Most mornings a guy hitting three home runs would lead the baseball news. Most mornings a pitcher tossing a complete game shutout on only 93 pitches would lead the baseball news too. Last night both of those things happened in the same game but didn’t lead the news. Which was understandable given that Mike Fiers tossed a no-hitter, but that doesn’t mean we can’t talk about it now.
The guy who hit the three homers: Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner, who went 4-for-5 with six RBI. His homers were two solo shots and a three-run blast, which he accompanied with an RBI single.
Some Turner highlights:
The guy who tossed the 93-pitch shutout: Hyun-Jin Ryu. It was Ryu’s third career complete game and his second career shutout, but none of those were as efficient or as dominant as this one. The 93 pitches make this a “Maddux,” you may recall. Appropriate as Maddux pitched for both of these clubs in his career. Not that it makes the Braves feel any better.
Ryu had some defensive help too. Max Muncy flashed some leather at second base, making a diving stop of a ball in shallow right field. Later, deeper in right, Cody Bellinger made this play:
Not bad for a guy who had to move out there because of a bum shoulder.
Just a fantastic night for the Dodgers, who won 9-0. Which is the same score that is registered if a team forfeits. Maybe the Braves should’ve.
Today the Angels introduced their newest big star, Anthony Rendon, who just signed a seven-year, $245 million contract to play in Orange County.
And it is Orange County, not Los Angeles, Rendon stressed at the press conference. When asked about the Dodgers, who had also been reported to be courting him, Rendon said he preferred the Angels because, “the Hollywood lifestyle . . . didn’t seem like it would be a fit for us as a family.”
What “the Hollywood Lifestyle” means in that context could mean a lot of things I suppose. It could be about the greater media scrutiny Dodgers players are under compared to Angels players. It could mean that he’d simply prefer to live in Newport Beach than, I dunno, wherever Dodgers players live. Pasadena? Pasadena is more convenient to Dodger Stadium than the beach. Who knows. They never did let Yasiel Puig get that helicopter he wanted, so traffic could’ve been a consideration.
But maybe it’s a subtle allusion to political/cultural stuff. Orange County has trended to the left in some recent elections but it is, historically speaking, a conservative stronghold in Southern California. And, based on something else he said in his press conference, Rendon seems to be pretty conscious of geographical/political matters:
A shoutout to the notion of Texas being Trump country and an askance glance at “the Hollywood Lifestyle” of Los Angeles all in the same press conference. That’s a lot of culture war ground covered in one press conference. So much so that I can’t decide if I should warn Rendon that both Texas and Orange County are trending leftward or if I should tell him to stick to sports.