Dodgers Punt Away Easy Win in Marathon Record Breaking Embarrassment To Dbacks

Picard wearing Dodger hat

Congratulations Dodgers! It only took them two games into the season to regress right back into old habits and punt away what should have been an easy win during their record breaking six hour 13 inning marathon gagfest 5-4 loss to the Dbacks at Dodger Stadium on Friday night. The Dodgers snatched victory from the jaws of defeat by playing timid conservative baseball.

If you were hoping that the Dodgers would stop using the all-righty lineups against left handers this season, think again. If you thought the Dodgers would stop inexplicably hooking dominating starting pitchers early in games for no reason, think again. If you thought the Dodgers would stop using a parade of ineffective relievers just for the sake of doing so, think again. If you thought that the Dodgers would stop relying on brainless lefty/righty match-ups, think again.

The Dodgers had told the media in spring training that they would be using fewer platoons and going with a more set lineup throughout the 2019 season. If you believed that then I’m truly sorry because low and behold the Dodgers again binged on the all-right handed lineup against Arizona southpaw and Dodger slayer Robbie Ray. It didn’t work.

Joc Pederson who hit two home runs on opening day was not in the starting lineup. Max Muncy who also homered rode the pine with Pederson to begin the game. The Dodgers had 11 hits and no other player besides A.J. Pollock had more than one. After the Dodgers scored in the bottom of the seventh the bats were never heard from again. We’re talking about hours of inept offense that went on forever. Sound familiar? The Dodgers left 17 runners on base and went 3 for 13 with runners in scoring position.

Speaking of Pollock, let’s give him some credit. If it were not for him, the Dodgers would have scored zero runs easily. Pollock was 4 for 6 including his first home run as a Dodger (a booming second inning shot into the left field pavilions), a two-run single in the third, and three runs batted in on the night. No other Dodger had an extra-base hit.

Dbacks   5 10 0

Dodgers 4 11 0

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LP-Garcia-0-1

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Embed from Getty Images

Let’s take you back for a moment to the sixth inning. The Dodgers were up 3-0 at the time. Starter Ross Stripling was pitching a gem. He had allowed just three measly hits up until that point, he had struck out five and made just 76 pitches. There was one out and nobody on base. So what was the damned point of taking him out? I guarantee you that allowing Strip to make another 20 pitches and at least finish the sixth inning or maybe pitch into the seventh inning is not going to cause his arm to fall off.

But the Dodgers game management, predictable and exhausting hooked Strip for no other reason than to go to a shaky bullpen just because…I have no clue. Because it’s there? The more pitchers you use in any baseball game, the greater chance that one or more of them will give up runs. This is common sense people. Certainly it’s not brain surgery. So when newly signed Joe Kelly gave up a three-run game-tying pinch-hit home run to Christian Walker in the seventh inning, nobody should have been surprised.

Even worse due to the platooning, all of the position players were used up by the tenth inning. Hyun-jin Ryu had to pinch-hit in the twelfth inning. Eventually Pederson found his way into the game with runners on base in the bottom of the ninth and a chance to win the game. But again the Dodgers are so conservative and so timid they instead asked Joc to bunt the runners over to second and third. Nevermind that Joc had hit two home runs the game before. And yes I know there was a left hander (Andrew Chaffin) on the mound. I don’t care. By asking him to bunt and play conservatively you not only take the bat out of his hands, but you give away a precious out. I’ll take Joc’s bat with nobody out and two runners on base any day over the stupid bunt play there. Even after Joc fouled off two bunts putting two strikes on him and making him protect the plate (which changes the pitch sequencing) Joc still hit a line drive. Unfortunately it was right at Jarrod Dyson. Imagine if he was allowed to swing away normally and work the count in his favor.

Mixed into all the Dodger’s terribly weak game management was an umpire injury, wild pitches, and a botched review. Of course the review went against the Dodgers. When all the dust settled, the Dodgers were forced to use Yimi Garcia in the top of the thirteenth inning. Garcia, who has not had an above average major league season since 2015 and several arm surgeries allowed the eventual winning run to score with two outs.

I’m sick of this style of baseball. I’m sick of watching it unfold in exactly the same way every time. I’m sick of the Dodgers playing baseball with spreadsheets. I’m sick of the Dodgers going against common sense. Baseball can be a feel game. It’s a game of streaks and adjustments. It’s a game of logic. Even the best teams can lose if the pieces on the chess board aren’t positioned properly to win. I just want some balance. I don’t care if it’s the second game of the season or the second to last game. You have to win these games. Innings, playing hot hitters and using common sense count. Let your starters pitch more than 75 pitches if you want to win. Stop using a parade of middle relievers every night. Stop platooning hot hitters out of the lineup. Stop using brainless lefty/righty matchups. JUST STOP.

Oh and there’s a game on tomorrow evening. Or I should say this evening. The third game of the series features either Zack Godley or Luke Weaver against Kenta Maeda at 6:10 PM PST. Originally it was supposed to be Weaver scheduled to pitch for Arizona, but it could be Godley. Now the pitching staff is totally torched. Better hope Maeda goes 8 innings, but don’t count on it.

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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26 thoughts on “Dodgers Punt Away Easy Win in Marathon Record Breaking Embarrassment To Dbacks

  1. Sigh ….

    Scott let’s retire the Stat Trek Picard photo, ok? Maybe Bluto or Michael can put together another photo.

    I just get all kinds of relapse related bad memories from looking at Captain Picard with the Dodgers cap ….

  2. Also if we have so much starter depth why not use it? As soon as I saw them taking Stripling out with a 3 run lead and 76 pitches my stomach just cratered.

    This game does not have to be so hard.

    We just keep shooting our selves in the foot. Let the kids pitch as much as they can. We have a lot of reinforcements this year.

    So frustrating ….

  3. YF,

    I also hated having to sit through this one, but don’t you think the Dodgers have a good bullpen that should be relied on? Baez and Kelly have pitched well in ST. Both had bounce back years. If we cannot rely on the BP, then we are in deep doo doo. I had no problem taking Stripling out when they did. I fully expected him to walk away with the win, though. I did have a problem with the way Baez was pitching and also felt he should be pulled when he was. Unfortunately, Kelly fed them the game. It’s on the players, YF.

    I do agree that the team could not score with RiSP when they had to. They had so many chances to take this game. They had pitches that should have gone out of the park. They were also victimized by the umps, especially Bellinger’s 2nd steal attempt. But making excuses for this loss is no excuse for a good team. But it’s only 1 game and sh*t happens to every team during the season. This is a good game to forget about and not dwell on it. Should we all declare JT a bust, now that he hasn’t hit at all in two games? Let’s not jump to any conclusions.

  4. Scott,

    A bit of deja vu, huh? Have we seen this before?
    1. 3-13 RISP
    2. 17 LOB
    3. 14 KO’s
    4. Non-productive hits/wasted scoring opportunities
    5. Excessive Platooning/Sitting the hot bats
    6. Elevator lineup/disorderly order
    7. Pathetic middle relief

    Poor Stripling. He pitched a great game. Was he pulled too soon, after just 76 pitches? Wasted heroic effort by Pollock. Pederson crushed a pitch from a leftie? Luckily caught, but solid contact…. I thought he could not hit lefties? He also had a nice bunt play against the shift!

    Bottom line, an all too familiar pattern of micro-management by ANAL-ytics.

    It is gonna’ be a long season, Dodger Fans. Another 160 games to go.

    1. This is the Dodger way. It’s been like this for a while. All or nothing approach will not likely yield high WRISP numbers. More Ks than hits will probably happen a lot this year.

      Stripling is not a stud. If he gives you 5+ of zeroes be grateful. He’s only there because of injuries. Joe Kelly shut us down last year , probably because we are all or nothing, but he has a career 3.87 ERA, 4.39 last year, and a career WHIP of 1.385. That’s not so impressive. We gave him several bags of money to pitch in games like this, so bringing him in at that time shouldn’t surprise anyone. And his record tells me he will have all or nothing outings.

      This is who we are. I trust it will continue to get us where we’ve been.

    2. All very true and right on the money! To be honest, this what Scott wrote here says it all:
      “If you were hoping that the Dodgers would stop using the all-righty lineups against left handers this season, think again. If you thought the Dodgers would stop inexplicably hooking dominating starting pitchers early in games for no reason, think again. If you thought the Dodgers would stop using a parade of ineffective relievers just for the sake of doing so, think again. If you thought that the Dodgers would stop relying on brainless lefty/righty match-ups, think again.

      The Dodgers had told the media in spring training that they would be using fewer platoons and going with a more set lineup throughout the 2019 season. If you believed that then I’m truly sorry because low and behold the Dodgers again binged on the all-right handed lineup against Arizona southpaw and Dodger slayer Robbie Ray. It didn’t work”.

  5. “Close”, but no cigar.

    “Close” is only good in Horseshoes and Hand Grenades.

    More Wasted champagne celebrations and walking away without the ultimate prize.

    I did not want to mention any names. Some have already done so, so I’ll just jump on the band wagon. Baez regressing to his sad self, Dodger Killer Kelley (who is’nt, these days), paid way too much for what his numbers really indicate.

  6. I’m out, just too many seasons of this non-sense management. This just isn’t entertainment, it is stupidity, over and over and over and over and over again. Enjoy guys, if you like torturing yourselves. I’ll take a peek in September.

  7. I like Scott and True saying they are tired of this baseball.

    Very good.

    Let’s hope Badger is right in his conclusion.

  8. Bullpen management will have to improve. Wrong side on a couple of big moment moves and burnt through everyone in the bullpen. This will be key to the season. With few options on the 40 man, help will have to come from pressing maeda into a early bullpen role. Fast tracking may and gonsolin may be in order, but that is a way away at best. Having players come off the IL will give a boost. Hopefully they stay off the IL. Those are the options, barring a signing. Ahem CK…and I’m not talking Clayton kershaw. Craig Kimbrel . (For Bluto, since it seems he needs everything spelled out.) On other issues brought up, I agree with Soctt, for the most part. But it ain’t changing.

  9. Take it, this is only two games in, but all this inconsistency, instability, wasted quality starts, RISP, KO’s, and who knows what else, are a result of too much second guessing and sybermetric ignorance. I can say this after just two games without reservation because it has been the same old story the last few years, so I am not jumping to conclusions.

    A complete disgrace, and an embarrassing representation of baseball.

    It is sad that one of the wealthiest teams in MLB could be so stupid. FO is just running this legendary franchise into the ground.

    I may be way too optimistic, thinking that these owners will finally get it, and get down to playing real baseball. Probably will never happen. These new owners are not in it for the love of baseball and tradition. All they think about is the green filling their pockets, and as long as the fans keep spending their hard earned cash to watch this circus, then their business model is successful…
    No need to change. They do not need to win to get rich.

    Baseball needs owners who love the game of baseball, and will do anything to maintain the itegrity of the sport, at all costs. If they are going to charge these outragious prices for tickets, food, and parking, then the should put their money where their mouth is. The fans deserve at least that much.

  10. I don’t think anyone is mailing it in. But mistakes are mistakes and you could see it coming.

    Pulling a 28 year old former all star pitcher 76 pitches into a shutout is too early. Second game of the season no less. This is the time to give him some leash. Sure Stripling does not have the best stuff. But you let him try to figure it out at this point in the season. If he loses this game in the 6th or 7th, he learns from it and there is a long term benefit. Wasted opportunity plus we blow through all our relievers.

    We’ve already worked with overworked bullpens over the past several years. They start losing it or get hurt.

    Once Baez had the wild pitch strikeout, you just know he will walk the next batter. He just can’t let things go. I would have gone with Yimi Garcia then and waited until the 8th to use Joe Kelley. Or stayed with Scott Alexander longer with a 3 run lead. He’s a GB pitcher – let the defense work for you with a 3 run lead.

    After so many years, this is not 20-20 hindsight. You see it coming because the same strategy being used yesterday usually ends up badly, again and again in prior years. The goal is to win and if you don’t win, improve.

    Anyways it is only the second game of the season, and I hope for once we see improvement from all members of the team during the season, not just the players, but everyone, including the coaches, the analytics staff, the FO … everyone.

  11. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But hindsight is 20/10. This is who we are. I’ve come to terms with it.

    Major League Baseball is an enormous business. Eleemosynary they ain’t. I’m not a millionaire so I don’t know what it’s like to love money more than anything else, but I sure don’t like how it looks. I just read that 17 ML owners are billionaires. You don’t become a billionaire by being altruistic. You may become so after you get rich, but to get there is a steep climb. Yeah, some probably were born rich, but the point is these guys are in it for the money. Always have been. To expect anything else is unrealistic.

    I’ve got the dbacks telecast on here. Brenly and Berthiaume were just talking about watching Kershaw’s simulated game. The park was empty so they could hear everything he said and it was clear to both of them he was not happy.

  12. I have a bad feeling about Kershaw. I think he may need surgery. Maybe in the process of trying to reinvent himself over the off-season, he overdid it, and tore up his shoulder.

    I wish he would be truthful, and not waste a roster spot.

    Dodgers need to shelf him, and look for a viable replacement to fill the void.

    Wish Clayton the best, but it does not look good.

  13. Well, another embarrassing loss by the D-Backs. Dodgers pad their stats against Snakes’ backup catcher. Poor CT3 and Muncy could not even get a hit vs. the clown.

    Hey, Russell Martin, “the new closer”. 10 pitch inning, 8 for strikes. 1-2-3! Dodgers can send Baez packing. Keep Martin in the pen.

    Maeda pitched a solid game, but was still vulnerable to the long ball. At least nobody was on.

    With a R/H pitcher tomorrow, Barnes and Pederson better not sit. They are on fire!

  14. It’s only Arizona, but this year’s team does seem to work pitchers more than previous years’.

    Can’t complain, arguably the top two pitchers are out and the team starts strong.

    Pederson, Barnes, Kike.

    Depth indeed.

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