It was Jackie Robinson Day and he was dutifully honored around the entire league yesterday. One of the best parts of last night’s game was hearing Vin Scully recall a memory of Jackie. The Dodgers had the team and staff out to the Catskills for a retreat of sorts. It was winter and so Jackie told Vin that he would ice skate with him. Upon hitting the ice it was apparent to Vin that Robinson had never ice skated before. But that did not stop Jackie from challenging Vin to a race! Vin reminded Jackie that he obviously could not skate. To which Jackie replied, well that is how I am going to learn! Such a competitive fire burned inside of that man!
And there was also a gem put in by Clayton Kershaw who went a strong seven with 13 strikeouts, only 1 walk, only one hit, and oh yeah 1 run. But other than that this was actually an ugly game. Again, I love beating the Giants so I was very pleased at the end of the night. But the Giants gave the game to us more than we took it from them. We held it together just enough to stick around and watch the Giants walk us in another run in the ninth for a walk-off, RBI walk. Loney had ZERO hits but 3 RBIs!
Dodgers hitters were 1 for 7 with runners in scoring position. We scattered 13 hits over 9 innings to score 5 runs. But only two of those 13 hits scored runs for us, the other 3 runs came on 2 bases loaded walks (both to Loney) and a sac fly (also from Loney). So our player of the game offensively had no hits last night! We stranded a dismal 12 runners while the Giants left only one man hanging. Belisario serves up an 0-2 fastball for a 3-run homer to give the Giants a good lead, ruining Kershaw’s gem.
Kuo has not looked good so far and continues that theme with another poor outing, even though he is getting plenty of rest and not pitching on consecutive days. Kuo hits a batter, gives up a single, and good night. Belisario comes in and quickly works up an 0-2 count. But wait, then he serves up a tater for a 3-run homer and voila! Blown save! Don’t get me wrong, he is still filthy, but he any pitcher in the bigs needs to know that the 0-2 pitch has to be down and off the plate. Did I mention that we were 1 for 7 with runners on base last night? How about the fact that we stranded 12?
But hey, we won the game and that is what really matters. As much as the Giants handed it to us we still had to be there with our hands open to receive it. Loney’s patience at the plate and a sac fly were all setup by hits or walks ahead of him. Kemp extended his hitting streak and the guys that were supposed to hit Cain well did just that. Broxton looked sharp again too with 2 Ks in one inning for the win! And Clayton was just fun to watch. He looks like Hershiser and throws like Koufax!
He was throwing cartoon stuff up there, reminded me of the filthy-ness of Gagne back in the day. I mean guys were just shaking their heads and walking away from the plate last night. That kid really put it all together last night and his head is screwed on so straight as well! He commented that he was most proud of the fact that he was able to go 7 innings, more so than the strikeouts, because the team needs that from starters and the pen was getting overworked. And finally even a little swagger from the humble kid, saying he felt good enough to go 8 and that it would have been no big deal!
But he was quick not to have people mix those sentiments with the idea that he no longer trusts the pen, who have lost him the “W” twice already this season.
“If Kuo is coming in with a one-run lead, I’ll trust him every time,” said Kershaw. “As a setup man, I wouldn’t want anybody else. It’s just one of those games.”
I want to also point out the Kershaw was striking most hitter out on high fastballs in the 88-91 mph range and was BLOWING them buy big league hitters! His curve is so devastating, breaking 3-4 feet at 69-75 mph, that it makes his fastball look like its 99 mph! His delivery looks a bit deceptive too, like Kuo’s. It kind of looks like he short arms it so the ball just explodes out of his body and catches hitters off balance.
- Looks like Kuroda will be away a bit longer than initially thought, probably 2-3 weeks out it appears.
- That means that McDonald may get more looks as a starter than was initially presumed. Troncoso, that gives you more time up in The Show.
- Schmidt threw 7 innings in extended spring training but will need much more time as rehab starts are definitely in order. I’d give it a month or so before he’s ready for a call up.
- Game Time tonight: Los Angeles (6-3) vs. San Francisco (2-6), 7:10 p.m. PT. Eric Stults (1-0, 1.69 ERA) faces Barry Zito (0-1, 9.00 ERA) so I like our chances for a sweep. But we have to cash runners in!