Manny Ramirez is back! Oh, you’ve known about this. I wasn’t so sure myself until Friday night. Manny hit a two-run shot in the sixth, his 536th overall, good enough to tie Mickey Mantle for 15th on the all-time list. Impressive.
But it was not as impressive as the Dodgers’ team offense. In their series opener against the Milwaukee Brewers, the Dodgers hit five homeruns; one from Manny, Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, James Loney and Russell Martin. With the 12-8 victory, the Dodgers bring their record to 55-31.
The offensive showcase puts the Dodgers at 11th in the NL in homeruns. A romantic thought, but if the Dodgers played their remaining 81 games in Miller Park, they’d likely finish higher. Manny’s presence will do just fine and Dodgers fans should expect to see more long balls in the second half of play.
Homeruns are not the Dodger’s signature, but effective scoring should be noted. The team has four players with 50-plus RBI’s and one nearing the same mark.
Moreover, the Dodgers seem to hit the long ball when most needed. They have certainly helped in the team’s 23 comeback victories. The team expects to win these close games, especially those in extra innings (Dodgers are 9-2 in such games.)
“We’ve been there a while and we know even if we’re up or down, we know – especially if we’re down late in games – we can come back with the kind of lineup we have,” said centerfielder Matt Kemp.
Friday, Kemp proved to fans he is worthy of his last-minute All-Star selection. Wait, that didn’t happen. Well, perhaps Kemp’s grand slam in the top of the 10th, which turned a close, one-run lead into an impassible deficit, or his over-the-shoulder running catch sounded the point. Either way, Kemp’s teammates appreciated both efforts. However Kemp, who blasted off his third grand slam this season, (the fourth in his young career) was amused by one more than the other.
“Willie Mays Hayes,” Kemp said as he entered the dugout. He was referencing the fleet-footed center fielder of the All-American classic film, “Major League.”
Of course, Kemp could have easily been proclaiming quotes from the movie’s slugger, Pedro Cerrano.
“I look after you. I do a lot for you. If you do not help me now, I say (explitive) you Jobu, I’ll do it myself.”
The Dodgers have not needed Jobu this season. Time and time again, they’ve been able to make something out of nothing. From the look of things, they’ll do just fine without Jobu, even in October.
Taking out the Spotlight
The Dodgers victory was not the buzz around the league Friday. Jonathon Sanchez of the San Francisco Giants pitched a no-hitter as the Giants beat the Padres, 8-0.
Sanchez (3-8) did it on 110 pitches, 77 of which were strikes. He had 11 strikeouts. Sanchez became the first Giant to accomplish the feat since John Montefusco did it on Sept. 29, 1976. The Padres were no-hit for the seventh time and first since 2001.
A 27th-round draft pick in 2004, Sanchez pitched four no-hitters in college for NAIA Ohio Dominican.
The success of their pitching puts the Giants at second place in the NL West (48-38). They have the second-best record in the NL behind the first place Dodgers.