Tag Archives: Clayton Kershaw

Looking Back at The First Half

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In the 37 years i’ve been a fan of the Blue, this past first half has without a doubt been the most memorable. Currently on pace to win over 100 games for the first time since 1974, our Boys in Blue have provided us more than their share of 10 best moments of the first half, including sending six to the all-star game. 

Since Cody Bellinger’s arrival in late April, the Dodgers have been on a tear. As we now approach the 2nd half, here are some of my concerns…

  • Can Rich Hill continue to work past the 6th inning?
  • Can Brandon McCarthy stay healthy enough to pitch into October?
  • Can Cody Bellinger continue to put up his insane numbers?
  • How much offense can we manufacture without relying on the long ball?
  • Do we go after another starting pitcher for the stretch run?

What I look forward to in the 2nd half…

  • Joc Pederson to continue producing. After a slow start and a stint in the DL, Joc has “quietly” produced, hitting 8 home runs, 7 which came in June and getting his average above .240. At his current pace he could still crack 30 home runs
  • Puig to finish with 30 plus home runs and 90 plus RBI’s. Puig has certainly showed more discipline this year
  • Roberts to continue to put certain pitchers on the 10 day DL and utilize either Ryu or Maeda 
  • Starting pitchers not named Kershaw or Wood to pitch into the 7th inning, particularly Hill or McCarthy. Keeping them healthy will be key

This should be quite a 2nd half. The excitement is only beginning…

Looking Back at Drei’s Picks…

So, as we head to the 2nd half, lets look back at what Drei said back in spring about his American League leaders…

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“The Blue Jays, coming off 2 straight ALCS appearances, have lost some offensive firepower with Edwin Encarnacion heading to Cleveland but they still boast a formidable rotation. The rest of the division is capable of claiming one of the two WC spots.”

After a slow start that saw them as many as 12 games south of .500, the Jays have struggled to surpass the .500 mark. Currently in last place in the AL East by 8.5 games, the Jays, as well as the rest of the AL East, are still in contention to win the division…

Indians_Cap Logo

“The Tribe came within one game of bringing the city of Cleveland it’s second championship in a 5 month stretch. While The Tribe made it to the Fall Classic on the strength of their rotation, they’ve added some offensive punch by adding Edwin Encarnacion from Toronto.”

In spite of a 21-24 record at home, the Tribe heads into the 2nd half with a 2.5 game lead over the surprising Minnesota Twins. The Royals, after a slow start, also find themselves back in post-season contention, trailing the Tribe by only 3 games…

Mariners_Cap Logo

“After surprising many in 2015, the Astros somewhat regressed last season, starting off 15-28 before finishing off with a respectable 84 wins.  The Astros, led by Jose Altuve, are being picked by many to win the AL West. With the teamwide  so-called “sophomore jinx” now out of the way, this could very well be their year they take over the west. Seattle has a pretty formidable lineup themselves especially the heart of the order, where Cano, Cruz and Kyle Seager combined for a total of 95 home runs last season. Felix Hernandez by his standards had an off season last year but is expected to lead the rotation once again.”

No one ever gets all six division winners right? Certainly there’s always got to be a sleeper. Well, it looks like the Astros have the AL West all but locked up, trailing only the Dodgers for the best record. 

So, of my 3 division winners, Cleveland has the inside track to their division. The Blue Jays, while still in the division race, need a fast start and some consistent pitching to keep them in playoff contention. The Mariners can be thankful for baseball’s 2nd wild card, where only 7.5 games separates every non-division leading AL team. 

And now, what Drei said about the Senior Circuit…

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“In his first season as the Nationals skip, Dusty Baker restored some order in leading the Nats back to the post-season, to be eliminated in 5 games by The Blue. While Dusty may be one of the finest managers of the game, going back to the 2002 World Series his teams have lost 9 straight post-season series clinchers. He can say what he wants about some of Dave Roberts moves in Game 5, fact of the matter is, once again, he was simply out-managed when it counted.”

October rematch Dusty ?

Cubs Cap

“The Cubs, even with the loss of Dexter Fowler, are once again primed for another deep post season run…”

The Cubs World Series hangover goes beyond the loss of Dexter Fowler. Even with the WS hangover, no one could have predicted they would be 2 games under.500 and 5.5 games behind the surprising Brewers at the all-star break…

And finally…

Dodgers Cap Logo

“Last year, Dave Roberts managed to will the Dodgers to the NLCS in spite of the numerous injuries to the rotation. While it is expected to be a 2 division race between the Dodgers and Giants once again, Colorado may not be too far behind and may even be not only the division’s but the leagues sleeper as well. If the Rockies highly touted young arms can maintain their composure in hitter friendly Coors Field, the Rockies just may make a legitimate run at the post season…”

Colorado, after a hot start, has cooled off a bit but still find themselves tied with the 3rd most wins in the NL, behind only the surprising D-Backs and Dodgers. It will be interesting to see how Colorado’s young arms hold up beyond Coors Field in the 2nd half. Arizona has had outstanding production both with the bats and arms. Any other division (Except the AL West) they are the leaders…

I predicted the Dodgers would win 95 games. At 61-29, they would only have to go 34-38 to achieve that plateau. Of course, we don’t ever want The Blue to take their foot off the pedal. The Blue has not experienced a prolonged losing streak…yet. Now before you pelt me with rotten fruit, lets remember that baseball is a marathon. Winning 100 games, especially in the Wild Card era, does not mean much. Slumps happen over the course of 162, both individually and team wise. It’s all about the timing. Should the “inevitable” happen, the best case scenario would be that it happens before October….

Extra Innings…Walk Us Off Logan

There have been many a memorable moment in this past first half. Here’s one of my 2 favorites…Logan Forsythe’s 13th inning walk-off on May 23 off Jonathan Broxton. This was Forsythe’s first game back after 30 days on the DL. Forsythe to this point was 0 for 4 with 4 Ks. Here are Drei’s Notes On A Scorecard from that Tuesday in May…

LETS GO DODGERS !!!

 

 

 

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Notes On a Scorecard…5/23/2017 vs Cardinals…One is a Lonely Number

Leading Off… Brotherly Love

Champ Pederson, older brother of Joc Pederson born with down syndrome, would start the evening off throwing the first pitch to JP on a night the Dodgers would give away bobbleheads of Young Joc…

If you love a classic pitchers duel between 2 of the leagues top pitchers between Clayton Kershaw and Lance Lynn, this 3rd edition of Notes is for you, with neither disappointing as both pitchers we’re on top of their game. The lone run of the game up to the 9th would come on a solo shot in the home 1st by Yasmani Grandal. 

Through 5 Kershaw would face the minimum 15 batters, his only blemish a one-out single by Yadier Molina, who would be erased on a stolen base attempt (Or perhaps a busted hit and run, all things considered?)  20170528_140550

As I mentioned earlier, that must have been a busted hit and run if Yadier Molina was the one running…

After allowing a 2 out solo shot to Grandal in the first Lance Lynn would retire 22 of the next 24 batters through 8, striking out 10.20170528_141149

Of Lance Lynn’s 10 Ks, 4 of them went by way of Logan Forsythe. This would be Forsythe’s first game back from the DL and what a rough night he’s had…To this point…

Kershaw of course was nothing short of outstanding, striking out 10 as well. Both Lynn and Kershaw would combine for 20 Ks through 8.  

With Kershaw 2 outs away from a complete game shutout, a wild pitch that Grandal would have a hard time locating would score Randal Grichuk from 2nd base, knotting the score at one. 

Nonetheless, Kid K would pitch a complete game, striking out 10, allowing only the 1 run and 3 hits, only one more than what Lance Lynn would allow. 

Extra Innings…

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Now it’s become a battle of the bullpens. Through 10, both teams have combined for 24 strikeouts and 4 hits. Time to flip the pages… 20170526_184158 The game would take through 13. The Cards, as has been the case all night for both teams. would post nothing but goose eggs. The Dodger bullpen would allow only 1 hit in this span while tacking on another 3 strikouts, bringing their total to 14 for the night. Time to head to the home 13th, still tied at 1. Yes Dodger fans, that’s Jonathan Broxton’s name inserted as he would enter the game for the Red Birds in the home 13th. Though Broxton was our one time closer, most Dodger fans only remember Broxton for two pitches and a Sunday Night meltdown….

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Enter the home 13th and 4 more Dodgers gone way by the K side, bringing the total now to 18. Broxton would strikeout Puig to bring the total to 19. One out away from heading to the 14th and my 6th ever 14th inning stretch. Broxton would walk Kike Hernandez. The walk to Kike, who would come in the top of the 11th, felt like a hit. Yeah, it was that kind of night for both teams. That would bring up Logan Forsythe, who earlier struck out 4 times. Could Forsythe avoid a 5th K? 

Forsythe would do more than avoid the 5th K, delivering on a 2-out walk-off double. Something about Broxton giving up big hits to right field in clutch situations… As for Logan Forsythe, well, how often do you see one strikeout 4 times yet be the games hero? That’s baseball…

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In all, both the Cardinals and Dodgers would combine for a total of 7 hits, 4 for the Red Birds, 3 for the Dodgers. Both teams would also combine for a total of 33 strikeouts, 19 for the Red Birds, 14 for the Blue Crew.

Other Notes…

The 19 strikeouts for St. Louis would tie a club record. It would also mark the first time in 8 games an opponent held to three or fewer hits while striking out 19 times would win. 

This was also the first game since at least 1913 that had 14 strikeouts on both sides and four or fewer hits on both sides. 

It also marked just the third time in Major League history where both teams’ pitchers allowed four or fewer hits in a game of at least 12 innings.

Kershaw has struck out at least 10 batters in 53 starts and the Dodgers are 42-11 in them.

 

 Innings 1-10…

Innings 11-13…

Speed up this grand game? NEVER !

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Down But Not Out

No one said playing the best team in baseball would be easy. After shutting down the Cubbies in Games 2 and 3, it was only a matter of time before their bats would awake. With the season on the line heading back to Chicago we call upon once again to Kid K to save our season…

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We’ve been down this path before. In the NLDS, it was Kid K who we called upon to save our season. All Kid K did was give us 11 Ks. Some timely hitting and we sent the series to a winner take all decider. Can Kid K repeat that feat ?

It’s certainly not out of the question. The way the bullpen has collapsed in this series we certainly could use another deep outing from Kid K. It would also help if we can get Kid K some runs as well. If only this script we’re so easy. 

Tired Arms ?

Going into the playoffs one thing I feared was that our bullpen could be tired. Throughout much of the season particularly the 2nd half the bullpen on most nights had pitched from the 6th inning on. Of course injuries to what, 30 plus different pitchers certainly did not buy time for our arms. While Dave Roberts has certainly done an admirable job of getting our Blue to this point, the fatigue of our bullpen arms could finally be showing. That is exactly why we need Kid K to once again go deep if we are to make it to Sunday…

Scouting The Friendly (Or Not So Friendly) Confines…

1981, BLUE MONDAY, AND THE MONTREAL EXPOS

Current Dodger broadcaster Rick Monday called both Dodger Stadium and Wrigley Field home during his playing days. He would know a thing or two on what to expect at Wrigley….

Drei’s Thoughts Heading To Wrigley…

If this Game 6 matchup is anything like Game 2 when Kershaw and Kyle Kendricks faced off, runs will once again be at a premium. 

The Blue has shown a resiliency on the road during the playoffs, going 3-2 at this point, including 2 having faced Max Scherzer. If the Blue can get on Kendricks early they will have a shot at Game 7, where Rich Hill would face off against Jake Arrieta. 

Of the Cubs 4 starters, Arrieta seems to be the one the Dodgers can hit. His 2nd half of the regular season was not as dominant. Of course, we have to win Game 6 to get to 7, where anything can happen…

 

Win For Dre

Leading Off… The A-Gon and Clayt Show

A-Gon’s 2nd inning solo shot is all Kid K would need as he would toss 7 scoreless against the Cubbies, sending the series back here in L.A. all tied up at one.

Rich Hill will match up against Cubs sensation Jake Arrieta. The last time Arrieta pitched at Dodger Stadium, no one in the home white could buy a hit… So, how do these two teams match up heading to Game 3?

Dodgers_ Ethier 2006 Young Dre, June 2006. In the back, the veterans Kenny Lofton and Nomah !!!!

It’s been 10 years since Drei here has brought you his baseball tales. In 2006 some young kid named Dre came over in a trade with the Oakland Athletics. It was in 2006 that Dre would get his first taste of post-season play. It was just a blur for Dre and the Blue as they would be swept in the NLDS by the Mets…

ethier Hey Dre! Citiwalk, February 2008

2008-09. This here where Dre is starting to assert himself as a regular in right field. The Blue would win consecutive NL West titles. Dre would play a huge role along fellow star outfielder Matt Kemp. It seemed Dre and Bison would be inseparable, both coming up at the same time. It was also in 2008 when some Kid K would hit the scene…If Kid K wasn’t settling matters before the home 9th, it was Dre who would have many a clutch moment that would send opponents Walking Off…

But in spite of Dre’s heroics, The Blue would fall short both times in the NLCS to the Philadelphia Phillies. 

Baseball can be cruel. If not for a pitch or two from Jonathan Broxton, Dre may be the bearer of at least one championship ring….

ethier Double D…Dre and Drei…L.A River Cleanup, February 2011 

The glory of ’08 and ’09 seem all too distant now. The hated one’s have just won their first of 3 world titles. Enough time has lapsed since The Blue last won a World Series that one born in ’88 is now a college graduate…To this day, my sister, born in 1989, reminds me of the fact she arrived to planet earth one year after…

Meanwhile, Dre is now under his 3rd manager. Don Mattingly, not exactly greeted all to warmly by the Blue clad fans, has taken over the reigns. Dre and Donny would have their moments. 

The Don Mattingly era would not start off to memorably for Dre and The Blue. Opening Day 2011 would be marred by a senseless beating of Giants fan Bryan Stow. Frank McCourt’s ownership threatened to drive The Blue to bankruptcy. The Blue clad fans stayed away…

Sparse Crowd August 2011. Plenty of great seats available…

Though Dre and the fans would survive the McCourt days, on the field it would be during the Don Mattingly era where Dre’s playing status was about as certain as his relationship with good old Donny…On and off. 

It would be in 2013 when a young Cuban Kid with a missile of an arm with plenty of baggage would make his mark in right field. A spot Dre once held down…

From 2013 on it seemed there was an uncertainty who would be the regular outfielders. During that stretch, Dre, not exactly at the prime of his career, would have his name tossed around from here to Chi-Town, where the Pale Hose even expressed interest. 2014 would be the least productive of Dre’s career with a career low 4 home runs and a .249 batting average.

Dre would return though in 2015. Not exactly at the height of his career at this point, Dre still proved he could come up big in the clutch…

In spite of a return to the post-season for the 6th time, The Blue once again would come up short. 

2016…A new era begins again. Andre Ethier is now playing for his 4th manager in 11 seasons. As Dre once again tries to make a case for regular playing time, a foul ball causes a break in his leg, keeping Dre out until late August…

Dre on a rehab assignment in Rancho, August 25, 2016 

Dre would make his way back late in the season. Even the truest of Dodger fans, including this one, had to be surprised that Dave Roberts kept Andre Ethier on the post-season roster. But let’s not think for one moment this was a move based on sentiment by the rookie skipper, one who should be the top candidate for manager of the year…

Anyone playing baseball this late in the season is capable of being a hero. Does Dre have one more clutch moment in him?  It was Dre who had a key hit in the 8th inning of Game 4 to keep the inning alive for Chase Utley to do his thing. Dre would also smack a pinch hit solo shot in Game 1 of this NLDS to start the scoring for The Blue as they would later tie the Cubbies. 

In the 10 years here that Drei here has brought you his baseball tales,  Dre has gone through it all in the Dodger Blue. 7 playoff appearances, the most of any L.A. Dodger, 6 division championships, the uncertainty of when and where he will play. He’s gone from looking up to…To being looked up to. We’ve all gone through the highs and lows with him.

 Dre making a fan happy at Rancho…

At this point, Dre knows his role is limited. He’s content with it. Dre also know’s the clock is ticking on his chance to win the big one. Deep down, we all know this as well. If the crowd reactions Dre receives are any indication, deep down inside, we all feel for Dre.  

Dre is now The Dean of The Blue. Deep down, we all know that this could be Dre’s last opportunity in a Dodger Blue uniform to win that big prize that has eluded him. That grand prize that has eluded The Blue for 28 years now.

While this year’s theme may be Win For Vin, and deservedly so…Deep down we also want to say…WIN FOR DRE !

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Counting Down That Magic Number…22

22 Brett Butler

Dodgers_Brett Butler Brett Butler would don the Dodger Blue for just over six seasons from 1991-94, and after a brief stint with the Mets to start off 1995, would return to The Blue later that season and finish his career in Dodger Blue in 1997. Throughout his career which would span 5 teams Butler would amass a career .290 batting average along with 558 stolen bases. Many a Dodger fan would remember Brett for his speed as well as his ability to get on base while bunting. 

Currently Brett is the 3rd base/outfield coach for the Miami Marlins, whom the Blue will see this weekend, just in time for our present day 22 to return to action

Dodgers_Kershaw (Kid K. Photo: Allen J. Schaben/L.A. Times)

Welcome Back Zack…

We never said we’d be gracious hosts, did we ?

This has been one crazy 2nd half. After whacking around former Dodger Zack Greinke with 5 home runs en route to a 10-2 win, the Dodgers now find themselves 4 games in front of the hated ones. Since the all-star break the Dodgers have erased a 6.5 game lead by the Giants, gaining 10 games in that stretch. Regardless if the Giants have gone through and continue their 2nd half swoon,as pointed out by a certain sports network, The Blue, for all it’s injuries, are still on pace to win 90 plus games for the 4th straight season. As for the Giants, they are on pace to be the first team to have the best record before the All-Star break and the worst after it.

picsart_07-12-09.01.55.jpg Feels great to lead the way, doesn’t it Kid ?

Chasing Dreams at The Skirball Cultural Center

As The Boys In Blue continue to chase their dreams toward October, the Skirball Cultural Center features Chasing Dreams: Baseball and Becoming American, the first large-scale exhibition featuring the story of Jews and baseball as well as the sports impact on other immigrants and minority communities, including Italians, Asians, Latinos and African Americans. Planning on bringing the kids? Check out the Family Art Studio where the whole family can create one-of-a kind art projects themed around Skirball exhibits, as well as its current baseball exhibits.

Bringing the kids along? One thing the whole family will enjoy is making personalized baseballs using ping-pong balls to be placed along the wall of Skirball All Stars, lined of course with baseball cards of various MLB players from the 80s and 90s.

 

You will also want to take your kids through Noah’s Ark. Inside this wooden ark, kid of all ages are invited  to experience a hands on experience filled with endless imagination. 

Monkeying around inside the Ark…Just another SUN-DAY, FUN-DREI !!!  We’re just never to old to monkey around are we…

The Skirball Cultural Center is located on 2701 N. Sepulved Blvd. The museum hours are Tuesday-Friday 12:00-5:00 P.M., Saturday-Sunday, 10:00 a.m.-5:00p.m. General Admission is $12, $9 for Seniors 65 and over as well as for F/T Students with ID, and Children over 12, $7 for Children 2-12. Admission is free on Thursdays.

Extra Innings…Ross Porter on the 2016 Dodgers and Dave Roberts

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Former Dodger Ross Porter recently spoke to an audience at the Skirball Center as he presented Baseball Stories. A Q&A also took place and I asked Ross his thoughts on this years Dodgers as well as Dave Roberts. Please excuse the audio quality.  Here’s a snippet…

Drei’s Post All-Star Thoughts

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(Photo: Jon SooHoo)

The Stars in Blue…Kershaw, Jansen and Corey. Some of you may have been wondering what up with the road grey’s since Petco Park in San Diego, home of the Padres, a National League team, was the host. Seems like a legitimate head-scratcher. Hopefully, this explanation of NL Parks hosting the Mid-Summer Classic 4 years in a row will clear up confusion. I really don’t see the big deal of who is determined the home team in a high profile exhibition game that occurs once a year. The only players who it would greatly impact are those who play there 81 times a year. Now, ask me how I feel about the current format where the winner decides what team gets home-field in the World Series, and that’s where my rant comes in. Yes, I get that former commissioner Bud Selig wanted to change things up after the 2002 All-Star Game fiascoA better solution? How about letting position players who have already been taken out return if deemed necessary? It couldn’t hurt the integrity of the game could it? If anything, this could add some late inning spice toward the game, especially with fans wandering if their favorite player from said team would actually come back later and, what, get that game-winning hit? 

The fact that a high-profile exhibition game that has no bearing on the standings could determine later on if a team with 88 wins gets home field over one with 100 plus wins gets home field in The Fall Classic makes absolute no sense. This would definitely not fly in the NBA or NHL, especially the NHL, where their ASG is void of any real physical contact ( If any at all…). 

Of course, I am not the only one who is not crazy over the “This One Counts” theory, as one L.A. Times beat writer has come up with his five ways to improve the All-Star game.

As for being the road team in Petco Park…

BEATLA

The greeting  Kershaw, Jansen and Seager wasn’t exactly so hospitable. Corey Seager heard the Beat L.A. chants as he entered the yard. It’s OK kid, the fact that our neighbors to the south, ones who have always looked up to L.A, would yell the chant to you is the ultimate compliment. Just wait ’til you hear it yelled directly at you in San Francisco. That’s beyond the ultimate compliment…

Plenty of Season Left to Hit The Road…

Stadium Journey

With the Mid-Summer Classic now over, the 2nd half of the season gets under way. I know plenty of you Dodgers and baseball fans are just itching to get out on the road on your Stadium Journey to follow the Blue or your favorite team through all 30 yards. Check out our new look as we have partnered with the good folks over at Scout.com. I know there are a lot of you Dodger fans heading to Arizona this weekend. Here’s some tips for you following the Blue to the desert this weekend

9th Inning…

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Hey Kid !!! It’s Time For…

10 Years a Good Dre…Steve Garvey

picsart_07-08-06.28.12.jpg Steve Garvey, Camera Day, May 2008

As we head toward the All-Star game taking place in San Diego, also with the Padres finishing their 4 game series with The Blue, today’s 10 Years a Good Dre features a popular Dodger among the fans who wore the Dodger Blue for 14 seasons from 1969-82 before finishing his career as a Padre. Garvey was a 10x all-star from 1974-81 and twice with the Friars in ’84-85. Garvey to this day holds the NL record for consecutive games played at 1207. However, Garvey’s, and perhaps the Padres franchise most memorable moment may have been in Game 4 of the NLCS, Don Drysdale with the call… 

Of course, it would be a former Dodger with the call. I wonder if ever got a chance to call a memorable home run that involved one in a Dodger Blue uniform…

wp-1468126570671.jpeg Garvey’s retired number…As a Padre. I don’t see this being retired by The Friars if not for that home run in ’84. Many a Dodger fan still feels his number 6 in The Blue needs to be retired as well. Oh yeah, like the Dodger Blue touch I gave number 6 ?

wp-1468125673218.jpeg With the legend himself, April ’15

Blue Stars Shining Bright In America’s Finest City…

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Congratulations to Kenley Jansen, Clayton Kershaw and Corey Seager on being nominated to the 2016 All-Star Game. The big focus of course will be on Corey Seager, our rookie SS who’s having himself a memorable season. Seager, the team leader in home runs, will be participating in this years Home Run Derby. This will mark the 2nd consecutive year a Dodger will be participating in the HRD, with Joc Pederson coming in 2nd last year. This will also be the 2nd consecutive season a Dodger rookie is taking part. I can only guess this is a first in team history.

Lots has been debated about the so-called Home Run Derby Curse . I along with many Dodger fans have been skeptical as well. Bill Plaschke is not so thrilled about Corey taking part either, pointing out Joc Pederson’s 2nd half swoon. However, Joc had already been on a swoon before the all-star break. It is debatable, but hey, this should not stop us from cheering the rookie on, right ? From Dodger fans i’ve spoke to, not many are concerned that his numbers will be affected come the 2nd half, when we’ll really need his productivity. Should Corey go in a slump, something all hitters go through eventually, it would just be a case of the league catching up to him. 

9th Inning…Mr. Padre, Tony Gwynn

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