Dodgers newest weapon – the Piggyback
With the plethora of starting pitching who can’t pitch past the fifth inning, the Dodgers may have found a way to turn a struggling asset into a strength.
Two weeks ago when they moved Ryu to the bullpen he piggybacked with Kenta Maeda to give the Dodgers a 7 – 3 victory over the Cardinals. In that game, Kenta went the first five and Ryu the final four. Ryu was so brilliant in relief he quickly reclaimed his role in the rotation.
Last night after Kenta was moved to the bullpen the exact same thing happened but in a different order and one different pitcher. Rich Hill struggled through his five innings, and this time Kenta Maeda finished up with four sparkling innings in the Dodgers 7 – 2 victory over the Reds.
As long as egos are put aside this could help a team but it will only work if the manager does not yank the 2nd pitcher for a pinch hitter in a close game. The Dodgers have been lucky enough to have a large enough lead that they can afford to let the second pitcher finish the game. They won’t have that luxury if they are behind or in a close game.
Last night’s game might have been a turning point in how the Dodgers view Adrian Gonzalez going forward. The Dodgers had an off day on Thursday and still sat Gonzalez against an LHP, deciding to go with the struggling Cody Bellinger instead. I find it telling that Bellinger is struggling and still got the call over Gonzalez.
I’m curious to see what lineup will Dave Roberts used today. Will he use Chase at 2nd signaling a possible future platoon role for Chase or will he give Logan more time to figure out his slump against RHP? Is Chris Taylor ever going to get a day off? Taylor has played in every game this month starting seven of the eight. Don’t be surprised if Kiké gets the start in CF tonight.