Well the Dodgers have injury problems again, the team just can’t stay healthy. And when the team has injuries to their starting lineup, they lose. That’s because when the regulars can’t go, then the B-team has to take over, and they are all terrible. Or mostly terrible.
The Dodgers entered play today, trailing Arizona by two and a half games in the NL West. The Dodgers were looking for a series win over Colorado as the two teams would play their final games before the all-star break.
The Dodgers came in with three of their outfielders ailing. Matt Kemp you know is still out with his sore shoulder. Yasiel Puig was still nursing his sore hip, and Carl Crawford is as rusty as ever. All three were not in the lineup again, although Puig did pinch-hit, single, and score a run, and then remained in the game in left field. Crawford actually did play in the game as well, coming in late as a pinch-hitter, popping out, and then staying in the game in left field. That was all Crawford could muster though, as that’s all the Baseball his rusty body could take. He will now return to his true home, which is the disabled list.
So when the Dodgers are not healthy, and the B-team has to populate the lineup, messers Schumaker, Hairston, and Punto, and others, they lose. I’m not trying to be negative here, just being honest. They just simply can’t score runs with those guys in the lineup. No offense to any of them. (get it? no offense? har har har) All three of them are the nicest guys, and decent gloves, but they have no power, and are terrible hitters. To make matters worse, Mattingly continuously bats the punch and Judy Schumaker lead-off. I get they have to play because of the injuries, but does Schumaker HAVE to bat lead-off? Lineup placement is key. This lineup was not constructed with run scoring in mind.
So with the B-team littering the lineup with their ohfers, Dodger Stater Ricky Nolasco sure better have brought his A-game to the mound. Nolasco made his Dodger Stadium debut, but didn’t impress like his last start. Nolasco pitched five innings, allowing three runs on eight hits. He walked three, hit a batter, and whiffed four. His opponent Jhoulys Chacin had the luxury of a lineup filled with Dodger B-Bums, and took advantage, throwing six innings of one run ball and whiffing six.
Colorado scored three runs, but that was all they needed. Their first inning efforts produced a run right away, which annoyed me greatly. Fowler a lead-off double, and Michael Cuddyer a flare single to center scored him. Cuddyer did all of the run driving in today for Colorado. In the top of the fifth, with Nolasco still in the game, His two-run home run to right, followed a Cargo hit by pitch. That put Colorado up 3-1.
Again the Dodgers did nothing offensively with their lineup filled with punchless bench hitters. They did score a run in the fifth, when Puig singled as a pinch-hitter, Schumaker singled, and Gonzo’s RBI single scored Puig to get the Dodgers on the scoreboard. But that was it.
Rex Brothers, Matt Belisle, and Rafael Betancourt combined to easily retire the Dodgers over the final three frames to finalize a 3-1 victory. The Rockies earn a series split, as the first half comes to a close. The Dodgers did not get one runner on over the final three frames, which is really their recipe for losing from the first half. Once their down even by a run after the sixth inning, they just throw in the towel, and roll right over.
Anyways, The Dodgers finish the first half with a 47-47 record, still 2.5 games back of Arizona. Luckily, the Snakes lost to the Brewers, so we didn’t lose any ground. Here is how the game played out. Try not to get as frustrated as I was having to cover this pathetic game.
Nothing annoys me more than first inning runs allowed, and of course the Dodgers serve up one right away in the first. Nolasco allows a lead-off double to Dexter Fowler. After DJ LeMahieu whiffs, Nolasco walks Cargo. Troy Tulowitzki flies out to left. Michael Cuddyer’s flare single to center drops in front of Ethier, and scores Fowlers to put Colorado up 1-0.
The Dodgers get a couple of men on in the first but don’t score against Chacin. Skip Schumaker singles. Nick Punto’s fly ball is the first out. Adrian Gonzalez grounds out. Hanley Ramirez draws a walk, but Andre Ethier pops up.
Nolasco works a scoreless top of the second. He whiffs Nolan Arenado, and Wilin Rosario, despite giving up a single to Chacin, and a walk to Fowler. Chacin gets through the bottom half with limited trouble. A.J. Ellis whiffs. Scot Van Slyke a single up the middle. Jerry Hairston, playing third base in place of Juan Uribe is robbed of a hit on a great catch from Cargo. After Nolasco walked, of course, the punch and Judy Schumaker whiffs to end the frame.
Both pitchers exchange 123 third innings, and we move to the fourth. Colorado threatens again in the top of the fourth, but the Dodgers get out of it. Annoying Todd Helton singles. Rosario flies out to Van Slyke. Arenado’s force out is the second out. But Chacin singles up the middle on the first pitch. Fowlers whiffs though and the Dodgers are out of the inning. The Dodgers go down 123 in the bottom of the fourth, and we’re still 1-0 after four frames. Keep note, Van Slyke was robbed in this inning of what could have been an extra-base hit by a leaping against the wall Dexter Fowler.
Colorado extends their lead with two runs in the top of the fifth. Cargo is hit by a pitch in the foot with one out. Then Mullet Man pops up for the second out. Then Cuddyer lowers the boom with a two-run shot into the pavilions in right field. That makes the score 2-0 Colorado. Helton and Rosario both single, before Nolasco gets Arenado to ground out to end the scoring rally.
The Dodgers battle back with a run in the bottom half of the fifth, thanks to Yasiel Puig’s aggressiveness. After Hairston makes out, Puig is put into to pinch-hit for Nolasco, and he singles to start things off. Schumaker follows with a single as well, to push Puig to second. After a Colorado coaching visit to the mound, Punto lines out to left, as Cuddyer makes a good play. Gonzo, the butter and egg man, singles to center to score Puig, and move Schumaker to second. It’s 3-1 Colorado. Hanley’s force out, ends the threat. But the Dodgers are on the board.
J.P. Howell replaces Nolasco in the top of the sixth. Chacin singles to lead-off. After Fowler’s force out, and LeMahieu at the plate, Fowler appears to be caught stealing. He ends up in a rundown, but somehow he gets back to first safely. Mattingly argues with the umpires that Gonzo applied the tag, but he loses that argument. Then the Dodgers throw a pitch-out, which catches Fowler in what is the longest rundown I have ever seen. The rundown goes 2-6-3-4-1-6-2, if you’re keeping score at home. Cargo’s fly ball ends the frame.
The Dodgers had another look at the game in the bottom of the sixth when Ethier walked, and then Van Slyke singled. But Hairston whiffed like a statue, and Puig popped out.
Move to the eighth frame, where the Dodgers ohfer away the inning against Matt Belisle. Hanley pops out. Ethier lines out to Cargo, and A.J. grounds out.The score remains 3-1 Colorado and we head into the bottom of the ninth, with the Dodger’s last chance to gain ground on the Snakes before the break.
Rafael Betancourt comes in and slams the door for his 15 save of the season. Van Slyke flies out to Cargo. Crawford pops up, and Puig flies out to deep center. The Dodgers lose 3-1.
Well guys, that’s about it for the first half. Thanks so much for reading and following along with us. We’ll be back with our game coverage next Friday, as the Dodgers start the second half of the season with a six game road trip. Friday July 19 at 4:05 PM, they’ll be in Washington D.C. taking on the Nationals which will begin a three game series.
Don’t forget to check back over here during the break for more Dodger news, updates, and fun. We’ll have plenty more Dodgers stories for you to enjoy throughout the all-star break. Thanks for reading!