Entering today as losers in eight of their last nine and five in a row, the Dodgers had their best starter on the season matched up against a pitcher making the first start of his career for the Marlins. Did you think that mattered? Of course it didn’t, even though they actually rallied this time, as the Dodgers dropped another one to the Marlins, 6-5.
Walker Buehler has been difficult to hit so far in 2018, but he surrendered seven today in just five innings, including a homer. Buehler struck out seven and walked two, and he was victimized by an error from Chris Taylor that led to an unearned run, but gave up four of the earned variety in the end. Nothing was wrong, things just didn’t go right. Same old, same old.
That appeared to be the game, especially with this offense struggling to score any runs at all. But in the 4th, they got on the board behind a Yasmani Grandal solo shot.
In the 6th, the Dodgers finally put together a quality inning and a crooked number. Joc Pederson started the frame by doubling and eventually scored on a one-out single by Grandal. Cody Bellinger followed by ripping a double down the line in right and CT3 then singled to score a run and he advanced to second with a show of quality baserunning. That proved vital as Max Muncy followed by smacking a ground-rule double to right-center, which plated both and tied the game.
Unfortunately, as has been the case so often with this team, the bullpen immediately gave the lead back to the Marlins. Pedro Baez seemed to be cruising along in the 6th, but gave up a homer to J.T. Realmuto (he needs to stop) with two outs. Josh Fields and Daniel Hudson got scoreless innings in the 7th and 8th, which is better than the pen imploding again.
Still, aside from the unearned run, the Dodgers will regret wasting first and second with nobody out in the 1st, runner on second with one out in the 6th, and first and second with one out in the 8th. It’s just never quite good enough and everything they do ends up falling short.
Story of the year.
The loss drops the Dodgers to 16-26 on the season, which is indeed a 100-loss pace. Yikes.
The Dodgers and Marlins complete their series early tomorrow at 6:10 AM HST/9:10 AM PST/12:10 PM EST. Kenta Maeda (4.75 ERA/3.09 FIP/1.83 DRA) will take the mound looking to make his results match his peripherals, and he’ll be up against the Marlins best starter in Caleb Smith (3.63 ERA/3.11 FIP/3.28 DRA).