Let’s rehash the 13 losses and see how Davey’s used his bullpen:
Loss #1 – Going for the sweep agains the Cubs in a Zimmermann start. Mattheus pitched 1/3 of an inning and gave up 2 runs which were the runs that gave the cubs the lead. Burnett pitched 2/3 of an inning giving up no hits and no runs.
Stammen pitched 2.1 innings the previous day so he might not have been available and I don’t believe it had been established yet that Mattheus is one of the lesser options in the bullpen.
Loss #2 – Opening game against the Mets in a Jackson start. Gorzelanny pitched 2.2 innings, walking three but giving up no runs. Rodriguez pitched 1/3 of an inning (facing three batters) committed a throwing error and gave up the winning run and got the loss.
If you remember this was one of the first games where there was some very dubious umpiring, Adam being called out at 2nd being the most memorable gaffe.
Loss #3 – Going for the sweep against the Reds in a Detwiler start. Stammen pitced 2 scoreless. Mattheus pitche 1 scoreless. Lidge pitched 1 scoreless. Rodriguez pitched 1 scoreless. It was Clippard who gave it up in this game, 3 runs in the 11th.
This was another problemed umpiring game where in the first inning…well the first inning…
Loss #4 – Going for the sweep against the Astros in a Jackson start. Gorzelanny entered the game at 5-4 Astros and pitched 2 innings giving up six runs. Mattheus pitched one scoreless inning. Burnett pitched one scoreless inning.
Jackson settled down after giving up 5 runs in the first and was removed from the game after 5 on pitch count of 89, for Gorzelanny.
Loss #5 – Going for the sweep against the Padres in a Jackson start. Clippard pitched 2 innings, giving up 2 runs. Burnett pitched a scoreless 1/3 of an inning.
This game turned on the Clippard-Kotsay matchup in the 8th inning. Kotsay hit a double in the game to give the Padres a 2-1 lead.
Loss #6 – Opening game in the Dodgers series, a Detwiler start. Burnett pitched 0.2 scoreless innings. Mattheus pitched 1.1 scoreless innings.
All the runs in this game were surrendered by the starter. Detwiler gave up three runs in six innings and got the loss.
Loss #7 – Second game in the Dodgers series, a Strasburg start. Clippard pitched 1 scoreless inning. Rodriguez pitched 2/3 of an inning giving up 2 runs and 3 wild pitches. Gorzelanny pitched 0.1 innings giving up one run.
Matt Kemp hit the walkoff homerun against Gorzelanny in the 10th.
Loss #8 – Final game of the Dodgers series, a Gonzalez start. Stammen pitched 2 scoreless innings.
All the runs in this one were also surrendered by the starter. Gonzalez gave up 2 runs in six innings and got the loss.
Loss #9 – Opening game of the Diamondback series, a Zimmermann start. Mattheus pitched 2 scoreless innings. Perry pitched 1 inning giving up 1 run.
Zimmermann gave up 4 runs (3 earned) in 6.1 innings and that was enough to get the loss.
Loss #10 – Going for the sweep against the Phillies in a Zimmermann start. Stammen pitched 1 scoreless inning. Burnett pitched 1 scoreless inning. Perry pitched 0.2 innings, giving up six runs. Gorzelanny pitched 0.1 scoreless innings.
Zimmermann up three runs in six innings and left the bases loaded in the 7th for Stammen who didn’t allow any of them to score.
Loss #11 – Game one against the Pirates, a Jackson start. Clippard pitched 1 inning giving up 1 unearned run. Rodriguez pitched 2/3 of an inning giving up 2 runs, with two wild pitches getting the blown save and the loss.
Barajas hit the 2-run walkoff against Rodriguez in the 9th.
Loss #12 – Second game of the Pirates series, a Detwiler start. Stammen pitched 2 innings, giving up 1 run.
Detwiler gave up three runs in six innings and that was enough to loss the game.
Loss #13 – Going for the sweep against the Reds, a Jackson start. Gorzelanny pitched 1 scoreless inning. Mattheus pitched 1.1 innings giving up 1 unearned run. Burnett pitched 0.2 innings, giving up 1 run. Rodriguez pitched 0.2 innings giving up four runs getting the loss and blown save.
It happened yesterday.
Looking at the losses, I wanted to see if my perceptions that Johnson has made some questionable/curious decisions regarding the pitching was borne out. In a few of the losses, the offense was so completely ineffectual (losses 6, 8, 9, 10 and 12) that it didn’t matter what combination of relievers were used late in games but, for most of the others there are some decisions that are difficult to understand.
Loss #4, for example, Jackson was signed to be an innings eater but was removed after just 89 pitches and Gorzelanny replaced him and gave up 5 more runs. If you remember, there were a couple of lefties due up and Davey wanted a lefty-lefty matchup. The problem is Gorzelanny role on the team. He’s a long man so he has to be able to get out both lefties and righties. Using him specifically to have a lefty-lefty matchup is not his defined role. He was also terrible in this game, giving up hit after hit after hit including to those lefties Davey wanted to match him up against.
In loss #5 against the Padres, remember Clippard had a very tough time against Kotsay (a lefty) on the previous night. They had a very long at-bat against each other where Kotsay got a good look at all of Clippard’s pitches. Burnett, the pitcher that most resembles a left handed specialist on the staff was clearly available because Davey went to him later in the inning, after the Kotsay double that gave the Padres the lead, to face a lefty. Why Davey chose to have Clippard face Kotsay again after the previous game when Burnett was available is still a mystery.
Loss #7, Davey had Gorzelanny against Kemp and ended with a walkoff, imaginary horse riding homerun. This, despite Kemp’s great numbers against lefties and several right handed pitchers available. I believe there were left handed batters that Davey wanted to have Gorzelanny go up against but he had to get past Kemp and couldn’t, which isn’t terribly surprising. I’ll give Davey a slight pass here because it was extra innings that really came up out of nowhere (see the Rodriguez implosions) and I think he kind of conceded this game. Of course, he could have walked Kemp and gotten to those lefties that he wanted to matchup Gorzelanny with instead of pitching to Kemp. Yes, you don’t intentionally walk the winning run in extras but you also shouldn’t pitch a lefty against Matt Kemp if you don’t have to.
In loss #10, the Perry outing probably wasn’t deciding but was a curious decision as Perry is the most recent callup and has to be considered one of the last, if not THE last options in the bullpen. In a game against the Phillies, on national television, use of Perry wasn’t reading “the moment” very well on Davey’s part.
Now for the Rodriguez implosions. He’s played a significant role in four of the 13 losses. When we watch Rodriguez and he’s not “on” that he’s not going to get “on” in that outing and the facts would tend to bear that out but, it just occurred to me that, maybe Davey doesn’t see what we see. Perhaps what we see as Rodriguez being “off”, Davey doesn’t see or, perhaps, he sees Rodriguez as being “off” but thinks he’ll pull it together despite lots of evidence to the contrary.
The Rodriguez implosions are so predictable, usually after a handful of pitches yet their predictability doesn’t make them any less traumatic. Davey’s use of Rodriguez is his signature failure of bullpen management but, to be fair, we don’t know if it’s really Johnson or Rizzo who’s responsible for this. We know what they say publicly about Rodriguez but it would be interesting to know what they really think about him.