Beckett Blows and Defensive Woes


Dodgers 6 11 3

Tigers 7 13 1


WP- Nathan (2-0)

LP- Jansen (0-1)

S- Albuquerque (1)

HR- Castellanos (1), A. Gonzalez (2), Martinez (2)

Josh Beckett‘s return performance was not much different than the Beckett starts we have endured before. Beckett served up 5 runs on 5 hits with 5 strikeouts and a walk over 4 innings of work and 85 pitches. Beckett pitched out of a jam in the long drawn out first inning by only allowing a run to the Tigers even though he was in hot water right away. Perhaps he was battling some butterflies being in his first start since returning from surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. Beckett flashed some instances of good pitching, and there were some nice pitches sprinkled in. Overall it seemed like he just wanted to get through the start, and I sort of just wanted to get it over with as well.

Not only did Beckett’s start blow, but the Dodgers committed three costly errors. Gordon, Hanley, and FedEx all made mistakes which didn’t help the cause. The Dodgers also couldn’t hit with runners in scoring position again, and were 3-for-10  in that area of the game.

Josh Beckett wasn’t involved in the decision after the Dodgers and Tigers exchanged leads throughout the game. Photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Anibal Sanchez also started of shaky in the first two innings, but he settled down thereafter and shut the Dodgers down. The Dodgers offense completely shut after the second inning until a late bottom of the ninth inning rally which involved a Gonzo homerun, a Ethier walk, a Uribe single, and a clutch Gordon single. The rally netted 3 runs for the Dodgers, but the tie only lasted mere minutes before Kenley Jansen blew another one in the top of the tenth.

Kenley, who has been struggling a bit, allowed a homerun to the killer Martinez, and the Tigers regained the lead. The Detroit bullpen was able to shut down the Dodgers in the bottom of the tenth after the failed rally.

Ian Kinsler singles off Josh Beckett with one out in the top of the first inning on a beautiful 74° night at Dodger Stadium. With Cabrera at-bat, Kinsler steals second as the throw from Tim Federowicz bounces away from second base. Beckett walks Cabrera. Beckett is taking his time with Victor Martinez. FedEx even goes out to talk to him on the mound when the count goes to 1-2. Beckett’s slow curveball misses the strike zone, and Kinsler takes third base on the snail paced pitch. On the ninth pitch, Martinez flies out to left field and Kinsler easily scores. Crawford’s high sailing throw to home should have gone to second. The long inning finally comes to an end after Beckett manages to strike out Austin Jackson. Beckett made 26 pitches in the inning which felt like 26 hours.

Dee Gordon leads off the bottom of the first with a single up the middle against Anibal Sanchez. Brad Ausmus then outsmarts Don Mattingly, and the rookie manager calls for a pitch out with Crawford in the batter’s box. Sure enough, Dee is going, and he is mowed down at second by Martinez. That’s an important out, because Crawford then hits s ground-rule double over the left field corner fence. Dee would have had easily scored on that. Crawford takes third after Martinez blocks a wild pitch in the dirt and loses track of the ball with Hanley Ramirez at-bat. Hanley draws a walk. Hanley takes off and steals second. The throw from Martinez goes into left field, and Crawford takes advantage and comes home to score! The error by Martinez also allows Hanley to get to third. The Dodgers tie up the game 1-1 no thanks to Adrian Gonzalez who strikes out in the process. Andre Ethier bloops a one-hopper to Gonzalez at short who can’t handle the flare. Hanley scores on the base hit by Dre, 2-1 Dodgers. Sanchez has now made more pitches than Beckett did in his inning prior. The inning finally comes to a close on a strikeout by Matt Kemp. Sanchez made 30 pitches, four more than Beckett made.

37 minutes later… we head to the SECOND inning. Beckett strikes out Nick Castellanos and Tyler Collins to begin the second inning

Apr 9, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Detroit Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos (9) is met at home plate by center fielder Austin Jackson (14) after hitting a three run home run in the third inning of the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

strong. Then what would have been the third out, a chopper to second,  is bumbled by Dee Gordon. Alex Gonzalez reaches on the error. Then Anibal Sanchez embarrassingly hits a ball over Matt Kemp’s head for a double. Scoring with two outs easily is Gonzalez, and the game is tied up again 2-2. That’s Sanchez’s first career double. Rajai Davis grounds out to end the frame.

Uribe singles to start the bottom of the second. With FedEx at-bat, Uribe advances to second on a passed ball. The ball hit Martinez on the top of the foot and bounced away. Martinez is having a rough time behind the plate tonight. Alex Gonzalez makes a nice stop on a ball hit by FedEx, but it advances Uribe to third. Beckett’s sacrifice bunt allows Uribe to score, and the Dodgers take the lead back. Gordon singles on a soft grounder to third. Dee Gordon steals his fourth base of the year, but Crawford strikes out to end the inning.

So far each team has scored at least once in each of the first two innings. The Tigers score three more times in the third. Martinez singles with two outs in the top of the third. Then the wheels start to come off for Josh Beckett. Jackson hits a ground-rule double, and then Nick Castellanos proceeds to smash a three-run homerun to center field. That’s Castellano’s first Major League homerun. The Tigers take a 5-3 lead.

The Dodgers go down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the third.

Beckett hits Davis with a pitch in the top of the fourth and allows another Kinsler stolen base, but he actually pitches a scoreless inning.

Kemp strikes out for the second time against Sanchez to begin the bottom of the fourth. Uribe flies out. FedEx strikes out swinging. FedEx has yet to collect a hit since being called up to replace A.J.

Beckett is done. Brandon League is in. Miggy screams a one-hopper into center right past Hanley and into left field. Martinez also singles but to right. Jackson grounds into a force out. The Tigers have runners at the corners with one out. League proceeds to walk Castellanos to load the bases. Collins grounds into a double play , and League escapes the self-made jam.

Hanley Ramirez was one of three Dodgers to commit an error. Photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Donnie wants League to pitch another inning for some reason, and League will then bat for himself to begin the top of the fifth. League grounds out to second. Gordon softly grounds out to third. Crawford hits a double to the right field corner, his second double of the night (the other was to the left side). Hanley grounds out, and the Dodgers strand Carl.

League collects a strike out in the top of the sixth as Bryan Holaday strikes out swinging. With two outs Hanley Ramirez commits another error as he air mails a throw on a Davis grounder. With Kinsler at-bat, Davis is caught stealing second with an excellent throw by FedEx to end the inning!

For the bottom of the sixth, the Tigers will go to their bullpen. Lefty Drew Smyly will relieve Anibal Sanchez who pitched 5 innings and allowed 3 runs on 6 hits with 6 strikeouts and a walk on 110 pitches. Gonzo grounds out, and he is 0-for-3 on the night. Ethier strikes out against the left-hander. Matt Kemp strikes out for the third time.

Jamey Wright is in for the seventh. Kinsler singles to lead-off. Wright strikes out Cabrera, but a wild pitch and a throwing error from FedEx with Martinez at-bat allows Kinsler to move to third base. Wright intentionally walks Martinez. Jackson’s sac fly allows Kinsler to tag up and score, and the Tigers lead 6-3. Wright strikes out Castellanos to end the inning, but the costly error costs another run.

Uribe leads off the bottom of the seventh with a sharp base hit to left off Smyly. FedEx strikes out again, and Turner grounds into a double play.

Paco comes in for the eighth. Tyler Collins has his first career base hit, a softly hit single to third base. Gonzalez grounds into a double play, and Paco easily strikes out Smyly to end the inning.

On a ten-pitch at-bat, Gordon grounds out to lead-off the bottom of the eighth. Crawford grounds out. Ramirez fouls out, and we head to the ninth.

Paul Maholm will pitch the top of the ninth for the Dodgers. Davis singles. Kinsler grounds into a double play, and Maholm will just have to deal with Cabrera now. Hanley then takes three steps onto the grass to get Cabrera’s grounder, and he makes a fantastic throw to get him! Sometimes Hanley surprises me.

Joe Nathan will come in to wrap things up for the Tigers in the bottom of the ninth. Adrian Gonzalez finally gets under one, and he hits a beautiful lead-off homerun to center field. That’s his second homer of the season. The Dodgers pull within two, 6-4. Andre Ethier draws a walk, and Matt Kemp is the tying run at the plate. Matt Kemp has a great at-bat and draws a walk. The Dodgers have two on with nobody out. Juan Uribe loops a base hit to right center, and the bases are loaded! Here comes Yasiel Puig to pinch-hit off the bench in FedEx’s spot. Puig strikes out looking for the first out of the ninth. Scott Van Slyke will now take his turn. SVS hits into a fielder’s choice, but Ethier comes in to score. Dee Gordon is the Dodger’s last hope. Gordon singles to right, and the Dodgers tie it up 6-6! Crawford flies out, but we are heading to extra innings again.

Kenley Jansen is the new pitcher for the Dodgers in the top of the tenth. The tie is erased as quickly as it came as Victor Martinez goes yard. Austin Jackson singles. Castellanos flies out for the first out of the inning. Collins singles. Kenley strikes out Gonzalez, but Don Mattingly will go to his lefty Howell to pitch to pinch-hitter Don Kelly. Howell does his job by striking out Kelly. J.P. has yet to allow a run this season.

Joba Chamberlain is in for the Tigers in the bottom half of the tenth. Hanley hits a little dribbler in front of the mound, and big Joba can’t

Dee Gordon’s clutch single in the tenth would end up wasted. Photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

field the ball fast enough to get Hanley. Ausmus will bring in Ian Krol to pitch to Gonzo. Adrian strikes out swinging. Ethier strikes out swinging. Al Albuquerque will come in to get the last guy, Matt Kemp. Kemp grounds out to third to end the game… 4 1/2 hours later.

The Dodgers fall to 6-4 on the season after the split series with Detroit. I had written that a split in this series would be a success. The Dodgers never play well in Interleague games, but the walk-off win in Game 1 was exciting and gave us a glimpse into a possible Dodgers vs. Tigers World Series. Overall on the homestand, the Dodgers went 2-3 against the Giants and Tigers.

Thursday the Dodgers have off before heading off to Phoenix for a three-game series against the D-backs at Chase Field.