The Big Blue Steamroller needs a tune up folks – maybe even an overhaul. It’s the final month of the season, and the Dodgers look tired and lost. Lost on the mound and tired at the plate.
Sure, there are some bright spots. Yasiel Puig is still earning a Gold Glove and he hasn’t succumbed to the team batting slump like everyone else. The bullpen has seen Tony Cingrani steady himself, and Adrian Gonzalez is hitting with increased frequency. Justin Turner, Chris Taylor and Cody Bellinger are showing signs of returning to power as well. All of that still hasn’t been able to keep the Dodgers from dropping their last three series and surrendering a third of their unbelievable division lead.
The steamroller is stuck in the mud, and I don’t have to tell you how hard it is to generate enough energy to get one of those things moving again.
In the final of a four-game series in San Diego, the once unbeatable Alex Wood (L 14-2) gave in to the demons that have plagued Dodgers starters over the past couple of weeks, and he gave up a first inning run. Then he settled down a bit before giving up two more in the fourth (2 run HR) and another (solo HR) in the fifth. Wood ended the day giving up seven hits, three walks, and those two home runs. He also struck out seven. So there’s that.
The Dodgers showed a bit more life today and battled some to keep the game within reach for a while. They took a brief 2-1 lead in the fourth behind Chris Taylor‘s solo home run (19) and a Justin Turner ground rule double that scored Curtis Granderson.
Trouble was, Wood gave those runs back on the homers, and San Diego took a 4-2 lead after five innings. The boys teased us all and got close again in the seventh behind a Cody Bellinger triple that really had no business falling for a hit, and Yasmani Grandal‘s sac fly. The Dodgers were once again within one run.
Unfortunately, Dave Roberts sent Fabio Castillo out for the seventh inning, and he was (cue Scott) “Pathetic”. Fabio gave up two singles, a wild pitch and a walk to load the bases – without recording a single out. Do you think the skipper seen enough? Was a mound visit with the young pitcher in order? Nope and nope. Nobody went out to talk to him and Fabio stayed in. What do you think happened next?
If you guessed “soul sucking disaster”, you win. Castillo gave up a two run hit to make the score 6-3 and bury the Dodgers hopes for the day. By the way, they decided to pull Castillo after the iceberg had already struck the ship.
The Dodgers teased once again in the ninth (which I should admit is a good sign). Cody Bellinger hit a solo home run to overtake that Dodgers traitor, Mike Piazza, as the LA Dodger rookie with the most home runs in a season.
That closed the gap to two runs, and with two out, Yasiel Puig hustled out an infield single. Austin Barnes was the tying run and the Dodgers last hope. He weakly flied out.
I’m glad to see Bellinger rack up a personal best and shove the traitor off the Dodgers’ record books, but I sure would have appreciated a win in a game started by someone not named Kershaw.
Next up, the sputtering Dodgers face the red-hot Arizona D-backs at Chavez Ravine. Now things are getting interesting.