But who needs booze when your body thinks it's almost 4 in the morning? After losing on Sunday, the Dodgers fell to 1-10 this month, and couldn't have been happier to head north to San Francisco to face the last-place Giants on Monday night.
"We can exhale a little bit", Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said afterward. The NL West-leading Dodgers arrived riding a 10-game losing streak - then set a record for their longest drought since moving from Brooklyn to Los Angeles 59 years ago. The third baseman had four RBIs, and DJ LeMahieu had three hits and an RBI. Oftentimes, the motivations of a team is at odds with a player's best interest, but here, the Indians very much want to keep Zimmer healthy.
Los Angeles did, however, see its lead over the idle Washington Nationals (88-55) shrink to 3 1/2 games in the battle for best record in the NL. "Usually there's handshakes but tonight there were more hugs". The losing streak was over. "Overall, I thought my stuff was there". His loyalty to the organization was never in question, yet he never talked down to the fans. Historically, I've always been that way, for whatever reason. Just consider how dramatically a win or loss could impact the course of the Gators' season.
That begins in October, when they'll once again attempt to actually win a playoff series. "It's just realizing baseball is baseball". His honesty, his gentle humanism and authenticity were the only comfort we needed. We can't let up. Sometimes, it works and the player gets a hit out of it. Sometimes, it goes really wrong and the player suffers a serious injury like a broken finger or wrist. That's a large workload for the Dodgers bullpen, which was considered the Achilles' Heel for the team even when they were rolling.
If this continues and the Dodgers are unable to generate an early lead, this is great news for the D-backs if they should meet in the playoffs.
Notice all of that was in past tense. This Dodgers team isn't oozing similar internal conflict, at least not right now, unless you consider the booing of pitcher Pedro Baez as a major issue. The Los Angeles hitters most vulnerable to high fastballs are Granderson (.146), Hernandez (.156), Yasiel Puig (.156), Joc Pederson (.167) and Yasmani Grandal (.182). They just haven't stood a chance against Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw has a 0.90 WHIP with 182 strikeouts over 151 innings. He struck out five in seven scoreless innings that day. Kershaw is 21-9 with a 1.62 ERA in 40 career games and 39 starts against San Francisco and he improved to 7-1 in nine 2017 road starts.
Kershaw (17-3) allowed eight hits and a walk in six innings, but he limited the Giants to two runs (one earned).
The Dodgers elevated the right-hander's pitch count in a hurry, with Cueto throwing 77 through three.
Then, the Dodgers got going in the fourth. As Kershaw ripped a liner into left field, outfielder Austin Slater lost track of the baseball in the lights.
"You have to feel that way".
Marathon weather delays have become commonplace in baseball; clubs are reluctant to hand out rain checks to fans, and they're reluctant to schedule makeup doubleheaders, even separate-admission ones.
Pederson's family hails from nearby Palo Alto, so the Dodgers coming to town makes this situation possible. The 31-year-old has struggled since joining the Dodgers in August, accumulating a 5.34 ERA and 1.55 WHIP while going 2-3.