When Don Mattingly throws out the “all right-handed lineup” against left-handed pitchers, I’m not usually opposed to it. The Dodgers have some quality bench players — most of whom would start on the majority of MLB teams. But this whole “bullpen game” thing was doomed from the start.
The Dodgers fell 6-3 to the Rockies in Game 1 of a doubleheader in a lackluster performance against a struggling Jorge De La Rosa, who somehow got through six innings.
Juan Nicasio, however, couldn’t get to the third inning. That isn’t his fault. He’s been a reliever all season (and done a hell of a job so far), so to expect him to give more than two innings was unrealistic. Ian Thomas relieved Nicasio (2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 K) and was pretty awful: 3 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HR). J.P. Howell and David Huff pitched scoreless innings of relief, while sandwiched between them was Chris Hatcher allowing a home run to Ben Paulsen. Hatcher’s command is pretty awful right now.
The Dodgers actually led 2-1 after this:
Four. Seventy. Seven. Joc Pederson strikes out a ton (twice in Game 1), but he puts a charge into the ball seemingly every time he hits it. That was his team-leading 15th home run of the season. Some (myself included) would have settled for 15 home runs in his rookie season. He has done that in his first 51 games this season. And his last three home runs have come off left-handed pitchers (his first 12 were against righties). He good.
The only other Dodger run came on a bases-loaded walk by Adrian Gonzalez. The Dodgers managed just five hits (and four walks), but couldn’t break through in the fifth inning when De La Rosa was seemingly on the ropes. The Rockies’ bullpen closed out the game after a semi-rally in the ninth by the Dodgers. Justin Turner singled, Alex Guerrero hit a rocket to right-center field that was tracked down by Mike’s favorite non-Dodger Charlie Blackmon. Andre Ethier had seemingly reached on an error that was reviewed and ended up being a fielder’s choice with Turner being out at second. Yasmani Grandal pinch-hit and struck out looking to end the game.
The Dodgers fall to 30-21 with the loss, while the Rockies improve to 23-27 with the win. Zack Greinke (5-1, 1.48 ERA) takes on David Hale (1-0, 2.70 ERA) — who is apparently a real person — in about two hours. This, hopefully, won’t be another bullpen game, and I’m guessing the lineup will look a little different than Game 1.