Clayton Kershaw continued his streak of solid starts today by not allowing an earned run over six innings. Since his 1.1 inning, seven-run disaster against Milwaukee, he’s now allowed zero, one, one, and zero earned runs, getting his ERA down under three. He even did it without his top strikeout stuff, as his four K’s were the fewest he’s had (Milwaukee game aside) since Opening Day. Not only that, he only walked two, a great sign for a pitcher with occasionally questionable control.
Yet when you look at the boxscore, you’re going to see an L next to Kershaw’s name, his third of the season. In much the same way I think wins are useless for pitchers, losses can be as well – because this was a complete team failure, in every facet of the game. Like…
The defense. I cannot wait to see the slew of “scrappy fighter Jamey Carroll” stories tomorrow, because Rafael Furcal was brutal in his long-awaited return. His first error, on a Ryan Theriot grounder, was quickly followed by a Theriot steal on a pitch that Russell Martin couldn’t handle. That led to the Cubs’ first run on Derrek Lee‘s single, dooming Kershaw to the loss. As bad as that was, the defense really started to boil over in the 8th, as Furcal’s second error put a man on who came around on Lee’s homer, and then Blake DeWitt‘s bobble nearly got James Loney‘s arm broken. (Speaking of which, should anything happen to Loney, there’s really no backup plan. Are you really going to start Ronnie Belliard every day? Call up John Lindsey from AAA? Yikes). I’ll give Furcal a pass in that it was his first game in nearly a month, but still: ugly.
The offense. Three hits. One walk. That’s it. Ryan Dempster‘s a solid starter, but he’s not exactly Tim Lincecum, either. Not a lot Kershaw can do when that’s the “support” he’s getting. But hey, at least Garret Anderson hit the crap out of the ball… all the way back to the mound.
The manager. Hey, Joe. Why are you bringing Ramon Troncoso in A) when the team is losing, B) in a tight game when he’s coming off three homers in his last two outings, and C) when he’s on pace for approximately 180 games this season? Sure, Troncoso is claiming that he’s found “a flaw in his delivery”, but is absolutely anyone going to be surprised when he ends up on the disabled list by the end of the week? Anyone?
Still, it’s just one game, though it does drop them 1.5 behind the Padres, who are facing Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals tonight.
Last week, I said that when the time came for a 5th starter, it couldn’t be Ramon Ortiz under any circumstances, and that the only choice would be between Carlos Monasterios and Charlie Haeger. Commenter “JayHowell” points out to me that it won’t be Haeger:
The Dodgers declined to reveal Friday’s starter but did say knuckleballer Charlie Haeger is not in the running.
Torre said Haeger – already on the disabled list with plantar fasciitis – stubbed a toe Monday during his rehab start for Class A Inland Empire and will remain with the 66ers through the weekend. Haeger struck out five and allowed two runs on four hits in six innings against the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes.
Torre said the decision on who will start should come Wednesday.