As it was in 2014, the Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen has been one of the team’s biggest cause for concern in 2015.
Right-hander Chris Hatcher, who the Dodgers acquired in the offseason from the Miami Marlins, has perhaps struggled the most out of all the Dodgers relievers this season. He got the save on Opening Day, throwing a scoreless ninth leaving Dodger fans excited for the season to come, but he has been very shaky since then. In 14.1 innings, he has a 6.91 ERA and already has four losses on the season.
The last came Wednesday night against the Braves when he came in and gave up a hit and a walk without retiring a batter, leading to two runs scoring and ultimately deciding the fate of the game.
While Hatcher has struggled, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said after Wednesday night’s loss, “We know his stuff is there and we know he’s capable, so we don’t lose faith in him.”
Mattingly also went on to say that despite the success the bullpen has had this season, they have been up and down a lot and need to be more consistent. “I know it’s been a little bit of a roller coaster with him and a few of the other guys out there getting to Kenley [Jansen]. After a really good start early, it’s not quite as consistent as it was. It’s something that we’ve been talking about and obviously looking at,” Mattingly said.
The Dodgers starting pitching has been better than expected considering all the injuries, yielding a 3.55 ERA which ranks third in all of baseball. Despite some recent batting outings, the Dodgers bullpen team ERA is 2.60, fourth-best in the Majors. So based on numbers alone, it’s not time for too much concern.
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