Postgame: Rockies 3, Dodgers 0

The Rockies beat the Dodgers 3-0 tonight at Dodger Stadium. For a full recap and boxscore click here

THE BARE ESSENTIALS:

With Orlando Hudson and Russell Martin both getting a much needed day off, the Dodgers went meekly into the night, managing a season-low two hits against Jason Marquis.

Marquis needed just 86 pitches to finish off a complete-game shutout. He threw 66 strikes.

James Loney and Juan Castro had the only hits for the Dodgers on a pair of singles.

On any other night, Chad Billingsley would have been in line for a win after giving up just three runs on five hits while notching a season-high 11 strikeouts over a season-high 7.2 innings. But with Marquis dealing a gem, Billingsley was the hard-luck loser.

Continuing with the Marquis theme, he added a two-run single with two outs in the seventh to effectively put the game away. Brad Hawpe hit a solo home run in the fourth inning.

ETC…ETC:

The Dodgers were shutout for the fourth time this season and have lost three of their last four games and five of their last seven.

At 14-12, the Dodgers posted their first winning record in June since 2003, when they went 14-11.

On the flip side, they scored 93 runs in 26 games in June, an average of 3.6 per game, after scoring 56 runs in 29 games in May, an average of 5.4 per game. In other words, you can come back anytime now, Manny.

Marquis became the National League’s first 10-game winner and joins Zach Greinke, Roy Halladay, Kevin Slowey, and Tim Wakefield for the Major League lead.

ON DECK:

The Dodgers host the Rockies in the series finale at 12:10 p.m. Wednesday, sending LHP Clayton Kershaw (5-5, 3.70) vs. RHP Jason Hammel (5-3, 4.21).

Vote: Dodgers MVP so far

Joe Torre touched on a number of subjects during his pregame chat with reporters, but eventually the conversation circled around to who he thought the Dodgers’ MVP was so far.

Without hesitation, Torre said it was the bullpen, explaining it was the one area he was unsettled about coming out of spring training, yet it’s been a consistent asset all year long.

Coming on the heels of Monday night’s bullpen masterpiece – seven different relievers threw shutout innings to enable the Dodgers to pull out a dramatic 13th inning win on Andre Ethier’s two-run home run – Torre’s comments made sense.

But it’s more than just Monday’s performance. After getting 7.0 scoreless innings from their bullpen last night, the Dodgers lead the National League with a bullpen ERA of 3.31 and trails just Boston (2.89), Seattle (3.16), and Tampa Bay (3.22) for the Major-League lead. The bullpen has a big league best 21 wins with workhorses Ronald Belisario (40 games) and Ramon Troncoso (35) combining to go 2-2 with a 1.98 ERA (21 ER/95.2 IP), with 73 strikeouts and just 36 walks. Opponents are hitting just .219 against the duo.

If you’re looking for reasons why the Dodgers are so good in close games, the bullpen is a great place to start.

But we put the vote to you:

Pregame

Tonight’s lineup, folks.

Rockies

Smith LF

Barmes 2B

Helton 1B

Hawpe RF

Tulowitzki SS

Stewart 3B

Gonzalez CF

Iannetta C

Marquis RHP

Dodgers

Pierre LF

Furcal SS

Ethier RF

Blake 3B

Loney 1B

Kemp CF

Castro 2B

Ellis C

Billingsley RHP

Dodgers manager Joe Torre said he’s been thinking about giving Orlando Hudson a day off for more than a week – and he’s now finally getting around to it. Russell Martin will get tonight and tomorrow off in front of Thursday’s off day, more of a mental break than anything else. “He’s been fighting himself (at the plate)” Torre said.