Rant & Rave Sunday

  • Let me remind you that the Dodgers only HAVE TO play three more games without Corey Seager.   Think about that one. See, this is a team game.  When Kershaw went down last year and again this year, they didn’t miss a beat. They are just a very talented team of Junkyard Dogs. Kershaw wasn’t himself, but he was OK.  The bullpen minus el Gasolino was outstanding! They had to get 12 outs and they did it in 12 hitters.  That’s perfect!
  • Maeda will not want to go to the bullpen next year and with the contract he signed, you can see why.  But it looks like he has found a home. Maybe the Dodgers re-work his deal over the winter.
  • Yasiel Puig is the heart and soul of this team right about now.  They are literally feeding off him… waiting to see what he might do not. Hopefully, he can keep the knuckleheadedery at bay.  I have always believed he had superstar talent. If he can build on this next year, the Dodgers may have four MVP Candidates in their lineup.
  • Hopefully Seager can go in the final round of the playoffs.
  • Lester verses Hill tonight.   I would like to see Hill Dominate!
  • There’s nothing more to say except Just Play the Game! Same lineup?

  • DJ Peters 1-4 (.125)
  • Will Smith 1-3 (.455)
  • Matt Beaty 0-4 (.231)
  • Yusniel Diaz 1-2 with 2 BB (.400)
  • Issac Anderson  1 IP, 2 H, 1 K, 0 R  (0.00 )
  • Michael Boyle 1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 K, 0 R (3.86)
  • Shea Spitzbarth  1. IO, 1 K, 0 R (0.00)


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 67 Comments

  1. Glad to see that after taking such a hardline stance against Puig earler in the season that you and AC have come around on Puig. Even moreso than that, the both of your willingness to acknowledge it shows that both of you are critical thinkers and big men who are not all-out ego-driven. I’m happy to see Puig and all of the team doing well and hope it continues to the end of the World Series.

  2. I hope he goes into the Hall of Fame as a Dodger. I always said his talent was a combination of Bo Jackson and Roberto Clemente. I have no problem with most of his on-the-field antics, like licking his bat, wagging his tongue, flipping his bat, etc. In fact, I like it!

    It’s just that most knuckleheads never stop being knuckleheads. I feel that he has turned a corner… at least I hope so. When he is focused he is unstoppable.

    1. I don’t mind it either, and kind of enjoy it – though if I was a fan of the other team I’d hate him – but my fear is it goes to his head; that he becomes a little too enamored of his own juvenile antics and loses his concentration. I think the tongue wagging bit is already getting old and overplayed.

      I think this is where Roberts has clearly made a difference and has shown why he is a superior manager than Mattingly. Mattingly hated Puig, made snide comments about him to the media, and Puig, being immature and lacking confidence and not having the support of his manager and team, completely wilted in the playoffs. I think Puig has matured, has been challenged by Roberts, but Roberts also created the atmosphere for Puig to grow and thrive because the players feel like he has their back and is on their side.

      1. Yet Mattingly is the one that allowed Puig, to do most anything he wanted to do, when Puig was helping the team, and energizing the team, when he first came up.

        Mattingly was responsible for the way Puig acted, after that first year, because he didn’t set any rules, and boundaries for Puig, from the start!

        And Mattingly only started getting frustrated with Puig, when Puig was not producing, like he once did.

    2. What!!! He may have hints of both in his talent and appearance but it absolutely ends there. Bo would break him into pieces and run circles around him and Clemente was the best all around right fielder ever.

      1. The first time I saw him, I made that connection. Bo Jackson in many ways, was like Yasiel in that he never realized his immense talent. I just feel that if you crossed Bo Jackson with Roberto Clemente you might get Yasiel Puig.

        BTW, Puig’s career OPS’s is .833 and Jackson’s Career OPS was .784 and Roberto Clemente’s was .834. Just sayin’….

        I’m not predicting it, but Puig could have a higher career OPS than Clemente. Roberto Clemente didn’t really become “Roberto Clemente” until he was 25. I have been Puig’s most vocal critic, but have never questioned his ability. Let’s hope he can.

  3. Great team win last night! Feel good story in Culberson; lightning rod that is Puig; bullpen nails to hold up Kersh; CT doing his thing; overcoming Kike at cleanup.

    2016 Jon Lester: 19-5, 2.44 ERA, 1.016 WHIP
    2017 Jon Lester: 13-9, 4.33 ERA, 1.323 WHIP
    Threw 55 pitches and almost 4 innings Wed, goes on 3 days rest.

    2016 Jake Arrietta: 18-8, 3.10 ERA, 1.084 WHIP
    2017 Jake Arrietta: 14-10, 3.53 ERA, 1.218 WHIP
    Start pushed back in favor of Hendricks for game 3, still not 100%, 4 IP, 5 walks, 90 pitches Game 4 against Nats.

    2016 Kyle Hendricks: 16-8, 2.18 ERA, .98 WHIP
    2017 Kyle Hendricks: 7-5, 3.03 ERA, 1.19 WHIP
    Command issues in Game 5 against Nats.

  4. I am watching the games on MLB.tv as received with the AtBat app here in Costa Rica. I mention that because I don’t if it is the same in all locations. It is a wonderful service except for one bush league exception. Between every half inning they show video clips of MLB highlights from over the years. They have a collection of video highlights numbering 10 or less. They played these same ones during every half inning during the series with Arizona. Going into last night, I was hoping that they at least would select a different set of video clips. No such luck–it’s the same group. If we reach the WS, I will have all the manic narrations memorized. As they would say, “Unbelievable!!!!”

  5. Dodgers put the pressure on Cubs pitching in the 5th, and it broke em. Except for the HR the Dodger pitching was outstanding. More of the same today I’m hoping.

  6. Really glad how we came back on the Cubs,by scraping and clawing, I think it was a huge confidence booster for the Dodgers, kind of chipped away some of the Cubs aura in the play-offs. I feel real confident with Hill going tonight and Darvish and Wood going in Chicago. Pitching is set up great, and if Puig keeps doing what he is doing what he is doing, that will offset Seager not being in the lineup. Just hope he doesnt become a distraction by clowning around too much and just stays within himself. A win tonight would be HUGE for us going into Chicago.

  7. A note:
    The Dodgers bullpen revolves around Cingrani, Morrow and Watson. None of whom are the huge $$ arm, that many were pining for (read that as: Greg Holland, Chapman or even retaining Blanton.)
    The Front Office may have its issues, but finding value is not really one of them

    1. I don’t think it “revolves” around them but they certainly are “involved”. To me, the bullpen revolves around Morrow and Jensen, but Cingrani, Watson, Maeda, Fields and Stripling are all in the orbit too.

      Trying to “buy” a bullpen is not the way to success. I would not have signed Jansen, but so far, that has been a stroke of genius. I was a dumbass for suggesting to let him walk. One high paid closer and the rest are Junkyard Dogs… many rescued from the pound.

  8. I said before the play off the best bull pen will win the play offs. Most starters do not go more than six innings. I agree it is Morrow and Jansen. But the others are really doing well. When Morrow and Jansen throw their curve balls they are devastating. That is what Baez needs to learn. I just believe Barnes is better at calling the pitches.

  9. Yasmani Grandal is the #1 in Catchers ERA is all of baseball. Of course, he catches the best pitching staff in baseball. Did they make him or does he make them?

    Catcher ERA

    Grandal 3.22
    Barnes – 3.74

    That’s almost a half run a game.

    Kershaw gives up 2 more runs a game when Barnes catches. Don’t get me wrong. I love Barnes, but Grandal ain’t chopped liver.

  10. I’ve heard this stock market called “the most hated bull market in history”. Sometimes it seems Grandal is the most hated good catcher in the bigs – at least by Dodgers fans. Even so, I do hope they get a really good prospect for him in a trade this off-season or spring. While it might have been mutiny on all fronts, they did wait too long on AG (as called by you early and fans wanted to lynch you for it). You were also early on calling Grnadal a good catcher and a worthwhile trade for Kemp – although it took a while for most to agree. However, it seems like with the catching youth that the Dodgers now have in place, now is the time to move-on from YG if they can make a worthwhile trade.

  11. Time for Puig to “call his shot” and put this ‘can’t hit left-handed pitching” thing to rest.

  12. There’s a guy (JT) I didn’t understand the Dodgers signing (pre-FAZ). He was terrible at NYM. He certainly has been awesome for the Dodgers. Kudos for the signing and for not trading him off somewhere else. Just like Taylor, some guys work out, some don’t.

  13. Just on the clips I’m able to see it looks like the pitching execution was exceptional and that Barnes called a very good game, no matter what he did at the plate.

  14. The Cubs fought hard but they just can’t match up with the Dodgers bullpen. They never had a lead to hand the ball to Davis and Roberts was going to get whatever he needed from Kenley tonight. I do think we see Grandal start on Tues.

  15. 4am here & im absolutely buzzing.
    What a game – emoticons up & down all the way.
    To win it with a walk off HR – amazing.

    Bobby – hope you were there!

    1. haha thanks man. No I didn’t go today. I obviously will for a game 6 and or 7, but if we take game 3, I may very well fly to Chicago Wed am for a possible clincher

  16. 6 more Dodger victories in as few games to get it done. Sweet! Is there a better word for this? Okay 2 words, Sweet Sweet!!!!!!!!

    1. Hawkeye

      Your father is right there with you, watching the Dodgers, in this post season!

      I think Barnes has better hands then Grandal, and that may be because Barnes, is a smaller guy.

      He held on to this pitch from Kenley, that a hitter fouled off, in that first game, and I don’t know how he held on, to that foul tip.

      Nomar did say that he thought Barnes was pressing for the first time, in that game last night, so you were not the only one, who thought that.

      I am not a big fan of Maddon, because I think he thinks, he is just to cool.

      He made some bad decisions last year, in that World Series.

      If it didn’t start raining last year, I don’t think the Cubs would have won that game seven.

  17. You cannot script this game better than what happened tonight. Rich Hill pitches very well with the exception of one pitch. That seems to be the Dodgers starting pitching problem (the only problem they have had this entire series). Culberson gets a clutch double and scores on a JT single on the right side. Contreras sets up outside, it just did not get outside enough, and JT let the ball come to him.
    The bullpen executes again. Brandon Morrow is just a stud. I remember getting a lot of grief when I called for him in April. I am just glad that he signed a contract forcing the Dodgers to call him up before June 1 or lose him. Fields and Watson do their part to get to Jansen. Kenley’s HBP is the first base runner of a Dodger reliever in either Game 1 or 2.
    Great patience for Puig and CT3. I am happy that Maddon felt he needed to keep Wade Davis for a save situation and let Lackey come in to back to back games for the first time in his career. Move over Dre, JT is then new Captain Clutch.
    Doc is making all the right calls, and Maddon has not yet been able to. The patience the batters are showing is remarkable. They are not afraid to take a strike, but when they decide to swing on the first pitch, it still seems to work.
    I sure hope Chase Utley gets another opportunity to make up for tonight. He did not look good.
    Overall, great win for the Blue. Now on to Chicago, and let’s see if Yu can match his last start.

    1. I’ve been a fan of Morrow’s since he was with Seattle and thought it was a good signing. That being said I didn’t expect Wade Davis 2.0.

    2. You were definitely the first to get on the Morrow bandwagon. I was slow not just because his numbers were bad at AAA, but also after his first initial call up that was good, Morrow went back down and got shelled again his first outing there. It made my very doubtful. However, when I saw Buster Posey look defeated in an AB after two pitches it spoke volumes. It didn’t matter what Morrow threw for a 3rd pitch. Buster was going to lay his helmet down and head back to the dugout. Posey is someone who has owned Chapman so it says a lot to destroy the confidence of one of the best hitters in baseball after two pitches.

  18. Morrow, Taylor, and Bellinger started at AAA this year. Cingrani, Watson and Darvish came to us in trades. In those trades we did not give up the players we wanted to keep. The front office certainly can take credit for putting this team together. The coaches have worked with Puig. Taylor and Barnes have forced Doc to play them. The bull pen is in lock down made. Everybody is just doing their job.

  19. Doubt if Dodgers will see Lackey again, well, ever. I think JT put the retirement in the works for him last night. Other than Lackey the pitching was excellent on both sides. Expecting some pitched battles in Chicago. Get it, pitched battles. Dodger pitching gonna be hard to beat. Getting a semi warm fuzzy feeling. I hope not prematurely.

  20. Last year’s NLCS lineup:
    Utley 2B
    Seager SS
    Turner 3B
    Gonzalez 1B
    Reddick RF
    Pederson CF
    Grandal C
    Toles LF
    Only ONE PLAYER is the same this year. That’s bonkers.
    Miss Toles do I.

    1. Bluto – that is amazing.

      So enjoying this moment of course, but a couples of observations,

      No more Farmer in high leverage situations. Can’t lay off the off speed stuff.

      No more Granderson hitting ahead of Ethier.

      No to the idea of Grandal ahead of Barnes. He is doing great, and one average night shouldn’t cloud the thinking.


      Doc’s in game management.

      Rich Hill (bar one pitch) – this is why FAZ signed him.

      Puig – looks unrecognisable from last season. Ward done a fantastic job.

      And above all, the main difference is going back to the patient approach with every AB, from every Batter.
      Making the pitchers throw Strikes – working the counts – forcing the starters out of the game earlier than the opponent wants – getting to the BPs sooner than desired.
      We got away from this strategy during the slump, but we are locked in again now.

      Now for Darvish to continue the good work….

      1. Rich Hill is SO MUCH FUN to watch.
        I have no problem with Grandal in front of Barnes against righties.
        And, FWIW, I think the biggest difference from last year is the pen and Darvish/Wood. The lineup, while different, isn’t exactly outperforming.

        1. Bluto

          I do think we miss Corey’s bat in this series, and that is why we are not scoring as many runs as we did, in that first series.

          But Culbertson is really doing well, considering the situation.

          Your point about Darvish and Wood, is something the Astros don’t have the luxury of having, four really good starters!

  21. Bluto

    I was responding to your staterment, that this group of players, are not exactly out performing, the other group of players!

    Because this group of players, did out perform those other group of players , in the first series this year, against the Dbacks, when Corey was in the line up!

    And right now, we are not scoring as many runs, as we did, in that last series, without Corey in the line up!

  22. Bluto

    I don’t know what your point about Toles is, but our leftfielders, are not doing that well, and that is not true about Toles!

    1. MJ, I think you are insane sometimes. Yes, the output from the lineup is higher this year, perhaps I should have been clearer there. MY POINT, however, is that I still think the greater difference is the deeper rotation.
      On Toles: My point? I don’t have a point. I just miss the guy.
      I would say that your point that Toles is doing well is true except for his injured knee.

      1. Bluto

        The feeling of insanity is mutual!

        I guess that is because we think differently, thank goodness!

        I do agree with you, in these seven game series, a deeper rotation, will make a bigger difference, like it did for the Cubs last year.

  23. Finally made it back home. Went to wedding on the East side of Indy on Saturday. The mother-son dance was introduced by a Harry Carey recording. There was a Cubs cake. It was an outdoor wedding that had an indoor rustic/bar structure for the reception. About game time, I put myself outside talking to people who I didn’t think would tell me what’s going on in the game. About 9:30 Est time, I saw someone showing someone else the score on their phone. Even though now words were spoken at that point I told my wife we had to go before someone said something. My friend on the South side of Indy had his DVR going for me and let me watch from start to finish in his garage/bar. I felt like it was a good place because he has a Cubs Suck sign permanently in his garage. Got my hung over self to my mother’s in South Bend for Sunday’s game. I thought for sure I woke her when JT went yard. I have finally arrived back in Iowa City to a bunch of moaning crybaby Cubs fans who want Puig drilled by a pitch. Wore my Dodgers gear at all of our stops from Indy to Iowa City. Heavy Cubs country the entire trip. Of course all of my friends who are Cardinals fans are suddenly Dodgers fans this week.

  24. Great dodger win!! Understatement obviously. Turner is just fun to watch definite junkyard dog, clutch, great defender, sneaky base runner, great team player. Hill is fun to watch and such a competitor. Jansen was either totally dominate unhittable duh! But the cubs were swinging at pitch after pitch over their head they were just overwhelmed. Barnes had poor plate discipline tonight for whatever reason he did not look like the same hitter. Our biggest weakness may be a right handed bat off the bench. No more farmer please! Things are certainly falling the Dodgers way so far but the cubs are very resilient and I think madden is a great manager. Not all moves are going to work but his confidence in every player makes him respected in the clubhouse and most of his decisions are right on. The cubs beat a more talented nationals team so they will not lay down. The dodgers overall pitching is so much better than last year. I have always felt are biggest problem was a third and fourth starter. Brett Anderson anyone?

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