The Snakes were one of the hungriest clubs coming into their rubber game of the three game series against the Dodgers. The Dbacks had only won five games at home this year, and were looking to win their sixth after yesterday’s historically bad 18-7 beating of the Dodgers.
The Dodger pitching and defense certainly has been pretty bad this year. Hard to imagine this club being a World Series contender, but I suppose stranger things have happened. After the club’s 5-3 loss to one of the worst teams in Baseball, it’s hard to imagine the club finishing above third place. Now the Dodgers can’t even beat the Dbacks.
Dan Haren was awful today. He allowed five runs, (four earned) on ten hits over six frames. He still doesn’t walk anyone even when he’s bad, which is a breath of fresh air, considering the Dodger relievers have allowed 83 walks this year. His mound opponent Josh Collmenter allowed three earned runs in 5.1 innings, and picked up the win.
The Dodgers had terrible defense again, as Puig misjudged a line drive that went over his head in the second. Uribe botched an easy grounder, and Hanley made a throwing error on a double play ball. Sometimes you can still have bad defense and not get charged with errors.
The Dodgers had the lead when Hanleyhomered in the first. Then in the third after Hanley walked, Gonzo bombed one into the pool in right field.
But the Dbacks scored once in the second, third, and fourth innings, and two more in the fifth. Chris Owings singled in a run in the third. Cody Ross hit a huge home run to center , (his first of the year) in the fourth. And then Eric Chavez hit a two-run pinch-hit home run in the fifth that put the Snakes up for good. Owings, and Pollack each had three hits apiece, and yes the Dodger pitching stinks.
Yasiel Puig’s 16 game hitting streak came to an end today after he went for 0 for 3 and was hit by a pitch.
A bright spot for the Dodgers was Brandon League. The right hander threw two more scoreless innings in the seventh and eighth innings. That extends his scoreless streak to 20.1 innings now. What do we make of that?
Arizona usedfour relievers to blank the Dodgers the rest of the way. The Dodgers lose 5-3, and drop another series.
The Dodgers waste no time in getting on the board in the top of the first. Hanley Ramirez bombs a solo home run into the left field seats. Dodgers lead 1-0! That’s Hanley’s sixth home run of the year, and second off of Collmenter.
Haren begins the bottom of the first by retiring Gerardo Parra. Chris Owings singles to second, as Gordon makes a great diving stop, but is unable to make a play. Paul Goldschmidt lines a rocket to center, and Ethier is there to make the catch. Haren then whiffs Miguel Montero on a check-swing for the third out.
The Dodgers threaten in the top of the second, but don’t score. After an ethier pop-out, Crawford singles to left. As Juan Uribe whiffs, Crawford steals second. Butera works a two-out walk, but Haren grounds out to short. Owings charges in to make an off balanced throw, pulling Goldschmidt off the bag. But Goldy tags Haren as he runs past.
The Snakes tie the score in the bottom of the second. Again poor defense is the Dodger’s undoing. With one out, Cody Rosss lines a double over Puig’s head. Pollack reaches when Uribe hesitates to throw on a routine grounder to third, and then does. He’s too late as Pollack is safe. With runners at first and second, Cliff Pennington’s force out is the second out, but Hanley’s throw is errant thanks to a good takeout slide from Pollack. Ross scores on the play and the game is tied at 1-1.
The Dodgers retake the lead in the top of the third. Hanley draws a walk, and Adrian Gonzalez smokes a two-run home run into the pool area. The Dodgers lead 3-1!
The Snakes rally again in the bottom of the third to scratch one run across. Parra singles, and takes second on a wild pitch. For some reason the Dodgers decide to hold Parra at second. With Gordon overshifted he can’t get to Owings single into center, which scores Parra. The score is now 3-2 Dodgers. Haren gets out of the inning by getting Goldschmidt to fly to left, and Montero to whiff.
Collmenter sets the Dodgers down in order in the top of the fourth. The Snakes tie the score in the bottom of the fourth on Cody Ross’s booming home run over the center field wall. His first home run of the year. The Dodgers nearly blow the lead as well, when Haren gives up a double to Pollack. Pennington’s grounder back to the box deflects off of Haren’s glove and bounces behind him. Gordon stops, slips then recovers to field the ball and throw out Pennington just in time. Great play. Polack goes to third. Haren then gets Collmenter to ground out, and whiffs Parra to get out of the inning.
Skip ahead to the fifth frame. The Snakes threaten again in the bottom of the fifth. Owings singles. Goldschmidt lines out to Puig. Montero’s deep drive sends Crawford into the corner for the second out. Owings steals second, then Eric Chavez pinch-hits for Prado, (we find out later he was removed for blurred vision) and he homers to give the Dbacks a 5-3 lead.
The Dodgers put together a rally in the top of the sixth, but as usual leave runners stranded and come up empty. Hanley whiffs to open the frame. Gonzo singles to left as Ross traps the ball but not catches it. The Snakes hook Collmenter and brings in Oliver Perez. Ethier walks forcing Gonzo to second. Kemp pinch-hits for Crawford and immediately grounds into double play.
Somehow Haren gets through the bottom of the sixth keeping the score at 5-3. Evan Marshall is the next reliever to blank the Dodgers in the top of the seventh. Brandon League continues his scoreless streak with another scoreless frame in the bottom of the seventh.
The Dodgers loaded the bases in the top of the eighth, but predictably can’t score. With Brad Ziegler now on the mound for the Snakes, Gordon grounds out. But Puig is hit by a pitch in the leg. Then Hanley’s grounder looked like a for sure double play, but Goldschmidt dropped the throw. It’s just a force out, and a catch error charged to Goldschmidt. Then Gonzo singles through the infield and Hanley goes to second. Andre Ethier’s single loads the bases as Hanley is held up at third. But Kemp lines out right to Pennington.
Another scoreless frame for League in the bottom of the eighth, if you can believe it. Well believe it. The embattled reliever gets three grounders in the inning. League now has an ERA of 1.42. I don’t even know what to say about that.
Move to the top of the ninth. Last chance for the Dodgers to do something. Closer Addison Reed enters the game to close out the game. Uribe and Butera both whiff. Scott Van Slyke singles. But that’s just a lone murmur of protest. Gordon flies out to left to end the game. The Dodgers are now 23-20 and are five games out of first place.
The Dodgers have a scheduled off-day Monday, before flying to New York. The Boys in Blue will play a three game series at Citi Field starting Tuesday evening. Josh Beckett will take the hill in game one.