It wasn't easy - and with this team it never is - but the Dodgers got out of Minnesota with a series sweep of the bumbling Twinkees Thursday, and all it took was 10 hours of doubleheader baseball to do it.
The headline does not apply to the Dodgers' defense, which totaled five miscues yesterday, embarrassingly enough, including two throwing errors on one play. But the team did just enough to survive the Target Field elements and their own weirdness, before hopping a red-eye to Miami for the weekend.
After 20 innings of yesterday's day-night doubleheader, in which they could not cash in a single one of the 11 walks presented by Twins' pitchers in the second game, Los Angeles got home runs from Scott Van Slyke and Drew Butera in the 12th inning, then hung on for dear life in the bottom half to escape by a run.
The whole thing was essentially unwatchable, really, but such is the life of a Dodger fan in the year of our Lord, 2014 (which incidentally, is about the number of pitches made by the two teams in the nightcap Thursday).
Following a rainout Tuesday, L.A. beat Minnesota by scores of 6-4, 9-4 and 4-3 Wednesday and Thursday to bring their record to 17-12, good for second place in the National League West, a half-game behind the San Francisco Giants. On display was the usual fine starting pitching from Zack Greinke, Dan Haren and call-up Red Patterson (making his major league debut last night), the typical tightrope relief work and equally-typical sloppy fielding, and just enough hitting to survive. Just barely.
Yasiel Puig went 8-14 in the three games, Adrian Gonzalez contributed his league leading ninth homer while going 5-13, and Andre Ethier was 4-8, including his first double of the season. Juan Uribe managed a 6-13 with four RBIs and several beautiful plays at third base.
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Up next for the Dodgers is a three-game set at Marlins Park, with the matchups as follows: Josh Beckett versus Tom Koehler tonight at 4:10 p.m., Paul Maholm opposite Jacob Turner Saturday at 4:10 p.m., and undecided vs. Jose Fenrandez Sunday at 10:10 a.m.
Wary fans should pull for either a successful, stress-free weekend in Florida, or for the Dodgers to lose in as quickly and painless a manner as possible. Or maybe you can just focus on the Kings and the Clippers for a few days.
Remember, glove conquers all.