Not so hot, it seems. And certainly, as it turned out, not invulnerable.
Owners of the National League’s best record were riding a season-high six-game winning streak, playing the lowly Chicago Cubs and facing a rookie right-hander making just his fourth career start. And the Dodgers imploded all over the field.
By the time it was over, they had suffered an 8-2 defeat Friday, taken a blow to that recent boost in confidence, watched three players go down and their lead in the National League West trimmed to 2 1/2 games over the San Francisco Giants.
Otherwise, just a super night.
The Dodgers were left with the same uncertainty over right-hander Dan Haren, and new ones over Yasiel Puig, Adrian Gonzalez and Paul Maholm.
The latter three Dodgers were all injured to some degree, two apparently after odd slides to the plate.
In the first inning, Gonzalez somehow managed to slide over the plate with both this left leg and arm without actually touching it. He left the game with a bruised right knee in the third and was called day-to-day.
Puig left the game after scoring on odd slide in the sixth. Puig missed the plate completely, then did a strange dance with his hands to avoid the lunging tag attempts of catcher Welington Castillo before slapping the plate. Andre Ethier replaced him to start the seventh; the Dodgers said he suffered mild left hamstring soreness and was taken out for precautionary reasons.
And then in the seventh, Scott Van Slyke – who had replaced Gonzalez at first – made a nice diving stop of an Arismendy Alcantara sharp bouncer, and while lying on his back, tossed to Maholm covering first.
Maholm got the out, but his right leg buckled as he crossed the bag and he fell in a heap. He remained on the ground for some time before walking off the field. The Dodgers had no early word on his injury.
The dropping bodies overshadowed a dismal overall effort by the Dodgers. Besides Gonzalez sliding over the plate, Matt Kemp threw a ball away to third from right field for an error, third baseman Justin Turner bobbled a bouncer and then failed to tag out the nearby runner, A.J. Ellis dropped a strong throw from Puig in center that would have nailed the runner at the plate and the Dodgers were held to four hits by Kyle Hendricks, a rookie from Capistrano Valley High School.
The Dodgers were hoping to get a bounce-back performance from Haren, whose recent struggles had the Dodgers skip his last start. But Haren (8-9) dropped his fifth consecutive decision. In those five games, he has a 10.03 earned-run average.
Friday was just more of the same ugly inconsistency. He lasted only 4 1/3 innings, allowing seven runs (six earned) on eight hits and a pair of walks; he struck out three.
The Dodgers might have wanted to put Maholm in the No. 5 spot in the rotation, but now he’s nursing an unknown leg injury.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers' offense could do little with Hendricks (2-1). He went seven innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on those four hits and a walk, striking out three.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times