Not every Dodgers game will end with a dramatic comeback, or a blowout victory or with the surprising bullpen coming through in the clutch.
Wednesday night the Dodgers got a taste of how the other half has been living, the bullpen faltering as the Marlins rallied for a 5-4 victory before a Dodger Stadium crowd of 38,316. The loss ended the Dodgers’ winning streak at five games.
Baez has been a significant part of the bullpen’s early success. In 15 1/3 innings, he has struck out 22 and posted a 1.76 earned-run average. Baez had struck out all three batters he faced Wednesday when former Dodger Dee Gordon completed a four-hit night with a double off the left-center wall.
Catcher Yasmani Grandal went to the mound and summoned trainer Stan Conte. After a brief meeting on the mound, Conte left with Baez for the clubhouse.
The struggles of Liberatore and Hatcher ruined another nice start for Carlos Frias. The right-hander went six-plus innings, giving up three runs on six hits and a walk while striking out five. These things can change by the appearance, but for now Frias appears to have a hold on one of the two open rotation spots.
The Dodgers trailed 2-0 when they got one run back in the fourth inning after Alex Guerrero tripled and scored on a Jarred Cosart wild pitch. They took the lead when Enrique Hernandez hit his first home run as a Dodger in the fifth inning. Rookie Joc Pederson followed with a solo homer of his own. Pederson’s 10th home run of the season leads the Dodgers.
But the bullpen, which began the night with a 1.94 ERA -- third best in the majors -- could not hold the 4-2 lead.
Liberatore had been unscored upon in is first nine appearances, but he couldn’t manage an out in the seventh, surrendering two straight singles after Frias had allowed a leadoff hit. At that point Tim Wallach -- the fill-in manager after Don Mattingly was ejected in the fourth inning -- went to Hatcher.
Hatcher has been about the only weak link in the Dodgers’ bullpen this season and he could not turn things around in the seventh. He gave up a run-scoring single to Martin Prado and a two-run single to Giancarlo Stanton.
None of the three runs were charged to Hatcher, so he actually lowered his ERA to 6.55.
The Dodgers, who managed a season-high 21 hits Tuesday, were held to six hits Wednesday by Cosart and four Miami relievers. Cosart left the game with a tight right hamstring.