It was Don Mattingly’s birthday today, but his club was unable to give him anything to be happy about. The club dropped their sixth straight game, and seventh of their last eighth. The Dodgers were swept in the day night double-header and continue to be atrocious in American League parks.
At least in the first game, the Dodgers had a chance to win, eventually losing 7-5, thanks to the Bumpen, and some terrible bullpen management. Needless to say it was the blowniest. The second game in the nightcap was just a regular blowout. Josh Beckett was nowhere close, to approaching the dominance he had in his last start against Arizona. This time he served up six runs on two long balls, and was knocked out of the game by the sixth inning. Some more terrible Dodger offense made the second game mostly unwatchable. It’s one thing that they’re playing horrendous, but it’s another when they are unwatchable.
That’s where we are right now, and it’s not getting any better. The only positive is that it’s very early right now. But how long can we say that for? The team has no fundamentals, and it’s glaring. Their weaknesses are being exposed, as they get outplayed every series.
The offense is pathetic. They can’t hit with runners in scoring position, and they leave at least ten runners on base per game. They only take one base at a time, and are one of the worst and least aggressive base running teams in all of Baseball. The bench is weak, and even when they do get hits, and score some runs, the bullpen blows any and all leads obtained. However I am afraid that this team will never get going until Matt Kemp does. Without him, the offense is rudderless.
I don’t know what to say anymore. Tonight, they lost to Baltimore 6-1. The Dodgers had A.J. back behind the plate, but Ethier at DH, and Hairston in right field. Jhair did have two hits, but it didn’t really help much. The game was tied 1-1 until Baltimore scored two runs in the fifth, and three in the sixth. Wei-Yin Chen got the win, and home runs from Chris Davis, and Manny Machado. Machado also added a run scoring double, and Adam Jones had an RBI double of his own as well. Machado had four runs driven in on the day. Tommy Hunter picked up a rare three-inning save. The Dodgers scored one run on six hits. Punto and Hairston both had two hits. The Dodgers also had two costly errors, one was a throw into center field from A.J. , and the other an errant throw to first base from Beckett.
Here’s how the game played out……
Top of the first-The left hander Wei-Yin Chen has a shaky start to the game, when he hits Carl Crawford with a pitch, and gives up a Nick Punto flare single to center. With runners at first and third, Matt Kemp hits a soft rope to short that J.J. Hardy leaps to catch. The ball bounces off the top of his glove and to the ground. Hardy gets the force out at second, as Kemp is safe at first. Crawford scores on a sacrifice fly from Adrian Gonzalez, to give the Dodgers the early lead 1-0. Bison then surprisingly steals second base. That’s just the eight stolen base of the season for the Dodgers. The inning ends with Jerry Hairston flying out to right.
Josh Beckett disposes of the Orioles in order in the bottom of the first inning. Only 11 pitches are needed from Beckett to retire the side. In the bottom of the second, Beckett throws a meatball right into Chris Davis’s wheelhouse, and he hits it out to center field. That’s his seventh home run of the season, and ties the game at 1-1.
Chen walks two in the top of the third, (Crawford, and Kemp) but gets out of it without allowing any scorage. Thanks to a Nick Punto double play ball, and a Adrian Gonzalez fly ball to the warning track.
A two out meltdown in the bottom of the third, puts Beckett and the Dodgers in hot water. The veteran right hander is able to get out of it, but it was sketch. Nate McLouth and Manny Machado reach on consecutive singles, and Nick Markakis walks to load the bases. But Adam Jones grounds out to short, and the Dodgers get out of it.
Beckett meltsdown like a popsicle on a warm summer day in the bottom of the fifth. Baltimore plates two runs to take the lead. McLouth works a one-out walk, and then steals second base. He advances to third when AJ throws the ball into center field. Manny Machado’s double to left scores McLouth, and gives the Orioles the lead. Markakis’s fly out to right, moves Machado to third. Adam Jones’ double over the head of Crawford scores Mchado and extends the lead for Baltimore to 3-1. Chris Davis is walked intentionally, so Beckett can retire J.J. Hardy, which he does on a ground out.
It only gets worse after that. Baltimore scores three more runs in the bottom of the sixth, to knock Beckett out of the game. With two outs mind you, Flaherty, and McLouth reach on consecutive singles. The Machado homers to left, to put Baltimore up 6-1.
Beckett was removed with two out in the sixth inning. He never made it out of the frame. He went six frames, allowed six runs, on eight hits, three walks. And three whiffs. J.P. Howell relieved in the seventh inning.
Chen leaves after six frames as well. But he leaves with a five run lead. Chen allows one run on three hits, walked four, and whiffed two. Despite a little bit of wildness, he did well. Tommy Hunter relives Chen in the seventh inning.
Move to the top of the ninth, with the Dodgers still trailing 6-1. With Hunter on the mound, Ethier grounds out. A.J. Ellis walks, and Uribe flies out to right. Skip Schumaker flies out to end the game. It looks like the suck fest goes on. Six in a row, and counting. When will this end?
Before the game we learned that Yasiel Puig was placed on the seven day disabled list because of a thumb injury. Apparently he jammed it while diving for a fly ball. Don’t worry guys, the injury is minor, and he is not expected to be out for long.
I am sorry I don’t have any good news at the moment. What can I say? How many more ways can I say they suck? It’s early, and there is plenty fo time to make changes and adjustments. But if they don’t then it’s going to become a forgettable year very quickly. Baseball is all about adjustments, and if the Dodgers are unwilling to make them, then it’s going to be a long season. This season is slowly flushing down the toilet. The Dodgers are now 7-10 on the season, and have not won since last Saturday.
Join us tomorrow as we continue to document the train wreck that the Dodger season is becoming. I kid, guys, I kid. I’m trying to keep myself from going crazy. I am so sick of the losing. Chad Billingsley will try desperately to snap the team out of this funk, while Baltimore will counter with right handed youngster Jake Arrieta. It’s early morning Dodger Baseball at 10:35 AM! Set your alarms! Wake up early. Tomorrow could be the day we finally win a Baseball game! Don’t sleep. Go Blue.