No Bull…

Ross Stripling should be better than he is.  In 50+ innings this year, he has given up 6 HR after giving up 10 home runs last year in 100 innings. Also, I hear that Ross is not very happy being a reliever – he sees himself as a starter, but he really needs to learn how to pitch better. His stuff does not play well up in the zone.  Ross has no business throwing belt high 94 MPH fastball over the middle of the plate.  His curve is excellent but he needs to keep it down.  He has no chance of starting for this team at the moment, so I would suggest that he adapt and be the best relief pitcher he can possibly be or he might be left off the playoff roster. Ross needs to change his mindset… and pitch location. It’s as simple as that.  No bull!

The bullpen has not been good in August and they have had a proclivity for the long ball.  No bull. However, the bullpen is still near the top in ERA.  It’s Red Sox 3.01, Indians 3.03, Dodgers 3.08, so the Dodgers have the best bullpen ERA in the NL and they lead all of baseball in WHIP.  The Cubs have the second best bullpen ERA in the NL with a 3.44.  The Nationals bullpen ERA is 4.99. If you are a glass half empty person, you are going to freak out about the bullpen’s difficulties of late. Over the past 14 days, the Dodgers bullpen ERA is 5.30.  In July it was 2.41.  In August it is 6.00 so far, which is the worst it has ever been this year.

If you are a glass half-full person, you might realize that it is a long season and there are going to be bumps in the road.  I also look at the arms in the pen and I realize that for the playoffs, Ryu and Maeda will likely be in the pen with Jansen, Baez, Morrow, Fields and two more pitchers who are deemed worthy.  This is the list they have to pick from:

  • Buehler
  • White
  • Avilan
  • Font
  • Hatcher
  • McCarthy
  • Paredes
  • Stewart
  • Dayton
  • Cingrani
  • Watson
  • Ysla
  • Stripling

I think they can find two good arms in that bunch.  I also think Ross Stripling will figure it out. Even after last night, Ross has a 3.67 ERA.  That’s not great, but not horrible.  There is a lot of time to go and games to play.  Trust the process!  No bull!

Rants and Raves

  • Rios and Ramos were both 3-5 yesterday at OKC and Locastro was 2-6

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 64 Comments

  1. Stripling nibbles too much. I prefer him in long relief. If Maeda and Ryu both make the playoff roster, Stripling is the odd man out most likely. He wasn’t fooling anyone last night.

  2. IN this most outstanding season of Dodgers’ baseball, the big picture is important. Others around baseball have started looking at the Dodgers’ bullpen as a possible weakness to be exploited in the post-season. I posted about it yesterday, but for people who didn’t see the article, here is the link:
    https://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2017/8/11/16125246/dodgers-playoffs-predictions-matchups-weaknesses-strengths-platoon-bullpen
    The Dodgers will probably have an 8 man ‘pen. I agree with you about the 4 probable keepers from this year’s pen. Will they keep 2 starters? Maybe.
    We don’t know who the September callups will be and how they will be used. It is possible that a Font or Buehler will pitch well if they are called up and will make the post-season roster, but unlikely. I figure that Avilan will likely make the ‘pen if he is healthy as he has been the most effective lefty in the ‘pen this year so far. I assume that Watson will be given every chance to make it too as he is a former closer who has not pitched well this year but has good experience. I doubt that if both starters are kept for the ‘pen that another long man will be kept.

  3. Just a couple of thoughts about yesterdays thread.

    First I disagree that if we don’t win it all this season means nothing. It means a lot to me right now. It is an historic season, not only for the records but also for the emergence of Cody and Chris. so far this has been the most enjoyable and fun season that I have ever experienced.
    Certainly not achieving our goal of World Champs would diminish our season but I am not going to worry about that because I believe that this team is different than the team models of the past. We have been very consistent since the end of April. We have not experienced any prolonged slumps and I don’t believe we will. The team as built and the mindset that Doc has instilled in them does not depend on the production of a few key players. The depth of quality players and type of players that Faz has acquired has produced a team that’s not subject to slumps. The team mind set of focus on one game at a time makes me believe that we will continue to play well straight through the end of the season and right into the post season. We are not the Mets or the Mariners.

    I also believe that what got us here will carry us through the playoffs and right into the World Series. I am not going to stress about what might happen in October because I BELIEVE that this is OUR year.

  4. I noticed from earlier in the season that Stripling isn’t so good at throwing the high fastball. Usually the target is out of the zone,high, and he has a hard time getting it that high. The pitch ends up in the strike zone usually very hitable. The catcher shouldn’t call for that location so often for him. For him the target should be low every time. He pitches downhill and that is where his best control is. I agree that he should learn to be better at the high pitch. Easier said than done. I also agree that he probably wants to start. It will have to wait until next Spring and we see how the rotation shakes out.

  5. We have options, this is what you get for being 16 games in first place, 10 games for the best record in baseball and playing the…..San Diego Padres…..just hope the guys can stay motivated right now.

    I am excited to see if AGON can return to form. Listening to MLB network last night they were talking about his return and the importance of his bat in the postseason. I think we will need the experience AGON brings when dealing with multiple Aces and elite bullpen pitchers that we will be facing, just his presence alone changes things.

    I move Bellinger to left and Taylor to center, Agon back at first, Joc the odd man out. I really don’t think any of the kids will have an issue with the heart and soul of this club for the past five years returning, especially Bellinger. We need his bat in the lineup for October, not just for DH and pinch hitting purposes.

    The Dodgers are due a WS, not even a NL pennant since 88. 95/96/04/06/08/09/13/14/15/16 gave me enough time to enjoy regular season and SOME postseason success for a lifetime. This is WORLD SERIES WINNER or bust for me, I am over the failures, second place is the first loser.

  6. Calhoun in LF for Rangers farm team. Brian Moran is lights out for Tulsa in the bullpen. I think he might be a career minor leaguer.

  7. Tonite’s lineup where we start another winning streak and stay above .700

    Taylor -LF
    Seager- SS
    Turner-3B
    Bells -1B
    Grandal-C
    Utley- 2B
    Puig -RF
    Ryu – P

  8. For a minute I thought you had invoked the mercy rule–when 10 games ahead of the next best team in baseball you can only start 8

  9. If Adrian is healthy and productive, this would be a very lethal lineup:

    1. Taylor CF
    2. Seager SS
    3. Turner 3B
    4. Bellinger LF
    5. Forsythe 2B
    6. A-Gone 1B
    7. Grandal C
    8. Puig RF

    That could be a potent lineup

  10. Joc Pederson is not smart. Not a smart player! I think the Dodgers would be better off with Taylor in CF. He should start playing there soon. Joc will not be on the playoff roster.

  11. Dodgers have announce that Chris Hatcher will be activated soon and that Gonzalez shortly thereafter. I get Gonzalez, but Hatcher?

  12. Myers deked out Joc, who did not come up ready to throw and dared him to throw him out at 3rd and the throw was offline. He would not have run on Puig, that’s for sure. I loved the aggressiveness of Taylor tagging and going home on Renfro when he knew it would take a perfect throw home after a difficult catch in foul ground with his momentum taking him away from the play, and he threw an offline 2 hopper to the plate.

    1. Mark

      Did you see the video, I just did.

      It looks terrible with the way he fell.

      Reminded me of when Machado hurt his knee at first, but a lot worse!

  13. MJ, correct, this was his free agent year, signed a one year extension with the Nats for $21.65 million in May, def a good thing for him. If this is serious, you would think his stock might drop of tad.

  14. I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO done with Joc Pederson. The experiment is over. There is nothing to see here, folks… move on.

        1. I’m a little afraid of moving him.

          But Joc and Forsythe don’t provide any protection, for Cody!

          But he still hits!

          1. This version of Puig shows less anxiety. It’s worth a look until either Gonzalez takes that spot or the other three find there swings.

  15. Taylor
    Seager
    Turner
    Bellinger
    Puig
    Gonzalez
    Grandal
    Forsythe

    This way the speedsters are not slowed by GONZO. Puig maybe sees better pitches with GONZO protecting him instead of HILL/RYU/DARVISH/KERSHAW/MAEDA/WOOD.

    Come on guys/gals, once/maybe twice? I know I know, Puig and #8 have become the thing, but I am itching to move him up when Agon comes back, Joc has to go, Agon needs to play and can protect him better then our starting pitching staff.

    1. I like that lineup a lot, at least against RHP. You are right about Gonzo clogging things up and we need RBI guys behind the meat of the lineup. I like Forsythe in the 8 hole too the way he tries to work the count. I think swap out Utley against RHP. He had two deep flies tonight and will do some damage in the post season.

  16. Shame on me! I was starting to have doubts about my Dodgers tonight and then Puig took the style of a seasoned vet….especially with that fancy arm movement tagging home plate.

  17. I like A-Gon at #6 at this stage of his career. Puig would be great at #5… if he doesn’t freak out!

  18. I think AGon can really help the lineup, he is a professional hitter even though his power has declined. He can still make all the plays at 1B but his range is not the same as Cody’s. A lot of pitchers pitch around Cody if they have a place to put him and I don’t blame them. JT better get busy because Blackmon had 4 hits tonight and is around .330 now. I’m tired of Rockies winning the batting title year after year.

  19. I was looking at that as well Vegas, its going to come down to the wire between those two, hopefully JT keeps doing what JT does

    Seems like yesterday we were a couple games behind both Colorado and Arizona, speculating who our future lead off hitter was

  20. What the what?

    Utley was thrown out… why?

    This is America. Isn’t there freedom of speech?

    Rookie Umpire. Send him back to Rookie ball.

    1. That was stupid. I tried cranking my TV to hear what Seager said to Forsythe at the end. Figured it was about the ejection.

    2. Utley rarely argues so I would tend to side with him, but hard to say what he said to the umpire. I think a vet like Utley should be given a bit more rope than most players. I miss managers like Lasorda who would give the umps the garlic and get tossed on purpose to protect his guys. Earl Weaver and Billy Martin put on some good shows too and remember Piniella tossing the base? Good times!

  21. Utley asked ump to move so he could see home plate. The ump refused so Utley voiced his displeasure and got a quick hook. Ridiculous.

  22. Sometimes I do not like Grandal’s play calling. I like high fastballs sometimes, but to call 2-3 high fastballs in a row is not smart in my opinion. I was always taught we may throw 2-3 fastballs in a row but never in the same location. I have said this before. If you miss a high fastball and get it down just a little, it is gone. After the first two hitters got on in the 9th, I would of been living down at the knees. Jansen has a good slider. Then come up for the strike out. Grandal also does that to Stripling. Like Mark said, Stripling is not capable of throwing up there.

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