The Tuneup is Over – It’s Time to Play Ball!

Opening Day for Baseball Season is today!  The Dodger have their opening day on Monday and it looks like they are firing on all cylinders.  Corey Seager could get out of bed and single on the way to the bathroom.

I have just a few thoughts about the approach of the season:

  • The Dodgers may not need a Brad Brach – before the season is over Yasiel Sierra could be one of the best setup men in the game.  He is evolving rapidly!
  • With seven starters on the team and many more in waiting, there should be no need to trade for a starting pitcher in the foreseeable future. The farm should produce all that is needed. It’s like Orel said “I have never seen this many live arms in a farm system.”
  • Doug Padilla of ESPN reports this: “The Dodgers’ leadoff man for Opening Day on Monday is down to Andrew Toles or Logan Forsythe. Manager Dave Roberts said he will notify both of his decision Sunday evening.”
  • Tomorrow we will have our annual predictions.  Feel free to inject yours tomorrow.
  • Finally, I received this e-mail from a commenter:

Hi Mark,

Hope you are enjoying your Florida retreat. 

Two things: 1) a quote below; 2) While I don’t agree with many of Dodgerrick’s positions he is a pretty good writer with solid points and would complement AC’s excellent writing and viewpoints with a slightly different take. 

I’m thinking it would lead to continued lively and interesting discussion without all  the bitterness and vitriol that we are so happy is gone.

“Somewhere in the world there is a defeat for everyone. Some are destroyed by defeat, and some made small and mean by victory. Greatness lives in one who triumphs equally over defeat and victory.” ― John Steinbeck, The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights

Thanks for all you do for LADodgertalk.

Great Idea!  What say you Rick?

The following is brought to by Bumsrap who wrote and compiled it all. Enjoy!

Let’s Get Offensive!

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away there were teams with great offensives that have lingered in my mind.

  • The 1955 Dodgers
  • The 1975 Big Red Machine
  • The 1977 Dodgers

We have learned that pitching and defense wins championships and some of those teams had that.  The 1975 Big Red Machine had four relievers that carried three-fifths of their rotation on their backs.  The 1955 Dodgers did not have dominant pitching that year from the rotation or the bullpen.  The 1977 Dodgers had a solid but not spectacular rotation and bullpen.

That is all that is going to be said about pitching because this post is all about offense.  The question now asked is how do you think the 2017 Dodger offense ranks with the three of the best from the past?  Most of us were not around when the 1927 Yankees played so they are not included.  The Reds are included because I have always liked that lineup and have often compared Dodger lineups to them through the years.

Rose Reese Lopes Forsythe
Griffey SR. Gilliam Russell Toles
Morgan Snider Garvey Seager
Bench Campanella Smith Turner
Perez Hodges Baker Gonzales
Foster Furillo Cey Puig
Concepcion Robinson Monday Grandal
Geronimo Amoros Yeager Pederson

 

Career wise, Rose beats Forsythe but I think a career year from Forsythe, which I expect him to have, will be better than Rose at the leadoff spot this year. Griffey always had that high batting average but Toles might be able to outplay him. Morgan is tough to beat in the third spot and I think he reinvented the #3 spot in the lineup.  Snider, Mays, Mantle used to be the prototypical #3 hitter but Morgan added OBP, stolen bases, and limited strikeouts in lieu of the homerun.  My heart gives the #4 spot to Campanella.  Perez and Gonzales are the clutch RBI guys so I like them in the #5 spot. I think Cey is the clear winner in the #6 spot.  Robinson was aging and Concepcion was still learning to hit in those years so the #7 spot winner for me is a tie between Monday and Grandal. By putting Pederson in the #8 spot, lots of competition has been removed, so I think he is the clear winner there.

Name Age PA R H 2B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
C Bench 27 606 83 150 39 28 110 11 0 65 108 .283 .359 .519 .878 140
1B Perez 33 574 74 144 28 20 109 1 2 54 101 .282 .350 .466 .816 124
2B Morgan* 31 639 107 163 27 17 94 67 10 132 52 .327 .466 .508 .974 169
SS Concepcion 27 558 62 139 23 5 49 33 6 39 51 .274 .326 .353 .679 87
3B Rose# 34 764 112 210 47 7 74 0 1 89 50 .317 .406 .432 .838 132
LF Foster 26 511 71 139 24 23 78 2 1 40 73 .300 .356 .518 .875 139
CF Geronimo* 27 557 69 129 25 6 53 13 5 48 97 .257 .327 .363 .690 90
RF Griffey* 25 540 95 141 15 4 46 16 7 67 67 .305 .391 .402 .793 119
Name Age PA R H 2B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
C Campanella 33 522 81 142 20 32 107 2 3 56 41 .318 .395 .583 .978 152
1B Hodges 31 642 75 158 24 27 102 2 1 80 91 .289 .377 .500 .877 127
2B Gilliam# 26 627 110 134 20 7 40 15 15 70 37 .249 .341 .355 .696 83
SS Reese 36 652 99 156 29 10 61 8 7 78 60 .282 .371 .403 .774 103
3B Robinson 36 390 51 81 6 8 36 12 3 61 18 .256 .378 .363 .740 95
LF Amoros* 25 455 59 96 16 10 51 10 5 55 45 .247 .347 .402 .749 95
CF Snider* 28 653 126 166 34 42 136 9 7 104 87 .309 .418 .628 1.046 169
RF Furillo 33 578 83 164 24 26 95 4 5 43 43 .314 .371 .520 .891 130
Name Age PA R H 2B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
C Yeager 28 438 53 99 21 16 55 1 3 43 84 .256 .334 .444 .779 108
1B Garvey 28 696 91 192 25 33 115 9 6 38 90 .297 .335 .498 .834 122
2B Lopes 32 589 85 142 19 11 53 47 12 73 69 .283 .372 .406 .779 110
SS Russell 28 674 84 176 28 4 51 16 7 24 43 .278 .304 .360 .664 79
3B Cey 29 669 77 136 22 30 110 3 4 93 106 .241 .347 .450 .797 114
LF Baker 28 604 86 155 26 30 86 2 6 58 89 .291 .364 .512 .876 134
CF Monday* 31 456 47 90 13 15 48 1 4 60 109 .230 .330 .383 .713 92
RF Smith# 32 603 104 150 27 32 87 7 5 104 76 .307 .427 .576 1.003 168

Here are the Steamer projections for the 2017 Dodger offense inadvertently ranked by OPS.  That can be made into a solid lineup but nothing spectacular.  The 2017 Dodgers will need pair great pitching and defense to this lineup to win a World Series.

Name G PA AB H 2B HR R RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS
Puig 117 484 432 123 24 18 60 64 40 95 6 4 .284 .351 .481 .832
Seager 146 646 585 167 36 23 87 79 48 115 4 3 .285 .342 .475 .817
 Pederson 129 524 438 105 20 25 65 69 74 139 7 4 .239 .353 .455 .808
Turner 132 573 513 142 30 19 71 74 45 101 4 2 .278 .345 .457 .802
Grandal 112 457 386 91 17 20 55 59 63 111 2 2 .237 .346 .437 .783
Gonzalez 134 570 510 134 27 20 65 75 52 108 1 1 .262 .332 .433 .765
Forsythe 132 588 522 134 26 17 74 60 48 120 8 5 .257 .328 .415 .743
Toles 84 336 312 86 19 7 35 35 17 61 12 7 .276 .316 .413 .729

Photo Credit: Rusty Kennedy/AP

Posted by Mark Timmons

We started LA Dodger Talk in 2001. This site is about giving another perspective outside of the average day-to-day reporting. We don't do game recaps or such things -- lots of sites do that well. I value sabermetrics, but don't think they are the "end-all-be-all.". This is where you should start your day as a Dodger Fan. Welcome! We'd like to hear your voice.

This article has 54 Comments

  1. Very unique and interesting comparison Bums. Thanks for the time and effort to distil and format this information in this manner. It offers an opportunity for an interesting and hopeful expectation of the future based on the past. I can relate to that.

  2. Our farm system looks great. There are players going to AAA, that would be on most major league teams. All farm teams should be loaded. The Dodgers are very high on White and Beuhler. Sierra has the tools to be great, but does he have the command. Bellinger looks like he belongs right now. Verdugo is right behind.

    Bumsrap, all those stats are great I am sure. I just use the eye test. It has served me well over the years. McCarthy certainly has great movement on his pitches. Sometimes he just grooves a fastball and it gets whacked. If he can stay away from the middle of the plate, he would be great.

    Let the season begin. Go Dodgers.

    1. “I was happy with it,” said McCarthy. “I was able to execute across the board. I tried something new with Pujols, tried to do something more with the cutter, not something I’ll try again when games count.”

  3. People have been arguing about who are the “greatest” baseball players since the game was invented. After reading Bumsrap’s thoughts above, I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
    .
    Forsythe over Rose? Wish it would, but never going to happen. I remember hating Rose in 1975, looking at that stat line, I remember why. The all-time hit champion had a .406 OBP with 50 strikeouts in 764 PA that year, OUTSTANDING!! Oh, and he was a switch-hitter! I take Rose ANY day of the week over Forsythe who I like very much.
    .
    Morgan, Didn’t like him much in 1975 either, but Mays and Mantle can bat third in MY lineup ANY day of the week over Morgan. Mays especially remains the “prototypical” #3 hitter.
    .
    Looking forward to reading everyone’s Predictions. A little advance from me is that, Steamer’s projections quoted above sounds about right. “The 2017 Dodger lineup is “solid”, but “The 2017 Dodgers will need to pair great pitching and defense to this lineup to win a World Series.” Happily, I think the Dodgers have the goods to do just that!!
    .
    Interesting comparisons Bumsrap! Good job.

    1. Parting thought on Morgan, He could be my prototypical #1 or #2 hitter. That is an outstanding stat line. I just want someone with more power in the #3 spot. They called him the “Toy” Cannon for a reason, Mays and Mantle were the real thing.

      1. Just came to me, Jimmy Wynn was the “Toy” Cannon. But, since their Houston days, I always thought the name fit Morgan equally.

    2. Just to be clear Boxout, I was not comparing career years or careers for that matter. I picked one year for each of those teams. Some of the players were early in their careers and some were late in their careers. Some were at their peak.

      1. I took another look at Rose’ stats that year and you are right. A career year from Forsythe won’t get him to close to the year Rose had.

  4. I think Reggie Smith hit 3rd for the most part. This year’s offense doesn’t compare to any of them.

    1. No it doesn’t. Hopefully solid, if the outfielders all hit, glad the organization has a lot of choices. Gonzalez looks bad. Hope it is his elbow and it gets better in a hurry.

      1. I wonder if Gonzales is just trying to make contact and protect his body. He came into camp in great shape but his elbow flared up and he couldn’t swing the bat. It might take him a few weeks before he swings with earnest. For now the ball is not jumping off his bat. He is choking up on the bat a little as well. I don’t remember if he did that last year. Right now, he is a singles and lazy fly ball hitter.
        .
        He is probably doing the smart thing for now and be more like Agon next week.

        1. Everyone knows I often stick up for Agone, but I do agree, he hasn’t looked good.

          I hope Bum is right, about him.

    2. I think the difference in the line up of the 77 Dodgers, and the 75 Reds, is that the Dodgers had better offensive outfielders, then the Reds.

      It is amazing to me, that the Reds has so many Hall of Famers on that team, but the Dodger teams during those times, always gave the Reds, a good run for there money.

      And the Dodgers went to the World Series, quite a bit, in those years.

      I think every Dodger fan in those times, hated the Reds, and really hated Pete Rose, more then any other player, on the team.

      I remember fans in Dodger stadium, often threw anything they could, at Rose.

      I could be wrong, but didn’t Rose play leftfield some, during those times.

      And didn’t they at one time, not sell beer, to people in the pavilion, because they got rowdy, and threw stuff at Rose?

      1. Rose played 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and LF during his career. Foster had 571 plate appearances that year so Rose probably didn’t get too many innings in LF that year.
        .
        I don’t remember when LF bleachers got out of hand. The left field corner also got pretty rough as well.

      1. Reggie was my favorite player. Between my baseball card collection, playing ball, stratomaric baseball, etc I knew more than most adults. I as 8 going on 9.

  5. Bum,

    I will tell you this, I was proud of Joc in this series, because he was shortening his swing, with two strikes.

    And that HR he hit on that 3, 0 count last night, was my favorite HR, that Joc has hit, because he was so patient, and he didn’t swing out of his shoes, on that 3,0 count.

    He really didn’t swing that hard at all, so I hope he remembers that.

    And I was glad to see Puig get two hits too.

    I hope this gives both Joc and Puig, more confidence, for the season ahead.

    Personally I don’t think Toles should lead off.

    I think he is still learning how to hit major league pitching, so I think he would be better, toward the bottom of the line up.

    Because if Toles was to lead off, he would have to change his game, and try to see more pitches, and to be more patient to get on base, anyway, he can.

    And right now, he isn’t that type of player.

    I think Logan’s experience with major league pitching, and his experience, being a lead off hitter, will serve the team better right now.

    Not only can he get the best out of the lead off position, he can come back to the bench, and share with his team mates, what pitches are working, for the other team’s pitcher that day.

    Because Logan does see, a lot of different pitches.

    I think having Puig hit toward the back of the line up, is a good decision, by Roberts too.

    This way, Puig won’t have as much pressure on himself, while he is trying to change his approach, to hit up the middle, and to the right side, where most of his power, is at.

    I am excited for the season ahead, and I hope Ryu can hold up this year.

    Because Ryu really knows how to pitch, and he can be a difference maker.

    I also think Maeda looks stronger this year, and I am talking about the way, he has pitched, in spring training, and especially in his last start.

    The Dodgers have a tough schedule in this first month, not only because of the teams they will be facing, but because they won’t be having that many days off.

    I hope they can stay at least at 500, in this first month.

    1. MJ, I think Joc would have tried to pull that home run last year. Nice to see him get rewarded for not pulling it.
      .
      You might be right about Toles hitting lower in the lineup. That puts Seager back into the #2 spot.

      1. Bum

        He hit it to straight away center field, and at night, at Dodger stadium, when the marine layer, was thick.

        He is much stronger, then he realizes.

    2. Joc’s helmet didn’t spin off on his swing, so there’s progress…
      .
      I thought Puig had a good first AB – nice controlled swing for a shot that got to the LF wall really fast. If he had elevated it, that would have been a no doubter HR. I was pleasantly surprised that Puig did not do a bat flip and instead hustled out of the box to make it into 2nd for a double. Puig had a bad 2nd AB as he went back to old habits of swinging at low and away pitches out of the strike zone. On his third AB, he looked like he was trying to protect and just flipped it over the infield to drop in for a bloop hit. If Puig can do this consistently when he is down 2 strikes, we are in for a really fun year…

      1. Knight

        Yes Joc has looked a little better balanced, this year.

        But he still has some bad swings, occasionally.

        I think Puig is still not sure, when he hits it out, unless it is a no doubter.

  6. Pederson is still doing his batter’s box Pederson Shuffle. How long will it last? Homers and strikeouts. Avila and Hatcher are out of options, so I read, and this is the reason they are on the team now. The Dodgers don’t want other teams to pick them up. What’s the chance?

  7. I would be willing to try my hand at posting here. I actually have an idea for something germinating right now. Let me know if you really want me to draft something and when you want it and I will put something together.

    I have looked at this Dodger lineup for the past several seasons and have expected more from it than we have gotten and I’m not sure why. Looking 1 – 8 and comparing it to most other teams, i have expected way more run production than we have gotten. Certainly, comparing this years’ Dodgers to the 3 teams suggested by Bumsrap it doesn’t really come close but it shouldn’t. The ’75 Red have 3 Hall of Famers (Bench, Morgan & Perez) and 1 who should be (Rose). The ’55 Dodgers have 4 (Snider, Robinson, Reece and Campanella) and 1 who should be (Hodges). The ’77 Dodgers have 1 who should be (Garvey) or maybe 2 (Smith) and had 4 with 30 HR.

    But that’s not the real issue here – it’s not how this years’ team compares with the Boys of Summer or the Big Red Machine, but why they don’t score more runs than they do. I have a few hypotheses:
    1 – Hitting with RISP – since 2011, the Dodgers have been in the bottom 1/2 of all MLB teams with RISP except 2014. Usually they finish in the bottom 1/3. Last year they were 23rd out of 30 teams with RISP.
    2 – The Moneyball approach has been to eschew batting average and the ability to put the bat on the ball in favor of OBP (walks) and HRs – you know, the 3 true outcome type of player, like Grandal and Pederson. The Dodgers haven’t had enough guys who could make good contact regularly enough. Funny, teams like KC have won the Series by putting the ball in play. You can’t move runners around, extend innings, etc. without some guys who can hit for average. Look at the teams that Bum mentioned – they had guys who could hit for high average to go with the thumpers. Last years’ Dodgers had 1 regular player who hit over.300 (Seager). The team BA was .249. (They hit .250 with RISP – no big surprise I guess if you only hit .249 overall.) The ’55 Dodgers hit .271; so did the ’75 Reds. The ’77 Dodgers hit .266.
    3 – Lack of ability to hit lefties. ‘Nuf said.

    So – what have the Dodgers done this year to remedy the lack of ability to hit for average, to hit with RISP, to hit lefties? Not very much.

    Do you expect a different outcome with the same players? I don’t. Like Bumsrap said, that’s why pitching will be so important this year.

    1. Dodger rick

      I think we agree, that our team needs to do more of the little things, that will make the offense, more productive.

      Because not to many HRs, are hit against good pitching, so we can’t always depend on a HR, to win a game.

      And those type of offensives that depend on HRs, are not that successful, in the post season, when good pitching, is king.

  8. Time to watch the first game of the year: Yanks at Tampa. Good to see it matter.

    Can’t wait until we all make our predictions tomorrow. My early prediction? ALL OF US pick us to make the playoffs, and vast majority of us will pick us to do so as the division winner.

  9. Excellent post by Mark and Bums today! I enjoy everything that AC writes and would really enjoy Rick posting also. The LA Dodger Talk site is firing on all cylinders right now! Some others have excellent content in the posts but either no or few comments or a frat house chat room vibe in the comments. Think Blue has great coverage of the minor league affiliates. Not to leave anyone out but Boxout, MJ and Hawkeye really add a lot of insight and spice to this site consistently.

    Rose was a true catalyst on those Big Red teams, Forsythe can dream to be like him someday. Those teams had just average starters though and Sparky was called ‘Captain Hook’. This Dodgers team may have a special rotation in the making. This current team is built for OPS and I agree fall short in the RISP department. Certain players need to grind out more at bats to keep innings going, especially with 2 outs. Looking at the projections I think it is unlikely Puig leads the team in OPS, I would project him lower. I would also move Grandal up from 20 HR’s and .783 OPS projection. Gonzales decline will not be much this year but Seager and Turner are the heart and soul of this lineup. Turner will have a lot more than 19 HR’s . Don’t bat Puig behind AGon and Grandal as you will bottle him up on the bases.

    McCarthy and Ryu showing up healthy and making the rotation is Huge for the team this year. If continues it creates a surplus of live arms and forces some to the bullpen which forces some down to AAA and so on. When Urias returns it gets that much better. Only McCarthy should be left out of a playoff rotation, no need for Kershaw on 3 days rest this year. No Bud Norris type trades either, they have depth that was not present last year. There are arms galore for the bullpen as well, don’t see a major move there until the trade deadline.

    I am still really high on DJ Peters and waiting to see what he does in the OF at Rancho this year. He reminds me of a young Jayson Werth, complete with plus arm and decent speed and extra base type power.

  10. I have the same concerns about the offense that many others have stated. The Dodgers do prefer OBP and SLG over BA. That in of by itself is a good standard, but with RISP, a BB is not as good as a batted ball with a runner on 3rd with less than 2 outs, the infield playing back, and a ground ball gets the run home. If the hitter looks to lift the ball, then a fly ball gets the job done. But a walk just leaves it up to the next man up, and puts them in a DP situation.
    .
    Even with OBP as the standard there really is no comparison to this Dodgers team to the Big Red Machine. That 75 Reds team had 2 hitters with greater than .400 OBP, and 6 greater than .350. Steamer projections gives the Dodgers 1, and I think the player identified is unlikely. Where is Reggie Smith’s 1.003 OPS going to come from? Last year the big RBI guys were JT and AGon with 90. JT looks like a solid candidate to get 100 RBI this year, but I cannot predict what AGon might do, because I am not sure how healthy he is. Joc is capable of 30+ HR, but will they be a majority of solo shots? I would like to see Joc bat 7th with Puig 8th, giving Joc more fastball potential. I also would not mind him batting 9th with Forsythe in the leadoff role for the same reason.
    .
    This team is built for a 162 game season. There is no other team that can withstand the injuries that they sustained last year and win 91 games. The pitching (starting and relief) is solid. The defense can be very good. The Dodgers should be in a position to win almost every night. Of course, they will not, but they will be in a position to. Of course that is where these blogs go crazy with fans saying “if so and so only did this”, or “if so and so didn’t try to take that extra base”, or “Woody should never have sent him.” That is where I get myself into trouble, because I am not very patient with second guessers. Players have a split second to make a decision, and muscle memory generally takes over. As long as the effort is there, I can handle the unfavorable results, because the next game, in the same situation, it may turn to be positive.

    Well the 2017 season is underway, and the Rays are in 1st, and Yankees in last. That brings a smile to my face.

    Bums, great job today. I love analysis. Maybe that is why I like FAZ so much.

    1. Koufax, Podres, Drysdale, and Koufax again swept the Mantle/Maris Yankees and did it with little run support.
      .
      Johnson and Shilling beat the Yankees.
      .
      Pitching and defense plus the ability to score a key run, even if it is a blooper just beyond a drawn up infield can make up for an offense that is only solid.
      .
      We have a chance. We can hope. I’ll take it.

      1. They have more than a chance. They are built to get to the Playoffs. After that (and after the trade deadline) it will all be a matter as to who is hot, and who isn’t (as opposed to is lucky and who is not). The Dodger pitchers should be stronger because they will not be relying on 5 200+ IP pitchers to get them to game 162. I know there are many doubters who believe this rotation is not very strong and will get trounced in the playoffs. But they were not trounced last year, and perhaps they were a blown call at the plate away from maintaining the momentum and moving into the WS. I like their chances.

        1. While I , too, like their chances, I feel strongly that they still are in need of a solid #2 behind Clayton.

        2. AC

          The darn Dbacks, just let Bumgarner hit another HR, after they had tied the game!

          I hate Bumgarner!

          1. MJ, yeah MadBum goes yard twice, and the Giants blow another save opportunity. Seems like deja vu all over again . Boy are they going to miss Will Smith this year.

          2. Two Giants blown saves and a Melancon loss. Now that is a great baseball day when the Dodgers aren’t playing!!

      2. Then there was the 1966 WS where the Orioles swept Drysdale, Koufax, Osteen, Drysdale, and were shut out Games 2, 3, and 4, after scoring two runs in Game 1.
        .
        In that same AZ/NYY series, the DBacks had a team BA of .264, and the Yankees had a team BA of .183 with Clemens, Pettite, and Mussina as starters and Rivera in the Pen. The top 4 Yankee hitters were Paul O’Neill at .333, Alfonso Soriano at .240, Bernie Williams at .208 and Shane Spencer at .200. As dominant as Shilling and Johnson were, it did take that bloop single by Gonzalez off Rivera to win. But if Gonzalez does not get that hit, the DBacks have to go the their bullpen which was not very good. Randy Johnson was pinch hit for in the 9th.
        .
        So to your point, yes a team can win the WS if their starters get hot. But Shilling and Johnson were not just hot, they were blazing, while Mussina and Pettite were not good at all. The DBacks had no chance to win that series, and yet somehow did. So, yes, I like the Dodger chances because they are built to get to the playoffs, and who knows what happens after that.

    1. Thanks Watford.
      .
      There was a time long long ago that I wanted both Uptons. I got over it.

      1. The Giants bullpen blow the lead, and the Giant’s new closer, loses the game!

        Don’t you love it?

        1. I just watched the Giants meltdown.
          .
          Derek Law came in in the 8th and a 1 run lead. He gives up 3 straight hits and leaves with the game tied and without getting an out.
          .
          The Giants catch a break because the Dbacks new manager puts in Fernando Rodney in the top of the 9th. What a train wreck. 2 hits, 2 walks, and 2 wild pitches later, the Giants take a 1 run lead heading to the bottom of the 9th.
          .
          FWIW, I like Melancon. He looked sharp to start the 9th and struck out the first batter. Panik makes a nice play to take away a basehit up the middle and there are 2 out. Melancon WAS hitting the corners but then he started missing badly and leaving some fat ones out over the plate. The first hit was scored a double, but it really should have been a single + E7. Gorkeys Hernandez tried to cut it off from getting to the wall but wound up booting it. I think LF will be problematic for the Giants this year. Another fat pitch got hit hard for a single to tie the score. Then Melancon got a little bit of bad luck when AJ Polluck bounced one just over the Melancon’s glove and just beyond the reach of Panik to get through to CF for a single. BTW, the Dbacks will be much better this year with Polluck back in the lineup. With first base open, Melancon leaves yet another pitch out over the middle of the plate and Chris Owings gets the walk off hit.
          .
          They play this pretty cheesy commercial up here in the Bay Area showing Melancon running around closing locker doors, and lids on containers, etc. and the punch line is “The Giants have a closer this year.” To see the hated ones start the year by blowing the lead twice with their middle relief and their new $62M closer was pretty rich.

  11. I can’t believe no one is taking Duke Snider @ #3. 42 homers, 136 RBI’s, 126 Runs, 104 BB, .309 BA, …..418 OBP, with 87 SO. What more can you wat from a #3?

    1. I left that open for someone to jump in. Duke was my and still is my all time favorite Dodger. He can be my #3 hitter. He had a great 1955.
      .
      The #2 hitter is being used differently currently than it was 5 years ago. Might yesterday’s prototypical #3 hitter be today’s prototypical #4 hitter? That question was part of my reason to put Morgan at best #3. If Snider hit in the #4 spot and Campannella in the #5 spot, I would have said they were best among the 4 teams.

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