Los Angeles : One of the hardest things to do for people in this baseball business is to be a part of a late ending night game followed by a day game. Players, people working concessions, security, parking lot attendants and members of the press all have a short turnaround. Leaving the ballpark after 11 last night and being here at 8:20 to get started for a 12:10 game is always an adventure.
But all the complaining comes to an end when you enter the Stadium and get settled. Being here early is a must. It is when you get to talk to players, scouts, other reporters, coaches and managers. The early starts can be a challenge as the players become less available for questions.
Today Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who is quite the gentleman and always available, was very candid on his thoughts about the game being suppressed. He said that, “They change the ball every year and that is confusing for pitchers as well as hitters. I’m not a scientist but it seems that the raised seams put more drag on balls hit as well as balls thrown. Balls that were home runs last year are not getting over the fence this year. I notice a difference from last year to this year.” He added that “Hitters may even change their approach from launch angles to more of a line-drive swing but that would have to evolve over time.”
Roberts when asked about the length of games said that, “I’m all in favor of speeding up the game” and then spoke about how that affects the fans. “I think the fans want to stay as long as they can. I think 2:45 is the sweet spot for time of game.”
Some game notes:
Freddie Freeman showed his gold glove off on the first play of the game as he snared a hot shot off the bat of Braves leadoff hitter Ozzie Albies for the putout at first. He then came to bat in the first inning with Mookie Betts at first and hit an absolute moon shot into the RF Pavilion as if to say to the Braves, “Do you miss me now?”
Meanwhile in a bit of deja vu from last night’s Max Fried’s bid for a no hitter, Dodger starter RHP Tony Gonsolin took a no-no into the 6th inning where it was broken up by Manny Piña from Barquisimeto, Venezuela, on an infield hit to the spot where a second baseman would normally be playing when not in a shift.
Gonsolin was done after the 6th inning with a 3-0 lead, having reached the required number of pitches, 83, prescribed by the analytical geniuses who control baseball today. He allowed 0 runs, 1 hit, 3 walks and 3 strikeouts with the Dodgers going on to win 5-1.
The Braves will love getting on a plane headed back to Atlanta. The results of this west coast trip was not what they had in mind. They split 2 in San Diego with the Padres last weekend and were 1-2 here in LA.
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