Reasons to be concerned with the Dodgers bullpen

– We’ll add that trail, with him going into the postseason season behind Kershaw?

– Well, you know, he dealt against San Francisco. He pitched solid against Philadelphia. But these are two of the worst teams in baseball. I’m a little shaky with him, because he didn’t command his fastball like I wanted him to. He’s throwing a ton of sliders, a ton of off-speed pitches, which got him deep in counts with everybody, and that’s why his pitch count rises so quickly. He needs to get aggressive with the fastball and issue earlier contact, so he can go deeper in ballgames. They have two athletic of a defense, too solid of a defense for him to be going two, two, three, two to everybody. He has to do a better job on the mound.

– I think the one thing I liked about him most was he was working in today. And as Train says, I mean, I understand it’s a lot of breaking balls, but in today’s games, fastballs get crushed. You just saw Pedro Baez–

– No, he needs to execute better.

– Correct. Yeah, I mean location is obviously crucial, but I think tonight, the one thing that I was really impressed with was his game plan. Looked like he really had a good game plan going up against these lefties. Really kind of getting guys in, throwing that breaking ball, that slider, and that little cutter, and really kind of getting in on guys. Because I think the biggest thing for him is location, like you’re saying, because as hitters today, if you can keep them from getting extended, you can keep them from doing damage.

– Yeah, it seemed like he did his part. Then the Dodger bullpen, which lately– in fact in September, the ERA combined Dodger bullpen’s up around seven, which is very difficult going into the post-season. You’re not going to win a lot of postseason games if your bullpen is not intact.

– I think that’s the biggest Achilles heel right now for the Dodgers. It’s not offense, it’s not starting pitching, it’s not back end bullpen. It’s those guys in the middle part of the game that we don’t know who they are handing this ball over to the bullpen to give them a chance to win ballgames.

– Well, they’ve been struggling, and if you ask Dave Roberts, they’re not hitting the ball like he even wants them to. They’re not defending like he wants them to. He wants them to be more consistent on the mound with starters and the bullpen guys. You heard him talk about Kershaw being able to execute. And he didn’t execute yesterday.

And again, Yu Darvish not being able to go deeper in ballgames. I want to see him go seventh and eighth inning. Especially the type of stuff that he has, he needs to be more aggressive in the strike zone earlier in the count. So again, winning’s contagious, so is struggling in a locker room right now. And they’re struggling in all facets of the team’s game.

– I mean, have you ever seen a team as bipolar as this?

– I’m the most worried, 96 win team I’ve ever seen right now at this point of the season. I’m really concerned about them.

– Well, hopefully they’ll get to 97 and then you won’t worry about them.

[LAUGHTER]

That’s just me talking.

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