Echoes of the Past

I remember this one time, the Dodgers got off to a great start, but then they stumbled a little. Then in July, management rescued a cur named Ramirez. He had been disliked by his former teammates and labeled a troublemaker. But his abundant personality and dynamic hitting lit a fuse that energized the clubhouse and detonated a drive straight to the playoffs. Could history be repeating itself? Hanleywood opens tonight after a boffo preview in San Fran. David not only slew Goliath, he swept up, with a 10th-inning two-run homer from the Dodgers’ newest slugger followed by consecutive shutouts (not done since the teams moved West). After Kershaw threw a complete game Sunday, he summed up the team’s attitude: “We understand this is our year.” It sure feels like it right now.

Diamondbacks @ Dodgers, July 30-Aug. 1, 2012

Last Dogger Icon

(Diamondbacks @ Dodgers, July 30-Aug. 1, 2012)

Last Dogger icon
Wrestles with Mr. Baseball
File down their red fangs

This earth that holds the bones.

(Image: Tony Gwynn Jr., outfielder)

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Please No 62 Skidoo!

OK, so the Midwest heat got to the boys. If only the games were 4½ innings instead of 9. Seems our starters were hitting a wall about the bottom of the fifth. Then the bullpen had to work twice as hard as it should, and they’re mostly kids still finding their way around the mound. Only Belisario has been around the block (a really sketchy block) and he doesn’t have the appearance of caring one way or another if he gets us out of jams. But, looking to the future, we have 62 games left and the first three of them are in the Bay with our first-place rivals. This could be it. This could be a make-or-break series. And to start it, we’ve got (maybe) Barney Fife’s grandson, Stephen, matching wits with Matt “Perfect Game” Cain. Maybe David can slay Goliath, it happened once before.

(Dodgers @ Giants, July 27-29, 2012)

Blues of the Summer

(Dodgers @ Giants, July 27-29, 2012)

Blues of the summer
Let’s throw a Giant party
It’s double playtime!

Above the tragedies of this earth.

(Image: Matt Treanor, backup catcher)

Sweep Me Up!

Now, that’s what I call a scrappy ball club. Sweeping the Mets, capped with a five-run 12th-inning blitz! Gotta love that. The blue bats have come alive in the clutch. Everybody is contributing something right now, from Uribe’s new-found patience (He’s walked more often than not lately!) to Loney’s key hits and nearly every bat coming through in a pinch. We’re more like the team that started this season than we had been in June. Just gotta keep up the good work and sustain the mojo.

Dodgers @ Cardinals, July 23-26, 2012

We’re Up Then We’re Down

(Dodgers @ Cardinals, July 23-26, 2012)

We’re up, then we’re down
They speak of our potential.
Gods! Don’t destroy us!

And into lightness I arise.

(Image: Rick Honeycutt, pitching coach)

Mo’ Betta Blues

A walk-off 12th-inning two-run homer by All Star Matt Kemp was a nice way to finish the first home stand of the second half, especially after such a dismal run of bad luck (and bad baseball). I’m hoping it signals a shift in momentum to bring win after win after win. It was fun to see Matt gallop to the plate and get mobbed by elated teammates. A welcome moment of bliss. It looks doubtful we’ll have any significant trade-deadline improvements this year, so the boys have to look to themselves to get better, be a team and focus on the finish line.

(Dodgers @ Mets, July 20-22)

L.A.’s Blue Seasons

(Dodgers @ Mets, July 20-22, 2012)

L.A.’s blue seasons
Fire, flood, riot & quake
Mets get Best Coast shake!

And with that bursting comes the light.

(Image: “Psycho” Steve Lyons, Dodger broadcaster)

Band-Aids & Brain Farts

When I said things were going to get interesting, I didn’t mean the Dodgers would find new and unusual ways to lose! Kenley Jansen contemplating the moon in between pitches while Padres steal home out from under him? What the hell was that? And then, five errors? Really? Every team can have a bad day, but we had quite a few before the break. Now, our best bats are back, and we need to start playing as if our season depends on it. Because it does.

Phillies @ Dodgers, July 16-18

Smite Phils With Fastballs!

(Phillies @ Dodgers, July 16-18, 2012)

Smite Phils with fastballs!
Blue swords of retribution!
Let’s get sweepy!

Galaxies of emotion burst from me.

Over the Hump

OK. It’s time to get to work! Matt and Andre back in the lineup tonight. Kershaw on the mound. Playing the Padres. Cross fingers these good prospects pay off with a healthy win to start the second half and maintain 1st place in the NL West. OK, so Kemp didn’t do so well in the Home Run Derby (but better than Robinson Cano!), I know he was just saving himself for the real contest: getting to the Fall Classic. Now things get interesting!

Padres @ Dodgers, July 13-15, 2012

Blue’s Back in the Game!

(Padres @ Dodgers, July 13-15, 2012)

Blue’s back in the game!
Smack those tonsures off their heads
Padre noggins roll!

Thoughts that spin like galaxies.

Intermission

Well, somehow, without their All-Star center fielder and many other opening day starters, the boys in blue are still Numero Uno at the All-Star break, albeit by a slim half-game margin. Four days of rest and then Kemp and Ethier return to the lineup. Who knows? Last year, our second half was spectacular, but it wasn’t enough to pull out of the ditch we dug in the first half. This year, we just need to get everybody healthy and win more games than we lose. Simple, right?

All-Star Game, Kansas City, July 10, 2012

Big Blue Shooting Stars

(All-Star Break, July 9-12, 2012)

Big blue shooting stars!
Explode in Missouri skies
Sizzle in K.C.

A mind with troubled thoughts.

Last Stop Before the Break

So, the boys are heading to Arizona after having recaptured the division lead. The All-Star Game is Tuesday, and our injury-plagued team can sure use the break. Ethier joins the way-too-long DL, and now Gordon thumbs a ride to Disabledville! The good news, however, is Mark Ellis is up and running, and Matt Kemp will rejoin the team after he takes a bow in Kansas City (and maybe wins the Home Run Derby).

Dodgers @ Diamondbacks, July 5-8)

A Pint of Blue Sweat

(Dodgers @ Diamondbacks, July 5-8, 2012)

A pint of blue sweat
Will save gallons of blue blood!
Vanquish the vipers!

Delights that seduce and lull the mind.

The June Gloom Is Gone

Yikes! That was a bad month of “baseball.” But yesterday, the boys began July with a bang! Getting key hits and capitalizing on the Mets’ shoddy defense. (Although in the beginning, our own D[ee] was questionable.) KKKKKKKKKershaw greeted Hello Kitty with a strong win. And both he and Matt Kemp made the All-Star squad for the second year in a row. Loney got two clutch RBIs to break out of his epic slump, and Juan Uribe walked (twice!). Things are looking up, at least for today. Porkopolis is in town, and we’re seeing Red!

Reds @ Dodgers, July 2-4, 2012

Cin City’s No Match

(Reds @ Dodgers, July 2-4, 2012)

Cin City’s no match!
Tie the Red Hose up in knots
A rusted machine?

My Eden of visual delights.