Last nights’ loss to the Diamondbacks might have exposed a the Dodgers’ Achilles Heal. Some Dodgers’ fans rightfully would tell me not to worry because the season is still young. I would probably agree with them if the exposed Achilles Heal was any other area but this one. And what area am I so worry about, you ask?
And I reply. The exposed area is in their pitching rotation and to be more specific, the inning pitched.
The only pitcher that lasted well into the game is the Dodgers’ ace Clayton Kershaw while the others bearly make it five innings. This played out again last night when Brandon McCarthy left the game after five innings.
The game Dodgers had been up 2-0 when McCarthy gave up two runs that tied the game. His early departure force overworked relievers to finish up, and it resulted in the Diamondbacks getting two more runs to break the tie and win the game.
Why were the relievers overworked? Because they had to work extra innings after early departures of other starting pitchers. Below I have statistics that will make my case.
Innings The Pitched
Clayton Kershaw 21.1
Brandon McCarthy 17.0
Kenta Maeda 14.0
Hyun-Jin Ryu 9.1
Rich Hill 8.0 (Hill played in two games because he was on the DL)
|04/14||vs ARI||W 7-1||8.1||4||1||1||0||1||8||9||11||29||100||W(2-1)||—||2.53|
|04/08||@ COL||L 2-4||6.0||8||4||4||3||0||6||11||9||26||100||L(1-1)||—||3.46|
|04/03||vs SD||W 14-3||7.0||2||2||1||1||0||8||6||10||24||84||W(1-0)||—||1.29|
|04/17||vs ARI||L 2-4||5.0||5||2||2||0||3||8||7||3||21||86||—||—||2.12|
|04/12||@ CHC||W 2-0||6.0||4||0||0||0||3||4||8||6||21||91||W(2-0)||—||1.50|
|04/06||vs SD||W 10-2||6.0||4||2||2||1||1||4||8||10||23||78||W(1-0)||—||3.00|
|10 GAME LOG|
|04/15||vs ARI||W 8-4||4.0||4||4||4||1||1||5||3||8||17||71||—||—||7.07|
|04/09||@ COL||W 10-6||5.0||5||4||4||1||1||5||5||11||22||83||W(1-1)||—||6.30|
|04/04||vs SD||L 0-4||5.0||6||3||3||1||2||4||6||9||21||75||L(0-1)||—||5.40|
|04/13||@ CHC||L 0-4||4.2||6||4||4||2||2||5||6||7||21||77||L(0-2)||—||5.79|
|04/07||@ COL||L 1-2||4.2||6||2||2||1||1||5||8||7||21||77||L(0-1)||—||3.86|
|04/16||vs ARI||L 1-3||3.0||5||2||2||1||2||2||4||7||15||54||L(1-1)||—||3.38|
|04/05||vs SD||W 3-1||5.0||2||1||1||1||3||5||6||4||18||75||W(1-0)||—||1.80|
Alex Wood (Even though Wood isn’t part of the starting rotation, He did take Hill’s place for the Chicago series and will back in place of Hill again. Hill is on the DL again.)
|04/15||vs ARI||W 8-4||3.1||0||0||0||0||0||3||8||1||12||41||W(1-0)||—||1.00|
|04/10||@ CHC||L 2-3||3.2||3||2||1||0||5||4||4||6||19||70||—||—||1.59|
|04/05||vs SD||W 3-1||2.0||0||0||0||0||1||1||2||3||7||22||—||H(1)||0.00|
I want to start with Alex Wood since he will be back in the rotation. He only lasted 3.2 innings in his only start. That resulted in six innings being filled by relievers,
Then you have Hill who has not got past five innings and leaving Sunday’s game after three because of a reoccurring blister. Again relievers have to come into the game for four and six innings respectfully.
These early departures from games are putting a strain on the relievers. Unlike Kershaw who last six innings and sometimes seven where you use maybe two or three relievers, you are using four to six relievers. These early departures are happening on regular basis and thus the relievers are pitching more with less rest. If this pace of early departures keeps up, the relievers will be burnt out by the All-Star Break.
So the Dodgers are either gonna have to find some way of getting longevity from their starters or seriously look into making replacements. Neither option has easy answers.