The Los Angeles Dodgers were down and out against the Pittsburgh Pirates … and then they suddenly battled back and scored five uncontested runs … and then the team blew it in the ninth inning and lost anyway.
Craig Kimbrel came into the game trying to protect his first one-run lead at Dodger Stadium this season and was unable to send the fans home happy. Kimbrel allowed two runs and the bats were unable to answer in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Granted, an error from Freddie Freeman allowed the go-ahead run to score, but the save was already blown at that point. Considering the Dodgers are 0-3 in extra-inning games this season, it is not absurd to assume that the Boys in Blue were inevitably going to lose after Kimbrel blew the save.
Kimbrel has not been very good this season for the Dodgers. His season ERA is up to 4.80 after Monday’s ugly outing, and he has allowed a run in six of 16 outings. This is only his first blown save of the season, but that is because the Dodgers have constantly given him multi-run cushions to work with.
As it stands right now, it is impossible to imagine the team trusting Kimbrel to throw a clean inning in the ninth of a playoff game. After all, Kimbrel had a 5.09 ERA after being traded to the Chicago White Sox last season with a 9.00 ERA in the playoffs.
The Dodgers’ loss on Monday night was due to the A.J. Pollock trade.
Dodger fans have learned to not question what Andrew Friedman and his front office does, as they constantly make the right decisions, even when they look to be the wrong one. That being said, the A.J. Pollock trade still had a funky smell to it when it happened, and that funky smell returned on Monday night.
Not only did the guy who the Dodgers traded for blow the game, but the starting lineup perfectly emphasized why it is important to have depth on the roster. Starting in center field for the Dodgers was none other than Kevin Pillar, who went 0-4 with two strikeouts.
Instead of having the depth option of Pollock to turn to, the Dodgers instead recently called up Pillar, who is on his sixth team since the start of the 2019 season and is coming off of a season with a .231/.277/.415 slash line.
The Dodgers’ offense has been relatively healthy thus far this season. Max Muncy’s trip to the Injured List is the first IL trip for an offensive starter this season. That means that the first option the Dodgers turned to was Pillar. Pollock might be struggling this season, but I promise you that he is better than Kevin Pillar.
Will the A.J. Pollock trade derail the Dodgers’ season? No. This team is way too talented for it to derail the regular season.
However, there is a chance that Kimbrel could single-handedly blow a playoff game with the way he is pitching late in games, so maybe this trade can de-rail the season, in a sense. Regardless, the Pollock trade definitely is not panning out the way the Dodgers probably had hoped.