Dodgers’ Corey Seager breaks up Matt Moore’s no-hit bid

first_imgCatcher A.J. Ellis, the longest-tenured player in franchise history and a well-regarded leader in the clubhouse, was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies early in the day. For some players, the first thing they saw upon walking in was a teary-eyed 35-year-old teammate saying his goodbyes.As well as Moore pitched — he walked three, struck out seven and threw a career-high 133 pitches — it’s hard to believe the emotional fallout from the trade didn’t factor into the Dodgers’ sullen offense.“They’re human. They have relationships. It affects you,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said before the game. “There’s a point where you have to be a professional and go out there and win a game.“There’s no excuse to affect your performance.”For their part, the Dodger players were slow to offer excuses. They tipped their caps to Moore and moved on, as the old saying goes. “He got me out twice on cutters that he didn’t throw before,” Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez said. “He actually hadn’t thrown a cutter to a lefty all year, and we knew that he was working on it. For us, it’s the way we like it. We won the series. We just lost today. Whether we got a hit in the first or the ninth it doesn’t matter; we got a hit.”At least Seager acknowledged the residual emotions could have been a factor.“That’s one of things you don’t really know,” he said. “It’s one of those things that you have to move on and keep playing.”The last time the Dodgers were no-hit came on Aug. 30 of last season, when Jake Arrieta threw the first no-hitter of his career en route to a National League Cy Young Award. Mike Fiers had no-hit the Dodgers in Houston a mere nine days before.At the time, the Dodgers were in a deep offensive funk. This time was different.The Dodgers were averaging 5.57 runs per game since the All-Star break, the highest rate in baseball. Moore was hardly pitching his best of the season, with a 4.18 ERA in 25 starts — 4.70 in four starts since he was traded by the Tampa Bay Rays on Aug. 1.The main difference Thursday, it seemed, was that A.J. Ellis wasn’t a Dodger for the first time this decade.Dodgers starter Ross Stripling (3-5) pitched around a leadoff double in the second inning before the Giants broke through in the fourth. Brandon Crawford led off with a single and scored on a single by Brandon Belt. The next batter, Joe Panik, crushed a hanging breaking ball over the right field fence for a two-run home run.San Francisco still led 3-0 when Grant Dayton relieved Stripling in the sixth inning. After a walk and an error — Turner unwisely tried to barehand a ground ball at third base — Denard Span drove in the Giants’ fourth run with an RBI single. That was more than enough for San Francisco to avoid a three-game sweep.Giants manager Bruce Bochy, having seen his team lose its grip on the National League West, then lose the first two games of the series, said “we had to win today.” Maybe a no-hitter would have been a mere bonus.Likewise, for the Dodgers, the stain of being no-hit could only be the second-most demoralizing thing to emerge from Chavez Ravine on Thursday. LOS ANGELES >> Baseball superstition holds that you don’t mention a no-hitter in progress, at least if you want it to continue.The home dugout at Dodger Stadium might well have been a very loud place Thursday night. Until Corey Seager singled with two outs in the ninth inning, it could do nothing to coax a hit against Matt Moore in a game the San Francisco Giants won 4-0.Only then did the sellout crowd at Dodger Stadium join the rancor, its decibel level rising to the occasion of history being avoided. Santiago Casilla relieved Moore and got Justin Turner to pop out on the next pitch, ending the game.All of it served to contrast with an eerie quiet in the Dodgers’ clubhouse Thursday afternoon.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more