Michael Grove took the ball for the Los Angeles Dodgers against the Colorado Rockies on Thursday, but he did not have a statistical performance to remember.
Grove pitched five innings, giving up eight hits, which led to four runs, while striking out just three and walking two. To make matters worse, Grove also dealt with a cramp while warming up to begin his final inning, but remained in the game to finish off the fifth.
Fortunately for Grove and the Dodgers considering the state of their pitching staff, the minor injury was nothing to worry about and went away quickly, he said on SportsNet LA:
“Just caught a quick cramp on one pitch. It stayed sore for a little bit, but not a big deal at all.”
While Grove did not turn in the results he wanted in the box score, he was still happy with a lot of his pitches while attributing some of the struggles to bad luck:
“I thought I made a lot of good pitches. I don’t know how many mistakes I made that got hit. Just one of those days where things tended to find open space. I had to bear down and try to keep us in the game as best I could.”
The start also came at Coors Field, which is notorious for high-offense games, and presented a bit of a learning opportunity for the young right-hander:
“Yeah, definitely. There’s going to be days like that with broken bats and little bloops hits here and there. Obviously, walking guys is something I can control and do a better job of. Just trying to keep the traffic off the bases as best as I can so that those aren’t as costly.”
Grove now owns a 7.54 ERA in 37 innings this season while posting a 1.59 WHIP with 34 strikeouts to 12 walks. Grove’s best role seems to be in the bullpen, where he pitched two shutout innings this week.
Grove has been put into a larger role with multiple Dodgers starting pitchers on the injured list, but he was optioned on Thursday as the corresponding move to Justin Bruihl getting recalled.
Michael Grove would embrace bullpen role
As the Dodgers bullpen continues to find their rhythm, Grove may find himself taking on a new role when the rotation starts to get healthy.
His fastball, which recently saw an increase in velocity, can further play up in shortened outings and benefit from Grove’s slider coming off of it in the same tunnel.
Although a starter by trade, Grove is willing to take on the new venture.
“I don’t know if I can even wrap my head around it,” he said of the adrenaline rush that comes with pitching in high-leverage situations out of the bullpen. “But I’ll do whatever we need to get a win.”
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