Six-Run Sixth Inning Dooms Dodgers in Latest Loss As Cubs Take Series

The Dodgers were cruising in the sixth inning at Wrigley Field against the Cubs on Wednesday evening. They had a 3-0 lead with two outs in that fateful sixth frame. Walker Buehler was still pitching and while he was nowhere near his dominant self (5.2 IP 3 R 4 H 2BB 1K), he had been good enough to keep the Chicago faithful off the scoreboard. Until that point the Dodgers buoyed by a fourth inning Chris Taylor infield single, some aggressive base running and a two-run home run from Cody Bellinger were feeling pretty good about themselves.

Rightly they should have been at that point. The boys in blue played some small ball, evidence by that fourth inning base running from Corey Seager, who flew around from second to score on Taylor’s infield squib to first base. They got some great defense in the third inning when Bellinger, Enrique Hernandez, and Austin Barnes combined to throw out Daniel Descalso at home after Kris Bryant sliced a double to right field.

With two outs in the sixth, nobody would have guessed that the Dodgers would give up six runs to the Cubs, including two three-run home runs to Javier Baez and Jason Heyward that would put the Cubs up 6-3. But that’s exactly what happened. The Dodgers did battle back when Alex Verdugo hit a three-run home run of his own in the top of the eighth, but it wasn’t enough because the Dodger bullpen still sucks causing the Dodgers to lose again. They’re in line perfectly to be swept on Thursday against Jon Lester.

Dodgers  6 6 0

Cubs        7 7 0

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It’s important to remember that the horrible bullpen is not Dave Robert’s fault. He didn’t build the bullpen nor did he acquire those loser arms. He has to use the guys he has, and right now that isn’t much. To be fair even I thought Joe Kelly would be decent, and never thought he would be this bad, but it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that Yimi Garcia, Scott Alexander, and former bullpen member Brock Stewart are not major league quality pitchers. Stewart has since been demoted but Garcia and Alexander remain. People will blame Roberts for these losses. Or the Friedman fan boys will cry and tweet things like “How could Friedman have known”? Let me tell you all that anyone could have known that Garcia and Alexander suck. So what is Roberts supposed to do? Does he have the ability to make a reliable reliever appear out of thin air?

Of course Buehler did give up the three-run home run to Baez. That was his fault. A two-out walk to Anthony Rizzo killed him, and with Descalso already aboard after singling, he hung an 0-2 breaking ball to Baez and got crushed. Walks will kill you, just ask opposing starter Cole Hammels who walked six Dodgers tonight and left losing 3-0 in the sixth inning. Roberts brought in Alexender to get that last out in the sixth, again there was two outs in the inning.

Pinch-hitter David Bote immediately doubled, and Alexander was ordered to intentionally walk Willson Contreras for another brainless lefty on lefty matchup against Heyward. The ill advised intentional walk was definitely on Roberts. It made little sense to me. There are two outs in the inning, and if you can’t trust Alexander to get a right handed hitter out, then there is no point of him being on the roster. Additionally, just because a matchup presents itself doesn’t mean you have to do it. Just bring in good relievers who can get left handers and right handers out. Heyward made the Dodgers look hella stupid by crushing a three-run shot to put the Cubs up 6-3.

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At this point we knew it’s basically over. But then Joe Kelly is used in the seventh inning to make things even worse. With two outs in that inning he hit Bryant with a pitch and Anthony Rizzo doubled him in. Kelly now has a 9.82 ERA. God he sucks.

The Dodgers almost came back. In the top of the eighth, Seager singled, and Pollack walked. Then Alex Verdugo bombed one out off of Steve Cishek to get the Dodgers close. It was 7-6 Cubs at that moment. Astonishingly Yimi Garcia pitched a 123 bottom half of the eighth inning. Max Muncy walked against Pedro Strop to lead off the top of the ninth. But Hernandez struck out and Justin Turner grounded into a double play to end the game. The Dodgers will get swept tomorrow when Jon Lester makes his return for the Cubs and the Dodgers counter with Ross Stripling.

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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13 thoughts on “Six-Run Sixth Inning Dooms Dodgers in Latest Loss As Cubs Take Series

  1. Who knew? Dodgers stuck to their same listless lefty lineup. Totally insane. Hamels was not at his best. 6 walks, but the timid Dodger bats failed to take advantage. 10 KO’s, 2 GIDP’s by JT alone. Bottom line…. Wasted scoring opportunities. Same old, same old.

    Buehler pitched well, had a 3 run lead thanks to a 2-run Beli-Bomb, but ran out of gas in the 6th, giving up a three run blast. The erratic bullpen could not keep Cubs at bay. Alexander coughing another 3-run blast of his own in the sixth. Kelly-Flop gives up another run. on a HBP and double, which proved to be the dagger in the heart. Verdugo hits a late inning three run homer, but the Dodgers would come up 1-run short. Why was Verdugo sitting on the bench, in favor of CT3? Dude is hitting 352, and he sits? Give me a break…

    From Beli-Bomb to Kelly-Flop. This is getting old.

    When will this nonsense end? Another Lefty tomorrow…. John Lester. Will Dodgers send out the dreaded Lefty Lineup again?

    Opposing teams will continue to exploit the Dodger Lefty Lineup, until the Dodgers find the answer. Answer seems obvious to me, of course what do I know?

  2. It’s Pollock.

    And it’s my opinion you are wrong about Garcia Scott. I think he IS a Major League pitcher. I don’t know about Alexander. Kelly’s record was there for all to see. Apparently Friedman ignored it.

    Another lefty today. The NL knows what it takes to beat the Dodgers. If we are ever going to turn it around against them I think it important to start our best hitters. That includes Verdugo. The Cubs are good. Fangraphs has them at 88 wins, enough to take the Central. If we don’t figure out how to beat left handers, they have the pitching to beat us in a post season series.

    Taylor, Barnes and the pitcher’s spot is good for 3 innings of nothing. Not sure what to do about it, but if it continues, it must be dealt with by the deadline.

    Here’s something else you can bet on. The West will improve. How soon is the question. SD already has the players in their system and you know SF is going to get them. They now have the smartest GM in the game, it won’t take him long. Our time is now. It sure would help if we weren’t handcuffed by the cap. I wonder if they will be willing to slip over it if things remain tight at the end of July.

  3. Pollock and Kelly have not been what Friedman expected. I, personally did not think either of them were top F/A picks…. more like the bottom of the F/A dumpster. Like everyone says, Kelly’s numbers did not dictate a large F/A contract. “Why” they keep bringing in Kelly when they need to stop the bleeding or game is on the line, is beyond me. Kelly has a bobblehead night coming up? I’m sure that was part of his contract negotiations…. who is gonna’ show up? Pollock is already past his prime and is on the downside of his career. “Why” is Pollock insured an everyday spot in the lineup, while Verdugo and Pederson sit, is beyond my comprehension. I’m sure it was part of the contract… which probably guaranteed him playing everyday.

    JT is struggling, and needs some time on the IL. CT3 is totally lost at the plate. Kiké is not a bonafide leadoff batter.

    Lastly, the “Lefty Lineup” has got to go. “Why” stack the deck with right handed hitters, when they can’t hit anyone? On the other side of the coin, “Why” play matchups with your pitchers, lefty versus lefty, righty versus righty?…. “Why” intentionally walk a R/H 306 batter so your L/H pitcher can face a L/H 333 batter. What difference does it make if you pitchers are going to toss cookies to them… does not matter what side of the plate you are on, if the pitcher is going to throw batting practice.

    Dodger lineup shuffle has failed twice, now they face another L/H pitcher and are extremely vulnerable to an embarrassing sweep.

    I hate ANAL-ytics. It will be the Dodgers’ downfall again, this season.

    1. Totally agree with your comments. I cringed when I read the Dodgers signed Kelly and it’s apparent that cringing was greatly warranted. He has lost how many games now for us? Yet Roberts keeps inserting him at critical times. The management should admit they made a mistake and send him down for good.
      I can’t stand this constant shuffling of the lineup. Let Pederson and Verdugo start every game and continue to platoon Hernandez and Pollock until one comes out the winner. Like most, I love JT but he clearly needs a rest to get back in his normal groove. Unless something changes (like sabermetric managing for a start) this is going to be one long repeat of last year.

  4. Let me get this straight. Our cyber-geeks pride themselves on analyzing all the data and then forming a decision based on this analysis, correct? So they keep throwing out these insane line-ups against lefty pitching and get the same shitty results, correct? When does the analysis kick in regarding the shitty results that occur each time the Dodgers face lefties? The cyber-geek thread of logic isn’t following thru in regard to facing lefty pitching, now is it?

    Whats the definition of insanity? (answer is something other than Brutus’ stupid posts)

      1. Yeah, I like bannister’s rationale. Makes sense to me. Thanks for the link.

        Good problem to have.
        Good win.
        Good road trip.

  5. Strips as a sixth starter would be great, but he just does not have the stamina. He would be just another 4-5 inning starter, who must rely on the bullpen to mop up 5 innings for him…. just another bullpen burner, which the Dodgers do not need. Dodgers do not have any reliable starters who can go at least 7 innings, before running out of gas. I blame this on the trainers and Management relying too much on matchups, thus expending the pen. Today, for example, Strips could only put out 4 2/3 innings.

    The “Listless Lefty Lineup” Flops again with 0-5 RISP, 6 LOB, 10 KO’s. Able to manage two runs, which proved to be just enough, with Kenley earning a shaky save. Kelly taken deep, saved by Belli, holding Baez to a single. Luckily, Jansen only had one cookie leftover in his lunchbox to serve up to the hungry Cubbies. It is ridiculous how the Cubs manage to score all their runs with two outs.

    Verdugo enters the game in the 5th and sparks the offense with a triple and a run. “WHY” is he not starting? Then, two on, no outs, Strips GIDP? That was ridiculous. Dodgers get a game winning “gift” insurance run in the eighth. Otherwise Jansen would have got a blown save. Almost have to provide 2-3 insurance runs for Jansen.

    A win is a win, no matter how lucky it was, I guess.

    1. Maybe if he had that extra day rest, Strip could get 6 Blue.

      This game was won with pitching. That’s a good sign. 4 hits, 10 Ks and 0 for 5 WRISP. Not so good.

  6. Thought it best to not comment when emotions were high. One thing for sure, this version of the Dodgers has a Jekyll-Hyde personality. Really good one day and totally bad the next. Bullpen is what it is. At least Kelly got through an inning without giving up a run. Jansen is still homer prone, but as long as he gets the job done, I do not care when they are solo shots. Read that they are going to give Taylor every opportunity to fix his swing. Figures, he is one of Andy’s boys, so he gets more leash than most. His head needs to be fixed first. Stripling could easily be a 6 inning guy. He proved that last year. Roberts pulled him and it almost blew up in his face. Dave does that sometimes. Pollock is colder than Julius Caesar. But his track record says he will hit and I believe he will. New surroundings and team mates. Different routine. But AJ is a pro. I honestly believe after watching the kid that Verdugo could easily be an everyday player somewhere else. But with Joc providing the power he does, not sure what course of action they take. Against RHP their best lineup would have Belli, Muncy, Joc and Verdugo in there along with Seager. Hopefully Martin provides some life with his bat when he comes off the IL this weekend. Gale is obviously not a solution to the lack of production back there. That being said, both he and Barnes have been excellent defensively. Smith is hitting close to .300 at OKC, but is not on the roster.

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