From the moment Kevin Kouzmanoff's would-be inning-ending pop fly to right field bounced off the forearm of a diving Trent Oeltjen, helping to turn a 1-0 deficit into a five-run, 41-pitch inning, Nathan Eovaldi and the Dodgers faced an uphill battle. The Dodgers got close, but there was no Sunday cigar as they fell to the Rockies 7-6, snapping their win streak at five games.
As for the Andre Ethier knee controversy, Ethier backed off comments made Saturday to T.J. Simers of the Los Angeles Times which implied that the team was forcing him to play hurt. It turns out that wasn't the case at all, and that Ethier never told anyone with the club that he was too hurt to play. Ken Gurnick has the details at MLB.com:
"I got kind of blindsided by this," said Mattingly. "That's taking a shot at my integrity, at the organization and training staff and Ned -- and personally that I would put a guy out there that was hurt and risk his career. I'd never do that. That's not in my DNA."
Mattingly declined to speculate on whether Ethier's comments in the article were motivated by contractual desires or to serve as an excuse for the outfielder's second-half slump. Instead, Mattingly said if Ethier needs surgery now, "he's better off to get it now."
Chalk it up to frustration for a down season, but Ethier has reached the point where, like Ned Colletti, he seems to put his foot in his mouth more often than not when somebody puts a microphone in his face.
The Dodgers continue their homestand Monday night facing San Diego. Clayton Kershaw goes for his 17th win, against Mat Latos of the Padres.
WP - Jhoulys Chacin (11-10): 5 IP, 6 hits, 4 runs, 5 walks, 6 strikeouts
LP - Nathan Eovaldi (1-2): 4 IP, 6 hits, 5 runs, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts
Sv - Rafael Betancourt (4): 1 IP, 1 strikeout