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Dodgers Ineffective against Snakes
The Dodgers offense was thoroughly stymied in their 4-1 loss against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley and DBacks starter Max Scherzer had a nice pitchers’ duel going. Both were shutting out the opposing team while Billingsley went one better - a perfect game through four innings.
Then the fifth inning happened which was an inning sooner than his usual sixth inning collapse.
With one out catcher Miguel Montero doubled to left-center field. First baseman Brandon Allen took the next pitch to the right field pavilion to give the DBacks a 2-0 lead.
After center fielder Alex Romero singled and second baseman Augie Ojeda struck out, Scherzer gave himself a 3-0 lead by singling to left sending Romero to third.
Shortstop Stephen Drew singled to short scoring Romero, but shortstop Rafael Furcal made a throwing error trying to get the force play at second. The ball ended up ricocheting off the base and into the wall allowing Scherzer and Drew to advance to third and second respectively.
Left fielder Gerardo Parra gave the DBacks a 4-0 lead hitting an infield single weakly to third allowing Scherzer to score.
Billingsley got right fielder Justin Upton to pop up to second to end the inning. The tragic part was that despite making an error and walking a man, Billingsley got out of the sixth inning unscathed.
“It’s the way the game is,” Billingsley said of that fifth inning. “You can’t do anything about it. You just got to keep coming out there and try to figure something out.”
“Well I’m not that concerned,” manager Joe Torre said of Billingsley’s struggles. “I thought he was great today.
“I thought he got frustrated after having such an efficient first part of the game, but I though mechanically he was back to where he should be tonight.”
The Dodgers offense attempted a comeback in the eighth inning but found out making comebacks are hard to do when trying to be a station-to-station team.
Juan Pierre, pinch hitting in the pitcher’s spot, drew a one-out walk. Furcal bunted a single to second which was fumbled around every which way. After Ethier hit a line drive straight into Allen’s glove at first, Manny hit a single up the middle to score Pierre and cut the lead to 4-1.
Kemp ended the inning by lining to left fielder Gerardo Parra. In summation two hits and a walk yielded one lousy run.
“We are too good of a production team to continue doing this,” Torre said of the offense. “It’s frustrating now, there’s no question.”
But Torre sounded optimistic in the long run.
“We are going to break out and start scoring some runs on a regular basis,” Torre said. “Right now everyone is aware of the fact that we haven’t been producing and they may be squeezing the bat a little too much.”
It should be noted that one very notable exception to the offensive struggles was Ethier who went 3-for-4 with two singles and a double.
With the loss the Dodgers are now 79-55. Not only have they lost the title “Best Record in Baseball”, they are no longer the lone title-bearers of “Best Record in the National League”. They now share that distinction with the St. Louis Cardinals.
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