When Hyun-Jin Ryu was chased in the fourth inning of Monday’s game, Pedro Baez was the first of what would be all eight Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitchers to enter. Baez tossed 1.1 scoreless innings, then handed the baton to Scott Alexander.
The ball eventually made its way to Kenley Jansen, who was the Dodgers’ sixth reliever on the night. He inherited a 6-3 lead and was three outs away from extending the team’s modest winning streak to three games.
Jansen retired the first two batters faced, only to follow that by issuing back-to-back walks. He then surrendered a game-tying home run to Chris Owings. The Dodgers and Diamondbacks proceeded to burn through available bench players and relievers as the game wore on.
Wilmer Font, who entered in the 11th, was the last option for the Dodgers out of the bullpen. He kept the team alive before giving up a walk-off single to pinch-hitter Jeff Mathis with one out in the bottom of the 15th inning.
With Font at the end of the road, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said postgame his plan was to call on a position player to pitch and have Kenta Maeda play the outfield if the game went to the 16th inning. Most assumed Yasiel Puig would at last make his pitching debut.
But according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, it was Joc Pederson who nearly found himself on the mound, armed with a fastball that Rich Hill mistook for an changeup:
Joc Pederson said he was warming up between innings to be the emergency reliever if last night’s game reached 16 innings. Rich Hill, who was watching, said Pederson has a good change up. Pederson said that was his fastball.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) April 3, 2018
Pederson has never pitched in his professional career, but did make a limited number of appearances at Palo Alto High School.
In somewhat of a response to having a short bullpen, the Dodgers called up Zach Neal from Triple-A Oklahoma City. He takes the place of Josh Fields on the active roster, as he was placed on the paternity list to be with his expectant wife.
Fields must miss a minimum of one day and can remain on the list for up to three days. Recently-acquired Jesus Liranzo was designated for assignment in order to add Neal to the 40-man roster.