July 23, 2014

Braves Chop Dodgers; Skid Continues

Braves Dodgers BaseballIt seems like a lot happened in last night’s 2-1 loss to the Braves in 10 innings.  Sure, Kershaw was brilliant once again, mixing up his pitches and throwing seven scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and one walk while fanning 10 in the process.  Braves starter Kenshin Kawakami matched Kershaw by pitching the game of his life through seven innings.  Pesky rookie reliever Kris Medlen stopped the Dodgers with four strikeousts and no hits over two critical innings.  And the Dodgers offense continued to struggle, leaving nine men on base and going one for nine with runners in scoring position.

And while I love Joe Torre, I was slightly surprised to see him pull Sherrill, after an efficient seven-pitch 8th inning, for Broxton in the 9th.  I know it’s Torre’s style to go with his closer when the game is tied in the 9th at home (giving his team’s bats the chance to win the game), but it just seems that he would have allowed Sherrill to go a little longer, knowing we very well could be headed to extra innings.  At least that would have prolonged the entry of Mota into the game.  Sherrill is a former closer, and isn’t that why we got the guy?  Sherrill did throw 31 pitches the night before in one and 2/3 innings, so I understand the added rationale for pulling him on Saturday , but I still would have rather seen him stick around a little longer given that the big guy did not appear fatigued.

But it was that damn Yunel Escobar who clinched it for the Braves.  The shortstop was one of the heroes of Friday’s night game for the Braves with a huge hit in the 12th inning.  And then last night he did with his defense, diving for a Kemp infield shot, gettng up and making a spectacular throw to first to just nab the Bison.  Pretty spectacular stuff.  Given the Dodgers record at home in one-run games (which I think was 17-3 going into the game) and with 11 walk-off wins this season, you can understand the crowd’s shock at seeing Kemp thrown out at first to end the game.

The Dodgers now try and salvage a series split this afternoon, while ending a recent slide that has them losing three of their last four, five of their last eight and 10 of their last 16.  Ewww…

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Lori Shepler