Well, that was a failed experiment.
Brandon McCarthy allowed six runs of the bullpen and the San Francisco Giants came-from-behind to drop the rival Dodgers, 9-3, on Friday night at AT&T Park.
The Dodgers led 3-2, entering the sixth inning when McCarthy took over on the mound. It was the right-hander's first appearance out of the pen since April, 25, 2007, a span of over nine years.
"I'm used to the routine of being a starter, but that doesn't give me an excuse," McCarthy said of his bullpen appearance. "You still have to execute. It was different, but it's not something I can't get past."
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told reporters on Thursday, a day earlier, that he would use McCarthy out of the bullpen on Friday in a possible role as a reliever for the postseason.
"Obviously it was a different role for Brandon," Roberts said after the game. "He went out there and did what he could. The whole routine is different. He was missing out over the plate and they put some hits together. Coming out of the pen, it just didn't work for him."
Needless to say, the experiment failed as McCarthy allowed five straight hits after a leadoff walk to Angel Pagan, unable to record a single out before he left the game for Josh Ravin.
"No idea what happened," a stunned McCarthy said after the game. "They hit everything I threw. I'm angry, but other than that it was so fast, and so violent, I don't know what emotions to take from it."
Ravin's first strike of the game was a three-run home run to Brandon Belt that broke the game open, giving the Giants a commanding 9-3 lead.
A six-run lead was all that 2014 World Series MVP, Madison Bumgarner, would need as pitched two more scoreless innings before leaving the game in the top of the eighth inning.
Bumgarner (15-9) made his closing arguments for the Cy Young Award this season, allowing just three runs on eight hits with five strikeouts in 7 and 1/3 innings. More importantly, he earned his first victory over the rival Dodgers since May 21st of last season.
The win was not only his first in over a year, it was his 100th of his career as Bumgarner now posts a career mark 100-67 in eight years in the big leagues.
The Dodgers jumped on Bumgarner in the first inning, recording four hits, punctuated with an RBI single for Yasiel Puig.
Puig and Bumgarner famously fought at Dodger Stadium a couple weeks ago and nearly came to blows after the hard-throwing left hander didn't like the way the Cuban outfielder was looking at him after the final out of an inning.
The Giants responded with two runs of their own in the bottom half of the first off Dodgers starter Rich Hill. Hill allowed a leadoff double to Hernandez, followed by a walk to Belt and an RBI single to Posey before he was able to get his first out of the game.
"I think a few pitches in the first were mistakes," Hill said of his only two runs allowed. "They did a good job of capitalizing on that."
The veteran left-hander, who's slated to be the Game 2 starter of the Dodgers NLDS matchup with the Washington Nationals, left with the lead, allowing only two runs on six hits with four strikeouts in five solid innings.
"I felt stronger as the game went on," Hill continued. "The next four innings were good. Overall, I feel great. The ball came out pretty well, but Madison pitched a great game."
Los Angeles still trails the Washington Nationals by two games with two games left to play in the regular season for home field advantage in the NLDS.
Players of the Game:
Brandon Belt: Three-run home run.
Brandon Crawford: 3-for-4 with a run scored.
Yasiel Puig: 2-for-4 with a double, RBI and run scored.
1. Flower Power: Two field invaders interrupted the action in the top of the fourth inning as they passed out white flowers to Giants players on the field. Giants left fielder, Angel Pagan, lured one of them, pretending he wanted a flower, but then body slammed the person until security detained him.
— Eric OConnor (@ericoconnor22) October 1, 2016
2. Brandon Bullpen: Dodgers starting pitcher, Brandon McCarthy, came out of the bullpen on Friday for the first time since April 25, 2007, when he was with the Texas Rangers. McCarthy was atrocious in his first appearance out of the pen, allowing six runs on five hits without recording an out in his brief relief role.
This is Brandon McCarthy's 1st relief appearance since April 25, 2007 with the Rangers. And he walks the first batter. #Dodgers
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) October 1, 2016
3. Bill on the Hill: California Senators introduced a resolution to congress in honor of Vin Scully.
— MLB (@MLB) September 29, 2016
Dodgers (91-69): Clayton Kershaw makes his final start of the season on Saturday in the middle game against the Giants.
Giants (85-75): San Francisco is tentatively expected to send rookie Albert Suarez to the mound on Saturday at 1:10PM PST.
All quotes courtesty of Spectrum's SportsNetLA.