What a fantastic way to end the first half of the Baseball season. Kenta Maeda was on the mound and absolutely stymied the Padres. With 97 pitches he recorded a career high 13 strike outs, two hits, no walks and a single lone run on a homer by Derek Norris in seven innings pitched. Via Ken Gurnick at MLB.com:
"You could see the look in Kenta's eye after that last outing. He was set to dominate and that's what he did, and it was just what we needed," said manager Dave Roberts. "Even for his psyche, for the starters, and to go into the break so strong, it was great for him."BTW, Maeda is the ninth Dodger pitcher in history to ever record at least 13 strike outs and zero walks in a game. On another note, Yasiel Puig is once again surrounded by persistent trade rumors (link here). I have doubts anything will get done since management clearly will not take a discount, and rightly so. Since coming back from the DL in late June Puig is slashing .317/.417/.467/.883 with two home runs, eight RBI's and a BABIP of .347.
"We chased offspeed out of the zone," (Padres manager Andy) Green said. "He pitched us backwards all day long and we didn't seem to make an adjustment. He could spin us early, hard and late, mix in a fastball periodically, but it was pretty much all offspeed."
Photo of Kenta and Yasiel on the bench above via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2016. Go here to check out more pics by Jon from yesterdays game. Below are more links to check out:
- This Day in Dodger History: In 1978 Steve Garvey becomes the first two-time MVP in All-Star history. In the game played in San Diego Garvey hit a game-tying, two-run single and a triple to help the NL beat the AL, 7-3.
- Happy Birthday, Hal Gregg, Dick Gray and Billy Ashley!
- On Wednesday July 13th at 10:00 PM ET the MLB Network will be presenting a doc that focuses on Hall of Fame inductee Mike Piazza’s improbable rise from a 62nd-round Draft pick to baseball immortality in "Against the Odds: The Mike Piazza Story." It should be a fun watch. Watch a preview here. Per a press release:
Featuring exclusive footage of Piazza’s orientation visit to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in advance of his induction into the Hall of Fame on July 24th, Piazza reflects on his career journey throughout the program. Rare footage of Hall of Famer Ted Williams watching a teenaged Piazza hit in his backyard batting cage is featured, including Williams remarking, “I don’t think I hit the ball as good as he does when I was 16.” The friendship between Piazza’s father, Vincent Piazza Sr., and close family friend, Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda, is highlighted throughout, with Lasorda explaining the history behind the Los Angeles Dodgers selecting Piazza in the 1988 MLB Draft. Former Dodgers general manager Fred Claire, former All-Star and Dodgers minor league instructor Reggie Smith and former Dodgers teammate Eric Karros detail Piazza’s struggles at the beginning of his minor league career, including a brief time when he left the Dodgers organization, and his eventual impact on the big league club.
- Dustin Nosler at Dodgers Digest shares his "Midseason Top 30 update of 2016 Dodgers Prospects."
- Via Dustin Nosler at Dodgers Digest; "Jharel Cotton ‘excited’ to be selected for Futures Game." BTW, he pitched to one batter in Sundays Futures Game and ended up with the win. Cotton threw just three pitches.
“I never thought I would be a Futures Game All-Star selection,” Cotton said. “I always thought that I had to do my best and actually pitch well during the season to get noticed, and I’ve been holding up my part of the bargain for the few years I’ve pitched. But no, I didn’t think I would be a futures star selection.”
- Via Hal Bodley at MLB.com; "All-Star Game in San Diego special to Lasorda: Former Dodgers skipper won 1978 Midsummer Classic at San Diego."
Overall, Tommy had six Dodgers on that 1978 All-Star squad.
"Yeah, you're right. It was like a Hollywood script," said the 88-year-old Lasorda, now senior advisor to the Dodgers' chairman and in his 67th year with the organization. "It was just a big thrill for me to see my players there. And Garvey is the MVP!"
- Via Ron Cervenka at Think Blue LA; "Dodgers sign 18-year-old Mexican right-hander."
The Dodgers have signed 18-year-old international free agent Ricky Hernandez, a 6′-3″ hard-throwing right-hander from Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico.
Hernandez was signed through the Diablos Rojos of the Liga Mexicana, where he had been playing for Los Marineros de Ensenada.
“He has a big strong frame and hits the mid 90s on the [radar] gun,” said ThinkBlueLA staff writer Robb Anderson, who resides in Morelos. “He projects to add more velocity as he matures. He has a high ceiling with the big body, strong legs, and long arms. It is a good under-the-radar signing for the Dodgers.”
- Via Ken Gurnick at MLB.com; "Kershaw throws 'light' bullpen session."
Clayton Kershaw threw off a mound on Sunday for the first time since going on the disabled list nearly two weeks ago, but he won't return to the Dodgers' rotation just yet.
Manager Dave Roberts announced that Bud Norris, Brandon McCarthy, Kenta Maeda, Scott Kazmir and Hyun-Jin Ryu would start the first five games of the second half.
"No Kershaw," Roberts said.
- Via Megan Zahneis at MLB.com; "Sharon Robinson helps make FanFest memories."
This is no baseball legend they're hoping to get a glimpse of -- but it's about as close as you can get.
Sharon Robinson -- daughter of Jackie Robinson and bearer of his legacy -- beckons them to her table, one by one and two by two, with an "Aw shucks, get on over here" sort of wave. She's signing copies of her latest book, though that could hardly be considered hawking her wares -- the books are free, and she takes several minutes chatting with each person.
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