Matt Magill (0-0, 5.50) vs. Jorge De La Rosa (6-3, 3.16)
Van Slyke LF
After yet another bullpen catastrophe in the extra inning loss in Colorado on Sunday, the Dodgers worries keep compounding at an exponential rate. Carl Crawford exited the game with a hamstring “cramp.” Although he is listed day-to-day, the outfielder’s injury laden season thus far is far from reassuring. Crawford is a good player, but if he can’t stay healthy then he is no good to this team. Hyun-jin Ryu‘s left foot is still sore from being plunked in the foot by a Mark Trumbo comebacker on Tuesday night. If Ryu is unable to make his start on Sunday, the Dodgers will call Matt Magill back up from Albuquerque to make a spot start.
Chris Capuano is also reportedly nursing a left triceps muscle cramp, but he is expected to make his start on Monday at Dodger Stadium. With injuries aplenty, the Dodgers are limping through the season with no end in sight to it all. Every game there is some kind of injury or epic disappointment. A.J. Ellis is still sitting on the bench suffering from an oblique strain, and it’s still undetermined whether he’ll have to be disabled. Matt Kemp is rehabbing in Arizona, and Josh Beckett will be conferring with a nerve specialist on Monday in order to determine whether he will be able to pitch again. Scott Elbert is in some kind of limbo, and after pitching in two weeks of rehab games he still has yet to be activated. Things are not well in Dodgerville.
Not only are the Dodgers playing in the vast expanses of Coors Field sans center fielder, but they have a totally ineffective bullpen to boot. Brandon League blew a save in game one, and Matt Guerrier blew the game in game two. The Dodgers have actually been able to put up some runs in recent games, but the horrific exploits of the bullpen have destroyed any lead obtained. J.P. Howell pitched well in an extended outing on Saturday, but Ronald Belisario and Matt Guerrier continue to serve up runs like hot cakes. Without a viable bullpen, it will be nearly impossible for this team to dig themselves out of this last place hole.
Don Mattingly was ejected in Saturday night’s game after arguing with the umpire on a call in the sixth inning. Mattingly sure got fired up over that call on the comebacker to Zack Greinke, but his statements to the media over the past couple of days were instead complacent and irksome. When asked about Todd Helton‘s homerun against Brandon League on Friday Mattingly said:
“We’ll look at it again, but I thought Brandon threw the ball well.”
Threw the ball well?!
Mattingly also had this to say about his team and how they’ve been playing:
“We’re playing OK. Obviously not great, but not horrible. We’re treading water, and that’s what we need to do right now. We’re going to get hot as things start to fall into place. We’ve got to fight and not get discouraged just because we don’t get on a roll. We need to tread water until we get people back.”
Do you know what happens when one isn’t able to tread water anymore? You drown.
I’m not expecting any big changes or firings even though those are warranted at this point. The team is satisfied with shuffling around
the players in order not to lose anyone regardless of how they are performing. After all, Luis Cruz is still on this team.
Complacency and lack of urgency will not turn this season around for the Dodgers. Big changes will need to be made in order to inject some momentum shift. There’s still time to do it, but the question is whether they will choose to make those hard decisions or let this disaster of a season turn uglier. Even though we are all pining for Yasiel Puig, the reality is that Puig cannot close games. Without a bullpen, this team is very unstable.
Time is of the essence. The Dodgers need to make some critical changes or this season could go down as the most expensive last place finish in the history of Major League baseball.