Pitching Stinks Again in Dodger’s Latest Loss To Cardinals

We were all lulled into a false sense when the Dodgers scored about 100 runs against the Rockies, Giants and Dbacks on the last home stand. That’s because the Rockies, Giants and Dbacks all suck. They really suck, and once the Dodger bats faced a real competitive pitching staff like the Cardinals, they’re regressing right back into old habits of bad plate approaches and not making contact.

But you can’t really blame the offense for the Dodger’s latest pathetic loss to the Cardinals on Wednesday. As I have mentioned before they can’t score 10 runs every night. The pitching staff has to do their part. That’s the problem, the pitching has been mostly dreadful since opening day. Don’t believe me? The proof is in the results. The Dodgers have not allowed less than four runs in a game this season. Entering into Wednesday’s 7-2 loss to the Cardinals the Dodger pitching staff ranked 18 in the majors with a 4.34 ERA. They’ve allowed 53 earned runs (now 60 after today’s loss) and 20 home runs. That’s bad folks.

Kenta Maeda was the latest loser allowing five earned runs on seven hits over 5.1 innings. The Cards had a 2-0 lead entering the sixth inning when the Dodgers coughed up three runs in the sixth frame and two more in the eighth. That sixth inning was the nail in the coffin. A Marcell Ozuna double, stolen base and an RBI ground out from Yadier Molina plated the first run. In the fourth back to back singles from Paul DeJong and Ozuna and a line drive single to right from Dexter Fowler put the Cards up 2-0. It could have been worse had Alex Verdugo’s throw to first not been on the money. Cody Bellinger applied a great tag on Ozuna to erase a runner on the bases.

Dodgers   2 5 0

Cardinals 7 10 0

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LP-Maeda-2-1

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Joc Pederson snapped out of his slump with a towering drive into the Cardinal’s bullpen in right field for a solo home run in the top of the sixth that got the Dodgers on the board. However opposing starter Jack Flaherty allowed just one earned run on three hits over six innings to pick up the win. Flaherty struck out eight without issuing a walk. The Dodgers had just five hits and didn’t have a single runner in scoring position.

With the score 2-1 Cards, the lousy Dodger pitching broke the game open for the Cardinals. DeJong’s RBI triple scored Paul Goldschmidt to put the Cards ahead 3-1 in the sixth. After Ozuna struck out Molina homered to extend the St. Louis lead to 5-1. Scott Alexander came in and struck out Fowler and retired Kolten Wong to end the inning. But we all knew it was over.

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Max Muncy homered in the top of the seventh, a wall scraper that cut the score to 5-2. That was all the Dodgers would muster as they struck out 11 times this afternoon. Later in the game J.T. Chargois (who is only on the roster because Hyun-jin Ryu is hurt) served up a two-run home run to Ozuna in the eighth. The Dodgers fall to 8-5 on the season and have now lost three consecutive games. Right now they don’t have the pitching to win. The series and road trip conclude on Thursday morning. It’s an early start time as the Dodgers try to avoid getting swept. They won’t. Walker Buehler will battle Michael Wacha in the series finale. Yup, the pitching stinks people. Here’s a home run from Joc…..

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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9 thoughts on “Pitching Stinks Again in Dodger’s Latest Loss To Cardinals

  1. On March 2, I posted this on another Dodgers’ blog:
    “1 – The Dodgers eliminated some of the OF logjam but at what cost? Are Pollock and Verdugo really better than Kemp and Puig? Verdugo hasn’t shown much in his cup of coffee at the Big League level and nothing this Spring. Pollock has had 1 healthy season in 6. Kemp was the Dodgers’ best clutch hitter last year and Puig maybe their best OF. Bellinger in RF means Muncy at 1B and he has to show he wasn’t a flash in the pan. This isn’t a sure thing.
    2 – Grandal, for all his flaws and apparent inability to catch the ball was a top 5 catcher last year. The Dodgers have 2 guys who hit under .200 last year and neither Barnes nor Martin threw out even 25% of base stealers last year. This is not a sure thing.
    3 – The Dodgers are still what they were last year – a team of big swingers who will K and try to HR in high rates. This hasn’t changed this Spring – Dodger hitters look anemic so far.
    4 – Dodger starting pitching will be the strength of the team. They are injury prone but deep and good. But it’s the same group as before except Urias replaces Wood.
    5 – The Dodgers’ effort to improve their bullpen basically was to sign Wild Man Joe Kelly, a guy who has walked over 4/9 IP for his career and almost every season, including last year. They hope that El Gasolino is the guy who pitched after August 1 and not the El Gasolino who pitched from the beginning of 2017 until July 2018. The rest of the ‘pen is the same group that was one of the least clutch in MLB last year.
    6 – The NL West shouldn’t be a challenge this year, but it shouldn’t have been a challenge last year either – but the so-so Rox forced the Dodgers into a tie (both teams won 91 games a year after the Dodgers won 104 in 2017). Even if they win the Division easily, thet Nats, Mets, Phils, Cards and Brewers will be better this year and the Cubs are still out there too.
    7 – The best Dodger teams in franchise history were the 1952-53 squads and they couldn’t get to the Series 3 years in a row – either could the ’55-56 team get there again in ’57. The odds of getting there 3 years in a row are small. They have a shot – but their best opportunity was in 2017, and such a chance may never come again.
    8 – Some general thoughts –
    a – Taylor still seems to strike out 2 times/game.
    b – After they named Kike starter at 2B, he stopped hitting.
    c – Dodgers relievers haven’t looked too good so far this Spring.
    d – Only Dodger hitter that I have faith in right now is Turner, but he doesn’t get to hit 30 times/game
    e – I wonder how many innings the Dodger bullpen will have to pitch this year?
    f – Will there be more World Series shock this year? I have read articles about how Dodger players admit that it was an issue last season.
    g – How many games will Roberts cost the team with dumb moves this year?”

    For this I was excoriated. Anyone who even asks a question is put down — the Dodgers are going to win the Series and contrary views are not permitted,

    After 13 games, I want to comment and know that my comments are not welcome elsewhere. Here goes:
    1 – I share Scott’s concerns about the pitching. I believe that the starters will be OK in the long run after 3 of the top starters return from the IL. The bullpen does nothing to give anyone confidence. Kelly is what he has always been – too inconsistent to count on. Stewart and Garcia aren’t ready or aren’t good. Baez – I don’t trust him – do you?n Outside of Jansen and maybe Ferguson, the ‘pen just isn’t reliable yet.
    2 – Too many HR, too many Ks, and in the past 3 games, no hitting with RISP. It’s mostly the same bunch – the new coaches were supposed to save the offense.
    3 – They can’t play the bad teams in the NL West all of the time. The Cards were struggling before the Dodgers rolled into town and the last 2 games haven’t really been close.
    4 – I am impressed with Cody of course. Joc was doing great until they sat him for 5 games in a row. Max is heating up a bit. Kike has been good. Verdugo looks good in limited AB, and the catchers have been better than I expected.
    5 – Taylor should not be playing. Period. Seager doesn’t look ready yet and Turner’s hot start this Spring has not carried into the season. AJ has been a bit of a disappointment.
    6 – The offense wasn’t going to score 8.4 R/G like they did the 1st 10 games. The pitching hasn’t picked the team up. In the early going, I’m not sure that this team is much different than the 2018 Dodgers.

  2. Hi DodgerRick!!

    Welcome back and your thoughtful takes have been missed. Hope you post more here.

    As for your long post. Well not many of us here drink the Friedman kool aid but we are fair. Some of us ate some premature crow during the home stand. I guess the main takeaway is that Giants, DBacks and the Rockies suck bad!

    Appreciate your long post. I don’t think Kershaw or Hill will help all that much. Not this month at least. They’ll be slow played too.

    My thought for the last few years was that this team needs three middle relievers who can go 2 innings every third day. I don’t think a 6 man rotation will allow the starters to go longer. We just don’t have any innings eaters.

  3. Hey Rick. Long time.

    I’ll just respond to your post in general, rather than point by point.

    I don’t see the Dodgers starters as so much a strength this year. Strength to me means length and durability. If these guys go 5 and give up only 2 it’s a great night. None of them will give the team 30 starts. Kershaw, Hill and Ryu look very fragile to me. That said, I believe if the bullpen performs, we win the West.

    This is still a team that strikes out too often. With the all or nothing approach I don’t expect improvement in hitting WRISP. Even so, we led the league in scoring last year at 4.9 per game. It could happen again.

    Pollock is what he is. A good outfielder past his prime. However I don’t think our outfield is going to be a problem.

    Kelly’s numbers are there for everyone to see. He has elite stuff, but he is not an elite pitcher. From what I’ve seen so far it’s about his command. He just doesn’t hit his spots.

    I agree that we blew it in ‘17. This year? I think we win the West again. World Series? Yeah, maybe. If we don’t make it I think it will be because of pitching and lack of contact. We’ve played one good team so far this year, lost 3 in a row against them, and in those 3 games we’ve struck out 24 times and managed only 17 hits. Is this how we play the better teams on the road?

    Taylor looks about done to me. Not sure what happened, but it did happen.

    To your last point, I agree. This team, over 162, probably isn’t better than last year’s team. And these early injuries to key players could be a bad omen. But I still see 90+ wins and another West title. The better teams in the league are not in the West.

  4. DodgerRick-

    You definitely will not (or should not) be excoriated here. Most on this site do not watch the Dodger games wearing their Dodger blue glasses while drinking Friedman’s special blended Dodger Kool-Aid.

    I also expect the Dodgers to win the NL West. If it is close again or comes down to a tie breaker game than the blame should go directly to Friedman and/or Roberts.

    Friedman has been fortunate that since his arrival the Giants have been down (of course that comes after 3 WS titles) and he inherited a very strong nucleus with top level prospects in the system. The Dodgers were going to be good no matter who landed the GM/President job.

    The difference between Friedman and most any other GM is that when the opportunity has presented itself to ‘go for it’ he has chosen not to.

  5. Can’t win if you don’t score.

    Great Gammons piece on Kike Hernandez @TheAthletic.

    Lots of props to Utley for his impact. A bit on Friedman’s love for versatility.

  6. Well the pitching did not improve over night. Buehler homered, but left after 4 innings and giving up 5 runs. Was ahead, but Baez erased that quickly giving up 4. So far Garcia has not looked sharp. Offense woke up some scoring 7 through 4. But since the lead was surrendered it looks like they have too….Lots of time, they are coming home, but there are definitely some issues here.

  7. Well, Dodgers get swept under the rug. What an ugly series.

    I think it was a big mistake putting Rocky Gale in. Dodgers could not afford to experiment with Gale… they needed a win badly. Buehler shaky from the get-go. i think he was not comfortable with Gale’s game calling… bad pitch selection, bad location, and Rocky could not control the pace of the game. Yes, Buehler struggled, but I believe they pulled him too soon. He had just 85 pitches, and had just had a 1-2-3 inning in the 4th. Gale’s troubles continued with Pedro Baez and Garcia. Gale finished off with a poor throw to Third, allowing a run. Also needed some offense. Gale 0-4 with 3 K’s. It is unbelievable that these Dodger starting pitchers cannot pitch seven solid innings. This bullpen is taxed to the max, no thanks to poor starting pitching, and premature departures.

    Now, Seager gets HBP, and has to leave the game. Dodgers lead the league in players HBP. Muncy making his defensive trip around the horn. Commits an error at 2B… expected when he is playing another unfamiliar position.

    Dodgers better snap out of their funk…. Brewers are waiting in LA, and hungry after getting embarrassed by the Angels.

  8. Taylor will be back. Probably off his roid cycle.
    He knows all he has to do is a have a one hot month.
    That’s million of dollars right there.

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