Dodgers 2 5 0
Reds 3 7 0
WP- Leake (12-6)
LP- Howell (2-1)
S- Chapman (35)
HR- Ramirez (16), Votto (22)
Before we get into the game highlights, let’s talk about the white bison in the room. Earlier this afternoon it was reported by the Dodgers that Matt Kemp had felt some tightness in his right hamstring and his rehab would be slowed down. Now this news is pretty frustrating and sad at the same time. Kemp has been absent for much of the season, although the team has flourished without him. The Dodgers have a real good chance of succeeding in the postseason, and how strange would it be if they won it all without Matt Kemp? It wasn’t supposed to happen like this, but Matt Kemp’s injuries have just been lingering and reoccurring. When I saw Kemp in Rancho Cucamonga, he honestly did not look good. His mental focus wasn’t there, and I have to wonder whether his hamstring had already been bothering him. Either way we may not see Kemp again this season, and unless he is 100% healthy we shouldn’t. Get well soon, Bison. We do miss you.
The Dodgers couldn’t muster much of anything off of Mike Leake. Other than Hanley Ramirez‘s two-run homerun in the first inning, the offense was shut down completely. Aroldis Chapman came in and struck out the side in the ninth, and that was that for the Dodgers. Chris Capuano only made 32 pitches before he had to leave the game due to a groin strain. The Dodgers blew through seven pitchers in the game, and Howell was dealt the loss after serving up a two-run homerun to Joey Votto in the fifth inning.
Other than a homerun to Hanley, Mike Leake shut down the Dodgers. Photo: Rob Leifheit-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Leake begins the game by striking out Carl Crawford who spins around like a windmill chasing a 88-mph cutter. Yasiel Puig grounds a ball to shortstop, and he runs it out for an infield single. Puig moves to second on a groundout to first by Adrian Gonzalez. Hanley Ramirez wastes no time as he crushes his 16th homerun of the season, a two-run shot to left field upper deck, and the Dodgers jump in front 2-0. Andre Ethier grounds out to end the inning, but Chris Capuano now will have a two run lead to work with.
Cappy induces a groundout from Shin-Soo Choo to start the home half of the first. The crafty lefty then strikes out Brandon Phillips, but then he walks Joey Votto. Can’t blame his for walking Votto. Jay Bruce flies out to Andre Ethier who has to deal with Puig almost running into him again.
In the second inning, Leake sends the Dodgers down in order.
Chris Capuano leaves the game in the second inning with a groin strain. Photo: Rob Leifheit-USA TODAY Sports
calls in Tim Federowicz. Sue Falsone goes out to check, and Cappy makes a pitch or two. He’s going to have to come out with a mild left groin strain. The Dodgers will bring in Peter Moylan while Stephen Fife begins to warm up. Moylan comes in and throws three straight strikes to whiff Zack Cozart to end the frame.
Dee Gordon will lead-off the third inning as a pinch-hitter. He reaches safely on a bunt single, but Todd Frazier hits him in the back of the head with his throw to first. Dee goes down, but he pops up smiling. Can the Dodgers please stop getting hurt? Crawford flies out. Puig grounds out to second, and Phillips is able to still get him out at first even though he bobbles the ball. Gonzo grounds out to first, and Votto makes a nice stop and feeds the ball to Leake who beats Gonzo to the bag for the out.
Stephen Fife will come in to “relieve” in the bottom of the third for the injured Capuano. He promptly strikes out Devin Mesoraco. Mike Leake lines out to Crawford. Shin-Soo Choo draws a two-out walk, but Phillips grounds into a force to end the scoreless frame.
In the top of the fourth, Hanley leads off with a hard hit single to left field, but Ethier strikes out looking. With Uribe at the plate, Hanley is thrown out trying to steal second even though the replay shows that he was safe. Uribe ends up grounding out.
Joey Votto leads off the bottom of the fourth with a single off Fife. Bruce singles over the head of Hanley, and the Reds are in business with runners at first and second and nobody out. Ludwick grounds into a 6-4-3 double play, but Votto brings in a run for Cincinnati. 2-1 Dodgers. Frazier singles on a ball which bounces off the glove of Hanley. That should have been ruled an error. Cozart follows with a single, and that’s the fourth single in the inning for the Reds. Mesoraco grounds out to Uribe to end the inning. That could have been much worse.
The Dodgers roll over in the fifth as Leake strikes out both FedEx and Fife in the 1-2-3 inning.
Fife walks the opposing pitcher on four pitches to start off things on a sour note in the bottom of the fifth. Mattingly goes out for a mound meeting. He’ll bring in J.P. Howell out of the bullpen to face Choo. Choo promptly singles to center. Phillips grounds into a 5-3 double play as Uribe once again does a great job in field. Joey Votto then proceeds to unleash a two-run homerun, and the Reds take a 3-2 lead. Why do they even pitch to him?
The Dodgers offense has now clammed shut, and Leake once again sends them down in order in the top of the sixth.
Chris Withrow will become the fifth Dodger pitcher of the night in the bottom of the sixth. Withrow strikes out swinging. Frazier strikes out swinging. Cozart strikes out looking. Way to go Withrow!
Leake shuts down the Dodgers once again in the seventh.
Hanley Ramirez hits his 16th homerun of the year in the first inning. Photo: Rob Leifheit-USA TODAY Sports
Withrow comes in for the bottom of the seventh and continues to blow guys away. He strikes out Mesoraco and Leake for five strikeouts in a row! Choo flies out to left, and Withrow pitches two perfect innings of relief.
In the eighth, Michael Young comes up with a two-out pinch hit. That’s going to be the end of the night for Leake. Manny Parra will come out of the Cincinnati bullpen to face CC. Of course Crawford swings at the first pitch he sees, and he grounds out to second to end the inning.
Mike Leake pitched 7 2/3 innings and allowed 2 runs on 5 hits with 5 strikeouts and no walks on 98 pitches.
Paco Rodriguez will pitch the bottom of the eighth, and Brandon Phillips leads off with a single to left. Joey Votto walks, and a wild pitch allows the runners to move to second and third. Bruce walks, and the bases are loaded with nobody out. Paco has to be hooked, and Donnie will bring in The Beard. Seems to me that Paco has been overused recently and is seeming a bit fatigued. Wilson gets a huge double play as Ludwick hits a line drive right into the glove of Wilson! The Beard turns to get the pinch-runner Billy Hamilton out at third, and that was almost a triple play possibility. Frazier strikes out to end the inning. Great job by Wilson.
Aroldis Chapman is in for the top of the ninth to try to close the door on the Dodgers. The Cuba vs. Cuba showdown isn’t very long as Yasiel Puig strikes out. Adrian Gonzalez can’t catch up to the 100-mph heaters either as he strikes out swinging. Hanley strikes out swinging, and the Dodgers lose game one.
The Dodgers fall to 83-57, and if the D-backs win then they’ll lose a game in the standings and be 11 games ahead in the division.