Kershaw Save Bullpen NLDS Clayton

Game 96 // Ninth Inning, Washington // A Salute, to Your 2016 L.A. Dodgers

BOTTOM OF THE NINTH: DODGERS 4 – 3 NATIONALS

 

The Los Angeles Dodgers of the year 2016. Champions of the N.L. West. Surmounters of the fearful Giants, beaters of the odds, overcomers of the expectations, endurers over the injuries, prudent protectors of the blisters, demoters of the Puig, promoters of the Puig, winking smiling last-laughers over the doubters. Party-throwers for Sir Vin’s last major-league run. Victors, in this last great win, over the Washington Nationals. Continue reading “Game 96 // Ninth Inning, Washington // A Salute, to Your 2016 L.A. Dodgers”

Game 95 // Ninth Inning, Chicago // The Cubbies Win the Pennant

TOP OF THE NINTH: CUBS 5 – 0 DODGERS

 

Chapman on the mound. Hernandez strikes out. Ruiz walks. Puig grounds to short. Russell to Baez to Rizzo. Double play. Cubs win.

*          *          *

What can be said about this game that hasn’t already been said about Christmas morning? Better than that. The first day of a summer break. Better than that. Evening fireworks on the 4th of July. That, too. Better than all. A graduation, an engagement, a marriage, a festival, a celebration. An outdoor fete to anything.

A birthday. Each one of them. For each one of us. Happening at once. Jammed together onto one calendar day. A four-hour party for a whole world of twins, newly made. Smiling the same smiles, unwrapping the same big gift. Sharing matching outfits in blue. Sharing it all. Continue reading “Game 95 // Ninth Inning, Chicago // The Cubbies Win the Pennant”

Game 4 Dodgers 2016 4th Inning Sketch

Game 94 // Fourth Inning, L.A. // Ben Zobrist, Bunt of the Year

TOP OF THE FOURTH: CUBS 4 (0) – 0 DODGERS

 

A scoreless game, a fourth inning beginning, a one-game NLCS lead, a packed house at Dodger Stadium, a front row seat for one Larry King, slumped half-snoozing through the early goings. A 20-year-old dealing on the mound, a teamful of bats gone cold, a destined Cubs run teetering near premature collapse.

And a Ben Zobrist at the plate. A bunt on the first pitch of the inning. Continue reading “Game 94 // Fourth Inning, L.A. // Ben Zobrist, Bunt of the Year”

Game 93 // Eighth Inning, Chicago // The Montero Slam

CUBS 8 – 4 DODGERS


I’m three beers down.

It’s 3:00 AM.

I barely remember the night that was.

The Cubs win that was.

The Miguel Montero grand-slam home run that was.

The bedlam insanity hugfest mad jumping screaming whooping dancing hollering crying smacking yelling beloving wild scene that Wrigley Field was.

Continue reading “Game 93 // Eighth Inning, Chicago // The Montero Slam”

Chase Utley Philadelphia Return Home Run

Game 76 // Seventh Inning, Philly // Chase Utley’s Big Return

TOP OF THE SEVENTH: DODGERS 13 (5) – 2 PHILLIES

 

Chase Utley of the L.A. Dodgers has returned to Philadelphia, to a giant salad of superfan worship at Citizens Bank Park, a red sea of admiring, cheering, bowing nostalgics, holding up big hand-written posterboards to show their forever approval.

“Welcome home Chase, I miss you!”

“CHASE UTLEY: A PHILLIE FOREVER” 

“The man! #26” Continue reading “Game 76 // Seventh Inning, Philly // Chase Utley’s Big Return”

Jake Lamb Diamondbacks Homer Scully

Game 69 // Seventh Inning, Los Angeles // A Silent Gift, for Vin Scully

Sketch by Henry Gustavson


TOP OF THE SEVENTH: DODGERS 3 – (0) 7 D-BACKS

 

Beachballs in the bleachers at Dodger Stadium. Popcorn-eaters in the front row. Palm trees. Hollywood. Vin Scully alone in a broadcast booth, talking by himself, talking to us. Assuring the world that all’s well in Dodgeralia. Calm. Composed. At home, in a park he’ll depart at season’s end. Handpicking his words, off endless branches, branches’ branches, in a deep memory he builds, maintains over many years, keeps polished like a jewel. He seems, and I quote from Ogawa Yoko’s “Transit” here, to speak words into the palms of his hands, and then present them to me one by one. Continue reading “Game 69 // Seventh Inning, Los Angeles // A Silent Gift, for Vin Scully”

Cardinals Dodgers Bunt Busch

Game 65 // Third Inning, St. Louis // The Dodgers’ Infield Sneak

TOP OF THE THIRD: DODGERS 4 (0) – 0 CARDINALS

 

Dave Roberts is looking out at Busch Stadium from the top step of the dugout, a Brooklyn “B” on his cap—the revived emblem of a team gone for California a quarter-century before his first birthday. The backs of their jerseys still have names, the helmets still read L.A., and the era we’re meant to revisit feels lost in the HD online stream of digital 2016ity. Cousin to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: The Brooklyn Dodgers of Los Angeles. Continue reading “Game 65 // Third Inning, St. Louis // The Dodgers’ Infield Sneak”

Game 53 // First Inning, San Francisco // The Cueto Shimmy

TOP OF THE FIRST: DODGERS 2 (0) – 0 GIANTS

 

The end of an era. Sammy Sosa called out for his corked bats. George Brett tossed for pine tar. And now Johnny Cueto, long-time master of the shimmy, baseball deception’s stylish king of the hill—shoulder-shaking, pelvis-wobbling, neck-bobbling trickery stopped in its tracks with the rules finally catching up to him—“You’ve had enough,” the umpires said, “no more shimmies, no more fun.”
Continue reading “Game 53 // First Inning, San Francisco // The Cueto Shimmy”

Game 44 // Ninth Inning, New York // Granderson at the Bat

 // Sketch contributor: Henry Gustavson

 

TOP OF THE NINTH: METS 5 – (1) 4 DODGERS

 

The ghosts of the 1986 Mets are alive and well tonight at Shea Stadium Citi Field, with a big home run from what looks to be Darryl Strawberry, and Dwight Gooden on the mound to close things out.

The digits 1 9 8 6 are printed in blue and orange on the infield grass, ahead of both dugouts, Continue reading “Game 44 // Ninth Inning, New York // Granderson at the Bat”

Game 40 // Eleventh Inning, San Diego // Padres Walk, Walk, Walk It Off

BOTTOM OF THE ELEVENTH: PADRES 3 (2) – 2 DODGERS

 

It’s a late night out on the west coast, in the far southwest corner of California, with the fans chanting “Beat L-A!! Beat L-A!!” and the game tied up in the bottom of the 11th inning. There’s a rust-colored tuft of mullet protruding from the blue cap of Dodger pitcher Chin-hui Tsao, coming in for just his second mound appearance of the season.

A week ago, he was in AAA-ball. Two years ago he was running a beef-noodle soup restaurant in Hualien City, Taiwan. Continue reading “Game 40 // Eleventh Inning, San Diego // Padres Walk, Walk, Walk It Off”

Game 20 // Sixth Inning, Los Angeles // King Kershaw Crumbles

TOP OF THE SIXTH: MARLINS 5 0 – 3 DODGERS

 

We start tonight in the presence of greatness—predating the stadium, half the league’s teams, and nearly the state of California: the legendary, the avuncular Vin Scully, who’s now in his final (and 67th) year calling Dodger baseball Continue reading “Game 20 // Sixth Inning, Los Angeles // King Kershaw Crumbles”

Game 5 // Eighth Inning, San Francisco // The No-Hitter That Wasn’t

BOTTOM OF THE EIGHTH: DODGERS 2 – 0 2 GIANTS

What!!!??? What!!!!!!!????? I can’t believe what I just saw—the sound of my own dumbfounded, screaming voice against the TV erasing all ability to comprehend, reason with, or justify what Dave Roberts just did… Continue reading “Game 5 // Eighth Inning, San Francisco // The No-Hitter That Wasn’t”