Dodgers On the Road: Monday’s Bullpen Disaster Was Hard to Stomach


Mike Bolsinger wasn’t the only one feeling queasy on Monday night. The Dodgers bullpen wasn’t able to cover the shift for their sick co-worker after Bolsinger somehow threw four shutout innings while battling a bout of food poisoning from a bad seafood meal back in Miami.

Until the point where Stan Conte was placing smelling salts under Bolsinger’s nose, I would have never known the right-hander was ill. Things were going swimmingly well for the Dodgers at Chase Field through four innings after the Dodgers blasted three solo homeruns in the fourth from Andre Ethier (his 10th homerun of his 10th season), Yasmani Grandal and Joc Pederson. The Dodgers were up 4-0, and I was happy as a clam (sorry Mike Bolsinger).

Then the disaster which was the Dodger bullpen unfolded. Nobody can blame Don Mattingly this time around, because everyone and anyone he called upon from the Dodger relief corps absolutely looked terrible on Monday. The Dodgers bullpen allowed 10 runs in four horrific innings of relief.

Jun 29, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Adam Liberatore throws his glove in the dugout after being pulled from the game in the seventh inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Joel Peralta, who has looked bad since coming off the disabled list, allowed 2 runs on 2 hits in 1 inning.

Yimi Garcia, who has fallen from grace after his dominant start to his rookie season, allowed 2 runs on 2 hits in 1 inning as well.

Juan Nicasio ALSO allowed 2 runs on 2 hits in 2/3 of an inning.

Adam Liberatore came in and walked a batter and allowed a hit without recording an out.

Pedro Baez, who has normally been lights out for the Dodgers, allowed 4 runs on 2 hits in 1 fateful inning.

Then, J.P. Howell walked 2, allowed a hit but did not allow a run in 1/3 of an inning.

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There was a botched review on Yasmany Tomas‘s “homerun” in the bottom of the sixth. Don Mattingly challenged the homerun call after the ball deflected off a fan’s forearm in left center field. Yimi was pegged for the homerun after the New York office mistakenly upheld the call when it was clearly fan interference.

It was one of those disastrous desert nights when everything was going wrong for the Dodgers. I’m not hesitant to say that perhaps Yimi Garcia could benefit from some time back in triple-A. I really like Yimi, but he has not been effective of late. Joel Peralta, who hasn’t been the consistent veteran presence out of the bullpen for the Dodgers like they hoped, needs to settle down as well.

Even though this latest bullpen meltdown definitely is hard to forget, the Dodger bullpen has been pretty darn effective this season. The Dodgers have the fifth best combined relief ERA in the N.L. (3.29), they have the third-most strikeouts (245), they’ve allowed only 74 walks, they have the second-lowest batting average against them (.218) and they have the third-best WHIP (1.19).

Could the Dodgers bolster their bullpen with acquisitions before the trade deadline? Absolutely, and I think they should. This latest bullpen loss puts the Dodgers just 1/2 game up on the Giants in the N.L. West with the All-Star Break quickly approaching. Both starting and relief pitching will need to be adjusted and added to if the Dodgers want to make a strong second half push.

Lesson to be learned: don’t eat oysters before a planned start. I can’t imagine Clayton Kershaw slurping down oysters before going to the mound.