Dodgers 2 9 2
Nationals 6 10 1
WP- Zimmermann (7-1)
LP- Beckett (0-5)
S- Clippard (6)
It was a tale of two pitchers. Josh Beckett, looking to reinvent himself in Los Angeles, continues to fail miserably as he notched his fifth loss of the season on Monday night. Contrarily, Jordan Zimmerman pitched brilliantly, picking up his seventh win of the season as he shut down the Dodgers at home. Beckett could only make it through three grueling paced innings, and Javy Guerra took over and allowed more runs to the Nats thereafter. The Dodger offense couldn’t do much of anything against Zimmermann, who is shaping up to be one of the best arms in the game. Two Dodger errors, one rare error by Gonzalez and another flailing throw by Guerra, didn’t help the cause. There was a scary moment in the bottom of the fifth when Bryce Harper slammed into the outfield wall knocking himself out. He left the game bleeding, but he was walking on his own back to the dugout.
Denard Span drops a single into right field to open up the top of the first against Josh Beckett. The slow pitching right-hander comes back and strikes out Steve Lombardozzi for the first out of the game. Wonder boy Bryce Harper slaps a single to right field, and the Nats have runners at first and third with one out. Span comes home to score on a groundout by Ryan Zimmerman, and the Nats take an early 1-0 lead. After standing there like a scarecrow for quite a long time, Beckett strikes out Adam LaRoche looking to contain the damage to one run.
The Dodgers come up in the bottom of the first to face one of the best pitchers in the game, Jordan Zimmermann. The right-hander makes quick work of Carl Crawford who strikes out swinging. Dee Gordon attempts to bunt for a hit, but he is easily thrown out at first. Adrian Gonzalez, who is back in the lineup tonight, strokes a single to right field. Matt Kemp grounds into an inning ending force out.
Beckett pitches a nice and relatively quick 1-2-3 inning in the second. He induces two groundouts, and he strikes out Danny Espinosa for his third whiff of the game.
The Dodgers go down in order in the bottom of the second.
The Nationals take advantage of Beckett’s awfulness combined with an error by Adrian Gonzalez in the top of the third. Jordan Zimmerman walks, and Span strikes out swinging. Lambardozzi reaches safely after the ball goes right under Gonzalez’s glove for an error. Beckett walks Harper to load the bases up. Ryan Zimmerman then doubles off the right field wall, and two runs come across home plate. Harper scores the third run of the inning on a groundout by LaRoche. The Dodgers begin to warm Javy Guerra in the bullpen. Washington takes a 4-0 lead. Ian Desmond strikes out swinging to mercifully end the inning.
Javy Guerra is already in for the fourth to relieve the bewildered Beckett. He pitches a nice 1-2-3 inning.
Josh Beckett only made it through 3 innings, allowing 4 runs (2 earned) on 3 hits with 5 strikeouts and 2 walks on 68 pitches.
The Dodgers once again lead-off with a single in the bottom of the fourth, but they still can’t muster any runs. With Gonzo at the plate, Dee Gordon steals his fifth base of the season. Then Dee advances to third on a throwing error by the Nats catcher Kurt Suzuki. Gonzalez pops out, Matt Kemp strikes out, and Ethier grounds out on a good play by LaRoche who robs him of a base hit.
In the fifth, Guerra finally retires Span on a fly ball after 11 pitches. Lombardozzi singles. Harper walks again. Ryan Zimmerman reaches safely after Javy throws the ball into center field on a force attempt. Lombardozzi scores. LaRoche singles in Harper, and the Nats now have a commanding 6-0 lead. Desmond walks to load the bases which prompts a coaching visit to the mound by Rick Honeycutt. Espinosa grounds into a force out, and Suzuki lines out to Ethier to end the frame.
In the bottom of the fifth, there’s a scary moment. A.J. Ellis triples to center field, and Bryce Harper in pursuit face plants into the center field wall. He collapses on to the ground, and he looks like he might have been knocked out for a moment. He gets up under his own power, but he is bleeding from what looks like his neck. He is escorted off the field, and Roger Bernadina comes in to replace Harper. Us Dodger fans can flash back to when Kemp slammed into the Coors Field wall, and we hope that Harper is okay. Ellis scores on a Skip Schumaker ground out, and it’s now 6-1. Punto grounds out, and FedEx strikes out.
Jordan Zimmermann comes up with his second base hit of the night off new Dodger pitcher J.P. Howell, a lead-off single in the top of the sixth. A passed ball by A.J. allows Zimmermann to move over to second. Span lines out to second, and Lombardozzi flies out. Bernadina beats out Howell to first base for an infield single although Howell tried to slide. Howell walks Ryan Zimmerman to load the bases up. Howell strikes out LaRoche to wiggle out of the jam.
Crawford leads off the bottom of the sixth with a ground-rule double over the left field corner wall. Crawford steals third with two outs and Kemp at the plate. Kemp pops out, and CC is stranded at third.
J.P. Howell pitches a scoreless seventh and only allows a single to Suzuki.
Ethier singles to lead-off in the bottom of the seventh. Ellis is thrown out on a diving stop by Desmond to rob him of a hit. Schumaker strikes out swinging. Punto flies out.
Ronald Belisario is in for the eighth. Span leads off with a single, but Beli retires the next three Nats for a scoreless inning.
Crawford singles with one out in the bottom of the eighth. Gordon grounds into a force out. Gonzalez singles to right field. Zimmermann is beginning to tire, and Matt Kemp hits a base hit to left field scoring Gordon. It’s now 6-2. Kemp extends his hitting streak to 12 games. That’s going to be all for Zimmermann, and Tyler Clippard will come out of the Washington bullpen. Ethier flies out to end the inning.
Jordan Zimmerman went 7 2/3 innings, allowing 2 runs on 9 hits with 5 strikeouts and no walks on 101 pitches.
We go to the ninth. Matt Guerrier comes in to pitch for the Dodgers. LaRoche goes down swinging. Desmond singles. Crawford makes a nice catch to retire Espinosa. Suzuki flies out.
The Dodgers fall to 15-22. The two wins versus the Marlins are now in the rear view mirror as the Dodgers now take on actual competitive teams. The schedule doesn’t get any easier, and the Dodgers will travel to Atlanta to take on the Braves this weekend.