LOS ANGELES – On Oscar night, it was hard to find a better drama than the Dodgers-Padres clash on Sunday at Dodger Stadium.
In the seventh battle between two of the Majors’ most talented teams, the Dodgers struck early. The Padres, however, fought back in the final innings. In the end, the Dodgers’ bullpen was unable to close the door in a savage 8-7 loss to the Padres in 11 innings.
It was the first time since August 10, 2011, against the Phillies, that the Dodgers have lost a game in which they led by six points or more. It’s a series of 228 consecutive games. It was also LA’s first series loss this season.
“Every game has been a battle,” said Chris Taylor, a Dodgers utility. “I really felt it in this game. Constant back and forth, up and down. For us, I felt like a lot of missed opportunities. We were not able to close the door to them when we needed to.
The first six games between the Dodgers and the Padres were all decided in the final two innings of the game. The seventh meeting was no different, even though it looked like the Dodgers were in total control of the series finale. Taylor homered in a five-run sixth inning that gave Los Angeles a 7-1 lead and had a separate streak with just nine strikeouts.
But with Kenley Jansen, Blake Treinen and Scott Alexander all unavailable for Sunday’s game, the Dodgers were unable to hold back the Padres, who scored six runs in the last three innings to send the game into extra innings. .
“They outdid us,” said Roberts. “All the games are close. But seven games, they surpassed us. But this is baseball, so we have to regroup and prepare for the Reds.
Let’s take a look at the Dodgers’ thinking process regarding their use of the paddock.
Goal: 7-1, Dodgers
Odds of Winning, Per Baseball Fan: 99 percent
It was an ideal situation to use David Price in the seventh inning of a six-point game. Price hadn’t pitched since April 19 against the Mariners and could have given the Dodgers several innings. The Padres were able to take advantage of a few defensive errors in the infield, scoring two points on Price to make it a 7-3 game.
Price threw just 17 shots from the frame, but didn’t come back for a second inning. After the game, Roberts said the reason Price didn’t pitch multiple innings was because the southpaw was suffering from hamstring strain and he wasn’t sure how bad it was yet.
“The hope was for him to do a few innings right there,” said Roberts.
With Price out, the Dodgers’ options were limited heading into the eighth inning. They always felt they had enough options with Victor González, Brusdar Graterol, Nelson and Garrett Cleavinger still available.
Goal: 7-3, Dodgers
Probability of winning: 97 percent
Of his options, Roberts went with Graterol against the top of the Padres roster. In the first three weeks of the season, the Dodgers leaned on Corey Knebel in these situations, but he’s been out for several months with latent tension. Treinen, which is also an option at this location, was down for the night.
For the second consecutive outing to start his season, Graterol was unable to do the job. He started the round with a lead against Fernando Tatis Jr. After stealing Trent Grisham, Graterol gave up a single with a strikeout to Manny Machado who ended his night.
The Dodgers turned to southpaw González with left-handed bats Eric Hosmer and Jake Cronenworth. González also didn’t get the job done, ditching a simple RBI to Hosmer and marching Cronenworth. The Dodgers left-hander was able to bounce back by forcing Jorge Mateo to step up and punching Jurickson Profar.
But Graterol’s inability to pass the round affected the Dodgers’ plan. González could have come back for the ninth inning in a perfect world, but he threw 15 shots in the eighth, just three off his season high.
“Brusdar just hasn’t made any shots tonight,” said Roberts.
Goal: 7-5, Dodgers
Probability of winning: 92.9 percent
With Graterol and Gonzalez out of the game, the Dodgers had to make a decision between Nelson and Cleavinger. Nelson had not attempted to quit and Cleavinger was just called in to replace Dennis Santana, who participated in the COVID-related IL on Saturday.
Roberts called Nelson. The Padres responded with two runs in the ninth to tie the game and ultimately win the game on a Hosmer sack fly in the 11th inning. The Dodgers’ pickup enclosure has been one of the best in the National League to start the season. The execution failed on Sunday.
“We just didn’t play well in baseball,” said Roberts. “We just didn’t play clean baseball. We abandoned the late races. … We didn’t pitch well at the end of the game.