May 29, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig (66) in the dugout in the first inning of the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Dodgers 6.5 Games Back Of First Place After Loss To Bucs


The euphoria of Josh Beckett’s no-hitter is long gone. Maybe the Dodgers should stop goofing off and dancing around in the dugout and get serious about winning Baseball games. You know losing shouldn’t be fun. Yet the Dodgers are the happiest mediocre team in Baseball. Screw it they say. We’ll make losing fun! Not even the Dodgers can accomplish that.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

I mean they’re 6.5 games behind the Giants, (Seven back in the loss column), yet you would never know by watching them. They dance, they sing, they play silly jokes on each other. I want to walk into the clubhouse and reenact the scene from Moneyball. I want to smash their radio and turn off their hip-hop music. I want to take away their social media accounts and smash all of their bobbleheads. LOSING IS NOT FUN. The Giants don’t do this sort of thing. They just win ball games.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

But the Dodgers keep losing. They keep losing, and they keep smiling. It’s Amazing. I’ve never seen a club so happy to be mediocre.

yet the Dodgers are perfectly content with their mediocre record. You could even say they’re blissful.

The Dodgers lost another game in the late innings on Thursday night. The club dropped the first game of the four game series against the Pirates 6-3, in front of 39,643 aggravated Dodger fans. The Bucs had lost nine games in a row at Dodger Stadium before this game. Did that matter? Nope. I guess you could say they were due. Nah, the Dodgers just stink.

The script was the same, the horrendous bullpen couldn’t get anyone out. Mix in some more sloppy defense and an offense that gives up after the sixth inning, and boom you have another loss. Tonight it was Brandon League’s turn to torch the Dodgers. Tomorrow it’ll be someone else.

The Dodger pitching staff has a nasty habit of giving up leads or ties immediately after the offense puts the club ahead. This happens almost every game. It happened again tonight.

Pirates    6 12 0
Dodgers 3 7 1
WP-Cole-5-3
LP-League-1-2
SV-Grilli-6
HR-Alvarez-10-Martin-3

The Dodgers scored first in the bottom of the first when Andre Ethier tripled down the right field line off of Ike Davis’s glove. That’s Ethier’s second triple in as many days. Yasiel Puig’s Pop-fly double eluded the Pittsburgh outfield defense, and Ethier scored to put the Dodgers up 1-0.

So what happened immediately after? You guessed it. The Dodgers served up the lead. Pedro Alvarez’s monster home run in the top of the second cleared the bullpen landing in the overlook seats. That tied the game.

So the Dodgers took the lead back against Gerrit Cole in the bottom of the second. Justin turner singled, and T.Fed sacrificed him to second. After Haren whiffed, Gordon singled into center past the diving Neil Walker, and the Dodgers were back up 2-1.

The Dodgers actually had the lead for two whole innings. I’m pretty sure that’s a record for 2014. But in the top of the fifth, the Bucs tied it up. Clint Barmes, who had three hits on the night, singled into left. Cole sacrificed him to second, and Josh Harrison’s line drive single to right scored Barmes, That tied the game at 2-2.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Then of course in the top of the sixth, the Dodgers blew the tie allowing the Bucs to take the lead. Former Dodger Russell Martin’s solo home run to left gave the Pirates a 3-2 lead.

Now the Dodgers did rally back to tie the score in the bottom of the sixth. Puig doubled off the base of the wall, and Hanley Ramirez poked a single to right to plate Puig. The Dodgers tied the score at 3-3. The next inning was so predictable.

Brandon League was called in to replace Haren in the top of the seventh. His 22 inning scoreless streak came to a crashing halt. Sterling Marte reached on an obligatory throwing error from Hanley. I’ll have to write another article on how bad Hanley has been this year. Marte then tried to steal second, and the original call from the second base umpire was safe. The Dodgers challenged and finally had one of those go their way when the New York office overturned the call.

Of course that didn’t matter much. This is the 2014 Dodgers after all. Then Barmes singled again. Cole sacrificed him to second. Then the Dodgers give up three runs with two outs. THREE. That’s two consecutive singles, a walk, a double, and then an intentional walk.

Puig’s bat flips are like the lone bright spots in Dodger games this year-Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Harrison’s single deflected off of Gordon, and into center field. That scored Barmes to give the Pirates a 4-3 lead. Once that run scored, everyone in the world knew the game was over. An RBI single from Walker plated Harrison, who had taken second on the throw home. That made it 5-3 Bucs. After a walk to McCutchen, in comes the next bum reliever. Left hander Paul Maholm. Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle easily out maneuvers Mattingly. He removes left hander Davis, and pinch-hits with the right handed hitting Gaby Sanchez, against the lefty Maholm. Sanchez doubles to left, scoring walker, and that made the game a 6-3 score.

That was it. Because once the Dodgers are down after the sixth inning, you may as well head for the exits. It’s over. Not surprisingly, the Dodger offense only had two base runners after the sixth inning. A seventh inning walk from Gordon, and a meaningless two out ninth inning double from Turner. Ball game.

I just can’t believe how expensive mediocrity is nowadays. But the Dodgers are perfectly happy with being mediocre. Look at how they celebrate their mediocrity.

Anyways, Haren pitched ok, allowing three earned runs on eight hits across six innings, but was not involved in the decision. As usual Haren walked none. The loss went to League, and Cole picked up the win. The Pittsburgh youngster threw 6.1 innings, and allowed three runs on six hits and whiffed three. Jason Grilli picked up the save. Oh and the Giants won again. The Dodgers are now 29-26 and are now 6.5 games back of the Giants, and seven back in the loss column. Matt Kemp took another ohfer, and is now hitting .248. Hanley is batting .245. This is clearly not a competitive club. Maybe the Dodgers will start getting serious about winning?

Think the Dodgers still have a chance at catching San Francisco? Yeah, not a chance.

The Dodgers mediocre disappointing season goes on, as their four game set with the Bucs continues on Friday night. Josh Beckett will make his first start since his no-hitter against Philadelphia. He’ll counter the winless Francisco Liriano. We’re going to need you to throw another no-hitter again Josh. No pressure.

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Tags: Dan Haren Dee Gordon Don Mattingly Gerrit Cole Los Angeles Dodgers Yasiel Puig

  • Adam

    Finally, an article written about the Dodgers I can vibe with. I’m sick and tired of these fluff pieces that state “it’s still early” and “remember what happened last season” and similar tired platitudes that reek of naivete that seems to be parroted by our equally-myopic fanbase. With this manager, this bullpen, and this team full of underperforming big names, we are destined to be the most expensive 85 win ballclub in history. When Guggenheim took over, they needed to do the right thing and blow up the front office and management, and start over from scratch. Instead, they tried to rebuild on the fly by throwing money at big names who are past their prime. Winning starts at the top, and so does losing. The best thing ownership can do at this point is hand Colletti and Mattingly their respective, well-deserved walking papers and write off the rest of this season while we try to rebuild this team by cutting ties with the overpaid, underperforming big names and focus more on developing our bountiful young talent whist plugging the holes with serviceable, underpaid and hungry veterans. This is how the Giants have won 2 of the last 4 world series and look to be well on their way to competing for their 3rd in 5 seasons. Hey, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

    • LasordasLair

      Where’s the like button? Adam you’re words are pure poetry to my ears. You’re preaching to the choir my friend. I’ve been saying since last year that the club needs to get some youth on the roster. We don’t sugar coat anything over here. We tell it how it is. Doesn’t mean we love the Dodgers any less. The optimists or as I call them “the sunnys” seem to believe the club will just magically turn things around. It’s highly unlikely they’ll go on another 42-8 run again. They need to cut bait with some of these over paid washed up veterans. It’s so infuriating to see the club losing in the same way every night, and doing nothing about it. No attempts to improve the dumpster of a bullpen they have. No attempts to call up the few young stars they have down in the minors that could help them. No attempt to do anything at all.
      Guggenheim tried, and I still have faith in the new ownership. I don’t blame them for trying, but it didnt work. You cant buy a championship through free agency and huge trades. You have to develop from within, home grown prospects and player development. Young players, not old busted washed up players. Kudos to you Adam for not being afraid to speak the truth.

      • Adam

        42-8? I’d be satisfied with a 32-18 run at this point.

        All joking aside, I agree that ownership tried, they just misappropriated their efforts to improving the product on the field, when they needed to greatly improve the front office and coaching staff instead. And yes, nothing ever good comes from frivolous spending, in baseball or otherwise.

  • Arthur Gomez

    Its the Time Warner Curse!!! anyway good article..

  • Arthur Gomez

    The Dodgers just don’t look good right now and they really don’t scare any team in baseball except 4 the Dbacks. How many times has DM been out-coached this year by Bruce Bochy? DM leaves pitchers in 4 too long, doesn’t know the meaning of situational hitting, or hit & run, his hit & run play is running Gordon and bunting at the same time, his line up card is even horrible and doesn’t put these players in position 2 win. Its not all DM though, what is up with Mark Mcgwire and why can’t this team hit with RISP? Another 30% of the blame is the players but maybe its because they don’t want 2 play 4 DM, we saw this exact same thing last year until Puig & Ramirez came 2 ball. My take is the players don’t respect DM but they tolorate him, he’s just a horrible ingame manager 2 me and looks like a lame duck, clueless of whats happening on the field. There is a lot of managers out there who work with less than what DM has and do it better, the little Giants by no means have a great team and on paper are not better than the Dodgers but they play as one and come 2 play everyday the same cannot be said 4 the Dodgers!!

    • LasordasLair

      Thanks Arthur, and I agree with you 100%. I was saying this stuff back in 2011. Ive never liked Mattingly. I stick by with what I said then, they’ll never win under him. The Giants are a much better club, and Bruce Bochy is a commanding presence in the dugout and clubhouse. His players respect him because he demands success from his players. There’s no goofing off under his watch, because the Giants are serious about winning ball games. Unlike the Dodgers this year. Notice how they’re having the exact same problems as the first half of last year? Nothing has changed. Notice how in three of Mattingly’s four seasons now the club has gotten off to a horrible start? happened in 2011, 2013, and now 2014. Same problems as last year, Awful relief pitching, horrendous defense, no situational hitting. They cant hit with the bases loaded. Remember they couldn’t do that either. Just pathetic. Mattingly needs to go, and half of this lousy overrated, over paid roster can follow him right out the door, as far as I’m concerned.