The Dodgers continued their nine game home-stand hosting the Colorado Rockies, who entering the series, wer..."/> The Dodgers continued their nine game home-stand hosting the Colorado Rockies, who entering the series, wer..."/>

Dodgers Can’t Climb Standings Against Rockies, Take Two of Three


The Dodgers continued their nine game home-stand hosting the Colorado Rockies, who entering the series, were third place in the NL West. The Dodgers came into this series off of back-to-back victories,  hoping for more of the same. Close games seem to be the theme for them, as eight of the last twelve games have included a save situation. Of the remaining four, one was a complete game shutout by Hudson in the series at Chase Field, and the other was a Dodger walk-off. This series was no different.

Things got off to a start on Monday at Chavez Ravine, where the fans had already seen a 2-1 home-stand opening series against the Nats. Onto the division rival Rockies, who sat just ahead of the Dodgers in the standings. Rubby De La Rosa would take the mound against fellow rookie Juan Nicasio, and both youngsters were coming off of back-to-back solid outings. Dexter Fowler hit an RBI single in the top of the second to make it 1-0, but in the bottom of the third, the Dodgers backed De La Rosa with some offense. Back to back doubles by Furcal and Miles tied the game and Ethier followed Miles’ double with his tenth homerun making it a 3-1 LA lead. Guerrier took over the mound in the top of the seventh, as De La Rosa exited with a 5-1 lead which seemed to be enough. In the bottom of the frame, the Dodgers would load the bases with two gone, but Rivera would strand the runners with a fly ball to center. Next time up to bat, the Dodgers weren’t so forgiving. With the bases loaded and no one out, Furcal grounded into a fielder’s choice that scored one. Miles and Ethier followed with RBI singles to make it 8-1 and Kuo came on to close out the game. He allowed a leadoff single to Smith who would later score. MacDougal would relieve him before Fowler hit an RBI single to eat away at the lead. Giambi was safe on an error that scored another run to make it 8-4. With the bases still loaded, Helton coaxed a walk out of MacDougal to make it 8-5. The ball was handed to the rookie closer, Javy Guerra, who had seemed to be Houdini, escaping out of some tough jams. He made this one look easy by getting Tulo and Smith to pop out in the infield to shut the game down. It took Guerra to secure the win, but regardless of how, it was a win against a division rival.

Coming off of a 12 strikeout performance, Clayton Kershaw looked poised and readyon Tuesday night against Jhoulys Chacin in a good pitching duel. Trading zeros through three innings, the Dodgers would do all their damage in the fourth. A routine fly ball to Ty Wigginton would end up as an error, and Furcal would end up on second, thanks to Ty’s troubles. Following an Ethier walk, Kemp hit a two run double to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead. Two batters later, a Rivera sac fly made it 3-0. The Rockies answered back with some scoring of their own. After two quick outs, Kershaw gave up back to back singles. Helton would follow up with a single of his own to make it 3-1. Kershaw limited the damage to one, ending the inning by striking out Tulo, who’s been in a slump of late.  The bullpens were unscored upon till the bottom of the ninth, when since Guerra had made three straight appearances, Kenley Jansen took the mound. He would end the game with back-to-back strikeouts to close out the fourth victory in a row for the boys in blue. They then turned to a pitcher who might be pitching his last game as a Dodger, since he’s been the talk of a couple trade rumors.

Hiroki Kuroda has a great ERA, but suffers from the lack of run support. Entering Wednesday’s battle with Aaron Cook, he was 1-9 with one no decision in his last 11 starts. His 6-12 record doesn’t reflect his pitching as much as it does his luck, or lack thereof. Things looked good for Kuroda early on and through four innings, he had four strikeouts and no runs allowed. After two quick outs in the fifth, back to back singles set up Tulowitzki’s RBI single, before Kuroda struck out Ty Wigginton with the bases loaded to avoid a big inning. In the seventh, Blake Hawksworth relieved Kuroda, and a Tulowitzki double after two quick outs would put the Dodgers behind by more runs. After an intentional walk to Smith, Wigginton hit an RBI double to make the Colorado lead 2-0. The Rockies would score once more in the top of the ninth thanks to a RBI single by Tulowitzki, his second of the game. Hudson Street came into the game in the ninth hoping to end Colorado’s four game skid by closing this one out, and a full count fly ball out by Loney got him the first out. Rod Barajas followed with a homerun to give the Dodger faithful some hope that this one wasn’t over just yet, but after a Jamie Carroll strikeout, Juan Rivera popped up to the catcher to end the game and the four game win streak.

Taking two of three from the Rockies put them closer to third place, while a sweep would have given them third place outright. The Dodgers exit the series 47-57, 13 games out of first place in the NL West. They will host the Diamondbacks in the last three games of the nine game home-stand, and the rest of the division will play out like this: After the Padres finish up a series with the Diamondbacks tomorrow, they will host the Rockies at Petco Park. A Padres series win gives the Dodgers a chance to move into third with a good series against Arizona. The division leading Giants, who acquired Carlos Beltran to boost their lineup, will finish up a three game set in Philadelphia, then they will face the Cincinnati Reds. The Dodgers are getting more production from their bats. Back-to-back series wins show that they aren’t ready to give up on the NL West, and while a surge looks tough, but I’ve seen crazier things happen in baseball.