May Day Memories: Joc Pederson Hits First Dodgers Grand Slam Since 2013

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"“It’s a jewel of a night, and that’s not just because a pitcher named Rubby is on the mound.” -Vin Scully"

It was definitely a night to remember. Under a beautifully warm Southern California night sky, the Dodgers shutout  the Arizona D-backs with a three-homerun night. These are starting to get routine. Big fly balls and loud Blue fans. The homeruns are flying out, and I’m enjoying every moment.

It was three years ago today that the Dodgers were sold by Frank McCourt to the new ownership group. What a whirlwind it has been

Dodgers 8 6 1

Diamondbacks 0 5 0

WP- Frias (2-0)

LP- De La Rosa (2-2)

HR- Turner (2), Pederson (5), Ethier (4)

Joc Pederson is on pace to win Rookie of the Year, and Andre Ethier is reminding us that he’s still Captain Clutch in his 10th season as a Dodger. The kid and the veteran. It’s one of these feel good baseball stories. Both men hit homeruns on the night, and both have a piece of our hearts.

Joc Pederson‘s grand slam was just the 15th time a rookie has hit one in MLB history. The last Dodger grand slam hit was on June 6, 2013 by Yasiel Puig, also a rookie. I had been waiting for that grand moment for awhile. It was worth the wait.

Let’s not forget that Justin Turner hit his second homerun of the season as well. Carlos Frias also pitched very admirably. It was one of the better games I have ever seen him pitch. I can’t get that disastrous Coors Field start out of my mind, but Friday night’s start made that a little less vivid.

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Former Dodger Rubby De La Rosa gave up the big hits. Even though it was a bit sad to see Rubby go to Boston at the time, the deal got Adrian Gonzalez over to L.A.

Rubby’s are red, not Blue.

Carlos Frias started off the game very well be retiring the D-backs in order in the first, and he pitched out of a jam in the second. The Dominican right-hander induced an inning ending double play from Tuffy Gosewisch after allowing a walk to David Peralta and a single to Yasmany Tomas. That was the Dodgers’ 19th double play of the season.

"“Turner muscles one out.” -Vin Scully"

Justin Turner hit his second homerun of the season, a solo shot over the center field fence in the home half of the inning to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. Andre Ethier, who is red hot, followed Turner’s homerun with a single. De La Rosa walked consecutive batters, Yasmani Grandal and Alex Guerrero, to load the bases up for the Dodgers with nobody out.

Then it happened.

The first Dodgers grand slam since 2013.

Joc Pederson.

The Dodgers took a 5-0 lead, and the D-backs recoiled back into their snake hole.

Carlos Frias kept cruising. He had only allowed 2 hits through five easy innings.

"“You know that number 31? You should. “- Vin Scully May 1, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson (31) reacts with right fielder Andre Ethier (16) after hitting a grand slam home run in the second inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports"

In the bottom of the fifth, the future Rookie of the Year, struck out in his at bat after the grand slam. It’s okay, Joc. Rubby De La Rosa ended up retiring the side in order.

Frias was pitching great, but in the top of the sixth he suddenly allowed back-to-back singles to Danny Dorn and A.J. Pollock to start off the inning. Frias reared back to strike out Chris Owings, and then up came Gold Goldschmidt. Don Mattingly didn’t want to take a chance with Frias versus Baez fortunately got Goldschmidt to fly out to Alex Guerrero in left field. Mark Trumbo then reached safely to load the bases up on a Jimmy Rollins error at shortstop. Baez had to get a little more something to get David Peralta to swing on strike three, and the D-backs thankfully weren’t able to connect for the Snake Slam.

Even though the situation got sketch, Don Mattingly’s call to the pen worked.

Carlos Frias pitched 5 1/3 innings and allowed no runs on 4 hits with 3 strikeouts and a walk on 70 pitches.

Daniel Hudson came into relieve Rubby De La Rosa in the bottom of the sixth. The real Andre Ethier is back to mark his 10th Dodger season. He’s hitting well. He’s defending well. The fans still adore him. Ethier hit his fourth homerun, a beautiful solo shot to right field to give the Dodgers a 6-0 lead. I’ve never had my doubt about my favorite current Dodger. When he plays well like this, he is one of the most exciting players to watch.

Rubby De La Rosa pitched 5 innings and allowed 5 runs on 3 hits with 6 strikeouts and 3 walks on 86 pitches.

Baez easily set the Snakes down in order in the top of seventh.

In his third at bat, Joc Pederson drew a 3-2 walk with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, but Hudson was pitching very well.

Sergio Santos also pitched a solid 1-2-3 inning in the top of the eighth. The Dodger bullpen has been fantastic.

The Dodgers got something going in the bottom of the eighth versus Enrique  Burgos. They loaded up the bases once again. Howie Kendrick drew the leadoff walk, and Adrian Gonzalez singled. Turner struck out, but Ethier walked. Grandal struck out. Then pinch-hitter Scott Van Slyke stroked a single to left field, and two more runs came in for the Dodgers.

The Dodgers gave the ball to J.P. Howell for the ninth. After all, it was 8-0. Goldschmidt predictably doubled to begin things. Howie Kendrick robbed Mark Trumbo of a single with a nice diving catch for the first out. Let’s not ruin this beautiful shutout, J.P. Pederson then made an impressive catch in center field on a well hit ball by Peralta. Joc can do everything well. Tomas flied out to the young phenom for the final out.

The Dodgers improve to 14-8 on the season. On Saturday, Scott Baker will make his second start as a Dodger as he goes up against Jeremy Hellickson.

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