The Dodgers lost the rubber match of the series in Atlanta as the Braves came from behind late. Los Angeles had a fast start as they went up 3-0 on the power of Cody Bellinger’s 42nd home run of the season.
Easy like Sunday morning. pic.twitter.com/nD8jAZ8fam
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) August 18, 2019
Tony Gonsolin got the start and put up a shutout through 3. He allowed a run in the 4th inning before Pedro Baez came in for a clean inning in the 5th. In the 6th inning, however, Dustin May made the first relief appearance of his career and served up a grand slam to give Atlanta the 5-3 lead.
Following the loss, Dave Roberts spoke with SportsNet LA anchor Alanna Rizzo about May’s first relief appearance.
"We'll get him back in the bullpen and we'll continue to grow."
— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) August 18, 2019
Clearly, it was a lack of command. This is something we knew, didn’t expect to be seamless, to give him opportunity to learn, and any excuses, I think it’s more of, trying a little too hard, I guess. When you’re trying to overthrow the breaking ball, and the arm doesn’t catch up, or overthrow the 2 seamer, that just doesn’t get there.
But this is a learning process, so my faith, my confidence in Dustin hasn’t wavered, and Dustin is going to be better than fine.
May in the bullpen is yet another occasion of the Dodgers trying something new during the 2019 season. Roberts shared his thoughts on how much the calendar and division lead affords them to have these sort of experiments:
Yeah, it does, and credit to our guys, we’ve put ourselves in a situation, and ultimately, you’re focusing on how you wanna live in the games in October. To have Dustin really hasn’t thrown out of the ‘pen outside of spring training, probably, so, to run the play out, to check a box, to get familiarity with it, it’s a good thing. Right now, he feels bad because of the results, but we didn’t lose it because of Dustin.
He’ll throw a bullpen in a couple days, and we’ll get him back in the bullpen, and we’ll continue to grow.
The manager is right, as it wasn’t solely on the young righty. LA bats went cold in Hotlanta for the second game in a row.
“We had [Max] Fried on the ropes early. I thought we took really good at-bats, had a big homer from Cody, and Fried went 5 innings, and we got to the ‘pen, and just putting at-bats together, building innings, we didn’t do that. But again, you got to give credit to those guys, they pitched us well, they played 27 outs, and we lost the series, but it was a good series, it was fun to be apart of.”
The Dodgers will return home to face the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday.