Starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw #22 and catcher A.J. Ellis #17 of the Los Angeles Dodgers confer during the fifth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium on July 12, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.
The Dodgers 3-0 loss to the Rockies on Friday evoked memories of darker times from this season. Before the game started the Dodgers scratched Carl Crawford from the original lineup, replacing him with Skip Schumaker, and were wary about the status of Yasiel Puig's left hip.
Puig eventually came out of the game as a precautionary measure, but did not look good as he tried to run out a couple ground balls early in the game.
Clayton Kershaw had a start that would be considered good enough for most pitchers, but the Dodgers provided him with just three hits and no runs while he was on the mound.
Kershaw lasted seven innings, allowing three runs on six hits and one walk with ten strikeouts.
The first inning was the most troublesome for the Dodgers ace. He gave up back to back singles to start the game, but got Colorado's best hitter Carlos Gonzalez to strike out.
He then gave up a sacrifice fly to Troy Tulowitski for one run, and a single to Willin Rosario for another, putting the Dodgers down 2-0 before they even touched their bats. It took him 47 pitches to get out of the first two innings.
Everything went smoothly until he walked Nolan Arenado to lead off the fifth inning. Arenado was bunted over by Juan Nicasio, and scored on DJ LeMahieu's single.
In his last three starts, Kershaw has pitched 24 innings, giving up 13 hits and two walks for four runs, with 21 strikeouts. He was the losing pitcher on Friday, bringing his season record to 8-6 despite a 1.98 ERA.
Skip Schumaker, Hanley Ramirez, and Andre Ethier all had one hit, but that was the extent of the offense with Kershaw on the mound. Adrian Gonzalez got the Dodgers fourth and final hit, leading off the ninth inning with a single.
Jose Dominguez looked good out of the pen, pitching 1.2 innings, and giving up no hits with two walks and two strikeouts. In the eighth he inherited a runner from J.P. Howell, then hit Jordan Pacheco with a pitch, but got out of the jam.
As for Crawford and Puig's injuries, it looks like they will be evaluated day-to-day. After the game Mattingly did not want to talk about Puig's hip, keeping his comment short, "If he's healthy he will play, if he cant play, he cant play."
Overall, Friday's loss looked like the Dodgers from darker times. Kershaw lost a winnable game due to a nonexistent offense, and the Dodgers had to field a patchwork outfield due to injuries. Obviously it is just one loss, and appears minuscule when considered they have won 16 of their last 20 games, but it was the Dodgers first shutout loss since June 14th against the Pirates.
Possibly the highlight of the night came postgame as A.J. Ellis responded to a tweet from Jon Weisman of Dodger Thoughts, that the Dodgers were on a streak with Ellis behind the plate:
— AJ Ellis (@AJEllis17) July 13, 2013
Saturday will feature Zach Greinke against Tyler Chatwood in game three of the four-game series. The Dodgers are now 2.5 games behind the first-place Diamonbacks and two games ahead of the third-place Rockies with a 46-46 record.