Friday, May 2, 2014

Dodgers go from LOB City to HR City in doubleheader sweep

Normally, when a team leaves 16 men on base, it's not exactly a recipe for winning.

Then again, when that team is playing the Twins, maybe it can be.  And it was considering Kirby Puckett and Kent Hrbek weren't walking through that door.

By the time the long, long day was over, the Dodgers swept the Twins by scores of 9-4 and 4-3.  Basically, there were a whole lot of hits to win the first game, a whole bunch of guys left on base (LOB City, a nod to the Clippers) in the second game, but two big solo shots by Scott Van Slyke and Drew Butera to bail them out.

So, when it was all said and done, it was mission accomplished.

I said after the latest homestand that I was actually looking forward to the Dodgers hitting the road, as their play at home was lethargic to say the least.  Considering that they're now 11-3 away from Chavez Ravine, I guess I was right.  So I'll go ahead and pat myself on the back for being a baseball genius.

But seriously, no matter how sloppy it looked at times, especially in the nightcap, these wins are just what the Dodgers needed before heading off to warmer Miami this weekend.  And with the impending return of Clayton Kershaw, potentially on Monday, things are looking up again for the boys in blue.

Thoughts from both games:

* Yasiel Puig carried the load offensively in the first game, going 4-for-4 with a walk.  He was again hitting in the #2 hole, which is taking a page from the Tony LaRussa book of "power in the #2 spot."  I like it.

* Quietly, Juan Uribe is having a really good season at the plate.  He, too, had four hits in the first game, and followed that up with one more in the night game with three walks.  That put his numbers at a .327 AVG with a .353 OBP.  And let's not overlook his stellar play at third.

* OK, dare I say that Uribe is an All-Star this year?  That was absolute scariest thought a couple years back, but if he keeps hitting, I don't see why not.

* There were nine guys left on base in the first game, but it wasn't nearly as big of a deal since they went 5-for-12 with RISP.  There weren't any home runs, so it was a collection of one good hit after another to take control.

* Congrats to young Red Patterson for his solid Major League debut in the night game.  He went 4 2/3 innings for one run on two hits.  He had to throw a lot of pitches at 87, but that's not too surprising since I'm sure he was nervous.  It was great to see his parents and wife right next to the dugout, too.  Who knows if he'll get another start this year, but if this is it, it's a good one to hang his hat on, and something to build upon.

* The bullpen?  Mostly good, with a little bad at the end.  J.P. Howell and Chris Perez were very good in the first game, picking up a so-so start from Dan Haren.  Brian Wilson got an inning in the night game, and has now gone three scoreless innings in a row.  Kenley Jansen got the save, but it was certainly interesting.  Jamey Wright was very good in pitching three scoreless innings.

A tired Dodgers team will now take on the Marlins for three starting Friday.  At least they're weary with three straight wins, which is a lot better than the flip side.  Josh Beckett gets the ball.

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