Mike Bolsinger had never faced the St. Louis Cardinals prior to Friday, but he did grow up rooting against them, as many young Los Angeles Dodgers fans are now doing. The unfamiliarity was something Bolsinger believed was an advantage that worked in his favor.
Any thoughts of that holding true were quickly washed away as the Cardinals loaded the bases with no outs in the first inning. He managed to limit the damage, trading a ground ball double play for one run; the run snapped his 18.2 scoreless innings streak.
Bolsinger finished with six innings pitched and allowed two runs on seven hits. Although he managed to keep the Dodgers in the game, the outing wasn’t nearly as sharp as the two that preceded it. The 27 year old attributed that to not having an effective curveball or slider, via an interview with Alanna Rizzo of Time Warner Cable’s SportsNet LA:
It [curveball] wasn’t good and the slider wasn’t good, either. It was just rough with those pitches.
As for the inconsistent strike zone, Bolsinger’s comments indicate he took notice, but he stopped short of blaming his troubles on it:
It’s interesting. You’re going to come across guys that have different strike zones all the time. Obviously on both sides he was kind of off. You’re going to roll into those kind of situations and it’s how you overcome them. You never want to make excuses when you go out there. You just gotta battle.”
Bolsinger added that he believed the strike zone was fair for both he and the more experienced John Lackey, who struck out nine in seven innings. Friday was Bolsinger’s first loss in five starts with the Dodgers this season.
It was also the first time the Dodger right-hander allowed more than one run in an outing. Now 3-1 with an ERA that increased to 1.15 and WHIP that’s now 0.96, Bolsinger is next lined up to face the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday, which is the finale of the four-game series that includes a doubleheader to make up for a rainout.