Wednesday, July 2, 2014

First place was fun... for a day

The Dodgers found themselves in sole possession of first place in the NL West coming into Tuesday night's game in Dodger Stadium.

They then proceeded to do just about everything possible to hand that lead right back to the Giants.  And, indeed, they did.

The Dodgers were flat out horrendous in losing the Indians 10-3, and the Giants got a second straight big start from Tim Lincecum in taking care of the Cardinals 5-0.  Add these both up, and the Giants are back up by a 1/2 game.

It's nothing to panic and lose our minds about, because if the Dodgers could even somewhat execute with the bases loaded, this would've been a much different game.  But they didn't, so it was a big L.

I'm not sure which was worse: going 0-for-6 with five strikeouts with the bases loaded, or running themselves into a ridiculous triple play.  But let's start with the first one.

The Indians jumped up 3-0 in the first, but a two-run homer by Adrian Gonzalez got it to 3-2 in the bottom half.  A horrible error on a dropped toss by Nick Swisher kept the inning going, and two walks later, the bases were loaded with two outs for Carlos Triunfel.  He struck out.

The next inning, Josh Beckett doubled, went to third on Dee Gordon's double, and Gonzo was given the intentional pass.  Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier did nothing with it.

In the fifth, down 5-3, Kemp walked, and Ethier and Juan Uribe singled to open the inning.  Drew Butera then struck out.  Hanley Ramirez pinch-hit and struck out.  Clint Robinson, Monday night's hero, struck out as well.  That's right - bases loaded, nobody out... and no runs.

It's no surprise that soon after that, the Indians poured it on and didn't look back.

Then there's the triple play.  It was all a product of bad baserunning decisions.  It happened in the fourth, when Beckett hit his second double leading off.  Godon bunted for a single, and Yasiel Puig's RBI single to right cut the deficit to 5-3. 

Then Gonzo hit a soft fly to left that was caught by Michael Brantley, who fired home to nail Gordon for two outs.  Puig got way too aggressive and tried to advance to second, but Yan Gomes gunned him down after a replay overturned the safe call.  Don Mattingly challenged Gordon being out, and that was upheld.

Got all of that?  To sum it up, it was a 7-4-2 triple play, something baseball hasn't seen since 1986.  I was five at the time, in case you're wondering.

Other thoughts from the game:

* Beckett suffered his worst start since his very first one back on April 9 (four earned runs in four innings), giving up five runs in five innings.  His ERA rose from 2.02 to 2.37.  It looked like the Indians were waiting on his breaking stuff, and they got some big hits.  Still, it's not like he was pounded, and his offense let him down with so many men left on.  Unfortunately, his next start is in Colorado, so his ERA will probably go up again.  Hopefully not, though.

* Yesterday I looked at some possible names that Ned Colletti could trade for to add to the bullpen.  After watching Jamey Wright and Paul Maholm give up five runs in three innings, now you see why.  Wright has nothing to worry about, as those are the first runs he's surrendered since May 17.  Maholm, on the other hand, has been terrible with a 5.17 ERA.  I have to wonder if his days are numbered.

* Gordon had a great night at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a double and walk.  On the bases, however, he was pretty bad.  Trying to tag up and score on a shallow fly ball to left was a bad decision, and then he was nailed trying to swipe second in the sixth down four runs.  It was a reminder that he's still young at 26 and doesn't have a whole lot of experience yet.  I think he simply got carried away with his own speed, and paid the price for it, which rarely happens.

The Dodgers get an early afternoon start on Wednesday, as Hyun-Jin Ryu tries to get the Dodgers back into a tie for first.  The Giants don't play until tonight, as Ryan Vogelsong takes on Adam Wainwright.  Hopefully the Dodgers put some pressure back on with a win, then watch Wainwright mow 'em down in San Francisco.

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