The Dodgers offensive struggles continued for two games against the Philadelphia Phillies, but the series ended with a bang as Matt Kemp slugged a walk-off homerun in the 12th inning Wednesday, ending the Blue Crew’s four-game losing streak. After losing the first two games of the series 3-2, Wednesday’s game was a joy to watch. The game featured a classic pitching duel between Clayton Kershaw and Cliff Lee, followed by a Dodgers comeback in the 1oth, and Kemp’s walk-off in the 12th.
After an ugly series against San Diego, the Dodgers infield was steady. Both A.J. and Mark Ellis anchored their respective positions defensively and collected singles in all three games. Mark Ellis also walked twice and scored a run in Wednesday’s win. Shortstop Luis Cruz was also a factor in the series driving in a run Tuesday night, and smacking two doubles and scoring a run Wednesday. Cruz started all three games at short. The third base platoon provided some production with Jerry Hairston, Jr. and Adam Kennedy each hitting a double and scoring a run in their respective starts. Not surprisingly, Juan Uribe went 0-for-3 starting at third on Wednesday. James Loney went 2-for-10 with one RBI during the series.
After struggling since coming off the DL, Matt Kemp finally broke out with a walk-off 2 run home run in Wednesday’s victory. Kemp was 3-for-12 in the series, driving in three runs Wednesday afternoon. Kemp also had two outstanding defensive plays in the series, throwing out Ryan Howard at home plate Tuesday night, and just missing throwing out Shane Victorino the next day. Kemp’s walk-off should be a huge confidence boost and is hopefully a sign of big things to come. Andre Ethier went 3-for-9, getting most of Wednesday off. It was Juan Rivera who was the other standout for the Dodgers in this series. In his two starts in left field, Rivera went 3-for-7 with a solo home run and two runs scored. Bobby Abreu had a pinch hit RBI Wednesday and scored the game-tying run as well. Tony Gwynn, Jr. started in right field on Wednesday for Andre Ethier going 1-for-6.
STARTING PITCHING: A-
The Dodgers continued getting quality pitching from the expected and unexpected, as Clayton Kershaw and rookie Steven Fife delivered solid performances. Nathan Eovaldi was shaky Monday, pitching five innings and giving up three runs, including solo home runs to Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard. The game stayed close the entire time. The Dodgers called up Steven Fife from Triple-A Albuquerque to start in place of the injured Chad Billingsley. Fife was great, giving up only one run in 6.0 innings of work. He was in line for the win until Belisario fell apart in the 8th. Kershaw showed why he is the reigning Cy Young winner, pitching 8 innings, giving up only one run, while striking out 7 with no walks. Both Kershaw and Lee delivered a marquee match-up.
Much like the Padres series, the bullpen was riding highs and lows. After Eovaldi exited before the 6th inning Monday, the Dodgers got four scoreless innings from Shawn Tolleson, Scott Elbert, and Belisario. The Dodgers led 2-1 Tuesday night. Josh Lindblom pitched a scoreless 7th, and Belisario got two quick outs before completely falling apart. After walking Chase Utley, he hit Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz in consecutive at-bats, loading the bases. Kenley Jansen was called upon to get the four-out save. He threw a good pitch down and in the Hunter Pence, put Pence slapped the ball up the middle, scoring two runs and giving the Phillies the lead. Jansen recorded four straight outs after that. Jansen got into another jam Wednesday loading the bases, but escaping without allowing a run. Javy Guerra would enter before the 10th, only to record one out and allow the Phillies to take a 3-1 lead, Hunter Pence again doing the damage with a single to left. Elbert would clean up the mess. Lindblom pitched a scoreless 11th, and Jamey Wright pitched a scoreless 12th and got the Win.
The Dodgers will hit the road and head to New York to take on the Mets. The Mets are currently third in the East, and have lost all five of their games since the All Star break, and six straight overall.
Weekly GPA: 2.75
Cumulative GPA: 2.75