Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Monday, August 19, 2013

Dodgers Lose Second Consecutive Game...My Report on Visiting Marlins Park

The Dodgers lost their second consecutive game for the first time since June 22nd with a 6-2 loss at Marlins Park in Miami tonight.  Of course, I had to be in attendance for this one.  It’s not like I'm trying to set a trend this season, but I have accomplished something that few people on earth have in the past two months, having attended two Dodger road games, both of them losses.

When you consider that the Dodger road record during that time frame is 19-4 (from July 6th through tonight), that’s quite a feat, making me wonder if I should stay away for the rest of this series while I continue to vacation in Miami this week.

This was a battle of rookie pitching stars tonight, and neither one of them disappointed.  Cuban rookie phenomenon Jose Fernandez came to the ball park with a lot to prove.  With all the Yasiel Puig hype, Fernandez showed a crowd of 27,127 that there is a Cuban pelotero with the local club that should be hyped as well.

Yasiel Puig and Jose Fernandez had just embraced in pre-game warmups.  I just missed getting it on film.  Here they say their goodbyes about 5 minutes before game time.  A rare occurrence with a starting pitcher on his day. 

Hitting 97 MPH regularly on the radar gun, Fernandez struck out 8 Dodgers (including Puig twice) over six innings of play.   He worked himself out of jams and was effective throughout the night mixing an assortment of off speed and breaking stuff to keep nearly everyone on the Dodgers completely off balance.

Yasiel Puig strikes out in his Miami debut in the Major Leagues.

That one exception was JuanUribe who went 3 for 4 and he wrapped a key RBI double in the top of the sixth to tie up the game and give his club a fighting chance for a comeback win.  But the Marlins came back in the bottom of the frame for good, scoring a go ahead run on a Logan Morrison double down into the right field corner that was roped to Yasiel Puig’s left.

Hyun-Jin Ryu worked into the 8th inning, but  after retiring the first out of the inning, his pitch count reached 114.  Mattingly pulled him in favor of Chris Withrow who struck out Donovan Solano.  Giancarlo Stanton followed and he blasted a deep homer into the centerfield art deco display to give the Marlins a 4-2 lead.  The Marlins then got a series of hits off of JP Howell and tallied another 2 runs to put the game out of reach.


Marlins Park becomes the 12th road ballpark where I have seen the Dodgers play.  Those Parks are: Shea Stadium, Fenway Park, Oakland Alameda Coliseum, San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium, San Diego Petco Park, Colorado’s Coors Field, Arizona’s Chase Field, San Francisco’s Candlestick Park and AT&T Park, Anaheim Stadium, Houston’s Minute Maid Park, and tonight’s game at Marlins Park.

It's hard to believe that I was in Lake Tahoe in this softball tourney a mere 24 hours ago.  We didn't do too well, but it was fun as always.  This is a team of guys from work, Note our good friend, Figgy in the front row with the Dodger cap. He contributes to comments on this blog quite often.  He was really talking smack to the Giant fan opponents in this tournament.

It has been a whirlwind 24 hours of travel for me as I was in Lake Tahoe yesterday, finishing up an 8-game softball tournament at 6,400 feet in elevation.  Once the games ended, I drove the 250 miles home in horrid weekend traffic (it took 7 hours to get home), and then I caught the red-eye for Miami, where we arrived in sweltering humidity this morning at 7:30 am.

I did a bit of research before coming to the game tonight, as I figured it would be in my best interest to purchase tickets at the last minute, as there aren’t a lot of Marlin sell outs throughout the year.  

My wife tagged along with me as we departed from our hotel in  83 degree heat that felt more like 110 due 79% humidity in the region.  Now don’t get me wrong.  My wife is a sweetheart and all and a good sport when it comes to my Dodgers fanaticsim, but she isn’t a real bundle of joy when it comes to being in unbearable humidity and an unfamiliar setting.

I attend my Dodger games early.  It’s the way I always roll.  I like to take in the atmosphere at the ball park.  Watch some B.P., and witness the players interacting with the fans.  My wife?  Well, she likes to arrive about the time first pitch rolls out and then depart early if at all possible.  I could talk about how she wanted to leave in a tense September 2004 game with the Giants, but you get my drift.  She’s accepts me and my faults, and for the most part, she’s able to sit through most of my baseball passion with patience.

Today wasn’t going to happen the way I figured.  When we arrived near the ball park, I found my assigned parking spot.  I reserved it on line.  The residents in the area allow you to park in their front yards for a fee that is considerably less than the $20 charged by the Lorias to use their monstrosoity of a parking garage.  I paid $7 for my reserved spot, that wasn’t a front yard, but the parking lot of a Latin Market, “La Bodeguita” on 12th St.
La Selva Negra restaurant.  A "must" visit location.  The food is awesome.
It's a shame that this photo was taken with the I-phone.  The food was delicious and the portions very plentiful.  

Since we were two hours early, My wife suggested that we go to “La Selva Negra” restaurant a few blocks away.  She was familiar with it because about three months ago, visiting family in Miami, they took her there.  It is Nicaraguan cuisine and absolutely delish.  If you come to Miami to see the Dodgers, do yourself a favor and go to this place.  For $10 I had a plate of carne asada, side salad, fired platanitos (tajadas verdes), gallo pinto (a rice/bean combo dish), a refreshing guava/orange mixed fruit drink and fried cheese.  An awesome meal.  Nicaraguan cuisine is a must for those unfamiliar with it.  The only drawback was I had to eat fast in order to get to the game.

We drove back to the reserved parking spot I had at “La Bodeguita.”  I walked in the market and the owner said he’d take care of my car.  I’m not sure how he’d do that since he had a store to attend to, but I guess he hasn’t had problems in the past.

"La Bodeguita" parking lot.  Where my vehicle was parked for the game.

The neighborhood is, well, how can I say this?  It’s interesting.  I think it’s safe enough for me, because walking through there on a night when thousands aren’t going to a baseball game might be a little dangerous.  My three block trek from “La Bodeguita” to Marlins Park had us stepping around a few vagrants, over littered streets around some abandoned buildings and over broken glass.  

Front yard parking, gives the locals in Little Havana a bit of extra income.

Some of the homes had converted their entire front yards into parking lots.  A woman had a receipt book as she tagged cars entering into her front yard, charging $10 a piece.  There were 14 cars already on her front lawn and she was telling a driver that she would watch the vehicle with an eagle eye while he was at the game.  I read on a web site that some even offer the service of washing the cars for an extra fee.

A scalper tried to sell us tickets right in plain view of a policeman, which leads me to believe that scalping is either legal, or it isn’t enforced.  He had down the third base line by the Marlins dugout that he was selling for $10 under face value, but I wanted to sit in Puig territory out in right field, so I went to the box office and dropped $18 down for each ticket as I was got tickets in the second row in right field.

My plan was to check out the whole ball park.  Check out the night club in left field, the bobble head doll museum or display (whatever it is), and take photos from various spots in the park.  But it simply will have to be for another day.  We arrived just before first pitch and there was a game to concentrate on.

My impressions of the ballpark.  Nice.  Good views throughout.  Problems viewing the scoreboards, but that might have been because I was in the outfield and my distance eye sight is deteriorating with age.  The green colors contrasted with ocean blue colors took some getting used to.  The place is pristine clean and the fans very courteous except for a few hecklers that were insulting Puig in Spanish.

I’m looking forward to spending more time in the venue the next time around which will probably be on Wednesday.

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