Dodgers' Mark Ellis throws to first base during a game against the… (Todd Kirkland / Associated…)
Someday the Dodgers will actually hold on to a one-run lead. Someday, it’s even possible they discover an offense.
For now, the offense remains a rumor and their ability to win a one-run game hasn't been proven in nearly a month. Left in the wake, plenty of painful losses.
The Dodgers haven’t won a one-run game since April 25 and they could not hold on to yet another one Sunday in Atlanta, losing a third consecutive tough game to the Braves, this one 5-2 when the Braves scored four times in the eighth.
Yes, the bullpen failed to hold a lead again. And yes, the offense … well, maybe that’s just not an appropriate term for what they have going on right now.
The Dodgers took a 2-0 lead, scoring once in the first on a double by Carl Crawford and single by Adrian Gonzalez, and once more in the third on a Matt Kemp double and Gonzalez sacrifice fly.
Kemp was their last baserunner until there was one out left in the game.
Nineteen consecutive Dodgers were retired in order before A.J. Ellis walked with two outs in the ninth. They finished with a total of three hits — one more than they managed on Saturday.
That’s not an offense, it’s shadow.
Rookie Matt Magill left a game that twice suffered rain delays, still in position to earn his first major-league win. He went five-plus innings, throwing very well, if just way too many pitches. He threw 96 pitches, which required an early call to a bullpen.
And that is currently a call for serious trouble.
The bullpen is currently a complete mess. Roles unclear, pitchers struggling or suddenly with shaky confidence.
The Dodgers clung to a 2-1 lead when right-hander Kenley Jansen surrendered a single and a walk to open the bottom of the eighth. Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly, almost desperately trying his mix-and-match routine, called on semi-closer Brandon League.
Again, League failed to deliver, not that it was entirely his fault.
Third baseman Juan Uribe dropped a sacrifice bunt for an error that loaded the bases. The Braves then scored runs on a single by Gerald Laird, sacrifice fly from Ramiro Pena, single from Chris Johnson and sacrifice bunt by Jordan Schafer.
The bullpen had suffered its 13thloss of the season, the Dodgers an ignoble sweep.