The Dodgers lost a game they should have won on Tuesday, dropping the series opener to the Cincinnati Reds 9-8.
The Dodgers led 8-3 in the bottom of the fifth inning, but the bullpen struggled mightily, and the Dodgers ended up dropping the first of three in Cincinnati.
The Dodgers entered the 9th inning with an 8-6 lead, and Evan Phillips had just completed a 1-2-3 8th inning on 11 pitches. It felt like he could have just stayed in to pitch the 9th with tons of righties due up, however, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts elected to instead go to LHP Caleb Ferguson.
Despite Ferguson’s drastic splits — being much worse against righties — Roberts gave him a chance.
Entering Tuesday's game, righties were slashing .319/.396/.404 against Caleb Ferguson this season.— Noah Camras (@noahcamras) June 7, 2023
I don't really understand why Dave Roberts brought him into this game.
Evan Phillips was at 11 pitches. He could have gone another inning, or at least another batter or two.
Ferguson allowed three earned runs on one hit, three walks and a hit batter, and ultimately got the loss in a game the Dodgers had no business losing.
After the game, Dodger fans were not happy with the team, and rightfully so. They let out their frustration on Twitter.
Roberts and the bullpen were given most of the blame for this one:
The bullpen and Dave Roberts! They deserve it!— Darrell B. Jackson Jr. (@Darrellj1D) June 7, 2023
This one is actually on Dave Roberts 100%. Dave should've never had this situation.— _ryan ???? (@ryanatanner) June 7, 2023
Dave Roberts 100% embarrassing loss— Gina Sarracino (@ginasarracino) June 7, 2023
Team needs a real closer. Promote Phillips to it or trade for one. Closer by committee doesn’t work— mc (@m_candaza) June 7, 2023
Poor performance by Fergy, but this one is on Dave. Failed to manage the situation. Fergy was off, but it’s on Roberts for not getting him out of there sooner.— Ernie Valles (@ErnieV1855) June 7, 2023
Roberts- Ferguson is terrible against righties- 4 righties in the 9th and Roberts thought it would work— Neal Kasamoto ? (@nkvball) June 7, 2023
Roberts deserves to be flamed for saving Phillips for syndergaard day.— eddie (@joker37190) June 7, 2023
Dave roberts and the bullpen— Connor (@CondoM131228) June 7, 2023
Some fan weren’t very happy with the bullpen the man upstairs assembled in the first place:
Andrew Friedman!— Mike (@JerseyShoreScre) June 7, 2023
He is an ambulance chaser, never passing up the chance to sign or extend an injured reliever.
Andrew Friedman, for thinking this bullpen was remotely decent— Keaton Woodmansee (@KWoodsy58) June 7, 2023
Andrew Friedman.— Henry (@henryslist) June 7, 2023
The blame could be placed in many different places for this one, but the most clear takeaway is the Dodgers need to do something about this bullpen.
The Dodgers have more than enough minor league depth to trade for a true closer, or at the very least, a shutdown reliever. This bullpen drastically needs the help, and the Dodgers can’t sit and wait for their guys to get healthy. The time is now to turn this bullpen around.
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