Remember when practically every Dodger fan (me included) wanted to get rid of Chase Utley? Chase had hit .122 in April, but followed that up with a .314 BA in May. In June, he was .203 followed by a .278 July. In August he hit .239 and he is at .125 in 8 September AB’s. Chase Utley has played a big role in this team’s success and I dare say, they would not have had THE STREAK (that’s what we will officially call it), had the cut Chase Utley. His presence has been invaluable. Something else we can gather from looking at Utley’s splits is that baseball is a game of highs and lows.
Early this season, Cubs fans were questioning Joe Maddon, just like some of you are questioning Dave Roberts, even though it is likely he will win his second Manager of the Year in a row. See, it’s “better to hang some felller, than no feller.” It’s easy to blame the manager when he puts in Baez and he blows the game. It’s easy to blame the Manager because he makes out the starting lineups and if the players don’t hit, it must be his fault! Dave Roberts has went to being a dumbass early in the season to being a genius in May, June, July and part of August, but now he is suddenly a moron?
Early in the year, fans roundly criticized Roberts use of different lineups, statring pitchers and the bullpen. Then, he suddenly seemed smart. Even though he was doing the same thing, the Dodgers started to win and kept winning. Oh, a few whined when a different lineup was posted, but they won, so it was a moot point. Suddenly, the team stopped pitching and hitting and obviously, Roberts has reverted back to being an idiot? I have even read that fans now want Friedman and Zaidi fired! Whoever says that isn’t dumb, they just have bad luck when it comes to thinking.
Baseball is a funny game and I think Watford Dodger nailed it yesterday:
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 toplay 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.
Ahhh, a voice of reason! The game is played by humans, not machines. Look at the monthly splits of Jake Arrieta of the Cubs:
- April ERA – 4.66
- May ERA – 4.54
- June ERA – 4.85
- July ERA – 2.25
- August ERA – 1.21
Currently, he is injured, but past performance is not a predicter of future results! I have never been a Pedro Baez fan, but Doc evidently sees something and he keeps rolling him out there. Remember this: Roberts doesn’t just show up an hour before the game – this is his life and livelyhood. He talks to coaches, scouts and the front office many hours a day. We read stats a few minutes a day and suddenly we know more than they do? You can feel that way, if you like to delude yourself. J.D. Martinez is very hot right now, but where will he be in the playoffs? It’s easy to blame FAZ for not acquiring Martinez, but Detroit wanted Verdugo and the Dodgers said no.
Here’s how this game works: A guy like Pedro Baez suddenly steps up and is lights out in the playoffs. Stuff like that doesn’t happen occasionally in baseball – it happens a lot! From June 7-Aug. 19, the Dodgers went 52-9. In the last 11 days, the Dodgers have lost more times than they did during that 61-game stretch. Same team, but the manager has suddenly become an idiot? Yasmani grandal said it best:
“I’m glad it’s happening. Might as well happen now instead of the playoffs.”
Rants & Raves
- From Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com:“The DSL Dodgers (No. 2) defeated the DSL Dodgers (No. 1), 6-4, in the league’s championship game on Saturday at Campo Las Palmas, the club’s academy in Guerra, Dominican Republic.Dodgers No. 2 finished the season with a 45-28 record, while Dodgers No. 1 went 47-25.
It’s been quite a season for the Dodgers in the Dominican Republic. The club completed an extensive renovation of Campo Las Palmas training academy earlier this year, and it appears to be paying dividends.
The renovation tripled the housing capacity for players and staff from the original 40-player accommodations that opened in 1987 when the Dodgers were the first organization to provide a permanent academy on the island.
The renovated complex also includes new plumbing, electrical, heating and air conditioning. In addition to refurbished dorms, the expanded weight room and the Jackie Robinson Hall, the complex features improved classrooms, dining and medical facilities. A sustainable garden producing crops for meals provided to players was also added.” This bodes well for the future.
- It will be interesting how Joc Pederson does and where he plays.
- Ryu didn’t have great control last night, but his stuff had a lot of life, including his fastball which touched 95 at times.