Before I get into tonight’s lousy game I want to take a moment to talk about the September 11th anniversary. The tragic attacks occurred twelve years ago today. All ball parks around the country were having special ceremonies and flying their flags at half mass to honor the heroes and victims of the attacks. The Dodgers had a special tribute before the game as well. So in honor of the men and woman of 9/11 I would like to talk for a minute about one of the heroes that might not get a lot of recognition, but should.
Benjamin Clark was not a police officer or a fire fighter. The man was a chef, and worked in the south tower. Mr. Clark risked his life to make sure everyone got out of the building safely. According to the reports, Clark made sure that everyone in his department had gotten to safety and then went back to make sure nobody else needed help. He was last seen helping a woman in a wheel chair reach safety. Clark did not survive the attacks, and left a wife and kids behind. Let’s not forget the ultimate sacrifice that Clark made on September 11, 2001. Don’t forget that not all the heroes of 9/11 were police or fire department. Some were regular people who risked their lives to help others. Benjamin Clark, we salute you.
Ok now as far as the game goes, it was utterly forgettable. Hyun-jin Ryu was bad, but the Dodger offense was worse. Ryu is either getting tired or was out of whack because his routine was interrupted. I don’t know. But he did not look right. Ryu lost his sixth game of the year and never looked right from the beginning. Ryu gave up two runs in the first inning and never recovered. The left hander allowed three runs on ten hits through six frames. He didn’t walk anyone, so he was around the plate a lot and only had one whiff. He wasn’t missing bats and looked tired.
Arizona scored twice in the first inning on four consecutive hits, with the run a run scoring single from Paul Goldschmidt Dodger nemesis, and the second run plated on a double play from Martin Prado.
Goldschmidt continued to terrorize Dodger pitching with four hits and two runs driven in during a 4 for 5 performance. Rookie catcher Tuffy Gosewisch added an RBI double in the second. The fourth run scored for the Snakes in the seventh inning off of the awful Brandon League, who is still terrible by the way, in case you didn’t know.
The Dodger offense looked like they didn’t care much and gave away the game with poor plate approaches and routine outs. The Dodgers stranded eight runners on base and were 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position. It was grounder after grounder tonight. It was almost like the Dodgers just said “ah screw this game, we’re 13 games ahead”. The only run the Dodgers scored to avoid being shutout for just the fifth time at home was a monster solo home run from Yasiel Puig that landed in the back of the Dodger bullpen off of Corbin in the seventh inning. Puig’s 16th home run is the most by a Dodger rookie since Mondesi hit 16 in his rookie year of 1994.
Speaking of Patrick Corbin, the opposing left hander was somehow able to wiggle out of jam after jam all night. He picked up his fourteenth win by throwing 6.1 innings of one-run ball on just eight hits and two walks. I don’t know how the Dodgers a team full of all-stars couldn’t hit a guy they’ve faced many times before. Didn’t they read their scouting reports? Naturally the Dodger offense threw in the towel after the seventh inning against Chaz Roe, David Hernandez, and Brad Ziegler.
Oh and hey Onelki Garcia made his major league debut by making four pitches and then leaving so Carlos Marmol could finish the top of the eighth inning. Garcia wore number 98. He walked the only hitter he faced.
Ryu is predictably bad in the top of the first inning. The right hander has had trouble in the first inning for most of the year and that annoying trend continued. All of the hits he allowed in the first frame were with two strikes. Ryu allows three consecutive singles to Pollack, Willie Bloomquist, and Paul Goldschmidt which gives the Snakes a 1-0 lead. With runners at the corners, Martin Prado’s double play grounder scores Pollack from third to put the Dbacks up 2-0.
The Dodgers went down quickly on the bottom of the first. Yasiel Puig led off with a single, but Nick Punto immediately grounds into a double play, so forget that. Hanley flies out and that ends the first.
Gerardo Parra leads off the second inning with another two-strike hit, this one a double down the left field line. Scott Van Slyke, (Last night’s hero) bobbles the ball for an error allowing Parra to go to third. Chris Owings grounder isn’t deep enough to score Parra, and rookie catcher Tuffy Gosewisch’s line drive double scores Parra to give the Snakes a 3-0 lead. Ryu recovers to retire Corbin, and then whiffs Pollack looking.
The Dodgers had a look at the game in the bottom of the second inning. Almost that is. Corbin walks Gonzo, and after Michael Young’s soft line out to Parra, and Van Slyke’s fly out, A.J. Ellis’s ground-rule double takes an unfavorable hop into the stands. The umpires send Gonzo back to third, so the Dodgers don’t score. Corbin predictably pitches around Skip Schumaker to walk him and load the bases. Ryu goes 2-2 before grounding out. The Dodgers don’t score, yet.
Ryu records consecutive ground outs in the top of the third to toss a scoreless frame. In the bottom half of the same inning, the Dodgers leave more runners on base, as per the script. Punto with a one-out single, and Hanley’s single put runners at first and second. But of course, Gonzo’s whiff, and Young’s force out ends the frame.
Ryu gives up two more hits in the fourth, but somehow the Snakes don’t score. Aaron Hill’s single, and another single from Owings out two runners on. Ground outs from Gosewisch and Corbin get the Dodgers out of the inning. The Dodgers waste two two-out singles from Schumaker and Ryu in the bottom of the fourth, because Puig’s weak grounder was the third out. That’s seven runners left stranded by the Dodgers.
The Dodgers get a Hanley double in the bottom of the fifth, but guess what happened next? Yup, more weak routine grounders from Gonzo and Young leave Hanley stranded.
Move to the seventh, where the terrible Brandon League replaces Ryu and well you know what happens. Gosewisch double. After Corbin fails to bunt, Pollack walks. Bloomquist’s ground ball single loads the bases. That finally signals the end for League, and Mattingly calls in Brian Wilson to get out of the inning. Goldschmidt’s single up the middle scores the fourth run for the Snakes, but Wilson gets Martin Prado to ground into a double play to get out of the inning.
With the score now 4-0 Arizona in the bottom of the seventh, Puig bombs one into the back of the Dodger bullpen to put the Dodgers on the board. The score is now 4-1 Snakes. Chaz Roe immediately replaces Corbin to retire the next two batters. Carlos Marmol comes in and pitches a scoreless eighth frame, proving once again that even he is better than League. The Dodger offense gives away three more at-bats against David Hernandez in the bottom of the eighth.
We go to the top of the ninth, and in comes the newest Dodger, left hander Onelki Garcia. He enters wearing number 98. He walks Adam Eaton and is hooked right away so Peter Moylan can finish the inning. Shrugs shoulders. The Dodgers go down 123 in the bottom of the ninth, since they gave up on this game in the first inning. Brad Ziegler gets A.J. and Schumaker to ground out, and the last out is recorded when Mark Ellis weakly grounds to third. The weak grounder was a Dodger specialty tonight.
The Dodgers blew a golden opportunity to sweep the Snakes, and instead drop a game and a chance to reduce their magic number, which remains at 6. The Dodgers are now 85-60 on the season, and have lost six of nine to the Snakes at Dodger Stadium this season.
I know in the grand scheme of things this game is meaningless, but I don’t believe that any game is meaningless. Every game counts, and what irritates me more than just losing is the offense totally giving up. And before you say anything, yes the lineup gave up tonight. This was evidenced by the boring routine outs and lazy swings.
So I ask the question. Do the Dodgers care at all about home field advantage in the playoffs? Do they want to have to play the first two games of the division series in Cincinnati or St. Louis? They may want to start caring. Keeping everyone healthy is the most important thing right now, but home field advantage is number two. But just get the damn division clinched already.
The Dodgers continue the home stand with four games against the hated Giants. The last place Giants by the way. (Giggles). Tomorrow
the almost perfect rookie Yusmeiro Petit Matt Cain battles Zack Greinke at 7:10 PM.
Oh and Puig did make this catch…….