A little over two weeks ago, Andrew Friedman sent a memo to the entire Dodger’s organization. The memo was a simple request…..lose. The Dodgers with a huge lead in the National League west are under orders from the front office to simply put, stop trying. It is a straight forward thought process. The Dodgers have such a huge lead so the management team doesn’t consider any of these games important enough to risk injury. Just go through the motions, don’t get hurt and forget about the results. The Dodgers received the note loud and clear, dropping their second straight home game on Saturday night to the Padres by a 3-1 score. This is the first time they’ve dropped consecutive home games since April.
Once again the Dodger bats disappeared. Per the front office’s request, the hitters have stopped bothering to have competitive plate approaches. The Dodger offense scored just one run and tallied only six hits off of Chris Paddack and the San Diego bullpen. The Dodgers left seven runners on base.
You can’t blame this loss on starting pitcher Kenta Maeda. The Japanese right hander pitched well. Maeda shut the Padre’s lineup down over the first six frames with the score tied at zero until the top of the seventh inning. The Padres hit two home runs in the seventh and eighth innings to jump out to a 3-0 lead and essentially end the game. Hunter Renfroe smashed his 27th home run of the season, a solo shot over the center field wall to break the scoreless tie in the top of the seventh inning. Then in the following frame after a Josh Naylor single, Manuel Margot hit a two-run home run over the left field wall to give the Friars a 3-0 lead. Maeda tossed 7.2 innings allowing three earned runs on four hits and struck out six. The loss drops his record to 7-5. He deserved a better fate.
Padres 3 4 1
Dodgers 1 6 1
The Dodgers are heads and tails a better club than the mediocre Padres. So losing consecutive home games to San Diego, especially when the Dodgers haven’t lost consecutive home games since April just means that the hitters didn’t try hard enough. Paddack, the San Diego starter pitched 5.2 shutout innings allowing just three hits and striking out six with only one free pass.
The lone Dodger run scored in the bottom of the eighth when Alex Verdugo doubled, and scored on an errant throw from Manny Machado on a Justin Turner dribbler to third. That was the only Dodger scoring opportunity of the night, except when they loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth. Matt Beaty doubled, Chris Taylor walked and Russell Martin’s flare single to right loaded the bases. Unfortunately there is no sense of urgency for the Dodgers right now. Basically these games have little importance to them. In that fifth inning Maeda struck out and Joc Pederson grounded out and the Dodgers didn’t score. They would lose 3-1.
Let’s not get too critical of the boys in blue here. They have the best record in baseball and they have had an incredibly great season. Yet let’s not forget that these games still count and the Dodgers have won just one series over the last two plus weeks. There are still over 70 games left in the regular season and all of them are important. There is one game left before the all-star break and losing three of four to the Padres at home is embarrassing. Memo to Dodgers, win one and split this series before the break to save face. Enjoy your vacation but remember you have a long road trip after the all-star break that starts with a series in Boston. Nothing is clinched yet and there is still work left to do. Stop mailing these games in. Ross Stripling will start on Sunday in the first half finale.