Phillies 7, Dodgers 3: Bullpen game goes as expected

After 3 innings of work yesterday, Andre Jackson was sent back to Triple-A before Sunday’s first pitch, leaving the Dodgers without a clear bulk boy for their bullpen game in Philadelphia. That meant eight different pitchers were sent out to the mound with the Dodgers losing 7-3.

To make matters more annoying, the Dodgers finished the game with nine balls hit over 100 mph, leading to just a single and a home run. For the Phillies, it was eight balls above 100 mph leading to four singles and a homer.


Likely needing some significant run support, both because of the bullpen game and because of the pitching staff’s 29th-ranked 5.65 ERA on the road (behind only the Athletics’ 7.08!), the Dodgers offense did put two on with two out against Philadelphia’s Taijuan Walker. After Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman went down swinging at splitters, Will Smith doubled to right and Max Muncy drew a walk. However, Walker locked back in and struck out J.D. Martinez on three pitches.

First out of the bullpen for the Dodgers, Caleb Ferguson was the victim of an infield single by Trea Turner, a single for Nick Castellanos with an xBA of .170 and a bloop single at 71.1 mph by Bryce Harper to fall behind 1-0.

Three consecutive ground outs by the Dodgers on 12 pitches from Walker brought Victor Gonzalez to the mound in the 2nd. Brandon Marsh singled, but Gonzalez only needed 18 pitches to get out of the inning.

Once again, the Dodgers put runners at first and second with two outs but failed to cash in against Walker. Betts singled to left and Smith drew a walk after falling behind 0-2 with a pair of foul balls. Muncy appeared to be on his way to a walk as well, but a 2-0 splitter gave Walker his first strike of the at-bat despite being placed in just about the same spot as ball two. With the count full, Muncy sent a sinker 387 feet at 104.8 mph, but like Freeman’s 387 fly ball two batters earlier it landed in the glove of Marsh.

Tayler Scott made it three pitchers in as many innings for Los Angeles, and recorded two outs in the 3rd while allowing Turner’s lead off double and an intentional walk to Harper. With two down and runners on 2nd and 3rd after a double steal, Dave Roberts turned to the recently called up Adam Kolarek to face Bryson Stott. Six pitches later, the Phillies led 3-0 as a 3-2 change from Kolarek landed in the outfield for a two-run single that was 76.8 mph off the bat.

Obviously these numbers aren’t everything, but you really can only laugh when Turner’s landed for a double to open the inning immediately after Marsh ran both of those balls down in center.

Anyway, Kolarek returned for the 4th and recorded the first 1-2-3 inning of the game with strikeouts of Marsh and Garrett Stubbs, then getting a weak grounder by Kyle Schwarber.

The Dodgers followed suit, going down 1-2-3 in the 5th, which ended Walker’s day with two hits and two runs allowed in 5 innings, striking out five. Finishing with seven misses on 17 swings against the splitter, Walker recorded four of his five strikeouts with the Dodgers swinging at the pitch.

Yency Almonte took over in the 5th, quickly getting two outs before walking Harper on four pitches. The walk ultimately didn’t matter and Harper couldn’t even get a steal before Almonte struck out Alec Bohm after spamming him with five sweepers. Throwing 16 total pitches, Almonte went with the sweeper 13 times for an 81 percent total in the game, which is his fourth highest percentage of sweepers in a single game though the other three instances included just two, six and seven sweepers thrown.

With Gregory Soto on the mound for the Phillies, Freeman put the Dodgers on the board as a hard hit ball finally led to a hit. Sending Soto’s second pitch of the game 399 feet, Freeman hit his 13th homer of the year to make it 3-1.

And that one run for the Dodgers was erased just four batters later.

Stott came back from a 1-2 count to walk against Alex Vesia to open the 6th, and moved up to third on a single from Marsh. Cruelly fucking with the Dodgers, the Phillies had Stubbs lay down a bunt back to Vesia, which scored Stott. It did lead to Marsh being out between second and third, which helped limit any more damage, but sure enough, Freeman’s blast was equaled by a walk, single and bunt.

However, Seranthony Domínguez gave the run right back himself with his two-out, 2-2 fastball sent over the right-field wall by Jason Heyward for another solo shot to cut the lead back to 4-2.

Finally out of lefties to throw out against the Phillies after Ferguson, Gonzalez, Kolarek and Vesia all pitched, the Dodgers turned to Nick Robertson for the 7th. And again, the run the offense put on the board was quickly erased. A leadoff single for Turner and a two-run homer by Castellanos put the Phillies back up 6-2, with Robertson eventually giving up five hits and a walk in the inning. Saved a bit by a double play on a grounder that was 106.1 mph off the bat of Bohm, Robertson’s inning left the Dodgers down 7-2.

Jose Alvarado continued to struggle against the Dodgers, walking Betts on four pitches and losing Freeman on an 0-2 count as he sent a cutter to left at 65.9 mph. Another walk loaded the bases in the 8th, but Muncy’s ground ball resulted in a force at second to score just one run. Martinez battled with Alvarado for nine pitches, fouling off four pitches before finally swinging and missing at cutter breaking into his knees. Chris Taylor didn’t last nearly as long, striking out on a cutter to end the inning, though his was actually in the strike zone.

With that seeming like the last shot at the game for the Dodgers, Brusdar Graterol went out and recorded just the second 1-2-3 inning of the game, and became the only pitcher in the game to not allow a hit or walk.

Craig Kimbrel pitched the 9th for Philadelphia and went ahead and retired the side in order.


After another off day on Monday for the Dodgers, the third so far in 12 days of June, the team will begin a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. from Dodger Stadium. It’ll be Tony Gonsolin (2.21 ERA/4.48 FIP/5.25 xFIP) and Lance Lynn (6.72 ERA/5.30 FIP/4.15 xFIP) to open the series.

Sitting at 37-29, the Dodgers are 3.5 games back of the D-backs (40-25), who rallied back from a 5-2 deficit after Zac Gallen allowed 10 hits and five runs for a 7-5 victory in Detroit.

About Cody Bashore

Cody Bashore is a lifelong Dodger fan originally from Carpinteria, California (about 80 miles north of Dodger Stadium along the coast). He left California to attend Northern Arizona University in 2011, and has lived in Arizona full-time since he graduated in 2014 with a journalism degree.