Dodgers vs D’Backs Review: Heart earns Dodgers split

Things have not gone as planned for the Los Angeles Dodgers, who are 3-5 since pulling off the blockbuster trade for Adrian Gonzalez and company, however, things finally fell into place on Sunday afternoon, when Gonzalez drilled a walk-off RBI double to give the Dodgers a 5-4 win, and a split in the four-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The two teams scored only 21 runs between them, and 3-of-the-4 games were decided by one run, including Tuesday night’s 4-3 loss that went 11 innings.

The Dodgers offense was largely shut down by Arizona’s pitching staff through the first three games of the series, and while the infield overall was not spectacular, some players had big moments in the series.

A.J. Ellis was only 2-for-10 in the series, but had a pinch-hit double and scored a run in Sunday’s 5-4 win.

Mark Ellis was only 3-for-14 in the series, but drove in two of the Dodgers three runs in Friday night’s 4-3 loss.

Luis Cruz continues to find a way to get it done, and was the only Dodger to hit safely in all four games of the series, going 5-for-15 with a run scored in the series.

Hanley Ramirez appears to be snapping out of the funk he was in, hitting safely in three of the four games in the series, going 4-for-13 with a solo shot and a double in the series.

Adrian Gonzalez struggled through the entire series, until he finally broke out of his slump in his final at-bat, drilling a line drive into right field scoring Mark Ellis and Shane Victorino, and giving the Dodgers a walk-off 5-4 win. Overall Gonzalez was only 3-for-18 in the series, but two of those hits came on Sunday, and both were doubles.

Representative of the Dodgers offense, the L.A. outfield was largely shutout in the first two games of the series, before showing life in the final two.

Shane Victorino went only 3-for-15 in the series, but drove in a run and scored the game winning run on Sunday afternoon.

Matt Kemp sat out Thursday’s 2-0 defeat, returning to the lineup on Friday and finding himself in the cleanup spot instead of his usual spot in the 3-hole, as Don Mattingly is batting Adrian Gonzalez third in an attempt to separate the team’s two left-handed power bats.

Kemp went 2-for-11, but smacked his 18th home run of the season off of Arizona all-star Wade Miley on Sunday.

Andre Ethier fared better going 4-for-13 in the series, driving in a run in three of the four games including a solo homer in Saturday night’s 2-1 victory.

Juan Rivera went 0-for-5 filling in for Kemp on Thursday and pinch-hitting on Sunday.

The Dodgers starting pitchers had highs and lows in this series, and although, not totally effective, it never reached the point it did in Colorado earlier in the week.

Clayton Kershaw continued his dominant pitching on Thursday night, throwing 6.0 innings, giving up only two runs, and striking out nine. However, Kershaw would be out-dueled by Ian Kennedy, who threw 6-1/3 shutout innings of his own.

Aaron Harang kept the Blue Crew in the game on Friday night, surrendering three runs over five innings of work striking out three. Josh Beckett took the hill on Saturday night and delivered exactly what L.A. needed, hurling 6-2/3 innings of one run ball, striking out nine and walking only one, collecting his first win as a Dodger.

Chris Capuano continued to struggle, giving up three runs in only 5.0 innings of work Sunday afternoon. Capuano actually pitched much better than he did in his previous couple of starts where he allowed 6 earned runs. Capuano was the victim of the long-ball, however, surrendering shots to Miguel Montero and John McDonald.

Aside from a Jason Kubel home run surrendered by Matt Guerrier in his first appearance since April, the Dodgers bullpen was virtually flawless.

Although down 2-0 on Thursday night, Jamey Wright and Brandon League combined for three scoreless innings.

League would combine with Ronald Belisario and Shawn Tolleson for five scoreless innings Friday, before Guerrier gave-up a solo homer to Kubel in the 11th inning.

Choate, Wright, and League would combine for 2-1/3 scoreless innings in relief of Josh Beckett on Saturday. League also collected his first save with the Dodgers and it appears he will have first crack at the job as long as Kenley Jansen is out.

Javy Guerra, newly recalled from Triple-A, combined with Guerrier and Belisario for three scoreless innings late Sunday. Tolleson gave up a run in the 7th, but Adrian Gonzalez‘s heroics in the ninth negated that.

The Dodgers will take on the San Diego Padres for three games at home before heading up to San Francisco for a pivotal weekend series with the Giants. The Fathers lost two of three games to the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field over the weekend, but they had won 10 of 11 games before that, including sweeps of Arizona and Pittsburgh.

The Dodgers have won 8 of 12 games against the Padres so far this year, one of the few NL West teams they’ve had success against. They will need to continue that against the Padres in order to make up some ground on the Giants and the Wild Card leading Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals. Will Adrian Gonzalez carry over the momentum from his walk-off hit against his former team? Perhaps this was the road bump the Dodgers needed to get over in order to start rattling off some wins? Here’s to hoping Sunday’s walk-off was the start of good things to come.

Weekly GPA: 2.75
Cumulative GPA: 2.86

Staff Writer

Staff Writer features content written by our site editors along with our staff of contributing writers. Thank you for your readership.

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