Cardinals 5, Dodgers 2: LA done in by intentional walks

No sweep for the Dodgers as they fall to the Cardinals 5-2 on Sunday night, despite a strong outing by Alex Wood.

Wood continued to be great at Dodger Stadium, and he finished with this line against a strong offensive Cardinals club: 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R/ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 HR, 92 pitches, 61 strikes, 7/2 GO/AO. He lowered his lifetime ERA at Dodger Stadium to 1.76, and while he labored a little bit in the sixth inning, Dave Roberts stuck with him and Wood rewarded the decision.

But this was not one of Roberts’ best-managed games. In the seventh inning of a 1-1 tie, Louis Coleman relieved Wood and got Aledmys Diaz to ground out. With the inexplicably-good-in-2016 Jeremy Hazelbaker due up, Roberts went to the bullpen and J.P. Howell, who allowed an infield single. Kolten Wong would ground into a fielder’s choice, putting Hazelbaker at second base. With backup catcher Eric Fryer due up, Roberts summoned Joe Blanton out of the bullpen, and Mike Matheny countered with the left-handed-hitting Brandon Moss.

OK, runner at second, two outs for a guy hitting .224 on the season coming into the game. Blanton has been one of the better relievers out of the bullpen, and murder on lefties (2-for-19, 1 HR, 4 BB, 4 K). Logic would dictate — especially with a non-elite hitter up and two outs — Blanton would pitch to Moss. Nope. Roberts called for an intentional walk. Yadier Molina was called upon to pinch-hit and one could just feel something bad was about to happen.

Molina would double to left field against the shift that had Howie Kendrick playing Molina like a left-handed pull hitter. It was all of 76 MPH off the bat, but it was enough to put the Cards up 3-1. After yet another intentional walk (this time of Matt Carpenter),  Stephen Piscotty drove in another run to make it 4-1. St. Louis would add another in the eighth on a Diaz sacrifice fly.

Basically.

The only offense for the Dodgers came off the bat of Corey Seager. He hit an opposite-field homer off Mike Leake in the third inning, and later he’d get Kevin Siegrist in the eighth with a rocket to right field. It was the first two home run game of his career. Seager is heating up, which can only mean good things for the Dodgers’ offense.

Also, Joc Pederson made a nice catch at least.

The Dodgers dropped to 20-18 on the season with the loss, while the Cardinals improved to the same record. Anaheim comes to town next for the first of two games in Los Angeles followed by two in Orange County.  Kenta Maeda (3-2, 2.30 ERA) takes on Matt Shoemaker (1-5, 9.12 ERA — so expect seven shutout innings). First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. Pacific time.

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosts a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He is a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.