I had a really funny recap written up for this game in the fifth inning when the Dodgers were up 4-0, prepared to break the MLB record for consecutive scoreless innings to start the season and everything was all hunky dory. Then reality came crashing down. The Giants scored 12 runs over the final five frames of the game and the Dodgers were handed their first loss of the season by a 12-6 score in embarrassing style. Hunter Pence‘s grand slam in the eighth inning off of Mr. Fastball Pedro Baez (who ironically allowed the slam on a hanging slider) was the twisting knife in the gut.
Too bad though, because that recap I had written up was pretty funny. It was all about the Dodgers quietly sneaking into San Francisco ocean’s eleven style and ruining the Giant’s opening day. Sending all of the Giants fans to work and school tomorrow depressed. That would have been a lot of fun.
Dodgers 6 13 1
Giants 12 17 0
Alex Wood and the Dodger’s bullpen ruined that. So that’s what this post is about. Instead of the Dodgers ruining the Giant’s opening day, it’s about Wood and the bullpen ruining my funny little recap. The Dodgers had jumped out to a 4-0 lead early when they scored two runs in the second, one in the third, and one in the fifth.
Jake Peavy was just as bad as Wood was, and the Dodgers jumped all over him early. Adrian Gonzalez doubled to center, and one out later Joc Pederson’s ground ball single to short moved Gonzo over to third. Kike’s slicing line drive single to right scored the first run of the game. The Dodgers were on the board.
Austin Barnes singled to load the bases, and then the Dodgers got a break when a neighborhood play was overturned at second base. The New York office ruled that Joe Panik’s foot was not on the bag during Wood’s grounder and that forced in a run. You can thank Chase Utley for that one.
The Dodgers scored a third run when Yasiel Puig singled, and Gonzo doubled over Angel pagan’s head to put the Dodgers up 3-0. In the fifth inning there was an Utley single, a force out, and Puig singled before Scott Van Slyke’s booming RBI double that gave the Dodgers a 4-0 lead. Peavy lasted just five innings and allowed four earned runs on ten hits. Everything was great.
Then Alex Wood remembered that he’s well….Alex Wood. Through the first four innings, Wood looked great. He was mixing his pitches well and using both sides of the plate. It only took the Giants once through the order to figure him out. The second time through the order they did, and Wood melted down like a popsicle on a warm summer’s day.
The Giants scored three runs in the fifth inning and another four runs in the bottom of the sixth. It was a lead-off walk to Brandon Crawford that started the nonsense. Kelby Tomlinson bunted for a base hit. The ball just died somewhere between third base and home plate. Angel Pagan’s ground out moved the runners over to second and third.
Denard Span’s ground out scored Brandon Crawford to cut the lead to 4-1. Here’s where Wood should have been hooked. It’s the fifth inning. You’re lucky to get 4.2 one-run innings out of him. Don’t push your luck. He was clearly losing it. Get him out of there.
Dave Roberts left him in. Then he really imploded. Joe Panik tripled in the next run. Buster Posey immediately doubles and it’s 4-3 Dodgers. The Giants smelled blood, and the Dodgers in typical 2015 fashion couldn’t do anything to stop it.
Somehow though, the Dodgers got out of the inning with the lead still intact. Hunter Pence walked, and Brandon Belt grounded out. Although Utley’s throw was wide and gave us a scare.
Move to the bottom of the sixth. For some inexplicable reason, Wood was left out to begin the sixth frame. He had already made 75 pitches, but still clearly sucked. The hit parade continued. Matt Duffy and Crawford reached on consecutive ground ball singles. Wood was finally hooked and in comes the bullpen to make things worse. Hello 2015. Yimi Garcia is the next hurler to put gasoline on the fire.
After Ehire Adrianza’s sacrifice bunt moves the runners to second and third, Angel Pagan squeaks a single through the right side to score both runs and give the stupid Giants the lead 5-4. It didn’t stop there. After Span’s bunt out, Panik’s bloop single to center scores Pagan to make it 6-4 Giants. Then Posey’s ground ball single scored one more to make it a 7-4 ball game. Louis Coleman had to come in and relieve Yimi to whiff Pence for the final out.
Oh sure the Dodgers tried to come back. Gonzo singled to left, and scored on a huge two-run home run from Joc. That made it a 7-6 game. Maybe just maybe the Dodgers can mount a rally here and not get embarrassed? Oh silly me no.
In the bottom of the eighth the Giants scored five more runs to put the dagger in the coffin that was highlighted by a grand slam home run from Hunter Pence. Four consecutive piddly singles allowed by J.P. Howell preceded the big slam that was given up by Pedro Baez. I swear to you all that Baez is so bad he should be released from the roster right this minute.
You can’t blame this one on the offense. They scored six runs on 13 hits. Gonzalez had 3 hits in a 3 for 4 game and Puig had two hits himself. Joc and Utley had two hits as well. To be honest the Dodgers had little chance of winning this game with Wood on the mound.
I’ve said before that I don’t like the brain trust’s strategy for building the pitching staff. Once again the backend of the rotation is bad and the bullpen is the same. Nothing is really improved here. The top three in the rotation are good. I just don’t understand what the club sees in Wood. He’s just not very good. (sorry I am rhyming here) He is a 4-5 runs per game pitcher. Starters can’t just pitch 4 innings and lose it. I don’t understand why they are relying on injured pitchers, reclamation projects and below average pitchers. Go out and spend a few more dollars and get some established talent. You’re the Dodgers! Hello!
As you can tell I am annoyed. I know it’s only been four games. Yes the bullpen is bad no surprise, but don’t expect anything different from Wood. I knew he would suck, and he sucked. Not a surprise here. He’s just the last remnant from that terrible trade last summer.
Ross Stripling will make his MLB debut Friday night against Matt Cain in the second game of the series. This seems like a mismatch on paper. Let’s see how the Dodgers respond after their first loss of the season. I’m sick of losing to the Giants.