Dodgers lose game but not sense of humor
They try to keep things light and not panic in wake of another defeat.
CHICAGO — Standing alongside reporters in a clubhouse at Wrigley Field, Howie Kendrick extended a hand and pushed an imaginary microphone toward Zack Greinke.
Kendrick smiled. Greinke smiled back.
In times like these, the Dodgers have decided, it’s better to smile than to panic.
The most expensive team in baseball lost for the seventh time in nine games, this time falling to the Chicago Cubs, 1- 0, in 10 innings Tuesday night.
Jason Hammel limited the Dodgers to two hits over 72⁄3 innings, including a sixth- inning triple by Yasiel Puig, which was basically a routine fly ball that was lost in the lights by the outfielders.
The Dodgers f inished with only three hits.
While Adrian Gonzalez addressed the team’s offensive problems — the Dodgers have scored two runs or less in 21 of their last 37 games — he also maintained enough of his sense of humor to joke about a fan- interference call in the second inning.
On the play, Gonzalez was prevented from catching a popup by Hammel by a spectator who made a onehanded grab. The man was holding a baby with his other hand.
“It would have been more impressive if the baby had caught it,” Gonzalez cracked.
In a more serious moment, Gonzalez talked about his frustrations of extending Greinke’s winless streak to nine starts. Greinke limited the Cubs to six hits over six innings.
Greinke has a 1.79 earnedrun average during the streak, during which the Dodgers have scored a total of 10 runs while he was in the games.
“Not scoring runs is always frustrating, for sure,” Gonzalez said. “We want to give every one of our starters
run support and give them the victory.”
What has happened to the offense?
“It we could pinpoint it, we would f ix it,” Gonzalez said. “I think we’re all working hard, we’re all putting in the work, putting in the effort, it’s just the results aren’t there. We have to keep working.
“I don’t think a team doesn’t go through this at one point or another every year. Way back to over 100 years of baseball, you always see team slumps happen.”
Gonzalez was certain the Dodgers would eventually break out of their slump.
“The good teams get out of it,” he said.
The refrain was repeated around the clubhouse, even by Greinke.
“I don’t worry about it,” Greinke said. “I think our team’s good and by the end of the year, everyone does their job.”
Asked why he believed that, Greinke replied, “Good players.”
Greinke, who lowered his ERA to 1.70, last won a game May 5.
“He did his job,” Manager Don Mattingly said. “His job is to give us a chance to win. That’s all he controls.”
Mattingly also complimented relievers Juan Nicasio, Adam Liberatore and Yimi Garcia, who each pitched an inning to send the game into extra innings.
The 10th inning was started by Joel Peralta, who had been sidelined since late April because of nerve- related problems.
Peralta loaded the bases without recording an out, at which point he was replaced by closer Kenley Jansen.
Chris Denorfia drove in the winning run by hitting a sacrifice f ly to center field.
Like Gonzalez and Greinke, Mattingly insisted the offensive downturn wouldn’t last forever.
Mattingly pointed to Gonzalez, who is batting .230 over his last 37 games.
“Do you know he’s going to come out of it?” Mattingly said. “Yeah, we do. At some point, that’s going to break. I feel the same way about our club.”
Mattingly repeatedly said he trusted his players.
“If you think I’m going to sit here and think our offense is not going to be any good and we’re not going to be good enough to win, I’m not there,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter what’s happened to this point. I trust our guys.” dylan. hernandez@ latimes. com Twitter: @ dylanohernandez
‘ Do you know he’s going to come out of it? Yeah, we do. At some point, that’s going to break. I feel the same way about our club.’
Don Mattingly, Dodgers manager, on Adrian Gonzalez, who is batting .230
over his last 37 games