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 – Today begins a new era, not just on the field but off the field as well. “It’s time for Dodger baseball….” when you hear those magical words from the golden voice Vin Scully, you know it’s Opening Day. With the nonsense of Frank McCourt out of the way (well not until April 30th officially), and new owners Magic Johnson, Stan Kasten, Mark Walter & Guggenheim Group seem to be on the right path and heading into a winning direction.
With everyone in the front office seem to be in place this season, Dodger fans can look forward to this ownership group unlike with McCourt, to spend money in the right way for the right players to make this team competitive and a future World Series contender. This team has a solid start with 2011 NL Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw on the mound, with pitcher Chad Billingsley, along with the possible MVP in Matt Kemp, who lost out in 2011 to Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun (@ryanbraun_8). Kemp (@TheRealMattKemp) has promised to be in what he calls “Beastmode” and go for 50/50, 50 home runs, and 50 stolen bases. His on base percentage should increase as well. Andre Either should have a much better season and last throughout the season this year, because according to him his legs haven’t felt this great in a long time. James Loney (@JamesLoney7) seems more focused, and ready for the season, along with speedy, and improved base runner Dee Gordon (@skinnyswag9). Who if Gordon has a solid year could be the Dodgers X-factor to assist them with a wild card playoff berth or even contend for a NL West title.
The Dodgers still have a young and talented outfield with Kemp, and Tony Gwynn Jr. With a couple of trades at the deadline and some key off season acquisitions, it will make the Dodger a serious top notch contender for years to come.
Today’s game verses San Diego in beautiful Petco Park should be a manageable yet a win for the Dodgers with Kershaw starting today. The Padres offense is not good at all, the pitching staff is nothing in comparison to the ace that Kershaw is. I expect the Dodgers to take 2 out of 3 at least in this series. They have all the tools in place for now, including solid ownership, which they have lacked for several seasons.
It’s the Dodgers time, the 50th anniversary of Dodger Stadium, possibly Vin Scully’s last year announcing, new ownership, all I have to say is………Dodger That! Lets Play Ball……
LOS ANGELES – After a roller coaster season for the Los Angeles Dodgers both on and off the field, the team managed to hold on to finished above .500 yet they only played 161 games. The two highlights of the season were the Cy Young accomplishments of pitcher Clayton Kershaw (21-5) and the MVP and triple crown efforts of outfielder Matt Kemp.
An interesting point was voiced by 710 ESPN’s Max Kellerman (host of the Max & Marcellus Show) in Los Angeles, where he stated that Kemp was being robbed because the Dodgers only played 161 games this season, and not having that extra game could cost Kemp a shot at the MVP award.
Which is true, Major League Baseball did not reschedule the second game of a rained out doubleheader against Washington earlier in the season.
Due to the lack of scheduling by MLB, this could definitely cost Kemp his chance at the MVP. There is no way that Ryan Braun should win MVP, Braun who played in only 150 games, batted .334, with 111 RBI’s, 34 HR’s, 33 stolen bases, while Kemp finished the season 39 HR’s, batted .324, 126 RBI’s, 40 stolen bases. He also played in all 161 games this season and a sharp outfielder.
It would be a complete travesty if Kemp didn’t win the award, especially him putting up the best numbers in the National League, with the exception of batting average. Now in all actuality Braun should win the batting title, but thanks to a real weak sucker move by New York Mets’ Jose Reyes, who when at the plate bunted and made it to first base. After doing that, he increased his average up to .337 after reached first base, took himself out of the game to keep his batting average at .337.
Matt Kemp had no help in his lineup and was still able to put up phenomenal numbers in comparison to Braun who had Prince Fielder, and Rickie Weeks who are significant hitters in the Brewers lineup.
Its about who’s most valuable, and Kemp has proven he’s the most valuable not only to his team, but to the National League as well. If he doesn’t win, we can all blame the sports writers who have a vote, and MLB who refused to reschedule that 162nd game, that Kemp and the Dodgers so desperately deserve.