It Was So Ugly At Dodger Stadium...
"Let's go Skip! Let's go Skip," went the chants at Dodger Stadium in the top of the ninth inning which should tell you about all you need to know about the Dodgers 12-2 loss to the Colorado Rockies Monday night.
To prevent their bullpen from being completely depleted through the next couple of days, the Dodgers resorted to using position player Skip Schumaker to pitch the ninth inning.
"That game could have been a game that not only blew it up tonight but hurt you over the next couple of days," manager Don Mattingly said. "We were able to survive not having to use Kenley [Jansen], [Ronald] Belisario or Brandon [League] in that game. We have those guys available and should have most everybody out there available tomorrow."
Armed with what looked to be an 89 mph fastball, 83 mph changeup and 75 mph breaking ball, Schumaker made 25 pitches in the ninth inning giving up two hits and a walk to load the bases before getting shortstop Jonathan Herrera to ground out to first to end the inning.
There was nothing pretty about this game. Dexter Fowler led off the game with a solo homer off of Dodgers starter Ted Lilly. A single, a double and a homer by Willin Rosario later, the game was already out of hand 4-0. And no out had been made. Evidently the Rockies didn't need Troy Tulowitzki who was out of the lineup with a shoulder strain.
It took Lilly 10 minutes to record the first out, a fly out to centerfield by Michael Cuddyer. And it didn't get better.
Lilly loaded the bases in the second and third innings with an unearned run coming in to score in the third inning for the 5-0 Rockies lead. The error was actually Lilly's own, a comebacker by Orange County native Nolan Arenado in his second big league game that glanced off Lilly's glove and towards shortstop.
After three innings it was clear that Lilly wasn't healthy. It turned out his back was acting up again.
"I felt it a little bit in the first inning," Lilly admitted. "It just got progressively a little worse."
Lilly will have an MRI on Tuesday putting his next start in San Francisco on Saturday in doubt.
But just as bad as Lilly was, there was Josh Wall.
Wall entered the game with a 12.60 ERA. And just to tell you how bad his two innings of works were, he flirted with a 20 ERA in the fifth innning. He loaded the bases in both innings and was on the hook for seven runs including five in the fourth inning. All the while there was no one warming up in the bullpen.
It was clear: Wall was the sacrificial lamb.
"Josh, he really sucked it up for us tonight," Mattingly admitted. Even though Wall stunk it up, he earned Mattingly's respect in this outing.
"There is something to him taking the ball again in the next inning. He could have very easily said, 'Hey I can't go again.'"
But Wall knew what his assignment was.
"If I could save someone from having to throw down in the bullpen, that was my job," Wall said. "I just wasn't good at all. That's basically the way it was."
Wall was sitting at his locker starting into space looking dejected. A lot of players would not want to face the questions from the media and try to hide. I will give Wall that much credit.
However the 18.00 ERA is another thing.
"He took a beating, that's for sure," Mattingly said. "He's going to be fine if he just continues to improve. But he has to put this one behind him like Ted Lilly or a guy who goes 0-for-5."
As for the Dodger offense, well they did score two unearned runs against Rockies reliever Adam Ottovino in the seventh inning to make the score relatively respectable, relative to 12-0 that is.
But they had no answer for Rockies starter Tyler Chatwood who struck out five in his six innings of work.
A scary moment came in the fourth inning when a fastball got away from Chatwood and bounced off of Kemp's shoulder and towards his nose dropping Kemp to the ground. After having his nose looked at by the trainers, Kemp remained in the game.
Meanwhile the Inland Empire native and former Angel Chatwood looked happy to be in the National League going 3-for-4 with three singles and two runs batted in.
And now a sliver of good news for the Dodgers. Hanley Ramirez was reinstated from the disabled list. Before the game it was clear that he was itching to get back on the team.
"I want to be here," Ramirez said. "I don't want to wait any longer."
Ramirez completed two rehab games in Class-A Rancho Cucamonga over the weekend where he went 3-for-6 with three RBI and a sacrifice fly. He also recorded six assists and two putouts while turning three double plays.
Of course with the good news comes the bad news as seems to be the modus operandi for the Dodgers this season. The bad news wasn't Ramirez's strikeout as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning.
Clayton Kershaw was placed on the bereavement list which requires him to miss at least three games but no more than seven. After his superb 12-strikeout outing on Sunday, Kershaw left the Stadium before talking to the media citing personal reasons.
So this was one to forget for the Dodgers. Perhaps Psy being the "Gentleman" can cleanse the palette tomorrow for the Dodgers.