Juan Uribe Hit Three Home Runs
Juan Uribe hit three home runs today.
I'm still trying to wrap my head around that sentence. Juan Uribe hit three home runs in his first three at-bats. In five innings Uribe eclipsed his home-run output from last season's whopping total of two.
"I feel happy, I feel good," Uribe repeated throughout the postgame session with the media. But he wasn't the only person feeling happy and good.
When he got back into the dugout, Yasiel Puig was on the top step of the dugout force-feeding him a banana, a reference to a couple of pictures Hanley Ramirez posted of King Kong at Universal Studios in Florida.
"They call me a monkey," Uribe said. "I don't know why. You think I look like a monkey? That's okay.
"I want to make my team happy and feel good. I want to be a good teammate."
Ramirez thinks Uribe does a perfect job. "He's one of the greatest teammates I've ever had. He keeps everybody smiling and positive."
Starter Ricky Nolasco said it best. "He's a clown. He's funny. He's the jokester of the team. Everybody messes with him, and he messes with everyone."
But even with seeing it from my own two eyes, seeing the three balls being deposited into nearly the same spot in the left field pavilion, it's still hard to believe that happened.
"13 years and I never hit three," manager Don Mattingly said.
I guess this was one way for the Dodgers to recover from getting swept by the Cincinnati Reds. "We didn't do enough to win those games," manager Don Mattingly said before the game.
But it was a different tune Mattingly sung than a couple of weeks ago after the Red Sox series. Whereas he said his team got outplayed by the Red Sox, he wasn't nearly as despondant about how they performed against the Reds. "The guys were pretty much ready to play," he said.
Losing all three games by one run, the Dodgers must have been pretty happy to play out the rest of their season against the landfill that is the NL West. The Dodgers launched six home runs against the Diamondbacks, their most since that milestone four-plus-one game on Sept. 18, 2006 against the San Diego Padres.
And the Dodgers won 8-1.
"It's a long season, and anything can happen," Ramirez said. "Everybody goes through tough moments. Those four games we didn't score a lot of runs, but we continue to work and keep fighting in every game."
Nolasco pitched another fine game going 6 2/3 innings giving up only the unearned run in fifth inning thanks to an error by Uribe. In 12 starts with the Dodgers he has a 2.07 ERA after posting a 3.85 ERA with the Marlins this season. Nolasco tried to take himself out of the equation.
"This is home for me which helps," Nolasco said. "This is the team I always wanted to pitch for which also helps. But this team is unbelievable. We score so many runs. Even when we don't we have good at-bats and great defense. What a balanced team."
Of course it cannot go without being said that it was Hello Kitty mini bobblehead night. Something special always seems to happen when Hello Kitty is in the park. It also helps that 52,410 were on hand to root the team on.
The Dodgers magic number now shrinks down to eight with a possibility still remaining for a clinch of the division during this homestand. But you know how it goes: one game at a time, one at-bat at a time, blah blah blah. It's a good thing there will be no playoff teams in the Dodgers future until the playoffs.
Diamondbacks Scorecard: (click to embiggen)
Dodgers Scorecard: (click to embiggen)