Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Relied On Daniel Hudson While Saving Craig Kimbrel For Middle Of Phillies Lineup

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has faced consistent criticism for his in-game decisions, and in particular with the bullpen. Such was the case in Thursday’s loss to the Philadelphia Phillies, when Roberts turned to Daniel Hudson in the ninth inning of a tied game.

Hudson entered instead of Craig Kimbrel after the Dodgers had just rallied to score four runs against the Phillies’ bullpen. “That inning, by the book it’s the closer at home in a tie game,” Roberts acknowledged after the 9-7 loss.

“I just felt that part of the order, we could get Huddy through their eight, nine. I felt good about him versus (Rhys) Hoskins and (Alec) Bohm. Gets the first guy, and then there’s a bunt single with Herrera, the pinch-hitter.

“We had a ground ball double play, but he ended up deflecting it, and it led to the walk and obviously sac fly. I was going to have Kimbrel for the heart of the order. That was kind of my thought, and obviously it didn’t work out.”

Hudson retired the first batter faced, then his undoing began with Odubel Herrera reaching on a pinch-hit bunt single. Rhys Hoskins hit a chopper back up the middle that potentially would have been an inning-ending double play if Hudson did not stick his glove out and deflect the baseball.

Alec Bohm’s walk loaded the bases and the Phillies took the lead on a wild pitch before Bryce Harper’s sacrifice fly provided some insurance.

While Roberts alluded to saving Kimbrel for the middle of the Phillies lineup, it was Reyes Moronta who began to warm up during the inning. Kimbrel did start to get loose as the Dodgers loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the ninth, but never got an opportunity to pitch as Craig Kimbrel then retired three straight batters.

Hudson, Dodgers bullpen hitting lull

Making Roberts’ decision all the more curious is Hudson was pitching on back-to-back days, whereas Kimbrel hasn’t been in a game since May 7.

Hudson has allowed a combined three runs in his past two appearances, and the Dodgers bullpen as a whole has struggled some.

Tommy Kahnle, Hudson and Brusdar Graterol combined to give up five runs in the series loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Coupled with Thursday’s result, the Dodgers have allowed at least three runs in consecutive games for the first time this season.

The Phillies’ nine runs are the most an opponent has scored against the Dodgers this year.

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