Today’s afternoon matinee could not have gone much better for the Dodgers. It featured the boys in blue scoring double-digit runs for the second time in one series, excellent pitching, great fielding, and the crowning jewel(s), two massive bombs sent out of the stadium by Yasiel Puig.
Yours truly was lucky enough to be able to attend. That meant I was able to have a great view of Yasiel at bat, and to be involved in the Puig-lovefest that swept through Chavez Ravine as the Dodgers took their third win from the four game series against the Padres.
Brandon McCarthy went to the mound for the boys, and as I indicated above, he was better than many expected in his 2017 debut. He went six innings and only gave up four hits. Unfortunately for his ERA one of those hits was a home run, but his defense was steady behind him, and his offense was also steady in the way it just kept putting runs upon the board. There really wasn’t a time we in the stadium felt McCarthy was losing control of the game, and he was still throwing 94 mph heaters in the sixth.
As far as the rest of the pitching went, Luis Avilan and Chris Hatcher combined for three scoreless innings to hold the Padres down while the offense just kept piling up the runs against the seemingly helpless Padres.
The Dodgers’ offense was not flawless however, as Andrew Toles seems to be in danger of falling victim to Juan Pierre syndrome. That’s the affliction where a team’s lead off batter keeps on hitting fly balls into the outfield as though he’s a power-hitter, but he’s really not, so they just become harmless outs. This puts every inning he leads off in danger of beginning with an automatic out. Someone might have finally intervened and informed Toles the advice to hit balls into the air was meant for Puig and not him, because he eventually grounded out before finally walking with the bases loaded in his last at bat to bring in Yasiel Puig.
Did I mention Yasiel? He was on fire today, slamming two-run home runs out of the park in his first two at bats. He hit one in the second to drive in Chase Utley (who started at second base) and in the fourth, bringing in Joc Pederson.
The biggest offensive inning for the Dodgers came in the 7th – that had a lot to do with lousy Padre pitching. The Padres walked the bases loaded and then walked Toles, bringing in a run. With the bases still loaded (and a new Padre pitcher) Corey Seager blasted a ground rule double deep into the left field corner.
That scored two more runs and advanced Toles to third. Padres catcher Luis Torrens let a pitch glance off his glove for a passed ball and Toles trotted home with the fourth run of the inning.
For the Kike Marching and Chowder Society: Enrique Hernandez pinch hit for Hatcher in the sixth and hit a beautiful double to drive in today’s catcher, Austin Barnes. Kike later scored from third on a brilliant double-steal that caught the Padres napping.
It was a fun game and a wonderful afternoon of baseball in the Ravine before the boys leave town and head for Colorado. They’ll play another afternoon game tomorrow, and I sure wish I could be there.
Brandon McCarthy went 6 innings with 4 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 4 Ks and 1 HR ERA 3.00
Home runs: Yasiel Puig with TWO!