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.
Did the Dodgers make a mistake betting on Rich Hill? Why do I ask? Well, it looks like Hill will be heading back to the DL for the second time this year. His ongoing blister problem flared up again last night against the Diamondbacks. This comes after spending time on the DL.
The Dodgers had hope that rest on the DL and easing him back would help him. Well, as far as helping pitching they were right but according to Los Angeles Times’ contract reporter Bill Shaikin, the blister did not occur while pitching but by batting.
This leads one to wonder if this blister will sideline him more often or he will be better off in the bullpen. The Manager Dave Roberts has the answer.
He’s not built for that,” Roberts said, “but Rich is all about doing what’s best for the team. I think it’s worthy of a conversation. It wouldn’t be as devastating if something flared up.(Shaikin’s Article)
So, did the Dodgers make a mistake betting on Hill? The Dodgers signed Hill to $48 million three-year contract this year. I agreed with this resigning, but his recurring blister could make one move toward having second thoughts.
I also can not accept someone in the bullpen making $16 million a season to pitch maybe one or two innings.
For right now, there is no accurate answer to this question. It is way too early to give an accurate answer but is not too early to be concerned and pray for some relief and cure for Hill’blister…
Dodgers beat the Padres with runs scored by Yasiel Puig, Corey Seager, and Adrian Gonzalez. Dodgers’ starting pitcher Rich Hill held the Padres scoreless for four innings.
The two will face each other again in their last game of the series tonight. Brandon McCarthy will be on the mound for the Dodgers, and he will face Jered Weaver.
The Dodgers moved two games closer to their quest, the World Series appearance after shut outing the Cubs. Their pitching played a big part in their victory. Starting pitcher Rich Hill and his relievers kept the Cub batters from ever crossing home plate.
Hill pitched for six innings and gave up only two hits. He walked two batters while striking out six. This win gives him his first postseason win.
The combined pitching staff gave up only four hits the entire game. They walk two and struck out ten. Their combined effort gave the Dodgers a 6-0 victory over the Cubs.
I hope for a repeat performance in game four from starting pitcher Julio Urias and his relief.
The Dodgers will try to break the 1-1 tie in their best of seven series against the Chicago Cubs and couple that with a win tomorrow night they could possibly make this year’s World Series.
The left-handed Hill is 12-5 with a 2.12 ERA. He has compiled 129 strikeouts. Hill has been a nice compliment to all-star Clayton Kershaw since the loss of Zack Greinke to the Arizona Diamondbacks this spring.