He did it again. Pitching brilliantly out of the bullpen, HongZhi Guo helped the Dodgers knock off the Angels. Guo went four innings, striking out four, walking none and gave up only three hits. Perhaps Guo will earn another shot at the starting rotation? However it's unlikely as manager Joe Torre seems to like Guo as the second component of a tag team 5th starter duo with either Chan Ho Park or Esteban Loaiza. We here at Guo-Mania have mixed feelings about Guo's current role. We believe Guo should be the 5th starter based on merit, but have no problem with Guo pitching in this role if it is to keep his innings down, as he is coming off of a fourth arm surgery. We would just like Guo to pitch in high leverage innings. We don't want him to be placed into a long relief, low leverage mop up role. With the likes of Park and Loaiza starting ahead of Guo, chances are there won't be too many high leverage long relief outings from Guo. Today was not one of those days though. Park actually pitched well. The Dodgers defense (Loney), let Park down a little bit. Guo came in with the Dodgers holding a 4-2 lead. The Dodgers "Win Expectancy" was 65.4% when Guo came in, in the 5th inning. All five batters Guo faced in the bottom of the 5th inning were higher than average leverage situations, with Kotchman's two out at bat with runners on first and second a 2.3 leverage index. Guo got Kotchman to ground out. Guo would then go on to face one more above average leverage situation in each the 6th, 7th and 8th inning. All three of those batters making outs. Saito then came on to pitch the 9th inning with the Dodgers leading 6-2, giving up one run, as the Dodgers held on for a 6-3 victory.
Notes: Fangraphs Game Play Log