What, you thought wonderful and groovy was going to last forever?
After winning four consecutive games, after looking like a smooth and focused little ballclub, the Dodgers went out Thursday afternoon in Pittsburgh and showed they are not yet the finished product they aspire to be.
Not as long as Garrett Jones is doing his Superman routine, Joe Blanton is looking like a lot less than the answer to their rotation issue and Dodgers are being ejected like popcorn from a hot kettle.
When it was over, the Dodgers were beaten by the Pirates, 10-6, angry and heading to Atlanta with their lead cut to a half-game in the National League West.
Jones hit a pair of three-run homers, Clint Barmes drove in three runs andA.J. Burnett pitched well enough for the Pirates to snap a streak of nine losses to the Dodgers.
Not around to see it was Matt Kemp, ejected by home plate umpire Angel Campos in the second inning after apparently saying something from the dugout while Andre Ethier batted.
Upset that his star player was tossed from the game, Manager Don Mattingly came out to argue and in short time was ejected by first base umpire Tim Tschida. Kemp also exploded from the dugout and appeared to inadvertently brush an umpire.
Blanton, unhappy about the balls-and-strikes calls from Campos all day, popped off as he was removed from the game, confronted Campos — a summer fill-in umpire — and even though he was being removed, was also ejected by Campos.
Blanton was probably mostly mad at himself. After the Dodgers had rallied from Jones’ first blast to take a 4-3 lead in the fourth on a two-run homer from Hanley Ramirez, he gave up a game-tying triple to Barmes in the bottom of the inning, and then another three-run homer to Jones in the fifth, followed by a solo shot from Pedro Alvarez.
This was Blanton’s third start for the Dodgers since he was acquired from the Phillies.
He went 4 1/3 innings, giving up eight runs on eight hits and four walks. His record went to 8-11 on the season, with a 4.96 earned-run average. He has now surrendered 26 homers on the season, most in the National League.
Ramirez also came close to being ejected after being called out on strikes for the third out in the sixth, slamming his bat on the plate. Burnett (15-4) said something unpleasant to Ramirez as he walked off the mound. Apparently it was an invitation to be quiet.
Wasted was James Loney’s first home run since May 21, but then it felt like a wasted day for the Dodgers.
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