Dodger’s Hitting Slump Reaches Record Proportions

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Sorry if this is a bit late guys, but I have been pretty sick over the last couple of says. The Dodgers are rewriting the history books, but for all the wrong reasons. The month long hitting slump continues, except it is way worse than it has ever seemed to be before. The Dodgers have now gone 27 (30 counting the last three innings on Sunday) consecutive innings without scoring a run. Believe it or not, the major league record is 48 consecutive innings by the Cubs I believe. The Dodgers had never ever been held scoreless in a three game series with the Giants, ever. Tim Lincecum picked up his third win of the season by pitching seven shutout innings, allowing just four hits, two walks, and whiffed eight Dodger batters. When I say “batters” I use that term very loosely here. Bills pitched well, providing a quality start, going six innings, three runs, nine hits, three walks, and seven whiffs. We can’t blame Bills for this loss, because it doesn’t matter how many runs, the pitchers give up, or how quality their start was, since if they don’t pitch a shutout, they have no chance of winning. Boy I am trying to put a positive spin on this but it is hard too. Andre Ethier injured his left oblique while sliding into second base on a Juan Rivera double play in the first inning. He was removed and we are still not sure what the extent of his injury is, but it is unlikely he will avoid the DL.

Top of the first. The game starts with the typical Dee Gordon whiff. Jerry Hairston singles to left. Ethier walks. Remember every single time the Dodgers get anyone on base, they immediately ground into a double play. Immediately. Juan Rivera comes up, and well…… Ethier apparently injured himself while sliding into second base, and Mattingly takes him out of the game as a precaution. It didn’t look like Ethier hurt himself on that slide, but he comes out, and Herrera takes over in right field, and bats third.

Bottom of the first. Bills begins by serving up a lead-off single to Gregor Blanco landing just over the head of a leaping Jerry Hairston. Ryan Theriot the former Dodger, and Tootblan expert, hits a sinking liner to right field, and Herrera fresh into the game because of the injury to Ethier, races in to make a sliding catch, and for good measure doubles up Blanco off of first base. Nice play Elian! Melky Cabrera flies out to end the frame.

Top of the second. Tim Licnecum in his second inning of work, trying to rebound, whiffs Bobby Abreu to start the frame. A.J. Ellis lines out to Crawford. Tony Gwynn whiffs. Bottom of the second. Buster Posey singles to left. Angel Pagan whiffs. Pablo Sandoval whiffs. Bill smakes a great pitch, and whiffs catcher Hector Sanchez.

Top of the third. More stupid risky base running screws the Dodgers again. However it is from an unlikely source. After the auto out of Juan Uribe makes out, Bills doubles to the wall in center. This means that Bills could be the third or fourth best hitter on the team right now. A wild pitch sends Bills to third. We were so close to scoring guys. Lincecum uncorks yet another wild pitch, that bounces off the backstop and bounces right back to catcher Hector Sanchez. Remember the Dodgers haven’t scored since like 1942, so Bills makes a desperate break for home plate. Of all people its Lincecum who tags out Bills as he slides into home. Out! The home plate umpire said. Ugly play. Gordon grounds to end the frame. The ohferfest continues.

Bottom of the third. This inning was really ugly. The Giants scored two runs, on three hits and two walks. With one out, Lincecum singles to left. He advances to second on a ground out. Theriot hits a bloop single to center sends Lincecum to third. Melky Cabrera who is on pace for an MVP type season, doubles off the glove of Bobby Abreu in left field. Bobby tried to run in and make a diving catch on the sinking liner, and almost made the catch, but he ended up trapping the ball. Remember I like Bobby, but we know he is not the most fleet of foot, out there. Lincecum scores, and Theriot goes to third. Posey and Pagan both walk to force in a run, and make it 2-0 Giants. Bills is able to whiff Sandoval to get out of the inning.

Top of the fourth. Hairston singles, and takes second when Herrera’s bunt is popped up behind the plate. Sanchez races over to make the catch, and Hairston takes advantage by taking second base. Hey I guess that is as god as a bunt. Rivera grounds out, and Abreu flies out. Nothing.

The Giants scored their third run off of Bills in the bottom of the fifth. Theriot doubles over Gwynn’s head. Moves to third on a fly ball, and scores on a groundball single from Angel Pagan, to make it 3-0 Giants. The score would remain the same for the rest of the game.

The Dodgers had one more look at the game in the top of the seventh. Reliever Javier Lopez was on the mound for the Giants. Rivera singles, and after Abreu flies out, Rivera takes second on a passed ball from Hector Sanchez. AJ walks, and the Dodgers have two runners on base, yes two! Of course it was not to be. Gwynn flies out to Pagan. With two outs, Mattingly does not pinch-hit for Uribe, and he predictably whiffs like the useless Bum that he is.

That was it. Sergio Romo pitched the ninth inning, and the Dodgers once again, go down without scoring a single run, 3-0. The loss marks the first time in history the Dodgers have been swept in San Francisco without scoring a run.

With the loss, the Dodgers drop to 43-33 on the season and the two teams are now in a flatfooted tie for first place. The Dodgers will finally come home after a hellish road-trip, that saw them lose eight out of nine games, and lose nearly five games in the standings. I don’t know what to say anymore. Ethier is scheduled to have an MRI tomorrow, but those oblique injuries are serious, it’s two weeks minimum. With Ethier out too, the Dodger lineup is now filled with all AAA players, and bench guys. I don’t know what to say anymore, since I am not feeling to well, but at least the Dodgers return home tomorrow to begin a seven game homestand on Monday. They will start with a four game series with the New York Mets. Then they will play the Reds for three before going to Arizona for a four game series, and then the All-Star Break. Tomorrow will see two Chris’s battle at Dodger Stadium. Veteran righty Chris Young will draw Dodger’s lefty Chris Capuano. Join us tomorrow for more nonstop Dodger coverage. Go Blue