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Dodgers wild and sloppy in dropping second straight to Marlins

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3 errors, 12 relief pitchers, 3 total runs in 274 minutes of baseball

Los Angeles Dodgers v Miami Marlins Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

A game that featured three total runs somehow lasted four and a half hours, a maddening affair by two teams, had to have a winner. After several fledgling attempts by both sides, the Marlins got their second straight win over the Dodgers, this one 2-1 in 10 innings thanks to a wild pitch and throwing error on Tuesday night in Miami.

Blake Treinen, who got the final out of the ninth inning, got the first two outs in the bottom of the 10th with the free runner on second. But a wild pitch allowed Starling Marte to reach third base, exacerbated by a bad throw by catcher Will Smith that got away from Justin Turner at third base, sending Marte home with the game winner.

“In hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have thrown it,” Smith said.

That the game even got to extra innings was a surprise. A 2-2 pitch by Treinen with the bases loaded in the ninth was low and got through Smith, but instead of careening to the backstop the ball instead hit the leg of home plate umpire Carlos Torres. The runners had to hold, and one pitch later Treinen induced a ground out to end the threat.

Chris Taylor, one of the Dodgers’ best hitters, opened the 10th by bunting with a free runner on second, but instead Jorge Alfaro’s strong arm turned that into the lead runner getting erased at third base. The Dodgers did not score in that inning.

Neither team was very good at cashing in opportunities on Tuesday. Los Angeles was just 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position, and the Marlins were 1-for-14, the only hit an infield dribbler by Jon Berti in the ninth that didn’t score a run.

Both teams have struggled in one-run affairs this season, with the Dodgers dropping to 11-16 and the Marlins improving to just 9-19 with the win. The Dodgers left a runner in scoring position in each of the last three innings, spoiling an otherwise strong night for the pitching staff.

For starters

Tony Gonsolin pitched his best game of the season, allowing no runs and only three batters to reach base. It was also his longest game to date in 2021, pitching past the fourth inning for the first time in six starts. Gonsolin got into the sixth, and was pulled up 1-0 with one out and nobody on.

Gonsolin’s slider and splitter were working the best for him, with seven combined whiffs and seven called strikes in 36 pitches, compared to just two whiffs and three called strikes in 33 fastballs.

The relative length from Gonsolin was very much needed, after the bullpen pitched 17 innings over the previous three days. But with a planned bullpen game coming on Wednesday, one wonders if Gonsolin could or should have pitched even longer than his 72 pitches.

After all, the Dodgers used six relievers just to get the 11 outs needed to get to extras.

But given that Gonsolin experienced shoulder soreness after a few of his starts, after missing two months with shoulder inflammation, that point might be moot.

Welcome aboard

Jake Reed, the 28-year-old sidearm right-hander called up by the Dodgers earlier Tuesday, made his major league debut in relief of Gonsolin with one out in the sixth. He allowed an infield single and stolen base to put the tying run in scoring position, but then got Garrett Cooper on a sweeping slider for his first major league strikeout.

Jesus Aguilar followed with a hard grounder to shortstop that could have ended the inning, but it got by Gavin Lux, bringing home the equalizing run. The play was originally — correctly — scored an error on Lux, but was later changed to an RBI single.

Things got even messier after that, with a Miguel Rojas double followed by an intentional walk to load the bases. But Reed got Jorge Alfaro to line out softly to second base to escape.

Baby steps

Cody Bellinger entered the series in a horrific slump, with just one hit and 10 strikeouts in his last 22 at-bats. He didn’t start in Monday’s series opener, but then narrowly missed a pinch-hit grand slam in the eighth inning, settling for a game-tying sacrifice fly.

He got the scoring started in the fourth inning against Pablo López with another impressive at-bat. Bellinger fouled off six pitches — including four different types of pitches (changeup, cutter, four-seam fastball, curve) — before lining the 12th pitch, a changeup, into right field for a single. Garrett Cooper let the ball get by him for a two-base error that put Bellinger on third with nobody out in the inning.

Smith singled home Bellinger, and two more singles loaded the bases. The Dodgers were 0-for-8 with a hit by pitch and five strikeouts the first time through the batting order against López. The second time through the order, they were 4-for-8 with a walk, but López escaped further damage by striking out Mookie Betts — the only hitter he was allowed to face three times — to end the fourth.

Running wild

Miami stole five bases in the first two games of this series, buttressing the Dodgers’ status as the easiest team to run on in MLB. Teams have tried to run on LA 91 times this season, 16 more than any other team, and they’ve been successful 69 times, 15 more than the next-closest team.

All three steals on Monday came against starter Walker Buehler, but on Tuesday both thefts came against the Dodgers bullpen. Starling Marte stole second off both Reed and Jimmy Nelson. Jazz Chisholm was caught stealing in the seventh against Phil Bickford and Will Smith, but even though replay seemed to show Chisholm reach his mitt into the bag the out call was upheld.

But even with the caught stealing, Dodgers relievers have allowed 38 steals with only six caught stealing. That’s just under the major league average (39 steals) for entire teams this season.

“When you give teams extra outs, extra bases, it’s tough to win a big league ballgame,” Roberts said.

Notes

  • From the fifth inning Monday through Tuesday’s game, AJ Pollock struck out in six straight plate appearances.
  • Betts also struck out three times, the ninth time in his career and second time this season with at least that many strikeouts. His career high is four strikeouts, set on April 10, 2015 in his first full major league season with Boston.
  • David Hess, acquired from the Rays on Saturday, got the win in relief in each of the first two games of this series, his first two games with the Marlins

Tuesday particulars

Home runs: none

WP — David Hess (1-0): 1 IP, 1 hit

LP — Blake Treinen (2-4): 1 IP, 1 wild pitch, 1 strikeout

Up next

Wednesday night is a bullpen game for both teams (4:10 p.m. PT; SportsNet LA, ESPN). The ESPN broadcast will be blacked out in local markets. Roberts said Mitch White will be activated for Wednesday’s game, and several pitchers will likely be unavailable.