Chris Capuano didn't record an out in the fifth inning, and was terrorized by his nemesis Paul Goldschmidt as the Dodgers fell to the Diamondbacks 9-2 on Monday night at Dodger Stadium. The loss was the fifth straight for the Dodgers, who fell into last place in the National League West.
Goldschmidt was 4-for-5 with a home run and three RBI on the night, including 3-for-3 against Capuano. In his career, the Arizona first baseman has owned Capuano, to the tune of .800 (12-for-15) with three home runs and three doubles.
Down 3-2 entering the fifth inning, Didi Gregorius flew out to Carl Crawford to open the frame, but Crawford dropped the ball on the transfer from his glove to his hand and they play was ruled no catch. You be the judge, courtesy of Chad Moriyama:
Obviously in a 9-2 game, a single play doesn't matter match, but the visual seems emblematic of the Dodgers' play right now. Goldschmidt and Cody Ross followed with home runs to give the Diamondbacks a 6-2 lead, end Capuano's night, and essentially put the game away.
Capuano's start illustrated a problem of late in the starting staff, the fourth time in the last seven games the Dodgers have had their starting pitcher pitch four innings or less. The rotation really has become Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-jin Ryu, and a jumbled mess of unreliability.
Kershaw, Ryu, Zack Greinke (two starts) and Chad Billingsley (two starts) have combined for 18 starts this season, with a collective ERA of 2.57. That group has 13 quality starts and has averaged 6.43 innings per start.
The rest of the rotation — Josh Beckett, Capuano, Ted Lilly, Matt Magill and Stephen Fife — has made 13 starts, and has a collective ERA of 6.79. That group has three quality starts and has averaged 4.69 innings per start.
That's not to say the offense wasn't also partly at fault on Monday, as they managed just two runs on the night. They killed a lot of worms with 14 ground ball outs in seven innings. Even the Dodgers who managed to do something well managed to also shoot themselves in the foot.
Crawford homered in the third inning, his team leading fifth home run of the season to cut the deficit to 3-2 at the time. But he had earlier misplayed a ball hit by Cahill in the second inning that went for a triple, a key to a three-run inning for Arizona.
In the eighth inning, Matt Kemp singled to extend his hitting streak to a modest six games — he is hitting .308/.345/.346 — but down four runs Kemp tried to extend the hit to a double and was easily thrown out.
Arizona added three runs in the ninth inning to provide the final margin. It was their third three-run inning of the night.
Josh Beckett looks to snap out of the malaise on Tuesday night in the second game of the series. Brandon McCarthy gets the start for Arizona.
Home runs: Carl Crawford (5); Paul Goldschmidt (6), Cody Ross (1)
WP - Trevor Cahill (2-3): 7 IP, 6 hits, 2 runs, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts
LP - Chris Capuano (0-2): 4+ IP, 8 hits, 6 runs (5 earned), 2 walks, 2 strikeouts