LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers traded for James Dozier on Tuesday because of games like Tuesday night's 1-0 loss to Milwaukee that knocked them out of first place and into a tie for second with Colorado.General manager Farhan Zaidi said management has been concerned about the offense's lack of production
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers traded for James Dozier on Tuesday because of games like Tuesday night's 1-0 loss to Milwaukee that knocked them out of first place and into a tie for second with Colorado.
General manager Farhan Zaidi said management has been concerned about the offense's lack of production against left-handed pitchers. Hours later, Milwaukee left-hander Wade Miley limited the Dodgers to a pair of singles in seven innings and there wasn't much Dozier could do about it.
He tried, catching the first flight from Minnesota, fighting traffic to Dodger Stadium and arriving in the dugout in the ninth inning. By then, rookie Walker Buehler's seven strong innings had been all for naught because the Dodgers hadn't scored. Brewers pitchers retired 22 of the last 23 Dodgers batters.
In a sharp rebound from his loss in Philadelphia, Buehler (4-4) allowed one run on five hits and struck out seven with no walks. At 105 pitches, it was the longest outing of his career. His last win was June 8, after which he missed time with fractured ribs.
Buehler said playing only catch and not throwing off a mound while the ribs healed led to a mechanical flaw that he and pitching coach Rick Honeycutt ironed out after watching video.
"Might be the first time in my career I had to look at my delivery, I've always been feel-based," said Buehler. "First time I've done that and it made a big difference. I wasn't pleased with my last outing and the one before that, went back to the drawing board and figured it out."
This was only the second win of the year for Miley, who has been hampered by groin and oblique injuries, but is 4-0 at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers advanced only one runner as far as second base (in the second inning) while losing their third consecutive game. Miley held the Dodgers scoreless in a Milwaukee no-decision two weeks ago.
"Miley was typical Miley," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. "It was a simple formula and he executed all night long. He didn't miss to the big part of the plate."
Cody Bellinger nearly tied the game with two out in the bottom of the seventh inning with a drive to the top of the fence, but center fielder Lorenzo Cain goaltended to make the catch. Cain said he believed the ball would have cleared the fence if he hadn't caught it.
"You never think one run is going to hold that team down over there," said Cain. "But it did tonight."
Milwaukee scored its run in the top of the third inning. Christian Yelich beat out an infield single with two out and was doubled home by Cain.
A second run was snuffed out by Dodgers second baseman Enrique Hernandez, whose dive headed off Mike Moustakas' sharp grounder in shallow center. Hernandez scrambled to retrieve the ball and threw a two-hopper home, where catcher Austin Barnes was able to catch the ball and legally block Cain from reaching the plate while applying the tag.
At the time of the Dozier trade, the Dodgers were batting .227 with a .698 OPS against left-handed pitching and .251 with a .777 OPS against right-handed pitching. Of the 144 home runs they've hit, 106 have come off right-handers.
HE SAID IT
"I don't know if I've ever gotten this many text messages in my life. Hundreds, probably reached thousands. When you say Dodgers, people in Mississippi, it's a big deal." -- Dozier
Dozier is likely to get his first start as a Dodger on Wednesday night when Rich Hill opposes Chase Anderson and the Brewers in a 7:10 p.m. start at Dodger Stadium. Since returning from the disabled list (finger blister) for the second time, Hill has been about as consistent as any Dodgers starter.
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.