It was Offense-Defense day today at Coors Field, and the defense won. Or rather, the Dodgers defense--especially the relief pitching, assisted by coach Don Mattingly's repeated complacency--definitely lost today's game. The Dodgers were up 4-0 through five innings, three of the runs coming off of Matt Kemp (solo HR, 2-RBI triple). And then starter Clayton Kershaw had a shaky sixth inning and gave up three runs. So the Dodgers come back with three more runs and lead 7-3 after six and a half innings.
And then, the Dodgers' defense decided that it want to control the outcome of the game. 11 batters and four Dodgers pitchers later, the Rockies had scored five runs, most of the damage coming off the hapless pair of Scott Elbert (0.1 IP, 1 H, 2 ER) and Mike MacDougal (0.0 IP, 1 H, 1 BB with the bases loaded). To be fair, Kershaw didn't do himself or the Dodgers' offense any favors when he exited with the bases loaded and none out. But when Josh Lindblom allowed the Rox an insurance run in the eighth, it was all but over.
Kemp struck out with one out and Andre Ethier on second base, spoiling his chance for the cycle as well as a game-tying HR. But we can't leave all the offensive responsibility to Kemp and Ethier, right? And if Juan Uribe, James Loney, Dioner Navarro, and Tony Gwynn combine to go 1-for-14 at the bottom of our lineup, the defense is bound to prevail in the end.