Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA
Game 2 of 3
Third and final game of my ‘last regular season Saturday’ 3-game baseball scoring series.
After a 5-game losing streak and, subsequently, a failure to clinch the NL West, I felt like the occasion was appropriate to watch the Dodgers face the team I still think has a great shot at a World Series this year representing the NL.
The pitchers’ duel was ON with Clayton Kershaw and Jorge De La Rosa facing off, they each made their first 3 innings of work look like Child’s Play and as it was rather late in the evening, I could see a scoreless game going into extra innings, literally, until one pitcher dropped.
And it happened.
COL 0 3 1
LAD 5 9 0
When De La Rosa walked off of the mound after facing one batter in the top of the 3rd with ‘tightness in the right groin’ I knew it was over for the Rox. Not that he’s that great, but some of their strength as a club comes from MOMENTUM and this event really broke it for them. On their side, Kershaw was never the same pitcher after the length delay to disseminate De La Rosa’s injury, suddenly allowing a small dose of hits and walks (at least one was intentional) where he had only allowed bagels previously.
Really, De La Rosa’s replacement Jose Contreras did quite well – his shaky start was nearly disastrous in his second inning of work, but he got solid in time to leave the game (still scoreless) after the 6th inning. When Franklin Morales took over in the top of the 7th, the Dodgers had 4 hits for the Rockies’ 3 hits.
For the record, it wasn’t De La Rosa’s exit that cost the Rox the game – it was Morales who gave it up. His sloppy work spelled L right out of the gate.
When the Dodgers had the game at 5-0, exited the 9th with another brilliant save by Jonathan Broxton, and had their 6-days-on-ice champagne uncorked and spraying vibrantly only one Rockies image was seen: Morales sitting on the bench, alone, looking like a guy who had just given up a World Series game.
Cheer up, it’s just the NL West. I still think the Rockies are the most dangerous team in the NL, even without De La Rosa – but they should keep Morales on the bench, let him sit this postseason round out, lest he give up something worse than a division title next time around.