GLENDALE, Ariz.— The Dodgers had another subpar pitching performance Thursday against the Cincinnati Reds.
A Hanley Ramirez solo blast to left center that landed beyond the outfield lawn was the lone offensive highlight for the Dodgers, as Paul Maholm allowed two home runs in 2 2/3 innings, allowing five earned runs, as the Reds beat the Dodgers 8-2.
Dodgers bench coach Tim Wallach, filling in for manager Don Mattingly while Mattingly attends to family matters, briefly talked about the game, but showed little concern about the team’s 5-8 record in Spring Training.
“We did some good things, we had a couple opportunities to get back in the game, we just didn’t take advantage,” said Wallach.
Wallach praised the play of Ramirez, Juan Uribe, and Scott Van Slyke, and partially attributed the team’s subpar form to the mundane and repetitive nature of Spring Training.
“This is normally about that time when everybody gets that dead arm, dead bat,” said Wallach. “They’ve been taking a lot of swings every day. It doesn’t concern me, I think once we get to these last few games, I think you’ll probably see a little more emphasis and probably focus here in these last few games.”
Reds starter Alfredo Simon stymied the Dodgers offense, allowing one run in five hits over 4 1/3 innings with three strikeouts.
Before Ramirez went yard, however, he had a big error that led to a four-run third inning.
“Hanley knows, we talked and he said ‘that’s me’,” said Wallach, referring to Ramirez’s on-field faux pas. “But we’ll make the adjustment. We’re not really worried about that.”
Wallach also talked about the unique dynamic Dee Gordon brings to the Dodgers, and the value he could have down the stretch.
“Dee is such an important part for us,” he said. “He gets on base and it causes you to take you focus on something else.”
Gordon, in the midst of a battle for the second base starting spot with newcomer Alex Guerrero, is batting a meager .212 this spring, but his eight stolen bases lead the Cactus League and represent a unique weapon for the Dodgers.
Wallach also talked about the performance of recently-demoted right hand pitcher Red Patterson this season.
“The thing I like best about him is that he just continues to throw strikes,” said Wallach. “It’s a great example for other guys because no one would ever say he’s got the best stuff on the staff, but he goes after you, throws strikes, and gets outs. And that’s a great example if you throw the ball over the plate, throw quality strikes, you get outs.”
The Dodgers have a few games before closing out their Cactus League season Sunday against the Colorado Rockies.
They open the 2014 season March 22 against the Diamondbacks in Sydney, Australia.