Slumbering Dodgers cannot right the ship against Nationals in fourth consecutive loss

first_imgThe weekend was an unmitigated disaster.The Dodgers were swept by the Pirates. The already shaky bullpen had imploded in the finale and second baseman Howie Kendrick was headed to the disabled list with a strained left hamstring.Monday did little to assuage those fears. The Dodgers looked lost in an 8-3 setback to the Washington Nationals before a relatively quiet crowd of 45,722 as they lost their fourth consecutive game for the first time this season. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Anderson was tagged for a season-high seven runs and a season-high 10 hits in five-plus innings. He gave up a booming two-run homer to Ian Desmond in the second inning and then failed to get an out in a five-run sixth inning. To think it could have been worse if not for two double plays.“It was a little bit of everything,” Anderson said. “I didn’t have very much life on my pitches and my command wasn’t good. I was able to make some pitches to get out some jams early, but I was really horrible on that pitch to Desmond that I probably could’ve got a hit on. It kind of snowballed in the sixth.“It’s just a crappy game. You move onto the next one. It’s why baseball is the most frustrating but also the best game in the world.”For good measure, Desmond hit another homer off J.P. Howell in the eighth inning for just the second multi-homer game in his career. His previous came in 2010 on Aug. 11, 2010 against the Marlins.The Dodgers did get seven hits off Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez, but could not push across a run against him.The Dodgers did strike for three runs on a two-out, pinch-hit homer by Carl Crawford. It was his first career pinch-hit homer and the Dodgers’ sixth this season.Meanwhile the Nationals — in a mini-slide of their own entering the series — put together a near-flawless performance.There was Desmond’s two-homer game. Gonzalez threw eight shutout innings. Ryan Zimmerman doubled twice, scored twice and had an RBI. Bryce Harper extended his hit streak to 10 games and made a diving catch in right field. Yunel Escobar made two eye-opening defensive gems in the second inning.But not all was lost for the Dodgers.There was Crawford’s homer, his second this season. Rookie Jose Peraza, recalled from triple-A Oklahoma City before the game in place of the injured Kendrick, injected some life into the Dodgers in his Major League debut. Peraza dumped a ball past a diving Harper for a triple for his first major league hit with two outs in the third inning in the most electrifying Dodgers play of the night, but Yasiel Puig meekly grounded out to strand him.Peraza became just the third Los Angeles Dodger to triple for his first major league hit in his debut, joining Gary Moore (May 3, 1970 vs. Montreal) and Doug Rau (Sept. 2, 1972 vs. St. Louis) “At first, I thought he was going to get that ball, but when he didn’t, I just kept running and running and got that triple,” Peraza said in Spanish.Peraza also looked nice on a double play in the first inning, stayed with a grounder after bobbling it to nail Harper in the first inning and had three other putouts, though he hesitated on a potential double play, allowing a run to score in the sixth.Peraza was 1 for 4 with a triple and a walk.A.J. Ellis doubled in the fourth inning and took third on a beautiful sacrifice bunt by Anderson. But Rollins struck out and Peraza hit a sharp grounder to second to end the threat.Puig and Joc Pederson each dazzled defensively.Puig had a fully extended diving catch to save a run to end the fifth inning. Pederson, coming in as a defensive replacement, made a stellar running catch before crashing into the wall to end the eighth inning and save Howell at least two runs.Kike Hernandez, getting the start in center field over Pederson with the left-hander on the mound, blasted a double in the sixth inning.And in standing up for the beleaguered bullpen, Pedro Baez recorded four strikeouts in two innings of work, including striking out the side in the seventh, and Kenley Jansen struck out Harper in a ninth-inning showdown of stars en route to striking out the side in the ninth.So how do the slumbering Dodgers wake up from this nightmarish week when they look to snap out of a four-game funk?“Give the ball to Zack Greinke,” Mattingly said.center_img Sure, the Dodgers still maintain a 2 1/2-game lead over the San Francisco Giants in the National League West. They still have a potent 1-2 punch in Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke atop their rotation, but there is a certain uneasiness hanging over a proud franchise that is feeling the pressure to win its first World Series title in 28 years.Yet Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was not about to send an SOS signal from what appears to everyone else to be a ship in distress, though Mattingly conceded that Monday was a rough game.“Tonight was a game we never felt we really had a chance to win it. The last three before that, we felt we could’ve won all of them,” Mattingly said. “Hopefully it’s a little blip and we can get back on track tomorrow.”Perhaps the Dodgers were feeling a little listless after their cross-country flight from Pittsburgh arrived at 5 a.m.But that did not explain left-hander Brett Anderson’s poorest performance of the season. After all, Anderson had caught a flight back to Los Angeles the day before to be fresh for the series opener.last_img read more

Iowa House and Senate give solar bill unanimous support

first_imgDES MOINES — The Iowa legislature has sent the governor a compromise bill on solar energy.Last year, utilities sought permission to charge new fees to customers with solar panels on their homes or businesses. The bill now calls for studying the value of solar power starting in 2027 and establishes some alternative billing methods. Representative Gary Carlson, a Republican from Muscatine, says the compromise was developed by representatives of the state’s electric utilities, pork producers and the solar industry.“It’s gratifying to see that the groups came together and have come with a solution that’s good not only for the growth of the solar industry and utilities, but for Iowans,” Carlson says.Last year Republican Senator Michael Breitbach of Strawberry Point was the lead advocate for charging new fees to customers who tap into the electric power grid when their solar panels aren’t producing power. Breitbach says this year’s deal gives some certainty to solar customers.“It also gives us a pathway forward on how the determination will be on the value of solar,” he says.Senator Eric Giddens, a Democrat from Cedar Falls, says solar power helps reduce reliance on fossil fuels for electricity.“It will strengthen the solar industry in this state, make distributed solar installations more affordable for homeowners, businesses and farmers,” he says.The bill passed the House unanimously Tuesday and the Senate passed it 48-to-zero Wednesday afternoon.last_img read more