On a night when we remember the heroes of the September 11 attacks, it seems silly to complain about a Baseball game. Before I get into ripping the Dodgers a new one for another depressing gutless loss in the midst of what’s supposed to be a pennant race, let’s take a moment to remember. Every team around MLB today were holding special ceremonies to remember the heroes and victims of the 9/11 attacks. Teams were required to wear special American flag patches on their hats.
During a special night of reflection, the Dodgers gave us nothing to reflect on, and plenty to complain about. Once again the lifeless corpses wearing the Dodger uniforms took the field and played a Baseball game, and that’s about all you can really say. The Dodgers were shut-out again, this time getting only five hits, four of them against winning pitcher Ian Kennedy. The Dodgers lost to the Dbacks 1-0. Another comatose offensive performance, and we can see the reaper at our door.
Poor Clayton Kershaw. He did all he could. What more could you ask of him? Kershaw only gave up one measly run, on three hits through seven innings, after recovering from hip inflammation. The one run was unearned, thanks to a throwing error from Hanley Ramirez, which preceded a Miguel Montero double. Opposing starter Ian Kennedy pitched 7.1 scoreless frames, allowing four hits, no walks, and six whiffs. Kershaw walked three and whiffed five. The game was a close pitcher’s duel, but the Dodger offense makes everyone look like a Cy Young winner.
Kershaw came close to allowing a run in the bottom of the third, but wiggled out of the jam. He allowed a single to John McDonald, and walks to Adam Eaton, and Aaron Hill, but gets Jason Kubel to ground out, and kept the game scoreless. Kubel featured prominently in the game tonight. Because he robbed Luis Cruz of what would have been a two-run home run, and probably would have won the game for the Dodgers in the fifth frame. Andre Ethier had doubled, and Cruz sent a long a drive to deep left that looked like it was headed for the seats. It hung just long enough for Kubel to make a leaping catch against the wall, and rob Cochito of a home run, or an extra base-hit.
Arizona’s only run scored in the bottom of the seventh. Paul Goldschmidt reaches on a throwing error from Hanley. After Justin Upton flied out, Miguel Montero doubles into the right field corner, Goldschmidt scores all the way from first base. Arizona leads 1-0. That was all she wrote. The Dodgers would sleepwalk the game away. That seventh inning would end in an exciting way though. After a wild pitch from Kersh sent Montero to third, Chris Johnson flies out to center. Matt Kemp makes a perfect throw to gun down Montero at the plate. Give credit to A.J. Ellis for making a nice block and tag.
Of course it wouldn’t be a Dodger game without at least one or two tactical blunders from Don Mattingly. With one out in the top of the eighth, Luis Cruz singles. Again, Mattingly takes Cruz out of the game, (the one guy who can actually hit). He puts in Dee Gordon as a pinch-runner. Now Gordon was called up to the Dodgers today since the Isotopes season is over. Elian Herrera, and Stephen Fife also joined him. Anyways, Dee was put into the game, but Mattingly doesn’t have him steal second. Nooooo, of course not. Instead he has AJ bunt, and he naturally bunts into a double play. Gordon was forced at second, and then the Snakes recorded the out at first. That’s Mattingly doing what he loves best, giving away outs. Truly pathetic. On the bright side, Steven Rodriguez, also known as Paco, looked good again, coming into whiff Kubel with runners at the corners in the bottom of the eighth.
David Hernandez pitched the top of the ninth for Arizona, and picked up his third save of the season. In that top of the ninth, Mattingly committed another retarded blunder. While double switching Shawn Tolleson into the game in the bottom of the eighth, he also brought in Nick Punto to lead-off the top of the ninth. Punto predictably whiffed. Keep on shredding that .125 batting average Nick.
With two outs Shane Victorino doubled, and the game was in the hands of Adrian Gonzalez, the guy that was supposed to be the savior for the Dodgers. Gonzo pathetically whiffed to end the game, and strand the tying run on second base. Gonzo continues to do nothing. I’m beginning to think that mega trade with Boston was a bust. Does Gonzalez have a pulse? The guy looks, and acts like a corpse.
But to be fair, they all look like zombies. You know what they say, teams begin to take on the personalities of their manager. Another gutless performance sinks the Dodgers further in the standings. Sure the Cardinals are losing and the Pirates lost, but does that even matter anymore? Does anyone still think this team has any chance at all this year? This team is utterly dead. I felt like I was watching a wake instead of a Baseball team. Unfortunately I was watching a wake. I was watching the death of the Dodger’s season. Oh and by the way, the Giants beat Colorado, which drops the Dodgers (74-68), six games behind in the NL West.
Kemp did break out of his slump with his double. So there is that. Adrian Gonzalez is hitting .242 with a .675 OPS, and a .304 OBP in 62 at-bats since joining the Dodgers. Great trade!
The Dodger tankfest continues as the boys in blue play their final game against Arizona this season. Join us tomorrow as Aaron Harang will counter Trevor Cahill, as the Dodgers go for the series split.