LOS ANGELES — The Rockies’ weekend trip to La La Land was one giant whiff.
And it stunk.
They went 0-for-3 in the series, culminating with a 4-1 loss to the Dodgers on Sunday — a debacle in which they struck out 15 times. They managed just two runs in the series, scoring on solo home runs by Daniel Descalso on Sunday and Nolan Arenado on Saturday night.
“It was just a terrible series. All of us were awful, including myself,” outfielder Carlos Gonzalez. “Way too many strikeouts.”
Gonzalez, in particular, has struggled at Dodger Stadium. In six games here this season, he’s hitting .091 (2-for-22) with one run, one RBI, three walks and 14 strikeouts.
It’s a wonder that the “K Meter” on the giant video boards at Dodger Stadium didn’t short-circuit, because Colorado struck out 41 times in the three-game series, an ugly number to be sure, but still one shy of the club record for futility. On May 20-22, 2013, the Rockies struck out 42 times at Dodger Stadium.
“It was a bad series offensively. We just didn’t perform,” manager Walt Weiss said. “Our offense got derailed in the series, for whatever reason. But we will get it going here.”
Asked if the club needs to do something to escape the funk — shake up the lineup, change its routine, approach batting practice differently — Weiss replied: “Shuffling the lineup isn’t going to do anything. We talk about approach all the time, every day. It’s part of our routine. We didn’t perform this series, but we’ll break out of this. We are a good offensive team.”
Riding strong starting pitching performances, even with ace Clayton Kershaw on the disabled list, the Dodgers have won nine straight at Dodger Stadium and have gone 14-5 in their last 19 games. They are keeping the first-place San Francisco Giants in their sights in the National League West.
The Rockies, meanwhile, have lost five straight and 11 of their last 16, and the NL West basement is looming closer. At 37-44, the Rockies are seven games under .500, matching their low point of the season.
Sunday, it was right-hander Brandon McCarthy’s turn to dominate Colorado hitters. Returning from Tommy John surgery and making his first start since April 25, 2015, the Cheyenne Mountain High School graduate pitched five scoreless innings, giving up just two hits and striking out eight.
After the game, in a hushed Rockies clubhouse, Gonzalez tried to explain why the Rockies’ offense was impotent in Los Angeles.
“I feel like everyone is just missing pitches here,” he said. “It seemed like everybody was always hitting with two strikes, and that’s not a good sign. … They threw some pitches around the zone, and we just continued to miss.”
Colorado got an excellent start from Jorge De La Rosa on Friday night and a solid performance from Jon Gray on Sunday, but the Dodgers swept the series with ease.
” ‘De La’ gave us a good chance to win, and Gray pitched great today,” Gonzalez said. “So you have to blame it on the offense. We didn’t do much, and you can’t win if you can’t score.”
Toss out one really bad inning Sunday, and Gray pitched well. But the three-run second inning was his undoing. Trayce Thompson tagged him for a leadoff homer. Then, in quick succession, Gray hit Howie Kendrick and walked Yasiel Puig, Yasmani Grandal and the pitcher, McCarthy, to give Los Angeles a 2-0 lead. The Dodgers made it 3-0 on Justin Turner’s RBI single.
Grandal’s solo homer in the seventh off ineffective reliever Chad Qualls accounted for the Dodgers’ final run. Qualls, who signed a two-year, $6 million contract during the offseason, has an ERA of 6.00 and five home runs allowed in 24 innings.
Swings and misses
The Rockies’ offense was almost nonexistent during a three-game series against the Dodgers. A closer look:
Outscored by Dodgers 15-2
Outhit by Dodgers 26-12
# Struck out 41 times, second-most in franchise history
Held to two runs over three games for just seventh time in franchise history.
# Record set May 20-22, 2013, when the Rockies struck out 42 times at Dodger Stadium