Atlanta Pitching Stifles Dodgers Offense in Game Three Loss
Dodgers 1 8 0
Braves 2 9 1
WP- Medlen (3-6)
LP- Fife (1-1)
S- Kimbrel (18)
HR- Uggla (11), Medlen (1)
The Dodgers offense was unable to do much off Atlanta starter Kris Medlen along with their tough bullpen in the 2-1 loss in game three. Medlen pitched into the seventh inning, and shut out the Dodgers while only allowing 5 hits to L.A. Other than one run by the Dodgers in the eighth, they couldn’t come up with the big clutch hit to cash in any other runners. Yasiel Puig had two hits and made another incredible throw from right field to get Simmons out at third base with the assist. Puig also slid head first into the bag to leg out a single, and he possibly was injured on the play. We need to bubble wrap him!
Stephen Fife allowed two homeruns in the loss to Atlanta. Photo: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Stephen Fife flashed moments of brilliance in his outing, but two long balls cost him and the Dodgers the game. One homerun was hit by Kris Medlen himself for his first MLB career homerun. Don Mattingly‘s bunting was once again detrimental in this loss as Mattingly seemed intent on bunting throughout the game. Mattingly also made quite a few odd double switches and defensive moves which were questionable. The worst being allowing Clayton Kershaw to pinch-run in the bottom of the eighth inning. Kershaw should be the last player to get the call to pinch hit or run unless it is absolutely necessary in a 20-inning game (which there was one today in baseball).
The Dodgers just simply couldn’t muster much offense, and the Braves took this game. Here’s how it happened…
Andrelton Simmons leads off the game with a double to center field. Andre Ethier is unable to catch up to the ball. Stephen Fife is starting off shaky, and he walks Jason Heyward. Justin Upton moves both runners over with a sacrifice bunt. The Braves a real desperate to have Justin Upton bunt in the first inning. Stephen Fife’s beautiful curveball catches Freddie Freeman looking, and Fife gets a big out with that strikeout. Fife rears back to strikeout Brian McCann, and the Dodgers escape the jam! The bunt ruined the rally as all bunts do.
Kris Medlen will have to face Yasiel Puig first thing in the home half of the first. For some unknown reason, Puig is trying to bunt for a single. He is thrown out easily, and we are shocked that he would be bunting AT ALL. Nick Punto‘s comebacker is fielded by Medlen for the second out. Adrian Gonzalez flies out, and the Dodgers go down in order.
Fife fans both Dan Uggla and B.J. Upton in the second as the Braves go down 1-2-3 against the righty. Fife has four strikeouts through two innings.
A frustrated Andre Ethier argues with an umpire after striking out. Photo: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Andre Ethier grounds out, and Scott Van Slyke strikes out against Medlen in the bottom of the second. Skip Schumaker singles on a groundball to left field, and he has now hit safely in 14 games straight. Tim Federowicz flies out to end the inning.
With one out in the top of the third, Simmons hits a grounder which Luis Cruz is unable to get a glove on, and he is awarded a single. With Heyward batting, Simmons attempts to steal. Tim Federowicz’s throw is high, but Punto is able to quickly snag the ball and throw his glove down to tag Simmons for the out!
Yasiel Puig hits a hard single to right field with two outs in the bottom of the third. Nick Punto flies out center field, and Puig is stranded at first.
Fife is still looking good in the top of the fourth. Other than a single by Freddie Freeman, the other Braves are retired for the scoreless frame.
Gonzalez draws a lead-off walk from Medlen in the bottom half of the fourth. Andre Ethier strikes out on a borderline low ball, and he argues with the umpire a bit before retiring to the dugout. SVS flies out. Schumaker singles for his second hit of the game to bring up FedEx again. FedEx can’t hit in the clutch again, and he goes down on strikes to end the inning.
In the fifth, the Braves break the scoreless fly when Dan Uggla hits a big homerun into the Dodgers center field. Atlanta is up 1-0. Fife comes back to strike out B.J. Upton. Then, to our disbelief Kris Medlen hits his first Major League homerun, a solo homerun. The Braves take a 2-0 lead. Simmons singles. Then Yasiel’s cannon of an arm is able to throw out Simmons at third on a single by Jason Heyward. The 9-5 assist featured a laser throw by Yasiel and a nice tag by Luis Cruz at third! Justin Upton grounds out to third to end the frame, but not before Atlanta hits two homeruns in the inning.
Kris Medlen retires the Dodgers in order in the bottom of the fifth, and he strikes out young Yasiel
Kris Medlen pitched 6 2/3 shutout innings against the Dodgers Saturday night in game two. Photo: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Puig with a high fastball to end the frame.
Ethier makes a sliding catch on a liner by Freeman. Cruz catches a little flare by McCann for the second out. Chris Johnson doubles to left field, and Van Slyke has to go chasing the ball down. Fife strikes out Uggla for the second time (he also hit a homerun), and the Dodgers are able to squelch the Atlanta offense in the sixth.
Punto belly flops into second on a double to lead-off the bottom of the sixth. Gonzo grounds out, and Punto takes third on the play. Ethier flies out to shallow center, and Punto can’t take up and try to come home. Van Slyke grounds out to third, and Punto is stranded as the Dodgers fail to score.
In the seventh, B.J. Upton singles to lead-off for the Braves. Medlen successfully bunts Upton over to second with the sacrifice. Fife strikes out Simmons, and that’s his seventh strikeout of the game. Don Mattingly is now going to make one of his signature double switches. J.P. Howell will comes in to pitch in relief, and Mark Ellis comes in to play second as Schumaker moves to left field to replace Van Slyke. Donnie’s manipulations somehow worked, and Howell gets the last out by inducing a ground out from Heyward.
Stephen Fife pitched 6 2/3 innings while allowing 2 runs on 9 hits with 7 strikeouts and one walk on 86 pitches.
Schumaker grounds out to begin the bottom of the seventh. Thanks, Donnie. Federowicz grounds a single up the middle for a base hit. Cruz flies out uselessly to shallow center for the second out. That’s going to be all for Kris Medlen. He goes out winning. Anthony Varvaro comes in out of the Atlanta pen to pitch to Mark Ellis. Ellis grounds out, and the Dodgers waste away another inning and fail to score.
Kris Medlen pitched 6 2/3 innings while allowing no runs on 5 hits with 6 strikeouts and 1 walk on 116 pitches.
Yasiel Puig singled twice. Photo: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Howell walks Justin Upton to open the top of the eighth on a soured note. Freeman grounds out, and McCann strikes out swinging against the lefty Howell. Mattingly brings in Matt Guerrier to face Johnson. Guerrier strikes out Johnson to end the inning.
Luis Avilan, a left-hander, comes in to face Yasiel Puig who leads off the bottom of the eighth for the Dodgers. Puig slides head first into first base on a slow grounder to second baseman Uggla. He beats out the throw for a single, but the slide looked painful and we don’t want Puig hurt! Puig is out at second on a force out hit by Punto. Punto is safe at second as he takes an extra base after Simmons throws the ball away for an error. Gonzalez grounds out, and Punto takes third on the play. Hanley Ramirez will come in to pinch-hit for Andre Ethier. Fredi Gonzalez will make a pitching change in response. Jordan Walden will replace Avilan. Hanley hits one right up the middle, and Punto brings in the run! 2-1 Atlanta. Clayton Kershaw will pinch-run for Hanley who has a sketchy hamstring. It’s unreal to me that Donnie would use our ace pitcher to pinch-run. That’s unacceptable. Jerry Hairston Jr. pops out, and the Dodgers are only able to get one.
Peter Moylan will get the ball in the top of the ninth. B.J. Upton draws a one-out walk. Jordan Schafer strikes out. Simmons flies out, and the Dodgers will have one last chance.
Craig Kimbrel will try to shut the door on the Dodgers. Skip Schumaker, the hero of late, singles to lead-off the bottom of the ninth. That’s Skip’s third hit of the game. Donnie immediately goes to the bunt with Federowicz at the plate. He’s even bunting with two strikes and Luis Cruz on deck. Of course the “strategy” fails, and FedEx strikes out on a high fastball. Ramon Hernandez amusingly will pinch-hit for Cruz. Schumaker takes second on a wild pitch. Hernandez grounds out, and the Dodgers are down to their last out. Puig is on deck, and the crowd knows it. Mark Ellis goes all the way 3-2 against Kimbrel. A foul ball has Heyward sliding into the wall with an attempted catch. Ellis strikes out, and Puig never gets the chance to come up again as the Dodgers fall to the Braves 2-1.The Dodgers are now 27-34 on the season.
Sunday afternoon will most likely feature Matt Magill who will be pitching in the place of Tim “rusty neck” Lilly. Mike Minor will be starting for Atlanta in the series finale.