The Los Angeles Dodgers are one of several presumed contenders who probably wouldn’t mind a restart to the 2018 season. The defending National League champions are off to a disappointing start, falling to 4-8 on the season after losing 8-7 to the NL West-leading Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday night.
Along the way, not many bounces have gone the Dodgers way. That much is undeniable. And even when they do catch a break, they’ve often failed to take advantage.
No single inning highlighted their early season failures and frustration more than Friday’s eighth inning.
In it, the Dodgers benefited from a crazy bounce that resulted in the luckiest hit we might see all season. The hit kept a potential game-changing rally alive. Yet even with victory suddenly within their grasp, the Dodgers still walked away disappointed.
The Dodgers definitely battled in Friday’s game, cutting a six-run deficit to three with a three-run seventh. In the eighth, Los Angeles loaded the bases with one out. This was the moment they’ve been waiting for. One swing could turn the game around and possibly get them on track. Up stepped Chase Utley, who has provided many big hits in situations just like it.
Utley hit a grounder up the middle that seemed ticketed for center field off the bat. Then came the realization that Arizona’s defense was set up perfectly, with shortstop Nick Ahmad playing up the middle.
A sure hit then looked like a sure double play. That was, until second base intervened.
Utley’s grounder could not have been placed any better. After striking the base, the ball shot into left field, going straight through the space vacated by Ahmad. Two runs scored on the play, and the Dodgers were set up for a huge inning with two runners on and still only one out.
Of course, you already know how this ends. Leadoff man Chris Taylor, who homered and singled in a run earlier in the game, hit into a tailor made 6-4-3 double play to end the threat. The Dodgers wasted this opportunity, and then stranded the tying run in the ninth inning as well.
So far the Dodgers just haven’t been able to put together a complete game. When the pitching shows up, the offense doesn’t. And vice versa.
The Dodgers lost, 8-7, to Arizona. They’re 4-8. Kenta Maeda didn’t have it. The Dodgers have lost three of their four highest-scoring games this season.
— Pedro Moura (@pedromoura) April 14, 2018
When it’s going like that, even the biggest breaks don’t amount to much.
The good news for Dodgers fans is that things will definitely get better for their beloved squad. Probably sooner than later. But the game of baseball will never make it easy for them or anyone else.
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