matt Kemp scores to take the lead. Wolf gets out of the inning by a pop up by Loney.
Kemp was far from done, after the damage he caused earlier against Wolf, in the top of the fifth it only got worse for the Brewers as he hit a big home run deep to right field his seventh on the year to give the Dodgers some added run support. Harang continued to pitch well, and the Dodger defense held up beautifully, until the sixth inning with Gonzalez and A Ramirez on base, Ishikawa came back to haunt Harang, hitting a single to deep right, scoring Ramirez.
With the Dodgers only leading by one run in the eighth inning, Hairston Jr. made a key defensive play at third base with a runner on third and two outs. Hairston dove to grab a sharp ground ball by Gonzalez then made a long throw to first base from an awkward angle to get the out and end the inning.
After pitching strong innings, reliever Jamey Wright came in to pitch for Harang, and the bullpen held up along with the spectacular defense of the Dodgers to hold on for the win. Reliever Javy Guerra picks up his sixth save on the season as the Dodgers get a much needed win and go to 10-3 on the season.
NL MVP Ryan Braun was a total 0-11 in this three game series, and struck his on his two final at bats at Thursday’s game.
Brewers’ Wolf (now 0-2) went six innings, giving up four runs and seven hits with a walk, a strikeout, while Dodgers’ Harang went six innings, gave up three runs and eight hits with a walk and four strikeouts.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly talks about his team’s key win “Its a fairly significant win. Really, we came in and could have got swept but we could have swept them just as easily.”
On how concern his MVP Ryan Braun didn’t show up in this series Brewers manager Ron Roenicke stressed that “Braunie, we’ll get him going real soon. He’s been playing a bit under the weather.”
On his performance thus far beyond this series, a very humbled Matt Kemp said “I’m just doing what I’m supposed to be doing, driving in runs, trying to help my team win,”
Now the Dodgers head down to Houston for a weekend series with the Astros, the Dodgers send Ted Lilly to mound to battle J.A. Happ on Friday.