Incompetent Dodgers Bullpen Overshadows Will Smith’s Impressive Debut

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

WP-Matz-4-3

LP-Garcia-0-2

HR-Bellinger-20-Frazier-4

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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.

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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.

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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19 thoughts on “Incompetent Dodgers Bullpen Overshadows Will Smith’s Impressive Debut

  1. Wow, what an embarrassing loss to the Mets in game 2.

    Hill pitched OK, but expended too many bullets early, leading to early exit. What happened next was a total bullpen melt down. Mets were 2-20 RISP, and still managed to score 7 runs. That does not say much for Dodger pitching. Kelly, assigned to mop up duties…. more like a wet mop, but managed to escape unscathed.

    Nice debut by Will Smith 2-4, 1 run, and one Met caught stealing…. Just one GIDP at a critical moment. Too bad the rest of the offense was sputtering, with a dismal 1-9 RISP, 9 LOB. Just seems that Dodgers struggle often with runners in scoring position.

    1. Yes Bluto, cannot win them all…. I understand that. Sure, they only have 19 losses thus far. Though I cannot specifically point out how many games I called embarrassing (too many to account for), at least half, if not more were games that they should have won, but surrendered to losses due to “embarrassing” bullpen implosions (poor bullpen management), “embarrassing” starting pitching (inability to go at least 7 innings, giving up HR’s and early deficits), “embarrassing” RISP (blown scoring opportunities), “embarrassing” lineup decisions (lefty lineup, matchups, resting players at the wrong time).

      Yes, Bluto, they have one of the best records in the league, but it could be undisputedly the best.

      I’m just sayin’… If you are content with “embarrassing” losses, that is your right to do so, as it is my right to call them out, when necessary.

      1. Hello Bluefan4Life and others who may be here. I fully concur on what ya say here and on another blog I posted this because after what happened AGAIN with this BP it reminded me ofthis:
        Folks, if you recall back at the end of the 1993 season when Jody Reed spent that year as the Dodger 2dn baseman and Jose Offerman was the SS, Jody left the team after that and in that year, Offerman showed he was truly lacking defensively and Reed had a hard time with him as a DP partner. At that year’s end he told Fred Claire and FO that Dodgers WILL NOT win with the SS they have. Spring forward to this year, 2019, and I, along with most here I believe will agree that the Dodgers WILL NOT win (go deep into PS and get to WS) with the BP this team now has. Case closed!

        1. I’ve been sayin that over and over. I get, you get it, and some others get it, what’s the brainfart that occurs with this FO? It is time to move some pieces around, like you mentioned with OKC, it’s time to try current BP members in some different roles as well.

          You can mark it down, the Dodgers will not win a championship with this curent PPP bully, no way, no how.

  2. In the latest FanGraphs mock:

    Dodgers land prep RHP Daniel Espino at 25, Stanford OF Kyle Stowers at 31 and prep 1B/LHP Spencer Jones at 78.

    Kyle Stowers in theory would be an under-slot guy who allows the Dodgers to go after a couple prep players with later picks. Stowers himself is new call, yesterday Keith Law’s mock had them going with Misner at 31, which made some sense. Stowers, I guess, has a similar profile.

    Other names linked to the team there include prep RHP Brennan Malone and SS David Hernaiz (for Day 2).

  3. Bluto
    You are right, you can’t win em all but that doesn’t mean that one of the richest franchises in baseball cannot afford a better bullpen than they have. Let’s agree that Alexander, Garcia and Kelly suck, OK? Keeping them to come around or some other stupid reason is crazy. That is for starters but I am sure some of the others are not much better. I really do not think every time you face a tough subject you should get back on the minor leagues. I am sure most do not know anymore than one or two minor league players so I am sure it keeps you off the hot seat. How do you like me now?

    1. I don’t understand what you wrote, primarily after the words “That is for starters…”

      But I quite like your consistency!

  4. Paul DePodesta:

    Kenley Jansen – Signed as International Non-Drafted FA on 11-17-2004 as a catcher. Converted to pitcher under Ned Colletti during 2nd half of 2009 season under tutelage of Charlie Hough.

    Ned Colletti:

    Clayton Kershaw – 1st draft pick under the Ned Colletti regime. 1st round 2006 amateur draft.
    Pedro Baez – Signed as International Non-Drafted FA on 1-22-2007 as a 3B. Converted to pitcher after 2012 season.
    Yimi Garcia – Signed as International Non-Drafted FA in 2009.
    Joc Pederson – 11th round draft pick in 2010 amateur draft.
    Corey Seager – 1st round draft pick in 2012 amateur draft.
    Ross Stripling – 5th round draft pick in 2012 amateur draft.
    Julio Urias – Signed as International Non-Drafted FA on 08-12-2012.
    Hyun-jin Ryu – Signed 6-year contract 12-09-2012 after purchased from Hanwha Eagles of KBO for $25.7MM.
    Cody Bellinger – 4th round draft pick in 2013 amateur draft.
    Dennis Santana – Signed as International Non-Drafted FA on 11-2013.
    Justin Turner – Signed 2-5-14 after being released by Mets.
    Alex Verdugo – 2nd round draft pick in 2014 amateur draft.
    Brock Stewart – 6th round draft pick in 2014 amateur draft.
    Caleb Ferguson – 38th round draft pick in 2014 amateur draft.
    Keibert Ruiz – Signed as International Non-Drafted FA on 07-20-2014.

    Andrew Friedman:

    Austin Barnes – 12-10-2014 trade from Marlins with Kike’ Hernandez, Chris Hatcher, Andrew Heaney for Dan Haren, Dee Gordon, Miguel Rojas, and cash.
    Kike’ Hernandez – See Austin Barnes.
    Walker Buehler – 1st draft pick under the Andrew Friedman regime. 1st round draft pick in 2015 amateur draft.
    Josh Sborz – 2nd round draft pick in 2015 amateur draft.
    Edwin Rios – 4th round draft pick in 2015 amateur draft.
    Matt Beaty – 12th round draft pick in 2015 amateur draft.
    Kyle Garlick – 28th round draft pick in 2015 amateur draft.
    Yadier Alvarez – Signed as International Non-Drafted FA on 7-2-15.
    Kenta Maeda – Signed 8-year contract on 1-7-2016 after paying $20MM posting fee to Hiroshima Toya Carp of NPB.
    Chris Taylor – 6-19-2016 trade from Seattle for Zach Lee.
    Will Smith – 1st round supplemental draft pick in 2015 amateur draft.
    Rich Hill – 8-1-2016 trade from A’s with Josh Reddick for Frankie Montas, Jharel Cotton, and Grant Holmes.
    Max Muncy – Signed MiLB contract 4-27-2017 after being released by A’s.
    Tony Cingrani – 7-31-2017 trade from Reds for Scott Van Slyke and Henrik Clementina (MiLB catcher).
    Dylan Floro – Claimed off waivers from Cubs on 8-4-2017. DFA 8-18-2017. Reacquired in trade with Reds on 7-4-2018 with Zach Neal for James Marinan and Aneurys Zabala.
    Scott Alexander – 1-4-2018 trade with KC and CWS with Jake Peter (CWS). Luis Avilan to CWS (with Joakim Soria from KC), and Trevor Oaks (P) and Erick Mejia (Utility) to KC.
    JT Chargois – Claimed off waivers from Twins 2-23-2018.
    Rocky Gale – Signed MiLB contract 2-25-18 after being released by Padres.
    David Freese – 08-31-2018 trade with Pirates for Jesus Manuel Valdez (MiLB infielder).
    Joe Kelly – Signed FA contract 11-21-2018. 3 years $25MM.
    Adam McCreery – 11-28-2018 trade with Braves for Cash.
    Jaime Schultz – 1-8-2019 trade with Rays for Caleb Sampen (MiLB pitcher).
    Russell Martin – 1-11-2019 trade with Toronto for Ronny Brito (MiLB infielder) and Andrew Sopko (MiLB pitcher). Originally drafted by Dodgers in 17th round of 2002 amateur draft as 3B under Dan Evans regime. Converted to catcher after 2002 season.
    AJ Pollock – Signed FA contract 1-26-2019. Guaranteed 5 years $60MM.

    Re-Signed as FA under Andrew Friedman:

    Kenley Jansen – 5 year $80MM with opt out after 3 years (2019).
    Justin Turner – 4 year $64MM.
    Rich Hill – 3 year $48MM.

    Others remaining in Dodgers organization from Ned Colletti era:

    Victor Gonzalez (P) – Non-Drafted International FA (2012) – Tulsa.
    Gersel Pitre (C/1B/3B) – Non-Drafted International FA (12-2013) – Great Lakes.
    Jared Walker (3B/2B/1B) – 5th round 2014 amateur draft – Tulsa.
    Joe Broussard (P) – 15th round 2014 amateur draft – OKC.
    Leo Crawford (P) – Non-Drafted International FA (07-2014) – Rancho Cucamonga.

    1. Bluto
      Which group do you think is better? Friedman doesn’t get credit for resigning Turner and Jansen. They were already Dodgers.

      1. Of course he get credit. That’s a silly way to start a discussion. Who cares if they were already Dodgers, so were Dozier, Morrow and Grandal. They signed elsewhere.

        It’s also silly to try to evaluate the players now. Most of Colletti/Logan White’s players are now developed. Most of Friedman’s are still in pre-arb or arb years. That said, the recent drafts and international signings do show great promise. But promise isn’t performance.

        I think the Front Office has done a great job taking a team that was good and making it better while also improving the farm system for sustained success.

        It would have been easy to come in, trade all the inherited players and rebuild (ala the Astros/Cubs.) Badger used to make the point that he wished the team had gone that route. I can see that argument. It worked for Chicago and Houston.

        Then again, the fact that Friedman was able to make it worth with the previous regime’s players and his own is admirable in its own way.

        What do you think?

        1. Bluto
          How come everything I say is silly and everything you say is insightful? If Friedman had gotten rid of the previous regimes players he would be gone right now. Even he is not that stupid. Many of Friedman’s players are already gone and millions of dollars too. He gets far to much credit for what he has done. Friedman has not won a WS and until he does he is no better than what we had before he came, probably a lot worse. That is what I think.

          1. Not everything you say is silly, just ignoring those three re-signings.

            I don’t think I’ve ever said I’m insightful, but I’m happy you think so.

            I think it’s interesting you think Friedman gets too much credit, while I think he gets far too little on this board.

            The list I posted (but didn’t create) is just a look at the forty man.

            I’m not sure if Friedman went into a tank and rebuild then he would be gone. But I am presuming he would have sign off to do so from ownership.

            I appreciate your POV, even if I don’t understand or share it.

  5. Bluto. If you posted a video or two, you would have more content in the comments than there are in this article.

    Just like ML umpires, no one is coming here to see you call the game…

    1. Mexivin, one way or the other, this BP implosion that cost us yet another game we could or should have at least a better chance at winning has gone on numerous times this year and Roberts keeps doing the same things as far as usage of this BP expecting different results and we can truly see those different results just are not and perhaps will not happen with this current bunch.

  6. Today’s Dodgers lineup:
    2010 11th RD pick.
    Minor league FA.
    Minor league deal w/ ST invite.
    2013 4th RD pick.
    2012 1st RD pick.
    2015 12th RD pick.
    2014 2nd RD pick.
    2016 1st RD pick.
    2015 1st RD pick.

  7. Wow, playing LeapBlog with certain posters is so refreshing. Jumping over bullshit is a very nice practice.

    Smith had an awesome opening act. Can he keep it up? If he does, does one of the other two pack their bags. Could one of the other two be trade bait for some bullpen help?

  8. Another dismal performance, all around for the Dodgers’ pitching staff, in Wednesday night’s game vs. the Mets.

    Buehler spanked early with 5 runs, which included two, 2-run dingers, and he was just able to give 5 innings, causing an early exit, and early call to the taxed bullpen. Bullpen implodes again, and could not stop the bleeding.

    The offense could barely keep their heads above water, as they were continually pounded by a steady wave of Mets runs, courtesy of the bewildered Dodger pitching staff.

    Dodgers’ potent offense catches their breath, and comes through in the end. Unbelievable 4-run ninth inning, walk-off win.

    Something has to be done with this pitching staff. Only 1/3rd of the season in, and the bullpen is totally out of gas. Four of the five Dodger starters have to tighten their jock straps, stop serving up the HR ball, and go deeper into the ballgame…. Give the bullpen a break. They cannot pitch Ryu every night.

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