Will Stephen Fife get a fourth start for the Dodgers?
The Dodgers have had their ups and downs this season, and the last six days have provided quite the microcosm of the season. After an emotional road sweep in San Francisco, they returned home and were swept by another divisional rival. The Diamondbacks finished a road sweep of their own on Wednesday with a 4-0 win at Dodger Stadium.
Manager Don Mattingly, who warned of a trap game and a trap series on Monday, said his team is ready to move on. After the game, many of the players did just that, as it is Family Day at Dodger Stadium, with players and their families enjoying food and activities on the field.
"Guys in this business, they turn the page," Mattingly said. "You have to turn the page and move on. You really aren't allowed the time to mourn losses, so you have to put it behind you."
Stephen Fife's third major league start was his shortest to date, as he was pulled with one out in the fifth inning, down 2-0.
"Stephen pitched good his first two times out," Mattingly said. "He wasn't horrible today, but I felt like I had a full pen today and with the off day tomorrow I felt I could stretch it all the way through."
Fife was disappointed about being removed, but not at Mattingly. Rather, Fife felt he should have pitched better.
"My efficiency wasn't so good today. I was the next guy up in the lineup, and we were down 2-0. My role on this team is to get as deep as we can and give us a chance to win, and I gave up two too many runs today," Fife said. "I am disappointed in my own performance, and not making it easier on him. It's on me, not him."
Fife had a career high four strikeouts, but he also walked three and allowed nine batters to reach base, while recording just 13 outs. He noticed a difference between Wednesday and his first two starts.
"I had a lack of execution in the bottom of the zone. In those first couple of starts, everything was from the top of the knee cap down," Fife said. "Today was probably from the top of the knee to mid thigh a lot. The first pitch of the game was belt high."
But will Fife, who has allowed 25 batters to reach base in his 16 2/3 innings, get a fourth start? Mattingly is not so sure.
"That's hard to say. I don't know where we're going to be," Mattingly said.
Fife's spot in the rotation will come up next on August 7. With Ted Lilly unavailable until at least August 13 and no other starting pitchers on the 40-man roster, the Dodgers could turn to Double A starter Allen Webster, or possibly John Ely, if not Fife. Neither Webster nor Ely are on the 40-man roster.
Paul Goldschmidt, who was 3-for-3 with a hit by pitch on Wednesday and terrorized the Dodgers by reaching base 10 times in three games, slid hard into Jerry Hairston Jr. at second base in the eighth inning. Hairston took a few steps away from the bag before collapsing onto the field.
After getting examined by assistant trainer Greg Harrel on the field, Hairston stayed in the game. He suffered a bruise in his right shin, close in his leg to where he fractured his tibia in 2010. After the game Hairston said through a team spokesman that his leg felt fine.
But Hairston was not fine with Goldschmidt's take-out slide. I wasn't in the clubhouse by the time Hairston was done receiving postgame treatment, but he told Ken Gurnick of MLB.com that he felt Goldschmidt should be suspended for the slide.
Amy K. Nelson and Steven Goldman of SB Nation talked about the Dodgers (and Phillies) at the trade deadline.
Shane Victorino went 0-for-4 in his first game as a Dodger, after arriving in Los Angeles early Wednesday morning.
"Putting on that Dodger uniform, I was a little kid again. There was a lot of adrenalin today for me, a lot of excitement," Victorino said. "Hopefully Friday things will be a little better, I'll be a little more calm and relaxed, and just go out there and have fun and be the guy that brings energy to this team."
- Mattingly said before the game that he was fined by MLB for his postgame comments after last Wednesday's loss in St. Louis, after he was ejected for arguing balls and strikes. Though it was his fifth ejection of the season, the outburst was out of character for the normally low-key manager.
"I got out of my box," Mattingly said.
- Rubby De La Rosa will pitch his second rehab game for Class A Rancho Cucamonga on Saturday.
The Dodgers are off on Thursday, but resume their homestand on Friday night when the Chicago Cubs come to town for three games. Chad Billingsley starts the opener for the Dodgers, facing Jeff Samardzija for Chicago.