After returning from the All-Star break with a six-game win streak, the Dodgers returned home and lost 5-2 to the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds are the the first playoff team the Dodgers have played that are playoff bound since the Pittsburgh Pirates on June 16.
Zach Greinke got the start, lasting 7 innings, giving up four runs on six hits and one walk with four strikeouts. The Reds' stacked lineup got to the Dodger left-hander with long balls from ex-Dodger Xavier Paul and slugger Jay Bruce.
Cesar Izturis, another ex-Dodger, and Shin-Soo Choo also had RBI hits off of Greinke, who took the loss and now has an 8-3 record with a 3.49 ERA.
The Dodgers got on base throughout the night with nine hits and two walks, but could only scrounge up two runs. Adrian Gonzalez had both RBI on ground outs that scored Yasiel Puig and Carl Crawford.
The loss was the Dodgers' sixth in their last 29 games, but was also their first against a possible playoff-bound opponent other than Arizona. Not to diminish the significance, or general awesomeness, of the past month, but the Dodgers were hardly facing any opponents with .500 records or better, so beating a team like Cincinnati would help bring credibility to that hot stretch.
There are two games remaining in this series with Cincinnati, and then the Dodgers face strong opponents like the Yankees, Cardinals and Rays. Even playing break-even ball against those teams could keep the Dodgers near the top of their division and allow them to make another run against NL West opponents to end the season.
Game 2 against the Reds on Friday features Cy Young candidate Clayton Kershaw against Homer Bailey, who threw a no-hitter earlier this season against the Giants.
Tweets From #Dodgers Nation
Vin Scully IS Dodgers baseball.
Just did a scoreboard video montage of Vin Scully, and when they showed him live the place went nuts. Well and truly deserved. #Dodgers
— Jim Alexander (@Jim_Alexander) July 26, 2013
A reputation they have earned, almost surprising when they don't pull it off right now!
Have to admit, your team is amazing when you legitimately believe they can win when it comes down to literally the last strike. #dodgers
— OptimismDodgers (@SFDodgersFan) July 26, 2013
Completely agree! They will have plenty of chances to prove if they are a real playoff contender with series to come against the Yankees, Cards and Rays.
— Eddie Alcantar (@Coach_Alcantar) July 26, 2013