The Dodgers lost to the Angels 5-4 in the first game of a three game set. Chad Billingsley struggled all day, fighting through six innings while allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits, five walks, and three strikeouts. Joe Saunders struggled as well, allowing ten baserunners in his 6.1 innings of work.
The Dodgers scored first in the third inning on a bases loaded walk by Casey Blake. Blake also made the play of the game in the bottom half of the second inning when he made a diving catch in foul territory to get Billingsley out of a bases loaded jam.
The Angels tied the game in the third when Chone Figgins scored on a Vladimir Guerrero single. Figgins got to second base when Billingsley threw the ball away on a pickoff attempt.
James Loney hit his third homerun of the year in the fourth to put the Dodgers back on top 2-1. Rafael Furcal hit a two run homer an inning later to give the Dodgers a 4-1 lead. Orlando Hudson followed up with a double (his second of the day, he also had a single) but he was left stranded.
In the 6th inning the Angels finally capitalized on Billingsley's wildness. After a Torii Hunter leadoff walk, Vladimir Guerrero singled to put two men on with nobody out. Juan Rivera flied out and Kendry Morales walked on a 10 pitch at bat to load the bases. Maicer Izturis singled to right, bringing in two runs, and then Mike Napoli hit a sacrifice fly to the score.
The game stayed quiet until the 8th inning, when the Dodgers loaded the bases with two outs. Unfortunately Juan Pierre didn't come through, instead he flied out in foul territory to left fielder Juan Rivera. In the bottom half of the inning Rivera stabbed the dagger through the Dodgers' hearts when he launched a home run to left field off of reliever Guillermo Mota.
The Dodgers had a chance in the 9th, when Rafael Furcal opened the inning with a leadoff single off of Angels closer Brian Fuentes. However, again the Dodgers decided to give up outs in the late innings, as Orlando Hudson layed down a sacrifice bunt to get Furcal over to second base. This strategy was unsuccessful; Casey Blake struck out and then after an Andre Ethier walk Matt Kemp struck out to end the game. The question must be asked, how many times will the Dodgers fruitlessly give away outs using their best hitters before they try doing something else, like maybe letting them do what they get paid to do?
Here's the win probability chart for the game. At its peak our win expectancy was 86.7%:
Tommorow at 6:05 PM the battle of the Weaver brothers begins, as Jeff Weaver takes on his younger brother Jered Weaver. This will Jeff Weaver's first start since May 20th.
WP - Justin Speier (3-1): 0.1 IP, 0 hits, 0 runs, 1 walk
LP - Guillermo Mota (3-2): 1.2 IP, 2 hits, 1 run, 0 strikeouts
SV - Brian Fuentes (19): 1 IP, 1 hit, 0 runs, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts