Juan Uribe #5 of the Los Angeles Dodgers looks for an out call from the umpire and Nick Punto #7 backs up the play after Rutledge advanced from first base on a passed ball at Coors Field on September 4, 2013 in Denver, Colorado.
The Dodgers sat out three starters on Tuesday and won 7-4.Then they decided on Wednesday to see what would happen if they sat out five starters and threw a pitcher who was cut just a week ago by San Diego. They put up a good fight, but ultimately lost 7-5 in the series finale with Colorado.
When Don Mattingly said, "We want to win everyday," this is not the lineup that came to mind. Coors Field has been home to several Dodger injuries in the past few seasons and the thin air tends to tire players quickly, so seeing the reserves play in back-to-back games was understandable considering their 12.5 game lead.
Edinson Volquez got the start, but he did not last long pitching just four innings, giving up six hits for four runs. The recently-cut Padre needed 75 pitches to get through those four innings.
He gave up two runs in the first on a triple, double, and sacrifice fly, one in the second on a Todd Helton solo home run, and another in the third on a RBI single by Michael Cuddyer. Usually when a pitcher is pulled so early from a game it has an adverse effect on the bullpen, but again, the 40-man roster gives the team leeway they never had before.
Brandon League and J.P. Howell each tossed a scoreless inning of relief, with Howell striking out the side, but Carlos Marmol put the game out of reach with a three-run seventh, putting the Dodgers down 7-2 at that point. Paco Rodriguez and Brian Wilson also combined to throw a scoreless eighth inning.
With the bats, the Dodgers scored five runs on 11 hits. A welcome surprise came from newly-acquired Michael Young, as he went 3-5 with two RBIs and a run scored. Everyday starters, Hanley Ramirez and Juan Uribe, combined to go 4-8 with one RBI and a run scored.
The rest of the squad struggled with Jerry Hairston, Nick Punto, Scott Van Slyke, Skip Schumaker, and A.J. Ellis hitting 3-18.
In the eighth the Dodgers put up their final effort, down 7-2, scoring three runs on a Ramirez single, Young single, Uribe double and Schumaker single. It was a good fight but they went down in order to end the game 7-5 in the ninth.
The Dodgers went 1-1 in Colorado with backup-heavy rosters, while taking two games in the series. Thursday is an off day, as they travel to Cincinnati, where they will most likely be playing at full strength against the playoff-bound Reds.