LOS ANGELES – The Dodgers bullpen imploded for the fourth time in five games and Los Angeles lost their home opener, 4-2, to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday afternoon at Dodger Stadium.
Dodgers rookie' Kenta Maeda, was sensational once again as he pitched another six shutout innings in his second Major League start. Madea allowed no runs on five hits with one walk and four strikeouts as he joined Kazuhisa Ishii and Karl Spooner as the only Dodgers to begin their careers with back-to-back scoreless starts.
"I did my job, but the team lost," Maeda said following the game. "I think I had less command today then I did in San Diego."
Maeda did indeed do his job, but once again, the Dodgers bullpen let its starting pitching down. Paul Goldschmidt hit the go-ahead home run off Chris Hatcher in the eighth inning, and Louis Coleman gave up two runs in the ninth to spoil the Dodgers final home opener for Vin Scully. Before today, the Dodgers had won seven of their last eight home openers.
"The roller coaster has to stop," Hatcher said of the bullpen lately. "We have to start putting up zeros."
Just one week into the season, and the Dodgers glaring problem is staring them directly in the face. The starters look solid, the offense is putting up enough runs, but the bullpen has been an absolute disaster. The bullpen's ERA is an astronomical 6.79, good for fourth worst in baseball.
"It's part of the game, it's baseball," Coleman said. "Sometimes it just doesn't go your way, and that's just the way baseball is."
The Dodgers scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the second inning after leadoff singles by Howie Kendrick and Trayce Thompson. Rookie Corey Seager advanced Kendrick to third on a sac fly and A.J. Ellis brought him home with an RBI squeeze bunt down the first base line.
Nick Ahmed tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the seventh inning with a solo shot into the left field seats off reliever Pedro Baez. Baez continues the magical mystery ride that is the Dodgers bullpen this season as it seems you never know what to expect from the pen on any given night.
The bullpen implosion continued as Hatcher struggled in the eighth inning yet again. Hatcher allowed a long solo blast to Goldschmidt that gave Arizona the lead, then promptly loaded the bases before getting the hook from manager Dave Roberts.
"Right now I'm not thinking about changing anything," Roberts said after the loss. "Right now I want to continue to give these guys confidence and give them opportunities. I expect to be having a lot of leads late, and we're going to need them. It's way too early for me to think about changing anything."
Hatcher got behind in the count 3-0, and then served up a 96MPH fastball right over the heart of the plate.
"Boy, you talk about throwing a lamb chop to a lion," said Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully of the call.
The Dodger fans voiced their opinions as Hatcher left the field, booing the right-handed setup man profusely as they articulated their disgust with the Dodgers bullpen in general.
Coleman got out of the jam, but gave up two runs in the ninth, and the Dodgers lost the game, and a lot of confidence in their bullpen just a week into the newborn season.
Players of the Game:
Kenta Maeda: 0 runs, five hits, one walk, four strikeouts, 6IP.
Corey Seager: 1-for-3 with a double and run scored, extending his hitting streak to 11 games, dating back to last season.
Paul Goldschmidt: 1-for-5 with 2 RBI and the game-winning home run in the 8th.
1. Maeda for History: Kenta Maeda's six scoreless innings on Tuesday gives him a total of 12 to start the season. That mark is the fourth best in franchise history behind Dave Stewart (18.1), Bob Welch (15.1) and Pedro Astacio (14.0).
2. Patty Cake Puig: The always playful Yasiel Puig played a game of patty cake with Diamondbacks shortstop Jean Segura in the bottom of the fifth inning. Puig hit a shot to the gap that he tried to stretch into a double, but slid passed the base on the play. Check out the hilarious video below of what happened next.
3. Vin Scully Day: After getting a street named after him on Monday, Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully received a long pregame ceremony before his 65th Opening Day. The Dodgers played a video tribute, narrated by Al Michaels as a conclave of Dodgers legends took to the field.
Diamondbacks (3-5): Rubby De La Rosa takes the mound on Wednesday looking to bounce back from his horrific opening start. De La Rosa heads to the hill with a record of 0-1 and an ERA of 16.20
Dodgers (4-4): Alex Wood will give it another go on Wednesday after he collapsed in the fifth and sixth innings in San Francisco at 7:10PM PST.
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