Archive for the ‘ Midgame ’ Category

Kershaw displays strengths and rust in return

Marc Serota/Getty Images

Marc Serota/Getty Images

By Jon Weisman

The fastball was there. The pinpoint command on breaking pitches … maybe not quite so consistent.

But the main thing for Clayton Kershaw, in his return from 10 1/2 weeks on the disabled list, will be how he felt between innings and how he feels in the coming days.

Because even though Kershaw allowed two runs on five hits in an abbreviated, three-inning start at Miami, tonight offered plenty of glimpses of the superstar the Dodgers hope will lead them into October.

Kershaw’s fastball sat at 93-94 mph, and he struck out five. The last of those came on his 66th and final pitch, and made him the first pitcher in MLB history to reach 150 strikeouts in a season without first walking at least 10. Tonight, Kershaw walked none for the 113th, 114th and 115th innings out of the 124 that he has now thrown this season.

In the process, he certainly exerted himself. Under the air-conditioned dome of Marlins Park, Kershaw fired bullets and sweat more of them — no more so than in a 29-pitch second inning. He also made an on-the-run, awkwardly lunging attempt to throw out Christian Yelich on a soft comebacker, then soon after had to duck out of the way of a 91 mph liner up the middle from opposing pitcher Jose Fernandez.

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Chase Utley has unforgettable return to Philadelphia

By Jon Weisman

Fairy tales might or might not come true, unless you’re Chase Utley, in which case they certainly do.

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Brandon McCarthy sails through six shutout innings, Dodgers sail into extras (and lose)

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By Jon Weisman

When this year’s Dodger transactions are tallied, let’s not forget Brandon McCarthy being acquired in exchange for 14 months of suffering.

In his third start since completing his recovery from Tommy John surgery, McCarthy again asserted himself against the void of opposing bats, throwing six shutout innings for the Dodgers at Arizona tonight.

McCarthy sliced up the Diamondbacks on only 77 pitches — fewer than 13 per inning — allowing three hits and no walks while striking out eight. He wasn’t fazed at all by a delay of more than 10 minutes after he had thrown only two pitches, when home-plate umpire Dale Scott took a foul ball to the face mask and ultimately had to leave the game.

So far in this comeback season, McCarthy has thrown 16 innings with an ERA of 1.69, walking four, striking out 22 and looking every bit like a key second-half figure for the Dodgers.

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Kenta Maeda strikes out 13 in seven innings

Maeda pic

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

no seventhBy Jon Weisman

Kenta Maeda took a hammer to the Dodgers’ streak of 18 straight games without a starting pitcher reaching the seventh inning, striking out a career-high 13 in seven innings before leaving with a 3-1 lead.

Maeda fanned two batters in each of the first three innings, one in the fourth and then six batters in a row from the fifth into the seventh. His previous big-league high of nine strikeouts came June 8 against Colorado.

No Dodger starter had retired a batter in the seventh inning since Clayton Kershaw on June 20. None had even reached the sixth inning since Scott Kazmir on July 2.

Kershaw has the Dodgers’ season high in strikeouts with 14. Those also came on a Sunday afternoon against the Padres, on May 1.

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Joc Pederson injured after crashing into wall

By Jon Weisman

Joc Pederson might have saved the game at the price of his health when he crashed into the outfield wall at Milwaukee in the eighth inning tonight.

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Dodgers tied trailing trumped in the ninth

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By Jon Weisman

It’s Milwaukee 6, Los Angeles 6 entering the ninth inning. The Dodgers came back from down 3-0 and 6-3 to tie the game. Triumph or tragedy awaits. Who’s to say which?

This game has already had plenty of both. It’s been such a weird night, I’m kind of live-blogging the rest of the way as I recap what’s already come.

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Line drive knocks Kenta Maeda from game

By Jon Weisman

On a night the Dodger bats broke out with four home runs to take a 7-4 lead into the eighth inning at Arizona, the celebratory swings were muted by a potentially serious injury to Kenta Maeda.

The good news: X-rays on Maeda’s leg were negative, and the initial diagnosis was a right lower-leg contusion.

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Julio Urías logs four long innings, sets strikeout mark

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By Jon Weisman

Julio Urías remains in need of an efficiency expert, but that didn’t stop him from enjoying his most satisfying appearance as a Dodger to date — and setting a record to boot.

In his first appearance before his Los Angeles fans, Urías struck out seven — the most by a teenager in Los Angeles Dodger history — but used up 86 pitches by the fourth inning, leaving with a 3-1 lead over Colorado.

The Rockies bedeviled Urías by fouling off 19 pitches — 14 in his final two innings — and never surrendering a quick out. Urías faced 16 batters, and none saw fewer than four pitches in an at-bat.

But from the start, Urías countered his pitch-count difficulties with flashes of the brilliance that makes him so enticing.

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Julio Urias takes the stage but can’t command it

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By Jon Weisman

Julio Urias is still a precocious teenager and a pitching prodigy. But the mania will have to wait at least a game.

Displaying consistent velocity but inconsistent command at 19 years and 289 days old, Urias lasted 2 2/3 innings in his Major League debut, leaving with the Dodgers trailing the New York Mets, 3-1.

With three strikeouts, Urias tied a Dodger record for a teenager in his first game, but he also allowed five hits and walked four and even in his best inning, couldn’t find the consistency he needed to last longer.

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Alex Wood sets career high in strikeouts with 13

Denis Poroy/Getty Images

Denis Poroy/Getty Images

By Jon Weisman

Alex Wood struck gold as he struck out almost every San Diego Padre he faced tonight.

In only six innings, the 25-year-old set a career high with 13 strikeouts, then left the game with two runners on and the Dodgers clinging to a 2-1 lead. San Diego would then tie the game in the bottom of the seventh, and for the second night in a row, the outcome was left to the teams’ bullpens.

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