Taking a 5-0 lead in the 6th inning and turning it into a 12-5 blowout loss is really quite the feat. It is darkly humorous and impressive like an episode of ‘Barry.’ The season finale of which was considerably more uplifting than this game.
Just some absolute implosions in the bullpen tonight, paired with the offense’s incredible ability to score early and then put the bats down for a nice long sleep in the middle and late innings.
There were a couple positives, obviously, with Willson Contreras having a HUGE game, and Kyle Hendricks looking great.
With two weeks off to rest a “balky shoulder,” that is EXACTLY how you would hope Hendricks would come out looking. The mechanics looked clean, the location was good, and the changeup, in particular, was nasty. Through 5.0 innings of work, Hendricks had mostly cruised and had struck out 6. Over 70 pitches and coming back from the shoulder thing, I figured he was done.
But David Ross let Hendricks come out for the 6th, and he immediately gave up a double and was pulled for Chris Martin (who got knocked around a bit after starting in a dirty inning). Never been a huge fan of doing the whole, you can start this inning, but if anything at all happens, you’re out thing. 9 times out of 10, I’d rather just let the reliever start with a clean inning (or, if there’s a good lead, just give the starter some leash). Not saying that’s WHY Martin got knocked around (Padres were hitting him hard), but I feel like we see it a lot in situations where – with a good sized lead – it just didn’t seem necessary. Hendricks was almost certainly on a pitch limit, so why even send him out at all?
Maybe none of that would’ve wound up mattering anyway, given how Scott Effross uncharacteristically struggled and Mychal Givens had nothing at all. Truly, an impressive loss in all the wrong ways.