Not Even Kershaw Can Save The Dodgers From The Hello Kitty Curse, And The Padres

Padres    7 13 0 Dodgers 2 10 1WP-Brad Brach-1-0LP-Kershaw-2-2HR-Cabrera-2-Denorfia-1-Blanks-1

Let’s go over some quick pregame notes before we get into the recap. You may have noticed by looking at the lineup that Matt Kemp was not in it. Don Mattingly decided to give Bison a much needed day off before the team heads out to Baltimore, for their first interleague series of the season. As you know, Kemp has been really struggling, and the Dodgers felt that a day of rest, may help Bison’s psyche.

We also received the bad news that Chris Capuano was placed on the 15-day disabled list with his left calf strain. From what we have heard it looks like a partial tear, and the Dodgers announced the call-up of catcher Tim Federowicz, who was just send down recently. Since he’s replacing an injured player, he does not have to wait the required ten days. Mattingly also said he might use AJ or one of the other catchers as a DH in the Baltimore series. Ted Lilly is going to replace Cappy in the rotation, but the Dodgers won’t need a fifth starter until April 24, because of all the scheduled off-days.

Of course Mattingly loaded up with the infamous getaway day lineup, with Schumaker, Punto, and the rest of the gang.

I understand the team is going through a huge slump right now, but their slowly becoming un-watchable. This season is quickly turning into a train wreck. The Dodgers have now lost four in a row, and five of their last six. This is the first time the Dodgers have been swept at home by the Padres since 2006. Not even Clayton Kershaw could help save the Dodgers today, as he gave up three home runs in a start for only the second time in his entire career.

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) throws against the San Diego Padres during the first inning at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

You already know about the Dodgers inability to hit with runners in scoring position. They leave hundreds of runners on base per game, and it only keeps on keepin on. The Dodgers are an atrocious 1 for 19 with the bases loaded this season. They’re batting .167 with runners in scoring position in 2013. Tonight the Dodgers scored two runs on ten hits, and left 14 more runners on base. The Dodgers had the bases loaded three different times and couldn’t score. I’ve written about this before, but it’s not only the lack of timely hits, it’s also the lack of speed in the lineup. The Dodgers continue to be unable to go from first to third on hits, and take extra bases. They hardly ever even steal bases anymore.

But now the pitching staff is crumbling. Kershaw had a bad start, but Mattingly’s reckless use of the pitching staff has burned out the entire bullpen. Although to be fair he hasn’t had much of a choice. The pitching has been terrible this week, and the Dodgers have been forced to burn through five relievers every game.

With the pitching staff getting torched, the non-existent offense, and lack of speed, means the games end up being blowouts. This one was another, on Hello Kitty fleece night. Haven’t we learned by now, that these hello kitty promotions are a curse upon us? Did we learn nothing from the snuggie curse from last year? The only highlight of the game was Kershaw recording his 1,000 whiff. Otherwise this was another forgettable game. You mess with the H.K. curse and you’re gonna get burnt. Anyways, here’s the lowlights…Enjoy!

Top of the first- Clayton Kershaw starts out by setting the Padres down in order in the top of the first. Chris Denorfia grounds out, Everth Cabrera pops out, and Chase Headley grounds out. The Dodgers again strand two more runners to the island of stranded runners. With two outs in the bottom of the first, Andre Ethier hits a bloop single to left, Adrian Gonzalez walks, but A.J. Ellis flies out to right. Kershaw records his 1,000th career whiff when he whiffs Yonder Alonso swinging. Kershaw again sets the Padres down in order, with another 123 inning.

Move ahead to the top of the third. After Kyle Blanks grounds out, and Kershaw whiffs Nick Hundley for #1001, the opposing starter right hander Tyson Ross hits a long drive that almost goes out of the ball park to straight away center field. The ball bounces off the top of the wall, and bounces back to Schumaker, making it just a long single for Ross. While Ross was getting out of the box, his bat somehow hit him in the shoulder, and he looks to be in visible pain while stopping at first base. The San Diego trainers rush out to make sure he is ok, and he is, and stays in the game. Kershaw turns around and whiffs Denorfia to end the frame.

San Diego Padres left fielder Kyle Blanks (right) high fives right fielder Will Venable (25) after hitting a solo home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers actually score a run in the bottom of the third, as Ross seemed to come a little unraveled. Crawford singles into left, on a grounder that deflects off of Headley’s diving glove. Crawford steals second with Mark Ellis at the plate. That’s only the fifth stolen base for the Dodgers all season. M.Ellis singles up the middle, but again the Dodgers inability to move more than one base at a time hurts another scoring rally. With first and third now, Ethier pops out for the first out. Adrian Gonzalez’s sac fly foul out scores Crawford from third, which gives the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.  Note Jesus Guzman made a great catch in left field, coming all the way over to the Box seats, to reach over the wall and make the catch.  A.J. Ellis singles the other Ellis to second, but the rally ends when Schumaker grounds out to Alonso.

The lead is very short lived, as the Padres score three runs in the top of the fourth. Everth Cabrera leads off the inning and hits a solo home run into the Dodger bullpen. That ties the game at 1-1. Headley hits a foul pop to third, but Nick Punto drops the easy out, and then Kershaw walks him. Guzman singles Headley to third, and Yonder Alonso walks to load the bases. The Dodgers have a meeting on the mound, and Jedd Gyorko grounds into a 5-4-3 double play. But that plates a run, and the Padres take the lead 2-1. With a runner at third and two outs now, Kyle Blanks scores Guzman on a RBI single to left which gives San Diego a 3-1 lead. A wild pitch sends Blanks to second, and the Dodgers intentionally walk Nick Hundley. Finally Ross grounds out to end the frame. Kershaw makes 34 pitches in the inning.

After the Dodgers are retired in order again in the bottom of the fourth, Kershaw continues to struggle in the top of the fifth. Denorfia homers to left to start the frame, extending the Padre’s lead to 4-1. Kershaw walks Cabrera, but gets out of the inning without allowing anything further. He whiffs Alonso, and Headley, but his pitch count has already been run up to 96 pitches.

Dodgers strand more runners in the bottom of the fifth. Three more, and they do it against two San Diego pitchers. With two outs,  Ethier and AJ walk, and Gonzo singles to load the bases. Remember they can only advance one base at a time apparently. Brad Brach comes in to replace Ross, and immediately gets Schumaker to ground out, and the Dodger’s misery with the bases loaded continues.

This is the Dodgers right now-Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Ross pitches well, but then again, everyone does against the Dodgers these days. He goes 4.2 innings allowing one run on six hits, walking three and whiffing two. However he does not go the required five frames , and can’t qualify for the win.

Kyle Blanks crushes a solo home run off the Lodge level concourse in left field to extend San Diego’s lead to 5-1. After Hundley singles, the Dodgers are forced to remove Kershaw. He pitches five innings plus, allows five runs, only three were earned (remember the Punto error) Walked four, allowed three dingers, and whiffed five.  Paco comes in to relieve, and gets out of the inning by whiffing Venable and Denorfia.

The Padres plate another run in the top of the seventh, to make the score 6-1. So we’ll skip ahead to the bottom of the seventh, This is where that dam hello kitty curse really starts to rear it’s ugly head. With lefty Joe Thatcher on the mound, M.Ellis reaches on an infield single, Gonzo singles as well. Dale Thayer allows a long drive into the gap from A.J. Ellis that should have easily scored someone, but this is the Dodgers mind you. The ball falls in between Denorfia and Blanks, and of course the base-runners get confused and nobody scores. With the bases loaded Matt Kemp comes off the bench to pinch-hit. Get this guys, he only swings at one pitch in the entire at-bat, and it’s a slider low and away on strike three. The Dodgers fall flat once again.

This losscap is getting pointless, so I’ll just wrap it up early tonight. It’s already long enough. I love you guys, I do, but there’s no reason for me to recap the last two frames. They were ugly, and no fun to watch.

Matt Kemp had another bad night-Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers decided to leave immediately after the game was over, and fly to Baltimore. I don’t blame them better to get out of dodge right now. The Dodgers are now 7-8 on the season, and will play their first interleague series on Friday against Baltimore. Hyun-jin Ryu will go to the mound for the Dodgers on Friday afternoon against Baltimore’s Jason Hammel.

You know what they say, you have to hit rock bottom before you climb back up. Let’s hope the Dodgers have hit rock bottom. Please somebody tell me they’ve hit rock bottom. Regardless of the results my dear Lairians, we’ll be here every night to commiserate along with you. Misery loves company right? Go Blue.