“What I’ve got you’ve got to give it to your mama
What I’ve got you’ve got to give it to your pappa
What I’ve got you’ve got to give it to your daughter
You do a little dance and then you drink a little water”
~Red Hot Chili Peppers
(This week’s title is NOT about giving the division away, lest anyone think that. We are doing our first official fan giveaway! But more about that later. Also, I started writing this before the Ellis trade when all was sunshine and rainbows. Funny how the title might be fitting in both ways.)
I’ll admit its getting kind of hard not to get excited. In June, I would not have thought that being two games up on the Giants was something that was really attainable this season, what with the way San Francisco was blowing away their competition, and the only thing the Dodgers were able to lead is the majors in injuries. But baseball is a funny game — the Dodgers are still leading the majors in injuries, tying a record, and they are also leading the division. Say what you want, that the Giants have been abysmal lately, whatever, but the Dodgers are plugging away and have the NL West lead to show for it.
Rich Hill finally made his debut for Los Angeles, and is seems as though he was worth the wait. Hill threw six shutout innings, without issuing a walk. I very much enjoy his little hop off the mound after he throws. This game needed a dominate pitching outing from a Dodgers starter, as well as the bullpen. LA was facing the ace of the Giants and Cy Young candidate Johnny Cueto, who came into the game 14-3. Cueto has probably been better than perennial ace Madison Bumgarner this season. The red hot Dodgers offense was only able to muster one run off of Cueto, a home run off the bat of Justin Turner. If the Dodgers’ pitching staff came into this game and pitched poorly, then the lead in the division is down to one, and easily back to being tied by the end of the series. After the game, the lead for the Dodgers is three games, with the Giants on their heels going into a seemingly must win game.
And then Thursday happened. The shocking news came down that the front office had traded beloved catcher A.J. Ellis. While A.J.’s production at the plate has greatly decreased this season, by all accounts he was an integral part of the pitching staff, even when he wasn’t behind the plate. And maybe most importantly, he was Clayton Kershaw‘s best friend on the team. The Dodgers then responded by getting no-hit by Matt Moore of the Giants — until Corey Seager, with two outs in the ninth, on his bobblehead night, finally got a bloop single and denied Moore of that honor. This team has enough veteran presence to overcome losing one of their friends in the middle of a tough pennant race, but it feels like a big kick in the gut when things were going so well.
Perhaps the toughest series of the season is coming up this weekend, as the Dodgers welcome the Chicago Cubs to Dodger Stadium. Bud Norris starts on Friday, with the next two days’ starters currently to be determined. After the near no-hitter, and the loss of Ellis, this series will surely test the mettle of this team.
All of us here at Think Blue Planning Committee are constantly reminded that this blog would have fallen flat on its face months ago if it wasn’t for the continuous support of our readers. As a small token of our appreciation, we’ve decided to give away a Majestic Corey Seager replica jersey to one lucky reader. The jersey is a brand new, never been worn home jersey, size 44.
All you have to do to enter is retweet this article, and follow both @thinkbluepc and @DodgerGirlinPA on twitter OR like our page on facebook, and like this article. That’s it! Winner for the jersey will be chosen at random after Sunday’s game with the Cubs.
Good luck and Go Blue!