BOOM BOOM (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
While the team only went 4 - 3 for the week, to this observer, it might have been the greatest week of the season.
The week started fast, slogged in the middle, but what a kick at the finish:
Chad Billingsly returns from DL and shuts down powerful Cardinal lineup
Clayton Kershaw shuts out the powerful Cardinal lineup for four innings
Hanley Ramirez becomes a Dodger and triples with his first swing thus punctuating two things. First off the Dodgers can indeed have nice things once again, and secondly, the Dodgers can indeed have nice things once again.
Aaron Harang holds the powerful Cardinal lineup to two hits
Dodgers lose three games in a row to the Cardinals simply so they could set up an incredible weekend. Talk about knowing how to milk the drama of a 162 game season. Ned and Donny are geniuses.
Stephen Fife makes his second major league start with the Dodgers three games back in the standing, in SF, facing one of the best right handed pitchers in baseball, with an exhausted bullpen behind him. The odds were so far stacked against the middling Fife that when Xiefrank ran his simulation the program didn't even bother to spit back the results, simply typed "are you kidding me, don't waste my time". With all of that staring Fife in the face he proceeded to out pitch Matt Cain, giving up only one run in six innings. His stunning start was desecrated by Bellisario but Hanley Ramirez blasted a two run bomb to in the 10th, thus allowing Shawn Tolleson to net his first major league win. Lost in all the hoopla was the fact Dodger first baseman combined for four hits. It only got better from this point.
Chad Billingsley making his second start of the week shut out the Giants for nearly eight innings. Not a misprint, I did not type four or five or six innings. We have all seen Chad do that. This was eight innings. The Dodger offense was so inspired by Chad they put up a 10 spot. Again, not a misprint. The Dodgers did indeed score 10 runs, led by the new deadly duo of Matt Kemp / Hanley Ramirez, the duo combined for six hits, and seven runs batted in. It still gets better.
Clayton Kershaw fresh off of shatting the bed in Saint Louis, hurled a complete game shutout giving him 13 shut out innings of the 15 he pitched for the week. This of course was to be expected. As Eric Stephen noted last night Clayton threw a shutout in SF and was barely able to lower his ERA.
In his career at AT&T Park, Kershaw's ERA is now 0.66 with 53 strikeouts and 12 walks in 54 2/3 innings.
Thus for the first time in Los Angeles Dodger history they whitewashed the Giants in SF on to back to back games.
By the end of the last game of the week the Dodgers had swept the Giants, climbed from three games back in the standing to virtually dead even, and did it with a deadly combination of dominating pitching, and boom boom bats. The starters gave up one earned run during this key weekend series. But it gets better
Rubby De La Rosa and Ted Lilly both pitched in re-hab games last night. Rubby didn't just pitch in a rehab game he threw three innings. That does not sound like someone who is going to be a Sept callup, that sounds like someone who will give this pitching staff a huge shot in the arm. Ted Lilly is even more important.
Oh, and to cap it all off, Jerry Sands put out a note to not forget about me, driving in 10 runs on the day with TWO GRAND SLAMS in the same game. Tony Cloniger did a fist bump from North Carolina to his state mate.
This is why you do NOT blow up baseball teams. This is why you play the games. This is why we love baseball. From the pits of Thursday night to the ecstasy of Sunday Night.
This is Los Angeles Dodger Baseball