08/06/09 2:20 AM ET
Schmidt chased early in Dodgers' loss
Furcal's leadoff homer provides only offense vs. Brewers
By David Ely / MLB.com
It was the game immediately following Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder's bizarre attempt to storm the Dodgers clubhouse after getting hit by Guillermo Mota in the top of the ninth in a Dodgers win. If this was a movie, batters would get hit, tensions would flare and fans would be treated to some form of on-field fireworks.
But despite the previous night's festivities, Wednesday's game between the Dodgers and Brewers lacked anything out of the ordinary, and the Brewers won, 4-1, in a run-of-the-mill night at Dodger Stadium.
"That's what I expected," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "I was hoping that the result would be different, but as far as any repercussions from last night, I didn't expect anything."
Torre said that there was no warning issued to either side by home-plate umpire Randy Marsh.
The lone excitement of the night came the five times Fielder came to the batter's box. And even then, it wasn't that eventful as Prince finished the night 0-for-5 with each at-bat met by a cascade of boos from the crowd.
"It's all right," Prince said about the booing. "When you're on the road, that's to be expected. I'm not on their team, so they're not going to cheer me. It was cool. They give a lot of support to their team, which is good."
In keeping with the uneventful theme, the Dodgers' offense produced few highlights after scoring 17 runs the previous game. Though it briefly looked poised for another dominant offensive outing.
Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal led off the bottom of the first with a home run on just the second pitch of the game from Milwaukee starter Braden Looper. The blast was Furcal's 13th leadoff homer with the Dodgers, placing him second on the all-time franchise list.
Then Juan Pierre reached on a single, and before you knew it, the Dodgers had runners on first and third with two outs. But Matt Kemp struck out to end the threat
For the rest of the game, every inning was a struggle for the Dodgers to mount a rally. After recording two hits in the first inning, the Dodgers had three more in the final eight.
"Looper [made it difficult]," Torre said of the Brewers' starter, who lasted 6 2/3 innings. "After that first inning, where we had a home run and a base hit, he was able to stay down, had a good splitter.
"He had good stuff. I can't say we weren't as patient, but he got himself in a position where he could be patient because he got a lot of strikes."
For Dodgers starter Jason Schmidt, on the other hand, every inning posed some kind of battle. At least one batter reached base in all four innings he was on the mound, and the first was the only inning in which Schmidt didn't have to sweat out a jam.
Schmidt said that the brunt of his problems centered on the fact that his off-speed pitches weren't effective.
"I just had a hard time getting the breaking ball over, which when I can't do that, I hardly have anything to mix in with the fastball," said Schmidt, who is now 2-2 for the season. "They were able to lock in on one pitch and eliminate the other ones."
In the second inning, Schmidt faced runners on second and third with one out and escaped without surrendering a run. He nearly got out of a similar situation in the third, but Fielder beat out a possible inning-ending double play as the Brewers tied the game at 1.
Schmidt put runners on first and second in the fourth inning, prompting movement in the bullpen and a mound visit from pitching coach Rick Honeycutt. Schmidt nearly got out of that jam, too, after getting Looper out. But a walk to Felipe Lopez loaded the bases, and Schmidt hit Craig Counsell with an errant curve in the next at-bat to drive in a run and end his night on the mound.
This is the second time in four starts that Schmidt has been unable to get through at least four innings. On July 26, he gave up four earned runs on five hits in three innings against the Marlins.
But Schmidt has shown signs of being able to post solid outings on the mound. Last Friday in Atlanta, Schmidt gave up one hit in six shutout innings.
Torre said that Schmidt is still scheduled to start again for the Dodgers when the fifth spot in the rotation comes up again next Monday. "He's scheduled for Monday and we'll go from there," Torre said. "Last time was good. This time wasn't as good as last time."
James McDonald came out of the bullpen to relieve Schmidt and gave up a two-run double to Ryan Braun. A heady relay throw by Furcal got Counsell out at home plate to end the inning with the Brewers only leading, 4-1.
The Dodgers did mount one charge in the bottom of the seventh, and Manny Ramirez came out to pinch-hit with two outs and runners on first and third. But Ramirez grounded out to end the inning.
"[Ramirez] was lurking there at the end," Torre said, "but it just wasn't to be."
David Ely is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.