King of the Hill

I was elated at the way Rich Hill pitched last night. He has had difficulty this year with the blisters and being on and off the DL and failing to get the “feel” for his game.  He has had some good outings starting in July, but, last night he finally put it all together and it is now apparent that the Dodgers have a #1 and three #2’s!

Rich Hill is unstoppable when he is on.  If Hill, Wood, Darvish and Kershaw are healthy… LOOK OUT!

Doc says Cody is the 1B and I am sure A-Gon was consulted about that and in on board.  It’s been a busy day and I don’t have much time, so here’s Today’s Lineup:

  1. Taylor CF
  2. Granderson LF
  3. Turner  3B
  4. Grandal  C
  5. Gonzo  1B
  6. Puig  RF
  7. Forsythe  2B
  8. Kike  SS
  9. Ryu P

Corey gets a rest!

Play Ball!

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 30 Comments

  1. Corey is having a strange month. He is in the midst of a 12 game hitting streak, and has hit in 17 out of the 20 games he has played in August. His August slash line is .341/.387/.412/.799 compared to year to date of .311/.394/.507/.900. So while his batting average is up, his OPS is significantly down because of a significant drop in his slugging %. For August, Corey has 1 HR and 3 doubles. He has also only struck out 15 times in 93 plate appearances. So he is getting bat to ball, but not much power (lift?). He deserves a break.
    .
    I think I might have switched Puig and Grandy in today’s lineup.

  2. Just a side note: Before today’s game we have only scored in 5 of the last 42 innings. Just FYI nothing more.

  3. How many times have you seen a starting pitcher still in the game in the 10th inning? I’ve only seen it one other time in my life. I was also ecstatic with Hill’s game.

    Good to hear Bellinger is the 1B. He’s way better than Gonzo.

    1. Yes he is.

      I have been a champion of Bellinger before he was Cody Bellinger.

      But the bigger question is this:

      Are there 7 other players who are better hitters against RHP than a “HEALTHY” A-Gon? I’m not talking about what the stats say so far this season. I am saying “are there 7 better hitters than what Adrian can do if healthy”?

      I think you have to look back to 2016, when he was mostly healthy and hit .303 against RHP with a .372 OB%. If he’s healthy, he can put up those numbers against RHP and there are not 7 hitters on the Dodgers who can do that, so against some RHP (if healthy), A-Gon will play 1B and Cody will play LF. IF A-Gon is healthy.

  4. Is anyone concerned that none of the young minor league starting pitchers seem to flame out when they get called up? Stewart is the latest example. Stripling has stuck in the pen but not as a starter. Soon these guys will
    have to show they are big league pitchers. Why can’t at least one of them make a big splash when they get the call? Makes you think that they are not as good as we think.

    1. 1. Stewart needs another pitch to be a starter. If he develops one he will be a good one. If he doesn’t he’s a great reliever.

      2. Stripling was just the odd -man out. A lot of teams want him as a starter. I see him as a long man but that is just me. Ross wants to start.

    2. Ross Stripling came out of nowhere last year, a total surprise. He pitched in 22 games (14 starts), and 100 innings. He had 3.96 ERA and 3.9 FIP. Not CY caliber but certainly not a flame out. This year he has been strictly relief, and is used in multiple inning situations for most of his appearances. In 24 out of 35 he pitched more than 1 inning, and in 17 games he pitched 2 or more. He has accumulated 58 innings in those 35 games. He has 59 K and 14 BB. His ERA 3.41 and FIP is 3.17. In three games at the end of June, when he was not healthy, he allowed 8 runs on 13 hits (2 HR), 3 BB, and 3 K. Eliminate those three games and his ERA is down to 2.41. He then went on the DL and when he returned in July, in 6 games (10 IP) he allowed 1 run on 4 hits (0 HR), 2 BB, and 11 K. So far in August he has pitched in 7 games (10 IP), 4 runs, 7 hits (3 HR), 2 BB, 11 K. His K/BB ratio has increased from 2.47 to 4.21. His last three games in August he has 2 wins and 1 save. He is having a good (not great) year. But not a flame out.
      .
      Brock Stewart is a converted 3B who became a pitcher his redshirt junior year. Last year he started in A ball and moved to the Dodgers rotation. So he was another unexpected surprise. He has both started and relieved this year. It is difficult to judge him when his use has been inconsistent. He shows more promise as a reliever than as a starter, but will continue to get a chance to start. Neither Stripling or Stewart were ever considered top of the rotation starters, and both are probably best suited for relief. What they also did was to allow the Dodgers to trade three RHP for Rich Hill and Josh Reddick.
      .
      The only Dodger starter to come from the farm who was expected to produce was Julio Urias. He had a good rookie season as a 20 year old (certainly not a flame out), and came down with a bad shoulder this year. He will be out until 2019 when he turns all of 23. He can still be a top of the rotation pitcher.
      .
      One of the most highly regarded young pitchers over the last couple of years has been Lucas Giolito (former #1 mlb.com prospect). He has been up and down between MLB and AAA the last two years, and has not been stellar. The Dodgers should have a couple of highly regarded pitching prospects come up in 2018 (Walker Buehler) and one probably in 2019 (Mitchell White). Both of these young pitchers can be #3 or better. If Yadier Alvarez develops like scouts believe he can, he should come up in 2020, and if he realizes his ceiling he will also be a #3 or better. Caleb Ferguson could be a 2019 or 2020 back of the rotation pitcher. He could be a workhorse. We also still need to see what Trevor Oaks can do. His ceiling is also back of the rotation workhorse. Not all pitching prospects become Aces.

    3. I thought Stripling did make a splash when he came up last year. He no hit the Midgets for 7 innings in his first start last year. Stripling and Stewart were never expected to be an ace but both are solid back of the rotation or long men in the pen.

  5. What a pick up Granderson is!

    At just the right time.
    He was a player that always bothered me when he came up to bat & now he is one of ours.

  6. We are leaving a ton of runners stranded this trip.
    Can’t afford to do that in the short Playoff series.

  7. This time Baez came in and started McCutchen off with two off speed pitches before going to the fastball.

    Thought it was a mistake to have Watson pitch around Harrison. That probably got him out of his rhythm, and contributed to getting behind Frazier. Should have just put Harrison on .

    Too early to panic about the hitting. This isn’t exactly a trend. Doesn’t help that Cody Berlinger is out, and it looks like Turner’s timing is just a bit off. Better now than in October.

  8. No more Watson please.

    I observed that in August, the offense is down and the ‘pen has underperformed. The Dodgers will need to rest some, assess to see who’s getting the job done, and re-tool where necessary.

    Let’s face it – they can’t play at the same level all year long. They are going to cool off a little. We can hope that they will have some momentum by the post-season.

    1. Rick: We did cool off and that was in April.

      April- 14-12
      May – 19-9
      June – 21-7
      July -20-3
      Aug -16-5
      Total -90-36

      1. Team offense in August:
        .236/.330/.421/.751 – worst month since April
        Team bullpen in August:
        7 – 3, 3.70, 12 HR in 65.7 IP

        Numbers aren’t as good as in May, June or July
        Weak schedule – played Chisox, Pads, Tigers, etc.

        Team doesn’t look as good as in earlier month – not a criticism, but a fact.

  9. McCullough has said that more than one person in the Dodgers front office feels Alex Wood could be excellent in a non-closer high-leverage role.
    `
    I wonder if with Ryu and Hill showing well, that could be his usage come October.

    1. If healthy, the starting four probably will be Kershaw, Darvish, Hill, and Wood, with Ryu/Maeda as Plan B.

      1. I figure that Rudy, but Wood’s velocity has dropped notably and maybe relief usage would help restore it?

        1. Time will tell.

          I loved Alex Wood, but if he were 12-7 with a 3.30 ERA I would have been outta’ my mind. What he has done is incredible.

        2. I have big a big advocate for Alex Wood, and what he has accomplished this year is just incredible…beyond anyone’s expectations, including mine. At the beginning of the year, I surmised that Wood could be an Andrew Miller type, and was roundly criticized by many. I still believe he can become that high leverage multiple inning reliever, but he has done nothing to diminish his status as a clear #2 in the rotation, and deserves that chance when he does return from the DL. But I would not hesitate to put him in the pen for the playoffs if the Dodgers can find a 4th to go with Kershaw, Darvish, and Hill. Wood, Morrow, and Jansen would form a tremendous bullpen for the playoffs.

  10. Impressive relief outing by Walker Buehler tonight. After an error and infield single, he retires 8 straight, with 4 strikeouts.
    `
    In his last 4 relief outings, Buehler’s stats are:
    7 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 12 K, 0 BB (29 batters faced)

  11. Walker wasn’t the only good pitching performance tonight. At Great Lakes, 18 year old Melvin Jimenez pitched 2.2 shutout innings, allowing 0 hits, 1 BB, and 6K. James Carter also pitched 2.2 shutout innings, allowing 2 hits, 3 BB, and 3K. In 8 games covering 10.1 innings for Great Lakes, Carter still has not given up an earned run. Marshall Kasowski and Dan Jagiello, both pitched very well with Kasowski getting the win, and Jagiello got the save.
    .
    Tulsa’s 8 game winning streak was snapped tonight. Mitchell White had an off night. He pitched 3 innings, allowing 4 runs, 3 hits, 3 BB, and 7K. Even with the loss, the Drillers remain tied with the Springfield Cardinals for 1st place in the 2nd half , with 11 games to play.
    .

  12. Dodgers 15 LOB tonight after 11 LOB last night. I thought that they had cured themselves of that problem. This is aa main reason why the offense has been flat lately.

  13. A 5 and 2 road trip and 2 series wins are not bad at all, the Dodgers are not slumping they are grinding out wins with their pitching, and without Bellinger. A flight home and facing a team still in the hunt will be a big test tomorrow but I think the team is up to the challenge. Taylor and Puig have played well the last few games and Grandal is heating up. The depth of their rotation with guys on the DL is impressive and the envy of other teams. 90 wins is no accident and is the result of roster construction, team chemistry and yes, deadline and waiver wire moves. Darvish and Grandy were gems we will still be talking about in the off season. Having depth. trade chips and budget allow this team to be very special and the grit the players have is really impressive. They are playing the game the right way, day in and day out and will not fade. You can beat them on a given day but not in a series. They win without Kershaw, they win without Cody, what will they do when rested and healthy?

  14. I need to compliment Baez and Grandal. I will never know but I believe Honeycutt, Baez and the catchers had a meeting. Baez used his other pitches tonight. Almost all of Grandal ‘s targets were low in the strike zone. The high target was at the top of the strike zone. Baez was a pitcher last night, not just a thrower and he looked good. Even the announcers were saying the same thing. Maybe they do listen to us. Ha!

  15. They win 3 out of 4 losing the games the starting pitcher throws a no-hitter through nine. Good to see Gonzalez turn on one. I’m starting to think warning track power is what he has these days to CF and LF. I’m looking for him to prove me wrong.

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