There was excitement in the air at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday night.
Fans received bobblehead dolls crafted in the image of Sandy Koufax. The Dodgers were fielding a lineup that existed only in the wildest of fantasies when they were stuck in bankruptcy last season.
But the buzz in the stands was soon replaced by frustration, which manifested itself in boos.
The Dodgers were facing the worst-pitching team in baseball, but couldn't hit. Again.
They fell to the last-place Colorado Rockies for the second time in as many days, this time by a 3-1 margin.
They collected only four hits. They had five when they were shut out the previous night.
The defeat dropped them 11/2 games back of the National League West-leading San Francisco Giants, who beat the St. Louis Cardinals. The third-place Arizona Diamondbacks defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates to move to within 21/2 games of the Dodgers.
So much for the idea of continuing to beat up bad teams while their divisional rivals faced contenders.
"Tonight, I was really OK with the at-bats," Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly said. "It was nothing about the effort. I hate to say guys were trying too hard, but that's what it felt like."
Until the Rockies showed up to Dodger Stadium on Monday, they had shut out an opponent only once this season. Their pitching staff's collective earned-run average entering Tuesday was 5.46, the worst in all of baseball.
The Rockies' starter on Tuesday, 23-year-old right-hander Alex White, spent all of July in triple A and was less than a week removed from being called back up to the majors.
White hadn't won a game since June 3 and he wouldn't win Tuesday. As a member of the Rockies' experimental four-man rotation, White was on a limited pitch count. He threw 80 pitches, which was enough to get him through four innings.
A.J. Ellis was at the plate in the second inning with men on the corners, but White forced him to ground out to short to end the inning.
White intentionally walked Andre Ethier to load the bases and face Hanley Ramirez, who flied out to left field.
The Rockies moved in front, 1-0, when rookie shortstop Josh Rutledge doubled in Eric Young Jr.
After that, the Rockies put the game in the hands of one of their few dependable relievers, Josh Roenicke.
Roenicke entered the game with 661/3 innings to his name, the most by any relief pitcher in the majors. He also had an earned-run average of 2.31.
Roenicke retired the first seven batters he faced and blanked the Dodgers over the next three innings.
When James Loney grounded out to end a 1-2-3 sixth inning, the home fans turned on their team. They booed.
The game moved out of the Dodgers' reach in the seventh inning, which Aaron Harang (7-7) started by giving up a single to Chris Nelson and walking Young. Harang was replaced by rookie Shawn Tolleson, who promptly served up a two-run double to Rutledge.
The Dodgers were down, 3-0, and Rutledge was on his way to collecting a career-high four hits.
In their 17th inning of a series against the worst-pitching team in baseball, the Dodgers finally scored.
With two outs in the eighth inning, Ramirez reached on a two-out infield single and scored from first on a double by pinch-hitter Mark Ellis.
But that was all they could manage as they fell a little further behind in the NL West.
"When you get right down to it," Mattingly said, "it's still early."