Hey, it wasn’t like they were all going to be pretty little things the rest of the way.
Anyone suffering under the delusion that the Dodgers’ recent turnaround meant only blue skies ahead, had only to take in their 10-3 loss to the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday to be brought back firmly to terra firma.
Three times the Dodgers loaded the bases against the Indians, and then went a combined 0-for-6 with five strikeouts. Threes were something of a problem for the Dodgers all night. In the fourth inning they ran themselves into a triple play, one that was challenged twice – once by each manager. The Indians won both of those too.
And Josh Beckett, who had been so marvelous in his last seven starts (1.34 earned-run average), was something much less than that Tuesday.
Plus, the loss knocked the Dodgers back out of first, a half-game behind the San Francisco Giants in the National League West.
Beckett, whom Manager Don Mattingly said was suffering from general soreness (a.k.a. Mike Marshall disease), got into immediate trouble against an Indians team that had been one-hit in consecutive games.
In the first inning, Beckett gave up a single to Asdrubal Cabrera, a run-scoring double to Jeff Brantley and a two-run homer to Lonnie Chisenhall. The Indians hardly put together a clean bottom of the first, the Dodgers scoring two on a Yasiel Puig double and two-run homer from Adrian Gonzalez. The Dodgers then loaded the bases for the first time against Justin Masterson on two walks and a bad error by first baseman Nick Swisher, but rookie Carlos Triunfel struck out.
Swisher made up for the miscue with a two-run double in the third.
The Dodgers loaded the bases with one out in the second and failed to score and again in the fifth with no outs, three Dodgers striking out.
Masterson had already thrown 85 pitches when he left in the third with runners on the corners and no outs. He had given up a run with a double to Beckett, a bunt single to Dee Gordon and an RBI hit from Puig.
Gonzalez sent a fly to medium left off reliever Kyle Crockett that was run down by Michael Brantley.
Despite the ball being hit to medium left, Gordon mistakenly decided to tag up. Brantley threw a perfect one-hopper to catcher Yan Gomes, who applied the easy tag. Puig also mistakenly made a belated effort to tag and advance to second.
Puig was originally ruled safe, but the Indians challenged the call and it was overturned to give Cleveland the triple play. Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly then challenged the call at home plate on Gordon, but it was upheld and so was the triple play.
It was, as Vin Scully said on television, a “Looney Tunes” kind of night.
Beckett left after five innings, giving up five runs – or one more than he had in his previous five starts – on six hits and a walk.
The run-hungry Indians scored five more times against the Los Angeles bullpen. And, oh yeah, the Dodgers are still looking for their first four-game winning streak of the season, Tuesday leaving them 0-for-7 when going for No.4.
Nothing was going to look too pretty to the Dodgers on this night.