Dodgers falter every which way in a 13-1 loss to Atlanta
Nothing went right for the Dodgers on Sunday.
Their pitching was dreadful. Balls were dropped in the outfield. There was a miscalculation on the basepaths. Not a single one of them could hit with a man in scoring position.
But as uninspired as the Dodgers appeared in their 13-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field, they insisted that they haven’t given up and still have some fight left in them.
“I don’t sense anybody throwing their hands up and quitting,” Manager Joe Torre said.
“The will to win is definitely here,” Ryan Theriot said.
Even if that’s true, they don’t have many games remaining.
With 44 games left in the regular season, the Dodgers trail the first-place San Diego Padres by 10 games in the National League West. They are 6½ games behind the wild-card-leading San Francisco Giants.
“We’ve got to put together a streak,” Torre said. “We’ve got to win five or six in a row and get our swagger back. You have to come to the ballpark expecting to win, not hoping to do it.”
Matt Kemp said the Dodgers could do that.
“We’ve done it before, we’ve been behind before,” Kemp said, recalling how the Dodgers caught the Arizona Diamondbacks to win the division in 2008. “We have to play our game and get on a roll.”
Is there a point at which a tough stretch becomes more than a tough stretch and turns into a reflection of a team’s capabilities?
With Manny Ramirez, Rafael Furcal and Russell Martin sidelined, the Dodgers fielded a lineup that included three position players who were hitting .221 or lower — Ronnie Belliard, Juan Castro and Brad Ausmus.
“I think everything about our record is what the team is,” Torre said. “We’re not certainly playing like a club that has been in the postseason the last couple years. It’s certainly up to us to change that — not really to prove it to anybody but ourselves.”
The game started on a positive note for the Dodgers, as Scott Podsednik doubled to extend his hitting streak to 12 games.
The double ended a less flattering streak. The Dodgers’ previous 21 hits were singles. Only one of their last 31 hits — a home run by Kemp on Thursday — went for extra bases.
But the Dodgers failed to take advantage of the rare opportunity. Podsednik moved to third base on a sacrifice bunt by Theriot, only for Andre Ethier to strike out and James Loney to ground out.
The Dodgers had men on second base and third base with one out in the fourth inning, but Kemp struck out and Belliard grounded out to first base.
Theriot reached base with one out in the sixth inning, but he was thrown out by Rick Ankiel as he tried to go from first to third on a single by Loney. Theriot was unapologetic about his gamble, saying, “I’m going to make the guy make the perfect throw. If they do, they do.”
It was a mistake of no consequence, as the Dodgers were already down, 8-0, as Vicente Padilla was charged with four runs in the third inning and four in the fifth.
The Dodgers finished the game 0 for 7 with men in scoring position, making them 0 for 16 in such situations through the first three games of the four-game series.
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