Dodgers Shutout Again, Does the Earth Spin?
By Scott Andes
This team is just lost, and I wonder if they will ever win another game, or score another run. If you are looking for a happy recap full of hope and optimism, sorry look somewhere else. Because the sad truth is this team is done. They are finished. By the time Matt Kemp comes back they will be buried in third place.
The Dodgers were shutout again in San Francisco for the second straight night, and have not scored in 21 straight innings, which was Sunday in Anaheim. The offense is sad and pathetic. The last time the Dodgers were shutout in back to back games in San Francisco was 1987. Clayton Kershaw did all he could, but I knew we had no chance of winning. No one hits home runs, and their only offensive attack is just piddly little singles and occasionally walks. You can’t win like that.
The only two runs scored came in the bottom of the fourth inning, when Melky Cabrera led off with a solo home run, and Pablo Sandoval knocked in the second run with an RBI single. The Dodgers had seven hits, and stranded six runners, and had no chance to score the entire game. Ryan Vogelsong pitched seven shutout innings to pick up the win, and Santiago Casilla got the save. Here is how yet another pathetic loss played out. The loserfest goes on.
Top of the first. The game starts exactly how it did last night. Dee Gordon leads off with a walk. Of course as you know by now, anytime and everytime the Dodgers get a lead-off runner aboard, the very next hitter immediately hits into a double play. Elian Herrera predictably hits into the weak double play to erase any chances of scoring. Andre Ethier then doubles down the right field line. That double would have scored Dee easily, but ya know, hitting into double plays constantly is what the Dodgers do. It’s like a disease or something. Juan Rivera ground out up the middle, with Arias coming over to his left to toss out Rivera at first. Typically the Dodgers don’t score.
Bottom of the first. Gregor Blanco grounds out to Dee to start the frame. Ryan “Tootblan” Theriot, who now is with the Giants, whiffs for the second out. Clayton Kershaw gets Melky Cabrera to line out to Hairston, and we’re scoreless after one.
Top of the second. In Ryan Vogelsong’s second inning of work, Bobby Abreu whiffs. Jerry Hairston grounds out to short. Tony Gwynn reaches on an error from Theriot, when he drops a routine grounder. A.J. Ellis follows with a single into right field, to advance Gwynn to second. Kershaw flies out to left, and that ends that.
Bottom of the second. Buster Posey leads off the inning with a double to left. Angel Pagan flies out. Pablo Sandoval whiffs for the second out. Brandon Belt, flies out to Gwynn, and we go to the third, still scoreless.
Top of third. Gordon grounds out to first. Herrera whiffs. Ethier grounds out. The ohfer fest goes on. Arias grounds out to open the bottom of the third inning. Gordon makes a nice backhanded play. Vogelsong whiffs for the second out. Blanco singles and steals second base with Theriot at the plate. Kersh whiffs Tootblan like a rented mule, and the Dodgers get out of the inning.
Rivera singles to right to open up the top of the fourth. Abreu pops out. Hairston flies out. Gwynn grounds out. More of the same. Bottom of the fourth. Kershaw serves up a lead-off home run to Melky Cabrera and the Giants go up 1-0, as the loserfest continues. Posey singles. Pagan’s line drive is speared by Herrera to turn a force out at second. Pagan then steals second. Sandoval singles to right, and Pagan scores all the way from second base easily. Ethier’s throw is way off line. Belt doubles off the wall in right, and Sandoval is held up at third base. The Dodgers have a meeting on the mound. Arias is intentionally walked to load the bases, and I am presuming to set up a force play, or double play. Kershaw recovers to whiff Vogelsong on a nasty curve, and then whiffing Blanco to end the inning.
Top of the fifth. Now the Giants are up 2-0. AJ leads off with a single in the top of the fifth. The Dodgers have yet another bunt fail. This time from Kershaw, who is normally a good bunter. Kerhaw’s bunt isn’t placed well enough, and the Giants get a force out at second. Gordon grounds into a force out, and then is caught stealing to end the frame.
The Giants actually loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth, but don’t score. Theriot leads off with a single. There is an errant pick-off throw that gets away from Rivera, sending Theriot to second. Cabrera walks. Posey hits a scorching liner right at Kershaw, that hits him in the shoulder. Kersh picks up the ball and gets the out at first. The Dodgers rush to the mound to make sure Kersh is ok. It looked worse than it was, and Kershaw is fine. Pagan hits a little dribbler to the mound, and Kershaw gets Theriot in a rundown and tags him out. Sandoval flies out, and the inning is over. Weird inning.
More Dodger outs, as Vogelsong, retires the side in order, Herrera, Ethier, and Rivera all make out pathetically. Kershaw whiffs two in his final inning of work. Kershaw pitched six innings, allowing two runs, and whiffing eight, but still gets the loss, because this team couldn’t score carrying a suitcase full of cash in a warehouse full of drugs.
The Dodges had a chance in the top of the seventh. With one out, Hairston and Gwynn both single. With two on, AJ whiffs for the second out. Vogelsong is still in the game. With Kershaw’s spot due up, guess who Mattingly has pinch-hit? Of course its James Loney the automatic out. He predictably weakly flies out, and the Dodgers don’t score. I just don’t understand how Mattingly could have any confidence in Loney right now, while Dejesus sits on the bench. Makes no sense whatsoever.
Todd Coffey pitches a scoreless seventh inning. Jeremy Affeldt pitches a 123 top of the eighth inning. And Josh Lindblom pitches a 123 bottom of the eighth. Move to the top of the ninth. Giants closer Santiago Casilla comes in to close out the game, against a team who can no longer score runs. Rivera is called out on strikes. Abreu walks, and takes second on defensive indifference. Hairston and Gwynn both fly out, and the Dodgers are blanked again.
The Dodgers have now lost seven of eight games on this hellish road trip. Meanwhile Loney is batting .244, Uribe .217, and Kennedy .222 and all three losers remain with the team.
The Giants are now only one game back of first place, and I expect tomorrow to be the last day the Dodgers will be in sole possession of first place. First place now depends on Chad Billingsley tomorrow. Man are we screwed. People keep saying the Dodgers will win again, and the Dodgers will score, but honestly I will believe it when I see it. Tomorrow the Dodgers send out Bills to try and salvage something out of this road trip and try to save the Dodgers from getting swept and free falling into the abyss. The Giants will counter with Tim Lincecum at 1235PM.
Oh by the way, the Dodgers hired Mickey Hatcher as the assistant to the general manager, and player development. Whatever.