Bullpen Dooms The Dodgers Again During Sixth Inning Disaster

Ross Stripling

It is official; the Dodgers (16-23) now have the worst bullpen in all of baseball. That stinkpen was on full display on Saturday night in the Dodger’s 5-3 loss to the Reds. That’s the Dodgers third consecutive loss to the Cincinnati club. The Dodgers season is spiraling out of control and unless changes are made now they will sink further and further into the abyss. My guess is they bottom out into last place, possibly with the worst record in the National League. Once they are clearly out of the race is when the front office will finally decide to do something, correcting their own mistakes.

Tonight it was a shame because it came at the worst time. Well, it always comes at the worst times. The Dodger bats had finally come to life, (for them at least) exploding for three runs on twelve hits. The Dodgers actually had a 3-1 lead entering the top of the sixth inning and starter Ross Stripling was pitching well. Then the horrible bullpen came into the game, and instantly blew the lead within the blink of an eye. J.T. Chargois allowed four runs in the sixth frame and the Dodgers were unable to recover. The Dodger stadium faithful were stunned and rained boos down upon the field. Who can blame them? The Dodgers are more than boo-worthy.

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Reds       5 13 0

Dodgers 3 12 1

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I want to ask a question for Dodger’s management. Why in the world was Stripling removed in the middle of the inning after making only 79 pitches? I have a hard time believing that he can’t make more than 80 pitches in a start. Why would you want to go to the bullpen anyways? If the relievers are unable to hold leads than you’re going to have to stick with the starters longer in games.

But before that fateful sixth inning doomed the Dodgers, they were winning what seemed like a comfortable game. The Dodgers were unable to plate anybody in the first few innings, leaving the bases loaded in the bottom of the first and second and third in the bottom of the second.

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The Dodgers punched through in the bottom of the third when Cody Bellinger bombed one into the right field pavilions to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. The Dodgers added another run in the fourth when the punch-less Austin Barnes singled (he had two hits on the day), and was sacrificed to second. Joc Pederson’s RBI dunker into right scored him and the Dodgers went ahead 2-0.

The Dodgers seemingly gave opposing starter Homer Bailey a knockout blow in the bottom of the fifth when Chris Taylor and red hot Max Muncy had consecutive doubles to give the Dodgers a 3-0 lead. Bailey had a rough night allowing three earned runs on ten hits over five frames while striking out four. Dodger Stadium organist Dieter Ruehle serenaded him with the Simpsons theme song whenever he did anything wrong.

The Reds got on the board in the top of the fifth thanks to a Jesse Winker RBI single. But otherwise Stripling was pitching great. Going into the top of the sixth he had struck out seven and allowed just one run on four hits. He hadn’t walked anyone and it was looking like the Dodgers were in for a good night. But of course the management’s flawed philosophies of short outings from the starters and long ugly bullpen outings reared its ugly ahead again. After striking out Joey Votto looking, Stripling allowed a single to Scooter Gennett. He was instantly hooked. Chargois came into the game and immediately blew the lead. We can’t be surprised at this point.

The inning was a disaster. There was a comebacker that Chargois couldn’t glove. Then former Dodger Scott Schebler’s three-run shot to left gave the Reds 4-3 lead. Later in the inning, Alex Blandino’s RBI double put the Reds up 5-3. Do I really have to explain to you what the Dodger bats did the rest of the game? I’ll give you a hit, they did nothing. The Dodgers were 2 for 11 with runners in scoring position and left 11 runners on base. The Reds sweep the Dodgers Tomorrow when Luis Castillo and Rich Hill face off with first pitch scheduled for 1:10 PM PST.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Former Co-editor of Lasorda's Lair. Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic Cheap MLB Tickets

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37 thoughts on “Bullpen Dooms The Dodgers Again During Sixth Inning Disaster

  1. The pride and joy of the farm system. The ‘depth’ that we were led to believe was always there. The magicians curtain has finally been lifted to reveal the smoke and mirrors that made it all seem so real.

  2. Depth>? What a joke. Most of their talent is at the AA level. The guys doing well at AAA so far, outside of what Toles was doing are mostly rejects. Solano is having a nice year so far and is a defensive wiz, so why is he not up here putting Taylor back in CF? Because he is not on the 40 man. There are a few pitchers there who have MLB experience, Banuelos is doing the best of those guys, but again, not on the 40 man. But back to the game. The bullpen failed, but it would not have happened at all if they had just capitalized on their chances in the first couple of innings. Oh yeah, Bellinger homered to get them on the board, but he also struck out with 2 men on in the first inning. They left them loaded in the 1st when Muncy flied out. The next inning Hernandez and Barnes singled, Stripling failed to move them over then Utley and Pederson stranded them even after a wild pitch moved them up. So this one is also on an offense that is totally dysfunctional. Then Cody pulls the most bush play of the year in the 9th when they really need base runners and bunts on a 3-0 count. Stupid. This team right now is unwatchable. Turner 0-3 in his rehab start, but he hit the ball hard a couple of times. Forsythe is 1-7 down there in 2 games. Oh yeah, Venditte did a decent job out of the pen and Roberts pulled Stripling too soon.

  3. I have mixed thoughts on Bellinger this morning. I’m the one that’s been saying how easy a single would be against the shift and there is no easier pitch to bunt than a 3-0 fastball. But the execution was horrible. Orel was right, that bunt is down the line or foul. Bellinger knew he wasn’t going to tie the game with one swing. What he did actually had a high success probability.

    But …… really?

    It doesn’t seem to matter the situation with this team. They fail in any number of ways. It’s a team effort. 2 for 11 WRISP and yet another BS. Against the worst team in the league.

    I wonder when fans will say they’ve seen enough? 49,911 last night. Nobody else in the league can draw that many. Fans still love this team. I wouldn’t pay for a ticket to see this. Not yet.

    You know who could help us look better? Peraza and Schebler. As my wife just said “so much for their analytics”. She gets it. She would also never bunt on a 3-0 pitch.

    1. Bellinger’s bunt was a real head scratcher. My first thought was ‘what!!’ A 40 homer season last year and he lays down a bunt. He is one of the few players that has actually hit decently this season. Was this his decision to bunt or the manager’s? I couldn’t believe my eyes. Does he even have any experience bunting? Has he been known to do this in his brief career?

      1. Does he have experience bunting?

        Yeah, he does. I believe he’s in the top 6 for bunt hits since he came up.

        It’s actually not a bad strategy. All he has to do is get it down toward third and it brings the tying run to the plate. It was his idea, not Roberts’. Cody was actually given the take sign. Just more pressing and poor execution. We are seeing a lot of that.

  4. Roberts talked the front office talk yesterday, about small ball.

    Until Roberts does exactly what he knows is right, the Dodgers will continue to struggle.

    Because there is no way your going to win a lot of close games or win games against tough pitching, until the team tries to have a productive offense.

    Because most of these guys can’t hit for a decent enough average, to get hits when runners are in scoring position.

    And if they can’t do that, they will not be hitting enough HRs, to win games, especially with the iffy bullpen.

    And that is why this team so badly misses Corey and Turner, because both of those guys not only can hit with power, they hit for very good averages too.

    And that fact they didn’t know, or do any small ball in game seven, was the reason this team lost that game, and that was the reason the Astros won game seven.

    I did notice that Schebler knows how to hit the ball the other way, and he was only a year or two, behind Joc in the majors.

  5. What is it that Roberts has to do right?

    This team has been playing without its leaders. The starters left standing haven’t handled the pressure and the players standing in have been nothing more than the replacement level performers they are. We have no one capable of going 7 innings and a bullpen shot full of holes. Because of the salary freeze there will be no outside help coming in. Turner and Forsythe will be back soon. As will Kershaw hopefully. They’ve got a team to carry. Hope they are ready for the lift. Roberts? He can do nothing but continue to play the players that are in his dugout.

    1. Badger

      The Reds have been the worse team in the majors, because of their starting pitching.

      And we were not able to score more then three runs off their starter.

      And we have had trouble in every one of these games, scoring runs off the Red’s starters.

      And that is because this team has to much trouble bringing runners home, when they are in scoring position.

      And that is because non of these hitters are able to hit for an average like Turner and Corey does, so it is not likely, they will get hits, when runners are in scoring position.

      And because of all of that, Roberts needs to try to make this offense productive, instead of assuming non of these players, can put the ball in play, or bunt runners over, or try to hit to the right side, to get runners over, so possibly a sac fly or a pitch hit to the right side, can score a run.

      Because the HR offense is not working, but the off set of the HR offense, is sure causing a lot of strike outs, in general.

      It is better to have two different ways to score runs, then one way.

      Turner will help, because Turner not only hits for a high average, he also does these small things too, but even Turner, can’t do it all.

      I am on Roberts right now, only because he blurted out, what our stupid GM said, a few days earlier yesterday, about the team not hitting enough HRs.

      Remember our GM is from the team that Money ball was based on, and saber metrics are not only used as a tool for the A’s, it is what the A’s are all about.

      And how many World Series have been won, from teams that only practice saber metrics alone?

      And Roberts knows better, then what he blurted out yesterday.

      He needs to do what is best for the team, not let the GM run this offense, because Roberts hears an echo of what our GM said in his ears, in these situations.

        1. Bluto

          I have already said that, because both the Astros and the Cubs, only use saber metrics as a tool, but they also play small ball, when it is needed too.

          But the A’s use saber metrics, and nothing else.

        2. Theo Epstein is nothing close to ‘small market’ or Moneyball mentality.

          He actually signs players to big contracts, (and not his own free agents.)

          The Astros traded for Verlander and actually had to convince him to accept the trade to Houston. They also signed a quality pitcher in Garrett Cole AND they won the championship. Talking about not standing pat.

          Neither of those 2 organizations/FO’s operate anything close to the small market/bargain bin shopping that the Dodgers FO do.

          Quit making that unjustifable and inaccurate comparison.

          Hell, the Dodgers have had quality players want to come to LA and the FO have said ‘no thanks.’

          And for the GM recently complain about the lack of Home runs and yet reject the 2017 Home Run king is simply idiotic.

    2. Badger
      Roberts does not know who to play and when to play them. Or what order to play them. You keep putting all the blame on the players. I get that they need to play better but Dummy apparently is not supplying any motivation either. I hate to disagree but Roberts has more to do than just play the players he has been given. Who else do you claim is a leader besides Turner? Kershaw? OK but he should still be a better skipper than he has been doing. What can Roberts do better?

      1 Provide leadership in a positive way….. It hasn’t happened.
      2 Play the same lineup daily………..We all know the answer to that one.
      3. Play the starting pitchers a full start and let them get tired….. He plays them as long as HE thinks so he can provide rest. BS…………
      4. Quit changing so many players in the late innings. It is not working.
      5. Stop killing the Bullpen……….Even you know that is true.
      6. Playing all these kids is also overdone…..Play some but my goodness they won’t win a championship.
      7.Work with management to bring in proven players, not go along to get along.
      8. Quit being so GD stubborn………..He is probably wrong more than right.
      9. Who else would continually take out starters who are pitching no hitters? That is proof right there that isn’t worth a shit.
      I could go on and on but he is an easy one to analysis, especially to one who has done for a lifetime.
      You have a good day Badger.

    1. Just finished reading that and was going to mention it.

      When things turn around, and I sure hope they do, I wonder if those who blame Roberts will then say the players bailed out the miserable manager. As I have mentioned, the very best managers are only worth 4-5 wins a year. That’s guys like Tony LaRussa, Torre and Sparky Anderson. Roberts is only playing the hand he was dealt by fate and FAZ.

      1. Badger

        I was the first one that said this isn’t on Roberts, because of what the front office gave him, to work with.

        But he has to wake up, and stop talking like our GM.

        And he can do the stuff I am talking about, because Maddan did this stuff, under Friedman.

        And Maddan still does this stuff.

  6. They were booed last night? Interesting!

    But we are built on a solid foundation like:
    Cubs and Astros
    or
    A’s and Rays

    They are different models. Anyway these bums will eventually turn it around. And with this awful concept of the wild card we still have playoff hopes.

    And Happy Mother’s Day.

    1. Well, we are the second richest team in all baseball, and because that, we have many more resources to work with, then the Rays and the A’s.

      But I think our front office’s goal, was to use the least amount of money, any team has ever used to get talent, to win a World Series.

      Except it went the other way, when they signed all of those quote cheap starting pitchers, that provided hardly any production.

  7. All the talk here there and everywhere has not changed a thing. Right now, this is a bad baseball team that cannot execute, score runs or play smart baseball. They strikeout too much, do not hit with RISP, and have an all or nothing mentality at the plate. Except for Kemp and Utley. Actually Pederson is not going for the downs all the time either. Their lack of power is a little surprising, but without the glue, the paper doll is falling apart. It is hard to believe they are 6th in the league in hitting, but that’s where they are ranked with all 3 teams above them ranked below them in hitting. Unreal. Only Miami has hit fewer homers. I will say this, they really need some momentum. So they need a win today and then to go into Miami and sweep a pitiful team. Now if Rich Hill can give them 6 scoreless like everyone thinks this over rated rag arm is capable of, they might be able to snap this losing streak…if not, they need to score a lot against another pitcher with an ERA north of 5.

  8. Over the Hill strikes again..Bellinger at this point in time should be way down in the order with 2 more K’s. Puig finally homers. But they are once again making a mediocre pitcher look like Justin Verlander……and who said Matt Kemp was slow? He made a great catch in LF. Oh yeah, Hill leaves with finger issues in the 6th after 1 out.

  9. When the manager asked Hill what the problem was Hill gave him the finger.

    Badop-bomp!

    Well, the bullpen wasted little time sucking today. Damm Roberts. Seems to bring the wrong guy in day after day.

      1. You don’t like my joke?

        What’s with the blown up ship? Looks like a target boat.

        I sure hope this is the low point of the season.

        1. That is the USS LA DODGERS being blown out of the water…it is actually a destroyer that was used as a target ship, but I figured with this bunch the metaphor of the ship blowing up was appropriate, and I loved your joke. But the real joke is the 16 mil a year they are paying that guy to suck as bad as he has this year. Funny, their best pitcher is a 21 year old rookie….Once again they fall short and only have 1 more win than the Marlins……the fire Roberts rumblings are starting on some blogs….

        2. Not the bottom yet, Badger.

          Man, I’d rather not be right but I called this sweep. I’m not calling for a sweep by the Marlins but we usually get beat by Mattingly despite Mattingly calling bad games.

          Our bottom will come after Turner starts playing and then we might hit it.

  10. I would think placing another starting pitcher on the DL would lower things and of course all of these issues help explains why things are so bad.

    Afterall it’s not the Managers fault. It’s not the FO fault. It’s not Ownerships fault. It’s not the star players fault, they can’t help it if they’re not on the field. It’s not the back-ups/utility players fault. It’s not the pitchers fault.

    Who does that leave?

    Yep, the fans. It’s the fans’ fault. THEY EXPECT WAY TOO MUCH!

  11. Hmmm.

    I’m ranking the Dodgers issues from MOST impactful to LEAST, this is in my opinion. But would love to hear/see others ranking:

    1. Seager’s injury
    2. Taylor’s regression
    3. Bellinger’s inability to hit fastballs
    4. Bullpen underperformance + injuries
    5. Puig underperformance
    6. Kershaw’s injury
    7. Hill’s injuries
    8. Ryu’s injuries
    9. Forsythe’s injury
    10. Pederson taking up roster space
    11. Roberts’ questionable in-game moves

    That’s a shit-ton of issues.

    1. 1.) Seager was injured prior to last season ending, that was not a new issue…. a good FO has a back up plan in place. (But that was given away to the Reds in that bad trade.)

      2.) If Taylor was really good don’t you think other teams would have kept him. (Guess FAZ isn’t as smart as some claim.)

      3.) 2nd season….pitchers make adjustments. This isn’t the first player to struggle in his 2nd season. (A good baseball FO knows and understands this.)

      4.) Claiming other teams rejects and proclaiming them ‘good’ doesn’t work.

      5.) Puig had a career year last year. Wasn’t going to improve on last year. The previous 2 years should have been noted and expected as the norm.

      6.) This is what it will look like when he’s not here. How does everyone like the view?

      7.) RICH hill has never been healthy. Gawd! Look at his career numbers. Only the FAZ would throw $48M to an injury prone, 8 team castoff player. He would have signed for less than half of that because no one wanted that.

      8.) Another injury prone pitcher that is done. Thinking he was going to stay healthy AND pitch good was fantasy thinking.

      9.) Forsythe has had ‘maybe’ 2 good years in his 8 year career AND only 1 time has played more than 150 games. He’s hurt almost every year! Again, no surprise.

      10.) Joc should have been traded 2 years ago. Anyone that understands baseball can see what he brings to the table but playing in FFL with the bosses has its perks.

      11.) He was a first time, trainable, yes sir manager when he was hired. Did you want a proven, experienced successful manager? FAZ did not.

      1. What was that?

        I’d rather hear your thoughts on what’s affecting the team, than your thoughts on my thoughts.

        I mean my thoughts are basically worthless, why analyze them?!!??!?

  12. Would someone please tell Zaidi that the Dodgers hit as many homers as the Reds.

    BUT………

    They had base runners when they hit theirs. The Dodgers had none.

    AND………

    Their ‘never winning manager of the year’ gave up an out for a run.
    He must have never read Billy Beane’s ‘My teams never won anything but you never give up outs’ book.

  13. Having a disgruntled fan base is not a good idea. You can yell it is early all you want, but unless some improvement is seen, the fans are going to turn on management and the coaching staff. The players are the main problem. Underperformance, lack of adjustment, high expectations all sorts of reasons for the team wide meltdown. Guys like Kike and Barnes should be exactly what they are backups. Hernandez is batting under the Mendoza line as a starter, but is hitting close to .400 as a pinch hitter and the at bats after he enters the game as a sub. Bitch all you want about Pederson, but he has a higher OBP than Taylor, Bellinger, and Hernandez. He is second to Grandal in walks. Muncy and Locastro will no doubt be sent down next week when they are in Miami. We will see if having Turner back hitting 3rd every night will make a difference. What they really need is consistency. They need a leadoff hitter who does not strikeout so damn much. Bellinger is right there on Taylor’s heels in K’s. But unless the pitching drastically improves, something I do not see happening anytime soon, they are not going to go anywhere.

    1. Mr. Norris
      With all due respect, I have heard about the players being all the problem but remember most of the players on the squad were here last year. The team has not drastically changed. Yes, there have been injuries but there are still many players that have been here. Surely you don’t think that all this underperformance, lack of adjustment, ect. is all on the player. If it is then I guess we don’t need managers, coaches ect. Also, sorry I don’t have a great respect for OBP as it basically reflects walks and that doesn’t get it done. It is fine to walk but when it does what Pederson does I have no use for it. He needs to HIT the ball. I think the fan base needs to be disgruntled. Until the fan base says we have had enough we will never get rid of FAZ and Dummy. Guess nobody on this site thinks they should go as I have seen where maybe me and maybe 1 other person thinks it. I comment and no one says anything except make excuses for the idiots. They need to go not keep getting a pass. I am not referring to you.

      1. Actually Package, it is on the players. They are the ones who play the game and making in game adjustments is part of that. Whether or not they were here last year means nothing. There is an old saying that you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink. Coaches are there to advise and help the players see things they do not see themselves. Look at all the tools these guys have to help them adjust. They can go down to a video room right after the at bat and see just what the pitcher threw to get them out, they can also review good at bats. There are many things that contribute to this kind of play. I do not think they are sucking because of lack of effort. On the contrary, I think because they have been so bad, most of them are trying to do too much. It is a team game based on individual performance. OBP is the sabermetric geeks thing. I have always thought and believed that you measure performance by a players batting average. Barnes has the highest OBP on the team, but is hitting around .200. Strikeouts now mean nothing. Pederson is hitting the ball. He is 7th on the team. He is just not hitting for power. He has a higher batting average than Muncy, Taylor, Farmer, Hernandez, Barnes and Puig. And he has only 1 more strikeout than walks. And I am sorry, but walks are important. If you do not believe me, just check and see how many players who the Dodger pitchers have walked have come in to score and help cost the Dodgers a game. Actually since they are no longer here, Pederson is 5th because Verdugo and Seager are not here. In 77 less at bats, he is only 1 RBI behind Taylor, who has already struck out 45 times. Bellinger is at 40. One of the biggest questions has been can they repeat what they did last year? Taylor has not looked anything like the guy we saw last year. He still has that grip and rip attitude. Bellinger’s miss rate is way up. He is missing pitches he crushed last year, and is missing them by a bunch. Right now he reminds me of guys like Rob Deer, who when they made contact hit the ball a mile, but when they missed, they really missed. They are not getting him out the way the Astros did in the world series with those low inside pitches. They are throwing heaters right down Broadway and he is missing them. The problem is team wide. They look good for a couple of days, and then they look totally out of whack. And the hitters are just part of the problem. But as for Roberts. I am no great fan of his in game skills. I said that last year during the season and the series. I think he makes changes that backfire on him a lot. He gets out managed a lot. As for fan disgruntlement, I think to these owners, it means little unless it affects the bottom line. As long as these guys even playing the way they are put 40,000 butts in the seats on average every night, they do not see it as a bad thing. And that’s what the Dodgers are averaging. As for Friedman, he is in the 3rd year of a 5 year deal. He and Faidi have done exactly what ownership has wanted them to do. They have the team under the Tax cap. They have not signed any long term expensive players. They have not gutted the farm system and the prospects they have traded have no produced any major stars yet. In other words, they have done the job they were hired to do and the team up to this point has been a winning team. I am not defending them. I am just telling the truth and what is obvious. They have no control over injuries, and those things happen every year. This year it has been a flood, and unlike most of the first two years, outside of Kershaw, this time it hit the major players and adequate options or help from the kids, is not there. A player here or there might have brought them a world series title sooner, but one guy is not going to fix this mess. I said it in spring, I said it all winter, this team has major holes. The success or demise was and is going to depend on the players repeating what they did last year. So far that is not happening and the bench, bullpen, and the starters are not nearly as good as last season. Roberts is in a contract year. There are no guarantees he will be back, but, FAZ and the owners love the guy, so I think you are thinking wishfully if you think they will just up and fire him. They are taking into account all the variables that have produced this train wreck. I would say the hitting coach and the pitching coach are more on the hot seat than he would be because that is usually who goes first. But the players swear by Ward, and Honeycutt has been a genius as spotting mechanical flaws and turning pitchers around. He almost retired and did not come back this year. No matter what we as fans want or think, these guys are pretty entrenched with ownership. They have the team right where the owners want it to be. Would they like some more success? Obviously because then the value of the franchise increases. But what takes place between the lines my friend is on those guys on the field. Never think it is not. Managers can put a player out there, but they cannot control what happens once he is there. And one last thing. The situational hitting on this team is terrible. They are lousy at moving runners over. What is worse is their inability to drive them in. They win 3 of those games with the Reds if they had just driven in some of those guys they left on base.

  14. Nice article by Olney about whether or not Kersh opts out. Arguments both ways makes sense. I guess we will just have to wait and see how this season plays out.

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