Brewers @ Dodgers April 13, 2019: Dodgers lean on bullpen to stop skid

Photo: Stacie Wheeler

The Dodgers (8-7) dropped their fifth straight game on Friday night, a back-and-forth battle with the Brewers (9-5). Things have turned ugly fast for the Dodgers. They’re in danger of falling to .500, a frustrating turn after starting the season 8-2 in dominant fashion.

It’s still very early in the season. They’ve only had one off-day, a travel day to Colorado. It’s not an excuse, but April hasn’t been a cakewalk for the Dodgers in recent years.

Alanna Rizzo reminds us not to get ahead of ourselves just yet. They sucked last April but still managed to win their sixth straight NL West title and second NL pennant in as many years.

It’s not time to panic just yet, but it’s imperative to halt this losing streak.

They’ll look to their already taxed bullpen to keep them in the game and tie up the series against the Brew Crew on Saturday. It’s not an ideal situation.

6:10 p.m.
Los Angeles
Shaw LF Taylor
Davies (R)
Ferguson (L)

Caleb Ferguson makes his first start of the season, filling in for an injured Hyun-Jin Ryu. Ferguson has been effective out of the bullpen so far. He hasn’t allowed a run in 6.1 innings of work with eight strikeouts and one walk. The left-hander has been one of the bright spots, along with Dylan Floro, in what has been a relatively dreadful showing by the L.A. bullpen
thus far. Dave Roberts said best case scenario is for Ferguson to go 3 innings and 45 pitches.

The Dodgers’ 5.31 bullpen ERA is 10th in the NL, and they’ve allowed the most earned runs in the league (36). Only the Baltimore bullpen has allowed more runs (53). Opposing hitters are batting .268 and OPSing .771 against the relief squad.

Dennis Santana will also likely pitch some innings as well. The longest major-league outing he has pitched was last June when he went 3.2 innings at Coors Field, allowing five runs on six hits. Let’s hope the offense hits a bunch of dongs and is able to come through with some clutch hitting, otherwise it’s not going to be pretty.

The Brewers will hand the ball to Zach Davies (1-0, 1.69 ERA, 4.97 FIP), who looks to rebound after shoulder and back injuries hampered his 2018 season. Milwaukee has won both of his first two starts. Davies is 2-1 with a 2.59 ERA and 0.945 WHIP in four career starts against the Dodgers. At Dodger Stadium, he’s 1-0 with a 0.64 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 14 innings (two starts).

Corey Seager and Justin Turner have both hit home runs against Davies. Turner is still looking for his first home run of the season, but April has never been a dong-filled month for JT in his career. He’s only hit two home runs in the month of April in 423 plate appearances.


Connor Joe is back with the Dodgers.

Connor was selected by the Reds in the Rule 5 draft and traded to the Giants before Opening Day. The former first-rounder slashed .299/.408/.527/.935 with 17 home runs between Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City last season.


Speaking of returns, Yasmani Grandal‘s first game back at Dodger Stadium since signing with the Brewers was … eventful. Grandal drove in three runs on three hits including a two-run home run against his old team in the series opener. As you know, I’m a Grandal stan. I don’t understand why he gets so much hate even though he’s been one of the top offensive catchers in baseball over the past few seasons. All I could do is let out a big sigh at the sight of Yaz’s iconic bat drop last night.

Make me forget about the ones that got away, boys.

About Stacie Wheeler

Stacie Wheeler
Stacie Wheeler, born and raised in So Cal, has been writing about the Dodgers since 2010. She wrote daily as the co-editor of Lasorda's Lair for five long years, and she has also written for Dodgers Nation, Dodger Blue 1958 and The Hardball Times. She currently contributes to True Blue LA. Stacie graduated from the University Of Southern California with a bachelor's degree in Cinema-Television. You can also watch her videos on her YouTube channel, DishingUpTheDodgers.