Dodgers-Brewers: Much Ado About Nothing in 4-1 Loss for LA

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Dodgers-Brewers: Much Ado About Nothing in 4-1 Loss for LA

Just one night after scoring 17 runs, the Los Angeles Dodgers couldn’t muster any offense in the rubber match of a three-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Dodgers (66-42) lost 4-1 and dropped two out of three to the Brewers (54-54).

Rafael Furcal began the game with a home run into the right field bleachers, but the lineup went quiet for the rest of the game and was unable to push any more runs across.

Brewers pitchers retired the Dodgers lineup in order five times on the night.

Los Angeles starter Jason Schmidt had a much tougher night, however. He went just 3.2 innings and threw 80-pitches in the short outing. It was the second time in four starts since returning from the disabled list that he had failed to reach the end of the fourth inning.

Schmidt gave up four runs on five hits, and allowed a runner to reach second base in every inning while being hit hard all night long.

In the third the Brewers led off with back-to-back singles, and with one out and runners on first and third, Prince Fielder rolled a ground ball to second base. The Dodgers were unable to turn the double play as a hustling Fielder beat out the throw from Furcal, which let Felipe Lopez score and tie the game at 1-1.

Schmidt then started the fourth inning strong by striking out Mike Cameron but it all went downhill from there.

He gave up a single and walked two batters to load the bases. Schmidt continued his wild spell by plunking Craig Counsell to force in a run and give the Brewers the lead at 2-1.

The hit-by-pitch was all Joe Torre needed to see to yank Schmidt and rely on the bullpen to keep the game close. James McDonald came in to relieve the 36-year-old right-hander, but Ryan Braun greeted him cruelly by stroking a two-RBI double to deep center field.

McDonald was lucky the inning ended there, as Counsell was called out at home on a close play to end the rally.

The replay appeared to show that Russell Martin never tagged Counsell, but home plate umpire Randy Marsh saw differently and banged out Counsell at the plate. Nonetheless, Braun had extended the lead to 4-1, letting Braden Looper guide the visiting Brewers through the rest of the night.

Looper was dominant despite giving up the Furcal home run down the right field line to lead off the game. After the home run and a Juan Pierre single that followed, Looper scattered just two more hits over the next 6.2 innings.

He stymied a Dodgers offense that racked up a season-high 17 runs on 18 hits last night, holding the Boys in Blue to just one run and four hits on the night.

At one point he retired 11 Dodgers in a row before walking Martin with two outs in the seventh. Hudson then singled to put two runners on, which triggered Torre to call on Manny Ramirez to pinch-hit.

Brewers manager Ken Macha made the decision that Looper was done at that point and brought in Todd Coffey to pitch to Ramirez.

Coffey made his patented dead sprint in from the bullpen behind the outfield wall, and it took him just two pitches to disperse of Ramirez. On a 1-0 pitch, Manny broke his bat and grounded out weakly to second base, stranding the runners on the base paths.

All-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman worked the ninth inning. James Loney singled with one out, but no damage was done as Hoffman retired the next two batters with ease to end the game.

Tonight’s game marked the 13th straight day without an off day for the Dodgers. With the loss, they are now just 5-8 in that stretch, and still have seven games left before getting some relief.

They are back at it tomorrow night in Chavez Ravine when the Atlanta Braves come to town for a four-game series. Randy Wolf (5-6, 3.47) will face former Dodgers righty Derek Lowe (11-7, 4.21).

 

 

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WP: Looper (10-6)

LP: Schmidt (2-2)

SV: Hoffman (25)

 

Notes from Wednesday night

 

Leading Off With a Bang


Rafael Furcal hit his 13th leadoff home run while playing for the Dodgers. He ranks second all-time for the franchise, and has 25 career leadoff home runs (12 with Atlanta).

 

Reunited and It Feels So Good

Casey Blake and Braden Looper were former college teammates at Wichita State. The two also roomed together during their college years on the team and reunited tonight at Dodgers Stadium as Looper started the game for the visiting Brewers.

 

Elite Company

Matt Kemp drove in five runs last night for the fourth time this season. That is tied with Albert Pujols for most five-RBI games in the Majors this season.



PJ Ross is a Featured Columnist for the Los Angeles Dodgers

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