Let’s go crazy
Let’s get nuts
Let’s look for the purple banana
‘Til they put us in the truck, let’s go!
(Be honest, you didn’t know those were the words either)
Of course in our musical tag line we had to use a Prince song. The way this road trip ended, the logical choice was Let’s Go Crazy. (I’m really happy I didn’t have to use I Hate U). Quite a few crazy things happened on this road trip, from the horrid conditions of Turner Field, to comebacks, to an eephus pitch, to insane flips and catches and throws.
Good riddance, Turner Field – The Dodgers will be happy to never return to Turner Field in Atlanta. Los Angeles and Atlanta combined to make 10 errors in the three-game series. Justin Turner made two uncharacteristic errors in one game, the first time as a third baseman for the Dodgers. An error by Corey Seager helped the Braves pile on even more runs. The Dodgers presumably left their offense back at the hotel and were unable to muster more than a single run.
Kershaw has a horrible game – Now of course he didn’t really have a horrible game, but we are all so accustomed to his pitching mastery, the flood of hits he surrendered came as a surprise. He allowed back to back doubles to Erick Aybar and Daniel Castro to start the contest, which led to Atlanta’s only run.
Clayton allowed five hits in his first 1-1/3 innings. While the second inning found the Braves with bases loaded and 1 out, Kershaw got the double play to end the threat. Clayton was helped out by some great defense and timing of outs, and even threw an eephus pitch.
It was only the fourth time in 246 career starts that Kershaw has allowed double digit hits. Think about that for a minute.
The best offense is a good defense – The Dodgers’ defensive skills have been on full display this past week (aside from those stupid errors on a crappy field). Chase Utley has been playing a stellar second base, providing at least two web gems, flipping the ball to Corey Seager from both his knees with his back turned, and shoveled the ball straight from his glove to Gonzalez to make an out.
Enrique Hernandez made an over the shoulder diving catch to save what was at that time a perfect game by Kenta Maeda. And last but not least, Yasiel Puig had two — Sunday, he made a catch while crashing into the outfield wall (the wall survived), and on Friday night, after misplaying the ball, Puig picked it up, threw it 310′ to Justin Turner to throw out Trevor Story going for a triple.
Kenta Maeda is still as advertised – He took a perfect game into the 6th inning at Coors Field on Saturday night. He has allowed one earned run in 4 starts.
Baby comeback – I think the thing that impressed me most this week, though, is the comebacks. The Dodgers came from behind to win on Wednesday, Thursday, and then in the wild game Sunday, after the bullpen blew the lead, scored five runs in the top of the ninth to win.
The offense hadn’t scored or had much spark at all after the third inning, perhaps being complacent with their seven runs. They answered after their own bullpen had allowed the Rockies to take the lead with a five-run bottom of the eighth. Trayce Thompson scored on a wild pitch and Chase Utley put them ahead with a double. The Dodgers batted around and the whole bench was into it and energized. Looking forward to more of that.
About that bullpen… The pendulum seems to be swinging back in the other direction. After being downright stellar, they were back to giving us bitter beer face. I suspect this will be the norm, not maintaining the perfection they had there for awhile. Work still needs to be done.
Play of the week – quite a few contenders this week, but it has to be Puig throwing out Story at 3rd. Watching Puig’s arm in action will always be a thing of beauty.
All in all, it still was a good week. I’ll take taking two of three in every series for the rest of the season. Utley, Puig and Maeda continue to impress. I really like the feel of this team, and once the pitching gets sorted out they will be true contenders. And they are in first place, which really is all that matters.