Hi all. Here’s how I see baseball on this Thursday, July 27.
Yet again the Dodgers won last night raising their record to 71-31. No team has been this hot for this long since the 1944 St. Louis Cardinals, and that was when most of the competition was facing curve balls thrown by the Germans and the Japanese. This latest Dodgers walk-off win, their 8th of the year was all the more surprising because they got down 5-0 to the visiting Twins. The win is their fifth in a row starting before Kershaw was hurt and carrying on, at least for now in support of their fallen teammate. Chase Utley doubled home a pair in the 7th, Logan Forsythe tied it an inning later and the rookie phenom Justin Turner brought home the winner in the 9th. Incredibly, the Dodgers have won the last 48 games in which they have had a lead at any time.
By one of those coincidences Hollywood writers wouldn’t dare use, Wednesday was Clayton Kershaw bobblehead night. Injured though he is he was able to lead his daughter Cali Ann, age 2 to the mound so she could throw out the first pitch. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
With Kershaw on the shelf for the foreseeable future Brock Stewart turned out not to be the answer. He didn’t finish the 4th inning and gave up all 5 runs. While none of them were earned they all counted on the scoreboard and they made it clear the Dodgers need help. Opposing general managers with pitchers to unload saw Stewart’s brutal outing and allowed unbridled avarice to run wild. With the Twins ahead 5-0 their starter Ervin Santana was doing well until the 7th. Before then he had given up home runs to Joc Peterson and Yasiel Puig. In the 7th however, he gave up Utley’s 2-run double to make it 5-4 and that finished him for the night. Kenley Jansen got the win by keeping the Twins quiet in the 9th, a job all the other Dodgers’ relievers did after Stewart left.
While the major league Toronto Blue Jays scored a rare win their Florida State League team, the Dunedin Blue Jays lost an amazing 13-12 final in 10 innings to the Charlotte Stone Crabs (Rays.) Both games ended in walkoff fashion. At the top level, Toronto was down 2-0 to Oakland in the last of the 9th when Justin Smoak tied the game with a two-run home run. On the next pitch Kendrys Morales took one out of the park to end things. Oakland lost a game in walk-off fashion against the Mets in their last series before heading to Canada. Oakland’s only offense was a 2-run home run by Marcus Semien.
There was no shortage of offense in the A-ball contest in Port Charlotte where the Stone Crabs hosted the Dunedin Blue Jays. The Florida State League is normally top-heavy with young pitchers but neither starter in this game did anything to write home about. The visitors put up 4 each in the 2nd and the 4th but a 5-run 5th by the Crabs tied the game at 8. Dunedin put up one run in the 6th but Charlotte countered with 3 in their half to make it 11-9. The Jays then scored once in the 7th and 8th leaving the score at 11-11 and forcing extra innings. Dunedin then broke the tie in the top of the 10th only to have the Stone Crabs score two in their half for the 13-12 win, an unheard-of score in the Florida State League and particularly in high summer when there’s no wind. In testimony to the dead air only two home runs were hit all night, one by each team. The Blue Jays’ home run was hit by Cavan Biggio, son of Hall of Famer Craig Biggio and was the youth’s 8th home run of the year. It was a 3-run blast in the second inning that gave his side an early 4-0 advantage.
As this year began the record for runs scored in a Charlotte game went back to 2011 when the Fort Myers Miracle beat Charlotte 12-10. This year the record has been bested twice. The Crabs beat the St. Lucie Mets 13-10 in late June but last night’s total of 25 runs beat the total from June.
Again today we have our share of daylight baseball in the majors. The Brewers face the Nationals in the day’s earliest start at 12:05. With Matt Garza on the DL the Brewers turn to Michael Blazek who has made 108 MLB relief appearances but never started. The Brewers are going all in by pitting their untried starter against Max Scherzer. The Angels face the Indians in Cleveland at 12:10. At 12:35 Oakland faces the Blue Jays in Toronto. From there on the action takes place at night. The Rays head to the Bronx to face the Yankees. After losing 2 in a row in the Bronx the Reds face the Marlins in Miami. The Mets turn to Chris Flexen, up from AA Binghamton as they face the Padres tonight at 9:10 PM. Between there and St. Lucie Flexen put up a 6-1 mark and a 1.76 ERA in limited action following knee surgery in spring training. Flexen faces the Padres’ Luis Perdomo.0