When the Los Angeles Dodgers last visited San Francisco, it wasn't for pleasure, and they certainly didn't do any business either. In three games, they didn't score a single run. Tonight, they managed to scratch out two, but lost in 12 innings, and still haven't locked up the National League West—something they should have done at least a week ago.
On August 31 in Los Angeles, the Dodgers beat the Giants 5-4 in 14 innings. The next two nights, with aces Zach Greinke and Clayton Kershaw making starts, the Dodgers won both games by the score of 2-1. This gave the Dodgers a huge division lead, and set a course for a champagne celebration that should have happened last week at home. A little bump in the road could have meant over the weekend in Colorado, and everything would have been wrapped up nicely, making this week's Giants series nothing more than an exhibition.
But the Dodgers and their manager haven't seemed to care about winning games over the last 10 days. After a 6-2 home win against Pittsburgh August 18, they lost seven of their next nine games, including being swept in Colorado. No starter other than Greinke or Kershaw can get anybody out. Not a single reliever has been reliable at all, and all manager Don Mattingly seems to think about is making sure that a minor league right-handed hitter like Chris Heisey starts with a lefty on the mound instead of a proven left-handed hitter like Andre Ethier or Carl Crawford.
The Giants won in 12 innings tonight, and while its not time to panic yet, it ruins the theory of fans that are also would-be Hollywood script writers. Perhaps the Dodgers just wanted to clinch in San Francisco so they could jump in McCovey cove afterwards to celebrate, and tick off the Giants and the organization. At least the game tonight was a good one, and it looked like the Dodgers were trying. LA only needs to win one game this week and they make the playoffs for the third year in a row. They didn't win with Greinke tonight. If they don't with Kershaw tomorrow, fans will be reaching for it, and deservedly so. They'll be reaching for the panic button.
That's a fact, Jack: The Marysville Gold Sox lost a game before they even played one next year, when manager Jack Johnson apparently announced he will not be back for a tenth season. Sunday, Johnson tweeted, “Thanks to all the coaches and players that ever played the Marysville Goldsox. I appreciate all of your professionalism. Time for a change.” Johnson was 318-101-2 (.758) in nine years. He spent three of the first four Gold Sox seasons as pitching coach under manager Brad Peek, taking one summer off to complete his teaching credential. The Gold Sox will be competing in the new Great West League next year, which means more total games, but fewer home games and more travel.
Add Gold Sox: The Great West League has not updated their website in forever, but has been active on Twitter. The league tweeted an announcement that the 2016 schedule has been released. The Gold Sox open at home June 3 vs. Chico, then travel to Chico the next two nights. There will be six teams in the league—Chico Heat, Lodi Crushers, Marysville Gold Sox, Medford Rogues, Portland Pickles, and Sacramento (team name not yet announced).
Off base: It's always tough when you are watching a sports telecast, and the announcers say there are “necessary changes” that need to be made, but don't make any sense. Fox play-by-play man Matt Vasgersian thinks it's totally unfair that the Pittsburgh Pirates have won 90-plus games three years in a row, but will likely have to play a wild-card game all three times. He didn't suggest a solution, though. What is he thinking, the Mets and Dodgers should play the wild card game because the Pirates won 90 games two years ago? Matt, get a clue. Pirates, win your division.
He said it: In that same Pirates-Cubs broadcast on Fox Saturday, analyst John Smoltz was talking about some relief pitchers Pittsburgh acquired in deadline-deal trades. About adding Joakim Soria, Smoltz said it “lengthened the depth” of their bullpen. Huh?
It's over: The world lost baseball great Yogi Berra this week at the age of 90, and while his career should be chronicled more, he'll always be remembered for his Yogi-isms. My two favorites, and the first was probably written for him, was when he was in the AFLAC commercial, and said, “they give you cash, which is just as good as money.” The one that always rang true to me, though, was about going to a once-popular restaurant. “No one goes there anymore. It's too crowded.”