Dodgers Offense Regresses, Shutout By Rockies
After hitting the skin off the ball the last three games, the Dodgers came crashing back down to earth on Ubaldo Jimenez’s (W, 1-5) arm. The previously winless Rockies’ starter with a 5.86 ERA entering the game tossed a complete-game three-hitter, the third shutout of his career, in the Rockies’ 3-0 victory over the Dodgers.
Matt Kemp, the most successful current Dodger against Jimenez having gone 11-for-32 with a .344 batting average lifetime against Jimenez, couldn’t touch him going 0-for-4 striking out in the final at-bat of the game.
“He got outs today,” Kemp commented. “He did his job.”
Manager Don Mattingly couldn’t do much else than an impression of his bobblehead which was given out to the 36,975 fans at Dodger Stadium.
“We’re definitely going to tip our hat to Ubaldo,” he said. “He had us off-stride all night tonight.”
That being said, the four hits the Dodgers amassed against Jimenez while striking out seven times didn’t impress Mattingly at all. “We’ve got to give him a better fight than that and give ourselves some chances to score.”
Dodgers’ starter Jon Garland (L, 1-5) never let the game get out of hand and actually felt better about his outing than his last start on Friday when he gave up only one run in 6 1/3 innings against the Florida Marlins in a no-decision.
“I felt like I was keeping it down better for the most part,” Garland commented. “I felt like I could have mixed in a few more off-speed stuff early in the game - it looked like they were swinging.”
That got Garland in trouble with the lead-off man getting on base in the second, third and fourth innings. Perhaps the strangest one of these was Ty Wigginton’s triple in the second inning. As Wigginton’s line drive to center field started dying in the cool air, Kemp made a dive for the ball. Unfortunately he wound up eating grass as the ball sailed between his arms.
“It looked like that ball knuckled on him, I’m not sure,” Mattingly said.
“It moved a little bit,” Kemp confirmed, but he wasn’t going to make any excuses. “Should have been caught. Just got to get it next time.”
Wigginton scored on Jose Morales’ sacrifice fly for the first run of the game for the 1-0 lead, the first time the Dodger had trailed since losing Saturday night’s game to the Florida Marlins.
Seth Smith led off the third inning with a double and scored on Carlos Gonzalez’s sacrifice fly. Todd Helton didn’t wait for any sacrifices or small-ball tactics in the fourth inning hitting a solo homer that just cleared the right field box seats.
“Yeah, that home run wasn’t really the best pitch to a great hitter,” Garland admitted. “You tip your cap to them.”
Making his Major League debut was relief pitcher Josh Lindblom in the seventh inning. Brought up on May 29 when Kenley Jansen was placed on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation, Lindblom got into some trouble giving up back-to-back singles to lead off the inning.
“The four-day layoff got to me a little bit,” Lindblom admitted.
After Jimenez laid down a sacrifice bunt, first baseman James Loney had Lindblom’s back making two remarkable plays: cutting down Morales at the plate on Smith’s grounder and a diving stop of Jonathan Herrera’s sinking line drive tagging first base in the process.
“James is a great defender over there at first,” Lindblom remarked. “Going out there and being able to trust infielders to make plays is great.”
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