After a nice Mother’s day rest, the first off-day for Lasorda’s Lair in over a month, LL is back and in a much better mood than when I last posted after Saturday’s tough loss. The Dodgers broke their losing streak yesterday beating the Mets 4-2, although he made it interesting, Vicente Padilla got the save. For tonights game I will be doing an inning by inning live recap of the Dodgers Pirates game, with my reactions to what transpires as the Dodgers look to make it two straight wins.
The Dodgers send Chad Billingsley to the mound against Jeff Karstens, who is 0-2 with an ERA of almost 7 against the Dodgers, should be a juicy matchup for the beleaguered Dodgers lineup.
First Inning – Jamey Carroll lines out to first and Aaron Miles then legs out an infield hit off of the pitcher. Andre Ethier works his way back from a 1-2 count to single to right, with the second baseman for some reason covering second base instead of the shortstop with Aaron Miles running on a 3-2 pitch. Ethier now has a 2 game hitting streak. Matt Kemp with runners on first and third strikes out swinging right through 2 straight 90 MPH fastballs right down the middle of the plate. Kemp is now just 2 for his last 12, and his body language to me appears to be completely different than it was to begin the season. The Dodgers are now 5 for 33 with runners in scoring position. Uribe picks up Kemp by singling to left 1-0 Dodgers. James Loney AKA ‘the human eraser‘ flies out meekly to center to end the top of the first. Loney has not had an extra-base hit in his last 26 starts but he’s ‘the human eraser‘ as he is great defensively but almost a certain out at the plate.
Andrew McCutchen flies out to right on the second pitch, Jose Tabata lines out to Ethier, Garrett Jones looks to have homered but an idiot fan reaches over the wall and knocks the ball back in play. The guy even brought his glove and he still couldn’t make the catch. How many times do fans have to be reminded to not touch the ball in play? Neil Walker pops out to left. 1-0 Dodgers.
Second Inning – Jerry Sands flies out to deep right center on the first pitch he sees. Barajas grounds out to third. Billingsley hits the ball harder than any of the hitters thus far and nails a double to the left center-field gap. Jamey Carroll grounds out to short. 1-0 Dodgers.
Lyle Overbay strikes out on a nasty fastball on the inside corner. Ryan Doumit grounds out to short on a nice play by Carroll. Pedro Alvarez drills a ball to right, but ‘the human eraser‘ is there to snag it, James Loney robs Alvarez on a hard hit ball.
Third Inning – Aaron Miles singles to left, he’s now 2 for 2 and perhaps I need to stop complaining about him playing, “It takes a big man to admit when he’s wrong and I am not a big man.” (Irwin M Fletcher) Ethier flies out to deep left. Kemp hits into a brutal double play as he nailed a ball to the center-field wall, but McCutchen makes a great catch and Miles who was already around second gets doubled off. Great catch by McCutchen, bad base running by Miles.
Ronny Cedeno singles to center on the first pitch. Karstens can’t get the bunt down and strikes out. McCutchen flies out to right. Tabata walks on 4 straight pitches. 2 on for Jones who singles up the middle to tie the game at 1. Walker bloops out to Carroll and Billingsley avoids the big inning that has plagued him in past starts. 1-1.
Fourth Inning – Uribe shockingly swings at the first pitch and flies out to right. Loney grounds out softly to second on the second pitch he sees. Sands ground out to second, easy 1-2-3 inning for Karstens.
Overbay pops out to Carroll. Doumit singles to right. Alvarez walks on 4 straight balls to put 2 on with 1 out. Cedeno flies out to right Doumit moves up to 3rd. Bills falls behind pitcher 2 balls no strikes and gets visit to mound from Honeycut, Bills then strikes out Karstens to get out of the jam.
Fifth Inning – Barajas leads off with a single up the middle and Bills lays down the perfect sacrifice bunt to move Barajas to second. Carroll flies out to center. Miles pops out to short, Dodgers again can’t get a hit with a man in scoring position.
McCutchen flies out Miles in shallow right field. Tabata grounds out to third. Jones flies out to left on the first pitch, easy 1-2-3 inning for Bills with Ethier, Kemp and Uribe coming up aka their best chance to score.
Sixth Inning – Ethier strikes out on a big breaking ball. Kemp who was robbed his last time up looks at 2 strikes right down the middle, then grounds out to second. Uribe works a nice at bat into a walk to bring up Loney aka ‘the human eraser‘ who shockingly singles to right, runners at first and third with two outs for Jerry Sands, chance for the rookie to be the hero as the Pirates make a pitching change. The Dodgers made Karstens look like Roy Halladay. The new pitcher is Mike Crotta who has an ERA over 6.00 in 13 appearances. Sands grounds out on the first pitch. 2 more runners left on base, uggghhhh. It’s a tough time to be a Dodger fan.
Walker grounds out to second, Bills has retired 6 straight, make that 7 in a row as Overbay strikes out. Doumit then singles to center his second hit of the night. Pedro Alvarez flies out to center. Bills at 85 pitches through 6 innings with 5 hits allowed, sadly he also has the only extra-base hit in the game for the Dodgers. Game still tied at 1.
7th Inning – Rod Barajas leads off and grounds out to third, nice play by Alvarez. Bills gets his second hit with a solid single up the middle, maybe they should look at getting him in the lineup everyday as he’s hitting better than the hitters are. Carroll singles up the middle and the Pirates will bring in ex-Dodger Joe ‘cut my hand in the hotel during the playoffs’ Beimel. Miles hits a double play ball but Beimel can’t cover the bag for the second out, can Ethier make them pay? He’s hitting .250 with Zero homers and just 5 RBI’s vs. left-handed pitchers. Ethier is also just 1 for 9 against Beimel in his career. Ethier drills one to deep left-center but McCutchen again runs it down to make the catch. The Dodgers leave 2 more on base giving them a total of 8 so far, and they are 1-9 with RISP. Frustration setting in at Lasorda’s Lair as Bills has pitched well and it may turn into a battle of the bullpens due to the Dodgers terrible hitting with men on base.
Cedeno leads off and flies out to shallow right-center. Matt Diaz pinch hits and grounds out to second. McCutchen drills a ground-rule double down the left field line, can the Pirates do what the Dodgers can’t, and get a hit with a runner in scoring position? Nope Jose Tabata lines out to Matt Kemp on the first pitch. The Pirates have left six men on base and are 1 for 5 with RISP. 9 pitch inning for Bills.
8th Inning – Kemp leads off and is hit by a pitch. Unbelievably Uribe swings at the first pitch, and misses. Uribe drills one to left the ball clearly hits the ground then goes into’s Tabata’s glove and Kemp is doubled off of first. I had to slow-mo it in HD to tell but the ball does appear to be trapped. tough break for the Dodgers. Not sure if instant replay was being used that they would have reversed that call. Loney grounds out softly up the middle. Tough luck inning for the Dodgers, what’s new? BTW first ejection for Mattingly in his career.
Jones walks to lead off the inning. Ivan De Jesus in the game at second, Miles moves to third. Former Dodger Xavier Paul in to run, Neil Walker rips a double down the right-field line, the X man scores. 2-1. The lead-off walk comes back to kill Bills and he is replaced by Hong-Chih Kuo. Overbay drills a double that scores Walker, you can tell Ethier’s elbow is hurting as his throw from the outfield is totally sidearm and weak. Kuo falls behind again and gives up another run scoring double this time by Doumit. Kuo out MacDougal in. Alvarez and Cedeno strike out, pinch-hitter Steve Pearce hits an infield single up the middle. McCutchen flies out to center. 4-1 Pirates on 3 consecutive doubles.
9th Inning – Former Dodger Joel Hanrahan in to try to save the game for the Pirates. 3rd former Dodger to appear for the Pirates tonight. Gwynn is out easily trying to bunt. Rod Barajas singles to left. Jay Gibbons ground out to second but Hanrahan drops the ball, runners at first and second with Carroll up with 1 out. Carroll grounds to Alvarez who gets the force out at second. Miles ground out to Alvarez who makes a great play. Another tough luck loss by the Dodgers who’s offense is absolutely anemic.
Topics: Aaron Miles, Andre Ethier, Chad Billingsley, Hong-Chih Kuo, Ivan Dejesus Jr, James Loney, Jamey Carroll, Jerry Sands, Juan Uribe, Los Angeles Dodgers, Matt Kemp, Mike MacDougal, Rod Barajas, Vicente Padilla, Xavier Paul