Scoreless in Los Angeles
With a 5-0 loss to Johan Santana and the New York Mets, the Dodgers have now been shutout in five of their last six games and scored in only one inning of their last 57 innings. This is an offensive futility of dead-ball era proportions.
"I don't have a lot of answers," Dodger manager Don Mattingly conceded after the game. "We're going to keep going. It's some really tough days right now, obviously. But at the end of the day you've got to recover and you've to come back. That's really where we're at."
That's what Mattingly has to say, the optimism he's been spouting throughout this homestand. The lighthouses, the light at the end of the tunnel and what not. Mattingly noted that they haven't lost ground to the first place San Francisco Giants, still trailing by one game.
Despite the abyss the Dodgers find themselves in, the players haven't shown it getting to them at least to the media. They even carried on with the scheduled picture day before the game, taking pictures with the fans in the outfield before the game.
Mattingly did acknowledge breaking the small habits when in a rut admitting that he parked his car head-in instead of backing into his parking space. But he also touched on the reality of the situation.
"No matter what you say, you've got to play. It really gets down to fundamentally can we move runners, get guys on base, give ourselves a chance to drive in runs, make pitches, execute. It's really getting back to the same stuff.
"We can do all the stuff around it, but you get right down to it we've got to play good enough to win the game."
Getting one hit in the first seven innings against Johan Santana is not good enough. The hit belonged to Dee Gordon who hit Santana's third pitch of the game into shallow right field for a single.
Gordon stole his 25th base as Jerry Hairston took a 2-0 pitch for a strike, but Hairston grounded back to the box and Juan Rivera grounded to second to end the threat. Between then and the eighth inning, there were only two walks.
It's just not going to cut it. Mattingly acknowledged that merely than relying on hope, the Dodgers need contributions from everyone right away.
"We're going to have to get contributions from everybody," Mattingly said. "I know we talk about guys we're going to get back, and that's our hope and that's our thought of looking forward. But at the end of the day a lot of guys that are in this room are going to have to give us contributions for us to be a successful team."
Minutes after the Dodgers first inning threat subsided, Ike Davis led off the second inning with a double. At 4:44 p.m. Davis came home on Daniel Murphy's sacrifice fly to give the Mets the 1-0 lead.
Dodger starter Nathan Eovaldi tried his best to keep the Dodgers in the game, but his fastball in the sixth inning to Davis that landed in the right-centerfield seats for a three-run homer effectively sealed the game shut.
"The Ike Davis home run was a back breaker," catcher A.J. Ellis admitted. "That's when you do start getting feelings when it's 5-0. 1-0 or 2-0, you still know you have a shot. A basehit and a home run and you're back in it."
Half a century ago, Sandy Koufax tossed the first of his four no-hitters — a 5-0 shutout of the Mets coincidentally enough. As great as Koufax was, he actually had the offense to back him up with five runs.
After the game and a day after Mormon night, several hundred fans stuck around to hear Ellis, Josh Lindblom and Clayton Kershaw testify to their faith. Perhaps the Protestants can pray the offense back into the Dodgers.