Memorial Day Weekend

After taking two out of three from the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Dodgers returned home for a three-game series with the Houston Astros, and a current four game set with the Milwaukee Brewers.  The weekend saw some amazing highlights from the Blue Crew and they continued their hot play.  I was lucky enough to attend the Dodgers 5-1 win over the Astros on Sunday.  Clayton Kershaw pitched a solid 7 innings on Friday night, but the Dodgers lost 3-1.  Astros rookie Lucas Harrell threw 7-plus solid innings, matching Kershaw pitch for pitch.  The Dodgers threatened in the eighth, but were unable to break through.  Saturday night’s matchup saw another close game.  Chad Billingsley and Bud Norris matched each other pitch for pitch in two shaky, but still effective starts.  With the game tied 3-3 in the 9th, Houston lefty Wesley Wright hit Andre Ethier on an 0-2 count, certainly not intentional.  Scott Van Slyke proceeded to lay down a picture perfect bunt to move Ethier over.  The Astros intentionally walked James Loney to set up the force play, bringing up A.J. Ellis, one of the Dodgers’ brightest surprises this season.  Ellis drilled a fastball from Wilton Lopez deep into left field for a three-run blast, leaving no doubt about it with a little bat flip.  The 31-year old lifetime farmhand, had his biggest hit of his big league career, and blew up Twitter in the meantime as well.  Sunday’s game, which I was lucky enough to attend, was a lefty-on-lefty pitchers duel.  Chris Capuano threw a dominant 7 innings, giving up only 1 run on 2 hits, and striking out 8.  Houston’s J.A. Happ matched Capuano for six-plus, striking out 10!  Again in the absence of Matt Kemp, the Dodgers continued to get run production from unlikely sources, including a 5-for-5 day for Jerry Hariston, Jr. and  a home run from Matt Treanor, that barely squeezed out of the glove of Houston centerfielder Justin Maxwell on a leaping play at the warning track.  The Dodgers started a four-game series with Milwaukee today, dropping the opener 3-2.  Milwaukee’s Shawn Marcum improved his lifetime record against the Dodgers to 4-1 pitching 7 solid innings giving up only 1 run and striking out 9.  Jonathan Axford struck out Elian Herrera with a runner on 2nd to end the game.  Although the Dodgers lost the series opener, they can look forward to the return of Matt Kemp tomorrow.  Although many players have stepped up in Kemp’s absence, one can only imagine he is chomping at the bit to get back out there and play.  The Dodgers currently sit at 32-16 tops in the Major Leagues, including a league best 21-6 at Dodger Stadium.  The Dodgers embark on a major road trip after the Milwaukee series, including trips to Philadelphia and Colorado, and an interleague matchup in Seattle.  Ted Lilly was also placed on the 15-day DL with shoulder inflammation, the Dodgers will miss his 5-1 record.  Nathan Eovaldi will start in Lilly’s place.

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