Reversal of Fortune

Lackluster pitching performance, bad defense and poor hitting cost the Dodgers Game 2 of season's opening series with the SF Giants

By Jim Crogan
|  Wednesday, Apr 3, 2013  |  Updated 12:35 PM PDT
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Reversal of Fortune

AP

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu, of South Korea, throws against the San Francisco Giants during the third inning of a baseball game in Los Angeles on April 2, 2013.

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Combine one lackluster pitching performance by the Los Angeles Dodgers new Korean starter Hyun-Jin Ryu, bad defense, anemic hitting and a gem of a game thrown by San Francisco Giants second ace, Madison Bumgarner, and you end up with what you got: a complete reversal of fortune from the Opening Day victory of 4-0.

Dodger batters could only muster two hits -- one double by Andre Ethier in the second frame and another by catcher A.J. Ellis in the eighth inning -- and zero runs from Bumgarner in their 3-0 loss.

In fact, Bumgarner looked every bit as dominant against the Dodger bats as Clayton Kershaw had been against the defending champs on Monday. Bumgarner mowed down 23 of the first 24 batters he faced, 18 in a row in one stretch, and he struck out six over his eight innings of work.

In contrast, Ryu was in trouble from the very first batter he faced. During the 6.1 innings he pitched, he left way too many pitches out over the plate, which the Giants batters began smacking around the ballpark.

In his first two innings of work, Ryu gave lead-off hits to the first two batters but was rescued by two double plays, one from MVP catcher Buster Posey and a second one courtesy of left-fielder Andres Torres.

And even though Ryu only gave up one earned run during his stint on the mound, the sensation he was operating on thin ice kept mounting as the Giants' put 10 hits on their side of the ledger.

But the real killer moments for the "boys in blue" were delivered by Dodger shortstop Justin Sellers, one of the team's "glue guys" -- players who get down and dirty, filling in at different positions without bringing home the big bucks.

Sellers won the job at shortstop to fill in for the injured star Hanley Ramirez primarily because of his defensive prowess. But he threw two balls away in the seventh and those errors cost the Dodgers two unearned runs and a cushion the Giants never relinquished as reliever Sergio Romo slammed the door shut in the ninth.

One factor that mitigated against Sellers bearing all the blame for those crucial miscues was the failure of reliever Ronald Belisario to adequately cover home plate which helped Torres score the second unearned run.

After the game, manager Don Mattingly's confidence in his shortstop was still strong. He told reporters that Sellers' mistakes didn't change his mind about playing him at short while moving Luis Cruz, another Dodgers glue guy, over to third.

Meanwhile, Sellers accepted responsibility for the mistakes telling reporters he rushed his throws and made an error in judgment.

"I'm going to make mistakes," Sellers told reporters. "Unfortunately this one cost us a couple of runs. But you live and learn."

Wednesday night is the rubber game between the two Western Divisional rivals and the third game will match up Dodger Josh Beckett against "the freak" Tim Lincecum who's had a tough preseason with an ERA over 10.

Both of these pitchers are looking to rebound from substandard 2012 seasons. Let's see if the Dodgers batters will move from slumber to lumber in this third game.

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