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After sending three players to St. Louis for the All-Star game, the Dodgers began their second half with a four-game home series with the Astros, and fought their way to a split.
Sometimes perspective makes you look at things a little differently. If the Dodgers had split their series with the Astros by winning the first two games, then dropping the final two, I wouldn't feel as good about the series than I do today. The Dodgers dropped the first two games to the Astros, and quite frankly it looked as if the All-Star break lasted a few days longer than originally planned.
Then, Clayton Kershaw and Matt Kemp came along to heal all the club's wounds. Kershaw continued his amazing run by throwing seven shutout innings Saturday, and Kemp dazzled the crowd with a spectacular game on a sweltering Sunday afternoon at Dodger Stadium.
Overall, the offense didn't play well during the series, and the starting pitching outside of Kershaw left a bit to be desired (10.66 ERA, although most of that was Chad Billingsley), but the Dodgers, as they have done all season long, found a way to salvage a series. The club still has not lost three games in a row all year.
Dodger Batter of the Week: Matt Kemp made a strong effort to claim this title for the second straight week, especially with his amazing performance Sunday, but the batting hero of the week was Orlando Hudson. The O-Dog had seven hits in 13 at-bats, hitting a whopping .538/.538/.923 for this shortened week.
Dodger Pitcher of the Week: We might have to rename this the Clayton Kershaw Award. Kershaw continued his excellent pitching, throwing seven scoreless innings Saturday against the Astros. The way he is pitching right now, its not unreasonable to call Kershaw the best pitcher on the staff.
Week 15 Record: 2-2
10 runs scored (2.50 per game)
16 runs allowed (4.00 per game)
.281 pythagorean winning percentage
Overall Seasonal Record: 58-34 (.630)
453 runs scored (4.92 per game)
354 runs allowed (3.85 per game)
.621 pythagorean winning percentage
If You're Scoring At Home: Thanks to Bob Timmermann, baseball historian and erstwhile author of The Griddle, we found out that Matt Kemp was the first major leaguer in
over 40 nearly 20 years to score at least four runs and score all of his team's runs that game. The last player to do so was Dick McAuliffe for the Tigers in 1968. Turns out, Eric Davis accomplished the feat in 1990 (hat tip to Jon Weisman, Josh Rawitch, and Elias)
All-Stars Among Us: As Jonathan Broxton looked on nursing a sore toe, both Orlando Hudson and Chad Billingsley appeared for the National League Tuesday night in the All-Star game in St. Louis. Billingsley pitched the fifth inning, giving up a run on two hits, while Hudson got a base hit and became the fourth Dodger in history to steal a base in the midsummer classic.
Triple Double: Orlando Hudson hit two triples for the week, doubling his total on the year. However, they were a pair of gifts from the Astros' outfielders. On Friday night, Hudson lofted an easy fly ball to the warning track in right field, and Hunter Pence lost it in the lights, allowing the ball to bounce a few feet away from him as Hudson motored to third base. One night later, Hudson lofted a single to left that was misplayed by a diving Carlos Lee, allowing the ball to bounce past him for yet another triple for the O-Dog. Even if we count the two triples as a single and an out, Hudson still would have hit .462/.462/.538 on the week. Besides, these things tend to even out over the long season, and as they say, they were line drives in the box score.
Power & Speed: Matt Kemp on Sunday had a home run and a stolen base in the same game for the second time this season and the fifth time in his career. The all-time Los Angeles Dodger leaders in homer/steal games are Davey Lopes and Willie Davis, each with 21 such games.
Reserving Judgment: Backup catcher Brad Ausmus had a great day Sunday, with two key RBI doubles, and that saved an otherwise dreary week for the reserves. Ausmus, Mark Loretta, Juan Pierre, Blake DeWitt, and Juan Castro combined for three hits in 23 at-bats, hitting just .130/.130/.217.
Transactions: More action will come this week with the pending arrival of Jason Schmidt and perhaps Hong-Chih Kuo, but here is a look back at a short week:
- Thursday: Cory Wade was placed on the disabled list with a right shoulder strain, retroactive to July 11
- Thursday: Blake DeWitt was recalled from Albuquerque, beginning his fifth stint with the Dodgers this season
Upcoming Week: The Dodgers continue their homestand against the Reds and Marlins, with an off day in between, on Thursday. The big story of the upcoming week is Monday's return of Jason Schmidt, who will make his first start in over two years, against the Reds.
Week 15 Stats