Reds 9, Dodgers 8: Freddie Freeman’s grand slam not enough as bullpen implodes for a walk-off loss

After dropping the series to the Yankees and losing three of the last four, the Dodgers have now added to those recent struggles against the Reds to start their road trip. They once again rode the offense to a lead, but the pitching staff imploded, with the bullpen in particular struggling as they got walked off in a 9-8 loss.


Luke Weaver got the start and his historical struggles against the Dodgers were realized almost immediately. A Mookie Betts infield single and Freddie Freeman walk started the inning, and Max Muncy doubled Mookie in to start the scoring. J.D. Martinez followed by lifting a sacrifice fly for another run, and David Peralta continued his hit streak with a single to make it 3-0.

Unfortunately, Tony Gonsolin didn’t have his best command today and started off just as shaky. Back-to-back singles to start things off was later followed by a walk to load the bases, and Spencer Steer got hit to force a run in. With the bases still packed, Tyler Stephenson singled to drive in two more and tie the game at 3-3. Tony seemed rather lucky to escape after that without further damage.

Weaver got back on the bump after the 1st and delivered a couple of 1-2-3 frames in the 2nd and 3rd. However, the 4th started with J.D. smashing his 15th homer to put the Dodgers back in front.

The inning continued with a one-out Jason Heyward single and a two-out Miguel Rojas single, which was followed by a Mookie walk to load things up. That was the end of the road for Weaver, but Freddie didn’t seem to care much either way, as he crushed an 0-2 pitch to right for his 11th homer and an 8-3 lead.

On the other side, Gonsolin settled in a bit after the rough 1st. He got a clean 2nd, worked around a one-out double by Elly De La Cruz (who was as impressive as advertised) and walk in the 3rd, and got a clean 4th as well.

Tony did cough up a run in the 5th, though mainly due to his defense. After a one-out single and walk, with two down Jonathan India reached on a brutal Muncy throwing error that made it 8-4.

Credit to Gonsolin for minimizing the damage at least: 5 IP, 5 H, 4 R (3 ER), 3 BB (1 HBP), 5 K, 92 Pitches.

Relieving him in the 6th was Yency Almonte, and the bullpen continued to look shaky at best and terrible at worst. After he had a walk erased by a double play, he then gave up back-to-back singles and Muncy again made an error catching Heyward’s throw that advanced both runners (error was changed to Heyward later, which … okay). That allowed an India roller to third for an infield single to score a run and cut the lead to 8-5.

Brusdar Graterol then got the 7th, giving up back-to-back singles to start and then getting a gift in the form of a great double play started by Freeman. Another infield single, this one by Stuart Fairchild on a great attempt to get him by Rojas, led to another run and an 8-6 score. A single off the wall in right followed to corner the runners, but Graterol escaped without surrendering the lead.

Next up was Evan Phillips, one of the few guys the Dodgers probably trust in leverage situations. He thankfully delivered an 11-pitch inning that consisted of two groundouts and De La Cruz’s first MLB K.

As all of that shit was going on, the offense wasn’t doing anything. Since they ended their big 4th, the bats managed just a pair of walks, a single, and a steal, which resulted in no insurance.

That quickly became an issue as Caleb Ferguson melted down in the 9th. A walk and a single got things off to an ominous start as the runners were cornered. After getting a foul out, Ferguson issued another walk to load the bases and then walked Curt Casali to force a run in. Ferguson seemed to lock back in to Jake Fraley, but then hit him to force the tying run in.

Shelby Miller was finally summoned from the pen, and he allowed a “single” on a fly ball that was deep enough to score the runner anyway, and that was an 9-8 loss.

My problem wasn’t with removing Phillips, because he’s the one guy they can’t afford to lose due to injury or have his effectiveness backup due to fatigue. Rather, it was clear early in the outing that Ferguson didn’t have it, and Dave Roberts left him out there to die.


Joe Davis, thank you.


Dodgers35-26 (1 GB)

*Either still playing or will play later.

The two teams do it again tomorrow at the same time of 1:10 PM HT/4:10 PM PT/7:10 PM ET. It’ll be Noah Syndergaard (6.54 ERA/5.44 xERA/5.22 DRA) looking to throw more innings than runs allowed against Brandon Williamson (4.29/6.30/5.80).

About Chad Moriyama

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"A highly rational Internet troll." - Los Angeles Times