Dodgers get mad, Cards get even

Gon­za­lez and Gran­dal get tossed as St. Louis earns a split of the four-game se­ries.

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - By Andy McCul­lough

ST. LOUIS — To catch the pitch that in­cited the ire of Dodgers first base­man Adrian Gon­za­lez, St. Louis Car­di­nals catcher Yadier Molina lifted his glove up and to his left. The lo­ca­tion of the ball inf lamed a dis­pute be­tween Gon­za­lez and um­pire Marty Foster in the ninth in­ning of a 2-0 Dodgers loss. Gon­za­lez saw a ball, the fourth of the at-bat, and ex­pected to trot to first base with a lead­off walk. Foster coun­tered by pump­ing his fist for a called third strike.

In­side the dugout, as the Dodgers em­barked on a fu­tile rally against closer Se­ung-Hwang Oh, Gon­za­lez stewed. When Foster heard chirp­ing from the bench, he ejected Gon­za­lez. Af­ter Gon­za­lez climbed the steps to jaw at Foster, the process re­peated it­self: Yas­mani Gran­dal got thrown out for ar­gu­ing about pitches up and away.

“The fun­ni­est thing is that [Foster] told Dave [Roberts] af­ter­ward that he’s been call­ing pitches off the plate all game, so he wasn’t go­ing to change,” Gon­za­lez said. “So, ap­par­ently, he agreed that they were balls.”

The ninth-in­ning anger in­jected some emo­tion into an oth­er­wise tor­pid game. The Dodgers went 0 for 6

with run­ners in scor­ing po­si­tion and stranded seven all told. Car­di­nals starter Adam Wain­wright si­lenced his guests for six in­nings and sup­plied the game’s only scor­ing, swat­ting a two-run homer against Bran­don McCarthy. In the sev­enth and eighth, af­ter Wain­wright ex­ited, the Dodgers grounded into two double plays.

The de­feat left the Dodgers (3322) with a split of the four-game se­ries. Af­ter scor­ing 14 runs in the first two games, they man­aged only one against Car­los Martinez on Wed­nes­day and Wain­wright on Thurs­day. And they de­parted with an­other in­jury con­cern for a pitcher, as McCarthy dealt with a blis­ter on his right in­dex fin­ger and left af­ter four in­nings.

Ear­lier in the week, a cal­lus on his fin­ger “flaked off,” McCarthy said. He no­ticed some ir­ri­ta­tion as he warmed up. McCarthy sug­gested that his blis­ter did not ap­pear to be as prob­lem­atic as those that have side­tracked Rich Hill.

“I’ve dealt with them be­fore,” McCarthy said. “I’ve never had them as se­ri­ous as Rich [did]. His seem to be on a dif­fer­ent level. Hope­fully, this is one that they take care of, get out in front of, and a cou­ple days later the whole thing dries out and we move on.”

McCarthy gave up seven hits and re­quired 85 pitches to record 12 outs. His lone blem­ish, though, stemmed from a hang­ing curve­ball to Wain­wright.

Since de­but­ing in 2005, McCarthy had given up 128 home runs. None was hit by a pitcher. But Wain­wright is far from fee­ble. Only two ac­tive pitch­ers, Madi­son Bum­gar­ner and Yo­vani Gal­lardo, have hit more home runs than Wain­wright, who now has 10.

Wain­wright vic­tim­ized McCarthy in the sec­ond in­ning. With two out and a run­ner at sec­ond, McCarthy re­leased a 2-2 curve­ball that floated over the mid­dle. Wain­wright crushed it over the Dodgers bullpen in left field. The homer clanged off a fence, just above a score­board bear­ing McCarthy’s name, and bounced back onto the out­field.

“I know he can hit a lit­tle bit, and it’s a curve­ball, you’re not re­ally ex­pect­ing some­one to jump it like that,” McCarthy said. “That’s a credit to him.

“He did what he had to do, and won the game for them.”

On the mound, Wain­wright can­not be con­sid­ered in­domitable, not com­pared to his peak ear­lier this decade. The Dodgers tested him in the fourth with a lead­off double by rookie Cody Bellinger. Gon­za­lez flied out to right. Af­ter a walk by Chase Ut­ley, En­rique Her­nan­dez flied out too. A well-struck grounder by Austin Barnes died in the glove of Car­di­nals short­stop Aled­mys Diaz, who launched him­self across the dirt to steal a po­ten­tial hit.

An in­ning later, Yasiel Puig and Chris Tay­lor stroked sin­gles. Wain­wright buck­led down. He busted Corey Sea­ger in­side with a cut­ter for a soft ground­out. Bellinger swung late at a cut­ter over the mid­dle, man­ag­ing a pop-up.

“We couldn’t get that hit when we needed,” man­ager Dave Roberts said. “Re­ally didn’t stress Adam too much.”

It was all over, save for the double ejec­tion. Gon­za­lez said he did not ha­rangue Foster too harshly from the dugout. His ejec­tion oc­curred af­ter Roberts sent Gran­dal to the plate as a pinch-hit­ter. When Foster looked to­ward the dugout while the switch was hap­pen­ing, “some­body else might have said some­thing that trig­gered him to throw me out,” Gon­za­lez said.

“I felt like I didn’t get thrown out be­cause of some­thing I said,” he con­tin­ued. “So I might as well go out there and say more things.”

Gon­za­lez was more de­scrip­tive af­ter the game than Gran­dal, who huffed past re­porters as he de­clined to com­ment. As the Dodgers packed their bags to fly to Mil­wau­kee, Gon­za­lez could not con­tain a grin as he tweaked the de­part­ing um­pir­ing crew.

“I know they’ve got a plane to catch,” he said. “So they’re wor­ried about other things.”

Jeff Roberson As­so­ci­ated Press

CAR­DI­NALS PITCHER Adam Wain­wright takes a cur­tain call af­ter hit­ting a two-run homer in the sec­ond in­ning.

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