Following the Dodgers and Exploring The Team’s Past
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Los Angeles is weird in that it is so big and spread out, it’s hard to get a feeling of community. But LA’s sports teams bring the mega city together. If you’ve ever been to a Los Angeles Lakers game, you’ll see Hollywood stars and regular people alike. And even though Los Angeles is a new city in comparison to East Coast cities like Boston or New York, LA’s sports tradition is as firmly entrenched and and is as much of a tradition as any city in America. If you can get your hands on Dodger tickets, Los Angeles Angeles of Anaheim tickets, LA Lakers tickets, Clippers tix, or Kings hockey tickets, buy the tickets because going to a live Los Angeles sports game is a blast.
Right now, the Dodgers are doing great, and I plan on buying some Dodgers versus Minnesota Twins tickets, a Chicago Cubs game, maybe catch a LA Dodgers vs San Francisco Giants game, and I definitely plan to buy tickets to one Dodgers vs New York Mets game. Let’s hope the Dodgers go far this year, in which case I’ll buy some great Dodgers playoff tickets from here.
There’s a whole lot of other things to do for entertainment in Los Angeles too. For instance, any major concert tour will almost always stop in LA. Bands and artists like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Madonna, Mariah Carey, Widespread Panic, The Dixie Chicks, Tim Mcgraw & Faith Hill, American Idols Los Angeles, Dave Matthews, and many more will all be stopping in Los Angeles this year, playing at venues like the Staples Center, the Hollywood Bowl or the Greek Theatre. And then there’s the Broadway shows in Los Angeles playing at the Pantages Theatre like the Los Angeles Lion King, Hairspray, or Les Miserables.
And one thing you shouldn’t forget when in LA; Las Vegas is only 4 hours away or less (depending on how fast you drive). And if you make it to the entertainment capital of the world, the list of Vegas events and Las Vegas shows is endless. Check out a Las Vegas Cirque Du Soleil show, Celine Dion in Vegas, Barry Manilow Vegas, Vegas Blue Man Group, or Phantom of the Opera in Las Vegas musical. Finally, consider buying some comedy tickets while in Vegas. You can find some cheap deals on Danny Gans tickets and Anthony Cools tickets here.
I have a bad feeling about this year’s version of the Dodgers. First, you have all of the injuries and second, now that players are coming back, we’re still struggling. This week we lost our series against the Astros, and while Houston is a quality team, the Dodgers are going to have to put together a sustained winning streak here soon or it’s going to get pretty ugly pretty early.
The Dodgers actually won the first game of the series with some drama in the ninth inning. With the Astros up 2-1, Nomar Garciaparra hit a grand slam to bust the game open. A really good start by Derek Lowe almost went to waste. He went seven innings and gave up a single run on four hits with four strikeouts. Danys Baez pitched a perfect ninth and his ERA is still a big goose egg. J.D. Drew continued to hit the ball well and he hit his his fourth homerun of the season in the 6-2 win.
Tuesday was an extra inning thriller. The Dodgers scored a run in the ninth to tie the game up 3-3. Both teams went scoreless for the next three innings, and it was finally the Astros who finished the game off. Hong-Chih Kuo loaded up the bases then Preston Wilson hit a sac. fly to end the game.
The Astros won the rubber game. The Astros jumped all over Odalis Perez, who lost his first game of the season. By the end of the fourth inning, the Astros had a 6-0 lead. Only a three run ninth made the score look somewhat respectable. Jason Repko hit his third homerun of the season and Ricky Ledee had two hits and two RBIs.
The Dodgers travel to San Diego to begin a three game series tomorrow. The Padres are the only team in the NL West to have a crappier record then the Dodgers so hopefully we can use this as a spring board for that winning streak I talked about.
The Dodgers are now a game below .500 despite all of the injuries. More importantly, they’re only a game and a half back of the Giants and Rockies. This could be another crazy year in the NL West, and if the Dodgers can keep their heads above water, they could still be in the mix.
J.D. Drew and Odalis Perez led the way on Friday. Drew homered and drove in three runs and Perez improved to 3-0 on the season. He gave up a single run on four hits with four strikeouts in six innings. Danys Baez threw a perfect ninth and he picked up his fourth save of the season.
Yesterday, the Diamondbacks came out on top 5-4. Jae Seo continued his struggles and he gave up five runs on nine hits in 3 2/3 innings. The Dodgers tried to come back from a five run deficit, but they could only put four runs on the board. Nomar Garciaparra went two for four in his first game as a Dodger and Jose Cruz, Jr. scored and drove in a run.
Today, the Dodgers got the job done and won the rubber game 6-4. Bret Tomko left the game up 6-2, but the pen tried to give the game away. Fortunately Baez came in to stop the damage in the eighth and he didnt allow a run in the ninth either. He picked up his fifth save of the season. Drew homered for the third time this year and Bill Mueller drove in two runs. Jason Repko scored twice.
The Dodgers travel to Houston for a three game series tomorrow. The Astros have won three straight and eight of their last ten. They stand atop the NL Central at the moment in a tight race (aren’t they all).
As the disabled list for the Dodgers grows, the team struggles on. After a 4-3 start, the Dodgers have now dropped six of their last nine and all of their last three series. Yhency Brazoban is the latest Dodger to hit the disabled list with a bad right elbow.
In the series against the Cubs, the Dodgers’ offense left them. They lost 4-1 in the first game of the series and Greg Maddux completely shut us down. The Dodgers scraped together three hits and only a Bill Mueller RBI double prevented a shutout. A decent start by Bret Tomko went to waste (four runs, three earned runs, seven hits, one walks and two strikeouts in six innings). The most impressive part of the game was Franquelis Osoraria, who had struggled all season. He threw three perfect innings and and struck out three.
On Tuesday, the Dodgers did just enough to win. J.D. Drew was the Dodgers offense, and he drove in both runs on seperate hits. Derek Lowe had his best start of the season in the 2-1 win. He gave up a run on five hits in seven innings with six strikeouts. Takash Saito was excellent in two innings of relief in which he struck out four. He picked up the win.
Wednesday was more of the same. The Dodgers actually scored four runs, Two errors in the eighth inning (Danys Baez and Jason Repko) led to three unearned runs and the game. Brad Penny struck out seven and gave up two runs on nine hits in seven innings. Repko homered and drove in two runs but that doesn’t make up for that key error.
Right now, the Dodgers are in fourth place, but they’re only two games back of the first place Giants. The Dodgers stay at Chavez Ravine and they’ll host the Diamondbacks this weekend.
The Brooklyn Dodgers were coming off of their first world series win in franchise history. Over 24,000 people showed up at Ebbets Field to watch the team raise their championship flag. Little did people know that this was the second to last opening day at the now historic ball park.
Dodgers’ ace Don Newcombe got the opening day start for the home team and he went head to head with Robin Roberts, who was coming off a 23 win season in 1955. Newcombe had won 20 on a championship club that didn’t have another pitcher that won more then 13 games (and Clem Labine was used mostly as a reliever).
Don Newcombe got off to a rough start, and he was pulled in the third inning. With the Dodgers coming to bat in the bottom of the third, they were already down 6-2. They did scatter some runs against Roberts and managed to score six against him. Roy Campanella and Junior Gilliam both took him deep, but the Phillies hit just enough to win the game 8-6.
In the top of the ninth inning, Don Drysdale came in to relieve Clem Labine and in doing so, made his major league debut. He walked a batter but didn’t give up a hit in the shutout inning.
Oddly, in Don Drysdale’s autobiography, he mentions that he pitched two innings in his major league debut. The two box scores I saw had him pitching only the ninth. If anyone knows anything different, I’d appreciate it if you’d drop me a line.
What a game by Cody Ross today. He filled in to give J.D. Drew a day off, and he hits two homeruns and drives in seven. It made for a nice finish to the series against Pittsburgh.
I was hoping for a little more then just a 2-2 split in this series, but the pitching just wasn’t there. On Monday, the Dodgers jumped all over Zach Duke. They scored three in the first, two in the second and two more in the fifth to make it 7-0. The Pirates scored a few early, and ironically even outhit the Dodgers 14-11. 12 of the 14 Pirate hits were singles where as the Dodgers had five extra base hits (a double, two triples and two homeruns). Odalis Perez bounced back from a rough first start and gave up only a single run on six hits and two walks with three strikeouts. Repko homered and drove in four runs while Olmedo Saenz went three for four with a homerun, two RBIs and two runs.
Tuesday was the tough loss. The Dodgers jumped out to a 5-2 lead but the Pirates slowly crept back into the game and took the lead with two runs in the sixth. Both teams got good bullpen work from then on and neither team scored in the final three innings. Bill Mueller continued his tear, going four for four with two homeruns and three RBIs. Rickey Ledee also went yard and drove in two runs. Jae Seo was roughed up in his first start but it was Lance Carter who gave up the go ahead run in the sixth inning. Seo gave up five runs on seven hits in five innings with four strikeouts. Danys Baez pitched his fourth inning without giving up a run.
On Wednesday, the Dodgers jumped out to another nice lead (3-0 in the fourth) but the Pirates busted the game open in the fifth with four runs. The Dodgers tied it in the sixth inning but the Pirates got two runs in both the seventh and eighth innings to put the game out of reach. Bill Mueller had two more hits and Jose Cruz, Jr. hit his first homerun of the season. Bret Tomko and Hong-Chih Kuo were both hit pretty hard, and it was Kuo that took the loss.
The Dodgers got back on track this afternoon with a blow out win. Ross had the monster game but Saenz also had some nice numbers. He went three for four with a homerun, four RBIs and three runs. Cruz, Kent, Mueller and Ross all scored two runs.
The Dodgers come home tomorrow to play the Giants, who have been rained out two straight times and have a double header today. Hopefully we’ll see some high scoring games that tax the pen. This is a division rival, so it’s time to get serious.
The Dodgers evened their record up with two wins against the Phillies in their weekend series. The Saturday game was rained out, and ended up being played as a double header yesterday.
The big news this past week has been the injuries. Eric Gagne, Kenny Lofton and Nomar Garciaparra are all on the shelf. Gagne’s return is uncertain, so it looks like we’re starting right where we left off last season.
On Friday, the Dodgers jumped out to an early lead over the Phillies and held off their attempt at a comeback. It was a solid team effort and all five runs were scored by five different Dodgers, and all four RBIs were also by different people. Bret Tomko looked good in the start. He went six innings and gave up three runs on eight hits with four strikeouts. Hong-Chih Kuo was great in his two innings. He was perfect and struck out four batters. Danys Baez closed the game out and earned his second save of the season.
On Sunday, the Dodgers dropped the first game of their doubleheader. Derek Lowe made up for his horrible first start and actually pitched pretty well, but Tim Hamulack gave up three unearned runs (Rafael Furcal opened the inning with a throwing error) in the ninth inning on Bobby Abreau’s three run homeruns.
The Dodgers bounced back in the second game with a nice performance by Brad Penny. He held the Phillies to a single run on four hits with six strikeouts in seven innings. James Loney scored twice in the game and Ramon Martinez drove in two runs.
The Dodgers travel to Pittsburgh today for a four game series. The Pirates dropped three of four to the Reds, so I’m expecting the Dodgers to do just as well. Odalis Perez will take the mound against Zach Duke.
Man this is tough. Not only are the Dodgers 1-2, but before Eric Gagne can even throw a pitch in a real game, he has surgery to remove a nerve from his pitching elbow. Danys Baez will take over for him as the team’s closer.
Not good. Not good at all.
Since 1991, the Braves have somehow found a way to win. Yesterday was a pretty good example of that. The Dodgers jumped out to an early 5-0 lead. By the time the top half of the third was done, the game was tied and heading into the Dodgers fourth, we were down by three runs. The Dodger tied it with three runs in the bottom of the seventh, but in the top of the eighth, Ryan Langerhans doubled home Marcus Giles to give the Braves the lead for good.
Odalis Perez was just rocked. He gave up seven runs and nine hits in three innings of work. Franquelis Osaria gave up the double that scored Giles and he also walked three guys en route to the loss.
The pitching just hasn’t been there for the Dodgers and this was my primary concern. The offense has scored 23 runs in three games and somehow only managed to win one game.
All three games in the series were one run games. The Dodgers get the day off today then travel to Philadelphia for a three game series.
J.D. Drew put the Dodgers on the board in the bottom of the first inning with a two run homerun. The Dodgers never yielded the lead after that, but things really got interesting later in the game. An eight run eighth inning cut the Dodgers lead to a single run, but Danys Baez came in and got the job done in the ninth inning to get the save.
Jae Seo, in relief of starter Brad Penny, gave up the three runs the eighth. Penny had a great start though. Eight strikeouts in five innings and his only blemish was a solo homerun by Brian McCann.
Jason Repko was a perfect three for three. He doubled, walked and drove in a run. Jeff Kent and Drew both had two hits.
The rubber game tonight. Odalis Perez will throw against Horacio Ramirez.
Man, what a game. The Braves jumped out to an 8-1 lead through the top of the fifth and they had a six run lead as late as the top of the eighth. The Dodgers scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth and two runs in the bottom of the ninth to make it a one run game but the Dodgers fell a run short of notching a win.
Derek Lowe was roughed up. He gave up eight runs (seven earned) on nine hits in five innings. Jeff Kent drove in four runs and Rafael Furcal made his Dodger debut with three singles, a walk and three runs. J.D. Drew had two hits, two runs and two RBIs.
Brad Penny takes the mound tomorrow against John Smoltz. This will be a night game, so hopefully it’ll be on ESPN.
The Dodgers had a pretty bad season last year. We lost our manager (not neccesarily a bad thing) and our general manager was fired (not neccesarily a good thing). We have a revamped infield and the Dodgers best pitcher, Eric Gagne, looks like he’s ready to come back from an injury laden season.
It all starts on Monday. The Dodgers have their opener at Chavez Ravine against the defending NL East Champion Atlanta Braves at 1:10 pm. We’ve been speculating about Rafael Furcal, and J.D. Drew and even Joel Guzman (who will start in the minors but I’m sure we’ll see him sooner rather then later in a Dodgers uniform) and now, we’ll know the answers as the season unfolds.
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