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Ely Shelled in Dodgers, Ausmus Loss

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It was a game that meant nothing except for the individual players’ stats and egos. With Brad Ausmus acting as manager in a longtime Joe Torre tradition of having his players be managers at the end of the season in meaningless games, Dodgers’ starter John Ely got shelled to the tune of seven runs in the Dodgers 7-5 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

After winning in the final regular season game last season, Ausmus now brings his unofficial managing record to 1-1. Despite having a better career winning percentage as a manager than Connie Mack, Ausmus isn’t ready to dive head first into managing.

“I haven’t been doing that well lately managing,” Ausmus joked. “For the immediate future I would like to spend the majority of my time at home.”

While the focus for Ely has been his walks in recent games, he started the first inning without giving up a walk. Unfortunately the first three D-Backs’ hitters that came to the plate got hits: a double by Stephen Drew and Chris Young; a single by Kelly Johnson. Just like that 2-0.

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The walks came on in the third inning, and that didn’t help things any. Young and Johnson walked, and the next thing you knew it was 5-0.

Adam LaRoche put the icing on the cake with a two-run homer in the fifth inning knocking Ely out of the game.

“It is what it is,” Ely said. “I was ahead and just left a pitch up. If I put that thing in the dirt there’s a chance he swings over the top of it.”

Despite tying his season high in runs given up, Ely was content with how he pitched giving up only three walks.

“I was more aggressive in the zone,” Ely said. “I was ahead of more guys. That’s something to build off of. I’ve just got to stay within myself.”

D-Backs’ starter Zach Kroenke fared much better in his first career Major League start. Despite coming into the game sporting a 21.60 ERA in two relief appearances (four earned runs in 1 2/3 innings,) Kroenke mowed down the Dodgers for five innings with two exceptions: Casey Blake’s single in the first inning and Matt Kemp’s solo homer in the fourth inning.

Thankfully the D-Backs’ 5.19 runs given up per game by their bullpen, the third worst in the Majors, came to help the Dodgers save some face.

In the sixth inning, Esmerling Vasquez walked Ryan Theriot and Blake and gave up a single to Andre Ethier setting the stage for Kemp to potentially hit a grand slam in consecutive games. Instead Vasquez hit Kemp with the first pitch scoring Theriot.

Carlos Rosa came in to pick up the pieces and gave up an RBI single to James Loney and sacrifice fly to pinch-hitter Rod Barajas to give the Dodgers a three-run inning before retiring the side.

Sam Demel came in the seventh inning and hit Reed Johnson, got Theriot to ground into a force out and walked Blake. While pitching to Ethier Demel’s wild pitch allowed Theriot to take third base and Blake second base. A grounder to second allowed Theriot to score.

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Rounding up Ausmus’ coaching staff was Jamey Carroll as bench coach, bullpen catcher Mike Borzello as pitching coach, Russell Martin as hitting coach and Jeff Weaver as bullpen coach.

For Saturday’s game Carroll will be the manager with Ausmus as bench coach, Borzello remaining as pitching coach and Jonathan Broxton as bullpen coach. Carroll is still undecided about a hitting coach and will consult with his bench coach.

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