The Dodgers dropped the second game of the series against the Diamondbacks tonight, 4-1, as the offense ran into the brick wall known as the D-Backs shifting strategies and the pitching staff didn’t throw the shutout they would’ve needed to win.
Scott Kazmir actually turned in a solid start tonight, allowing four runs on eight hits and no walks while striking out seven. He went 6.2 innings on 109 pitches, so he did his job, but it just felt worse since three runs came in the first two frames. While Kazmir gave up his share of hard contact, he was also victimized by a few weak hits that led to runs.
Even the fourth run wasn’t really Kazmir’s fault, as he should’ve been out of the seventh inning when Andrew Toles pegged a runner going for a double at second, but Corey Seager messed up the tag (again) and Pedro Baez was brought in for “relief”. Baez proceeded to hit the next batter with his first pitch, probably leading to the D-Backs psychos in the other dugout to retaliate tomorrow, and then he gave up a single to drive in Kazmir’s run before recording an out to end the inning. Baez then pitched a scoreless eighth inning, and J.P. Howell and Louis Coleman combined to get a scoreless ninth.
Not that it honestly mattered all that much.
As far as highlights for the Dodgers, there basically weren’t many, but not for a lack of effort on the bats. I’ll be the first to complain if I thought it was just bad hitting, but the D-Backs defensive positioning and luck was on point today, as the Dodgers hit balls hard all across the field and they all seem to have found gloves.
I feel like complaining but they're actually hitting the ball hard, so I dunno. Hit more dingers like yesterday.
— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) July 31, 2016
They did get on the board in the seventh, when Toles drew a one-out walk, eventually advanced to second on a passed ball, and Scott Van Slyke drove him in with a two-out single up the middle. Unfortunately, SVS then got thrown out trying to steal second base while down three runs. So … Dodgers baseball!
Additionally, with two outs in the ninth, Joc Pederson blasted a ball into the right-center field seats for the second run.
At the end of the day, though, the Dodgers scored just two runs on three walks and eight hits, including three doubles and the homer. However, it’s hard to fault them today for hitting the ball hard and those balls finding gloves.
With the loss, the Dodgers drop to 58-46 overall and 32-20 at home. The Giants won today, so they’re once again two games up in the NL West race. All the talk about the race for the division has obscured the fact that the Dodgers are only two games up on both the Cardinals (lost) and Marlins (won) for both home-field advantage in the NL Wild Card race and to make the game itself.
The Dodgers complete the series with the D-Backs tomorrow afternoon at 10:10 AM HST/1:10 PM PST/4:10 PM EST, with the pitching matchup being Bud Norris (4.40 ERA/4.03 FIP/N/A DRA) against Patrick Corbin (5.31/5.08/4.34).