My Greatest Strength Lies Solely in my Tenacity

If you didn’t know that quote was from Louis Pasteur, you would have no difficulty in believing that Clayton Kershaw said that.  Clayton’s tenacity is his greatest strength – it also might be his greatest weakness.  I know!  I am wired the same way!  While I was never a professional athlete, my best games came when I was under the weather or sick.  I think that sometimes when healthy, I had “too much” adrenaline.  Adrenaline can be a good thing, but here’s the definition of it:

a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands, especially in conditions of stress, increasing rates of blood circulation, breathing, and carbohydrate metabolism and preparing muscles for exertion.
“performing live really gets your adrenaline going”

Increased heart rate and circulation, coupled with increased carbohydrate metabolism causes you to wear out, to get tired and even crash at about the 7th inning.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. If Clayton could somehow control how amped up he is, then maybe he could avoid that “Seventh Inning Crash.”  Until then, Doc had better get his hook out in the 6th.  Really though, this is Clayton Kershaw’s team and if he comes out strong, the team will be inspired.

Jose Quintana is going for the Cubs today and it’s almost time for Dodgers baseball! LA has unfinished business and it’s a hard to stop a tight-knit group of people who have a common goal! Last year, the Cubs were the favorites and they lived up to that billing.  This year, the shoe is on the other foot.  The Dodgers are the favorites, but they have to deliver.

There’s a good chance Corey Seager will miss game one with back tightness. That issue could cause Joc Pederson to make the roster, so that CT3 can play SS if needed.  However, I think Charlie Culberson will make the roster as a caddy for Corey. The Dodgers need Corey healthy and won’t push it… nor should they.

The roster will be out soon.  I’m interested to see what they do. Maybe they drop el Gasolino and add another position player.  Quintana can be very good at times.  He has never pitched on such a big stage in such a big game.

My guess on the lineup today:

  1. Taylor  CF
  2. Forsythe  2B
  3. Turner  3B
  4. Bellinger  1B
  5. Puig  RF
  6. Grandal  C
  7. Hernandez  LF
  8. Culberson  SS
  9. Kershaw P

Andrew Sopko pitched 3 innings and allowed 2 hits (one a HR) and walked and struck out zero to get the win yesterday.  No other Dodgers played.

UPDATE

DODGERS NLCS ROSTER

Pitchers (11): Tony Cingrani, Yu Darvish, Josh Fields, Rich Hill, Kenley Jansen, Clayton Kershaw, Kenta Maeda, Brandon Morrow, Ross Stripling, Tony Watson, Alex Wood.

Catchers (3): Austin Barnes, Kyle Farmer, Yasmani Grandal.

Infielders (5): Cody Bellinger, Charlie Culberson, Logan Forsythe, Justin Turner, Chase Utley.

Outfielders (6): Curtis Granderson, Enrique Hernandez, Andre Ethier, Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig, Chris Taylor

El Gasolino is gone.

Will Barnes or Forsythe play LF?  Get both of their bats in there.

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 60 Comments

  1. Tenacity is great, but doesn’t replace throwing 3 pitches with command in the zone. What’s with the backs. Now Seager. Good grief. Makes pitching more than ever critically important. If Seager’s back is hurt more than a game you can bet the Cubs are whooping and cheering. Seager impossible to replace no matter how much depth Dodgers have. Not the greatest news to wake up to.

  2. I do not think that I have been more optimistic about the Dodgers for some time. This is their series to take, and get back to the Fall Classic. The Dodgers do not have the same problem with LHP as they did last year, so having Quintana start is not a scary scenario. He will have to go deep as the Cubs bullpen is decimated.
    .
    If Seager is going to sit, this would be the game. With Quintana going today, and Seager a maybe, it does no good to add Joc and move Taylor to short. Joc is not going to hit Quintana whereas Culberson might. I agree that Culberson should be the one position player to be added. But if Seager has a vote, Seager will be at SS to start Game 1.
    .
    I like Avilan for Baez because of the number of quality lefty bats the Cubs have. But I have a feeling it will be Avilan for Stripling. For some reason, management has a love of Baez’s fastball, and they want to prove it.
    .
    Kershaw has to believe that he is not a one man team anymore. Someone (politely) should show Kershaw that he was the least effective pitcher in NLDS and they still swept a good DBacks team. Above all else, Kershaw is not a machine without feelings. He is human and he knows he has generally been bad after the 6th in post season games, and not all that great in most of his playoff games. He just needs to go out and pitch as long as he can and call it a day. But it is easier said than done. The best thing that can happen is for the Dodgers to jump out to a big lead, and let Kershaw coast for 6 and then bring in the bullpen.

  3. UPDATE ABOVE

    Could we see this lineup today?
    1. Taylor CF
    2. Forsythe LF
    3. Turner 3B
    4. Bellinger 1B
    5. Barnes LF
    6. Hernandez SS
    7. Grandal C
    8. Puig RF
    9. Kershaw P

    Would they dare put Logan in LF?

    1. Mark or AC might already know this, but this isn’t as bad, as it seems!

      Because Corey can be added to the roster, as soon as he is feeling better.

      And even if Corey is ok tomorrow, they can activate Corey, and put Culbertson on the DL, but the player that is put on the DL, is not eligible to play in the World Series!

      1. They can only add Seager back IF someone else gets hurt -FOR REAL! No roster manipulation will be tolerated here. So,unless there is a real injury, Seager is likely out for the Championship Series.

    1. Agreed. Seager is important for this team offensively and defensively. He is a catalyst. But a TEAM can win without one of their stars. Culberson needs to stay within himself. He is not Seager, but he is a professional ball player who can get hot. The team needs to know they can count on him as much as he can count on the team.
      .
      I certainly understand Farmer, but not Joc for Avilan, unless Avilan is just not ready. Hill definately needs to go tomorrow, with the off day on Monday, the bullpen can be emptied if he can only go 4. Darvish and Wood will need to go deeper In Games 3 and 4.

  4. Terrible news on seager. For a guy 23 he sure seems delicate. It is even worse for him because if he doesn’t practice he seems more uncomfortable than most. So much for a week off. We are not going to beat the cubs with Culberson at short so I hope they have other plans. Next man up well we can only hope. We need somebody that we are not expecting to come up big.

    1. 100% disagree. The Dodgers can win with Culberson. He is a MLB player and did not get this far without having skills/tools. He is not going to replace Seager, but the Dodgers are more than Seager and Kershaw. The post season is full of players who were not counted on and stepped up bigtime. Why not Culberson, or Forsythe, or even Joc? I am not stupid. I recognize the Dodgers are better with Seager than without. He will be missed. But I also do not say they cannot win with Culberson before the 1st pitch is thrown.

      1. Ok well maybe can they can win with Culberson but I doubt it. However that is why you play the game so you never can say never. My hope was they would put somebody other than him as a starter and maybe use him for defense. But maybe Culberson will be the guy who unexpectedly plays over his head and leads us to the World Series. Adversity can bring out the character of a championship team. At least the storyline tonight will probably be how seager is out and not so much about the cubs overcoming all their adversity.

        1. I think Culberson starts against Quintana and Lester with Taylor in CF, (Kike in LF) and Taylor moves to short against Arrietta and Hendricks with Joc in CF and Grandy in LF. They lose one pitching spot to carry 2 position players hoping to replace Seager’s offense and defense. It probably came down to Farmer or Avilan for the last spot. If someone falters early in a start Maeda could pitch multiple innings if needed.

          If the Dodgers jump on Quintana early they may go to Lackey to save the bullpen. It’s possibly their 4 and 5 against the Dodgers 1. I predict a comfortable win today for the Blue. Madden already is looking forward to the off day Monday! Lester may be a bit short and off on his command Sun like Robbie Ray was after his relief appearance. It might help to run on him and bunt into the shift and get his temper flaring up. If Hill gets off to a good start tomorrow it could be 2-0 heading to Wrigley.

  5. That is really bad news about Seager. He is the 2nd best hitter vs LHP on the team.
    Turner .380
    Seager .325
    Taylor .297
    Forsythe.290
    Kiki .270
    Barn es .257
    Grandal ‘233
    iPuig .183
    Culberson.167(1-7)
    Mark there is a slight error in your lineup but I won’t mention it.

  6. I don’t understand why they didn’t give Corey the eipdural injection, at the beginning of this week, instead of today at 1.

    1. I read he got the epidural on Tuesday. This injury doesn’t sound muscular as described by Doc and sounds more like a herniated disc. If that is indeed accurate we won’t be seeing Seager anymore this pose season. Ethier had a herniated disc and was on the DL for five months.

          1. But seriously.
            `
            An Epidural is a steroid. It’s for inflammation. Not sure how you are going to the herniated disc (do you mean a sciatic nerve problem?)
            `
            Lay off the fake news.

        1. Perhaps and I’m not trying to be an alarmist but cortisone for muscle, epidural for herniated disc. I just think this is far more serious than muscular as stated by Doc, but time will tell

          1. Nor

            No one knows for sure, but I did have a herniated disc, and not many people get those, until there late 30s

  7. Chris Taylor, CF
    Justin Turner, 3B
    Cody Bellinger, 1B
    Enrique Hernandez, LF
    Logan Forsythe, 2B
    Austin Barnes, C
    Yasiel Puig, RF
    Charlie Culberson, SS
    Clayton Kershaw, LHP

    Kike clean up, please be that next man up….

  8. Mmmm
    To be without Seagar for one game, ok.
    To beat the Cubs over 7 games without him?
    Big ask.

  9. Whoever thought Verlander was washed up needs to watch him today. He just struck out the side in the eighth and didn’t have to throw strikes to do it. He was missing the strike zone sometimes by a foot and the Yankees were still swinging. 13 strikeouts today so far. I prefer this Verlander over darvish but I wouldn’t have spent the money. Just think if we hadn’t been in the luxury tax category what faz might have done. Which ace would you rather have in this postseason Verlander, Keuchel, Lester, Severino, Hendricks, Arrieta; or your very own kershaw? Houston has 2 very hot pitchers right now. However Yankees still tied 1-1 in ninth.

  10. Astros up 2-0.

    I’ll take Kershaw, Hill, Darvish and Wood over any other playoff teams Top Four.

    I thought Verlander was washed up. He’s pitching lights out now, but FAZ did not want to give up Verdugo and/or Buehler. It’s as simple as that.

    1. I think it was his contract too, he is owed 28M in 2018 and 2019 although the 2020 option was voided and the Tigers kicked in 10M and received 3 prospects back.

  11. Dodgers hitters look like they have had 4 days off…need to get the ball in the air. Kershaw looks good, both pitchers are on their game through 3 innings.

  12. So much for jetlag. Roberts won’t have to take out kershaw in the 7th tonight. With the pitch count he will be lucky to make 6.

  13. Puig got a ball in the air…I agree with Roberts move in that situation to PH for Kershaw. Cingrani has become a quality loogie. Maeda a quality roogie? Let’s see how it works out.

  14. Was Puig pointing to the outfield before his hit? He does a bat flip on a single and now on a double. There is only one Puig and thank goodness.

  15. More so all along, MJ. I guess we should just continue to plow into catchers at every opportunity in order to shut up those who don’t understand what the new rules are for. It took awhile to get the language right and it saved players from getting hurt. That was the point, period.

  16. In 4 playoff games Puig has 6 hits and 6 RBI’s with 2 doubles, a triple and a homer.

    MJ, Darling reminds me of Joe Morgan and Tim McCarver, over analyzing every play and almost every pitch like we have never watched a baseball game before.

    I will go out on a limb and say it looks like a Dodgers-Astros World Series.

      1. Should have used the sarcasm font. Verlander was just filthy today, Dodgers are the scrappy bunch.

    1. Darling has taken McCarver’s book of cliches to another level. I think I prefer Eckersley, heaven forbid.

  17. I’d say we best walk that little feller every chance. Altuve is hitting everything in the strike zone, and with power!

  18. As an arm chair Dodger manager,I really like Dave Roberts work last night. Managing the last 12 outs was excellent. Only wish Kershaw could have picked up the win. Very happy to see Kenta’s success and contribution! Let’s do it again today. Go Dodgers!

  19. Great team victory last night. All except the LF, C, and P spots in the lineup got a hit. Although Barnes did draw two walks and played a stellar game behind the plate. If Yasmani is with the Dodgers in 2018, he will be backing up Barnes. JT may not have had the big stick in Game 1, but he was on defensively. Culberson showed what a MLB hitter can do. He may go 0-4 with 4 K’s tonight, but he is capable of having a key AB.
    .
    The bullpen was masterful. 5 pitchers, 4 IP, and 40 pitches. I would have still preferred Avilan as a 12th pitcher, but who can argue with success. One has to wonder if Kershaw is really healthy. 5 post season HR’s in 11 IP? That is not CK. Only 4 K’s in 5 IP. That’s not CK. His pitches are flattening out . Even though the one pitch that Pollock hit in the DBack series was low, it would normally have gone in the dirt if he was on. Almora killed that ball last night. Clayton is a warrior, but I do not think he is fully healthy. I look forward to his next game when he throws a no-no.
    .
    Finally, while I am not fond of the antics, I cannot deny the skill, athleticism, and found patience of Yasiel Puig. I have come around. He is fun to watch, but he is a knucklehead.

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