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Dodgers Punchless in 12-2 Loss against Rockies

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Bad pitching, bad offense, bad defense. The punchless Dodgers were demoralized 12-2 against Colorado Rockies’ starter Jhoulys Chacin and slugging shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.

Tulowitzki’s two-run homers in the first and fifth innings put him in the company of Albert Belle from 1995 and Barry Bonds in 2001 as the third player in the modern era to hit 14 home runs in the span of 15 games according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Sandwiched in between those homers in the third inning, Tulowitzki scored on Melvin Mora’s single after hitting a two-out double off of John Ely (L, 4-8) fizzling out the return of Ely-Mania to Dodger Stadium since he was sent down to Triple-A Albuquerque on July 11.

“Today it was just a very defensive approach [by Ely,]” manager Joe Torre said. “He pitched to Carlos Gonzalez, I hate to say it, like the pitcher was the next hitter. Unfortunately it wasn’t the pitcher. It was Tulowitzki. He has to get back to that aggressive guy.”

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Ely didn’t think the problem was with his aggression.

“It came down to today not being able to get the off-speed over for strikes,” Ely said. “Basically I had two similar pitches that were in the zone. Especially against a team like this that’s hot right now and swinging the bats real well, it’s not going to cut it.”

And just to add to the Wagnerian theatricality to the afternoon, Jeff Weaver pitching in the eighth inning after giving up an RBI single to Eric Young loaded the bases to set the stage for Tulowitzki with one out to do what he may. But Weaver got Tulowitzki to pop up in foul territory to first baseman James Loney. Crisis averted, right?

Well if by an averted crisis you mean a run-scoring walk to Todd Helton and a grand slam to Melvin Mora, then you would be absolutely correct.

Chacin (W, 9-9), while not stopping the Dodgers from getting on base in his eight innings of work giving up nine hits, he certainly made the Dodgers work for every base runner by not allowing a walk.

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The only time the Dodgers had a real scoring threat was in the fifth inning when singles by AJ Ellis, Trent Oeltjen and Jamey Carroll loaded the bases. Ryan Theriot then hit into an inning ending double play, scoring opportunity be gone.

The only real bright spot on offense for the Dodgers has been Ellis who went 3-for-3 with a walk and 6-for-7 over the last two games.

“I’m just really trying to keep on improving,” Ellis said. “I’ve been doing a lot of work with Donnie [Mattingly] and Jeff Pentland [hitting instructor] down in the cage. We were able to find a repeatable swing which is the key.

Despite the offensive kudos, Ellis was subdued by the pitching performance.

“As happy as I am offensively the last two days, I’m just as disappointed the outcome and the way we’ve pitched the last two days,” Ellis continued. “I take responsibility for that. That’s my job as a catcher is to get pitchers through tough spots and through tough innings. I haven’t done a good job of that the last two days.”