Kirk and Spock, West and Baylor, Kareem and Magic…

Jordan and Pippen, Mays and McCovey, Seager and Bellinger.

Those guys just seem to feed off each other.  Separate, they are good, Together they are great.

Cody and Corey have not been in the lineup together for over two weeks.

The Dodgers are 1-10 in their last 11 games.

Can you make the connection?

Get it?  Got it?  Good!

Boy, that was a close one last night.  One quick 14 run homer in the bottom of the ninth and the boys in Blue would have won.

Why are Buehler, Font and Castillo on the roster?  Simple answer: They don’t trust Baez.  Million dollar arm.  Ten Cent brain.

Right about now, the Diamondbacks own the Dodgers,  What does that mean?  What did it mean when the Mets were 11-1 against the Dodgers in 1988 going into the playoffs?  Ponder that! What the D-Bags are doing is called “peaking too soon.” Payback is a bitch.

Wilmer Font is edging off the playoff list…

J.D. Martinez can hit a little bit.  He’s hotter than blazes!

Patience Grasshoppers!

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 58 Comments

  1. “What the D-Bags are doing is called “peaking too soon.” Payback is a bitch.”

    Maybe it was the Dodgers who peaked too soon when they went 52 – 10?

    “Cody and Corey have not been in the lineup together for over two weeks. The Dodgers are 1-10 in their last 11 games.”

    Really – that’s your best explanation of the past 3 weeks? Seager’s or Bellinger’s absence made the starters or the bullpen stop pitching? They made Turner stop hitting? They made Granderson hit .110? etc. etc. etc.

    What’s wrong with the Dodgers?
    1 – Notwithstanding protestations to the contrary, Roberts HAS taken his foot off of the gas. They are playing prevent defense and that never goes well.
    2 – The Dodgers amazing record from the end of April to the beginning of August was in large part a function of confidence – a belief that they could and would win every game. Are they playing with confidence now?
    3 – Too many guys playing who should not be playing. From Font and Castillo to Granderson and Gonzalez – these guys aren’t helping.

    They have the talent to turn it around but as I have said before, it’s not like flipping a switch – they can’t just turn it on or off. If they are playing crummy baseball on 9/30 they won’t simply revert to form on 10/1. They aren’t playing with a sense of urgency now – will they recover it in time?

    1. Rick

      Agone hasn’t played in the last few games, so I don’t think he is the blame, even though you constantly insist he is!

  2. Some players are playing themselves off the playoff roster and some playing themselves on the roster. Baez off and Paredes on. Font off and Forsythe on. I would not play Baez for the rest of the season except in mop up situations.

    This was a total meltdown. Every facet of the game was bad. Arizona could still win the West. Maybe it is time for the team and Doc to admit they are playing crappy baseball. Saying we are not worried is getting old. Try winning a few games, will you.

  3. I agree dodgerrick. Font, Castillo don’t look they are ready to contribute. We’ll have to see about Buehler. Granderson has been terrible and never liked the idea of trying to see what Agon had left. We went on our unbelievable tear without him and to “upset the apple cart” by putting Bellinger back in the OF seemed to create a domino.

  4. Rick – agree with all your points above, but I have a theory as to why these strange things can happen in sport sometimes, and it’s not anything mind blowing.
    Simply, I think it is a lack adrenaline.
    I know it’s not right, but if you let your concentration, motivation & dedication slip just 10%, then this is what happens.
    Adrenaline makes sure that all of your senses are heightened.
    The Dodgers were playing at a very high level for a long time, to the point where they had virtually achieved the first objective of the season, namely qualifying for the post season.
    The Adrenaline levels went down.
    Conversely, the D’backs have it all to
    play for, so their levels are high. It’s do or die for them.
    You can sense that their desire is just that little bit higher. They need it.
    Yes, the Dodgers should play every game like it’s their last, but that’s not human nature. There is no adrenaline.

    I believe you will see a difference as soon as the Playoffs begin.
    I know the argument can be made about form & momentum going into October, but I’ve also seen teams looking exhausted.

    These guys are professionals. They will be primed and ready to go.
    Doc is weighing up his options.
    I’ve a feeling that once the adrenaline kicks in again, we will be fine.

  5. What is their record since Joc was sent down. We talk about chemistry but even if Granderson is a good guy, he is not Joc. Chemistry is a difficult thing to balance. Comfort is a difficult thing to describe. These guys were comfortable, they had a rhythm, now there are just too many guys wearing the uniform to give any sense of cohesion. They have lost all sense of rhythm and it is pathetic thing to behold.

    1. We won three series after Joc went down, and he is hitting about the same as Granderson is, but Joc is hitting about 160 at AAA.

  6. Sports is a funny business. All the sabre geek analysis in the world can’t really explain or predict or manipulate the element of psychology. When they were winning, everything was going right. It was uncanny, near miraculous. Now, the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction. It’s mostly the same collection of players. The difference lies in that nebulous world of human psychology and how it effects behavior.
    *
    It’s really weird. I can’t explain it. Maybe all these things: Roberts taking his foot off the gas, the Spring Training auditioning, Agon returning with his anemic bat…
    *
    I posted earlier that I was concerned that the Dodgers peaked early, but I was thinking – and still do – that the Dodgers just have such a collection of talented pieces in place that its success in the playoffs would be less dependent on the vicissitudes of being “on”.
    *
    It’s been said before, but the playoffs is a completely different season. I think Roberts is pulling a Greg Popovich and doing a little coasting to rest the team both physically and psychologically before the playoffs. One of the things I do is train athletes. There is a science to getting an athlete to peak at the right time, and there are only so many times an athlete can do this. Let’s hope Roberts can engineer a second peak in a few weeks, but the Dbacks have to be more confident right about now.
    *
    It’ll be pretty bitterly disappointing if the Dodgers don’t win it all this year after how good they played, but there are never guarantees. That’s why the games are played.

  7. Today’s panic-ers need not worry! We still have 31 days until the NLCS begins. The time to panic will be if this garbage is continuing on Sept 20. For now, we’re fine. Let the crap pass thru out system. Pretend we took an enema and metamucil all at once. We are being cleansed at the moment.

        1. Bobby

          I wish I could, I have family stuff to deal with, but I will put a drink in the air for you, and down it!

  8. This cannot be sugar-coated. Right now the Dodgers are playing bad baseball. Starting pitching is bad, relief pitching is bad, and offense is bad. I am generally a positive person, and try to make lemonade out of lemons, but there is none to make in the last 10 – 11 games. Last night was a disaster.
    .
    However, to minimize the loss of Corey Seager is short sighted. For the month of August he hit .333 with a .374 OBP. His slugging was way down due to only 1 HR and 3 doubles. He is #2 in the lineup and is critical for JT and Cody to produce. During the last 11 games, Corey started the first three and went 4-12 and the Dodgers won one of those three. Since he has been out, the Dodgers are 1-7, and the one game they did win was 1-0. You can draw your own conclusions. Some believe he is an offensive catalyst, and some do not. I believe he is, and I believe the Dodgers very much miss him in the lineup. #2 in the lineup is critical, and the Dodgers cannot find that person. In the last 8 games Seager has been out, Granderson was in the #2 slot 5 times and went 1-21 with 9 K. Kike’ was in the #2 twice going 0-8, and Barnes was in the #2 once and went 2-4. Unfortunately Kike’ was batting #3 that game. .
    .
    By the way, the last 11 games, JT has not stopped hitting. In 37 PA, JT has hit .333/.405/.606/1.11. I think having Corey in the #2 slot rather than Granderson (or Hernandez) would have produced a few more runs. The other questionable spot in the lineup is #5. In the last 8 games, the Dodgers are a combined 6-25 with 2 RBI’s, led by Grandal 2-9, Puig 2-7 (1 RBI), and AGon 2-3 (1 RBI). Barnes/Forsythe/Kike’ went 0-6.
    .
    I am also concerned about the number of HR’s the Dodgers have been giving up, especially early in the game. This is not due to Grandal or Barnes as both have been behind the plate for this. They go over the game plan with the coaches and pitchers, so the game plan is determined before pitch 1. I understand park conditions, but the 6 hit out last night were in Dodger Stadium; not Arizona. IMO this falls on the pre-game scouting report. The other consideration is that the Dodger pitching is becoming too predictable. You do not get hit that hard without guessing right most of the time. Even bloggers know that Dodger relievers are going to throw high fastballs. You do not think the other team knows that? How man splitters did Font throw? If he did not throw 1, then that is on the game prep or catcher. It is the splitter that keeps hitters guessing. If he is up there just throwing fastballs, every ML hitter can hit a 97-100 MPH fastball, especially if they know that is what is coming. The same is true with Baez. I do not see him waving off too many (if any) pitches, so he is pitching what is called. Is that the catcher, or is that the game report? Morrow’s fastball is elite, but only because his slider is also. If he is up there throwing fastballs, he is going to get hit. Josh Ravin only has a fastball, so I do not know why he comes in. Sometimes his fastball has life, most of the time, not so much.
    .
    As bad as the team is playing, it can obviously be turned around. While confidence is important, it is the players that hit, pitch, and defend. The team has talent, and it is the talent that won the games between April and September. I did not like the lineups for the Padres series. Doc is a great manager, but this weekend was all on him. The last three Padre games were winnable if the lineups were not made up of AAA players or Old Timers Game players. They also could have been won if AAA pitchers were not brought in high leverage situations. AAA players have a place on an expanded roster, but not to be counted on to win games at the ML level. If they had game changing capabilities they would have been on the 25 man before roster expansion. I have never wavered as to who I believe is responsible for the lineups, and Doc is responsible for those lineups. If Granderson bats 2nd in another game, that falls squarely on Doc.

    1. AC

      Most everything you brought up, has crossed my mind, so I agree with most everything, you said!

      Corey has been hitting second, since he first came up, and that is one of the toughest places to hit, in the order.

      Corey hits second and quietly does his job, so he is somewhat taken for granted, but he is just as important to this team, and he a just important to the line up, as Cody is.

      And Corey has been the steadiest hitter, in our line up all year, just take a look, at his splits!

      And believe it or not, Corey concerns Major League pitchers, just as much, as Cody does!

      And about our relievers, like AC said, every major league hitter, knows that a high fastball just out of the strike zone, is coming, from our relievers!

      And when these high fastballs are called, Baez and Fields, might get their pitches high enough, but they don’t always command their fastballs properly.

      So a hitter not only knows what is coming from Fields, and Baez, these two pitchers, will accidentally throw a pitch, right where most Major League hitters, would like a pitch, to be thrown.

      And the Dodgers have been pitching hitters this way, since May, so JD Martinez, and most every major league hitter, knows by now, a high fastball is coming their way!

      And JD Martinez is known for his opposite field power, so there isn’t a high outside pitch, that he can’t drive into the seats!

      Another reason there were so many balls that were hit out, was because the humidity levels at Dodger stadium last night, was at 60 percent.

      About Baez, I hope the front office can learn from Hatcher, because even though Hatcher, and Baez have good stuff, they both don’t have the mentality, to pitch in high leverage situations, and because of this, they both can’t be counted on, to pitch in high leverage situations!

      And Hatcher is pitching for the A’s right now, and Hatcher is pitching for the A’s, just like he did, for the Dodgers!

      The truth is what good is a pitcher with good stuff, if they don’t have the mentality to command their good stuff, in a high leverage situation?

      And why would any team want a reliever that can’t pitch, in high leverage situations?

      Agone is not the problem.

      We didn’t start losing, the day that Agone first played!

      We won two series, with Agone in the line up!

      And Agone hasn’t been in the line up, in the last two games!

      And the truth is, Agone hit in three runs, in the last three games he started, and he did this with two outs!

      How many players on this team, have done the same, lately?

      It is true, that Agone shouldn’t hit in the middle of the order, but he could be an important bat, at the back of the line up!

      Does anyone here, really think that Forsythe or Granderson, are better hitters, and can hit in more runs, then Agone can?

      The truth is we lost Cody, and then we lost Corey, and with either of these guys out of the line up, it is going to hurt our line up!

      And in this series again, we are facing mostly the Dbacks top starting pitchers, and we are throwing our pitchers, that are at the back, of our starting pitching rotation!

      And it isn’t that the Dbacks are so good, we just got swept by the Padres!

      This team is just not playing good baseball right now, and we do miss Corey just as much, as we missed Cody!

    1. And Truth I agree with you, Watford is right, no team can play like this team did, for an entire season.

      And just like the team couldn’t play that well for an entire season, this team won’t continue to play this badly, for the rest of the season.

      We have all of our starting pitchers, back for good!

  9. Kareem and the Big O. Kareem did always have a great point guard for delivery then skyhook. Sure you remember Mark. 1971….Milwaukee’s only title. Martinez has proved he can hit a down the middle belly high straight as an arrow mediocre fastball. That’s for sure. Getting our 1 through 4 hitters back in play surely won’t hurt. Some pitching might help a bit too. Excited to see Buehler vs MLB. Hope it doesn’t bite him. I know the rumor was Dodgers were shutting him down for the season. I don’t see this slump lasting the rest of the season, but anything is possible I guess. As Walter Alston said…It’s a lot easier to be lucky with good pitching. I’ve noticed that the pitching hasn’t been that good last couple of weeks. And Dodgers have certainly been unlucky. Certainly don’t see how anyone could blame DR or the lineups for bad pitching and disappearing bats. If that makes me a company man so be it.

      1. Buehler last pitched 1 inning on Sunday. 1 IP, 2 runs, 1 hit, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts. He did not pitch yesterday.

        1. I guess I missed that… or maybe I zoned out. We are redoing our kitchen and life is crazy. 2 or 3 days away from getting it back.

    1. I have certainly been called worse than “company man”, and I do not beleive that you will find a bigger Doc Roberts supporter than me. But that does not preclude me from questioning the lineups that were put out for the Padres series. I have no problem with starting Brock Stewart, but you have to believe that the team is going to have to score runs as Brock has not been that effective after 2 innings. A starting lineup that includes Segedin, Dickson, and Verdugo with Kike’ at SS, no Taylor and no JT, is not the strongest lineup. And yes, it looked like a ST lineup to me. I have also been a strong advocate for Wilmer Font, but he should not have come in to relieve Stewart with a 3-1 lead. At the very least, he should not have been asked to go 2 innings. On a positive side, I think Austin Barnes in the #2 slot with Corey out, is a good solution, and he did go 2-4 with a RBI.
      .
      AGon, Chase, and Ethier are all good Dodgers, but should not be in the same starting lineup as they were in Game 2.
      .
      These are just my opinions, and there is no evidence that a different lineup would have produced different results. But the team has won nothing yet, and I think the team should go pedal to the medal until at least the Division has been clinched. I do not blame Doc for anything that is happening against the D-Backs either last week or this week. Right now they are as hot as they can be, and the Dodgers are as cold as they have been all year. But I do not believe that the lineups for the Padre series put the team in the best position to win. And to be clear, this does not diminish in any way my full support for the best manager in MLB, Doc Roberts.

      1. IDK but the lineups and players we’ve used all year have gotten the job done and now they’re not. Understand they’re weaker with Seager out but players have been rested periodically and weaker lineups used and Dodgers still won, but now they’re not. A month ago they could of started the bat boys vs SD and they’d of swept em. So I’ll just leave it to the professionals to make out the cards for whatever reasons they have. DR doesn’t tell me how to build bridges and I sure as heck ain’t gonna 2nd guess him about baseball. That’s just me though, the rest of you have a ball. I never claimed to be a baseball jay u heeny us.

  10. I won’t be on too much this week due to hurricane Irma which is packing 185mph winds. To make matters worse, hurricane Jose is not too far behind her. According to latest reports it MAY(or may not) hit Miami then go NNW across the state to Tampa but they really don’t know until the last minute lake Charlie in 2004.
    That one was supposed to hit Tampa but decided at the last moment to turn right up the gulf of Mexico and go into Charlotte Harbor. Boy,I remember that one. No electricity for over two weeks, National Guard out to prevent looting, etc.

  11. My confidence in Baez has been shaken, but I stop short of characterizing him as having a “Ten Cent brain”. I realize that he’s had some time to learn how to pitch, but I also always remember that he didn’t start pitching until he was 25 in 2013. In fact, I don’t think he started pitching at the beginning of that year, so he probably spent ST as a 3rd baseman, not a pitcher. In total he pitched in 48 games split between Rancho and Chattanooga that year. The following year, in 2014, he pitched in a combined 40 games at Chattanooga and Albq., before being called up to the Dodgers for 20 games.

    Chances are that he would have been better served remaining in the minors a bit longer to better hone his pitching skills. If there is one thing we know about Baez, it is that he has always lacked effective secondary pitches. This year it seemed as if he had begun to perfect those pitches. Maybe that’s something he needs to further refine to become the pitcher we’ve hoped he would be.

    If Baez continues to melt down, there is no doubt that he should be considered for a lesser role on the playoff roster, perhaps even no role at all. But we’ve seen plenty of other pitchers (who started out as pitchers) who took years of seasoning in the minor leagues to finally harness their potential. Maybe Baez is one of those pitchers, and maybe not. I don’t think it’s a 10 cent brain, but he certainly does have issues that have yet to be resolved.

    I definitely think that not having Cody and Corey together in the lineup has contributed to the recent Dodger slump, as did the recent slide of Justin Turner and even Curtis Granderson. All of those hitters feed off of each other, and working as a unit keeps pitchers from pitching around any of them. And not having Kershaw during a lot of that time certainly didn’t help. Maybe if the Dodgers were 4-7 instead of 1-10 in their last 11 games, there would be less pessimism. I like to think that this recent slide will ultimately help this team become better focused going forward into the playoffs. Sometimes winning requires the fear that you might lose. There are no guarantees for the Dodgers going forward, but my glass remains half full.

    And by the way Mark, I think you’re wrong. If memory serves, the Dodgers were 1-10 vs. the Mets during the 1988 regular season, not 1-11. 🙂

    I may not have this exactly right, but I believe that not only did the Dodgers win their last seven regular season games before being swept by the Mets in the 2006 NLDS (no long layoff before the WS can explain that one), but if memory serves, I believe that at one point during the season (I think just before and after the All-Star break), the Dodgers immediately followed a 1-14 slump with a 17-1 surge. I’m not saying that any of this stuff is a prognosticator of what’s going to come, but I am saying that this is baseball, and things can turn on a dime. And no, I’m not saying that the Dodgers can turn it on and off at will. But sometimes that stuff just happens, with no logical explanation.

    1. There was a similar year where the Dodgers owned the Phillies all season and then lost to them in the playoffs I believe.

  12. Maybe our number 2 hitter who is batting .100 will bust out tonight. Joc and Trayce coming up. I don’t get it. I would let Joc get more AB’s in Tulsa. As for Trayce, I would call it a season. Let him rest his back and his .215 batting avg at AAA. TT’s focus should be on winter ball. Granerson, Gonzo, and Ethier starting tonight with Belly in CF.

      1. I’m interested in seeing Bellinger in CF. I think Gonzalez is are only true hope to send Granderson to the bench.

    1. I hope it all works out, but I think I might have gone with Austin Barnes at 2nd and batting 2nd. I concede that Logan is better defensively, but that much better than to offset the 2017 batting lines against RHP?
      .
      Austin – .346/.454/.481/.935
      Logan – .197/.364/.319/.683
      .
      I can certainly understand if Puig is tiring and needs a day off, but he has been far better against RHP this year, and better than Grandy. Maybe Puig should have been in right instead of Grandy. But this could be a game to let Puig refresh. They both went 0-4 with 1K last week in the Greinke game. I have no problem with Ethier in the lineup. He needs AB’s. But Granderson should not be batting 2nd. For the year, Grandy is hitting .074/.219/.185/.404. He was only in the #2 twice for the Mets this year, and he went 1-6. So in 7 games in the #2, he is 2-27.
      .
      Hopefully Grandy gets it and goes off tonight, and everything all works out. Greinke is far better in AZ than he is away.

        1. Hawkeye

          It might have been better to play Ethier in rightfield, since I hear Granderson doesn’t have a very good arm.

          1. It could be an audition for Andre and Cody. I’m not sold on Taylor as a CF yet. I thought he was getting real good at LF, but has some work to do in CF which is understandable. After watching him play SS, maybe the Dodgers will give him some reps at 2B when Seager returns if Cody can handle CF. Who knows, I may be just grasping at straws. I honestly don’t know what they’re thinking these days. The easiest way to fix the problems in LF or 2B is by Gonzalez hitting well enough to move Cody or if Joc started hitting and I just can’t see him doing that sitting on the bench in LA.

      1. AC

        I don’t think Forsythe should be playing much at all, against righties.

        And I would bat Barnes second too.

        And if Roberts is going to give Puig a day off, it would be better, when we are facing a leftie.

        And Granderson might do better, at the back of the line up.

        He shouldn’t be hitting at the top of the order.

        Granderson has hit a HR off Greinke, so let’s hope he does that, with a few runners on base.

        1. The Dodgers made a mistake optioning Farmer so close to Sept 1st. Unless someone gets moved to the DL, they have to wait out the 10 day period. You may get your wish when Farmer comes back up. If career minor leaguers are going to pitch in high leverage situations, then why not play Barnes at 2B and see how it looks. I watched him at ST take grounders at SS with other guys who were mostly non-infielders and Barnes stood out as a guy who didn’t look out of place. Hell, he looked better than Calhoun.

  13. I think all the talk about the pen being gassed is pure fiction. The Dodgers are 14th in MLB in innings pitched by the bullpen. The Astros and Cubs have both had their bullpens pitch more innings. The National and Indians have the fewest bullpen innings.

    The Nats average 2.88 innings by the bullpen a game and the Dodgers average 3.44, BUT (BIG BUT), the Dodgers have spread that out over a lot more pitchers.

    But, Dave Roberts is trying to make sure they are fresh for the playoffs, thus they are being given opportunities they would not normally get.

    Ryu is hitting 94-95 MPH. Nice…

      1. Bunt him and then you can send two ,300 hitters up to knock them in before Granderson inevitably K’s.

        1. Roberts don’t know how to play small ball. He expects everyone to hit. These are the kind of games their gonna face in the playoffs, if they can survive

        2. Hawkeye

          Bottom line Forsythe shouldn’t be in the line up, against righties!

          Forsythe can’t hit righties, and his overall average is not good!

          And his OPS isn’t even in 700s!

  14. Unreal. Has Drury 0-2 and the guy was early on a fastball. Was there a better time to throw a slider? He should never see the field in the playoffs. Baez just doesn’t have the mental toughness to handle it.

    1. It is obvious that Baez shouldn’t be pitching in any high leverage situations!

      This is nothing new!

      And his stats are not good this year, if you take a better look!

  15. No Goldschmidt in line up and they let another one get away. Poor job by Roberts and Baez. Taylor get gunned out with Tuner and Bellinger coming up classifies as a knucklehead play.

    On the bright side, no matter how much Buehler struggled relieving at AAA , he can’t be any worse than Baez.

    I’ve seen enough of Baez. I’ve seen enough of Granderson. I’ve seen enough of Forsythe hitting in situations where he shouldn’t be out there.

    Doc needs to step up his game. He blew games in SD and he blew this game.

  16. no matter what you say about Baez, remember that the offense only scored 1 run (again) – you can’t win if you don’t score. Baez should never have been in that position in the 1st place.

    Dodgers could have had Martinez at the deadline but got Granderson instead – great move!

  17. Please make it stop with the Baez in high leverage situations. This is Hathcet revisited, trying to fit a round peg into a square hole. No, I am not jumping off the bandwagon, in fact, my seatbelt is on tight, just give me somebody, ANYBODY but Baez with the game in the balance. I don’t care how fast your fastball is, if you can’t locate your secondary pitch to put the guy away, you are toast in the big leagues.

  18. Curtis Granderson 0-4 in the #2 spot. Predicted result.
    .
    Logan Forsythe against RHP – 0-3, 2K, and GDP. Predicted result.
    .
    Pedro Baez – Enters in a high leverage situation, immediately walks 2, and then throws an 0-2 fastball to a batter which resulted in 2 runs (admittedly the error was not his fault). But they do not score if he does not come in and walk Chris Iannetta and AJ Pollock. Predicted result.
    .
    I cannot say that the results would have been different if Barnes plays 2nd and bats 2nd, Puig is in RF for Granderson, and Watson comes in the 10th instead of Baez. But maybe….

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