Dodger Bullpen Rises From The Ashes as Unlikely Heroes Lead Dodgers Over Snakes

Pedro Baez

The Dodger bullpen rode to the rescue and rose from the ashes of mediocrity on Wednesday night to lead the Dodgers to an improbable 2-1 win over the Dbacks in Phoenix. Ironically the phrase is fitting considering the Dodgers were finally able to defeat the one team they haven’t been able to beat in such a long time. After starter Hyun-jin Ryu was forced to exit the game in the second inning with a strained groin the Dodger bullpen gave a sterling performance with 7.2 innings of one-run ball to halt the Dodgers four- game losing skid.

The redemption was led by the most unlikely of heroes, Pedro Baez and Daniel Hudson. Arguably the two worst relievers in the Dodger pen combined to toss 4.2 shutout innings allowing just two hits and striking out seven. The bullpen was fantastic, even another shaky outing from Kenley Jansen and a two-out ninth inning rally from the Dbacks didn’t diminish their efforts.

Dodgers 2 6 0

Dbacks    1 6 0

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But they wouldn’t have even been in there that early had it not been for the injury sustained by Ryu. The Dodgers gave the ball to their ace, (not Clayton Kershaw) in hopes that he could turn around the Dodgers misfortunes. He’s been the ace this year. Coming into the game the big hulking Korean warrior had a 3-0 record with a 2.22 ERA. With one out in the second and nobody on base he looked uncomfortable after making a pitch to Deven Marrero. The Dodgers training staff yanked him out of the game and we later learned that he suffered a strained groin.

Before the game Dodger’s manager Dave Roberts made a statement that……

Of course it would take more than just confident talk from the skipper to turn things around for the Dodgers in Phoenix. It would take real actual pitching. The Dodgers got that in a surprising twist. If the Dodgers can win tomorrow they’ll escape with a series split. That’s more than we could ask for.

The offense couldn’t do much against Arizona starter Zack Godley who is the lone Snake hurler to lose to the Dodgers this season. The Dodgers did not help their own cause very much by hitting into three double plays. Matt Kemp was responsible for two of them in the first and sixth inning and Alex Verdugo hit into one in the top of the fifth. The Dodgers were 1 for 4 with runners in scoring position and two of their six hits were for extra bases. Notably Verdugo’s two doubles were both of those.

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The Dodgers scored a run in the top of the first and had a 1-0 lead for the majority of the game. Verdugo’s first double and a Godley wild pitch set the stage for Cody Bellinger’s RBI single and the Dodgers went ahead 1-0. The Dodgers had the bases loaded in the fifth after a walk to Enrique Hernandez and a Max Muncy line drive single to right. After Chris Taylor struck out (he does that a lot) Joc Pederson walked to fill the bases with Dodgers. Unfortunately Verdugo’s double play squashed the threat and the Dodgers didn’t get anything in that frame.

Godley took the loss but pitched well. He allowed one earned run on five hits and struck out three over six frames. He walked three and made 100 pitches. He is not a god, merely a man. The Dodgers scored a much needed insurance run in the top of the eighth that proved to be vital. Verdugo reached on his second double of the night. He then advanced to third on a wild pitch from T.J. McFarland and Yasmani Grandal’s sacrifice fly to right plated Verdugo to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead.

The story of the night was the bullpen. Normally Baez entering the game in the second inning would be a cringe-worthy experience. However he found some kind of inner strength tossing 2.2 scoreless innings. He struck out Deven Marrero and John Ryan Murphy to end the second inning. Then he notched another whiff in a 123 bottom of the third inning.

The fourth inning was a fight for Baez and instead of it turning into the usual disaster; Baez pitched his way out of a bases loaded jam. With one-out AJ Pollack doubled and Chris Owings singled on a grounder that took a bad hop deflecting off of Muncy’s shoulder. After Baez walked Marte we all put our face in our hands and cried “here we go again!” But Baez was resilient tonight as he whiffed Marrero and got Murphy to pop out. That’s four strikeouts for Baez.

Next up on the hero train was Daniel Hudson. He pitched a 123 fifth inning and then tossed a 123 bottom of the sixth, highlighted by a strikeout of Paul Goldschmidt. Hudson struck out three and retired all six hitters he faced. Tony Cingrani pitched a scoreless bottom of the seventh giving up an opposite field double to Murphy but striking out Marrero and Christian Walker.

Arizona would not make it easy on the Dodgers though because nothing is for the Dodgers in 2018. Josh Fields tabbed with getting the bottom of the eighth (now given a 2-0 lead) gave up a lead-off double to David Peralta. Nick Ahmed’s line out to Kemp moved Peralta over to third. Goldschmidt was walked which brought up the annoying Pollack. This time things worked out for the Dodgers as the scorching Pollack grounded into a double play. Note that Hernandez made a great play to turn the inning ending double play.

Finally the ninth inning was given to Kenley Jansen. In any other year it would be an automatic save. This year is such a different story. After getting two quick outs, pinch-hitter Daniel Descalso walks. He takes second on defensive indifference and then comes around to score on an RBI single to left from Murphy. Now the Dbacks are within one. Pinch-runner Jarrod Dyson steals second base, but Alex Avila flies out to left with Verdugo catching the final out near the warning track. Dodgers win 2-1!

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Alex Wood gets the nod for the Dodgers in Thursday’s series finale. The Snakes will send Patrick Corbin to the mound with first pitch scheduled for 12:40 PM PST. Remember the game is only on facebook live so if you don’t have a facebook account then you better create one.

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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42 thoughts on “Dodger Bullpen Rises From The Ashes as Unlikely Heroes Lead Dodgers Over Snakes

  1. Rise from the ashes is right, but (1) they are worse than mediocre and )2) Kenley again looked shaky and as myself and may others have said again and again, use Baez before the 6th and not after.

  2. So, with Ryu injured, what is the rotation going to look like?

    Verdugo looks like a keeper, huh? The fans were right once more.

    1. Well it will not be Buehler full time, he is on a strict innings limit, and I think they would rather have him down the stretch. Urias is still 2 to 3 months away, not even throwing yet. The best starter at AAA is Banuelos. He is 3-0 with a 2.16 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP…29 K’s and only 4 walks. He is the only starter with more than 1 win. He, like Venditte is not on the 40 man, but if Ryu goes on the DL, likely, that problem is solved…And it looks like he will be gone a while because they say this groin strain is worse than the one Ryu had 2 years ago. Bullpen did a nice job, but they are far from good…..and one good night does not make up for the way they have been pitching the last week or so.

  3. The ice gets thinner.

    Jansen isn’t right yet, but at least velocity looks like it’s back.

    2 runs. That’s not going to work very often.

    1. Badger

      I find with Kenley, his top velocity when he is pitching well, and his cutter is cutting like it should, is about 94, and occasional he hits 95.

      1. The velocity was good. But he wasn’t missing bats. When he’s on he strikes people out at about 14/9. He’s not doing that.

        1. Badger

          I heard Orel say that Kenley hit 97 last night, so he might have been over throwing, and because of that, his cutter, wasn’t cutting.

          Because when Kenley is at his best, his velocity doesn’t go much over 94.

  4. I really want to see Venditte, Broussard and Ferguson before August.

    Stop blocking the kids and give them their shots.

    1. I hear you. But maybe we should be careful what we wish for. Font put up decent numbers in Oklahoma too. That didn’t work out so well.

        1. He did? I must of missed that. And his stat page doesn’t suggest it.

          I’m sure willing to give him a shot at it. But management must not have the confidence in him.

          It will help immensely if Alexander and Cingrani get right. And Jansen of course. It will also help if the bats heat up. Supposed to be warmer in Phoenix today. Maybe that will help. You know, Dodgers being a candypants warm weather team and all.

  5. Reports are out of AZ that the Dodgers popped the champagne bottles and partied like it was 1988. Chants of “One in a row, one in a row” were heard bouncing down the hallways of the stadium.

    “I knew they had at least one more win in them this season” a triumphant Dave Roberts was quoted as saying during the wild celebration.

    Okay back to the echo chamber.

    War Out!

  6. On Seager:

    “The 23-year-old star dealt with bone chips and inflammation in the elbow last summer, according to McCullough, though extensive testing led medical experts to recommend against surgery at season’s end. It’s not clear how much, if any, ligament damage existed in Seager’s elbow following the 2017 season”

    That sounds to me like the medical staff, a staff interviewed and hired by FAZKasten, not Seager himself as some here claim, got it wrong. You know who didn’t get it wrong? SLO Tim. He told me last year Corey would need surgery. Tim Robinson, a guy who still rides mountain bikes off cliffs, knows more about Seager’s elbow than the Dodgers crack medical staff. That’s just sad. Both the crashing on mountain bikes and the Dodgers medical team. Changes need to be made. I’ve recommended Tim take up the less dangerous aerobic activity of a seniors swimming class and I’d look for more skilled medical staff and physical trainers for the Dodgers. My son is a CrossFit Trainer. The Dodgers should interview him.

    1. Badger

      That sounds like Corey further injured himself.

      Because probably since Corey had those issues with his elbow already, he probably didn’t use his arm and elbow in the proper way, when he was making throws to first, because of the pain.

      It sounds like because of this, he hurt the ligaments in his elbow, or further injured his ligaments in his elbow so bad, he couldn’t make his throws anymore, because the ligaments probably snapped.

      I hope that article from McCullough is not right, because that sounds exactly what you are saying Badger, and your right, that is to bad, because some position players, have not come back to throw very well, after having a TJ surgery.

      But I hope the fact Corey is still really young, will make his surgery and recovery, more successful.

      Because he is a really good player, and if anyone doubts that, look at his splits last year, before he got hurt at the beginning of August, he had perfect splits, in every offensive category, before he got hurt.

      1. His elbow may never be quite right again.

        How about this – move Seager to first base and put the speedy Bellinger back in the outfield.

        1. Badger

          Couldn’t Corey play second, because we need a good player, at second?

          It is to bad we couldn’t sign Machado to play shortstop, but I am not totally confident that Machado would stay healthy, playing a position like shortstop, that requires so much range.

          Because Machado has already had surgery, on both of his knees.

          And I know the front office is not going to sign a top player, so I am just dreaming about this.

          But that would possibly give us three superstar players in the future, with Machado, Seager, and Bellinger.

          And if Corey played second, and with Machado at short, we would have a couple of really good defensive players, in the middle of our infield.

          Corey’s height and long arms, would take away a lot of hits, on the right side of the infield, like the Rocky’s second baseman, does.

          Corey’s offense at second, would be really good for a second baseman.

          1. Yeah, he could play second. But at 6’4 220 he’d be rather big for that position. Plus the double play pivot there could be dangerous, for his legs and his throwing arm. He may still end up at third.

  7. I survived mtn biking in Utah with a few minor scrapes. Now it’s 55 mph between Vegas and Barstow. Ugh. A friend in Utah challenged us to find any graffiti while we were there. We never found any. Now here on I-15 it’s graffiti and litter everywhere.
    I will post when I get home. Time for a nap. No I am not driving.

    1. I still have the picture of what you looked like after head butting a boulder. Why do I think the boulder looks worse?

      1. Package

        I hope you are doing okay today, because we haven’t heard from you.

        We will be facing two leftie starters, in this next series, so you should see more of the line up, that you like.

        1. Hey MJ
          I have been very busy but I have been keeping up with today’s game and Kemp is doing well. He was 2-3 with a walk and has scored a run. If they play him he will do good I think. I think we are catching a tail wind. The Dodgers seem pumped for sure. Hey, Thanks for asking about me. I will try and comment more.

  8. Turner, Hechavarria, Taylor and Seager.

    That’s my infield for ‘19.

    Verdugo, Bellinger, Puig. That’s my outfield.

    Make it so.

  9. “Hyun-Jin Ryu’s groin muscle tore off the bone. Dave Roberts described it as traumatic and “pretty dramatic.” – Moura

    I think he might be out a few days

    Locastro going to start. In centerfield.

    1. Badger

      I was just going to tell you about Locastro.

      I think Toles comes off the DL today, so I hope he is playing in center, tonight at AAA.

      He was ready after his first ten days, but the Dodgers in LA, insisted Toles should be on the DL for another ten days, just to be really careful.

  10. I think they mostly brought Locastro up, because we will be facing two leftie starters, in this next series.

    And this is a good time to see what Locastro will do too.

  11. Good to see Locastro up. We do have some young players and we don’t know if they are any less talented (read streaky) at hitting MLB than Grandal, Forsythe and Joc.

    1. YF

      Your right about that.

      I think Verdugo will hit eventually, but when he left AAA to come up, he was only hitting 276 in about 70 at bats.

      So we will have to see after he plays enough to show a pattern to other teams, if he can adjust, after the other team’s pitchers, and defense, adjust on him.

      1. We know that it takes a full year or more for Joc, Grandal, Puig and Forsythe to adjust, once the MLB pitchers start to pitch them differently.

        We also know guys like Kemp, Turner and Seager are able to adjust in a month.

        As long as our “depth” in AAA are hitting over .250 and striking out less than 20%, I say give them a shot, especially at this point in the season. One or a few of them has as much of a chance to go on a streak than several of our “veteran hitters”.

        So the difference to me is to play the kids, especially now, to see how they adjust.

  12. Nice win……….Utley, Kemp and Farmer with clutch hits…..Nice 1-2-3 ninth by Kenley…7 out instead of 9.

  13. Good win. Finally a late inning comeback. It’s been a while. The wild pitches and balk were welcomed but that’s what happens when you get people on base and threaten to play action from time to time. Let’s if they can keep this up.

    The Ryu injury sounds very painful. He’s not going to be able to keep in shape I think he’s pretty much done for this year.

  14. Interesting factoid – when you look at the last month of last year and what we’ve done so far this year, we are 8 games under .500 over 60 regular season games. Correct me if I’m wrong but I think that sucks.

    Good win today. Coyote ugly offensively, but a W.

    1. Yes it does suck. Like all of us have been saying for months…this team has some serious holes.

        1. I think they are pretty deep. But that’s just me. I believe this is a very fragile starting rotation with no real proven pitchers behind them. There are a lot of relievers down at AAA, but there is not much starting depth. I have believed for a while that FAZ tends to put all his eggs in one basket. In other words he stockpiles the same types of pitchers. One of the things I did pick up in the broadcast yesterday was a statement Orel made about the kinds of arms the D-Backs have in their pen, which is the best in the majors right now, and the Dodger pen. The Dodgers for the most part have some big arms down there. But AZ has a stable of soft throwers, except for Bradley of course. Hill is the one real junk ball pitcher in the rotation, and he is about as brittle as they come. I feel bad for Ryu because the guy has worked so long and so hard to come back. Now his Dodger career is pretty much over.

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