There are some frustrating but ultimately good losses like the game last year against the Brewers where Gabe Kaplar dove three rows into the seats to rob a home run. This was not one of those games. Today the Dodgers lost 4-3 in a game they could have easily won.
Clayton Kershaw had great stuff (hitting 97 on the radar gun a few times) but was wild, throwing at least 20 pitches in each of the first three innings. He couldn't keep his pitch count down so he had to leave after only five innings with the score tied 1-1 because of a bases-loaded walk by Andre Ethier. Ethier had a perfect day going 2-2 with 2 walks.
In the sixth inning Matt Kemp hit a shot to third that bounced off of Edgar Gonzalez and gave the Dodgers a 3-1 lead. In the bottom half of the inning Ronald Belisario came in and pitched very impressively, throwing two scoreless innings while notching four strikeouts with only one walk. He threw mostly all sinking fastballs but the Padre hitters seemed unable to connect with the pitch. The Dodgers loaded the bases in the 7th and had two men on in the 8th but were unable to add to their lead. Little did they know how costly this would be.
In the eigth inning, Will Ohman gave up a home run to Adrian Gonzalez before being lifted for Cory Wade with the Dodgers leading 3-2. Wade gave up a triple and a single with two outs to tie the game up at 3-3. Then Luis Rodgriguex capped off a perfect day (1-1 with 3 walks) by hitting a double into right center field to give the Padres the lead 4-3. Rodriguez is a light hitting shortstop with a career 77 OPS+, which only increases the pain.
In the 9th inning the Dodgers got another chance after Orlando Hudson hit a leadoff triple. But Heath Bell got Manny to ground out and then after walking Andre Ethier, Russell Martin grounded into a game-ending double play, ending a painful series for Russ.
The Dodgers made plenty of huge execution mistakes in this game, among them walking Luis Rodriguez three times and being unable to drive in Hudson in the 9th when all they needed was a fly ball. It all adds up to a bitter loss, but one that will hopefully be quickly forgotten because tomorrow an important series against the Diamondbacks at Chase Field begins. The starting pitchers tomorrow will be James McDonald and Jon Garland.