Though only Kenley Jansen has the star power in the Dodgers‘ bullpen, the group has been rock solid for the season. At least it was heading into Friday.
Before Friday’s game with Arizona, the L.A. ‘pen was sporting a 1.33 ERA in 54 1/3 innings, having struck out 66 and held opposing offenses to a .169 batting average. By nearly every measure, this group had been dominant. So when the Dodgers entered the eighth inning with a 5-4 lead, surely many thought it was safe.
Instead, the Dodgers lost 13-5.
The eighth inning was a complete meltdown and several Dodgers had a hand in it.
Ross Stripling, who has been brilliant to this point, allowed a Brandon Drury double and David Peralta single to start things off. Luis Avilan was next and he walked Chris Iannetta on five pitches. Then Daniel Descalso on five pitches.
It was a bit curious. Iannetta and Descalso aren’t very scary, but most of those eight balls missed badly. Why was Avilan treating them like Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy?
Regardless, the Descalso walk came with the bases loaded and tied the game. Blown save.
Sergio Romo then came in and balked home the go-ahead Diamondbacks run. Seriously: A go-ahead balk in the eighth.
That might have ended up being one of the main headlines of the night (“balk loses game” just sounds absurd, after all), but the Diamondbacks would end up scoring nine runs in the inning, making a once close game into a laugher. Paul Goldschmidt‘s double, Yasmany Tomas‘ double and Iannetta’s single later in the inning all brought in two runs a piece before Descalso followed up with his second RBI of the eighth, this coming in a more conventional way: on his first double of the season.
Arizona moves to 11-7 while L.A. is again under .500 at 8-9.