You had to have known that right after I wrote about how great the Dodger offense had been that they’d go and get shut down, right? I mean, of course.
But perhaps lost in that discussion of how great the offense has been was a reminder of how good the bullpen has been. After Brett Anderson went six shutout innings, seven different relievers — everyone but Chris Hatcher — combined for seven more. That’s now a streak of 26 consecutive scoreless innings for the bullpen, and it’s just absurd how much production everyone in the bullpen is providing. There’s going to be a tough choice when Kenley Jansen returns, and it’s partially why I was surprised to see that David Aardsma had passed up using his opt-out.
The offense, of course, didn’t have much to offer today, in part because Chase Anderson and a succession of Arizona relievers were sharp, at least until Evan Marshall allowed Yasmani Grandal to walk off. Joc Pederson and Jimmy Rollins both whiffed three times and went 0-5; Alex Guerrero whiffed twice and went 0-4. (He now has one hit in his last 12 plate appearances, part of a necessary correction.)
And yeah, because you want to hear about it, that 10th inning was bad. Andre Ethier led off with a double (!) against a lefty (!!), his second hit of the game against a lefty (!!!), and with Juan Uribe, pinch-hitter Yasmani Grandal, Scott Van Slyke, and Pederson lined up against Enrique Burgos, you’d have thought that at least one of them could manage a single to bring in the winning run. But Don Mattingly, infuriatingly, and with no apparent memory of the 2013 NLCS, asked Uribe to sacrifice bunt. Uribe, as should be terribly obvious by now, does not have this skill. After two failed attempts, he struck out. Grandal walked, Van Slyke whiffed, and Pederson struck out. I generally think fans are too hard on the manager, because Mattingly has improved (in my opinion) each year he’s been in charge and because Van Slyke/Pederson didn’t get the job done. Not on this, though. It’s endlessly, permanently unforgivable.
But it maybe says something about this team that the manager did something silly, that the offense completely took the day off, that the Opening Day No. 5 starter took the mound, and they still won to complete the sweep. Things aren’t going perfectly, because they never are. If this is what ‘not perfect’ looks like, it’ll be a fun season.
* * *
Hey, who’s surprised? Not me.
#Dodgers will DFA veteran RHP Scott Baker. Possibly to add fresh arm after using 7 relievers today, moving Carlos Frias to rotation.
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) May 4, 2015