Of Ideal Gases and Pirates

Originally published on LAist on September 14, 2009.

The ideal gas law states that p=nRT/V where p is pressure, n is the amount of stuff, R is the gas constant, T is temperature and V is volume of the gas.

In a solid state pressure is defined as p=ma where m is mass of stuff and a is the acceleration of the stuff.

Acceleration is defined as a=v/t where v is velocity and t is time.

Therefore p=nRT/V=mv/t

Basically it means that the higher the temperature is (T), the faster things go (v).

When the first pitch was thrown at 7:10 pm it was 68 degrees, much cooler than it’s been at the Ravine in the last couple of months. Using the logic above since it’s been colder, the game moved slower.

And boy did that hold true in tonight’s game. It took 51 minutes to get through two innings. The game ended up lasting 3:22.

Dodgers starting pitcher Jon Garland (10-11) got into some trouble in the first inning getting the bases loaded with one out. He manager to get Pirates left fielder Lastings Milledge to pop up to second and right fielder Brandon Moss to strike out to leave the inning unscathed.

“There’s a certain advantage to having experience,” Torre philosophized about Garland’s first inning, “so that when you get men on base you don’t have to panic.”

Pirates starter Daniel McCutchen (0-2) had an equally hard time trudging through the first inning.

Shortstop Rafael Furcal led off the inning going the opposite way to left with a single, and center fielder Matt Kemp walked.

After right fielder Andre Ethier flew out to center, left fielder Manny Ramirez pulled a double down the left field line scoring Furcal. Kemp would try to make the score 2-0, however a relay by Pirates left fielder Milledge and shortstop Ronny Cedeno got Kemp out at the plate.

In the top of the fourth inning with two outs Cedeno beat out a grounder to third for a base hit. Second baseman Ramon Vasquez doubled Cedeno home tying the game 1-1.

Andre Ethier came through for the Dodgers in the fifth inning. With the score tied 2-2 and Kemp on first base with no outs, Ethier hit a home run to center field giving the Dodgers a 4-2 lead.

“I think it was a change up [Daniel McCutchen] threw me there,” Ethier said of his home run, “I was able to get the head on it, hit the ball on the screws and it went out to center.”

The Dodgers would score an additional run in the sixth inning when Casey Blake executed the hit and run to perfection on an Orlando Hudson double giving the Dodgers a 5-2 lead.

“We’re trying to stay aggressive,” Torre said. “For a period of time we weren’t getting anybody on base, so it was tough to do stuff like [the hit and run].”

Garland came out in the sixth inning and pitched a perfect inning.

“I was a little bit shocked but appreciative that [Torre] let me go back out,” Garland said. “I feel I returned the favor getting those three outs and getting the guys right back up to the plate.”

“Tonight he battled his way through six innings,” Torre said of Garland’s performance. “There aren’t too many guys we send out there in the sixth inning when they have over 100 pitches. He went out there and had an easy inning because he knows how to pitch.”

42,045 Dodger fans (including 3,300 walk ups) not only got free unlimited Dodger Dogs, but also witness their team increase the NL West lead over the Colorado Rockies to four games. At 86-59 the Blue have surpassed their 84-game win total from last season.

Ethier’s home run puts him at 29 for the season, the most for a Dodger since Jeff Kent’s 29 in 2005. His 20 homers at home is also ties Steve Garvey’s 20 in 1979. Gary Sheffield had 23 in 2000, Adrian Beltre had 23 in 2004 and Mike Piazza had 22 in 1997 and 21 in 1993.