Monday, April 30, 2007

Game 25: Dodgers 5, Padres 4

Goodness, even I'm tired after this one. The Dodgers and Padres were one inning shy of playing two complete games on Sunday, and despite their best efforts to lose, the Dodgers walked away with a 5-4 win.

Truthfully, the Dodgers had this one wrapped up pretty early on. Kent and Gonzo hit back-to-back home runs to give Derek Lowe a 4-1 lead in the third inning. But Lowe once again couldn't hold a lead, and in the seventh inning, the Padres tied it at 4-4. That was at 2:56 local time.

More than three hours later, the game finally ended. But not before the Dodgers loaded the bases once, had two men on twice, and still couldn't score runs. The Dodgers had 15 hits, the Padres had two errors, and still we only had four runs going into the 17th inning. Turns out it was the Padres' third error that would cost them the game.

Wilson Valdez, who had just come in the game, hit a bunt with one out in the top of the 17th. The catcher, Rob Bowen, quickly picked it up and fired to first. Unfortunately for the Padres, the third string catcher, Pete LaForest, was playing first at this point, and he couldn't handle Bowen's slightly high throw. So Valdez was safe at first on the error. Russell Martin came up and popped out to the shortstop, and so we were down to our last out in the 17th inning.

In steps Brady Clark, who had played the entire game and was 0 for 5 with two walks until this point. He promptly hit a double down the left field line. Valdez is little and speedy, and so the third base coach sent him, all the way from first. It was a good throw to the plate, but Valdez beat it, and the Dodgers had their first lead in 10 innings.

Chad Billingsley, who had pitched the 16th, came in to try and close it out in the 17th. He struck out LaForest, then got Mike Cameron to ground one to third, but Ramon Martinez bobbled the transfer and Cameron was safe. He stole second, and then Billingsley walked Blum. So they had two on and only one out, and I was beginning to curse Chad Billingsley. He then quickly struck out the next two batters (but not before an incredibly bad call by the ump that should have been strike three on Kouzmanoff) and I was so relieved it was over.

These kinds of games are always hard to watch, especially when the team you like keeps blowing opportunities to end it. I always feel like these games are going to go on forever, and then all of the sudden, they're over. It must be a huge letdown to the losing team in one sense, but maybe also a big relief. I mean, they want the game to end, right? And while it sucks to play 17 innings and have nothing to show for it but a weary bullpen, now the Padres can put this game behind them and beat up the Nationals for a while.

Of course, if the Dodgers had lost this one, I'd be very depresed and upset about how they played 17 innings and had nothing to show for it. It's amazing what a win (and a series win) can do for one's spirits. And hey, the Giants were swept by the D-Backs. Let's see what we can do with them for the next three days.


Player of the Game: the Dodger bullpen, collectively (10.2 IP, one hit, no runs)

Record: 15-10



COMMENTS:
AUTHOR: Smeghead52
DATE: 04/30/2007 06:37:26 PM

Erin,
Are you going to any of the games with the DBacks.
I didn't know they had changed their color scheme.
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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Game 24: Padres 3, Dodgers 2

I don't really know what to say about this game. We played well, and Tomko pitched relatively well (except for one bad inning), and we lost anyway. Not enough offense to back up the good pitching. And so it goes.

Saturday night, the Dodgers couldn't get to Trevor Hoffman the way they did on Friday night. I figured that would be the case if we went into the ninth inning down a run or two. Hoffman showed why he's a future Hall of Famer, and mowed down the Dodgers in order.

Tomko was cruising along until the fourth inning, which is where the Padres scored all three runs. Maddux pitched quite well in his first start against the Dodgers this season, and only needed 80 pitches to get through seven innings.

The big chance for the Dodgers came in the eighth inning. With one out, Juan Pierre hit a shot down the left field line. Giles had an amazing throw back to the infield, and even speedy Juan Pierre couldn't beat the throw (even though he actually did, and the ump got it wrong). So then there were two outs, and Nomar flied out. It's too bad, really. I don't think Pierre did the wrong thing going for a double, but I also wonder if it would have been safer to just stay at first and then steal the bag. He's been known to do that now and again. Besides, he had been getting on base all night, and twice Jeff Kent had driven him in. Who knows what would have happened, but it was a good opportunity, for sure.

Not much else to say about this one. The rubber game is today, and it's Lowe vs. Wells. I like the chances for the Dodgers in this one, because Wells is not the man he used to be. Lowe has lost his last two starts, so I would really like for him to get it going tonight, and pitch the way he did in his second and third starts of the season (15 IP, 2 ER). The Dodgers are holding on to a half game lead in the NL West, so winning today is definitely important (especially if the D-Backs complete the sweep of the Giants, which, of course, I hope they do).


Player of the Game: Jeff Kent (2 for 4, 2 RBI)


Record: 14-10



COMMENTS:
AUTHOR: Smeghead52
DATE: 04/30/2007 01:00:08 AM

According to KNX this was the longest game in the majors so far. The Dodgers will need to win games like this to stay competitive.
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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Because the Giants Swept the Dodgers

Due to Beantown West being shut down, the "I Luv Barry" picture is missing from this post. Please use your imagination.


How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height

Your home runs can reach when flying out of sight.

For the ends of doping, not an ideal Grace.

I love thee to the level of my seats in far right,

Viewed by L.A. sun and Candlestick light.

I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;

I love thee as surely as they turn from the juice.

Like Hank Aaron's record, a passion put to good use.

In your 'roid rage, and with my childhood's faith,

I love thee with a love I seemed to lose

Along with baseball's lost saints, -- I love thee with the breath,

The clear, the cream, all of my life! -- and, if God choose,

I shall but love thee better after death.


Based on Elizabeth Barrett Brownings "How Do I Love Thee", written with a lot of help from my girlfriend Christine and my friend Cate.



COMMENTS:
AUTHOR: Smeghead52
DATE: 04/29/2007 12:27:25 AM

Perhaps you guys could write some poetry for Los Angle leeze as it was another loss again. Tomko had a rough 5th inning. Looks like the NL West is going to be a tight division this year. If the Dodgers get too far behind in May it may be hard to regroup in August.
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Game 23: Dodgers 6, Padres

This is the way I want to see the Dodgers playing, and of course I missed almost every minute of it. I saw the first few innings (on and off, because I was also watching the Yankees implode some more in the Bronx), then while I was eating dinner, I saw the big inning where the Padres went ahead 4-1. Then I had to run some errands, and when I got in my car, the gentleman on the radio told me we were in the bottom of the ninth. Since this game was in San Diego, I was understandably confused. "Bottom of the ninth? Did we tie the game?"

It only took a few seconds for me to find out that the Dodgers had not only tied the game, but had in fact gone ahead, thanks to a four-run top of the ninth inning. Against Trevor Hoffman, no less.

From what I hear, early on, it was a good game. Mark Hendrickson was making the start, and he pitched very well, only giving up one run through five innings. And at 85 pitches, Grady decided to take him out (it is only his second start, after all) in favor of Chad Billingsley. I was immediately nervous, and it turned out that I had reason to be. The sixth inning is where Chad gave up three runs to put the Padres ahead 4-1. Before I left the restaurant where I saw the sixth inning, the Dodgers had pulled to 4-2. But I wasn't holding out much hope. Going into this game, they were 0-8 when trailing after the sixth inning.

And then came the ninth inning. Marlon Anderson, batting in place of Wilson Betemit (you know Betemit's bad when a guy you never can remember still plays for us comes in, and you breath a sigh of relief). Anderson hit a leadoff single to center. Then Furcal came up, and bunted down the first base line. It was a good sac bunt, but things went crazy for the Padres. Adrien Gonzalez turned to second to see if he could get Anderson. When he realized he couldn't, he raced toward first. Trevor Hoffman headed there, too, and suddenly there was quite the traffic jam. Gonzalez missed the tag and Furcal was safe. Two on, nobody out.

Juan Pierre sacrificed the runners to second and third, and Nomar came to the plate. He was 3 for 3 going into this at-bat. Nomar actually waited for his pitch (read: didn't swing at the first pitch) and got a two-run double out of it. The Padres decided to walk Gonzalez, but that backfired when Martin doubled to deep center (Cameron almost had it, but it bounced off his glove), scoring the go-ahead runs. 6-4 Dodgers.

Saito came in to pitch in the bottom of the ninth. Jose Cruz, Jr., hit a home run with two outs to make it 6-5, but that's as close as they would get. Adrien Gonzalez flied out and the Dodgers had their come-from-behind win.

Of course I don't like to see them go down 4-1 ever, but I like the fight the Dodgers still had in them in the ninth. It was Hoffman's second consecutive blown save, so maybe he's having some problems this year, but I'm glad the Dodgers took advantage of that. Hendrickson pitched very well, and when he's allowed to go a little deeper, I like our chances. Billingsley has pitched 11.2 innings this season, and given up ten runs. I don't like that. But, a win's a win, and after this week, we needed it.


Player of the Game: Nomar Garciaparra (4 for 4, 2 RBI--included the two that tied the game in the ninth)


Record: 14-9

P.S. The last part of my bet with El Lefty Malo is still being created. But I'm not backing out, so don't worry.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Game 22: Giants 5, Dodgers 4

Ugh. Now I am officially depressed. A three-game sweep by the Giants, making it a four-game losing streak for our Los Angeles Dodgers. Not a good thing, heading into a weekend series with the Padres.

Last night's game was definitely winnable, and I'm going to go old school and blame this one on Grady Little. I haven't blamed him for a game since Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS, and I thought the residual effects for that had worn off, but they're apparently still lingering, and they have been renewed thanks to last night's move. I realize I can't blame it all on Grady, but he's getting the brunt of it because this is my blog and I say so.

It looked like the Dodgers were going to have this one pretty easily in the early innings. We went up 3-0 in the second inning, and the guys behind me in the bleacher seats were talking about the free wings at Hooters we would all be having later that night (if the Dodgers score 10 runs and win the games, everyone with a ticket gets free wings). Russ Ortiz looked awful. And then, in the second inning, thanks to a suicide squeeze gone wrong (yes, that's right, a suicide squeeze), Ethier got caught in a pickle, and was quickly thrown out at third. So instead of a runner on third with one out, we now had a runner at second and two outs. That was Grady's first mistake. The guy wasn't pitching well. We didn't need to manufacture runs. Juan Pierre flied out (which he could have done with a runner on third, and gotten an RBI for his efforts) and the threat was over.

There were a few other threats, but despite the fact that Russ Ortiz was pitching like a little leaguer, he always seemed to escape. And the Giants managed to get to Brad Penny for three runs, which isn't terrible, but it should have been our win.

Even with a tied ball game going into the eighth inning, I wasn't worried. But then Beimel, who has been pitching very well, had some problems. He had pitched the seventh fairly well, but he led off the eighth with a walk and then a single. Barry Bonds came up and grounded into a questionable double play (I haven't seen the replay, but even in the bleacher seats, he looked safe). That wasn't Beimel being effective; that was Beimel getting lucky.

Now, here's where I start to blame Grady more. All the evidence pointed to Beimel just not being very sharp Thursday night. And he's a left-handed pitcher. So, he got Barry, which is great. But Broxton has been warming up in the pen, and we know he's been absolutely lights-out all season. Ray Durham, a righty, walks up to the plate. And what does Grady do? He leaves Beimel in to promptly give up a go-ahead double to Mr. Durham. Granted, Juan Pierre could take some of the blame, because he should have caught the ball. But he (again) took a poor route and then when he got to the ball, he just flat out missed it. What's the point of having his speed if, when he gets to a ball, he can't make the play? It's not track and field out there. The ball needs to go into the glove.

So THEN Grady brings Broxton in. Broxton gave up a hit to Molina to make it a two-run lead, I know, but who knows what the situation might have been if Broxton had been brought in to face the left-handed hitter and get us out of that inning.

Argh. Ethier hit a solo shot in the eighth to make it a little interesting for the ninth, but Benitez was superb once again. I guess we just got outplayed, but, especially in this game, it really felt like we lost it, not like the Giants won it. And now they have an eight-game win streak, and we have to go face the Padres at Petco. Should be fun.

Oh, and I heard a few good insults directed at Barry during my first game in the bleacher seats. One guy yelled, "Hey Barry! Move your head. I can't see the game!" Later, a few chanted "Just say no!" which is, to me anyway, brilliant in its simplicity. My problem really are the fans who choose to start the "Barry Sucks" chant when he's not up to bat and has nothing to do with the situation (or, as in the eighth inning last night, wasn't even in the game). After they replaced him with Todd Linden, someone threw a syringe filled with a yellow liquid onto the field. It remained there for a while, until Linden came and kicked it toward the fence. Kind of dumb to wait until Barry was gone, if you ask me.

In other news, read up on Curt Schilling's $1 million wager. And then read his full blog on the matter. It will make you laugh. It's a shame Curt can't take this sock thing with the good humor that Kevin Millar did on Thursday night in Baltimore (can't find a picture, but if you didn't see it, he painted his sock red at the ankle and wore it onto the field before the game). No, Curt wants everyone to know that God wanted him to win that game in New York in 2004. Apparently, God cares about baseball, and is a Red Sox fan (guess he/she took some time of from about 1918-2004). Get off your high horse, Curt, and just pitch. Please.

The final part of my wager with El Lefty Malo will be coming soon. I have to do it well, so it may take a little while to get it right. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Player of the Game: Andre Ethier (2 for 4, 2RBI, 1HR)


Barry Bonds' Home Runs Against Dodger Pitching:
0 (1 total)


Record: 13-9 (four game losing streak)


This is the me in the 7th inning: "Don't worry. We got this one. No sweep tonight."


COMMENTS:


AUTHOR: sfgfan
DATE: 04/27/2007 02:28:04 PM

With all due respect, Little's decision to leave Beimel in could be justified. Durham is a switch hitter, not right handed. Before that at bat, Durham was 0-for-5 against Dodger left-handers this season while being 6-for-16 against Dodger right handers with two doubles and three RBIs.
It was a real fun game to watch, and would have been regardless of the result. Both teams made serious efforts to give up the game. It came down to who made the least mistakes, and the most of the other's mistakes. Neat to see that you're honoring your bet with Lefty.
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AUTHOR: Erin
DATE: 04/27/2007 02:30:57 PM

Okay, maybe that wasn't the biggest bonehead move. But how about that suicide squeeze in the second? I'm standing by my claim that it was an unnecessary risk to take against a pitcher that we already had on the ropes.

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AUTHOR: sfgfan
DATE: 04/27/2007 03:01:25 PM

I actually missed that part of the game, but from what I see (and have read), I can't help but agree with you. Maybe he was afraid that Pierre couldn't/wouldn't put good (read: enough) wood on the ball to score him. Maybe he wanted to spark the team a little.
I got nothing. It was a really bad play.
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AUTHOR: Victor
DATE: 04/27/2007 03:31:36 PM

To Ortiz's credit he didn't have anything most of the game and still managed to make it into the 6th against the best offense in the NL West(107R).
Some great games though. The Dodgers never seemed to quit. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhZIc7XTLuc
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AUTHOR: Smeghead52
DATE: 04/27/2007 07:08:08 PM

You look cute in your Dodgers hat Erin. Anywho when Barry was hit in for the tying run ESPN said he passed Pete Rose--another of baseballs wonderful individuals--for fifth on the all time runs scored list. Hope Khalil won't be so lucky.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Game 21: Giants 6, Dodgers 4

Picture missing due to the shutdown of Beantown West. Just imagine a picture of Barry Bonds with a heart drawn around him, and "I Luv Barry" written in red.


Oh lord. We all know why I have the above picture posted (and why I will have it posted until Friday, even if the Dodgers win Thursday night). And that's because the Dodgers hate me.


The things is, through six innings, Randy Wolf didn't really pitch any worse than Noah Lowry. Sure, Wolf gave up four runs in the first inning, but he settled down incredibly well from there, and the Feliz home run was the only blemish after that disastrous first. It unfortunately led to the fifth run, though, and Lowry had only given up four. Wolf's line almost looks better, actually, because he only walked one while Lowry walked five, and Wolf struck out six to Lowry's one. Unfortunately, those statistics don't count in the final score.


And so we're losing the series. And the only hope we have is that we don't get swept. I'll be there Thursday night, cheering them on, praying mostly.


The details of Wednesday's game don't much matter at this point. But it should be noted that Barry Bonds did hit a home run (without which, of course, Wolf would have been in much better shape). I'm still waiting for the whole "cheaters never prosper" thing to pan out for Mr. Bonds, but I guess that'll come a little further on down the line. Seriously, a guy with the email address "sammycorkedhisbat" is giving me shit on my comments about this series. Anything wrong with that picture? Is he bragging about someone else being able to get away with cheating? Or does he not see the irony?


That said, I'm not bitter. I'm really not. The Giants played well, and for the most part fairly. So, great for them. But I think there's hope for the NL West yet. And I hate to be the person who falls back on the same old story, but the Giants are an old team. So I think maybe they'll play well at the beginning of the season, but I don't see how that age factor can't catch up to them in the second half. We'll have to look out for that one.


If the Dodgers win tonight, the season series will stand at 4-2. Not bad, really. And we don't have to see these guys until July (wow) again. So let's keep beating up on the D-Backs and Rockies until then.




Player of the Game: Russell Martin (2 for3, 1 BB, 1 RBI)


Barry Bonds' Home Runs Against Dodger Pitching: 1




Record: 13-8 (first three game losing streak of the season)




P.S. Did you see what Gary Thorne said about Curt Schilling? He's joking, right (or he didn't realize that, if Mirabelli said it, he was joking)? I mean, if Thorne wants, I think it's pretty easy to get someone to prove him wrong.




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COMMENTS:
AUTHOR: the gene hackman
DATE: 04/26/2007 02:11:25 PM

Hey there dodger fans, Lefty sent me.

Beautiful picture, BTW. I always knew LA were closeted Barry fans.

Did you hear the crowd go CRAZY after bonds hit that laser beam to center? LA loves barry as much as they pretend to hate him.

The dodgers wish more than ANYTHING EVER that Barry was a dodger.

It's cool. It's ok not to hate Barry. Feel the love.

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AUTHOR: Erin
DATE: 04/26/2007 02:14:04 PM

Wow. Okay. I'd like to just let that crazy talk speak for itself, but I'll say this right now-- the day Barry Bonds puts on a Dodger uniform is the day I stop caring about the Dodgers.

Same goes for any player who is obviously cheating at the game (or has cheated and refuses to admit it).
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AUTHOR: stopmikelupica
DATE: 04/26/2007 02:57:09 PM

Isn't Nomar a Dodger? How do you feel about him, Erin?

You do assume he used steroid, right? Because that's almost as certain as Clemens. Unless you think people's groin muscle just fall off their thigh naturally....

Anyway, thoughts on steroids aside, I admire your willingness to honor your bet with Lefty. You are honorable, no doubt....
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AUTHOR: Erin
DATE: 04/26/2007 03:04:41 PM

I do think that freak injuries occur in baseball all the time, and I wasn't aware of the speculation that Nomar was (or is) using steroids. If I see some evidence that makes it a likelihood, I suppose I would have to change my opinion on him, yes.

Does that mean Armando Benitez was using, too? His hamstrings fell off his pelvis.

Cheating in any respect is wrong, and I don't care which player it is.

And while we're on the subject, here's something I've had on my mind for a while--New York fans sure like to cheer Mr. Giambi, even though he essentially admitted to steroid use, but didn't 'fess up completely, claiming he couldn't speak about what he testified because that would be illegal.

That's untrue and cowardly, since he was completely allowed to say whatever he wanted about his own drug use and his own testimony, and he chose not to because he wanted everyone to still be doubtful about his status as a cheater.

And then the fans vote for him as "Comeback Player of the Year." Awesome. Coming back from cheating is something to be admired.
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AUTHOR: Victor
DATE: 04/26/2007 03:06:06 PM

Wow, you have to stop watching the Dodgers then... because even the D'Backs management knew Gonzo was jucing.

P.S. you should probably burn any left over Gagne jersey's as well... his fall from grace happened right when baseball started testing. :-)
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AUTHOR: Erin
DATE: 04/26/2007 03:14:32 PM

I wasn't a Dodger fan when they had Gagne, so I can't speak to that.

As for Gonzo, I don't know. He's not exactly my favorite right now anyway, and maybe you're right. Maybe I'll have to stop watching baseball all together, because I'll spend my day responding to every comment on here about a potential steroid user playing on my team (comments, by the way, that I could choose not to even post, but that would be hypocritical, wouldn't it?)

I'm not opposed to the idea of giving up on baseball. I love the sport, but I don't love what it's become. I hate the secrecy and the shadiness (illustrated effectively, I think, in my comment about Giambi). And I think no player better exemplifies that than Barry Bonds.

My hope is that players who were juicing have stopped, and my dream is that they all admit it. But neither one of those things is going to happen, so I don't know the solution. Fans like home runs, and I think a lot of them don't really care why those home runs are happening.
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AUTHOR: Smeghead52
DATE: 04/26/2007 03:16:09 PM

An unwritten baseball rule is to cheat until you get caught. So Im not angry about steroid use as it wasn't illegal at the time. I think No Mah is more likable than Barry. I think an IRS auditor is more likeable than Barry.

If Barry moves to SoCal he has indicated he wants to play for the Angels so he could be a DH. He's three hits away.

Dosen't get easier for the Dodgers as they head down to Petco. Peavey almost broke Tom Seaver's record for most consecutive strikeouts.

Schilling is a manipulator so I wouldn't put anything past him but Thorne shouldn't have made comments like that over the air.
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AUTHOR: Erin
DATE: 04/26/2007 03:22:05 PM

Well, I'm no expert on steroids, but the majority of drugs that fall into that category are illegal for any person in this country.

So, baseball didn't have a specific rule about it, but I think something that breaks the law in society should be considered illegal in a sport within that society.

I mean, killing someone is illegal, and it might not be explicitly stated in the MLB rule book as something players shouldn't do, but I think MLB might frown upon it anyway (don't write me about equating steroid use to murder, because I'm not--it's just an analogy).
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AUTHOR: Brian
DATE: 04/26/2007 03:33:35 PM

There's nothing we can do about roids in baseball prior to last year.

Were Bonds, Gagne, Gonzo, Giambi, Sheffield, Sosa and about 100 other guys on juice? Only they know, but I'd bet that's a big fat yes.

The only thing we can do is assume the testing is working now, blast guys who are stupid enough to fail, and keep watching the games.

As for me, 73 HRS is not the magic number, I'm still waiting for someone to hit more than 61, and I'm wondering how the press will handle it if someone without the taint of roids actually does it.

Do the roid years bother me? Yes and no. No matter how they hit the bombs, Sosa and McGwire really brought this game back to most of America. That was a great summer to be a fan. Not sure where the sport would be right now if they hadn't made that run at "history."

As far as cheating is concerned, it works both ways. How many pitchers did Bonds face who were juicing? I can think of a couple who wore Dodger Blue, and probably a couple who were Yankees as well.

It's a sordid tale, but it seems like they've cleaned it up at this point. It's also not the first time drugs have been an issue in the major leagues. How many hall of famers from the 70's and 80's were on speed for a good portion of the season?

Just because guys may have used roids in the past isn't a reason not to root for them today, and Giambi's comeback, even if he was coming back from health problems caused by roids (which is debatable) should still be noted because presumably, he's come back clean.
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AUTHOR: Erin
DATE: 04/26/2007 03:37:58 PM

All fair points, though I still think the illegality of steroids in general in society is an issue that no one is really bringing up in the debate.

And yeah McGuire and Sosa helped baseball after the strike. It's just so hard to think of it as being so tainted. How could anyone look at McGuire and not think of steroids?

And Giambi still looks like a big, scary ape to me. I don't know what he's doing with his body now, but something looks wrong.

If A-Rod hits 62 home runs this year (or any year), as far as I'm concerned, he's the new single season home run champion.
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AUTHOR: ELM
DATE: 04/26/2007 04:16:59 PM

>I still think the illegality of steroids in general in society is an issue that no one is really bringing up in the debate.

It's certainly not brought up enough. FWIW, here's a condensed version of my roid/drug perspective: yes 'roids/PEDS without a prescription was and is illegal. Bonds and many others likely broke the law. From baseball's perspective, should they be castigated? More concretely, do their stats/records count? Before you answer that, answer this: what about the rampant use of "Greenies" (amphetamines, illegal w/o a prescription) in clubhouses for decades. How many times did Aaron, Mays, Johnny Bench, Gaylord Perry, etc etc pop a couple greenies to get up for a late-August doubleheader in St. Louis or whatever? It's speculation, of course, but it's impossible that some of our favorite players and their records were drug-enhanced. Should those guys be viewed any differently than the 'roid generation? I say not, and I say no punishment of ballplayers unless there's equal punishment of management that nudge-nudge-wink-wink didn't know what was happening in the clubhouse.
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AUTHOR: Erin
DATE: 04/26/2007 04:22:00 PM

Well I like having this debate on my blog, for sure.

It's a tough issue, mostly because you can't prove anything retroactively. And if you could, then what? Like ELM said, it's impossible to know who who was doing what when, and then to figure out the extent of the punishments is a whole other story altogether.

Let's hope that Brian is right about it getting better from here on out.

But I still reserve the right to join the "Steroids" chant against Barry tonight. :)
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AUTHOR: stopmikelupica
DATE: 04/26/2007 04:45:29 PM

I agree with Brian for the most part - picking and choosing which "possible" steroid users to hate and which to ignore is silly, when all evidence indicates a high level of use throught baseball(remember: the reason there even is testing now is because more than 5% of MLB players failed the preliminary drug testing in 2004 - how many more no one knows).

Hating on Bonds for steroid use is fueled by a mix of racism (yes, racism) and mostly hatred by the press towards Bonds. The press has done a hatchet job on Bonds for years. He has never been caught doing anything. No failed tests. The Clear? Unidentified substances, no proof any of them are illegal steroids. All the evidence taken from Balco labs? Nothing incriminating on Bonds. No case against him, despite all the manhours the FBI spent working on this.

Now, does that mean he didn't do steroids? No, but it means that the same evidence against him (his physical appearance, etc.) is the same evidence against Nomar, Gagne, Schilling (lots of ancedotic evidence towards Schilling), Clemens, etc. In fact, there is more evidence towards others (Ivan Rodriguez was singled out by Canseco, the only creditable source when it comes to the steroids discussion).

So why hate Bonds more than anyone else in baseball?

Because the press tells you to. That's the power of propaganda.
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AUTHOR: Erin
DATE: 04/26/2007 04:49:20 PM

Doesn't hurt that he's the biggest asshole in the sport. And that's the main reason I hate him, not because he's black.

I might even hate Giambi more, for almost admitting it, but not being man enough to commit to the admission (what was he apologizing for in that press conference, if not his steroid use?). And Giambi is far from black.
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AUTHOR: Erin
DATE: 04/26/2007 05:07:15 PM

Also, propaganda or not, of all the guys you listed, Bonds is the only one who is about to break the unbreakable record. So, you know, that's a little bit of a big deal. And that, and not racism, might explain the media focus on him.
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AUTHOR: Reeky
DATE: 04/26/2007 05:07:51 PM

Another visitor from El Lefty Malo: beautiful picture, great blog, interesting comments...my only question is, how long will the picture stay up and does it go into the archives???

Don't be down, boys and girls. Most years it comes down to the last couple of weeks, Doggers versus Giants...see you then!
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AUTHOR: Erin
DATE: 04/26/2007 05:25:55 PM

ELM has requested that the picture remain up on the top post until Friday, and so it shall (I'll just put it up again on the post for today's game) . And as far as I know, it will be in the archives.

If the Dodgers lose tonight, there's worse in store for me. trust me.
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AUTHOR: the gene hackman
DATE: 04/26/2007 06:56:16 PM

Biggest A-hole in the sport clearly goes to Pershitsky. What incidents can you list to make you think bonds is such an a-hole? I think that that's largely a media label. Bonds rightfully hates the media for what they did to his father, and so the media hates him back, and there you go. Ask his teammates, he's not that bad a guy...
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AUTHOR: Smeghead52
DATE: 04/26/2007 08:12:38 PM

Perhaps Erin

If Los Gigantes win tonight you can buy Barry a giftcard to use at his favorite General Nutrtion Center. :D)Have a good time at the game Erin and tell us if you see Allysa Milano.

Anywho as I said before the Trolley Dodgers are going to have their work cut out for them when they face Khalil Green and friends? You haven't made any bets with any Padres' blog owners have you? ;D)
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AUTHOR: ELM
DATE: 04/27/2007 11:23:34 AM

I'm a Giant and Bonds lover, but I think Bonds qualifies for one of the top-5 a*holes in the game. It's not just the media he treats, or used to treat, badly. He was an arrogant selfish guy for many many years. (You want examples? Why would he refuse to show up for the team picture year after year?) But people can change, and there are hints that he's mellowed out a lot recently. If I weren't a Giants fan, I'd boo him, too. That's the way sports fandom is.
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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Game 20: Giants 5, Dodgers 3

Well, that one hurt. But I have to give credit to Matt Morris, who is still effective even when his fastball tops out at 88 mph. He pitched well and the Dodgers just could not do anything with it. It was hard to string together any hits, and even though they scored three runs, this game looked like it could just as easily have been a shutout.

And, what's more, it was another pretty sloppy game from the boys in blue, which I don't like to see at all. Russell Martin had another throwing error, and he really needs to get some more practice in on those throws or something. He's got a great arm, but, as Vin Scully noted last night, he keeps throwing to the wrong side of the bag, and often quite high. The rest of the team didn't have any errors, but they also didn't look great out in the field. They just felt off.

They actually managed nine hits, but it seemed like no two happened in a row. Can't really score runs that way, and so we lost. Lowe is actually worrying me a little now. He got plenty of ground ball outs, and actually seemed to be pitching okay, but he just didn't look impressive the way he did in his second and third games. I hope this isn't becoming a pattern for all our pitchers.

This was also the first time the Dodgers have dropped two in a row since the first two games of the season. I'd rather not see a three-game losing streak, if they can possibly help it tonight. I also don't want to have to do the bidding of one El Lefty Malo, so I'd like a win tonight, to keep things interesting.

Wolf has been great so far this year, and I see no reason why that shouldn't continue tonight. The Dodgers managed a 2-1 win their first time out against Noah Lowry, thanks to some great pitching from Brad Penny. If Wolf can pitch like that and keep them in the game, I think we'll be just fine.

I leave you with this gem from Vin Scully last night: "Derek Lowe gives up home runs about as easily as one gives up a tattoo.


Player of the Game: Nomar Garciaparra (2 for 4 last night, 1 RBI, giving him 15, to lead the team right now)


Barry Bonds' Home Runs Against Dodger Pitching: 0 (0 for 2 in the game)

Record: 13-7


COMMENTS:

AUTHOR: Smeghead52
DATE: 04/25/2007 03:52:42 PM

Freakazoid didn't get any hits it was skinny Randy Winn who drove in two of the runs for the Giants. It looks like you'll need some Flackseed Oil for your trip to Chavez Ravine Erin. :D). Alas the Mets now have the best record in the NL and the Trolley Dodgers are tied with the brewcrew.
-----

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Halberstam

I want to write about David Halberstam, because I know he was one of the greats. Summer of '49 and The Teammates are particular favorites of mine, and I know the sports world (and, indeed, the journalistic world at large) lost a good one yesterday.


But I won't pretend to be able to do him any justice. So instead, I'll send you to a few more fitting tributes that are popping up all over the Internet. Depressed Fan has a few more linked on his blog as well. Go read about Mr. Halberstam.


Newsweek


Jim Caple


AP



Just A Friendly Wager Between New Friends

In honor of our official welcome to the Blogs by Fans network, El Lefty Malo and I are making a friendly wager on the upcoming Giants/Dodgers series (4/24-4/26). The terms of this bet will not be made public immediately, mostly because we haven't quite figured them out yet, but suffice it to say that penalties for both sides will be harsh, and will be based upon which team wins the three-game series (with, I would imagine, a harsher penalty for a three-game sweep).


Alex likened this to when mayors bet on things like the Super Bowl, and I can only agree with him that a bet between us on this blog network is equal in magnitude to those mayoral bets.


We have some ideas of our own, but I don't think Alex would be opposed to some new suggestions. So, come on Dodger fans. What should I make him do when the Dodgers sweep the second straight series from their northern California enemies?



COMMENTS:
AUTHOR: Brian
DATE: 04/24/2007 02:30:51 AM

That's a tough one...this is why Philly is definitely the best city to be mayor of. You've always got the cheese steak on your side.

Anyway, if Lefty loses, he should have to replace the video linked to from "Tresure!!!!" in his header with this video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZ17awQG1EM

If it's a sweep, he should have to wear this t-shirt to the next game he attends. Photographic evidence is required.
http://www.cafepress.com/buy/giants/-/pv_design_details/pg_1/id_14103344/opt_/fpt_/c_360/
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AUTHOR: Smeghead52
DATE: 04/24/2007 03:15:33 PM

You should make him buy a pink SF Sucks tee. Or have him sing LA is my lady on YouTube. Either that or I Love LA by Randy Newman.

Hey Alyssa's blog is not linked on the Dodgers website today. Perhaps they got too many hits about loving charmed and not the dodgers :0).
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AUTHOR: Smeghead52us
DATE: 04/24/2007 04:04:23 PM

Hey I got in trouble at the Dodgers webboard. Some Giants fan was writing about how wonderful the Giants were and all I asked was whether the staff at General Nutrition Centers got worried when the Giants team bus drove by--or Bud Selig for that matter. Alas my post was deleted indicating that Mr. Selig is probably very worried indeed. lol.
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AUTHOR: Erin
DATE: 04/24/2007 04:07:07 PM
That's a good one. I'll try to remember it on Thursday night.

The league and the press overall seem intent on pretending that Bonds is perfect, and that he's exactly the guy we want breaking Aaron's record. I don't know what to make of that.
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AUTHOR: Smeghead52
DATE: 04/24/2007 08:37:49 PM
Well at least the Alyssa blog has been linked back to the Dodger website. Whew. I think she's doing a good job bringing in fans who wouldn't have bothered with MLB.com or heard of baseball.

Well I thinks its best that Barry just gets on with it--hits his home run--and we all follow ARod or someone else. Don't think his mark will last as long as Hank Aaron's
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AUTHOR: Brian
DATE: 04/24/2007 11:13:59 PM

Not looking good so far Erin. Hope you didn't put too much on the line.
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AUTHOR: Erin
DATE: 04/24/2007 11:16:27 PM
Well, I'm not loving this so far, but I'm not ready to give up yet.

And, I don't even know what I've put on the line. But I have a feeling it won't be a fun time for me.
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AUTHOR: ELM
DATE: 04/25/2007 01:47:57 AM
>The league and the press overall seem intent on pretending that Bonds is perfect, and that he's exactly the guy we want breaking Aaron's record

I beg to differ. The league seems horribly embarrassed by the upcoming spectacle, and the press treats Bonds like an ax murderer.
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AUTHOR: Erin
DATE: 04/25/2007 01:52:53 AM

All I know is I sure get a lot of "Chasing Aaron" updates anytime I watch ESPN.

And unless they're implying he's chasing Aaron around with a knife, I don't think they're treating him like a murderer.
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AUTHOR: The Crow
DATE: 04/26/2007 03:18:42 AM
GIANTS WILL SWEEEEEEEEEEEEP !

PS be honorable and pay up. you already lost!
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AUTHOR: Erin
DATE: 04/26/2007 11:52:41 AM

How could I even get away with not "paying up"? This is a bit of a public space, you know?

And, oddly enough, I am aware of the math involved in a three game series. So, I am in fact aware that I have lost. Thanks for making sure, though.
-----

Monday, April 23, 2007

VT

The Virginia Tech tragedy has obviously been all over the news since it happened last Monday, and with good reason. What happened there was utterly unbelievable and terrifying, and there aren't really any words to describe what the families of the dead must be feeling.

But of course what happened has been turned into a gun control debate. Those on one side see it as a way to justify stricter gun control, and those on the other side think that with more guns, the problem will be solved. They believe that if any of the students on the campus had been allowed to carry a gun (basically the only place you can't carry one in the state of Virginia is on a school campus), then the shootings would have ended sooner.

And, look, that's probably true. If the laws were different and students were allowed to carry guns, one of them might have been able to get a fatal shot on the killer before he continued his rampage. Maybe we would be talking about heroism more than tragedy today if more guns were present.

But as long as we're playing "what if?" we have to look at the flip-side of that coin. And that is this--if Cho hadn't been able to get guns at all, then he wouldn't have been able to kill 32 people with those guns. It would have been a lot more difficult for him to attempt a mass murder with just a knife or, hell, even a bow and arrow. Guns are the only weapon that would have facilitated such a rash of killings, and luckily for Cho, it was pretty easy for him to get a couple in Virginia.

I am a liberal, which you know, so the party platform states that I should be against the NRA's interpretation of the second amendment. But I try to look at these things as objectively as I can. And in order to understand the Constitution, I think all we really need to do is understand what was going on while it was being written.

We had just finished a fucking revolution against an enemy across an ocean. We had freed ourselves from the perceived tyranny of King George, and we had created an independent nation. So, foremost on the founding fathers' minds would have obviously been protecting those freedoms for which so many had just died. They based the first ten amendments directly on the Bill of Rights, which was the basic outline for what we wanted in this country. So, it was a pretty important list, and therefore was also included in the Constitution.

Each of the first ten amendments is pretty obviously linked directly to the rights that the early Americans felt the English monarchy had taken away from them. Each, that is, except for the second amendment. In the Bill of Rights, they included free speech and due processs. They made it illegal to quarter soldiers in citizens' homes. They were worried about self-incrimination in a court of law. All of these issues were first and foremost on their minds because they had been denied those rights by the British.

But they were never denied the right to bear arms. So why is it the lone duck among the first ten? Because the Continental Congress wasn't worried about the British, or even the new American government, taking away their guns. They were worried about another war. This was a newly formed nation, forged by fighting the strongest empire in the world. It is not unreasonable to suspect that they were a little wary of their sudden freedom.

There was no radar in the late 18th century. There were also no phones, computers, internet, or even a damn telegraph or telephone. Communication was done in writing (by hand), which then had to be carried. And the fastest means of transportation, at least on land, was by horse. So it wasn't really that fast. Paul Revere was forced to jump on his horse and yell to the people that the British were coming. Diplomacy would have been slow, of course, and so wars were fought with guns until someone gave in. News of treaties, peace, or even surrender took forever to reach the front lines, hence the famous Battle of New Orleans in the War of 1812, which was fought after both sides had already agreed to peace.

The point is, people didn't have a lot of warning about bad (or good) events that were coming their way. As a result, they understandably felt the need to have protection for themselves ready and available. And so they had guns.

You know why else they had guns? Because back then, McDonald's didn't exist. Neither did Ralph's or Winn Dixie or Albertsons, or whatever grocery store is in your part of the world. People got their food by hunting for it. And guns were pretty effective at killing prey. People didn't starve to death, because they had guns. That's totally fine. But when was the last time you heard about people in this country starving to death because of their lack of ability to hunt and gather? People spend a great deal of time hunting, and many of them use all parts of the animal, but do they ever really need to? Is it ever a necessity that they have their semi-automatic weapon to kill an elk? Or could they just go spend a few bucks at the store and feed their families that way?

Here is the text of the second amendment: "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

People on my side of the debate focus on "a well regulated militia," and with good reason. As far as I'm concerned, that means an army. That means a regulated force whose sole purpose is to protect the citizens for whom it works. It does not mean the average man in his suburban home has the right to own fifty handguns and a few assault rifles. It does not mean that teenagers should be able to easily access guns which they then use to massacre students at high school.

Guns have no other purpose than to kill. We ban marijuana, a drug that kills no one, and yet we put up a fight when someone says that maybe we don't all need AK-47s. People have made the argument that many murders occur with knives and other weapons. True. But knives serve another purpose, which is to cut food or rope or whatever. What other use does one have for a gun? You can't chop onions with it. You buy it and use it with the intent to harm. Sometimes in self-defense, to be sure, but the easy access to guns in this country makes it all the more likely that those without good intentions will find their way to these deadly weapons.

As far as I'm concerned, there should be no guns. And that will never be the case because the NRA is one powerful lobby. Even though they're crazy. If they want to hunt, they should have to check guns out of a locker in a shop somewhere, and return them later. And those won't be handguns. Nor will they semi-automatic. If they really want me to believe that food is the main reason they need a weapon, then they can use a rifle. Or, if I had it my way, they would all be using Revolutionary War era muskets.

And for those who claim the need for weapons in case of self-defense, well, you won't be needing to defend with a gun so much if the other guy doesn't have one, right? In any case, you gun rights activists always claim that you practice safety first. To me, that means keeping your guns locked away. After all, children always find them, even if you think they don't know where they are. So, in the event a threat occurs in your home and you have to react quickly, how would you even get to your gun cabinet anyway? And if you want to tell me that you keep a gun under your pillow, then you're not really thinking "safety first," are you? And that would make you a hypocrite. Shocking.

Guns do not serve a purpose in a modern society. Mankind destroys one another everyday more and more, and I don't see a reason for our government to allow it to continue between our own citizens. Gun deaths are always on the rise, and how many times do you hear about guns being used in self-defense? I don't have the statistics in front of me, but I'd be willing to bet that the numbers on that one are negligible when compared to the murders and accidents using guns that occur everyday in this country.

Get rid of guns. If your only argument is the second amendment, you have no leg to stand on, so give up the ghost. If you care about your country enough to quote the Constitution everyday, however incorrectly, then care about it enough to actually keep its citizens from harm.

Game 19: Pirates 7, Dodgers 5

Well, we can't win them all. And, considering the Pirates' pitching staff had a really great ERA coming into this series, I suppose it was only a matter of time before the Dodgers ran into that wall. Granted, they still scored five runs, but there was just so much sloppiness in this game that it was very difficult to overcome.

Tomko started off this season very well, but he hasn't pitched that way in his last two games. He gave up five runs, only three of them earned, thanks to three errors by the Dodgers. Not a good game, and hopefully we can shake it off, because the Giants come to town on Tuesday.

It was just all around sloppy, and I'd prefer to forget it as soon as possible. Russell Martin and Jeff Kent both had throwing errors, and Juan Pierre had the most ridiculous error ever in the third inning. With a runner on third, there was a high fly ball right to him. He was waiting for it, and quite obviously thinking about making the throw to home because the runner was most certainly tagging and going. And so what did Juan do? He missed the ball completely. The batter was not out, and the runner scored, of course. That made it 3-0. And the Pirates kept scoring from there.

The Dodgers tried to come back, scoring two in the bottom of the eighth to bring the score to 7-5, Pirates. Nomar, on his day off, came off the bench in that inning and hit a single that scored Saenz for the fifth run. In the ninth we had two men on with one out, and coud do nothing. So there it was.

We have a day off on Monday, and then it's time for Barry and the Giants to roll into town. You'll remember that we swept them up in San Francisco, so I'd certainly like to continue that success. I'll be at Thursday's game, sitting in the second row of the left field pavilion. I've never sat in the pavilion before, but with Barry in town, I have to sit there so I can yell at him as much as possible. As far as I'm concerned, it's my duty as an American.


Player of the Game: Nomar (1 for 1, 1 RBI; a clutch hit off the bench in the eighth)


Record: 13-6



COMMENTS:
AUTHOR: Smeghead52
DATE: 04/23/2007 07:30:28 PM

Well Erin, hope you don't "roid up" too much when you're booing Barry.

:D).

Barry and steroids isn't so annoying so much as Barry is so unlikeable as a human being. At least ARod--who has his faults but no scandals so far--will be right on Mr Bonds heels.
-----

AUTHOR: Erin
DATE: 04/23/2007 07:44:01 PM

Agreed. I hate that Barry's a cheater, but I really hate that he's such an ass about everything. And that "Bonds On Bonds" BS on ESPN last year was just plain stupid. I only saw a few clips, and in every one Barry was crying. Hope it didn't hurt his android circuitry to get it wet like that.

I'm almost willing to start cheering on A-Rod in his home run hitting (as long as it's not against the Red Sox), just so Barry will hold the record for the shortest time possible.
-----

Baldy


I've spent the last two weeks working my butt off on Christine's movie, and I've had to write a Dodger blog everyday, so the thought of writing this blog was a little too much for me to handle. And I can't guarantee that I'll continue to write on this one, because I rarely have anything to say.

But today I just wanted to show you what my sister did this weekend, for a friend who has cancer, and for a lot of kids who need the money that she raised. She shaved her damn head, and in the process gave the good folks at St. Baldrick's Foundation over $5000 (no thanks to any of my readers, however few, since none of you donated even a dollar). She called me about 20 minutes after it was over, and she hadn't looked at herself in the mirror yet. When she did, she cried. But she knows it's just hair, and it will grow back.

I just wanted to share what she was willing to do to help others. And maybe next time I write asking for support on a matter like this, some of you will step up.

By the way, my Dodger blog has a new URL. By not going to www.bluethoughts.com, you can continue to not read it.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Game 18: Dodgers 7, Pirates 3

Well, it sure wasn't pretty. Until the end. And then it was just about as pretty as it gets in the game of baseball.

Brad Penny struggled early, having a really hard time finding the strike zone for the first three innings. Still, though, he only gave up three runs, which allowed the Dodgers to stay in the game. In the third inning, Brad received a couple of questionable calls from home plate umpire Joe West. One in particular looked a whole lot like a strike to me, but it was called a ball. It would have been strike three, and would have gotten Penny out of the inning. Instead, he threw a ball on the next pitch, walking in the go-ahead run. 2-1, Pirates.

Grady Little came out to talk to Penny, and Joe West came to break up the meeting. Grady and Joe were chatting, then it got a little more animated, and suddenly Grady was ejected from the game for only his second time as manager of the Dodgers. I guess that's what you get for arguing balls and strikes. On the very next pitch, Penny threw a wild pitch, allowing the runner to score, making it 3-1 Pirates. He struck out the next batter, and was solid for the rest of his six innings.

All he needed to do was keep it close, because the Dodgers are finding any way they can to win ball games right now. In the ninth inning, now down 3-2 in the eighth, Andre Ethier led off with a walk. Wilson Valdez hit a ground ball to third, and Ethier was out at second. A wild pitch advanced Valdez to second, and a bad throw to second allowed him to reach third. So now, with no one out, the Dodgers had a runner on third without the benefit of a hit in the inning.

A passed ball scored Valdez, who barely beat the catcher's throw back to the plate. We weren't able to do anything else in the inning, and it was on to the tenth. Broxton pitched a scoreless top of the tenth, and then it was up to the Dodgers in the bottom of the inning.

Pierre led off with a single, and things looked a little down when Garciaparra flied out to right. For whatever reason, Pierre never even attempted a steal, which seems odd when all we needed was one run to win it. This is small ball, right? Well I guess not for this game. Kent hit a single to right, and there were two on with one out. Gonzo walked and the bases were loaded.

Russell Martin walked up to the plate 0 for 9 in the series thus far against the Pirates. He also had a throwing error earlier in the game, and a few wild pitches and passed balls. It was a sloppy game from both sides, and this catcher had seen a lot of that sloppiness happen right in front of him. So he was thinking about that, and he was thinking about not hitting for the last two games. The Pirates left only two men in the outfield, and everyone else crowded the infield to prevent a ground ball from squeaking through.

So all we needed from Russell was a fly ball and we win the game. And on a 1-2 count, he gave us the best kind of fly ball-- a grand slam home run into the Dodger bullpen in left field, his first career granny. He just watched it go while the crowd went crazy and the Dodgers stormed the field to wait for him at home plate. This kid has been pretty awesome so far this year, so I guess it's only fitting that he provided the heroics in this game, so that the Dodgers could continue to have the best record in baseball.

We go for the sweep on Sunday.

Player of the Game: Russell Martin (duh), with an honorable mention to Wilson Valdez for some fine base running in the ninth to make the tenth inning possible.


Record: 13-5

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Game 17: Dodgers 10, Pirates 2

This was the sort of game I was expecting on Thursday night from Derek Lowe. But instead it came from Randy Wolf, who I know has been around the league for a while, but since I'd never heard of him before this year, I choose to think of him as a rookie.

Wolf struggled a bit early, making 31 pitches in the first inning. But he only gave up one run, and that's all he would give up through six innings. When he came back out in the top of the second, he had a 2-1 lead, thanks to a two-run single by Mr. Nomar Garciaparra. Wolf didn't need any more help over the next five innings of the game, as he struck out ten Pirates and allowed six hits. Very impressive.

And that's not all. During the six-run third inning, Wolf hit a two-run double, helping his own cause. He would add another double later in the game. And I've said before that I like a hitting pitcher, so you know how I'm feeling about Wolf right now.

The Dodger offense was unstoppable, taking advantage of the weak Pirate pitching. They had thirteen hits, many of which came in that third inning onslaught. And thanks to this sort of play, the Dodgers are now sitting at number two in ESPN's Power Rankings.

It's a nice start to the season, and I'm loving everything about this team right now. We have a deep bench, with Brady Clark, Olmedo Saenz, Wilson Valdez, and Ramon Martinez able to come in and put up great numbers at any time. And our main guys are clicking. Even Juan Pierre seems to be putting together a few games, and Ethier did well Friday, hitting his second home run of the season. Furcal is still a bit sluggish at times, but he'll get back into it. The Dodgers are a fun team to watch right now, and all I can do is hope that continues throughout the season.


Player of the Game: Randy Wolf (6IP, 1ER, 1BB, 10Ks; 2 for 3, 2 RBI)


Record: 12-5



COMMENTS:

AUTHOR: Smeghead52
DATE: 04/22/2007 12:36:08 AM

The Dodgers lost today but I'm glad they have the best record in baseball. So tired of Yankees/Red Sox and the bias of the Eastern Sports Programming Network reguarding that rivalry.
-----

AUTHOR: Erin
DATE: 04/22/2007 01:42:46 AM

I have been a Red Sox fan all my life, and even I sometimes get sick of hearing all about the Sox/Yankees.

And, as I write this, Russell Martin is being interviewed because he just hit a walk-off grand slam home run in the bottom of the tenth. So, I think maybe you turned off the game in the bottom of the ninth. Dodgers haven't lost since Wednesday against the Rockies. More on the game tomorrow.
-----

AUTHOR: Brian
DATE: 04/22/2007 02:22:44 AM

Great finish to that Dodgers' game. They tied it on a wild pitch/pb in the bottom of the ninth. Martin w/ the walk off salami against a 5-man infield.

And ESPN isn't paying any more attention to A-Rod for the start he's off to this year than they were to Pujols when he was off to a similar start last year.
-----

COMMENT:
AUTHOR: Erin
DATE: 04/22/2007 11:04:53 AM

I don't think they're paying any more attention to A-Rod either. But whenever the Yanks and Sox play, there is a lot of coverage, and I would be really annoyed if I weren't a fan of one of those teams.

And, the story on Friday wasn't A-Rod. It was the Red Sox comeback, but it took ESPN and SI a long time to recognize that on their websites. I think he's off to a great start and deserves the recognition he's getting. But it should be with a little bit of perspective, too.
-----

AUTHOR: Smeghead52
DATE: 04/23/2007 07:24:10 PM

I looked at the Dodgers website and assumed the game was over and it was the bottom of the ninth.

Glad it wasn't. Still the best record in baseball.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Yanks/Sox

I know this isn't a popular opinion on this blog network, but I have to say it anyway-- how 'bout them Sox?


Curt sucked, which will never surprise me. But in what I think is the Yankees' best shot to win a game this series at Fenway, the bottom of the Sox lineup came through big-time and gave Mariano Rivera his second consecutive blown save. It was a nice eighth inning, for sure.


Of course, the big story on ESPN and SI.com is how A-Rod hit two home runs (not quite a Red Sox bias there right now). But I don't care. Jason Varitek got big hits and even my least favorite player in the history of baseball, Coco Crisp, had a role. I'm now having a very good night. Our own Depressed Fan isn't, though. Send him your kind thoughts.


Dodgers/Pirates just started. More on that later.




Update: After a few hours, ESPN and SI.com finally changed their headlines from a story about A-Rod's big night to the real story of the game--the Red Sox comeback. There is talk on both sites about how A-Rod lined out in the ninth with a man on and one out, and Yankee fans will probably be pissed that the media is jumping on A-Rod for not being clutch. "He hit two home runs," they'll say. I don't necessarily think he should be booed, but I think it's worth pointing out that he came up in a very clutch situation and ended up with a soft line drive to Alex Cora. He can't do it all, though. And he certainly can't pitch, which is where the Yanks really need help.



COMMENTS:
AUTHOR: brian
DATE: 04/20/2007 11:55:53 PM

Ugh. Talk about a punch in the stomach. At least we get to see Beckett come back down to Earth tomorrow.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Games 15 & 16: A Double Header (For Me)

I watched part of Wednesday night's game, but didn't have time to write about it, and then realized that today's game was a day game. So we'll have to combine the two.


Frankly, there is not a lot to be said about Wednesday, except that I should not be in the prediction-making business. Lowe was not dominant, Nomar did not hit a home run, and Martin had the night off, so he couldn't have had a great game like I thought.


Lowe sort of blew this one for the team, struggling the whole night, and surrendering a lead when the Dodgers gave it to him, so we ended up losing 7-2. In Coors Field, where balls are supposed to be carried by angels over the fence, the Dodgers only managed one extra-base hit. Not good. It was pretty forgettable in fact, so I guess it's only right to move on to Thursday's game.


And this one was much better. Nothing like a win in a day game after a night game to really give you back your momentum. I was at work for this one, so I had to rely on ESPN Gamecast to "watch" the action.


Hendrickson did in fact start the game in the place of the injured Jason Schmidt. He allowed one run in 5.2 innings, while the Dodgers pounded out ten hits and got eight runs for the effort. Seems like it was a nice game all around, the kind the Dodgers have been having quite a few of lately. And it should get a little bit easier this weekend when the Pirates come to town (but I refuse to make any predictions).


I'll be watching the Dodgers' games, but I would be lying if I didn't tell you that this weekend is all about Red Sox vs. Yankees. Should be fun to see how those two teams handle each other in the first meeting of the season.




Player of the Game (Wednesday): Brady Clark (2 for 4, 1 RBI--consistently good so far this year when coming off the bench)




Player of the Game (Thursday): Jeff Kent (3 for 4, 2 RBI)




Record: 11-5


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Game 14: Dodgers 6, D-Backs 4

Okay, so I was wrong about Tomko dominating. But, with the Dodgers scoring six, I guess you could say that he kept it close enough for us to have a chance. It wasn't pretty, but the final score is all that really matters right now, and it favors the Dodgers.


The important thing is that Juan Pierre finally (finally!) had a big game, hitting a double, triple, and scoring three runs (including the eventual winning run). This is what I've been waiting for with this guy, and I'm hoping that it's not just a fluke. Maybe he's come out of the slump and will get involved in this lineup the way he should. Then again, maybe not. This was only the 14th game of the season, and anything can happen.


Tomko struggled quite a bit through his five innings, giving up four runs (only two of them earned) on eight hits and four walks. It was nothing like his first start, but sometimes pitchers just have those nights. As Scully pointed out, when Tomko got into some trouble, he really seemed to be overthrowing the ball. Odds are the pitching coach noticed that and Tomko will be back on track for his next start.


Gonzalez still didn't do anything big in his return to Arizona, but we didn't need it for this game. He can save it for the next time he comes back to Chase Ballpark, when we might need him more.
Nomar had an RBI, and Jeff Kent went 3 for 4, hitting a double (his 506th) that moved him up to 39th on the all-time double list. Billingsley came in for two innings and got the win, and Broxton and Saito were stars again at the back end of that bullpen.


Now it's on to another two-game set, this time in Colorado against the Rockies. Derek Lowe is on the mound for the Dodgers, facing Rodrigo Lopez, who can be very dangerous when his stuff is working. But the way Lowe has pitched in his last two games, I'll take him any day. Figure for a low scoring game, with many ground balls from the Rockies. I predict Nomar will hit a home run, and Martin will have another great game.


Player of the Game: Juan Pierre (2 for 5, 1 RBI, 3 runs scored)


Record: 10-4

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Dodgers 5, Diamondbacks 1

Still coming down from the high of Sunday night's game, I was able to catch a few innings here and there of the first game of the short two-game Diamondback series. And, just as I suspected, the Dodgers were able to keep it going and come up with a win, giving them a .5 game lead in the NL West.


Brad Penny was great yet again, giving up one run (only his second allowed in his 20.1 innings this season) on five hits through seven innings. He is really showing some ace stuff this year, and I for one am very glad to see it.


It was Luis Gonzalez's first game back in Arizona since he left for the Dodgers, and the D-Backs' fans proved themselves quite classy when they gave him a standing ovation for his first at-bat. Gonzalez has been doing well this year, but maybe he had some jitters for this big game, as he went 0 for 4 in the game.


Nomar came up big with a home run and a double, and Ethier continued to show that maybe he has come out of his slump. He was 2 for 3 in the game.


The bad news is that we learned Tuesday that Jason Schmidt is on the DL with shoulder inflammation, retroactive to Sunday. This is not what I need to see right now, especially since Grady Little hasn't informed anyone who will be replacing Schmidt for his next scheduled start on Thursday. My guess is Hendrickson, and since I've been raving about his long relief performances this year, I won't be too disappointed to see him in there. I would like to believe that the Schmidt thing is short-term and won't affect him for the rest of the year, but it's hard to think that his shoulder would be inflamed from overuse this early in the season. The other possibilities are scary to think about right now, though, so I guess we'll just wait and see.


Meanwhile, the Dodgers finish this series with the D-Backs tonight, before heading on to Colorado to face the Rockies. It's Tomko vs. Owings. Maybe the Dodgers will give Tomko a few more runs this time around. I expect him to dominate.




Player of the Game: Nomar Garciaparra (2 for 4, 1HR, 2 RBI)




Record: 9-4