Dave Roberts: Dodgers Bullpen Has To ‘Be Better’

Originally published by DodgerBlue.com

The Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen again struggled despite relying on high-leverage options Brusdar Grater, Evan Phillips and Caleb Ferguson, and it resulted in a 9-8 walk-off loss to the Cincinnati Reds.

After Tony Gonsolin pitched five innings, Yency Almonte was the first relief pitcher the Dodgers turned to. His inconsistency remained an issue but the Reds scored just one run, and the Dodgers’ lead remained 8-4.

Graterol then allowed a run in the seventh inning before Phillips retired the side in order in the eighth. Ferguson allowed two runs while he was on the mound in the ninth and had a third charged to him when Shelby Miller gave up a walk-off single to Matt McLain.

Bearing a look of frustration after the loss, manager Dave Roberts was critical of Gonsolin and Ferguson, and noted the Dodgers bullpen as a whole must improve, as seen on SportsNet LA:

“Just overall, not a lot of good. We scored eight runs, which was certainly a positive. We scored three runs in the first inning and go back and give away three in the bottom half (of the ninth), not good. Tony threw so many pitches that first inning, could only go five innings. And we were fortunate to get him through five innings.

“So what that does, is that exposes you in the bullpen. Then when you go to the bullpen, they’ve got to be better. Evan was solid in facing their best hitters, giving us a chance to take another at-bat in the top of the ninth inning, I felt made sense.

“Tonight, Fergie was all over the place. The walks, the hit batsman, it sped up on him. It was very apparent tonight. Got to take responsibility. This was a tough one. With this group of arms that we have in the ‘pen, it shouldn’t happen.”

Graterol and Ferguson have both allowed runs in back-to-back appearances. Ferguson has allowed six runs in his past four games. That’s played a part in the Dodgers being on their first three-game losing streak since April 7-9.

With ongoing struggles in the bullpen and a rash of injuries having beset the starting rotation, the Dodgers pitching staff uncharacteristically ranks 22nd with a 4.52 ERA.

The Dodgers bullpen is 26th in ERA (4.77) and batting average against (.251), and 23rd in WHIP (1.36).

Dodgers bullpen woes

After Graterol, Phillips and Ferguson all struggled in a loss to the New York Yankees that cost the Dodgers the series, Roberts maintained he was still confident in the group.

“Well, if you would have asked me a couple days ago, I would’ve said fantastic,” Roberts admitted. “”Honestly, I don’t know the numbers as far as recency, but I do know that they’re throwing the baseball well. This series, those guys hadn’t even pitched. It just wasn’t a good one.”

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