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.
Coming off a disappointing loss the night before to the Milwaukee Brewers, the Dodgers looked to rebound sending Chris Capuano to the mound to face Zack Greinke.
After being the hottest team in baseball, this Dodger team has seem to come back to earth, losing a heart breaker on Wednesday, it was time for the Dodgers to step up and simply get it done.
Greinke seem to start out more than he last outing, where he was roughed up from the start against the Cubs, after striking out Dee Gordon, Mark Ellis tripled deep to right field.
Then NL Player of the Week for the second consecutive time Matt Kemp hit a nice single to left allowing Ellis to score. Greinke made it out of the inning, but as everyone expected this would a very tight game as it continued.
Chris Capuano looked sharp in his home away from home, pitching solid until the second inning with Cory Hart already on base, gave up a single to Mat Gamel tying the game 1-1. Capuano maintained his composer and settled down to continue his exceptional pitching as each inning progressed.
The Dodgers added more more run support, after Greinke gave up a single to Tony Gwynn Jr. in left field, which advanced Hairston Jr to third base. AJ Ellis ended up grounding to third, they Brewers defense forced Gywnn out at second, however allowed Hairston Jr to score to take the lead again in the fifth inning.
That lead wouldn’t last long an inning later Capuano gave up an unnecessary solo home run to third baseman Aramis Ramirez who hit it deep to center, tying the game once again. It was 313th home run of his career, which puts him in eight place on the all time home run list.
It was a pitchers duel that headed into extra innings, neither team wanted to give up a run or even an opportunity for a run. Kameron Loe dominated the the ninth for the Brewers not allowing a run to send into the tenth inning. The Dodgers in the tenth inning, in relief for Kenley Jensen who was solid, Matt Guerrier walked Johnathan Lucroy, which allowed speedy Nyjer Morgan to run for him. Cesar Izturis popped out on a bunt attempt, causing Morgan to steal second base. With Ricky Weeks at the plate, thanks to a bad throw by catcher AJ Ellis, Morgan advanced to third base. Dodgers intentionally walked Weeks, which brought up Brewers catcher George Kottaras as a pinch hitter.
At that point, the Dodgers made a defensive shift making a five infielders and two outfielders, Guerrier walked Kottaras which brought up slugger Ryan Braun. With one out, Braun hit a huge sacrifice fly to left causing Morgan to speed around to home plate, just avoiding the tag by Ellis to win the game again in dramatic fashion 3-2.
Morgan was greeting by a celebration from all of his teammates as the Miller Park crowd went ballistic.
Brewers pitcher Zack Greinke gave up two runs and four hits in seven innings, with two walks and seven strikeouts, while Dodger starter Chris Capuano pitched six innings, six hits, one home run, four strike outs. Brewers reliever Kameron Loe picked up the win (1-0).
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly talked about the tag of Morgan “I had the luxury of seeing the replay, we should still be playing.”
SAN DIEGO, CA – After a sensational start for Opening Day, the Dodgers look to keep the momentum as the face their neighbors from the south the Padres, in an evening showdown.
Chad Billingsley had a tall task at hand, yet was recharged and ready for the challenge, just a day after Cy Young Winner Clayton Kershaw came out of the opener due to stomach flu. Padres pitcher Cory Luebke didn’t start out well, after having Dodger hitters Mark Ellis and Juan Rivera on first and second base. With two outs in the first inning Andre Either hit a double to right center allowing Ellis and Rivera to score, Dodgers led 2-0.
Ellis hit a double, then Matt Kemp hit an infield single, with Padres third baseman Chase Headley’s throw pulling first baseman Yonder Alonso off the bag. Ellis made a move to slide home, Alonso made a bad throw, for an error which allowed Kemp to move to second base in the third inning. Thanks to Luebke lackluster throw, the attempt to pick off Kemp failed, as he was able to move to third. Rivera hit a single, that scored Kemp, Dodgers led 4-0.
Billingsley continued to dominate, punishing the Padres, as he continued to receive run support from his fellow Dodger hitters.
Luebke walks Rivera, Kemp hits a single, and now with runners in scoring position Andre Either comes to the plate. With two outs in the fifth inning, Either knocked a triple off the right field fence, scoring Rivera and Kemp to make increase the lead 6-0.
The Padres would go on to make two more errors in the game, which brought the total of five errors in two games.
Billingsley continued to put the pressure on the Padres as he continued to keep them off balance all night with strikes, throwing a series of change ups and sliders.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was anxious to get Billingsley relieve in the ninth inning. Billingsley knew if he allowed a hit or a run, that he would be yanked immediately. As he faced Cameron Maybin who singled with one out, Mattingly came out to get his perfect pitcher for the night. Billingsley didn’t seem bothered by it, as he retired 11 batters, allowed three hits on 108 pitches in his shutout season debut. Dodger fans were not happy at all by the Mattingly move, as there were boos from the Dodger faithful.
Jamey Wright got the save as the Dodger defeated the Padres 6-0, who were shut out so far twice this season. Last season they set a major league record being shut out 19 times.
Padres manager Bud Black spoke about Billingsley’s perfect performance “Tonight was probably as good as I’ve seen him from start to finish, throwing the ball extremely well to both sides of the plate and mixing pitches.”
“It was just one of those days that everything felt really good. Good tempo, good rhythm out there” Billingsley speaking about his performance.
Dodger manager Don Mattingly talked about why he didn’t allow Billingsley to finish the game “You just can’t do it first time out. I’m not going to let him run up to 120 the first time out of the gate. He’s probably been to 103 or something this year in spring training. He wanted to go back out in the ninth, but it was like, if anybody got on there our biggest nightmare was having to get six or eight pitches to get an out.”
The Dodgers continue their quest of perfection as they take on the Padres on Saturday, sending Chris Capuano to the mound against a sharp Dustin Moseley.