A long day’s journey into early evening – Greetings from the beautiful Ozark Mountains. Finally arrived at my parents’ home in Fayetteville, Ark., at about 2:30 a.m. on Monday morning, slept til noon, then spent the rest of the day relaxing, visiting and NOT watching the Dodgers on mlb.tv. By the time I finally did get around to logging onto Gameday so I c0uld update the scorebook, I came across what had to have been the boys’ most hideous victory of the season, although I’m sure some of you who did see it can either vouch for that fact or shoot it down. Funny thing about victories, though, the ugly ones count the same, and the Dodgers maintained a comfortable, 7 1/2-game lead over the surging Pods, who have now won 10 in a row.
It was another day for the Two-Juan Punch, Pierre and Castro driving in three runs apiece while going a combined 5 for 11 at the plate, and Matt Kemp went 3 for 5 with a walk and drove in three of his own. Orlando Hudson ran his career-high hitting streak to, what is it, 16 games now? James Loney went 3 for 5 with three opposite-field singles, which had to be a good sign for Don Mattingly/Joe Torre, et al.
The concern, of course, is Eric Stults, who was pitching for the first time in 10 days, was staked to a 7-0 lead and couldn’t complete the minimum five innings to qualify for the win, a consequence mostly of the fact that he walked seven batters, including the final three he faced in the fifth. But Jeff Weaver wasn’t much better, so Stultsie’s spot in the rotation is probably safe for the moment.
Will Ohman somehow got the win by scorer’s discretion despite the fact he faced three batters and walked two of them. Ronald Belisario somehow did NOT get the win by scorer’s discretion despite the fact he faced seven batters and didn’t allow a hit or a run. And although Guillermo Mota gave up hits to the first two batters he faced with a 10-run lead in the ninth, with the way he has been struggling lately, the fact he got out of the inning without a run scoring has to qualify as a moral victory.
It took them a minute shy of four hours to do it, but the Dodgers improved to 31-15 (didn’t take me NEARLY that long to input it into my scorebook). Throw in the 37-minute rain delay at the start, and it didn’t end until almost 6 p.m. Denver time. The Dodgers sent 11 men to the plate in their seven-run fourth and 13 men to the plate in their eight-run seventh.
Oh, and I’m really, really trying to be classy about this, but … if you’re scoring at home, that other blog, the one that used to have my ugly mug shot on it, hasn’t been updated in almost 48 hours. Nice.