For all intents and purposes, the Los Angeles Dodgers had a successful trip to Sydney, Australia. They won both games against the Arizona Diamondbacks behind strong starting pitching and managed to return to the U.S. relatively healthy.
The two primary concerns injury-wise are Hyun-Jin Ryu’s loose toenail and uncertainty surrounding the status of Yasiel Puig’s back. As for on-the-field matters, the Dodgers nearly blew a 7-0 lead in the second game, which drew criticism from manager Don Mattingly, according to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times:
We don’t play like this and win, Mattingly said. We may win or get to the playoffs or whatever, but you don’t win like this. It’s a frustrating game.
Perhaps taking a sigh of relief and looking forward to the flight home, the Dodgers were only charged with one error but seemingly lost focus as the game wore on and their lead increased. Andre Ethier and Puig committed base running blunders, Dee Gordon was charged with an error in the fourth inning, which didn’t lead to any Diamondback runs and the bullpen that was impressive in the opening game, struggled.
Ryu pitched five innings and gave way to the bullpen after he could no longer pitch with the split toenail. In total, Mattingly summoned seven relievers in the Sunday afternoon game, who collectively walked seven batters and gave up five runs. Jose Dominguez and Jamey Wright were the primary culprits, each walking two and Dominguez allowing three runs. The Dodgers entered the bottom of the ninth inning leading 7-1 with Dominguez taking the mound. He was relieved by Paul Maholm after giving up two runs and Maholm was then pulled in favor of Kenley Jansen, who gave up a two-run home run to Mark Trumbo before retiring the side.
The results certainly weren’t what Mattingly has come to expect from the experienced relievers who return from last season’s team. With a day off on Monday, the Dodgers will pickup with their work outs on Tuesday ahead of the three exhibition games prior to resuming the regular season schedule in San Diego on March 30.
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