Rookie Carlos Monasterios remains overmatched in Dodgers' 7-4 loss to Astros
Carlos Monasterios was supposed to be a middle-innings relief guy. A youngster who had barely pitched above the Class-A level, the Dodgers planned to use him judiciously.
A Rule Five draftee the Dodgers either had to keep on their roster all season or return to the Phillies, Monasterios has been used much differently than anticipated. Failure to identify a fifth starter during the first half and injuries have seen him start 12 games this season, with very mixed results.
Next season should be a very different experience for Monasterios. No longer obligated to be kept on the 25-man roster, he figures to spend his season at triple-A Albuquerque.
Sunday may have been his last start of the season, and it was a struggle from the very beginning in the 7-4 loss to the Astros.
Monasterios lasted only 1 1/3 innings, giving up four runs on five hits and a pair of walks. The Astros scored all four runs against him in a first inning that saw him throw 39 pitches, without allowing a walk.
Even with Jay Gibbons continuing to make his case for being a regular member of the Dodgers next season with a three-run homer and James Loney tripling and scoring on Russ Mitchell’s sacrifice fly to tie it, the Dodgers couldn’t hold on.
The Astros completed the scoring with three doubles in the fifth of reliever Ramon Troncoso (1-3) to score two, and a solo home run from Carlos Lee off Octavio Dotel in the eighth.
There was a bit of good news for the Dodgers. Sixteen years in the making, John Lindsey pinch hit with one out in the fifth and collected the first hit of his major-league career with a single to left.
The good-natured Lindsey has been the sweet aspect to the Dodgers' dismal September, but after loading the bases, he was left at third. Still, nothing on this planet could erase his smile as he joined teammates in the dugout.
Gustavo Chacin pitched only a third of an inning, but picked up the victory for the Astros to go to 3-2.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Dodgers catcher Brad Ausmus and pitching coach Rick Honeycutt talk to pitcher Carlos Monasterios in the first inning Sunday. Credit: Steve Campbell / Associated Press