Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Not the greatest day for Dodger pitching

Josh Beckett.  Hyun-Jin Ryu.  Jamey Wright.  What do they all have in common?

They're either hurt, or pitching like they're hurt.

We already knew before Tuesday night's game in Detroit that Beckett's sore hip would land him on the 15-day DL.  Then the Dodgers went out and put up a five spot on Justin Verlander, with the big blows being a two-run double by Adrian Gonzalez, and two-run shot by Juan Uribe.

And then Ryu took the mound.  And boy was it ugly.

Ryu walked leadoff hitter Austin Jackson, but managed to get out of the first.  Then the second inning hit, and my oh my was Ryu just pounded into the ground.  A combination of a tough strike zone by home plate umpire Paul Schrieber, who was terrible, in addition to not putting hitters away with two strikes did him in.

All in all, the Tigers sent 10 batters to the plate and scored five runs.  Of course, I should point out that a questionable overturned replay on a great throw by Yasiel Puig to nail Torii Hunter leading off completely changed the momentum.  I only say "questionable" because I'm not at all convinced that there's "clear and convincing evidence" to overturn the call.

Then again, I'm also a Raiders' fan, and I'll never believe that damn Tuck Rule should've happened.  But I digress.

Ryu was chased in the third, and Wright had to come in to get the last two outs.

Still, the Dodgers were only down 7-5, and while they looked like they were dead, perhaps they could find some offense and put together a rally, and perhaps their bullpen could put up some zeroes.

Then again, perhaps not.

Wright was flat out atrocious, failing to get one damn out in the fourth as six straight hitters reached.  Chris Perez had to relieve the long reliever, which is kind of embarrassing.

Here's the final line for each pitcher:

Ryu: 2 1/3, 10 H, 7 ER, 2 BB, 2 K
Wright: 2/3, 4 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 1 K
Perez: 1 2/3, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
Maholm: 2 1/3, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
Baez: 1, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K

Here are the inflated ERA's after this beatdown:

Ryu: 3.08 to 3.65
Wright: 2.41 to 3.24
Perez: 4.65 to 4.68
Maholm: 5.07 to 5.18
Baez: 18.00 to 9.00 (Hey, at least something went right!)

The final tally?  Detroit scored 14 straight runs to win 14-5.  I think the Dodgers should've at least double teamed Megatron and forced Matthew Stafford to throw somewhere else.

I also think days like Tuesday will only make Ned Colletti hungrier for pitching of any sort.  Beckett going down and Ryu getting shelled makes him want another starter for insurance.  Wright, Perez, and Maholm make him want bullpen help, which in my opinion is the bigger need. 

Any way you slice it, Tuesday was as ugly as can be.  Hopefully a big start by Zack Greinke on Wednesday afternoon will help the Dodgers get a split and move on.

Other thoughts from the game:

* Matt Kemp went 3-for-4 with an RBI to raise his average to .275.  The downside is that he's pretty much a singles hitter at this point.  All seven hits this month are singles, and his slugging % is .443.  In his near MVP season of 2011, it was .586.  The next year, which was full of one injury after another, it was still .538.  I'm guessing the Dodgers didn't give him eight years and $160 million to hit singles and lose his center field position.

* Going back to that replay in the second, I still hold firm that there's no conclusive evidence to overturn that call.  But, the bigger problem was Miguel Rojas not making the easy tag on Hunter's leg.  He went higher, which made the play a lot closer than it should've.  Bottom line is that Rojas absolutely has to make that play.  Puig made a PERFECT throw to second, and Rojas didn't do the easy part.  Wow.

* I wouldn't be surprised if Puig keeps swinging for the fences the next few games now that he's officially in the Home Run Derby.  And that's not a good thing.  He'll swing hard, hit a fly ball, then  stand there and react like he just missed it.  That's why his numbers have been tumbling - he just can't resist going for the long ball.

* About the only positive from the pitching staff was the work of Pedro Baez.  He threw really hard and had a sharp breaking ball.  Maybe he gets more looks.  Better than watching clowns like Perez and Maholm, who are awful.

As I said before, the Dodgers really need Greinke to step up and be an ace on Wednesday.  Getting a split after a horrific first game would be a good boost.  It won't be easy, as reigning AL Cy Young Award winner and wannabe billionaire Max Scherzer goes for the Tigers.

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