Three games against the NL’s best Philadelphia Phillies, one win, two losses both by shut-out. My first thought is how did the Dodgers win even one of the three games? Mostly it’s because Roy Oswalt is pitching far from the Oswalt who’s been so successful over the years.
If it was a three game series against Philly’s top three starters it’s doubtful the Dodgers would have scored at all, especially considering how inept Lee and Hamels made them look. In what is becoming a maddening trend Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier went 4-for-8 tonight, the rest of the squad was 3-for -24. Want more numbers?
Well they’re not pretty if your a Dodger fan. Rod Barajas failed again to come up with a big hit when the Dodgers needed it, he now has 2 hits in 37 at-bats with men in scoring position. Marcus Thames you ask? He’s still just getting started but he’s 0-for-11. There were a couple of key situations where the Dodgers really showed their true colors tonight.
Top of the 7th inning, Ethier leads off with a double and Kemp singles him to third. The big $21 million dollar off season acquisition who was supposedly so good in the clutch, Juan Uribe, comes to the plate. Like he always does he swings at the first pitch and pops out to second. I appreciate that Uribe is an aggressive batter, but seriously at some point feel free to take a pitch and make the pitcher work. How about trying to hit the outside pitch to right field rather than pull every single pitch, I guess for $21 million that’s too much to ask.
Oh well, at least he didn’t hit into a double play, 1 out and Marcus Thames coming to the plate. He actually takes the first pitch for a ball, then strikes out, swinging at everything, somehow he actually fouled off a few pitches. Final chance to score and it’s up to Barajas. Based on his season stats you already know how this is going to end. Ahead 2 balls no strikes in the count he flails wildly at a breaking ball, then pops up the next pitch to shortstop.
Yes Dodger fans this is the three-some chosen tonight to protect Ethier and Kemp. They are being paid just shy of $10 million dollars between them, yet with a runner at third and NO OUTS, they ball doesn’t leave the infield.
Fast forward to the 8th inning. After Jamey Carroll flies out, and yes Carroll has been playing great but do we expect that he will continue to hit .300, Aaron Miles, who I admit has proven me totally wrong, singles. Dee Gordon due up was 0-for-3 on the night against the tough lefty Hamels, I understand Mattingly pinch hitting for him, but sending up James Loney?
The same Loney who isn’t even starting against left-handed pitching these days? Loney somehow works a 3 ball no strike count, Hamels throws a 90 MPH fastball right down the middle, Loney is given the green light for some reason, and swings out of his shoes managing to fight the ball off and fly out softly to left field. Why are you swinging 3-and-0 Loney? At least he didn’t hit into a double play I guess.
Finally the 9th inning. Matt Kemp walks, but ball four almost in the dirt is called a strike, no worries Kemp singles to right. Uribe coming up, you know he’s gonna be swinging so shouldn’t Kemp be running, trying to get to second or to stay out of the double play? Uribe somehow lays off the first pitch, it’s a miracle, next pitch Kemp has got to be on the move, nope, Uribe can’t control himself and swings out of his shoes and grounds into a double play.
Game over, no wait Dioner Navarro still gets to hit there’s still one more out to make, and of course Navarro makes the third out, to no ones surprise. So the combo of millionaires protecting Ethier and Kemp, except Sands cause he’s a rookie, are now batting as follows:
Uribe – .210
Loney – .234
Thames – .154
Barajas – .206
Sands – .200
Navarro – .210
Tap, tap, tap, I tap out I can’t take it anymore. The Dodgers have the pitching to be a playoff team, the youngster bullpen has been markedly improved over the group that began the season. But until the Dodgers get some hitters behind Ethier and Kemp, they will be lucky to be a .500 club. The Dodgers went into Philly, gave up 2 runs in games 1 and 3 and lost them both. You cannot hold a good team to 2 runs and lose, at least you can’t think that you have a good team and do this.
Oh well on to Colorado for 4 games. If anyone has been more offensively challenged than the Dodgers it’s the Rockies. They scored more than three runs today for just the second time in their last 15 games. Winning two out of three in Philly is probably too much to ask of this version of the Dodgers. Winning three out of four in Colorado should be doable, but only if someone besides Ethier and Kemp show up when it matters.
Oh by the way a report surfaced today that Frank McCourt has told other MLB owners he has the funds to meet the next Dodgers payroll, please for the love of god let’s hope this isn’t true, haven’t Dodger fans suffered enough!
Finally a big shout-out and welcome to the Bro-Dogg aka Bro-Dizzle, J. Romero as the newest member of the Lasorda’s Lair writing team. You must be a real glutton for punishment to go through this, at least I won’t be enduring this Dodger season all by myself. I’m glad your along for the ride. We’ll be going totally off the board tomorrow and will have an interview with former Dodger Tommy John, who paid a visit to Lasorda’s Lair this week, don’t miss it.
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Topics: Aaron Miles, Andre Ethier, Cole Hamels, Dee Gordon, Dioner Navarro, Frank McCourt, James Loney, Jamey Carroll, Juan Uribe, Los Angeles Dodgers, Marcus Thames, Matt Kemp, Philadelphia Phillies, Rod Barajas, Roy Oswalt