It's not easy pitching for the Los Angeles Dodgers these days, at least not if you're looking for a low-stress line of work.
Clayton Kershaw was too much for another National League lineup, pitching into the eighth inning and holding the Arizona Diamondbacks to six hits and striking out nine Friday night. But, again, he was walking on a highwire -- no runs to work with -- and, after he began losing his command in the eighth inning, things fell apart with the bullpen.
The Dodgers lost 3-0 at Chase Field. Kershaw fell to 2-1.
The Dodgers thought they had injected some swagger and power into their offense with a series of trades late last season, but so far the results have looked a lot like the 2012 team's output. Back then, the Dodgers had James Loney at first base, Juan Rivera in left field and Dee Gordon at shortstop. The cost per run has gone up considerably since then.
The Dodgers stranded 10 more base runners. They left the bases loaded in the fourth inning and two runners on base in the eighth.
Only one team, the Miami Marlins, has scored fewer runs than the Dodgers' 27 in 10 games so far. Coming into Friday, the Dodgers were hitting .147 with runners in scoring position, worse than every team in the majors aside from those Marlins. When the Dodgers and Marlins meet, they might want to go straight to penalty kicks.
The difference, of course, is that the Marlins just stripped down their team to the nuts and bolts while the Dodgers are carrying around the most expensive collection of baseball players in baseball.
It's going to be slow going this season if the offense doesn't pick up its pace. The Dodgers learned before Friday's game they had lost No. 2 starter Zack Greinke for at least two months because of a broken left collarbone.
For a while, it seemed as he could, but Kershaw can't go it alone.