Dodgers Road Trip Highs and Lows


Welcome to the Road trip Round up, where we’ll be breaking down the high and low points of the Dodgers’ recent road trip, which featured two 3-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies and the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Dodgers began the road trip with a two-game lead and fly home tonight with a three-game lead over the hated Giants, so if I were the kind of Dodger fan who only viewed things through blue-colored sunglasses, I might be tempted to call the trip a success – but I’m not that guy.

The truth of it is, after taking two games from the Phillies, the Boys in Blue proceeded to be painfully swept by the Pirates, giving ammunition to the “Fire Mattingly” and “The Dodgers can’t beat the tough teams” camps.

Let’s break it down:

Start of road trip: 2 game lead

End of road trip: 3 game lead

Opponent: Phillies  Results: Won 2 games, Lost 1

Opponent: Pirates   Results: Lost 3 games


Joc Pederson seemed to have rediscovered the strike zone and patience. He began the trip with two straight 3-walk games and snapped an 0 for 23 slump with a single in the final Phillies game. He went on to smack another single and a double against the Pirates.

Zack Greinke started out looking like his outing against the Phillies would be a lowlight when he gave up five runs in the first inning, but Greinke gave Dodger fans something to feel good about when he bore down, stopped the bleeding, and contributed on and off the mound by getting a couple of hits – one of which was a home run with an awesome bat flip. The Dodgers went on to win the game 10-8.

Jimmy Rollins has made almost everyone forget about his dismal pre-All-Star break batting. He was a consistent lead off batter, and came through in clutch situations as well. Over the past week he’s batted .333 with 3 doubles. Now if he would just knock off those Juan Pierre deep fly outs, we’d all be happier.


The return of the Gang Who Can’t Hit Straight. In the first two games of the road trip the Dodgers left 26 runners on base, and in Game 2 against the Phillies they had bases loaded for three straight innings – scoring none.

Reliever Joel Peralta may have pitched himself off of the team on this road trip. He pitched lousy, but his levels of ineptitude were spectacularly surpassed in the final game against Pittsburgh by Jim Johnson. Johnson faced ten batters in the seventh inning of the game and gave up eight runs, the game, and the series to the Pirates.

Clayton Kershaw saw his scoreless streak go bye-bye and fly over the wall when Phillie Gregory Polanco crushed his first pitch of the game for a home run. Kershaw’s scoreless innings streak ended at 37, and the Dodgers went on to lose, 5-4.

Matt Latos was completely ineffective against the Pirates, including giving up a 3-run home run to Pirates pitcher, Francisco Liriano. ‘Nuff said.


I may have to permanently keep a separate heading for manager Don Mattingly under the Lowlights banner, as I suspect he will give me plenty of fodder.

This particular road trip lowlight brings us Mattingly’s horrendous handling of the seventh inning in the final game against the Pirates. The Dodgers were winning 5-3 and Mattingly brought in pitcher Jim Johnson (Strike One for Mattingly).

Johnson began by getting a strike out, then gave up a couple of singles and hit a batter. The score was close, 5-4, but the Pirates were threatening and Johnson didn’t look like the answer. TV showed us J.P. Howell apparently ready in the bullpen, but Mattingly stuck with Johnson. He did get an out, but it was a deep fly, which brought in the tying run. Johnson walked the next batter to load the bases. Mattingly stuck with Johnson (Strike Two).

Mattingly left Johnson in to face Starling Marte and Andrew McCutchen. By the time that mess was over, the Pirates were up 9-5, and Mattingly had finally seen enough to pull Johnson – only to insert the previously mentioned rubber armed Peralta, who then proceeded to immediately give up a 3-run home run, putting the lid on any hopes of the Dodgers being able to leave town without the laughing of the Pirates fans soundly ringing in their ears (Strike Three)! When will someone declare Mattingly “OUT”?

Next up for the Dodgers is a 7-game homestand against the Washington Nationals and Cincinnati Reds.