I have to hand it to KCAL. Despite offering an inferior production quality to Prime Ticket on its Dodger broadcasts, it may have provided the moment to perfectly describe the season tonight. You see, KCAL, unlike Prime Ticket, does not bother to have a postgame show, so almost literally seconds after the final play of the game the transmission shifts into normal KCAL programming, which, outside of its meteorologists, is crap.
Tonight, a few moments after the Dodgers lost to the Braves, 4-3, giving up three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning, KCAL switched to its "regularly scheduled programming, already in progress." Tonight, that meant Dr. Phil, and the first image we saw on screen was a woman bawling her eyes out. If that doesn't describe the Dodger season, I don't know what does.
The Dodger bullpen, like the alleged father of said woman's baby on Dr. Phil, should take a DNA test tonight, because Chad Billingsley got, um, fornicated, out of a win. Billingsley was on his game tonight, striking out eight batters against just one walk in his seven innings of work.
Hong-Chih Kuo pitched a scoreless eighth inning in just seven pitches, so he stayed in to pitch the ninth, attempting a two-inning save. The last two-inning save by a Dodger was Ramon Troncoso, who pitched the final two innings of a 2-1 win in Chicago against the Cubs on May 28, 2009. However, Kuo loaded the bases with one out in the ninth, so Joe Torre went to Octavio Dotel to get the final two outs. Dotel faced two batters but, he didn't record an out. A walk to David Ross was followed by a single by Melky Cabrera to bring home the tying and winning runs, ending the Dodgers brutal road trip at 2-5.
In the four-game series in Atlanta, that the Dodgers were this close to splitting, the Dodgers scored a total of six runs, and had no hits in 23 at-bats with runners in scoring position.
By the way, James McDonald allowed one run in seven innings tonight for Pittsburgh, getting his second win.
The Dodgers head home tonight, and open a three-gamer with the Rockies tomorrow. Clayton Kershaw, who flew home ahead of the team today, starts Tuesday against
Jeff Francis .
WP - Peter Moylan (4-2): 3 up, 3 down
LP - Hong-Chih Kuo (3-2): 1 1/3 IP, 2 hits, 3 runs, 1 walk, 1 strikeout