“Just Win, Baby!”

I am not sure if Al Davis coined that phrase, but he  sure used it a lot!

Clayton didn’t have his best stuff last night as he struggled with his command. But, he continues to ignore my advice.  I tried to tell him. These guys are jumping on his first pitch.  All he has to do is change that up a little. Don’t make every first pitch a strike.  But, he stuck to HIS plan and managed to do something no other Dodger pitcher has ever done:  Give up 4 HR in a game!  Here’s the re-cap of how they homered:

  • Pollock homered on the first pitch.
  • Martinez homered on 1-0 count.
  • Mathis homered on the first pitch.
  • Marte had a 2-2 count when he homered.

That’s the Bad News.  The Good News is that the hitters, particularly Justin Turner, picked him up.  He did pitch 6.1 innings so the pen is not gassed.  I guess all you have to do is Win Baby!  Look at the Indians –  yesterday, their Ace got beat like a rented mule (his ERA is 20.00+) and they still won.  It’s the “W” that’s important.

Now, if they can just get to Robbie Ray tonight. He is 3-0 with a 2.27 ERA against the Dodgers this year.  They need to be patient and let him run up his pitch count.  He has struck out 61 Dodgers in  159 AB’s.  They should not just be swinging for the fences.  This is a short series, Granderson’s leash is short.  Andre Ethier will get a chance against a RHP before the series is over. Kike will play in LF tonight.  I don’t know if Rich Hill prefers Grandal over Barnes but I suspect Barnes will get the start.  Kershaw prefers Yasmani but I am not sure Rich Hill really cares.

The question is, do you leave Puig at #5 or move him to #8 against the LHP?  He has not hit them well this year… and that is being very kind! Actually, he was horrid!  Logan Forsythe is hitting .444 against Ray and Taylor is at .438.  Barnes, Bellinger, Granderson and Seager all are hitting under .170 against Ray. To me, this has the makings of a pitchers duel.  It’s for this game, that the Dodgers signed Rich Hill.  Hopefully he makes them proud! When Ray and Hill are on, they are among the best in the game.

Dodger Hitters Verses Robbie Ray

Diamondback Hitters Verses Rich Hill

Justin Turner, Corey Seager and Yasiel Puig were the story of last night’s game.  Tonight, some other players will need to step up.  We will likely see “El Gasolino.”  I believe he will be very, very good or verry, very bad.  We all know that Chase Utley has such an important role on this team.  Jerry Crasnick of ESPN, says that “the Dodgers fear disappointing Chase Utley.” That article is a very good read and reveals Utley’s value to the team.  It’s end with a Corey Seager sound bite:

“You don’t ever want to disappoint Chase. That’s a good word for it. He sees everything, even when you don’t think he’s looking.”

In memory of Tom Petty, Roy Orbison and George Harrison:

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 62 Comments

  1. Great win in game #1 and I agree with your offensive game plan tonight. Got to be patient and if it’s possible grind out some long 9-10 pitch ABs early and get Ray’s pitch count elevated. Coming back on just two days rest, although he only pitched 2 1.3 innings, Ray probably won’t pitch 100 pitches and I would like to see the Dodgers get into the D-backs BP by the 4th or 5th inning.

    Grandal and Granderson were horrible last night 0-8 with 4 Ks. Would love to see Eithier in LF against Grienke and would love to see Barnes come up big tonight. Who will be tonight’s key playmaker? I’m going with Logan Forsyth.

  2. Just win baby!!! “Dodger Killer Robbie Ray” lets end that tonight, cant think of a better time…..

  3. The Good – Turner, Seager, Puig, Morrow, Bellinger’s fielding, Dodger Stadium rocking, Don Newcombe, Vinny, Sandy.
    The Bad – Bellinger, Grandal & Granderson with bats in their hands, Seager’s throw to 1st base for no reason.
    The Ugly – 4 home runs, Granderson not being able to get Puig home from third with none out.
    All in all, a win’s a win. Time to demystify Mr. Ray.

    1. I come off of the thrill of watching my grandson score 5 goals in his soccer match, come to Starbucks to read, and then I read about The Hawk. We lose Tom Petty earlier in the week and now Hawkins, two of my very favorites.
      CK had a quality start, but just cannot get thru 7 in a playoff game. For an organization that prides itself on history, metrics, and trends, they sure do not want to believe what the numbers say about Kersh after 6 in the playoffs. Doc, you trust Baez so much, what better chance to prove it than by bringing him in the 7th to face Marte, Mathis, and PH with a 5 run lead. I know Doc did not want Lamb to come up, but he could not tie the game even with a 3 run HR. They brought 8 relievers with 2 days off in a potential 7 day span.
      Now Rich Hill gets his turn. DBacks as a team cannot hit lefties, just do not let JD beat you. Ray pitching on Wednesday should not affect him as he only three 34 pitches, probably what he would have thrown in a bullpen session anyway. He should not have a problem with 100 pitches. Godley pitched better 90 thru 100 than CK, because teams other than the Dodgers actually let their pitchers pitch 100+ during the season, while the Dodgers top limit seems to be 90. So when your pitchers struggle after 90 in October, that is what their arms and legs are used to. Pitchers who routinely pitch100+ during the season, their arms and legs have adjusted to the workload.
      Ray did not have a fluke year, so he will be tough. I still feel confident that Hill can go a quality 6, and will leave with a lead over Robbie Ray. The only two LH hitters should be Seager and Bellinger, who both hit lefties well. This game will be tough, but it is very winable.

      1. AC

        I am not only glad that your grand son made you proud today, I am glad that he made a proud grandfather, very happy!

        I agree that our starters do need to pitch further into games, during the regular season.

        And that is because there are many advantages, that can come out of our starters, pitching deeper into games, even beyond just building up there stamina, like you mentioned.

        But ironically, if any pitcher should be used to pitching further into games, it should be Kershaw, because Kershaw is the only starter, that they really allow, to pitch further into games.

        I do know that Kershaw going out on the DL certainly makes a big difference, and that comes into play.

        And I agree, Kershaw should not be allowed to pitch into the seventh inning, especially in a close game!

        And if he is allowed to go out there, you better watch him closely, and take him out, when the first batter, gets on base.

        I thought Kershaw was starting to get tired, in the fifth inning, and I thought he was lucky, to get through six innings.

        And Kershaw even admitted that he was tired, before he even went out there, in the seventh inning, after the game.

        I think all of Kershaw’s bad history in the post season, and all the pressure that comes from pitching in the post season, probably mentally drained Kershaw, and that is why he got so tired so early, in that game.

        We all know how much mental stress can drain someone, and mental stress, is even more tiring at times, then doing something physically, and combine those together, and that is very overwhelming.

        And I wouldn’t be surprised if Kershaw didn’t get much sleep the night before his start, because of all of this, so I think it is Kershaw’s mental game, that wore him out.

  4. Great win last night, the offense had them on their heels all game! Is the Snakes rotation messed up or what? Ray will be short tonight, I agree get the pitch count up and into their bullpen. Now who goes game 4? Walker again? Corbin? Godley on 3 days rest? He was over 100 pitches last night. Whoever it is matches up with Wood. I like Greinke against Darvish, Dodgers seem to hit him. That leaves tonight the MUST win game for the DBacks and Ray can be beaten. I would bat Forsythe 5th tonight and then Barnes and Kike and Puig. Someone who has struggled against Ray will break out in tonight’s game.

    Leaving Joc off the playoff roster tells me his time with the team is done. Ryu is more problematic and he may be brought back next year, assuming Darvish is not signed. The only roster surprise for me was Farmer over Joc but Hawkeye called it long ago and it speaks volumes on how the team regards Pederson.

    1. Vegas, I absolutely agree with you about how the Dodgers feel about Joc. I still believe he is young enough to be a good CF and hitter, just not with the Dodgers. They add a 35 year old OF with a bad back and a total of 58 AB’s over the last two years, and a 3rd string catcher over a healthy Joc? FAZ will not give him away, but I think he gets moved in the off-season. It will be the best for both Joc and LAD.

  5. At this early point it appears the Indians look the scrappiest of the possibles and I think that’s what it’ll boil down to…….Indians@Dodgers! My last visit to Dodger Stadium Kershaw pitched against the Indians interleague.. Indians won in 12 innings if memory serves, but that was before Clayton could legally drink any of champagne he and Dodgers celebrated with winning the division that season. I think Clayton just may take a swig this next time round as he’s legally of age to do so. This is Dodgers year!

  6. I believe Kershaw was pressing a bit last night. I believe that the homerun Pollock hit was a good pitch. Down in the zone so to me, Pollock earned it.
    I have LA in 4, but wouldn’t be surprised if this is over in 3.

  7. Gonzo, I love that kind of talk…
    What a great time to be a sport’s fan!!! My Dodgers are once again in the playoffs, with a a couple W’s in the next 3 weeks my beloved Notre Dame will have a shot at a damn good bowl game and last but not least NCAA hoops is right around the corner…
    I am legitimately concerned with Kersh and his future… A bad back is a terrible thing to try and compete with. I’m confident he can gut out the playoffs with attention by Honey and and Doc.

  8. Lots of great stuff last night. To me the best was seeing the offense back to where it was in June and July. Being selective and not chasing balls out of the zone. Building pitch counts and keeping the line moving. We must do the same with Ray. Our guys looked focused and confident. GO DODGERS!

  9. I don’t care if Kershaw has a perfect game thru 6. Do NOT let him come out in the 7th. We’ve seen enough of this for 5 years now.

    Grandal and Granderson look like garbage at bat. Barnes should be the primary catcher, and I’d rather watch Pedro Baez hit than Granderson.

    And thank god that line drive was right at Kenley’s glove!! Phew

    1. Bobby

      I agree, it is like we are giving away, three at bats, four times a game, when Granderson, Grandal, and Forsythe, is in the line up, against righties.

      And that was pathetic, that not one of these hitters, could get Puig in, with three outs, to play with!

      I like Grandal, but he tends to swing way out of the strike zone, at least twice a game, like a young player would do, when he is down, with two strikes.

      And why would any of these three players, want to be constantly down, with two strikes, it just doesn’t make any sense!

      But this is what often happens, with these three hitters, and even very good hitters, don’t wait until they are behind on the count, to swing.

      Because the first two or three pitches, are probably the best pitches, a hitter will get!

      Forsythe is hitting 190 against righties, and Granderson is hitting 175 against righties.

      And Forsythe looked shakey on defense, last night too!

  10. Connie Hawkins was a Hawkeye his freshman year and routinely outplayed Don Nelson in team scrimmages. Don Nelson left Iowa as the all-time leading scorer. Connie never got on the court for Iowa. First, because freshman weren’t allowed to play. Second, he was unfairly linked to a point shaving scandal even though he never got on the court his freshman year. Unfortunately, that was the end of Connie’s career as a Hawkeye.

  11. Mark, I tend to agree with you about how they approach Ray. Take more pitches, especially the high fastballs. The funny thing is, Jerry Hairston was saying just the opposite last night. He thinks they need to try to jump the first pitch fastballs like teams try to do to Clayton.

    As for Clayton, I do think he was overthrowing a bit. Slider wasn’t sharp. But let’s remember, once you have a big lead it is pound the zone and pitch more to contact. The HR by Pollack wasn’t a bad pitch. It was down, but in the center of the plate. Same with JD, not a bad pitch. Now the 3rd one looked like a flat slider or cutter. As for Mathis, I think it was a blind squirrel finding a nut. It’s good to see #22’s teammates pick him up for a change.

    Where to hit Puig tonight? I’m good with just about anywhere 5-8. We have good lefty hitters so if they put him 8th I’m good with it. The only thing I don’t like is when they inevitably pull the lefty, we then have Forsythe in the middle of the lineup. Puig has looked better against lefties the last month. Giving quality AB’s, I do seem to remember Puig just missing dingers foul off of Ray. One down the LF line foul and one down the RF line foul.

    Granderson’s AB’s last night were just terrible. First time, he had a runner on 2b with no outs and he didn’t get him over against a struggling pitcher. Then a runner on 3rd with no outs and doesn’t get him home. Andre is a much better hitter and I wouldn’t be shocked to see him starting against Greinke.

    1. AC

      Our hitters can’t catch up and hit, Ray’s high fastball, so if the umpire is not calling those high pitches for strikes, they just need to let those high fastballs go.

      The only player on this team, that I have seen, hit one of Ray’s high fastballs, was Kike, and he hit one of Ray’s high fastballs out, twice.

      Ray has had control problems at times, and a lot of times when he is throwing his slider into the dirt, our players have still swung at his pitches, in the dirt.

      If Ray can’t throw his slider for a strike, they need to let that pitch go, and concentrate on hitting his fastball.

      And they need to foul off any good pitch, that they can’t hit, and wait for a good pitch to hit, or take a walk.

  12. Joc is at a crossroads in his career. He’s much slower. He’s kind of doughy now. He needs to find a swing and stick with it. He’s where Puig was last year. I’m not sure if he’s done as a Dodger or not because Granderson and Ethier won’t be back and the Dodgers are trying to get under the luxury tax. i could definitely see him getting moved though. The Dodgers acquired Granderson because they didn’t trust Joc much like acquiring Reddick to replace Puig. I will say that I think Farmer wasn’t the one chosen over Joc. It was the extra relief pitcher and Ethier. The Dodgers were not going to let Barnes sit on the bench doing nothing. Farmer was going to be on the roster for this series.

  13. Granderson and Grandal both looked bad last night. Both are sitting tonight. It is so hard for me to sit and watch Forsythe take a first pitch fastball right down the middle. Many analysts say you will get one good pitch each at bat to hit. Seager will,never let that happen.

    1. Haven’t been patient but they’ve battled and spoiled pitches. That’s what the good teams do in the playoffs. It how the cardinals beat us.

  14. These announcers know nothing about the Dodgers. Put a little pressure on Puig and he’s likely to throw it in the dugout. Clearly they don’t have a clue that Puig’s cannon is accompanied by impeccable accuracy.

    Dodgers will definitely need the pen tonight. Hill has thrown 61 pitches in three innings.

  15. Back to back Granderspn and Forsythe!! What’s next republicans and democrats working together? Seriously though, this is what the team did during the streak. Somebody new came up big every game.

  16. Cory Bellinger is driving me crazy. Looks like he’s trying to kill every pitch. I know that he swings hard a lot, but recently I’m not.seeing the hitter who can also go up the middle and to left field, except for the hit he had his first time up last night.

    1. I hope he bunts down the 3rd baseline on Monday against Greinke. Those bunts tend to get him back on track

  17. This is why we got Yu. Can’t wait till Monday night! (well this and my Bears start the rookie Trubisky. I”ll have the tv and ipad both going)

  18. Logi Bear and Puiiiig? Nice. Great game. The bottom of the order showed the patience needed. Great game. Home plate ump sucked. Ump gave the Dbags a run in the 1st. Loved little BIggio tonight except if he called the first pitch by Morrow that’s why he isn’t the every day starter.

    1. Hawkeye

      I must admit when Granderson came in the game and got a hit, and Forsythe flourished, I had to start believing, that maybe the plan is working.

      Morrow threw a curve for the first pitch to Drury the last time he faced him, so who caught Morrow the last time, it had to be Grandal, so they do need to change it up.

      I was really happy for Puig, when the crowd started calling his name!

      I bet that is the first time that Puig has heard the crowd calling his name like that, since the first year, that Puig came to the team!

      And Puig came through, and got a hit, and he is hitting close to 500 in this series.

      Barnes also had a very big night too!

      I thought Roberts should have let Maeda pitch another inning, but have a short leash on Maeda.

      Did everyone see how well Maeda handled JD, in the one at bat, he faced him?

      Maeda’s stuff plays much more, when he knows he is only pitching a few innings!

      I also would have left Cingrani for later in the game, instead of Watson, because it seems like Watson let’s his first hitter, get on base.

      I think Cingrani is much more dominant then Watson is!

      And if Roberts was considering bringing Morrow in for the seventh inning, I would have let Morrow start the beginning of that inning, because Morrow has been more effective against leftie hitters.

      1. We can debate whether Kershaw should have been pulled after the 6th Game 1. I think he was left in partly because Doc knew Hill would have a short leashe and he would empty the pen.

        1. Morrow throwing 99 should have been pitch 1 and then work from there.

          Cingrani is our Loogy. Strange to see that in top of 5th for one out but he was working every out possible until he could hand it over to Kenley.

    1. Over the course of these two games, the Dodgers are 10 for 30 in AB’s w/ RISP — that is REALLY good. Not sure what standard you are holding these guys to?

  19. Now this is fun…Baseball at it’s best… Wonder how Zack G. will handle Puig’s antics/cheerleading?? Y.P. will have an audience, because a lot of us Blue fans taking the road trip to AZ.
    I hope Forsythe gets a chance to make this team in 2018… I’m a big fan…
    We got the snake pinned, now sever the head and save the rattles!!!

  20. Great series at dodger stadium! I will repeat start Barnes! He just is a much tougher out and runs the bases so well. Puig is off to a hot start and having fun. Ray is really hot saying he beat himself and the dodgers didn’t do anything lol! He did self destruct but the dodgers took advantage and didn’t bail him out. That’s where if grandal would have been in the game he would have chased but Barnes didn’t. We got ray at the right time but that’s part of the breaks you need to advance. It is also what playoff pressure is all about. I know he didn’t pitch particularly well but I love watching hill pitch as he battles and competes every pitch. Maeda looked great and Roberts used him just right. I wanted him to pitch more but he is ready now for Monday. I really believe the umpire hurt hill. The umpire has more impact in hills starts than others because of that curveball. We need to win 1 in Arizona please no game 5.

    1. Therealten,

      Ray had perfect command against us in the game before, and I knew he couldn’t do that again, because he has had issues with his control throughout in career, let alone, having very good command, like he had, in the previous game!

      Hitters just need to make Ray pitch to them, instead of going after his high fastballs, out of the strike zone, and he isn’t as tough to hit.

      But I don’t think the Dbacks win that wild card game, if Ray wasn’t brought in, when he was!

      It is a good thing that Greinke is good at blocking out stuff, because his next start, is going to be his most important start, as a Dback, especially after he didn’t pitch well, in his last big start!

      But I think we will get to him, because I think Darvish will pitch well enough, to match Greinke, and I think Darvish’s stuff, will give him that edge in the next game!

      1. Greinke will have to have pinpoint control. The first time through he will probably have people diving for that change up and he can pitch to weaknesses but I don’t think he can go 7. If the dodgers can be disciplined and patient they will get to him. Puig has so much more plate discipline than ever before. You can’t just strike him out with the slider off the plate every time as he will take some. Darvish has got to give us a chance to win. If we can stay close early we can sweep.

  21. The 6-7-8 batters did it. They were patient. This is what we did during our good winning streak this year. You never knew from one night to the next who was going to be good this game. For the next game, I would rather see Either than Granderson and Barnes than

    The Dodgers should learn the Snakes love to go after the first pitch.

    Great to be a Dodger fan.

  22. Just like for teams, the Playoffs is a new season for the players. Forsythe getting 3 hits and two off of RHP. Both of Puig’s hits off of LHP. Granderson a clutch hit. 4 stolen bases.
    Next time that pitch to Drury is called for Morrow, he better shake it off. That pitch should never be thrown for a strike. Lesson learned. Do not fix what is not broken. Keep throwing that high fastball until they prove they can hit it.
    Now go out and beat Greinke. Let’s end this at 3.

    1. I meant 2 of Puig’s 3 hits. I didn’t mean to short him one.
      I am sensing a pool party with Greinke as the host.

          1. Bobby
            I would have to add some salt, with your lime, to down my tequila!

            And I like Corona lite much better, because it isn’t so, skunky

  23. I hope Dodgers fans fill the place on Monday. I was a little suspicious of the Dbags crowd on Wed. I wondered how many free tickets they gave away to fill the place. Dodgers fans should take baseball cards with a scream for Greinke to sign them. He hasn’t had a good outing since he brush up with Neshek about the baseball cards.

  24. Well I’ve had 2 great early mornings, trying not to wake the house, whilst jumping round my lounge going berserk.
    What a rollercoaster the Post Seadon is.
    Kershaw did a good job of keeping Base Runners to a minimum, so the HRs didn’t hurt too much.
    When Goldy dispatched that ball into orbit, I feared the worst.
    To be fair to Hill, he recovered well.
    Puig & Forsythe looked good, and there must be a case for Ethier starting in LF.

    On the downside, Belinger & Seagar look like they are swinging for the fences with every AB.

    Barnes needs to start every game from now on, and to be fair to Kiki, he had a couple of decent ABs as well.

    Let’s hope Yu can do it on Monday as the extra rest will do us good.

    1. Every time I have watched bellinger and seager swing they swing for the fences. It seems the problem is they are not swinging at strikes. I have seen bellinger shorten up to make contact during the regular season but not seager. Ray just overpowered both of them maybe understandably. I hate to say it but if game 5 comes I might consider sitting seager against ray. He is pretty much an automatic strikeout. Or maybe just bat him in a different spot.

  25. I will also take a Corona with lime.

    Seager and Bellinger need to pick it up. They will. They are smart players. I hope Ethier starts in LF and Barnes as catcher on Monday.

    How about Puig’s bat flip on a single. At least he finally remembered to run. The announcers are knuckleheads like Puig. That is not fair to Puig. The announcers must of signed a minor league contract.

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