Dodgers Top Rockies, Thanks to Bunting!

I kid, of course. Tied 1-1 in the 8th inning, James Loney led off with a cueball single that went all of about 30 feet up the third base line. A.J. Ellis, who had singled in his previous at-bat, is hitting .308/.455/.474 and is one of only three Dodger hitters worth a damn, was asked to bunt… because of course he was. To his credit, he got the sacrifice down, moving Loney to second, and pinch-hitter Tony Gwynn cashed in the opportunity with a single to short left field for the second and final Dodger run. Even though it worked, I’m not a particularly big fan of the call – you’d much rather have the bat in Ellis’ hands than Gwynn’s, right – and this is only going to make Don Mattingly continue bunting until the inevitable point where all 27 outs are made via the bunt. Still, it worked tonight, so good for Don.

That’s oversimplifying, obviously, because it brushes over the fact that Aaron Harang somehow managed to go eight one-run innings while striking out just two. Following Harang was Kenley Jansen, finally getting his first chance to nail down a game nearly a week after replacing Javy Guerra as the closer. Jansen retired each of the three Rockies he faced and was never really threatened, a welcome change from the usual late inning hysteria we’ve been dealing with in recent weeks. Dee Gordon & Matt Kemp each went hitless, with Gordon now 0-14 over his last three games and without a hit since last Tuesday.

Ted Lilly takes the hill tomorrow afternoon as the 22-11 Dodgers attempt to finish off the series with a sweep.