Austin Barnes Laments Not Doing More For Emmet Sheehan, Who Felt ‘Challenge’ Against Rangers Was Himself

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Part of the Los Angeles Dodgers needing to tap into the organization’s pitching depth this season has entailed promoting prospect Emmet Sheehan from Double-A Tulsa in the middle of June.

Sheehan impressed in his MLB debut and has made regular starts for the Dodgers since that point. Sheehan began his career in record-setting fashion but has struggled since the calendar turned to July.

His latest bump in the road came against the Texas Rangers on Sunday, when the right-hander completed just 3.2 innings and allowed eight runs on eight hits and five walks, all of which were career highs.

Following the Dodgers’ 8-4 loss, Sheehan expressed frustration over self-inflicted damage that resulted in his first career loss rather than the difficulty of facing a talented Rangers lineup, as seen on SportsNet LA:

“The challenge was one I gave myself, was not being in the zone enough. Obviously, they’re a really good lineup, but I really did it to myself. … Just not in the zone nearly enough. So yeah, I’ve got work to do.”

Austin Barnes put the responsibility of Sheehan’s struggles on his shoulders and noted the Dodgers as a whole have to improve when given an immediate lead:

“I have to do a better job at getting him in the zone. A four-run lead, we’ve been pretty bad at that this year of getting runs on the offensive side, and then giving them right back on the pitching side. We just need to do a better job of keeping the momentum on our side.”

The Dodgers provided Sheehan with a 4-0 lead before he threw a single pitch thanks to Max Muncy’s grand slam. But a pair of walks in the bottom of the first inning were cashed in when Jonah Heim cut the Dodgers’ lead in half with a two-out, two-run double.

The Rangers then took advantage of two more walks in the second inning as they scored three runs to take a 5-4 lead. Back-to-back singles to start the bottom of the third were followed by Leody Taveras hitting a two-run double.

Sheehan nearly got through the fourth inning without allowing a run, but a two-out walk led to an Ezequiel Duran RBI double that chased the Dodgers’ rookie from the game.

Each of the five walks Sheehan issued came around to score.

Emmet Sheehan stats since July

In three starts this month, Sheehan has a 12.41 ERA and 12 walks over 12.1 innings pitched.

That’s in stark contrast to three starts in June, when Sheehan had a 2.65 ERA and only walked four batters in 17 innings.

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