Despite a late comeback attempt by the San Diego Padres, the Los Angeles Dodgers held on to secure a 7-5 win in the rubber match of a three-game series at Petco Park.
Wednesday’s finale was notable in that Dustin May made his first appearance since taking a comebacker off his left foot last Thursday against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Though he initially was pegged to start, May did not enter the game until the third inning.
Brusdar Graterol instead served as an opener for a second time in the past week.
“They just wanted to make sure there wasn’t going to be any issues with the foot,” May said of the change in plans. “They weren’t really sure how far I was going to go, so they just wanted to make sure I was good.”
May turned in 5.1 solid innings of relief, allowing three hits and three runs (one earned) with six strikeouts. “I thought it was pretty solid,” he said of his outing.
“There were some miscues on my end that ended up going a pretty long ways. For the most part I thought it was pretty good.”
While he is a starting pitcher by trade, May has previous experience pitching out of the bullpen. Twelve of his 16 appearances between the regular season and playoffs last year came as a reliever.
He endured some early struggles in the role, but eventually turned a corner, stringing together eight consecutive scoreless appearances to close out the regular season. That has carried over into this year.
“I feel confident. I had a lot of experience last year, so I’m totally fine,” May said of pitching out of the bullpen. “I came out of the gate firing, just knowing I had to be ready from pitch one.”
Where does May fit in October?
Having thrived as both a starter and reliever, the Dodgers could deploy May in more ways than one this October. With limited off days as part of the expanded postseason, he could very well remain in the starting rotation.
However, the Dodgers could also decide to utilize May in a relief role as they did last year. “It’s huge,” he said of the opportunity to contribute to a World Series contender.
“To be on a team like this, just to go out there and be on the squad is huge. We have a very talented team.”
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in our shows, and more!