It's been since April 23rd that Derek Lowe has had a productive start for the Dodgers. He pitched great last night, going 7 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, but the offense was abysmal as they fell to the Cardinals, 2-1. Lowe gets the tough-luck loss to fall to 2-5 with a 5.03 ERA.
Lowe really only made 1 big mistake last night, and that was on a 2-run shot to Ryan Ludwick, who's already up to 13 HR and really have a breakout year. Other than that, he was fine. Notice that he only walked 2, which is great for over 7 innings. He also lowered his ERA by about .30, although it was so high, it's not like it was that hard to get it down. Still, he deserves credit for pitching well.
As for the offense, well... they sucked. They did just enough to sweep the Reds last series, but as I noted then, they were handed the win on Wednesday. With Adam Wainwright on the mound and a team 8 games over .500 in the field, it was a much harder game to win. Wainwright was awesome, only giving up 1 run over 7 innings on a Mark Sweeney sac-fly in the 7th. His ERA is now at 3.06, and only further shows how great the Tony La Russa-Dave Duncan connection is. They can make any pitcher look like gold.
The rumor leading up to the game was that Rafael Furcal would be back, but that was not the case. Hopefully soon. With Furcal still out, Juan Pierre and Andre Ethier combined for an 0-8, 3 K performance. Uh... that's not exactly going to get it done. They definitely need Raffy back and fast!
The Dodgers did have a chance to at least tie the game in the 9th. Actually, the whole 9th inning was one of the more bizarre innings I can remember. Ryan Franklin came on to go for the save, and a huge downpour came, which is obviously a rarity in LA. James Loney struck out to start the inning (part of his 0-4, 2 K night) before Matt Kemp fouled off a couple of 3-2 pitches. The umps finally called for a delay which totalled just over an hour. When play resumed, Kemp walked, then stole 2nd when Blake DeWitt K'd. Delwyn Young walked, and Kemp went to 3rd on a wild pitch.
The stage was set for a big, 2-out hit by a new LA hero. Who do the Dodgers decide to send up? Why Andruw Jones of course! Nevermind the fact that he hasn't played since last Sunday... I guess his .167 average was reason enough to give him a shot. What happened? Swinging K to end the game. Pathetic.
Like Lowe last night, Brad Penny will get the ball looking to reverse his bad fortune. He somehow has 5 wins, but has been horrendous lately. It's time for a big start from him.