Part 0: The Prequel to the Tour at Fenway Park
Ballpark 13: Fenway Park, elevation 20 feet
The game: Orioles @ Red Sox on April 19, 2014
Wow, where in the heck did that offensive output come from? Ten runs and fourteen hits?!? After eleven innings of no runs against the Giants on Sunday, my boys from Chavez Ravine pounded out six runs in the first inning, and I deemed the game over after Chad Billingsley laid down that squeeze pay to perfection while scoring a charging Casey Blake from third. That one play could be described in one word: Brilliance.
Yes, I know there were more fine plays than that… but when Chad drove in that sixth run on a squeeze play, all the Padres could do was cower in fear, crowd around the mound, and discuss their dining options for the evening and vacation plans for the following week.
This would happen frequently during the game.
It was really nice to see nearly every Dodger get a hit. As a matter of fact, every Dodger that started got on base at least once (Only Angel Berroa didn’t get a hit, but he walked, and that’s okay by me). Nomar’s home run brought a huge smile to my face because just a few days ago, several fans looked in fear as he jammed his knee rounding third base and having a knee injury that looked far more serious than it actually was. I also know it has been a while since Nomar hit a home run, and what a way to come back with that 422-foot bomb!
I also have to give huge props to my boy, Blake DeWitt for hitting a home run pretty much one minute after I called it. I bet you’re asking, “Why would you call a home run right then and there?” I’ll tell you, noble reader! Right after Casey Blake hit his second single, I noticed the flags blowing from left to right (almost blowing straight out), and DeWitt could easily hit that ball of twine to right field. As I noticed this, I promptly turned to my friend, Paul, and said, “Look at the flags. It’s blowing out a little bit. He’s going to hit it out… to right field. If he gets it just right, he could reach the loge, but I think he’s going to hit it out to right.” About a minute later, he blasts one 403 feet to right field! I nearly called that one perfectly if I hadn’t entertained the notion that he may join the short list of Dodgers to hit a home run into the orange loge seats. Regardless, that was a sweet shot!
Blake has a sweet shot, but I still think Manny’s stroke is just incredible to watch. Can you believe he got past 50 RBIs as a Dodger tonight with one swing of the bat? 51 RBIs in 49 games. That averages out to more than one run batted in per game. With five games left, Manny only needs three RBIs to average one per game as a Dodger. He’s going to be very valuable in the playoffs.
So with the magic number at 3, Los Angeles could clinch the NL West title as early as Thursday evening. Wouldn’t it be nice to win the division in front of the home crowd? It could happen! Here are the remaining schedules for Arizona and Los Angeles.
-2 vs. San Diego
-3 @ San Francisco
-2 @ St. Louis
-3 vs. Colorado
Max Scherzer (0-3) is pitching against Adam Wainwright (10-3) at New Busch, and Shawn Estes (2-3) is up against Clayton Kershaw (4-5) at the Ravine. Yeah, Wainwright has been incredible, and if he wasn’t out for over two months due to injury, he could have a 17 or 18 win season going right now. I hope he has one more good start in him! As for our game, Kershaw has been pretty darn good at home, and I think we will see a win. I would not be surprised if the magic number is reduced to ONE by tomorrow evening, setting up a celebration at Dodger Stadium for Thursday night. Could it happen? Let’s hope so!
I’ll definitely be there Thursday, and if any of you loyal blog readers happen to be at the stadium and see me, don’t be afraid to say hi! I’ll be there a few hours early to take it all in, especially since it’s the final regular season home game of the season. With that said, I hope to see you at the ballpark. Before I get some rest, I will leave you with this picture of myself and Dodger World Series pitcher, Joe Moeller. (Yes, that’s me holding his world series ring from Florida. That thing was HUGE!)