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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Dodgers Lose Fourth Straight, Waste Kershaw's Best Career Outing: Cardinals 3, Dodgers 2 (15 Innings)

Blaming Jeff Weaver or even Jonathan Broxton for this loss really misses the point: the offense failed here, just as they failed yesterday and the day before and the day before. The Dodgers, oddly enough for a team with such a huge lead in their own division, are in the bottom half of the league in runs scored this month. That'll happen, but the temptation to blame your faults on the pitching (because they're the guys who get assigned wins and losses) is awfully strong. Colby Rasmus' broken-bat blooper in the ninth that tied the game — well, yes, that was the important thing that happened in a sloppy outing by Jonathan Broxton that included a wild pitch in Rasmus' at-bat, allowing Ryan Ludwick to advance to second. Similar comments could be aimed at Ramon Troncoso in the 10th, but I do wonder whether allowing him to bat for himself didn't screw him up somehow. (Incidentally, why does Troncoso not also get a blown save for giving up the tying run? Baseball rules are so bizarre.)

The Dodgers stranded 15 men, which gives you some idea of how badly the offense is operating at the moment, Clayton Kershaw, who has reason to be upset, went eight innings in what is almost certainly the best game of his career. There's no question about what he's becoming, and if the offense can kick back into gear again, this is a team that will be presently back to tearing the league up.

Also wasted: a highlight-reel catch by Manny Ramirez in the seventh to end the inning and rob Brendan Ryan of a possible homer; the stadium scoreboard operator was sufficiently fooled by the closeness of the thing that they actually fired off the home run fireworks before somebody realized Manny had caught it, dreds flying, against the left field fence.

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Agreed. The offense has been anemic during this stretch. The four double-plays the other day had me screaming at the TV.

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