Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Bad relief, bad replay review, bad loss for the Dodgers

Monday night's game in Arizona was the definition of "an adventure."  One that didn't end well at all for the road team.

Despite having leads of 4-0 and 6-4, a combination of some horrific bullpen work and an even worse replay review gave the Diamondbacks a 10-6 win.

Let's take a look at all of it:

* Mike Bolsinger cruised through four innings, allowing three hits and striking out four.  Unfortunately for him, and for the Dodgers as a whole, he had to leave with flu-like symptoms.  It seemed like a struggle to even get any innings out of him.  He took a no-decision, but lowered his ERA to 2.76.

* That leads us to the work of the bullpen, which was absolutely, positively, ATROCIOUS.  Six straight relievers followed Bolsinger, none of which lasted more than an inning, and each allowed at least two runners to reach.  Joel Peralta, Yimi Garcia, and Juan Nicasio were each charged with two runs.  Pedro Baez was horrific with four runs.  Adam Liberatore and J.P. Howell, the only lefties in the 'pen, could not get any big outs.

* Total it all up, and the six relievers allowed 10 runs in six innings of work.  They also gave up 10 hits, walked five, and surrendered two home runs.  Oh, and two double steals as well, which was embarrassing.  I can't believe just a couple of days ago I was singing their praises.  They are who they are, and that's a terrible bullpen.  Bottom line.  It's once again their downfall this season.  What a shame.

* Despite all of that, the tone of the game I believe was at least somewhat set in the first.  Diamondbacks' starter Allen Webster literally could not find the strike zone, walking both Joc Pederson and Howie Kendrick before beaning Justin Turner.  Adrian Gonzalez went to 2-0, and for God knows what reason, swung away on the next pitch.  Horrible idea, as he grounded into a double play.  The guy is slower than a 3rd grader, so he's the last person who should do something like that.  Just terrible execution, and wasted what could have been a monster inning.

* Now let's talk replay review.  Before this game, I wasn't big on the complaints that the boys in New York were protecting their fellow umpires on the field, but I do now.  In the sixth, Yasmany Tomas hit a laser to left that a fan (a Dodger fan, actually) reached over the wall to interfere with.  The call on the field was home run, and Don Mattingly challenged it.  It was a clear, obvious call of interference, and the runners should have been sent back to the field.  So of course what is clear and obvious to someone with an IQ of at least 3 is not to the IDIOTS at MLB.  The home run stood, and I haven't stopped shaking my head since.

It was a crazy game, as you can see.  About the only thing that went well outside of Bolsinger's four innings were the three home runs hit by Andre Ethier, Yasmani Grandal, and Joc Pederson.  None of them came with runners on base, and the team ended up going 1-for-8 with RISP.  In other words, they once again could only do damage with the long ball.

Needless to say, the Dodgers came crashing back to Earth after taking two of three in Miami this past weekend, as their road record continues to suffer at 16-22.  The replay stuff they can't do anything about, only to hope that the system as a whole gets a complete overhaul.  The bullpen and hitting with runners on base they certainly can control.  If they have any dreams of leaving a dent in the postseason, that's stuff they absolutely have to get better at.

And considering that Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke both are not pitching in this series, get ready to see a whole lot more from the crappy bullpen.  Gee, I can't wait...

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