Not So Grand: Bullpen Fails Spectacularly, Dodgers Lose To Snakes

Kenta Maeda bows

We’re at the point where we expect the Dodgers to win every night. They pretty much do. They’re on a historically incredible pace and we’re seeing all kinds of articles popping up all over the internet detailing how great they are. Comparisons are being made of this year’s Dodgers to some of the best teams in history like the 1927 Yankees, and the 1906 Cubs. Keep in mind we’re playing with house money here. Speaking of money you can certainly profit by betting on betting on the Dodgers this season. Experienced betters can tell you this is the best time to do so.

It’s gotten to the point where you can almost go to the bathroom or make a sandwich and be secure in the knowledge that when you come back to the broadcast that the Dodgers will be winning if they aren’t already. When I say house money, I mean that the Dodgers are going to win the NL West.

They have a huge lead. It’s at 15 games now over Arizona, and 16 over Colorado. They’re going to have home field advantage throughout the postseason. They already have a 9 game lead over the Astros for best record. So the rest of the games this season are going to be merely about seeing if the Dodgers can break the all-time wins record and keeping everyone healthy for the postseason. Because we know that the real games begin in October, and we’re basically just waiting around for that.

Dodgers  3 9 1

Dbacks    6 8 0

WP-Hernandez-2-0

LP-Watson-5-4

SV-Rodney-26

HR-Turner-14-15-Iannetta-9-Lamb-24-25-GS

In the meantime the Dodgers continue to steam roll over their competition. The dbacks are a very good team this year, and it’s important to remember that the Dodgers aren’t going to win every night. They’re probably not going to win 116 games this year. It’s extremely hard to do even for a great club like the Dodgers. With that being said, when a starting pitcher can’t go past the fifth inning in 95% of his starts, it puts his team at a huge disadvantage. And here we have Kenta Maeda.

I won’t put the Dodger’s pathetic 6-3 loss all on Maeda. Especially when Tony Watson and the bullpen gave up the go-ahead grand slam home run to Jake Lamb that virtually ended the game in the seventh inning. However if Maeda pitches into the seventh inning then we don’t see Tony Watson, or Pedro Baez, and Dave Roberts doesn’t have to use like five middle relievers just to get through the game.

Maeda still was able to shake off the ghosts of past trouble in Arizona too turn in a fine pitching performance albeit a short one. He was able to wriggle out of a first inning jam (first and second with none out) to retire the dbacks without allowing a run. Not allowing any runs in that first frame was super important in a close game such as this.

Turner’s two dingers

In that inning David Peralta led off the game by doubling over Joc Pederson’s head. Joc got a bad read on the ball and was playing way too shallow. A.J. Pollack walked and then after Jake Lamb’s line out to right, Maeda got Paul Goldschmidt to foul out to Bellinger. Maeda then whiffs J.D. Martinez for the third out and pumps his first as he walked off the mound.

The Dodger bats got two big swings from Justin Turner to take a 2-0 lead early in the game. Turner homered in the fourth and fifth innings and the Dodgers also got an RBI single from Logan Forsythe (after Cody Bellinger had doubled) later in the fourth inning.

Over the next three frames Maeda allowed just one base runner and didn’t run into problems again until the fifth inning, also known as the devil’s inning for Maeda. Chris Iannetta hit a booming home run to cut into the Dodger lead. Ketel Marte reached on a single and advanced on Maeda’s errant pick-off throw. But Maeda muscled up and struck out Godley, before retiring Peralta on a grounder and getting Pollack to line out.

Maeda pitching line: 5 IP 1 ER 4 H 1BB 6K 92 pitches

You can’t expect the bullpen to toss another five scoreless frames again and that’s what they were tasked with after Maeda was unable to go deep into the game. And of course Pedro Baez who was brought into the game in the sixth inning (way too early to see him IMO) gave up a lead-off home run to Lamb, that cut the Dodger lead to 3-2. The score would have been tied had Yasiel Puig not made this amazing catch on J.D. Martinez’s deep drive to right. Even the Arizona mascot was a fan of this catch.

The lead would not last long. In the bottom of the seventh, Brandon Morrow gave up a single to Iannetta. After a wild pitch he struck out Marte. Then Roberts removes him for some dumb reason (match-ups! Joy!) and brings in left hander Tony Watson.

He starts by hitting pinch-hitter Adam Rosales with a pitch in the foot. That may have been fortunate as the ball would have gotten past Grandal and the runners likely advance. Then Peralta grounds out on a slow roller towards first. Bellinger makes a nice hand feed to Watson who toe taps the bag for the out. The snakes challenged the play but lost the review.

The Dodgers chose to intentionally walk Pollack to load the bases for Lamb. Which looking back now seems to be quite the bonehead move. That’s because Lamb hit his second home run of the game, a grand slam that doinked off the foul pole. That put the Dbacks up 6-3 and that was all she wrote.

This time the Dodgers did not have another miraculous comeback in them as the Arizona bullpen allowed just three base runners over the last three frames. Godley turned in 6.2 innings and David Hernandez, Archie Bradley, and finally closer Fernando Rodney held the Dodgers to one hit in the final three innings.

Speaking of killing the Dodgers single-handedly, Jake Lamb had one hell of a night. The young slugger hit two home runs including a grand slam and drove in five of Arizona’s six runs on the night.

The Dodger’s lead in the NL West now falls to just 15 games as the dbacks celebrate their August World Series win. The Dodgers fall to a terrible 79-33 and are now on pace for only 114 wins. The series continues tomorrow night. The pitching match-up of Alex Wood versus Zack Greinke is quite a doozy. My word. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 PM PST.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Former Co-editor of Lasorda’s Lair. Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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47 thoughts on “Not So Grand: Bullpen Fails Spectacularly, Dodgers Lose To Snakes

  1. August World Series win – that was a good one. It’s all an intellectual exercise these days, maybe that’s why they call it “academic”.

    Wood goes tomorrow. I will be watching whether Wood’s velocity is bsck where it was. Won’t even be paying the scantiest attention to that other guy he’s facing.

      1. Yes. I did read that. I think it was on dodgerblue and Wood made an adjustment in his hips. That was why I’m interested to see how his velocity will hold up.

  2. August World Series win? The dbacks are fighting for a playoff spot, and with it a likely shot at playing the Dodgers in a 5 game series. These games are meaningful to them. I wouldn’t take a team like this for granted. Teams that are scrapping to the end are building momentum. It’s been so easy for us it could be possible to get lazy over the next 50 games. Wake up calls like this are good for us.

  3. Of course I am not surprised about our bullpen giving up three HRs, in last night’s game.

    I have been concerned for the last week and a half, or last couple weeks, about the bullpen coming into games and giving up HRs, and in some cases putting a hitter on with a walk, before giving up a HR.

    It is hard to see Maeda go out there and pitch really tough in five innings, and then see a guy come out of the bullpen, and can’t pitch even one clean inning.

    I don’t know if the pitchers are making mistakes or we need to start pitching hitters differently, but it is probably both!

    I don’t know where you get the total team stats.

    I know the stats for the individual players on the team, but where do I get the total team stats, like for the bullpen, and other things.

    I would love to see how many HRs this bullpen has given up in about the last two weeks.

    I believe they have given up at least 8 HRs, if you count the second HR Baez gave up last night, that Puig made a great catch to stop.

    I don’t really know if we truly have a good set up pitcher in our bullpen, that I would trust in the post season, like I trust Kenely.

    1. MJ, go on yahoo search, type in NL team pitching stats in the search box. It will give you a few sites to check on, but go to the 2107 NL pitching stats on ESPN.com..they have expanded stats on that site. Should give you all the stats you need…..by the way, the Dodgers team WHIP is 1.16

  4. One handed swing, off the front foot by a player who stinks against lefties.

    Oh well, dems the breaks.

    Forsythe seems to be settling into a good groove. Hopefully Pederson is next.

    1. Bullpen blows a game, they lose for only the 4th time in a month, and everyone has a panic attack. But I do agree with Badger that the D-Backs would be very dangerous in a 5 game series.

      1. Michael

        That is at least the seventh HR that that one of our high leverage relivers, have given up in ten days, or two weeks.

        And that is a lot of HRs that has been given up, in only ten days.

        Baez alone, has given up three HRs, in his last two appearances!

        And Baez gave up another HR last night, after just giving up a HR to one of the previous hitters, he had just faced!

        1. I only worry about BP homers if they affect the game. Last night they obviously did. But if a guy gives up a solo shot and we have a 4 run lead in the 9th, I do not sweat it too much. But HR’s that tie the game, or that are given up right after you increase the lead, those are the ones that hurt. Baez gave up 11 last year, one less than Kershaw. That’s way too many. He has given up 6 so far this year.

      2. For many of those guys a series win in the playoffs would make their careers. And you know that both Colorado and Arizona love beating LA. I’m not predicting that, just sayin whoever it is that wins the Wild Card will be lathered up for the playoffs.

        Our pen is not being used as heavily as it was last year. Our starters IP is up from near the bottom to 15th. Huge improvement. For me a pleasantly surprising one. If we can keep that going for 50 games, maybe we will be ok in October. Thank MLB for the 10 day jacuzzi list. I wonder if that will be revisited this winter. Some organizations are a tad upset that it is helping an already stacked club.

      3. Michael

        This bullpen was just lucky that our guys have been able to come back, after they had given up all of these HRs, in the last ten days.

        The fact that we have only lost four games this month, isn’t because our bullpen, have been nails, it is more because our bats, have dug the bullpen out, in the last two weeks.

        And in the post season, our relivers don’t get a month to straighten themselves up!

        The bullpen plays an even more important role, in a short series, in the post season.

        And Baez has never been good in the post season, and he has pitched in the last three or four post seasons!

        1. Which is why MJ, despite all the FAZ lovers saying that Hill and his ilk are doing a great job going 5 or 6 innings, I prefer starters who can at least go 7. You only have to get 6 outs you increase your chances of winning the game. Depending on the bullpen to go 4 innings a night 3 of every 5 games is dumb. Sooner or later those guys are going to be gassed. Personally, I would have had a long man start the 6th. Both Stewart and Stripling were available for that. Then Baez might only have to face 1 hitter. They have been lucky lately in that Maeda and Ryu went 7 their last 2 starts and they got 7 out of Darvish. Hill gave them 5 and everyone said what a great game, he gives up 3 homers and we win. He got his ass saved by the bullpen who pitched 3 scoreless that day. And the offense went off. I also think that walking Pollock was not a good idea. Never have liked that load the bases, left on left is better even though Lamb has been terrible against Lefty’s, he already had 4 homers against them before the slam last night. He can always walk into one, just like he did last night. A lot of pitchers are not good in the post season. But still a pitchers performance can vary year to year. We will not know whether Pedro improves on prior performances until he pitches in one again. The playoffs are a crap shoot. Team gets hot and they beat better teams.

          1. Michael

            I feel it is better for a starter to go seven innings, too.

            But I thought Maeda pitched very well, and hard, in the five innings he pitched last night.

            And because Maeda has been going farther into games lately.

          2. Yeah, Micheal, but those six outs would be against a lineup that has already had a chance to see the starting pitcher twice. A batter will learn how to time that pitcher, will get slightly better at recognizing the pitches or guessing the pitching sequence. Statistically, the starter is at a disadvantage because of this, but a team could reverse this by putting in a fresh arm with a different throwing motion and a different look.

            Obviously this isn’t an advantage if the starter is Kershaw and the reliever is Hatcher, but you get the idea.

            I think you need to stop worrying about five innings versus six innings. Pining for Matt Moore over Rich Hill because Moore pitches an extra inning is just silly talk. Roberts knows what he’s doing and the results don’t lie.

          3. Patch, I never said I preferred Moore over Hill. I just do not think Hill is all that. All that said, any starter should be able to at least go 6. Godley’s BA against actually goes down the 3rd time through, so there are exceptions to the rule, CK being one. I believe that some times they try to be too fine. One thing Orel hammers on, and I believe also is to constantly attack. Especially when there are men on base. Don’t hang one if at all possible, which is exactly what Watson did twice with Lamb, the second time he crushed it. if the starter went 7 Patch, those 6 outs would be against pitchers they have NOT seen.

        2. I have always had the feeling that Baez is scared out there. Yeah, I would be, too. But some players handle pressure better than others and I’ve always felt Baez was one of the weakest. He might have the physical ability but not the moral fiber. Some others we have might have the moral fiber but lack enough physical ability. Closers certainly have it. Ramos cleared waivers, why don’t FAZ try to get him?

          1. Jonah

            Your not the only one that feels that way, and that is for sure.

            What is bad, is that Baez has given up three HRs, in his last two appearances, and what was he thinking last night, after he gave up the first HR.

      4. Agree, although I’d expand that Michael.

        The Cubs, the Nats and even the Rockies could be dangerous in a 5 game series.

        1. Yeah, but the way it stacks now, the Dodgers play the wild card winner. The first series is the only one that is 5 games, so the Rockies or D Backs is who we would play. I think they stack up better against the Rocks because their starters are not all that.

    2. Bluto

      In that last series we played the Dbacks a month ago, the broadcasters said the same thing about Lamb, and he hit one of our lefties hard, so maybe they need to have more current scouting reports, because Lamb hit one out, against another one of our lefties, last night!

      And the two relievers that we just got, were having problems giving up HRs, before they were traded here, and that was at least the second HR from one of our two new, lefties.

      1. I don’t think that Grand Slam was hit very hard, from both an exit angle or exit velocity standpoint. Just snuck out to a short part of the fence.

        The relievers are going to be fine. If the Dodgers know anything it’s how to build a bullpen.

        1. For the lean over excuse me swing he put on that pitch I’d say he barreled it up pretty good. Lamb is a big strong kid. He plays every day, and though his splits don’t show a lot of success against LHP, hes getting a chance to see them and improve. He’s a fun guy to watch. A ton of potential.

          1. Badger

            Lamb has sure done a good job, in the last two series, against our lefties.

            And especially right after our broadcasters, talk about how vulnerable Lamb is to lefties.

  5. Not sure why Watson and Cingrani. . Watson’s WHIP in Pittsburgh was over 1.5. He was good a few years ago, but not so much now. And, being from the same league everyone has seen him. Nearly the same thing could be same said about Cingrani. He’s not even that impressive against LH hitters. BR says left handers have a 1.102,OPS against him. Damn. That sucks. Where’s our Andrew Miller?

    1. Badger

      It seems like most hitters, don’t do as well, against pitchers they have never faced.

      And the Nats got two closers, from two American League teams, as well as another relief pitcher, from the American League too, so I am afraid the Nats bullpen, might give us trouble, because of this.

      And like you said, the two relief pitchers that we got, are going to be very familiar to the Cubs and the Nats, because they have seen these two pitchers a lot!

      Also before these two new relief pitchers were traded to the Dodgers, they were having troubles, giving up HRs!

      Our front office loves swing and miss pitchers, but it seems like pitchers like that, tend to give up more HRs, but I don’t know is that is really true, but it sure seems like that.

      When the Nats went out of got the Twin’s closer, at the end of the trade deadline, I thought that was a smart move, and that closer didn’t cost that much.

      I believe every pitcher the Nats added to their pen, were from the American League.

      And I thought the Nats were smart to do that!

      And they also went out earlier then most of the teams, to get new relivers for their pen too.

      Our front office always seems to wait until the last minute, but I think they do that, because they think they will get an even better deal.

      But sometimes I think it is smart to go out early and get what your team needs, because that is sometimes better, to get a pitcher, that is a better quality pitcher.

      I know they want to give Honeycutt a chance to fix these guys, but it was not only our two new relivers, that gave up HRs, in the last ten games.

      On those stat lists I always see all the individual stats of our players, but I never see a way, to get to the team as a whole, stats, and that is my problem in getting there.

    2. I’m hopeful for the new relievers. Maybe Lamb got lucky – I think he’s just a good hitter and had enough barrel control to get his barrel on a pitch where he was so far out in front. Watson made a good pitch and being a closer in Pittsburgh hurt him because he’s not a strikeout pitcher.

      I’m kind of in a spring training mindset these days – I’m looking more at what our guys than caring about the score, at least until the race for home field tightens up – which it will.

  6. Well players weekend is coming up. A new MLB promotion and a way to make HUGE dollars because there are special jerseys and caps. The jerseys feature the players nick names on the back. For example, Gonzo is El Titan. Bellinger is Cody love. Utley is of course the Silver Fox, and here’s one that explains a lot…….Joc is nicknamed…….Dizzy. Turner is Redturn2 ..Forsythe, and I do not get this at all is Logie Bear??? Taylor is CT3…..Jansen is Ma-Montro …Ethier is Daddy….Puig is of course the Wild Horse…Wood is Woodman……Baez is La Mula…if that means HR giver it fits…..Stripling’s is cool. He is called Chicken Strip. They call Barnes Sam……figure that one out…Those were some of the interesting ones. Of course Judge’s Yankee jersey says All Rise.

    1. I like when they call Kenley, California Love.

      Corey doesn’t have a nick name.

      But I think we should call him, the hitting Machine, but shorten that up and just call Corey, “The Machine”

      1. Slammin Seager the hit machine! Or how about Corey Crush? Mine would probably say Asshole 1 on the back!

  7. Van Slyke was acquired alongside catching prospect Hendrik Clementina minutes before the non-waiver trade deadline in the trade that sent Tony Cingrani to the Dodgers. While some may wonder why the Reds didn’t simply acquire Farrell in place of Van Slyke in that trade, it’s likely due to the fact that the Reds took on the remainder of Van Slyke’s salary, thus offsetting some of the financial cost of Cingrani for Los Angeles. (In other words, they paid us to take him…)

    The 31-year-old Van Slyke is earning $1.325MM and has appeared in just 29 games this season (all with the Dodgers), hitting .122/.250/.293 in 48 plate appearances. Van Slyke, of course, has had his share of success in the Majors but hasn’t been especially productive since 2014. He’s also carrying a disappointing .714 OPS in Triple-A this season.

    1. SVS has not been the same player since he was injured a couple of years ago. Then little injuries bugged him the last 2 years. But when he was on, he hit lefty’s like they were his cousins.

  8. They moved Ramos up to AAA where he is hitting .348 in 6 games with 2 homers and 3 RBI’s. Segedin is hitting .340 in 13 games with 2 homers and 6 RBI’s. Font has 9 wins. Verdugo slumping a little, down to .312.

  9. More old friend news:

    Jose De Leon is done after just two innings tonight for the Rays minor league affiliate, the Stone CrBs. He did NOT look healthy. Reporters didn’t notice any pitch above 84 MPH.

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