Dodgers Rally for Six Run Comeback, Too Bad They Needed Eight

It might not be time for a general panic about the Dodgers as a team, but boy, oh boy, there are certainly causes for concern that are starting to sprout up from a variety of angles.

The day began with an odd afternoon start time (4 pm PST) and the expected strong start from Clayton Kershaw – and things went south from there. Kershaw struck out the Marlins to begin the first inning of the rubber match, and then he lost his command, walking a career-high six batters. Luckily, he found just enough gas in the can to keep the Fish off the scoreboard through the first half of the game despite his inability to keep them off the bases.

The bigger trouble was – as it’s been all season – the sparkless, hitless offense. Marlins starter, Trevor Rojas, dominated the Dodgers. Rojas kept them scoreless, allowing just one hit and striking out ten over the first 4 2/3 innings.

Kershaw had two quick outs in the top of the 5th, and then the wheels came off the Dodgers’ little blue cart. Kershaw walked the next two batters and served up a three-run homer to Miguel Rojas – the newest Dodger killer in town. Daniel Hudson replaced Kershaw in the 6th, and he gave up the first of J.T. Realmuto‘s two home runs on the night. The score was 4-0 Marlins, and the crowd had that “oh no, not again” feeling.

The Dodgers finally scored in the bottom of the sixth on a Joc Pederson RBI single. Things were calm until the 8th, when Scott Alexander came in to pitch. He quickly gave up a single and Realmuto’s second home run of the night. The Dodgers were down 6-1 and it felt like a grave that was too deep for this Dodgers squad to dig its way out of.

In the bottom of the 8th, the Dodgers responded with a two-out, short and sweet rally. Cody Bellinger doubled and Matt Kemp followed that with a two-run blast of his own. It was Kemp’s fourth homer of the year and the Dodgers were seemingly getting up from the ground. The score was now 6-3.

And then the circus came to town.

Last night manager Dave Roberts would not send his closer into the ninth inning of a tie game, and for equally head-shaking reasons, he decided to send Kenley Jansen into this ninth inning, with the team behind by three runs. Jansen got a quick fly out and then Corey Seager‘s throwing error allowed a runner. Replays showed the then ball caromed off the pitcher’s mound at an unexpected angle, and that could have caused Seager to have to readjust and throw on the fly. Nevertheless, a man was on.

Jansen struck out the next batter for the second out and then gave up a single. That was a fly ball that Seager chased into CF, and then he suddenly decided to stop chasing, but he fell back awkwardly, giving everyone a scare that he might be injured. After a stolen second base, Chase Utley committed a throwing error and two Marlins scored to bring their lead back up to 8-3. Things looked bleak heading into the bottom of the ninth.

It wasn’t all a disaster as Enrique Hernandez tripled to open the inning.

Kike came home to score on Kyle Farmer’s PH ground out. Corey Seager showed no ill effects from his fall and singled. Then Yasmani Grandal stepped up and launched a home run of his own to bring the Dodgers within two.

Unfortunately, the damage was too great, and six runs weren’t enough. The Marlins beat the Dodgers 8-6, and leave behind a bewildered Dodgers team that just can’t get any traction going. And no, it’s no longer “early”.

Oscar Martinez

Oscar Martinez

I was born in the shadow of Dodger Stadium and immediately drenched in Dodger Blue. Chavez Ravine is my baseball cathedral, Vin Scully was the golden voice of summer all my life, and Tommy Lasorda remains the greatest Dodgers manager ever. My favorite things are coffee, beer, and the Dodgers beating the Giants. I also blog about my baseball card hobby at All Trade Bait, All the Time.

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34 thoughts on “Dodgers Rally for Six Run Comeback, Too Bad They Needed Eight

    1. YF
      Looks like you all are getting where I have been for a long while. Really despising all those idiots in the FO plus the manager.

    1. I guess I’m the one holdout here. I still believe this team is good enough to win the West. Win it all? I don’t have the confidence in the pitching staff to say that.

      “And no, it’s no longer early “

      Hogwash. Anyone who is willing to throw in the towel in April knows nothing about the game of baseball.

      1. Badger
        I never said the Dodgers are not good enough to win the west. They are pretty close to where they were last year at this time. When the Dodgers start playing the same players more they will be more like last year.

      2. You’re certainly right. Anyone (seriously) throwing in the towel in April doesn’t know baseball.
        You’re not exactly right if you make the leap from “it’s not early anymore” to “it’s all over”.

        It’s the end of April. I don’t see “it’s still early” working for Kenley Jansen, Cody Bellinger’s hole in his swing, the stagnant offense as a unit, Roberts’ use of the bullpen, Joc’s sputtering at the plate. I don’t see it simply a matter of time for these things to work out. Nope. There has to be some kinda intervention and change. That’s what “it aint early” means when I say it.

  1. I’m not throwing in the towel. I am just so tired of these bizarre lineups. Yes he mismanages the bullpen, what are the bench coaches there for?
    Personally I am starting to think some of the players may not feel Doc puts the team over his allegiances. If I were stuck in the minors or better yet, blocked I would be screaming for a trade. This has happened every year the Flopaz has been in charge. The culture comes from the top and it flows through the coaching staff. This team needs become a unit, and real soon or there will be a lot of ground to make up

    1. Tim I do think there is over managing at times, like you said.

      And I don’t think these young players, that missed quite a bit of spring training, need these days off at the beginning of the season, especially because the Dodgers as a team, had quite a few days off, in April already, including a rain out.

      How our players able to consistently hit, when they are sat, once they seem to be hitting.

      I hope this loss series, wakes everyone up, or it isn’t going to be fun to watch the team this weekend, against the hated ones.

      Like YF said, this was a poor showing on the field, and with the bats.

      But I agree with Badger, that it is to early to be over worried, at this point of the season.

      But I thought I read that Hill is going to make his next start against Arizona, at Arizona, and that doesn’t sound like the best idea.

  2. I was on a beer league team back in 70s. Our lineup was made up by who arrived when. You were the first there you batted last. Whoever arrived last? Grab a bat, you’re up. We won the league 3 weeks before the season ended.

    The point is, I don’t think lineups win or lose games, players do. You have the best 8 guys you can pick names out of a hat and win 6 out of 10. You win 6 out of 10 you win the Division.

    Roberts is giving every player a fair chance to succeed – or not. I did not blame him last year when the team started slowly and I do not blame him this year. This is an organization that strategically uses between 28-35 guys through the course of the long year. Not all of those players will start off like a 30 second pop tart. This is a cake that takes time to bake.

    I’ve been around long enough to know that pennants are not won before summer starts. Summer doesn’t start for about 8 weeks. Between June 21st and July 31st we will know how good we are. We will be buyers or sellers at the end of July. I could be wrong, but I think we will be buyers. I think we will be buying pitching, though honestly that’s just a guess. Despite what our Beerman professes, it IS still early.

    To quote the Chico kid, who played high school football at the school where I did my student teaching, R E L A X. It’s all going to work out.

  3. An Interesting Fact about Manure

    In the 16th and 17th centuries, everything for export had to be transported by ship. It was also before the invention of commercial fertilizers, so large shipments of manure were quite common.

    It was shipped dry, because in dry form it weighed a lot less than when wet, but once water (at sea) hit it not only did it become heavier, but the process of fermentation began again, of which a by-product is methane gas. As the stuff was stored below decks in bundles – you can imagine what could (and did) happen. Methane began to build up below decks and the first time someone came below at night with a lantern, BOOOOM! Several ships were destroyed in this manner before it was determined just what was happening.

    After that, the bundles of manure were always stamped with the instruction Stow High In Transit, which meant for the sailors to stow it high enough off the lower decks so that any water that came into the hold would not touch this “volatile” cargo and start the production of methane.

    Thus evolved the term ‘SHIT’, (Stow High In Transit) which has come down through the centuries and is in use to this very day.

    You probably did not know the true history of this word?…….. Most don’t. I always thought it was a golf term. Also, since 1988 it’s the last thing we all say at the end of baseball season.

      1. Package….I had a T-shirt a long time ago that had S.H.I.T. at the top of it and below it read Sam Houston Institute of Technology……I wore it to Disneyland and they made me turn in inside out so no one could read it until I bought a Mickey Mouse T to cover it up…….

        1. Michael

          We can’t take you anywhere, including Disney Land.

          But you can be pretty stubborn, I am surprised you didn’t tell those people at Disneyland, to take a hike.

  4. Never knew, or thought of the origin of that word, but I do like to watch the show on the history channel, that does explain the origins of certain words.

    Are you saying we will be saying that word, much earlier in the season this year, or just more often?

  5. We all love the team and want to see them succeed. Myself, I prefer the old style baseball to this new way of approaching the game. All or nothing hitters frustrate me. I remember reading about a hall of fame player who was by his teams standards, striking out way too much. The coaching staff took this player and made him stand in the batters box while a pitcher threw to him. He was not allowed to swing, but had to call each pitch as it crossed the plate as to being a ball or a strike. The off shoot of this process was a better knowledge of the strike zone and better performance at the plate. The player, Duke Snider. That year he started his string of 40 homer seasons which would reach 5 in a row. Cody Bellinger is a very talented young man. He never gets cheated on his swings. But imagine how dangerous a hitter that kid would be if he really knew the strike zone. He has holes in his swing large enough to sail the Titanic through. Last night he FLAILED at a pitch that was a good foot off the outside of the plate. Corey did the same thing TWICE. Low and away and they are toast. The loss last night was painful to watch. After the first inning that guy pitching was NOT the Kershaw we know. Of course every pitcher has a bad day and 3 of Kershaw’s 4 losses could be traced to bad offense. Last night was on Kersh and a bullpen that is having increasing amounts of trouble keeping the opposition from building up leads. It was also on bad defense, which was a bit of a surprise considering they had been outstanding in the games prior to last night. Scott Alexander is looking like he cannot handle the spotlight of being in LA. He has that deer in the headlights look every time he steps on the mound. It is obvious that they miss Turner. What is more obvious is that Roberts continual tinkering with the lineup has produced a offense that is neither consistent nor very good. His two best hitters, Kemp and Grandal need to be in there every game because it is early and they have been hot. When they need a break, say sometime in June, give them one, other wise they should be hitting 3-4 in the lineup every damn day. Cody and Puig should be dropped in the order. Right now Cody is no #4 hitter. He strikes out too much and has 2 dingers. Taylor has showed a little life, but he also is striking out WAY TOO MUCH. But they have no other real options to lead off at the big league level. They need to shake up the culture, show the players that they are committed to having productive players on the roster. Muncy should go back to the minors because since those first two games he has been no match for mediocre pitchers. Call up Locastro who can play multiple positions and brings speed to the team. After last nights game it was revealed that Seager received treatment for a soft tissue injury. Meaning he bruised himself when he fell chasing that pop fly. Just think how good that kid could be if he was not so injury prone. On to SF, AZ and Mexico……they need at least 6 wins in these 10 games. Oh by the way, that guy masquerading as Kenley Jansen is not very good right now.

    1. Michael

      I didn’t see Corey fall down, but that must have been quite a fall, with how big Corey is.

      I did look at what Cody has done in his last 7 games, and he has struck out almost fifty percent of the time, in these last seven games, so you were right, to be concerned, about his strike outs.

      But because small samples are not always the best way to evaluate something, I looked at how many strike outs Cody has had this year, and I think he has struck out, about 24 percent of the time.

      But Cody has hit three HRs.

      I have said this before, and I wasn’t joking, I think Puig needs to start sitting next to Turner Ward, and be moved down to the eighth position, so he will have to be more patient, and wait for his pitch, or take the walk.

      If Puig could go on a streak, he could also ignite this team.

      And I think that is a good idea to bring Locastro up, while he is hitting, and when his confidence, is high.

      1. You are right. Cody has 3 dingers. But only 9 RBI’s. Hitting 4th he needs to be a lot better than that. I agree Puig would be better off hitting lower in the order. But I do not think the problem is mechanical. I think he is extremely frustrated with the results because he has really hit in bad luck. Oh there have been a few games where he slipped back a little, but for the most part his approach has been pretty good. He is not rolling over as much and grounding out or into DP’s like he was last year. What is somewhat puzzling is the lack of power. Even when he really tattoo’s one, they seem to die at the warning track. He also is not hitting into the gaps much. Puig sits next to Ward every game. He is always talking to him. So that is not the problem at all. He also pretty much looks over to the dugout at Ward at least once or more every at bat. Maybe he will heat up on the road trip and when they get to Mexico crush a couple of dingers against the Pads. Cody has 23 strikeouts in 90 at bats. Striking out every 4th AB is going to give you well over 100 by seasons end. That’s too much. If that kid ever figures out the strike zone he would be a .300 hitting 40 homers a year monster. Until then it will be 30 plus and about .270 where he is now. By the way MJ, Cody struck out 146 times in 460 at bats last year. Way over 25% of the time…..that is not good.

        1. Michael

          He also holds the rookie record, for the most HRs in the National League too, so his strike outs, are tolerated.

          And as you know, people in baseball today, are not as bothered by strike outs.

          But I am not one of those people, especially when runners are in scoring position.

          I haven’t seen Puig sitting next to Ward, I only see Joc.

          1. I know he does and I also know that FO’s and managers do not sweat the K’s like they did in the old days…..damn that sounds bad. But pitchers watch video’s too. Houston found his weak spot and other teams have been pretty much pitching him the same way. Yep Joc had 20 more at bats than Cody and he struck out 24 more times, but he totally went in the tank after the all star break and no one has ever said he was the same type of hitter. He had 20 homers before the all star break and only 6 afterwards because he was so bad. Bellinger hit for a higher average post all star game, but his power went down. The point is this, he could be so much better than he is. He has far better tools than most of the players on this team. Bellinger had 41 extra base hits in his first 70 games. Over the next 62 that dropped dramatically. He had 28. He did cut down his strikeouts. I also think the length of a MLB season got to him that last month or so. And going on the DL for 10 games did not help much. In the 15 post season games he hit a cumulative .219 with 29 strikeouts in 15 games. He struck out in close to 50% of his at bats. Here is a shocker, he hit .125 at Dodger Stadium throughout the playoffs and series. He hit .313 on the road and all his homers were on the road. During the regular season his splits were almost identical. .268 at home with 19 homers and 51 RBI’s, .265 on the road with 20 homers and 46 RBI’s. He struck out on the road more than at home. Puig is always walking over and talking to Ward. Especially after a bad at bat. He has not really hit the ball hard the last couple of games, but he did against DC and got robbed a few times.

          2. By the way MJ. He did break Piazzas Dodger rookie record as well as the NL record, but his rookie season does not compare with Piazzas. Except for the homers, Piazza had a much better year. He hit 318, slugged 35 homers and had 112 RBI’s. He had a 6.8 WAR and he only struck out 86 times and he had 67 more at bats than Cody did. Cody had a WAR of 4.2.

        2. Michael

          Joc struck out 170 Times, in his first season, and he didn’t hit as many HRs, as Cody did.

          And Cody didn’t even have a year in AAA, before he came up, and he does hit for an average too.

          1. Some guys do not need AAA ball and obviously Cody did not. But if the kid can cut down his K’s, he could be a .300 hitter with power.

    1. Thank you Package. I thought about it a lot. I still am not convinced that this particular set of players and especially the pitching staff is of Championship caliber. Do I think they will improve? They should, but no one can say for certain that they WILL. Kershaw was visibly upset after the game last night. But the rest to me do not seem like they are mad they lost to a vastly inferior team. That would really piss me off and light a fire under my ass.

    2. Package

      It will be a new series this weekend, hopefully our guys will show up, and make some Giant fans unhappy.

      And we won’t have to hear beat LA once.

  6. I do not think it is early to say this group are not championship contenders. They are not, and they need more than Turner. That was my point from weeks ago and I think it’s been proven since that we have way more problems than one (big) hole in the lineup and we are dropping very winnable games due to errors and poor decisions on and off the field, especially when the pressure is on. These are signs of a poor team, not a team that is waiting to “flip the switch”.

    Ok so it is April heading into May. Instead of waiting to flip the switch, which I maintain is a mistake with this team this year, I would start treating this team like what it is, a mediocre wannabe. There needs to be improvement on and off the field.

    Both Alexander and Baez should be sent down or used very judiciously. Hudson the new guy looks so so and iffy – why not Venditte?

    The sensible thing to do in April/May is to send Joc and Alexander down so they can play more consistently and get into a real rhythm. Call up Locastro and Venditte now and triage the back up CF position with Bellinger and Kiké, and shuttle Locastro and Jake Peter from time to time until Toles is rehabbed, then go with Toles.

    1. I totally agree and have said so since spring training began. One thing that is very frustrating with the FAZMEN is that they really do not make moves when players are obviously not playing very well and the seem afraid that shaking things up is going to ruin team chemistry or something. Kike has turned his season around. Joc had 2 hits last night, but really has not shown much, especially in the power department where his is expected to be one of the guys who hits for power. 1 homer is pretty bad. The pitchers are not doing all that great with the exception of Cingrani, Fields, Chargois most of the time…he had one bad game and Ryu. Kershaw in reality has had one bad start. His record is more a reflection on the lack of offense than anything else. Wood was brilliant a couple of times, but no support killed him too. Hill is Hill, same old thing every time out. Jansen has been a disappointment. Venditte is doing very well down at OKC. He could replace Alexander and Baez. Then they could bring up another position player so they would not have a short bench. Locastro and say Verdugo. You could also send Joc down and Muncy. There are a lot of options offensively down there. Even Ramos who is hitting .333 with some power and driving in runs.

    1. Today, Friday MJ, there is an article that you can find by going to yardbarker.com and checking the Dodger page. The article is Dave Roberts explaining why Joc is vital to this offense……if you can figure out why, please explain it to me.

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