Issues Loom over Dodgers

Can’t watch the Dodgers this season? CV Weekly’s Mark Fabrick brings you up to date on the Boys in Blue

The Dodgers stood pat at last Thursday’s trade deadline and did not acquire any additional pitching help. The weaknesses at the back end of the starting rotation and lack of bullpen depth showed this past week as the Dodgers dropped two of three games to the lowly Chicago Cubs this weekend.

Dan Haren’s precipitous decline continued in last Friday’s 8-2 loss. Haren got tagged for seven runs, six earned, in only four and one third innings of work. Haren’s now lost his last five starts and is sporting an ugly 10.03 ERA since the beginning of July.

Josh Beckett was also unable to go deep into a game in Sunday’s 7-3 loss to the Cubs. Beckett, who is dealing with a sore hip, went only four innings allowing three earned runs. After being stretched in the previous night’s 5-2, 12-inning win, the Dodgers relief corps imploded in the eighth inning.

Beckett’s inability to go deep into games will continue to put pressure on a Dodgers bullpen that has really only had two reliable relievers in Kenley Jansen and J.P. Howell. Relievers Chris Perez and Paco Rodriguez both hit the disabled list with various ailments this past week. Beckett said it himself after the game: “I’m old.”

The annual freeway series with the Angels got underway Monday and the Angels drubbed the Dodgers 5-0 on Monday night. Dodgers’ starter Zack Greinke had an uncharacteristically bad first inning allowing four runs, three earned. The big blows were RBI doubles from Angels’ stars Mike Trout and Albert Pujols.

Even the unflappable Clayton Kershaw looked mortal in Tuesday night’s 5-4 Dodgers win. Kershaw got a no-decision while allowing three runs in seven innings. Dodgers’ reliever Brian Wilson came in to pitch the eighth inning with the Dodgers leading 4-3 and he served up a towering homerun to Pujols to tie the game 4-4.  Wilson now has a 5.05 ERA on the year.

The long unseen Andre Ethier would be the Dodgers’ hero on Tuesday night.  Ethier has not started a game nor had a hit since July 22; however, with runners on first and third, he had a chance to win the game. Ethier hit a weak ground ball to third base with a drawn in infield. Angels’ third baseman David Freese fielded the ball and threw to home plate, but Angels’ catcher Chris Ianetta could not handle the throw and a charging Juan Uribe scored from third base.

The beleaguered Dan Haren started for the Dodgers Wednesday in Anaheim and the freeway series will wrap up today, Thursday. The Dodgers will then hit the road to take on the NL Central leading Milwaukee Brewers over the weekend. Look for Dodgers’ GM Ned Colletti to continue to search the waiver wire for bullpen and starting rotation help in the coming weeks.

Mark Fabrick is a CV Weekly contributor. He also writes for Dodgers On Deck, which you can visit at