LOS ANGELES -- The late innings of the Dodgers' 6-2 loss to the Phillies found the team in a Twilight Zone compared to the performances fans have come to expect from around the roster.
The starting pitcher was sharp and pitched deep, a red-hot offense went relatively quiet, and a bullpen that is second in the National League in ERA and innings pitched allowed four runs.
In the past 30 days, Dodgers starting pitchers rank last in innings pitched and are averaging fewer than five innings per start. Scott Kazmir improved those numbers a little Wednesday, throwing six scoreless frames before getting pulled in the seventh after allowing two baserunners to start the inning.
"I was able to make pitches when I needed to and had the changeup today," Kazmir said. "That's a tough one. We wanted to pull this one out and have a good off-day, but [we] let this one slip away."
With Kazmir coming out, manager Dave Roberts had several options out of bullpen, but he elected to go with one of its newest: left-hander Grant Dayton.
"Dayton right there, it was a lefty spot for me as far as the success that lefties have had against that part of the lineup," Roberts said. "He's been throwing the ball well, and for Scott to give up a base hit to [Carlos] Ruiz, then a four-pitch walk to [Jimmy] Paredes, I felt that quality start was good for him. Grant's been throwing the heck out of the baseball."
Dayton had indeed been throwing well, as he entered Wednesday's game with five innings pitched in three games in his career and not a single hit allowed. He had also struck out eight batters, in line with the 91 batters he had fanned in 52 innings between Double-A and Triple-A this season.
Dayton gave up both his first Major League hit and run in the same swing, allowing a three-run homer to Freddy Galvis to give the Phillies a 3-1 lead.
"It was a fastball that I didn't execute," Dayton said. "He took advantage of it, put a good swing on it. What am I going to say? He got me."
Kenley Jansen later allowed three runs in the ninth inning to up his ERA from 1.29 to 1.81.
While Dayton said he was pleased with the show of faith from Roberts and the club to put him in in the seventh inning of a one-run game, the reliever made no excuses for the home run.
"It shows a lot of confidence that the club has in me," Dayton said. "Unfortunately, today I let them down, but they got the confidence in me, so it says something. Kaz went out there and pitched great, and unfortunately, I gave up his runs. That's about the worst thing that you can do."