The Dodgers put up the big doughnut in Colorado, losing 3-0 and 7-5, to drop their record to 3-3. What a weird series for the boys in blue! The first game, they squandered a good performance from Clayton Kershaw, collecting only five hits. In the second game, they get home runs from James Loney and Rod Barajas and they give up seven runs.
This team is hard to figure out right now. But then again, playing in Colorado can skew things quite a bit. Pitchers always look worse there and hitters always look better. So what did we learn from this brief series about our beloved Dodgers?
Let’s start where the Dodgers always do, with the pitching. Kershaw is going to have a great year. He followed up his first performance with another solid outing. Granted, the Rockies made him pay for two bad pitches by sending them into the stands but he still struck out eight while giving up six hits over six innings.
Chad Billingsley, on the other hand, had an awful start. Giving up five runs on six hits and three walks in three innings is not going to get the job done. Billingsley is never going to be confused with an ace but he has to do better. He now is the proud owner of an 8.00 ERA after two starts. I wonder if Ned Colleti is having second thoughts about that extension.
The bullpen also had mixed results. Blake Hawksworth pitched well on Tuesday, but gave up two runs in one inning on Wednesday. So his performance was a wash. Kenley Jansen and Matt Guerrier each went two innings and stopped the bleeding. So far Matt Guerrier has been worth the money. Let’s hope this is a trend that will continue.
Just like the pitching, the Dodger offense had mixed results. Five hits in game one, with only one extra-base hit, a double by Tony Gwynn Jr. Not exactly reminding anyone of the 1927 New York Yankees there.
But yesterday the team had ten hits, two home runs, a double and a triple, while scoring five runs. Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, and Rod Barajas continue to hit well. Casey Blake came off the disabled list and went 2 for 3 with a triple, driving in one run and scoring a run. Maybe the old man has a few hits left in that bat after all.
So, heading into a three game series with the San Diego Padres, the Dodgers should feel good about their bullpen, minus Hawksworth’s poor performance yesterday. They should feel really good about Kershaw and perhaps a bit concerned about Billingsley.
There is hope for this offense as Loney is beginning to show some life, while Kemp and Ethier are off to decent starts. Perhaps Blake can be the key to stringing some of these hits together and scoring a few more runs. Let’s see what the Dodgers can do against a much weaker opponent in the Padres. Tomorrow Kenny will be providing the inside scoop on what to look for as the Dodgers travel to San Diego.