Friday, June 21, 2013

Back to reality for the Dodgers

One day after putting it all together in Yankee Stadium for a big win, the Dodgers came crashing back down to Earth on the other coast.  Errors, no clutch hitting, and horrible relief led to a 6-3 loss to the Padres.

Basically, when the Dodgers stink, they really, REALLY stink.  And guess what?  They really stunk on Thursday night.

The game started off well, as Yasiel Puig took the first pitch he saw out to right center to go up 1-0.  He was certainly the star the day before in New York, and picked up right where he left off.  The only bad news was that he went hitless in his next four at-bats, including three strikeouts.  How dare he!  Send him back down!  OK, maybe not.

Stephen Fife did a great job keeping the Padres scoreless through four.  In the fifth, the gloves let him down.  Alexi Amarista singled leading off.  An out later, Pedro Ciriaco bounced one to second that Mark Ellis completely whiffed on for the error.  Forget turning a double play, they didn't even get one out.  Pretty sad.

Ciriaco stole second to put two in scoring position, and freakin' Jason Marquis hit an RBI single to make it 1-1.  Logan Forsythe did the same to give the Padres a one-run lead.

Hanley Ramirez and Andre Ethier both singled to start the sixth.  Juan Uribe got Ramirez home on a sac-fly RBI to make it 2-2.  A.J. Ellis had a chance to do more damage, but grounded into a double play.

Fife made it through the sixth, then gave way to Matt Guerrier to start the seventh.  Well geez, the Dodgers may as well have just walked off the field and declared it a loss at this point.  Naturally, Guerrier sucked, as Yasmani Grandal hit a ground rule double and scored on an RBI triple by Ciriaco.  Paco Rodriguez came in and soon allowed an RBI single to Chase Headley to make it 4-2.

Both team traded homers late as the Padres finished off the win.  In the eighth, Ciriaco continued his big night with a two-run shot off of Peter Moylan.  A.J. Ellis added a solo home run in the ninth, but it was too little, too late.

You can't fault Fife for this loss, as he pitched strongly through six, allowing four hits, two runs (one earned), one walk, and six strikeouts.  His ERA has gone down in each of his five starts, as it started at 7.71 and is now at 3.25.  It's nice to have a call-up perform well, unlike Matt "Ball Four" Magill, who will likely get the start on Sunday.  So here's your Sunday headline: "Dodgers lose."

The three areas the Dodgers are terrible at - fielding, hitting with RISP, and the bullpen - were once again a major weakness.  They are dead last in the NL in errors at 54, 11th with a .237 average with RISP, and 13th in bullpen ERA.  I don't care how good Puig has been, he can't do it all.  These numbers show why.

At least the Dodgers can send Clayton Kershaw to the mound on Friday, as he had a league-leading 1.84 ERA.  Of course, he only has five wins, which is pretty embarrassing to say the least.  Maybe he has a complete game shutout in him and the Dodgers can win on a solo homer by Puig.

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