December 19, 2014

Dodgers Post-Game Comments After 11 Inning Marathon

Well, after 4 hours and 57 minutes, 16 pitchers and 33 hits, the Dodgers lose an exasperating 9 to 7 game to the Diamondbacks in 11 innings. Tonight’s game was the longest for the Dodgers since July 14, 2001 when they played a 4 hour, 58 minute game against the Oakland A’s (the Dodgers won that one 5-4 in 15 innings).  And as it’s now 1:02 a.m. and I’m still in the Dodger Stadium press box, I’m going to get right to the post-game quotes:

Joe Torre:

On Chad Billingsley: “He got in some bad counts and I think he started over-throwing the ball in that last inning.  It is frustrating for him because his first three innings were really good and his last start was really good and I know this is a disappointment for him.”

On keeping pressure off the relievers: “I think ability-wise they can do it.  It is a matter of going out there and not thinking they have the weight of the world on their shoulders.  We’ll get through it…we just have to make sure we don’t lose our composure.”

On the offense and closing out games: “Offensively, we’re fine.  We’re having good at bats, quality at bats, doing some good things.  Casey Blake with a big hit tonight for us, Manny is swinging the bat really well.  The thing is, you can’t run the clock out on this game.  You have to get 27 outs and we have to find a way to do that on a consistent basis.”

On who would pitch the 12th inning (if necessary): “It would have been one of those guys on the field…we would have found a volunteer in there somewhere…we may have gone lefty righty, back and forth.”

Matt Kemp:

On the game overall: “It was a fight.  Two good hitting teams, and we battled it out.  At the end, they ended up coming out on the right side.”

On the team’s slow start: “I’m not worried about.  We still got 150 games left.  It’s not time to panic; we’ve got a lot of games left.  We still got a great team and we’re capable of doing a lot of great things.  We can’t always start out the way we did last year.  We’re not that hot right now, but we’ve got a great team and we’re going to end up on top at the end.”

On the ball that dropped for a single in the bottom of the 10th inning (I think): “I played deep, but that’s no excuse.  I should have got to the ball.  It was high enough to get there….it should have been caught.”

On the way they played:  “We never give up…that shows the character of the team.  We’ve got great character, we never give up and we battle to the end.”

 Good night!

Live from the Press Box: Dodgers Game Chat

If anyone is interested in chatting during tonight’s Dodgers-Diamondbacks game, just post a comment below.  I’ll be responding throughout the game, and also periodically providing my own observations from my pre-game interviews and general travels through the halls of Dodger Stadium.  Go Blue! is Live from Camelback Ranch Tonight

Well, the Dodgers organization has been most hospitable again and granted the team media access to tonight’s spring training game against the San Diego Padres. We’ll be making updates to this post denoted by the time in [brackets] as well as via Twitter at Tune in for our perspective on the evening activities and our thoughts on spring training in general.

We’ve also got a exclusive coming this weekend, so be sure to check back for what’s shaping up to be a great story on a member of the Dodgers organization celebrating a key milestone this year.

Tonight’s starting lineup:
Furcal (ss)
Johnson (RF)
Kemp (CF)
Ramirez (LF)
Blake (3B)
Carroll (2B)
Belliard (1B)
Ellis (C)
Padilla (P)

[6:36pm] – Lucas May, Jon Link, and James McDonald all optioned to minor leagues. After watching McDonald get shelled last night, the announcement seems a bit anticlimactic.

[6:44pm] – Especially interested to see how Repko performs tonight as he will be on his 3rd game in the last 24 hours. Looked very solid last night and put up his first HR of spring training today (solo shot in the 5th inning).

[7:10pm] – nice 4-5-3 double play to take us to middle of first

[7:22] – Chris (from photo well on 3rd base line) – “You see and hear WAY more from the photo wells of a Spring Training game. Just have to watch out for foul balls. ”

[7:36] – someone in the pressbox just shouted “disconcerting!” followed by the official “E-6″ over the PA up here…

[7:38] – (from chris in photo well) After Blake made that amazing play 2 end the 1st, Manny ran in smiling & yelling, “Casey Blake! Casey Blake!” Players were psyched

[7:45pm] – three bloggers in the pressbox tonight as well as a number of spanish language folks. Very diverse crowd and more chatty than I would have exepcted.

[7:51pm] – Padilla’s attempt to throw out Blanks at first would have worked if the throw (or catch) wasn’t off….Blanks slide was about two feet too short to get back to the bag.

[8:17pm] watching the Cabrera clothesline maneuver was positively priceless…and you could see it coming a mile away!

[8:23] – 6-5-3 double play to take us to middle of the 5th…can’t say the starters aren’t giving it their all right now.

[8:30] – Belliard’s HR (1st of spring) brought out the cowbells en masse.

[8:35] – Padilla’s stats just announced over PA in pressbox..5 innings, 7 hits, 4 runs (4 earned), 5 strikeouts, HR. Someone shouts “terrible!” in the box…

[8:46] – Valenzuela highlights during middle of 6th getting a lot of “woo hoo” chants to a tejano song that I don’t know…

[8:54] – Dodgers announce that 13,506 show up for tonight’s game…a new Cactus League record.

[9:00] – a while ago, when they announced that Padilla was available in the clubhouse for media, no one from the pressbox got up to go chat with him…enough said.

[9:17] – starters are beginning to get pulled and it’s middle of the 7th. Nice to see Torre stretching the crew a bit today.

[9:34] – Crowd is getting boisterous…maybe the lack of beer is fueling their comments. Van Slyke just got an earful while at the plate.

[9:41] – Lindblom looked solid tonight…more so than any other Dodger pitcher tonight. Always nice when the starters get showed up a bit in March…

Overall thoughts –

On the press box: it is incredibly tight despite being fairly wide and containing three rows of working space. You are pretty much resigned to having your knees jammed into a metal conduit that runs the power and data lines throughout the place, as there isn’t enough room for you to scoot back and still let people pass by your seat. Also, while the windows open up, they are heavily tinted and overlap one another when they slide open making it really dark for evening games (something the designer probably didn’t think about when he/she was putting it all together. One journalist sitting next to me said. “the more I spend time in here the less I like it.”

On food: the Dodger Dogs are grilled here (as they should be) but they still have to work on their supply chain management here. Thursday they ran out of polish sausages and were temp out of Dodger Dogs in the 4th inning…

On the time of the game – the evening game definitely had a different feel to it. The fans were decidedly more “adult” and it showed in all the jawing and screaming that was going on tonight. Chris actually saw Casey Blake engaging in a bit of the “jibba jabba” with Padres fans as the top of the third inning ended (from his perch in the photo well).

Joe Torre, Andre Ethier and Clayton Kershaw Post-Game Comments

What a game!  Ethier’s three home-runs are the most since Hee-Seop Choi on June 12, 2005 and his six RBI are a career high.  Looks like the Dodgers got a little extra motivation from having Pau Gasol in the stands!  Mota’s also been “rebounding” (pun intended) pitching two scoreless innings.  That means shutout baseball in 13 of his last 14 games for a 0.52 ERA.  Since May 17, he’s lowered his ERA from 9.00 to 4.50.

Great post-game comments from Torre, Kershaw and Ethier.  Definitely don’t miss Kershaw’s take on his developing pitching style.

First up is Joe Torre:

On Ethier: “That’s the guy we all know is in there.”

On Kershaw:  “As far as Kershaw, he grew a little bit at his last outing on Sunday and tonight was just an add-on.  Any time you can put two or three back to back like that, that means you’re making some progress.”

More on Kershaw: “Early in the game he’s not trying to overthrow the ball.  He’s so agressive, and sometimes it works against him because he goes out there and just tries to throw the ball by people and you can’t do it at this level…not on a consistent basis.  I saw him using his pitches the last time out and he used all his pitches tonight.  I thought his curveball was better and we told him he was done after six and he had these big wide eyes and said, ‘Really? Is that it?’  We’re gonna try and get as much good out of this thing as we can.”

On Never Having a Three-Game Losing Streak This Season: “People told me that, and it’s great.  Streaks are great, but you certainly want the good ones to outnumber the bad ones.  I remember ’96 when I had the Yankees, we never lost more than five in a row and we never won more than five in a row.  There’s no question that if you keep going the rest of the year without losing more than two in a row, we’re in pretty good shape.”

Clayton Kershaw’s Post-Game Comments:

On Andre Ethier: “He’s so tough when he’s hot.  There’s really no right way to pitch him; maybe walk him is the best idea.  He’s just got so much power and he;s got power to all fields.  When he’s seeing the ball well like he was tonight, you saw what happened – there’s no one way to get him out.”

On His Developing Pitching Style: “I think that’s the key for me – trying to incorporate all my pitches.  Sometimes when I get into trouble I just want to go hard, hard, hard and get people out.  Sometimes the best way to do that is just by backing off.  When you’re in certain situations, like whether it was the Angels and the bases loaded or tonight with the bases loaded in the fourth inning, you’re really just trying to make quality pitches.  Sometimes soft is the way to go.  Brad and Russell have both been great.  They’ve both started calling the pitches that I need to throw.  Instead of shaking off like I have done in the past, I trust them and trust myself a little bit more.”

Andre Ethier speaks:

On Having ‘Quick Hands’ Tonight: “I just went in there and worked with Donnie and worked on some stuff and got back to where I need to be. So I guess not to expect that that’s what happen after you work with Donnie, but I’m relaxed, more comfortable up there and ready to go.”

On Hitting Seventh in the Lineup: “We have a good lineup.  You should be honored just to be in the lineup.  We’re now in a situation coming in a couple weeks where we’ve got a guy that will definitely be in the lineup and everyone’s got to fit in where they can and have their opportunities.  It just shows you that you should be happy to be in this lineup because it;s so good and deep from our bench to our starting eight.”

On Attending Wakamatsu’s Baseball Camp as a Youth: “I remember going to Don’s hitting and fielding camps in the winter there in Phoenix.  I’m surprised he remembers me.  I was probably 11…12 years old at that time.  I don’t know if he knew at that time that I’d be his opponent on the major league level.”

On His Home Run Power: “I was never a home run hitter.  I didn’t hit my first home run until I was 13 years old.  Not even Little League.  I didn’t hit one until I was a seventh grader in junior high. So I can say, never three in a game.”

Game Notes: Dodgers-Mariners

Hey everyone – As Alex noted, I’m in the press box tonight, so ask any questions, and I’ll do my best to get ‘em answered for you!

A few observations so far:

The San Marino Little League was out tonight!  As a former San Marino Little Leaguer, I was psyched to see the kids out for the game and catching a little BP (pictures coming later).

Ken Griffey Jr. isn’t playing tonight, but is expected to start in the outfield for the next two games.  Hopefully he’ll come in as a pinch hitter later in the game as I’ve really been looking forward to seeing that swing again.

Beltre’s shoulder seems to be an ongoing problem, acknowledging before the game that it’s pretty much bothering him all the time.

Pau Gasol looked sharp throwing out the first pitch from the rubber in what turns out to be his first professional baseball game!

Speaking of looking sharp…Kershaw is looking really good…five strikeouts over the first three innings.

Ethier goes deep to left-center field with a three-run bomb…gotta love it.

8:03: the crowd behind home plate begins chanting “Let’s Go Lakers!” Pau gives the fans a wave and a smile to say thanks.

8:08: Nice pitching by Kershaw to get Jojima to ground into that double-play!

Ok, all updates will now be in the comments section so this page isn’t being constantly updated…