After last night’s crapfest loss in 12 innings, the Dodgers were exhausted. It showed on the field. We were just hoping to get out of town with a series split. Chris Capuano melted down in the fifth inning allowing six runs on 11 hits in 4.1 innings. Most concerning about Cappy’s lousy outing was he wasn’t striking guys out, or missing bats at all like he normally does. He only had one whiff, and walks one. The Cardinals pounded the tired Dodger pitching staff for seven runs and 18 hits. More than enough to back winning pitcher Jake Westbrook, who held the Dodgers to four runs through seven innings while whiffing six. Allen Craig had an RBI double, David Freese plated two with a two-run single, and Matt Holliday hit a solo home run in the sixth. The Cardinals scored two runs in the fourth, and four in the bottom of the fifth. The Dodgers offensive attack just wasn’t enough to beat the Redbirds, even though they did score all four of their runs in the top of the fifth, on five consecutive singles, a throwing error, and a sac fly from Capuano. All eight of the Dodger’s hits were singles. Hanley Ramirez was 1 for 4 with an RBI single, and a run scored. Jason Motte recorded his 22nd save of the season. The Dodgers fall to 53-47, and lose a half game on the idle Giants. The Dodgers still have yet to announce who will start against Matt Cain tomorrow night in San Francisco
Righty Jake Westbrook begins the game by getting Tony Gwynn to ground out, and Mark Ellis to pop out. And then Matt Kemp whiffs. Rafael Furcal leads off the bottom of the first against Chris Capuano and grounds out. Daniel Descalso flies out to Bison. Matt Holliday singles up the middle, but Allen Craig grounds into a force out to end the inning.
Westbrook gives up a single to Andre Ethier to start the top of the second. Hanley Ramirez, the new darling in town, grounds into a 5-4-3 double play. Westbrook is a ground ball pitcher. Juan Rivera pops up to end the frame.
Cappy serves up a single to David Freese leading off the bottom of the second. Matt Carpenter flies out to center. Backup catcher Tony Cruz whiffs. Jon Jay singles up the middle, sending Freese to second. Opposing starter Westbrook grounds into a force out, and the game remains scoreless. Top of the third. Westbrook retires Cruz, and Matt Treanor on ground outs. Capauno whiffs. Cappy goes back to the mound and needs only six pitches to retire the Cardinals in order in the bottom half of the third.
Tony Gwynn continues his suckfest, with another whiff to begin the top of the fourth. Ellis, and Kemp both whiff too, and Westbrook easily whiffs the side. Craig leads off the bottom of the fourth with a double off the wall in the corner in right field. Freese a bloop single to center sends Craig to third with none out. Carpenter singles past the diving Ellis into right field to score Craig, and the Redbirds go on top 1-0. Tony Cruz singles to right scoring Freese, and sending Carpenter to third. The Cardinals lead 2-0, and the Dodger suckfest goes on. Jon Jay’s grounder to first is the first out of the inning, after Cappy chokes up four consecutive hits. Rivera keeps Carpenter from scoring, and that would be important. Westbrook flies out to Ethier. Carpenter tags, and tries to score, and Ethier guns him out for a double play! Matt Carpenter slides in on his stomach, but AJ’s swipe tag is in plenty of time to get him.
Ethier and Hanley single to start the top of the fifth. Ramirez’ single bounces off of Westbrook’s shoe as he finishes his delivery. The ball deflects and rolls into foul territory. With runners on first and second, Rivera’s RBI single through the hole at short, scores Ethier to put the Dodgers on the board. Luis Cruz follows with another single through the hole at short, Hanley races around third to score the tying run! Treanor grounds one to the hole between first and second. It appears to be yet another ground ball single for the Dodgers, Descalso dives to stop the ball, and throws over to third, Freese’s throw to home is wide and errant, allowing Rivera to score, and the Dodgers lead is 3-2. Cappy helps his own cause with a sacrifice fly to score Cruz, to give the Dodgers a 4-2 lead. That’s five consecutive singles for the boys in blue this inning and a sac fly. Gwynn flies out to deep right, allowing Treanor to tag up to third. Mark Ellis whiffs, to end the inning, but the Dodgers plate four runs to take the lead 4-2.
Hit Machine pops out in the bottom of the fifth. Descalso singles to right. Holliday walks. Craig bounces a hit over Hanley’s head, and down the left field line. Gwynn’s girl like throw to third is low, and Hanley can’t hang on to the ball as it drops from his glove, Descalso scores. Holliday is safe at third. 4-3 Dodgers. Freese drives in two with a two-run single to right, and the Cardinals take the lead 5-4. Carpenter singles to right sending Freese to second. Javy Guerra comes in to replace Cappy. Of course he just makes things worse. Cruz’s fly ball lands right in front of Ethier, and he overruns the ball for his first error in two years. Freese scores another run to make it 6-4. The Dodgers intentionally walk Jon Jay load the bases, because whenever you can put more runners on base, you do it. Westbrook whiffs, and Furcal grounds out to finally end the inning from hell.
Westbrook just rolls through the top of the sixth, as the Dodgers continue to slump. Kemp flies out. Ethier grounds out. Hanley walks. Rivera’s grounder would have been a hit, but it deflects off of Westbrook’s shoe. That’s the second ball that has bounced off of his shoe. This time the Cardinals get the out to end the inning.
Matt Holliday homers to center off of Guerra in his second inning of work in the bottom the sixth. That’s 17th home run of the year for Holliday. The solo shot puts the Redbirds up 7-4. Guerra serves up two more hits to Schumaker, and Carpenter, but retires Tony Cruz on a force out to end the inning.
All the Dodgers can muster in the top of the seventh off of Westbrook is a meaningless James Loney pinch-hit single. Randy Choate pitches the bottom of the seventh for the Dodgers and whiffs jay for the first out. He gives up singles to Tyler Greene, and Furcal but gets Descalso to line into a double play.
The Dodgers tried to muster up another little rally in the top of the eight if you could call it that. With one out, Kemp reaches on a little infield dribbler. Then Bison steals second. This is the first time we have seen Bison steal in a while and it is a good sign to see. Ethier whiffs. The Cardinals pitch around Hanley, walking him. Rivera whiffs pathetically, dashing all of our hopes for scorage.
What a pathetic way to go into San Francisco, but that’s the way they do it. This was another tough loss. The Dodgers lose three of four in St. Louis and now head to AT&T Park in San Francisco, for a three game battle for first place with the Giants. Tomorrow night join us for another chapter in the historic Dodgers/Giants rivalry. The Dodgers must win in San Francisco. No announcement yet on who is pitching tomorrow night. Not yet. We think Chad Billingsley will pitch against Barry Zito on Saturday, and Clayton Kershaw against Ryan Vogelsong on Sunday. We’ll keep our ears to the ground. Go Blue.
Topics: Andre Ethier, Bobby Abreu, Chris Capuano, Dodgers, Don Mattingly, Hanley Ramirez, James Loney, Jerry Hairston Jr., Juan Rivera, Kenley Jansen, Luis Cruz, Mark Ellis, Matt Kemp, Randy Choate, Ronald Belisario, Scott Elbert, Tony Gwynn Jr.