It rained at Dodger Stadium for the first time in what seems like years. It was a fitting metaphor for how this 2014 season has gone so far for the Dodgers. The crappy Baseball the Dodgers have been playing is raining on my mood.
The biggest problem facing the Dodgers right now is that they can’t hit at home. That may be more serious than the lousy defense, or the exhausted bullpen. The Dodgers can’t hit at home, at all. I don’t know why, but if it doesn’t change soon, then the club isn’t going to go anywhere. The Dodgers are hitting .245 at Dodger Stadium.
It’s a huge shame too, because they wasted a great effort from Josh Beckett. This might be the best I’ve ever seen him pitch. The veteran pitched eight innings, allowing just two earned runs on four hits. He walked none and whiffed six. He made 99 pitches, and got nine ground ball outs. Beckett was excellent. The only mistakes he made were two solo home runs to Corey Dickerson and Tulowitzki in the third. Beckett now has a 2.45 ERA on the season.
But in typical 2014 Dodger fashion, the club blew another tie in extra innings, losing to Colorado 5-4 in eleven innings in the first game of the three game weekend series. The Dodgers are now 1-5 in extra inning games this year. The subsequent loss makes the club 3-5 on the current ten game home stand, and 5-8 at home.
The Dodgers scored their first two runs, on a solo home run from Puig in the first, and then Puig knocked in the second run in the bottom of the third. In that frame, Dee Gordon legged out an infield double. Puig’s single through the left side plated Gordon, which tied the game at 2-2.
Colorado made some great plays on defense, something the Dodgers don’t do. Third baseman Arenado made a terrific diving stop on a Fedex line drive. The Dodgers stranded two runners on base in that inning. They also wasted a lead-off double from Hanley in the sixth inning.
Matt Kemp was ejected in the ninth inning for arguing balls and strikes with home plate umpire Angel Hernandez, after he whiffed on a called third strike. Kemp is now hitting .200
Colorado ended up scoring the winning runs in the top of the eleventh off of J.P. Howell. Blackmon’s RBI (Blackmon is hitting over .400) single broke the tie, and after Arenado singled, Cargo’s fielder’s choice grounder scored the fourth run. Colorado added one more, which gave them three runs in the eleventh.
In typical Dodger fashion, the Dodgers made a failed rally in the bottom of the eleventh. Hanley doubled, and Gonzo homered, to pull the club to within one run, but that was it.
The loss drops the Dodgers out of first place, and into third, as Colorado leap frogs over them in the standings. If you love punishment, read on for the lowlights…..
In the bottom of the first, Dee Gordon leads-off and whiffs trying to bunt. After Gordon’s bunt failure, Yasiel Puig goes yard, blasting a solo home run to right center field. Dodgers lead 1-0! Hanley then rips a sinking liner to left, but Cargo makes a fully extended diving catch, robbing Hanley of a hit. Adrian Gonzalez pops out to end the inning.
Mullet Man Tory Tulowitzki hits a lead-off home run halfway up the left field pavilion, which ties the game at 1-1. Tulowitzki has actually cut off his mullet, but he’ll still be the mullet man to us. Justin Morneau flies out. Hanley robs catcher Wilin Rosario of a base hit with a great play in the hole. Then Colorado slams another home run to take a 2-1 lead. This one is from the bat of Corey Dickerson. That’s the youngster’s second shot of the year. 2-1 Colorado.
Kemp, Crawford, and Juan Uribe all ground out in the bottom of the second. Beckett returns the favor with a 123 top of the third. He whiffs Lyles, and gets Blackmon and Arenado. Carl Crawford makes a nice catch on Arenado’s foul fly, as he had to reach over the low fence near the seats.
The Dodgers rally to tie the score in the bottom the third. Gordon doubles off of Lemahieu’s glove. Not many players are fast enough to get an infield double, but Gordon is. Puig immediately singles home Gordon to tie the score at 2-2.
Beckett retires the side in the top of the fourth, pitching around a two-out single from Morneau. The Dodgers are robbed of runs in the bottom of the fourth, thanks to an incredible play from Arenado. After Gonzo grounds out, Kemp walks. Crawford’s force out erases Kemp at second. Uribe reaches on an infield single to put runners at first and second. Fedex rips a line drive down the third base line that was a for sure double but Arenado makes a leaping non-glove side catch, to snare the liner. The Dodgers leave two runners, and we’re still tied at 2-2 after four frames.
Beckett throws another 123 frame in the fifth. Picking up his fourth whiff (Dickerson) of the game. Lyles does the same by retiring the Dodgers in order in the bottom of the fifth. Gordon has his second but strikeout of the game.
The Rockies don’t score in the top of the sixth. The Dodgers waste a lead-off Hanley double in the bottom of the sixth. Hanley’s double was inches from going out for a home run. I wish it had, but this was the most Dodger inning ever. Gonzo whiffed pathetically. Kemp’s little flare to second is the second out. Crawford’s ground out ends the inning. The Dodgers don’t score again.
Beckett blows through the top of the seventh, picking up another whiff along the way. Uribe leads-off the bottom of the seventh with a single. But Fedex tries to bunt him over to second, and fails, bunting into a double play. That’s the third bunt failure tonight counting Gordon’s two failed bunts. Beckett lines out.
Beckett remains in the game for the top of the eighth. He gets Dickerson to pop out for the first out. LeMahieu singles to right. Josh Rutledge pinch-hits for Lyles spot. He is called out on strikes, as LeMahieu steals second base, sliding through the throw. The throw hit him, as he slid into second. Gordon is banged up on the play, but is ok. The Dodgers have a coaching visit to the mound as it begins to rain. Mattingly leaves Beckett in who retires Charlie Blackmon on a grounder to Gordon. We’re still tied at 2-2.
Adam Ottavino, a right hander, who has an ERA of 0.00, takes over on the mound in the bottom of the eighth. Gordon flies to left, Puig flies to right, and Hanley whiffs.
Chris Perez comes in to pitch the top of the ninth for the Dodgers. Beckett had a great night, but will not be involved in the decision. Perez is now the pitcher of record on the tie game. He gets Arenado to line out to Puig for the first out. Cargo grounds out. Mullet flies out to deep center.
Move to the bottom of the ninth. Left hander Boone Logan on the mound for Colorado. He whiffs Gonzo for the first out. Then Kemp is called out on strikes. The pitch was right down the middle, but Kemp stood there like a statue. He argues with the home plate umpire, and Angel Hernandez quickly ejects him from the game. Mattingly makes a token effort to try and save him, but he’s tossed. Crawford then walks. Uribe’s little roller is the final out, as LeMahieu shovels the ball to Morneau.
Jamey Wright is in for the top of the tenth. Morneau whiffs. Rosari grounds out, and Dickerson loops out to Hanley. In the bottom of the tenth, left hander Rex Brothers is on the mound. After Fedex is retired, Ethier, (now in the game for the ejected Kemp), draws a walk. LeMahieu makes a great sliding stop on Gordon’s grounder and throws him out. Etheir advances to second. That brings up Puig. But he grounds to third. We move to the eleventh.
In the top of the eleventh with Wright still on the mound, Pinch-hitter Brandon Barnes gets a one-out double. That prompts Mattingly to make a pitching change. Lefty J.P. Howell is called in to pitch to Blackmon. He predictably singles up the middle to score Barnes. Colorado takes a 3-2 lead. Blackmon then steals second base. Arenado singles Blackmon to third. Cargo’s grounder fielder’s choice grounder scores another run. Then the Dodgers bring in Brandon League. Tulo walks, and Morneau singles in another run. It’s 5-2 Colorado.
In the bottom of the eleventh. Veteran LaTroy Hawkins comes into close. Hanley doubles down the line in left, and Gonzo Crushes a monster two-run home run to right. That pulls the Dodgers to within a run at 5-4. Scott Van Slyke pops out. Crawford makes out, and Uribe flies out to right to end the game. Dodgers lose again.
The only Positive I can think of right now is that Clayton Kershaw had a successful rehab start at Rancho tonight. He threw 55 pitches, and allowed just one earned run, (On a home run), and two hits in five frames. He walked one and whiffed six. We’ll have more later on Kershaw’s rehab start at Rancho.