The agony of a lost weekend, one in which he faced six batters and saw all of them score, showed on J.P. Howell's face. But his voice conveyed why it is probably premature to attempt to evaluate the Dodgers after one shoddy series.
"When you're here, you stay in the league for a long time, because when you go through struggles, you stay the same," Howell said. "You don't adjust right away. You trust what you've been doing. And then when it happens a couple more times, then it's time to adjust."
As the Dodgers (4-3) approach their home opener on Tuesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks, the relievers are eager to erase the sting of three losses in four games to San Francisco. Yimi Garcia played a role in Thursday's implosion. Chris Hatcher served up a game-tying homer Friday. Howell and Louis Coleman could not maintain a tied game on Sunday.
Broadcaster Vin Scully arrives at Dodgers Stadium to call the final home opener of his career.
There was plenty of live entertainment, several new stadium food options and a special ceremonial first pitch honoring Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully, who is in his 67th and final season in the booth for the Dodgers, before the team’s home opener on Tuesday.
There was also a little baseball played in Chavez Ravine, with the Dodgers and Japanese right-hander Kenta Maeda facing the Arizona Diamondbacks and left-hander Patrick Corbin.
The pregame ceremony celebrated many of the great moments in Scully’s iconic career. The beloved broadcaster had a street named after him on Monday.
Manager Dave Roberts discusses the Dodgers' 4-2 loss to the Diamondbacks in their home opener on April 12.
The bag at first base was empty, extending an invitation to Dodgers reliever Chris Hatcher. He had thrown three consecutive balls to Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, one of the finest hitting specimens on the planet. He could choose passivity and grant Goldschmidt a walk with the game tied in the eighth inning. Or he could attempt some version of gallantry.
Hatcher went the latter route, and his choice proved decisive in a 4-2 defeat to Arizona. He threw Goldschmidt a 96-mph fastball at the waist. Goldschmidt bashed a go-ahead home run about a dozen rows deep in left field. The pattern from the weekend in San Francisco held: Everything the relievers touched turned to ash.
Arizona's Welington Castillo singled with two outs in the sixth to get on base for Jake Lamb.
Lamb then drove an 80-mph slider out to right where Yasiel Puig fielded the ball and connected with the relay man, third baseman Justin Turner, who turned and fired the ball to catcher A.J. Ellis, who beat Castillo with a tag to end the inning.