So far this season the Dodgers woes have been due to a lack of offense. Aside from Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier, base runners and runs have been few and far between. So last night, when the Dodgers exploded in the fourth inning against the Giants ace Tim, Big time Timmy Jim, Lincecum, scoring three big runs, hope abounded. Sadly, even with such offensive prowess, the Dodgers ended up losing the game, 5-4. How you ask?
Chad Billingsley responded to this show of support by giving up two runs in the bottom of the inning. For an encore, the Billingsley gave up another two runs in the fifth, putting the Dodgers down by a run. Billingsley was not sharp but he was not exactly awful either. He allowed seven hits over five innings, and gave up four runs, while striking out six. But all was not lost. Marcus Thames, pinch-hitting in the seventh inning, sent a pitch deep into the night for his first home run of the season to tie the game.
This was a good sign as Thames has yet to start to hit, not unlike many of his teammates. Blake Hawksworth entered the game, relieving Kenley Jansen, who worked a scoreless sixth inning. Hawksworth proceeded to give back that run by giving up a triple to Aaron Rowand to begin the inning. Not content to still be tied, Hawksworth uncorked a wild pitch, allowing Rowand to come home, giving the Giants the 5-4 lead.
In the ninth inning, looking to at least tie the game, the Dodgers offense reverted back to their old habits as Giants closer Brian Wilson struck out the side to preserve the win for the Giants. The Dodgers just cannot seem to put a complete game together. Either the offense struggles as the pitching staff mows down opposing batters or the offense cranks it up only to watch the pitching staff literally throw the game away.
The “new-look” offense, sans Rafael Furcal, looked pretty good. Tony Gwynn Jr took over the leadoff spot, but struggled going 0-5. Ouch. Jamey Carroll took over the shortstop duties and batted second, getting a hit and scoring a run. Andre Ethier continues to rake, going 2-4 and scoring a run. Matt Kemp went 2-2 with 2 walks, a run scored and one RBI. Kemp is now batting a scorching .472. If James Loney and Juan Uribe do not start to hit more, expect to see Kemp’s walk totals to continue to rise.
The Dodgers look to take the series tonight as they send Ted Lilly to the mound against Jonathan Sanchez. Lilly is looking to rebound from an uneven performance against the Padres on Friday night that was marked with multiple rain delays. The Dodgers beat Sanchez in the opening series of the season, even though Sanchez gave up only one earned run in five innings. It will be interesting to see if Gywnn stays in the leadoff position against the lefty or if Mattingly will continue to tinker with the lineup. Lets hope Donnie Baseball makes the right moves that will jump start the offense and get another victory over the defending champs.