Commissioner Rob Manfred has placed an emphasis on pace of play in recent seasons with the hope of shortening the length of games as a whole. It doesn’t seem that the Dodgers and Padres received the memo.
In what turned into a 16-inning marathon, the Dodgers escaped with a 5-3 victory after what was either a fantastic display of clutch pitching or a terrible display of situational hitting on both sides (hint: it’s more of the latter).
Even with a runner starting on 2nd base in each inning after the 9th, it wasn’t until the 15th inning that either team was able to scratch across a run. After the game, Dodgers skipper Dave Roberts expressed his frustration with the lack of offense, acknowledging that the hitters didn’t need to be reminded of their failure to score runs.
It was pretty frustrating, but no one [was] more frustrated than the hitters themselves. We got pitches that we should’ve handled, and we just didn’t execute when we needed to.
The lack of production doesn’t only affect the offense, however. With almost a second complete game played after the normal 9 innings, every bullpen pitcher was used to get the win. If Walker Buehler had not gone 6.2 innings himself, who knows how this game would have gone.
There’s certainly a cost as far as the arms we had to use tonight, picking up the pieces for tomorrow. Will Smith is not going to catch tomorrow; we’ll get Austin in there, obviously. So there’s certainly a cost, but I guess the solace is you still found a way to win a game.
At the end of the day, this game counts as one win just like all the others. The Dodgers will be leaving San Diego having at least won the series and ideally with a three-game sweep after tonight’s contest. As tired as these players may be, they all know the task at hand as they continue to chase the San Francisco Giants in the race for the NL West.