I’d like to act like I’m surprised that the Dodgers lost another series to the Angels (that’s six in a row) or ended up below .500 in interleague play yet again, but how can I be? It was all but pre-determined, and this edition of the Dodgers, right now, isn’t good enough to overcome that. Through the top of the seventh, Aaron Harang & Garrett Richards provided the decent-but-not-great performances you expect out of guys like that, allowing three runs apiece, though Harang somehow managed to not strike out a single Angel in that time. Josh Lindblom fell apart in the bottom of the seventh, allowing the fourth and fifth Angel runs to score, and the Dodger offense in the late innings had little hope against Scott Downs and Ernesto Frieri.
You can argue that shoddy umpiring hurt the Dodgers today, and it did, but that goes both ways, since Peter Bourjos was unfairly robbed of a double that was called foul. (He ended up taking that advantage and homering, of course.) This loss isn’t on the blue, though. It’s on James Loney for seeing three pitches in three plate appearances and creating four outs. It’s on Adam Kennedy for making yet another error. It’s on Lindblom for not getting the job done. It’s on Elian Herrera for going 0-4, and are we almost to the point where it’s acceptable to point out that he’s a career minor leaguer who had a great hot streak to debut and hasn’t been very good lately? No, not yet? Okay, soon then.
Thanks to the incredible start this club had over the first two months, the June slump hasn’t cost them their division lead. But they’re only three games up on the Giants now, and they march right into San Francisco for three starting tomorrow. They get lucky in that they don’t see Matt Cain, and they don’t see Madison Bumgarner. It’s going to take more than luck to return home on Thursday as division leaders.
Of course, the other big news of the day was that Kevin Youkilis was traded from Boston to the White Sox for middling pitcher Zach Stewart, who doesn’t miss bats or avoid hits, and utility guy Brent Lillibridge, who can’t hit. Each were on their third organization. We can’t possibly know what the Dodgers were offering or what the Red Sox were asking for, but if that’s what the price was? Yeah, I’d have taken that risk. Absolutely. Some scouts think Youkilis is cooked, and maybe he is, but for Chicago, this is playing with house money, because if he bombs, they’ve lost little. Meanwhile, the Dodgers are still stuck with Loney (0-3 today) and Juan Uribe (awful every day).