Thursday, April 9, 2009

Despite plenty of chances, Dodgers can't break through

Today is one of those games I tell myself 2 things: it's still early and every team suffers through bad losses like this.

Still, it didn't help me a whole lot after the game when the Dodgers wasted away a 3-1, 8th inning lead to give the Padres a 4-3 edge heading to the 9th. Then they wasted away a leadoff triple by Orlando Hudson to strand him and lose.

Clayton Kershaw battled through control problems much like Chad Billingsley last night, but just like Bills again, only gave up 2 runs. He deserved to get the win, but that just didn't happen. On top of 6 K's in 5 innings, he even singled and scored a run in the 3rd.

Knotted at 1 heading into the 6th, Matt Kemp came through with a big 2 out, 2-run single to score Andre Ethier and Russell Martin to get the lead at 3-1. The score stayed that way the next 2 innings thanks to the Major League debut of Ronald Belisario, who K'd 4. Pretty good stuff.

What wasn't good was how awful Will Ohman and Corey Wade were in the 8th. Ohman gave up a solo bomb to Adrian Gonzalez, who had been held in check quite nicely the whole series until that. Wade came on and proceeded to do absolutely nothing, getting pounded by a Nick Hundley single to tie it at 3 and a double to Luis Rodriguez to be down 4-3. Nothing he threw looked good.

Despite coughing up the lead, Hudson clocked a triple to deep center to start the 9th, and it was looking like at least they could extend the game. Instead, Manny Ramirez grounded out to the infield playing shallow, so no run. Andre Ethier worked a walk for runners on the corners and 1 down.

Enter Martin, who earlier in the game grounded into a force play with the bases loaded and 2 down. The pessimistic side of me said that he would ground into a double play to the end the game... so he promptly grounded into a double play to end the game. Do I know my team or what?

I think it's a good thing that Martin has tomorrow off, because those are 2 at-bats he would much like to forget. Letting him rest and regroup is a good call.

While the bullpen wasn't any good today, they were the first 3 games. The real problem is that the offense still hasn't had a breakout game. 11 more runners were left on base today to go along with 10 yesterday. They're drawing walks, but just aren't getting enough clutch hits. Hopefully they'll snap out of it soon.

I'll just have to accept the fact that they're 2-2, but should easily be 3-1, so oh well. Next up is 3 in Arizona. Like I said last night, the good news is that Brandon Webb will not make a start because of a sore shoulder. They will see Danny Haren on Sunday, however. James McDonald makes his first Big League start tomorrow, so that will be fun to watch how he reacts to starting.

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