The Dodger’s offense shuffled off to buffalo once again for the third game in a row. The Dodger’s punch-less offense could only muster up two hits off of Arizona lefty journeyman Patrick Corbin, and three Arizona relievers. The Snakes beat the Dodgers 4-0 and complete a series sweep to slither up to just three games behind in the NL West standings. Corbin pitched six scoreless frames only allowing two hits, two walks, and whiffing five. Opposing starter Stephen Fife took the loss despite pitching admirably as well, allowing two runs in 4.2 innings, six hits, three walks, and four whiffs. Fife takes his first loss of his ML career.
All of the excitement today was surrounding the Dodger debut of Shane Victorino, who batted lead-off and played in left field today for the first time. Remember Victorino was a Dodger, originally drafted by the blue, but was lost to the rule 5 draft, when left unprotected years ago. Victorino switched uniform numbers with Don Mattingly. Victorino now wears number 8, and Mattingly switched to number 12. Victorino went 0 for 4 at the plate, but made a couple of good defensive plays in left field.
The Dodger management has done a decent job this year, and I like the moves they did at the trade deadline, but sometimes they are blind to obvious moves, and they made another glaring mistake today. In order to clear room on the roster for Victorino, they Designated for assignment Bobby Abreu. Instead of doing the right move by finally getting rid of the walking disaster of Juan Uribe. Of course all of the sabermetric kids were happy, since according to them Bobby is old, and was slumping, and only hitting like .200 something since June. I don’t care. The Dodger management has a habit of refusing to cut dead weight players off the roster. The Juan Uribe experiment is over. The guy is a total and complete failure. Keeping him on the team over Abreu is a stupid move, that will come back to haunt the Dodgers. Abreu is a valuable bat off the bench, and the team has very few pinch-hitting options. The team foolishly thinks they can get some kind of “value” out of Uribe. There is no value to be had from nothing. That’s like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. Enough is enough. Dodger fans don’t deserve to be forced to watch an automatic out playing third base. Now that Gordon is hurt, it gives the Dodgers another excuse to continue to play that Bum for another several weeks at least. That way Ramirez can play shortstop, and Mattingly can keep platooning that Lard ass with Hairston and Cruz. I bet you Uribe will get played one or two times per week, and continue to be worthless at the plate. I’m curious to see how low his average will dip. Remember, the true Auto out, Garrett Anderson, batted .181 in his record breaking fruitless season in Blue. Will Uribe become the biggest Bum in Dodger history? A few more at-bats and he drops below Auto out territory. He got in the game today, as part of a double switch at third base, and went 0 for 2, dropping his average down to a pitiful .193. Meanwhile Bobby Abreu was hitting .316 as a pinch-hitter. Just retarded.
Anyways, the game was awful. The Dodgers sucked. There isn’t much to say about it. The boys in blue were basically unwatchable this afternoon. Arizona scored one run in the top of the second off of Fife. Paul Goldschmidt singled. Justin Upton tried to sacrifice bunt him over, and popped the bunt up behind the plate. A.J. Ellis made a great diving catch, but Goldschmidt alertly tagged up to second on the play. That helped set up the run that came after. Miguel Montero singles up the middle to score Goldschmidt and give the snakes a 1-0 lead. On the play Montero tries to take second, but is thrown out. Chris Johnson walked, and Stephen Drew doubled, but Fife whiffs Patrick Corbin to end the frame.
The snakes threatened again in the top of the third. They put two runners on on singles from Aaron Hill, and Goldschmidt. However Gerardo Parra whiffs, and Upton grounds out. In the top of the fourth, Chris Johnson hits his second home run of the series, and his tenth of the season, a solo shot into the Dodger bullpen to give the Dbacks a 2-0 lead.
The snakes continued to threaten again in the top the fifth, eventually knocking Fife out of the game. With one out, Kubel walks. Mattingly hooks Fife, and brings in Javy Guerra, entering the game as a part of a double switch, as Santa Claus comes into to play third base, and Hanley Ramirez switches over to short stop. Goldschmidt is hit by a pitch. Upton singles to load the bases. Guerra does a good job of bearing down and getting Montero to ground into a double play. A lot of people tend to complain about Javy, but he hasn’t been that bad of late. He has a lot of adjusting to do, and he will, given he is a young pitcher, and has the skills to improve. Javy ended up pitching 2.2 scoreless innings today, and only allowed the one hit.
Newbie Brandon League made his Dodger debut in the top of the eighth. He gave up a single and a force out and then was taken out for lefty Randy Choate. Oh and by the way, on that force out, Goldschmidt upended Hairston at second, much like what happened to Mark Ellis, and Hairston had to leave the game with a leg injury. He is having x-rays taken, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he is DL’d with the way the injuries have gone this year. If that were to happen, Elian Herrera would probably be called up, and Juan Uribe’s march towards record setting futility is assured of completion.
Anyways, back to the crapfest. Montero immediately homers to center off of Choate to put the Dbacks up for good 4-0. Those two runs would serve meaningless, since the Dodgers couldn’t score any runs if you put home plates in front of their houses.
And that’s ballgame. The Dodger offense was utterly mind-numbingly bad. It’s not even like Corbin was striking a lot of guys out, only five. Just nothing but grounders, and pop ups. Grounders and pop ups. Grounders and pop ups. If the goal of the season somehow changed to hitting into as many weak grounders as possible, the Dodgers would win convincingly. Only two hits could be mustered. A single from Matt Kemp, and another single from Fife himself, and two measily walks.
It amazes me how the Dodgers scored 19 runs in San Francisco, and only three this series against Arizona. The Dbacks may have mediocre pitching, but their lineup is pretty good. They have several dangerous sluggers in their lineup, Hill, Montero, Kubel, and Paul Goldschmidt is raking the ball right now. He collected another three hits, and I don’t think the Dodgers retired him once this series. He came into yesterday’s game batting .449 off of left handed pitching. Yes that is no typo. I would like to see someone try to trap Goldschmidt in a long extremely boring jury trial for the remainder of the season. It has to be a really excruciatingly tedious trial. Making sure to busy him with boring court documents, and legal proceedings for several hours per day. That should serve him right for being such an annoyance this series. Anyways, it’s not surprising watching Arizona score runs easily. The snakes have hit 113 home runs, the Dodgers have hit just 64. Punch-less offenses don’t help you win games.
The fact is Ryan Dempster wouldn’t have made the difference between making the playoffs or not. Coming into the game the Dodger pitching staff had a 3.37 ERA, and held batters to a .239 batting average against. Those numbers rank them third in the league in ERA, only a single point behind the Reds, and third in the league in batting average against. Still think the pitching is the problem?
The Dodger offense ranks 20th in batting (.249), and 29th in home runs (64). I still think the Dodgers are a good team. It’s not like they are terrible or anything. They are 56-50, six games above .500, a game and a half out of first place. However they’re poor offense, and lack of power is what keeps them from being an elite teams. The elite teams like the Rangers, Yankees, Reds, etc, all have great lineups. They have powerful lineups, where six or seven or even eight of the hitters in the lineup all can hit, or smack the ball out of the park. You have to have more than just two or three power threats in your lineup, otherwise don’t expect to score a lot of runs. I think the Dodger’s improved lineup will start to hit eventually, but they haven’t clicked yet. Let’s hope they can figure this out as soon as possible.
The Dodgers are off tomorrow. The Chicago Cubs will come to town on Friday, or what’s left of them that is to start a three game weekend series. Jeff Samardzija will counter Chad Billingsley in the series opener Friday night. Take a day off and rest guys, and join us over here on Friday night. I agree that the rotation could use an upgrade, but if the position players don’t start hitting, then that won’t matter, because nothing will matter because they won’t win. You have to score runs in order to win games. Food for thought guys, as we head into the off day. Have a great Thursday Dodger fam. Go Blue.
Topics: A.J. Ellis, Andre Ethier, Bobby Abreu, Brandon League, Dodgers, Don Mattingly, Hanley Ramirez, James Loney, Javy Guerra, Jerry Hairston Jr., Juan Rivera, Juan Uribe, Luis Cruz, Mark Ellis, Matt Kemp, Randy Choate, Shane Victorino, Stephen Fife, Tony Gwynn Jr.