Today’s Game as a Microcosm of the Season

Contributions from the “big three”, nothing at all from the rest of the lineup, a decent starting pitching performance, and issues in the bullpen? Yeah, we’ve got that, just like every other day.

Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, and Jamey Carroll, the aforementioned “big three”, all got hits, going 4-10 between then with Ethier also reaching on a walk.

As usual, just about no one else did, as the rest of the lineup went 1-19 with just a 9th inning Aaron Miles single and a Tony Gwynn walk. Remember, that’s against Dustin Moseley, whose sparkling 1.99 ERA entering the game belies the fact that he’d struck out just ten men in 31.2 innings, hence the 4.05 xFIP. Moseley, of course, struck out six Dodgers in seven innings.

That’s how you spoil a perfectly acceptable six inning, three run outing from your fifth starter, with Jon Garland pitching five scoreless around a difficult second inning. Though Blake Hawksworth was solid in contributing two scoreless innings, much more disturbing was Hong-Chih Kuo‘s seemingly premature return from the disabled list.

Kuo threw 25 pitches, but just 14 for strikes while allowing four men to reach in a 9th inning he couldn’t complete. His velocity was in the low 90s, but his control was all over the place; he was finally yanked after hitting Will Venable with a big, looping curveball, one of several breaking pitches he had no command of. Mike MacDougal followed by allowing a run to score on a sacrifice fly, and two more on a Chase Headley double. As Tony Jackson tweeted, if you’re really keeping Lance Cormier around to be a mop up guy, you’d think that’s when he’d make an appearance, especially not having pitched in nine days. Cormier eventually came in as the third pitcher of the inning after MacDougal ran the score to 7-0.

With the loss, the Dodgers fall back to one game under .500.

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  1. [...] and with the rest of the offense stagnant in the early going, I started including him in the “big three” along with Kemp and Ethier (though a brutal error in Florida on April 25 only served to [...]

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  3. [...] anyway.) He returned on May 1, but after he’d struggled in his minor league rehab outings, I worried that it was too soon: Though Blake Hawksworth was solid in contributing two scoreless innings, much more disturbing was [...]