You’d think that’s a title which would represent a complete and utter rarity, but the way this season has gone… not so much. On the same day we found out that Jon Garland was headed to the disabled list with right shoulder soreness (though the move was not officially made, because Vicente Padilla was apparently not ready), shortstop Rafael Furcal injured himself for approximately the 59th time in his Dodger career. This time, he hurt his side on a throw to third during a rundown play, not that the details really matter. He’s officially listed as “day to day”, which means we can expect him back sometime in late August. While we await news on the severity of his injury, if he does end up heading back to the DL, I’ll place full blame on Juan Castro, who was almost certain to lose his job this weekend when Juan Uribe gets activated.
As for the game, Hiroki Kuroda struggled through six innings, needing 114 pitches to get that far and ended up walking more than he struck out for the first time in well over a year. Despite that – and allowing four baserunners in the second inning – he still managed to hold the Reds scoreless through four innings, before allowing two in the fifth on two walks and two singles. While his ability to keep the Reds off the board on a night when he clearly didn’t have his best stuff was admirable, it’s basically irrelevant in the end, as the Dodger offense once again failed to do any damage.
Bronson Arroyo breezed through six innings, running into trouble only in the fourth, when the Dodgers loaded the bases with none out on hits by Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp and a pitch that hit Jay Gibbons. Unfortunately for the Dodgers, Ethier and Kemp can’t let Tony Gwynn and crew come take their spots on the bases and then head back to the plate, because as usual, they received no support from their supporting cast. James Loney heroically drove in Ethier with a sacrifice fly, proving his clutchness, but Kemp got caught in a rundown and was tagged out. Dioner Navarro grounded out, and that was the end of that threat – and basically the game. The Dodgers had just two hits in the ensuing five innings against Arroyo, Logan Ondrusek, Nick Masset, and Francisco Cordero, and they both came from – wait for it – Ethier and Kemp. Shocking, I know; of the six Dodger hits, four came from the dynamic duo. The rest of the team combined to go 2-29, and stop me if you’ve heard that one before.
If there was one bright sign from tonight’s game, it was Scott Elbert, who was called in to a tough situation in the 7th, with a man on second and one out. He faced Joey Votto and Jay Bruce, two of the the hottest hitters on the planet right now, and retired them easily, striking out Votto and inducing Bruce into a popup.
It’s great to see Elbert finally having some major league success, for a variety of different reasons. It’s also kind of a problem when the highlight of the game is a middle reliever getting some outs. Well, at least we have the starting debut of Rubby De La Rosa to look forward to. Right?