The Dodger’s inability to beat teams within their own division is what’s really been tanking them this season, and unfortunately that only continued tonight, as even with Clayton Kershaw on the mound, the Dodgers were unable to mount any kind of momentum as the Padres beat the Dodgers in the second game of this four game set, by a score of 5-2. The loss sinks the Dodgers nine and a half games back in the NL West, and a season low 12 games under .500. The Dodgers are now 9-23 against the NL West.
The game was originally supposed to be a battle of the Claytons. Our own ace Clayton Kershaw, against the San Diego lefty Clayton Richard. The Clayton battle was not what we ended up getting, as Richard was forced to leave the game after only making two pitches because of an unspecified injury. The San Diego bullpen was ready to pick up the slack in a pinch, by holding the Dodgers to just two runs on eight hits. San Diego used four pitchers, to do this, right hander Tim Stauffer, over the top Tyson Ross, Dale Thayer, and closer Huston Street.
Somehow the Padres are like Kershaw’s kryptonite or something, as they have now beaten him three times this season. Kershaw allowed four runs on seven hits in six frames, while whiffing seven. Kershaw had six three-ball counts, proving he is human. Chris Denorfia’s fifth home run of the season, (a solo shot on a 3-2 count) in the bottom of the first made him just the second MLB player ever to hit three or more home runs against Kershaw. That was his third, and the other player to do it is Adam Dunn. Kershaw’s record drops to 5-5, and his ERA raises to 2.06
The third inning is where things unraveled for Kershaw. San Diego put up three unanswered runs thanks to a two-run triple from Chase Headley, and an RBI bloop single from Kyle Blanks. A bumbling error from Elian Herrera in left field sure didn’t help anything.
The Dodgers did have an early lead by scoring a run in the top of the first. The Dodgers actually had the bases loaded in the top of the first. M.Ellis, and Puig singled, and Hanley walked. Uribe’s slow grounder scored the run. But the injury replacement Tim Stauffer was able to escape the jam, and limit the damage.
Speaking of Yasiel Puig, he went 2 for 4 tonight, and scored a run in the top of the eighth. After he beat out an infield single, advanced to second on a long fly ball from Gonzalez, and then scores on an RBI double from Hanley Ramirez. That was all the Dodgers could muster once again. The pop-gun offense left seven men on base and was 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position.
San Diego added another run in the bottom of the eighth off of Brandon League. Logan Forsythe had two hits, as did Denorfia. Injury replacement Stauffer picks up the win, and Huston Street his 15 save of the season.
The game is initially delayed when the scheduled starter, Clayton Richard has to leave the game because of injury. Richard made two pitches to Mark Ellis, and then stepped off the mound, and was walked off the field. Right hander Tim Stauffer replaces him, and gets to make as many warm-up throws as he likes since he is replacing an injured pitcher.
With a different pitcher on the mound, M.Ellis slaps a base hit to right. Yasiel Puig gets another hit, a groundball single through the hole at short. Adrian Gonzalez smokes a line drive that deflects off of Stauffer’s leg, and he picks up the ball and records the out at first. The runners move over to second and third with one out. Stauffer then falls behind and walks Hanley Ramirez to load the bases with Juan Uribe at the plate. Uribe’s slow roller to third scores M.Ellis to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. A.J. Ellis’s whiff ends the frame.
Clayton Kershaw takes the mound in the bottom of the first and gives up a solo home run to Chris Denorfia. That annoying home run ties the game at 1-1. That’s Denorfia’s third career home run off of Kershaw.
Stauffer begins the top of the second wild, by walking Skip Schumaker. However a botched hit and run derails the frame, as the freshly called-up Elian Herrera whiffs, and Schumaker is left hung out to dry at second base. Kershaw taps out, and that’s all for the Dodgers in the second.
Kershaw returns to the mound in the bottom of the second, and whiffs Jesus Guzman. Nick Hundley bounces out to third. The pesky Pedro Ciriaco hits a bloop single to center. He also steals second, but is stranded there when Venable grounds to first.
Stauffer allows a lead-off single to M.Ellis in the top of the third. Puig’s deep drive to center is snared by a running Venable. Then Gonzo flies out to center, and Hanley swings at more low and away junk to strike out, and the Dodgers don’t score.
The Padres take the lead in the bottom of the third. Logan Forsythe’s one-out single is bumbled in left field by Herrera for an error. With Forsythe at second, Denorfia walks, and Headley triples down the third base line to score both runners, and give San Diego a 3-1 lead. Kyle Blank’s bloop RBI single scores headley despite, Schumaker’s best effort. San Diego leads 4-1. Kershaw whiffs Guzman and Hundley, but the damage is done.
Stauffer allows a Uribe single in the top of the fourth, but Schumaker’s double play ruins any chances of scoring for the Dodgers in that frame. Kershaw settles down to retire the Padres in order in the bottom of the fourth, whiffing Venable and pinch-hitter former Dodger Eric Stults.
Tyson Ross a right hander comes in to relieve Stauffer in the top of the fifth. Stauffer made 72 pitches in four one-run innings and whiffed four. Ross throws a scoreless frame, pitching around a one-out walk to M.Ellis. He retires Puig on a grounder, and the Dodgers still trail 4-1.
The Dodgers screwed up another rally in the top of the sixth. With Ross still on the mound, Hanley walks, and Uribe singled. But A.J. whiffs on a called third strike, and Schumaker grounds into a double play.
Brandon League replaces Kershaw in the bottom of the seventh with the Padres still leading 4-1. Kershaw allowed four earned runs off seven hits in six innings. He whiffed seven and walked one. Not surprisingly, League allows a run, by making an error on his own grounder (he dropped the ball), a Logan Forsythe single, and a Denorfia sac fly to make it 5-1 San Diego.
Dale Thayer comes in to replace Ross in the top of the eighth. The Dodgers seize the opportunity by greeting Thayer with some hits. Puig beats out an infield single that Ciriaco can’t handle. Gonzo’s deep fly ball to right almost goes out for a home run, but that only counts in horse shoes. The long fly out allows Puig to alertly tag up to second. Hanley’s long double off the wall in center scores Puig, to cut the lead to 5-2. That was Puig’s run for sure. Uribe whiffs for the second out. A.J. pathetically pops out, and the Dodgers can only muster one run.
Move to the top of the ninth. San Diego closer Huston Street on to close shop. Not a problem here. Schumaker grounds out, Hairston flies out. Punto weakly grounds out, for the last out and the Dodgers fall again, 5-2.
Don Mattingly once again provided no answers or solutions when asked after the game why the Dodgers can’t win ball games. He does not know. How many times can we hear him shrug his shoulders in defeat and not even attempt to provide some possible solutions?
What a miserable road trip for the Dodgers. What a miserable season actually. The losses keep mounting, as the Dodgers fall to 30-42 in 2013. Could this be one of the worst Dodger teams in history? I think we are getting our answer. The Dodgers will try to somehow save face tomorrow during a nationally televised game on Fox at 4:15 PM. Tomorrow’s game will feature Zack Greinke’s return to Petco Park, as he will face-off against Edinson Volquez.