By Earl Heath, Contributing Sports Writer
It’s halfway through the shortened MLB season and the LA Dodgers have had another good week. However the week was highlighted by the all-sports protest due to the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Mookie Betts is the lone African-American on the Dodger roster. He decided he could not play under the circumstances and his teammates joined him.
“As a white player on this team how can we show support,” stated Clayton Kershaw. “What is something we can do to help our Black brothers on the team? Once Mookie said he wasn’t going to play we felt the best thing to do to support them was not playing.”
The protest started with the Milwaukee Bucks then spread through out sports. The NBA, WNBA, MLS and some NFL teams shut down.
The Dodgers were scheduled to play the Giants at Oracle Park, but the game was postponed and rescheduled to a doubleheader the following day. Betts was willing to sit out again but according to manager Dave Roberts he spoke with other players around the league and they felt it better to play and use the platform instead of sitting out.
In game one Betts let his presence be known from the beginning. He walked and scored the games first run. Later in the sixth inning he collected his 1,000th career hit. Austin Barnes had a two-run double.
AJ Pollack hit a two-run homer to cap the scoring for the visitors in a 7-0 win. Kershaw (4-1) needed just 86 pitches with four strikeouts, four hits and no walks tossing six shutout innings. When the Dodgers score four or more runs Kershaw has a 121-1 record his era is 1.86. Josh Sborz pitched the seventh…In game two the bullpen handled the pitching as Caleb Ferguson, Victor Gonzales and Brusdar Grateral held the Giants hitless until the fifth. In all seven pitchers combined for two-hit shut-out. On Jackie Robinson weekend which was suppose to take place April 15th all major league players wore the number 42. This is the 75th anniversary Robinson broke baseballs color barrier.
The Dodgers took two of three from the Rangers in Texas. In a 6-2 game one loss in Corey Seager and Justin Turner had back to back RBI hits as the dodgers went 2 for 12 with runners in scoring position. Shin Soo Choo and Nick Solak knocked in two runs each for the home team. Dustin May pitched well again he has not given up more than two runs in any start this season. He went six innings striking out three.
GAME TWO: Max Muncy Cody Bellinger hit their 9th a two run homer of the season. Muncy had four RBI’s to lead the Men in Blue to a 7-2 victory. Betts walked three times. Black Trenin (3-1) got the win in relief while Kenley Jansen (9) got the save.
GAME THREE: The Dodgers scored often with at least one run in the first four innings Betts, Corey Seager and Gavin Lux led an 11-hit attack with 2 hits apiece. Seager, Will Smith and Cody Bellinger all hit homeruns in a 7-2 Dodger win. The three help set a MLB team record for the most homers in a month August (57) by a team. Scott Alexander (2-0) got the win.
DODGER NOTES: The Dodgers have won their last 8 of 10 games and 26-10 (at press time) to have the best record in baseball. Earlier this week they traded Pitcher Ross Stripling to the Blue Jays for three player to be named later… Mookie Betts contract extension is paying off as he leads the team in Runs (27), Homers (11), RBI (26) stolen bases (6). Corey Seager leads the team in batting with a.311 Avg. Pitchers Rookie right-handed pitchers Tony Gonsolin and Dustin may are 5 and 6 in Rookie Power Ratings. Gonsolin has pitched 17 2/3 innings with 17 strikeouts. May has a 2.83 ERA with 23 strikeouts in 35 innings.
ADD MLB: The Players Alliance-a group of more than 100 African-American past and present MLB players. They announced active players will donate the game salaries from Jackie Robinson Day games to the organization. The proceed will go to their “efforts to fight racial inequality and aid black families and communities deeply effected in the wake of recent events.”