The Los Angeles Dodgers used three relievers in Tuesday’s extra-innings loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks, including the embattled Pedro Baez in the fateful 10th inning. Not seen was Brandon Morrow, who’s emerged as a dependable late-inning option for the Dodgers this season.
In discussing Baez’s trouble in another high-leverage situation, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts revealed Morrow was unavailable. “Morrow was dealing with a little back thing,” Roberts explained. “We were trying to give him another day (of rest).”
Roberts did not express much concern over the issue. Morrow last pitched Sept. 2 against the San Diego Padres, when he allowed three hits, two runs and issued two walks while retiring just one of six batters faced in a rocky seventh inning.
It was a second consecutive relief appearance and third in four games for the 33-year-old. Morrow has pitched back-to-back days on five separate occasions during his stints with the Dodgers.
On the season he’s 5-0 with one save, a 2.55 ERA, 1.64 FIP, 0.91 WHIP and 40 strikeouts against eight walks 35.1 innings pitched across 36 relief appearances. Of those, 29 have been scoreless efforts and the right-hander has not allowed more than two earned runs in a single game.
Prior to Baez being done in by consecutive walks that put two runners on with nobody out, Ross Stripling backed Hyun-Jin Ryu’s effort with two hitless innings. Stripling at one point was called upon in late-game situations.
As Baez works to solve his troubles and with Morrow dealing with a back issue, Stripling’s recent string of success could lend to him reclaiming that role.