Down two runs in the eighth inning on Monday night, the Dodgers had their best late chance to score against the Padres. Two runners were in scoring position for pinch hitter Skip Schumaker, a career .304 hitter with a .359 on-base percentage against right-handed pitchers.
But Schumaker bounced a ball in between the pitchers mound and first base, a ground out that dropped him to just 2-for-13 (.154) against righties this year.
But it got worse.
Gregerson looked at catcher A.J. Ellis, who froze at third base. Ellis then tried to score once Gregerson threw to first and was easily doubled up at home plate. The stop-and-go routine ended the inning, and the threat.
"I think he had the right read, but he just had to keep going. With that ball down the line there you just have to keep going," said manager Don Mattingly. "If (Gregerson) turns and throws it, then you have to make them make a play there. We can get into a rundown and still have second and third."
Ellis agreed, and owned his mistake after the game.
"I got caught in no man's land. What I did was the worst possible thing," Ellis said. "It was such a weirdly placed ball. There are so many scenarios if it gets past the pitchers mound. Initially I read the ball as past the pitchers mound, but to Luke Gregerson's credit he did an amazing job of bouncing off the mound and making a play.
"He immediately turned to check and froze me. At that point I had to make a quick decision and I made the wrong one. Heads up play by him, and bad play by me for not giving us a second chance to get back in the game."