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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Fielders Not Named Prince: Brewers 4, Dodgers 3 (10 Innings)

Jon already mentioned how this game was about the Brew Crew's terrific fielding; the Dodgers hit rockets into the gap numerous times, only to have Mike Cameron rob the batter in question of a sure double. The most egregious case was Gabe Kapler's theft of Russell Martin's all-but-certain solo homer over the low wall in left. It was a great game in the sense that both teams played well, and there was even a crazy rules play in the ninth that resulted in Jeff Kent taking two bases, sparking some discussion in the postgame radio show.

Derek Lowe pitched well, one run over seven frames, but surprisingly Hong-Chih Kuo melted down in the eighth, giving up a leadoff double to pinch hitter and leadoff man Ryan Braun, and following it up with a one-out homer to shortstop J.J. Hardy. The Dodgers, who had held a 2-1 lead since the second, were suddenly faced with a deficit and found themselves having to turn things around against Old Friend Eric Gagne. He was boorishly and inexplicably booed by the assembled crowd, which just amplified my already jaded view of the bulk of Dodger fans.

As if to prove he still had something left (he has given up so many as three runs in a game as late as August 10 against a nonentity offensive club, the Nationals), the Dodgers team did nothing at all against Gagne, the 9-1-2 batters going down in order.

That led to the ninth, and the Dodgers managed to tie things thanks to some sloppy play by the shortstop Hardy, who surrendered the two-base error mentioned above; but the Brewers got to Jonathan Broxton, a walk and a stolen base to Ray Durham setting up an RBI single to Hardy, and the go-ahead run crossed the plate with two outs.

The Dodgers made things interesting in the bottom of the frame, getting men to first and second on consecutive singles by Kemp and Ethier, but Kent lined out, and Manny Ramirez struck out swinging to end the game. That was at least the second time I can recollect that he's had a big failure to change the game in the ninth with at least the tying run at the plate.

Before the game, we had a very pleasant time seeing everyone at the Dodger Thoughts picnic yesterday. I got there late, and as I arrived, people (Jon included) started leaving, but that was my own fault. Bob Timmermann took some of us on a tour of his day job at the LA Public Library downtown, and a most enjoyable time that was.

Finally, I did want to say that the fireworks show after the game was very enjoyable also, though Helen complained it wasn't well-synchronized to the music they played. Unfortunately, because of the proximity to the now abandoned Union 76 station, the fireworks show had to be hidden behind the right-field scoreboard, so many of the low-lying shots were at least partially obscured.

Yahoo boxMLB.com recap

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