The most expensive team in baseball history is in last place.
After a 9-2 defeat by the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday night at Dodger Stadium, the Dodgers are now looking up at every other team in the National League West.
That includes the San Diego Padres, who are spending less than a third of the record $230 million the Dodgers (13-18) are paying their players this season. The Padres (14-18) moved into fourth place with a 5-0 victory over the Miami Marlins.
“It's very frustrating,” Carl Crawford said.
Not even Manager Don Mattingly, who was encouraged by how his team looked as it was swept by the San Francisco Giants over the weekend, could say anything positive about the Dodgers' fifth consecutive defeat.
“It was a sloppy game,” Mattingly said. We made too many mistakes.”
Chris Capuano returned from the disabled list to take a beating from the team that traded most-valuable-player front-runner Justin Upton, as he was charged with six runs (five earned) and eight hits over four innings in his second start of the season.
Capuano (0-2) wasn't entirely to blame.
Carl Crawford tried to make a sliding catch in left field in the second inning, only for the ball to bounce a few feet in front of him and under his glove. The mistake resulted in a two-run triple for Diamondbacks pitcher Trevor Cahill, who scored on a double by A.J. Pollock in the at-bat that followed.
The Diamondbacks were up, 3-1.
Crawford atoned for his mistake in the third inning by hitting a home run that moved the Dodgers to within 3-2. The home run was a team-leading fifth for Crawford, who has never hit more than 19 in a season.
Crawford again played a role the next time runs were scored. But his fifth-inning error didn't appear to be an error, as he caught a fly ball from Didi Gregorius and dropped it as he transferred the ball to his throwing hand.
Crawford raised his arms in protest. Mattingly came out of the dugout to argue.
No matter. Gregorius was awarded second base.
“I thought I caught it,” Crawford said. “I don't know what that was about. The only thing I can do is hope instant replay gets here real quick.”
The next batter, Paul Goldschmidt, hit a two-run home run. Goldschmidt's blast was immediately followed by a solo shot from Cody Ross, which increased the Diamondbacks' lead to 6-2 and ended Capuano's night.
Goldschmidt was four for five, including three for three against Capuano. In a major league career spanning less than two seasons, Goldschmidt is 12 for 15 with three home runs against Capuano.
“We're trying to come to the park fresh every day and focus on winning today,” Capuano said. “Maybe we're pressing a little bit. As much as I tell myself not to press, sometimes you take a little more on your shoulders than you need to. That makes you a little tight out there. You have to keep grinding, competing and fighting hard and believe the talent will come through.”
The Dodgers used the disabled list for the 13th time on Monday, when they removed second baseman Mark Ellis from the active roster because of a strained quadriceps. They are expected to put Jerry Hairston Jr. on the disabled list Tuesday.
“That's what makes baseball so tough,” Capuano said. “It can really beat you down like that. You have to be really tough to play this game, mentally tough to put things behind you.”
But Capuano said he thinks his team has the necessary resolve to survive this.
“I absolutely do,” he said. “We've got a lot of guys who have a lot of pride.”