Sunday, September 14, 2014

Dodgers fight back to play their best game of the season

"Yuck" was how I described Friday night.

"WOW" is the best way I can describe Saturday.

One night after getting crushed, the Dodgers not only turned things around, they stomped a mud hole and walked it dry (as Stone Cold would say) all over the Giants on Saturday.  A four-run first started the barrage, and by the time it was all said and done, the Dodgers won a 17-0 laugher.  Best of all, the lead in the NL West is back up to two games.

I broke down what went wrong on Friday, so here I go again breaking things down, only this time it's a little more enjoyable to do:

* Zack Greinke could do no wrong.  Not only did he strikeout five in six scoreless innings, but he had two of the hardest hit balls of the night.  He walked leading off the third, doubled and scored in the fourth, and absolutely smashed a two-run tater in the sixth to go up 13-0.  Don't forget that he won a Silver Slugger Award last year, in addition to his Cy Young Award won with the Royals.  His talent was on full display, and there's no fear from him taking the hill in San Francisco.

* The offense had three hits total on Friday, and on Saturday, they already had that by the time Carl Crawford in the #6 spot came up.  Overall, the Dodgers put up four runs on six hits, including three doubles, in the first to turn the tables.

* It's been a slow process, but maybe Yasiel Puig is starting to get his mojo back.  He went 3-for-5 with a double and three runs scored hitting second.  The night before he led off and reached base twice.  The ball was definitely jumping off his bat, which is always great to see.

* Every starter had at least one hit, and everyone but Adrian Gonzalez had at least two.  I knew this offense was streaky, but that's crazy.

* The best offensive stat of them all was this: 11-for-19 with RISP.  That's just nuts.  Hanley Ramirez and Matt Kemp had three hits apiece in those situations, and Crawford two.

* Heck, even A.J. Ellis had two hits to raise his average to a blistering .190.

* Congratulations to Alex Guerrero, who entered the game in the seventh playing left field, then collected his first career big league hit in the eighth on a single.  He was given big money because of his bat, so keep an eye for him next season.  Hopefully Miguel Olivo doesn't attack his ear again before then.

* Scott Elbert saw his first action since August 26, 2012 with a scoreless seventh.  With Paco Rodriguez also activated, the Dodgers suddenly have two more options with J.P. Howell from the left side, which is a good thing.

All in all, Saturday night was one of those games where the fans of the winning side got to kick back and enjoy one big play after another.  The funny thing was, Tim Hudson struck out Dee Gordon to start the game, and it immediately looked like another long night.  Well, it was... for the Giants.  Ha!

You'd could say the momentum is back on the Dodgers' side, as they send Clayton Kershaw to the mound for Sunday's finale.  How exactly does he do in AT&T Park?  Well let's see here... he pitched a complete game shutout back in July, and on his career is 7-2 with an 0.69 ERA and 0.80 WHIP.  Kind of makes you wonder how the heck he even lost two games.

Anyway, Kershaw will be ready to go, as he looks to increase not only his MVP chances, but the lead in the West to three games.

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