Wednesday, August 29, 2012
3 up, 3 down: Dodgers 10, Rockies 8
By Mark Saxon
The Los Angeles Dodgers snapped their three-game losing streak, but not before they nearly blew a 10-0 lead.
The Dodgers hung on Wednesday at Coors Field for a wild 10-8 win over the Colorado Rockies, who scored all their runs in the seventh and eighth innings.
Forgotten man. Remember Joe Blanton? The Dodgers made so many acquisitions before and after the trade that brought him from Philadelphia, he kind of has been out of view. He also had been the most disappointing new guy going into Wednesday, with a 7.71 ERA and three losses in his four starts. He had heard plenty of boos in his previous start at Dodger Stadium. But the Dodgers got him some early runs Wednesday and he ran with them, shutting down Colorado until things started getting a little messy in the seventh inning. He has a little work to do to make that deal look like a success, but it was a start.
Heating up. The Dodgers were killing them softly -- with an assortment of broken bats and infield hits -- in the third inning until they made a loud noise. Hanley Ramirez hit a two-run home run to center field, his eighth home run with the Dodgers and second game in a row going deep. Ramirez was ice cold when the Dodgers left town Sunday, but 5,000 feet of altitude seems to have done him good.
Knockout. Or at least it should have been. When A.J. Ellis hit his grand slam in the eighth inning, it seemed as if the Dodgers would cruise. Then the bullpen took over. Imagine where this Dodgers season would be without the unexpected contributions from their catcher. They knew he could catch. The power has been an enormous and pleasant surprise.
Fumbling away. Shawn Tolleson has been on a shuttle lately between the Dodgers and the minor leagues. If rosters weren't about to expand, he might be in jeopardy of taking yet another flight. The last thing you want when you build a massive lead is for your mop-up man to get hit around. Tolleson couldn't get an out -- he allowed four hits and a walk -- and suddenly it looked as if the Dodgers might make a little history.
Changed leads. Don Mattingly flip-flopped Shane Victorino and Mark Ellis in the No. 1 and 2 spots in his batting order, which is not a big deal, but a bit puzzling. Ellis handles the bat well, and Victorino is faster. Perhaps it will work out in the long run, but in two games, Ellis went 1-for-8 without a walk.
Rocky D. One of the reasons Colorado should provide easy wins for the Dodgers -- which has not been the case -- is that the Rockies are probably the worst-fielding team in the majors. They were the first team to 100 errors in baseball and they made their 101st Wednesday. It's not uncommon for balls to go clanging around the field when Colorado is on defense, and that was the case Wednesday. The Dodgers finally took advantage of it.