Kempless Dodgers Unable To Rally In Anaheim, Suffer Another Late Inning Defeat

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It was the same old song and dance for the Dodgers on Thursday evening’s final game of the freeway series in Anaheim between the Dodgers and the Angels. The Dodgers gave another heartless performance as they rolled over after falling behind 3-2 in the sixth inning. That’s been the tagline all season for the Dodgers. When they get knocked down, they do NOT get back up. That trend held true again as the Dodgers fell to 0-19 when trailing after six innings. The Dodgers have not had one single come from behind win in the late innings this season. Not one. Of course there were more injuries to report on before the game even started.

Los Angeles Dodgers injured center fielder Matt Kemp watches in the dugout during the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The injury merry go-round kept on spinning for the Dodgers in Anaheim Thursday afternoon. We learned the Dodgers placed Matt Kemp on the 15-day disabled list with his strained hamstring, and called up catcher Tim Federowicz from Albuquerque. The move is not expected to be a permanent one, as Don Mattingly made a statement before the game that the Dodgers would be calling up a true center fielder. It is still unknown as to how long the Dodger’s all-star center fielder will be out for. However considering his season long struggles, and his injury history, it appears he’ll likely miss at least a couple of weeks. I would assume when the Dodgers say “true center fielder” they mean either Elian Herrera, or Tony Gwynn Jr. Both are in Albuquerque, but only Herrera is on the 40-man roster, so he would appear to be the likely choice.

Los Angeles Dodgers designated hitter Ramon Hernandez (55) celebrates after hitting a solo home run in the fifth inning as Los Angeles Angels catcher Chris Iannetta reacts at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

So in the meantime, the Dodgers moved Andre Ethier to center, and put Scott Van Slyke in right field for the fourth and final game of the freeway series against the Angels. Tim Federowicz started in place of A.J. Ellis, who is now apparently battling an oblique strain. No word yet on how long A.J. will be out, only that he is day-to-day. Veteran Ramon Hernandez was the DH tonight as the game was played at the American League park in Anaheim. Surprisingly Hernandez was the offensive star of the night for the Dodgers with a home run, and two hits.

Still that wasn’t enough for a punch-less Dodger offense that was unable to get anyone home against right hander Jason Vargas, and the Angel’s bullpen. Vargas held the Dodgers to two runs on five hits over seven frames while whiffing six. Opposing starter lefty Ted Lilly pitched well enough, allowing three runs on five hits, with three walks and three whiffs in 5.2 frames, but came out with the game tied at 2-2, with runners at first and third. Ronald Belisario was called in to preserve the tie, and after a walk, and a Chris Nelson infield single that was deflected off of Belisario’s glove gave the Angels the lead for the second time in the game. Considering the Dodgers phone it in any time they are behind late in a game, that was well enough to win with. The Dodger offense was once again unable to pick the club up, and the Dodgers end up with a split of the four game series. The offense was shut down again. The Boys in Blue had only five hits, and had only two after the second inning. The Dodgers scored first in the top of the first when Crawford tripled to lead off the game and scored on an Adrian Gonzalez sacrifice fly. The Dodgers scored their second run on a solo home run from Ramon Hernandez in the top of the fifth. The homer tied the game at 2-2.

The offensive game ball for tonight goes to the Angel’s Howie Kendrick who went 2 for 3 and scored all three Halo runs. Kendrick got a double and a triple in the Angel’s 3-2 victory.

Vargas beats the Dodgers with seven effectifve frames-Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Lilly pitched well, but the Dodgers suck-Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Angels scored their first run in the bottom of the second when Lilly walked Mark Trumbo, Kendrick’s force out erased Trumbo at second. Chris Iannetta’s double off the wall in center scored Kendrick, and that tied the game at 1-1 at the time. The inning could have been worse had it not been for a spectacular diving catch from Crawford on Callaspo’s slicing line drive.

The second run was scored in fourth which put the Angels up 2-1. Kendrick tripled, and scored on a RBI bloop single to center from Alberto Callaspo. The bottom of the sixth is when things went south for the Dodgers. With one out Kendrick doubled into the right field corner. After a whiff of Callaspo, Kendrick stole third, and after a crucial walk to Iannetta from Lilly, the Dodgers brought in Ronald Belisario. Nelson’s tapper back to the mound bounces off of Belisario’s glove, allowing Kendrick to score the go-ahead run.

The Angel’s bullpen did the rest, as Garrett Richards, and Earnesto Frieri combined for two shutout frames, and the Dodgers now fall back to eight games under .500 at 22-30.

Los Angeles Dodgers left fielder Carl Crawford (25) makes a diving catch of a fly ball by Los Angeles Angels third baseman Alberto Callaspo (not pictured) in the second inning at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers plate an early run off of Jason Vargas in the top of the first. Carl Crawford triples off the wall in right field to lead off the game. Mark Ellis’s line drive is snared by Pujols. Adrian Gonzalez plates Crawford with a sacrifice fly to left. The Dodgers lead 1-0. Jason Vargas retires Scott Van Slyke to end the inning. Lefty Ted Lilly gets three quick outs in the bottom of the first, and the Dodgers lead after one.

The Dodgers threaten again versus Vargas in the top of the second. With one out, Ethier reaches on an infield dribbler single. Tim Federowicz pops out for the second out. DH Ramon Hernandez doubles down the line in left sending Ethier to third. Nick Punto then walks to load the bases. But Crawford flies out to left, and the Dodgers score nothing.

The Angels tie it up in the bottom of the second. Trumbo walks. Kendrick grounds into a force out. Crawford makes a great full extension diving catch on Alberto Callaspo’s slicing line drive down the left field line. Crawford makes the catch while sliding into the low left field wall in foul ground. Iannetta follows with a double off the wall in center, Kendrick scores. The Halos Tie the game at 1-1. Chris Nelson whiffs to end the frame.

Los Angeles Angels second baseman Howie Kendrick (47) scores in the fourth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Move to the bottom of the fourth. Kendrick triples to right center. Callaspo pokes a bloop single to center to score Kendrick. The Halos take the lead back 2-1.

The Dodgers come back to tie it up again in the top of the fifth. The Dodger DH Ramon Hernandez hits a solo home run over the left field wall. That’s his second home run of the season. The game is tied at 2-2.

The bottom of the sixth is when the game was lost for the Dodgers. Remember the Dodgers are 0-19 when trailing after six innings, so as soon as they fall behind after the sixth inning, it is over. And well, do I even need to say anything further?

Los Angeles Angels second baseman Howie Kendrick (47) celebrates after hitting a triple in the fourth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

With one out, and Lilly still in the game, Kendrick doubles into the right field corner. After Callaspo whiffs, Kendrick steals third. Lilly makes a crucial mistake walking Iannetta. Out comes Mattingly, and in comes Belisario. He gets the ground ball he was looking for, but is unable to handle it. Nelson’s grounder up the middle grazes off of Belisario’s glove and kicks out to M.Ellis at second base. Kendrick will score as everybody is safe. Angels re-take the lead 3-2.

That was it. The Dodgers did nothing after that save for a meaningless Jerry Hairston single in the top of the ninth. Lilly falls to 0-2 with the loss, and Vargas wins his fifth of the year. Frieri records his 12th save of the season with a scoreless ninth.

The Dodgers will now fly to Colorado for a weekend series, but they continue to go nowhere this season. I don’t expect anything to get better anytime soon. Have no fear Dodger fans, we’ll be here to document all of the Dodger failures in 2013. We’ll be going down with the ship with you! Tomorrow night at 5:40 PM the Dodgers will turn to their ace Clayton Kershaw to snap them out of a losing streak once again. Colorado will counter with old friend Jon Garland. It appears the Dodgers will have to face another former Dodger yet again.

Check us out over here again tomorrow. Same Web address, same Dodger station, same Dodger channel. Go Blue.