Dodgers show their baseball mortality in split with Brewers

After a searing month after the All-Star break, the Dodgers lineup didn’t exactly get cold this week in Milwaukee against the Brewers.

But things certainly looked fatal for the first time in a while as the team settled for a four-game split against a potential playoff opponent after a 5-3 loss at American Family Field on Thursday.

“It’s going to happen,” said manager Dave Roberts. “We swung the bats well. But the old adage – good pitching beats good hitting.”

At the start of this week’s series, the Dodgers had been more than good at beating.

Since the All-Star break, the Dodgers have been averaging nearly 6½ runs per game.

They hit .283 as a team.

They looked more dangerous than the two-story slide on left field at the Brewers’ home stadium – which left Dodgers radio reporter David Vassegh with a broken wrist and six broken ribs in an accident on Wednesday that went viral online (and at the team’s clubhouse). . after lightheartedly sharing the video on the team’s television show.

However, against a Brewers team with one of the better pitching staffs in the majors, the Dodgers’ offensive fireworks weren’t as explosive.

They only scored 13 runs in four games. They tied seven home runs but went five for 26 with runners in goal position.

They hit four runs each in their first two games – both of which would have been wins had Craig Kimbrel not been saved on Tuesday – but were then limited to just two by Eric Lauer on Wednesday.

And in Thursday’s final, they faced their toughest task when they faced reigning National League Cy Young Award-winner Corbin Burnes in an afternoon, right fielder Mookie Betts having a scheduled day off.

“It’s never fun taking on these guys,” Roberts said.

Milwaukee's Andrew McCutchen celebrates with teammate Hunter Renfroe.

Milwaukee’s Andrew McCutchen (right) celebrates with teammate Hunter Renfroe after hitting a home run in Thursday’s first inning.

(Morry Gash/Associated Press)

In the first five innings, Burnes showed himself keeping the Dodgers off the board while his offense earned three home runs from Dodgers starter Andrew Heaney.

Heaney hit 10 batters, but he also gave up a solo homer to Andrew McCutchen in the first, then a two-run homer to him in the third.

In the fifth inning, Heaney finally batted McCutchen for what should have been the final of the inning — only to see the ball get past catcher Will Smith to keep the inning alive.

Moments later, Hunter Homer Renfroe to knock Heaney out of the game.

“It sucks,” Smith said. “You give the first base for a giveaway, you have to get the next guy out. And we didn’t do that.”

Heaney added, “Things happen, you just have to make pitches.”

It was 5-0 at that point, and it looked like Burnes and the Brewers (53-54) would go from there.

Instead, the Dodgers (81-36) answered in the next half inning, getting on the board with an RBI single from Smith. They pulled to two on a two-run triple by Gavin Lux.

Burnes’ day ended there.

“You see it from the start, you thought he was going seven innings,” Roberts said. “For us, not letting him get through six was a win for us. … He’s a guy to beat in October. So I thought we fought for 27 outs.”

However, the last 10 of those outs came without more runs.

Lux was stranded in third place by reliever Brad Boxberger to finish sixth. Left-hander Taylor Rogers and veteran right-hander Matt Bush navigated in seventh and eighth place respectively.

In the ninth, All-Star closer Devin Williams put a shout out to the Brewers’ win and hit aside to end the Dodgers’ five-series winning streak.

“They do a great job preventing runs and every ball game has been pretty close essentially, so I’m not going to overstate how many runs we’ve made in this series,” Roberts said. “When they go out there and pitch and catch the baseball, it’s tough. But I still think the quality of at-bat one through nine is there.”

Cody Bellinger returns to the lineup

Cody Bellinger plays the Kansas City Royals on August 14th.

Cody Bellinger plays the Kansas City Royals on August 14th.

(Reed Hoffmann/Associated Press)

After having a few days off to “reset,” in Roberts’ words, Cody Bellinger returned to the lineup on Thursday, going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.

“We’ve had really good conversations the past few days,” Roberts said before the game about Bellinger, who is up against .204 this season.

“I’m not really looking for achievement as far as the process goes,” Roberts continued. “I just want to see that his head is good, he has clarity, he hits well, he swings well.”

Roberts said part of the reason for the reset was that he could sense Bellinger was frustrated in the face of a recent slump – which was shown when Bellinger didn’t fully push out a grounder for the first time on his last at-bat Monday.

“What that showed me is that he’s reached a point of frustration, that tells me,” Roberts said. “Because it’s not on purpose. It’s not disrespectful. He’s just frustrated because he wants to do it so well. So that tells me as a manager that he needs a hit.” Dodgers show their baseball mortality in split with Brewers

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