Josh Beckett made a credible Dodgers debut, considering the 5-11 record he brought with him from Boston in Saturday's blockbuster. He kept the Dodgers in the game and the Rockies in the park, except for his second pitch, a towering home run by leadoff hitter Tyler Colvin.
Beckett, facing the Rockies for the first time since the 2007 World Series, was charged with three runs in 5 2/3 innings and had no part in Colorado's seven-run eighth inning that blew the game open. He's winless in his last seven starts.
"He kept us in the game," Mattingly said of Beckett, once a power pitcher whose fastball now hovers in the low-90s, but is complemented by secondary breaking pitches. "Josh can win with the stuff he has. He's not 96, 97 anymore, but he's good enough. We've got to help him. He's not going to win if we don't score."
Closer Kenley Jansen -- called on to pitch with his club three runs down because the bullpen is spent -- was tagged for four runs in two-thirds of an inning, while Josh Wall, recalled earlier in the day, allowed a two-run homer to Wilin Rosario.
"We lost the game today because we didn't do anything on offense," said Adrian Gonzalez, the centerpiece of the deal with Boston, brought in to make sure these kinds of losses were eliminated. He went 0-for-3 with a walk, including a line out in the first inning with a runner on second.
Getting shut out in Coors Field is not easy. It's happened to the Dodgers only five times since the place opened in 1995. It was the first shutout at home in more than a year for Rockies pitchers, who are now pitching by committee with no starter going more than five innings, including Jeff Francis in this game.
"They did a good job of not letting us score," said Matt Kemp, who stayed in the game after stinging his glove hand when he ran into the screen in front of the Dodgers' center-field bullpen chasing Colvin's eighth-inning triple.
"We didn't get the big hits, like yesterday when we left  on base," Kemp said. "You've got to get big hits, like I had a perfect situation [first and third with one out in the eighth] and rolled over and hit into a double play. I can't be doing that."
The Dodgers are 1-2 since Saturday's stunning trade, and 16-15 since they acquired Hanley Ramirez, setting in motion the most dramatic midseason overhaul in team history. They were 2 1/2 games out of first place when Ramirez and Randy Choate were acquired, and they are 2 1/2 games out now, although they've added other marquee players.
The Dodgers are 6-7 this year against Colorado, which is on pace to lose 96 games. There are only 33 games left in the season, but Kemp rejected the suggestion that time is running out.
"We're good," he said. "We've got a lot of games, a whole other month. Nobody is panicking around here. Everybody knows what we're capable of and the guys will get the job done."
The Dodgers got only four hits -- a single by Luis Cruz, doubles by Kemp and A.J. Ellis and a triple by Shane Victorino. But Gonzalez said he sees an offense getting good at-bats, working deep in counts.
"If we have those at-bats day in and day out, more often than not we'll score quite a bit of runs," he said.
Nonetheless, the Dodgers were blanked by a pitching staff with the worst ERA in the league -- for the second time this month (Aug. 6 in Los Angeles).
"We may have looked flat. Any time you don't hit, you look flat," said Mattingly.
That was little consolation to Beckett, who kept the game close enough to beat himself up over three pitches -- Colvin's homer, a fourth-inning triple by Chris Nelson and a single by Jonathan Herrera.
"I felt I made a lot of pitches, but I'd like those back," said Beckett, who praised Ellis for his quarterbacking behind the plate.
"You have to play good baseball against this team dealing with this lineup, and you cannot afford to give them unnecessary opportunity," said Rockies manager Jim Tracy. "And [starter] Jeff Francis did a tremendous job of not allowing any of that to happen. He had probably the best fastball he's had since he's been here."