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Dodgers Week 20: No relief

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A shaky bullpen and inconsistent hitting led to four losses in six games last week

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Colorado Rockies Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers bullpen was dealt a crippling blow last week with Kenley Jansen suffering an irregular heartbeat, part of a recurring Coors Field nightmare for the closer.

With Jansen unavailable beginning last Thursday, and with his absence potentially 4-6 weeks, the Dodgers bullpen blew leads in the seventh inning or later in their first three games against the Rockies and walked home the game winner on Sunday.

Though the offense rescued the Dodgers on Thursday thanks to a relief corps that has also been the Achilles heel for Colorado, the LA offense scoring just five runs in the final 22 innings didn’t help matters in three straight losses to end the week.

Dodgers relievers allowed 11 runs in 15⅔ innings last week, and on the season have been decidedly mediocre, eighth in the National League in both ERA (3.92) and FIP (4.00), though third in strikeout rate (24.9%) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (2.79).

The bullpen was going to be an issue for the Dodgers even with Jansen, an issue addressed at the non-waiver trade deadline only by the addition of John Axford, though another in-season addition Dylan Floro has been pretty good and May pickup Erik Goeddel has been serviceable.

The Dodgers have left themselves little choice but to bet on starters Kenta Maeda and Ross Stripling moving to relief — thanks to the pending returns this week of Alex Wood and Hyun-jin Ryu — and the return of Julio Urias, just shy of 15 months out from major shoulder surgery and in a new role for him.

That group may get the Dodgers bullpen where they need to go, but without the Jansen-sized safety net the ride to get there will be turbulent as hell.

Batter of the week

Cody Bellinger had a nice rebound week, going 10-for-19 (.526) with a home run and three steals. Honorable mention goes to Justin Turner, who was 10-for-23 (.435) with three doubles and a triple; and to Max Muncy, who found his power stroke again with two home runs and two doubles.

Since scoring 21 runs against Milwaukee on Aug. 2, the Dodgers have scored 27 total runs in nine games. Last week in six games they were 10-for-48 (.208) with runners in scoring position.

Pitcher of the week

Walker Buehler, who pitched the first six innings of a combined no-hitter earlier this season, had arguably the best start of his career on Saturday, whiffing six in seven scoreless innings against the Rockies at Coors Field. Buehler had the eighth start by a Dodger in Denver with at least seven innings and no runs allowed, the first since Clayton Kershaw in 2014.

Week 20 results

2-4 record
23 runs scored (3.83 per game)
22 runs allowed (3.67 per game)
.520 pythagorean record

Season to date

64-55 record
560 runs scored (4.71 per game)
464 runs allowed (3.90 per game)
.585 pythagorean record (70-49)

Miscellany

In a pinch: The Dodgers hit five home runs against the Rockies bullpen on Thursday night, including pinch-hit dongs from Joc Pederson and Max Muncy in the seventh inning. It was their first time hitting two pinch-hit homers in a game since Aug. 27, 1982 (Rick Monday, Mike Marshall), and the first time the Dodgers had two pinch-hit home runs in the same inning since July 23, 1975 (Willie Crawford, Lee Lacy).

Interleague checkup: The Dodgers split their two games in Oakland, moving them to 8-7 against American League teams this season — 6-4 at home, and 2-3 on the road. LA has five more interleague games remaining: three this week in Seattle, then two against the Rangers in Arlington on Aug. 28-29. The Dodgers haven’t had a losing interleague record since going 6-9 in 2012.

Men of steal: The Dodgers stole nine bases last week without getting caught and have stolen 13 bases in 14 attempts in August, including at least one steal in nine of 11 games this month. They stole two bases in seven attempts in July.

Transactions

Tuesday: In a bullpen swap, Daniel Hudson was placed on the 10-day disabled list with right forearm tightness, and switch-pitcher Pat Venditte was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Tuesday: Ariel Hernandez, who was designated for assignment on July 31, was claimed off waivers by the Brewers.

Thursday: Ross Stripling was activated from the DL to start in Colorado, and Venditte was optioned back to Triple-A.

Friday: Kenley Jansen was placed on the disabled list with an irregular heartbeat and could potentially miss 4-6 weeks. Venditte was recalled one day after he was optioned in a busy week for the switch pitcher.

Game results

The week ahead

The Dodgers run the Mike Felder gauntlet, returning home for an ever so brief three-game homestand against the Giants, followed by a similarly brief three-game road trip in Seattle against the Mariners.

The week ahead

Mon, Aug 13 Tue, Aug 14 Wed, Aug 15 Thu, Aug 16 Fri, Aug 17 Sat, Aug 18 Sun, Aug 19
Mon, Aug 13 Tue, Aug 14 Wed, Aug 15 Thu, Aug 16 Fri, Aug 17 Sat, Aug 18 Sun, Aug 19
vs. Giants vs. Giants vs. Giants Off at Mariners at Mariners at Mariners
7:10 p.m. 7:10 p.m. 7:10 p.m. 7:10 p.m. 7:10 p.m. 1:10 p.m.
Kershaw Wood Ryu Buehler Hill Kershaw
v. Bumgarner (L) v. Suarez (L) v. Holland (L) v. Leblanc (L) v. Ramirez v. Gonzales (L)
SNLA/MLBN SNLA SNLA/KTLA/MLBN SNLA/MLBN SNLA/MLBN SNLA

Previous weeks in review: Mar. 29-Apr. 1 | Apr. 2-8 | Apr. 9-15 | Apr. 16-22 | Apr. 23-29 | Apr. 30-May 6 | May 7-13 | May 14-20 | May 21-27 | May 28-Jun 3 | Jun 4-10 | June 11-17 | June 18-24 | June 25-July 1 | July 2-8 | July 9-15 | July 16-22 | July 23-29 | July 30-Aug. 5

Stats

Week 20 batting

Player AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO HBP SH SF PA BA OBP SLG OPS BABIP Player
Player AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO HBP SH SF PA BA OBP SLG OPS BABIP Player
Bellinger 19 3 10 0 0 1 4 2 0 2 3 0 0 0 21 0.526 0.571 0.684 1.256 0.600 Bellinger
Muncy 16 2 5 2 0 2 3 0 0 1 5 0 0 0 17 0.313 0.353 0.813 1.165 0.333 Muncy
Turner 23 4 10 3 1 0 1 0 0 0 2 2 0 0 25 0.435 0.480 0.652 1.132 0.476 Turner
Puig 19 3 7 0 0 1 1 2 0 2 2 0 0 0 21 0.368 0.429 0.526 0.955 0.375 Puig
Dozier 20 1 4 0 0 1 4 2 0 7 3 0 0 0 27 0.200 0.407 0.350 0.757 0.188 Dozier
Pederson 14 2 2 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 4 0 0 0 15 0.143 0.200 0.429 0.629 0.111 Pederson
Grandal 15 2 2 0 0 1 2 1 0 3 5 0 0 0 18 0.133 0.278 0.333 0.611 0.111 Grandal
Machado 23 2 5 3 0 0 0 1 0 0 9 0 0 0 23 0.217 0.217 0.348 0.565 0.357 Machado
Taylor 19 2 2 0 0 1 3 0 0 2 8 0 0 1 22 0.105 0.182 0.263 0.445 0.091 Taylor
Kemp 15 1 2 1 0 0 2 0 0 1 4 0 0 1 17 0.133 0.176 0.200 0.376 0.167 Kemp
Starters 183 22 49 10 1 8 21 8 0 19 45 2 0 2 206 0.268 0.340 0.464 0.804 0.311 Starters
Hernandez 8 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 9 0.125 0.222 0.250 0.472 0.143 Hernandez
Barnes 6 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 3 0 1 0 7 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 Barnes
Bench 14 1 1 1 0 0 2 1 0 1 4 0 1 0 16 0.071 0.133 0.143 0.276 0.100 Bench
Pitchers 8 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 2 0 10 0.250 0.250 0.250 0.500 0.333 Pitchers
Offense 205 23 52 11 1 8 23 9 0 20 51 2 3 2 232 0.254 0.323 0.434 0.757 0.297 Offense

Week 20 pitching

Pitcher G GS W L Sv IP H R ER HR BB IBB SO HBP ERA WHIP FIP Pitcher
Pitcher G GS W L Sv IP H R ER HR BB IBB SO HBP ERA WHIP FIP Pitcher
Buehler 1 1 0 0 7.0 4 0 0 0 3 0 6 0 0.00 1.000 2.77 Buehler
Stripling 1 1 0 0 6.0 4 1 1 0 2 0 2 0 1.50 1.000 3.53 Stripling
Kershaw 1 1 0 0 6.0 6 2 2 0 0 0 1 0 3.00 1.000 2.87 Kershaw
Hill 2 2 1 0 11.3 7 5 4 2 4 0 9 1 3.18 0.971 5.23 Hill
Maeda 1 1 0 0 5.3 6 3 3 1 3 0 7 0 5.06 1.688 4.70 Maeda
Starters 6 6 1 0 0 35.7 27 11 10 3 12 0 25 1 2.52 1.093 3.99 Starters
Axford 2 0 0 3.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 0.00 0.333 0.53 Axford
Ferguson 2 1 0 2.7 2 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0.00 1.125 3.58 Ferguson
Jansen 1 0 0 1 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0.00 0.000 -0.80 Jansen
Alexander 3 0 0 1 2.7 3 1 1 0 0 0 4 0 3.38 1.125 0.20 Alexander
Floro 4 0 1 2.3 1 1 1 0 3 2 4 0 3.86 1.714 1.06 Floro
Chargois 3 0 2 2.7 3 3 2 1 0 0 1 1 6.75 1.125 8.45 Chargois
Rosscup 1 0 1 1.0 2 2 2 1 0 0 3 0 18.00 2.000 10.20 Rosscup
Baez 1 0 0 0.3 3 4 4 1 1 0 1 0 108.00 12.000 45.20 Baez
Bullpen 17 0 1 4 2 15.7 15 11 10 3 5 2 20 1 5.74 1.277 3.90 Bullpen
Totals 23 6 2 4 2 51.3 42 22 20 6 17 2 45 2 3.51 1.149 3.96 Totals