The Dodgers avoid a sweep from the last place Colorado Rockies along with avoiding falling into a deeper abyss in the NL West from the rival Giants on Wednesday night. The Dodgers sent starter Chad Billingsley to stop the bleeding against the Rockies starter Jeff Francis.
Billingsley did not get off to a great start, as Eric Young Jr hit a shot deep to center field over the head of Matt Kemp that bounced off the wall, and gave Young an inside the park home run as the Rockies led 1-0. Young is the first Rockies player to score on an inside the park home run. Billingsley continued to struggle as Dexter Fowler hit a double to right field, and Wilin Rosario walked. The Dodger defense began to emerge out of the vortex of laziness, as Tyler Colvin hit an RBI single that scored Fowler, however Rosario was tagged out at second base.
The Rockies had a 2-0 lead when the Dodger offense showed signs of waking up offensively with Shane Victorino who singled to left. After Mark Ellis walked, Victorino advanced to second base. Matt Kemp stepped up and hit a huge 3-run homer deep to left center that gave the Dodgers the 3-2 lead in the bottom of the first inning.
“I really haven’t been hitting too well with runners in scoring position the last couple of days, so I needed to do something to help us get the momentum going. We haven’t been getting runs in the first couple of innings, so we definitely got to start putting runs on the board early and put pressure on the other team. The home run put some runs on the board early and gave Chad a little cushion” said Kemp.
Billingsley settled down, and seemed to be focused until the top of the fourth inning with one on, DJ LeMahieu crushed a single to left that scored Jordan Pacheco and tied the game at 3-3.
The bottom of the fifth inning the Dodgers played chess with reliever Carlos Torres, as Victorino connected on a single to right field. Victorino beat the throw to steal second base. Ellis was walked, and once again Kemp reached on a single that loaded the bases. With an offensive threat at the plate like Hanley Ramirez, Torres panicked as he eventually walked Ramirez which scored Victorino and gave the Dodgers the lead 4-3. Once again with the bases loaded, this time Torres was able to focus and cause Juan Rivera to hit into a timely double play to end the inning.
The Dodgers were far from done, just an inning later with Matt Treanor on second base, Victorino slugs a clutch single that scored Treanor. Ellis continued his hitting frenzy as he connected on an RBI single that scored Victorino who ran all the way from first to beat the tag at home plate.
With two on base in the seventh inning, Dodger manager Don Mattingly decided it was time to give Billingsley the night off and brought in reliever Ronald Belisario.
Belisario did not start off strong either as Young singled to right, and thanks to a throwing error by Andre Either, LeMahieu who was third base decided to make a run for home and was safe at the plate, as the Dodgers still lead 6-4. After that, Belisario was flawless the in the next two inning that set it up perfectly for closer Kenley Jansen to close out the game and bring home the win.
Jansen was sensational in the ninth inning as he got Young to pop up at shortstop and the Dodgers held on to defeat the Rockies 6-4. Jansen picked his 22nd save on the season.
Rockies outfielder Eric Young Jr., talked about making history with his inside the park homer, “I put a good swing on it, saw the trajectory of it, and immediately put my head down thinking it was at least going to be a double. I knew he missed it, and rounding second I saw the third base coach was waving his arms like crazy, so I knew he was going for it and I wanted to make a final stretch for it.”
Chad Billingsley (8-9) pitched six solid inning, gave up four hits with five strikeouts. Bilingsley has an impressive 2.02 ERA in his last four starts after going 0-5 in his previous five starts. Carlos Torres (1-1) picked up the loss as he pitched two innings, giving up five hits, with one strikeout and three runs.
The Phillies placed their starter on waivers on Tuesday prior to the non-waiver trade deadline, where the Phillies assumed that a big package would be returned to them in exchange for Lee. And as the Dodgers claimed him off waivers, the Phillies immediately took him off the market.
This is not the first time Lee has been placed on waivers, back in 2010 he was picked up the Texas Rangers who he helped make a World Series appearance. In the off season Lee signed with the Phillies for five years at $120 million.
The 2008 AL Cy Young Award winner has a 2-6 record with a 3.73 ERA for the Phillies this season.
Surprisingly it’s common for MLB teams to place players on waivers, after the trade deadline especially players with extremely large contracts. If a player is claimed, the team can either work out a trade with that club or they can remove a player from waivers. Despite the bad taste this has left in the mouths of many Dodger fans I’ve spoken with, the Phillies were within the rights to do this with Lee.
There has been no comment from Dodgers GM Ned Colletti or anyone within the Dodger organization.
Another pitcher the Dodgers have claimed off waivers successfully is right hander Joe Blanton. In exchange the Phillies will receive a minor leaguer to named at a later date.
If the Dodgers are truly serious about winning, they will do everything it takes to acquire a stellar talented pitcher like Cliff Lee whom they so desperately need.
After a terrible series with the division rival Arizona Diamondbacks, the Dodgers have corrected their errors and began their winning ways against the Ryan Dempster-less Chicago Cubs. Clayton Kershaw was phenomenal on the mound against the Cubs that resulted in a 3-1 victory as they continued to keep pace with the NL West leading San Francisco Giants.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw and Cubs starter Chris Volstad traded pitches like two heavyweight fighters trading blows in the main events for the first three innings. Both pitchers were sharp and refuse to allow the other team to strike first. However in the top of the fourth inning the Cubs would strike, with Darwin Barney on second, slugger Alfonso Soriano took Kershaw deep to left center that scored Barney and gave the Cubs the 1-0 lead. Kershaw maintained his poise as he ended the inning with a fly out from Welington Castillo.
The bottom of the fourth the Dodgers would come alive and response with an incredible single to right field by Mark Ellis. With a gleam in his eye and power in his bat, Matt Kemp stepped up to the plate and took Volstad deep to right field just over the wall for a 2-run home run, that gave the Dodgers the 2-1 lead. That was Kemp’s 16th home run of the season and 41st RBI.
“I thought it was going to be a home run, but you never know in this ballpark,” said Kemp. “It’s tough to hit home runs at night here, and after looking at it on the Jumbotron, I think I got a little bit of help. But we won, so it really doesn’t matter.”
Things began to cool off offensively for both ball clubs, however the intensity continued between both Kershaw and Volstad well into the eight inning. This game would prove to come down to one thing, which team would finish with the hottest bat.
In the bottom of the eight inning, newly acquired Dodger Shane Victorino hit a big double to center field. After the intentional walk to Kemp, Andre Either responded with a single to second that caught Kemp out at second base. With runners on the corners Hanley Ramirez delivered a timely RBI single to shortstop, and made safely to first base thanks to a throwing error by Starlin Castro. Victorino scored the insurance run as the Dodgers led 3-1.
It was Jansen time in the ninth inning as reliever Kenley Jansen, as he easily struck out Soriano and struck out Brian LaHair looking to end the game, as the Dodgers held on to the 3-1 victory. Jansen picked up his 21st save on the season.
Clayton Kershaw (9-6) picked up the victory and spoke about his performance, “the curveball wasn’t very good tonight and I didn’t throw a lot of strikes with it, but fortunately I had a decent slider. They [Cubs] came out aggressively and were putting the ball in play early.”
Kershaw pitched seven solid innings, gave up one run, three hits and seven strike outs with a 2.88 ERA.
Cubs starter Chris Volstad (0-8) who was recalled from Triple-A Iowa on Wednesday after starters Ryan Dempster and Paul Mahom were dealt in trades picks up the loss. He pitched seven innings, gave up two runs on six hits, and still winless int he major leagues.
The Dodgers still remain just 1/2 game back of the first place San Francisco Giants after their victory against the Colorado Rockies.
The Dodgers go for the sweep of the Cubs on Sunday as the Dodgers send new acquired pitcher Joe Blanton against Justin Germano on Sunday.
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.
Coming off a disappointing loss on Monday night against their neighbors from the south the Los Angeles of Anaheim, the Dodger looked to regroup for Southern California supremacy.
Dodger starter Aaron Harang took the mound to battle against Angels starter Jerome Williams.
Both Harang and Williams pitched superb, it was duel to see who would give up the first score it seemed. However Harang would lose that battle in the third inning, after walking outfielder Torii Hunter, slugger Albert Pujols hit a slicing single to left to load the bases. Harang looked confident to get out of the inning, until a throwing error commited by Adam Kennedy that allowed Kendrys Morales to be safe at first base, that caused Williams to score.
The Dodgers continued to struggle offensively until the bottom of the fourth inning, when Andre Either fresh off his new $85 million dollar, five year extention contract. launched a single deep to right field that advanced AJ Ellis to third base. With runners on the corners, a healthy Juan Rivera hit a single to left that scored Ellis, to tie the game 1-1. Williams ended the inning by with Adam Kennedy who grounded out into a double play that got Rivera out at second base.
The Angels with two on in the bottom of the sixth inning, Harang got Maicer Izturis to fly out to left, and struck out Erick Aybar. Williams hit into a ground field out to second, however thanks to an error committed by Dodger shortstop Dee Gordon, Morales came in to score. Harang maintained his poise and focus, with two out and two on base he managed to strike out Mark Trumbo to end the inning.
Williams continued his superb pitching well into the bottom of the eight inning. Fatigue seems to begin to take it toll on Williams, as the Dodger put together a masterful rally. With second baseman Elian Herrera on first base, Gordon hit into a ground play near first that managed to get Herrera out at second base. The speedy Gordon stole second base. Next up Either, who proved he wasn’t done for the night, hitting a clutch single that scored Gordon and advanced Ellis to third base. Either picked up his 500th career RBI in the process. Once again the Dodgers had runners in scoring position, and with a very energetic crowd behind them, it was time for Juan Rivera to make something happen. Just before Rivera came to the plate Angels pitching coach Mike Butcher visited the mound to make sure Williams was able to continue. Rivera made Williams pay as he connected on his 102nd pitch a three run homer deep to left that gave the Dodgers the huge 5-2.
That would be Williams final pitch for the night as Angels manager Mike Scisocia decided to call up reliever Jordan Walden to the mound.
In the ninth inning, replacing Jamey Wright who pitched a perfect eight inning, would be the faithful closer Kenley Jansen. Jansen struck out both Mike Trout and Torii Hunter. Jansen settled down and focused as he got Pujols to fly out to center, and waited for Tony Gywnn Jr to make a great catch near the wall to end the game.
Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen recorded his tenth save on the year, Jamey Wright picked up the victory (3-2), while Jerome Williams who received the loss fell to (6-4) on the season. Aaron Harang gave up two unearned runs, six hits in seven innings, with five strikeouts and four walks.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia argued a call that umpire Joe West made calling Dee Gordon safe. According the replay it looked as though the throw from Angels catcher Hank Conger beat Gordon. Of course Scioscia loss the case on his bobblehead night against his former team. “Joe said he was safe. He said he saw his hand get in there,” said Scioscia. “I don’t need to see a replay. I thought he was out.”
Andre Either talked about his clutch hit in the eight inning, “I was focused on the task at hand, having the same good approach and the same good swing. When you focus on that instead of the outcome, good things happen.”
*The Freeway series concludes on Wednesday night, and a special treat to fans before the first pitch members of the Los Angeles Kings will throw out the ceremonial first pitch and showcase the newly acquired Stanley Cup.
As the Los Angeles Dodgers went for the sweep on Mother’s Day over the divisional opponent the Colorado Rockies, the Dodgers wouldn’t get out of the series without a some causalities.
Ted Lilly was all set to take the mound and put his perfect record to the test against the Colorado Rockies and Alex White.
In the first inning, Lilly started off very shaky and almost unglued as the Rockies jumped out to an early lead thanks to C Gonzalez singled to right field, that scored Michael Scutaro scored. With Tyler Colvin at second base, Michael Cuddyer singled to center that scored Colvin and advanced Gonzalez to second base. Later on in the inning, Ramon Hernandez grounded out to shortstop, yet Gonzalez scored to extend the Rockies lead 3-0.
Alex White didn’t do any better as the Dodgers began to dig themselves out of a hole as Tony Gwynn Jr doubled to left to get on base, yet Mark Ellis grounded out to third. Then Matt Kemp grounded out, however Gwynn managed to score. Kemp, who leads the Dodgers with 12 homers and a .359 batting average, left the game because of an irritated left hamstring after grounding out in the third inning. Walking back to the dugout Kemp showed his frustration as he threw his glove.
The Dodgers weren’t done in the second inning James Loney hit a huge double, AJ Ellis singled to right that allowed Loney to score. Ellis ran to second base beating a throw by White.
Lilly once again got himself into a jam in the fourth inning as A White grounded into fielder’s choice, Dexter Fowler safe at third on throwing error by catcher AJ Ellis. Then Marco Scutaro singled to left, Fowler scored, which frustrated Lilly.
White continued to pitch rather well, and Mark Ellis walked to load the bases and disrupted the party for the Rockies. Newest Dodger Bobby Abreu doubled to deep center that scored Justin Sellers, Gywnn, and Ellis that regained the lead for the Dodgers. After a wild pitch thrown by reliever M Reynolds, Abreu moved to third base. Andre Either was at the plate and was called for a controversial third strike. Either argued with the Umpire M Carlson along manager Don Mattingly who also argued the call, both were ejected.
The ejection seemed to fire up the Dodgers as James Loney walked, then AJ Ellis smacked a 2 run home run that scored Abreu, and Loney.
Lilly had a solid afternoon and was relieved in the seventh inning by S Elbert, then Colvin singled to right, and Scutaro moved to third base. Carlos Gonzalez grounded out to second, Scutaro scored which gave the Rockies some momentum. However Elbert got out of the inning as he struck out Cuddyer looking.
With the bases loaded for the Dodgers again in the eight inning, Scott Van Slyke smacked a double deep to center that scored Juan Uribe, Ellis, and moved Abreu to third base. AJ Ellis struck out, but the damage had been done as the Dodgers cleaned house in the inning.
Dodger closer Javy Guerra made his presence known the Rockies bats as he had a solid 1,2,3 inning to retain the victory for the Dodgers as they defeated the Rockies 11-5.
Ted Lilly goes a perfect 5-0 for the first time in his career allowed five runs, one strike out, and six hits over six innings. Alex White pitched four innings on five hits and one strike in the loss.
Kemp spoke about his injury, “I’m definitely not going on the DL. That’s not going to happen. The team needs me. I don’t think this is a 15-day thing. I think it’s maybe two or three days. I know how my body is. I’m a pretty fast healer.”
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.”