Dodgers befuddled by Colorado pitching as winning streak ends


What the Dodgers hoped was a drought-busting, six-run, eighth-inning rally in New York on Wednesday looked more like a mirage Friday night, their bats going back into sleep mode for most of a 4-1 loss to the last-place Colorado Rockies in front of a crowd of 47,542 in Dodger Stadium.

An offense that showed signs of life during a three-game sweep of the Mets managed only one run and four hits in seven innings off Rockies sinker specialist Dakota Hudson, a 29-year-old right-hander who entered with a 1-7 record and 5.54 ERA in 10 starts this season and did not throw a pitch harder than 91.6 mph Friday night.

“The sinker-baller is sort of an outlier now in baseball,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Hudson. “It’s [a pitch with depth], and it just seemed like he was putting the ball on the ground, getting us to roll over, missing the barrel. We couldn’t really muster anything against him tonight.”

The Dodgers, trailing 4-0, did stir in the eighth inning when they loaded the bases with no outs on a Gavin Lux double and a Miguel Rojas walk off Hudson and an Andy Pages single off reliever Victor Vodnik, a hard-throwing right-hander.

That set the table for the top of a Dodgers order that features three of the best hitters in baseball — Mookie Betts, Shohei Ohtani and Freddie Freeman.

“Bases loaded, no outs … it was setting up to be a good spot for us,” Roberts said. “I would not have wanted anybody else up at that point of time.”

There would be no dramatic comeback. Betts grounded into a 6-4-3 double play, Lux scoring to trim the deficit to 4-1, Ohtani walked and Freeman struck out on a 94-mph full-count fastball from left-hander Jalen Beeks, who later retired the side in order in the ninth for his sixth save.

Betts, Ohtani and Freeman combined to go hitless with one walk in 11 at-bats, 10 of them against Hudson.

“He has a good sinker that he throws at the bottom of the zone,” said Lux, who had an infield single and a double off Hudson. “It’s tough to get it in the air, as you can tell with all the ground balls he got. He did a good job.”

Dodgers right-hander Walker Buehler, making his fifth start in his return from a second Tommy John surgery, took the loss, giving up four runs — three earned — and six hits in six innings, striking out seven and walking four.

Buehler escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the first by striking out Kris Bryant with a 97-mph fastball on the inside corner and Brendan Rodgers with a 96-mph fastball on the outside corner, but he needed 28 pitches to complete the inning, a heavy, out-of-the-gate workload that seemed to take a toll a few innings later.

Ezequiel Tovar singled with one out in the third, and Ryan McMahon walked. Buehler got Elias Diaz to fly to right field for the second out, but Bryant roped an RBI single to left field for a 1-0 lead.

Rodgers followed with an RBI single to center field that went under the glove of Pages and rolled to the wall for an error that allowed Bryant to score from first for a 3-0 lead and Rodgers to take third.

Buehler walked Elehuris Montero before getting Brenton Doyle to fly to right on his 26th pitch of the inning, but he hung a first-pitch slider in the fourth to Tovar, who crushed a solo homer to left-center, his eighth of the season, for a 4-0 Colorado lead.

“The first inning was a long, tough inning,” Buehler said. “You’re happy to get out of that kind of unscathed, but it’s deflating for our team when you have a first inning like that. You want to come home from a road trip and build momentum, and I did the opposite of that.”

Buehler retired the side in order in the fifth and sixth innings, striking out Jake Cave looking with a nice 89-mph cut-fastball on his 92nd and final pitch of the game, Roberts calling the pitcher’s ability to complete six innings “a win in itself.”

But Buehler, who went 23 months between big-league starts, was not in the mood for moral victories. The erstwhile Dodgers ace is 1-3 with a 4.32 ERA in five choppy starts, with 24 strikeouts and seven walks in 25 innings. He has shown good velocity and stamina and has looked sharp at times, but his command has wavered, and he has given up six homers.

“Physically, I’ve probably exceeded where I thought I was gonna be, but performance-wise, I feel like [crap],” Buehler said, when asked to assess his overall performance after five starts. “I’m not anywhere close to where I want to be.

“You think with a layoff like that, you’re not gonna have the same expectations you always have, but when you start tallying these starts, it’s kind of put-up or shut-up time for me, at least mentally, and these last two obviously haven’t been good enough.”



Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top