Ever Had The Wings Fall Off Your Airplane Right Before Landing?

I should have known the Dodgers were doomed to lose this one. It looked like a disaster waiting to happen right from the lineup that showed Joc Pederson batting leadoff, and the back-to-back placement of Chase Utley and Logan Forsyth in the lineup. Add in starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu, who was not very sharp in Spring Training, and you had a recipe for blue heartbreak.
Like the game of baseball will give, however, there were lots of droplets of hope and happiness for Dodger fans sprinkled throughout the game.  The offense continued its awakening. There were the first hits for Joc and Forsythe, including a HR for Logan. Yasmani Grandal had a big bomb of his own and finished the game a triple shy of a cycle. Cody Bellinger also brought in a big insurance run with a hard shot up the middle in the seventh.
Ryu looked just as iffy in his first start of the year as he did in the preseason. He gave up a lot of hard contact through the early innings, allowing single runs to the Dbacks in the first, third and fourth innings.
Despite that, things were looking up for the Dodgers at the start of the game as Joc surprised many (including me) with a hit right out of the gate. Corey Seager followed that by knocking in Pederson for the first run of the night. Grandal added a 2-run bomb and the boys in blue were feeling great, leading 3-0 before the seats were warm.
There were sparkling defensive plays for the Dodgers as well. In the 2nd, a grounder got by a diving Cody Bellinger at first base. Ryu kept going to cover the base, and on a magnificent back up, Logan Forsythe  fielded the ball and threw to Ryu to get the out. In the 3rd, Matt Kemp made a wonderful catch in LF, while sliding his knee into the fence. Kemp got up limpy but shook it off.
Despite the heroics, Ryu allowed runs to trickle in for Arizona, and it was a 3-3 tie at the end of the 5th inning. Logan Forsythe got his first hit and HR of the year in the sixth, putting the Dodgers up 4-3.
Ahead 5-3 in the 7th, Roberts over-managed the bullpen and created unnecessary drama. He yanked Alexander,who pitched a scoreless sixth, then he quickly yanked Cingrani after the first two outs, and went to Chargois who promptly gave up a walk and a double to put the tying runs in scoring position. Luckily the Dodgers got out of the inning with no harm done. No one saw it at the time, but Roberts was flushing through pitchers that were going to be needed for the coming marathon.
Later in the 8th, the Dodgers picked up another important run, which can be attributed to the hustle of Chris Taylor. Taylor hit a two-out single, and with Pederson at bat, Taylor took second base with aggressive running on a wild pitch.
Pederson followed with a seeing-eye single to cash in Taylor and put the Dodgers up by three.  Things were looking good going to the bottom of the ninth.
“Who cares” Kenley Jansen came in to protect the win. He started out well enough, hitting 92-94 on the speed gun, dispelling talk that he had lost his velocity. He got the first two outs on infield singles. Then he walked Paul Goldschmidt. Jansen next took A.J. Pollack to a full count and started raising everyone’s heartrates. He walked Pollack, and the last two pitches were nowhere near the zone. This brought the tying run to the plate.
And then…it happened. The wings fell off.
Chris Owings hammered the first pitch he saw and just like that, the Dodgers’ lead was erased, the Diamondbacks were rejoicing, and Dodger Nation was asking itself, “What the hell is wrong with Kenley?”
The game went into extra innings, and they felt extra. The only saving grace was Wilmer Font. Font pitched wonderfully – for a while. But it was a long while.  In the 14th, Yasiel Puig gave a gift to the faithful who were still awake with a beautiful catch and throw ’em out double play. Puig ran down A.J. Pollock‘s deep fly ball in the RF corner, spun around, and without missing a beat, threw a laser beam shot to 2B to get Ketel Marte trying to tag up and advance from first. It was the kind of play that can inspire a team to go forward and win in the next inning, and for a second there, it looked like that was exactly what was going to happen.
In the top of the 15th, Belly hit a one-out single. Wilmer Font dropped his second perfect sac bunt of the night, and then Chase Utley delivered a base hit to drive Bellinger home with the go ahead run. The Dodgers went to the bottom of the 15th winning 7-6.
All that remained (again) was for the Dodgers to shut the Snakes down for three outs and walk away the victors. Font went out for his FIFTH inning of relief work, and he had already beaten the Dbacks’ heart of the order twice. Unfortunately, he was past his 50th pitch. and he was apparently out of gas.
He gave up a single, which was followed by a gapper that drove the tying run home. That was followed by a single to the same spot. The winning run came home for the Snakes and the destruction of what should have been a Dodgers win (a couple of times) was complete. The Dodgers went to bed on the losing end of a 15 inning, 8-7 loss. And still noone knows what’s the matter with Kenley.
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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18 thoughts on “Ever Had The Wings Fall Off Your Airplane Right Before Landing?

  1. The Buddhists talk about attachments, how they disturb your mind. You like what see or hear, you are feeling good, and then, wham, something doesn’t go your way and like a dive bomber, your mood goes south. That’s attachment. Did anyone not feel that in the 9th inning? I sure did.
    After a beautifully pitched game from the bullpen, their star closer has his 2nd blown game in as many appearances to start the season. Do you think Roberts will let him close the next close one?

    I had my doubts about Font. He was awful in ST, but the kid pitched very well and I kept hoping it would end sooner than later because I didn’t think he would last more than a couple of innings. I don’t blame him, though. It squarely rests on Jansen.

    Ryu is a broken down pitcher and it would be nice to get a replacement part ASAP. Loyalty only goes so far in sports. Who is it going to be? Stripling? I’m not really supportive of him.

    The bats did their job and more and I must say I am very pleased to see this. Grandal, Seager, Bellinger, all did extremely well and I loved Forsythe’s effort both at bat and in the field stopping that sure base hit that got past Bellinger and Ryu covered the bag for Forsythe’s throw. Pretty play and Forsythe continues to make his case for 2B.

    Hopefully, tomorrow will be another good day for our bats and another good day to be aware of our attachments. They always lead to trouble, you know.

  2. The team is working it out. No matter how I look at this, and there is 15 innings to look at, the loss falls on Jansen. He gets paid very big bucks to get 3 outs. So far, not so good.

    Ryu battled, but he’s a #5 for good reason.

    We hit .311 as a team, .364 WRISP. That should be good enough. 28 team LOB. That is a lot of LOB.

    Bullpen depth is being tested early. Using everybody in one game will likely force a move. Though it isn’t likely, Roberts has to prepare for a Kershaw short outing.

    The dbacks are good. They know they can beat us.

  3. Should have never replaced Kemp. His bat was needed later in the game. Plus, are the Dodger relivers only able to go an inning or less? Roberts has again over managed.

        1. Package

          I would have never took Kemp’s out of the game, because he is one of the best hitters on the team, especially in an extra innings game.

          But I don’t think Roberts or anyone, thought we would lose this game when Kenley was handed the ball, with a three run lead.

      1. Agree on all count s with Badger. Als agree with package, may not Ben as good as last year (when they had the best record in all MLB of course)

        Kemp’s travails in left are terrifying, and the bullpen has looked good. Jansen needs to fix his mechanics, perhaps the extensive non-usage in spring training is in play.

        Fields looks great as a set-up man. Attacking the upper zone. Alexander looks good as a ground ball reliever.

        1. Well he made a damn good catch to save a run and banged into the wall doing it. He has yet to allow any runs with his play out there and has not made an error. I think you are totally off base at this point. Maybe later he will morph into Marv Throneberry, but so far he has been fine.

          1. I find his pathing terrifying and think most LF’s would make that catch with much more ease then Kemp did.

            That said, I could be wrong. Has happened a lot.

          2. You are totally off base on that one. There was no other path. That he even got to the ball is amazing…..he was shaded towards CF. Just accept the fact that he is much better out there this year and has not yet made a bone headed play like McCutcheon made in the Giants series and everybody was saying the Dodgers should go get Cutch. Plus he had to backhand that ball……Might look easy but it wasn’t

  4. Eight relief pitchers used. But six of them through 9 innings. Relief pitch the other team to death! Except last night it didn’t work.

    It’s been 5 games already, isn’t it time for the DL shenanigans to begin?

    1. It’s early for DL use, but I think a move might happen. Stewart?

      Kemp made a courageous play out there. He went a long way to run down a tailing shot off a left handers bat. I’d rather he didn’t crash into walls anymore but that was one helluva play. He wants it this year. But, damn, be careful out there Matt.

      Was Jansen lazy during Spring Training? I’m asking because I honestly don’t know – he’s either not prepared or he’s got what looks like early arm fatigue.

      I think the team will be fine. But there’s some weird stuff happening early. The 4 game giant series was historically strange. No opening 4 game series in history was 4 shutouts. That’s one of those records that will never be broken. A 4 game series to open is odd enough, but back to back 1-0 games and 4 shutouts is bizarre. And Jansen?

      Could be one of those WTF years, but I expect this team to settle down an play well.

      1. Badger

        I was hoping Kemp didn’t hurt his knee too.

        I bet there will be a lot of people in the LA Times today, all over Kenley.

        Because when Kenley was asked about his velocity issue in the first game he lost, he said who cares!

        1. Bad response Kenley. Everybody cares. Everybody but you apparently.

          Lack of velocity and back to back walks followed by a cookie, all with a 3 run lead. If it’s me, he’s on a short leash.

          1. Fully agree, Badger. Time to look for his replacement. Smugness is a sure sign of negligence.

          2. Jeff, he just got a huge contract last year for 4 years. They are not going to look for a replacement. His mechanics are off and his velocity is down and his attitude sucks.

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