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Rockies 2, Dodgers 1: Coming up short in finale

The Dodgers will hold a workout on Tuesday morning at Dodger Stadium, then fly to Atlanta later that day. They open the NLDS on Thursday against the Braves.

Lisa Blumenfeld

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers ended the regular season on Sunday without anyone else getting hurt, which is of paramount importance heading into October. But their 2-1 loss to the Rockies on Sunday was marked by a theme of coming up just short.

Down one, the Dodgers loaded the bases with one out in the ninth inning against closer Rex Brothers but were unable to score the tying run as Tim Federowicz and Skip Schumaker struck out to end the game.

Hyun-jin Ryu was alright in his abbreviated start, pitching four innings in his final tuneup for the postseason. He was especially good after allowing the first four batters to reach base. After the Rockies took a quick 1-0 lead on Ryu after those four batters, they still had the bases loaded with nobody out, but Ryu escaped with just the one run against his ledger.

In the first inning this season Ryu allowed 17 runs in 30 games, a 5.10 ERA. In his 162 other innings combined, Ryu had a 2.61 ERA.

Ryu allowed one more run in the fourth inning, and ended his season with an ERA of exactly 3.00. Had he recorded one more out, or not allowed that second run, he would given the Dodgers a third starter with an ERA under 3.00 for the first time since 1988.

Ricky Nolasco, the likely but not yet official NLDS Game 4 starter, threw an inning of relief in his final tuneup as well. He finished at 199⅓ innings on the season, two outs shy of a hefty chunk of change.

Todd Helton finished off his great career for the Rockies by going 1-for-3 with a walk. But the Dodgers were able to keep the first baseman from any gappers or home runs during the series. He finishes his career with 998 extra-base hits, unable to join the 35 others with 1,000 extra-base hits.

Helton finished his career by striking out against Kenley Jansen in the ninth inning, and left to a loud standing ovation with players from both teams standing at the top step of their respective dugouts and applauding his 17-year career.

The Dodgers followed Ryu and Nolasco with a quintet of relief pitchers making final appearances before the NLDS. Chris Capuano, Chris Withrow, Brian Wilson, J.P. Howell and Jansen all pitched scoreless ball.

Jansen pitched a scoreless ninth inning with two strikeouts, though he did walk two, and ended his fantastic year with a 1.88 ERA and 111 strikeouts against just 17 unintentional walks. But he fell one strikeout shy of Aroldis Chapman of the Reds for the major league lead in strikeouts in relief.

The Dodgers had 52,396 in attendance on Sunday for essentially a glorified spring training game, the 29th sellout of the season at Dodger Stadium. It is the most home sellouts by the Dodgers since 1983, when they had 37.

But the regular season is now over (except in Arlington on Monday, where the Rays and Rangers will meet). Bring on the NLDS, and bring on the Braves.

Sunday particulars

Home runs: none

WP - Jeff Francis (3-5): 5 IP, 3 hits, 1 run, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts

LP - Hyun-jin Ryu (14-8): 4 IP, 8 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts

Sv - Rex Brothers (19): 1 IP, 1 hit, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts