What's up, guys!
So I've journeyed to a new world. Much of this past week was spent covering the various District 65 Little League tournaments around the Central Coast.
Today, I'm sitting in the press box at Dodger Stadium, watching Clayton Kershaw throw for the Dodgers against Danny Duffy in the Royals.
That pretty much sums up the life of a sports writer. One day is never like the next.
So, while I'm here. I'll be live blogging the whole game. (Of note: It's about 94 degrees here. Even in the shade it's hot).
Kershaw pretty much just owned the first three batters for the Royals.
On his first pitch, Whit Merrifield flies out to left.
He then struck out Ramon Torres, the Royals' No. 2 hitter, swinging and got Lorenzo Cain looking on a fastball that just touched the corner.
Here goes Danny Duffy's turn. Logan Forsythe is leading off the L.A. First pitch is low. Next is too high. Duffy battles back from 3-1 down to strike out Forsythe.
Chris Taylor now up. He gets into one and the crowd at Dodger Stadium comes to life. But the ball is just a harmless fly to left.
Justin Turner, the newly minted All-Star, is now up. Nice fastball on the inside part of the plate called a strike.Turner then crushes a ball to dead center. Dodgers up 1-0. That's Turner's ninth homer of the year. He'll be heading to Miami after this game for the ASG.
Duffy was bending his back, trying to will that ball to stay in the park, but center fielder Lorenzo Cain barely tracked it.
Cody Bellinger now up and he fouls a ball off the home-plate umpire Kerwin Danley's face mask and the he goes down. He's finally helped to his feet and he'll stay behind the plate.
Bellinger grounds out harmlessly to second base to end the inning.
Duffy throws 12 pitches in the first inning. Nine of those go for strikes.
Kershaw used just 10 pitches to get through the first inning. Seven of those went for strikes.
Eric Hosmer leading off for Royals in the top of the second inning. Hosmer lines the first pitch he sees from Kershaw to center for a leadoff single.
Jorge Bonifacio up for Royals. He checks in with Danley and then swings and misses on Kershaw's first offering. Bonifacio swings and misses for strike two and then hits a nubber in front of the mound. Kershaw fields his position wonderfully. After falling off toward the third base side, he bounces off the mound while changing direction to charge and pick up the bouncing ball on the first base side, tossing it to Bellinger for the first out of the second.
Alcides Escobar now up with Hosmer at second. Count 2-2 after a fastball is way inside against Escobar. Escobar then strikes out on a four-seamer that was down in the zone.
Kershaw then makes easy work of Jorge Soler, getting him to strike out looking. Kershaw fooled Soler on two pitches.
Looks like Danley is headed to the umpire's room underneath the stadium.
We've waiting about five minutes for Danley to return from underneath the stadium. Duffy looks a bit restless on the mound. Waiting for the situation to be resolved.
Adam Hamari has moved into the home plate umpire role. Danley is not on the field.
Duffy makes Austin Barnes look silly, striking him out on a high fastball.
Kike Hernandez up for the Dodgers. Duffy up 1-2 after Hernandez fouls off a pitch. Duffy's stuff is good. Touching 94 mph on the fastball. Hernandez stays alive, fouling off a 2-2 pitch to the backstop. Hernandez checks his swing on an 83 mph changeup. Hernandez fouls off a 3-2 fastball.
Hamari punches out Hernandez after Duffy painted the inside corner with a fastball. Two down.
Yasiel Puig up. Duffy jumps out in front 0-2. And gets Puig out on a high 94 mph fastball. Duffy has thrown 28 pitches, 21 of those for strikes.
Drew Butera leading off the top of the third for Kansas City. Butera flies out to left and that brings up Duffy. Doesn't look like Duffy is even trying to swing. Two fastballs right over the plate for strikes. Duffy does down swinging on a 92 mph fastball from Kershaw.
Two quick outs for Kershaw brings up leadoff hitter Merrifield. First pitch is a 92 mph fastball right over the plate. Strike one. Merrifield fouls off the next pitch toward the third-base dugout.
Merrfield goes down swinging after Kershaw broke off something nasty. Quick inning of work for the Dodgers' ace, who has used just 34 pitches to get through 3 innings. He's thrown 25 strikes.
Trayce Thompson start things off for the Dodgers. Well-known fact time: Thompson's brother is Klay Thompson off the Golden State Warriors.
Count moves to 3-1 after a high fastball from Duffy. Duffy moves count to 3-2 with inside fastball. Thompson laces a ball off the left field fence that was not well-played by outfielder Soler, who let the ball bounce past him and Thompson ends up with a triple.
Kershaw up. Fouls off first pitch. Next pitch a ball. Next pitch an inside changeup. Infield playing in with Thompson on third. Kershaw flies out to shallow left. Ball is caught by Soler and Thompson doesn't test his arm, staying put at third.
Forsythe up for his second AB of the day. With the count full and the infield in, Forsythe laces a single up the middle to score Thompson and give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead.
With Taylor up, Duffy gets a high, inside fastball for a strike, moving count to 1-2. Dodger Stadium crowd wasn't pleased with the call. Duffy then gets Taylor to swing and miss on low 91 mph fastball.
That brings up Turner, who homered in his first at-bat. First pitch is an inside fastball for a strike. Turner crushes lefties. Jumps another fastball from Duffy and that's a two-run home run for Turner. That's a 405-foot shot for Turner, his 10th homer of the season.
This is Turner's fifth career multi-homer game. Dodgers up 4-0 with Bellinger stepping in. He grounds out to second and nearly beat out the throw, but is called out. Big guy can move.
After three, Dodgers lead Royals 4-0.
Duffy's line: 3 IP, four hits, four earned, five strikeouts, no walks and two homers given up, both to Turner.
Hosmer crushes a two-run home run to get Kansas City back in this game, cutting the Dodgers' lead to 4-2.
Hernandez gets a one-out single off Duffy. Puig then flies out, bringing up Thompson, who tripled in his first at-bat. Duffy gets a breaking pitch over to move the count to 2-2. Duffy punches out Thompson with a fastball right over the plate. Thompson was frozen on that pitch, must've been sitting on breaking pitch or perhaps even Duffy's changeup.
Duffy's line: 4 IP, 5 hits, 4 earned, 6 strikeouts, no walks and two homers given up. He's thrown 67 pitches, 47 of which went for strikes.
Soler hits a popup a mile high and Hernandez has a little bit of trouble hauling it in. Took a light-hearted approach to that fly ball and it almost cost him at short.
Butera's up with one out. Duffy is on deck. Wild pitch from Kershaw that makes its way into the stands. Butera then fouls off another pitch straight back. He's down 1-2 with one out and Duffy on deck. Butera rips a liner right at Turner at third and Turner hauls it in.
Duffy is up for his second at-bat. Duffy takes a first-pitch strike fastball from Kershaw. Swings and misses on a 92 mph fastball from Kershaw. Then hits single up the middle for a hit. Duffy has to be pumped.
Merrifield down 0-2 after fouling off a pitch and swinging on another. Kershaw throws to first as Duffy has a two-step lead. Merrifield goes down swinging and Duffy is stranded.
Kershaw's line: Through 5 IP, 8 strikeouts, no walks, two earned and four hits. He's thrown 59 pitches, 44 of which are for strikes. Only damage is Hosmer's two-run shot.
Kershaw is leading off for the Dodgers. Let's see if he can return the favor. Kershaw takes a fastball for strike one. Then swings and misses on a changeup. Big swing from Kershaw. Duffy's next pitch is a fastball that's way high and outside. Kershaw grounds out to Torres at third. Crowd thought it was a hit for a second.
Forsythe up for the third time today. He goes down looking on a high fastball.
Chris Taylor up. He can't check his swing and Duffy is ahead 0-1. Taylor grounds out to Torres at third and that ends the fifth inning.
Duffy's line: 5 IP, 5 hits, 4 earned, 7 strikeouts and no walks. He's thrown 76 pitches with 55 strikes.
This game is moving. After a 1:10 p.m. start time, we're already through five and it's 2:39 p.m. we'll be finished before 4 at this point. Not surprising with Kershaw and Duffy on the mound.
Torres is leading off and he shows bunt. Pitch is in for a strike as Torres pulls the bat back. Torres then takes on a slow curve for a strike. Torres goes down swinging.
Top-shelf Kershaw right there: First pitch fastball for a strike. Next pitch a slow curve that Torres doesn't even offer at and third pitch a fastball that Torres is way late on.
Cain is up and he fouls a pitch off his left leg. He's down in a heap. Eventually back to his feet with the help of a trainer. He's trying to walk it off. Kershaw takes a toss to stay warm.
Cain is down 0-2: Fastball is way outside from Kershaw. Overthrowing a bit there with a 94 mph mark on the gun. Ball two is low. Cain goes down swinging on a high 94 mph fastball. No chance there as Kershaw gets his 10th strikeout.
Hosmer up: He homered his last at-bat. First pitch is a breaking ball that's inside. Hosmer goes the other way for a single. Nice piece of hitting from the big first baseman in a left-vs.-left matchup.
Bonifacio, the Royals' right fielder, is now up. Each team currently has five hits. Low slider from Kershaw. Bonifacio swings and misses. Count at 1-1. Bonifcacio then swings and misses on a big, slow curve. Count at 1-2: Kershaw bounces in a fastball. Kershaw strikes out Bonifacio on another 74 mph curve to end the inning and strand Hosmer at first.
Kershaw's line: 6 IP, 5 hits, 2 earned, 11 strikeouts, no walks. He's thrown 74 pitches, 54 for strikes.
Turner up for the third time. Two homers so far against Duffy. He has three RBIs. This time Duffy makes quick work of Turner, striking him out on a high fastball. That's Duffy's eighth strikeout.
Bellinger, the big-time rookie is up. Alcides Escobar is playing right behind second base and Bellinger laces a line drive right at him for the second out of the inning.
Duffy goes up 1-2 on Barnes with a filthy changeup. Then gives up a homer to the young catcher. Barnes hit that about 413 feet. Not sure what Duffy threw there but clearly it's not what he wanted against Barnes up 1-2 with two outs.
Hernandez now up. He flies out to right to end the inning. Duffy is not happy with himself. He's been on his game, save for about three pitches that have turned into three homers.
Duffy's line: 6 IP, 6 hits, 5 earned, 8 strikeouts, no walks, 94 pitches, 69 for strikes. Nice.
Escobar grounds out to start the seventh. Nearly made it safely after Bellinger had a bit of trouble on poor throw from Hernandez.
Soler grounds out to Turner at third. Six pitches to get two outs for Kershaw here in the seventh.
Butera up at the plate. He's down 0-1. Butera flies out to center and it's an eight-pitch seventh inning for Kershaw.
Kershaw's line: 7 IP, 5 hits, 2 earned, 11 strikeouts and no walks. Hosmer's two-run homer only damage surrendered by Kershaw. 82 pitches, 61 for strikes.
Duffy still out there with Puig stepping up to the plate. Puig gets into one that goes deep into the left field corner but Soler tracks it down and makes a great running catch near the foul pole. One down.
Trayce Thompson up. Nice play from Escobar in the hole to get Puig out. Kershaw stepping in for his at-bat. So he'll stay in to pitch.
Kershaw down 0-2 after fouling off a pitch. Duffy gets Kershaw looking on a 92 mph fastball. We're through seven here at Dodger Stadium.
Duffy's line: 7 IP, 6 hits, 5 earned, 9 strikeouts, no walks and three homers allowed.
Brandon Moss comes in for Danny Duffy to bat. He fouls out to Turner near the Dodgers' dugout.
Merrifield, the No. 1 hitter, is up. He goes down swinging for Kershaw's 12th strikeout. Filthy pitch there from Kershaw. Dove straight down.
With Torres up, Kershaw makes another tremendous play, handling a comebacker, gathering himself and throwing out Ramon Torres.
I'm sure we'll sure Kenley Jansen here in the 9th.
Kershaw's line: 8 IP, 5 hits, 2 earned, 12 Ks and no walks. 89 pitches, 66 for strikes.
Al Alburquerque on to pitch for the Royals, who are down 5-2. Logan Forsythe up.
Forsythe grounds into a 3-1 putout to bring Chris Taylor to the plate. Taylor lines out to Bonifacio in right. Two down.
Justin Turner up. He flies out to right to end the eighth.
Kershaw returns to close out the CG.
Cain lines out to center. Hosmer is up. He grounds out to Hernandez at short and we're one out away.
Bonifacio is up with two outs in the ninth. He reaches on a wild play. Could've been a game-ending 5-3 putout but the ball bounces off third base and in to left field as Bonifacio reaches second. Escobar up.
Kershaw gets Escobar swinging. First CG of the season. 25th of his career. He gets 13 Ks.
Today's attendance 41,524.