Early in the year, Chase Utley was mired in a horrible slump and fans started calling for him to retire. Dave Roberts had faith in him and after hitting .122 in April, he bounced back by hitting .314 in May, and he has been serviceable since then. He plays great defense, is a wonderful teammate and at 39 years of age, he just looks to be over-matched at the plate right about now.
Curtis Granderson could not jump out of a boat and hit water right now. He looks pathetic at the plate. He has hit Arrietta well in the past, and that’s why he was in there last night, but that should be the last time. The fact of the matter is that since he was traded to LA, he has hit .150! That includes the playoffs where he is hitting .067! Oh Sixty-Seven!
Some of you are thinking or saying that the Dodgers 6 – 7 – 8 hitters hurt the Dodgers last night. That’s partially true, but it was really the 5, 6 and 8 spots that did them in. Andre Ethier lacks the bat speed to catch up to a good fastball (yes, I know he hit a HR and had a single the game before), but he is not close to being the player he once was. Ethier, Granderson and Utley all were totally non-productive. At least Yasmani Grandal walked 3 times. His at-bats helped drive up Arrieta’s pitch count and get him out of the game.
Arrieta had good stuff – he was just rusty from not pitching a lot in September and walked 5. His pitches had great movement last night, so it’s no shame to only score 1 run on him and then run him after 6.1 innings. The good news is that Wade Davis threw nearly 50 pitches (48 to be exact) and if used today, he should be impacted by that high pitch count.
Alex Wood is not the pitcher he was earlier in the year. He use to throw his fastball 91-96 – now it’s 88 – 91. He was sharp last night, but he used to be filthy! The hitters know he is going to pound the zone and they are waiting. The same with Kershaw. Clayton is going to have to change his pattern today or they will take him deep several times as well. Who is Alex Wood – The Pre-All-Star Game Alex Wood who touched 96 MPH and put up a 1.67 ERA or the Post-All-Star Game Alex Wood who put up a 3.89 ERA? He’s the later right about now and I suspect that he may need surgery after the season. I think he can be successful as a reliever pitching at a lower velocity, but he can’t start in my opinion.
The thing is, the Dodgers could have won with him, even if he pitched like that – they just can’t win with him and Ethier and Granderson and Utley! Dave Roberts is loyal to veteran guys who work hard and are high character people. Loyalty is good, but it is overrated. Winning is better! Going down with the ship sucks!
Last night, Austin Barnes should have been at 2B. He has hit RH pitching very, very well this year. Why carry Farmer as an Emergency Catcher if you aren’t going to use Barnes? Shoot, Logan Forsythe was hitting RH pitching better in September than Utley. I rarely second-guess but I would have put Pederson in CF last night. I know Corey Seager is a big part of the Dodgers offense, but this is the lineup that should have been out there:
- Taylor SS
- Barnes 2B
- Turner 3B
- Bellinger 1B
- Puig RF
- Grandal C
- Ethier LF
- Pederson CF
Joc Pederson looks “soft” – kind of like a Pillsbury Dough Boy Soft. I think he needs to dedicate himself to a “body makeover” this off-season that includes diet and Crossfit-Type Training. He needs to morph from the doughboy on the left to the one on the right. My wife even commented that he looked “soft” standing on 2B last night. At least he is getting on base, unlike Granderson. The Dodgers need Corey back, but it won’t be this series. He can’t come back unless there is a real injury and I mean a “bone sticking out of the skin” type injury. FAZ will not be allowed to manipulate the DL with a hangnail on Granderson’s pinky.
That said, we will likely see the same lineup we did in Game 1. Our Ace is going on normal rest and he is due for a great game. Let’s hope it happens today. The Cubs are a tough bunch and will fight – the Boys in Blue just have to be the junkyard dogs they have been all season. Really though, who expected a sweep? Even if we lose today, we have two games left at home. Clayton, just end it already. No pressure! Just do it! The outcome of today’s game is your legacy!
Next round, Granderson and Utley have to be left off the World Series Roster. Replace them with Seager and Locastro.
Dave Roberts: When you do what you have always done, you get what you have always got! Stop the insanity! It’s time to ditch Granderson and Utley. Just win today and let’s hope the Yankees and Astros go 7! Don’t go down with the ship. I’m throwing you a lifejacket. Take it!
So far… But it’s early!
- Will Smith – .444 BA/1.212 OPs
- Yusniel Diaz – .353 BA 1.006 OPS
- Matt Beaty – .190 BA/.465 OPS
- DJ Peters – .154 BA/.445 OPS
- Issac Anderson – 4 IP/0.00 ERA/1.20 WHIP
- Andrew Sopko – 3 IP/3.00 ERA/0.67 WHIP
- Shea Spitzbarth – 2.1 IP/10.12 ERA/1.88 WHIP
- Michael Boyle – 2.1 IP/3.86 ERA/0.86 WHIP