Apr 3, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez (23) reacts after striking out against the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers Pop Out and Drop First Series of the Season

Dodgers 3 7 2

Giants 5 6 1

WP- Lincecum (1-0)

LP- Beckett (0-2)

S- Romo (2)

HR- Sandoval (1), Pence (1)

Other than Clayton Kershaw‘s homerun on Opening Day, the Dodgers have only scored on a wild pitch, double play, sacrifice, and ground outs. They left 12 men on base in tonight’s loss to San Francisco and went 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position. They couldn’t take advantage of a struggling Tim Lincecum who walked 7 batters which tied a career high. Josh Beckett was far from impressive as he allowed 5 runs on 6 hits including a big two-run homerun to Pablo Sandoval in the third inning. Matt Kemp remains hitless on the season, and he was unable to get a clutch hit during a couple of key moments. Skip Schumaker, who started at second base instead of Mark Ellis, also made a costly error. Pop-ups came fast and furious for the Dodgers, and it became almost maddening as they squandered many scoring opportunities.

On the positive side, Carl Crawford has been looking very good so far. Crawford collected three singles on the night. J.P. Howell also fared very well in his Dodger debut as he pitched two perfect innings. Here’s how the game played out…

Josh Beckett bare hands a comebacker by Angel Pagan for the first out of the game. Marco Scutaro grounds out to Luis Cruz who’s at shortstop tonight. Pablo Sandoval grounds out to Skip Schumaker at second for the third out.

Carl Crawford opens the bottom half off the first with a single to left field off Tim Lincecum. Crawford has been looking very good thus far. Schumaker draws a walk. Crawford tags up at second and moves to third on a long fly ball to center by Matt Kemp. With Adrian Gonzalez at the plate, a passed ball by Hector Sanchez allows Crawford to come home. The Dodgers take a 1-0 lead. Andre Ethier flies out to Crawford in shallow left who almost collides with Blanco on the play. Luis Cruz is caught looking and called out on strikes to end the inning.

Buster Posey opens the second with a single for the Giants. Then we see Juan Uribe‘s slick glove work as he throws around the horn to double up Hunter Pence! I’ve criticized Uribe plenty over the past two years, but I do admit that he is an excellent defender. Sanchez’s pop out is number three.

Uribe flies out in his first at-bat of the season in the bottom of the second. A.J. Ellis slaps a double to right field, and Josh Beckett draws a walk off Lincecum. After a coaching visit to the mound, Carl Crawford picks up his second single of the game to load the bases up. Skip Schumaker stalls the rally by striking out. Matt Kemp flies out to strand all three runners.


The Giants score four runs in the third inning off Josh Beckett. Photo: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants strike in the third inning. Gregor Blanco singles to lead-off. Crawford follows with a double, and Blanco scores on a groundout from Lincecum putting the Giants on the board. Skip Schumaker, who for some reason is starting at second base instead of Mark Ellis, commits a fielding error which allows Pagan to reach safely while Crawford crosses home for the second San Francisco run. Scutaro’s fly ball is the second out. Sandoval then goes deep off Beckett, and he hits a two-run homerun giving the Giants a 4-1 lead.  Beckett walks Posey, and after Rick Honeycutt comes out to the mound for a visit, Beckett strikes out Pence to mercifully end the frame.

The Dodgers go down quickly 1-2-3 in the home half of the third.

For the third inning in a row, the Giants lead-off with a hit. Sanchez singles past Gonzo. Blanco is struck out, and Crawford grounds into a double play to end the inning.

Uribe strikes out to begin the bottom of the fourth. A.J. draws his signature walk, and Beckett’s successful sacrifice moves him to second. Carl Crawford walks, but Skip Schumaker once again kills any sort of rally by grounding out.

The Giants go down in order in the fifth, but can the Dodgers mount a comeback?

Lincecum walks Matt Kemp, and that’s the sixth walk given up by Timmy. Gonzalez’s little grounder bounces off Posey’s glove, and the error gives the Dodgers two on with nobody out. Kemp tags and moves to second on a fly ball to center by Ethier. Kemp scores on a sacrifice fly by Cruz. The Giants lead 4-2. Lincecum walks Uribe for BB #7 on the night. A.J. pops out.

Hunter Pence strikes in the sixth as he hits one out against Beckett with two outs. 5-2 Giants.

Left-hander Jose Mijares comes into take over for Lincecum in the bottom of the sixth. Mark Ellis comes into the games and promptly plops a single into left field. Crawford singles for the third time, and the Dodgers are in business with two on and nobody out. Mijares hits Schumaker in the back to load the bases up for Matt Kemp. George Kontos comes out of the San Francisco bullpen to replace Mijares. Matt Kemp grounds into a 5-3 double play. Ellis scores on the play, 5-3. Javier Lopez, lefty, is brought in to face Gonzalez. Gonzo strikes out swinging, and the Dodgers have now left 10 runners in scoring position.


Josh Beckett gets the loss in game three. Photo: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Tim Lincecum went 5 innings, allowing 2 runs on 3 hits with 4 strikeouts and 7 walks on 91 pitches.

Josh Beckett went 6 innings, allowing 5 runs on 6 hits with 4 strikeouts and 1 walk on 91 pitches.

J.P. Howell comes in to pitch the seventh for the Dodgers. He has a nice inning and sends the Giants down in order.

Andre Ethier picks up his second double of the season (off left-hander Lopez) to lead-off the bottom of the seventh. The Giants bring in their fifth pitcher of the night, righty Chad Gaudin. Cruz and Uribe both pop out. A.J. Ellis flies out to strand yet another runner.

J.P. Howell has another nice inning in the eighth, and he has retired six in a row.

Nick Punto manages a two-out single in the bottom of the eighth. Matt Kemp strikes out looking, and he is still hitless on the season.

Brandon League comes in to pitch the ninth for the Dodgers for his first outing of the season. Adrian Gonzalez tries to rush a pass to League on a Posey grounder but his throw is too soon and he draws an error. Pence grounds into a double play. That’s the third double play of the night for San Francisco. Nick Noonan, a rookie, grounds out in his first MLB at-bat to end the inning.

Sergio Romo comes in for the Giants to try to shut the door. Adrian Gonzalez flies out to deep center for the first out. Ethier flies out to left. Cruz strikes out to end the game.

Not a great series for the Dodgers, but it has only been three games. We will need the offense to wake up and for the pop-outs to stop. The Pirates come into town this weekend, and it will be the perfect opportunity for the Dodgers to get back on track and score some runs.

Join us Friday evening as Zack Greinke makes his Dodger debut against the Pirates.

Tags: Josh Beckett Los Angeles Dodgers Pablo Sandoval San Francisco Giants Tim Lincecum

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