Dodgers’ magic number down to 2 despite 7-4 loss

first_imgBy that point, Colorado led 7-1 and the thin Rocky Mountain air wasn’t thin enough to facilitate a comeback. Yet the Dodgers’ magic number to clinch the National League West fell to 2 when the Giants lost to the A’s later in the day.The Dodgers’ lead in the division is 8 with nine games remaining. They can clinch today, but only if they beat the Rockies and the A’s beat the Giants in their game, which begins at 1 p.m. First pitch from Coors Field is scheduled for 5:10 p.m.The Dodgers have another game in Denver on Sunday before they begin a four-game series in San Francisco on Monday. Either nothing or everything will be at stake for both teams. If the Dodgers haven’t clinched the West by the end of that series, manager Don Mattingly said, “We don’t deserve to.”Bolsinger allowed seven hits and seven runs in four innings. Only four of the runs were earned, though Bolsinger did not help his cause by walking three batters. He struck out two. At one point during the fourth-inning onslaught, Dodgers head athletic trainer Stan Conte visited the mound to check on the pitcher. But there was no injury. “Nothing was wrong at all,” Bolsinger saidIn the previous breath, however, the right-hander conceded that he hasn’t been the same since returning from a four-week hiatus at Triple-A. In four September starts for the Dodgers, Bolsinger’s ERA has risen from 2.83 to 3.48.“Maybe a little bit of fatigue in the arm,” he said. “Since I’ve been back, I’m just getting tired real quick.”Mattingly reserved the right to change his mind, but said his first preference is to keep Bolsinger in the rotation. His next start would come Wednesday in San Francisco. Right-hander Carlos Frias is healthy and has a chance, like Bolsinger, to earn a postseason roster spot as a long reliever. Frias pitched four shutout innings Wednesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks in his only September start — a step in the right direction.Bolsinger said he is merely trying to finish the regular season strong.“Whatever happens, happens,” he said. “I definitely haven’t put myself in very good position for anything.”Rockies starter David Hale (5-5) allowed five hits and only one run in five innings before the announced crowd of 38,485 at Coors Field.On a night when second baseman Howie Kendrick was the only right-handed hitting position player in the Dodgers’ starting lineup, he delivered two of the Dodgers’ nine hits. Jimmy Rollins had three, including a triple, and Chase Utley walked twice and clubbed a ground-rule double. “It’s always tough this time of year because we’re playing against teams that have nothing to lose,” Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford said. “They play us a little harder. We’re trying not to make mistakes and do things the proper way. Sometimes it’s tough that way, but we still have to be professional, get ready to play, do what we do, and go out there and take care of business.”The Dodgers committed two errors in the field Friday and another on the base paths, when Crawford took a wide turn around first base on an infield single and was thrown out by Colorado third baseman Nolan Arenado.Getting ahead of ourselves, are we?“We’re not looking forward to nothing,” Crawford insisted.The Rockies lowered the boom with three runs in the third inning and three more in the fourth against Dodgers starter Mike Bolsinger (6-5). Charlie Blackmon, Carlos Gonzalez and Corey Dickerson each hit solo home runs in the fourth inning. DENVER >> The natural toll of playing 152 games is clearly pulling the Dodgers in a bad direction at the moment. Flashes of urgency, occasionally from grizzled veterans and occasionally from youngsters fighting for a postseason roster spot, are pulling the opposite direction.The taut threads in this metaphorical tug-of-war represent the Dodgers’ magic number. It can only get smaller, but its existence feels tortured.A 7-4 loss to the Colorado Rockies like Friday’s would not have come with the same tension in May or June, though the Dodgers lost to the Rockies twice in each of those months. Because it came in Game 153 of a 162-game regular season, it’s easier to lump in with the Dodgers’ four-game losing streak that ended Tuesday: Bad losses, or at least bad timing.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more