LOS ANGELES -– In the fourth inning of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 2-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night, the scoreboard flashed the result of the Kings’ victory over the Rangers in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals, prompting a roaring ovation.
At least one team is generating a little excitement as summer gets underway in Los Angeles.
The Dodgers are not only struggling, they’re boring their fans to tears, especially at home. They scored three runs or fewer in six of the 10 games on this homestand and are now 13-19 at Dodger Stadium. Maybe there's hope on the horizon. They're off to Coors Field this weekend.
How it happened: Once again, a struggling pitcher came into Dodger Stadium and looked like a Cy Young front-runner. Tuesday, it was Hector Noesi, working for his third team this season. Wednesday, it was veteran lefty John Danks, who has certainly seen better days, judging by his pregame 4.66 ERA. Danks was wild, hitting Scott Van Slyke with pitches twice and walking three other batters. But he used a huge Kerwin Danley strike zone to his advantage and, once again, the Dodgers helped him out by swinging at bad pitches.
Hits: Josh Beckett has not had dominating stuff since his May 25 no-hitter, which isn’t surprising since he threw 128 pitches in that game. Beckett, however, has found a way to get the Dodgers deep enough into games so that they have a chance to win, if they could muster just a little offense. In both cases, the team was trailing 2-0 when he left and wound up losing. Beckett navigated through six innings, working around nine hits. The only damage Chicago did came on solo home runs by 5-foot-7 Leury Garcia and 6-foot-5 Adam Dunn.
Beckett and Dan Haren are working hard at the back of the Dodgers’ rotation, but they’re not getting a lot of help.
Misses: A lot of major league players jog out routine ground balls, but it’s a really bad look when the fielder bobbles the ball -- especially when your team is struggling to score runs. Adrian Gonzalez’s lack of hustle was exposed in the fourth inning, but Gordon Beckham dropped it outright following his initial bobble and Gonzalez was able to reach on the error anyway. Still, the Dodgers’ first baseman is coming off a 5-for-33 homestand and it added to the perceived listlessness in front of the home crowd.
Stat of the game: When Beckett struck out pitcher Danks looking to end the fourth inning, it gave him 2,000 innings completed for his career. That puts Beckett, 34, in fairly elite company. Only 16 active pitchers have racked up that many innings. Dodgers reliever Jamey Wright needs four innings to join the club.
Up next: The Dodgers are off Thursday before beginning a three-game series in Colorado on Friday night.