After looking to have all the momentum in the world after sweeping the San Francisco Giants last weekend, the Dodgers completely dropped the ball, getting swept by the Arizona Diamondbacks. The D-Backs closed the gap between them and Los Angeles to 1.5 games.
The Dodgers’ new additions Shane Victorino and Brandon League both made their Dodger debuts Wednesday. It wouldn’t count for much as L.A. was two-hit by Arizona, losing the game 4-0. Here’s a look at who struggled the most.
Representative of the Dodgers’ offense in the series, the infield was relatively ineffective. Hanley Ramirez failed to collect a hit in his first home series with the Dodgers, going 0-for-10 with an RBI groundout in the series. About the only highlights offensively for the Dodgers infield were a solo home run by Mark Ellis off of Arizona starter Wade Miley on Saturday night, and Juan Rivera going 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored on Friday. Overall Rivera was 2-for-11 in the series, and the home run would be Ellis’s only hit of the series. A.J. Ellis was 1-for-7 overall and Luis Cruz, struggled as well, going only 1-for-9.
Juan Uribe came into Wednesday afternoon’s game and went 0-for-2 hearing some boos from the crowd. The Dodgers infield did play solid defense, however, including a wonderful diving catch in foul territory by A.J. Ellis in Wednesday’s game. Hanley Ramirez also took in his first playing time at shortstop with the Dodgers.
Matt Kemp was the only Dodgers player to collect a hit in each game of the series going 6-for-12 overall with an RBI double and pair of runs scored. Kemp also had an outstanding diving catch in Wednesday afternoon’s game, and has hit in 5 straight games overall. It was a rough series for Andre Ethier against the Diamondbacks, as he went only 2-for-12 in the series without an extra base hit. There was good news for the Dodgers outfield, however, as Shane Victorino was acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies before Tuesday’s trade deadline. Victorino delighted the Dodger Stadium crowd in his debut Wednesday with an awesome running catch into the wall in the 1st inning. That would be all the Flyin’ Hawaiian could do in his first game going 0-for-4. Jerry Hairston, Jr. was 0-for-6 with an RBI starting in left field the prior two nights.
Although Victorino and the Dodgers were shut out in his home debut, Victorino’s arrival adds more sizzle to the top of the lineup, where Don Mattingly has him leading off. Victorino is also a significant upgrade in left field for the Dodgers, who now have Gold Glovers in all three outfield spots. To make room for Victorino on the roster, the Dodgers designated Bobby Abreu for assignment. After striking out in his final at-bat with the Dodgers on Saturday, Abreu seemed like the natural guy to go. Abreu was a low-cost rental, as the Angels were already eating his $9 million salary for the year.
STARTING PITCHERS: D
Aaron Harang and Chris Capuano both had terrible starts Monday and Tuesday, surrendering multiple home runs, yielding large leads, and failing to keep the Dodgers in the game. Stephen Fife was inefficient, but okay on Wednesday, surrendering two runs in 4 1/3 innings of work, but the Dodgers were 2-hit by the Diamondbacks. All three starters took the loss. Harang had been the Dodgers’ best pitcher in the month of July, but that all came to an end on Monday. The D-Backs teed off on Harang for nine hits and seven earned runs in only 5.0 innings, including a three-homer by Paul Goldschmidt and a grand slam from Chris Johnson, easily, Harang’s worst outing of the season. Chris Capuano was slightly better, but like Harang, was the victim of the long ball. Capuano gave up a two-run bomb to Goldschmidt and a three-run blast to Miguel Montero. Capuano surrendered five runs in 6.0 innings of work, striking out three and walking three. Capuano has given up 11 earned runs in his last 10 1/3 innings of work. Fife held the D-Backs to only two runs on Wednesday afternoon, but was inefficient throwing 74 pitches and getting outdueled by Arizona rookie Patrick Corbin who pitched 6.0 scoreless innings.
Overall, it was a fairly effective series for the Dodgers bullpen. Josh Lindblom, Shawn Tolleson, Javy Guerra, Jamey Wright, and Randy Choate combined for four scoreless innings after Aaron Harang‘s meltdown Monday. Tolleson pitched another 1 2/3 scoreless innings Tuesday, and Guerra pitched another 2 2/3 scoreless innings Wednesday. Kenley Jansen pitched a scoreless ninth Wednesday afternoon, as well. Jamey Wright and Ronald Belisario gave up three runs in the ninth on Tuesday night. Brandon League made his Dodgers debut Wednesday afternnon, giving up a hit and getting an out, before that runner came around to score on Miguel Montero‘s homer off of Choate. Choate had pitched three scoreless innings in four appearances since coming over from the Marlins.
The Dodgers have a three-game set with the Chicago Cubs coming up next. The Cubs traded away their two best pitchers and catcher Geovany Soto at the trade deadline.
Weekly GPA: 1.75
Cumulative GPA: 2.75