I hate Coors Field. I hate absolutely everything about it. “From hell’s heart I stab at thee,” and all that. Sure, there’s the stunning views of majestic vistas, and a fanbase that generally supports their team very well, but none of it matters. None of it. Even last year, I was titling posts “See You in Hell, Coors Field“. I hate their giant stupid dinosaur mascot, and I hate the four-and-a-half hour games that never seem to end. Just tear the place down already. If not that, then I’m fine with the Dodgers just forfeiting every single game there form now on, because we’ve already seen what the walls in Denver can do to ruin Matt Kemp‘s career… and tonight, it very nearly did the same to Yasiel Puig.
In the bottom of the fifth, Nolan Arenado hit a ball deep to right field. Puig slammed into the wall — view this GIF via Chad Moriyama if you absolutely must — and though he made the catch, he stayed down on the field for several minutes. I have a picture of him on the ground in pain holding his leg, and I won’t post it here, because I don’t care to inflict such pain upon you. Puig stayed in to hit a sacrifice fly in the sixth, then was replaced by Skip Schumaker. The Dodgers later reported that he “bruised his left hip and the muscles of his thigh,” and is day-to-day.
That all being said, I’m now in the third paragraph and I haven’t even pointed out that the Dodgers actually won the damn game, 10-8, thanks to a blistering offense that was able to overcome another very shaky Zack Greinke start. Greinke was actually pretty brutal, tying a career high with seven walks (one intentionally) and allowing five runs in five innings to push his ERA to 4.30, though it should at least be noted that he at least managed to hold it together after a terrible start and get through his final three innings with just one more run on the board. He got the win, because… well, you know.
Most nights over the last few years on this team, a poor starting effort equals a quick loss. But not with this lineup, and not in this godforsaken park. For the first time this season, the Dodgers put up 10 runs, and they did it with style, adding 10 extra-base hits. (The last time they did that? The famous 4+1 game of 2006, notes Eric Stephen.)
After two runs were on the board, Juan Uribe kicked off the fun with his third homer of the season — and when Uribe homers, you can be all but guaranteed that he’s getting the marquee image no matter what else happens — followed by Adrian Gonzalez putting number 12 out in the fifth, an absolute no-doubter blast into the right field seats. In the ninth, Hanley Ramirez hit yet another dinger — his seventh, one of his four hits, and you just can’t overstate just how phenomenal he’s been — and perhaps best of all, Matt Kemp hit his first since May 20.
Believe it or not, this was the first game all season that the Dodgers had Greinke, Kemp, & Ramirez all out there at the same time. Tonight was the 83rd game of the season. And we wonder why this team struggled so badly for months? Fortunately, the trio of J.P. Howell, Paco Rodriguez, and Kenley Jansen worked around Grienke and an uneven appearance from Jose Dominguez, with Jansen entering in the eighth for a four-out save.
With that, the Dodgers have won 10 of 11 and are now virtually tied with Colorado for second place, just two games behind Arizona for first. (Though the Diamonbacks are currently leading the Mets 5-2 in the eighth.) Two days ago, this team was in last. Tonight, it’s second. By the weekend, it could be first. What a wild ride.
And with that, I bid you a safe and enjoyable holiday. I’ll be traveling through Sunday, though game threads will still get posted, and you all know that means that trades are coming. Enjoy.