On a day where Clayton Kershaw labored through six innings, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ combined to throw three scoreless innings, allowing just one hit in a 6-3 win over the San Diego Padres.
Whereas the bullpen was nearly perfect on Opening Day, they failed to duplicate their results Tuesday on a wet and cool night at Dodger Stadium. Zack Greinke allowed one run on two hits in six innings. He exited the game with the Dodgers taking a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the sixth.
Over the next three innings, six relievers combined to allow six runs — including four in the ninth to break the game open; however, only three of the six runs charged to the Dodgers’ bullpen were earned.
Following Tuesday’s loss, Mattingly didn’t fault his group of relievers. “I thought they were actually okay,” he said. “We had a chance to get out of that inning in the seventh. I think our guys threw the ball fine.”
Yasmani Grandal, who made his first start of the season, also dismissed the notion of Tuesday being part of the learning curve for a young bullpen. “Like I said, our bullpen is solid. There’s no reason why what happened, happened, Grandal said.
“But, at the same time, it’s a long season so they’re going to learn from it. And they’re going to come back and do it all over again. It’s one of those games where you just got to let go.”
Pedro Baez was the first reliever out of the bullpen and he opened the seventh with a strikeout, then allowed a base hit before getting his second strikeout of the inning. Mattingly then called on Paco Rodriguez, who allowed a single to pinch-hitter Clint Barmes and the left-hander was promptly removed from the game.
Yimi Garcia was the next man in and he got Yangervis Solarte to pop up to shallow center, which resulted in an error on Jimmy Rollins that allowed the Padres to tie the game. Garcia started the eighth inning and was replaced by J.P. Howell with two outs and runners on the corners.
Howell gave up an RBI single to Yonder Alonso, the first batter he faced, before getting out of the inning. Despite Mattingly saying he doesn’t necessarily believe bullpen roles will be set, Chris Hatcher got the call in the ninth for the second straight game.
After a leadoff single, Grandal committed an error on a sac-bunt attempt and it sparked the four-run inning for the Padres, with Juan Nicasio allowing the final run to score on an infield single.
Although the failures of the Dodgers’ bullpen may have evoked nightmares from the 2014 season, Tuesday wasn’t completely indicative of the same troubles that plagued the group of relievers last season and there are 160 games remaining to prove as much.
Paco Rodriguez Worked On Improving Mechanics