The Angels Return to Sunny SoCal for Two More Wins + I Return to Dodger Stadium

The Angels returned home, in order to play three more away games up the 5 freeway against former stadium mates the Los Angeles Dodgers. So far the Angels have taken two of two and will try for the sweep with Jered Weaver on the mound on Sunday. We got tickets to Saturday’s game and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves at Dodger Stadium.

First, a brief re-cap of Friday. Friday’s game was an extremely odd affair with the Angels managing to win 8 to 3 despite six base running errors and a number of odd plays, including a questionable pick-off attempt by Jeff Mathis. Here Bullpen Coach Steve Soliz works with Mathis before Saturday’s game. Perhaps they are working on remedial throws in case Mathis is called in and needs to throw a runner out at second. Second, Jeff, second, not first. He may live that down by next season…or he may not. Though in all fairness the man had two stellar take downs at the plate on Friday too, which more than evens things out in Mathis’ favor for the game in my opinion:

Jeff Mathis warms up with Bullpen Coach Steve Soliz pregame. Angels at Dodgers, June 25, 2011. Photo by This is a very simple game...

Dan Haren shown in the Angels Dugout during the Saturday game. There were plenty of heroes to balance out the odd plays on Friday. Dan Haren (or the scruffy looking nerf herder as my husband calls Haren because my reaction the first time he said it was, apparently, priceless), for example, pitched a good game and went one for two at the plate with one RBI and a pretty sacrifice bunt that moved Mathis in position to score off Maicer’s hit:

Dan Haren, last night's winning pitcher, hangs out in the dugout behind catchers Jeff Mathis and Bobby Wilson. Angels at Dodgers, June 25, 2011. Photo by This is a very simple game...(Seth)

Saturday’s tickets were my hairdresser’s season seats. Her family has had these seats almost as long as the stadium has been in existence and she is gracious enough to share them with friends and clients from time to time…even Angels fan clients. Truly, they were excellent seats and we took advantage of the view to take some photos. Given my Dodger fan-family origins, I can’t help but feel waves and waves of nostalgia just walking into Dodger stadium. Memories of games we attended, places we sat and goofy things my sister and I said or did cling to the darndest nooks and crannies of the stadium. And can I just tell you how wierd it feels to walk through the stadium in opposing team colors. Still?!:

A view of the Dodger's stadium field from our seats. Not much has changed since I was a kid, except for the addition of a few rows of luxury seats that pinch in the old foul territory a little bit. Angels at Dodgers, June 25, 2011. Photo by This is a very simple game...

A view of the Dodgers bullpen. When I was a child, my family frequently bought tickets for the second deck next to the bullpen so my sister and I could watch the pichers warmup. Angels at Dodgers, June 25, 2011. Photo by This is a very simple game...

 

Dodgers Stadium. Angels at Dodgers, June 25, 2011. Photo by This is a very simple game...

 
And, of course, I couldn’t come to Dodger Stadium without meeting Emma of Crzblue’s Dodger Blue World. I’m so glad she came down to see me. Emma is every bit as nice in person as she is on her blog and it was fun to chat with here through an inning, while we watched the game, of course:

Me and Emma of Crzblue's Dodger Blue World. Angels at Dodgers, June 25, 2011. Photo by This is a very simple game...(Seth)

Tyler Chatwood pitched a great game. He got into a few problems but was able to work his wait out of them, holding the Dodgers to one run over seven innings. Sadly Chatwood walked that one run in after loading up the bases, but that was in the 5th inning and he recovered sufficiently to pitch two additional scoreless innings:

Tyler Chatwood pitches to Dodgers rookie short stop Dee Gordon. Angels at Dodgers, June 25, 2011. Photo by This is a very simple game...

One of the biggest things Chatwood was able to do with his pitches today was to keep the Dodgers dynamic one, two punch of Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp off the bases. Chatwood helped keep Ethier 0 for 4 and Kemp 0 for 2. (Kemp was ejected from the game in the 5th inning):

Andre Ethier grounds out to first baseman Mark Trumbo. Pitcher Trevor Bell moves to backup the play. Angels at Dodgers, June 25, 2011. Photo by This is a very simple game...Matt Kemp grounds out on a Tyler Chatwood pitch. Hank Conger is behind the plate. Angels at Dodgers, June 25, 2011. Photo by This is a very simple game...

Chatwood takes a leadoff at first. But was “Big Bat” Chatwood content to confine his daring deeds to the mound? Of course not, this is interleague where, as our announcers are fond of saying, pitchers prove they are athletes too. With two outs, Chatwood hit a solid single into centerfield, temporarily maintaining his 1.000 batting average from the series against the Mets. Yes, this is somewhat tongue in cheek, but I am very American League and it tickles me to see our pitchers at the plate:

Tyler Chatwood leads off at first while James Loney moves into position. Angels at Dodgers, June 25, 2011. Photo by This is a very simple game...

Erick Aybar at bat in the 3rd. Chatwood’s single allowed him to score off of Aybar’s two-out third-inning triple:

Erick Aybar knocks Tyler Chatwood in with a triple in the 3rd. Angels at Dodgers, June 25, 2011. Photo by This is a very simple game...

Russel Branyan, Bench Coach Rob Picciolo, Dan Haren, Torii Hunter, Peter Bourjos, Maicer Izturis, Pitching Coach Mike Butcher, Ervin Santana and Joel Pineiro rush to congratulate Tyler Chatwood, who can barely be seen among the throng, for scoring a run and maintaining his 1.000 BA. Angels at Dodgers, June 25, 2011. Photo by This is a very simple game...

Mark Trumbo takes a pitch before knocking the next one into the Dodgers’ bullpen. Trumbo had a busy, fruitful day defensively at first and hit a two-out homerun in the 4th inning, his 13th of this, his rookie season:

Pitching Coach Mike Butcher calls a meeting on the mound. Chatwood got himself into a spot of in the 5th, allowing two singles, then walking the bases loaded:

Angels meeting on the mound in the 5th with bases loaded. Angels at Dodgers, June 25, 2011. Photo by This is a very simple game...

Casey Blake takes a pitch. Immediately following the meeting on the mound, Chatwood walked in a run before facing pinch hitter Casey Blake. With brilliant catch from Howie Kendrick at second, Blake lined to  double pay:

Casey Blake takes a pitch in the 5th. Hank Conger catching. Angels at Dodgers, June 25, 2011. Photo by This is a very simple game...

Bobby Abreu at bat. Bobby and Howie walked in the 8th to set the table for Vernon Wells. Bobby was in right field today, which I prefer to left for him. He did a decent job, with one good catch and one missed catch that Torii would have made. I can’t wait for Torii to be back in the lineup!

Bobby Abreu at bat. Angels at Dodgers, June 25, 2011. Photo by This is a very simple game...

Vernon Wells crosses the plate after hitting a two-out, three-run homerun. Wells bat continues to heat up and I could not be more pleased to see it. This was his 8th homerun of the season:

Vernon Wells crosses the plate after hitting a three-run homerun in the 8th. Angels at Dodgers, June 25, 2011. Photo by This is a very simple game...

Tyler Chatwood, Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, Torii Hunter, Hank Conger and Ervin Santana congratulate Vernon Wells on his homerun. Angels at Dodgers, June 25, 2011. Photo by This is a very simple game...

Don Mattingly calls a Dodgers meeting on the mound. Following Wells’ homerun, Guerrier is pulled and the Dodgers move deeper into their bullpen.

Don Mattingly makes a pitching change in the 8th. Matt Guerrier is out and Hong-Chi Kuo is in. Angels at Dodgers, June 25, 2011. Photo by This is a very simple game...

Overall the Angels Bullpen was fantastic! Scott Downs locked them down in the 8th and Trevor Bell held them in the 9th:

Scott Downs takes the mound in the 8th. Angels at Dodgers, June 25, 2011. Photo by This is a very simple game...

Trevor Bell takes the mound in the 9th. Angels at Dodgers, June 25, 2011. Photo by This is a very simple game...

Jordan Walden warms up in the Dodgers visitor’s bullpen. After getting Ethier to ground out, Trevor Bell allowed a single and walked a batter. Even though it all turned out just fine – he got the next two out for and Angels victory – it was comforting to look across the diamond into the Dodger’s wonderfully old school visitor’s bullpen and see Jordan Walden warming up…you know, just in case. Right?

Jordan Walden warms up in the Dodger's visitor's bullpen in the 9th, just in case. Angels at Dodgers, June 25, 2011. Photo by This is a very simple game...

 
It was a great stadium experience and an even better day. Everyone was so nice to us and we had a couple of great converations with the other fans in our section – Dodgers and Angels both. Leaving the game, it even smelled like victory…provided victory smells like sun block and overheated synthetic jersey material. :)

15 Comments

Great photos. I love it when bloggers of opposing teams meet up. Cheers,
Michael

Michael – Thanks! I think half the fun of blogging like this is definitely getting to know fans from other teams, especially rivals. Getting to meet in person from time to time is extra nice.

– Kristen

I totally understand what you mean about walking into your childhood stadium in your adulthood colors. Sadly, I didn’t get to watch my team win, but that’s okay. It looks like you guys had a fun day at the park.

I am glad to see Vernon Wells heating up, he really seems like a nice guy. Now, could he pass the kool-aid back to Adam Dunn, please?
-Keleigh

Keleigh – We had a blast! But it is definitely a trip going back. I thought the Kool-Aid was Dunn’s recipe and he was heatng up too. Dunn went on the Kool-Aid wagon I take it? Yeah, Vernon seems like a good guy and his bat is contagious. I hope it continues!

– Kristen

Well, Adam reached elusive strikeout number 100 today (4 today). He needs a new batch of the HR kool-aid. It’s actually becoming heartbreaking to watch.

There was a great bit about Vernon Wells in the new SI.com article on Jose Bautista. He seems like a great teammate and I’m such a peacekeeper that I always want everyone to get along and I’m happy he’s doing well so the fans don’t have a reason to feel frustrated by him. :)
-Keleigh

Vernon is one of the nicest guys in baseball. Hope he can get a chance to play some playoff ball with the Angels in the near future.
Great pics from todays game too. Never been to LA (or Cali for that matter) but it looks like a great place with some great ball parks.

Bluejaysnest – I hope he gets the chance to play playoff baseball with us too becuase I would love whgat that means. :) Actually, it’s safe to say I like the guy. He’s funny and wrm and friendly with fnas and teammates alike and now he’s starting to mash, so hey. Glad you like the pics! I hope to travel more and see other ballparks myself.

– Kristen

Wonderful pictures Kristin! It was so nice to finally meet you! and your husband too! Glad that you had good experience at our ballpark. It was frustrating loosing to the first two games to the Angels but I am glad that Kershaw was able to salvage one game. LOVE LOVE Kershaw like I am sure you love Weaver. STill I have a soft spot for Weaver since he is a local boy.
Is great that in two days I got to meet two bloggers! Hey! I noticed I was not smiling in that pic! FYI for those that see the pic, I was dressed in Red White Blue because of USA playing in the Gold Cup against Mexico at the Rose Bowl. Someone thought I was early for the 4th of July :-).

Thank you Emma! It was wonderful to meet you too. I always have fun at Your Lady of Chavez Ravine. The Dodgers and Dodger fans are wonderful hosts and it’s a great place for a ball game. I was frustrated by today’s loss, so I understand. But Kershaw pitched a hell of a game. He is truly a star and a lot of fun to watch even when the batters he is baffling are my Angels. :)

It is not the best photo of either one of us, but I only had the one. If your’s is better, email it to me and I will gladly put that one up instead. :) Have a blast in Minnesota!

– Kristen

What great pics, and what a beautifull day for a ball game. So glad you had such a great time and got to chat with Emma. She seems like a fun person to share a game with. Dodger Stadium is one Major League park I wouldn’t mind going to.
Thanks for sharing.
–Mike
‘Minoring In Baseball’

Thanks Mike! It was a gorgeous day for a game, clear and lovely and just barely not too hot. I definitely recommend Dodger Stadium for anyone comtemplating a SoCal baseball trip…after the Big A, of course. :)

– Kristen

Awesome pics! I love how the Dodgers bullpen looks, with only a chain link fence separating it from the fans. Doesn’t make it seem like the relievers are some mystical forces never to be seen by lowly spectators, as the Yankee Stadium folks would like you to think :)
Catherine

Thanks Catherine! They do have a great bullpen! The home bullpen has more separation from the fans. There is a wall instead of chainlink on the sides, but you can still watch the pitchers from above. I love your turn of phrase. “Mystical forces never to be seen by lowly spectators…” Well put.

– Kristen

Great pictures from those perfect seats. I’ve never been to Dodger Stadium, but for some reason I always have a greater emotion reaction to this park as seen on tv than any other. Just one good panoramic view of the stadium will remind me of the ’78 World Series, or of Bill Buckner running the bases and sliding into third, or a ground ball being turned into two by Russell, Lopes and Garvey.

Anyway, sounds like a good time and a happy day for Halo’s fans.

That’s neat Russel! I didn’t think many non-West Coast folks got nostalgic over Dodger Stadium vistas. I was 2 in ’78 so my childhood memories are more of the mid to late 80′s – the continuation of Fernandomania, Hershiser’s debute season, Scioscia getting knocked unconscious and still holding on to the ball, and of course the ’88 series. But walking up the terraced hill to the outside of stadium all of that just rushes over me and it’s wonderful…and then I walk in and cheer for the Angels and it’s a little strange, but I manage. :)

– Kristen

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