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Sloppy Fourth Inning Gives Dodgers the Win

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Clayton Kershaw would have lost the pitching battle with Colorado Rockies’ starter Jhoulys Chacin had it not been for an adventurous fourth inning in the field for the Rockies. The two unearned runs by Chacin combined with one earned run in that inning gave the Dodgers enough offense for the 3-2 victory over the scuffling Rockies.

“When other teams make mistakes, we have to capitalize on those mistakes,” Matt Kemp mused. “It’s one thing we did tonight.”

Chacin had an easy go of it until that fourth inning. Rafael Furcal got the trouble started with a seemingly innocuous fly ball to left fielder Ty Wigginton. Wigginton’s casualness turned what should have been a routine out into the worst error in the left field at Dodger Stadium by a visiting team since Matt Holliday with the St. Louis Cardinals in the ninth inning of Game 2 of the 2009 NL Division Series.

“I was really happy that Raffy’s running hard,” Manager Don Mattingly beamed. “That’s one of the plays you pop it up and you could really dog it. The fact he runs hard he ends up on second base.”

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“I’ve dropped balls before,” Kemp sympathized. “It happens. I don’t know exactly what how he dropped it, but the plus for us we got some runs out of it.”

Kemp made sure of that after Andre Ethier walked, lining a double to the centerfield wall that scored Furcal and Ethier.

To bookend the craziness of the inning, Kemp scored on Juan Rivera’s fly ball. Granted the fly ball went to second baseman Matt Ellis in the rightfield grass. As rightfielder Ryan Spilborghs tried to help out on the play he inadvertently plowed over Ellis sending him tumbling to the ground. Kemp alertly tagged up and scored the important third run.

“I just tagged up, went back to third base to tag up to fake like I was going to go home,” Kemp recalled. “When I saw them collide, I just kept going.”

“It ended up being really important,” Mattingly said. “While the ball was not deep enough to score in a regular situation, with those guys banging together helped us a lot.”

That fourth inning helped take the pressure off of Kershaw who admittedly didn’t have his best stuff through his 6 2/3 innings of work.

“That was a battle tonight,” Kershaw said. “I was falling behind the counts and really just struggling all the way around. I’m fortunate to get through that many.”

For Kershaw it seemed like not a lot of things went his way.

“I wasn’t getting ahead of hitters. And when I did get ahead of them I couldn’t put them away: 0-2 ended up back to 2-2. I didn’t have my best stuff tonight - command was a huge part of that. My slider didn’t break as much as it should. I didn’t mix enough pitches in. It was just a combination of a lot of things, really.”

Nonetheless the Dodgers getting the win helped buffer the struggle for Kershaw who improved his record to 12-4. “Winning makes it worth it,” he said.

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Matt Guerrier relieved Kershaw in the seventh retiring Troy Tulowitzki to end the inning and pitched a perfect eighth inning. With Javy Guerra unable to closer for the Dodgers, Mattingly went with Kenley Jansen to close out the game.

“Kenley has been dominant for a little bit here,” Mattingly said.

And Jansen continued that dominance striking out two in a perfect ninth on seven pitches for his second save of the season.

The Dodgers, winners of four straight, now trail the Rockies by only ½ game in a battle for third place in the division, a place they haven’t been since June 7.

“Right now it’s still a matter of trying to win every day,” Mattingly said. “There is a lot of baseball to be played.”

LA Angels defeat Cleveland Indians 2-1. Somehow the Angels manage to live on the edge not giving their starting pitchers much to work with. Starter Jered Weaver was pitching a four-hit shutout through six innings before the Angels finally decided to give him something to work with: Mark Trumbo hit a two-run double in the seventh to break open the scoring. It was just as well since Weaver gave up a solo homer in the bottom half of the inning to Matt LaPorta.

Jordan Walden came back after getting the blown save and loss in Monday night’s game to record his 24th save of the season. However, truth be told, second baseman Howie Kendrick should have been awarded the save. The blown save was all shiny, waxed and prepared for Walden when he loaded the bases with no outs. But Kendrick’s defensive prowess cooled the heat on Walden when he started the 4-2-3 double play on LaPorta’s grounder that erased Orlando Cabrera at the plate and La Porta at first base. It certainly made the more routine 4-6-3 double play he started seem pedestrian by comparison.

Meanwhile Monday night’s hero Jason Kipnis came up empty striking out on four pitches to end the game. With the Texas Rangers’ 9-8 loss to the Minnesota Twins, the Angels now trail the Rangers buy three games in the AL West.


Professional male athletes in the United States have a severe image problem: the image they think they project is nowhere near the actual image they project. Some of them think they’re fashion conscious, edgy or on the vanguard of culture. In reality they are just sad sacks of bad taste, triteness and yawn-inducing blandness.

It’s clear in their raging heterosexuality, they do not have a gay friend to help guide them to make correct personal choices. So I will use this space to be these athletes’ gay best friend who will tell them, “Bitch, please,” when they step out with an unfortunate fashion choice, grooming habit or public relations nightmare.

After one installment, I already have to amend the preamble. The ranks of the tasteless do not lie solely amongst the professional male athletes but also the (alleged) amateur athletes of the collegiate stage. Just a minor detail not worth growing any more unsightly wrinkles.

Front and center on Pac-12 media day in Los Angeles was Stanford junior quarterback Andrew Luck alongside his new head coach David Shaw. The two of them might have uttered words of consequence but it was hard to notice with the neck beard Luck decided to grow. Even Luck admitted that he grew the beard because he could.

“I never had a beard,” Luck said. “I’m hesitant to call it a beard. I don’t think it’s quite there yet. I don’t know. I’d never done it before, so why not try?”

I’m sure in that sterling hall of academia in Palo Alto coupled with being an architectural design major, there would be at least one gay person that could answer Luck’s question.

You do not try because it is hideous.

Neck beards have appeared on the stateliest of figures including Abraham Lincoln and Horace Greeley. Even as Henry David Thoreau wrote incredibly long sentences about a pond in New England, he could play with his neck beard. However as in style as neck beards might have been in the 1800’s, there one glaring problem: everyone who had a stylish neck beard is dead.

There has been only one person in recent memory that has made the neck beard halfway appealing, but Kyle Orton had to accessorize it with an upside-down handle of whiskey. LeBron James had one for his televised “Decision” last year, and it made him look fat.

Speaking to women, they were in agreement that neck beards were hideous. If the goal for young heterosexual men was to engage in sexual intercourse with heterosexual (or, a bonus, bisexual) women, then why make yourself look lazy and fat?

“We’ll see if it lasts,” Luck said acknowledging his laziness. “When I get annoyed of it, I’ll shave it.” Thankfully Luck has more commitment to Stanford than his neck beard. Nonetheless, Andrew Luck: Bitch, Please!


LA Angels at Cleveland Indians. 9:05 a.m. FSWest, AM 830 KLAA.

Colorado Rockies at LA Dodgers. 7:10 p.m. KCAL9, AM 790 KABC.

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