Heading into this weekend with a big 3 game series against the Giants up north, on this Throwback Thursday before our big series, I share with you a couple of old programs from past Dodgers/Giants games.
Greg Maddux, having been acquired from the Cubs to bolster the Dodger pitching staff for the stretch run, is featured on the front cover of this months program. Greg Maddux, who will be inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame this Sunday, would come back one last time with the Dodgers in 2008, his final season in baseball. Also in this August issue of the Dodger Magazine …
Looking back on the 40th anniversary of The Beatles performance at Dodger Stadium on August 28, 1966. This would be the 2nd to final ever live performance for The Fab Four. The following evening would be their last live gig, at Candlestick Park, home of the Giants from 1960-1999.
The song list from that evening’s concert. I’m guessing Sir Paul McCartney, who will be making his first return to Dodger Stadium since performing there in 1966, will entertain the crowd with his present day version of Yesterday…
The scorecard from Sunday evening, August 13. Maddux and the Giants Jason Schmidt would get the start that evening. Both the Giants and Dodgers would put up goose eggs up until the 10th inning, when a rookie catcher, Russel Martin, would end things in one swing, capping off a 3 game sweep of the hated ones.
On the front cover of the final Dodger Magazine for 1993, the past and the present are celebrated with Orel Hershiser and Don Drysdale gracing the cover. 5 years prior in 1988, Orel Hershiser had broken Don Drysdale’s major league mark from 1968 of 58 consecutive scoreless innings pitched. Drysdale would also be part of the Dodgers broadcast team from 1988 until his untimely death on July 3, 1993 . Rick Monday would replace Don Drysdale for the remainder of the 1993 season and has been with the Dodgers broadcast team since.
The scorecard from the final game of the season against the hated ones. Heading into the final game of the season, the Giants, having won 103 games, we’re in a first place tie with the Atlanta Braves for the NL West. The Braves, in their final season in the NL West, would beat the 1st year expansion Colorado Rockies earlier in the day so for the Giants, it was win or go home. ( 1993 was the final season without the current wild-card format ) . The Boys in Blue would only be so glad to spoil the party, as Rookie of the Year catcher Mike Piazza would belt 2 home runs and the Dodgers, who would have their hearts broken by the Giants 4 times prior, in 1951, 1962, 1982, and 1991, would demolish any hope the Giants had of playing deep into October, thrashing the hated ones 12-1. In spite of winning 103 games, first year manager and former Dodger Dusty Baker and the Giants would be left out of post-season play. ( From 1969-1993, the Reds and Braves we’re in the NL West, while the Cubs and Cardinals we’re in the NL East. During that time, only division winners qualified for the playoffs, making the Giants the last team to win over 100 games and miss out on post-season play , a feat that is virtually impossible to achieve today under today’s wild card format.
As for me, that final game of the 1993 season would ease the pain of Joe Morgan’s home run in 1982 on the season’s final game, or the smugness of Will Clark in 1991. I can still hear Nancy Bea Hefley serenading our visitors from The Bay after the game’s final out, to Tony Bennet’s classic tune, I Left My Heart In San Francisco , to the joy of the 55,000 plus Dodger fans, including this 19 year old kid, or to the dismay of the loyal ones from The Bay, who made the 400 plus mile drive south to have their broken hearts turned away, toward , San Francisco…
Is it obvious a Dodger fan is writing this post ?
What moment will this weekend’s Dodgers/Giants series bring us, as Zack Greinke takes the mound against Tim Lincecum as the first of 3 kicks off tomorrow night. What are some of your favorite Dodgers/Giants memories ?
The Dodgers take on the Pirates tonight in the 2nd of a 3 game set at PNC Park, with the Boys in Blue winning last night behind 7 strong innings from Hyun-Jin Ryu and some early run support. The Dodgers and Pirates are two of the most storied franchises in the bigs. Both organizations can proudly say that two of the games most influential players played for them.
Most of you are familiar with Jackie Robinson’s story. You may also be familiar with Roberto Clemente as well, especially if you are a fan of the Bucs. But did you know that Roberto Clemente played one season with the Montreal Royals in 1954 , the Triple A affiliation of the Brooklyn Dodgers. The same organization where Jackie Robinson played before his historic entrance to the bigs in 1947.
Roberto Clemente, Montreal Royals, 1954. Imagine Roberto Clemente donning the Dodger Blue and roaming the outfield of Dodger Stadium in the 60s …
There are plenty of tributes to Roberto Clemente in around PNC Park, one of my favorite yards I’ve had the privilege to visit.
Statue honoring Roberto Clemente behind the left field entrance of PNC Park with the Roberto Clemente Bridge in the distance. Perhaps someday Dodger Stadium will have a statue of Jackie Robinson. In the meantime, we do have the number 42 up on the top deck …
If you do want to see a statue of Jackie Robinson…
More from my past visit to PNC Park, a yard that you ballpark road-trippers must visit…
It’s no secret that many of you are not happy with Matt Kemp. It’s no secret that Matt Kemp is struggling again. He is hardly alone folks. The last time the Dodgers scored more than 3 runs in a game was July 8, 7 games ago. Even than, all 5 off their runs against the Tigers cane in one inning, the first. So to single out Matt Kemp as the main reason for the Dodgers offensive struggles would not be entirely fair. To many of you, Beast Mode is a distant memory.
For those of you who have been very vocal in your displeasure toward Matt, as was the case in the recent homestand against the Padres, or have expressed your feelings toward your social media tag, is it solely because of his on the field struggles ? Our does it go beyond that ?
Did his performance in 2011 and the first half of 2012 raise our expectations ? Surely his recent comments about wanting to be the every day center fielder, be it with the Dodgers or elsewhere, whether they were taken out of context or not, certainly did not help matters out did they ? Do you feel he needs to be that one leader on the club that isn’t afraid to carry them on his shoulders ? ( I know I’ve been critical on that end ) . Is it his laid back personality ? Is it his news off the field, such as his modeling gig with The Gap or his past and rumored relationships with Rhiannon and Chloe Kardashian that make you feel that his mind is, to out it kindly, not on the field 100 % of the time ?
Matt Kemp off the field ? Perhaps we have forgotten the good he’s done as well. Such as his work with TACA, Talk About Curing Autism, or reaching out to the cancer stricken Dodger fan in San Francisco, even giving him his jersey. Off the field Matt has certainly been more than personable with the fans, a trait many professional athletes and entertainers do not possess.
Ah. But that’s just it. Many of you probably are not concerned about whether Matt Kemp is a nice guy off the field. Let’s face it. It’s not so much that Matt Kemp has struggled because as said earlier, he it’s not alone among The Blue who is struggling offensively. Perhaps it’s all the extra off field news Matt makes that make many, if not all if you, feel that it has greatly affected his on- field performance ? How many of you have called for him to be traded ? Again I ask… Is it really fair to place the entire blame on Matt ?
With the Dodgers set to do battle with the Cardinals in St. Louis this weekend, today we pull out one of Dre’s infamous ” Stadium Bytes “, where Dre here tries to do some play by play with his iphone among other things captured inside the walls of Chavez Ravine. Lately, it seems like most of my attempts of play by play have been with Kid Marlz, aka MDario83. Never a dull moment kid !
The clip, which will be featured shortly, was 3 weeks ago on 626 night, 6/26/2014. 626 is the area code of the San Gabriel Valley where I grew up. Andre Ethier is at the plate against the Cardinals Adam Wainwright in a scoreless tie. Adam Wainwright has been making some news this week for the Cardinals , be it getting the starting nod over Kershaw in the all-star game, or having his quote on grooving a pitch to Derek Jeter taken out of context . We also cover on this Thursday evening, Throwback Thursday, which we talk about old times, and of course, a throwback to Game 2 of the 2009 NLDS, where we would focus on , of course, Andre Ethier and Adam Wainwright. ( Social media has sure changed the way we view certain things. How did Thursday end up being the official “throwback” day. How did area codes aligned with dates on the calendar become linked as special days ? ) In Game 2 of the ’09 NLDS, Ethier would have a ket at bat against Wainwright, and after the game, Wainwright would give his thoughts on Dodger fans waving white rally towels in the now famous ” Matt Holliday ” game. Wainwright sure isn’t afraid to give his opinions…
So how does Dre fare in this at-bat against Adam ?
Back On The Diamond
The Dodgers open the 2nd half tomorrow night in a 3 game set against the Cardinals in St. Louis . Dan Haren takes the mound for The Blue as they look to get things off to the right start in the 2nd half. Lance Lynn will toe the rubber for the Cardinals. The last time these two teams met the Dodgers took 3 of 4 from the Red Birds. Since then, the Red Birds have gained 6 1/2 games in the NL Central standings and are only 1 game off the pace for the top spot behind the Brewers. Both teams started off slowly but a recent surge by these two have put them back in the heat of their divisional races. These two could very well end up playing each other again come October.
Highlights from the 1st Half…
What highlight’s await us come the 2nd half ? GO DODGERS !!!
Dodgers All-Star Bits
Did you all enjoy last night’s all-star game ? Our boys that represented made quite an impression last night, particularly Kershaw and Greinke, striking out a combined 3 batters on only 21 pitches during their 2 innings.
Dee Gordon also made his presence felt scoring on a 2 out double by Jonathan Lucroy of the Brewers and making a fine defensive play in the 6th inning.
Yasiel Puig was not so fortunate last night, striking out 3 times in his first all-star appearance, tying 11 players for the record for most times to strike out in an all-star game. However, Puig is in some fine company, as Lou Gherig, Mickey Mantle, Willie McCovey, Johnny Bench, Albert Belle and Craig Biggio have also achieved this dubious feat. Hey, even the great one’s have their bad days…
Other All-Star Bits
Congratulations to the Angels Mike Trout on being named the 2014 All-Star MVP . At 22 years of age, Trout is the second youngest player to win all-star game MVP behind Ken Griffey Jr. in 1992.
Tip of the Cap
Thank You Derek Jeter for 19 memorable seasons. Last night marked the final time the Yankee captain would participate in an All-Star game, marking the 13th time he would play in the mid-summer classic.
Last All-Star Thought
The all-star game should not determine home field advantage for the World Series. I have felt that way since the inception of the rule in 2003 regardless of which league comes out the winner…
Looking Back at the 1st Half
The first half of the season, which seems like the longest 1st half in recent memory given the season officially started in Australia on March 22nd, was filled once again with it’s highs and lows, highlighted of course by the no-hitters thrown by Josh Beckett and Clayton Kershaw.
Like last season, the Dodgers did not exactly start the season off fast out of the gate, falling behind as much as 9.5 games in the standings behind the Giants. However, the Dodgers, like last season, have rebounded to finish the 1st half strong and will head into the 2nd half not only in 1st place in the NL West but also with the National League’s best record.
Why Dre is Happy ?
What else can you say about Kershaw and Greinke, perhaps the best 1-2 starting combo in the game right now ?
Dee Gordon has proved to everyone that he is now our everyday starting 2nd baseman. Gordon looks more confident in his play this season with both the bat and glove and it is certainly showing .
A strong finish to the 1st half has our Boys in position to reclaim the NL West.
The back end of our rotation. Dan Haren can be on or off, but his recent lack of velocity could be a factor as to why he has given up 20 home runs. Josh Beckett, at this point a strong candidate for Comeback Player of the Year, has not pitched a full season in 2 seasons and concern over his recent hip condition has raised some other concerns as to how much further into the season he can pitch. Whether he does come back, my concern for Josh is if he can keep up his 1st half performance.
Which Brian Wilson will we see in the 2nd half ? Brian blamed the lack of a prolonged spring training to his early season stint on the DL, but since his return has still struggled to return to his late season form of last season. Can Brandon League continue his resurgence into the 2nd half ? JP Howell has quietly done his part in getting the ball to Jansen, who hasn’t quite been as dominant, but still is one of the league leaders in saves. I look for another strong 2nd half finish from our closer.
Productivity from the offense. The reason the Dodgers are where they are right now ? You know it. Starting pitching. However, even the best starting 5 could use some needed run support. How will the outfield situation pan out ? Will a trade be in store for the Blue ?
This is Still Matt’s Team
Yup. That’s right. I said it. This is still Matt Kemp’s team to lead. That is if he want’s to be that leader. Do I expect a rebirth of the Matt Kemp of 2011 ? No. What I want to see from Matt Kemp, present day, 2014 ? I want to see him take control of the clubhouse and be that vocal leader every team should have. I don’t necessarily mean showing anger when he is in a slump. Puig is still to young and ripe for that role. Kemp, the longest tenured Dodger alongside Andre Ethier, needs to show that this is still his team . As Matt goes, so goes the Blue. Hopefully, into another deep run into October…
Looking Back at My Pre-Season Picks
Overall, my forecast have been on and off . In the AL East, Tampa struggled early but has climbed to within 9.5 games of the lead. A recent run has Detroit standing 6.5 games ahead in the AL Central, the largest lead of any division leader heading into the 2nd half. Wholesale changes could be in order for the Rangers, 21 games under .500 and 21 games out. I stated that 2 managers could be on the hot seat in the AL West, the two being Ron Washington and Mike Scioscia. It’s safe to say that one is off the hot seat. The other ? Do the Rangers reward Washington for the past 5 seasons and honor his contract extension through 2015 ?
So, where do I call an audible ? In the AL East, I’m going to stick with the Rays, even with the fact they sit 9.5 back and have 4 other teams to get past. Should the Rays still be in contention by the end of this month, perhaps all talks of David Price in another uniform will die down.
In the AL Central, I picked Detroit and will stick with that. In the AL West, this is where I call an audible, and a huge audible too. This is where I picked the Rangers to reclaim the AL West. As I said, that’s where I call my audible. The AL West could possible have 3 teams in post-season play. 2 of them could very well be a serious threat into October. My call ? Oakland wins it’s 3rd straight AL West title, with the Angels and Mariners as the wild cards. If Seattle can find some offensive support down the stretch, they may be a serious October contender.
Playoff Picks. Wild Card Angels over the Mariners , ALDS Tigers over the Angels, A’s over Tampa. ALCS Oakland showed they want it now with the acquisition of Samardzija and Hammel. I’m still sticking with my pre-season AL Champ pick. Detroit. Detroit over Oakland, 3 years in a row. This could be a developing rivalry, right Justin Verlander ?
Verlander on A's trade: "They made that trade because of us." Verlander, Tigs have eliminated A's the last two years.
— Freep Tigers (@freeptigers) July 5, 2014
Here is where my accuracy is somewhat on target. In the NL East I said it would be a 2 team race between the Nationals and Braves and as of now both stand tied atop their division . After struggling early in the season, the Cardinals have made up 6.5 games in the standings within the last 2 weeks and sit 1 game behind the Brewers atop the NL Central. 3.5 games separate the Brewers, Cardinals, Reds and Pirates in the NL Central. It is possible 3 teams in this division see post-season play again this season. Who could be the one left out of the dance ?
And finally. The NL West . In spite of the fact the Dodgers were the overwhelming favorites to repeat as NL West Champions, I still felt the division would not be a runaway. The Giants started out hot but have fizzled as of late. The Dodgers, in spite of some offensively challenged numbers, head into the 2nd half with not only the lead atop the NL West but with the National Leagues best record and are still the favorites to come out on top in the NL West. The Giants will continue to challenge The Blue, but lack of a serious offensive threat and depth will derail them in the end.
As for my other pre-season NL picks, Dre call’s no audible here. For the Wild Cards, i’m sticking with the Pirates over the Braves. For the NLDS , the Cardinals over the Nationals, and the Dodgers over the Pirates, setting up a rematch of last year’s NLCS between the Dodgers and Cardinals, in which I have our Boys in Blue coming out on top.
Want more coverage of our Boys in Blue ? Follow theDodgers Low Down for all things Dodger Blue. This should be an exciting 2nd half. GO DODGERS !!!
As if there was any doubt who would be named pitcher off the month for the month of June. Let the numbers, which also include his 15 strikeout no-hit performance against the Rockies, speak for themself. At this moment, Kershaw currently has pitched 36 consecutive scoreless innings. His next start will be Thursday evening art Dodger Stadium against the San Diego Padres.
The Sunday Slide
Pregame bullpen session , KKKKKKKKKKKKKershaw ! On this day, 6/29/2014, Kershaw would accumulate 13 Ks against the Cardinals.
From the stands and fans throughout June…
Celebrating Philippine Heritage Night and a 2nd Stanley Cup for the L.A. Kings !!!
Anze and Mini Puig together on the field after the post-game fireworks, on Philippine Heritage Night. Did I also mention we were celebrating a Stanley Cup for the Kings ?
The Sunday Funnies
Today, Mini Puig and his author, yours truly, pay a visit to some pre- historic friends of ours….
Somewhere in Rancho….
Mini Puig, back where it all started , is having a playful reunion with his buddy, Tremor. From Tremor to Mini Puig… ” I See You ” . Tremor couldn’t help but to pay homage to Mini Puig’s buddy HanRam .
Traveling back in time, somewhere up in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains in the summer of 2006…
Yours truly is having a great time with his Jurassic buddy, Dinger ! Yeah, he may be partial the Rockies, but aside from this weekend, Dinger and Dre, or Double D, we’re actually good buds. If there’s one thing we agree on, it’s our disdain for some Seal up in The Bay. When I took this pic with Dinger on 8/30/2006, a LBSU alum was making his MLB debut for the Rox. Some Dirtbag named Troy Tulowitzky …
Josh Beckett takes the mound today for the Blue Crew as they try to make it 3 of 4 over the Rockies. The Dodgers, 29-18 away from The Ravine, currently holds a 1/2 game less over the San Francisco Giants for the NL West division lead.
Backed by an offensive explosion that included a 6 run 2nd, the Dodgers, coulpled with the Giants loss in extras to the Reds, find themselves only one game back of the Giants. The Dodgers wrap up their 4 game series with the Cardinals this afternoon with Clayton Kershaw on the hill as they try to take 3 of 4 from the Red Birds and perhaps tie the Giants for the NL West lead.
Drei’s Sunday Funnies for 6/29/2014
After a couple of weeks off, its back ! For those who have followed, you may have noticed the feature had been on the Mini Puig. Well, today, we’ve added another Mini Creature to the story. Yup, that creature too is a head bobbler .
Today, we introduce…. The Mini Beard ! Yup, that mini bearded version of Brian Wilson that every Dodger fan got to take home this past Thursday. Here, The Mini Beard found himself a big bro, Marlon, who you’ll see throughout this and future posts.
Can you see the resemblance between the two ?
On the field, the sight of the postgame handshake line has been a familiar and frequent one lately for our Boys In Blue, as they have won 15 of their last 23, going from 9.5 games back of the Giants to only one game in a span of just 22 days. That’s right Dodger fans ! 22 as in Clayton Kershaw ! The pitcher who pitched a no-hitter on the 18th . The pitcher who was named Player of the Week for his accomplishments. Today’s starting pitcher sundry the Cardinals as the Dodgers aren’t to take 3 of 4…. OK, after a hard fought 1-0 victory over the Red Birds, a game which Brian Wilson should get the win in relief on the night his Mini Ego would be taken home by over 48,000 fans, Marlon’s little Mini Bearded one would venture out toward the 626 on, 6/26.
What’s this ? Those wet fries and pastrami look like those from The Hat ! And look who he’s joined the Mini Beard ? Yup, it’s Mini Puig ! Oh, The look on both Mini Puig and Mini Beard’s face with all that food surrounding them…
Hey ! Looks like Marlon, aka Marlz, has worked up quite an appetite for himself. After all, one can only dine on so many Dodger Dogs. The Mini Puig is pleading to Marlz, ” HEY, VIEJO ? WHERE’S MY PASTRAMI ? “
Looks like Mini Puig has decided to get his own pastrami. As for Marlz, he continues to chow down. Mini Beard doesn’t look to thrilled. ” Hey Marlz ! HOW ‘ BOUT A LITTLE CHIN MUSIC WITH YOUR DIP ? “
After being threatened by his lil’ bro’, the Mini Beard, Marlz had decided to share some of his pastrami dip. I guess you could say that Marlz did…. FEAR THE BEARD !!!
A huge thanks to my buddy Marlon for taking part in this. You can find on Instagram @mdario83 . Tell him @good_drei sent you. As I’ve said kid, Never A Dull Moment At The Ballpark.
GO DODGERS !!!
That’s exactly what A.J. Ellis did with his bases loaded RBI as he was hit by a pitch to force in the game winning run. Brian Wilson, with some great defensive help from Scott Van Slyke, would save the game for The Blue as the Dodgers complete a 4-2 road trip defeating the Royals . The Doors now return home for 4 in a rematch of last year’s NLCS, with a pitcher’s duel skated to start this 4 game series, as Josh Beckett b takes to the mound against Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright.
Summer Treats at the Old Ballgame ….
Ah yeah. Summer time at the ballpark. It’s that time of year that brings out the kid in all of us. Summer time at the ballpark. One of the many treats the ballpark brings us, be it the ever so timeless classic Cracker Jacks, the ice cream in a helmet for those hot summer afternoons, or the simple joy off cotton candy. It’s one of the many treats we all look forward to on our way to the Old Ballgame.
Cotton candy ! Red vines ! Oh what joy this man will be putting on some kids face….
As said, the joy on this kids face as he looks forward to that sweet taste of cotton candy on this summer evening at The Old Ballgame. Oh the sights and sounds at The Old Ballgame that bring out the kid in all of us. Even this kid ! Even if this kid is closer to being a ” Viejo” than he is a kid. Yup, that’s what summer nights at The Old Ballgame does to us. It brings out the kid in all of us .
After being behind by as much as 9.5 games 2 weeks ago with Mattingly calling out the team for their play, The Dodgers have won 9 of 13. It was also two weeks ago today that someone here had something to say about team chemistry issues , for what it’s really worth. In this time the Dodgers have managed to shave 5.5 games off their NL West deficit and as of now currently stand only 4 games behind the Giants, a fact that is certainly not lost among the folks who follow those in halloween colors .
The timing couldn’t have come at a better time for the Dodgers,as the Giants have gone 1-8 during their first slump of the season, while the Dodgers are coming off a 5-1 homestand at The Ravine, where they have struggled this season. The highlight of the 5-1 homestand, which included a 3 game sweep of the Colorado Rockies, who had previously swept 3 from the Giants in San Francisco, undoubtedly was Clayton Kershaw’s no-hitter, or should we say, Kerfection .
This the 7th Dodgers no-hitter in my lifetime, and without a doubt, this one has to be the most memorable. I have a feeling there will be another one, or two in the future of Sir Clayton Kershaw.
Tribute to Mr. Padre
By now you all know this past week the baseball world suffered a major loss with the sudden death of former Padre great Tony Gwynn .
Speaking of the Dodgers and Padres doing battle this weekend in PETCO Park, for those of you heading south for the series wanting to pay tribute to Mr. Padre…
The Tony Gwynn Statue , where fans have been paying their respects this past week, is located behind the Park at the Park, the grass hill behind the outfield stands . If you get a chance, I highly recommend you pay Mr. Padre a visit .
Only 4 games back. Plenty of baseball left folks. GO DODGERS !!!