Max Scherzer strikes out 14 in beating Dodgers

first_imgLOS ANGELES >> The Dodgers are experiencing their own version of June gloom.Right-hander Max Scherzer struck out 14 Dodgers in seven innings Tuesday night as the Washington Nationals handed the Dodgers their third consecutive loss, 2-1.A week ago, the Dodgers were riding the wave of a six-game winning streak that carried them temporarily into first place in the National League West. They averaged 6½ runs per game during that winning streak. But they have lost five of the seven games since, batting .174 (a mere .102 with runners in scoring position) and striking out 80 times while scoring a total of 16 runs — 10 of them in one game at Miller Park in Milwaukee on Friday, the only time in the past seven games they have scored more than two runs. “You score six runs, seven runs a game for a little while, then you’re going to have stretches where it’s tough to score runs,” Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez said. “I wouldn’t look much into it.”It doesn’t take a deep dive.The Dodgers have faced three of the top five starting rotations in the National League (the Cardinals, Brewers and Nationals) while playing without two regulars in their lineup – third baseman Justin Turner (due back from his hamstring injury Friday) and center fielder Joc Pederson (albeit a slumping Joc Pederson). The opposing starters over the past seven games have allowed just six runs in their 45 innings against the Dodgers.“I wouldn’t say we’re in a lull because if you look back and look at (Cardinals starter Adam) Wainwright and what he did to us and then running into (Carlos) Martinez,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “I look back at all the games on video and see the pitches these guys have been making – Zach Davies (in Milwaukee) and then the last two nights (Scherzer and Gio Gonzalez) – they’ve thrown the ball really well, some of those guys.“But against guys that throw the ball well, you’ve still got to find ways to get baserunners and manufacture and create runs.”Scherzer did not offer many opportunities for that.The Dodgers scratched out a run in the first inning when Chase Utley led off with a single, Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy booted a grounder from Corey Seager and Gonzalez delivered an RBI single.But Scherzer promptly struck out the next five Dodgers batters and 11 of the first 18 he faced. Twenty-four of Scherzer’s first 28 pitches registered as strikes, an early sign of the forgiving zone home plate umpire Angel Hernandez would use to keep things moving along.“Scherzer is one of the best in the game,” Roberts said of the two-time Cy Young Award winner who has 38 strikeouts and just 11 hits allowed in 24-2/3 innings over his past three starts. “Obviously when you get a performance like that from Mac (Dodgers starter Brandon McCarthy), to pretty much match him, and not get a win, it’s a tough one.“Infield hit, steals a couple bases and they get the sac fly. Another ball that (Bryce) Harper hits that’s just fair. Ultimately, another run was plated after that. He threw the ball really well. His entire mix was good. Unfortunately, we just couldn’t put a whole lot together against Scherzer.”McCarthy was more democratic in his approach than Scherzer, striking out only four but getting an assortment of soft contact instead and allowing the same number of hits as Scherzer – three. Two of the Nats’ three wound up scoring, however.Trea Turner’s speed produced a run in the first inning – he beat out an infield single, stole second and third and scored on a sacrifice fly.“Still really frustrated over the run in the first,” McCarthy said. “I felt like I made a couple mental mistakes … not doing all I should do in holding him. He’s probably going to go anyway, but I should do more to increase the odds we can get him.“I was slide-stepping. But when he was on second, I didn’t vary my rhythm at all. I knew as soon as the ball left my hand he had third. That’s the one that’s unacceptable.”McCarthy’s only other mistake was a changeup to Harper leading off the fourth. He lined it into the right-field corner for a double and the Nationals cashed it in for the winning run.Yasiel Puig had a double of his own with one out in the bottom of the fourth. But the Dodgers couldn’t advance him and didn’t have another baserunner until Chris Taylor’s one-out single in the ninth inning.Puig stranded him at second, striking out against Nationals reliever Koda Glover to end the game. Both benches briefly emptied for a scrum on the grass in front of the pitcher’s mound, Puig having objected to Glover’s punctuating the strikeout with a gesture in his direction and Glover unhappy with Puig staring back at him.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Stable Notes By Ed Golden – Saturday, May 30, 2020

first_imgBUSY DAY LOOMS FOR MICHAEL McCARTHY HONOR A.P., MIDCOURT SET FOR SHIRREFFS TRAINER HOPES HE HAS THE ‘WRIGHT STUFF’ ANNEAU D’OR IN RUNHAPPY SANTA ANITA DERBYBlaine Wright knows his way around the race track,You might say he was born in the game.His father, Richard, was a jockey and a trainer. His mother, Susan, was an assistant trainer, an owner and a breeder, so when Blaine sends out an outsider against two deservingly obvious favorites in a Grade I race, it should be given more than a longshot’s chance.That’s the scenario the 46-year-old trainer will find himself in next Saturday, June 6, when he runs Anneau d’Or against undefeated Authentic and Honor A.P. in the Runhappy Santa Anita Derby.As a two-year-old, a future of gold and glory seemed on the horizon after Anneau d’Or lost the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile by a head at 28-1 to Storm the Court, who would go on to win an Eclipse Award as outstanding two-year-old male of 2019.That effort was followed by a neck defeat as the 6-5 favorite behind well-regarded Thousand Words in the Grade II Los Alamitos Futurity.But that was then and this is now. In his two races at three, Anneau d’Or (ring of gold) was an eventful ninth in the Grade II Risen Star at the Fair Grounds on Feb. 15 and fifth of six by 9 ½ lengths in the first division of the Grade I Arkansas Derby on May 2.Next up: the Santa Anita Derby.“Our plans are to leave Monday morning (from Golden Gate),” said Wright by phone from the Bay Area, adding that Victor Espinoza has been engaged to ride the $480,000 son of Medaglia d’Oro owned by 85-year-old Peter Redekop, an inspirational story in his own right.Born in a Mennonite colony in the former Soviet Union–in the area now known as the Ukraine–Redekop’s family was oppressed by Communists for their religious beliefs and displaced in Germany for two years after World War II ended.“We basically didn’t have any food to eat,” Redekop has said. “I was 10 years old and remember it very vividly. I will never forget it.”Following several years in The Netherlands, Redekop immigrated to Canada in 1948, landing in Winnipeg. He made his fortune in real estate, jumped into racing with both feet in 1968 and has been a prominent fixture for more than half a century.Redekop is the perennial leader among owners and breeders in Vancouver, British Columbia, where he is a member of the Hall of Fame.Wright, who began training full time in 2006, is best known for developing millionaire Alert Bay into a four-time graded stakes winner including Santa Anita’s Grade II City of Hope Mile in 2015.But back to Anneau d’Or.“We had to use him a little more than we wanted the first part in the Arkansas Derby,” continued Wright, a native of Ogden, Utah, who has been a mainstay in Northern California and the Great Northwest, where he was leading trainer at Emerald Downs in 2016-17.“He broke bad, but that’s no excuse. The winner (Charlatan) ran off the charts (leading throughout to post a six-length triumph). Nobody was outrunning him that day. Maybe we would have placed a bit better, but on the other hand, it had been nine weeks since he ran in the Risen Star and it was another nine weeks from the Los Al Futurity to the Risen Star.“We had been at Santa Anita and breezed over the track for the Santa Anita Derby when it was originally to be run on April 4, but was ultimately postponed, so we came home to Golden Gate.“Now we’re looking forward to running him back in 30 days, but make no mistake; all of what transpired is no excuse as to why he got beat. He’s got to step up his game, obviously.“He really likes the track at Santa Anita. He breezed super over it (six furlongs in 1:13 flat March 28) when we had him there earlier and we were really looking forward to the Derby before racing was shut down.”Now the countdown is on in earnest.HONOR A.P. WORKS FOR SANTA ANITA DERBYHonor A.P. had his final major breeze this morning for next Saturday’s Runhappy Santa Anita Derby, going five furlongs in 1:00.20.Mike Smith, who has ridden the ridgling in all three of his races, was aboard for the drill.“He looked really good,” said John Shirreffs, who trains the son of Honor Code for the C R K Stable, LLC of Lee and Susan Searing. “Mike was happy with him.”Also working this morning for a possible start in the Santa Anita Derby was Rushie, who went five furlongs for Michael McCarthy in a snappy 59.80 under leading rider Flavien Prat.Midcourt, also owned by C R K Stable and trained by Shirreffs, is set to work tomorrow for the Grade I Hollywood Gold Cup for three-year-olds and up at a mile and one quarter on June 6.Midcourt was third beaten less than a length as the 7-10 favorite in the Grade I Santa Anita Handicap on March 7.In the Gold Cup, he will once again be ridden by Victor Espinoza, who has been aboard the five-year-old gelded son of Midnight Lute in his last six races, winning four, including the restricted Comma to the Top, the Grade III Native Diver and the Grade II San Pasqual.  Espinoza will be seeking his third Gold Cup win, as won it 2018 with Accelerate and in 2015 with Hard Aces.Hard Not to Love draws the rail for the second straight race in Sunday’s Grade II Santa Maria Stakes, which could be problematic, as she lost her left eye as a youngster when kicked by another horse.  While she has made great strides adapting, she can still become antsy when there’s no horse to her inside at the starting gate.Favored at 3-5 in the Grade I Beholder Mile March 14, Hard Not to Love broke from the number one post position and ran second to Ce Ce, who has post two in the Santa Maria, just outside Hard Not to Love.Asked how he felt about drawing the inside again with Hard Not Love, a nonplussed Shirreffs left ’em laughing with this: “That required another cocktail.”FINISH LINES: Trainer Michael McCarthy will saddle 3-5 morning line favorite Ce Ce in Sunday’s Grade II Santa Maria Stakes and he’ll be plenty busty next Saturday as Santa Anita presents a plethora of prestigious playing possibilities, highlighted by seven stakes races. Already established as a national presence, McCarthy, a 49-year-old native of Youngstown, Ohio, could have Rushie in the Runhappy Santa Anita Derby; Brown Storm in the Hollywood Gold Cup; Speech in the Grade II Santa Anita Oaks; and Cono in the Crystal Water Stakes. Speech worked five furlongs this morning in 1:01.80. Also to be decided June 6 will be the Cinema Stakes, the Fran’s Valentine Stakes and the Desert Code Stakes . . . It was 2019 Juvenile Champion Storm the Court who worked five furlongs in 59.80 today for Peter Eurton, not Santa Anita Derby candidate Shooters Shoot. He will breeze on Monday…Happy 59th to trainer Richard Baltas.LATEST CONTENT FROM XBTV:WORKOUTS:Honor A.P.  (Shirreffs) 5-30-20Rushie (McCarthy) 5-30-20Rookie Mistake ( O’Neill) 5-30-20No Slo Mo (Glatt) 5-29-20Shadow Sphinx (Baltas) 5-29-20Lane Way (Mandella) 5-28-20Toinette (Drysdale) 5-28-20Justinian (Baffert) 5-28-20Honor A.P. (Shirreffs) 5-27-20Authentic (Baffert) 5-27-20Charlatan (Outside) and Crystal Ball (Baffert) 5-27-20Bellafina (Callaghan) 5-27-20last_img read more