Mother Nature Can’t Stop The Dodger Bullpen From Blowing Third Consecutive Game

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You know I had a nice recap all planned out for this game, but the pathetic Dodger loser-pen robbed me of being able to use it. Even though the Dodger bullpen blew it again, this was a team wide defeat. Another pitiful performance from the offense, and shoddy defense made for another painful loss in a long line of them this year. Not even mother nature could save us on this day.

We were already aggravated enough when we learned that poor Tim Federowicz was optioned down to Albuquerque to make room for the return of Mark Ellis. That poor decision leaves the horrendous Ramon Hernandez as the backup catcher, while .100 hitting Luis Cruz also remains on the roster. We did hear before the game on twitter that Cruz has some kind of inflammation in his throwing elbow, or something like that. I thought it was a bogus injury the Dodgers thought up to avoid having to DFA him. Maybe not. Whatever.

Regardless, the Dodgers would lose again, by a score of 5-2, and are swept by the Braves. The Dodger bullpen blew their third consecutive game. They were unable to hold a 2-1 lead for four innings. Big shock there right? Royal High school graduate Matt Magill (Like Capuano) did all that he could. I could focus on the positives of Matt Magill. The youngster threw five innings plus of one run baseball, allowing just four hits, and whiffing eight. But this team sucks, and they deserve to be ripped for their pathetic play, not praised.

Matt Magill pitched well, but the Dodger Bullpen sucks balls-Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

I refuse to try and spin this team’s escapades. They suck, and no amoutn of optimism is going to change that. They play crappy Baseball. The team is unable to consistently win Baseball games. I won’t pretend otherwise.

Magill’s opposing starter Mike Minor almost matched Magill with six innings and allowed just two runs on three hits while whiffing nine Dodger hitters. The Dodger offense was nowhere to be found again. The bats only could muster two runs on three measly hits. Still it was almost good enough to win, until the bullpen blew it again.

The Dodgers had the lead despite the game being delayed by rain, by about an hour and a half. The Dodgers scored a run in the first when Crawford doubled and scored on an Adrian Gonzalez RBI single. Gonzalez knocked in the second run as well in the third. Crawford walked, and was moved to third on a Matt Kemp double. He scored on a Gonzo sacrifice fly.  We had hoped the game would be rained out when it started to fall in the bottom of the sixth with none out. Unfortunately the second delay would only last for 15 minutes before the game resumed in the sixth.

The Braves scored their first run in the bottom of the fifth, but that’s all they could muster off of Magill, who was very sharp. Don Mattingly tried to bring in Brandon League in the bottom of the eighth, for a six out save. Or that’s what I’m assuming.  I don’t really know what he was thinking. All I know is that the Dodgers were up 2-1, and Jansen had given up a single and a walk with none out. League enters , and there is a costly bunt error from Uribe that loaded the bases. Then the Braves exploded for four runs. Gerald Laird and Chris Johnson had run scoring singles, and Ramiro Pena hit a sacrifice fly. That was it. The Dodgers immediately went down 123 in the top of the ninth, and now go to Milwaukee with their heads between their tails. Bow your heads in shame guys, this was a sickening series. Well, if you are a glutton for punishment, or maybe just a masochist, read on for the lowlights!

Carl Crawford leads off the game with a double that gets by right fielder Jason Heryward. The Atlanta outfielder tried to back-hand the ball on a bounce and it rolls past him. Crawford stumbled rounding first and has to settle for a double. Mark Ellis in his first at-bat quickly grounds out. The grounder moves Crawford over to third. Matt Kemp whiffs. Adrian Gonzalez follows with a single to center. The RBI single gives the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.

Matt Magill starts out by whiffing Jordon Schafer, but walks Jason Heyward. After going 3-2 to the dangerous Justin Upton, Magill battles back and whiffs Upton, while A.J. Ellis throws out Heyward trying to steal second. It’s a strike em’ out throw em’ out double play. We go to the second.

Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Mike Minor (36) pitches in the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Minor whiffs Scott Van Slyke, and Juan Uribe to start the top of the second. Nick Punto walks to bring up Magill, who whiffs to end the inning. Magill works around a two out Simmons infield single. He whiffs Brian McCann and Ben Francisco to get out of the inning.

The Dodgers score in the top of the third. Crawford walks. After M.Ellis whiffs, Kemp doubles Crawford to third. Gonzalez scores Crawford with a sacrifice fly, giving the Dodgers a 2-0 lead. A.J.’s deep fly to center ends the frame. Magill gets two ground outs in the bottom of the third, then walks Schafer. Heyward’s grounder into the hole at short is stopped by Punto, who makes a great throw across his body to get the out. Dodgers still lead 2-0 after three.

Magill whiffs Upton and Freeman in the fourth, and gets out of the inning thanks to A.J.’s second caught stealing of the game.

The Braves rally for a run in the bottom of the fifth. It’s the first time the Atlanta hitters have done anything off of Magill, but it runs his pitch count up. Simmons reaches on a fielding error, when Punto slips on the wet infield grass, and can’t make the play on his slow roller. Francisco whiffs. Ramiro Pena’s force play is the second out. Of course, Mike Minor the opposing starter singles. Jordan Schafer’s line drive single to center scores Simmons to cut the Dodger lead to 2-1. Magill gets Heyward to whiff for his eighth whiff of the game, which sets a new career high for the youngster.

Minor reaches 100 pitches in the top of the sixth. He still tosses a 123 inning, and preserves a 2-1 game. In the bottom of the sixth, Justin Upton leads off with a single off of Magill. Mattingly then immediately brings a hook for the young pitcher. Not sure why Mattingly trusts a bullpen that has blown the last two games. Magill had made 96 pitches with none out in the sixth. He allowed just one run on five hits, and walked three. He whiffed eight Atlanta hitters.

So close Punto, so close-Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

In comes left hander J.P. Howell. With an 0-2 count on Freddie Freeman, the rain starts to fall. The ground crew rolls out the tarp, and we go to rain delay. Has mother nature spared us from having to watch the Dodger bullpen blow another game?

After about a 15 minute rain delay, we resume play. Although more rain is expected. The game resumes exactly where we left off with Justin Upton at first and none out in the sixth. There is an 0-2 count to Freeman. The big first baseman hits what should have been an easy double play ball, but Mark Ellis boots it, and it’s another error for the Dodgers.  Howell whiffs Brian McCann, and gets Simmons to pop out.  Mattingly comes out again, this time to remove Howell for Ronald Belisario. Last night’s hero Evan Gattis is the Atlanta  pinch-hitter. Belisario gets Gattis to ground into a force out, and the Dodgers get out of it with the lead intact.

Right hander Anthony Varvaro replaces Mike Minor in the top of the seventh. Van Slyke fouls two balls off of his leg before popping out. He eventually comes out of the game, and it is unknown whether he is hurt or not. Punto’s grounder ends the top of the seventh.

Ethier replaces Van Slyke in right, and Belisario starts the bottom of the seventh. Pena flies out to right. Johnson grounds out. Belisario walks Schafer. Mattingly again goes to the bullpen to bring in Paco Rodriguez, who makes one pitch hitting Heyward. He then double switches Dee Gordon and Kenley Jansen into the game. Jansen gets the third out by whiffing Justin Upton, to preserve the lead.

Gonzo drove in the only two runs for the Dodgers today, during yet another crapfest-Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

We move to the bottom of the eighth, with the Dodgers still leading 2-1, and Jansen still on the mound. Freeman singles. McCann walks. In comes Brandon League to blow the game away. Simmons hits a sacrifice bunt that rolls along third and stops dead a few feet from the foul line. That loads the bases of course. Gerald Laird singles to score one, and Pena’s sacrifice fly gives Atlanta a 4-2 lead. Chris Johnson’s single scores a third run to give the Braves a 5-2 lead. Schafer tries to squeeze in a run, and bunts into an out. League whiffs Heyward to end the frame.

Craig Kimbrel comes in for another Atlanta save in the top of the ninth. Kemp whiffs. Gonzo whiffs. A.J. draws a walk. Ethier whiffs, and the Dodgers lose again, 5-2.

The Dodgers now fall to 17-25 and remain in last place in the National league West. With each pathetic loss, the calls for manager Don Mattingly’s head grow louder. How low can the Dodgers sink? Stick with us as we will keep documenting the Dodger’s failures. The Dodgers will fly to Miller Park to play a three game set with the Brewers. Tomorrow night the Dodgers turn to Clayton Kershaw to dig themselves out of another hole. Milwaukee will counter with their ace Yovani Gallardo. The 5PM game will be televised on KCAL.