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By Jon Weisman
Right now, it feels like it’s the uniform. I’m not sure Mariano Rivera wouldn’t give up a home run coming out of the Dodger bullpen right now.
I don’t really believe slumps are contagious, but right now, Dodger relievers are spreading illness like a certain disease the world is beginning to reckon with. Even by the most negative appraisal of their performance in the regular season, the bullpen has been unreal in how fast it has allowed critical runs this postseason.
In all three games of the National League Division Series, the bullpen has given up a homer before getting an out. That’s not normal, for anyone.
Tonight, in the seventh inning of Game 3, Scott Elbert used three pitches against his first three batters. Yadier Molina doubled on the first. John Jay sacrificed on the second. And Kolten Wong, while not exactly auditioning for the role of Ozzie Smith, hit his fourth career home run off a left-handed pitcher, putting St. Louis ahead to stay in a 3-1 victory.
I find my comfort in how ridiculous this has all been. Dodger relievers have allowed six runs on three home runs in 4 1/3 innings, a 12.47 ERA and 6.5 homers per nine innings which, I don’t think I’m wrong to say, is atypical. It’s not unlike Yasiel Puig’s stunning streak of seven straight strikeouts, followed by his booming triple to right that helped tie the game for the Dodgers in the sixth. Players performing at their worst don’t figure to stay at their worst.
So, radical thought about Yasiel Puig I know, but the strikeouts will stop and he will start hitting again. Just like every time before.
— Jon Weisman (@jonweisman) October 7, 2014
Yes, the window to turn things around is nearly shut. The Dodgers must win their next two games. That they have Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and a rested Kenley Jansen available for those two games is a huge crowbar to pry that window open.
Maybe these two plays will be the start of the turnaround.
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Al Kenderes (@Coach__K)
After the game, Kemp called the home-plate umpire Dale Scott’s strike zone the worst he had ever seen. I do not dispute his assessment but I am sure that is not going to help Kemp or the Dodgers the rest of this series.
Asher B. Garber
If the umpire union wants to beef about how the Dodgers feel, they can explain how Kemp’s 9th inning strike 2 looked amazingly just like his ball 1.
It’s truly amazing and frustrating to say the least, but although many fans are saying they knew the bullpen was weak, I still can’t believe that it’s this weak. My experience is the only thing that keeps me going. It tells me that you don’t have to think that one game is in any way connected with the game that was previously played. Every game is a new start.