Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

No single factor dominates Dodger loss

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By Jon Weisman

So rather quickly, the Dodgers’ 4-3, 10-inning loss to Arizona on Friday was characterized as the latest chapter in that ongoing pulp series, The Bullpen Fails!

J.P. Howell didn’t deliver what the Dodgers needed in the bottom of the 10th, sandwiching two walks around a wild pitch, then giving up a game-winning single to Ender Inciarte that thwarted the Dodgers’ five-man infield (highlighted by Yasiel Puig at third).

Without ignoring how much everyone wants perfection from every reliever, every inning, putting all the blame on the bullpen is kind of crazy after Yimi Garcia and Joel Peralta struck out six in three scoreless innings, retiring nine of 10 batters.

Nor do I want to single out Howell, who had a 1.17 ERA and 1.04 WHIP through his first 46 innings last season, for villainy. The Dodger offense went scoreless in five innings against the Diamondbacks’ relievers. Starting pitcher Brett Anderson pitched well, but made a mistake to the one guy you can’t make a mistake to, Arizona slugger Paul Goldschmidt.

If this were football, we’d have to wait a week to put the loss behind us. Thankfully, it’s baseball, and we’re back tonight, with Clayton Kershaw on the mound no less.


Valenzuela in the outfield, 1982


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  1. Dating back to Sept 19 last year, and including the NLDS, Howell has been ineffective in half of his last ten appearances. In contrast, Paco since he came back to the Bigs in mid-July last year has been ineffective in one (maybe two) of his 13 appearances. Of course, Paco has been used as a LOOGY so not necessarily the same thing, but perhaps Donnie might want to look at Paco a bit more.

  2. Jon, you do not need to apologize for every Dodger loss or explain why someone was not the goat. We watched the game and can come up with our own conclusions.

    • Jon Weisman

      I’m not apologizing for anything. I’m happy to have you come up with your own conclusions, but is it OK if I still come up with mine?

  3. jpavko

    Howell appeared in 68 games in 2014, almost half the games the team played. He;s over worked Thanks , Donnie

    • Jon Weisman

      Who would you have given Howell’s innings to?

      • Well what’s done is done for 2014, but in 2015, if Howell doesn’t improve you have to DFA him and bring up Coulombe or Libratore.
        Does Hatcher have options left? If so, he may need to go down when they need the 5th starter tomorrow. If not, you can’t give up on him yet, but only time he can be put in games are mop up right now.

  4. oldbrooklynfan

    Always a very good point. In baseball, unlike football, you go right back on the field the next night.

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