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Kershaw-less Dodgers Fall Further Behind

Posted By Simran Reyatt On Sep 10 2012 @ 6:15 pm In Los Angeles Dodgers,MLB | No Comments

The Dodgers left the bay area in far worse shape than when they arrived Thursday night. In the standings and the medical department. They arrived trailing the Giants by four and a half games. They leave trailing by five and half after losing 4-0 and lost all-world center fielder Matt Kemp and all-world starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw to minor injuries. Both players expect to be in the lineup when the Dodgers take on the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday at Chase Field.

Joe Blanton took the mound for the Dodgers and struggled from the outset. Angel Pagan led off with an infield single to deep short and then promptly stole second. Marco Scutaro advanced him to third on a ground-out to second. Pablo Sandoval then walked to bring up the dangerous Buster Posey. Blanton dug in and got Posey looking on strikes. It was a big out and I thought he may just get out of the inning unscathed. I was wrong. Hunter Pence lined a shot into the left-center field gap for a double, driving in both Pagan and Sandoval and giving the Giants a 2-0 lead. And given the way the Dodgers have been playing as of late, that two-run lead may as well have been 12-0.

All this occurred after the Dodgers squandered a golden opportunity to scratch first. Mark Ellis led off  the game with double to right field. Great start to the game, right? Right, except that the Dodgers couldn’t bring him home. Heck, they couldn’t even advance him over to third! It is unfathomable to think that hitters like Shane Victorino, Adrian Gonzales and Hanley Ramirez can’t drive in a runner from second, but they didn’t, further frustrating the Dodger faithful.

There is only one word to explain the Dodgers offense: pathetic. The offense, which has been missing in action for a while, squandered opportunity after opportunity. They left runners in scoring position in the first, third, fifth, seventh and ninth inning, each time failing to get a clutch hit to drive in a run.

Meanwhile, the Giants got clutch two-out hits, home runs, sacrifice bunts to score runs. Basically they did everything that a winning baseball team does. In the fifth, Pagan hustled his way into a triple and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Scutaro. Then in the sixth, Posey led off the inning with a home run off Blanton, making it 4-0, which may as well been 40-0 to the Dodgers.

The Dodgers best chance to score anything was in the seventh inning. They actually got the tying run up to the plate. They loaded the bases with a single and two walks. Bobby Abreu, a clutch veteran known for making contact, promptly struck out on a foul tip. Victorino was up next. After taking strike one and swinging (and missing) at a pitch at his feet, he took a few balls before flying out weakly to left, failing yet again.

Off to Arizona now. Let’s hope the offense is their waiting for them.

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