The Cardinals ended up beating the Nationals 10-4 today in St. Louis. The win reduced the Cardinals magic number, and the Dodgers elimination number to just two. The Dodgers had to win and sweep the Rockies to stay two games back. The Dodgers brought the hot bats once again, sweeping Colorado, winning the final game by a score of 7-1. The Dodgers finish the season with a 10-8 record versus Colorado. The Dodgers have now won five straight games.
Josh Beckett delivered another strong pitching performance, winning his second game as a Dodger. Beckett pitched six frames, allowing just one run, six hits, three walks, and whiffed five. Beckett’s opposing starter was the long-lost Colorado lefty Jorge De La Rosa. We haven’t seen De La Rosa since early 2011, after he blew out his arm, and had to have Tommy John surgery. De La Rosa only lasted four frames, allowing four runs and whiffing two, and taking the loss.
Josh Beckett-Photo from Mark Terrill-AP
The Dodger bats scored seven runs on 12 hits. After trailing 1-0, the Dodgers scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth, one in the fifth, and two runs in the sixth. The Dodgers used three big two-run home runs off the bats of Matt Kemp, Cochito Cruz, and A.J. Ellis. Shane Victorino had three hits, and Adrian Gonzalez extended his hitting streak to 12 games, Gonzalez, Kemp, and Hanley all had two hits, and Victorino had three.
The Dodger’s bullpen pitched the last three innings. The Dodgers used six relievers to do it. Paco Rodriguez, Shawn Tolleson, Ronald Belisario, Jamey Wright, Randy Choate, and Josh Wall, all combined to pitch three scoreless frames, and whiff eight. The Dodgers also got out of two bases loaded jams. One was from a double play started by Mark Ellis in the third, and another was in the seventh. Colorado left 12 men on base, and were 0 for 11 with runners in scoring position. That’s something that used to be a problem for the Dodgers (2 for 5), though is not anymore.
Talk about a team riddled with injuries, you almost have to feel sorry for Colorado. Todd Helton, Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez, Jason Giambi, Michael Cuddyer, and Dexter Fowler are all out with injuries. Jordan Pacheco had to play at catcher today. Colorado had gone 26 innings in a row without scoring a run, until Andrew Brown hit a home run off of Beckett in the top of the fourth. With the loss, Colorado falls to 62-97. The Dodger’s fifth straight win keeps the team alive in the wild card race for another day.
Josh Beckett starts the top of the first by whiffing Josh Rutledge. Rookie Rafael Ortega reaches on an infield squib single to first base. Gonzalez comes off the bag to field it, but he never should have, and Beckett is unable to get there in time. Ortega then steals second, as A.J. Ellis’s throw is too high. Jordan Pacheco flies out to center, and Ortega is not able to advance. Beckett whiffs Andrew Brown like a rented mule with a called third strike. No score.
Bottom of the first. Lefty Jorge De La Rosa gets Mark Ellis to fly out to center. Shane Victorino hits a ground ball single into center. Matt Kemp flies out to left. With Adrian Gonzalez at the plate, Victorino steals second base. Victorino was actually stealing third, while Gonzalez was whiffing. But Gonzalez whiffed, so that ended that. Top of the second. Chris Nelson grounds out. Charlie Blackmon walks. Beckett a few minutes later picks off Blackmon at first base. Then Matt McBride flies out to left, to end the frame. Bottom of the second. Hanley Ramirez flies out. Luis Cruz pops out to shallow right. Andre Ethier flies out to center.
Top of the third. After DJ LeMahieu grounds out, opposing pitcher De La Rosa reaches on an infield single, that is deflected off of Beckett’s glove. Rutledge doubles De La Rosa to third. With one out, Ortega walks. Jordan Pacheco grounds into an inning ending 4-6-3 double play! Mark Ellis makes a great lunging stop to turn the clutch double play! The Dodgers get out of it! In the bottom of the third, A.J. Ellis fouls out to McBride, who reaches over the Rockie’s dugout railing to make the catch. Beckett flies out. M.Ellis flies out to the warning track in left field for the third out.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE
Andrew Brown leads off the top of the fourth with a solo home run to left field. Colorado leads 1-0, and have broken their scoring drought. That’s Brown’s fifth home run of the season. Nelson whiffs. Blackmon flies out to center. After McBride’s line drive double just inside the left field line, Lemahieu is intentionally walked to put runners at first and second with two outs. Pitcher Jorge De La Rosa whiffs on a called third strike to get the Dodgers out of the inning.
The Dodgers take the lead in the bottom of the fourth. Victorino leads off with a line drive single to center. Matt Kemp blasts another opposite field home run just over the right field pavilion wall to give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead! That’s Bison’s third home run in the last two games. Number 23 on the season! Adrian Gonzalez singles. Hanley Ramirez flies out for the first out. Luis Cruz bombs a huge two-run home run into the Dodger bullpen to extend the Dodger lead to 4-1! That’s Cochito’s sixth blast of the season. Ethier whiffs for the second out. AJ whiffs as well to end the inning. However the damage is done, and it’s 4-1 Blue.
In the top of the fifth, there is a Cruz throwing error on a routine Josh Rutledge ground ball. Ortega reaches on a bunt single that dies in no-man’s land. Beckett whiffs Pacheco. Brown pops out to short. Chris Nelson grounds into a force out at third to end the frame. The Dodgers still lead 4-1.
Rookie Rob Scahill relieves De La Rosa. De La Rosa is hooked after going four frames, allowing four runs on five hits, no walks, and three whiffs. He made 67 pitches. Scahill whiffs Beckett to start the bottom of the fifth. M.Ellis grounds out. Victorino singles. Kemp singles to right, to send Victorino to third. Gonzalez walks to load the bases for Hanley. Ramirez singles to the hole at short, Blackmon makes a good throw to the plate, after Victorino scores, Kemp tries to score, and is tagged out by Pacheco who is playing catcher for an injury riddled Colorado team. Kemp tries to knock over Pacheco in a collision at the plate, but he hangs on. The play was clean. The inning is over, but the Dodgers lead 5-1.
Beckett retires Blackmon on a fly out to center to start the top of the sixth. McBride fouls out to Ellis. Lemahieu pops out to end the frame. Alex White comes in to pitch the bottom of the sixth for Colorado. Cruz whiffs. Ethier walks. AJ jacks one into the right field pavilion seats for a two-run home run! That’s number 12 for AJ. Dodgers lead 7-1! Elian Herrera pinch-hits for Beckett and flies out to left.
Paco Rodriguez takes over for Beckett in the top of the seventh. Tyler Colvin singles to right. Rutledge flies out to right. Paco whiffs Ortega for the second out. Mattingly hooks him, and brings in righty Shawn Tolleson to pitch to Jordan Pacheco. Pacheco creams a Tolleson meatball off the low wall in the left field corner. Victorino plays a good carom, and has the ball back into the cutoff man quickly, and Colorado has runners at second and third with two outs. Tolleson then walks Brown to load the bases. Mattingly has no choice but to hook Tolleson and bring in Ronald Belisario to pitch to Nelson. Belisario gets Nelson to ground into a force out, and the Dodgers get out of it. The score remains 7-1 Blue.
In the bottom of the seventh, with one out, Kemp and Gonzalez single to put runners at first and second. Hanley reaches base on an infield single to third. Nelson makes a nice diving stop, but his throw to first is too late. The bases are loaded for Luis Cruz. Cochito whiffs for the second out. Ethier flies out to deep center to end the inning, and the Dodgers leave the bases loaded. It’s 7-1 Dodgers after seven frames.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE
Jamey Wright is the new Dodger pitcher for the top of the eighth. Blackmon leads off with a double. Pinch-hitter Jonathan Herrera pops out. Lemahieu grounds out to third. Blackmon advances to third. With two outs, Mattingly hooks Wright, and brings in lefty Randy Choate. Choate does his job, as he gets Colvin to pop out to M.Ellis, and the inning is over. Bottom of the eighth. Right hander Carlos Torres comes in to pitch for Colorado. Torres retires the side, working around a two out M.Ellis single.
Move to the top of the ninth. The Dodgers leading 7-1. Josh Wall enters the game to pitch the ninth. Rutledge flies out to center. Ortega is hit by a pitch. Pacheco, and Brown both whiff to end the game. The Dodgers win!
The Dodgers improve to 84-75, and trail the Cardinals by two games in the race for the second NL Wild Card. Tomorrow the Dodgers start the last series of the season against the NL West champion arch rival Giants. Join us tomorrow as Matt Cain goes to the mound for the Giants, and the Dodgers will counter with the Big Show Aaron Harang. The Cardinals will be at home against the Cincinnati Reds. Bronson Arroyo will be on the mound for the Reds, and the Cardinals will counter with Jaime Garcia. The Dodgers need to keep winning, and get some help from the Reds. Two back with three to play, that’s where we are right now. These last three games are for all the marbles guys. Can the Dodgers pull out a miracle? Stick around here to find out. Go Blue! And Go Reds!