The problem tonight was not that the Dodgers lost to the Houston Astros, the worst team in baseball by both record and run differential. Even a lousy team like this year’s Astros will win something like 65 games. It happens.
It’s not even that they got completely overwhelmed by by Brett Myers, who set down 17 in a row at one point despite entering the game with a 5.03 ERA and a league-leading 18 homers allowed. It’s also not just that Ted Lilly‘s final line (five earned runs on eight hits) was ugly, because he was doing fine until allowing five hits in the sixth inning.
The problem is that they were boring. This was almost an utterly unwatchable game from the beginning to nearly the end, not that there were a lot of people in the park to witness it anyway, judging by the empty seats masquerading as the announced 35,000+ in attendance. After scoring in the first inning on a Dee Gordon walk (his first) and hits by Aaron Miles & James Loney, the Dodgers… well, that was it, really. Loney singled again in the seventh, and was immediately wiped out by a Juan Uribe double play. Gordon reached again in the ninth on a Brett Wallace error, and came home on an Andre Ethier homer (his first in 19 games) to make the final 7-3. Myers finished his complete game on 97 pitches, which as Eric Stephen reports, is the first time the Dodgers have suffered a complete game loss at home on less than 100 pitches since the immortal Jason Marquis did it in 2009.
After four losses in a row, the Dodgers are now nine games under .500, the most they’ve been since ending the 2005 season at 71-91. At right: the 2011 season.
I didn’t really weigh in on the McCourt case much today, but I think it’s largely much ado about nothing. The settlement explicitly says that it only takes effect if Bud Selig approves the FOX contract, which he’s almost certainly not going to do, so this “settlement” could mean little. All that business about an August 4th court date to decide if the team is Frank’s or split 50/50? It’s almost certainly not going to take place. If anything, this just unites the McCourts in what’s an almost inevitable lawsuit against MLB; Frank McCourt, by all accounts, cannot make the June 30th payroll without the cash influx from the contract, and with the issue of Jamie objecting to the deal no longer a concern, Frank will contend that Selig is actively hurting the team. Then he’ll sue MLB, and this will be tied up in the courts for decades to come.