Early review after phenom Corey Seager played his first game for the Dodgers: He’s not going to let high expectations be a burden.
Repeated view of their bullpen: Really? That no longer needs to be explained.
Seager, the Dodgers’ most talked about phenom for a couple of years now, made his major league debut a memorable one Thursday night. He should have been the game’s hero, doubling and scoring the Dodgers’ first run and then lining a single to drive in what at the time was the tying and go-ahead runs.
But after the Dodgers overcame another poor start by Mat Latos to rally from a 4-0 deficit, three relievers combined to give back a three-run lead, with the Padres going on to a 10-7 victory at Petco Park.
Pedro Baez and J.P. Howell each gave up one run, and then Jim Johnson gave up a two-run homer to Jedd Gyorko in the eighth inning. Juan Nicasio gave up two more and it was all looking too familiar.
The Padres had lost seven of their last 10 going into the game, while the Dodgers had won eight of their last nine. With the Giants also losing Thursday, the Dodgers maintained their 6½-game lead in the National League West.
Seager, their highly rated 21-year-old shortstop, was taken in the first round of the 2012 draft. He got the call Thursday morning that he was coming to the majors and was immediately inserted into the lineup to give Jimmy Rollins a day off. Seager is scheduled on Friday to give Justin Turner a day off at third.
None of this apparently intimidates Seager. He was the model of calm, seemingly all composed though you suspect his heart was racing.
He sparked what looked like a dramatic comeback, after the Dodgers fell behind 4-0 in the second inning. It was a great start by Latos, if your name is Mike Bolsinger.
It was the fourth consecutive poor start by Latos, the fourth consecutive start in which he couldn’t make it through the fifth inning. He gave up two runs in both the first and second innings on seven hard-hit balls. He was gone after four innings. In his last four starts for the Dodgers, Latos has an 8.31 earned-run average.
Not being able to pitch beyond the fifth inning was the one issue with Bolsinger, who was demoted to triple-A despite a 2.83 ERA after the Dodgers made deadline deals to acquire starting pitchers Alex Wood and Latos.
Bolsinger is back now and scheduled to start Friday against the Padres. If he performs well, it’s not unreasonable to expect the Dodgers to return him to the rotation and send Latos to the bullpen.
The Dodgers started their comeback against right-handed starter Colin Rea with Seager’s one-out double in the fifth inning. Joc Pederson singled in Seager, and Chase Utley doubled home Pederson.
The Dodgers took a 7-4 lead with five runs in the seventh inning. Turner and Carl Crawford led off with singles, and Yasmani Grandal walked to load the bases. Scott Van Slyke grounded out to score one run and then Seager doubled in -- the Dodgers letting him swing on a 3-0 pitch -- the tying and go-head runs. Justin Ruggiano singled to score Seager and Utley singled in Ruggiano.
Then the Dodgers’ bullpen started to implode.
The Padres got one back in the bottom of the inning on a Derek Norris double off Baez and pulled within a run in the seventh on Yangervis Solarte’s solo home run off J.P. Howell.
The Padres took the game over with a four-run rally in the eighth inning. Johnson gave up a lead-off walk before Gyorko’s homer gave San Diego the lead. Nicascio, the Dodgers’ sixth reliever, gave up two insurance runs.