The Dodgers dropped their second game in as many nights to the Milwaukee Brewers 2-1. Matt Kemp made his return from the disabled list and Nathan Eovaldi provided a solid start, but it was not enough to overcome Milwaukee noob Michael Fiers who shut the Dodgers down over seven innings. The Dodgers could only muster one run on six hits, which included a failed rally in the bottom of the ninth inning that was botched because of a stupid decision to bunt, which resulted in a double play.
Normally I am pretty frustrated when the Dodgers lose, but it especially infuriates me when the bunt, something I have openly despised for years, costs the Dodgers a game, which it did. Of course we were beat again by another rookie. For some reason it seems rookie pitchers have our way with us.
You can’t blame Nathan Eovaldi though. He did all he could. The rookie, pitching in place of the injured Ted Lilly, threw eight innings allowing just two runs, on four hits, one walk and four whiffs. His only mistake a hanging fastball to Ryan Braun, who hit it into the Milwaukee bullpen after Nyger Morgon had singled for a two-run home run in the first inning. The Dodgers would never recover. Matt Kemp in his return went 1 for 4 with a double.
Top of the first. Nathan Eovaldi begins by whiffing Corey Hart. Nyger Morgan singles to center. Then the roider Ryan Braun homers into the Milwaukee bullpen to give the Brewers a 2-0 lead. Dodger fans rain down with boos for the suspected roider. Aramis Ramirez pops out. Taylor Green whiffs swinging for the third out. Bottom of the first. Of course rookie Michael Fiers retires the Dodgers in order 123. Tony Gwynn tries to bunt for a base hit and pops out to First. Once again nothing good ever comes from bunting. Ivan Dejesus Jr. grounds out. Matt Kemp in his first at-bat back from the DL, whiffs swinging to end the first.
Top of the second. Rickie Weeks and Cody Ransom both ground out. Milwaukee Noob Martin Maldonado, collects his first MLB hit, a flare single into right field. Fiers the opposing starter grounds out to third to end the frame. Bottom of the second. Andre Ethier leads off with a broken bat bloop single to center. Jerry Hairston flies out. James Loney’s long fly ball is caught at the wall by Hart. James Loney warning track power. A.J. Ellis whiffs on a called third strike, and Ethier is left stranded.
Top of the third. Hart and Morgon ground out. That brings up Braun. He grounds out to Loney, ending the top of the second. Bottom of the third. Nathan Eovaldi retires the Brewers in order in this inning. The Dodgers go down again quietly in the bottom of the third. Eovaldi has a quick 123 inning retiring the Brewers in order in the fourth inning.
In Mat Kemp’s second at-bat in the bottom of the fourth, he flies out to deep right field, sending Hart back to the wall in the same spot as Loney’s deep fly. The Dodgers again don’t do anything, and have one hit through four innings. The Dodgers try and put together a two out rally in the bottom of the fifth. A.J. Ellis a pool cue single into right field. Dee Gordon follows with an infield single to shortstop. With runners at first and second, Eovaldi worked the count to 3-0, before whiffing on a called third strike like a statue. Nathan Eovaldi on the mound, retired 12 Brewers in a row, until a sixth inning walk to Braun.
Move to the bottom of the sixth. The Dodgers finally scratch over a run when Dejesus doubles, and Ethier (who we can always count on in the clutch) doubles him home. Hairston grounds out to end the frame. The score is now 2-1 Milwaukee.
Top of the seventh. Eovaldi runs into trouble in this frame. Green singles. After Eovaldi starts with two straight pitches out of the strike zone, we wonder if he may be running out of gas. Rick Honeycutt comes out to make sure. Weeks flies out, and Cody Ransom grounds into an inning ending double play! Out of sight! Friers goes seven innings, allowing one run, five hits, no walks and three whiffs. Josh Lindblom and K-rod both pitch scoreless eighth innings.
Move to the bottom of the ninth, with the Dodgers down by a run 2-1, Milwaukee brings in their mustached 100MPH thrower John Axford. Matt Kemp leads off with a double into the gap. Axford plunks Ethier in the elbow with a pitch. Ethier is ok, and he takes first base, glaring at Axford. Now here is when the game is lost. Don Buntingly’s penchant for bunting costs us another rally. He asks our number five hitter to bunt the runners to second and third. Of course Hairston, who doesn’t normally bunt can’t execute, and with two strikes, they have to take the bunt off. Of course on cue almost, he grounds into a double play. Kemp is at third, but now there are two outs. It seems every time we have a rally, Loney is up, and he destroys every rally. As usual Loney grounds out pathetically, and the game is over.
Again I have said it before, nothing good can come of bunting. Sure there are situations that can call for a bunt, however bunting with your number five hitter is not a good idea. I have nothing more to say about this. Bunting cost us another game. I hate bunting, and I think somehow, Don Mattingly needs to be banned from bunting. The Dodgers drop to 32-17 on the season. The Giants are winning at home against Arizona as I write this, so if they win, our lead is cut to 5.5 games. I am also sick and tired of Loney ruining every rally. He might be a great fielder, but he is a terrible hitter. we can’t continue on with no production from the infield corners. I think it is time to move on from Loney.
The Dodgers will hope that Clayton Kershaw can get them out of their funk. He will draw Yovani Gallardo tomorrow at 7PM. Join us tomorrow for more Daily Dodger Coverage. Help us Kershaw! Goodnight Dodger Fans.