3 up, 3 down: Mets 5, Dodgers 0


LOS ANGELES -- Photo Day at Dodger Stadium may have forced the scuffling Dodgers to smile for the cameras and put on a happy face before the game, but the good cheer didn't last long as the club dropped its seventh straight, losing to the Mets 5-0.

It was another ugly game for the Dodgers, filled with anemic offense, poor starting pitching and some shaky defense.

The Mets big blow came in the sixth as Ike Davis blasted a three-run shot off Dodgers starter Nathan Eovaldi to stake the Mets to a 5-0 lead. It was Davis' 11th homer of the season.

The Dodgers managed just three hits off Mets starter Johan Santana and were shut out for the fifth time in their last six games.

In the end, the Dodgers lost at least seven straight games for the first time since August 2008 when they lost eight in a row between Aug. 22-29. After that losing streak, the Dodgers won 12 of their next 13 games.

The Good:

The bullpen. After Eovaldi was chased with one out in the top of the sixth inning, Scott Elbert, Todd Coffey and Josh Lindblom kept the Mets quiet, allowing just two hits and one walk over the final 3 2/3rds innings.

Ellis, Kemp nearing returns. Kind of telling when some of the most positive news of the day comes from the training room where second baseman Mark Ellis and center fielder Matt Kemp are nearing returns from the disabled list. Ellis (leg) played for the Single-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes on Saturday on a rehab assignment and is expected back toward the middle to end of next week. Kemp said he hoped to return to the lineup July 13, after the All-Star break. Kemp said on Fox's broadcast of the game that he would DH for Rancho Cucamonga on Tuesday.

The future? First-round draft pick Corey Seager signed Friday night and toured Dodger Stadium on Saturday. Seager is the second Scott Boras client to sign with the Dodgers in the last two years, following Stanford pitcher Chris Reed, the Dodgers first-round pick in 2011.

The Bad:

Oh-no, Eo! After getting ripped for 10 hits and eight runs in his last outing against the Giants, Eovaldi (0-5) was shaky again against the Mets, losing for the third consecutive outing. He yielded seven hits and five earned runs and couldn't make it out of the sixth inning, further taxing the Dodgers' bullpen. Incidentally, Eovaldi has received the lowest run support of any major league pitcher with a minimum of five starts. The Dodgers have averaged just 0.66 runs in his seven starts.

The future? The Dodgers were reportedly close on a deal for Houston first baseman Carlos Lee, but Lee doesn't seem all that keen on coming over yet. He'd need to waive his no-trade clause to complete the deal and hasn't been inclined to do so. In other words, there's no help on the way just yet.

Offense, offensive again. The Dodgers were shut out for the fifth time in their last six games and managed just three hits. No amount of changing things up before the game could change things. Manager Don Mattingly joked that he wore his socks higher, didn't shave and parked head-in to the Dodgers' parking lot to help change the mojo. But when things are going badly, it takes a lot more than longer whiskers and higher socks to change things. "I keep banging that drum, and I'm going to keep banging it," Mattingly said after the game. "We have to keep getting ready to play and knowing that we're going to come out the other side. I think that's what good teams do. You get beat up like everybody else. It's not an easy thing that we're going through, but that's where we're at. We don't want to lose seven in a row, we don't want to get shutout, but we're not going anywhere."