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Dodgers Put on a Happy Face Against the San Diego Padres
From the drama in bankruptcy court to the weather to the game itself, the doom and gloom of Friday the 13th threatened the Dodgers. But in the end, the Dodgers said, "Bye Bye Birdie," en route to their 9-8 walk-off win against the San Diego Padres.
Gray skies are gonna clear up. Put on a happy face.
With the torrential rainfall that soaked Los Angeles throughout the day, it seemed like the Dodgers would suffer their first rainout since April 17, 2000, 972 games ago. But even with the Voice of the Heavens absent for the fourth consecutive game, the sun did peek onto the field prior to first pitch. No rain, no delay, everything was set to go.
It was a perfect setting for the Dodgers to pick up some hardware: Matt Kemp with the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger, Clayton Kershaw and Andre Ethier also with Gold Gloves. Kemp additionally received the Mel Ott Award for slugging the most homers in the National League in 2011 and along with Kershaw received the Players' Choice Awards for Most Outstanding National League Player and Pitcher.
Brush off the clouds and cheer up. Put on a happy face.
The Dodger sale was approved by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross today despite a bit of drama. Major League Baseball put in an objection to the sale thanks mostly to the parking lot deal with Frank McCourt. But McCourt got his way, and the $2.15 billion sale to the Guggenheim Group will likely close by the end of the month.
Take off that gloomy mask of tragedy. It's not your style. You'll look so good that you'll be glad you decided to smile.
Aaron Harang was probably the unlikeliest candidate of breaking a Dodgers' franchise record. But after Cameron Maybin led off the game with a single Harang ran off nine consecutive strikeouts, surpassing Johnny Podres' eight consecutive strikeouts set in 1962.
Harang came close to tying New York Mets Tom Seaver's Major League record 10 strikeouts set on April 22, 1970 which also happened to be set against the Padres.
"It's definitely an honor, knowing the history of the organization and all the great pitchers they've had, to be able to accomplish the feat is cool," Harang said.
It seemed unlikely after Harang's first outing in San Diego where he couldn't get out of the fifth inning, but he made some adjustments.
"My front side was flying open and pull me off of the direction to the plate," Harang explained. "I was really focused on making sure my direction to the plate was good."
It seems Harang is well suited for Friday the 13th having struck out 13 batters.
Pick out a pleasant outlook. Stick out that noble chin.
Padres' starter Clayton Richard looked to continue his domination of the Dodgers from Sunday afternoon. But then the third inning happened where his control and Padres' defense failed him. After walking Justin Sellers on eight pitches to lead off the inning, shortstop Jason Bartlett bobbled a hard hit grounder by A.J. Ellis.
Both Sellers and A.J. Ellis scored on Mark Ellis' two-out single, and after walks to Matt Kemp and Juan Rivera, Andre Ethier hit a two-run single to give the Dodgers a four-spot.
And if you're feeling cross and bickerish, don't sit and whine.
Harang's record setting streak came to an abrupt end in the fourth inning giving up a solo homer to Will Venable. The Padres managed to score two more runs in the inning making things a bit tighter.
"With the weather being as cold as it was, that was the big thing," Harang said. "Not really being able to have anywhere to throw in between, it made it tough. It took me a little while to get loose when I got back out there and got back into rhythm."
But the Dodgers came through once again in the bottom of the fourth with four more runs highlighted by Kemp's two-run homer to right centerfield.
I knew a girl so gloomy, she'd never laugh or sing. She wouldn't listen to me, now she's a mean old thing.
The Padres scored three more in the seventh to cut the lead to 8-6 thanks to a lack of control by the bullpen. Things really looked bleak in the ninth inning. Kenley Jansen was in to save the game in lieu of Javy Guerra who had three saves in three consecutive games. The next thing you know Chase Headley hit a two-run homer to tie the game.
"The ninth inning is different than the eighth," Manager Don Mattingly said. "That's something you pay attention to also."
So spread sunshine all over the place and put on a happy face.
Padres' reliever Andrew Cashner got two quick outs then couldn't hit the plate walking Mark Ellis, Kemp and James Loney. Yes, Cashner walked Loney on five pitches with Ethier on deck.
In came Joe Thatcher and four pitches later he walked Ethier for the walk-off walk.
"[Ethier] is just a guy that is swinging the bat real good and is focused during his at-bats," Mattingly said. "He has been battling lefties. He's had good at-bats even on balls he swings through or fouls off."