Well today sucked Dodger fans, didn’t it? What a sorry way to say goodbye to the Juice Box. I think if Chad Billingsley had any idea of what was in store for him today he might have just called in sick and stayed in bed. The Dodgers were looking for a sweep in what might be their final game at the Juice Box, but they punted this game away early on. Bills had the worst start of his career by allowing five earned runs and four walks in 3.1 innings. Bills allowed four hits and two were home runs. A two-run shot from Carlos Lee in the first inning and a grand slam home run from Jordan Schafer in the second inning, which put the Astros up by Six runs after just two innings. The Dodgers made several defensive mistakes. Rivera made an error on an errant throw in the first, Gordon made a bumbling play in the second, and Kemp misjudged a fly ball. The Dodgers drop the final game of the road trip in Houston
10 - 12-0, finishing with a road trip split.
By the time Jamey Wright was brought in to relieve Bills in the fourth, it was already 8-0 Houston by then. Honestly I had wrote half of a Losscap on this crapfest, but do you really want to read it? I won’t waste your time or mine by recapping a three hour crapfest. It was just one of those days. During 162 games every team has them. Even the worst teams will still win 60-65 games per season. I won’t pretend like this game wasn’t atrocious, because it was. I am just saying that during a long season you will get these types of games every now and then. Still a performance like this is unacceptable. There was a report that Bills had a sore groin, but after he pitched his last BP session he said he felt fine. So whatever part the groin injury played in this disaster remains to be seen.
The Astros scored two runs in the first, four runs in the second, and three runs in the fourth. After Rivera’s error in the first, Carlos Lee hit a monster home run off of a Bills meatball into left field. Bills took a huge steaming dump on the mound in the top of the second inning by allowing a lead-off single to Chris Johnson and then two walks to load the bases. One of those walks was to opposing pitcher Wandy Rodriguez, who was just trying to sacrifice bunt the runners over to second and third. Nooooo, NO! Said Chad Billingsley, as he walked his opposing starter. No easy outs today says Bills, as he served up the grand slam home run to Jordan Schafer, as the ball just deflects off of the glove of a leaping Andre Ethier and up and into the right field seats. Bills was just tossing meatballs and mashed potatoes to these hungry little Astros hitters, and they were eating them up like hotcakes.
Oddly Bills pitched a 123 bottom of the third inning, before going back to tossing lollipops in the bottom of the fourth. He gives up a lead-off triple to Jason Castro as the ball goes over the head of Matt Kemp who misjudged the ball playing too shallow. Bills gave up two more walks, and another run scored on a Dee Gordon error, and a force out. Jamey Wright is called in with one out in the fourth, and has to mop up the mess to get out of the inning.
The Astros scored another run in the fifth inning on a hit batter, wild pitch, and a RBI single from Jason Castro. Meanwhile lefty Wandy Rodriguez had no problem with a ten run lead. He only allowed two hits through the first six innings while whiffing five Dodger batters. Matt Kemp had a bad game going 0 for 3, proving that he is in fact human.
By the time the sixth inning rolled around, Mattingly took out Kemp and Ethier to rest them. After all, no sense in not getting them some rest in a massacre like this. It was so bad today, that I basically didn’t even mind that Jamey Wright was brought in for a mop up game. Most of the bench guys were in by the seventh.
Amazingly we get to see Scott Elbert pitch the bottom of the seventh. After all he only pitches once per week and a half, and only in games like this, where we have a ten run defecit. Good thing too, because I was beginning to think he had been kidnapped. He looked alright, whiffing two in a scoreless frame. Rodriguez was lifted after seven innings and a 100 pitches. He held the Dodgers scoreless, only allowing three hits, and three walks, while whiffing six. Of course having a ten run lead always helps.
One bright note today perhaps, Loney may be showing some signs of a pulse, after homering in yesterday’s game, he appeared as a pinch-hitter today and singled. Over his last seven games, Loney is hitting over .300 and has his total average above the mendoza line at .217. Baby steps for Loney, baby steps for Loney. This game fittingly ends on a Juan Uribe double play. Figures on today, the worst day ever.
What a terrible way to end the road trip, and what could be the Dodgers last game at the Juice Box. The Dodgers sure know how to make an exit don’t they? The Dodgers have left the building! The Dodgers finally return home tomorrow to start a six game homestand. They will begin with a three game set against the Braves. Tomorrow night’s match-up is Jair Jurrjens against Chris Capuano at 7:10 PM. Join us tomorrow for our daily Dodger coverage, and don’t forget about our podcast tomorrow at noon with special guest Nick Hamilton! We’ll be talking Dodger Baseball. Goodbye Houston! The Dodgers have left the building! Go Blue (Yes I did watch the whole game. I am just a glutton for punishment aren’t I?)