PHOENIX -- It's not easy to find warts on the best team in baseball, but even Dodgers management was concerned enough to acquire two left-handed relievers at the non-waiver Trade Deadline last week.One of them, Tony Watson, was the losing pitcher Tuesday night when the Dodgers tasted some of their
PHOENIX -- It's not easy to find warts on the best team in baseball, but even Dodgers management was concerned enough to acquire two left-handed relievers at the non-waiver Trade Deadline last week.
One of them, Tony Watson, was the losing pitcher Tuesday night when the Dodgers tasted some of their own medicine, the D-backs rallying for a 6-3 win on Jake Lamb's grand slam that hit the right-field foul pole in the seventh inning.
The home run traveled only 343 feet and, according to Statcast™, had a minuscule 3 percent hit probability, and that doesn't even factor in that the right fielder was Yasiel Puig, who stole a home run from J.D. Martinez an inning earlier.
Chances are, Watson wouldn't have been pitching if Luis Avilan hadn't left the club on a paternity leave earlier in the day for the birth of his son. Or if fellow lefty relievers Adam Liberatore and Grant Dayton weren't on the disabled list.
The Dodgers had built a 3-2 lead mostly on a pair of home runs from Justin Turner, but Arizona opened the bottom of the seventh with a nine-pitch at-bat that concluded with Chris Iannetta's line-drive single to right field off Brandon Morrow, a hit probably as important as Iannetta's solo homer two innings earlier. Iannetta took second on a high Morrow fastball that catcher Yasmani Grandal couldn't handle, ruled a wild pitch.
Morrow then struck out Ketel Marte and Arizona sent left-handed-hitting Chris Herrmann to bat for pitcher David Hernandez. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts countered with the left-handed Watson, so Arizona manager Torey Lovullo countered with right-handed-hitting Adam Rosales. Watson jumped ahead, 0-2, before releasing the first pitch he wanted back, a slider that hit Rosales.
After David Peralta's groundout moved runners to second and third, Roberts called for an intentional walk of A.J. Pollock to load the bases and set up a lefty-on-lefty matchup between Watson and Lamb.
"I love the matchup," Roberts said. "We loved it. As good as Jake is, I'll take Tony against him any day. Left a slider up, still didn't take a good swing at it. Elevated it, unfortunately for us, it hit the foul pole."
Roberts said he wanted Arizona to burn two players (Herrmann and Rosales) and was comfortable having Watson face Rosales because "he gets out righties and lefties." Roberts said he walked Pollock (who is 2-for-4 against Watson) because "it just makes sense not to let Pollack beat you."
Watson said his pitch selection to Lamb was solid, but he didn't execute.
"I've faced Jake Lamb a number of times [Lamb is now 2-for-5 against him]," said Watson. "I had a good idea what I was trying to do, got it going with two-seamers in, but the slider backed up on me, I left it over the middle and when that happens, he's one of top RBI guys in the game, he's going to make you pay for it."
An inning earlier, Lamb greeted Pedro Baez with his first homer of the game. Arizona hit four hard-hit balls off Baez in that inning, three for outs, including the would-be home run that Puig stole.
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.