Having previously swept the Tampa Bay Rays, the Los Angeles Dodgers looked to continue their winning streak over teams from the American League East division as the Boston Red Sox came to town for a three game set.
Entering the highly anticipated weekend series with the Red Sox, which was billed as a potential preview to the World Series, the Dodgers failed to show up.
With a 8-1 loss on Sunday evening, the Dodgers were left reeling in frustration and the Red Sox were ecstatic to be returning to Boston with another series win.
After winning the first game of the series on Friday night, Dodgers bats failed to show up on Saturday and in the rubber match on Sunday. Further compounding their frustration, the Dodgers were done in by uncharacteristically poor pitching from both their starters and bullpen. Red Sox batters totaled 12 runs over the weekend, while hitting four home runs.
The Red Sox undoubtedly benefitted from not having to face Clayton Kershaw or Zack Greinke, though they did draw Hyun-Jin Ryu on Saturday and feasted on his lackluster effort.
The series was emblematic of the trouble the Dodgers get themselves into when they continue to aggressively swing their bats, regardless of their success or lack thereof, ultimately aiding the opposing pitcher’s pitch count.
Over the course of the three game series, all three Red Sox starters managed to pitch at least seven innings, culminated by a complete game from Jake Peavy on Sunday evening, his second of the season.
In the Dodgers’ lone win, John Lackey still managed to throw eight innings and only lost due to a mistake he made to Hanley Ramirez in the fourth inning, which was subsequently hit over the center field fence, propelling the Dodgers to a 2-0 victory.
Already at a disadvantage with having to send Chris Capuano to the mound in the final game of the series, Don Mattingly didn’t help his team’s cause with the batting order he set forth. Yasiel Puig batted fifth, behind Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez. While that is a more than formidable group of batters, Puig may have been better off sandwiched between Gonzalez and Ramirez.
Had the Red Sox chosen to attempt to pitch around Gonzalez, Puig could have been in situations with a runner on base, with the expectation to receive favorable pitches with the more disciplined, thus more dangerous, Ramirez batting behind him.
The loss on Sunday dropped the Dodgers to 6-4 in their last 10 games and handed them their first series loss since mid-June. The Dodgers will continue their homestand with a three game series with the Chicago Cubs beginning on Monday, followed by a three game series with the San Diego Padres.