The apologists should be out in full force on this one. Oh the excuses they will make. They’ll say that it’s early and to be patient. They’ll ask you to tip your cap to Clayton Richard (Clayton Richard!!!) because he pitched a great game. They’ll tell you that the Dodgers just had an off night or whatever. Use your best judgment here and read between the lines because what we witnessed in Tuesday night’s pathetic 4-0 loss to the Padres was a repeat of the problems from the 2016 season. Let’s review those problems.
Padres 4 11 0
Dodgers 0 5 1
Problem 1- Non Clayton Kershaw starting pitcher gives up early runs and can’t pitch past the fifth inning….CHECK.
Dodger starter Kenta Maeda turned in a very 2016 performance allowing three earned runs on six hits across 5 innings. He walked two and struck out four. Maeda did not look sharp as he allowed two runs in the first inning putting the Dodgers in an early hole we all knew they would not come out of. The annoying part of it was a lead-off walk to Travis Jankowski started the San Diego scoring rally. And Maeda had Jankowski down 0-2. After a fly out, Wil Myers bloop single and Yangervis Solarte’s single up the middle brought in the first run of the game. Ryan Schimpf’s sacrifice pop fly to Corey Seager scored the second run.
Solarte stuck it to the Dodgers again in the third inning. His solo home run put the Padres up by a 3-0 score. He was 2 for 4 with two runs batted in and the home run. The Padres added one more in the top of the eighth off of Ross Stripling.
Problem 2- The all righty lineup does nothing for the entire contest. The Dodger’s “lefty killing lineup” and I use that in air quotes mustered 5 hits and 2 walks on Tuesday night. The Dodgers grounded into four double plays. Four! There was not a time throughout the entire game where I felt the Dodgers had a look at the game. I would love to know what possessed the Dodgers to bat Franklin Gutierrez cleanup. Of course the day after Joc Pederson crushed a grand slam home run, he is benched in favor of Enrique Hernandez also known as Kike.
It’s one thing to lose, but the way the Dodgers lose these games is utterly infuriating. I can handle the losing, but I can’t handle the club not putting out their best lineup because they think part time utility players are better at hitting then the regulars. Look I understand that you can’t put the loss squarely on Kike or Gutierrez. There were seven other hitters in the lineup that didn’t hit. But maybe, just maybe if the Dodgers put their best hitters on the field they would have a better chance of winning. It’s just common sense. Because we all know that Joc and Andrew Toles are better hitters than Kike and Gutierrez. I don’t care what the “numbers” say. In case you were wondering Kike hit .189 against southpaws in 2016. At least he wasn’t batting lead-off.
For Clayton Richard this has to be a huge confidence boost for him. He actually pitched a shutout against the Dodgers back in 2010 when the Dodgers were running out James Loney and Jamey Carroll. Richard tossed eight innings and allowed just 5 hits 2 walks and struck out 5 to go along with all the worms he was killing all night. For the record I think that Carroll and Loney might have done a better job than these Dodgers did tonight. Richard recorded 12 ground ball outs. The Dodger’s plate approaches looked listless and mechanical. This is why the Dodgers did not get to the World Series last year. Those that do not learn from their mistakes are doomed to repeat them.
The series is now tied and we head to game three on Wednesday night. Remember this is the first game on KTLA 5. Curveball master Rich Hill will battle Trevor Cahill at 7:10 PM. Cahill is a right hander, so we’ll probably see a normal lineup. Well at least we got to listen to Vin’s beautiful voi…..oh wait….damn. At least Puig did this…..