Sunday, June 8, 2014

Another Dodger clunker, and the beat goes on

Two injuries.  A late blown lead.  10 men left on base.

Ladies and gentlemen, your 2014 Los Angeles Dodgers.

Despite a huge three-run homer from Tim Federowicz of all people, the Dodgers let one slip away in 10 innings by falling to the Rockies 5-4.  There were a bunch of things that went wrong, which seems to be the trademark of this team.  Let's take a look:

1) Dee Gordon and Yasiel Puig both left the game with hip injuries.  Gordon left in the fourth after saying that he woke up Saturday feeling sore, and it just never went away.  Puig slid hard into second base on an Adrian Gonzalez double play ball (shocker, I know), and was clearly in discomfort.  Chone Figgins and Scott Van Slyke were the replacements.

The only good news is that neither player seemed to think it was serious, and they both were in the dugout watching the rest of the game after receiving treatment.  Don Mattingly said he doesn't think either will miss much time.  Then again, he said the same thing about 50 times last year for Matt Kemp, and that guy went on the DL over and over.  So take what Donny says with a grain of salt.

2) A one-run lead in the seventh went POOF.  Federowicz, who's toggled back and forth between LA and Albuquerque, and who hasn't hit a home run since last September 18 in Arizona, needed all of one pitch to give the Dodgers a 4-3 lead in the seventh.  It was the type of hit that a struggling team looking to turn things around desperately needs.

But in the end, it didn't matter.

Zack Greinke wasn't his sharpest, and as his pitch count was piling up and Daniel Stubbs was on second from an infield hit and throwing error by Justin Turner, Mattingly left him in to face Chris Dickerson.  It didn't work, as Dickerson's RBI single to center erased the lead.

Three innings later, Brandon Barnes' RBI triple off the top of the wall in center finished off the Dodgers.  Chris Perez, the former closer who was given $2.3 million to put up a zero in this type of situation, failed to get the job done.  Again.

3) 10 men were left on base, including 2-for-9 with RISP.  It's the same old story with the bats.  They might show some signs of life, but end up on the short end when it's all said and done.  They had 10 hits, but Hanley Ramirez went 0-for-3 with two walks, and Gonzalez had a horrible 0-for-5.

The low point came in the eighth, right after the Rockies tied the game at four.  Kemp had a good game, and he tripled leading off, showing some great fire in the process.  What did the Dodgers do with it?  A groundout by Andre Ethier, a groundout by Turner, and a groundout by Federowicz.  That's right - zero balls even left the infield.  At that point, I'm not sure the Dodgers even deserved to win if they can't execute in that spot.  It was pathetic.

None of this is surprising at all.  The Dodgers haven't had a winning streak or losing streak of more than three games all season.  So one night after Hyun-Jin Ryu's great start led the way to a 7-2 victory, the Dodgers take a step back again on Saturday.

And now, not only do the Dodgers still have to search for ways to play more consistently, now they have to worry about possibly DL'ing Puig and Gordon.  It doesn't look like they'll have to, but as Charlie, Orel, and Nomar pointed out during the broadcast, you almost have to consider putting one of them on for roster purposes.  Hopefully it won't come to that.

The good news for Sunday is that Clayton Kershaw is on the mound, and you know the competitiveness in him will want to get the win for his club.  The bad news is that it's still Coors Field, and in 13 career starts there, he has a 5.24 ERA.  Plus, let's not sleep on Jorge De La Rosa, who put up a 1.93 ERA in five May starts.  He's a lot better than people realize.

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