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Although the Dodgers have played the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Giants, who are expected to be among the poorer teams in the National League, these Western Division rivals have always played the Dodgers hard. It is not surprising the Dodgers have 2 losses.

The way the Dodgers have lost these games. Both losses the Dodgers have had the lead, but their supposed-to-be-improved bullpen couldn’t hold onto the leads.

Their starting rotation has is excellent. Hyun-Jin Ryu has made two terrific starts, especially Tuesday when the bullpen was tired. Tuesday Ryu pitched seven innings. He simply dominated the Giants, who have begun the 2019 season in an offensive slump. Undoubtedly, if it was July or later, manager Dave Roberts would have allowed Ryu to go after a rare complete game. This early in the season and with Ryu’s history of injuries, it was too risky to let Ryu to go longer than seven innings.

After missing almost two years with serious shoulder surgery, Julio Urias had an excellent spring training. His first start against the Giants was magnificent. Even though the Dodgers would eventually lose the game, it was not because Urias didn’t dominate. In his five innings, he didn’t allow a run. Since the Dodgers want to limit Urias’ innings to save him for the postseason and in hopes of preventing another arm injury, Roberts already has announced whenever either Clayton Kershaw or Rich Hill returns from the IL that Urias will join the Dodger bullpen as the long man. If Urias continues hurling the way he has in 2019, predictably, Dodger fans will criticize the Dodgers, particularly Roberts, for removing Urias. Nevertheless, unlike fans, the Dodgers must look after Urias future health.

Although Ross Stripling had a tough fourth inning when he allowed three runs Wednesday night, he has performed admirably in 2019. He was slated to be a long reliever in 2019, but when Kershaw and Hill are on the IL, the Dodgers needed Stripling to be a starter. In his 11.2 innings as a starter in 2019, Stripling has allowed only 3 runs. Last year before the All-Star break, he was marvelous, earning his first All-Star selection. However, a toe injury affected his pitching. He lost his spot in the starting rotation. For the first time in his Major-League career, Stripling went to spring training resigned to be a reliever. During his time in Arizona, Stripling pitched well. It won’t be hard to conceive Stripling remaining in the starting rotation and sending Hill to the bullpen.

While Walker Buehler had a tough outing on Sunday afternoon, he was good for the first 3 innings. He couldn’t pitch much during spring training because his arm didn’t feel right. He appeared in one Cactus League game, so it was obvious that he ran out of gas in the fourth inning on Sunday. When Buehler builds up his endurance, he will be another great starter for the Dodgers.

In the second series against the San Francisco Giants, the Dodgers continued having bullpen problems while their offensive production is miraculous.

In the second series against the San Francisco Giants, the Dodgers continued having bullpen problems while their offensive production is miraculous.

In the second series against the San Francisco Giants, the Dodgers continued having bullpen problems while their offensive production is miraculous.

Although the Dodgers have played the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Giants, who are expected to be among the poorer teams in the National League, these Western Division rivals have always played the Dodgers hard. It is not surprising the Dodgers have 2 losses. The way the Dodgers have lost these games. Both losses the Dodgers have had the lead, but their supposed-to-be-improved bullpen couldn’t hold onto the leads.

Their starting rotation has is excellent. Hyun-Jin Ryu has made two terrific starts, especially Tuesday when the bullpen was tired. Tuesday Ryu pitched seven innings. He simply dominated the Giants, who have begun the 2019 season in an offensive slump. Undoubtedly, if it was July or later, manager Dave Roberts would have allowed Ryu to go after a rare complete game. This early in the season and with Ryu’s history of injuries, it was too risky to let Ryu go longer than seven innings.

After missing almost two years with serious shoulder surgery, Julio Urias had an excellent spring training. His first start against the Giants was magnificent. Even though the Dodgers would eventually lose the game, it was not because Urias didn’t dominate. In his five innings, he didn’t allow a run. Since the Dodgers want to limit Urias’ innings to save him for the postseason and in hopes of preventing another arm injury, Roberts already has announced whenever either Clayton Kershaw or Rich Hill returns from the IL that Urias will join the Dodger bullpen as the long man. If Urias continues hurling the way he has in 2019, predictably, Dodger fans will criticize the Dodgers, particularly Roberts, for removing Urias. Nevertheless, unlike fans, the Dodgers must look after Urias future health.

Although Ross Stripling had a tough fourth inning when he allowed three runs Wednesday night, he has performed admirably in 2019. He was slated to be a long reliever in 2019, but when Kershaw and Hill are on the IL, the Dodgers needed Stripling to be a starter. In his 11.2 innings as a starter in 2019, Stripling has allowed only 3 runs.

Last year before the All-Star break, he was marvelous, earning his first All-Star selection. However, a toe injury affected his pitching. He lost his spot in the starting rotation. For the first time in his Major-League career, Stripling went to spring training resigned to be a reliever. During his time in Arizona, Stripling pitched well. It won’t be hard to conceive Stripling remaining in the starting rotation and sending Hill to the bullpen.


Whereas the Dodger bullpen, except Caleb Ferguson, has struggled, their starting rotation has is excellent. If the bullpen improves, the Dodgers will continue their dominance of the National League Western Division, started in 2013.

Featured Image: Getty Images
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