Suddenly, Dodgers’ Pitching is in Shambles

They’ve still got Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke at the top of the rotation, but the rest of the Dodgers’ starting staff is now a mess. Hyun-Jin Ryu’s status is at best uncertain, and no one at this point knows when he will next start a game or if he will see action again this year. Dan Haren’s streak of excellent performances came to a crashing halt yesterday, when, after a three-game streak of allowing zero earned runs, he was hit hard by the Rockies, allowing five runs, all earned, in only five innings, in a 10-4 loss. Roberto “Fasuto Carmona” Hernandez, after a series of barely acceptable starts, has now been knocked out early in three straight games, giving up nine earned in his last 11 innings. By rights, he should have given up several more runs over those 11 innings, having allowed 16 hits and walking four, for an unimaginable WHIP of 1.82 over those three games.

A scant few days ago, I praised Carlos Frias after his excellent start against Washington in which he pitched six shutout innings. He pitched in relief twice after that start, doing reasonably well, allowing two runs over five innings. but then he got another start today, and the results were not pretty. Against the Rockies in an afternoon game today, the first seven batters reached on base hits as they scored eight first inning runs off of Frias. During the game, I listened awhile to Mason and
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Ireland, and I could not believe hearing Steve Mason say the Kevin Correia was the Dodgers’ best choice for that last starting spot in the rotation. Then the empty uniform non-manager Don Mattingly inserted Correia into the game in relief, and he allowed six more runs over three innings worked. Correia has now given up 25 runs, 19 of them earned, over the 23 innings he has pitched as a member of the Dodgers, for an ERA of 7.43 and with WHIP of 1.65.

So, where do the Dodgers turn for starting pitching? We have long since established the fact that there is no help from the minors, and anyone not already called up is now settled into their offseason, some already out of the country. The first choice for the fourth sport has to be Fausto, and following him, in that fifth slot, should still be Frias, at least for one more start, not in Coors Field. After him, another possibility could be Scott Elbert, who, though out most of the year following surgery, has done pretty well in a couple of relief appearances. But, in 123 major league appearances, he has never started a game, though he’s been a starter in the minors, with 96 starts under his belt including a couple this season. Look across the county line to the Angels and Mike Scioscia’s recent use of Cory

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Rasmus in his rotation, with some pretty good success: The Angels are 3-1 over his four starts, despite him pitching only 12 innings, but he has allowed only three earned runs in those four games.

There are a couple of interesting notes on Frias' historically bad outing. He is, according to the good people at Elias Sports Bureau, who relish in providing such tidbits, the first pitcher in
the “modern era” (you know, 1901 and forward) to give up ten hits in a game without getting as many as three outs. Also, Frias never actually retired a batter himself; the two outs recorded while he was pitching occurred when one runner was thrown out attempting to steal, and the second out was Wilin Rosario out at the plate trying to score on an attempted squeeze. Well, that one is stretching it – that could be considered the pitcher retiring a batter, as the throw could have gone to first to get the batter out.

Finally, the Rockies scored 16 runs on 21 hits against the Dodgers today on the 18th anniversary of the Dodgers’ Hideo Nomo pitching the only no-hitter ever in Coors Field, as he defeated the Rockies 9-0.

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