Chances are, you can’t watch the Dodgers on a regular basis. But you can read about them here in CV Weekly as sportswriter Mark Fabrick keeps you up to date on L.A.’s boys in blue.
By Mark FABRICK
Baseball’s second half is underway and the Los Angeles Dodgers are on one of their toughest road trips of the year to kick off the dog days of summer. Four Dodgers made appearances at MLB’s annual All-Star game in Minneapolis. Outfielder Yasiel Puig was the most prominent Dodger in Minnesota, although it was not a week to write home about.
Puig appeared in the Home Run Derby and failed to hit a ball out of the park. He then went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts in the All-Star game on July 15. It wasn’t all bad for Los Angeles at the midsummer classic, though. Pitchers Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke each pitched scoreless innings for the National League, and second baseman Dee Gordon made a solid defensive play in the game.
The Dodgers resumed play this past weekend against the St. Louis Cardinals, the team that eliminated them from last year’s playoffs. Both Puig and shortstop Hanley Ramirez were hit by fastballs from Cardinals pitchers and were forced to leave both games on Saturday and Sunday.
Puig was hit on Saturday by Cardinals pitcher Joe Kelly, who hit Ramirez with a pitch in last year’s National League Championship Series. Ramirez suffered a broken rib and the Dodgers’ playoff run came to an end without their best hitter.
This led to some fireworks during Sunday’s nationally televised game on ESPN. Ramirez was hit by a Carlos Martinez fastball in Sunday’s game, and Clayton Kershaw retaliated by hitting Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday with a fastball to the hip. Both benches were warned and things remained peaceful until Ramirez was hit again by a fastball, this time by Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal.
But the Dodgers capitalized when first baseman Adrian Gonzalez came up and drove in the go-ahead run with a single to right field off of Rosenthal. The Dodgers won the game 4-3, avoiding the sweep, with closer Kenley Jansen pitching a perfect ninth inning for his 28th save of the year.
The Dodgers next went to Pittsburgh where they split the first of two games with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Hyun-Jin Ryu was masterful on Monday, pitching seven innings of two-run balls with five strikeouts. Ryu got his 11th win of the year joining both Kershaw and Greinke with 11 wins. The only other teammates who have achieved 11 wins apiece are Adam Wainwright and Lance Lynn of the Cardinals. Dodger starters lead all of MLB with a 3.13 ERA.
The Dodgers wrapped up their series with the Pirates on Wednesday, then headed to San Francisco after that for a three-game weekend series with the Giants. The Dodgers are a game behind the Giants for first place in the National League West as of Wednesday. Los Angeles will have their three best starters on the mound this coming weekend at AT&T Park. It’s generally a stingy affair between these two teams, this division race should go down to the wire, folks.
Mark Fabrick is a CV Weekly contributor and also writes for Dodgers On Deck, which can be seen at dodgersod.com.