'A lot of weird stuff' sinks Dodgers in walk-off

August 26th, 2020

The Dodgers still have the best roster, the best record and the best team in baseball. But Tuesday night’s sloppy 10-8 walk-off loss to the Giants in 11 innings at Oracle Park revealed a few cracks in the foundation.

They let four leads get away, including a pair of three-run advantages. Starting pitcher had his second consecutive short start, making 10 times in the last 18 games a Dodgers starter hasn’t completed at least five innings. The best bullpen in the game blew three saves, including closer , who allowed Brandon Belt’s second homer of the game in the bottom of the ninth. Four Dodgers relievers allowed runs. Even the defense was shaky.

“It just wasn’t a well-played game for us,” said manager Dave Roberts. “We didn’t do a lot of things right. We kept those guys in the ballgame and they walked us off.”

The Trade Deadline is less than a week away and the Dodgers lead the division by a comfortable four games, but are they made for October? Without veterans David Price, Alex Wood, Hyun Jin Ryu, Kenta Maeda and Rich Hill, the Dodgers are asking a lot from young starters Urías, Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin. And injuries to relievers Joe Kelly and Pedro Báez have thinned out the back end of a bullpen that has been the best in MLB.

Roberts defended Urías, who was charged with four runs allowed in four-plus innings on the heels of his 1 2/3-inning start last week. He struck out six, but walked three and allowed a three-run blast to Brandon Belt, who was 4-for-5 with five RBIs.

“It was OK,” Roberts said of Urías’ outing. “I liked the way he came out, aggressive. The command, we’re still trying to harness. There were some good throws in there.”

Urías was long gone by the time the clubs exchanged advantages over the last three innings, this year’s extra-inning rule providing back-and-forth like a tennis match.

Belt went deep with one out in the bottom of the ninth off Jansen to tie the game and send it into overtime.

In the top of the 10th, the Dodgers scored on a crossed-up passed ball and errant throw by rookie catcher Joey Bart, allowing automatic runner to score from second base. In the bottom of the 10th, Turner made a diving backhand stop but had no play to make as Bart, the automatic runner, scored from third base on Mauricio Dubón’s infield single.

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In the top of the 11th, the Dodgers took another lead on Turner’s two-out RBI infield single, his fourth hit of the game, which required some high-stepping by Turner to avoid the tag of stumbling pitcher Tyler Rogers. But the Giants tied it again on Evan Longoria’s one-out RBI hit off Dennis Santana, and with two outs former Dodgers Minor Leaguer Donavan Solano went deep to left-center.

“A lot of weird stuff happened tonight,” said Turner. “This extra-inning stuff is kind of wild. Even a one-run lead like tonight, you can score a run without getting a hit. Definitely puts pressure on defense and a pitching staff, but we just couldn’t shut them down.”

Blown saves for the Dodgers went to: Jansen; Scott Alexander, who hadn’t saved a game since 2018; and Santana, who hasn’t had a save since 2014 in the Dominican Rookie League.

“Our bullpen’s been great all year. I’ll bet on those guys every night,” said Turner.