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Dodgers Thrown for a Looper
With all the anticipation from Tuesday night’s theatrics on the minds of the 50,276 fans at the Stadium, all they got was a lousy baseball game.
“That’s what I expected,” Torre said of the lack of drama. “I was hoping the result would be different, but as far as any repercussions from last night I didn’t expect anything.”
The result was a 4-1 loss at the hands of the Milwaukee Brewers. After an initial hiccup to start the game, Brewers starter Braden Looper confounded Dodger bats.
The sole exception was Rafael Furcal who started things off by taking a 1-0 pitch to the right field seats for his 13th lead-off homer as a Dodger. Looper then proceeded to shut down the Dodgers going 6 2/3 innings giving up only that one run on four hits and two walks while striking out four.
“After that first inning he was able to stay down and had a good splitter,” manager Joe Torre said. “He got up, got in a little trouble, but he didn’t get up all night.”
After being quiet for the next five innings, the Dodgers were finally able to get to Looper with two outs in the seventh inning. Russell Martin walked and Orlando Hudson singled sending Martin to third. Brewers manager Ken Macha put in reliever Todd Coffey to pitch to Manny Ramirez who came in to pinch hit. With the entire crowd on their feet Manny grounded out to second to end the inning while his bat slipped out of his hands and landed with a fan. The bat would be retrieved by security after some haggling.
The Brewers tied the game at one in the third inning with back-to-back singles by second baseman Felipe Lopez and shortstop Craig Counsell. After Ryan Braun lined out to rightfielder Andre Ethier, Prince Fielder would bring Lopez home with a force out at second to tie the game. To add insult to injury, Fielder stole second base when Martin’s throw went into centerfield. Craig McGehee flew out to Ethier to end the scoring threat.
In the fourth inning with the bases loaded Jason Schmidt hit Counsell with a curve ball at his right ankle giving the Brewers a 2-1 lead. Despite all that went down yesterday, everyone used their heads and realized that was not in any way intentional. James McDonald was brought in to relieve Schmidt and promptly gave up a two-RBI double to Ryan Braun giving the Brewers the 4-1 edge. Counsell was tagged out at home plate ending what could have been a big inning.
Schmidt in his 3 2/3 innings gave up all four runs on five hits and three walks with two strike outs. He could not find the strike zone, one of the points Torre made prior to the game.
“He wasn’t as sharp as last time,” Torre said. “He didn’t look like he was locating like he did in Atlanta.”
“I had a hard time getting the breaking ball over,” Schmidt said of his outing. “I don’t really have anything to mix in with the fastball so they were able to lock in on one pitch.”
Schmidt is scheduled to start again on Monday.
“We’ll go from there,” Torre said. “Last time out was good. This time wasn’t as good as last time.”
As for the fans the first 20,000 got the promotional Manny Ramirez poster. The rest of them got to boo the hell out of Fielder and watch him steal second base in the third inning. And as for the Dodgers, they get to prepare for the Atlanta Braves to come into town starting Thursday.