Don Mattingly made a point of saying that the Dodgers bullpen has to be a source of strength in order for this 2014 team to reach its full potential. So far the Dodgers bullpen has been anything but a source of strength.
Last night in San Diego the Dodgers were up 1-0 in the bottom of the eighth and brought in their top of the line set up man Brian Wilson to hold the Padres and get the ball to Kenley Jansen. That’s when everything went downhill. Wilson gave up three runs without getting a single out, including a game tying home run to Seth Smith, and lost the game for the Blue Crew. Wilson had been nothing short of a miracle worker for the Dodgers in his short time with the team, which made his collapse in San Diego all the more surprising.
In Game 2 of the series in Australia the Dodgers bullpen also failed to shut the door on a seemingly guaranteed victory. For seven solid innings the Dodgers shut down the Diamondbacks offense and lead 7-0 before giving up a run in the eighth and four more in the ninth. It is unusual for a team like the Dodgers, who should have one of the best bullpens in baseball, to almost blow a seven run lead, yet it happened. It is even more unusual for a team like the Dodgers to have two consecutive bad outings from the bullpen. It’s almost inconceivable but, hey, it’s baseball after all.
The Dodgers need to figure out exactly what is going on with the bullpen and they need to figure it out right now. There are excuses to be made, whether it be the weird early season schedule or the lack of spring training games; however, those don’t matter much when the games actually count like the do right now. The Dodgers bullpen was suppose to be a source of strength, but so far it has looked like anything but.