The Los Angeles Dodgers still elated from that great extra inning come from behind win against the AL Central leading Chicago White Sox, must now focus on the Oakland A’s. After a much deserved day off, the Dodgers continue to face another team from the American League.
On the mound Tuesday night Aaron Harang pitched for Dodgers and Brandon McCarthy for the Oakland A’s who came off of 11 days rest.
McCarthy was so excited to take the mound that he almost hyperventilated, but maintained his composer, even with his shoulder injury.
McCarthy started out sharp as he took care of the first three Dodger batters in the line up in the first inning.
On the other side of the ball Harang began terribly with two on, Seth Smith singled to center, as outfielder Tony Gwynn was unable to make the grab. Coco Crisp and Jemile Weeks scored that gave the A’s the quick 2-0 lead. With Smith on third base, slugger Jonny Gomes hit an RBI single to left that scored Smith and the A’s made sure they took matters in their own hands offensively against the best team in baseball.
McCarthy continued to pitch masterfully as the Dodgers offensive remained stagnant throughout the night, blowing opportunity after opportunity to score. The Dodgers made McCarthy look like a Cy Young candidate, which was absolutely mystifying after their great run just 48 hours earlier at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers also maintained their defense by not allowing any further runs by the A’s, but it proved that defense didn’t matter if the team was unable to score runs when called upon.
However in typical Dodger fashion, they had one last chance in the ninth inning. A’s closer Ryan Cook struck out Elian Herrera, and Andre Either made safe to first base thanks to an error made by Coco Crisp. Cook seemed to struggle as he walked Bobby Abreu. With Either and Abreu at second and first base, James Loney presented the tying run. Loney grounded into a double that got Abreu out at second and Loney at first base to end the game.
A’s winning pitcher Brandon McCarthy spoke about his mindset entering the game, “after the first couple innings I kind of got back feeling normal. Early, amped up and kind of short of breath. I don’t know what was going on. That felt kind of weird, but I was ready.”
McCarthy had a great outing, pitched seven strong innings, with two hits on five strikeouts. McCarthy out pitched Dodger starter Aaron Harang who pitched three and two-thirds innings with six strikeouts, and three earned runs.
“Things weren’t right, and they were being patient and fouling off good pitches, racking up my pitch count. Of course the walks didn’t help,” said Aaron Harang.
*Dodgers OF Matt Kemp is scheduled to return after the All-Star break, and Dodger pitcher Ted Lilly is close to throwing again as recovers from shoulder inflammation.
Dodger manager Don Mattingly said he will discuss with Kemp if he’ll play in this year All-Star Game in Kansas City. Kemp is the NL’s leading vote getter with almost 2 million votes by the fans.
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.
After a 3-3 road trip coming off a terrible outing on Sunday in Houston, the Dodgers look to return to familiar territory, Dodger Stadium where they have done their best work.
Chris Capuano had the responsibility of keeping the winning streak alive against the young Atlanta Braves’ Jair Jurrjens.
Jurrjens allowing Dee Gordon to hit a single to center, which later allowed him the opportunity to steal second base, was a not a great way to start off the game. Mark Ellis flew out to right field, Matt Kemp was walked. Things didn’t get any better for Jurrjens as the reliable Andre Either hit a big single to center, that caused Gordon to score.
Capuano at the top of the second inning gave up an unnecessary home run to David Ross to tie the game at 1-1. Capuano would settle down and concentrate to get out of the inning unscaved, however the Dodgers would need run support and fast. James Loney who seems to be getting in stride hit a timely double into center, and Juan Uribe hit a single that caused Loney to score. The Dodgers weren’t done as A.J. Ellis singled to center, Uribe scores as they continue to pile on runs.
The reign of runs didn’t stop in the bottom of the fourth inning Loney has another timely hit, Uribe singles to advance Loney to third base. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez had seen enough and called in reliever Livan Hernandez for Jurrjens. Which didn’t prove to be any better, as Gordon hit a sacrifice fly to left, Uribe scored to give the Dodgers the huge 5-1 lead.
In the top of the eight inning, Josh Lindblom relieves Capuano who pitched seven strong innings on six hits, and five strikeouts. The first batter Lindblom faced was slugger Dan Uggla who hit a home run deep to right field that cut the lead 5-2. But the Dodgers would soon answer back as Uribe would hit a huge bases loaded single, sending Kemp and Either in to score. Uribe tied a career high with four hits and drove in three runs on the night for the Dodgers, a magnificent night by the third baseman.
Dodger reliever Scott Elbert came in to close out the game and pick up the victory as the Dodgers took the first game of this three game series 7-2.
Juan Uribe talked about his stellar play against the Braves Monday night “I was hurt last year, but I wanted to play and show the guys I could play and help the team. For me, it was just important for us to win the game.”
Chris Capuano picks up the victory to go 2-0 on the season and spoke about his performance “It was a battle, but luckily I had a pretty decent cutter working, and that helped me out in that last situation. I was struggling with my command early, and I wasn’t able to get those calls on the inside of the plate to right-handers.”
Jurrjens pitched terribly, gave up five runs and nine hits in three-plus innings of work. Surprisingly this was the first time Jurrjens failed to record a strikeout in 42 starts.
The Braves all star third baseman Chipper Jones sat out of the game nursing a sore left knee, on the eve of his 40th birthday, but is expected to be in the line up on Tuesday. He announced earlier last month that this will be his final season with the Atlanta Braves. He’s had an outstanding career that spans 19 season, that included him being the 1999 NL MVP.