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Dodgers' 'pen comes apart late in odd 8th

@kengurnick
August 1, 2020

The Dodgers got in on the Friday bullpen meltdown trend with a blown save and a 5-3 loss to the D-backs at Chase Field. Arizona scored four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, all of them charged to Blake Treinen, all of them unearned from what was ruled

The Dodgers got in on the Friday bullpen meltdown trend with a blown save and a 5-3 loss to the D-backs at Chase Field.

Arizona scored four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, all of them charged to Blake Treinen, all of them unearned from what was ruled an error by a shifted third baseman Justin Turner on a sharp, one-out grounder by Ketel Marte redirected by the mound.

Box score

“The sinker just didn’t have the depth that it’s had,” manager Dave Roberts said of Treinen. “They put some good at-bats together.”

With Marte on first, Treinen walked Kole Calhoun. Starling Marte grounded out to put runners on second and third. Slumping Eduardo Escobar was intentionally walked as the go-ahead run to load the bases for Christian Walker, who laced a double in the right-center alley. Treinen was then replaced by Joe Kelly, who allowed an RBI single to David Peralta.

Coming into the game, the Dodgers’ bullpen had a 1.02 ERA and a .138 opponents’ batting average.

Mookie Betts -- who previously made a Gold Glove-caliber throw from right field before slugging his first Dodger home run and singling in another -- had just moved to center field in a multiple defensive change. He took a shallow route and Walker’s drive (107.5 mph exit velocity) sailed over his head for a three-run double.

“I thought I was going to have a chance. I think if I take a deeper route, maybe I had a chance, but that’s the route I took,” said Betts. “He definitely squared it up, hit it pretty good. He’s got some thump in his bat. Got to respect that. I gave it a try and came up short.”

Walker loved the bases-loaded opportunity.

“Any time they intentionally walk somebody in front of you to load the bases in that situation, not that I’m trying to do more, but I definitely feel more of an attitude or chip on the shoulder,” he said. “It’s for the team. I know what this team has been going through and how hard we have been playing and not getting on the roll that we need, to come through for my teammates in a big spot meant a lot to me tonight.”

Roberts said he preferred Treinen face Walker with an out at any base than Escobar with first base open.

“I just think, for me, on the road with second and third, open base, I just liked the matchup with Blake vs. Walker more,” said Roberts. “[It] put the winning run on base, but I think it’s different for me on the road, where I’m not trying to play for a tie but playing to win that game and get that hitter out and give my pitcher the best chance. It just didn’t work.”

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.