The Dodgers came off a terrible loss to first place Arizona giving up 4 runs in the 9th to battle the Diamondbacks in the second game of the three game series. Ian Kennedy started for the D-Backs after giving up a career high 10 earned runs in his previous start vs. big free agent signee Zach Greinke for LA. It was a scoreless battle through the 4th inning. Then Jason Kubel launched a 2-run HR to right-field to make it 2-0. Newcomer Yasiel Puig was again a factor in the game despite not getting a hit. In the 6th inning, Puig was hit by an Ian Kennedy pitch in the face and was down for a while. In my opinion and during an interview after the game, Kennedy was trying to just pitch inside especially with a two run lead and a 1-2 count on Puig. Next up was Ethier who came up with a big 2 run HR to tie the game on a two strike pitch.
In the top of 7th, Miguel Montero led off and after a couple inside pitches by Greinke, he was hit in the back by the next pitch. Words were exchanged and the benches cleared but all was tamed down. Both managers and pitchers were warmed. This one looked more intentional which to me didn’t make sense with the Dodgers in last place and needing a win vs Arizona. So to put the go ahead run on with no outs was not the best time to retaliate. They lucked out as Arizona didn’t score. In the bottom of the 7th, with Kennedy’s night coming to an end probably after the inning at best, he nailed Greinke in the back of the shoulder and immediately walked off the mound. What insued next was wild with a bench clearing brawl with 6 player ejected (Puig, coach Mark McGwire and pitcher Belisario along with Kennedy, coach Turner Ward and Manager Kirk Gibson.) Puig threw and connected punches on reserve infielder Eric Hinske while others had to be separated before things got more out of control.
Back to the game. AJ Pollack led off the 8th inning with a double to left and then came around to score on a single by Willie Bloomquist. Arizona has had a tough time with their relievers and it showed in the bottom of the 8th when David Hernandez couldn’t find the plate and walked the bases loaded. He was having a hard time getting his breaking ball over so Tim Federowicz sat all over a fastball and got it. He delivered a 3 run double which gave LA a 5-3 lead on beach chair night. Kelsey Jansen came in to save his 3rd game of the year throwing heat and striking out 2. The Dodgers got a big win and were very lucky overall especially retaliating hitting Montero in a tie game and with Puig getting thrown out of the game.
Arizona has a solid team with really no superstars (first baseman Paul Goldsmidt is transforming into one at this early stage). The Dodgers have many big name players but injuries have taken their toll on the team this year including, Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford. Josh Beckett, Chad Billingsley, Hanley Ramirez, Ted Lilly all currently on the DL. Many others have spent time but that is still no excuse as other teams like the Yankees and Rangers have been beset by injuries but are right up there in the standings.
Adrian Gonzalez has been very consistent as their best everyday player while Kershaw, Ryu, and Greinke have pitched well. It is amazing the team is in last place but the lack of clutch hitting and nobody else putting up big numbers is a big reason. Puig (Cuban defect) has been a big hit and won player of the week honors last week as he looks like he will have a bright future. He has been compared to a young Raul Mondesi having all 5 tools so this guy is a player to keep your eye on.