It’s All Dave Roberts Fault!

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.

 

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 43 Comments

  1. Well said.

    Who knows if we will even play the Dbacks in the postseason, they will (most likely) still have to play AND WIN a one game playoff, possibly vs Nelson.

    The hitting will come around, and also keep in the mind we have not throw Kershaw, Darvish or Wood in any of these 6 games vs the Dbacks. I think that was by design, but what do I know.

    Keep the faith, we will celebrate a 5th straight West crown soon…with bigger things in mind. Baseball is indeed a funny game.

  2. I don’t think anyone is throwing Roberts under the bus or declaring him an idiot, but there is nothing wrong with questioning some of the lineups he has brought up to home plate recently.

  3. Mark, to me there is a difference in questioning a lineup, and calling Doc a dumbass or moron. IMO, Doc Roberts is the best manager in MLB, but to continue to bat Curtis Granderson #2 with more than sufficient evidence that it isn’t working is not a Mensa move. Going into last night’s game, Grandy was 2-27 batting #2. Predictably he went 0-4. I do not question the acquisition, but just like with Chase, there is a right way to use Grandy. Batting him #2 is just not working. Stealing a line from you, even Ray Charles can see that.
    .
    The same is true with Logan Forsythe against RHP. Yes, last year he hit RHP decently…but not this year. I do not expect Doc to call me and tell me why Austin Barnes was not playing last night, but it certainly is a valid question. And I would hope (and I am sure they are) that those questions are honestly asked and answered in those coaches meetings.
    .
    I did not question the number of lineups because there were numbers to support them. It’s a different game, and numbers are dictating actions rather than throwing the same 8 out onto the field. That is why I was so adamant about not batting Puig #5 (especially against LHP). The numbers did not support it. The numbers supported Puig batting #8, which is where he was getting most of his success this year. Wouldn’t you rather have seen Puig in the #8 spot last night rather than Forsythe? That is what Doc did during the winning streak.
    .
    What good is scrutinizing the mountain of information/stats/numbers if you do not use them. The numbers were against Grandy batting #2, Forsythe going up against RHP, and Puig sitting, and yet that is what happened. Is Doc a dumbass or moron for making that lineup? NO!!! But should it blindly be accepted without question? I do not deserve or expect an explanation, so my questioning is rhetorical. But last weekend, and last night are not following the same strategy that brought them to the record they now enjoy. Losing Corey is critical, but the Dodgers did okay while losing Kersh because of depth. Admittedly there is not a good solution to fill the #2 (just like there is no good solution to replace Kersh), but you try the best work around. Even you cannot justify Grandy batting #2.
    .
    Maybe there was a good explanation for Puig not playing, and Forsythe for playing. Maybe there is a good explanation for Baez coming in the 10th. Maybe they have the luxury of their lead to try and get the confidence back for both Logan and Pedro. Kind of like Maverick in Top Gun. Keeping sending him up until he gets it. If that is what it is, okay. If the manager believes in me, then maybe I will start believing in myself again. That is a Doc move.
    But batting Grandy #2?
    .
    I do agree with you on JD Martinez. It is like deja vu all over again when I read from someone that the Dodgers could have traded for Martinez but settled for Granderson. This is Cole Hamels revisited. Could the Dodgers have acquired JD for Jacob Rhame? The Tigers were not going to deal Martinez or Wilson or Kinsler or anyone else to the Dodgers without the inclusion of Verdugo. The Tigers made that clear. Now if you believe that Verdugo for Martinez is a fair trade, then you can complain. I would not agree with it.

    1. AC

      I would think our bench coach, who was the bench coach for the Mets, before he came to the Dodgers, would know better, not to hit Granderson second, in this line up.

      And I agree that there is nothing wrong, with questioning some of these choices, because I have been a big Roberts’s supporter, since he took over the team!

      It is maddening to know that the front office uses saber metrics as a tool, and to see some of these choices, and then look at what the numbers say, and the numbers, just don’t back some of the choices Roberts has made, with these line ups.

    2. While I completely agree with Mark’s general premise; I also completely agree with AC’s specific points. And both are compatible positions. Neither one denigrates the other.

      As to Martinez, I would have traded Verdugo for him (as I am not as high on him as most – due to other issues – not talent). I did not and would not support Mark’s positon to trade Puig straight up for Martinez. If the trade is Puig for Martinez, I’m glad we still have Puig. If it was Verdugo for Martinez, I wish we had Martinez.

  4. First, Roberts needs to think about how hard Ryu pitched for six innings, and think about the two good innings that Stripling pitched, instead of worrying about Baez’s self esteem, and watching him melt down, and blow another game!

    The thing about Baez, is that this is nothing new.

    He has done this, since he was brought up to the majors, and he has been even worse, in the post season!

    And this is all about Baez’s make up, and he just doesn’t have the mentality, to pitch in high leverage situations!

    What about everyone else on the team, and what is this constant losing, doing to the other player’s confidence?

    Roberts did say after the game, that someone had a back issue, but he didn’t say anything beyond that, but he was talking about the bullpen.

    Just like Joc shouldn’t hit second, Granderson shouldn’t hit second either.

    And Roberts is doing a disservice to Granderson, and the team, by hitting Granderson second!

    We need to see what he can do, toward the back of the line up, because he can’t even pick up a walk, hitting second!

    And this team has had to carry Forsythe and his bad bat, against righties, all year!

    He doesn’t have the mentality, to play on a big market team like the Dodgers!

    And he has proved this twice, in the last three games, by hitting into a double play, and ending a promising rally.

    And a veteran player should know better, to look for a pitch, that won’t easily turn into an easy, double play ball.

    I believe that Chase never hit into one double play last year, and that wasn’t a coincidence, that was because Chase, is a very smart veteran player.

    Last night, I was more upset with Forsythe then anyone, because Forsythe has played most of the year against righties, and with the same kind of results, but because the team was doing so well, he was able to play without, getting much criticism.

    But can you imagine how Chase and even Barnes feel, while Forsythe continues to play, against righties?

    I imagine the players, also feel the same about Baez!

    The truth is Baez has not gotten any better with his confidence, in pitching in high leverage situations, after four years!

    And it took the front office a long time, before they got rid of Hatcher, but the same should be done with Baez, unless they can afford to carry a pitcher in the bullpen, to only pitch in low leverage situations, or to mop up games.

    There was good in these first two games, because our number three, and number four pitcher, in our starting rotation, pitched almost as well, as the Dbacks top two pitchers, so that made me more hopeful.

    And Stripling pitched a good two innings last night, and although Kenley was rusty, he did his job too!

    I have always liked Roberts, but I can’t exlain why he insists on hitting Granderson second, and continues to play Forsythe against righties.

    I do understand what he was trying to do with Baez, but I don’t think Baez has the mentality to pitch in high leverage situations, and I don’t know why a team would want a reliever, that can’t pitch in high leverage situations!

    And they have tried to only bring Baez in, to start an inning, or to pitch in only a clean inning, but even that, can’t be done, because bottom line, relievers are suppose to be able to pitch in high leverage situations, and Baez does not have the mind set, to pitch, in a high leverage situation.

  5. The fact that the Dodgers as a team could only eke out 1 run last night is not a good sign for the rest of the season. The pitching was good, then less than good. Even the defense broke down. This is a team that needs to do a u turn and get back on the right track, and quickly. Players need to dig deep and produce. A losing streak is not the end of the world. Letting it get into your head could be though. DR needs to rediscover the formula. That is his job. The whole organization should be thinking hard how to regain the momentum they’re losing. Actually I’m sure they’re racking their brains as I write this garbage. Good luck and Go Dodgers.

  6. ” 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.”

    What was the Tigers’ haul for JD Martinez? Per ESPN.com: “Dawel Lugo (SS/3B), 22, is hitting .282 with seven home runs and 43 RBIs at Jackson (Double-A); Sergio Alcantara (SS/2B), 21, is hitting .279 with three home runs and 28 RBIs at Visalia (high Class A); and Jose King (SS/2B), 18, is hitting .261 with no home runs and nine RBIs for the Diamondbacks’ rookie league club.”

    This was considered an underwhelming haul at the time. Here’s USA Today: “That’s the main reason the prospect return from Arizona was, in a sense, underwhelming. Lugo, a 22-year-old shortstop, is batting .282 with seven homers and a .753 OPS in his first full season at Class AA. Alcantara is a year younger and a level lower – producing a .706 OPS and 11 stolen bases in 21 attempts at high Class A Visalia (Calif.). ”

    And Martinez – what was he doing at the time? Again, per ESPN: ” Martinez, who is making $11.75 million this year and can become a free agent after the season, acknowledged he would likely be traded with the Tigers sliding from contention. The 29-year-old former All-Star is hitting .305 with 16 homers and 39 RBI, making him one of the premier right-handed bats on the market.” (He had missed the 1st 6 weeks of the season with a foot injury.) So no – it isn’t hindsight – Martinez can flat out hit and could have been had for bits and pieces – that’s what the Tigers got from the DBacks.

    What is he doing with the Snakes? Since the trade he is hitting .255/.333/.678/1.011 with 18 HR and 40 RBI in 41 games. Could the Dodgers use this kind of production out of a right handed power bat in LF? Compared to Curtis Granderson? And on the season? Martinez is hitting .284/.365/.650/1.105 with 34 HR and 79 RBI in 98 games so his recent power surge is not inconsistent with what he has done all year.

    1. No one knows how Detroit valued the players they got from the D-Bags, but they did want Verdugo from the Dodgers. Rest assured, if FAZ could have gotten Martinez for bits and pieces, they would have, unless you think they are really, really stupid!

      King is very young, so no one that I know of projects how good he will be. In rookie ball, you never know.

      Sergio Alcantra is the Tigers #26 prospect and here’s how he projects: “Alcantara will be able to defend at the Major League level. He’s a no-doubt-about-it shortstop, with the strongest arm in the system combined with good hands and above-average range, even though he doesn’t have a ton of speed. Offensively, he has a solid approach, drawing walks and not striking out very often. He is continuing to work on adding strength, and while power will never be a part of his game, he needs it so he can at least find the gaps more frequently.

      Alcantara doesn’t need to develop a ton of offense to be a big league contributor thanks to his outstanding glovework. The hope is he’ll use his strong showing in the Dominican over the winter as a springboard up the organizational ladder. How much the bat develops will determine if he can be an everyday shortstop in the future.


      You never know what a player can be looking at them in Rookie Ball. Here’s a guy who in 195 PA in 2013 in Rookie Ball hit .210 with 1 HR and 30 RBI: Would you have traded him for Martinez? That player was Cody Bellinger.

  7. In what post did anyone call Roberts an idiot. Each game can be analyzed for what it is. The funny thing is no one was in a panic, but some people are sure being an apologist for bad decisions that have taken place the last week.

    -Should Granderson bat 2nd? Hell, should he even be in the lineup?
    -Should Forstyhe swung the bat with 1st and 2nd no out in the 5th?
    -Should Ryu have swung the bat with a guy on 3rd just to squeeze one more inning out of him?
    -Should Granderson have bunted Taylor over?
    -Then there is Baez

    This is not all about Pedro Baez. All of those decisions are worth a healthy debate just like the way the Padres series was managed.

    1. Roberts has been making these decisions all year. People questioned him hitting Forsythe 5th, but they won. People questioned Utley leading off, but they won. People questioned Puig hitting 8th, but they won. When he put Bellinger at #4, people questioned it, but they won. I see little difference here, except that they are not winning. It was inevitable and it’s is inevitable that they will bounce back. It’s easy to blame the manger when it doesn’t work… no matter what he does. Roberts does some unconventional things, but it works more often than not.

      I rarely second-guess. I would not bat Granderson #2, but roberts must have his reasons. Maybe he wants to get him more AB’s so he can get untracked. I don’t know. What I do know is that nothing is working right now, but it’s what Dave Roberts has always done – unorthodox stuff. I’ll take it. I guess any decison is a bad desision if it doesn’t work.

      1. I rarely 2nd guess as well. If I were writing out the lineup card Granderson would not be batting 2nd. So like you, I assume there is a reason that we don’t know about or grasp.

      2. I am sure Doc has his reasons for batting Grandy 2nd. And I would guess they are logical. But since I do not know the reason, the question is in my head. Sometimes I wish Baseball after game pressers were more like Football. Football coaches are asked innane questions like why they had a QB take the snap from a shotgun rather than from directly behind the center. Pete Carroll is still being asked why he did not run Marshawn Lynch rather than pass at the goal line in the Super Bowl. He is also still being asked why he ran LenDale White without Reggie Bush in the backfield for the 2005 National Championship Game. Seahawks and Trojan fans will never be satisfied, but the question was made and answered. I would like some journalist to ask the question why Grandy was batting #2.
        .
        By the way, it does bother me to question Grandy and his production. There are very few finer human beings around. So this is no way meant to disparage Grandy in any way. There are never any disrespectful comments about any players on this site, which is why this site stands out over any other.

        1. I absolutely agree about Granderson as a person and I try to stop myself if I go to far. I know he’s not a problem in the locker room, but his PT time could become one.

      3. Mark

        As you know, the difference now, is that we don’t have our most consistent hitter, and arguably our best hitter, in the line up, right now.

        And because of this, the team can’t afford to carry these two players, in the line up, especially when it is very a bad match up.

        And although we don’t have anyone to replace Corey in the line up, Roberts certainly can find someone else, that is much better then Granderson, to hit in Corey’place, in the line up.

        Having Granderson hit second, isn’t helping Granderson to hit any better, instead it puts more pressure on Granderson, and the team, and the results, make this very apparent.

        And if someone saw every Dodger game this season, and didn’t look up Forsythe’s numbers, that same someone, could see that Forsythe is very challenged, most any time, he comes up, to the plate.

        That is because there are many more right handed pitchers in baseball, so most people wouldn’t even be aware, that Forsythe has these extreme splits!

        This is because Forsythe doesn’t hit, every time he faces a leftie, and no player would, but the point is, Forsythe is one of the weakest links in this line up, and he has been, most of the year, especially against righties, and the league is filled, with righties!

        And the strategy that Forsythe uses to try to draw a walk, ultimately makes him, make even more outs, and strike out way to much, because he is usually down with two strikes, before he knows it!

        And this many strikes outs, from a player, that is slugging in the 200s, and OPS is in the 600s, is unacceptable!

        And these two weak links in the lineup, are not helping the line up, and with Corey out, these two players, are dragging an already challenged line up down, that is badly missing, its top hitter!

        This guy’s average, slugging percentage, and OPS, are not good enough, to have him playing, almost everyday, especially when we have another player in this line up, not producing at all, and when the team’s best hitter, in out, because of his elbow.

      4. Here’s the deal though. It is post September 1st. For the most part, everyone has played enough now to know what they are for this season. Forsythe had an injury to come back from and at times it looked like he was getting it together, but he hasn’t. If he wants to put defense first at that position, great. I don’t have a problem with it. However, at this point in the season we know that he’s a guy who for whatever reason can’t hit righties this year. Is it the big market thing? Is he pressing? Does he just have warning track power in the NL West? I can’t say for sure, but I haven’t seen anything to tell me that he’s getting closer to solving hiss issues against righties.. At least Puig has had a few hits and hard outs off of lefties lately. I am not a guy who comes on here screaming for small ball. For the most part I despise bunting, but last night was the time to do it. We have a deep bench not just a deep bullpen and he has let Forsythe and Utley hit in situations where they had no business hitting this past week. Maybe that’s more on the bench coach. Other than guys like Ethier and Gonzalez the data is in. We know who they are this year.

        As for Granderson everyone says he’s a high .OBP guy. He really only truly been a high .OBP guy a couple of times. It just seems that way in comparison to his lowly batting average that he’s carried for years. I don’t consider a .320-.330 OBP a high .OBP. Certainly Seager missing from the two spot creates some issues, so I understand that. However, he was brought in to take up Joc’s AB’s so put him where Joc was at the bottom and take some pressure off the guy. This is ridiculous to watch.

        I agree with AC’s points except I don’t think anyone knows what Detroit asked for from the Dodgers. In fact, I don’t think the Dodgers were really in on him. Maybe they checked and the Tigers asked for Verdugo and they let it go because Joc hadn’t taken a nose dive yet. I think the Dodgers were content with what they had and then brought in a bad player after Joc had lost his confidence and was tinkering night in and night out. AC has a lot better idea of what they got out of AZ than I but from most baseball people it wasn’t much and the Dodgers could have topped it without giving up Verdugo. Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda I guess, but I was at the Dodgers-White Sox series when it happened and was a bit disappointed at the time, but Chris Taylor leading off the game with a dinger the next night made me forget about it.

  8. They have been outscored 62-26 in their last 11 games, hitting .200/.263/.317 as a team while the pitching staff posted a 5.72 ERA.

    1. Bad hitting and bad pitching the last 11 games. Maybe they are in a little slump. Do you think this is “them” for the rest of the year?

  9. While the LA Dodgers continue their march to the playoffs, there are a couple of farm teams that will start their playoff run today. In the AA playoff opener, the Tulsa Drillers take on the NW Arkansas Naturals (KC) in a Best of Five Texas League North Championship. The winner of this series takes on the winner of the Texas League South Champion for the overall Texas League Championship.
    .
    Mitchell White draws the start in Game 1, and will be opposed by KC prospect #6, 22 year old LHSP Foster Griffin. Griffin was the Royals 2014 1st round draft choice. He was 11-5 this year in AA, pitched 104.2 innings and accumulated a 3.61 ERA. Griffin allowed 11 HR, 34 BB, and 81 K. White pitched 28.0 AA innings and had a 2.57 ERA. He allowed 2 HR, 13 BB, and 31 K.
    .
    The Drillers offense will be led by Texas League Player of the Year and Batting Champion, Matt Beaty. Beaty batted .326/.378/.505/.883 during the year. He added 15 HRs during the campaign. Matt led the league in AVG/SLG/OPS, and was #4 in OBP. Yusniel Diaz will bring his .333/.390/.491/.881 slash line to the plate. Kyle Garlick and Johan Mieses will provide the power. In only 74 games, Garlick tied for 6th in HR with 17, while Mieses, added 16.
    .
    In Game 2, Scott Barlow will take the bump. Scott was 5 innings shy of being the Texas League ERA leader with a 2.10. He would also have led the league in WHIP at .90. In some order, Josh Sborz, Yadier Alvarez, and Andy Sopko will follow White and Barlow. The bullpen has been very productive with Corey Copping’s 18 saves being good for #2 in the Texas League. Brian Moran was #1 in holds.
    .
    Rancho Cucamonga also starts tonight and will face the Lancaster JetHawks (Colorado) in Lancaster in the Best 3 of 5 series for the California League South Championship. The winner of this series will face the California North champion, between the Stockton Ports (Oakland) and Modesto Nuts (Seattle). PCL All Star pitcher, Caleb Ferguson will start for the Quakes, and will be followed by Devin Smeltzer and Adam Bray in Games 2 and 3. If there is a Game 4, Dustin May will get the start. The Game 5 starter has not been named. Offensively, fellow All Stars OF DJ Peters and 1B Ibandel Isabel will be joined by 19 year old catcher Keibert Ruiz and 20 year old 3B Cristian Santana. Two OF, Quincy Latimore and first year player Zach Reks will also provide some offense.

  10. With the exception of Baez, who still reminds me of Hatchet as far as giving up big hits, don’t forget what happened in the NLCS last year. We had the Cubs by the short hairs, up 2 games to 1, playing at our place. They couldn’t get a hit so save their lives, until Zobrist got a measly bunt single, I think. One small hit, and they took off from there, got the mojo going and never looked back. I love the article about adrenaline, so true. We are one adrenaline at bat, rally, or come from behind game from getting our mojo back. Roberts has not really managed all that different when we were winning, it’s just now those same moves look like dog crap because this time they aren’t turning out. Let the D-Bags get all the attention right now, they deserve it. Like we did, they WILL cool off. I’m just so glad we are doing this now instead of late September. We have too many vets on this team to fold the tents up and go home. We WILL figure this out.

  11. It is a fan’s prerogative to question the manager – in fact, it’s one of the fun things about being a fan. We can all just say that Roberts knows more about baseball than any of us and therefore no one should ever question him but that’s not the way it works. No 2 managers do things the same way and all of them presumably know more than we do so they can’t all be right, can they?

    It’s also anti-democratic. In theory, we all vote on stuff that most know nothing about, but we’re Americans, we have a right to an opinion and to express it.

    As far as that goes – why have a blog if the response is going to be “they know more than you”? I thought that was the point of having a blog like this anyway.

    I hate the prevent defense – and I hate prevent baseball. You can call it resting your regulars, taking your foot off of the gas (Roberts’ term for it) or anything that you want. You stop trying to win, and guess what – you get what you are trying for. Winning is a habit. During the Dodgers’ run from late April to early August, the Dodgers would have figured out a way to win last night’s game. Instead, the DBacks, who have figured out, are the team that figured out how to pull last night’s game out.

    The Dodgers have fallen into bad habits from early this season and last year – poor situational hitting, poor clutch pitching, a general lack of urgency. You can call it adrenalin rush or whatever you want, but the Dodgers in July had the inevitability about them – they would grind until they won. Not any more. Can they get it back? I don’t know but they’d better do it fast.

    1. With all of the stats that now exist – there is even a term for it – sabermetrics, I’m guessing that baseball at the major league level has more science to it than ever. Far more than most of us know, understand or realize. It’s still the game it used to be, but it has evolved in how it is played. Our opinions are perfectly legit, but probably far behind the science of what goes on now.
      .
      Of course it still takes players to play the game and there is the rub of winning and losing but the science of the game that many complained about early in the season turned into a historic winning streak. Maybe they don’t make it this year, but I expect the adjustments to be made by both players and team, giving us a chance to cheer again this year. No worries, it’s not over until the fat lady sings and she is far from singing yet.

  12. The Walker Buehler ERA begins. The Dodgers selected Walker from OKC, and designated Fabio Castillo for assignment.
    .
    Joc gets another start tonight. I hope it goes well for him. Admittedly, while not a favorite, I do like the kid and hope a light goes on for him. Doc obviously has more confidence in Grandy than many of us. The more I think about it, it does seem to be the Top Gun Maverick strategy of keep putting him out there until he gets it. Grandy does own Scherzer and Arrieta, and if he can get untracked he becomes a valuable player against the Nats and Cubs.

    1. Good point about Granderson v. Scherzer and Arrieta, there could be something to that.
      .
      I remain surprised, not opposed, to Buehler being brought up even though all signs pointed to it happening as the season progressed. I didn’t think they would get that clock going and earlier it seemed like the pen and staff was plenty good with no need to do it. Hope he dominates like Bellinger and Seager have, although I expect it’s just a taste of the future for him.

      1. Actually, to me it explains his use.

        FAZ: Doc, find out if he is worth keeping.”

        Doc: OK, here we go…”

        1. You can find that out in two days? It made sense having the extra arms for the dbl header, but the bringing him in on Sunday is still baffling to me when they wound up using Avilan the next inning anyways. It wasn’t like they were out of arms.

      2. Well I rather see Joc hit then Forsythe, so I am happy about the line up tonight, even with Granderson hitting second.

        The Dbacks have always seemed to own Maeda, even in his first year, when he was pitching well.

        But knowing that, maybe this will be a typical baseball game, where the unexpected happens, and we win this game.

        Both Baez and Morrow won’t be available, because Morrow must still have a bad back.

        And it will be fun to watch Buehler pitch, and share his first game, at the major league level.

    2. AC

      The fact that Granderson has good numbers, against those two pitchers, is why I would love to see what he does, farther back in the lineup, where he will have a little less pressure.

  13. Per Howard Cole of Forbes from an article telling Dodger fans it’s OK to panic:
    “So, memo to panicking Dodgers fans: Your club is playing abominable baseball. It may be a blip on the radar or a result in a quick postseason exit. Panicking is a thoroughly normal reaction to what you are witnessing. It is perfectly acceptable to approach the ledge, as long as you don’t take the leap.
    “And memo to every holier-than-thou columnist within ear-shot: Spare me. You don’t know better than I, or any of my compatriots in pain. Just stuff it.
    “What I know is that my team has a black hole in left field and that September is not the best time to try to fill it. “What I know is that second base is a problem area too and my team is not even trying to fill that. I know that poor Pedro Baez could use a stint in the Pacific Coast League right about now, but that’s impossible because the Oklahoma City Dodgers season ended Monday.
    “I know that whatever back injury Brandon Morrow is dealing with could not possibly come at a worse time. I know that tinkering with Yu Darvish’s arm slot is a perilous activity for this time of year. I know that a shortstop with a sore elbow is a scary thing going forward
    “I know that plugging Joc Pederson back into the outfield for some games, while also looking for reps for left-hand hitting outfielders Andre Ethier, Curtis Granderson and Alex Verdugo, is worth reconsidering. I know that experimenting with Cody Bellinger in center field 138 games into the season is a desperate move.
    “So yeah, I’m panicking. And I’m no slug for doing so. I’m a guy who’s seen his team lose in consecutive Octobers and wondering what losing in September instead can possibly mean. Sounds reasonable to me.”

    1. Howard Cole is an excellent writer. No question. He is also usually wrong. His writing appeals to the people who are feeling despair and agony (most of the lemming population), even when it is not warranted. He is Fox News!

  14. We are 11.5 up vs Arizona. I feel TOTALLY confident the division is in the bag. I also feel totally confident there are a few players playing themselves off the playoff roster and that the lineups experimenting is soon coming to it’s close. This period is about Roberts KNOWING who’s capable or not in high leverage situations because he doesn’t want to 2nd guess his own damn self in anything less than the whole enchilada championship. Roberts has the luxury that no other manager has that allows him to expose whatever weaknesses he has in whichever player. The Dodgers could, but won’t, lose the next 11 games and still be in the best position to win, Before the the last week of this season all starters will be healthy, all lineups certain and the Dodgers in front. I don’t ‘think’ it’s gonna work out fine, I ‘know’ it will. Do the math.

  15. Great – game tied by opposing pitcher. The 1st time that the Dodgers have held the lead against the Snakes in 6 games and the pitcher tied it?

  16. I haven’t read through all the posts (too busy), but I am amazed at all the negative Granderson comments. The man has had a productive career, and has, to the best of my knowledge, been productive in the postseason. And someone mentioned that Geren knows him from his time with the Mets. My best guess is that Geren has some input into the daily lineups, as do other coaches as well.

    Team hasn’t been hitting as a whole, and I seriously doubt if lineups have anything to do with it.

    1. He’s had one good year in the last 5 or 6 years but yes with a few timely post season hits and some power into the short porch at Yankee stadium.

    2. Why are you amazed BDoyer? Granderson has been worse so far than that guy who came over from the A’s last year and he caused everyone to go roid rage. Being a little negative on Granderson pales in comparison to that.

  17. I wasn’t before, but now I am starting to worry about not being able to win anymore this year.

    We have already lost half of the advantage over Arizona. In ten more games they wil be in first place.

    What a mess!!!

  18. So – exactly how badly do the Dodgers have to play and how many more do they have to lose before it’s OK to be concerned? I’m just wondering – the general tenor of discussion here is that only uneducated baseball bumpkins would deign to be concerned about what they are seeing.

    They have lost 6 straight (including 3 to the Pads!), 11 of 12, and are 17 – 17 since 8/1. The only game that they have won in the last 12 saw them score only 1 run (which Kershaw made stand up).

    As Howard Cole wrote, LF (or CF) and 2B are unsettled this late in the season; the roles of almost all of the set up relievers is unsettled, and several starting pitchers are uncertain to say the least (Darvish’ new release point, Wood’s ongoing struggle with his collar bone, the inconsistency of everyone else except Kershaw.

    This is the time of year that the team should have already solidified – roles should have already been well defined and the team should be a well-oiled machine. It’s not happening.

    1. If the Dodgers had a 2 game lead when this started everyone would be much more concerned…maybe even saying they are choking. But hey, they’ve got a little room for margin of error. In spite of what your “go to” guy has to say, it’s not time to panic!
      .
      Would it be better if they could win a game once-in-awhile? It goes without saying, of course it would. How does it help to protest the sky is falling when this is the same team that has won in historic proportions this year? Maybe they suck this week, and last. They weren’t as good as they played earlier, they are not as bad as the last 2 weeks.
      .
      Save your blood pressure and give them a little more rope. It will be wonderful to see them in the World Series. And if they don’t make it, bummer. But I’m pretty sure they will have a season next year too so you can do it all over again. No worries, they will find their oil can.

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