PHILADELPHIA -- Good pitching covered up awful baserunning and iffy at-bats in the clutch. If you've followed the Los Angeles Dodgers this season, that might sound familiar.
For the second straight night, the Dodgers couldn't come up with a clutch hit to break the game open. When they weren't standing helplessly on the bases, they were running them with scant regard for details like knowing the situation. By some key measures, the Dodgers have been the worst baserunning team in the majors, a mild surprise.
How it happened: Anderson might be the least-appreciated member of the Dodgers. It's hard to get much attention on a pitching staff that includes Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke and two new acquisitions who were slotted ahead of him in the rotation, making him, effectively, a $10 million fifth starter. All Anderson does is keep going out and giving the Dodgers quality starts. He allowed just one run on four hits in six innings, his sixth quality start in his past eight starts, and that includes one 2⅔-inning outing in which he was knocked out by an injury.
He left the game with a 4-1 lead, but Jim Johnson, one of the pitchers acquired near the trade deadline, gave up a two-run home run to Jeff Francoeur in the eighth inning. Johnson also gave up a home run in his first outing for the Dodgers.
It shouldn't have been that close.
The Dodgers' two young outfielders made poor baserunning plays or the team could have had a far more productive night scoring runs. Joc Pederson tried to go from first to third base on Alberto Callaspo's single to right, but he picked the wrong guy to run on. Francoeur made a one-hop throw and Maikel Franco tagged him on the leg. The Dodgers loaded the bases in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings but managed to squander it all aside from one run. Yasiel Puig derailed the last threat with a bad read on a ball that squirted away from catcher Carlos Ruiz. The batter, veteran Jimmy Rollins, signaled for him to stop, but Puig either didn't see it or ignored it. He was easily caught in a rundown. The Philadelphia TV feed caught manager Don Mattingly making a disgusted face in the dugout.
What it means: The Dodgers kept their two-game lead in the NL West and cooled off a Phillies team that had gone 13-3 out of the All-Star break.
Notable: Pederson still isn't getting hits, but he is showing maturity by not chasing pitches out of the strike zone to get out of his slump. For the second straight game, Pederson walked three times. Before the game, manager Don Mattingly credited Pederson for his approach and said he sees it as a good sign that the rookie is seeing the ball better. Jimmy Rollins, the Phillies' all-time hits leader, received another loud ovation during his first-inning at-bat and had to step out of the batter's box to acknowledge it. The Dodgers are 6-0 when Anderson works to catcher A.J. Ellis.
Up next: Zack Greinke (10-2, 1.41 ERA) continues his Cy Young charge in an afternoon game that starts at 10:05 a.m. PT. The Dodgers face Phillies right-hander David Buchanan (2-5, 6.44 ERA).