All I ever wanted
Had to get away
Meant to be spent alone”

~The Go-Go’s

Andrew Toles holds up at third during game against the Chicago Cubs Sunday, August 28, 2016 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles,California. Photo by Jon SooHoo/©Los Angeles Dodgers,LLC 2016

This past week, you may have noticed my usual Monday post was covered by Dennis. He was kind enough to cover for me as I was off galavanting in the Rocky Mountains. I had a big birthday this year, and I specifically planned this trip around being able to see the Dodgers on my birthday.

Mother Nature, of course, had other plans. I did get to see the Dodgers play the Rockies on Monday, but that was a totally underwhelming game. The next day, my birthday, the forecast called for a passing shower, but no big deal. Until the shower parked itself right over the stadium and refused to move. Three hours after arriving at the park, we had to go back to the hotel because the game had been rained out. Happy birthday to me!

Coors Field is a pretty nice stadium, for all the crazy things that go on there. Dodger fans are well represented. I even met a guy that I follow on Twitter, who also happened to be in town. His name is Jeremy Dorn, and he’s a writer for Today’s Knuckleball as well as other places. Give him a follow if you don’t already.

That rainout set up a doubleheader on Wednesday — the day we flew out. The way this season is going, I should have known. Wednesday’s first game went about as well as Monday’s game, except that this time, the Dodgers couldn’t muster any runs at all. Ross Stripling took the loss. The second game seemed to be off to a better start. Chase Utley homered in his first at bat. Rich Hill, who had been scheduled to start the game on Tuesday, was scratched due to concern about his blister. Bud Norris was called on to fill in, and promptly gave up five runs in the first inning, including three walks and a grand slam. Both Josh Reddick and Corey Seager had errors. The score got to 8-2 Rockies, and it looked like a sweep was imminent.

And yet, it wasn’t over. Just as I landed in Pennsylvania, the Dodgers started plugging away, scoring three runs in the eighth. Then in the ninth, Reddick finally collected his first RBI with the Dodgers bringing the score to 8-6. The bases were loaded with two outs for Andrew Toles — and he delivered. A grand slam over the left field wall for a 10-8 lead. Kenley Jansen came in to close out the game. As this was a make up from my birthday, it still counts as a birthday win!

Toles, who is the best story on the team this season, is my new favorite player. He was not even playing baseball a year ago, and started this year in Single-A, quickly climbing through the ranks. In his 25 games with the Dodgers, he’s batting .397, with an incredible 1.152 OPS. He is quiet and reserved, playing all three outfield positions.

“Andrew is a beautiful human,” said manager Dave Roberts. “The guys have really taken to him. He’s a heck of a ballplayer. His story and trek to the big leagues is amazing. Just as a baseball player, he’s so calm and cool. A little bit of the naivete and not knowing how good the ballplayers are and the ballparks are and just going out there and playing like it’s his backyard.”

You cannot help but like this guy. I enjoyed this piece by Andy McCullough, about his family and his life before this season:

In other news, guess who’s back? Yasiel Puig will reportedly be back with the club as early as Friday. Puig has been tearing it up since his demotion to Triple-A. As I have stated before, I have always been a big fan of Puig’s, and I hope that he continues to tear it up in the big leagues, and can keep his act together for the remaining two months of the season. It very well may be his last stretch of playing time with the Dodgers, and his play will dictate what other teams may want to trade for him. I will enjoy watching him for as long as we have him.

KTLA announced that it will simulcast six of the final nine Dodgers games, so that everyone will be able to hear Vin Scully call his final regular season games at Dodger Stadium. It seems odd that I, 3,000 miles away from Dodger Stadium can tune into any Dodgers home game and hear Vin, and those closest cannot do the same thing. I’m happy for those who will finally be able to have Vin on their TV’s those last few times.

And in the best news of all, Clayton Kershaw is maybe one rehab start away from rejoining the club. Clayton is scheduled to pitch with Rancho Cucamonga this weekend, and hopefully that will lead to him being back in the rotation. It’s been a very long time without him in the rotation, and I (and all of Dodgers Nation) are very ready for him to be back leading the team to the playoffs.

The Dodgers have a good chance to make up for ground on the Giants this weekend. The Giants have a four game set with Chicago. Currently LA has a two game lead, thanks to a Giants loss last night to the Cubs. The Dodgers will be home against the San Diego Padres. Julio Urias is set start for the Dodgers Friday night. Since I will not be there to see the game, expect them to do well.

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