A Giant Ending…

It was an ugly game, with 5 total errors by the teams, the Cubs were ahead 2-0, but the Dodgers battled back and tied the game.  The Cubs starting pitching was stellar – their relief pitching was good.  The Dodger’s starting pitching was good, but the relief pitching was stellar… until a former Giant took the mound and allowed a runner to get to third base.  The Dodger’s $84 million man came in and followed the lead of the former Giant, Sergio Romo.  Romo got the loss, but there should be a stat for giving up the game winning hit!  Maybe the Giants are still paying Romo…

It’s disappointing to lose a game like that.  Kenley Jansen will break your heart in several high leverage situations this year.  He was nails in the playoffs, but blew 6 games last year.  Almost all of them were critical games.  Kenley Jansen is very good, but it’s because of games like this that I did not believe the Dodgers would re-sign him.  Let’s hope this is an aberration and he makes me eat these words.

Of even greater concern are the hamstring injury to Gutierrez and quad stain to Turner.  Cold, rainy games tend to precipitate (pun intended) these types of injuries.  Move on… next man up!

Takeaways

  • I thought it was really dumb that Joc Pederson had a big lead and assumed the runner’s stance against Lester, but never forced the issue. Why not?
  • When Forsythe was on third and failed to tag up, I was shocked.  You have to press the issue in a game like that.  This is not for the faint of heart!
  • Forsythe and Grandal each had 2 hits and the rest of the team had two hits!
  • I think Alex Wood can be stretched out, but I think he is perfect along with Spripling in the bullpen role.  They each are very effective for more than one inning.  He pitched well last night – he’s just not stretched out enough.
  • Allegedly Rich Hill’s finger had not yet formed a blister – it was just heating up.  Maybe he will only miss two starts.

Minor League Report

  • OKC BOX – Won 5-2 – Bellinger was 3-4 (Again- notice a trend?) Urias pitched 3.2 meeeehhhhh innings and Morrow got a 2 inning save.
  • TULSA BOX – Lost 6-3  Farmer was 2-4 and is hitting .467
  • RC BOX – Won 3-1  – Buehler makes his season debut with 3 innings of 1 hit ball, 0 walks, 4 K’s. Spitzbarth with a 2 inning save , no hits, 3 K’s, 2 BB
  • GL BOX – Won 6-2 Davis homered and Rincon homered twice. Alexy with 3 no hit innings and 4 K’s

Today’s Music

 

 

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 33 Comments

  1. Lester is a good pitcher and all of that, but against another lefty the Dodgers managed 1 run on 4 hits. I will be really interested in whether the Dodgers manage to do anything against Brett Anderson on Thursday.

    The Dodgers are 1-3 in games started by lefties and 3-1 against righties. Teams are starting to rearrange their rotations to load up on lefties against the Dodgers and until the team does something to change the narrative, the southpaw tsunami will continue.

  2. Re: Romo…peaks and valleys. The guy should be fine. He’s happy to be a Dodger and I’m happy he’s no longer a Giant.

  3. Well who we bringing up if Gutierrez goes on the DL?
    .
    Dickson? I’d like to see Eibner with his .636 BA and 3 HRS. He also batted .306 this spring with 1.044 OPS. His batting line makes Bellinger’s .476 BA look pedestrian.

    1. I would guess Eibner or Segedin. Both of those guys are on the 40 man. Eibner can also play CF. Segedin can play 3rd as insurance if Doc wants to give JT some time. Forsythe and Utley can both play 3rd, but I do not think that Chase should be facing lefties. I am a huge O’Koyea Dickson fan, but while others are on the 40 man, I do not see FAZ dropping one and adding Dickson.

  4. I complete agreement with Mark’s first two takeaways. Joc looked like an idiot and was an embarrassment. And Forsythe should have been green-lighted from third…major coaching blunder.

    1. I’m putting the blame on Roberts and maybe FAZ for not telling Joc to steal second. I don’t mind the track stance if he goes on the first pitch, otherwise don’t take a lead that makes the first step one that is back to first.
      .
      The team seemed to play not to lose instead of to win.

  5. Either way, it’s. Its not a good sign that Hill is exhibiting “Blister Symptoms” this early into the season. It means that his preparation (throwing between starts) must be minimal & as a “feel” pitcher, this cannot be good.
    Joc had a bad night all round.
    I didn’t understand the decision not to start the 9th innings with Jansen, and then not to bring him in immediately the runner made 1st.
    That was one that got away for sure.

    1. Based on comments you have made it seems like you are not a Joc fan but still, how did you single him out for criticism?

      1. Hi Bums

        Two threads ago – yesterday’s I think – the theme was “Don’t get all happy….. just yet”.
        I wrote in answer to a post from Knights27 , where he had observed a change in Joc’s approach – “I’m quite happy to be proved wrong, and I have to say that I’m encouraged by both Joc & Puig. They seem st least to be having better ABs”.

        Whilst watching the game last night I’ll let you read Rudy’s take on Joc’s antics above.
        Then, with the bases loaded and no outs in the 7th, I saw him work a perfect 3-0 count, only to watch a belt high fastball cross the middle of the plate. He then popped one up while trying to hit a strike up in the zone. Toles them compounded things by weakly hitting into a DP.
        Funnily enough, I’ve really begun to warm to Joc as he appears to be really trying to improve, much as Puig is too.
        If you read above, my post followed Rudy’s and therefore I was referring to his post in which he mentions Joc.
        I hope this explains my comments.

        1. Just read that back & no Edit facility now – meant to say that I agreed with Rudy’s take.

  6. Mark

    I totally agree that Logan should have tried to tag up , and score, with Scott coming up.

    You got to make them make a perfect throw there, and Heyward didn’t do that.

    I think the cold weather and those pregame ceremonies, affected the team quite a bit, because they had to sit around and wait, in that cold weather.

    Because they are usually better, on defense.

    The first two runs the Cubs scored, were from defensive misplays.

    The first run scored, after Puig took his eyes off the ball, and missed a tough pop up, by the wall.

    Before that happened, Wood was pitching really well.

    But after that happened, Wood had to throw a lot more pitches, and the Cubs scored a run.

    I thought Wood pitched really well, because he hadn’t really been stretched out, yet.

    You just can’t give a good team, extra pitches, and extra, at bats.

    The second run scored, after sure handed Turner slipped down, and couldn’t make the double play.

    And until the bottom of the ninth, the Cubs hadn’t got a hit, when runners were in scoring position.

    But Dodgers did
    had one hit, with runners in scoring position, and that was from Corey.

    I hope Turner isn’t that bad, and that Roberts took him out, just to be safe.

    Because he is our most important hitter.

    And about Kenley, those two strike hits, are always a killer, especially with how much a hitter’s odds, go down, with two strikes.

    It was just a terrible night, having to watch those ceremonies, and have those announcers, favor the Cubs, all night long, not to mention the two interviews, they had, during the game, with two different, Cubs players.

    Whether the Cubs were on defense or offense, the broadcasters last night, took the Cub’s side, and talked about either one of the Cubs hitters, or what pitch the Cub’s pitcher, was throwing.

    I am just glad, that the next game, isn’t a National Broadcast game!

  7. This is a message for Mike Rodriguez (MJ Rod)

    If you read this Mike, please post on here & I’ll give you my cell number if you want to hook up when you are in London.

    Same if any of you guys makes it over here – great time to come as $ very strong against the £.

  8. Only 7 at bats against lefties so far but Joc’s line against them is:
    .
    AVE .429 OBP .429 SLG .429 OPS .858

  9. I read somewhere that Urias appeared “frustrated” yesterday. That’s what I saw in spring training. Bad body language for a pitcher. On the other side, Cotton was nails against KC yesterday. BTW: so was Iwakuma in a late inning loss. I sure hope all of your are right about Urias. A lot of time, energy, thought is going into this guy. Maybe more than his arm, they should worry about his psyche. Starting to smell Puigish. Wood threw a lot of pitchers yesterday for such a short outing. A bunch of walks. I still thing he has the stuff to stick as a starter. He needs a spot in a rotation. Somewhere.

  10. Yes, in hindsight Forsythe should have tagged on the fly ball to Heyward. And yes, Heyward’s throw was not on line. However, the weather was very damp and cold, with one player already pulled with a hamstring issue, and you are asking a runner start from a standstill, and burst on a medium fly ball, with a GG RF ,with an excellent arm. If Forsythe had been tagged out, or if he pulled a muscle, many would be all over the coaching for sending him. While he did not come through, SVS is capable of driving the runner in. I am not a ML 3B coach, but I might have tried to send him. I do not remember Chris Woodward afraid of running into outs before, so I do not think that was the issue. If anyone heard an explanation as to why he was not sent, I would like to hear.
    .
    As I mentioned in the last thread, while not worried about Jansen, his velocity seems to be down. I did not see him pitch last night, but on Sunday his cutter was 91-92, while that same pitch was mid to upper 90’s last year. Maybe it is the cold in Denver and Chicago. Again, not worried, but it is something to watch.
    .
    I am not sure why Romo was asked to go more than 1 inning. I think it is telling that Chris Hatcher was not brought in. Maybe he was going to be the multiple extra inning guy. But why couldn’t he be that pitcher starting in the 9th? Was it lack of confidence in Hatcher in high leverage situations? If it was (and I am not assuming that it was), then the Dodgers need to make a change. Liberatore can pitch in high leverage situations. Again, if someone heard a reason for sending Romo out to start the 9th, I would like to hear.
    .
    I mentioned it before, but I believe that if the starting pitchers are not properly lengthened in spring training, you cannot expect them to throw 100+ quality pitches early during the regular season. Wood pitched very well for three, and then probably tired out. IMO, too many pitchers in ST. I also understand why Doc would bring in relievers in the middle of the inning in ST to see how they would respond in those high leverage situations, but sometimes I think you need to let the starters work through it. Pitchers need to grind just as much as position players. They need to stretch out the innings in spring if you expect them to do so during the regular season.
    .
    I understand second guessing, we all do it. But I try to remember that IMO it is more important to understand the reason for the decisions than the result.

    1. AC

      I can see not sending a pitcher, but I still think that they should have sent Logan, there.

      Because really, baseball is a game, that is based, on stopping , and starting and a player can get hurt, in so many different ways.

      Gutierrez was the one that pulled his hammy, and he has an extreme chronic condition, that will cause him, to be much more vulnerable, then most players, to injury, so I didn’t think his injury, was surprising, or pertinent, to Logan’s situation.

      I don’t know about Mark, but I thought he should have ran, before the fact, but now that I think about it, Mark doesn’t usually second guess, so I believe he thought, the same.

      Especially since, not many players, were making good hard contact, and because, Scotty hasn’t had to many good at bats, in the last few games.

      About not having Hatcher pitch in the ninth, I would have been more suprised if Hatcher pitched the ninth, then not, because he has never been good, under pressure.

      But I totally agree with you, when it comes to Libertore!

      Libertore has the best concentration, of any pitcher in the pen, and he has already proven, he can pitch well, in tough situations.

      I think Roberts wanted to see, if he could get by in the ninth innng, without using Kenley.

      Because the Cubs had already used there closer, and Roberts probably wanted to wait to use Kenley, after we scored.

      1. MJ, originally I thought why didn’t Logan run, and after seeing the throw I was upset that he did not try. But I have no idea why Woodward did not send him, or if Forsythe made the decision on his own. It is not like Forsythe never gets hurt. 2011 – knee surgery; 2012 – broken sesamoid bone in left foot; 2013 plantar fascitis twice during the year (one 60 day DL); 2016 – hairline fracture in scapula – out 4 weeks. Granted, none of those indicate pulled muscle, but he is certainly no Cal Ripken. I do not know if he felt tight or not. It was cold, and while players can pull muscles at any time (ask Puig and Howie), it is far more prevalent in cold/damp weather, with a 2 hour weather delay. Who knows how stretched out the players were. And yes they do stretch in the clubhouse, but it is not the same as starting full burst from a standing position. JT came down with a quad strain. Why? Maybe Gutierrez is more prone to hammy pulls, but can anybody tell me that the weather didn’t affect it?.
        .
        It is entirely possible that Woody was afraid of running into an out. That is not like him, but he might have. But until we know why, everything else is conjecture. It is a legitimate question to ask, which is why I asked if anyone heard any explanation after the game. I do not get Dodger Talk or post game shows in Sacramento. But I would like to know.
        .
        As far as Hatcher goes, IMO it is just as risky asking Romo to go more than 1 than bringing Hatcher out to start the inning. I guess my question is, since that is exactly where you would put Hatcher…if you had confidence, why not start him in the 9th? If you do not have confidence, why is he there? Would it have been different if it were Liberatore and not Hatcher? I also think that is a legitimate question. but until I hear otherwise, I am willing to give the coaches/manager the benefit of the doubt. I assume they had their reasons.

        1. AC

          I thought you were making that point with Hatcher, and Libertore!

          I don’t know if Woodward had Logan go, or Logan, was the one, that didn’t want to go either.

          It looked like it was Logan, who didn’t want to go, but like I said, I don’t know.

  11. … “it is more important to understand the reason for the decisions than the result.” – well said AC. If more followed this approach there would be less second-guessing and it implies exactly to your first paragraph.

    I didn’t see the play but have read many accounts. My reaction from reading even those accounts that were critical of not sending Foresyth was (again without seeing it) sending the runner on a cold night with a short flyball to a good outfielder has a lot more makings for a bad outcome than not sending him. Either way could have worked out. This time this way didn’t work out, but, we don’t know what didn’t happen because he didn’t get sent home. I like the odds, even though we didn’t get the result we wanted this time.

    1. Well, I did see the play and second-guessing/hindsight had little to do with it. As soon as the ball was hit I thought for sure that Woodward would send (2nd out, a rusty Van Slyke on deck, down one run, Heyward more of a RF than a CF, getting late in the game). The only reason I could see not sending him was if Forsythe was not 100%. Oh well, nothing to do but move on to the next game.

  12. 1. I think they brought in Romo because they want to protect Hatcher for a while to build his confidence, so he will not pitch in high leverage situations right now.

    2. I don’t think fear of injury should enter into the equation. When you are afraid of injury, that is precisely when you get injured. I think Woodward would send him if it happened again.

    1. Mark

      I agree, you can’t be overly careful, to try to avoid an injury.

      That might lead to a self fulfilling, prophecy.

  13. I don’t feel like it is so much second guessing as it is a dissatisfaction with too conservative of play. For me it started with Joc not trying to steal second and I blame that on pre-game strategy comments from Roberts.
    .
    The Cub pitchers were wild in the inning where Joc took a 3 – 0 count strike. Was he told to take that 3 – 0 pitch? If it is justified to hold Forsythe at third, it has to be justified to take a 3 – 0 pitch. Can’t have it both ways. But if Joc gets a fastball in the small box he wants the pitch to be in for him to swing, I want him to swing.
    .
    Saying Joc was wrong not to swing disregards what the third base coach told him to do and there can’t be a doubt that Joc got a signal to either take or swing with conditions.
    .
    Are the Dodgers going to be an exciting team? Are they going to play conservatively? That is my question.

    1. I was hoping the running game would take off with Roberts but they stole only 45 bases last year. So far I’m seeing more conservative play and less exiting play which, to me, is too bad. Put some pressure on the other team.

    2. I agree with you on Joc. We do not know what the situation called for. The pitchers were wild that inning, and after coming in Grimm, goes 3-0 to 1st batter. If he does have a green light, it is one pitch one spot for him to swing. RH pitcher, hopefully you get something to elevate at 3-1.
      .
      But your question as to whether this is going to be an exciting team or play it conservatively, I am assuming exciting means taking more chances in the running game. That is a very fair question, and does deserve a response. It is widely believed that FAZ does not favor a running game. I do not know if that is a true conclusion, but it is widely held. Mark indicated that he was going to interview Zaidi, hopefully he can ask why the Dodgers do not appear to be more aggressive on the bases. Maybe Mark can use this game as an example.

  14. The Joc things was just stupid. Go on first movement and make him throw over. If you’re going to run someone like Gutierrez then run Joc. Hindsight is 20/20 on Forsythe tagging or not tagging. Heyward has one of the best arms in baseball so I understand why he didn’t go, but I would have sent him and forced the issue in that weather.

    I didn’t care for how the 9th was managed. Romo is a Roogy and should almost never go over 1 inning. I would have walked Rizzo and made Zobrist beat me.

    1. Love the post, Hawkeye – it sounds like you have experience coaching youth baseball. 15 year olds are coached on how to read the pitcher’s move to first base vs his move to the plate. My son had a travel ball coach a couple years ago who was Joc’s coach when he was at Palo Alto High School. There’s definitely a sign for go-on-first-movement and Joc should have easily been able to read it on Lester.

      1. I’ve always had problems reading lefties, but in Lester’s case everyone knows he doesn’t want to throw over. If you go on first movement then he has to not only make a good throw to first, but the first baseman has make another good throw. Not a big deal for Kershaw or Urias, but it is a big deal for Lester. Now, if Lester doesn’t throw to first when you go on first movement then I don’t care what his time is to home plate, Joc should have the bad stole. At this point getting down in a sprinter’s stance or doing what Kike was doing in the playoffs just tells everyone the Dodgers are serious about stealing the bag.

        Knight, I try to get kids to pay attention to things like that in the dugout. Even at only 12, pitchers tip their pickoff moves or their change-ups. There was a kid last year who always leaned before he tried his pickoff move to second. We were yelling back so early, the kid was totally flustered, but it’s hard to get 12 year olds to focus on things like that.

  15. We can all find fault but the game seemed like a playoff game not an early April rain delayed contest. The old and infirm will sort themselves out and so will the young players who continue to light it up in the minors. I can question some of the moves but that cold and wet would signal caution, especially this early. The Dodgers will go on a winning streak in the near future but it’s nice to be tested a bit right now.

  16. THE GOOD
    Turner 10/28, .357
    Gonzalez 7/23, .304
    Seager 9/30, .300

    THE BAD
    Forsythe 8/29, .276
    Puig 7/27, .259
    Pederson 5/20, .250

    THE UGLY
    Utley 1/13, .077
    Kike, 1/7, .143
    Grandal 4/20, .200
    Van Slyke 2/10, .200
    Toles 4/18, .222
    Barnes, 2/9, .222
    Gutierrez 3/13, .231

  17. Hey, how about a little silver lining with the clouds? Yes, there were alot of things to second guess about the game last night. (By the way, could have sworn that was the Cubs own announcers on ESPN. Got hard to listen to the first half of the game.) On the other side of the coin, we were down 2-0 against a dominant lefty, on a rainy and cold night in Chicago. The Dodgers I knew not too long ago would have folded up the tents, got a cup of warm cocoa, and headed for the locker room. This team is different. They kept coming back , or trying to. Ok, they shot themselves in the foot a couple of innings, but heck, guys, at least this team has a PULSE, a heartbeat. In the postgame, Seager, Roberts and a few others were very ticked they let this one get away. I love that!! About time we have a team of gamers, like the Cards and the Giants have been all of these years. We will be fine, Roberts and Co. will learn from what didn’t go right and make the necessary adjustments. Hey man, I ‘m just glad we are getting nit pickey over a team of grinders, instead of making excuses for our Divas that we have had back in the past. I love this team, just wait until they start to fire on all cylinders, and mark my words, ESPN will be all over that like they knew all along how good the Dodgers were.. (By the way, you just gotta love Forsyth, what a pick up)

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