This game was really frustrating from start to finish. The game marks the first game of the last three game series with Houston before they switch to the American league west next year. It also marks the beginning of a seven game homestand for the Dodgers. Today marks the four year anniversary to the day that Clayton Kershaw made his MLB debut. It was a Houston noob named Lucas Harrell though who out-pitched Kershaw at Dodger Stadium. Kershaw had come in with a 22 inning scoreless streak, which was immediately snapped in the first inning. Kershaw struggled early, but still was able to turn in a quality start. Kersh pitched seven innings allowing three runs, two earned, three walks, and six whiffs, but took the loss in a very frustrating game. Kershaw allowed five extra base-hits for the first time since 2010. (four doubles and a home run) His opposing starter Houston noob Lucas Harrell, was killing worms all night. In a very unconventional win for the youngster, pitched 7.1 innings, allowing one run on five hits, and walked three. What made the start unusual, was that Harrell induced no swings and misses the entire game. None. No whiffs. Instead Harrell got 17 ground ball outs.
The real reason the Dodger’s lost their second game in a row, was that they couldn’t come up with a timely hit. The Dodgers put two runners on base in the first, second, sixth, and loaded the bases in the eighth, but could only come up with one mealy run in the 3-1 loss.
The game featured the return of Jerry Hairston from a hamstring strain. Jerry was activated today as Justin Sellers was placed on the DL with a fractured disc in his back. The Dodger’s medical team expect him to be out at least a minium of two weeks.
The Astros scored a run in the top of the first on a double from Jose Altuve, the pesky little 5’5 second baseman. There was a cather’s interference call allowed J.D. Martinez to reach base, when his bat clipped A.J. Ellis glove. Altuve scored from second base on a Carlos Lee force out, and an errant throw to first base from Elian Herrera. Kershaw does get Jed Lowrie to whiff, and Matt Downs to ground int a force out to end the frame.
The Dodgers put two runners on in the bottom of the first and second. Herrera and Bobby Abreu single, but Andre Ethier, and Jerry Hairston jr. ground out. In the bottom of the second, A.J. Ellis walks, and Dee Gordon singles, but Kershaw is unable to move the runners over, as the Astros cut down the lead runner at third on a wasted bunt attempt. Tony Gwynn grounds into a force out to ruin that rally.
Move to the bottom of the sixth. Abreu walks, and Hairston singles with one out. However James Loney our very own lovable rally killer, does what he normally does and grounds into a double play. Thanks for nothing Loney.
Lucas Harrell gets three straight assists in the bottom of the seventh inning on three consecutive grounders back to the box. Josh Lindblom is able to wiggle out of his own jam in the top of the eighth. Martinez singles, and Lee doubles to put runners at second and third with nobody out. The Astros Tootblan themselves out of this inning though. After Brian Bogusevic grounds out, Martinez is caught in a rundown between third and home and tagged out. Apparently he missed a squeeze sign. Justin Maxwell walks, but Chris Johnson grounds out to end the threat.
The Dodgers have their last look at the game in the bottom of the eighth. The Dodgers loaded the bases but could only get one run. The Astros made four pitching changes this inning. With one out, Herrera singles. Wesley Wright replaces Harrell. Abreu walks, Ethier singles, and the bases are juiced. In comes Wilton Lopez, and Hairston draws a walk, to force in a run for the Dodgers. 3-1 Houston. With Loney’s spot due up, and James being as useless as ever, Mattingly called on Tuesday’s hero Ivan Dejesus Jr. Of course Dejesus whiffs for the second out. Fernando Rodriguez comes in, and gets Ellis to fly out to end the inning. The Dodgers just couldn’t get that clutch hit tonight. Ronald Belisario pitches the top of the ninth. He walks Chris Snyder and Marwin Gonzalez, but whiffs Altuve and Lowrie, and Martinez flies out.
Brett Myers the former Phillie, comes in for the bottom of the ninth. Gordon grounds out. Scott Van Slyke whiffs. Tony Gwynn singles up the middle. A lone murmur of protest. There is a wild pitch, but Herrera whiffs swinging to end the game.
What a pathetic showing tonight. The Dodgers looked sluggish. Not a good way to start the homestand. Clearly the Astros are not the same pushover team they were last season. They now have a 22-23 record, and the Dodgers fall to 30-15. Fortunately for the Dodgers, the Giants lost, so the boys in blue retain their six and a half game lead.
Join us tomorrow as the Dodgers try to snap their two game losing streak. Bud Norris will draw Chad Billingsley tomorrow night. We really need Bison back. Matt Kemp is due to return on Tuesday, and it couldn’t come soon enough. Tough loss tonight, let’s forget it and move on. Tomorrow is another day Dodger fans. Go Blue.
Topics: A.J. Ellis, Andre Ethier, Bobby Abreu, Chad Billingsley, Clayton Kershaw, Dee Gordon, Dodgers, Don Mattingly, Elian Herrera, Ivan Dejesus Jr, Jerry Hairston Jr., Josh Lindblom, Matt Kemp, Ronald Belisario, Tony Gwynn Jr.