March 9, 2016 by Shannon Michael Smith
Tempe, AZ. Why the Merlin pic? Jon Gordon, motivational speaker, crashed the Dodger clubhouse today. We here at rascalsoftheravine were hoping the Dodgers dumped this type of eye rolling 19th century mumbo-jumbo with Frank McCourt (and his freaking six-figure psychic). A motivational speaker? C’mon. Were “Up With People” not available? I know Mr. T’s busy at Nancy Reagan’s funeral but they could have at least rounded up David Toma. Here’s a quote from Gordon’s wormy website (The Jon Gordon Companies—eeesh) “We are passionate about inspiring people and organizations to work with more vision, passion, positivity, and purpose.” Have you lost your lunch yet? Who believes in this palaver? Certainly not the players, although they’ll have the right answers afterward for the cameras to make their coaches and agents happy, but we all know they think it’s a load of giraffe dung.
This spring slugfest (26 runs on 36 hits total) ran four hours…Urias’ anticipated debut is Friday…no return date set yet for Kendrick or Turner.
How’d They Hit?
Nicely-nicely, thank you. Leadoff man Joc Pederson pulverized a fast ball over the right field wall for a first inning HR, all in all he went 2-4 . Barnes ripped a solo smoker in the second to bring the Dodgers within a run of the haloes. Gonzalez hammered a RBI single in the third right before Van Smash tied up the game (how ‘bout his sizzlin’ spring?) with a 2-run shot that nearly landed in the parking lot beyond the left field lawn. Van Slick went 2-4 with two RBIs for the day. Ethier knocked in a run in the sixth before Jack Murphy tied up the game 8-8 with a two run double. Murphy’s face furniture is vintage Dennis Eck! The dogs had a stellar seventh, Bellinger (3-3 on the day) singled and scored on a Barnes RBI single to give the Dodgers the lead 9-8. Thompson singled before Micah Johnson drove in two more on a single that was booted by the Angels. Chargin’ Charlie Culberson knocked in another to bring the melee to 12-8. Corey Brown rocketed a RBI double in the eighth to make it 13-10.
How’d They Pitch?
Ugly. With Anderson out for at least five months, it’s important for the rest of the Dodger rotation to step up. Kazmir’s second shaky start isn’t soothing any frayed nerves. In the first inning, after walking two batters, Kazmir coughed up a RBI base hit. This was followed by by a Pederson trapped ball in center field (he tried to sell the catch like a modern Harold Hill, ump said no dice). Kazmir immediately gave up another RBI single, 3-1 Angels. All in all, Kaz needed 36 pitches to get out of the first inning. He never made it out of the second. He quickly retired the first two batters, but then surrendered a single and a RBI triple to Trout. Pujols added to the agony with a RBI bloop before Dave Roberts yanked Kaz at the 56 pitch count.
Concerns about the #2 spot in the rotation loom large for the Dogs. Wright surrendered back-to-back singles in the third before striking out Soto. A RBI groundout followed by a wild pitch put the Angels up 7-5. Hatcher entered in the fourth inning and surrendered a RBI double to Cron. Bolsinger looked alright for his first two innings, he pitched a skippy 1-2-3 fifth, then ended up surrendering two runs on two hits in the sixth and seventh. With a three-run lead in the ninth, Jharel Cotton gave up back-to-back singles before beaning Bandy and loading the bases with no outs. The next batter (Baldoquin) drove in all three base runners with a double (he was tagged out trying to stretch it to a triple) before Cotton settled down and got the final two outs to seal the tie, 13-13. How ’bout them ties?