You knew, you just knew, that one of these days Roberto Hernandez was going to implode. He’d been reasonably effective in his first four starts as a Dodger, yet he’s rarely been a pitcher who’s ever had any sort of consistency to his name, especially when it comes to his name.
Tonight, against a very good Washington lineup, in Dodger Stadium weather that made the park look like Coors Field, the bad Hernandez came out to play. Four Nationals — Jayson Werth, Denard Span, Asdrubal Cabrera, Span again — homered against Hernandez in his 4.1 innings, putting the Dodgers in a hole, early. Every time you looked up, it seemed a baseball was going over the head of a Dodger outfielder, and it wasn’t just homers, because Brandon League allowed doubles to Gio Gonzalez and Anthony Rendon in the seventh (one of which Yasiel Puig probably could have had a play on).
Almost as concerning: the slumping Dodger trio of Puig, Dee Gordon and Hanley Ramirez continued to do just that, combining to go 0-11 with a walk, though Puig did score in the ninth after drawing a walk off of Rafael Soriano. Matt Kemp played a part in the first three Dodger runs, crushing his 17th homer of the year with Adrian Gonzalez aboard in the first and scoring on Juan Uribe‘s single in the seventh.
As for the new guys: Alex Guerrero, in his Dodger Stadium debut, struck out pinch-hitting. Yimi Garcia impressed by throwing two scoreless innings in relief. Joc Pederson got to make his major league debut in a huge spot: two outs, ninth inning, down two, men on the corners against Soriano. His six-pitch plate appearance went like this:
— crushed line drive foul
— called strike, low
— called strike three
Here’s how that strike three looked…
…and while Pederson seemed visibly upset by the call, it was definitely too close to take.
Puig was displeased:
I know what Don Mattingly has said about Pederson’s playing time, and I know the only way Puig is getting out of this slump is to play, but I still have to think we see Pederson get a start in center some time this week. Washington starts righties Doug Fister and Jordan Zimmermann the next two nights.