Sunday, May 11, 2014

A tale of two games ends in a positive way

Let's sum up the Dodgers' offense on Saturday afternoon in Dodger Stadium:

Innings 1-5: Horrible

Innings 6-9: Fantastic

And, thankfully, the "Fantastic" won out over the "Horrible" as the Dodgers beat the Giants 6-2.  It's a good win, especially since Zack Greinke was on the mound following two straight 3-1 loses.  And with Clayton Kershaw taking the hill on Sunday, perhaps the Dodgers can get a split at home.  Perhaps.

The Dodgers played 24 innings on two-run ball entering the sixth inning on Saturday (Thursday's game lasted 10 innings, keep in mind).  All the offense could put together against Matt Cain in the first half of the game were singles by Dee Gordon and Adrian Gonzalez, walks by Chone Figgins and Grienke, and Hanley Ramirez getting plunked.  All of that added up to zero runs and more frustration.

Then the sixth inning came, and mercifully the Dodgers got some big hits.  No surprise, it all started when leadoff hitter Gordon walked and stole second.  Yasiel Puig got lucky when a pop up landed in between a couple of fielders for a hit, thought I'm sure it would've been an error in Texas (HA).  Ramirez still can't hit, so Cain gave him a bad walk to load 'em up.

The nasty Jeremy Affeldt came in and got A-Gon to bounce into a double play, but at least a run scored.  Matt Kemp is another player struggling mightily, but he found some room for an RBI single to tie the game.

Coming into this game, the Giants had a 1.75 ERA from the bullpen, clearly the best in baseball.  So, it was pretty surprising to see the lifeless Dodger offense get to them.  Hey, it had to happen sometime, right?  Two more runs in the seventh came on RBI doubles from Gordon and Puig, then two more in the eighth on a Kemp solo shot and sac-fly from Drew Butera.

After just two hits through five innings, the Dodgers got seven in the final three at-bats.  They're a streaky team, alright.  Maybe this means they can start back up a good streak.

Other thoughts from the game:

* I watched the pregame show on Fox Sports 1, and some of the focus was on Hanley's struggles, and if that means he won't get the extension he wants.  He only had one official AB in this one thanks to two walks and a HBP, but his average is just .252.  Right now opposing pitchers have no reason not to challenge him, as his bat has little pop in it. 

* Boy has A-Gon's average tumbled of late.  Back on May 1, he went 2-for-6 with a solo homer in the nightcap of a doubleheader in Minnesota, putting his average at .321.  Eight games later, it's now at .264.  Holy crap. 

* The two games I just mentioned above are the 3-4 hitters in the order.  Maybe it's a good sign that the they won despite their big guns not doing much.

* Hey, there was a Matt Kemp sighting!  He had two hits, including an RBI single and solo home run.  That's four hits in the last two games, so any little sign of life like that is a good thing.

* The true star was Gordon leading off, as he had two hits, a walk, two runs, and three more stolen bases.  His 24 swipes are far and away the best in the majors, with Jose Altuve's 13 coming in second.  Flash is playing like an All-Star right now.  Who would've guessed?

* Greinke had to throw a lot of pitches early, but like he always does, he settled down for another terrific start.  He pitched seven innings of two-run ball, striking out eight.  He's now at 6-1 with a 2.38 ERA and 1.15 WHIP.  Speaking of potential All-Stars, he's another one.

* This game could've gotten away in the eighth when Brian Wilson came in and loaded the bases on two singles and a walk.  Thank God Hunter Pence popped out to Butera behind the plate to get out of it.  Even with a four-run lead, Wilson should not be pitching in the eighth, as he was one hit away from turning this into a close game again.

As I mentioned before, it's Kershaw time on Sunday as he gets the Mother's Day start.  The resurgent Tim Hudson goes for the Giants, so it will be a great one to watch.

Happy Mother's Day!

No comments: