Dodgers Error Leads to Historic Loss
On July 17, 1914 the Brooklyn Robins lost to the Chicago Cubs in Chicago 3-2 after giving up only one hit according to Elias Sports Bureau. On Saturday the Dodgers equaled this ignominious feat in their 1-0 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
“I don’t know how to answer that,” manager Don Mattingly replied when asked about the feat.
The Dodgers did have a prime chance to prevent history from repeating itself in the bottom of the eighth inning. James Loney led off with a ground-rule double off of reliever David Hernandez for his second hit of the night. After manager Don Mattingly put in Tony Gwynn, Jr. as a pinch-runner, things took a curious turn.
The first call was having the team’s home run co-leader Rod Barajas bunt over the runner to third base which Mattingly said was a call he was going to make no matter what.
“Especially when I know I’m going to pinch hit there. We’re going to get a matchup I want.”
While it was successful, Mattingly then called for switch-hitting backup catcher Dioner Navarro to pinch hit for the right-handed Jerry Sands.
“I just wanted to get matched up with the lefty and righty right there,” Mattingly said.
And despite starting the small-ball trend with Barajas, there was no thought of Navarro squeezing the run home.
“I thought of it, but not really,” Mattingly said. “The play’s always there. [Navarro] has been decent at the plate. I felt confident. It’s one of the decisions you’d do again.”
Navarro struck out swinging. Then Jay Gibbons came in to pinch hit flying out to left field to end the threat.
The Dodgers also had a chance with Matt Kemp at the plate with runners on first and second, but Kemp grounded in to a double play to end the game.
“We threw the ball good,” Mattingly said. “We just weren’t able to scratch a couple runs up.”
Mattingly was right - the pitching was good if not superb. Starter Chad Billingsley (L, 2-3) went eight innings striking out eight D-backs. The lone blemish was the unearned run in the second inning.
After Stephen Drew doubled to right, Billingsley made a pick-off throw to second base where neither shortstop Jamey Carroll nor second baseman Aaron Miles was covering the bag.
“It was a mix up on the pick-off play,” Billingsley diplomatically said.
Carroll sacrificed himself in that mix-up.
“There was just a missed communication it was my fault,” Carroll said. “Obviously I was supposed to cover. [Billingsley] threw it and nobody was there.”
Mattingly wasn’t pleased with the play either.
“We’ll talk about it tomorrow.”
Drew scored after Miguel Montero walked and Melvin Mora hit a sacrifice fly to right field.
“You never think that that run would be the difference,” Mattingly said.
Unfortunately the Dodger offense did nothing against rookie Josh Collmenter (W, 2-0) in his first start of his career. Armed with a fastball, change-up and curveball, Collmenter made quick work of the Dodgers needing only 71 pitches to get through his six innings of work.
“He was over the top,” Loney said about Collmenter’s delivery. “It was funky a little bit.”
Mattingly noted that Collmenter was ahead of the count most of the game.
“It’s always dangerous when you get a guy you’ve never seen. Even though you’ve seen him on tape you haven’t actually gone up there and have a chance to go up there and form any kind of game plan.”
In addition to his seven relief appearances earlier this season, Collmenter lowered his ERA to 0.90. With this win the D-backs notched their first win in franchise history when recording only one hit.
Things are pretty cut and dry for the Dodgers. As Mattingly said, “You can’t win without scoring runs.” The Dodgers will see if they can score any on Sunday.