Game 143: LAD vs. NYY — Trounced by long ago rivals
There are some games that are easy to write about, and some games that aren’t so much. I know I’ve shared that sentiment before. The ones that are difficult are either those with limited excitement or those that are just painful to watch as Yankee fans. Okay, so to be fair, the Dodgers are at the top of their division, and they are a pretty good team this year (as a friend of mine likes to remind me at least once a week these days, and he’s actually right this season).
Of course, it didn’t help that Bryan Mitchell got pounced on by the Dodgers’ offense early and often in this first game of the mid-week series. Mitchell threw 47 pitches in just over 2 innings, gave up 8 hits, no walks, and 6 runs (though only 2 were earned), and struck out just 2 batters. In the 1st, Mitchell gave up consecutive singles, and a fly out put runners on the corners. A fielder’s choice (a delayed attempt at a double play really) allowed one run to score to get the Dodgers on the board.
In the 2nd, with 2 outs and runners on the corners with singles, the next batter reached on a messy fielding error that ended up allowing both runners to score. A single then scored one more run for the Dodgers in that inning to give the Dodgers a rather hefty lead in just the 2nd inning. Mitchell came back in the 3rd for a quick out and then just couldn’t get another one. A single and double put runners in scoring position so that a single scored the first runner.
It was time to go to the bullpen, with Mitchell just unable to find control of his pitching tonight. Chasen Shreve came on in relief and promptly got a strike out. During the next at-bat, the runner at 1st stole 2nd, thanks in part to a bad throwing error by catcher Sanchez (a rare thing for the rookie catcher). Of course, the fact that it scored another run didn’t help matters.
Richard Bleier then gave some beautiful long-term relief, throwing 61 pitches through the next 4 innings, striking out 3 LA batters and giving the Yankees a bit of a breather. James Pazos came on for the 8th and breezed his way through the first 2 outs, but a nicely thrown strike found its way into the right field seats to give the Dodgers one more run. Ben Heller’s 9th inning looked eerily similar when a 2-out solo shot also found the right field seats.
The Yankees had only two real chances to do something big offensively. Starlin Castro’s big lead-off home run in the 2nd, and Aaron Judge’s monster lead-off homer into the left field bleachers in the 5th. Overall, the Yankees only created 5 hits (2 of them those home runs) and 3 walks and struck out 11 times tonight. It just wasn’t their night in any capacity really.
Final score: 8-2 Dodgers.
Going into tonight’s game, the weird tidbit everyone seemed to talk about was this “former rivalry”. Long before interleague games were an everyday thing, long before color tv was normal, long before there was baseball on the Left Coast, the Brooklyn Dodgers only faced the New York Yankees when both were champions of their respective leagues (1941, 1947, 1949, 1952, 1953, 1955, and 1956). It should be noted that the only year the Yankees didn’t win a “Subway Series” between any NL New York team is 1955, made famous for that disastrously wrong call of safe when Jackie Robinson collided with catcher Yogi Berra at the plate as Robinson stole home.
Today’s fans don’t think about the Dodgers being a rival for the Yankees unless they’re aware of baseball history or may have seen a game at Ebbets Field or the really old incarnation of Yankee Stadium prior to the Dodgers move westward in 1957. It should also be noted that they wouldn’t have moved to Los Angeles if the Brooklyn city council agreed to a new stadium proposal that would’ve put the Dodgers exactly where Barclays Center is today. A stadium was destined to be there, and while it’s a pretty cool stadium that’s there now, it’s still a shame they couldn’t have made it work 60 years ago for a great team like the Brooklyn Dodgers.