Dodgers Rally Late, But Bullpen Blows it Again as Angels Tie Freeway Series

Picard wearing Dodger hat

This afternoon we saw the Dodgers and Angels duke it out in the second game of the second Freeway Series match-up on Fox Saturday baseball. The pitching match-up pitted former Dodger Andrew Heaney against Alex Wood in a duel of southpaws. Of course Heaney was a Dodger for about ten seconds when he was traded to the Angels for Howie Kendrick after being acquired from the Marlins. Many people often wondered what would have happened if the Dodgers had kept Heaney instead of flipping him for Kendrick.

I tell you this though, you can’t cry over spilled milk. Heaney is no doubt a talented young pitcher, but he’s not that good. He’s not a franchise changer. Surely he was effective in Saturday’s 5-4 Angel’s win over the Dodgers. Heaney tossed 6.1 innings giving up three runs (two earned) on six hits, walked one and struck out six. It was not good enough to get a win though.

On the other side of the mound, Alex Wood got off to a horrendous start. He gave up three runs in the first two innings and put the Dodgers in an early hole 3-0. Then he settled down and was able to keep the Angels from scoring again while keeping the Dodgers in the game. Wood’s final line was three runs on seven hits across six innings with two walks and six strikeouts. Both starters were not involved in the decision.

Angels    5 9 1

Dodgers 4 10 0

WP-Alvarez-4-3

LP-Jansen-0-3

HR-Taylor-11-Upton-19-Calhoun-9

http://gty.im/998449678

Ultimately the game was decided by the relievers. The Dodgers currently have one of the more mediocre group of minor league castoffs, has-beens and past their prime middle relievers in all of baseball after four of their primary relievers landed on the disabled list. The Dodger’s bullpen (a team with World Series aspirations) currently consists of JT Chargois, Scott Alexander, Daniel Hudson, Erik Goeddel, and newly acquired arms Dylan Floro and Zach Rosscup. That’s a ridiculous collection of castoffs if I ever saw one. I heard the local guys at the McDonalds are available to pitch as well.

So it was no surprise that the Dodger middle relief blew the tie and the game in the top of the seventh, and tenth when Floro gave up a solo home run to Justin Upton. Later on Calhoun’s solo home run off of Kenley Jansen in the top of the tenth was the game decider. Before that, the Angels scored one run in the top of the first and two in the top of the second to take an early three run advantage. The Dodgers would rally in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game. The Dodgers would lose this battle of the bullpens unfortunately. Here’s how the scoring went for both clubs before the deciding ninth and tenth frames. For the Halos they got a double from Andrelton Simmons and singles from Mike Trout and Upton brought home the first run in the opening inning. In the top of the second, Kole Calhoun’s double and an infield single from Heaney put runners at the corners. David Fletcher’s sacrifice fly scored the second run. Later in the inning a bases loaded walk to Upton scored the third run.

http://gty.im/998449056

The Dodgers fought back to score twice in the bottom of the second. Max Muncy doubled, and Logan Forsythe’s ground ball single put two on with none out. Then Cody Bellinger’s RBI single cut the lead to 3-1 Halos. There was a throwing error from Heaney and Chris Taylor was plunked with a pitch with the bases loaded to force in a run and make the score 3-2. Taylor’s mammoth home run in the bottom of the fifth would tie the score at 3-3.

After Upton’s shot in the seventh inning put the Angels back in front 4-3, the Dodgers had a chance to tie or take the lead in the bottom of the eighth with runners on first and second, but Muncy and Bellinger both struck out to strand the runners (Matt Kemp had singled and stole second) and the Angels got out of the jam.

The Dodgers eventually rallied to tie and win the game in dramatic fashion in the bottom of the ninth. With Blake Parker on the mound for the Halos. Yasmani Grandal opened the inning with a double over Upton’s head and scored when Chase Utley’s pinch-hit single knocked him in. With the game now tied the Halos went back to the bullpen and Hansel Robles struck out Taylor for the first out. Then Enrique Hernandez walked to bring up Kemp. But Kemp grounded out and the Angels intentionally walked Muncy which brought up Joc Pederson. But Pederson’s deep drive to center was caught at the wall by Trout. Onto extra innings.

In the top of the tenth, Kenley Jansen immediately served up a solo blast to Calhoun and the Dodgers were once again losing, this time 5-4. Could the Dodgers rally again in the bottom of the tenth? Nope. Clayton Kershaw will take the mound on Sunday afternoon in the series finale rubber game.

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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39 thoughts on “Dodgers Rally Late, But Bullpen Blows it Again as Angels Tie Freeway Series

  1. We had opportunity for a walkoff win. Several chokes. Jansen was obviously off again. He’s not automatic anymore.

    It’s my opinion that we need to know we can win games like that. How many walk offs have we had this year? There must be some, but I don’t recall any at the moment.

    1. Hi Badger

      I Mailed you yesterday – just checking you got it, as I know you changed addresses?

      As for last nights game, I think it pretty much summed up where we are at.

      Opportunities wasted, lack of hitting WRISP, a Pen in which there are no stand out performers, and Closer who doesn’t miss as many bats as he usta.

      Throw in injuries to Seager & Turner, and this is what we’ve got. A good team, but not good enough.

      1. Yeah, I did W. Great to hear from you. You gave me a lot to think about. I intend to answer today. I really appreciate your take on things.

        I think we need a #3 hitter, a lockdown reliever and Jansen to do what he’s paid to do. I don’t see this particular lineup improving it’s RISP production. It’s just not likely with the all or nothing approach
        that is being taught.

        Please visit here more often.

      2. Watford

        That sounds like a good elevation to me.

        Your right without a healthy Turner, and a very steady Corey, it is hard to get runs home, with a team of mainly 250 or lower, hitters.

        And our average hitters have to cut down on their swings, when there are runners in scoring position, when they come up to the plate.

        I heard you had tea with the Queen and Trump, did you also play a round of golf with Trump too?

  2. “The Rise (or fall) of the Mediocre” showings all summer at Dodger Stadium. Seriously, there is no way in hell this team goes past the first round of the playoffs, or possibly even makes the playoffs. Really a horrible team to follow this season.

  3. The Cardinals fired their manager. I doubt that he was anymore responsible for their failures than Roberts is for the Dodger team. I am not a Roberts fan strictly because he really doesn’t exist, he is a sock puppet of FAZ. And therein lies the problem. The GM (or whatever title he is given) is responsible for acquiring the players, he is also responsible for signing, or firing, the manager. When the team doesn’t do well, the GM fires the manager, a subtle attempt to focus blame elsewhere than on his shoulders where it truly belongs. The team performance is a reflection on how well he has done his job. Given that in today’s world that is a very difficult job. The working agreement with the Player’s Association, contracts, money limitation by ownership, injuries, bad umpires, I find lots of reasons not to want a job like that. So, no, I don’t think firing Roberts solves any of the team problems. I do think getting some teaching coaches and teaching our players things they should have learned in high school would be beneficial. That probably won’t happen either. The money just keeps rolling in…

    1. Jonah

      I think everything you said is true, but with the Cards manager, the team hasn’t made it to the post season, for the last couple years, so it was easy to fired him.

      But remember one of the Cards front office guys, was caught cheating, and the Cards were penalized for what they did by baseball, and I also believe from karma.

      Because most of the front offices in baseball now, more or less, run the team to a point, and make the Dodger’s philosophy on what to stress to the young players in the farm system, not the manager.

      And we already heard what our GM said earlier in the season, when the team was struggling, he said the team wasnt hitting enough HRs.

      And as everyone of us here already know, a team must be able to score another way then just with HRs, because it is hard to hit HRs against good pitching, or merely a pitcher having a really good start.

      1. Sorry, that third paragraph should say, most of the front office’s in baseball today, are really the ones that run the team, to a point.

        And the Dodgers front office is no different, because they do run the team to a point too. and they also stress what is taught in the minor league system, and what the Dodger’s philosophy really is, not Roberts.

  4. Jonah
    I do not think that a manager is judged simply on wins and losses. Roberts makes too many mistakes with his pitching staff as well as crazy lineups. Some want to blame the FO for the lineups but I think it falls on the manager. When you pull pitchers that are pitching no hitters and don’t play players that are team leader in batting and an all star, you are not doing your job. Again, everyone will jump on me saying I do not know what kind of physical shape a player is in, well I am not sure Dummy knows either. He will let them pinch hit if they are not playing so they must not be too tired. He will also pull them for no apparent reason except the feeble excuse that he wants them to be fresh in Sept. and Oct. Dummy has not said that however that I have heard. I also think he plays favorites, especially Joc and Kike. Dummy needs to be replaced and the sooner the better in my opinion.

    1. “I do not think that a manager is judged simply on wins and losses.”

      They certainly are often fired because of wins and losses.

      Roberts won’t likely be fired. This is a World Series team that needed to improve and has not. In fact, they have devolved. Morrow is gone, Seager is gone, Jansen isn’t right, Taylor is off, Turner isn’t himself, 4/5 of the starting rotation has been injured….. these read as excuses but they are true. Was last year the peak for this collective? Looks like it could have been.

      Nobody knows what’s going to happen. It’s always how you finish. Do we get a true, consistent #3 hitter? It would help stabilize this lineup. Do we get the lockdown late inning reliever? Do Turner, Taylor, and Puig finish strong? Is Kershaw his old self?

      A lot of questions. It’s my opinion Roberts isn’t really one of them. FAZ is. This season turns on the players. What will Friedman do in the coming days to infuse talent and confidence into this team?

      1. Badger is right, no one knows what is going to happen.

        This team can go on another hot streak, and look like one of the best teams in baseball, just like they did at the very end of May, in that series against the Rockies, and throughout most of June.

        Really, there are not any good teams in the National League this year, that are really dominating.

        Most of the best teams in baseball this year are in the American League, and those teams, are the Red Sox, the Yankees, and the Astros.

        And I think the teams in the National League that gets the hottest at the right time, toward the end of the season, will be the teams that survive, and goes on, to the post season.

        And probably the team in the National League, that gets the best pitching in the post season, will advance and play one, of the Yankees, the Red Sox, or the Astros.

    2. Package

      Didn’t you hear on the Dodger broadcast this year, that the team makes their line ups, pretty far in advance, and it is not only Roberts and the bench coach, that are making these line ups, in advance.

      Roberts and his bench coach, not only meet with the front office to talk about the line ups in advance, they also go over different pitching moves they may have to make in each game, in advance too.

  5. MJ
    Are you saying that because the FO has input, that relieves Roberts of the overall accountability? I think not. If that is the case, then the Dodgers do not need a manager. I am not buying all the FO is selling. Roberts will be judged on his performance and if the FO helps him make decisions, he is still accountable.

  6. After last nights loss, I think the Dodgers need to send Toles back down. He cost the team a win with his running. He should have taken 3rd base on Justin Upton’s play in left field on Tole’s double. He slowed down and clearly acted like he did not know what was going on, he could have made 3rd easily. Send him back down.

    1. That’s not correct, Package, and certainly not fair to Toles. As MJ pointed out in a post somewhere this morning, running between first and second, Toles is lifting his arms in a signal to the coach, as if to say,”What do I do?”. The video link below clearly shows that. Didn’t the third base coach also cause a base running error the night before? I guess FAZ isn’t getting his instructions across clearly to that coach…. That is always the result when higher authorities don’t delegate authority properly. Look what happened to Hitler…
      https://www.mlb.com/gameday/angels-vs-dodgers/2018/07/14/530831#game_state=final,game_tab=videos,game=530831

      1. Jonah

        You are right about the coach, I didn’t understand why he had Kiké running into a out at home, because in that game, Toles was the lead runner, so he didn’t need Kiké, to be a decoy, to score.

    2. That is how the Giants and Diamondbacks play they think baseball the whole 9 Innings again this is where the manager and the coaches come in

    3. Package

      As Toles was heading toward second base last night, he had both of his arms in the air, because he was asking his coach for some help, because he didn’t see what happened with the ball he hit, up against the wall.

      Remember it was dusk at that time, and that is why Upton had trouble reading the back spin on Toles ball, and it was even harder for Toles to see, because he was running to first with his back to the ball.

      We even had a hard time on TV seeing that play in real time, when it was actually happening, and we didn’t really see what happened, until they played that replay.

  7. Jonah
    Yeah, I get Toles didn’t know what to do. I feel he was facing the play while running, he could have seen the problem himself but I agree the coach should have let him know what to do. One thing I will say is I just don’t understand why Dummy is never accountable because some feel the players are at fault and then when you hold the player accountable suddenly the player is not at fault, the coach is. I bet if it had been Utley running he would have been standing on 3rd.

    1. Yeah, I get you about Dummy. Many fans support Dummy because it’s their way of sucking up to FAZ or simply because he’s an authority figure and must be respected or all the tenets of society will collapse. One possibility I might guess is that players are overly stressed to follow the coach’s directions (sounds like something FAZ would do…), thereby putting a real damper on the player’s initiative. That is most likely in young players with limited experience. Remember Harry Truman? He had a sign on his desk, “The Buck Stops Here”. FAZ has that same sign, whether he likes it or not.

    2. By general rule you run full speed until the ball or the coach stops you. Also, and this is important, if the ball is in front of you it’s up to you to decide. You look for the coach when the ball is behind you. Toles mistake was, in my opinion, he didn’t hit second base at full speed. My philosophy was always hit the ball on run to second. There were a few times I actually made it to third. Most of the time a player will be stopped at first, but there are times, and we’ve all seen them, where a guy makes the turn at first at full speed and just keeps going. Toles did the right thing stopping at second. He did the wrong thing cruising into it at half speed. I think things like this fall under fundamentals.

      While we are on Toles, it seems to me the man has trouble with the curve. I’m not sure what to make of the guy, I like him, but I think he’s another small piece of the larger puzzle. He’s neither the problem nor the solution – if that makes sense to anyone.

      1. Badger
        OK, now that you have stated that Toles did the right thing, perhaps you might offer an opinion on whether he would have made it or not? Do you think you would have made it? I tell ya right now, I am no speedster but I would bet money I could have made it. Toles was dancing around the pool throwing his hands up and I think he might have been a little slow out of the box. As I said, I bet Utley would have made it easily. In my book, poor play by Toles.

        1. Pack, when I said he did the right thing staying at second I meant because he DID NOT run full speed to second it’s my belief he would have been thrown out at third. Had he been running out of the box at an Utley clip, 27 ft per second, he would have made it to third easy.

      2. Badger

        Most of this team have trouble with off speed pitches, and they look bad, any time a pitcher throws three curves or off speed pitches, in a row.

        He is far from the only player on this team, that has looked bad, after a pitcher, has thrown three straight curves in a row.

        Greinke schooled Toles last year, in his first two at bats, with three off speed pitches in a row, and in Toles third at bat, he got a hit off Greinke, because he adjusted, and then hit a HR off the Dbacks reliever.

        And he did well after that, because he did adjust.

        He may have some trouble recognizing pitches, more then some players, because he missed most of last year, and he has just been back, a little over a month, but it isn’t because, he can’t hit off speed pitches.

        And remember what the other Dodger players did against Heaney, the weekend before.

        And remember Toles was the only one in the line up, that didn’t just see Heaney, last weekend.

        And that is why he didn’t let Heaney get ahead of him, in his third at bat, and he swung at the first pitch, which was a fastball.

  8. Just another lovely day in paradise and another meltdown by Kenley. He goes on a roll for almost 2 months and then inexplicably he blows two of three games. I think it is directly linked to the over use of these bullpen arms. 3 of their major clogs on the DL right now, musical chairs down there and a inconsistent bullpen. Chances of winning a World Series…0%. Chances of them getting to the playoffs. 50% Chances of them getting past the first round. 10 %. This is far from a championship team as constructed…I rest my case….so Dodgers,…..prove me wrong

    1. I’ll play this game:

      50% chance of getting into the playoffs
      50% chance of not getting into the playoffs
      50% chance of getting past the first round.
      50% chance of getting into the WS
      50% chance of winning the WS

      1. So if I hear you right, the Dodgers chances on everything looks like a throw up.

        I don’t give them 50% on anything but making the playoffs. For me advancing depends on deadline moves.

  9. Just love this post by AC at LADodgertalk (AlwaysCompete says:
    July 15, 2018 at 2:20 pm) . That says it all. Sure wish he would post here…

    1. I find AC very knowledgeable and very fair, and anyone would be lucky to have him post on their site.

      Because he is the best and the most knowledgeable writer I have ever read, in the Dodger community.

      Muncy is just one of the players that AC talked about, even before spring training, that has come up and suprised everyone, except AC.

      And he also called Morrow last year, even before spring training, too

      And I think his assessment today, is right on, and a very fair assessment of this team, as well, as the front office.

    1. Exactly Jerry, but what suprised me the most, was the fact Joc didn’t take another pitch, because he was ahead on that count, two balls to no strikes, and the pitcher had trouble with his command, and the bases were loaded, so a walk could have also easily won that game too.

  10. I despise going to”that siye” but it was interesting to read ACs comments. He is very knowledgeable and a FAZ fan big time so he fits perfectly there. To read that post tells a lot about how even some of the die hard FAZophiles are questioning things, I do respect his baseball knowledge though. I would love if the would post here but there is zero chance that will happen.

  11. Sick and tired of the lack of hustle displayed by professional ballplayers. Toles last night, Cody not paying attention and getting picked off after an excellent job of advancing, just gets old. They are pro’s. Not being in the game a long time means nothing to me. Too many frippen ROOKIE mistakes. I stand by what I said earlier. I do not think that as constructed as of this moment in time that this team is anywhere near a championship team.

    1. When have they ever been constructed as a championship team? Too many intangibles to ‘construct’ a champion, chemistry, being one of them. The Dodgers are not a model of how to build a champion and have never been one. They are one of the most changeable and erratic constructions and have been for decades. Just look at the ownership, managerial records, and crazy mega-deals we’ve seen over the years. Seems more like guess work that has been mixed with luck and has paid off with hope, not championship. Even in Brooklyn, nobody ever really believed the Dodgers were in the class of the Yankees. That’s a tradition of champions.

      Having said all of that, they will still probably win their division, be profitable, and continue their erratic construction and crazy ownership ways.

  12. I find it unfair that they are blaming that loss on Toles.

    Even before Toles hit that double, Taylor came up to the plate last night and struck out, when runners on base, with no outs, and that blew another chance, to score some runs.

    And Grandal also struck out on a pitch, in the other hitters batters box, when Toles was on third.

    And Chase couldn’t put the ball in play, to get Toles home either.

    Toles would have never scored from third anyways, like Tom Verducci said.

    Because most smart baseball people like Verducci, already knew the only reason the Angels catcher got crossed up, an missed that pitch, was because Tole’s was on second.

    The Angels would have never changed their signs, if Toles was on third, because a runner on third can’t see a catchers signs, like a runner on second.

    And Toles could score easily from second on a hit, just like he said.

    But this may be the problem with the Dodgers right now, because they are talking more about a base running dilemma, from a young player, that badly just wanted to help his team.

    He just couldn’t see where the ball was, probably because it was dusk, at that time.

    Yet we don’t hear about all the strike outs on this team, when runners are on base, or in scoring position.

    And we don’t hear about the players that didn’t come up with hits, even before Tole hit that double, and after Toles was standing on third.

    And we also didn’t hear a thing, about Kenley blowing that save either!

    1. I am certainly not blaming the loss on Toles, but his base running blunder cost the Dodgers a chance to tie. The loss is on Jansen and Jansen alone. He served up a cookie and Calhoun did not miss it.

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