Diamondbacks Sweep Dodgers and their Anemic Offense

August 1, 2012

Los Angeles – It turns out that the Dodgers offensive concerns have not entirely been solved with the recent acquisitions of Hanley Ramirez and Shane Victorino.

Arizona pitcher Patrick Corbin, just recalled from Triple-A Reno yesterday, shut out the Dodgers over 6 innings, allowing only two hits, as the Diamondbacks completed a 3-game sweep of Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium, 4-0. This marked the D-Backs first sweep of the Dodgers since April 2008 and Arizona's  sixth straight victory over the men in blue.

The Dodgers came into the game trailing the NL West-leading Giants by 1 game while the Diamondbacks trailed by 3.5 games.

Shane Victorino made his Dodger debut and received a warm welcome from the home crowd but immediately grounded out to third base on the opening pitch of his first at-bat.

Arizona's Miguel Montero continued his hot hitting ways with an RBI-single up the middle in the top of the second inning, giving the Diamondbacks the early 1-0 lead.

However, a blunder by second baseman Chris Johnson prevented things from getting worse for the Dodgers. Johnson seemed likely to score from first off a two-out double by shortstop Stephen Drew. However, Johnson stayed at third base even though he knew the pitcher's spot was due up next. As a result, young Dodger pitcher Stephen Fife, making just his third start, was able to get out of the inning by striking out pitcher Patrick Corbin.

Victorino had another chance to make a splash with the home crowd when he came up with two runners on base in the bottom of the second inning, but flied out to centerfield.

Arizona's Johnson atoned for his earlier miscue by hitting a solo home run in the top of the fourth inning to make it 2-0.

Thereafter, Fife was surprisingly pulled with a runner on and one out in the fifth when Don Mattingly made a double switch – moving Hanley Ramirez from third base to shortstop replacing Luis Cruz, bringing in Juan Uribe to take over at third, and replacing Fife with reliever Javy Guerra.

Fife indicated he had no problem with the early hook from his manager on the double switch. "My efficiency was dropping and I had gotten myself in trouble three out of the previous four innings. So I can't really say anything against being taken out in the fifth [inning] and....They have great hitters here who are paid to hit."

The move initially seemed to backfire as Guerra preceded to plunk the next batter, Paul Goldschmidt, with the next pitch and gave up a single to right field by Justin Upton. Again however, a Diamondback baserunner's excessive caution bailed the Dodgers out, as this time Jason Kubel stopped at third base rather than making a dash for home. With the bases then loaded, Murphy’s Law applied to perfection for the D-Backs, as Guerra got Miguel Montero to ground into the 6-4-3 double play.

However, on this afternoon the Dodgers would prove to be unable to take advantage of such good fortune. When Juan Uribe flied out to left to open the bottom of the fifth inning he heard boos rain down on him from the Dodger fans, who didn’t hesitate to let out their frustration with the team's play as well as Uribe’s disappointing 1 ½ seasons thus far with the Dodgers. Uribe’s struggles have been even more highlighted in the wake of the acquisition of new third baseman Hanley Ramirez.

Centerfielder Matt Kemp charged up the crowd a little by making a diving catch to open the top of the sixth inning. But in light of the Dodger’s continued offensive woes, the home crowd had little else to cheer about today.

Montero added to the D-Backs dominance in this series with a two-run shot to center field in the eighth inning off of reliever Randy Choate to make it 4-0.  When asked what he thought about Montero's solid hitting in recent games, understated D-Backs Manager Kirk Gibson merely smiled and said coyly, "Pretty good."  Gibson further expressed satisfaction that his team was able to sweep the Dodgers right after the Dodgers had swept the Giants in the prior series.

As if things could get any more depressing for the Dodgers, in the eighth inning it was also discovered that well-liked and respected veteran Bobby Abreu had been designated for assignment.  Abreu left the game when he learned the news without speaking to reporters.

Dodger star Matt Kemp was asked his thoughts about the loss of Abreu.  He noted that several "friends" had been traded in the past few days. When veteran newsman Jim Hill asked Matt Kemp whether he felt the departure of Abreu and other players in the last few days, may have hurt the Dodger's performance in this series.  But Kemp was emphatic in denying the suggestion and offered no explanation or excuses for the team's poor performance.

The Dodgers hope to get back on track after a day off tomorrow.  Good thing for them the Diamondbacks aren't going to be here when they get back.

  • Before the game, Dodger President Stan Kasten was asked by T.J. Simers of the LA Times if the Dodgers could really say they were trying to do everything they could to “win immediately” as Magic Johnson had proclaimed yesterday, and if they were willing to allow financial considerations to impact their willingness to obtain another quality starting pitcher for the stretch run. Kasten emphasized that the team was building to "win immediately… and in the future."

  • Legendary Dodger broadcaster Vin Scully was talking with some of the press and recalled his friendship with the late Hall of Fame columnist Jim Murray.

    According to Scully, when he first met the writer, Murray told Scully that as a writer for the Times, he had started receiving fan mail. Murray then asked Scully if he recalled his first fan mail. Scully recalled a post card he received…written for “Ben Kelly.” Scully then asked Murray if had ever received fan mail for “Murphy” instead of Murray, to which Murray said he had not.

    From then on when Murray saw Scully in the press box, he would always yell out “Kelly!” to which Scully would reply “Murph!” Scully laughed as he recalled the confusion of the other writers who would just assume that the two actually didn’t know each other’s real name.

  • The attendance at Wednesday afternoon's game was 36,596.

By Manish Pandya
Staff Editor for The Daily Sports Herald


  1. They're playing like this playoffs thing is automatic, even with the two wild cards its still not a sure shot for the Dodgers yet. Wake up.GO BLUE

    1. IntelligentImmigrant,
      Losing at home to the D-Backs in this manner takes away a lot of the momentum the Dodgers had built up earlier against the Giants. Even though the bats have been quiet, one would think that the combo of Victorino, Kemp, Ethier, and Ramirez eventually will put up runs. The real key might be the starting pitchers. Namely, whether LA can get some improved consistency from Billingsley and a return to health for Lilly.


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