Another weekend, another Dodgers series loss, this time to the NL best St. Louis Cardinals. After a 7-0 walkover by the Cardinals on Friday night, the Dodgers competed in the next two games of the series. Adrian Gonzalez led the Dodgers’ offense with home runs in Saturday’s 5-3 win and Sunday’s 5-3 loss, while Ted Lilly made his return to the starting rotation. On the bright side, it wasn’t the bullpen’s fault that the Dodgers lost some games.
Adrian Gonzalez continued to carry the Dodgers’ offense on his back. A-Gon went 5-10 with two home runs, six RBI, a double, and two runs scored. Adrian also had three walks and did not strike out in the series. Gonzalez has a rock-solid line of .321/.381/.872, and his 36 RBI are the fourth most in the NL. I
t was a struggle for most of the rest of the Dodgers’ infield as A.J. Ellis went 0-9 striking out seven times with only walk. Ellis’s batting average has fallen from .287 to .259 over the past week. Mark Ellis came up with an RBI double and scored a run in Saturday night’s win, but went 0-10 the rest of the series. He did have some nifty plays on defense, though.
Dee Gordon actually broke out of a 0-25 slump in the series, but, that’s not saying much. Dee went 2-9, both singles, and his average now sits at .175. With Hanley Ramirez due back in the next couple of weeks, Dee could very well find himself back in Albuquerque soon.
One of the few other bright spots for the Dodgers this weekend was third base. Juan Uribe actually hit safely in every game of the series. Uribe went 3-6 with a double in each game of the series. He had a pinch-hit RBI double in Saturday night’s win. Nick Punto went 3-4 with a double and two runs scored starting at third and leading off for the Dodgers Saturday night.
Carl Crawford continued his solid hitting going 4-10 with a pair of runs scored in the series. Crawford double twice in Sunday’s 5-3 loss.
Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier continued to be missing in action. Kemp found himself taken out of Saturday night’s game on a double switch and was benched on Sunday. The day off couldn’t have hurt since he was 0-6 the days before while grounding into a double-play as a pinch-hitter Sunday. Ethier fared no better as he was 1-10 in the series. The one hit? A single of course! I’ll leave it at that.
STARTING PITCHING: C
It was a mixed bag for the Dodgers starting pitching against the Cards this weekend. Chris Capuano couldn’t get it done on Friday night. Capuano pitched into the sixth inning, but he was pulled after giving up a two-run home run to David Freese. Capuano went five innings total, giving up six runs, five earned, while striking out four and walking three. Cap is now 1-3 with a 5.60 ERA on the year.
Ted Lilly rejoined the Dodgers rotation on Saturday and pitched 5 1/3 solid innings of one run ball. Lilly allowed only two hits and one walk with three strikeouts. Lilly left with a 3-1 lead, but Ronald Belisario would not be able to hold the lead and Lilly was deprived of his first win of 2013.
Clayton Kershaw pitched seven innings and gave up four runs on Sunday while striking out five and walking three. Not a bad start by a lot of pitchers’ standards, but a sub-par effort from Kershaw. Kershaw didn’t have his best stuff on Sunday, but he kept the game close. Kershaw would score a run in the fifth inning to tie the game 3-3, but Pete Kozma would lead off the seventh with a double off of Clayton. Kozma would come around to score on a Matt Carpenter single. Kershaw’s 1.68 ERA still leads all of baseball.
The Dodgers’ bullpen finally showed signs of righting the ship this weekend. Matt Guerrier, J.P. Howell, and Paco Rodriguez combined for four innings of one run ball Friday night. Howell now leads Dodgers relievers with a 2.66 ERA. Rodriguez entered Saturday night’s game after Ronald Belisario wet the bed and let the Cardinals tie the game Saturday night. This set up Kenley Jansen who had his best appearance in nearly two weeks with 1 1/3 scorless innings and all four outs he recorded were K’s.
Brandon League pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to notch his 10th save of the year, and his first in 10 days. Rodriguez also picked up his first win of the year. Belisario bounced back with a scoreless eighth inning Sunday afternoon. Guerrier and Rodriguez pitched the ninth Sunday, an allowed a run that was charged to Guerrier on a Matt Adams RBI single. Javy Guerra would come in and strike out Matt Holliday and Allen Craig to end the ninth.
The Dodgers will take on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim next in the freeway series. Zack Greinke will take the mound against C.J. Wilson tonight at Dodger Stadium. After Tuesday night’s game, the scene will shift to Anaheim for two more games. The Angels have won eight straight, albeit mostly against the Kansas City Royals and Seattle Mariners. Mike Trout is hitting .352 with eight homers and 20 RBI to go along with 8 stolen bases in the month of May.