Dodgers show signs of life before slipping back into a coma

If you were among those who showed up ‘fashionably late’ to Dodger Stadium on Friday night, you missed out on two things. First, you missed out on receiving a Cody Bellinger bobblehead given away to the first 40,000 fans in attendance of the eventual sellout crowd of 53,632; and second, you missed seeing the first signs of life from a Dodgers team that has scored a grand total of 28 runs over their last 13 games when they scored four runs in the bottom of the first inning of Friday night’s contest against the Colorado Rockies.

But just as quickly as the Dodgers appeared to have awakened from their coma, they slipped right back into it when they failed to score again on the night, this in spite of putting at lease one runner on base in every inning but the last. Unfortunately for the frustrated Dodgers and even more so for their frustrated fans, the Dodgers stranded 10 of those runners and went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position in the eventual 5-4 loss – their seventh straight and their 13th of their last 14 games.

“When we’re at our best as an offense, we’re aggressive in the strike zone, and balls that are out of the zone we’re taking and we’re taking walks,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “We’re not walking as much as we normally do when we’re good. When you’re getting pitches out of the strike zone and getting traffic [on base], you have a better chance to score runs.”

The Dodgers were neither at their best and were not good on Friday night. Of the six free passes that they received, only one scored.

There weren’t many, but one of the highlights of Friday night’s game against the Colorado Rockies was Justin Turner‘s first inning two-run home run to give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead. It was Turner’s 19th home run of the season. (Photo credit – Ron Cervenka)

In spite of their on-going offensive struggles. there were a few shining moments on Friday night. There was the return of reigning 2016 National League Rookie of the Year Corey Seager to the Dodgers starting lineup after having missed 10 games due to left elbow stiffness. There were also the four runs that the Dodgers put up in their half of the first inning, something they haven’t done in a game since June 30 against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. And then there was the outstanding pitching from recently acquired right-hander Yu Darvish … for the first four innings, that is.

After giving up a two-out home run to always-dangerous Rockies right fielder Carlos Gonzalez in the top half of the first inning, Darvish would strike out six of the next 17 batters he would face. In fact, when he struck CarGo in the fourth inning, it was the 1,000th strikeout of his brilliant five-year MLB career to become only the 501st pitcher to reach this milestone and the fastest in MLB history to do so. But then the proverbial wheels fell off for the 31-year-old Habikino, Japan native.

With one out in the top half of the fifth inning, Darvish gave up a double, a walk and four more doubles (that’s not a typo), and just like that the Rockies had turned a 4-1 deficit into a 5-4 lead and eventual final score.

“We want to win and I wanted to go deep in the game. Those are the goals I had today,” Darvish told reporters through an interpreter. “A couple guys came in and congratulated me [on reaching 1,000 strikeouts], and that was great, but that wasn’t my goal today.

“Those last couple of outings when I was pitching, I was constantly thinking about my mechanics,” Darvish added. “Tonight it wasn’t about mechanics, I was just getting behind in the count.”

Darvish was brilliant on Friday night … until the fifth inning.
(Photo credit – Ron Cervenka)

The bright side to this otherwise dismal game is that the Dodgers bullpen did not allow another Rockies run. Messrs. Tony Watson, Pedro Baez, Tony Cingrani, Ross Stripling and Josh Fields pitched a combined 4.2 shutout innings while allowing only one hit (by Stripling) with eight strikeouts and only two walks. It was the kind of relief work reminiscent of that which helped the team during their MLB record-tying 43-7 run earlier in the season. Unfortunately, it was a matter of too little – too late.

…especially with an offense that is once again comatose.

 

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3 Responses to “Dodgers show signs of life before slipping back into a coma”

  1. Truebluewill says:

    I was encouraged by Baez’s outing. After he walked the lead off batter I as expecting a 2 run HR to follow. It was good to see him strikeout the side. Maybe tonight will be the night we breakout of this malaise.

  2. oldbrooklynfan says:

    You didn’t mention that the Dback finally showed they were human and lost. I felt like celebrating when the magic number fell to 12.

  3. CruzinBlue says:

    Where is Pedro Cerrano when we need him most?

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