Post Champagne Buzz: Dodgers Over Rockies 7-4

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These last three games are perhaps meaningless, but they also give the Dodgers an opportunity to tune up before the NLDS commences next Friday. The series also gives Don Mattingly time to jot down some notes and make some decisions on his postseason roster. If anything, the loss to the Rockies on Friday night really highlighted the terrible pitching by Roberto Hernandez and the importance of Hyun-jin Ryu to the Dodgers going into the NLDS next week.

Hernandez wasn’t completely awful, but his command is just not there. He walked four in 5 2/3 innings, and thinking about him pitch in a postseason game terrifies me. Jordan Lyles came unraveled during the six-run sixth, and the Rockies continued with their very rocky year.

The Rockies, still a last place team, coughed up six runs to the Dodgers in the sixth inning. It was a fun little romp with no pressure on the Dodgers. Dee Gordon collected three base hits on the night, while Justin Turner and Juan Uribe both drove in two runs apiece. Carl Crawford, who is red hot and suddenly hitting .297, had two hits and a rare outfield assist. The crowd was definitely more subdued at Dodger Stadium than it was on Wednesday night’s clincher, but they still got a treat with all seven Dodger runs.

 Dodgers 7 11 2

Rockies 4 9 1

WP- Elbert (1-0)

LP- Lyles (7-4)

HR- Morneau (17), Paulsen (4)

The Dodgers jumped ahead of the Rockies 1-0 in the home half of the first inning against Jordan Lyles. Dee Gordon led off with a double to the gap in left field. Yasiel Puig singled in Gordon, but he is cut down at second by Rafael Ynoa while trying to leg out a double.

Roberto Hernandez somehow got out of the first inning unscathed after allowing a single to Blackmon and a walk to Justin Morneau after he induced an inning ending double play from Michael Cuddyer. Hernandez allowed a walk in the second inning to Wilin Rosario, but he struck out both Drew Stubbs and DJ LeMahieu.

Carl Crawford led off the bottom of the second with a single to right field, and the left fielder has been tuning up for the postseason. CC

Sep 26, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Roberto Hernandez throws a pitch against the Colorado Rockies during the game at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

usually heats up at the end of the season and into October. Although Crawford was doubled up on the fly ball hit down the line in left field by Andre Ethier. Blackmon made a great one-hop throw to first to get CC out who had thought the ball was going to drop and was nearly rounding second.

The Rockies took the lead in the third. Jordan Lyles, the opposing pitcher, led off the frame with a double. Blackmon singled, and then Lyles scored on a bumbling error by Dee Gordon who couldn’t handle a routine grounder by Ynoa. With Morneau at bat, Blackmon was caught in a pickle for the first out. Then Morneau proceeded to hit a two-run homerun over the center field wall which gave the Rockies a 3-1 lead.

By the sixth inning, some of the Dodger starters called it a night. Joc Pederson took over in right field, and Andre Ethier moved over to center field in place of Yasiel Puig. Scott Van Slyke took over at first for Adrian Gonzalez. Roberto Hernandez pitched into another jam, and this time he loaded the bases up. Drew Stubbs doubled to begin the inning for the fifth hit of the night for the Rockies against Hernandez. A one-out walk to Josh Rutledge and a single by DJ LeMahieu loaded the bases up for the Rox. Lyles popped out for the second out, and that would be the end of the line for Hernandez. Scott Elbert came out of the Dodger bullpen to face Blackmon who already had two base hits in the game. Blackmon struck out, but the out was recorded at first base.

Roberto Hernandez pitched 5 2/3 innings and allowed 3 runs on 6 hits with 3 strikeouts and 4 walks on 101 pitches.

The Dodgers scored six runs in the bottom of the sixth off the Rockies. Darwin Barney, on his way to possibly making the Dodger

Sep 26, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Darwin Barney (30) scores a run against the Colorado Rockies in the 6th inning during the game at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

postseason roster, singled to lead-off. Gordon followed with a bunt single to third for his third hit of the night. Pederson popped out, but Van Slyke drove in the second Dodger run of the night on a single to left field. Gordon took third on a bad throw to the plate by Blackmon.

Justin Turner, the BIG RED MACHINE, singled up the middle and two runs came in! The Dodgers took a 4-3 lead, and Lyles was chased from the game. DJ LeMahieu had to come out of the game with a knee sprain which was a bad break for the Rockies. Charlie Culberson took over at second for DJ.

Franklin Morales came in to replace Lyles with one out and one on. Crawford singled, and Ethier drew a walk. Juan Uribe did more damage with a two-run RBI single to center, and the Dodgers took a 6-3 lead! Drew Butera became the ninth man to come up to bat for the Dodgers in the inning. Butera walked, and the Rockies had to go to the bullpen once again. Rob Scahill would pitch to Darwin Barney with the bases loaded and one out. Another Dodger run came in on a Barney sacrifice fly. The inning finally ended when Gordon hit a comebacker to Scahill, but the Dodgers notched a big six runs in the inning and took a 7-3 lead.

Jordan Lyles pitched 5 1/3 innings and allowed 5 runs on 8 hits with 4 strikeouts and no walks on 81 pitches.

Miguel Rojas took over at shortstop in the seventh, and Paco Rodriguez took over for Elbert. Rojas made the obligatory error at shortstop to allow Ynoa to reach safely. Morneau singled, and that was that for Paco. Brandon League became the fourth Dodger pitcher of the night. Then we saw an extremely rare play. Carl Crawford, yes Crawford who has the arm of Juan Pierre, threw a one-hopper to home plate to get Michael Cuddyer out! Well, I’ll be! The Rockies challenged the tag by Drew Butera, but the call was upheld! League struck out Stubbs and Rosario to end the inning.

Sep 26, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Juan Uribe hits a two-run single against the Colorado Rockies in the 6th inning during the game at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

There was more musical chairs for the Dodgers in the eighth. Rojas moved over to third base, Erisbel Arruebarrena came in to play short, and Pedro Baez became the next pitcher. Baez, who I feel should be on the postseason roster, pitched a 1-2-3 inning although two of the outs were long fly balls.

J.P. Howell came in to shut the door on the Rockies in the ninth. Gordon made a nice diving stop to rob Ynoa of a base hit for the second out. Ben Paulson then proceeded to hit a solo homerun to left field, and it was 7-4. Mattingly brought in Brian Wilson to get the final out of the game. Kyle Parker hit the first pitch he saw from Wilson, a curveball, for a line drive. Crawford was there to snare it.

The Dodgers improve to 92-68. Saturday’s match up will feature Dan Haren versus Eddie Butler in the second-to-last game of the regular season.

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