Also unlike last night, the Dodgers walked out of Coors Field on the losing end, as they fell to the Colorado Rockies, 8-5, on Wednesday afternoon.
After finishing the eighth inning once Clayton Kershaw was removed, Jamey Wright came back to pitch the bottom of the ninth and promptly walked Eric Young Jr. and Marco Scutaro before allowing a sacrifice to move the runners. Enter Elbert. Enter the Giambi blast.
The loss stung a little more considering the Dodgers’ efforts to stay in the game.
With runners on first and second in the eighth inning, Jerry Hairston Jr. doubled down the third base line to take a 3-2 lead. The lead, with Kershaw on the mound, seemed to be safe. However, no lead is safe in Coors Field.
Kershaw gave up three runs in the bottom of the eighth, highlighted by Carlos Gonzalez‘s go-ahead two-run shot. The homer was Gonzalez’s second of the game and third in two days. It gave the Rockies a 5-3 lead.
Once again, the Dodgers stormed back.
With two out and runners on first and second, Dee Gordon stepped to the plate to pinch-hit for Juan Rivera. Gordon laced a double into right center, driving in both runners to tie the game at five runs apiece.
Although we’ll never know the influence it had on the outcome of the game, the Dodgers fell victim to some poor umpiring in the sixth inning.
With Andre Ethier on first base, Hairston hit a grounder to third baseman Chris Nelson. After fielding the ball, Nelson fired off-target to first base, causing Todd Helton to move off the bag to field the poor throw. First base umpire Tim Welke called Hairston out despite Helton clearly standing almost two feet away from the base, ending the inning.
One Up: Dee Gordon, SS: 1-for-1, 2B, 2 RBI
You could make the argument for Jerry Hairston Jr. in this spot, but what Dee Gordon did in the ninth inning was brilliant. Gordon has fallen victim to rookie mistakes and maybe a bit of the jitters so far in 2012, but he has come up clutch more than often. Wednesday, his two-run double in the ninth tied the game and — for the moment — kept the Dodgers’ hopes alive.
One Down: Jamey Wright, RP: L, 1.0 IP, H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 2 K
Let’s get something straight here first. Being in the One Down portion of these articles does not mean the player is solely responsible for the loss or for the overall poor performance of the team. The Dodgers, as they always have, will win and lose as a team. With that being said, Jamey Wright didn’t have his best stuff on Wednesday, especially in the bottom of the ninth. Scott Elbert served up Jason Giambi’s walk-off, but Wright put it on a silver platter by walking the first two batters of the inning. Can’t have that. Just can’t.
W: Rafael Betancourt (1-0)
L: Jamey Wright (1-1)
HR: COL: Carlos Gonzalez 2 (7), Wilin Rosario (2), Jason Giambi (1)