Dodgers Week of Hell Continues
The Dodgers were ready to put their week from hell behind them, their semaine d'enfer, that saw them get shutout in five of six games before finally salvaging a win in a blooper-reel affair Sunday night against the Mets. But in their 4-2 loss to the Cincinnati Reds, la semaine is starting to turn into Une saison en enfer.
Je parvins à faire s'évanouir dans mon esprit toute l'espérance humaine. Sur toute joie pour l'étrangler j'ai fait le bond sourd de la bête féroce.
"It's always discouraging when you lose," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said.
Even more so when they had gotten off to the a 2-0 lead on Reds starter Homer Bailey. Notable was Jerry Hairston, Jr.'s solo homer in the first inning, the first Dodger homerun in 345 plate appearances that encompassed nine full games as noted by Eric Stephen of True Blue LA.
Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley looked to be at his best early on in the game, two singles by Zack Cozart the only blemish to his first three innings. Then he faced a little adversity in the fourth inning, a passed ball to Miguel Cairo with two outs sending runners to second and third. After Cairo fought off a couple of pitches, Billingsley got Cairo to look at a third strike to end the inning.
Battle tested, everything seemed to be return to status quo in the fifth inning getting two quick outs. Then Billingsley's 89 mph fastball slipped out of his hand and hit Zack Cozart in the back of the head. Cozart immediately hit the deck finally getting up with Reds trainers attending to him. He left the field on his own power to the ovation of the 34,493 in the stands. Cozart was diagnosed with a mild concussion and will be re-evaluated on Tuesday.
Billingsley refocused and got Drew Stubbs to hit back to the box quickly to get the final out, but the hit batter seemed to linger into the sixth inning.
Mattingly wasn't sure if the hit batter threw Billingsley off of his game. "I felt like it seemed after that he didn't seem the same. He was rolling pretty good and aggressive. I felt like it shook him up a little bit."
Billingsley denied it affected him answering the question with a terse, "No."
Regardless the Reds led off the sixth with a double and two singles to score a run. Then just as Billingsley was a strike away from putting out catcher Devin Mesoraco to end the scoring threat, Mesoraco grounded a double down the first baseline that cleared the bases giving the Reds the 3-2 lead. Hindsight being 20/20, Mattingly gave no thought to walking Mesoraco to get to the pitcher Bailey.
To cap things off, the Reds scored two more runs off of reliever Todd Coffey in the eighth inning and three more in the ninth off Jamey Wright (which was also aided by his throwing error.)
But at least Billingsley has a three-game hitting streak, so that's something for this offensively challenged team.
Roster Move Before batting practice the Dodgers officially announced starting pitcher Ted Lilly was going to the 60-day disabled list to make room for infielder Luis Cruz on the 40-man roster who was brought up from Triple-A Albquerque with right-handed pitcher Shawn Tolleson being sent back down to Albuquerque. Cruz up, Tolleson down, Lilly on the 60-day disabled list to summarize.
Right as reporters were heading to the clubhouse for media availability, the Dodger lineup was sent out with shortstop Dee Gordon notably absent and Cruz batting eighth in the shortstop position. Having noticed that Gordon was having his leg looked on in Sunday night's game and with the way things are going for the Dodgers this season, the hamstring alarm was on high alert.
"I'm good," Gordon assured all of us in the clubhouse. "Just a day off, I promise you."
Gordon did admit that he was experiencing some cramping in his left leg the past few days and pointed out the "hydration units" that were left in his locker. Manager Don Mattingly admitted that cramping notwithstanding he had wanted to give Gordon a day off or two.
"He could play tonight if he really had to," Mattingly said.
Gordon had to. He came into the game in the eighth inning as part of a double-switch that brought in Jamey Wright to get the final out. Gordon flew out to left field in his only at-bat of teh game.
For Cruz's part, in his first plate appearance with runners on the corrners with one out he hit a scoring fly ball to left-centerfield that scored Loney for the Dodgers 2-0 lead.
Another Injury Adam Kennedy replaced Juan Uribe at third base heading into the sixth inning. Uribe suffered a sprain in his right ankle and is listed as day-to-day. He apparently injured his ankle when trying to run back to second base in the second inning on Scott Van Slyke's single that would have loaded the bases.
Nuit en enfer With the Giants idle, the Dodgers fell to 1 1/2 games behind in the division. The Dodgers have now lost 12 of their last 14 games and are scuffling at the plate batting .177 in the last 15 days. The question remains whether the Dodgers can survive the six remaining games until the All Star Break when they hope to get Mark Ellis, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier back into the lineup.