Friday, July 26, 2013

Latos silences red hot Dodgers

Please excuse the Dodgers if they appeared a bit lifeless at the plate on Thursday night.  They played 10 innings in Toronto the night before, barely got the sleep they deserved, and cancelled BP before the game.

Oh ya, and that Mat Latos guy is pretty damn good.

Latos had his way, pitching strong into the eighth inning, and Carl Crawford lined out to left while representing the tying run to end the game, giving the Reds a 5-2 win.  It's the first loss since the Sunday before the All-Star break, as the Dodgers ran off six straight on the road to start the second half.

The Reds took the lead in the early going thanks to a couple of Dodger castoffs from years past.  The second batter of the game, Xavier Paul, took a fastball right over the middle out to right to make it 1-0.

The next inning, Todd Frazier lined a sharp double past a diving Jerry Hairston at third with one out.  A groundout got him to third, and Cesar Izturis hit a bloop single to left to make it 2-0.  Of all the ex-Dodgers that I thought would someday come back to haunt them, I'm doubting Paul and Izturis would be first on my mind.

The Dodgers got on the board in the fourth, all thanks to the speed of Yasiel Puig.  He singled to center leading off and took a big turn at second.  Apparently Shin-Soo Choo thought it would be a good idea to throw behind him... which resulted in the ball going into the stands, sending Puig all the way to third.  Adrian Gonzalez's RBI groundout cut it to 2-1.

Heading into the sixth, the game was still a tossup when a couple mistakes by Greinke proved costly.  Paul walked leading off, but was quickly erased on Joey Votto's double play ball.  On an 0-2 count to Brandon Phillips, Greinke beaned him on the leg, which was obviously a bad mistake.

The other mistake was hanging a changeup to Jay Bruce, who crushed it to center for a two-run shot, putting the Reds up 4-1.  And with Latos still dealing, it was a hard deficit to overcome.

In the sixth and seventh, the Dodgers put men on but couldn't capitalize.  Puig singled to start the sixth, but Gonzo grounded into a double play.  Two men reached in the seventh on a single by Skip Schumaker and walk to Jerry Hairston, but Nick Punto pinch-hit and struck out on three pitches.

The Dodgers did get one run back when Crawford doubled starting the eight, went to third on Puig's groundout, and scored on another RBI groundout from Gonzo.  The Reds got it right back, however, on an RBI single from Choo against the horrible Carlos Marmol, who already looks like a complete waste.  Boy is he bad.

Aroldis Chapman and his 100+ MPH fastball came in for the save, but made it a bit interesting.  Mark Ellis pinch-hit with one out and singled to right.  Hairston struck out, but Juan Uribe walked as Ellis took third on a wild pitch.

With the way the Dodgers have been providing the dramatics, you fully expected even a weary Crawford to come through.  He had a great swing as he lined one into left, but the positioning by Chris Heisey was perfect as he gloved it for the final out.

Greinke has been practically untouchable his last three starts, but couldn't really get things going in this one.  He lasted seven innings for six hits, four runs, one walk, and four strikeouts.  He seemed to get to two strikes quite often, but couldn't punctuate it.  Just one of those nights where he didn't feel at his best.

Of course, going 0-for-9 with RISP won't win you many games.  Combine that with the night before (2-for-17!), and that's 2-for-26.  Yikes!  I guess winning one of those game is an accomplishment.  Putting runners on is a good thing, if you're looking for a silver lining, but cashing them in is what plagued them for nearly three months to start the season.  That was a flashback to those days.

Clayton Kershaw gets the ball on Friday night, as the Dodgers look to rebound after a rare loss.  He'll oppose Homer Bailey, who threw a no-hitter against the Giants in early July and has a pretty good 3.84 ERA.

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