The Dodgers dropped the series opener to the Washington Nationals on Monday evening by a 4-2 score. Southpaw veteran Gio Gonzalez shutdown the Dodger’s makeshift lineup and the Dodgers lose a half game in the standings to the idle Rockies. The boys in blue are now 35-24 one game behind Colorado in the NL West.
My main beef is not that the Dodgers lost, they’re not going to win every game. My problem was that they didn’t put their best players in the lineup. Once again the backups and utility players were in the lineup as Yasmani Grandal, Adrian Gonzalez, and Cody Bellinger all sat for no apparent reason. Kike Hernandez played first base for the first time in his professional career, and Brett Eibner played in center field batting eighth. Did the Dodgers really believe that this lineup would be able to score more than two runs against Gio Gonzalez and the Nationals?
Nationals 4 7 0
Dodgers 2 6 1
I don’t know, but there was no reason to not play three of your best offensive weapons at the same time. It seems like the Dodgers think they have to constantly outsmart their opponent by shuffling the lineup every other day. It usually doesn’t work, especially when you have Kike Hernandez batting fifth, or Eibner playing center field. Franklin Gutierrez batted cleanup because why wouldn’t you want your gimpy fifth outfielder batting cleanup against a premier left hander?
The Dodgers managed just two runs on six hits and were 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position. They left seven men on base and three of their six hits (Taylor, Seager, Bellnger) were doubles. The Dodgers only real threat came in the bottom of the sixth when they plated their two runs. Logan Forsythe started the frame with a walk, and Corey Seager singled him to third. Then Chris Taylor’s double scored Forsythe and put runners on second and third with nobody out. The gimpy Franklin Gutierrez’s grounder scored Seager to cut the Washington lead to 4-2. Kike and Barnes grounded out to end the inning.
The Dodgers did get a lead-off double from Seager in the bottom of the eighth, but of course they wasted it. Taylor and Gutierrez both whiffed and Kike grounded out. The Dodgers had the tying run at the plate with two outs in the bottom of the ninth after Bellinger doubled, but Grandal (who came into the game as a pinch-hitter) struck out. Gio Gonzalez tossed six innings allowing two earned runs on four hits and struck out five to earn the victory.
On the pitching side left hander Hyun-jin Ryu turned in yet another lackluster performance. He allowed four earned runs on seven hits and struck out four. On the bright side he did pitch seven innings and didn’t walk anyone. Still he was lousy. He gave up a second inning home run to Anthony Rendon and then two more runs in the top of the fourth. In that inning Ryan Zimmerman singled and was erased at second base on a Daniel Murphy force out due to a botched double play. Then Rendon doubled and Matt Wieter’s two-run single brought in two. The Nationals added one more in the fifth on a Trea Turner single, a wild pitch, and a Bryce Harper ground ball run scoring single.
On another note, the Dodgers seem to be getting irritated with Kenta Maeda’s horrendous pitching and it doesn’t appear that he’s going to make his next start. No word on whether this is injury related or lousy pitching related. Probably both. On the bright side Justin Turner is going to be activated from the disabled list this weekend. Sorry Brett Eibner but the pink slip tolls for thee. At least Tommy is feeling better.