Dodger fans got a brief glimmer of hope today, as they watched Andre Ethier bash a three run home run in the first inning of the first game in today's doubleheader. The offense had been struggling to score runs, so an early advantage was key to turning things around at the plate. Unfortunately, the pitching staff would betray them as the Orioles caught and surpassed the Dodgers to win the opener 7-5.
In game two, another early lead was quickly squandered, then things got out of hand by the middle innings. Josh Beckett, coming off a tough-luck, complete-game loss, was expected to provide some cushion for their offense, but instead allowed six runs in five and two-thirds innings.
In spite of his stat line, Matt Kemp continued to struggle at the plate, with a few bleeders inflating his average but doing little to assuage the concerns of fans about their $160 million center fielder's issues. His batting average continues to hover around .200 and he's yet to hit his first home run, 17 games into the season.
Hyun-Jin Ryu didn't have the same stuff that he displayed in Arizona, though the weather can be partially blamed for that. He allowed five runs in six innings, including surrendering a pair of homers. His fastball velocity was down but Ryu still managed six strikeouts, as O's hitters were sitting fastball and flailing at most everything else.
Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, the team's two hottest hitters, went a combined 2 for 14. Ethier, went hitless in game two, while the bottom of the lineup was nearly non-existent. And if that weren't enough, it was J.P. Howell and Matt Guerrier, not Kenley Jansen and Ronald Belisario, who were holding down the fort in relief. And by the time they got in the game, the Dodgers were already down by five.
The series concludes tomorrow with Chad Billingsley opposing Jake Arrieta. Game time is 10:35am Pacific.