“I never meant to be so bad to you
One thing I said that I would never do
One look from you and I would fall from grace
And that would wipe this smile right from my face”
I suppose it wouldn’t be a weekend in Dodgerland without some sort of excitement, controversy, discussions, and aren’t we lucky, this weekend we got them all! Kershaw’s return, Hill flirt with perfection, and rookies in cheerleading outfits, oh my!
Clayton Kershaw made his return to the mound on Friday in Miami. He worked three innings, throwing 66 pitches, striking out five, and walking none. In doing so, he became the first pitcher in the history to reach 150 strikeouts and have less than 10 walks.
Kershaw was able to play catch the next day, a good sign in his moving forward from this injury. He’s next scheduled to pitch Wednesday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.
Rich Hill had the best outing of his career, throwing seven innings of perfection against the Miami Marlins. And then manager Dave Roberts had to make the call to take him out of the game. Hill was only at 89 pitches, and could have continued on to history. In the dugout, Hill had his finger examined and it was deemed to have been developing ‘heat’, a precursor to the blister starting again. Hill would deny this after the game, obviously very disappointed.
Roberts was visibly upset after the game. After the heat of the moment died down, I agree with Roberts’ decision to take Hill out of the game. It definitely sucked. It would suck a hell of a lot more if Hill was lost for the postseason.
The Dodgers came back on Sunday, and were kept off the bases themselves until the fifth inning, when Joc Pederson singled up the middle. The Dodgers couldn’t muster much more and lost 3-0. After the game, on the trip up to New York, the rookies had dress up day. This year’s theme was Dodgers cheerleaders, and outfits were complete with Pom-pons. Yasiel Puig even joined in the fun, referring to himself as a “September call-up.” Although men dressing up as women will always draw ire from people, the players gave themselves up for the part. Kenta Maeda‘s interpreter also got in on the action. I call that being a really good sport.
Unfortunately, even though the Dodgers won four of six, they still lost two games in the standings to the Giants, with the lead for the division now standing at three. The magic number for the division win is 18, with 20 games left to play. Selfishly, I think all Dodgers fans would like the division to be clinched at home during Vin Scully’s last home stand. That would take quite a bit of luck and more slumping by the Giants, who seem to be turning things around for themselves. Of course this thing will go down to the wire, and I can’t say clinching the division in San Francisco wouldn’t be anything but sweet.
The next series won’t be easy. The New York Yankees dumped a lot of their older players at the deadline, brought up their future, and have won seven of their last 10 as they are trying to make a run at both the wild card and the division. They are currently two games out of the wild card, and four games out of the divisions lead. One player to watch is catcher Gary Sanchez, who is batting .341 with 13 home runs since his call up. The Dodgers will counter with their own future, running out Jose De Leon, Julio Urias, and then Kershaw. The Giants start a series at home against the Padres. Theoretically the Dodgers just need to hold even with the Giants. But the way this season is going, I’m willing to bet clinching the division will be anything but easy.