I’m looking at the Oklahoma City roster right now as I type this and I can see at least three pitchers the Dodgers could call up that can’t do any worse than a few of the bums they currently have in the bullpen. It baffles me why the Dodgers don’t at least try to make a move, even if it’s just for the sake of making a move. If you or I were as bad at our jobs as Scott Alexander, Joe Kelly, and Yimi Garcia (The three stooges) then we would have been fired a long time ago. Yet those guys continue to not only be employed, but get called on to pitch high leverage innings. It’s insane. The middle relief problem continues to plague the Dodgers as the group allowed five runs over the final three innings to doom the Dodgers to a 7-3 loss to the Mets on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. The infuriating loss evens the series.
It’s a shame because the bullpen’s incompetence overshadowed an impressive debut from top catching prospect Will Smith. The youngster who kind of looks like a youthful A.J. Ellis tallied two hits, (a single and a double) and threw out a base runner in his first MLB start. Smith wore number 16 (hello Andre Ethier) and batted eighth. It looks like Smith is ready to see some MLB action, especially with Austin Barnes battling a sore groin. Smith has a solid bat and a strong and accurate throwing arm. I’m excited to see what else he can do.
Mets 7 10 0
Dodgers 3 8 1
Meanwhile starter Rich Hill gave the Dodgers yet another quality start in a long line of them over the last several weeks. Hill tossed six innings and allowed just two earned runs while striking out five. He left with the score tied at 2-2, and unfortunately the bullpen could not pick him up.
The Dodger bats had what you could call an off-day. They just couldn’t get anything going against opposing left-hander Steven Matz. Although Cody Bellinger’s towering two-run home run in the bottom of the third inning put the boys in blue ahead 2-1 and gave Bellinger his 20 home run of the season, the earliest anyone has reached 20 diners since the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles. Bellinger now has also broken the 50 RBI barrier and continues his assault on National League pitching.
The Mets played some small ball as well as the long ball. The scored their first run of the game in the top of the third when Matz scampered home on Michael Conforto’s check-swing roller up along third. Matz’s slide was low, and the throw was high. Then Todd Frazier homered in the fourth to tie the score at 2-2.
Then the Dodger bullpen took over in the seventh and well you know how that goes. The Dodgers used four relievers in that inning and three of them could only retire one batter. Conforto recorded his fifth run batted in of the game, a grand slam home run off of Scott Alexander that put the New York club ahead 6-2. The relief corp of Yimi Garcia, Dylan Floro, Scott Alexander and Ross Stripling gave up three walks, two hits, a throwing error and a grand slam home run. Unbelievable. Amed Rosario tripled in a run off of Stripling in the top of the eighth to really lower our spirits.
At this point, the Dodgers have to make a move. Just because the club has a 36-19 record doesn’t mean they can continue to use several middle relievers that are not major league caliber in the seventh and eighth innings. Scott Alexander, Joe Kelly, and Yimi Garcia suck and no amount of Rick Honeycutt magic or perseverance or confidence is going to change this. It’s another marquee pitching match-up tomorrow as Noah Syndergaard will battle Walker Buehler at 7:10 PM PST. Let’s hope that Buehler goes nine.