No Bull in This Pen

The Dodgers bullpen held fast last night and Alex Wood did his part to help beat Greinke and the D-Bags.  It wasn’t pretty but our cleanup hitter banged out his 33rd Home Run and our 2nd cleanup hitter drive in another run.  If 4th is cleanup, then 8th is second cleanup – right? It was good to see Joc get a solid double as well.  If he can get it going, it will be a huge boost for the Boys in Blue!

These guys just keep on doing whatever is necessary to win and it was nice to see Greinke knocked out of the game.  I can’t blame him for taking the money, but right about now, he is probably thinking he should have stayed a Dodger.

Rants & Raves

  • Andre Ethier is set to start a rehab assignment on Saturday in RC, but allegedly won’t be added to the roster until September 1st.
  • Clayton is chomping at the bite to get back and will throw a bullpen session on Friday.  I suspect we will see him on a rehab assignment early next week.
  • After some rest, Alex Verdugo returned to the lineup at OKC as a DH and went 2-4 with a HR and 3 RBI as A-Gon also got a hit and drove in 2 runs.
  • The Dodgers are serious about calling Buehler up as a reliever and he pitched 2 scoreless innings  last night.  He is struggling with his control in his new role.
  • We aren’t hearing anything about Brandon McCarthy.  Is it possible he has been abducted by aliens?
  • That’s all, Folks!

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 70 Comments

  1. I hope the aliens abducted McCarthy…. with Kazmir under one arm and Hill under the other. I know Hill does add a little to the team but he’s a real worry with his fragility and with Ryu and Maeda and the young ones, we don’t need him.

    1. Hill is not a workhorse. Hill is here for post season. It is a gamble by the front office. He’s good. If healthy he is one of the better pitchers in the league and in the Dodgers top 4.

      I don’t think they care how much he is able to pitch during the season.

      If he wins 3 games in the post season, they will think they got their money’s worth.

    2. Hill is not a workhorse. Hill is here for post season. It is a gamble by the front office. He’s good. If healthy he is one of the better pitchers in the league and in the Dodgers top 4.

      I don’t think they care how much he is able to pitch during the season.

      If he wins 3 games in the post season, they will think they got their money’s worth.

      1. Totally agree with your assessment of Hill Socal.
        He is here for the postseason and there would not be another team who wouldn’t want him as their #4 Starter in the Playoffs.
        Yes he is a luxury but he was NL pitcher of the month in July which surely suggests he must be pretty good.
        I would play Joc every night for the next 2 weeks against left & right handed pitching to let him get in a groove.
        If that doesn’t work then I would consider a back up plan for October.

  2. What are we planning on doing with Ethier? AGon can help this team but not sure I see a role for Andre. I don’t think we can trust McCarthy in a high leverage situation moving forward this year. Just my take. I guess I like Hill better than Jonah but we have sometime to determine what the best options are between Hill, Ryu, and Maeda. I am hoping that Darvish can put together another great outing tonight. That would be huge. Also a great team to test his stuff against. It was a great playoff type of game last night watching Wood vs Greinke. Joc and Puig came up big in the clutch last night, just throwing that out for the Joc haters (dislikers) in here. Belly bombs never get old. Let’s continue with another series win tonight in the Desert. GO BLUE

    1. Hill is in the playoff rotation. Nothing to decide there. Maeda probably in pen with Ryu not on roster.

      1. I agree Hawk, unless the blisters return for Hill. We can only hope that the main players stay healthy through the balance of the season and into the playoffs.

  3. Bill Russell, one hit in his last 30+ AB’s is not going to dissuade anyone from their opinion of Joc, whatever that may be. It was a clutch hit, but he needs to get it together to show he belongs in the starting line-up. I believe even his harshest critics hope he turns it around. Time will tell.

    1. Rudy

      I agree with that, no one likes to see anyone struggle, especially one of our own players.

      I hope that hit gave Joc back, a little more confidence.

      And anyways, it was the back of the line up’s time, to step up for the team, and they did!

      And I bet Puig especially enjoyed getting that hit against Greinke, because Joc had already got back at Greinke, with a HR last year.

      And it was good to see Fields and the bullpen, do a good job last night, to get the win too.

      And it was good to see Bellinger, make Arizona his second home, and hit one out against Greinke.

      Like Mark said, Greinke probably wishes he didn’t leave the team, with Corey and Cody, and our other young players, coming into their own.

      This team is going to be good for a very long time, and the Dbacks must make their run really soon, because they won’t have these same players around, for much longer.

      And they are saddled with Greinke’s enormous multi year contract, and they are not a team, that can handle a big contract, like the Dodgers can, in a big market!

      1. Zack has 206 million reasons for leaving the team, ANY other MLB player would have made the same decision. I have no ill feelings toward him.

        1. For that matter, I have no hard feelings toward Joc and Forsythe. I think all fans, not to mention team management, desire very good players at every position, assuming they can afford them. If Joc can hit close to ,300 or 25 Big Flies, he’s welcome, I don’t care whether his name is Joc or Verdugo or Henry Ramos or Osuna or Henry Chink, it’s the numbers that count, not the faces…

      2. 22,000 in attendance last night With at least 7000 being Dodgers fans. Have fun paying him $31 million for 4 more years.

        1. If FAZ offered them Kazmir, McCarthy, and Hill for Zack (and I would do that deal if I were FAZ), How would the money work out? Would Hill and McCarthy equal Zack in production? At least they would clear contracts faster than they would with Zack. We could afford him, they can’t.

          1. Let me see- 4 more years of Greinke or one more year of Kaz and Mac and Two more for Hill.

            I’ll hold pat. I think the Last 2 or 3 years of Greinke’s deal will suck big time.

          2. I would rather re-sign Darvish for 5 and they don’t need to do that with Buehler knocking down the door. If they find a way to rid themselves of McCarthy they still have:
            Kershaw
            Buehler
            Hill
            Maeda
            Ryu
            Wood
            Urias-2019
            Stewart
            Kazmir-Not!
            Otani?

            And they could re-sign YU if they really wanted to. AZ will be selling Greinke for 75 cents on the dollar tops after the 2018 or 2019 season. He’s losing Velo, his elbow needs an injection every spring, and he costs $34 million a year against their luxury tax with a Goldschmidt free-agency right around the corner all while drawing 22,000 fans against the best team in baseball. I agree with Mark the last two years could get ugly. AZ wouldn’t want aging guys like Hill, McCarthy, and Kazmir either.

    2. Agreed Rudy, Joc needs to pick it up or risk being left off the playoff roster. I just feel that he’s part of the great team chemistry and is our best option in CF at the moment. CT3 is beginning to gain OF experience and could take his job if AGon comes back firing on all cylinders. Watford Dodger says to throw Joc out there for the next two weeks and see if he can get it figured out. Not a bad idea. What I heard from the announcers late night is that Joc’s BP has been going very well lately and that could be a great sign for us. He could just be a great BP hitter. I know it feels like we are beating a dead mule and maybe we are with Joc. It just seems greedy to have great players at all the positions so let’s have 8 great players and Joc. Seriously, I get your point.

  4. I am certain Joc and Piug enjoyed last night. Grienke speaks his mind. He said some things about those two that were not that kind.

    Jansen and JT signed for less money to stay with the Dodgers chasing the most money is not always the best. Puhols would be revered in St Louis if he had stayed. After you make so many millions, what is a few more millions. Maybe the most money means something to some players. Thanks goodness it did not to Jansen and JT.

    1. It’s easy for people like us to feel that way, and with Greinke I do, but an extra $30 million dollars is A LOT of money and security for his family for generations. Albert has never said a bad thing about the city of ST. Louis and still does tons of charity work there, Cardinal fans need to get over it. Live in LA or live in Missouri, easy choice for me. Honestly, Deadbird fans should be happy he took the money the way he is moving these days.

      JT was allowed to test the market and it was the worst secret in baseball that the Dodgers would bring him back. Kenley left a few dollars on the table. Not $30-40 million. The Nats were deferring money and the Marlins were offering more primarily because of tax rate. He left some on the table, but nothing like Greinke and Poohole. I often feel like you, but it is still a lot of money and who knows Greinke did comment that he hated the traffic in LA and going to ST where they live would be nice.

  5. Last night’s game proved again that with these Dodgers, it’s a different guy (or group of guys) getting it done every day. I’m sure that management is concerned with Pederson’s recent slump – he, Puig, Cody (again), Wood (even though fatigued) and Fields (2 innings!) got it done and got the W.

    Who will be the guy(s) bringing the W tonight? Wait and see.

    As for the postseason, Ethier will get a shot at a little PT in September but hopefully won’t be on the playoff roster. I assume that Gonzalez will be there, and will probably pinch-hit (or DH in the World Series). There won’t be room for all of the starting pitchers. After the top 4 in the rotation, they will have to decide whether Maeda, Ryu or McCarthy will be better than the current group of guys in the ‘pen. I can see one making it as long-man/emergency starter but I assume that 2 may be left off of the post-season roster.

    1. Rick

      That is all true, and that is why this team is different, and hard to beat!

      I thought Fields pitching those two clean innings was big, because he has had his issues, with giving up HRs, too.

  6. One more point about Jansen and J.T. I hink they sensed something good was happening in LA. They had a new manager and new coaches. That may have been the strongest reason they signed with the Dodgers.

    1. I don’t think either one received offers that were more than a million a year different. Five million dollars is a lot of money, but on an $80 million/5 year deal, it’s not a huge amount of money. OTH, Greinke got about $40 million more than the 2nd place bidder. The D-Bags were dumbasses and Greinke is not!

      Sorry, I just read that Hawkeye said the same thing….

    1. Those are good numbers. However, looking at the big picture, Joc has a lifetime .225 BA .348 OBP .443 SLG .790 OPS . against the world. Not so good. And what has happened to the base stealing skills he showed in the minors?

      1. I shared Joc’s numbers against Greinke because Greinke said if he pitched against Joc, he would be an easy out.

  7. Pederson said working with organizational hitting instructor Shawn Wooten the previous two days had a lot to do with his clutch hit, which followed strikeouts in his first two at-bats against Greinke.
    .
    “It was really nice. First hit in a long time,” said Pederson. “To have it come up big and help the team win a ballgame is a nice feeling. What’s really big is to get away from the results and sticking to the process. Wooten’s here and I was able to come to the field the past two days and work on a consistent routine no matter what the results are. I have a bad habit of changing stuff and getting away from the process and chasing hits, and it’s not a line for success.”

    1. “I have a bad habit of changing stuff and getting away from the process and chasing hits, and it’s not a line for success.”
      It seems he’s the last to know this. He’s lucky management has been patient with him. I hope he succeeds.

  8. Joc can handle one pitch, a fastball on the inner half which he pulls. He rarely goes up the middle or the other way with a pitch on the outer half. Because he is looking fastball he is vulnerable to the change up and breaking balls. He has trouble with lefties and their sliders away. He does not choke up or shorten up his swing with 2 strikes, and takes too many borderline pitches with 2 strikes. It is an all or nothing approach and he is prone to streaks both hot and cold. There is a lot to work on with him but I would start with a lighter bat. He has massive upside but it begins with confidence and it is hard if he keeps tinkering with his mechanics or ‘changing things’. I like him and am rooting for him to turn things around and become more consistent.

    1. Joc’s highest average exit velocity (96.7) is on pitches up and away and his second and third best locations for exit velocity are the other two high in the zone locations. His best average comes from two seam fastballs and his second best average comes from sinkers where he also has his best OPS.

      1. I would be curious to see his contact rate on the pitches up and away. I just say what my eyes see, but it’s only my humble opinion. I would love to see him have a more balanced swing, but when he barrels them up he has lightning in his bat, no question.

  9. Rudy, the trouble with Joc is he has been starting for three years and just now he figures this out. I agree with you. Slow learner. In my opinion he turns it around in the next month or the Dodgers will start looking for other option. I can see Taylor moving to center with Verdugo and Ramos getting playing time. We do have Either and Agon coming back. Someone said he would play Pederson every day Until the end of August. We need to find out what we have, I am afraid Joc is not going to make it. I hope I am wrong.

    1. Jim had two arms and two legs.

      Joc has two arms and two legs.

      Jim is LH.

      Joc is LH.

      They are similar, but that is where it ends!

    2. Bobby

      They had an article at Dodger com. I think it was about ten reasons for the team being so good.

      And one of these ten reasons, was about the team’s defense.

      And they were rating defense on different positions, and how good our players were on defense.

      You should read that article.

      1. Bobby

        It is 15 stats not 10 and look at the stat, defensive runs saved, above average.

        That will tell you how our players rate, on defense.

  10. Roberts said after the game that Pederson is a big part of what the team is trying to do. Sounds like management likes him more than we do.

  11. Roberts: Joc is not a very smart player. It takes him ten times longer to figure something out than it should. He does get lucky occasionally, but if he doesn’t get it together soon, I am going to bench his ass!

    Maybe Doc should have said that instead?

  12. Mark touched on Alex Verdugo and Walker Buehler, but there were a couple of other good to very good performances yesterday.
    .
    AAA – Tim Locastro went 4-6 (2 doubles) and is now batting .385 at AAA.
    Trayce Thompson and O’Koyea Dickson also had 2 hits.
    For all of you just dieing for Chris Hatcher updates, Hatcher pitched in his 5th game at OKC and 1st back to back games in rehab. He has gone 6 innings, allowing 1 run on 4 hits, 1 walk, and 9 strikeouts.
    .
    AA – Yusniel Diaz went 3-4 (1 double). In a small sample size, in this 20 year old’s 7th AA game, Diaz is batting .360/.429/.440/.869. He also got a hit in his first AB tonight.
    Andrew Sopko went 7.0 innings allowing 4 runs on 7 hits, 0 walks and 5 strikeouts…plus 3 HRs. Shea Spitzbarth gave up a walk off grand slam for the loss.
    .
    A+ – Zach Recks went 3-5 (1 double), and Omar Estevez 2-4 (1 double). Jordan Sheffield did not have a good start to his RC tenure.
    .
    Rookie (Ogden) – Luis Paz, Rylan Bannon, Romer Cuadrado, Gersel Pitre, Kevin Lachance, and Garrett Hope all had 2 hits. Luis Paz had hit his 11th HR.
    .
    For those interested in Melvin Jimenez, he pitched in his 4th game at Great Lakes. He pitched 2.2 innings allowing 0 runs, 0 hits, 3 BB, 3K. In his 4 games at Great Lakes he has pitched 12.2 innings, 0 runs, 3 hits, 1 HBP, 16K, but the one minor concern are his 9 walks.
    .
    Finally Starling Heredia was named the Player of the Month of July in the Pioneer League. He batted .429/.489/.732/1.221 in July. He had 11 doubles, 1 triple, and 4 HRs. He received his 2nd 2017 promotion, this time to Great Lakes, after appearing in the Pioneer League All Star Game.

  13. Huge job by Cingrani. You just know he’ll become our Andrew Miller because Farhan is a damn genius!

    I’m also glad Morrow struggled. Get the crap games out of the way now!

  14. Darvish is strange to watch in that he is nearly always pitching from behind the count, making things difficult for himself.
    He does have a great assortment of pitches though, and is certainly fun to watch.
    Is it just me, or do the D’Bags have the worst Uniform in MLB?

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