Is There a Problem in LA’s Bullpen?

In a 25-0 drubbing during the opening series against the San Diego Padres all was going well for LA and for Dave Roberts as manager. Through this series 7 men got work out of the bullpen and all 7 only worked together to give up just 5 hits in 8 innings. This was an extremely positive sign for the club at the time with the offence and defense working well together for the perfect start to the year.

However as the club moved to San Francisco, the bullpen, offence and defense all shattered and that start seemingly meant nothing to anyone. The Dodgers gave up 26 runs through 4 games, the bullpen responsible for 12 of them. Through 4 games this means the bullpen gave up 3 a game, a recipe for not making playoffs.

Not only were there these 12 runs but the bullpen also managed to blow 2 saves in Yimi Garcia and Chris Hatcher and had 2 losses in Joe Blanton and Louis Coleman.

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Why Dave Roberts Made the Right Call

The year is 2014 and Ross Stripling is on his way back from yet another Tommy Johns surgery, the second of his career. This type of injury takes a good few months to get back from and of course Ross knows this all too well.

The young right hander, who has been trying since 2012 when he was drafted by LA in the 5th round to get to the big leagues, is now back in his minor league task, pitching for the Dodgers’ AA affiliate, the Tulsa Drillers. Ross’ first 6 outings consisted of 25 innings total, an average of just over 4 per game. This was backed up by the fact he never went past 76 pitches and not once did he reach 100 in the season, his most being 93. This brings us to the decision Dave Roberts made with Ross in Friday’s game.

The 26 year old finally has his shot in the big leagues and has a no hitter going through 7 and a third innings, it is a no brainer to leave him in right? He has a chance to throw a no hitter on his MLB debut, a feat not achieved since over 2 centuries ago, in 1893. Ross walks the first man in the 8th and his pitch count had reached 100, the first time he hit that mark since ever, his previous most had been 99 with the Chattanooga Lookouts, the then Dodgers’ AA affiliate.

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Problems with Dave Robert’s First Two Lineups


There can’t be much complaining done so far with the combined score from LA’s first two games being 18-0 over the San Diego Padres but one thing I have noticed is Dave Robert’s unorthodox placement of people in his lineup and his reasons for doing so.

Chase Utley as a leadoff man is some what surprising to me as he doesn’t have many wheels and often pulls the ball to the right side which most teams will counteract with a shift, putting his OBP down fro what it usually would be for a leadoff man. A leadoff man’s job is to get on base any way they can ad try and start something for the inning, Chase certainly doesn’t try and swing for the fences every time like a leadoff man LA had last year which is a positive and he is smart but his tendencies cant be changed.

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