The Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen has ranked among the best in baseball in several categories this season, but Blake Treinen was unable to add to the unit’s success Saturday night and took the loss as the Colorado Rockies scored three runs in the ninth inning to earn a 5-2 win.
It snapped the Dodgers’ six-game winning streak and their stretch of consecutive victories at Dodger Stadium at 11. It also has L.A. needing a win Sunday to avoid their first series loss of the season.
Treinen recorded the final out in the eighth inning without issue, but followed that by giving up three consecutive base hits to the opposite field prior to being removed.
“I haven’t had a chance to look at everything in depth yet, but I think those first three hitters did a good job of seeing some pitches up and going the other way,” he said. “If I do a better job of executing pitches down in the zone or pitching them in firmer, things probably end up differently.
“I fell behind to Tapia, gave him a pitch right in the middle of the zone and got a ground ball but you can’t control where they put it. Just make better pitches earlier in the count and maybe it goes a different way. At the end of the day they’re good hitters and I should’ve executed better.”
Overall, the game had little impact for the Dodgers. They still hold the best record in baseball and are six games up on the San Diego Padres in the National League West. Entering the series finale against the Rockies, the Dodgers’ magic number to clinch the division is 14.
But Treinen nonetheless was frustrated by his showing, more so because of the team than on a personal level. “It sucks to put in a lot of hard work and end up losing because of my performance in the ninth is pretty frustrating,” he said.
“Personal stats, people can get caught up on those. People care about them and I care, but at the same time, above that is winning. We’ve won a lot, but losing sucks. I hate being a reason for it. Just going to take tonight, process it, see what I have to learn from it and be better next time.”
Now in his seventh season and having endured challenges, Treinen is confident in his approach to overcome the setback. “I’ve taken stuff like this pretty hard in the past, earlier in my career,” he began.
“At this point in my career I’ve been pretty fortunate to have an open mindset of giving myself an evening to process it, be a little ticked off and use it for moving forward.”
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts noted Treinen left his sinker and slider up, resulting in the three hits, but otherwise downplayed any concern. “It’s going to happen,” Roberts said.
“Blake has been great all year. You’ve got to give credit to those guys staying on the baseball.”
Not chasing strikeouts
For as much of a bounce-back season as the right-hander is having, strikeouts have not factored into that. Treinen is not concerned by being off his career averages in that regard.
“The biggest thing for me is at the end of the day how do you win ballgames? You prevent runs. If I’m doing my job when I’m coming in with guys on base, and I’m getting a ground ball double play, what’s more important?” he recently said.
“Being able to extend another inning when I throw three or four pitches and get two outs on those, or is it more important that I strike out two guys and waste 10 pitches? Then they have to go to another guy and tomorrow maybe I’m not as fresh as I would’ve been.
“Strikeouts are great and I know the game is driven by it. People like the sexy strikeouts and I would love to have more, but at the end of the day outs are outs, and I can’t be more pleased with the weak contact I’ve gotten this year. Secondly, I have been really good getting to two-strike counts. My strikeout numbers would be higher if I executed better with two strikes.
“I’ve gotten a lot of weak contact with two strikes, which I will take, but if those pitches are executed better, right now it’s just baby steps. In my eyes, if I’m having the success that the organization and myself are hoping to have, and there’s still more, I think there’s a lot for me to be excited about.”
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