Dodgers Bow Out Shutout Style
By the sixth inning the Dodgers hope for postseason play was officially doused thanks to the San Francisco Giants’ 1-0 win over the Chicago Cubs. The Dodgers decided to pay them back by being shut out by Clayton Richard and the San Diego Padres 6-0 to keep the Padres ½ game behind the Giants in the NL West.
Richard (W, 13-8), coming into the game was undefeated in his two starts against the Dodgers this season, made only 105 pitches in his first career complete game shutout scattering eight hits.
“It looked so easy for him,” manager Joe Torre said. “We didn’t do a whole lot of damage. We just couldn’t get anything going.”
Catcher AJ Ellis, who along with Jamey Carroll were the only Dodgers to get two singles off of Richard, had a good idea of what happened out there.
“He really attacked the strike zone and attacked us made us put the ball in play,” catcher AJ Ellis said. “You saw that in his pitch count being as low it was. He was able to get some good double play out there.”
With that as a backdrop, Chad Billingsley (L, 11-11) couldn’t match Richard inning for inning.
“We put pressure on him,” Torre said on the lack of offense. “We don’t score, and they score a couple of runs - you’re trying to be perfect. A lot of the pitchers had to deal with that this year.”
The Padres first struck in the third inning with a two-RBI single by Ryan Ludwick. Then Billingsley’s wildness struck in the fifth inning. With the bases loaded and one out after Will Venable singled, David Eckstein was hit by a pitch and Adrian Gonzalez was intentionally walked, Billingsley hit Ryan Ludwick to score a run.
“I was trying to throw in on him, try to get him jammed on the ball,” Billingsley said. “The outcome just wasn’t there.”
A sacrifice fly by Yorvit Torrealba and a single by Chase Headley scored two more runs before Billingsley got Chris Denorfia to ground out to first base ending Billingsley’s night.
“It didn’t look like he had command,” Torre said. “His stuff looked good, but he just wasn’t able to locate.”
Ludwick in the ninth inning grounded to an inning-ending force out, however Venable was able to score before Gonzalez was tagged out at third giving Ludwick a season-tying four RBI in the game.