DENVER -- The Los Angeles Dodgers bid Coors Field farewell, and good riddance.
Manager Don Mattingly fretted even before they got here that his team would have a letdown in Colorado after playing an emotionally charged series in San Francisco last weekend. Eventually, he had every reason to worry. The Dodgers played well Monday, but then allowed 26 runs in the final two games and squandered their pennant-race momentum.
Wednesday was ugly. They lost 16-2.
How it happened: Rookie Carlos Frias was confident going into his first Coors Field start, but who knows how his psyche will react after one of the worst pitching performances in the game’s history. Frias became the first pitcher in the modern era to allow 10 hits without recording three outs. Mattingly eventually came and got him after Josh Rutledge's second hit of the first inning and right before Justin Morneau drove in his fourth and fifth runs of the inning. It became a long, draining day for the Dodgers' bullpen. The Dodgers’ offense rarely rallies, and it showed few signs of life against Colorado’s best pitcher, Jorge De La Rosa.
Hits: Well, at least the Dodgers were able to squeeze in a bit of rest for their regular players. By the sixth inning, they fielded a lineup that would have drawn a fine if they traveled with it in the Cactus League. Roger Berardina was in left field, Joc Pederson was in center field, Scott Van Slyke was in right, Miguel Rojas was at third, Erisbel Arruebarrena was at shortstop, Darwin Barney was at second, Drew Butera was at first base and Tim Federowicz was catching. Barney, getting just his second start, homered and was on base three times.
Misses: The Dodgers need a starting pitcher Monday against the second-place San Francisco Giants. If they decide Frias isn’t the guy, what are their options? They acquired Kevin Correia from the Minnesota Twins for just this type of eventuality, but he isn’t exactly inspiring confidence lately. He poured more gas on the fire pitching in relief, allowing six runs, five of which were earned, in three innings. The Dodgers got one decent start out of Correia after the trade. In his past seven games, he is 1-3 with a 9.17 ERA.
Stat of the game: Zack Greinke, who pitches Thursday in Chicago, could reach the 200-strikeout mark for the third time in his career if he can fan nine Cubs.
Up next: The Dodgers travel to Chicago for a four-game series with the last-place Cubs. Greinke (15-8, 2.64 ERA) goes for the Dodgers against Chicago lefty Tsuyoshi Wada (4-3, 3.34) in a game that starts at 5:05 p.m. PT.