The Dodgers woke up in Pittsburgh on Friday to learn that they would be playing the next two games without the guidance of their manager, Don Mattingly, hitting coach, Mark McGwire, and would lose the long-man in their bullpen, Ronald Belisario, for a game as well. The suspensions came about as a result of the brawl that took place on Tuesday against Arizona.
J.P. Howell and Skip Schumaker were also served with two-game suspensions but both players have appealed and can play until their situations are re-evaluated. Aside from suspensions, fines were handed out to Yasiel Puig, and Zach Greinke and the Dodgers organization was fined for allowing players on the Disabled List onto the field during the brawl.
The Dodgers lost the night following the brawl in extra innings, and then went down on 3-0 on Friday in Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh's, Jeff Locke, had a fantastic outing, lasting seven innings and only giving up two hits and one walk with five strikeouts. In his last 36.2 innings he has given up just four runs and 22 hits, bringing his season ERA down to 2.19.
Yasiel Puig singled in the first, Mark Ellis singled in the second and Nick Punto walked in the fourth, and then Locke retired eleven batters in a row, with four strikeouts, to end the game. It was impressive, but feels like just another poor outing for the Dodger offense.
The Pittsburgh bullpen threw two scoreless despite the Dodgers having two runners on base in both innings. Juan Uribe and Mark Ellis both struck out ending the eighth and ninth innings.
The Pirates have now tossed 11 team shutouts, which leads the MLB.
For the Dodgers, Stephen Fife was pulled after 93 pitches and five innings. He gave up six hits for two runs with three walks. The biggest hit Fife gave up was an Adrew McCutchen two-RBI double.
Other Dodger notables included the return of A.J. Ellis from the DL. He was down for 15 days with an oblique strain, and returned Friday going 0-3 with three strikeouts.
Ellis did pick off a baserunner though, his league leading 16th of the season.
Hanley Ramirez got his first start since June 5th. He has been mainly used as a pinch hitter with worries that he might re-aggravate his hamstring after spending a month of the DL with a strain.
Ramirez made an athletic backhanded grab that he quickly threw home in time to get out Andrew McCutchen in the third. The play did not effect the outcome of the game much, but it is still a relief that he could be back in the lineup and playing shortstop daily.
Yasiel Puig went 2-4 with a bunt single and a strikeout for his seventh career multi-hit game in just 10 starts. It is a shame that nobody is on base when Puig hits, and that nobody ever brings him in, but at least he is fun to watch.
The Dodgers have Clayton Kershaw on the mound on Saturday against Gerrit Cole as they look for their first win since the brawl with Arizona.