Eighth Inning Wild Pitch Proves Costly, as Dodgers Chopped in Series Finale

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It was a somber night at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday evening. Not just because the Dodgers lost to the Braves 3-2 in the series finale, blowing a sweep. It wasn’t because their NL West lead continues to dwindle as the Giants make their surge towards first place. It was because the Juan Uribe trade was finalized, and we had to watch our beloved papi play in an Atlanta uniform. The Braves started him at third base, and Dodger fans gave him a big standing ovation in his first at-bat.

Braves    3 5 0

Dodgers 2 9 0

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LP-Hatcher-1-4

SV-Grilli-14

HR-Maybin-5-Guerrero-9

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

It was a surreal sight, seeing our former portly third sacker playing on the opposite side. The Dodgers gave him a big video salute before the game, and we all felt sadness as he delivered a message to Dodger fans. Remember Papi will always love us, no matter what.

Baseball is more than just a collection of numbers and stats. There’s a human element to the game that those nerds in the front office will never understand. Uribe didn’t really factor much into the game though. He went 0 for 3 with two whiffs, an intentional walk, and made an error. The error actually cost the Braves a run.

Before the game Friedman and Zaidi were raving about Alberto Callaspo during lead-off LA. They were so delusional they actually believe he has value. Sorry but a .200 hitting utility infielder brings little to no value to any club. Not surprisingly Callaspo flied out as a pinch-hitter to end the game with the tying run on base.

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Before the game the Dodgers announced a flurry of moves. Eric Stults was designated for assignment, (thankfully), Callaspo was added to the roster, and Sergio Santos was DFA’d as well. Scott Van Slyke has a sore back, so Chris Heisey was recalled from OKC. The two young pitchers acquired in the trade were reassigned. One was assigned to OKC, and the other was sent to Arizona for extended spring training.

The Dodgers got a good start from Zack Grienke, although he was a bit bumpy in the beginning. Despite throwing 32 pitches in the first inning, he settled in and tossed six innings of one run ball, allowing just three hits and striking out nine. He walked just two, and also contributed with an infield single, and a stolen base. That was the first stolen base by a MLB pitcher this season. Too bad they couldn’t get him a win.

His mound opponent left hander Alex Wood, the guy with the funky delivery, was just as strong. Wood (7 IP 7H 1R 2BB 6K) held the Dodgers to just one run over seven frames, but was not involved in the decision.

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Greinke loaded the bases in the first inning, but was able to wiggle out of it. After a single, and two walks, he struck out the side, including Uribe. The only blemish on Greinke’s night was the solo home run he allowed to Cameron Maybin in the third inning. The Dodgers tied it up in the bottom of the fourth when Jimmy Rollins reached on a Uribe error when his hopper bounced off of his glove. One out later with Rollins at second, Justin Turner’s ground ball single plated J-Roll to tie the game up at 1-1.

The game remained tied until an infuriating top of the eighth inning. For some unknown reason right hander Chris Hatcher was brought in and once again he couldn’t get anybody out. Andrelton Simmons singles, and Cunningham walked. Hatcher got hooked and Adam Liberatore had to come in to clean up his mess. Things got sketch, and it was a wild pitch that brought in the tie breaking run. Before that, Jace Peterson’s force out put runners at the corners. With Freddie Freeman looming, the Dodgers couldn’t walk Maybin. Fortunately his shallow fly to center wasn’t deep enough to bring Simmons home. But with Freeman at the plate, Liberatore uncorked a wild pitch that scored the tie breaking run. Then after Freeman walked, Nick Markakis’s slicing ground-rule double into the corner scored Peterson to put Atlanta up 3-2. The Dodgers had to intentionally walk Uribe and get veteran A.J. Pierzynski to ground out to get out of the inning. 

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  • The Dodgers mounted a small rally in the bottom of the ninth against closer Jason Grilli, but it was too little too late. Alex Guerrero homered with nobody aboard which brought the Dodgers close. The Dodgers pinch-hit for the useless Chris Heisey, and Andre Ethier reached on a single. However A.J. Ellis grounded into a force, and newly acquired bum Callaspo flied out to end the game. The Dodgers lost 3-2.

    Of course it’s hard to score runs when there were four automatic outs in the lineup, counting the pitcher’s spot. There was no reason to start Heisey over Ethier. I still don’t know why Mattingly keeps using Hatcher. The club still had a good homestand, but the head to head games they lost to the Giants have killed them. A big difference could be the two club’s performance in close games. The Dodgers are 6-8 in one-run games, while the Giants are 10-5. It may cost them first place.

    The Dodgers fall to 28-18 and their lead is now just one measly game. Tomorrow the club is off, and they travel to St. Louis to face the Cardinals for a weekend series at Busch, in what will be a huge test. Perhaps we could all use a day off for now. Enjoy it because the Dodgers only have one day off (June 11) until July 2. What a brutal schedule.

    Go Blue!

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