I used to think of Rocky IV when I thought of the Cardinals. Now I think of Rocky V. This game never happened. Do you hear me? Never. Happened. Albert Pujols beat the Dodgers tonight, but with his legs, not with his bat.
Clayton Kershaw couldn't get though the fourth inning, mixing occasional wildness with the inability to put hitters away without throwing a lot of pitches. Still, he only gave up two runs, and James McDonald and Ronald Belisario stemmed the tide until the Dodgers were able to tie it up with two home runs in the seventh inning.
Kershaw has thrown 97 pitches in each of his last two starts, but has pitched a total of only eight innings, while giving six runs.
In the ninth inning, Jonathan Broxton was brought in, for his third consecutive game, to face the heart of the Cardinal lineup. Broxton walked Pujols, setting up the key play of the night, in which there was a lot of blame to spread around:
- Broxton didn't do a good job holding Pujols -- who had 11 stolen bases entering tonight -- on first base, and Pujols got a great jump toward second base
- Russell Martin rushed a throw that had no chance of getting Pujols, and it bounced in front of Orlando Hudson
- As the ball got by Hudson, Rafael Furcal wasn't backing up the play, nor were Matt Kemp or Andre Ethier close enough to keep Pujols from going to third base
Now on third base with nobody out, Pujols scored easily on Matt Holliday's sacrifice fly.
Tonight was Broxton's first loss of the season. The Dodgers have lost five straight series to the Cardinals. The Dodgers won't have to play the Cardinals again this regular season, but could very well matchup in October.
Jeff Weaver fills out his portion of the Dodgers' patchwork starting rotation tomorrow against the Cubs and Tom Gorzelanny.
WP -Kyle McClellan (4-2): 1 IP, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
LP - Jonathan Broxton (7-1): 1 IP, 1 unearned run, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Sv - Ryan Franklin (31): 1 IP, 3 up, 3 down