Dustin Could had no downside getting the primary two strikes towards Arizona Diamondbacks hitters Wednesday night time.
Placing them away, nevertheless, grew to become a nightmarish journey for the Dodgers right-hander nonetheless attempting to rediscover his manner in a return from Tommy John surgical procedure.
In a 6-1 loss at Dodger Stadium, Could adopted up his finest begin of the season with one among his worst, giving up 5 runs over 4 shaky innings wherein he additionally walked two batters, hit one and had seven males attain base from a two-strike depend.
“I set myself up for failure, walking guys and giving up contact,” Could stated. “It was just overall bad.”
Earlier than Wednesday, it appeared Could was transferring nearer to a beginning spot within the Dodgers’ playoff rotation, because of an uptick in efficiency, together with 5 no-hit innings towards the San Francisco Giants final week, and since beginning video games could possibly be simpler on his surgically repaired elbow.
“Being a young pitcher, [coming off] Tommy John, first year back, to kind of give him as much opportunity to have success preparation-wise, routine-wise, obviously that makes the most sense,” supervisor Dave Roberts stated pregame. “Is it cemented? I’d probably stop short of that. But that’s most plausible.”
To be counted on within the playoffs, nevertheless, the 25-year-old should keep away from outings like Wednesday’s.
Within the first inning, Could had leadoff hitter Daulton Varsho in a 2-and-2 depend earlier than strolling him on a low curveball and excessive sinker.
With two outs, and Varsho at second after a stolen base, Could had Christian Walker in a 1-and-2 gap, solely to throw a large fastball and a low curve that left the depend full. He then threw an elevated sinker Walker dumped into left for a broken-bat RBI single.
An analogous sequence performed out within the third inning. Jake McCarthy was in a 1-and-2 depend with two outs, however then laid off a few curveballs and a cutter to attract a stroll. Moments later, he stole second, then scored on an RBI single by Walker.
Within the fourth inning, Could’s night time snowballed uncontrolled.
After Carson Kelly doubled, Geraldo Perdomo singled on an 0-and-2 fastball and Varsho was hit by an 0-and-2 curveball to load the bases.
Could tried to begin the subsequent batter, Corbin Carroll, with an elevated cutter however missed his spot low and over the plate. Carroll smoked it, sending a double into the hole that scored three runs to make it 5-0 earlier than the Dodgers had even recorded a success (they completed with solely three, getting a lone run on Mookie Betts’ thirty fifth dwelling run).
“It’s just one of those games,” Roberts stated. “Clean game. We just got beat.”
Not like a few of Could’s different blunders since returning to the lively roster, his issues Wednesday had been much less about command and extra about conviction, with Roberts citing doable issues with pitch choice and plan of assault.
“With Dustin, it’s not just about stuff,” Roberts stated, noting that, even on an evening Could’s close to triple-digit velocity was good, his tendency of “trying to bully guys” together with his fastball “gets to be too predictable.”
“Just to continue to understand how to use his mix the right way, I think will prove beneficial,” Roberts added. “Obviously, time is of the essence. There’s only a couple more starts to clean that stuff up. But that’s on all of us to do.”
Certainly, the clock is ticking for Could to get proper.
He has flashed dominance at occasions this season however stays inconsistent now six begins into his return.
He insisted he bodily feels positive and is “at the point now where I feel comfortable with everything,” he stated. “I just need to go out and execute.”
For the Dodgers to depend on him within the playoffs, do they should see extra consistency over the ultimate couple of weeks?
“Absolutely,” Roberts stated.
Each day, Roberts fields a well-known spherical of questions throughout his pregame scrum, pressed on the standing of the workforce’s roughly half a dozen injured pitchers.
And each day, with the playoffs inching ever nearer, his updates are liable to alter, delivering unexpectedly excellent news for some, and more and more troubling growth for others.
Wednesday was no totally different.
After saying for a number of days that right-hander Blake Treinen could be activated Thursday, Roberts needed to backtrack, revealing that the reliever’s balky shoulder is “just not bouncing back the way any of us would have hoped” and that his standing for October stays unsure.
“He played catch today and we’ll see how he comes out of that,” Roberts stated. “We’ll just kind of kick the can a little bit.”
There was excellent news combined into Roberts’ afternoon chat with reporters. He stated right-hander Brusdar Graterol could be activated Thursday as an alternative, giving the reliever an earlier-than-anticipated return from an elbow situation that had saved him sidelined for the reason that begin of September.
The Dodgers are hopeful Tony Gonsolin (forearm) and Dave Worth (wrist) are getting nearer to returns as properly. They’ll each face hitters Thursday in what might be an particularly key step for Gonsolin, who’s operating out of time to attempt to return in a full starter’s capability.
“I’ve already talked to Tony about, No. 1, getting him back pitching,” Roberts stated. “And once we get to that point, then we’ll decide what role makes the most sense. So he’s open to whatever.”
Roberts stated if Thursday goes properly for Gonsolin, he might start a rehab task as quickly as subsequent week.
Nonetheless, Treinen’s newest setback was essentially the most regarding piece of stories to emerge, with Roberts saying that the right-hander — who was initially anticipated to be one of many Dodgers’ most essential relievers earlier than struggling a shoulder harm in mid-April that has restricted him to solely 5 appearances all season — remains to be not a assure to be prepared for October.
“I would say there’s still an ‘if,’ ” Roberts stated.