Rapid Reaction: Brewers 9, Dodgers 3
August, 8, 2014
By Doug Padilla | ESPNLosAngeles.com
MILWAUKEE -- Working on little to no sleep after arriving at their Milwaukee hotel at 7:30 a.m., the Los Angeles Dodgers fell 9-3 to the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday.
How it happened: A first-inning injury to Hanley Ramirez haunted the Dodgers in the later innings as defense at shortstop proved costly. Justin Turner, the third Dodgers shortstop of the night, had three misplays in the seventh inning, two for errors, as the Brewers scored four times to take control of the game. The Dodgers had just rallied for the lead on RBIs from Adrian Gonzalez and Andre Ethier. After a shaky start, new Dodgers starter Roberto Hernandez delivered a solid debut, giving up two runs and three hits over six innings, while throwing only 65 pitches. Ramirez is day-to-day because of a side injury.
What it means: Before the game, manager Don Mattingly raved about the defense from Miguel Rojas in Thursday's victory over the Los Angeles Angels. In need of offense, though, he pinch hit Ethier for Rojas in the seventh inning and the move looked good when Ethier's infield single gave the Dodgers the lead. But Turner, in only his ninth appearance at shortstop this season, made two fielding miscues and a throwing blunder to open the door for the Brewers. If Ramirez is hurt for an extended period, expect Mattingly to put more faith in Rojas, at the plate and on defense, next time.
Outside the box: In search of offense, Mattingly pinch hit for Hernandez to lead off the seventh inning and Turner singled. It ended Hernandez's efficient night, though, as his 65 pitches were his fewest in any of his 21 starts this season. His previous low was 73 in his season debut April 4. The outing was still long enough to show that Hernandez still is pitching well. He entered with a 2.85 ERA over his last seven starts with the Phillies, going back to June 23.
Off beat: Talk about a show of strength. While trying to stop his bat on a check swing in the seventh inning, Yasiel Puig broke it. Puig didn't make contact with the ball, he just stopped the swing so abruptly that the bat broke apart near his hands. Because the bat went through the hitting zone, landing on the infield grass toward third base, he was charged with a swinging strike. He ended the at-bat with a walk.
Up next: The Dodgers will send right-hander Zack Greinke (12-7, 2.71 ERA) to the mound Saturday in the middle game of the three-game series. The Brewers will counter with right-hander Mike Fiers (0-1, 2.57) in the 4:10 PT start from Miller Park.