Heart and Hustle

When the Cubs came to town over the weekend and the heart of your club had been traded, you just want to hang up your guitars.  Oh, wait a minute, we are talking about the Dodgers who have played lately with true grit.  Take into account all the injuries.  Consider that almost all your starting pitchers are on DL:  Kershaw, McCarthy, Anderson, Kazmir, Wood, Ryu.  Your starting pitchers for the series against the best team in baseball are two rookies, one who just turned 20 years old and what do you get.  You get a team who has played with all heart and true grit.
The Cubs have the best record in baseball.  I was worried about the outcome of the weekend considering that team mom AJ Ellis had been traded to the Phillies for another backup catcher Carlos Ruiz.  I feel a little better about it since AJ was welcomed with open arms to the Phillies.  They will appreciate his sense of humor and his leadership.  Maybe it’s ok that we are sharing him.

The team was still reeling from the trade.  Carlos Ruiz was asked to start as catcher on the day after he found out he was traded.  I’m not the biggest expert on baseball but I doubted the wisdom of throwing a new catcher into a game without preparation.  Yes, Carlos is a veteran catcher, but come on..let him get his feet wet in another game.  We’re talking about the Cubs.  I seriously think that the Dodgers could have swept the Cubs if it were not for that decision.  Ruiz did the best he could.  I’m not saying it’s his fault.  As a result, Ruiz has decided to work in the bullpen and catch every reliever.

Friday was Beatles Day.  Most fans were not even born when the Beatles were popular.

The music was fun anyway.  It brought back memories.
The twins made an appearance with their parents.
The food was good,
It just wasn’t the same.
Bud Norris started.  And Carlos was already at the bullpen ready to practice.  So a few hours of practice will prepare him for the Cubs.
A new face to learn.  He’s only 5’10” so he seems short.  Maybe because everyone else on the team is tall except Andrew Toles.
I was happy to see Jack at the game.
Bud warmed up
Corey and Kike warmed up
Corey signed a few autographs
And we all got our first glimpse of Carlos Ruiz.
The twins were all ready when the Fab Four announced that it was time for Dodger baseball!
We didn’t know what to expect.  The umps always give Vinny a tribute before the game.
First pitch
In the first inning, Dexter Fowler started it right away with a single but was out at single with a Kris Bryant ground out.  Anthony Rizzo walked and Addison Russell singled scoring Kris Bryant.  0-1.

Howie singled but was left on base.
In the second inning, Kike walked and Ruiz was hit by a pitch.  
Chase lined out but scored Kike.  1-1.
Howie walked in the 3rd inning, Corey hit a double.  Justin ground out scoring Howie.  2-1.
In the 4th inning, Chase doubled.  Bud Norris hit his first MLB hit by a bunt.  Howie ground out into a double play but scored Chase.  3-1.
Corey hit a double but was left on base.  The Cubs were getting nervous.  They gained a run in the 5th with a walk by Montero who eventually scored. 3-2.
Also in the 5th Kike reached on an error by Kris Bryant.  Ruiz singled but both were left on base.
In the bottom of the 7th inning, Adrian hit a solo homerun making the score 4-2.
In the 8th inning with Joe Blanton pitching, Kris Bryant hit a solo homerun. 4-3.


Kenley came in to close the game.  Unfortunately Carlos Ruiz wasn’t familiar with Kenley’s pitching.  Jason Heyward doubled and then Kenley threw a pitch that Ruiz couldn’t handle.  On the wild pitch Heyward scored tying the game. 4-4. That was the turning point of the game.  Adam Liberatore allowed a single by Fowler and a homerun by Kris Bryant. 4-6.  I left the game at that point.  I was a little unhappy about the way the game turned out.

On Saturday, we all put our lipstick on and put on a stiff upper lip hoping for the best with the Cubs.  As they always say when there is adversity, let’s just turn the page.
I was lucky to get a pic with Brock Stewart.  Honestly, I didn’t know who it was.  We had to ask.  After Sunday’s game, we all know who he is.
The food was delicious.  Maybe things can go back to the way it was before.  I wasn’t feeling as depressed.
Jackson brought his parents to the game.
I almost cried with relief to see Yaz and his not-pink drink.  I was so glad to see him.
Julio was a sight for sore (from crying) eyes
Our Julio is no longer a teenager
But not much older than these Little League champs
Andrew Toles, Chase (of course) and Corey were the only ones on the field but ran in without signing.
There  was only one player (Ross) and two coaches out on the field for the National Anthem.
OMG, it’s Cat with her camera
Oh that’s her??  Yikes! Brett without his hoody.
I was thrilled to see Julio and Yaz.  Julio has gotten better and better.  I wanted him to get a win.  He seems to be pitching against the best teams.  I wanted him to get a win against first place Cubs.
Julio got ready to pitch.  It was a day game and I wasn’t sure how long I could last in the sun but I was going to stay out there as long as I could.  I haven’t been able to go too many places because of my knee.  Just going to my seat is a challenge.  Never mind the Think Cure auction or the team store.  Those places are too far.  I don’t make many trips to the club either.  The steps are sometimes way too painful.  
First pitch.
In the top of the first inning, it looked dismal when first up Dexter Fowler walked.  Then Kris Bryant singled scoring Fowler.  0-1.  That was all the damage.

Corey matched that with a solo homerun to center. 1-1.
In the top of the 2nd  inning, Contreras singled but was left on base.  In the top of the 3rd, Anthony Rizzo also singled but also was left on base.

Jason Hammel was the Cubs pitcher
Andrew Toles doubled
Julio psyched the Cubs out looking like he was going to bunt but hit a single to left field.
Chase Utley singled scoring Andrew Toles. 2-1.
Justin hit a single scoring Chase 3-1.
Definitely have to discuss this.  Jason Hammel was taken out at this point.
Onto the 9th inning, with Kenley Jansen pitching and the score still 3-2, the Cubs were out in order.
Hugs all around!
But wait, it’s not time to go home yet.  Time for Celebrity baseball.  I wasn’t familiar with most of the names but I did know a few.

Robert Patrick of Terminator fame.

He also threw out the first pitch.  Very nice guy.
Jamie Foxx whom I met years ago when he was filming Collateral at my hospital.
The Dodgers should do this every time they go yard.
Cutie Charlie Culberson was definitely star struck but was happy to sign autographs.  
We had a great time that day.  Thank you Norma.
Sunday was the final game of the series with the Cubbies.  I saw Clayton Kershaw on the field.  His top was a torn mess.
But he looked great.
One of my favorites: Brandon McCarthy
Justin Turner
Bud Norris

Not sure why I look so apprehensive.

Then it was time to eat:  most of the food was breakfast food.  Who doesn’t like bacon.
The guys were relaxed on the field
Joc was being interviewed.
Yaz 
You must have at least 100 pics of me drinking this stuff.
Brock Stewart
And you have at least 500 pics of me stretching
And they all came out to stretch
My good friends:  Christian and Veronica.
Christian was lucky enough to get a Clayton Kershaw autograph.
What??  He got my autograph?  Wow!
Charlie speaking to the enemy
Yaz and Brock
Good to see Carol after the recent birth of her daughter Elsa.
The umps in their day attire. Speaking of that, it was the second day game in a row.  I had sat out in the sun the day before.  I didn’t think I could handle it for another day.
First pitch
In the first inning, Dexter Fowler walked but was left on base.

Howie walked but also was left on base.
I stayed in my seat until the 3rd inning.  Then I struggled my way to the club, sweating and limping all the way.


The melon was a welcome treat.

It was a pitching a duel between veteran Jon Lester and rookie Brock Stewart.  It was just as well that I was sitting in air conditioning.  Nothing happened until I ventured out in the 8th inning.

Andrew Toles walked after being hit by a pitch.  Howie went to first on a throwing error.
Justin was out on a foul tip, there was a challenge when Andrew Toles scored on a fielders choice by Adrian.  1-0.  I was amazed that he Dodgers won a review.  It seldom happens.  That was the only score and it was through sheer determination.  Corey took lessons from Chase when he ran all out to second and made it safely.
Have I lamented enough about those stupid beach balls??
Kenley came out to save the game.  I was confident that we would win the series against the Cubs by that time.
I was not disappointed.

The Dodgers had won two games out of three using rookie pitchers.  They had beaten the Number One Cubs.  It was sheer heart and hustle.  I am so proud of my guys.  Even though their hearts had been torn out their bodies with the trade of AJ Ellis, they still came through in the end.  I LOVE MY DODGERS!!!  They are still number one in the National League West.  Baseball season is slowly winding down.  Every game counts.  The Dodgers won both series this homestand against two teams that need to be beat.  It was definitely a playoff atmosphere at the stadium.
They are in Colorado playing the Rockies for a 3 game series.  They will return on Friday night to play against the Padres and then the D Backs.  

Thanks for stopping by.  Also thank you everyone for your continuing support of my blog.  You make it worthwhile.

Game 3

The last game of the series between the Dodgers and Cubs will pit Jon Lester 14-4 ERA 2.81 against rookie Brock Stewart 0-2 ERA 11.25.

Here’s Brock yesterday.
I’ll write a summary of the Cubs games on Monday with plenty of pics of the celebrity game included. Day games don’t leave much time for blog writing.

It is starting out very hot for this Sunday day game. I’m spending most of the game in the club. I’ll try to make it through at least two innings. Excited to see Veronica and Christian again.

Maybe Robert Patrick will help “terminate” the Cubs!! Wonderful to meet such a nice guy after the celebrity game!

Thanks for stopping by. GO DODGERS! Let’s win the series against the #1 team.

Karma

What else can I say about Friday’s loss?? The Dodgers have lost two games since AJ was traded.   I questioned also why new catcher Ruiz was asked to start on the day he arrived in LA. How much could he study the Dodger pitchers especially Kenley?  And why introduce him to the team when the Dodgers are playing the Cubs? Not a good time to be broken in to an unfamiliar team.  I predicted the Dodgers would lose. I’m sad I was right. Still sad about AJ.

The bright spot of my day.


Thanks for stopping by. GO DODGERS!!!

A Farewell To AJ

What happens when your world is turned upside down?
When you can’t even muster a smile?
When all you can talk about is what happened?  Why did it happen?
When after  everything is explained, you still can only put your head down and cry.
When I arrived to early batting practice on Thursday, the news was still very new.  AJ Ellis, our backup catcher, best friend of Clayton Kershaw had been surprisingly traded to the Phillies for Carlos Ruiz. AJ was shocked and sad.  He had nothing negative to say, of course, because he is AJ.  I looked at this trade as proof that the owners look at the Dodgers as purely business.  It totally is my fault that I take things like this so personally and that I am taking this so badly.  I spent most of Thursday night crying quiet tears.  Why did this trade affect me so much?  I was devastated when Matt Kemp was traded.  I thought my world had ended earlier this season when Mike Bolsinger was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays.  But somehow this trade was different.  It was as though the Dodgers heart and soul had been shattered.
AJ had made my little girl so excited when he signed her first Dodger autograph.  She will always have that memory.
Even the food in the club couldn’t cheer me up.  That’s saying a lot.

A selfie with Jessie Chavez didn’t make me happier

Selfies with my friends made me feel a little better.  They are always there for me.  It’s been a very difficult week for me.
Yaz definitely wasn’t his usual cheery self
Yeah Cat…it hasn’t been the best day for any of us.
Ross Stripling came out to the field with his head down
Not much to smile about
Little Alec doesn’t really know who AJ is but he is happy about a Julio Urias autograph.  
He was lucky enough to get pictures with Rob Segedin and Charlie Culberson.
Rob is still on cloud nine.  Two homeruns and a new baby boy Robinson Marley will help make it better.
Not many smiles during the National Anthem.
Justin came out to the field briefly before going back to the dugout.  AJ passed on club leadership duties to Justin.
No big smiles from Corey even on his bobblehead day
Ok guys…straighten out!
Corey did not even sign on his bobblehead day.
Even though his number one fan Ashlyn was there, Corey never smiled.
Ross and Yaz walked across the field to the dugout without a smile
The umpires were the only ones with smiles.
I knew before the first pitch that the Dodgers would lose this game to the Giants.  I didn’t know that the game would be so terrible that it was almost a no-hitter for the Giants.
Matt Moore pitched a great game, but morale in the Dodger clubhouse couldn’t have been very good.  What happens to a team when such a trade happens so late in the season?  I have been criticized and scolded for my feelings but I can’t help it.  I love the Dodgers and when someone on the team is hurting, it also hurts me.  During the baseball season, the Dodgers become a large part of my life.  Their up’s and downs are mine as well.
The Dodgers were only able to pull off a couple of walks during the game.  It ended up 0-4, only a base hit by Corey Seager in the 9th with two out prevented Michael Moore from getting a no-hitter.  I left before the end of the game because I was so miserable.  I limped my way to the parking lot and left.  For once I didn’t listen to the game on the way home.  I didn’t want to hear about a no-hitter on one the worst days of my life.

Reading all the goodbyes on Twitter this morning made me cry all over again.  Is there anyone on the team who is happy about AJ being traded?  No one.

We can all rationalize that getting Carlos Ruiz will be good for the team.  I hope so.  I want everything to be ok.  I hope he is a good fit for the Dodgers.  The guys already had great chemistry and to rock the boat so late in the season may be detrimental.  The owners are more involved in the stats and not so much in anything else except maybe the Puig punishment banishing him to minors.  He could hit 50 homeruns and he will still languish there.  So Thursday’s trade proved something….that no Dodger is safe.  

Friday will be the first game of the Cubs series.  With Dodger pitching in such a turmoil, it isn’t a good time to face the number one MLB team.  Bud Norris 6-10 ERA 4.69 will face Mike Montgomery 4-5 ERA 2.41.  I hope the Dodgers don’t slide back into second place.  

Thanks for stopping by.  I appreciate all your support.  GO DODGERS!!!

Dodger Debut

It was the long awaited Dodger debut of newly (kind of) acquired starting pitcher Rich Hill.  The debut had been delayed several times before we were able to actually see him pitch.  We were not disappointed.
Tuesday began as usual with early batting practice.  The Dodgers had flown in late the previous day so I wasn’t sure whether there would be one.  But they were out there in the field shagging balls.  It was good to see Andre Ethier again.  I spotted him right away.  I recognize his walk.
Birthday boy Kike Hernandez was sporting those great striped socks.
And signed a couple of autographs at the dugout.  I saw his girlfriend Mariana at club level with their dog Arizona.  The whole family was there.

It was healthcare appreciation day so I made that long trek to reserve level to get my scrub top.  With my injured knee I felt like I had travelled across the continent by the time I got to my destination.

Then I had to walk all the way back to the club to eat.  My knee felt thoroughly punished.

The food was an instant cure for my aching knee.  It did also help that I was finally able to sit down and rest it.  The beef brisket and horseradish sauce was pure heaven.  The tasty morsels melted in my mouth.  The Spanish chicken was marvelous.  The accompaniments included a baked potato dish that was wonderful and yummy salads.  I tried to psych myself up for the walk back to the seats.
There were two cute fans blocking my view of the field.  I’m short so it helps to stand on the step that they were standing on so I can be eye level to the field.  Oh well…my day had not been going so well anyway.
One thing I will never take for granted is the wonderful staff at Dodger Stadium.  Here are two of my favorites.  They always have a cheery smile for me.  
Yaz walked by with all his equipment.  I usually am able to get a photo of his back.  It was especially difficult since I had those kids in my way.
So I really think that Yaz is giving me the stink eye while he pulls out his not-pink drink.  This homestand he has changed his drink to something brown.  
Yes…that brown drink.
He continued with his usual stretching and throwing routine.
And then came Mr Rich Hill.  We have all impatiently waited for him to throw his first pitch.  He had been acquired from the Oakland A’s at trade deadline.  He has not pitched because of a blister on his hand.  The Dodgers seriously needed a starting pitcher considering there had been so many injuries, the latest being Brandon McCarthy and Brett Anderson.  The only original starting pitcher left was Kenta Maeda.
These are my first pictures of him.
I’m proud of these pictures since I did not have a clear view.  
Chase as usual was the first one out.  
Corey was next.  Corey fans were out in full force.  But who doesn’t love Corey Seager?
The trainer came out with his whips and chains to make sure everyone was doing their stretches.  Where is everyone?
Corey had a 14 game hitting streak on the line but went hitless on Tuesday.
Chase signed autographs for a few fans.  He has been signing since the Phillies came to town.
The National Anthem.  Hi Scott.  Kike must have stepped in some of Johnny Cueto’s gum.
More Corey pictures.  The requests keep on coming.
And then the star of Tuesday’s game came out briefly to stretch:  Justin Turner.
Yaz, Rich and Honey made their way across the field.  Much discussion between pitcher and catcher.
And then Joc came out to show us his striped socks.
To the kids’ delight, Corey stopped and signed a few autographs.

And ran back to the dugout.
A smiling Kenta
Charlie, Trayce and Ross with Tommy photobombing in the background.  The guys are in good spirits having defeated the Giants the day before.  We were all hoping for a sweep but lefty Johnny Cueto was on the mound for the Giants.
The umpires 
Interesting that one of the umpires came up to the Dodger fans and offered a ball to one of the kids.
Rich prepared for his first pitch.  We really did not know what to expect since he had not pitched since July.
He was a wonderful surprise.  He was sharp with a mean curve ball.  We all breathed sighs of relief.
It was a pitchers’ duel for sure.  It could have been boring but we all were entranced by our new pitcher.  The first inning, the Giants were able to hit two singles, one by Buster Posey and the other by Hunter Pence.  They were fortunately left on base.  The Dodgers were out in order.

In the second inning, Ehire Adrianza singled but also was left on base.  Still no score.

Yaz walked but Josh Reddick and Joc both were unable to score him.
In the 3rd inning, Buster Posey again was able to hit a single but was again left on base.   The Dodgers were out in order.

In the 4th inning, Gorkys Hernandez singled but was left on base.  No score yet.  We all were still interested.  The two pitchers were able to keep the opposing teams scoreless.

Johnny Cueto is fun to watch.  I had hoped that the Dodgers could somehow get him before the trade deadline.  He only made one mistake and that was to the wrong person…or should I say the right person, Justin Turner.
Justin hit  a solo homerun to left center field.  It was enough for Cueto to spit out his gum and throw it to his dugout.  1-0.
Also in the 4th inning Adrian Gonzalez singled to right field.  
Yaz struck out swinging and Adrian was caught stealing 2nd.  The score was still 1-0.
In the 5th inning the Giants were out in order.

Howie Kendrick doubled but was left on base with Rich Hill striking out.
Aha…I can get Rich out.  He came from the American League.  True that.
At least he can pitch.  Maybe not so good at bunting or hitting since in the American League, pitchers don’t have to hit.
The 6th inning found everyone out in order except Justin who hit a single with 2 out.  He was left on base.

In the top of the 7th inning,  Rich was replaced by Pedro Baez and then Adam Liberatore in the same inning.  The Giants were unable to score.
In the bottom of the 7th inning, Yaz singled to left field but was left on base.  So far only Justin was able to score.  The score was still 1-0.

Joe Blanton replaced Adam Liberatore in the 8th inning.  Angel Pagan walked and Hunter Pence singled with Pagan going to third.  Thankfully, Brandon Crawford was out with a fly ball to right field, Josh Reddick making a fantastic catch at the wall.
Josh Reddick has not made a splash yet with the Dodgers.  He shaved his beard off so maybe that’s the key to his luck turning.

I was pleasantly surprised by my good friend Marynell who stopped by my seat.  She had come with co workers from County.  I look terrible.  I think my knee pain is getting the better of me.  It is very depressing.

Back to the game..  Kenley Jansen replaced Joe Blanton to close the game in the 9th inning.

The guys were in good spirits.  The big guy would get the save.
Tensions were high.
Kenley spoke briefly to Yaz about strategy or maybe about what they would eat after the game.  Whatever it was, it worked.
Everyone was ready for the final out.  It was a hard fought battle between two awesome pitchers:  Cueto and Hill.  Kudos to both of them.
The final pitch with Adrianza striking out.  The Dodgers win 1-0, the second game of the series.
I love these victory pictures:  notice that Clayton ALWAYS looks excited.  And also notice Andre with the guys.  So good to see him.
Thursday is the final game of the series with our Ross Stripling 3-4 ERA 4.04 meeting Matt Moore 7-10 ERA 4.18.  The Dodgers are now 3 games on top of the NL West, a season high.  Corey has to start another hitting streak.  Adrian has an MLB best 17 game hitting streak.  GO ADRIAN!!

Thanks for stopping by.  The Dodgers-Giants games are always the best.  Today is Corey Seager bobblehead day.  Can I say again, I hate bobblehead days?  See you soon.  GO DODGERS!!  Sweep the Giants!

Bumming Out Mad Bum

No one was sure how the games between the Dodgers and the Giants would play out.  Suddenly the Dodgers had gotten a second wind after the All Star Break and the Giants had seemed to tank.  We could only hope that this would continue.  On the road the last few days, the Dodgers had become an offensive powerhouse with homerun after homerun.  I had my fingers crossed.

I’ve had problems with my right knee.  I had twisted it at work and it had become gradually worse.  I finally went to a doctor who promptly put me off work.  Everyone would think that’s a good thing but not so good when it’s difficult to walk.  Getting from point A to point B has become a huge obstacle.  I will never take my mobility or my health for granted ever again.  That being said, I geared myself up for a long homestand.  Certain brave people have asked me why I don’t just stay home.  Seriously?  That isn’t even an option.  I will support my Dodgers even if I have to crawl into the stadium.

Our only reliable pitcher Kenta Maeda was the starting pitcher but he was pitted against Madison Bumgarner, the Giants ace.  The Dodgers had not won a game against him since May of last year.

It was early batting practice as usual.  There were some new faces out on the field:  Charlie Culberson and Andrew Toles were back up from minors.  Yes, that is Josh throwing the ball toward us.  Duck!!!  How do you like the striped socks?  I love them.
Back at the dugout Orel Hersheiser and Julio Urias were having a nice chat.  Orel can be so funny.  Julio signed some autographs while he talked to Orel.
I really missed the food in the club and couldn’t wait to eat.  The Szechuan chicken was delicious and not too spicy.  The sirloin was amazing.  They also were serving my favorite fully loaded macaroni salad.  The shrimp pasta was a perfect balance.  I almost forgot how sore my knee was.
It was amazingly comforting to see Yaz going through his usual ritual before stretching.  I am counting down the remaining games left in the season.  We just got the invoice for postseason tickets.  Gulp!!!  It’s a little less than $3000 if the Dodgers go to the World Series.  Wait a minute…Yaz isn’t drinking his favorite pink drink.  What is going on here?  Don’t change your routine Yaz!!
Let’s take another look…let’s sip and swish.  It’s weird when the guys change up their routine.  It left me a little off.  Maybe that’s why he couldn’t get a hit during the game and the reason why he and Kenta didn’t seem to be on the same page part of the game.  Just saying.  Is he giving me stink eye?
Speaking of Kenta Maeda..here he is crossing the field with Will, his translator.
A few views of his famous whirlwind routine
Alanna Rizzo and Orel Hersheiser were interviewing Julio Urias for Sportsnet.  
Back to Kenta.  The giveaway of the day were Dodger headphones as you can see in the background.
Taking a closer look at the ball
Nice to see my favorite policeman, Asher.  Do not run on the field or you will have to deal with him.  Fair warning.
I was happy to see my buddy Jack again.  He always makes my day.
Rob Segedin was brought up from minors.  It coincided with the pending birth of his son Robinson.  The birth has been pending for a couple of days.  Hopefully by the time you read this, it will have happened.  He has been a nice surprise since coming up.
Rounding out the starting lineup was Charlie Culberson.  We missed him…probably the nicest Dodger of all.
He and Kike seemed to be doing a bit of bonding.  Kike was also starting since he seems to do well against left handed pitchers.  It’s another lefty-righty thing.
A little catch among friends.  
Kike has just not looked like himself since he cut his hair.
What do you think?  I thought his long hair was his trademark.  Do you see the smiley face on his shoes?
Jesse Chavez is definitely giving me a look.
I have to fit in a picture of Andrew Toles and Corey, probably the rookie of the year and possibly MVP.
Justin Turner
The guys must have had a pact that none of them would sign autographs before the game maybe to keep their concentration.  Charlie did throw a ball to someone.
Kenta made his way down the field with my cheers.  I was a fan club of one since my buddy Yoshiko was again with her puppy.  Poor forgotten me. Sad face.
Corey made one dash out to the field and then ran into the dugout without looking at the fans.
The umpires and Dave had a good laugh before the game.  Always friends until the first review.
And Kenta prepared to pitch: praying, meditating, kicking the dirt.
Stretching, making sure home plate was still there…
A few words of advice from Justin…don’t get a blister.
And then first pitch.  Kenta got out of the first inning with only a single to Denard Span.
In the bottom of the first inning, Madison Bumgarner had to get that first snot rocket out.  There.  Done.  Feeling better.
Have to wipe it off on the sleeve first.  
Let’s see what this Corey guy can do.
What??? He hit a double??  WTF!!
I’m not happy.
And Justin getting a base hit, scoring Corey is not making it any better.  1-0.
That single hit by Adrian Gonzalez bringing Justin to second was the worst.  However the inning ended with Yasmani grounding out.  I knew not having that pink drink would come back to him.  Never change your routine!!!
The Giants were out in order in the 2nd inning.

Rob Segedin, a new father or maybe not yet, hit a huge homerun to left center field.  2-0.  That’s for baby Robinson.
The 3rd inning was a little dicey for Kenta with Joe Panik hitting a single, Denard Span walking, Angel Pagan singling with Joe scoring.  2-1.  Buster Posey hit a base hit scoring Denard Span tying the score. 2-2.  

Corey again got to Mad Bum in the 3rd inning with a single.
And Justin also singled with Corey going to 3rd.
Adrian hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Corey.
In the top of the 4th inning, Eduardo Nunez walked, Joe Panik walked, Nunez to 2nd.
With Mad Bum batting, Nunez was caught trying to steal 3rd base.  And to make Mad more mad, he struck out.
Not happy.  Not a good outing for him.
In the top of the 5th inning, it was a potluck of occurrences:  Angel Pagan singled, wild pitch by Kenta sent Pagan to 2nd.  Brandon Belt hit a double scoring Angel Pagan tying the score.  Sheesh not again.  Brandon Crawford was purposefully walked.  Is that a word?  There was another wild pitch by Kenta with Belt to 3rd and Crawford to 2nd.  As I said before, Kenta and Yasmani were not on the same page.  I won’t mention the not-pink drink again.  The inning ended with a huge strike out by Hunter Pence.  That was the turning point of the game, IMO.

All that action in the top of the 5th inning must have done a number on poor Madison because it only got worse.

Kike hit a single but was out at second after a ground out to Howie.  Howie on first.

Ho hum. 

Corey drew a walk, Howie to 2nd.
Justin hit a single, Howie to 3rd, Corey to 2nd.
Corey…you ‘re supposed to be on 2nd.
What the heck is going on??
Adrian singled scoring Howie and Corey. 5-3.
Jesse Chavez replaced Kenta in the top of the 6th inning.  Nunez singled after it hit Jesse in the leg.  Ouch.  Nunez stole 2nd base with Joe Panik batting.  Finally Madison was replaced by pinch hitter Ehire Adrianza.  He promptly singled scoring Nunez.  5-4.  Adam Liberatore replaced Chavez.  Span hit into a double play which ended the inning.  Heart attack time.

In the bottom of the 6th inning, Chase Utley singled.  Chase has been nursing a sore foot which is why he didn’t start.  That didn’t stop him from going all out.  Andrew Toles replaced Liberatore as a pinch hitter and immediately hit a double scoring Chase.  Watching Chase run the bases, no one would guess he had a sore foot.    6-4.

Kike singled, scoring Andrew 7-4.
In the top of the 7th inning with Joe Blanton pitching, the Giants were out in order.  The Dodgers also were out in order.

In the 8th inning there were many substitutions:  Howie went from left field to 2nd base.  Rob went from right to left field. Josh Reddick replaced Chase Utley at 2nd, playing right field.  Later Joc replaced Joe Blanton playing center.  Got all that?  If you did, here’s another…. Kenley Jansen replaced Joe Blanton to make the last 4 outs.

Are we all confused now?
Then Andrew Toles switched from center to left field.  All set.

In the 8th inning, Josh Reddick walked.  Andrew Toles hit a two run homerun scoring Josh.  9-4.  Corey singled, Justin walked.  They were left on base when Adrian struck out swinging.  

When the score looks like that you feel pretty confident. Right?
Then Denard Span hit a homerun.  What???  9-5.

Revised score.
Let’s get this done Kenley.  The game seemed to go on and on.  It was almost 10:30 before the game was over!  We were all tired.
And this is the fast way out of the dugout.  Be careful guys.
And it was a satisfying win against the Giants. Rob Segedin and Andrew Toles both hit homeruns. Corey went 3 for 4 with 3 runs scored.  Adrian had 3 RBI’s.  Kenta was able to get his 12th win.  The Dodgers were able to extend their lead to 2 games over the Giants.
Wednesday the starting pitchers will be Johnny Cueto 14-3 ERA 2.90, a formidable opponent and newly acquired Rich Hill who has not pitched yet although he has been a Dodger since the trade deadline.  He has been on DL with blisters.  

Thank you to everyone for stopping by.  These games are exciting.  As it’s getting close to the end of the season, every game counts.  Let’s all support our guys.  GO DODGERS!!!  BEAT THE GIANTS!!!

The Pirate Adventure


It definitely was a Pirate adventure over the weekend in more ways than one.  The Pirates took the series 2 games out of 3.  Two of the games were day games and of course the temperature was spiking the 80’s and 90’s.  The Friday game was special to me because me son and his kids were visiting.  They are all baseball fans, specifically Dodger fans.  The kids had never been to Dodger Stadium so it was a fun-filled adventure for them…a Pirate adventure.  Unfortunately that game was not one that the Dodgers won.


I decided they should sit in baseline so I invested in 4 tickets so I could sit with my family.  I told my son that we would have to be at the stadium early.  My son knows me well enough to know that I am early to everything.  Arriving 3 hours before game time didn’t really surprise him.  Unfortunately I injured my right knee at work so I had a difficult time walking.  Every step was torture.  I was determined to show my family a good time no matter what.  It surely didn’t help that the Dodgers lost miserably. It didn’t matter to them.

The older of the children, Caitie, is a lot like me.  She knows how to set her priorities.  When I mentioned autographs, she knew exactly what to do.  My son didn’t believe that she knew exactly what an autograph is at the tender age of 7.  Being adorably cute doesn’t hurt either.


It was a great batting practice day.  Everyone was out there.

That included my twins.

Serious business

Even this guy was at the game.

Now when do I get this ball signed???

Steve Yaeger the catching coach was first to sign.  What a thrill for Caitie.  The second to sign was my heart, Shawn Green.

AJ also signed her ball.  He is a very difficult autograph to snag.  Lucky Caitie.
Chase Utley was first out to stretch.  Because of that, Caitie asks all the time how Chase is.  However she decided that Corey was her favorite.

Yasmani
My family definitely knows how to enjoy the in seat food.
National Anthem 
Corey accidentally misstepped coming out of the dugout and fell flat on his back.  I don’t think anyone else noticed except me.
He ran out to the field as though nothing happened but he didn’t sign any autographs just in case someone had seen what had happened.  Poor Caitie would have loved to get an autograph.


The food in the club was good as usual.


Caitie was lucky and snagged Julio Urias’s autograph.


Not bad for a first timer, eh?


Maybe the ice cream with candy made her happier…after all, she is only 7 years old.

The evening ended with a fantastic fireworks display to the music of Elvis Presley.

It was a great night.  

Thanks for stopping by.  Sorry I haven’t been able to write but will get back next homestand.  Thanks for supporting me anyway.  I appreciate all your get well wishes.  GO DODGERS!!!

Four Games In a Row

It was a nice reunion for Chase Utley when the Dodgers met the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday.  It was the first time that he played against his former team and answered with a homerun blast.
It was early batting practice as usual.  The weather was nice.  It was already cooling down.  I’m still trying to familiarize myself with the new guys including Josh Reddick.
Kenta was sprinting with his translator Will.  He wants to keep Will in shape.

At the dugout Steve “Boomer” Yaeger acknowledged us.


Dave Roberts shook our hands as he walked by.

And then I went up to eat.  The food was amazing.  The roasted chicken with polenta was tender and tasty.  It was seasoned with roasted cippolini onions, pepper and bacon.  The pasta was cooked in sherry  sauce, crispy bacon, piqillo pepper and Asiago cheese.  The salads were Seapoint Farms edamame salad with roasted cauliflower and watermelon relish, Cobb salad with farm eggs, tomatoes, bacon, green onions, blue cheese, roasted chicken and red wine vinaigrette.  The grilled corn salad was my favorite with the rum vinaigrette and baby arugula.  There was also the baby spinach salad with oven roasted pears, hearts of palm scallions and whole grain mustard dressing.  Those less adventurous were eating the traditional Dodger dogs.
I went up to the press box level.  I had won an MVP Rewards card prize the day before.  My prize was two baseline tickets for the Wednesday game.  I told them that it was not so exciting for me since I sat in baseline everyday.  The tickets also were for the day game which many people avoid anyway.  I asked if there were any other choices.  They had two other sets of tickets but they were for field tickets.  I was eyeballing the two balls she had on the table.  She asked me if I would like an autographed ball instead.  One was autographed by Trayce Thompson and the other by Yasmani Grandal.  I picked the Grandal ball since he is impossible to get anymore.  Many fans would question the prize I picked.  The baseline seats were worth maybe at least $300 at cost.  I’m not much on autographs but I thought I would appreciate the Grandal ball in the long run.

It did come in a nice case.
I went down to the field in time to see none other than Yasmani himself.
Julio Urias was not far behind.  This week he turns 20 years old.  He has accomplished much in his young life.
Hi Julio.
He did some stretching and some throwing.  He has been down in minors pitching in relief and was suddenly brought up because Rich Hill wasn’t ready for a start yet due to finger blisters.
Metta World Peace was on the field with the Laker Girls.  He threw out the first pitch.
A little bromance brewing between Metta and Justin??
All eyes were on Chase Utley as he came out to warm up.  We all knew he was a Phillie for most of his career before he was traded.  He has fit in well with the Dodgers and is  known for his leadership and professionalism.
And he surprised everyone when he came to the side to sign.  I took the opportunity to take pictures.  
Hi Justin!
Man of the hour, Rob Segedin also came to the side to sign
My friends were on hand for some nice pics.

Pictures??? I always like selfies.  They seem more personal and mine are always a little quirky.

And then there’s Corey, everyone’s favorite
He also signed
The National Anthem.  I think someone is snickering at me.
Julio and Yasmani took the long walk from the bullpen

Dave Roberts before the game
Julio getting ready to pitch
Dont’t worry Julio, I’m right here.
Say a little prayer
First pitch
Julio pitched well the first inning..the only blip a single to Maikel Franco.

The Dodgers started their explosion in the first inning.

Corey hit his first homerun.  1-0.
Justin Turner doubled.
Josh Reddick walked
Adrian Gonzalez singled, scoring Justin, Josh to 2nd. 2-0.
Yasmani walked
Joc Pederson then hit a double scoring Josh and Adrian. 4-0

Rob Segedin was out on a sacrifice fly but scored Yasmani, Joc to 3rd. 5-0.


All of that happened in the first inning.  The Phillies pitcher 22 year old Zach Eflin stayed in the game.  

In the bottom of the 2nd inning, Chase Utley hit a solo blast to right field.  6-0. So there Phillies!  How appropriate was that?


Josh Reddick singled but was left on base.
In the 3rd inning, the pitcher Zach Eflin doubled, Aaron Altherr walked, and with a throwing error by Julio ,  Eflin and Altherr scored.  That prompted a coaching visit from Honey.  Cameron Rupp singled scoring Franco.  6-3.  The Dodgers got out of the inning with some damage with those unearned runs.
Yasmani righted the ship again in the 3rd inning with a solo homerun.  7-3.  That seemed to be the impetus.
In the 4th inning, the pitcher Eflin singled but was unable to score.

In the 6th inning JP Howell replaced Julio.  Phillies out in order.

In the 7th inning Josh Fields replaced JP.  The Phillies were again out in order.

In the bottom of the 7th inning, Corey hit his second homerun.  8-3.
In the 8th inning, Pedro Baez replaced Josh Field and allowed a solo homerun to Tommy Joseph.  8-4.

In the bottom of the 8th inning, Yasmani doubled to left.

Joc also doubled scoring Yasmani.  9-4.
In the top of the 9th inning, Josh Ravin replaced Pedro Baez.  Josh was brought up from minors.  Joe Blanton had been placed on the bereavement list due to a death in the family.  Josh has been through a lot including surgery for a sports hernia, his brother being shot last year, a broken arm from a car accident and worst of all an 80 game suspension for unapproved drug use.


A bit of a scare when Yasmani was hit in the right shoulder.  Hopefully he’s ok today.  He finished out the game.


Cesar Hernandez tripled but was left on base when Altherr ground out, the ball going to Corey who threw  to Adrian making the final out.


It was a nice win.  Four homeruns: two by Corey, one each by Chase and Yasmani.  Joc had two doubles and 3 RBI’s.  It was the Dodgers third win in a row.  The Giants won their game in extra innings against the Marlins so the Dodgers are still one game back.  Chase had some satisfaction in the win against his former team of 12 1/2 seasons.  This was probably Julio’s best game so far although his pitch count was creeping up.  He threw 88 pitches in 5 innings and allowed 3 runs in the 3rd inning.  
Tuesday’s game against the Phillies will feature Vince Velasquez 8-3, ERA 3.33 and Kenta Maeda 10-7, ERA 3.22.  It is also a dreaded bobblehead day.  As everyone knows I HATE bobblehead days.  It is crowded.  The fans who come are unruly.  Many only come on bobblehead days.  Hopefully it won’t be too bad.  It isn’t supposed to be too hot, only 79 degrees.

Thanks for stopping by.  After Mike Bolsinger was traded, I had a difficult time being happy and writing my blog but I’m trying to make the best of it.  I’m also having a problem with a painful knee which makes walking and concentrating  a huge challenge.  Thank you everyone for still checking my blog out.  I’ve realized by now that baseball is a business.  I still love the Dodgers and baseball and I still want to share my love for it with you.  GO DODGERS!!!!

Winning the Series

It wasn’t an easy series to win.  The three game duel between the Dodgers and Red Sox definitely had its ups and downs.  The first game of the series went to the Red Sox in a heartbreaking rout.  I had hopes that the Dodgers could at least win one game over one of the best offensive teams in the American League.


A few smiling faces as they went into the clubhouse for their meeting


I’m sure many people are wondering what Chris Woodward, the 3rd base coach, looks like.  Everyone sees his back view in most of my pictures.


A brand new face


A familiar face back up from minors



Time for some delicious food in the club


I was surprised by my friends in the club with a birthday surprise.  Thank you Crystal.

The first game featured a tribute to David Ortiz who is retiring this year.

There was not much else in the Red Sox victory on Friday.  The Dodgers were not able to hit against knuckleballer Steven Wright.  The score was 0-9, the Dodgers only able to get 3 hits.  Scott Kazmir gave up 4 runs, including three homeruns.  It was Wright’s first career shutout.  He also pitched a complete game.


The only good things about the game:  my friends Jack with brother Brooks, Eric and Tracy (looking odd without the twins), Doug and Dylan (looking odd without Yoshiko)

Game two on Saturday was one of those dreaded day games.  I went up to the club to eat right away.  The food was great as usual:  chicken sliders,  bacon, sausage, a wonderful omelet with Asian veggies.
It was actually not too hot, in the 80’s.  I decided to try to stick it out in the heat.
I made it out to the field in time to see AJ get ready to work out.
Some cute Red Sox fans.  Believe it or not, one of these cuties caught a foul ball.  Can you guess which one?  
I invited two of my friends from work to the game: Vincent and Denise.  They happen to be Red Sox fans.  I won’t hold that against them.
Ross Stripling was the starting pitcher.  He pitched 5 scoreless innings.  He pitched against Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez.

Norma’s cousins were visiting from out of town.
Lots of new faces:  Rich Hill, the two Josh’s (Reddick and Fields), Jesse Chavez, Grant Dayton.

Scott and Kike

New guy Josh Reddick.  Both new Josh’s have long hair and beards

They make their way down the field
The umps discussing the lineups
Bat girl Emily who has made some fantastic catches.  She played softball for Cal State Long Beach as an outfielder.
First pitch by winning pitcher Ross Stripling
It looked dismal at first when Mookie Betts and Brock Holt both singled.  With both on base, Xander Bogaerts struck out swinging and David Ortiz ground out.  Jackie Bradly walked but Sandy Leon ground out making the 3rd out.  Somehow Stripling got out of the jam.  The Dodgers were out in order in the bottom of the first.

In the top of the second the Red Sox were out in order.  In the bottom of the second, Adrian Gonzalez singled


Next up, Kike Hernandez also singled, Adrian to second.



AJ singled, scoring Adrian, Kike to 2nd.  1-0.
No score until the bottom of the 5th inning when Chris Taylor singled.  Howie walked.  Corey hit a double, scoring Chris Taylor.  2-0.


Adrian singled scoring Howie.  3-0.


That would be the final score.  Dodgers beat the Red Sox 3-0.

Amazingly, the Dodgers shut out the Red Sox with Ross Stripling who was brought up from minors, and the bullpen.  Sorry to my Red Sox friends.  3-0.  Where did all those Red Sox fans come from????
Sunday’s game matched Brandon McCarthy with David Price.  Rob Segedin  was brought up from minors, a rookie at age 27.  He was with the New York Yankees system until last year.  David Price amazingly was not that good.  Unfortunately Brandon McCarthy was erratic with his pitches.  He lasted 4 innings before being replaced by the bullpen.

This is your quiz.  Which autographs belong to which players?  Your choices:  Clayton Kershaw, Julio Urias, Ross Stripling, Rich Hill, Rob Segedin, Jesse Chavez, Grant Dayton.  I was able to get 4 autographs Sunday.  Lucky me.  The hints are the numbers.

Early batting practice

Baseball Head.  Such a nice guy

Food in the club…what can I say?

Yasmani
Brandon McCarthy
Carson and Cash
who were excited to meet Emily, the famous bat girl.
and was able to lure Justin Turner over for autographs.  First time this season I’ve seen him sign.  Thank you Justin.  The kids love you.
I was a little close.  And no I didn’t get an autograph.  
Hi Kike!!
A gorgeous, not-too-hot day
New from the minors: Rob Segedin
Corey signing autographs

Corey and Kike must have the same barber.

My friends were actually more interested in Josh Duhamel who threw out the first pitch.
Joc seems to have a man crush on Josh.
Yasmani and Brandon with Coach Honeycutt
The umpires trying to figure out how to make the Dodgers miserable
First pitch
Brandon had a rocky start in the first inning with a walk to Mookie who stole 2nd base.  With a wild pitch to Xander Bogaerts, Mookie went to third.  Xander hit a sacrifice scoring Mookie. 0-1.  All kinds of action in the 3rd with Andrew Benintendi hitting a single and then stealing second base.  Mookie (yes, Mookie again) was hit by a pitch, Jackie Bradley walked and Bogaerts ground into a double play.  Minimal damage done but scary times:  only one run scored.

The game was a little boring so I took comfort in my in-seat food.

But where is my Dodger dog??
In the top of the 4th inning, the Red Sox managed to score:  with two out, Brock Holt walked, Bryan Holaday walked and Benintendi singled, scoring Brock.  0-2.

That’s when Brandon was out and new guy Josh Fields came in.  Final out made with David Price striking out.
And the it was Dodger time with Justin Turner hitting a solo homerun.  1-2.  We began to have some hope.
Adrian Gonzalez doubled.
Kike struck out, Josh Reddick reached 1st base on fielders choice
Yasmani walked.  The Red Sox tried to figure it out.  What the heck happened???

Rob Segedin doubled scoring Adrian and Josh Reddick.  Yasmani to 3rd base.  3-2.  The Dodgers were on top for the first time.
Scott Van Slyke walked, Howie hit into a double play.  
Jesse Chavez replaced Josh Fields.  The Red Sox were out in order.
In the 5th inning, Corey walked.
Justin ground out, Corey out at 2nd, Justin to first.
Adrian singled, Justin to 3rd.
Kike reached on a force attempt, error by  Bogaerts, scoring Justin.
Yasmani drew a walk.  Adrian to 3rd, Kike to 2nd.
Rob Segedin singled.
Adrian scores, Kike scores.  6-3.
Jesse Chavez was replaced by Luis Avilan in the 6th inning.  Big Mistake.  Travis Shaw singled, Aaron Hill doubled scoring Travis Shaw. 6-3. Benintendi singled scoring Aaron Hill.  Suddenly the score was 6-4.  Avilan was replaced by Joe Blanton.  Another big mistake.  David Ortiz walked, Mookie singled scoring Benintendi.  6-5.  The Red Sox were creeping up.  In the bottom of the 6th, the Dodgers were out in order.  Blanton managed 2 outs, Baez came in to make the final out in the 6th.

In the bottom of the 7th inning, Adrian hit the 300th homerun of his career.  He is one of 7 active players with 300 homeruns and 400 doubles.  It is Adrian’s 10th of the season.  7-5.
To make it even more exciting, Kike followed with a homerun of his own.  8-5.  Funny thing, Pedro Baez was allowed to bat, his first at-bat as a major leaguer.  He, of course, made an out.
Kenley came out in the 9th to close the game.
Former Dodger Hanley Ramirez struck out.
A Red Sox fan thought he would run out on the field but didn’t make it very far.
The Dodger dugout watched the action.
And Kenley did what he does best.  He saved the game.  Score was 8-5.  Amazing!!!  Who would have thought that the Dodgers would win the series.

Since the Giants lost to the Nationals, the Dodgers are only one game behind.
Monday the Dodgers start a 3 game series with the Phillies.  The starting pitchers are Zach Eflin 3-4, ERA 4.77.  He will meet Julio Urias 1-2, ERA 4.98.  Chase Utley played with the Phillies from 2003-2015.

Thanks for stopping by.  Thank you everyone for your support.  This blog was rated #12 in MLB blogs.  I appreciate all of you.

Bye Bye Mike

Almost at the last minute of the trade deadline Mike Bolsinger was traded to the Blue Jays.  What else can I say?

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