- Mark Saxon, ESPNLosAngeles.com
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LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers are having trouble getting on a roll and the culprit, surprisingly, has been herky-jerky starting pitching.
Clayton Kershaw dominated Sunday. Ted Lilly stunk up the place Monday. Hyun-Jin Ryu dealt Tuesday. Josh Beckett looked like he didn't want to throw the ball Wednesday evening, setting a discordant tone in the Dodgers' 7-3 loss to the Colorado Rockies.
Beckett seemed frozen in amber for the early innings, launching the game on a glacial pace and putting Dodgers' defenders on their heels. The team showed some fight, but never really recovered.
The first three innings were drawn out over nearly two hours, much of that time Beckett simply staring in at catcher A.J. Ellis' mitt. He spotted Colorado a 3-0 lead when he allowed the first four batters of the game to reach base (one of them on a routine grounder that clanked off Hanley Ramirez’s glove for an error).
Beckett lasted only four innings, allowing five runs on five hits and three walks.
One month into the season, Beckett (0-4, 5.24 ERA) still is looking for his first win. He has had some good starts, notably that April 14 masterpiece in Arizona, but he has also failed to get through six innings in four of his six starts. The Dodgers are 1-5 when he pitches.
His short outing put some more weight on the Dodgers’ bullpen, which had to soak up six innings in a 12-2 loss Monday and had to mop up for Beckett two days later.
Ramirez was a little slow at times, too, such as when he stood at home plate admiring his opposite-field "home run" in the bottom of the first inning. It wasn’t a home run. The ball landed on the warning track and Ramirez had to kick it into gear to pull into second base standing up.
One encouraging trend has been the rapid return of Ramirez’s hitting. After missing nearly six weeks recovering from thumb surgery, Ramirez has two doubles and a home run and is 5-for-9 in two starts. In the team's other 25 games, all other Dodgers shortstops combined have two extra-base hits.