The Dodgers continue to play poorly at home. Photo: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Dodgers Bullpen Fails Again in Extras in 3-1 Loss to Giants

Dodgers 1 5 0

Giants 3 6 0


WP- Casilla (1-0)

LP- Howell (1-3)

S- Romo (11)

HR- Hicks (6)

The Dodgers lost yet another extra inning battle, their ninth extra inning game of the year, on Thursday night at Dodger Stadium. The bullpen is simply awful, and once again the ridiculous amount of walks (4 from the relievers tonight) led them down the path to failure. Josh Beckett only made one mistake during the night by allowing a solo homerun to Brandon Hicks in the seventh, but once again he comes away empty handed without a win.

Ryan Vogelsong only allowed one run to the Dodgers which was on a sacrifice fly ball from Drew Butera in the fifth. The Giants’ bullpen was easily able to shutdown the stagnant Dodger offense the rest of the way through the bottom of the tenth.


May 8, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starter Josh Beckett (61) delivers a pitch against the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Crawford dazzled at shortstop, and he single handedly robbed the Dodgers of at least two base hits and most likely at least one run. The Giants’ defense and bullpen are clearly superior to the Dodgers.

Once again, the Dodger bullpen could not hold the tie, and the Giants scored two big runs off J.P. Howell and Jamey Wright‘s awful performances in the top of the tenth. That’s all the Giants needed, and Sergio Romo was soon pumping his fist with disgusting victory the next frame as the Dodgers failed to do anything to counter in the bottom of the tenth. The only glimmer of inspiration from the bullpen came from Kenley Jansen who pitched  a scoreless ninth inning with two strikeouts. The Dodgers also lost Juan Uribe mid-game due to mild hamstring soreness, and losing Uribe for any length of time will be a big blow to this team.

Josh Beckett walks Buster Posey and Michael Morse consecutively with two outs in the top of the first. Beckett rears back to strike out Brandon Belt and gets out of the inning unscathed.

Ryan Vogelsong sends the Dodgers down in order in the home half of the first.

Brandon Crawford walks with one out in the second, Beckett’s third free pass of the night already. Brandon Hicks looks at a slow rainbow curve for strike three. Nice pitch! Vogelsong grounds out to Uribe at third to end the inning.

The Dodgers go down 1-2-3 again in the bottom of the second. Adrian Gonzalez and Matt Kemp both ground out, and Carl Crawford strikes out.

Hunter Pence loops a single to center for the first hit of the game with one out in the third. Matt Kemp makes a nice running catch on a deep fly ball hit by Posey to center. Morse grounds out on a check swing to end the frame.

The Dodgers can’t muster anything against Vogelsong in the bottom of the third, and now Ryan has retired nine in a row.

Pablo Sandoval has a stand-up double with one out in the fourth. Brandon Crawford flies out, and Brandon Hicks strikes out for the second time as the Giants strand the Panda at second.

The Dodgers finally get a hit in the bottom of the fourth. Yasiel Puig blisters a ball to shortstop, and it’s too hot to handle for Crawford as it is deflected into left field. Hanley Ramirez grounds out to short, and Puig avoids the force at second by running hard. Gonzo hits a ball up the middle, but Crawford is there to smother the ball and rob Gonzo of a hit and the Dodgers of a possible run.

Ryan Vogelsong doubles to left field to lead-off the fifth inning. Pagan fails to advance his runner as he grounds out to Gonzo at first. Pence and Posey also ground out, and the Giants waste another double.

Kemp singles to lead-off the bottom of the fifth. CC draws a walk. Kemp tags up on a fly ball by Uribe and advances to third. Crawford stays at first. The Dodgers bring in a run on a sacrifice fly by Drew Butera as Kemp crosses home, 1-0. With such a low scoring game thus far, the

May 8, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong (32) delivers a pitch against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

May 8, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong (32) delivers a pitch against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Dodgers will absolutely take it. Beckett grounds out to end the frame.

Beckett continues to pitch very well, and he sends down Morse, Belt, and Sandoval in the sixth.

Dee Gordon singles to lead-off the bottom of the sixth. With Puig at-bat Dee steals his 21st base of the year without so much as a throw by Posey. Patient Puig draws a walk. Dee tags up and moves over to third on a fly ball by Hanley. Gonzo grounds into the inning ending double play, and the Dodgers waste a great opportunity to score with Gordon at third.

A.J. Ellis took over the Dodgers twitter account on Thursday night, and he had this to say about Josh Beckett’s performance:


Great to see Josh settle in and control his pitch count. We forget he’s a former World Series MVP and NL East Ace. He knows how to pitch.

— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) May 9, 2014


Even though Beckett pitched admirably, in the top of the seventh, Brandon Hicks hits a solo homerun to left to tie up the game. Vogelsong grounds out, but Angel Pagan doubles to left field with two out. Don Mattingly will take a walk out to the mound to get Beckett whose night is done. Beckett has now gone 14 starts without a win.

Chris Withrow will come in out of the Dodgers bullpen in relief. Puig makes a nice running catch for the final out of the frame as Pence is retired.

Josh Beckett went 6 2/3 innings and allowed 1 run on 5 hits with 4 strikeouts and 3 walks on 107 pitches.

Vogelsong strikes out Kemp to start off the bottom of the seventh on what looked like ball four. Crawford singles. Uribe, having a bad night, grounds into the double play.

Withrow walks Posey to begin the eighth. Morse strikes out looking. Belt strikes out a second time. With Sandoval at the plate, Butera throws out Posey on what probably was a busted hit-and-run play.

With one out in the bottom of the eighth, pinch-hitter Chone Figgins flares a single to left. Ryan Vogelsong will call it a night. Jeremy Affeldt will take over in relief. Figgins takes second on a groundout by Gordon. Bruce Bochy will make a double switch before Puig comes up to bat. Santiago Casilla will come out of the Giants’ bullpen and Gregor Blanco will go to left field. Puig goes down swinging, and we head to the ninth in a 1-1 tie.

Ryan Vogelsong pitched 7 1/3 innings and allowed 1 run on 5 hits with 2 strikeouts and 2 walks on 104 pitches.

Kenley Jansen is in, and Figgins stays in the game to play third. Uribe is out with “mild hamstring soreness.”  Panda grounds out to short. Crawford strikes out. Hicks strikes out.

Annoying Brandon Crawford smothers another groundball at shortstop to rob Hanley of a base hit in the bottom of the ninth. Gonzo grounds out to second. Kemp strikes out for the second time tonight and the 36th time this season as the Dodgers go down in order.

We head to extra innings yet again, and the bullpen blows it yet again. J.P. Howell will pitch the top of the tenth. Blanco flies out, but Howell walks Pagan. Mattingly will make another DonnieSwitch™ by bringing in Andre Ethier to play center field, and Jamey Wright will pitch. With Pence batting, Butera’s passed ball allows Pagan to take second. Wright immediately walks Pence anyways. Posey walks, and the bases are loaded with one out. A sacrifice fly by Hector Sanchez brings in a run, and the Giants take a 2-1 lead. Belt singles in Pence, and its 3-1.

Sergio Romo will seal the deal for the Giants in the bottom of the tenth. Crawford flies out. Romo hits Ethier with a pitch. Scott Van Slyke grounds out. Figgins grounds out to end the game.

The Dodgers fall to 19-17 on the season as the Giants win their 22nd game.

Tomorrow evening Game 2 will feature Paul Maholm versus Madison Bumgarner at 7:10 p.m. PT.

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Tags: Josh Beckett Los Angeles Dodgers

  • Dean Thomas

    Just a guess, but I’m thinking the bullpen has lost at least 7-8 games when we had a lead after 8 innings. Horrible!!!

    • LasordasLair

      They’ve lost ten games now. I believe six of them have been in extra innings.

  • dusto

    This isn’t a bull penn issue. This is an offense issue. You loose 100% of the games you don’t score any runs. One just isn’t enough.

    • Dean Thomas

      They definitely need to score more runs, but how many blown saves do they have, I’d figure 6 or more of these extra inning games they’ve lost, they had a lead (however slim) in the 9th inning.

      • LasordasLair

        Dustin, the bullpen ranks 19th in ERA. They lead the league with ten losses, and have the second most amount of walks in Baseball. Yes the offense sucks too, but the game was not just lost by the crappy offense. the bullpen walked the bases loaded in the tenth. Either way they can’t win with relief pitching and offense this bad. The relief pitching is a huge problem. Look at the Giant’s bullpen and you’ll see why they’re in first place.

        • dusto

          Using wins and losses as a viable stat… fail. No doubt they have a ton of walks and they aren’t nearly producing they way they should. But were talking about the 10th inning in which, had the offense scored one more run than ONE, they wouldn’t even be in this situation. 5 different times have they scored 3 or fewer runs and the game went to extra innings!

          And lets not forget that we are still in the “small sample size” window for the season. This is the type of team that can get hot and hit on all cylinders and make it through June and July with single digit losses. I’m not nearly as worried about the pen as I am about the offense and defense.

          It wasn’t that long ago that you were blaming the starting pitching on why the penn was struggling and getting a ton of innings. Now we see that they are overworked and underperfoming. At that time I didn’t blame the starting pitching on why the penn looked bad, but it was more a product of piss poor defense and an even weaker offense.

          The offense hasn’t gotten much better and the defense has become worse. This is the worst defense in baseball if Uribe is out for any period of time. There is an alternate universe, where I wish I could live, where Uribe is at short and Hanley is at third. I’m thoroughly dissapointed in Hanley and, at this point, hope we don’t see and extension for him. An extension for Hanley would be as bad as the contracts handed out to Crawford and Ethier. We don’t need a third useless 20 million dollar contract on the books, assuming we still think Kemp isn’t useless.

          • LasordasLair

            No, no no no you don’t. Do not give me that stat kid, advanced metric crap to misdirect blame on where it should be placed upon. The horrendous bullpen. I will not allow you to gloss over the fact that the bullpen is equally atrocious as the defense.

            Yes I know the offense has been inconsistent and only scored one run last night. not every one of those losses were because the offense didn’t score more than one run. Hell, they ended up scoring four runs off of Jose Fernandez last weekend. The offense has problems, I agree with you there, but it hasn’t been that bad. The main problem with the offense is they don’t score at home, and they’re not getting on base. But on the road they hit fairly well. Yes the defense is atrocious as well. But having a bullpen that cant hold leads or throw strikes is the kiss of death dude. You cant win without a bullpen.

            yes the starters haven’t been going deep into games I know. I’ve already written about that. And yes that is a problem, and the reason why they are overworked, However they have not thrown strikes since opening day. Which is the main problem with them other than the heavy workload. They can’t throw strikes. look at the numbers. Look at they’re walk per nine rates. Check that, instead compare the bullpen to the Giant’s bullpen and you’ll see why we’re in third place, and they’re in first.
            69 walks for the Dodger bullpen compared to 29 for the Giant’s bullpen. The Dodger bullpen has a 3.92 ERA, the Giant’s have a 1.97 ERA. 40 walks and nearly two runs per game more is a huge difference.
            It’s really a combination of things. The inconsistent offense, the terrible defense, and the horrendous bullpen. But the bullpen is probably the most important to fix right away. You cant win games if you cant hold leads, and you can’t hold leads if your bullpen cant throw strikes. And that’s no matter how many runs they score or don’t score.

          • dusto

            I can say whatever the hell I want. Small sample size! Offensive offense! Errors kill! League, surprisingly isn’t the problem.

            There are no immediate fixes to the Penn. And I’m not worried about the Penn. The defense is an issue that has been around for years and all of this goes back on Don Mattingly.

          • LasordasLair

            Actually, I agree on League being good this year. He has been much improved. I can’t even believe I’m typing these words, but League may be the best reliever in the pen right now. He’s been getting outs. Again, I can’t believe I’m typing these words

          • LasordasLair

            I’m curious how it’s Mattingly’s fault for the poor defense?