The box score may read LA Dodgers 3, Arizona Diamondbacks 1, but the losers of that game were not the now and forever insidious and moribund Diamondbacks, who should have been locking up title to last place in the NL West by now, but rather the Dodgers, whose manager Dave Roberts had to resort to late-September pennant-race tactics to win
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|what should have been an all-too-easy laugher against a far inferior team.
And the reason for all this was the same reason the then high-flying Dodgers crashed and burned in San Francisco, and will continue to lose games that should be easy wins.
In today’s interpretation of the game of baseball as it is played in the major leagues, each team has a “Closer”, a pitching specialist whose job it is to
But now the Dodgers and Roberts have seen fit to the break that time-honored mold, and approach things differently. The fact of the matter is that obvious fact that the Dodgers entered into the 2016 season with an absolutely horrible bullpen, save for closer Kenley Jansen. The question on the tip of every fan’s tongue was “How to bridge the gab between
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|a well pitched start and the ninth inning?” So far this season, there has been no acceptable answer. Reliever after reliever, from Pedro Baez to Chris Hatcher to J.P. Howell to Louis Coleman and all the rest have been horrid, and last night, in a basically meaningless, early season game against a non-contender, faced with the obvious likelihood of losing yet again, this time with a two-run lead in the eighth inning, Roberts made a decisive choice.
Starter Alex Wood pitched very well for seven
Alas, what is a rookie manager to do? Mr. Closer,… uh, Mr. Janson, are you warmed up? Yep, in order to preserve a basically meaningless April win against this horrid team, Roberts literally was forced to use his closer in the eighth inning for a five-out save. In September, possibly, in a post season game, absolutely, but NOW? The sad part is he really
|had little if any choice.
The question is where do the Dodgers and Roberts go from here? Ross Stripling starts tonight, coming off his brilliant major league debut in a game that was lost by the bullpen. There is no chance that Stripling could go all nine tonight - his debut game in which he pitched 7-1/3 was the first time he had gone more than five innings in two years since his elbow surgery of 2014.
It’s unlikely Jansen would pitch at all tonight, let alone come into the game before the ninth inning. So, who will pitch after Stripling?