A’s 5-Dodgers 4: At Least Kershaw was good
And we thought the bullpen was good! Yimi Garcia gave up the game winning single to Billy Butler in the bottom of the 10th and the A’s walked off on the Dodgers to hand LA their 52nd loss of the season. It was… a bummer to say the least, I mean if you’re into silver linings, Clayton Kershaw pitched 7 innings of 1 run ball, striking out 7 and walking 2 lowering his league leading FIP to a 2.18 while his ERA lags behind at an unacceptable 2.34, that and his favorite teammate, A.J. Ellis hit a dinger to raise his OPS above .700 for the first time since 2013. I thought he was cooked earlier this season. I was wrong. thankfully!
He was good, most everybody else could not say the same Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
Anyways, the offense was quite frankly, terrible, Felix Doubront was begging for the Dodgers to smack him around, his command was putrid, walking 6 but only allowing 1 hit ay yay yay that is not a good look, if nothing else we’re at the point with Enrique Hernandez where 2 non extra base hits can actually lower his wRC+, he is a joy to watch.
The 8th inning was fun until it wasn’t, Yasiel Puig and Andre Ethier reached in the top of the 9th and then A.J. hit a timely dinger to put the team up 3 runs. That’s the fun part, here’s the wasn’t part: Pedro Baez (who i’ve been begging to be put in these type of situations) came in to close the gap to Kenley and uh, wet the bed to put it lightly, Baez allowed a single and two doubles before recording out number 1, then J.P. Howell came in and allowed a single (but not the go ahead run), finally bullpen savior Jim Johnson played fireman and kept the game tied, which only prolonged the suffering so BOO YOU, JOHNSON.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
This game gives me another opportunity to get on my soapbox and condemn the bullpen construction, Jonathan Papelbon is wasting away on a garbage Nationals team because they decided to go for it and improve their roster while only giving up a marginal starting pitcher prospect in AA, if you’re telling me that the Dodgers couldn’t do better then Nick Pivetta, then what the hell is the point in constructing a bullpen that isn’t full of lottery tickets? I understand why other RP’s were unavailable or unrealistic for the team, but it was reported that the team lost interest midway through the Papelbon pursuit.
How can this be?
It certainly isn’t the clubhouse, cause the team went out of it’s own way to acquire clubhuse leader Mat Latos.
I would hope it’s not keeping Kenley Jansen happy in the closers role. Keeping your best relief pitcher locked into a specific and arbitrary role is the last thing that this progressive office should be expected to do (cause it clearly hurt the team today!), if Papelbon absolutely wanted to remain closer, let him! All that would have meant is that Kershaw hands the ball off to Kenley who hands the ball off to Papelbon who more than likely locks down tonight’s win and doesn’t allow us to fret about a crucial area of the team that is clearly lacking on August 18th.
Oh and Don Mattingly? Yep he left his closer in the pen in the 10th inning just after Yimi Garcia (who was inexplicably left to start the bottom 10th inning after looking great in the bottom of the 9th) gave up a leadoff double to start the inning. Not pitching your best reliever in the highest leverage situation?
Same as it ever was.
Anyways the lead in the NL West is down to 2, the Dodgers were expected to steamroll everybody and now, suddenly, it’s a race for the division with a bullpen that feels just as unreliable as last season, this is not cool nor good in my opinion.