Lead-off walks kill, especially in the bottom of the 10th inning against a team who was 57-21 at home in 2011. The Brewers went on to win 3-2 on another very exciting game (and a terrible call to finish it off), putting the Dodgers at 9-3 with 2 straight loses.
Braun came up in the bottom of the 10th with one out and the bases loaded. Mattingly loaded the infield with 5 position players, leaving Kemp and Ethier in the outfield. Braun popped up to shallow center field and Kemp made a terrific throw to Ellis at home. And not only did Brewer, Nyjer Morgan ignore his third base coach by running through the blatant stop-sign, he was clearly out at home, too.
The home-plate umpire, Mike DiMuro called him safe. Game Over.
It was a tough one to swallow, but the Dodges didn’t help their own cause.
Guerrier led off the inning with a walk to Jonathan Lucroy (remember, lead-off walks kill!!), who then stole second and proceeded to third on AJ Ellis’ blown throw into center field on his attempt to throw him out at second. Ellis had had a terrific game up to this point, throwing out a runner in the bottom of the 8th and batting in a run in the 5th, but he let this one slip away, putting the go-ahead run even closer.
It’s frustrating to watch two back-to-back (generally) well played games and see a strong bull-pen give up walks that end up being the difference in the game.
Regardless of the blown call at the end, the Dodgers need to get back on the 9-1 ball and not make preventable errors that have cost them the last two games at the tale end.
Kemp had yet another RBI, putting him at 16, but got doubled up on a line drive to center field by Andre Ethier in the 4th with no outs. A blown opportunity right there.
Dee Gordon also struck out twice, again, and on two identical pitches in the dirt. They were so far out of the strike zone that catcher, Jonathan Lucroy, had to throw Dee out at first. As a lead off, he has to be more selective and let the pitch count mature. I was listening to Monday and Steiner on the radio and they were talking about having a 2-0 apporach when you’re struggling as a hitter and the need to be more selective. Dee’s got to get on that plan ASAP - he has 13 strikeouts already, tied for the 5th most in the NL so far.
Chris Capuano had a strong start, going 6 innings with 6 hits, 2 walks, and 2 earned runs. And even that home-run pitch was a low strike that Aramis Ramirez muscled into the seats.