Through the first two months and some change of the 2014 season, the Los Angeles Dodgers have endured two nine-game road trips, rain delays and 10 extra-inning games, which is most in MLB.
In a span of 10 days in April, the Dodgers played four games that went into extras and lost three of them. Overall, the Dodgers have won just three of the 10 extra-inning games, including two consecutive losses.
The extra-inning games has resulted in the Dodgers often playing well over three hours on a regular basis. According to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register, MLB also believes the Dodgers prolonged games is a result of the team’s pitchers moving too slowly, which has led to a warning:
The warning cited a number of Dodgers pitchers for their violations of baseball’s “pace of game” regulations. A number of relievers were cited for taking too long to get from the bullpen to the mound when entering the game. Continued violations could result in $5,000 fines though none of the players have been fined to date.
Manager Don Mattingly stated he hasn’t given much thought the Dodgers’ lengthy games, but did acknowledged things tend to move quickly when all goes according to plan:
I don’t ever think about it,” he said. “I know when you have a nice, clean game things seem to move along better.”
The bullpen collectively shouldered a heavy workload in the early stages of the season, which when coupled with Mattingly’s tendency to rely on matchups, has inadvertently contributed to the long games; errors and walks can also be blamed for games carrying on.
With strong pitching performances from their starters as of late, the Dodgers have managed to play games that have lasted around the amount of time that’s typical with an MLB game.
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