Ryu Answers The Demand, Cody Bellinger Hits a Grand, Bullpen is Still Damned, Dodgers Hang On To Beat Giants in LA LA Land

The Dodgers just love to do things the hard way. But what they don’t understand is that there is an easier way of doing things. The Dodgers could have built a better bullpen in the offseason that didn’t have several reclamation projects and journeymen clogging up the works. The Dodgers could have not used Yimi Garcia in the top of the ninth inning on Tuesday night giving the Giants a free look at the game. The Dodgers could have brought Kenley Jansen in to start the ninth inning instead of bringing him in with two runners on and nobody out. Thankfully the Dodgers were able to stave off a late game San Francisco Rally and hang on (barely) to defeat the Giants 6-5 to even the series. A win is a win is a win.

I know I complain a lot at times, so let’s talk about something positive. The Dodger’s lineup looks locked in. The boys in blue scored six runs on seven hits and were 4 for 9 with runners in scoring position. A.J. Pollock was 2 for 4 with two singles, and Enrique Hernandez was 2 for 4 as well. Special note, Hernandez is now hitting .500 against Madison Bumgarner. Cody Bellinger hit a third inning grand slam home run off of Bumgarner which seemed to put the game out of reach. Although no game is out of reach with the Dodger’s terrible bullpen. (whoops sorry complaining again)

Giants    5 9 2

Dodgers 6 7 1

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Embed from Getty Images

Hyun-jin Ryu pitched another brilliant performance. The Korean left hander tossed seven innings allowing just two earned runs on six hits with five strikeouts. Caleb Ferguson pitched a scoreless eighth inning. And then the stupid meltdown in the ninth took place. We’ll get to that in a second.

Before that, the Dodgers took an early lead when they scored five runs in the bottom of the third. Russell Martin reached on a Bumgarner throwing error to open the frame. Ryu was walked while attempting to sacrifice Martin to second. Hernandez singles to center to score Martin and advance Ryu to second. That put the Dodgers in the lead 1-0. Two outs later Pollock’s ground ball single into left loaded the bases. Cody Bellinger strode to the plate and hits a grand slam home run (his fifth HR of the year already) to straightaway center. That puts the Dodgers up 5-0! Touch em all Cody!

Eventually Bumgarner would settle down allowing those five runs on five hits and walking four over those six frames. It was his bat that got the Giants on the board in the top of the sixth. Ryu was breezing but Gerardo Parra reaches on a blooper into left. Bumgarner got the Giants back into the game himself by hitting a two-run home run to left field. Now it’s 5-2 Dodgers. After consecutive singles from Duggar and Brandon Belt, Rick Honeycutt would give Ryu a mound visit to try and calm him down. Ryu would recover and get out of the inning by striking out Evan Longoria on a foul tip and getting Posey on a force out. Ryu would get a huge double play in the seventh inning to keep the Giants from scoring in that inning.

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The Dodgers got a huge insurance run off of San Francisco reliever Nick Vincent in the bottom of the seventh. Martin leads-off with a double down the left field line. Alex Verdugo’s line drive single to center moves Martin to third. Duggar was slow to play the ball in center allowing Verdugo to extend his single into a double. Impressive! One out later Duggar goes all out to catch a sinking liner from Justin Turner. However Martin scampers home to score and the Dodgers take a 6-2 lead on the sacrifice fly.

Caleb Ferguson pitched a solid eighth inning striking out newly minted Giant Kevin Pillar and Belt. So we move to the top of the ninth with the Dodgers leading 6-2. You would think a four-run lead in the top of the ninth would be plenty for the Dodgers. Of course it wouldn’t. The Dodgers just had to get cute and bring in Yimi Garcia to start the frame. Garcia who is just cooked proceeds to give up a double to Longoria, and then walk Posey. The Dodgers had seen enough and in comes Kenley Jansen, but with two on and nobody out. I have no idea why the Dodgers would fool around there and give the Giants a free look at the game. It almost cost them.

Things got worse. Brandon Crawford’s little grounder to first turned into a disaster. Max Muncy bobbled the ball ruining a potential double play. He tosses to Kenley covering first but the ball bounces off his glove, ruining even recording an out. The bases are now loaded with none out. Perfect.

Then of course Kenley walks Solarte to force in a run. The score is cut to 6-3 Dodgers. Kenley bears down to strike out Joe Panik for the first out. But then Parra singles up the middle to score two and the Dodgers lead is now down to a measly run with first and third and one out. Danger Will Robinson! Danger! Kenley got out of it. Fatman Pablo Sandoval grounds into a game ending double play. The Dodgers hang on to win it 6-5! A win is a win no matter how ugly it looks. Derek Holland takes on Ross Stripling in the rubber game on Wednesday night. The Dodgers bullpen still sucks. Goodnight!

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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20 thoughts on “Ryu Answers The Demand, Cody Bellinger Hits a Grand, Bullpen is Still Damned, Dodgers Hang On To Beat Giants in LA LA Land

  1. Getting that run in from third with less than 2 outs proved big again. That’s twice in the last couple of games. Definitely seeing an improvement there.

    Will there be a Joc sighting tomorrow? He’s been hot. Verdugo’s bat seems legit but let’s see how the opposing pitchers adjust.

  2. Bullpen is a shambles…. even Kenley Jansen! Kelly, Baez, and Garcia are worthless.

    With Kershaw and Hill out, Strips and Urias were called upon to start in place of them, and start, they did. Hopefully their ailing starters will return soon, and Strips and Urias can return to the pen and bolster the bullpen middle relief strength. Then too, Brock Stewart can be sent down to the minors to work on his game.

    Lefty Lineup definitely is not working. Umm… Bellinger (a lefty) belts a Grand Salami against the Left Handed Madbum. I thought lefties cannot hit lefties? Lefty Pederson needs to play, or he will go cold.

    Seager and Kiké could be the next All-Star tandem, if they keep playing the way they are. They saved the day, today. They both have been producing offensively, as well.

  3. So far some real positives to take from our 1st six games.

    The starts of everyone not named Walker have been Stellar, and we know he was undercooked, and will be fine.

    The Offense has been great, although frustrating that Joc hasn’t been allowed to build on his early season momentum.
    Barnes & Martin are exceeding expectations, and kike looks to be making 2B his to lose.
    Pollock plays the situation well, and looks a great addition.
    Muncy, Turner & Seagar will improve and Verdugo can hit.

    The one big negative, as you have rightly observed Scott, is the Pen.
    It was as if by signing Kelly, that was the answer on its own, and there was no need for further additional help.

    Obviously Kershaw & Hill going down has forced Urias & Stripling to the Rotation, although let’s not forget that they are both Starters and Relieving requires a different skill set, as it certainly helps to have experienced it before, and those guys are no sure fire successes out of the Pen.

    For me, and I thought this before the TJ Surgery, and even more so now, Yimi Garcia cannot execute under pressure.
    I know he had a good ST, but he’s not for me.
    I would rather have Chargois than Alexander who also cannot be relief upon.
    Ferguson doesn’t inspire confidence either, and nor does Kenley, who is not as good as he once was.
    Then there is the big signing, Kelly, who hopefully is following last year’s path of mediocrity before blooming in the Autumn.
    At the moment I’m not sure who Dave feels comfortable seeing striding through the BP Gates?

    So, a good start, but probably one that enforces most of our fears about the Relief Corps.

  4. Agree with everything you said Watford, except I don’t share your optimism about Muncy. I don’t think he will hit anywhere near what he hit last year, and I venture to predict that in a few weeks we will be discussing whether we should be playing Verdugo (who has a great arm) in RF and Bellinger at first, and we may be pleasantly surprised that Bellinger, Verdugo and Joc can hold their own against lefties. Or maybe we should be talking about that now instead of a few weeks from now.

    Anyways, always great to hear from you!

  5. Watford makes some good points. But also a few I do not agree with. Alexander pitched to one hitter. Other than that he has been ok out of the pen and he is a ground ball pitcher. Baez had a really bad game, but Sunday he threw 2 shutout innings and stranded a runner on 3rd after giving up a triple. He proved at the end of last season that he is a better pitcher when he mixes them up instead of trying to throw that plus heater he has by everyone. Ferguson has not allowed a thing yet, so how can he not inspire confidence? The kid was pretty good last year too. And he has been one of the more reliable guys out of the pen so far this year. As for Jansen, he is 2-2 in save opportunities, and he would have been out of the inning without allowing a thing had Muncy fielded that grounder cleanly and got the DP. Which brings us to Max. He is no Bellinger over there. Belli, being a lefty would have been in a perfect position throwing wise to make that play in the 9th. Max had a great year last year. He came from no where and did very good things. He has carried over what he was doing in the spring to the regular season which is not making solid contact and striking out more. He is tied for the team lead in K’s with Seager, who has a lot better excuse for his slow start than Max. He is still knocking the rust off. But Seager has not let it bother his fielding. Max is a shaky defender at best. What bothers me, and I have watched almost all of the games, is that the frustration is showing on Max’s face and he is missing pitches he hit last year. I do not believe he is going to make a dramatic turn-around. Taylor has also carried over his spring struggles. Although he did have a 2 hit game the other day. Verdugo when given the chance has done well. Actually better than expected to me. Me, I bench Muncy and Taylor, bring Belli back to first, put Verdugo in RF everyday and run those guys out there for a week and see what happens. The good news is that the starters have been solid. They have given up 5 dingers, but kept them to solo shots for the most part. The 5 the BP has given up have been far more damaging. Too early to panic of course. But not too early to be concerned.

  6. Michael, I agree.

    I like Verdugo in RF. They need to get his bat in the lineup. With CT3 and Muncy struggling, this would be the opportune time put him in RF and move Bellinger to 1B. With Kiké owning 2B this move would be easy, and a no brainer, even for a FO with no brains. Definitely see frustration in Muncy’s face…. same expressions he had last year. Maxi need “maxi-mum” refection time on the bench. Sitting CT3 would also open up LF to Pederson, who is definitely in need of playing time to remain focused and hot. Set a lineup, and shelf the platooning and matchups for now. Run with a consistant and productive lineup for a week or two, and see how it goes.

    Pederson LF
    Turner 3B
    Seager SS
    Bellinger 1B
    Hernandez 2B
    Pollock CF
    Verdugo RF
    Barnes C

    Freese, CT3, Muncy, Russell as reserves on the bench

    Roberts likes to keep throwing guys out there, hoping they will break out of their slumps. He has to start using Ferguson, Floro, and Alexander more, and stop throwing Kelly and Baez to the lions. Send Brock Stewart down for some work. Buelher needs some no stress playing time, but not at the expense of the big club. Send him to Rancho Cuccamonga. I heard Friedman was seen at Walmart, dumpster diving, and he found reliever Zach McAllister gasping for air at the bottom.

    Oh well…. typical Dodger FO move.

  7. I like Bellinger in the outfield. He’s too fast not to take advantage of it by playing him at first. Occasionally maybe, but not often. We actually have 5 starting outfielders now. Trade one for another starter.

    Everybody plays. That’s the Dodger way.

    We have given up 30 earned in 6 games and still have 4 wins. The National League West is the only Division in baseball that has 4 teams with a negative run differential. I still say we win this Division with a week to spare.

    Greinke with 13 Ks in 9.2. ERA over 9. I think he’ll figure it out. Won’t help dbacks much.

    Don’t give up on Yimi yet. Go ahead and do so with Stewart.

  8. I hear you Badger, I like Belli in RF too. But, like you said, they have 5 starting OF’rs, so do what is best for the team. Muncy’s head is all messed up. He needs some meditation time. Logical move would be to put Belli on 1B. Verdugo is no sloth. He is quick and young. I do not think they lose anything taking Belli out of RF, but everything to gain by putting him on first.

    “Everybody plays”, what is this, “The Bad News Bears”? This is not little league…. you play best hand, every day. Dodgers have lost a lot of games playing that dreaded “Lefty Lineup”, platooning, and shuffling lineup every night.

    I agree, they need another starter, as well as a reliable middle reliever/set up man. Jansen is too risky, bringing him in with runners on base. Jansen is a ninth inning closer…. PERIOD, with the bases clear.

    Winning the NL West should be no problem. Question really is, do they have what it takes to matchup with the AL champs and win the World Series? I do not think so. Need a few tweaks in the pitching crew. Cannot just hope and depend on Kershaw and Hill coming back 100%. Might have to trade Muncy, before he drops any more in value. The more he plays, the more his stock drops. CT3 might be expendible too.

    With Muncy and CT3 out of the lineup, they have a strong, quality defense…. three capable OF’rs, a set middle infield tandem, Belli at first, and JT at third. Barnes and Russell holding up the fort behind the dish.

    1. Everybody plays. It’s the Dodgers way. Keeps everybody sharp, and…. will help to keep everybody available til November. Personally I think this group is a bunch of soft girly men, and soft girly men need days off to rest have their nails done.

      Muncy hit .207 in March/April last year, OPSd a little over .700, then he blowed up to .932 and 1.176 in May & June. I respectfully suggest everyone just hold their water for at least 100 at bats. The plan is Muncy at first and Bellinger in right. Give it some time.

      1. That was last year. As we saw with Taylor last year, the prior years success means zip. Maybe Max pulls out of it and then again maybe he does not. But the fact remains that although I have little problem with giving him that 100 Ab’s I still hate his glove and I do not think he should be out there in the late innings with the game on the line. Basically there are 6 guys on the roster who have played or can play CF. I know all the stats about where Muncy fits best and it makes no difference to me. I want a very good glove at 1st. Since I have been a Dodger fan the majority of the players who have manned the position have been very good fielders and were not there simply because they could hit and were a question mark at another position save Steve Garvey, who was a lousy 3rd baseman, at least throwing. In their history Dodger first basemen have won 14 of the 45 gold gloves awarded to the team. Belli can win one anywhere he plays, but I want him where he feels most comfortable….1st base. I will never change that stance.

      2. There are ways to stay sharp without having to be in the game. All these guys have to do is play baseball all day. There is more to it than just showing up at the ballpark for pregame lunch, then light pregame stretching, having catch, and taking a few swings in soft toss pregame batting practice. There are things they could be doing from the morning and through the afternoon prior to games like live infield/outfield practice, repetitions, batting cage, cardio, free weights, jogging. They are paid to do a job, so they should be on a strict training regimen to fine tune their skills so they will be ready for battle when called upon. I just do not think these guys workout the way they should…. it is evident by the amount of injuries they have during the season. Ridiculous injuries that would not happen if they were in shape.

        1. I think one of the things that bothers me some is that they no longer take infield everyday. I realize that it can seem redundant. But I remember when I was playing that I thought it helped me work on the weak points of my defensive game. Fungo bats and fly balls to the outfield prior to games have gone the way of the Do Do bird. A guy like Muncy would benefit from the extra work. But I do not agree with Bluefan that they are out of shape. Pitchers do exercises every day that are designed to keep them in top condition. Panda may be out of shape, but you look at most of the Dodger players and they look very fit. Clarify ridiculous injuries. Certain kinds of injury’s have increased over the years like strained lats, and hammy injuries. If anything they are caused because the players are more athletic than ever before. Puig was plagued with hammy problems and that guy is ripped. Athletes are going to get injured. It is part of the job. Not all of them can be avoided. Now doing something stupid and being injured doing it is not something that can be controlled or avoided.

  9. I admit that the Dodgers appear very fit this year, but that does not necessarily equate to fit and conditioned for the purpose of baseball. Rediculous injuries like hami’s, obliques, shoulders, and elbows could be a result of players being too fit, by over-training and developing muscles that are not important for the game of baseball, and thus putting undo strain on the muscles that they do need for baseball.

    Like a body builder. He is strong and in shape, but his muscular structure would not be suitable for baseball. He would be too tight, could not run, change direction, slide, throw the ball or pitch, jump for a fly ball, without straining himself. Just my personal opinion, but I hope you get my point. Puig was a prime example, he certainly was a chiseled specimen, definitely not out of shape, but he always had hami or oblique issues. I strongly believe his muscles were just too tight.

    The only way to work the muscles needed for baseball, is to workout hard with baseball fundamentals….Repetitions will develop those muscles, but not overdevelop them.

    I really miss seeing good hard infield drills, fungos, and simulated game situations. I just do not think these players now days do that. I used to see that at pregame drills back in the 60’s.

    1. I agree that players today are probably a little too muscle bound . I have always felt that is what caused Puig so many problems. Injuries like Tulo suffered the other day are more a product of aging than anything else. As much as I like Turner and Kershaw, I expect less production from both of them. Ballplayers should look more like Bellinger who is lanky and looks like there is no fat on his body what so ever. Kike is making a believer out of me as is Barnes. His start is all that much sweeter given the fact that Grandal is 4-19 with no homers and just 1 RBI.. Martin is hitting too. Most impressive thing for me tonight was Belli streaking down the line and beating out an infield hit into the shift.

      1. I’ve read numerous articles on this topic. Players today are considerably larger than they were back then. In the 60s and 70s players averaged 6’ 185. In ‘13 that figure was 6’1” 207. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are even heavier in ‘19. Willie Mays was pretty good. He’s listed at 5’10” 180.

        The type of injuries sustained now appear to be those experienced by excessive ballistics. That would be tears. Players make enough money now to train properly in the off season to play 160 games without having to go on the IL. It’s my contention they do not. I think the injury stats bear that out.

  10. Dodgers win, 5-3. They’re three games over .500.

    First date they were three games over .500 last season: June 13.

  11. Very good win today. Great that they let Stripling pitch out of the fourth inning. Good learning experience for the youngster to build from. No need to make so many moves and make the game harder than it is.

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