I completely understand that the Dodgers can’t win every game. At some point the Dodgers were going to lose again. Ten wins in a row was really nice, but the winning streak was bound to come to an end at some point. Tommy Lasorda once said that every team no matter how good or bad will win 60 or lose 60 games per season. It’s what you do in the other 100 that determines where you finish in the standings. That’s very true.
So when the Dodgers got shutout by Ricky Nolasco and the Angles 4-0 on Monday evening to snap their ten game winning streak, it wasn’t that much of a shock. Was it embarrassing?…. Indeed it was. Considering that Nolasco hadn’t won in months and sported an ERA of well over 5 for the season. He led the American League in home runs and the Dodgers couldn’t get anything off of him. The former Dodger tossed 6.1 shutout innings to pick up the win.
There was a point in the game where I felt that the Dodgers at least had a look. It was the seventh inning and the Dodgers had gotten consecutive singles to put runners at second and third with only one out. With the Dodgers losing 3-0, Yasiel Puig and Kike both had hard hit liners that deflected off of Nolasco’s leg/body that put both of them in scoring position. The Angels had to remove Nolasco after he appeared to be injured. Cam Bedrosian was brought in and the Dodgers had the ninth spot due up.
Before the game the Dodgers had recalled Trayce Thompson from Oklahoma City while placing Brandon McCarthy on the disabled list with knee inflammation. They called up Thompson because Corey Seager was still unavailable and still in disabled list limbo after straining his hamstring. The Dodgers didn’t want to go into this game with a short bench. It made sense.
With Thompson, Barnes, Logan Forsythe and Seager (for a possible pinch-hitting appearance) all available off the bench, manager Dave Roberts decided to go with the newly recalled .132 career hitting utility journeyman Mike Freeman. Why? I have no idea.
I’m guessing he did it because the only other left handed bat off the bench was Seager, and even though the Dodgers claimed he was available for pinch-hitting he really wasn’t. So Roberts went with Freeman and unsurprisingly he struck out swinging. Chase Utley immediately followed that by striking out looking to end the inning. The Dodgers didn’t score. That was basically their last chance to do anything with the sticks.
Normally asking a .132 hitting journeyman to pinch-hit with runners at second and third late in a game in a big spot is a bad idea. A really bad idea. I understand that the due to loss factor was huge on Monday night as the Dodgers were due to lose soon. But that situation called for anyone else to pinch-hit other than Freeman. I would have rather had Thompson hit than Freeman.
The lefty/righty stuff is stupid. I’ve said before that I don’t like it. This was just a very bad call. Can we not call on Mike Freeman or any other triple-A castoff with the game on the line next time? I’m not asking for much here. Sorry Mike. I’m sure he’s a nice guy, but you know.