The Dodgers had a really bad night on Friday. Justin Turner had an even worse night. All in all the Dodgers were stuck in calamity mode. It just snowballed out of control. Don Mattingly didn’t do anything about it. He couldn’t. This game just sucked from all angles.
At one point the Dodgers had taken a 3-2 lead in the seventh. They ended up losing 9-3 to the Brewers in the first game of the three game series at Miller Park. How it got from a 3-2 Dodger lead to being blown out 9-3, is utterly irritating. I’ll try to connect the dots for you. Before the game the Dodgers put Josh Beckett on the 15-day DL and Roberto Hernandez made his Dodger debut in his place.Dodgers 3 9 2 Brewers 9 7 0 WP-Jeffress-1-1 LP-League-2-3 HR-Gonzalez-16-Weeks-4
Hernandez was actually just fine despite giving up two runs in the first inning. Which is becoming a really annoying habit from the Dodger pitching staff. Hanley Ramirez hurt himself on a check-swing in the second inning and had to be removed from the game. He was replaced by Miguel Rojas. The initial diagnosis is a tight right side. That’s medical term for rustiness. Apparently he’s day-to-day. Which means he’ll be out for the next twelve days, yet not go on the disabled list.
But eventually the Dodgers used Justin Turner at the end of the game as a pinch-hitter. And of course I started to complain because Mattingly put the light hitting defensive wizard Rojas in, instead of the multi-talented Turner. of course, of course. Despite Turner having a turd of a game, I still stand by what I said. Turner is still a great player. He just had a dumpster fire of a game.
But hey, at least Hernandez had a solid outing. It didn’t start that way in the beginning as he allowed two runs on three hits in the bottom of the first. Gerardo Parra singled to center. Ryan Braun doubled Parra to third, and Aramis Ramirez’s ground ball single to left scored the first run. Scooter Gennett’s sacrifice fly scored Braun to make it a 2-0 Milwaukee lead.
Then Hernandez would settle down to retire the next 15 batters in a row. He would allow just three hits through six frames and whiffed five. He didn’t walk anyone and was removed for a pinch-hitter after the sixth inning.
That’s where Mattingly’s first mistake came. He probably should have just left Hernandez in, because he was pitching so well. But the Dodgers were down 2-0 and they needed runs.
Adrian Gonzalez’s solo home run in the top of the sixth, made it a 2-1 score. Milwaukee starter kyle Lohse was a bit wobbly in the beginning, but he ended up shutting the Dodgers down for most of the game. Most of them do. Lohse allowed just one earned run on six hits across six frames. He whiffed only two, and walked two. Both starters were not involved in the decision.
Then the Dodgers scored twice in the top of the seventh, to take a 3-2 lead. Milwaukee reliever Rob Wooten gave up a pinch-hit single to Turner, who was batting for Hernandez’s spot. Then Zach Duke was brought in, and gets Gordon to ground into a force. There was a wild pitch that moved Gordon to second.
Then Puig walked. Gonzalez’s single to right beat the infield shift, scoring Gordon , and moving Puig to third. The RBI single tied the game at 2-2. It was at this point that the Dodgers were on cloud nine. It looked like they might pull out another fantastic win against a tough team. But as usual they had defeat snatched from the jaws of victory. Is that how it goes?
Ah well, let’s just say the Dodgers stank on Friday. After Gonzo’s singles, piunch-hitter Andre Ethier’s ground ball single to old friend Elian Herrera scored Puig to put the Dodgers ahead 3-2. The Dodgers would have had more, but Matt Kemp’s line drive was snared by Herrera who flipped to second base to double up Gonzo. The Dodgers did have the lead though. Brief as it may have been.
Jamey Wright was called in to start the bottom of the seventh. Aramis Ramirez lines out to Turner, who makes a great diving catch for the first out. Then the wheels fell off the bus. It started because Mattingly just had to keep making pitching changes. He wanted lefty J.P. Howell to pitch to left hander Scooter Gennett. But once again he is easily out maneuvered as Ron Roenicke countered with right hander Rickie Weeks. Howell walked him, and then was immediately hooked for Brandon League.
Why did Mattingly want to do this? To go for the double play of course. So when League got pinch-hitter Mark Reynolds to hit a grounder to the left side of shortstop, it seemed like the Dodgers would get out of the inning.
Not so fast though. Turner couldn’t handle it, and the ball skipped past his glove into center field. Weeks goes to third. Then there is a surprise suicide squeeze bunt. Martin Maldonado squeezes in Weeks to tie the game at 3-3.
It got worse after that. After old friend Herrera flied out to center, Khris Davis hits a weak grounder to short that Turner butchers for his first error. That loaded the bases. You could just feel this coming.
Carlos Gomez is the next to hit it to Turner. This time Turner throws the ball away, as if two defensive mistakes and one error already weren’t enough. Why not go for the trifecta of bumbling? Reynolds scored the go-ahead run, and the score is 4-3 Milwaukee. Then Parra’s two-run single makes it a 6-3 score. Good strategy from Milwaukee. Which was to Just keep hitting it to Turner.
Then you knew it was over. Carlos Frias served up a three-run homer to Weeks in the eighth. But who cares, because the game was already well over by then.
After the smoke cleared the Dodgers had lost 9-3. Not only that, but they may have lost Hanley for who knows how long. Who injures themselves on a check-swing? The game was so bad that I no longer want to discuss it anymore. I just want to forget this game ever happened. Libation helps with that.
Thankfully the Giants lost, so the Dodgers remain 3.5 games in front of San Francisco in the NL West. I like to think of this game as a false start. The Dodgers will try it again tomorrow at 4:10 PM. Zack Greinke will duel right hander Mike Fiers in game two.