Dodgers vs Rockies Review: An unexpected hero stops sweep

The Dodgers lineup finally came to life in Wednesday’s 10-8 slug-fest at Coors Field, but, not after being outscored 18-4 in the first two games of the series, dropping two out of three to the last place Colorado Rockies, and falling 3 1/2 games behind the division-leading San Francisco Giants.

Although the newly minted Dodgers offense failed to produce until Wednesday’s roller coaster game, blame goes to the pitching staff that surrendered 26 runs in 3 games to Colorado.

A.J. Ellis and Hanley Ramirez had some big moments in the series, but the Dodgers infield was largely ineffective for the first two games of the series, with Ellis being the most productive member of the infield going 3-for-9 in the series and hitting his first career grand slam on Wednesday, giving A.J. a total of five RBIs in the series.

Meanwhile, Ramirez was only 3-for-13 in the series, but two of his hits went over the fence, as Hanley drove in three runs in the series.

Adrian Gonzalez struggled in the series against the Rockies, but like the Dodgers, he broke out a bit on Wednesday going 2-for-5 with a pair of RBI, AGon was only 2-for-11 overall.

Mark Ellis also didn’t do too much with the bat going 2-for-12 with an RBI and a pair of runs scored in the series.

Luis Cruz has gone into a mini-slump at third base, going only 1-for-9 in the series with a run scored on Wednesday, giving him only two hits in his past 13 at-bats.

Adam Kennedy filled in at third on Tuesday night going 1-for-3.

After getting shut down in Monday’s 10-0 debacle, the Dodgers outfield was relatively productive, however, Matt Kemp ran face-first into the wall in center field on Tuesday night, which knocked him out of not just that game, but also Wednesday’s. He did try to stay in though, attempting to make a diving catch a batter later, but getting taken out of the game after Shane Victorino signaled to the dugout for trainers to get him out of the game.

Kemp’s diagnosis was a knee contusion, but he showed no signs of a concussion. He is listed as day-t0-day, after going 1-for-4 with a double on Monday, and a walk in his only plate appearance Tuesday before injuring himself.

Andre Ethier continued to hit well in the 6-spot going 4-for-11 with a double and a pair of runs scored in the series.

Victorino also showed signs of breaking out of his slump going 3-for-12 including a triple on Monday night and two stolen bases in the series.

Juan Rivera filled in admirably for Matt Kemp going 3-for-6 with a double, a sac fly RBI, and a pair of runs scored.

Josh Beckett made his Dodgers’ debut, Chris Capuano got rocked, but Joe Blanton righted the ship against the Rockies.

Beckett went a solid 5-2/3 innings on Monday night giving up three earned runs and striking out six, but took the loss as the Dodgers were completely shutdown by Jeff Francis and three Rockies relievers.

Capuano got hammered on Tuesday night, surrendering 6 earned runs in 6 innings of work, essentially ending the game as it started, with Capuano giving up four runs in the 1st inning off of 5 hits and a wild pitch. This was Capuano’s second consecutive start giving up 6 runs after a stretch where he gave up only 5 runs in 22-1/3 innings.

With their backs against the wall, Joe Blanton gave the Blue Crew his finest start since coming over from the Philadelphia Phillies, pitching 7-1/3 innings, giving up three earned runs, striking out five, and picking up his first win as a Dodger.

The Dodgers bullpen was absolutely horrible against the Rockies.

Although, Coors Field is known as a hitter’s haven, the Dodgers’ bullpen did seemingly everything wrong this series.

Things started out well enough as Randy Choate closed out the 6th inning for Josh Beckett on Monday, and Brandon League pitched a scoreless 7th. League appears to have settled into the National League pitching 4 scoreless innings in his last five appearances since taking the loss against the Atlanta Braves on Aug. 17.

Kenley Jansen and Josh Wall would not have the same fate.

In a non-save situation, and his first appearance in five days, Jansen was charged with four earned runs in only 2/3 of an inning of work.

Wall, who collected his first major league win in his first appearance with the Dodgers, got a cruel welcome-back, getting charged with three more runs in a disastrous seven-run 8th inning for the Rockies.

Of more concern, Jansen was not available Wednesday, the L.A. Times’ Dylan Hernandez reported it has something to do with Jansen’s heart condition.

The bullpen faltered again in the series finale.

Jamey Wright came into the game in relief of Capuano, only to surrender a run-scoring single to Wilin Rosario and an RBI ground-out to Chris Nelson, to make the score 8-2.

Wall would come in and pitch 1-2-3 ninth, in sharp contrast to his performance the night before.

Joe Blanton left Wednesday’s game in the 8th inning with a 10-1 lead. Seven runs and three pitchers later, and the Dodgers were clinging to a 10-8 lead.

Shawn Tolleson, just recalled from Single-A that day, came in and allowed three consecutive singles to score Blanton’s two left-on base runners, and walked a man to load the bases.

Randy Choate came in to face Tyler Colvin, and drilled him on an 0-2 pitch, to score a run, making it 10-5 Dodgers.

Ronald Belisario would be called upon to clean up the mess. Josh Rutledge and Carlos Gonzalez would both hit run-scoring ground balls to make it 10-8, before Belisario finally got out of the inning. Belisario would bounce back in the ninth to record his first save of the year, and his first since September of 2010, also against the Rockies.

The Dodgers pick up some momentum and will head back home for a four-game set with the Arizona Diamondbacks, who are in an absolute free fall coming off a 3-game sweep at the hands of the NL-leading Cincinnati Reds.

Arizona has lost six-straight and 8 of their last 9 games overall. With only 31 games remaining, this is a prime opportunity for the Dodgers to go on a tear and take over the West.

Weekly GPA: 2.00
Cumulative GPA: 2.82

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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