The Dodgers are playing their first series of the season in San Francisco and while I was driving home from work all I heard Charley and Rick talking about was how bad the Giant’s lineup has been this year. You hear the numbers and you almost can’t believe it. Rick and Charley made sure we all knew about the Giant’s inability to hit well….anyone. Even Buster Posey isn’t hitting in 2019. San Francisco’s decrepit lineup is the main reason why the club is mired in last place in the National League West. As bad as the Giant’s hitters have been this year, even they can easily score runs off the Dodgers bullpen.
And that’s the story of tonight’s infuriating 3-2 Dodger loss to the Giants in Monday’s series opener at Oracle Park. Not even Cody Bellinger himself, breaking nearly every MLB hitting record this year can save the Dodgers from their own bullpen. That’s how bad the Dodger relief corp is. How many times can we watch the incompetent relievers blow lead after lead for the Dodgers this season? Tonight it was Ross Stripling and Dylan Floro that blew a 2-0 Dodger lead in the bottom of the seventh when Evan Longoria (batting .206 entering that fateful inning) cleared the bases with a three-run double off of Floro that put the Giants ahead by a run.
Kenta Maeda the Dodger’s starting pitcher did as well as he could. Maeda tossed five innings allowing seven hits, three walks and nine base runners but none of them crossed the plate. That’s a recurring theme for the weak hitting Giants in 2019. Maeda struck out three and got some big help from his defense behind him. If not for a great throw from Bellinger in the third to nab Brandon Crawford trying to take third in the bottom of the third, and then a diving lunging catch from Max Muncy in the bottom of the sixth it might have been a different story in the early innings.
Dodgers 2 9 0
Giants 3 11 0
On the other hand the Dodgers couldn’t figure out opposing starter Jeff Samardzija who tossed five shutout innings allowing just two hits and a walk. But the shark was removed after five innings and the Dodger hitters got going against the San Francisco bullpen. In the top of the sixth the Dodgers got singles from Joc Pederson and Justin Turner before Bellinger poked one through into right field to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. Max Muncy’s RBI double scored another run for the Dodgers to increase the lead to 2-0. Unfortunately Enrique Hernandez lines into a double play or the Dodgers may have gotten more.
In the bottom of the seventh Ross Stripling, now pitching out of relief gave up a one-out single to Joe Panik and Solarte followed with a double to send Panik to third. After a walk to Brandon Belt loaded the bases right hander Dylan Floro was called into the game. He struck out Buster Posey and it appeared that maybe the Dodgers would get out of this. But the Dodger relievers are bad folks, they’re really bad and shouldn’t surprise anyone when Longoria sliced a double down the left field line to score three. The bases clearing double gave the Giants a 3-2 lead and the game. Once the bullpen blew the game it was instantly over.
The Dodger bullpen currently ranks 22nd in ERA and has allowed 17 home runs in 31 games. There’s not much management can do to fix the mess at this point. This collection of relievers are overall as a unit a stinker. Please remember that Andrew Friedman for the second year in a row built an atrocious bullpen with a group of incompetent relievers. The Dodgers look to blow even more late inning leads on Tuesday in the second game of the series. Walker Buehler whom the Dodgers hope pitches a complete game faces left hander Drew Pomeranz with first pitch scheduled for 6:45 PM PST.