Harang’s Solid Start Snaps Dodger Losing Streak with 6-2 Win

 

Dodgers 6 10 0

Rockies  2 6 1

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Who you gonna call….? Streak Busters! All week long we were wondering when the 2012 Dodgers that we have known all year long would resurface. Tonight, our familiar first place team returned to us. The Dodgers finally ended a horrific five game losing streak with a 6-2 win over Colorado in the second game of a three game set at Coors Field. Sanity prevailed at Coors Field on Saturday night, as most of the minor leaguers were shifted back to the bench, and Mattingly returned to the lineup we were using back when we were winning, like um a week ago. Bobby Abreu, and Tony Gwynn return to the outfield, A.J. Ellis behind the plate, and the one productive minor leaguer, Elian Herrera at third base. James Loney was back at first base as well. After the comedy of errors last night, we need his defense, and must put up with his infuriating ground ball outs. It also unfortunately means Adam Kennedy the worst hitter in Baseball playing second base and batting fifth behind Andre Ethier.

The Dodgers finally got a good pitching performance from starter Aaron Harang. The big right hander tossed six innings of one run ball and whiffed six Rockies. His opposing starter Juan Nicasio had to be removed in the second inning after straining his knee. The Rockies used four pitchers in relief, and so did the Dodgers. The Dodger offense finally woke up with a more stable lineup. Elian Herrera went 2 for 5 with a two run single, and Ethier drove in two with a run scoring single and an RBI bases loaded walk. Bobby Abreu hit his first home run as a Dodger, as the Dodgers finally won a game. The Dodgers scored first, and scored one run in the first and two in the second. Here are the highlights. I feel much better.

Top of the first. Tony Gwynn reaches base on an error when Colorado second baseman DJ LeMahieu fumbles a routine ground ball. With Gwynn on the run, Elian Herrera’s grounder to LeMahieu moves Gwynn to second. Bobby Abreu walks. Andre Ethier regains a tie for the NL RBI lead with an RBI single just past the diving LeMahieu who has been a central character this inning. Gwynn scores, as LeMahieu was a bit over-shifted. The Dodgers take the lead 2-1, as the wind starts to pick up at Coors Field. Adam Kennedy’s broken bat grounder to first, moves the runners over to second and third for our offensively challenged first baseman James Loney. Well we  wouldn’t say he was offensively challenged for no reason would we? He whiffs pathetically on a ball in the dirt. The Dodgers finally get a first inning run and an early lead.

Bottom of the first. The pain starts early as predicted as Dexter Fowler leads off with a triple into the gap. As Marco Scutaro at the plate, a wild pitch somehow headed for his head, hits his bat instead and is ruled a foul ball. Scutaro lines out right to Loney. Somehow after a lengthy delay give to the home plate umpire after a ball is fouled off of his arm, Harang gets Cargo to pop out to Herrera. Of course Michael Cuddyer slams a double over Gwynn’s head in center and off the wall to tie the game at 1-1. Finally Tyler Colvin whiffs to end the first inning.

Top of the second. A.J. Ellis leads off with a broken bat single into center field. Dee Gordon follows with a single of his own. Harang bunts the runners over to second and third. Gwynn grounds one to first, and Cuddyer throws home right away. Keep in mind he does NOT step on the bag a few feet away for what would have been a double play. Instead AJ is erased at the plate, but Gordon goes to third, and Gwynn is safe at first. With Herrera batting, Gwynn steals second base. Herrera then while ahead in the count, singles up the middle right through Nicasio’s wickets, plating Gwynn, and Gordon, and the Dodgers take the lead 3-1! Somehow Nicasio hurt himself and has to be removed. So enter righty Josh Roenicke. Abreu grounds out to end the frame. We get two though! Two runs! An actual rally, and lead 3-1!

Bottom of the second. Chris Nelson walks. Wil Nieves whiffs. DJ LeMahieu whiffs. The pitcher Roenicke bounces back to the mound. A Dodger pitcher tosses a scoreless inning! Alert!

Top of the third. Ethier whiffs. Kennedy flies out to deep left field. Oddly, Loney singles on a ball that deflects off of Roenicke’s body. AJ’s grounder ends things in the third.

Bottom of the third. Fowler is thrown out on a little nubber in front of the plate, on a great play by AJ. Scutaro is called out on strikes. Of course Cargo singles. Cuddyer flies out to deep right.

Top of the fourth. Gordon a broken bat grounder to begin the fourth. Harang whiffs. Gwynn draws a walk. Herrera dunks a little dying quail just inside the left field line for a bloop double. Gwynn goes to third, and the Dodgers have two on for Bobby Abreu. Bobby draws a clutch walk, bringing up Ethier with the bases loaded. Ethier also walks to force in a run, and give Ethier the sole lead in the NL RBI race. Dodgers lead 4-1. Adam Kennedy and his warning track power comes to within a couple of feet from hitting it out for a grand slam, but it’s Adam Kennedy, so the ball dies on the warning track in right field. Bottom of the fourth. Colvin whiffs. Nelson’s looper to second is caught on a jump from the before mentioned Adam Kennedy. Nieves grounds out, and it’s a nice easy inning for Harang.

Top of the fifth. Left hander Matt Reynolds is the new pitcher for Colorado in the top of the fifth. Loney leads off with a double down the right field line. Yes you read that right, a Loney extra base-hit! AJ whiffs. Gordon very pathetically whiffs, and Harang grounds out, to waste a Loney double.

Bottom of the fifth. LeMahieu singles. The pitcher Reynolds sacrifices LeMahieu to second. Of course Fowler and Scutaro both walk to load the bases. Of course Cargo is the hitter. Somehow Harang gets Cargo to foul out to Herrera. Elian makes a nice running over the shoulder catch. This is a critical out. Finally Harang reaches back to tame his inner bum, by inducing Cuddyer into an inning ending force out. The Dodgers get out of it!

Top of the sixth. After Gwynn and Herreras ground out, Abreu slams his first home run as a Dodger over the fence in straight away center field. The solo shot gives the Dodgers a 5-1 lead. Ethier doubles into the gap, and the veritable loser Adam Kennedy gets a base knock to right to score Ethier, to increase the Dodger lead to 6-1. Loney’s fly ball ends the inning. Bottom of the sixth. Colvin and Nelson both fly out, and Nieves whiffs to give Harang six whiffs on the game, and a 123 inning.

Top of the seventh. Rex Brothers comes into relieve Reynolds in this inning. AJ leads off with a walk. Gordon’s fielder’s choice grounder erases AJ at second. Alex Castellanos comes up to pinch-hit for Harang and whiffs. Harang’s day is done, but he turned in a tremendous performance for a Dodger Ball club that was in desperate need for one. Harang goes six innings allowing only one run on four hits, three walks, and six whiffs. Harang made 94 pitches. Gwynn grounds out and that’s that.

Bottom of the seventh. Javy Guerra is brought in to relive Harang, and beings by allowing a single to LeMahieu, and a double to Wilin Rosario that scores LeMahieu. The lead is 6-2. Fowler walks to put runners at first and second. Scutaro grounds into a force play. A grounder that Herrera knocks down, and throws to second for the out. Scott Elbert is called in to pitch to Cargo as a Loogy. With Elbert now being used as he should be, he immediately induces an inning ending double play, by way of 3-6-3, Loney to Gordon, back to Loney to end the frame and get the Dodgers out of the inning. Now this is the Dodgers we remember!

Top of the eighth. Rex Brothers retires the Dodgers in order in this frame. Bottom of the eighth. Ronald Belisario takes the mound for the Dodgers in the eighth. He retires the Rockies quickly and in order. Cuddyer and Colvin fly out, and Nelson grounds out.

Top of the ninth. Esmil Rogers pitches the ninth for the Rockies. He retires Kennedy on a fly out. Cargo robs Loney of an extra base hit with an impressive diving catch in left field. AJ whiffs to end the top of the ninth. Bottom of the ninth. Kenley Jansen enters and whiffs Eric Young. LeMahieu pops out. Rosario flies out to end the game. The Dodgers finally win!

Sweet relief! We had a bad patch, and it is finally over. We made it through our first real slump of the season. The Dodgers will go for the series win in game three tomorrow afternoon at 1210PM. Rookie Nathan Eovaldi takes the mound for the Dodgers, and Colorado will counter with their rookie Alex White. With the win the Dodgers remain an MLB best 33-20, and retain a 4.5 game lead over San Francisco in the NL West. Despite what bitter Giants fans may have told you, the reports of the Dodgers demise have been greatly exaggerated. Let’s make up some lost ground. Join us tomorrow for our daily Dodger coverage. Go Blue.

Topics: A.J. Ellis, Aaron Harang, Andre Ethier, Bobby Abreu, Dee Gordon, Dodgers, Don Mattingly, Elian Herrera, James Loney, Javy Guerra, Kenley Jansen, Matt Kemp, Ronald Belisario, Tony Gwynn Jr.

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