The thing about a fat payroll and monster expectations is they can lead to huge disappointment.
Even without shortstop Hanley Ramirez, the Dodgers boast a power-packed lineup. Anyway, they should. That is the company line.
But three games into the new season, that great offense has yet to be hinted at, even if on Wednesday night short-haired Tim Lincecum seemed to do everything in his power to help their cause.
Lincecum walked seven batters in his five innings, but did not give up an earned run as the Dodgers fell to the Giants, 5-3, before a Dodger Stadium crowd of 52,906.
Carl Crawford provided three of the Dodgers’ seven hits as the offense failed to produce, inning after frustrating inning.
The Dodgers, who won the season opener on Clayton Kershaw’s shutout performance, were only one for 14 with runners in scoring position, which unfortunately wasn’t anything new. In their first two games against the Giants, they were one for 13 with runners in scoring position.
The Dodgers left runners in scoring position in five of the first six innings. In their three games against Giants starting pitching, the Dodgers did not score an earned run in 19 innings.
The offensive ineptness is pretty much a team-wide early epidemic. Matt Kemp (0 for 10), Luis Cruz (0 for 10) and Justin Sellers (0 for 6) are still looking for their first hit. Adrian Gonzalez is 1 for 9 without an RBI.
With Josh Beckett something less than sharp (six innings, five runs, four earned, six hits), it was too much for the anemic-hitting Dodgers to overcome.
The Dodgers actually took a 1-0 lead in the first on a Crawford single, two Lincecum walks and a passed ball charged to Hector Sanchez.
But the Giants got to Beckett for four runs in the third inning and the Dodgers never recovered. Pablo Sandoval’s line-drive, two-run homer capped the rally.
The Dodgers scored another run in the fifth on two Lincecum walks, an error and a sacrifice fly by Cruz. They added a final run in the sixth inning after they loaded the bases with no outs on singles by Mark Ellis and Crawford and a hit batter.
That set it up for the big boys, but Kemp bounced into a double play and Gonzalez struck out. And the non-roll continued.