Category Archives: dodger stadium

A Kid N Drei Mid-Summer Tale

With the Bucs coming to town and Drei finally crossing paths with Kid for the first time in 2018, we came up with this Kid N Drei tale, as told by Drei. Later on, Kid provides the beatz. We may not do this as often as we used, but when we do, not much has changed, you know, Kid with Da Beatz, Drei with Da Talez… As Kid once told Drei…”We Make Magic Together…”

First tale of ’18…

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It took awhile, but finally, the first Kid N Drei Tale of 2018…

Back to The Yard…Drei’s Thoughts

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It was a big Sunday at the yard for Matt Kemp as he would drive in 4 runs, including the go-ahead solo shot in the home 8th to put The Blue ahead to stay as they would stave off a three game sweep, taking down the Rockies 6-4. Prior to Sunday the Dodgers had lost three in a row and came in tied for second in the NL West with the San Francisco Giants. Kemp, whose been huge for The Blue to this point, was mired in his first big slump of 2018. His numbers compared to last year at this time are close to similar and with 14 home runs and 51 RBI’s to date, barring a major second half swoon, Kemp would be on pace for 28 home runs and 102 RBI’s. 

The recent slide brought Kemp’s average down to .302. Sunday’s performance lifted his average back to .310. His current slash line, .310 AVG/14HR/51RBI is about what you can expect from Kemp to this point as past years performances have shown. Many of us thought with his defense on the decline the Dodgers would have dealt him to a team in the Junior Circuit where he would have been more productive as a DH at this point in his career but even his defensive play, while not the Matt Kemp of 2011, has been above decent. 

Would it be too much for Kemp to carry The Blue as we head into baseball’s second half of the season? 

Baseball is a long season and every player is due for a slump at some point so I’m not really concerned that the best we’ll see of Kemp in 2018 is behind him. 

If there is any pressure on Matt Kemp to maintain his current numbers, it should be minimal at best. Other than a lighter Matt Kemp, this time around unlike 2015-17 he has a deeper lineup around him particularly in the outfield. My main concern is Kemp staying healthy down the stretch drive. 

Could Sunday’s game be the end of Kemp’s current slump? That remains to be seen. As for now, Kemp has done more than what anyone could have asked. Now it’s time to surround Kemp with some key pieces if The Blue is to make a run deep into October. 

At 43-38, the Dodgers are on pace to win 86 games. However, as we all know, baseball is full of streaks and slumps. One sustained streak and the Dodgers could find themselves over the 90 win plateau for the sixth straight season.

Extra Innings…Walk Us Off With Your Beatz, Kid !

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Gratitude is Everything…Featuring Kid’s Bro, RENO SPARKZ

 

 

 

 

 

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On Deck With Steve Garvey

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Steve Garvey enjoyed 14 of his 19 big league seasons in the Dodger Blue. A two-time NLCS MVP, a 10-time All-Star and a two-time MVP of the All-Star game and the 1974 National League MVP.  These days, Garvey does about 45-50 motivational speeches a year through Garvey Media Group working with clients in stadium advertising. At Dodger Stadium he helps with the Kings Hawaiian Grill stand, introducing and marketing new BBQ sauces. 

I had a chance recently to speak with Garvey prior to the Dodgers alumni game on May 12th…

GDWKND: You we’re part of the longest running infield from 1973-81. What was the key in maintaining the infield for as long as you all did?

Garvey: I think the key was staying healthy. We continued to grow as players and understand our roles and performances. We started to work together, the team started to do well and Al Campannis signed us to long-term contracts. When it was all said and done that recipe was a great recipe of success during what I call the Golden Era from 1973-82.

GDWKND: When you we’re being groomed in Albuquerque you had Tommy Lasorda as your manager. When you came up to The Blue you we’re under the guidance of Walter Alston. How was the transition like from Lasorda in Albuquerque, to Alston and then eventually back to Lasorda?

Garvey: It was night and day, it was a 180. Walter Alston was very stoic and quiet, very strong man, Hall of Fame quality. Tommy was gregarious, outgoing, became really the heart and soul of Los Angeles Dodger Baseball by the way he talked about the team and got the fans involved. There’s more than one way to manage success. I was blessed to have Walter Alston to teach me certain things and Tommy Lasorda to teach me the rest. 

After the 1982 season, Garvey would head south and finish his career with the San Diego Padres. Though he wouldn’t put up the same numbers wearing the Padre Brown, Garvey would nonetheless have an impact on the Padres, highlighted by the city’s number one sports moment in 1984 with his walk-off home run in Game 4 of the NLCS off Lee Smith of the Cubs, forcing a decisive 5th game which the Padres would win en route to the organizations first World Series appearance. 

GDWKND: You played for three storied managers, Alston, Lasorda and Dick Williams, three HOF managers. How was it like playing for all three?

Garvey: Dick was tough, very demanding. Dick had won a couple of World Series with Oakland in the 70s, he had some strict rules that he expected you to adhere to. He was a veterans manager. He let the veterans do a lot of the leadership within the team. A very good X’s and O’s in game manager so he ended up in the HOF one way, Tommy one way and Walt one way. There’s no one way to be a leader to produce success. It takes the ability to communicate as the one common ingredient. 

GDWKND: You had an impact not only here but in San Diego as well during your 5 year stint from 1983-87. You will always be remembered for the home run you hit in Game Four of the 1984 NLCS. Do you do any work with the Padres as well?

Garvey: From time to time I get a call from the Padres to do things. I always look forward to it. I always say once I go south of Camp Pendleton I’m a Padre down there. I’m a favorite son and we had some great moments during my five year run capped off by our World Series. It’s like a second home in San Diego, 15 years in L.A and 5 in San Diego, a very blessed career and friendships on both sides. 

As Garvey would be a huge catalyst for the Padres first World Series appearance, they would run into a buzz-saw of a Detroit Tiger team that started off the ’84 season 35-5 en route to 104 wins, breezing through the ALCS in a three game sweep of the Kansas City Royals. In Game Five of the ’84 World Series, some future Dodger named Kirk would hit a huge home run in the 8th inning of a one-run game that all but ended the Padres faint hopes. It would be Kirk Gibson’s biggest home run of his career…To that point…

GDWKND: You had a chance to face Kirk Gibson when he was with the Detroit Tigers in the 1984 World Series. Kirk had that huge home run off Goose Gossage in Game Five that for all intents and purposes closed out the series. What was your thought of seeing Gibby in Dodger Blue in 1988, one year after your final season in baseball?

Garvey: That home run in ’84 had to be a prelude to the ’88 World Series. The irony of Gibson’s home run in ’88 was people thought it was Game Seven when it was actually Game One, he never made another World Series appearance again but it was so momentous a hit that it kick-started the momentum and along with Orel Hersheser’s fabulous pitching performances and a great team of executioners and it turned out a World Championship. 

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Drei’s memories of The Garv…I started watching Dodger Baseball in 1980 at six years of age. My first ever Dodger game at Dodger Stadium would be on my eighth birthday in 1982, one year after baseball’s longest running infield broke up. I would get to see 3/4th’s of the longest running infield twice. Then Garvey and Cey would leave Dodger Blue after the ’82 season. 

I may not have seen much of Garvey in Dodger Blue. I do remember he was one of the more popular Dodgers. Every kid in school wanted to be like Garvey. He was, in the eyes of manyMr. Clean (That’s a topic for another discussion…). 

Most of my childhood life as a baseball fan was at the end of his prime. This eight year old kid can remember the night he made his first appearance in that Padre Brown on April 15, 1983. He was given a thunderous standing ovation that seemed to last an eternity. 

To this day, the Dodgers have yet to retire number 6. They have this unwritten policy of only retiring players enshrined in Cooperstown, Jim Gilliam being the exception. It’s a debatable discussion, much like Garvey’s number 6 being retired in San Diego

You could debate that the standards for retiring a number are much higher within the walls of Chavez Ravine. The Dodgers already had a rich history prior to Garvey’s arrival in 1969. The Padres we’re still looking for a baseball identity. One swing of Garvey’s bat in 1984 gave them that. 

When talking of Garvey, baseball fans talk of him in the Dodger Blue, a fact that the most ardent Friar fan will admit. It’s been said down south, ” It took a Dodger to put your team on the map” Ouch. 

I have no problem with Garvey’s number 6 being retired down south. It’s already been done. Without Garvey’s blast in ’84, the Padres may still be looking for a baseball identity. 

How much longer until the Dodger brass retires number 6. Only time will tell. 

This is the first of hopefully more detailed interviews I’ll conduct with former Dodgers as they celebrate 60 years here in L.A. 

I also had a chance to briefly catch up with other former Dodgers during Alumni Weekend. Check it out and other sports news and stadium reviews on Stadium Journey at StadiumJourney.com

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Drei’s Photo Blog…The 2018 Dodgers Alumni Game

Sights from the 2018 Alumni game, 5/12 2018

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BP with the Heavy Hitters, Reggie Smith and Shawn Green. Smith would be among the quartet of 30 plus home run hitters in 1977 along Steve Garvey, Ron Cey and Dusty Baker. Shawn Green would set the single season L.A. Dodger home run record by smashing 49 dingers in 2001.

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Saxie! Steve Sax would play eight season with The Blue from ’81-88, winning Rookie of the Year in ’82. Saxie looks like he can still shag some grounders…

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Reuniting with The Bulldog. Members of the ’88 team, Ricky Horton, Jay Howell, John Tudor and Tim Belcher reunite with Orel Hershiser…

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AM 570’s David Vassegh catching up with Mike Davis. Davis would hit a huge home run in Game Five of the deciding game of the ’88 World Series…

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Half of the longest running infield, Garvey and Russell

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Bulldog showing he still has it…

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Time to take the field! Leading off, at second base, Steve Sax !!!

The rest of the Dodger alumni…

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Saxie stepping to the plate to face Fernando. Shawn Green on deck. Hey, how ’bout cuing Greenie’s old walk up song? 

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Saxie and Fernie. The 80s are back !

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Past glory meet present day. Kirk Gibson and Joc Pederson…

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Gibby giving JP some batting tips…(Hey kid, don’t be worrying too much about launch angles…LOL)

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Time to Make Some Fans Happy…

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Tim Belcher, Dodger starting pitcher 1987-91…

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Closer Jay Howell. After surrendering Mark McGwire’s walk-off in Game Three of the ’88 World Series, Howell would come back the next evening with a huge save, setting the stage for Game Five…

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Outfielders Ken Landreaux and Derrel Thomas…

Back to The Future…

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Joc Pederson making a fan’s dream from Make a Wish come true…

 

World Series Sights and Sounds, 10/30/2017…The Calm Before The Halloween Storm…Game 6

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At the intersection of Sunset and Vin Scully. All is calm on this Monday afternoon, October 30th, 2017….

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Here I am from up in the Top Deck. The infield behind me has the tarp on top but rain is not expected for Game 6. Thanks to last night’s gut-wrenching 13-12 loss to the Astros in Game 5, the Dodgers find themselves down 3 games to 2 and in a must win situation from here on out…

Tonight will mark the latest date an MLB game has been played at Dodger Stadium. Tonight will also mark the latest date the Dodgers have played a baseball game, surpassing their previous date of October 29, 1981 when they defeated the New York Yankees in Game 6 of the 1981 World Series in New York to capture their 4th World Series title in Los Angeles, 5th overall. 

Monday was a workout day for both teams, so I decided to drop on by for one last glimpse of The Ravine before our Boys In Blue get back at it…

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Outside The Ravine, I had to make one last stop over at The Rock. Kid N Drei’s Rock…On the corner of Vin Scully and Stadium…

Here’s hoping that our luck changes for the rest of the series…

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LETS GO DODGERS !!!

 

Moments After Moments…1988…What This World Series Means To Me

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 19:  The Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate defeating the Chicago Cubs 11-1 in game five of the National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field on October 19, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The Dodgers advance to the 2017 World Series.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)Stacy Revere/Getty Images

For the first time since 1988, we can all finally say it…

“WE’RE GOING TO THE WORLD SERIES” !!!

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 19:  The Los Angeles Dodgers pose after defeating the Chicago Cubs 11-1 in game five of the National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field on October 19, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The Dodgers advance to the 2017 World Series.  Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Leading Off…Game 1…Gibson Makes An Appearance

Oh yeah, Debbie Gibson with the national anthem. Thank you Debbie for not making the anthem a 5 minute affair. Something magical about Gibson and Game 1 of the 1988 World Series…

It’s been 29 years since we’ve seen our Boys In Blue in the big dance. They will be facing off against an old NL West foe, the Houston Astros…

1988…A Special Time for L.A. Sports Fans

Aside from the magical season from the Boys in Blue, 4 months prior, L.A. celebrated another championship…

Other happenings from 1988…

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1988 would mark the last year of the Reagan administration

Who Framed Roger Rabbit was the box office topper…

Bobby McFerrin’s words to us…” Dont Worry, Be Happy”

Drei’s Favorite 5 Moments Since ’88

In the 29 years that we’ve waited, there have been lots of moments after moments, both joyful and heartbreaking. My 5 favorites that I witnessed at The Ravine, since ’88…

5. Back to Back NL West Titles

The 2nd of 5 consecutive division titles would be clinched against the hated ones. Though a magical night, it would be the hated one’s with the last laugh in October…

4. ’08 NLDS Clincher Against the Cubs

The Chicago Cubs, baseball’s best regular season team in 2008 with 97 wins, entered the NLDS as heavy favorites over The Blue. The Blue would not only knock off the Cubbies, they would sweep them in 3 straight en route to their first NLCS appearance in 20 years

3. 100 Wins and Not a Wild Scene in The Bay

In the final season of the pre Wild Card era when only division champions went to the playoffs, the 103 win San Francisco Giants needed to win on the regular season’s final game to force a one-game playoff against the Braves for the NL West. The Blue, having had their party ruined in 1951, 1962, 1982 and 1991 by the hated ones, we’re more than glad to return the favor. For the Giants, in Barry Bonds first season in the dreaded Halloween colors, 103 Wins and Not a Wild Scene In The Bay

2. 2009 NLDS, Game 2, A Happy Holliday at Chavez Ravine

Down to their last out and having the series tied at one, James Loney would hit a fly ball to Matt Holliday in what appeared to be the final out of the game. 

Holliday’s error would prolong the inning, and 2 batters later, Ronnie Belliard would tie the game with an RBI single. After a walk to Russel Martin to load the bases, Mark Loretta would come off the bench and deliver…

Loretta’s game winner would send the Dodgers up 2-0 to St. Louis. The Dodgers would complete the sweep 2 nights later en route to an NLCS rematch with the Phillies.

1. Wherever It Lands…The Finley Slam, October 2, 2004

Down 3-0 heading to the home 9th, the Jints we’re 3 outs away from cutting the NL West deficit to a single game heading to the regular season finale. The Jints ( Yes I said it…) bp would implode, and after tying the game at 3, Steve Finley, acquired in late July in a 3 team trade that sent Paul Lo Duca to the Marlins, would step up to the plate…

Finley’s walk-off slam would give the Blue the 2004 NL West title. It would be their first division flag since 1995 and their first post-season appearance since ’96. The Blue would make 8 other post season appearances since, finally leading to the 2017 World Series !!!

What This World Series Means For Me ?

I’ve done this blog for 12 seasons. I’ve gone to countless games both at home and on the road, experienced many a thrill and many a heartbreak. For those of you who we’re around in ’88 you couldn’t have imagined the next time The Blue would be in the World Series you would be long past your undergrad years, have some salt on top assuming you aint got a dome, be into our 6th different administration, one that seems to do a good job of dividing this country…

In spite of our differences, after 29 years of waiting and many a new generation of Dodgers fans, our Boys in Blue are FINALLY back ! They’ve united a city like I haven’t seen united in quite some time. Yes, we’ve had the Lakers bring us 5 titles during the Shaq-Kobe era and the Kings have brought us a couple of Stanley Cups. But there’s just something about The Blue, a team with a deep rich history, that makes the wait all the more special. 

As for me, in 1988, I was a freshman in San Gabriel High School. I’m sure many of you have been recalling where you we’re in ’88 and the events that we’re happening in the world, in pop culture, or even in your personal life. The passage of time does that to us. Especially when we look back upon a time that brought us plenty of joy, often times making us yearn for nostalgia. 

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Me and my little bro, Daniel. I was 14, he was 3 in ’88. One of my memories of Game One was watching with him and my dad in our living room, listening to our dad read 101 Dalmations during the game. “C’mon dad ! It’s the World Series !!!” 

For the lil’ bro, this World Series is one he and plenty of Dodgers fans born in the mid 80s and after can actually enjoy, rather than saying they won one in their lifetime…

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For me, I’ve experienced two in my lifetime, ’81 as a 7 year old kid still learning baseball and being taught by my uncles to hate Reggie Jackson and the Yankees. The Yankees would be the first team I would be taught to hate. ’88 I experienced as an early teen, viewing our chances of winning the World Series, as good ol’ Vin would say, ” Viewing it with our hearts…” Because really, if not for being a naive teenage Dodger fan, if I saw it from a realistic and objective viewpoint, there really could have been no way we stood a chance against the A’s and their Bash Brothers duo of Jose Conseco and Mark McGuire. 

But it was just that, HEART. The ’88 Dodgers had plenty of it….

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As I write this on the eve of Game 1, words just can’t really express what this means to me. Over the years I often said The Blue will get there before I turn 50. As I said earlier, I’ve enjoyed 2 World Series titles, one as a kid, one as a teen, now as an adult less than 7 years from mid-life and 29 white hairs later (OK, more than 29, but who’s counting?)

This is just a small sampling of memories form ’88 on that I’d like to share. Fellow Dodgers fans, young and forever young, enjoy this moment. It’s been 29 years. We’re 4 wins away from coming completely full circle. LETS GO DODGERS !!!

Welcome Back to Tinsletown Matt…Home to Some of Baseball’s Most Passionate Fans and Yearly Attendance Leaders (In Case You Forgot)

kemp Kickin’ it with Matt, Santa Monica, February 2011

Hello there ol’ pal ! It’s been over a year since you last set foot inside The Ravine. The last time you set foot you we’re wearing a different shade of blue for the folks down I-5. Before we could see you again, you we’re sent packing to Georgia. As your path took you south, you, in the face of some, threw shade at us laid-back folks of Southern California from the 213 to the 619. Sure, growing up in Oklahoma and being a Braves fan as a kid would be cause for you to be excited to don the tomahawk. But what exactly do you mean when you say you “never really played in a baseball town before”? It certainly isn’t for lack of support. After all, we continue to lead the majors in attendance year in and year out. 

We’re we just “too Hollywood” for you? It’s easy to see how you would feel that way considering that you too had embraced the Hollywood lifestyle, according to your Players Tribune piece, “Hello, Atlanta”.

“In so many ways, I got sidetracked from what I loved most about playing the game of baseball — having fun. I let a big contract, the Hollywood lifestyle, injuries and bad relationships tarnish the reputation I had worked so hard to establish. Sadly, I gained a reputation for being selfish, lazy and a bad teammate. While I may not agree with all the criticism I received in the past few years —and while I believe that a lot of it was unmerited — I take full responsibility for my shortcomings. And I promise you, Atlanta: Those days are gone.”

In all fairness, you’re hardly the first or will be the last professional athlete to get caught up with all that Hollywood and L.A. has to offer. I’m also happy to see that Atlanta has seen most of the old Matt Kemp, sans the defensive liabilities. But fans can have very little patience, let alone empathy, for athletes who are paid millions of dollars and fail to meet expectations. To Joe Fan, someone of Matt Kemp should play beyond the distractions a city like L.A. can offer. 

But back to being a baseball town. What really makes for a baseball town? If attendance figures are a big component than L.A. would certainly more than qualify, especially given the vast entertainment and recreational options we have. Anyone familiar with the layout of the greater L.A. area can certainly tell you going out let alone to a Dodger game is hardly a breeze. Also, to say that the days of lazy Matt Kemp are gone, perhaps you are implying what fans may have perceived of you from 2013-14?

Even the Padres during many a down year in 2016 outdrew the Braves at the gate, ranking near the middle of the pack. From the 213 to the 619 it really comes as no surprise during the Braves recent visit to Petco Park, the reception for Matt Kemp from both the Friar Faithful and the local media was anything but cordial

I really hope Matt Kemp continues to produce. After starting out hot his average has dipped below .300. He is still on pace to 25-30 home runs along with 90 plus RBIs. 

Sure, there was a time we all had a love/hate relationship with the former Beast Mode. His should have been MVP season of 2011 seems but a distant memory to many a blue clad fan. I never really had an issue with Matt Kemp in the few times I’ve crossed paths with him. Does he say much? No. But he’s not asked to be a motivational speaker.  When healthy he certainly could be clutch. Remember the 8th inning home run in Game 2 of the 2014 NLDS? 

While the dream of Beast Mode carrying The Blue toward October Glory may be over, I still wish Matt all the success in the world. As for the type of reception the fans from this so-called baseball town of ours gives you? I don’t expect any drama. If any drama is to happen, it’s more likely to come through some 9th inning fireworks. (Haven’t we seen that a lot lately?)

Extra Innings…Throwing Back Thursday With Kid Marley Marlz

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Yes Kid, Ol’ Bison will be back at The Ravine for four this weekend. Hey, 11 in a row for The Blue. They’re just cruising by the competition, you know…Like Cruising Music…

Notes On A Scorecard…7/6/2017 vs D-Backs…Moment After Moment

 

Leading Off…

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April 15th shouldn’t be the only day we celebrate Jackie’s legacy, right ?

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OK, back to our normal lineup…

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After taking the first 2 of 3 from the Snakes, a pitchers duel between Rich Hill and Robbie Ray would take place. Through 7 innings, both pitchers would combine for 22 strikeouts, 9 of which would belong to Rich Hill. The only blemish from both pitchers would be solo shots from Jake Lamb and Logan Forsythe. 

The Dodgers would have their chances. Two of them, in fact as they had the bases loaded in the 1st and 6th innings, only to come away empty. From the 8th to the 9th The Snakes would score 3, one of them coming off Jake Lamb’s second solo shot. 

But the home 9th would show once again to never count the Blue out, AND, if you’re at any game the rest of this 2017 season and the deficit is 4 runs or less heading to the home 9th to NEVER HEAD TO THE EXITS !!! (Even if the deficit is more than 4 runs, with this years team you may still want put aside any doubts…)

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The inning would start innocently enough, with Yasiel Puig leading off with a single. After a walk to Joc Pederson, pinch hitting for Trayce Thompson, Cody Bellinger, getting the night off, would come on to pinch hit for Yasmani Grandal. As excited as I was along with 40,000 other spectators, I couldn’t help but think if Cody lights up a Roman Candle and we go extras (Yes, I’ve been listening to Vin Scully a lot over the years…), who would be catching since Grandal came into the game for Austin Barnes. 

Nonetheless, Cody would also reach on a base on ball, loading the bases for Logan Forsythe. Logan on four pitches would also walk, forcing in a run. BTW, None of the pitches from Snakes closer Fernando Rodney we’re close. That would bring up Corey Seager. Seager, not having one of his better nights having struck out 3 times, would work the count to 2 and 2, before this...

Is it me, or do I have some sort of magical power for Dodger hitters who enter the 9th inning on striking out 3 times or more?

After an intentional pass to load the bases, setting up a force at the plate, Chris Taylor, who already has 3 grand slams, could he deliver his fourth with a walk-off slam?  

You know, I’m more than take that walk-off single. As Joe Davis would say…”Moment After Moment…”, no doubt taking a cue from good ol’ Vin…(Who wouldn’t?)

Instead of salvaging the final game of 3 and pulling within 3.5 games of The Blue, the Snakes would fall 5.5 games behind. The Dodgers have still yet to lose since July 2nd. Since, they have gone from 2.5 games up to now 10.5 games on the reeling Snakes…

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Furious Indeed !!!

What other “scorecard” moment will Drei bring? To quote Joe one more time…”Moment after Moment…Memory after Memory…”

Extra Innings…Goin’ Through The Cycle With The Rookie Sensation