Matt Kemp isn't hitting any homeruns, but he is preventing them! Photo: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Bullpen Ruins Capuano’s Gem By Allowing Consecutive Atlanta Homeruns

Dodgers 1 2 0

Braves 3 7 1

WP- Gearrin (1-0)

LP- Jansen (1-2)

S- Kimbrel (13)

HR- Gattis (8), Simmons (5)

The Dodgers bullpen continues to struggle, and a pair of eighth inning homeruns by Evan Gattis and Andrelton Simmons stopped Kenley Jansen and the Dodgers in their tracks. The game quickly soured, and it was a shame that Chris Capuano‘s pitching gem was spoiled. Capuano pitched 7 1/3 innings and allowed 1 run on 5 hits with 5 strikeouts and no walks on 91 pitches. Cappy mixed his pitches well, and he was able to squelch the Atlanta offense for most of the game. Don Mattingly quickly hooked Capuano after he allowed a single in the bottom of the eighth inning, and by going to the bullpen it cost the Dodgers the game and the series.

 

May 18, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Chris Capuano (35) pitches in the second inning against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

At 91 pitches Capuano could have pitched to a couple more batters. He had been sailing through most of the game, and just because he allowed one one-out single doesn’t mean he should be instantly pulled from the game. Even though Kenley Jansen has been dependable this season, the bullpen in general has been pretty awful to say the least. Sure enough, the bullpen once again blew the game after failing to preserve a lead.

Carl Crawford reaches and hits a soft pop-out to Andrelton Simmons in shallow left field to begin the game. Matt Kemp, who was 0-5 last night in Atlanta, grounds out to short. Adrian Gonzalez grounds out to Dan Uggla at second, and the Dodgers go down quietly against Kris Medlen.

Chris Capuano goes to the mound for his fourth start of the year. Cappy strikes out lead-off man Andrelton Simmons to start things off nicely. Then Matt Kemp goes back to make a highlight reel catch to rob Jason Heyward of a homerun! He reaches up over the wall to grab the ball. That was easily his best catch of the season thus far. Justin Upton also flies out to Kemp to end the inning.

In the second, Andre Ethier flies out, Skip Schumaker grounds out, and Tim Federowicz singles with two out. Nick Punto strikes out, and the Dodgers leave FedEx at first.

Capuano starts off the bottom of the second with another lead-off strikeout to Freddie Freeman. Chris Johnson bloops a single into right field. Brian McCann grounds out to first. Capuano strikes out swinging Dan Uggla to end the frame! Nice whiff by Cappy.

Dee Gordon reaches safely in the third after getting hit in the foot with a pitch. Capuano successfully sacrifices Gordon to second with a bunt. Carl Crawford flies out, and Gordon has to hold at second. McCann hangs Dee out to dry as he tries to steal third to end the inning. Once again, poor base running.

Cappy starts the bottom of the third inning just like he started the previous two. He strikes out the lead-off batter. Kris Medlen collects his first hit of the year on a soft fly ball hit to center field. Matt Kemp attempts to dive, but he is unable to make the play and the ball is deflected. Then Nick Punto

Kris Medlen pitched a great game for Atlanta in the no-decision. Photo: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

makes a great play with an underhand throw to Schumaker for a 5-4-3 double play on a grounder from Simmons to end the inning.

Kemp flies out to start the top of the fourth. Adrian Gonzalez draws a walk, but Dre flies out. Schumaker then doubles down the left field line, and the ball rattles around in the corner as it squirts out of the hands of Justin Upton. Adrian Gonzalez plows into home on the play, and thanks to the fielding error by Upton the Dodgers score first! FedEx strikes out, but the Dodgers take a 1-0 lead.

Capuano induces a groundout from Heyward in the bottom of the fourth. Justin Upton flies out to right, and he slams his bat down in frustration. Freeman grounds out, and it’s a quick 1-2-3 inning.

Dee Gordon draws a one-out walk in the fifth. Capuano sacrifices Dee into scoring position for the second time of the night. Crawford’s little dribbler ends the inning and Dee is stranded.

Chris Johnson leads off the bottom of the fifth with an infield single. McCann grounds into a force out. Uggla flies out to center, and Cappy whiffs B.J. Upton to end the inning! Capuano is looking very good tonight, and his continued success could really bolster the Dodgers rotation.

The Dodgers fail to do anything against Medlen in the sixth. Kemp and Ethier both strike out in the frame.

Capuano is smoothly sailing, and he pitches a nice 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the sixth.

Nick Punto draws a two-out walk in the top of the seventh inning, but Dee Gordon strikes out.

In the bottom of the seventh the Tomahawk Chop starts at Turner Field. Capuano tunes it out as he goes to work. Justin Upton and Freddie Freeman both ground out consecutively. Chris Johnson collects his third hit of the inning. Pinch-runner Ramiro Pena will replace Johnson. Brian McCann grounds out to Gonzo, and that’s the inning!

 

Cory Gearrin, a right-hander, will relieve Medlen for the top of the eighth inning. Chris Capuano, still in the game, flies out. Crawford grounds out, and he goes 0-for-4 on the night. Kemp grounds out, and he also goes 0-for-4 in the game.

Kris Medlen pitched 7 innings and allowed 1 unearned run on 2 hits with 5 strikeouts and no walks on 112 pitches.

Cappy still in for the eighth, but Don Mattingly’s decision to pull him after he allows a one-out single costs the Dodgers the game. Cappy gets Uggla to fly out, but B.J. Upton jumps on the first pitch for a single. That’s going to be all for Capuano. The Braves will bring up pinch-hitter Evan Gattis to face Kenley Jansen out of the Dodgers bullpen. Gattis and Jansen lock horns for a while, but on the eighth pitch Gattis homers, and the Braves take a 2-1 lead. Then Simmons jumps all over Kenley for another homerun to center field. There’s no reason to have taken out Capuano. It was his game to lose. Heyward lines out and Justin Upton strikes out, but the damage is done.

Craig Kimbrel will pitch the ninth, and he quickly induces a groundout from Gonzalez for the first out. Ethier strikes out.

May 18, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves catcher Evan Gattis (24) celebrates with center fielder B.J. Upton (2) after hitting a two-run home run in the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

 

The Braves are clearly a better team than the Dodgers. They are offensively dangerous, they have excellent pitching with a superb bullpen, and they have depth on the roster. The Dodgers now are 17-24 on the season, and they will be trying to fend off the three-game sweep tomorrow morning in Georgia. The morning match will feature rookie Matt Magill versus Mike Minor.

Tags: Atlanta Braves Chris Capuano Featured Kris Medlen Los Angeles Dodgers Popular