The Dodgers traded for a starter to begin the game against the Brewers tonight. However, that trade ended up being of little consequence as they fell 9-3 in the late innings.
With Josh Beckett going on the disabled list before tonight’s game, all eyes were on the new acquisition Roberto Hernandez. Things didn’t start very well, either, as the Brewers scored twice in the first inning. However, the runs scored on a bloop single, a routine single which was misplayed into a double, a ground ball single, and a sacrifice fly. Hernandez’ inauspicious beginnings were more luck-driven than anything else.
Hernandez didn’t allow another baserunner through his six innings of work. He retired the last 17 batters he faced. He ended the start after six innings, curiously pinch hit for after just 65 pitches thrown. His normally wild tendencies weren’t really an issue tonight. He struck out five batters and didn’t walk anybody. From a pitcher who was acquired to be emergency replacement-level depth, it’s hard to ask for a better debut. Unless you ask Joe West, that is; while Hernandez was batting West stopped the game to make him tuck in his shirt. Hernandez grinned, his start was going too well for him to complain.
Substituting Hernandez did pay immediate dividends, as the Dodgers scored their second and third runs in the top of the seventh, which Hernandez was due to lead off. Adrian Gonzalez added to his earlier double and home run off of Kyle Lohse (who gave up one run in six innings) with a run scoring single, then Andre Ethier drove in a run with a an infield single. The two runs were enough to put the Dodgers temporarily ahead.
Unfortunately, the game didn’t end after the top of the seventh. Jamey Wright started the bottom of the inning against Aramis Ramirez, who lined out on a spectacular defensive play by Justin Turner at short. Turner replaced Miguel Rojas at the position after pinch hitting for Hernandez. It’s important to highlight that play, because it will surely be forgotten after what happened next. J.P. Howell was brought in to face Rickie Weeks and walked him, then departed with a runner on first and one out.
Then, in came Brandon League, and everything came unglued. League induced a soft grounder to short off Mark Reynolds‘ bat. The ball hit Turner on his glove wrist; it should have been an inning-ending double play. With runners on first and third, Martin Maldonado dropped a safety squeeze, which succeeded due to an errant League glove flip. It would have taken a perfect play by League to get Weeks at the plate, so this time you have to tip your hat to good execution. This tied the game. After a fly out, Khris Davis hit another grounder to Turner in nearly the exact same location as the botched double play, and Turner couldn’t cleanly field the ball. This resulted in a bases loaded situation with Carlos Gomez batting. Gomez hit yet another ground ball to short. This time Turner actually fielded the ball, but his throw to first was low and wasn’t dug out, so the go-ahead run scored. Gerardo Parra followed up with a two run single, and the inning mercifully drew to a close as Gomez TOOTBLAN’d.
The inning resulted in an avoidable Dodger loss in the late innings, but it’s important to remember that the seventh wasn’t really on the bullpen (aside from Howell, maybe). Brandon League pitched great. The Brewers scored four runs while Brandon League was on the mound. Baseball. Carlos Frias didn’t help matters by allowing three runs in the bottom of the eighth, but it was already too late.
Hanley Ramirez walked in the top of the first inning, but he was seen wincing after a couple of his swings and never really looked comfortable in the batter’s box. It was bad enough that the Brewers broadcast remarked “there’s something wrong with Hanley Ramirez” during his at-bat. Here he is trying to stretch out after taking a pitch:
Ramirez was removed with “right side tightness” and was replaced by Miguel Rojas after the end of the first inning (Rojas was pinch hit for in the seventh, resulting in the fateful insertion of Turner). To me, right side tightness sounds a lot like an oblique injury, which would be bad. Ramirez is day-to-day, according to the Dodgers. Expect him to not start for the next four to five days without being sent to the DL, probably.
You need cheering up, so here’s a GIF of Yasiel Puig breaking his bat on a check swing:
Because of course he did.