Matt Kamlet, Los Angeles
CHAVEZ RAVINE (CBSLA.com) — The Dodgers’ first 2014 ball game against a National League East opponent was not reminiscent of the 2013 club that went 5-2 against the Phillies.
As a matter of fact, Cliff Lee made his campaign at Dodger Stadium appear effortless.
Lee scattered four hits through eight shutout innings, retiring 20 Dodgers in a row at one point, en route to a 7-0 Phillies shutout at Dodger Stadium on Monday.
It was the Dodgers’ first shutout loss of 2014.
Paul Maholm, who actually had a decent 2013 against the Phillies, going 1-1 with a 3.06 ERA on the year, gave up four earned runs off eight hits and three walks, tossing 107 pitches through five innings.
Maholm gave up a 2-RBI double to Carlos Ruiz in the first inning, after having walked former Dodger Tony Gwynn Jr. and giving up a single to Jimmy Rollins.
The Rollins single was the result of a defensive attempt by Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig, along with second baseman Justin Turner, with Puig able to get a glove on the ball before it fell to the ground in shallow center field.
In the bottom of the inning, Adrian Gonzalez managed to reach on an infield single, after grounding to second. Yasiel Puig, who had singled to right to lead off the inning, was caught between third and home following Gonzalez’ at-bat. Puig was eventually tagged out at third to end the inning, but Gonzalez’ grounder was ultimately scored as a hit, officially extending his hitting streak to 16 games.
Gonzalez’ career best hitting streak stands currently at 18 games, which was accomplished between June 20 and July 7, 2012. His current streak is the longest for the Dodgers since Hanley Ramirez’ 19-game srun between June 19 and July 8 of the 2013 season.
In the top of the fifth, Ramirez tracked down a line drive from Rollins that was motoring toward shallow left field. An acrobatic leap and stretch was enough to retire Rollins, and put some minds at ease about the effect of last week’s plate appearance in which he was drilled by a Ryan Vogelsong pitch in San Francisco.
Later in the inning, after walking Carlos Ruiz, Maholm gave up a 2-run shot to Ryan Howard, which extended the Philadelphia lead to four runs.
The dam kept leaking for Maholm after the homer, with John Mayberry Jr. and Domonic Brown both singling to center. Freddy Galvis followed up by reached on a throwing error by Maholm, allowing Mayberry to score, making it 5-0 Phillis.
It is worth noting that Brandon League entered the game in the sixth inning, getting three ground outs, from Gwynn Jr., Rollins, and Utley to get through the first of two scoreless innings.
As a matter of fact, League put on a bit of a defensive display in his second inning of work, retiring Brown after snagging a low line drive that came back to the mound.
Also leaving the game at the same time as Maholm was Juan Uribe, who was given his first in-game breather of 2014. Uribe had played all 181 innings of the 2014 season up to Monday.
Jose Dominguez, who was called up from Triple-A Albuquerque with the demotion of Chone Figgins on Monday, also saw some time on the mound, tossing a shutout inning before giving up a ninth-inning 2-run shot to Ruiz.
On the day, Ruiz went 3-for-4 with two doubles and a homer, with four RBI.
Lee, who put on a display that saw 20 Dodgers retired consecutively between the second and eighth innings, was visibly upset when he gave up a single with two outs in the latter inning.
To keep true to the theme of improbabilities and implausible standouts, the Dodger who broke the mold Lee had so masterfully crafted was none other than Tim Federowicz (.091/.118/.121).