Dodgers Call it Quits With Excruciating Loss

Choose the more appropriate caption for Shane Victorino being shocked:

1) “What do you mean none of us could hit Barry F’ing Zito?
2) “Chris Capuano really made it only three lousy innings in his biggest game of the year because he hurt himself with a donut??
3) “Matt Kemp had two on and two outs in the fifth and couldn’t get runs home?”
4) “Matt Kemp had two on and two outs in the seventh and still couldn’t get runs home?!”
5) “Don Mattingly really intentionally walked Angel Pagan to get to Marco Scutaro with men on, even though Scutaro has been blazingly hot and the exact same maneuver didn’t work a few weeks ago?”
6) “Mark Ellis did WHAT?!?! Get the hell out.”
7) “Please tell me that Don Mattingly didn’t force A.J. Ellis to bunt in the bottom of the ninth in a misguided attempt to have Elian Herrera or Bobby Abreu swinging away instead of one of your better hitters, right? Right?! AND that Dee Gordon wasn’t brought in to run for Andre Ethier yet? RIGHT?!”

Frankly, I’m exhausted from watching that game. Just drained. It was alternately thrilling and excruciating, and I’m not sure if I actually even enjoyed the experience or not. The Reds did their job, including a good inning from old friend Jonathan Broxton, to put the Dodgers in a position to head into the final day of the season still alive. And for a minute there in the seventh, you couldn’t help but believe.

After Zito hit Andre Ethier with a pitch to lead off the frame and was relieved by Guillermo Mota, A.J. Ellis followed with one of the most impressive at-bats of the season, a nine-pitch affair that ended with a blast over the wall that fell just out of the reach of center fielder Pagan to bring the Dodgers within one. Dodger Stadium wasn’t full, but it sure sounded like it at that point. Just when you think the legend of A.J. Ellis can’t get any larger… well, there you go.

They weren’t done. Mark Ellis doubled to deep right and… we won’t talk about that. It was a hard-hit ball for extra bases. Victorino followed with a similar hit, this time making it to third, and with three extra-base hits in the inning and Kemp coming up down one, everything was in place for magic. But it wasn’t to be. Kemp went fishing for a low-and-away slider, the kind that we saw him go after constantly back in the 2006-08 era, and the threat was over.

After a quiet eighth, there was hope in the ninth… briefly. Ethier, somewhat miraculously, singled up the middle against lefty Jeremy Affeldt. A runner! The move seemed clear: bring Gordon off the bench, let A.J. Ellis try to repeat his magic or possibly hit one into the gap that Gordon might be able to score on. If Ellis failed, then let Gordon try to steal ahead of Herrera (or his pinch-hitter, Abreu.)

No. Of course not. Mattingly sent in the bunt signal without sending in Gordon, and while it’d have been nice if Ellis could have made it work, it almost didn’t matter. What was the end game there? Twice-DFA’d Bobby Abreu with your season on the line? Elian Herrera? You’re taking the bat out of the hands of one of your best hitters for… what, exactly? Moving Ethier up 90 feet that Gordon probably could have (and eventually did) steal anyway? It’s stunning. Ellis struck out after failing to bunt twice, Abreu flew out, and Mark Ellis failed to redeem himself.

And with that… it’s over. The Reds did their part. We could have had an absolutely rocking Dodger Stadium for a late afternoon game tomorrow with Clayton Kershaw on the hill, especially since the game is to start earlier than the Cardinals game.

But it wasn’t to be, and there’s no shortage of reasons why.

And I’m spent.

720 comments
Mike Petriello
Mike Petriello moderator

This post is making me sad, so here comes the LAST GAME THREAD of the season.. now.

capnsparrow
capnsparrow

The A's are mounting a first inning rally against the # Cubsfactor battery. They have a run across with men on 2nd and 3rd . one out

DBrim
DBrim moderator

You know what would have been fun? If Yankees and Orioles tied for best record, and had to play a one game playoff for the division. If the loser of that game won the wild card game, they'd play AGAIN in the ALDS. That isn't possible any more, I don't think.

DBrim
DBrim moderator

No house money :( @truebluela Final 2012 Dodgers lineup: Ellis 2B, Ethier RF, Kemp CF, Gonzalez 1B, Ramirez SS, Victorino LF, Cruz 3B, Federowicz C, Kershaw P

capnsparrow
capnsparrow

Ken Rosenthal just said on MLB rundown that from his twitter friends he picks the A's because of the Cubs factor. Dempster and Soto are the battery for Texas!

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

BTW, if youre gonna lay down a late inning bunt, and youre dedicated to the idea, why not pinch bunt kershaw?

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

im a Yankees fan yo.

LA_Woman
LA_Woman

 @el serracho Yeah. I just had huge wave of sadness. Game #162 and end of the line for our beloved Bums.

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

it wouldve been fun if the Dodgers didnt lose. #sadmachine

JT_Dutch
JT_Dutch

 @DBrim  @truebluela ... He doesn't even have enough sense to give his regulars the day off when the season's over.

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

most all Giants fans are also A's fans.

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

I wished Donnie just did something so crazy with the season on the line, yet instead it was just another Bigelow Tea moment.

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

I mean how can we all be so opposed to the Yankees? What? You hate super rich talent stacked lineups? You hate yourself?

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

i was raised a dairy cow...

DBrim
DBrim moderator

@efb @el serracho The As imploded.

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

you have to be in the game to get subbed out and receive a standing O, yo.

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

(and A's fans hate Giants)

DBrim
DBrim moderator

@SF'sBrickWall They won too recently.

Bawfuls
Bawfuls

 @Cadtalfryn agreed completely, I've been saying this for a couple months.  Move the dead weight, eat salary if you have to, then go get Greinke who's severely undervalued by the market.

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

theyre bums. But theyre our bums.

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

they are thugs, just of all races.

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

now that is serious fog.

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

its cool. I like winners. Now that were rich too i kinda enjoy them.