Nothing seemed to be working properly at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday.
Not the scoreboard, which struggled to keep up with every run the Miami Marlins scored and finally gave out entirely.
Not the phone line between the dugout and the bullpen, which also gave out, forcing Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly to stall so a batboy could run and tell Chris Perez to warm up.
And certainly not the home team, which endured its worst beating of an uneven season. The Marlins, the team that pressed a double-A pitcher into service to replace its injured ace, put up six runs in the second inning and six more in the fourth en route to a 13-3 drubbing of the Dodgers.
The Dodgers, the team with the World Series expectations and the highest payroll in baseball history, are 22-20. The Marlins are 21-20.
By the fourth inning, the Marlins had set a season high for runs. After the fifth inning, Mattingly gave Hanley Ramirez and Adrian Gonzalez the rest of the night off. In the ninth inning, Mattingly used catcher Drew Butera to pitch; Butera threw a scoreless inning, with one pitch at 94 mph.
The Dodgers were foiled by the hottest trend in baseball, the exaggerated defensive shift. Three balls that would have been outs under a traditional defensive alignment went for hits.
That, however, was the least of the Dodgers' concerns. They could not hit, pitch, or field very well.
They also have to wonder about the condition of reliever Brian Wilson, whose velocity dropped markedly from his previous appearance. Wilson, who spent the first two weeks of April on the disabled list because of elbow inflammation, hit 90 mph on only two of his 22 pitches.
Anthony DeSclafani, making his major league debut with Miami in place of the injured Jose Fernandez, scored a run before he gave up a run. He drove in two runs. He also gave up two runs in six innings, striking out seven.
With Hyun-Jin Ryu about ready to return, Paul Maholm essentially vacated his spot in the Dodgers' starting rotation. The numbers were startling enough. Maholm gave up 10 runs — five earned — in 32/3 innings. He faced 24 batters, giving up 11 hits and three walks, striking out none.
But he also could not stop the bleeding in the big innings, the first of which featured the all too usual fielding miscues. The Dodgers and Washington Nationals are tied for the National League lead with 37 errors; the Cincinnati Reds have committed a league-low 12 errors.
Reed Johnson started the Miami second inning with a single to center field. Then, with Garrett Jones up and the Dodgers leaving most of the left side open, Jones dropped a sloppy bunt down the third base line for a single.
Adeiny Hechavarria flied out, and Jeff Mathis singled. That loaded the bases for DeSclafani, in his first major league at-bat.
DeSclafani grounded to second baseman Dee Gordon, who booted the ball for an error, and the Marlins had their first two runs.
That could have been a force play, maybe an inning-ending double play. The error meant that five of the six runs in the inning would be unearned, but Maholm hardly distinguished himself.
Christian Yelich delivered a sacrifice fly, Ed Lucas followed with a home run, and the Marlins led, 5-0. Giancarlo Stanton doubled, bring up the ninth batter of the inning, Jeff Baker.
Baker hit a little dribbler, a few feet up the third base line. Maholm and catcher A.J. Ellis converged on the ball, with Maholm picking it up but throwing too late to first base.
Ellis did not retreat to cover the plate, Maholm did not notice in time, and so the plate was unguarded. Stanton gleefully sped around third base and, yes, scored from second on a ground ball that barely cleared the batter's box.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times