Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Dodgers Hold On, Another Cliff-Hanger at Coors Field

So my first experience at Coors Field started out amazing with the Dodgers jumping out to a 7-0 lead.  By the time the night came to a close, I came to claim that I personally have witnessed it.  This is a place where no lead is safe.  The Dodger shung on to win 7-6, with the tying run just 90 feet away while the batter in the box that struck out to end the game, Carlos Gonzalez, was sporting a .400 average against them.

I arrived when the gates opened and was impressed with the Denver digs that the Rockies enjoy.  

Blake Street, in front of entrance
Entering Ball Park
A pristine clean ball park with all the amenities.  I immediately went down the third base line and watched batting practice in the left field corner, only to see Chris Capuano throw some pitches off flat ground to Clayton Kershaw.
They also had a yellow softball and Clayton tried his luck with an underhand fastpitch delivery.

After the ushers gave us the boot from the section, I walked over to the Dodger dugout, only to get turned away by an usher there...though I had tickets 7 rows behind home plate, it didn’t matter.  I was shooed away.  Oh, well.
I settled in my seat.  Maybe the best seats I’ve ever had.
View from my seats

Here's Dee Gordon and Mark Ellis taking some practice swings just before the start of the game.

Four pitches in, Dee deposited his first Major League home run into the right field bleachers off of Jhoulys Chacin.  It was a no doubter.  A perfect swing and a 1-0 lead.  
Dee Gordon steps in for the first pitch of the game.  He hit his first ML homer on the 4th pitch of the night.   Note Rockie third baseman Jonathan Herrera moving in anticipating the bunt.

Gordon crosses the plate after the homer.

Three batters later, Andre Ethier did the same.  This one I filmed video with my camera.  Take a look at this 48 second YouTube video that I posted merely seconds after Ethier hit it.

It was a little shaky, but it's really the first piece of live footage that I have shot that is of a legitimate game highlight.  I usually tape footage of guys taking pitches.  Lucked out with this one.

Ted Lilly was on his game, extending his shutout innings into the 6th inning.  Lilly got the well deserved win, allowing 2 runs over the 6 frames.  He is off to his best start of the season in years.  The scouts seated next to me said they clocked him at 97 MPH on the radar gun.  (Just seeing if you were paying attention, I don't think Lilly surpassed 89 on the gun).

Scouts monitoring the action

So, with a 7-0 lead at hand in the 6th inning, the Rocks slowly wittled away at the lead, leading me to seriously believe that the victory was not going to happen.  Josh Lindblom was rudely received by the Rockie bats, giving up three runs.  Kenley Jansen surrendered another run in the eighth.  This left the game up to the struggling Dodger closer Javy Guerra.  Yes, the same Javy Guerra that the ushers wouldn't let through the flexiglass gate behind home plate a few minutes before the game started.  It wasn't until Trey Hillman came out and vouched for him that thye let him in.  (I kid you not.  The ushers at this ballpark were jerks!)

Guerra, as so often happens, made it a nail biter.  I give him credit though.  He struck out two and was saved by a fine defensive play by Mark Ellis, to record his 8th save on the year.   This has to be a confidence booster for Guerra who has been struggling in dramatic fashion lately.  Guerra was hitting 96 MPH on the gun and his darting slider was at 91.  The final slider to strike out CarGo was classic.
CarGo swings and misses at a Guerra slider for the final out.  Gonzalez then splinters his bat into pieces out of frustration.

So, tomorrow Clayton Kershaw goes for the Series win.  Unfortunately I can't remain in town for that.  A series victory tomorrow will keep this train rolling.  The Dodgers under the new ownership are undefeated and...as my friend Ron Cervenka from the True Blue LA blog was so quick to text me.  Dee Gordon has more homers than Albert Pujols on the season!

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