Well, Ely Mania and .500 Mania were fun while they lasted, right? John Ely dug the Dodgers a big hole by giving up seven runs early, and despite the Dodgers' comeback efforts they fell just short, losing to the Diamondbacks 7-5. Now at 78-82, the Dodgers have clinched a losing season. Here are some notes from the game:
- Zach Kroenke became the fifth starting pitcher this season to collect his first major league win against the Dodgers, joining Mike Leake, Luis Atilano, Felix Doubront.
- Kroenke also became the seventh starting pitcher this season to get a win against the Dodgers despite walking more batters than he struck out.
- Matt Kemp launched a solo home run in the fourth inning, tying his career high with his 26th home run. It was also his third straight game with a home run, the third time he has had a streak of at least that length this season, and the fifth time in his career. His career-long streak is four games, achieved twice.
- James Loney's RBI single in the sixth inning gave him 88 RBI on the season, but it also ended a dream. With 10 home runs on the season, it is now impossible for Loney to have his third straight 13 homer, 90 RBI season.
- Russ Mitchell went 0-for-2 tonight, and on the season he has no walks in 43 plate appearances. That total is currently the ninth-most plate appearances by a Dodger non-pitcher in a season without a walk. The record belongs to Gus Getz (his last name wasn't Onbase), who had 102 plate appearances with nary a free pass.
Hong-Chih Kuo pitched a scoreless eighth inning, and over his last six appearances has the following stat line: seven innings, three hits, no runs, one walk, and 14 strikeouts. More importantly, Kuo lowered his ERA to 1.220 on the season, slightly higher than Eric Gagne's 1.202 ERA in 2003. If Kuo pitches one more scoreless inning, he will have the lowest ERA in the 127-year history of the Dodgers (minimum 40 innings). Brad Ausmus noted after the game that the club is aware of Kuo's pursuit of the record, and that's why he was brought in the game tonight. I would look for Kuo to pitch Sunday as well.
- Brad Ausmus fell to 1-1 as a manager (although tonight's game, as well as last season's 162nd game, count on Joe Torre's ledger)
Chad Billingsley and Joe Saunders are tomorrow night's starters.
WP - Zach Kroenke (1-0): 5 IP, 2 hits, 1 run, 2 walks, 1 strikeout
LP - John Ely (4-10): 4 2/3 IP, 7 hits, 7 runs, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts
Sv - Juan Gutierrez (15): 1 IP, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts