The Dodgers’ arch nemesis, their own bullpen, struck again on Wednesday afternoon when Pedro Báez gave up a game-tying hit in the 8th inning and Scott Alexander gave up a walk-off hit in the 11th as the Diamondbacks stormed back to beat the Dodgers 3-2 in the series finale.
Kenta Maeda pitched well over 5 innings, allowing just 1 run on 2 hits, but Dave Roberts made the questionable decision to remove him. It was, in my opinion, a poor decision, seeing that Maeda had only thrown 70 pitches. The decision confused everyone, including Maeda.
“As starting pitchers and only throwing 70 pitches and going five innings deep is not a pleasant thing,” said Maeda. “I was pretty confident I could get those guys out, but as [Roberts] said, the starting pitchers are so good he wanted to use some of the relief pitching tonight.”
If that quote doesn’t confuse you, I don’t know what will. Roberts told Maeda that he was going to the bullpen because the starters were so good.
Roberts’ decision ended up costing the Dodgers. He got into the bullpen too soon, and as you know, the fewer innings the Dodger bullpen sees the better. But as it happened, he gave them more than enough time to blow it.
Then in the 11th inning, it was Alexander’s turn to blow it. He gave up a leadoff triple which put the Dodgers in a terrible spot. Roberts decided to intentionally walk the next batter and pitch to David Peralta. But Alexander threw a meatball that Peralta hit into right field for a walk-off single.
The Dodgers have an off-day in San Francisco before facing the Giants for a three-game series starting on Friday night at 7:10. Clayton Kershaw is set to start for the Dodgers. He is 5-0 with a 3.20 ERA this year. The Giants have not announced their starter.