Ross Stripling’s Magical Night Ruined By “Bullpen”

Ross Stripling

Notice how I used the term bullpen in parenthesis, because those collection of bums do not assemble a bullpen. The Dodgers suffered another painful loss at the hands of the Giants on Friday evening by a score of 3-2. The front office and Dave Roberts joined forces to not only steal history from rookie Ross Stripling who was pitching a no-hitter through 7.1 innings, but then handed the game to the Giants.

It was heartbreaking to watch. To make matters worse, Roberts was ejected in that awful eighth inning after running out to protect Hatcher who was arguing balls and strikes. Once again the Dodger’s moneyball created garbage bullpen stole defeat from the jaws of victory. Chris Hatcher allowed a two-run home run to Trevor Brown in the bottom of the eighth, and then Joe Blanton, Andrew Friedman’s “solution” to the bullpen problems promptly served up a walk-off home run to Brandon Crawford in the bottom of the tenth.

Dodgers 2 9 0

Giants    3 2 0

WP-Casilla-1-0

LP-Blanton-0-1

HR-Brown-1-Crawford-2

It was a dark and dreary night in San Francisco as the Dodgers gave the ball to rookie Ross Stripling. The 26-year old right hander dazzled and impressed into the eighth inning. He used a combination of super loopy curves, sliders, and 90+ heaters to keep the Giants off balance all night long.

By the time the fifth inning arrived, we knew there was something special happening. Stripling pitched 7.1 innings allowing one earned run on no hits, while striking out 4 and walking 4. He made 100 pitches, and was the only bright spot in this terrible game.

Stripling had plenty of help from the Dodger defense throughout the game. In the bottom of the second inning Yasiel Puig lays out to make a terrific diving catch on a Matt Duffy liner.

Joc Pederson gets into the act with a great diving catch of a Denard Span blooper in the fourth. Stripling says thank you very much!

The Dodgers scored their two runs in the top of the fifth against opposing starter Matt Cain. Joc Pederson’s double down the right field line got the inning off to the right start. One out later A.J. Ellis singles to center to drive home Joc and give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. After Stripling couldn’t get a bunt down, Chase Utley and Core Seager’s consecutive singles scored the second run to put the Dodgers head 2-0.

Stripling did have to battle out of a couple of jams. He issued back-to-back walks to Joe Panik, and Hunter Pence. He recovered to get Brandon Belt to fly out, and Matt Duffy to ground out. In the bottom of the seventh, a leadoff walk to Pence put the no-hitter in jeopardy before he got Belt to ground into a double play, and Duffy to ground out again.

Stripling took the no-hitter into the bottom of the eighth with a chance to make history, but his pitch count was rising. This is where things get frustrating for all of us. You guys know by now that I am not a fan of moneyball or sabermetrics, but things are starting to become clear.

Stripling got the first out of the frame when Brandon Crawford flied out to Puig. Then he walked Angel Pagan. His pitch count was at exactly 100. Dave Roberts walked out to the mound and immediately hooked him. As soon as Roberts hooked him I knew the game was blown. The Dodger’s bullpen is awful.

Roberts brought in Chris Hatcher and the game was immediately blown. Hatcher goes 3-0 to backup catcher Trevor Brown and then serves up a game-tying two-run home run. Let me remind you all that this is Trevor Brown. If it were Hunter Pence, or Buster Posey, or even Brandon Belt, that could be understood if not excused. This was Trevor Brown, the Giant’s backup catcher. He was working at in-N-out burger joint before he became a baseball player. TREVOR BROWN people! These are the pitchers Andrew Friedman acquires.

After that there wasn’t much point to watch the game anymore because I knew, like many Dodger fans did that the bullpen would just blow the game in extra innings, or in the ninth. Roberts came running out after the Brown homer to argue with the umpire when Hatcher took offense to his charitable strike zone. Roberts was ejected from the game.

Not like that mattered at all. The Dodgers miraculously got out of the inning, and somehow Pedro Baez pitched a perfect bottom of the ninth. Right hander Joe Blanton, Friedman’s “solution” to the bullpen problems immediately gave up a walk-off home run to Brandon Crawford in the bottom of the tenth. The Dodgers lose once again in agonizing fashion.

Before you start chastising Roberts let me remind you that Stripling’s pitch count limit was announced on the pregame show.

What a joke this team is sometimes. This could have been a magical night for the Dodgers and a real pick me up after Thursday’s debacle. Instead it’s just another embarrassing disaster. They robbed poor Ross Stripling of his chance at history. You could say it was the “right move” because of his Tommy John surgery in 2014. I can understand that you don’t want to blow out a youngster’s arm in the fifth game of the season. I just don’t believe that an extra 20 pitches on his arm was going to do that. Why not just ask Stripling how he felt? The kid is throwing a no-hitter in his MLB debut in your arch rival’s home park. The same arch rivals who demolished you the night before. You gotta let him finish the game. It’s his to lose. He had five outs left.

Especially considering that with a slim 2-0 lead the game is in danger as well. At the very least you can not lose the game. The bullpen is so bad that I would have rather left Stripling out there, even without a no-hitter going. This isn’t Robert’s fault. He’s only been on the job for a week. Andrew Friedman built a crappy bullpen with average pitchers. There were plenty of reliable relievers (Tony Sipp, Antonio Bastardo, etc etc) on the market available for purchase. Yes the Dodgers could afford to sign anyone of those guys, or all of them. They chose not to sign anyone decent. Everyone wanted to pitchfork Ned Colletti when he built a bad bullpen. Andrew Friedman should not get a get out of jail free card.

This is moneyball guys. Moneyball garbage. Acquiring reclamation projects, and below average pitchers on the cheap. The bullpen problem was never addressed. Expect many more losses like this one. What’s Hatcher have to say about this mess?

Are the Dodgers even going to win one of these games? Their only chance to not be completely disgraced lies with Clayton Kershaw. Saturday afternoon will see the first Clayton Kershaw vs. Madison Bumgarner match-up of 2016. It’s going to be quite a battle. Get ready to rumble!

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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48 thoughts on “Ross Stripling’s Magical Night Ruined By “Bullpen”

  1. I agree with almost everything that you said. A good case can be made for lifting Stripling. He hadn’t thrown that many pitches all year. He is coming off of TJ. It was raining and he had to sit for a long time in the top of the 8th when the Dodgers loaded the bases but didn’t score with RISP as usual.

    It’s just that the bullpen stinks. I get nervous every time that Hatcher comes in. He doesn’t know where the ball is going because he throws against a stiff front leg and his release point wanders.

    AND JOE BLANTON FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE.

    What you left out of the telling of tonight’s game is that the Giants scored 3 runs on 2 hits (both HRs) – the Dodgers scored 2 on 9 hits. No situational hitting except when they scored the 2. No moving the runner – lots of fly balls hit into the rain where they died. Just like last year.

    1. I asked for Joe Blanton last night because he was supposed to be the comeback player of the century who found his stuff. Wrong.

  2. If you had to pull him at 100, why let him start the inning at 91? Why not have two relievers warming up behind him? Tommy would’ve left him in and had his closer warming, because he knew a loss to the Giants hurt worse than a regular loss. A shame to waste a great effort by the rookie.

  3. Seems a lil over top Scott… Read as many articles as I could and everyone had Ross saying he was “Done”…
    I’m going to enjoy the moment for the kid and go get em today with Kersh… I wish nothing but the worst for Red Ass Bumgarner…
    P.S. Bringing up Tommy had substance!??!?

  4. I think it was the right call to pull Ross for all the reasons Dodgerrick states above. The bullpen just needs to do it job. If it can’t, bring in new talent (via trade or promoting one of potentially great arms in the minors).

    Regarding Roberts’ ejection, I think Roberts did the right thing. He showed the whole team he has their back. He will go to battle for them. I also wouldn’t be surprised if he pulls Hatcher aside to talk about the stupidity of arguing balls and strikes.

  5. I have no problem with taking Stripling out in the middle of a no-hitter. Dave Roberts is just learning this team, so hopefully he has learned THAT YOU CAN’T BRING CHRIS HATCHER IN DURING AN INNING – IT ALMOST NEVER ENDS WELL! HE HAS TO START AN INNING! WRITE THAT DOWN DAVE!

    I have to admit that when Roberts brought in Stripling, I went to bed because I knew it was over. I watched the replay this morning knowing what I thought would happen did. Frankly, I thought Stripling should have been removed after the 7th, but I don’t like to second-guess.

    I’ll tell you this: The Dodgers have too many options for Hatcher and Blanton to keep screwing up. Blanton was lights out for the Pirates, but now Honeycutt is his pitching coach. Let’s see how that plays out. Honey has been a great Dodger, but sometimes… OK, I’ll stop. It’s just a game – one that the Dodgers could have won with better hitting – 9 Hits but only 2 runs. That’s not acceptable!

    It really hurts to lose to the Giants, but I’m not ready to throw in the towel on Hatcher or Blanton. I’m also not certifying that they are what the Dodgers need. There are a lot of live arms in the system – if they can’t do it, we’ve got options.

    Kendrick and Grandal played last night in the minors. Grandal hit a bomb. Let’s not forget what he can add to the lineup. Next to Posey, he may be the best offensive catcher in the NL.

    On a side note: Chase Utley is running like he’s 27, not 37 and Justin Turner looks like a freaking gazelle. The shift also worked last night as well!

    If these patterns with Blanton and Hatcher keep up, it’s a problem!

    1. Mark Blanton really wasn’t that great for the Royals last year, that is why they traded him, to the Pirates. With two pitchers let go, by the Dodgers, that the Pirates quickly signed up, and was worked with, by the Pirates pitching coach, and helped immensely, makes Honeycutt, look like not much of a coach, if he is responsible for the bullpen! Mark thank you, for saying the truth! This is unacceptable, this has gone on, way to long, when it comes to the bullpen.

  6. … and before you say “The Dodgers could have gotten this reliever or that reliever,” remember that relievers are very fickle year-to-year. Past success is no guarantee of future success. Ask Joe Blanton.

    Quick jerking those knees! 😉

    1. I’d even like to see that. I mean, what relievers SHOULD the Dodgers have gotten if you’re not happy with the moves the FO has made? Chapman? come on. …I wish the team had him last night, but seriously. For all the people here who make it their pastime to complain about the FO, they need to put their FO caps on and tell us what they would do….who they would sign.

      If anything, the Dodgers should have offered big money to Ray Searage – the PItcher Whisperer.. It seems like whenever a reliever does well with some team, as soon as he pitches for the Dodgers he’s effing terrible. I don’t know what the hell Honeycutt’s doing, but it isn’t working.

      There might be some shakeups in the bullpen…..calling somebody up or exploring trade possibilities. This is two games lost because of the bullpen. Moneyball is all about finding those “market inefficiencies” It seems to me, that accumulating a collection of absolute stud relievers gives you a big ROI

  7. Can’t put this on Roberts, you just put this on FAZ not caring to add elite bullpen arms for over two seasons now when it’s been a clear problem. I knew Blanton would suck just like the rest of them. For those who thought this bullpen with magically reinvent itself, I feel really sorry for you. For those who attacked the realists after sweeping the lowly Padres, I feel sorry for you too. This is your choke job 2015 Dodgers, wait, I mean 2016…..same thing.

    1. You could make a lot of money if you are right. Submit your resume to some MLB GM’s – they would love to have your ability to see the future. Seriously, I’m talking seven figures…

  8. Negative Nellie here . . . that is what Mark calls me and others who get negative after a loss.

    Well, had enough of the F&Z magic. If I were on top of the Dodger org. and saw the last two games in SF — I am now about to can F&Z and the new guy from Canada — and go out and hire a real GM.

    Example of dumbness — 2b. Dodger roster had Utley for $7 million, Enrique Hernandez as a learning the position guy, and Micah Johnson with speed. But no, they had to go out and sign a guy no one wanted to sign — Howie Kendrick — for $10 million.

    Then they go out and try to fix the weak link in the bullpen — with old arms and arms that just cannot find home plate at times.

    Now — BLOW-UP #2 — April 8, to the Giants. Winning 2 zip in the 8th and giving up only 2 hits — both HRs.

    I believe Vin said during the game — Ross had 19 or 21 relative and friends at the game — I bet they are all really ticked off.

    And to Mark and you other cheer leaders of F&Z — this is just the beginning of stupid loses. Could see this going a Spring Training away. If I am a Giant fan, I am feeling really good right about now.

  9. Pulling Stripling was the right move, for a number of reasons. That was a great performance. I sure hope he can keep it up.

    We scored 2 early and then were shut down. They scored 3 late. Things like this are going to happen all year. Get used to it.

  10. Even though Hatcher coughed up a hairball it looked as though he didn’t get a few calls …some of those pitches were borderline. Going back to the discussion about pitch framing – would Hatcher escape that inning if Grandal was behind the dish?

    1. Jason I don’t think that Grandal would have made a difference. The umpire wasn’t that bad!

      This is on Hatcher! He had to be put on the DL last year, just to get his control down!

      And AJ hit in, one of those two runs, and is a great catcher, to have out there, for a young pitcher.

      Hatcher has no excuse, and he should have been blaming himself, not the umpire.

  11. Roger, I do not think Vin called that game. I am not ready to throw some of the pitchers out the window yet, but they should be on a short lease.

    The two signings I did not like this spring was Blanton and Kendrick. Kendrick because we had Utley. Blanton, I just never liked.

    I will say it one more time. Honeycutt should of been let go. We needed new blood. Last year I thought the bull pen had throwers and not pitchers. The same is true this year. I put that on Honeycutt.

    Right now I would move Coleman to the 8th inning and Garcia to the 7th.

    1. Isahoal you are right. My mistake on the announcer.

      This is a learning time for Roberts. But injuries are going to happened to every club off and on all season. Look at the Cubs, lost a young stud yesterday for the season.

    2. Idahoal Nacasio is just the lastest pitcher, that the Dodgers let go, that the Pirates quickly signed up, and like before, he is not only on the Pirates, he is in there rotation, and has already pitched well, for them.

      This is the second pitcher, the Dodgers released, that the Pirates signed, and the Pirates pitching coach, has pitching well. He always had good stuff, he didn’t know how to use it, apparently, but he is already pitching well, by the help he got from the Pirates pitching coach.

      The other pitcher, the Dodgers let go, was cheaper, then both Anderson, and MCCarthy, and he went to the Pirates, and was worked with, and he started and won a game in the world series, last year, but this front office, ran out, and signed both Anderson and MCCarthy.

      And they gave guaranteed money, to Blanton, this year, instead of just an invite to spring training. I get tired of hearing about Honeycutts pitcher’s, all having a great era, since he has been the coach. That cannot include the bullpen, that the Dodgers have had, in the last three years!

  12. I sense this will be a tale of two seasons. I’ve said it before and I believe it’s still true. The first half of this season will be a test of the signings made. I almost typed odd signings there. I’ve been clear on how i feel about many of them and why I don’t believe they will work. It’s still possible this team will be good in the first half, which brings us to the second season – when the injured return and the deadline moves, should any actually be made. So far, the moves have been mostly meh.

    Yes the bullpen looks iffy. But to me that group reflects the entire team – iffy. I still think we are good enough to compete until July 31st, but I don’t trust FAZ will know what to do or how to do it at the deadline. Their history with us is a precursor to future moves. We know how they think. I believe it will be done, or not done, by the veterans that are here now, and will be coming back later. I believe this roster will on and off the DL for the remainder of the year. Hoping the same thing happens to other teams is not how I choose to live out the year, but if it does happens to them my feelings won’t be hurt.

    It’s 5 games. They have gone pretty much as I thought they would. I remain hopeful, but also skeptical.

  13. Yeah, well….yes it was a rough loss. But damn, to me I think it clearly showed Dodgers are a better team than the Giants. We got to see more than a couple plays of the season all in a single game. All of which were made by the boys in blue. I think I’d like the bullpen contracts completely incentive driven because these guys have gotten too comfortable owning up to their mistake serves and that sort of thing breeds attitude from those on the team who give it their all. I have to think Hatcher and Blanton probably shared a cab not wanting to ride the shuttle last night But these guys are gonna win by one run more than they lose.

    Kershaw today. Bet he won’t hand the ball over without an argument!

  14. I do not disagree with any Dodger complaining about the strike zone. Because I am blocked out for NorCal games and I refuse to watch the Krukow/Kuiper show, I only had my phone. But when it got serious, I broke down and turned on the SF broadcast. After LA loaded the bases for Joc, and he got to 2-0, the third pitch was low, but was called a strike. Even Krukow called that a gift. That should have been 3-0 with bases full. In the bottom of 8 when Stripling threw the same pitch to Pagan it was called a ball.

    Mark is partially right when he says Hatcher should only start an inning. No Dodger reliever can come in and shutdown a rally. I noticed they tried that in ST and it never worked. While I fully and unconditionally support this team, and I need no one to feel sorry for me, I have maintained that I do not like the makeup of the bullpen. I was vocally against the Blanton signing but was willing to be proven wrong after what he did in Pittsburgh. But at the time I also said that Honeycutt is no Searage. But there were a lot of Honey supporters because of the great team ERA over the last several years. The ones responsible for the low ERA liked Honey because he left the pitchers alone. Kershaw has made that point countless times. But Searage is more hands on and can reinvent. Liriano, Volquez, Blanton, and now Nicasio. I will watch for a John Niese transformation as well.

    Of course nobody wanted Stripling to hurt that arm by overdoing it 1st time out. But if you are going to monitor pitch count, you better have the lockdown bullpen. LAD has anything but. Outside of Jansen, not one reliever can be counted on to be consistent. It is literally hope and pray. While I support the Braintrust (or however they are referred as), I am not an apologist for them. My dislike of this bullpen is not new. I was advocating an overhaul all winter. Baez “throwing” well last night is only a tease. Let him string together multiple successful relief appearances and then he can be considered an ML reliever.

    I have always valued a great bullpen. Larry Sherry was my 1st favorite Dodger, followed by Perranoski, and Jim Brewer. But I guess in today’s sabre metrics ERA, the bullpen is not valued as highly, and I do believe that FAZ falls in that category. That is why I have no delusions that Kenley will be a Dodger next year. I agree with Mark, if they continue to falter move them down and bring others up. They did not sign 2 journeyman RHRP as minor league depth, so bring them up. Chris Anderson throws hard but has an idea how to pitch, bring him up. Bring up Zach Lee and put Alex Wood in the pen. Give Liberatore a shot. Make changes so that the starters believe that the FO is trying to improve. Quit trying to do the same thing and expect different results.

    1. AC that is the problem with Hatcher. They have relief pitchers, to come in when there are problems, that is why they are called relief pitchers. Hatcher is not the definition of a relief pitcher, and the Dodgers have a few of these type of pitchers, in the bullpen. Even when Hatcher starts a clean inning, he doesn’t always pitch fine. He can’t pitch strikes when they are needed. He doesn’t have control of his pitches. And he shouldn’t be complaining to the umpire. This was all Hatcher’s fault. He should only be mad at himself. How does he give up a HR, to a first year player?

  15. Quasi, hear you . . . but better teams find out how to win a game even on 2 hits. The Dodgers are finding out how to lose games on giving up only 2 hits.

    Kershaw must have watched last night and said: I could not have pitcher any better and I would have gotten that lost. Come on GM, fix the pen.

    Oh how I want a real 8th inning guy out there. So now the Dodgers have to tinker with average pitchers and try and find or make one. That should have been accomplished in Spring Training.

  16. There were a bunch of blown saves last night, not just ours. I don’t care about the others. I can’t believe how hard it is to get 3 guys out. With a fresh arm. With the hitter not having seen you before during the game. That’s why 6-1-1-1 only works for champions. Or champions are champions because it works. It does not work for this team, and hasn’t in forever. That’s the biggest reason we have no ring in 28 years. I give the suits a B+ for trying, but they have failed again. The best bullpen we had was during that 42-8 streak a few years ago when Paco and someone whose name I can’t recall were lights out. Of course, they both blew out their arms in the process. The giants have replaced their bullpen arms from within the system. Usually with 95mph guys. And for some reason they don’t get hurt. Honeycutt? I still wonder about this guy. Kershaw is the only reason he is still around. Grienke got him another year, but not this year.

  17. Another point: Stripling’s strikes-balls ratio was not that great. Still he got through 7+ innings. There must have been some short counts along the way. It looks like he might throw a knuckle-curve. A picture posted mid windup shows the knuckle of his index finger on the ball. Good pitch. Like Mike Mussina.

  18. Coming back from the store, listening to MLB Radio — Dodger fan from NYC calls in — talks about last night game, and said, “when they brought in Hatcher, I turned off the radio and went to bed.” He knew what was going to happen. Got up in the morning — right as rain Roy.

  19. You don’t build successful bullpens by going out and buying them.

    That ship has sailed. If that is your idea of how to build a pen, I will call you a moron.

    The Dodgers are building the pen the right way – get rid of the guys whe can’t do it and bring up the young arms.

    To me, it seems possible that we have the wrong pitching coach.

  20. For those who ask “which reliever would you have signed if you were GM?”, I point out that there were 321 free agents listed by Spot Trac prior to the 2016 season. Many were relief pitchers and most were uninspiring. The few at the top (like O’Day) commanded more money then the Braintrust would ever spend on a reliever. The only free agent relievers they signed were Blanton and Coleman.

    There are alternatives to signing free agents. A trade would have been a possibliity and they did try to trade for Chapman. I don’t question their reasons for rescinding the trade offer. I have no idea what other trade possibilities were explored, but I know that none were made.

    For better or worse, the Braintrust decided to go into the season with roughly the same guys in the ‘pen that they had last year. They like hard throwers and so the ‘pen is populated with Hatcher and Baez – guys that throw but don’t know how to pitch.

    Really, is there anyone in the ‘pen that you have confidence in other than Jansen? Last night was heartbreaking, but the ‘pen stunk it up in the first game of the series too.

    And the situational hitting – bad again.

    1. O’Day wanted to stay on the east coast. Chose his girlfriend over the Freaking Dodgers. Good example of the little head thinking for the big head.

      1. Boxout O’Day wanted to stay on the east coast, because his wife works in the news in that area. I am sure the Dodgers could have got her in, in LA.

  21. Scott, try sounding like an adult instead of a 12 year old when you write these articles please.

    Pulling Stripling was absolutely the right call, and nobody in their right mind would disagree. The Hatcher/bullpen issue is a separate issue, but this wasn’t game 6 of the World Series. “The extra 20 pitches” would absolutely been a big deal for a guy coming off tj surgery, in his first start, in the rain, in the cold. This is about getting him to September, not April so you can enjoy a no hitter.

    My lord, we lost the game, but keep a sense of calm. Don’t get drunk after a loss and type these articles.

    1. 2 years ago, the Dodgers DID go through this in the post-season with Kershaw. Remember when Donnie was confronted with the decision – stay with Clayton even though he was tired or go to the ‘pen which he didn’t trust? He left Kershaw in too long and it was a disaster. Roberts was confronted with the same choice. He pulled his young tired starter and went to the ‘pen and it was a disaster.

      The only way to avoid this Catch-22 is to find some relievers who can pitch.

    2. You take these articles way too seriously. Lighten up bobby. But hey I guess if you don’t mind losing games then its no big deal to you. “Its not the sixth game of the world series” no its not but it is a game that counts in the standings.

  22. Also, for those who wanted Aroldis Chapman: even if we had traded for him, he would have been unavailable anyway due to his suspension.

  23. The answer to our bullpen is having Maddox teach them how to command a two seamer and/or the circle change. Teams are looking for, and getting, four seam heat right in the middle of the strike zone. Mix it up dammit.

    It’s possible to purchase bullpen help. Teams do it every year. To think otherwise is naive. Yes, maybe O’Day wanted to stay on the east coast, or maybe offering him the contract Baltimore did would have convinced him otherwise. Ryan Madson is on the West Coast. And Chapman would sure as hell look good in Blue. FAZ went a different direction. THIS is your 2016 Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team. I think we will continue to beat the weak teams and trade wins and losses with the better teams. Nothing that happens this year will surprise me. Well, that’s not entirely true. A Championship would surprise the hell out of me.

  24. I don’t think that we should be to hard on the team, for not having a lot of offense, last night. I would have liked more runs, but it was a miserable night, and the players, can’t be on, all the time. And they did better, then the Giants did, on offense, last night, except for the HR balls.

    I believe the next time they face Cain, he won’t be in the game to long, because they will hit him hard. The Giants won this game, because our bullpen, apparently doesn’t know how to pitch, and can’t handle, any pressure.

    Hatcher, Yimi, Baez, have all given up, key HRs, in the last couple of years, and seem, to make the same mistakes. And when I think about Blanton, all I think about are HRs. And that was why he was no longer, in baseball.

    I don’t think it is only the fans, that have a problem with the bullpen. I bet the starting pitchers, and the position players, are tired of the bullpen, not doing there job. And after everyone plays a tough game, it is hard to see, the bullpen give away a game so easily, and so quickly.

    And this can’t be good for the moral on the team, and especially the moral, of the starting pitchers. It must be hard to pitch a great game, for seven or eight innings, and to have to give the ball, to someone in the bullpen, and see all of that hard work, mean nothing.

    And Kershaw, and Greinke, when Greinke was here, and the other starting pitchers, have always been under pressure, to pitch a perfect game, because of the bullpen’s ineffectiveness.

    And they have to make sure that they, can get the ball to Kenley, because of this. And counting this year, this will be the fourth year, that the Dodger’s bullpen, can’t be trusted, to do there job. And the only changes this year, that were made, to fix the bullpen, was adding, Coleman, and Blanton, and I am sorry, the front office, has not done enough, to fix this bullpen.

    And now they have been here, for two years, and the only thing, they choose to do, was pick up Coleman, and give Blanton, a guaranteed contract, of about four million dollars. Was there even one other team, rushing to give Blanton, a guaranteed contract?

    I don’t think so! Coleman looks like he will help, but other then him, this is the same bullpen, that gave up twenty one games last year! Twenty one games, makes a big big difference, in a pennant race. And a bullpen, makes a even bigger difference, in the post season.

    And there should be more effort to fix this problem, especially for a team, that can afford to sign another second baseman, because it is to good of a deal, to turn down.

    Apparently no other team, could or wanted, to use there money to sign Howie. And to say that there was no money to use, to better the bullpen, instead of signing Howie, and all of these pitchers, that they call depth, that are already lost, is just not the truth, or a good excuse.

    When a team’s bullpen, gives away twenty one games, and is ranked 23 in all of baseball, I think that the bullpen, should have been addressed, much more seriously, and should be worth the money, to fix. Especially when this front office, had enough money, to pay for three second base man, and one, for two years.

    I know, that some bullpen pitchers, are not consistent from year to year, but there are bullpen pitchers out there, that have been reliable, so that, is just an excuse. And the Giants always seem, to have a pretty consistent bullpen, as well, as a lot of other teams.

    And Dodger fans, are not asking, or expecting, a perfect bullpen, and they are not out of line, for questioning, why the bullpen, has never really been, addressed, in these last three years.

    The Philies had a good bullpen pitcher, in there bullpen, that could have been got, and so did the Nationals, and there were other options out there. The Astros, and the Bluejays, went out and acquired the two pitchers, I mentioned. And there were a couple free agent relief pitchers, that could have been signed too.

    And we are not talking about a lot of money, and that shouldn’t even be, such a big issue, with a team, that has no problem, paying for players, that are playing for other teams, and for investing in very high risk pitchers, with very little reward, even if they can stay healthy.

    And I think that even the people, who seem to back every move this front office makes, must agree, that this is a problem, that should be addressed more seriously. And is well worth putting some money toward.

    Not all bullpens, and bullpen pitchers, are unreliable, from year to year. Look at the Royal’s pen, look at the Pirate’s pen, look at the Yankees pen, look at the Cardinal’s pen, look at the Giant’s pen, especially, in the last five years.

    Without a consistent bullpen, the Giants, would have never won three World Series. And in there last world series, the Giants, really only had one decent starting pitcher.

    And the Red Sox, the Astros, the Yankees, and the Orioles, have all went out, and spent money, to better, there bullpens. And these teams, must have felt that it was important enough, to spend money on there bullpens, and not all of these teams, have the money or resources, that the Dodgers are lucky to have.

    1. Well said MJ.

      I still say the arms are there. What is needed is more experience. The bullpen needs to learn command. Control is throwing strikes. Command is throwing strikes in the four corners of the strike zone. Stop it with fastballs over the middle. Learn the circle change or the two seamer and you can start that pitch over the middle. If these guys cannot do that, then they need to go.

      As for the offense – we should score enough if Puig and Pederson hit. I don’t know why the four second baseman. That’s brought to us in FAZovision so one has to ask them wtf they were thinking. I suspect “depth” is the answer.

      Back to the top of the rotation. I’m betting Kershaw will insist on 8 innings even if he’s thrown 115 pitches through 7.

  25. MJ, O’Days wife is a Fox Correspondent on the east coast. She has a career to consider as well. Hers is actually potentially more long term compared to Darren’s. No reasonable amount of money could have him consider the west coast.

    1. AC the Dodgers could have probably got her in, in LA, and that would be a career advancement, and I am sure there are far more many, oppotunities in LA.

      And that wasn’t the only option the Dodgers had.

      But I don’t really understand, why I am telling you that, because you already know, so sorry.

  26. Montas, Cotton, and Sierra better get healthy and fine tuned for call ups. I will be surprised if Joey Pancakes is with this team long.

    Stripling put Wood on notice last night. When Bolsinger, Ryu, and McCarthy come off the DL it very well could be Wood that gets removed from the rotation first v

  27. 1. There is a lot of season left! Like 157 games….
    2. The Giants bullpen was mentioned…. Did they go out and buy it? No, but the Dodgers tried to buy theirs. I don’t try and be politically correct – If you think the Dodgers could have been successful by buying a bullpen you are a moron or an idiot! Shutup – I can’t stand that kind of stupidity! Sorry, if I offended you, but ____________ you if I did! That’s just moronic!
    3. FAZ is trying to do it the right way. If Baez, Garcia, Hatcher, Blanton et al can’t get it done, then the Dodgers have the depth to bring in others.
    4. Do you not think young players have the ability to improve each year? YES! They can also regress. I see that. Damn, are you guys going to die next week and you have to have Instant Potatoes? Do you all buy ripe bananas?
    5. Bobby had it right – calm down.
    6. Bobby had it wrong that Scott sounds like a 12 year-old.
    7. Man, I am glad I am no longer invested in this site. I’d have to send out a hit man to stifle this stuff!
    8. I love Ross Stripling, but he put Woods on notice in one game? Please!
    9. You guys are going to have to have knee replacement surgery with all the knee jerking you are doing.
    10. I know you all are smarter than that… aren’t you? Hello?
    11. Yes Bader, I’m immature!

    1. Stripling keeps throwing well Ryu, Bolsinger, and McCarthy will replace Wood before Ross. Yes, that’s a big if. Wood has been hot garbage all spring and hot garbage on the road the entire 2015 season. He pitches from behind in the count all the time.

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