Games like this one make it very hard for me to stay upbeat. Today’s Dodger game was a total embarrassment. A complete disaster. The Dodgers were ripped up by the Padres in the Petco Park home opener 9-3. The Dodgers battled the Padres in their home opener for the second year in a row. The padres unveiled a new Petco Park with power alley fences moved in ten feet. How much the drawn-in fences will factor in these games remains to be seen.
I know it’s only one game in a very long season, but this is a San Diego team that is without their two best hitters. Chase Headley is out with a thumb injury, and Yasmani Grandal is serving his 50 game suspension for testing positive for PEDs. The rest of the padre lineup resembles a triple-A team, filled with guys like Nick Hundley, Alexi Amarista, and Everth Cabrera, and the Dodgers still lost.
We cringed when we saw Juan Uribe batting fifth in the lineup ahead of Andre Ethier, but Uribe hit what would be a game-tying two-run home run off of opposing starter Clayton Richard, which sent Dodger land into utter shock. Uribe’s home run was like something out of a dream. I think twitter blew up when it happened, and empanadas rained down from the heavens upon Petco Park. Ok maybe not, but it was still pretty amazing. We may never see it again.
Starting pitcher Josh Beckett gave another mediocre performance and after five fruitless innings was not involved in the decision. Neither was opposing starter Clayton Richard who was removed after five frames as well.
The Dodger lineup continued to struggle with runners in scoring position. The Dodgers left a million runners stranded (9) on base while going 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position. The Dodger bullpen exploded in the top of the eighth, with a walkapalooza that allowed five runs to plate in the bottom of the eighth inning blowing a 3-3 tie.
Will Venable drove in four runs for the Padres with a solo home run, and a three run bases clearing triple off of lefty J.P. Howell in that fateful eighth inning. Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez did all they could for the Boys in Blue. Each had two hits in the losing cause. The fact that Luke Gregerson picked up the win after throwing only one pitch, tells you how this game went for the Dodgers. On to the lowlights!…..
Top of the first-Carl Crawford leads off the game with a walk. Mark Ellis singles to the hole in left. Clayton Richard recovers to whiff Bison looking on a called third strike. Adrian Gonzalez walks to load the bases. That brings up Juan Uribe of course. Just how many scoring rallies will Uribe kill today? The portly third baseman immediately grounds into a 1-3 double play, right in front of the mound. That ends the inning and neutralizes the Dodger scoring rally. Well that’s one.
Everth Cabrera whiffs to lead off the bottom of the first. Will Venable smacks a solo home run. The Padres lead 1-0. Carlos Quentin pops out. The Padres plate another run on three consecutive singles. Yonder Alonso doubles to center. Jedd Gyorko singles up the middle to score Alonso. Alexi Amarista singles to center. 2-0 San Diego. Cameron Maybin whiffs for the third out.
The Dodgers threaten again in the top of the second, but another double play ruins a scoring rally. An infield single, and a San Diego error put Andre Ethier and A.J. Ellis at first and second. Of course, Justin Sellers grounds into a double play, and Beckett whiffs to squelch the potential rally. Crawford makes a great diving catch on a shallow pop fly to left. It helps Beckett throw a 123 bottom of the second.
Crawford leads off the top of the third with a single to center, but is immediately picked off. Just lovely. After that, Ellis lines out to right, and Kemp grounds out to third.
Move to the top of the fourth. The impossible occurs. Something we consider beyond reality. A Juan Uribe home run! I know you may not believe me, so check it out below. No, really, see below, I am not making this up. It happened after Gonzalez singled. Uribe took a Richard pitch and stroked an opposite field two-run shot just over the drawn-in fence in right field, to tie the game up at 2-2. Ethier followed with a single, but A.J. flies out, and after Sellers singles, and Beckett’s sacrifice, Crawford grounds out with runners at second and third. Beckett continues to roll right along, tossing another 123 inning in the bottom of the fourth.
The Dodgers strand another runner in the top of the fifth. Kemp doubles with one out, but Gonzo flies out, and Ethier grounds out, and the Dodgers don’t score. Nick Hundley’s lead-off solo home run in the bottom of the fifth, gives the Padres the lead back at 3-2. Beckett finishes the inning, but it is his last.
Andrew Cashner and his 100 MPH bullets are brought in to face the Dodgers in the top of the sixth. Cashner whiffs AJ, walks Sellers, but induces pinch-hitter Skip Schumaker into hitting into a 6-4-3 inning ending double play. Clayton Richard’s day is done. He throws five innings, allowing two runs on eight hits, walked three and whiffed three. Beckett’s day is also done after only five frames. He allows three runs on six hits, walked one and whiffed four. Chris Capunao made his first appearance of the season in the bottom of the sixth, and retires the Padres in order.
The Dodgers rally to tie it up in the top of the seventh, Cashner starts the frame and gives up a single to Crawford. Consecutive grounders from M.Ellis and Kemp move Crawford over to third. San Diego brings in lefty Joe Thatcher to face Gonzo. And how did that work out for you San Diego? Hmmmm? It turns out poorly as Gonzo bloops a single into left that scores Crawford, to tie the game at 3-3.
The Dodgers bullpen hadn’t allowed a single run until tonight’s affair. I knew at some point they would eventually give up some runs, but this was a total meltdown. Capuano had pitched a perfect sixth inning, and then is removed. I don’t know why. Isn’t this a long man role for Capuano?
The Dodgers bring in Ronald Belisario in the bottom of the seventh. Nick punto replaces Uribe at third base. This would be important.
Punto is unable to handle a slow roller from Maybin, and he reaches on an infield single. Hudley sacrifices Maybin to second, and then he comes around to score on pinch-hitter Mark Kotsay’s double to make it a 4-3 game. Paco Rodriguez has to enter into the game to secure the final out of the frame for the Dodgers.
The Dodgers go down 123 in the top of the eighth, and then the wheels really fall off for the Dodgers. The Padres score five runs in the bottom of the eighth, to take a 9-3 lead. Jed Gyorko walks, and advances to second on a passed ball. Amarista walks as well to put runners at first and second. Right hander Matt Guerrier replaces Paco, and San Diego advances the runners to second and third with a sacrifice bunt. Nick Punto who was switched over to shortstop in the frame, handles Nick Hundley’s grounder and cuts down the runner (Gyorko) at the plate for the second out. Then the flood gates open. Chris Denorfia singles to score Amarista, and it’s 5-3. Everth Cabrera walks to load the bases. Enter lefty J.P. Howell, and then exit the Dodger’s chances of winning this game. Venable triples over Kemp’s head which clears the bases, and makes it an 8-3 game. Jesus Guzman walks, and Yonder Alonso’s single scores the ninth run of the game for the Padres, making it a score of 9-3.
Dodgers relievers walk five Padre batters in the bottom of the eighth inning. Brad Brach pitches a scoreless top of the ninth to end the game, and the Padres win their home opener.
Why was Capuano removed after just one inning? The entire bullpen was used up. Not very efficient. Why was Nick Punto put into the game at third base? I would like to know what everyone thought of these moves. Why was Beckett only throwing fastballs? Guys? Anyone?
Let’s just pretend this game never happened. The Dodgers are now 4-3 on the young season. Tomorrow night’s game will feature the return of Chad Billingsley from the disabled list, as he makes his first start of the season. The Padres will counter with old friend and former Dodger Eric Stults. Yes, he’s still alive and pitching in the majors. Tomorrow evening’s game is on at 7:10 PM, but will be on tape delay on Prime Ticket. Time Warner will be showing the game live on alternate channels but only in high Definition. We’ll have more on this tomorrow.
Oh and if things aren’t already annoying enough, the Dodgers optioned catcher Tim Federowicz back to Albuquerque to make room for Ramon Hernandez. Hang in there Dodger fans. We’ll be back tomorrow, win or lose, rain or shine.
Following today’s game the #Dodgers optioned C Tim Federowicz to Triple-A Albuquerque.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) April 10, 2013
Well at least this happened…..