What an irritating way to end a winning streak right? The Dodgers entered tonight having won 16 of their last 19 games and five in a row. Looking for their sixth straight win the Dodgers crashed and burned tonight snapping their win streak with a 3-0 blankfest against Juan Nicasio and the Colorado Rockies. The Rocks evened the series at one with the win. The Dodgers could only muster three hits over seven frames off the mummified version of Juan Nicasio. That’s the guy who got hit in the head by a line drive and broke his neck. He had just been called up from the minors, and he beat Clayton Kershaw.
Think of the most annoying way to end the winning streak, and that’s pretty much how the game went down. What could be more annoying than giving up first inning runs and then not being able to hit Juan Nicasio at all. Yes Dodgers, you got just got shutout by Juan Nicasio. Perhaps they forgot they were facing him. It was like the Dodgers saw Sandy Koufax on the mound instead of Nicasio.
This game didn’t feel right from the get go. Kershaw rarely ever allows three runs in a game, and even rarer is when he allows runs in the first inning. Actually Kershaw entered the game with an 8-4 record against Colorado and a 1.45 ERA against Colorado at Dodger Stadium. He hadn’t allowed two runs in the first inning in a year, and this was only the second time he has lost to Colorado at home. The Rockies even stole two bases off the Dodgers tonight. When does that happen?
But that’s what happened tonight. Kershaw served up two runs in the top of the first. Dexter Fowler, the daddy long legs, singled and stole second, then went to third on a DJ LeMahieu single. Colorado plated both runs this frame on a Troy Tulowitzki sacrifice fly, and a Wilin Rosario single. Kershaw did settle down by retiring nine in a row at one point, but gave up a third run in the fifth when he walked Nolan Arenado, allowed a sacrifice to Nicasio, and then another RBI single to LeMahieu. Speaking of LeMahieu, he was the primary evil-doer against the Dodgers with three hits, and a run driven in.
Kershaw is so good, that we complain when he allows more than a run in a start. We have to remember that Kershaw can’t be perfect. Still it’s hard to win when your team scores you no runs. Kershaw pitched seven innings, allowing three runs on six hits, walked one and whiffed ten Colorado batters. Kershaw’s record falls to 8-6, and his ERA rises to 1.98. Even though the Dodgers lost we can still take solace knowing that Kersh’s ERA is still below 2.00. I know, it’s a small consolation. Juan Nicasio is as stiff as a corpse. He’s like some kind of winning streak stopping guy or something. Did we seriously lose to this guy?
The Dodgers just couldn’t do anything against Nicasio. It was infuriating watching grounder after popup, after grounder. The Dodgers had four hits, which included a Hanley Ramirez double, a Schumaker bloop single, an Andre Ethier single, and a ninth inning Gonzalez single. Nicasio pitched seven shutout frames walking one and whiffing three. Rex Brothers and Rafael Betancourt pitched the last two frames to keep the Dodgers off the scoreboard and secure the win.
To make the night suck even worse, Yasiel Puig had to be removed in the fourth because his hip was bothering him again. He went 0 for 2 before he was replaced by Scott Van Slyke. Puig is still listed as day-to-day and it is unknown whether he will be able to play tomorrow. Oh and Carl Crawford was scratched with back stiffness before the game. Shocking I know.
Well, this one was frustrating. One of the lone bright spots was Cargo’s golden sombrero. Otherwise this game pretty much sucked balls. Here is how a team that had been scoring six runs per game over the last two weeks got blanked by Juan Nicasio. It’s some frightening regression. Anyways, if you are brave, read on….
The first inning is about as annoying as one could get of late. Kershaw allows a line drive single to Dexter Fowler. Daddy long legs as Vinny calls him. With DJ LeMahieu at the plate, he steals second, as Fedex’s throw is high. LeMahieu’s ground ball single find the hole as Hanley breaks to cover. The base hit sends Fowler to third. Cargo takes a called strike three for out number one. Troy Tulowitzki, the Mullet Man, scores Fowler on a sacrifice fly to center. 1-0 Colorado. Catcher Wilin Rosario singles home LeMahieu to give Colorado a 2-0 lead. Pacheco’s grounder ends the frame finally.
Colorado threatens again in the top of the second, but fortunately Kershaw snaps out of his little first inning jitter funk just in time. Because Charlie Blackmon doubles to lead off. Nolan Arenado a fly ball to center. Then Kershaw whiffs Nicasio and Fowler for the second and third outs.
The Dodgers don’t do anything in the bottom of the second other than an Andre Ethier walk. Kershaw is able to recover and set Colorado down in order in the top of the third. This inning Kershaw whiffs Cargo and Mullet.
The Dodgers finally get their first hit off of Nicasio with two outs in the bottom of the third. Skip Schumaker singled to right. Although it didn’t amount to anything as Yasiel Puig grounds out to second.
Puig is removed from the game in the top of the fifth after his hip began bothering him again. Scott Van Slyke enters the game in right field. Kershaw allowed a third run in the top of the fifth frame. Nolan Arenado walks. Nicasio sacrifices him to second. Nicasio does have seven sacrifices, according to Vin. After Kershaw whiffs Fowler, LeMahieu singles up the middle to score Arenado. That made it 3-0 Colorado.
There’s not much else to report after the fifth inning, so I won’t recap the rest of this donut fest. The Dodgers stranded three runners over the last three innings. They wasted an Ethier single in the seventh, a Nick Punto lead-off walk in the eighth, and a Gonzalez single in the ninth. Gonzo’s single off of Betancourt in the bottom of the ninth, was the lone murmur of protest before a long fly ball from Hanley, a shallow fly ball from Ethier, and a medium fly ball from A.J. for the last out. You can’t win them all I guess, but this was embarrassing.
Of course Arizona beat the Brewers, so the Dodgers drop back to 2.5 back. With the loss the Dodgers fall to .500 with a 46-46 record.
Well there’s just two games left until the all-star break. It would be nice if the Dodgers could just polish those of with wins before the long interlude. The Dodgers will try and start a new winning streak tomorrow at 4:15 PM in a nationally televised game on Fox. Tyler Chatwood will counter Zack Greinke in game three.