For the first time in two months, the Dodgers lost a series.The highly anticipated matcheup with the Boston Red Sox proved to be wholly unexciting for Dodger fans after the Dodgers won Friday’s series opener 2-0, but dropped the next two games.
The Dodgers scored a grand total of five runs in the three games. All in all there wasn’t a whole lot to look at, the first two games were essentially decided on one swing of the bat, although Friday night’s game had a definite playoff feel to it.
Saturday and Sunday’s games were also essentially decided in the first inning as the Dodgers were never able to rally back in either game. Credit to the Red Sox pitching staff, however, Dustin Pedroia and company did luck out not having to face the Dodgers’ two best pitchers. Let’s take a look at what stood out.
FRIDAY, 2-0 DODGERS
A great pitchers’ duel between Ricky Nolasco and John Lackey as Nolasco had his best start since becoming a Dodger. He tossed eight shutout innings while allowing only two hits, and walking none. This matched Nolasco’s longest outing of the year, an eight inning start where he fanned 11 against…the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Ned Colletti knows what he’s doing since Nolasco has 1.20 ERA in 2 career starts against the division rivals. I digress, Lackey held his own, pitching an eight inning complete game. Lackey allowed three hits, but one of those hits was a two-run home run off the bat of Hanley Ramirez, his 13th of the year.
With Nolasco dealing and Kenley Jansen coming in for a a 1-2-3 ninth inning to notch his 22nd save of the year, that was all she wrote.
SATURDAY, 4-2 RED SOX
This was one of those games that was over before it even started. Boston scored four runs off of Hyun-Jin Ryu in the first inning. After hitting Shane Victorino with one out, Ryu gave up back-to-back singles to Pedroia and Mike Napoli. Napoli’s hit to center brought Victorino around to score the first run of the game.
Jonny Gomes came to the plate next and Ryu hung the very first pitch right over the plate that Gomes crushed it into the stands in left-center. Staked to a 4-0 lead, Jon Lester pitched seven shutout innings before leaving in the eighth, thoroughly stifling the Dodger bats.
Adrian Gonzalez drove in two in the eighth inning with a two out double off of Red Sox reliever Craig Breslow. After Breslow walked Hanley Ramirez, the Red Sox brought in closer Koji Uehara. Uehara struck out A.J. Ellis on a full-count and proceeded to record the four-out save, his 13th save of the year.
SUNDAY, 8-1 RED SOX
A game the Dodgers would like to put behind them as the Red Sox again scored in the first inning,but Chris Capuano limited the damage to one run. Overall Capuano held the Red Sox to three runs over five innings.
Adrian Gonzalez hit his 17th home run of the year off of Jake Peavy in the fourth inning, but the Sox destroyed Chris Withrow for three runs in two innings after he came on in relief of Capuano.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a two-run job off of Withrow in the sixth and Victorino hit a solo shot off of Withrow in the seventh. Just like that the game was 6-1, and for the first time in a while, a game seemed out of reach for the Dodgers.
Napoli added another home run in the ninth off Brandon League to add insult to injury. As for Peavy, he pitched a complete game, striking out five, and allowing only three hits. It was Peavy’s second complete game this season and the former San Diego ace is now 2-1 with a 3.41 ERA in five starts with Boston.
After facing one of the best teams in baseball this weekend, the Dodgers will face one of the worst teams in baseball on Monday. That’s right, Da Cubbies. The Cubs (55-75) are in last place in the NL Central, 21 games behind the Cardinals and Pirates.
Only the Marlins have a worse record than the Cubs and the North Siders are an MLB worst 6-17 in August. The Cubs just lost two of three games to the Padres down at PETCO Park, including a 15 inning 3-2 loss on Sunday. Did I mention that Zack Greinke is pitching Monday?
Don’t worry Dodgers fans, the Red Sox may have gotten the best of the Blue Crew this weekend, but this team will be more than ready to respond Monday night. Despite their record, the Cubs actually have some pretty nice young players to check out including Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo, and Junior Lake.
In case you missed it, be sure to find out more about Vin Scully’s return next season!