April 23, 2014

A perfect night…

Dodgers vs. Angels, 6/20/09

Dodgers vs. Angels, 6/20/09

Tonight’s game at Angel Stadium was nearly perfect, and I was there to witness it…

Jeff Weaver and the Dodgers beat Jered Weaver and the Angels, 6-4…in yesterday’s post, I “correctly” predicted Jeff would win because he was the older brother…the trend from the past 3 brother matchups had the older brother winning the game over the younger brother!

…actually, that had nothing to do with it…the Dodgers played a great game and there were plenty of highlights…

The game started off a bit rocky for Jeff and the Dodgers…the Angels got out to a 1-0 lead after the first inning and increased it to 2-0 when Kendry Morales hit a home run in the 2nd inning…while that may seem like it was really bad for the Dodgers, I wasn’t too disappointed…why?…Morales’ home run meant ALL fans in the stadium got a coupon for a free classic taco at Del Taco! (it was the “home run” inning)

The play that may have changed the momentum for the Dodgers came on the 3rd out in the bottom half of the 2nd inning…

Erick Aybar hit a shot to right center field that looked like it was going to go for extra bases…instead, Matt Kemp timed his leap perfectly and made a spectacular catch (from my vantage point) while crashing into the wall to end the inning…the Dodger fans were going crazy…

In the top of the third inning, Russell Martin hit his first homer of the season to left field…it was the first of 3 hits for Russell on the day…has he found his stroke?…is this the start of a hot streak?…only time will tell…

The Dodgers added another run in the inning to tie the score at 2-2…

The 5th inning saw the Dodgers break the game open…three runs courtesy of an RBI single by Casey Blake and a two run triple by Andre Ethier…our boys had a 5-2 lead and were looking good…

Chone Figgins led off the bottom of the 6th with a triple…Joe Torre pulled Jeff Weaver after just 66 pitches, but he brought in another guy who came up with a huge game – Ronald Belisario…

Man on third, nobody out…a golden opportunity to score a run, right???…the Angels couldn’t thanks to a great pitching performance by Belisario…he struck out the side in the inning and had 2 more strikeouts in the 7th…1 2/3 innings pitched…all 5 outs courtesy of the strikeout…THAT’S what we call shutting a team down when it matters…

Despite a 2 run homer for the Angels in the bottom of the 9th off of Jonathan Broxton, the Boys in Blue won the game and sent the thousands of Dodger fans home with ear-to-ear grins…

It was a perfect night…

  • the electric atmosphere…many Dodger fans sporting their Dodger blue…
  • the Weaver brothers matchup with our favorite Weaver picking up the win…
  • the free taco (thanks, Kendry Morales)
  • Matt Kemp making a great play in the field
  • Russell Martin hitting his first homer of the season
  • Ronald Belisario throwing bullets and coming up with a big game
  • the Dodgers winning

Can it get any better?…yes, how ‘bout a win on Sunday?

A Family Affair

Jered Weaver, Angels (left) and Jeff Weaver, Dodgers (right)

Jered Weaver, Angels (left) and Jeff Weaver, Dodgers (right)

Since I’m heading to the Dodgers/Angels game on Saturday night, I figured I’d post something special about the game – the fact that Jeff Weaver will be the starting pitcher against his brother, Jered Weaver!

The dodgers.com website had some interesting tidbits and facts about brothers facing each other on the mound…

  • The last time it happened was 9/6/2002 when Andy Benes (Cardinals, the older brother) and Alan Benes (Cubs) faced off against each other…
  • The most recent brother pitching duel in Dodger history was when Ramon Martinez (Dodgers, older brother) beat Pedro Martinez (Mets) on 8/29/96.
  • This is the 8th time brothers have faced off against each other with a total of 20 brother-brother matchups taking place in MLB history.

Of course, I’m picking Jeff and the Dodgers to beat Jered and the Angels because the older sibling has won the pitching matchup the last 3 times this has happened…it’s what we call “looking at the trends”…

…then again, I don’t know if it means anything that the last 3 brother-brother pitching duels came in 1988, 1996 and 2002…do trends really work when you have 6-8 years between games like this???

Pre-Game Thoughts with Joe Torre, Stan Conte and Mike Scioscia

All comments from Joe Torre unless otherwise noted:

On the Angels: “They are a good ball club, no question about it.  They know how to play, they’ve had success, they’re very aggressive.  And obviously you want to keep the speed guys off the base which isn’t easy ’cause they’re a lot of them in the lineup.”

On the Freeway Series: “There’s always a certain amount of energy that’s brought to the ballpark…from both cities.  I always find that the players, whatever the rivalry is….they they feed off the energy in the ballpark.  I expect it to be that way tonight.”

On Xavier Paul’s Staph Infection on his Left Leg : “He’s in the hospital, but he’s going to be fine.  Everything points to starting the recovery, but obviously it’s going to be a while before he plays baseball.”

On Xavier Paul’s Staph Infection on his Left Leg (from Director of Medical Services Stan Conte): “Xavier had a previous infection that was classified as MRSA which is a type of staph infection that is resistant to a lot of the antibiotics, so it’s difficult to treat.  It was treated successfully, he was fine for a period of time.  In Florida, he slid for that catch that he made.  He had a little, small scrape on his knee, which is not uncommon with any baseball player.  On Tuesday morning, he called us and said it was a little red.  We looked at it Tuesday morning, sent him to the doctor who cultured it, put him on an antibiotic that works effectively with MRSA.  By Wednesday after the game he had a full-blown infection – it happened that fast.  We sent him to USC Hospital, Infectious Disease.  After the game…I took him over there, put him on IV antibiotics, which is the course, and drained the skin, cleared it up of a lot of the infection.  He’s at USC and doing well.  His swelling and infection is resolving, but he’ll probably be in there a couple more days.”

On When Xavier Paul May Play Again (Stan Conte): “We won’t let him play or sweat until that skin is completely closed. I won’t really know until we see how that is and how that resolves, but it definitely could be weeks.”

On Corey Wade:“As far as roles on this club, Corey Wade, we know he’s an eighth inning guy and when Corey’s not available, we pretty much let the situation dictate who is pitching the eighth.”

On Will Ohman and Brent Leach:“Ohman’s been like a one hitter guy, and I think that’s the role we’re going to use him in for now…where we’re sitting now, the way Leach is pitching, it’s nice to have two of them where you can use one early and one late.”

On Juan Pierre: “I’ve never been around anybody who works as hard as he does, as far as the time he puts in doing what he does.”

On the Freeway Series (from Mike Scioscia):  “As far as Southern California fans, yeah, you definitely sense it walking around town.  I was walking around my house today, people were saying ‘Go get ‘em…good luck.’ They know we’re playing the Dodgers.”