Noah Syndergaard leaves with ‘nasty’ cut as bullpen helps Dodgers top Brewers

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What dodgers is called the “cut” on the index finger of noah syndergaardThe pitching arm looked more like a divot, such a large piece of flesh missing from the fingers of his right hand Tuesday .

Unable to stop the bleeding from the wound, Syndergaard was forced to retire in what he expected would be a crucial debut against the team. Milwaukee Brewers One inning later, leaving the bulk of the game to a bullpen that has improved of late but still isn't as deep as the Dodgers would like.

Phil Bickford, Justin Bruhl, Yancy Almonte, Victor Gonzalez, Shelby Miller, Bruiser Graterol and Evan Phillips combined to work seven relievers and limited the Brewers to two runs and four hits in eight innings. 6-2 Dodgers win in American Family Field.

“When we were informed that something went wrong with the starter, I think everyone took ownership of the situation, it's our responsibility to cover that tonight,” said Phillips, who earned his sixth save. Final out. “Everyone knew it was going to be a tough day, but after man came and picked up the slack.”

It was a highly anticipated debut for Syndergaard, who was dropped into the rotation last week and given eight days off to work out some mechanical and mental issues that plagued him in April, when he batted 6.32. went 1-3 with an earned-run average. 10th worst among pitchers with at least 30 innings pitched.

Syndergaard said a blister began to develop on his finger “a few weeks ago” that may have contributed to some of his recent struggles. Athletic trainers sealed the finger with a topical skin glue before Tuesday's game, and Syndergaard hasn't had any problems in the bullpen.

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“I warmed up well — then I went to use the restroom before the game, and I looked down, and my hand was bleeding pretty good,” he said. “We tried to do what we could to make it serviceable.”

After completing his warm-up pitches before the bottom of the first, Syndergaard went back to the dugout, his finger bleeding profusely. The trainers stopped the bleeding enough for Syndergaard to start the game, but the sealant did not dry fast enough.

Syndergaard threw 20 pitches in the first inning and escaped a two-on, no-out jam with help from left fielder Chris Taylor, who jumped a Willie Adams drive over the wall, and second baseman Miguel Vargas, who started an inning-ending single. double play But it was clear that he could not continue.

“It was so bad, it was raw,” said manager Dave Roberts. He said, ‘In that first innings also he had bowled many such pitches which had traces of blood. He was willing to keep going, but to what extent?”

Syndergaard downplayed the issue, describing it as “nothing out of the ordinary” and said he did not think he would have to go on the injured list.

But Roberts said Syndergaard's issues were “very comparable” to those endured by former Dodgers left-hander Rich Hill, who missed several weeks at a time because of blisters on the middle finger of his pitching hand.

Dodgers relief pitcher Victor Gonzalez throws during the sixth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Dodgers relief pitcher Victor Gonzalez throws during the sixth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday in Milwaukee. (Maurie Gush/Associated )

Like Hill, the Dodgers will have to decide whether to let Syndergaard keep pitching or shut him down for a few weeks and give the finger time to heal.

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“Do we want to try to pinch it at some point, or are we just going to have to deal with it for the rest of the season?” Roberts said. “We just don't know the answer. … Certainly, the injury list is a possibility, but we want to give Noah and the training staff some time before making a decision.”

The Dodgers' offense gave the bullpen some wiggle room Tuesday night, pounding nemesis Eric Lauer, the Brewers' left-hander who entered with a 7-1 record and 2.37 ERA in 11 career starts, four runs against him and 3 Started on four hits in 2/4. 3 innings.

Mookie Betts opened the game with his 39th career leadoff homer. Freddy Freeman walked, stole second, advanced to third on Laurier's errant pickoff attempt, and scored on Will Smith's sacrifice fly to make it 2–0. James Outman doubled and Miguel Rojas' two-out RBI single to right in the second, and Smith's solo homer to left, his fifth of the season, made it 4–0 in the third.

The Brewers scored twice in the seventh, but could not dent the rest of the bullpen.

“He did a great job,” Bates said of the bullpen. “He kept them off the board except for two solo homers.”

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times,