Dodgers News and Notes: Bullpen Woes, Cody Bellinger’s Injury, Home Opener and More

(AP Photo/Eric Gay)

The Los Angeles Dodgers have finished their first road trip of the season, amassing a respectable 6-2 record. It easily could’ve been 8-0, but there will be some losses, as we all understand. They are on pace to win 115 games over the course of the season.

The frustrating thing about both losses is that they should have been wins. In the first one, the offense got on base and couldn’t bring those runners home. The second loss, same as the first. 28 left on base, 14 in each game. The first loss was coupled with an uncharacteristically bad outing by Clayton Kershaw. The second one, however, featured another great start by Trevor Bauer that was wasted by the inability to drive home runners, alongside some bad bullpen management.

We know the offense is going to be fine, and we know the starting pitching is going to be fine. But the bullpen still remains the shaky part of the team. Manager Dave Roberts gave Kenley Jansen the ball in the ninth inning of Wednesday’s game up one run, and Jansen blew the save. Victor Gonzalez only threw two pitches in the previous inning, and one wonders why he was not allowed to start the ninth. Jansen had already pitched in Tuesday night’s game, and while he got the job done, it was not a clean inning. There was also no one throwing once Kenley showed signs of not being able to locate the ball.

But those two things, bullpen and not being able to plate runners has always been the Dodgers bugaboo. Fans do hope that they work to better those flaws.

Mookie Betts sat out of Wednesday’s game after waking up with back stiffness. With the off day Thursday, Roberts wanted to give Betts two full days of rest. The expectation is that he will be back in the lineup in Friday’s home opener.

Cody Bellinger might not fair so well. His left calf was spiked during the ninth inning of Monday’s game, and he has had lingering soreness. “He got cleated in the middle part of his calf, but it’s just more sore, it’s not an ankle thing,” Roberts explained.

Bellinger underwent tests that did not reveal any structural damage or fractures. But Roberts said that while they were waiting to see how he healed, there is a good possibility that Bellinger will not play in Friday’s game and could even be placed on the 10-Day IL. The team will wait until how Bellinger feels on Friday to make the decision.

The Dodgers will be taking on the Washington Nationals for their home opening series. The opening game will start at 1:10 p.m. Pacific on Friday, with pregame ceremonies starting at 11:45 a.m. World Series rings will be handed out to players, coaches and staff.

The Nationals have only played three games so far this season, as their team had many Covid positives. They lost two of three to the Atlanta Braves, including both games of a double header on Wednesday.

The pitching matchup for the three game series will be Walker Buehler against Joe Ross in Friday’s game; Julio Urías and Dustin May will start Saturday and Sunday for the Dodgers. The starters for the Nationals for those days have yet to be determined.

16 thoughts on “Dodgers News and Notes: Bullpen Woes, Cody Bellinger’s Injury, Home Opener and More

  1. As much as Bauer does everything he can to be the perfect pitcher in terms of conditioning, strategy, workload, etc., I wonder why he pays so little attention to holding runners on.
    Although he had good results without having his best command yesterday and the blame for the loss goes far more to the hitting with men on base and the bullpen than it does to him, he did cost himself a run yesterday with a walk, stolen bases and a wild pitch and if that run hadn’t scored, he would have won the game.

    1. Anecdotally, a guy on MLB radio picked him to have the first complete game shut out this season, next week against the Rockies 🤷‍♀️

      1. The MLB guy will not be correct. Lance Lynn pitched a complete game shutout for the White Sox against the Royals tonight.

      2. They don’t know what they’re talking about on MLB radio. That’s why I get all my baseball info on NFL radio. 🙂

      3. 😂 Mostly I enjoy them and I don’t doubt he’ll do it one day. You know, after MLB is done investigating him

      4. After they investigate him they might suspend him.
        Bauer vs. Manfred on Twitter. That could be kind of one-sided.

      5. They’d love to make an example out of him, especially since he was so outspoken about it in the past. What I don’t understand is it seems to be implied that it’s better for pitchers to use it and have better control and not be hitting batters.

      6. That statement was probably thought up by the pitcher’s union. It’s kind of a two-edged sword. Yes, they won’t be as wild and won’t hit as many batters, but they’ll also be able to do a lot more with the baseball to get hitters out. My guess is if put to a vote, the hitters will take their chances with getting hit and want the pitchers to give up the sticky stuff. One guy who was interviewed (and not identified) said that the sticky substance has more effect on games than PED’s ever did.

  2. Speaking of MLB shows, for those of you who miss Alanna on the Dodger broadcasts, she has landed on MLB tv and has a good amount of time on the Mad Dog Russo show, mornings at 10 AM Pacific time. Of course, in order to see her you have to be able to stomach Chris Russo, who is most definitely an acquired taste.

  3. You gave them more credit than they deserved Andy. They are 5-2, not 6. And yep, they could have easily won all 7 games. But today is a day of celebration for the end of 30 years plus of frustration. Reports are that the union will fight any attempt to punish Bauer. They need to prove he is the one doctoring the balls if they are being doctored.

    1. If Bauer is throwing doctored baseball’s, as I believe someone else has already pointed out it’s the same guy that’s messing with them that deflated Brady’s footballs. That guy should be banned from all sports. Stickygate!

      1. I think most figured something was up with Bauer. And yet he gets $40 million. Less spin less likely a sub 3 ERA. We’ll see where this goes but nothing will surprise me at this point.

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