Stop the Insanity!

The fact that the Dodgers are 4-9 is not what bothers me. This stuff happens in baseball, but what bothers me is how this happens to a team that won 104 games last year and finished a game short of winning the World Series.  What bothers me is that the team went 52-8 and then lost 16 in a row.  How can that happen?  Why are they sooooo good and then soooooooo bad?  That bothers me. It’s like the players all hit and pitch or none of them hit and pitch.

Is it the “all-or-nothing” approach that is at fault?  In 2017, the Houston Astros led all of MLB in team batting average. They were also first in OB%, #1 in Slugging and #1 in OPS. They were #11 in ERA and #8 in WHIP. But, here is the most telling stat of all: They had the fewest strikeouts of any MLB Team and they were second to the Yankees in home runs… hitting just 3 less. The Dodgers hit almost 40 points lower as a team, but had 300 more strikeouts. The Dodger did lead MLB is walks with almost 150 more than the Astros.

This year, it is a different scenario.  The Dodgers are near the bottom in walks and strikeouts.  They aren’t working the count and they aren’t striking out much.  They are 15th in team batting average and 24th in OB%… and, as you might expect, they are 25th in runs scored.  After a few pitching debacles they are 18th in ERA.  It’s as if a black cloud is hovering over the Dodgers and the entire team has caught a disease that is paralyzing them.

The Dodgers came to life last year when they got a fresh shot of Cody Bellinger.  Is the fact that some players just look totally lost dragging the whole team down?  I love guys like Wilmer Font who toil for years in the minors and finally make it, but that 15 minutes has ended for Wilmer.  I’m sad for you, big guy, but you have to go. Logan Forsythe will likely go to the DL today and Kike just needs to sit for about 4 or 5 games.  Kyle Farmer can handle third.  Yasmani Grandal is on fire – ride him as long as you can.  Along with Kemp, Utley, Bellinger and Farmer, he is one of the only ones hitting.

Barnes (.222), Puig (.220 but showing signs), Taylor (.214) , Seager (.214), Hernandez (.182),  Forsythe (.174) and Pederson (.160) are all killing the team.  Joc has to go to OKC even though he got a hit last night.  Mercifully, just do it!  Bring up Verdugo, who went 3-4 last night with a game tying 2-run HR in the 8th inning.  Play him in CF a few games – lets Taylor clear his head!

Call up Hudson, Liberatore, Stewart or Venditte to take Fonts place and call up Solano (.417) to take Forsythe’s place.  Doc has to send a message to these guys:  You don’t hit, you don’t play! This would be my lineup today:

  1.  Verdugo  CF
  2. Kemp  LF
  3. Grandal  C
  4. Bellinger 1B
  5. Puig  RF
  6. Farmer 3B
  7. Utley  2B
  8. Solano  SS

Shake it up!  It’s way past time! This BS has to stop. Remember, when you do what you’ve always done, you get what you’ve always got! Put some guys in there who don;t have press clippings, guys who are hungry.  Stop this sleepwalking!  They need a sense of urgency, not entitlement!

Stop the insanity!

P.S. 1:  Josh Sborz got another save last night – 1.2 innings).

P.S. 2: Justin Turner is swinging the bat (not making contact) and catching the ball in his rehab.  Sounds like May 1st is still a possibility… either in a rehab assignment or active duty.  He claims he is in the best shape of his life.

P.S. 3: If I were the Dodgers, I would consider re-working Kenta Maeda’s contract and utilizing him as the 8th inning guy in the bullpen, meaning that Walker Buehler gets the nod into the rotation. I think Buehler is ready and Maeda can be very effective in the pen.

UPDATE – MINOR LEAGUE REPORT by AlwaysCompete

Well not all is bad for the Dodgers, at least for their affiliates.  For the second consecutive day, three Dodgers MiLB teams played and all three won. Two of the wins were in walk off fashion.

OKC Dodgers – 3-2 over New Orleans Baby Cakes (Marlins)

Alec Asher started and went 3.0 innings.  He allowed 2 runs (1 unearned), on 3 hits, 0 walks and 1 K.  Not a bad start for his first in the organization, but he is obviously going to need to improve if he wants to make it back to the ML as a Dodger.  Guillermo Moscoso followed Asher and had a much better performance than his last one.  He went 4.0 shutout innings, allowing 2 hits and 2 walks while striking out 7. Adam Liberatore pitched a scoreless 8th allowing one walk, and Daniel Hudson finished the game with 2 walks and 1 K.  He also got the win.

The Dodgers came from behind to win this one in walk off fashion.  The offensive hero last night was Alex Verdugo who hit a game tying 2 run HR in the 8th.  In the 9th, Taijeron walked to lead off the inning.  Jake Peter singled to right and Taijeron went to third.  Rocky Gale squeezed Taijeron home making Hudson the winner.  Verdugo went 3-4 and is back over .300.

 

Tulsa Drillers – 5-4 over Frisco RoughRiders (Texas)

The Drillers scored 5 runs on 10 hits.  The pitching after starter Devin Smeltzer was so-so.  Smeltzer started and pitched 4.0 innings allowing 1 run on 4 hits, but 0 walks and 8 K’s.  Dylan Baker whose “stuff” always seems to be better than his results pitched 2 innings, allowing 2 runs on 3 hits, with one being a 2 run HR.  He had 0 walks and 2 K.  Michael Johnson pitched 1.1 inning giving up 1 run on 1 hit but 2 walks and 2 K’s.  Josh Sborz came in with a runner in scoring position and gave up a single to allow  an inherited runner to score.  Josh walked the next batter, but then retired the next five batters to preserve the win.

The Drillers hit three HR’s; Will Smith (1), Connor Joe (2), and Michael Ahmed (1).  Luke Raley and Will Smith each had three hits to lead the Drillers.  Angelo Mora added a double.

 

Rancho Cucamonga Quakes – 7-6 over Inland Empire 66ers (Angels).

Another game won more by the offense than with good pitching.  Imani Abdullah started his 2nd game of 2018, and did not fare much better in this one.  He went 1.1 innings allowing 3 runs on 3 hits, and 5 walks.  8 base runners in 1.1 innings will have a major impact on a pitcher’s WHIP.  Isaac Anderson actually had one of his better outings over the last two years, going 3.1 innings giving up a single run on 2 hits, 1 walk, and 5 K’s. I am happy for Isaac who has had a rough 1+ years.  Parker Curry pitched 2.1 innings also allowing 1 run on two hits and 1 walk.  He also registered 4 K’s.  Sven Schuller went to the mound to begin the 8th and blew a save opportunity by allowing a HR to tie the score at 6-6.  In the bottom of the 9th, Logan Landon led off with a double, just one of his 3 hits on the night.  Logan went to 3rd on a Cody Thomas fly out to RF.  The next batter hit a ground ball to 3B who threw the ball away, allowing Landon to score the winning run.  Schuller got the BS and the W.

Besides Landon and his 3 hits, Cristian Santana also had 3 hits including a double.  Connor Wong and Jeren Kendall each went 2-4 with Kendall hitting a double.  What I liked most about this game is that the Quakes had 4 stolen bases…Kendall had two, and one each for Landon and Wong.

 

The OKC Dodgers pulled off a squeeze to get a win, and the Quakes were running.  What is wrong with these managers?  Don’t they understand that the HR is the only way to get a win?  Yes frustration and sarcasm creeping in.

 

Starting pitchers today:

OKC Dodgers – Zach Neal

Tulsa Drillers – Yadier Alvarez

RC Quakes – Dean Kremer

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 38 Comments

  1. Totally agree where you are coming from Mark. With that said, and I know we are really sucking right now, the Nats are 7-8, 5 games out, Cubs are 7-7, 3 games out, Rockies are 8-8, so it’s not like the contenders in the National League are setting the world on fire. Plus, 5 of the D-Bags wins so far have come against a very bad Dodger team right now. Sooner or later, it will even out and it will be the D-Bags turn in the fish barrel. I don’t think they have the depth to hang for 162 games if they have any significant injuries. I think we all might have underestimated how losing Turner affected us. He was the oak in the lineup, plus we miss his leadership. Guys like that are tough to replace over 6 to 7 weeks. We just need to hang in there until he comes back and not get too buried in the standings. Too bad Toles got hurt, we could use a jolt right now. Gotta cut bait on Font. I think today’s game will go along way in roster decisions moving forward. If we stink it up again offensively, there will be changes. FAZ can only wait so long….

  2. Probably a bit extreme but some very valid points. I question the FO’s decision to give the team option for Logan, $9 million for his production is a waste. Joc is done, he belongs in Oakland, Tampa or KC somewhere he can be anonymous and get his strike back.

    Corey was handled completely wrong in ST and CT3 looks like the Mariner’s CT3. Too many called third strikes in big at-bat opportunities and what was the brain fart last night when he pulled up while stealing 2B? Hernandez had an opportunity to grab a starting position with JT down and he has fumbled away that opportunity and can we all agree the Font experiment should be over. Guy was a career minor leaguer for a reason and now we see his stuff doesn’t play at the big league level. I expect a DFA for him soon with a Brock Stewart or Venditte call up.

    I wonder if this team is suffering the effects of losing their asst. hitting coach Tim Hyer’s who is now in Boston.

  3. Kike and Forsythe have to sit. I would continue to play Taylor and Seager. There are three outfielders we could bring up, Ramos, Verdugo, and Toles. They cannot all play. I would now move Taylor to second to open up a position in the outfield. Just play Farmer at third until Turner comes back. Bring Beuhler up. I am tired of them babying him. What is he 24 years old? The pitcher that continues to scare me is Hill. This is two nights in a row that I quit watching. Font and Joc need to go. How long does this go on with Joc and Font? When have FAZ seen enough.

    1. Al,

      I think you will have to start a new account under Idaho Al and once I approve it, it should be OK going forward.

      There are 3 or 4 others who have the same issue. If you re-register with a slightly different name like Idaho Al instead of Idahoal, I think I can fix it. It’s a glitch from way back and we can’t fix it, so try it this way.

  4. It is hard to imagine that a team that won 104 games last year could be mentally weak — but I sure felt it during their August swoon last year — and I feel it now. It is like they are not “in the moment” and are forgetting that you win a game by doing many, many little things correctly. This can be fixed. This is where the manager is relevant. We’ll see what Roberts can do to get them back to fundamentals. Fun (to remain optimistic) data point: at the start of this 5-year run, the Dodgers were 13-21 on May 10th. We all remember what happened next. One game at a time fellas!!

  5. That is some strong medicine Dr. Timmons! Solano is playing well but neither he, Peter or Muncy are on the 40 man while Segedin, Valera and LoCastro are. Those are the options for 3B at the moment if Logan goes on the DL. I predict Font gets a strange injury and goes on the DL for an extended period then a minor league rehab to see if they can get him right. Or he is DFA’d and might clear at this point, or might not. Of the 40 man bullpen guys only Liberatore is pitching well enough for a call up, not sure they want to mess with Stewart and Beuhler’s stretch outs. Yimi has just pitched 1 inning, Hudson only 2 and he or Venditte require a 40 man move. Stay tuned it’s about to get interesting. Meanwhile Kershaw has to put the team on his back to avoid a sweep and falling even further behind the 1st place D-Bags.

  6. I will say this, I am surprised we haven’t seen more of Farmer, because really, Farmer and Chase, have been our best players off the bench.

    I hope Farmer takes advantage of this chance, because I think he might hit better then Forsythe, would.

    And actually Forsythe going out, might be a good thing, because when Forsythe and Kike are both in this line up together, they kill us offensively, because they are not hitting that much, at all.

    I am surprised they haven’t let go of Font already, but remember they held on to Hatcher for ever, before they got rid of him, too.

    I hope Roberts goes with his best line up, and stops giving players days off, that they don’t really need.

    Because the team already had a lot of days off in April, even before they lost that game in SF, because of the weather.

    And because of that, these players don’t need days off right now, they need continuity much more, then days off.

    1. Things just continue to snowball downhill for the Dodgers. Clayton goes today, but since the team just does not score for him it is tough to be optimistic when the Dodgers face off against Zack Godley who owned the Dodgers his first game, and comes into this game 2-0 with a .64 ERA and .64 WHIP in 14 innings. 12 K and 1 BB in those 14 innings. Against the anemic Dodgers offense, those numbers could conceivably go down.
      .
      Corey Seager is my favorite Dodger and he has no business batting in the #2 hole right now. His OBP his .268 and his OPS his .523. He has more GDP (2) than XBH (1). Couple that with a leadoff hitter who has 14K and 2BB, and is it any wonder the Dodgers do not score runs? The team leaders in walks have 5, as do the team leaders in RBI’s. The team has 3 SB led by 39 year old Chase Utley (2). Puig has the other. Puig with one CS and Taylor with 2 CS are the only runners to even attempt a SB other than Utley. In contrast, OKC has 6 SB and 0 CS, Tulsa has 6 SB and 1 CS, RC has 12 SB and 4 CS, and Great Lakes has 12 SB and 4 KC. Seven different base runners have a SB for RC while CF Brayan Morales has 7 SB for Great Lakes. Brayan Morales is quickly becoming my Cristian Santana for this year. He has a chance to be special. This team was built on power and Grandal, Taylor, and Bellinger lead the team with TWO. The team has as many below the Mendoza line (Seager, Kike’, Logan, and Joc), as hitting above .300 (Grandal, Utley, Kemp, and Bellinger). It is highly unlikely that any of the 4 will remain above .300, but it is very conceivable that 3 of the 4 could remain under the Mendoza line.
      .
      It is hard for me to believe that Corey is fully healthy. Since his apparent elbow injury last year, he had one multi hit game after 8-25, and batted .209/.277/.341/.618 from that date through the end of the season. He had 3 doubles and 3 HR’s in 101 plate appearances. He has certainly not improved on those numbers now that he is “supposedly” healthy. There is no reason to second guess any different approach to dealing with the injury, but it is time for everyone to be honest about what is going on. He has only struck out 8 times, so it is not necessarily his timing that is off. If he is hurt, take him out and get him healed. If it is only lack of ST AB’s then move him down the order and let him work himself back up. He doesn’t help an offense with a sub .200 BA and 1 XBH batting #2.
      .
      Why does Farmer only have 14 AB’s while Logan has 46 and Kike’ has 33? Even Joc has 25. Doc is just not playing the best 8. He is constantly changing the #3, #4, and #5, but not the #1 or #2. I agreed with Hawkeye…Why did Doc start an obviously weakened Alex Wood, and thus giving Maeda 2 more days of rest he did not need? Why is Font still on the 25 man? It is doubtful that he would be claimed. Why didn’t FAZ go out and get the lockdown setup rather than seeing what Koehler MIGHT do. Koehler does not have Brandon Morrow “stuff”. By the way, Morrow has appeared in 5 games for the Cubs, and has finished each of those games, with 2 saves. In 4.0 IP, he has allowed 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 BB, and 4 K. Sure seems like the Dodgers could have used him.
      .
      Breyvic Valera was recalled for Logan going on the DL.

    2. He just was recalled. So we will see what he has at the ML level. He is a high contact hitter who has more career BB than K. He can play 2nd, SS, and 3B, and has played all three OF spots. He does not have Kike’ power, but what does power do if you are not making contact? He was very highly thought of in the Cardinals organization, and they did not want to lose him.

  7. AC

    Thanks for that info about Valera, because I was wondering who Valera was, until you mentioned, he came from the Cards.

    About Corey, I can’t believe that Corey is truly healthy, either.

    And the only other explanation I can think of, if Corey is truly healthy, maybe he picked up some bad habits, when he was hitting last year, after he got hurt.

    I would move him down too, but Roberts was asked about moving Corey down in the line up yesterday, on the Dodgers pregame show, and Roberts said, he wasn’t moving Corey out of the second slot.

    1. Rudy asked about Valera, and I responded with something along the lines of…Breyvic Valera is a good contact hitter with more career walks than strikeouts. He can play 2nd, 3rd, and SS as well as all three OF positions. He was in the Cardinals organization and they did not want to give him up. He is Kike Hernandez without the power but with better bat to ball success.

          1. I fixed it. They were in “Trash” and I restored them!

            Nobody died! It’s all good.

  8. Great article about Justin Verlander and pitchers pitching deep into games:
    http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/23174792/justin-verlander-last-dying-breed-mound

    Here’s an excerpt or two:
    “Think about the most memorable pitching duels from your lifetime of watching baseball. Conjure your favorite. What was it about that game that made it so indelible?

    Chances are, that special memory did not involve a manager walking to the mound in the middle of the sixth inning and taking the ball from his starter. Or the seventh, or probably even the eighth. The ninth? Maybe. It’s the best we can hope for at this point in baseball history.

    Last season, there were just 15 pitchers to reach the 200-inning threshold that so many starters still point to as one of their primary objectives in a given season. That matched the season before for the fewest to reach that threshold in a non-strike season. In 2015, there were 28 pitchers to reach 200 innings. Ten years before that, there were 50. Thirty years before, there were 57. You can see where this is headed.”

    “During the 1920s, 1 in 10 complete games were shutouts. By the 1960s, that had risen to 1 in 4. During the current decade, nearly half — 48 percent — of all complete games have been shutouts. Early in the 2018 season, one in which the weather has Major League Baseball on a record pace for team shutouts, three of the five complete games have been one-pitcher shutouts.

    For a starter to convince his manager to finish a game, he basically can’t give up anything. And even then, chances are he won’t be allowed to finish.”

    By the way, did you know that Don Sutton has the MLB record of 20 seasons of 200+ innings?

  9. Here was my earlier post.
    .
    Things just continue to snowball downhill for the Dodgers. Clayton goes today, but since the team just does not score for him it is tough to be optimistic when the Dodgers face off against Zack Godley who owned the Dodgers his first game, and comes into this game 2-0 with a .64 ERA and .64 WHIP in 14 innings. 12 K and 1 BB in those 14 innings. Against the anemic Dodgers offense, those numbers could conceivably go down.
    .
    Corey Seager is my favorite Dodger and he has no business batting in the #2 hole right now. His OBP his .268 and his OPS his .523. He has more GDP (2) than XBH (1). Couple that with a leadoff hitter who has 14K and 2BB, and is it any wonder the Dodgers do not score runs? The team leaders in walks have 5, as do the team leaders in RBI’s. The team has 3 SB led by 39 year old Chase Utley (2). Puig has the other. Puig with one CS and Taylor with 2 CS are the only runners to even attempt a SB other than Utley. In contrast, OKC has 6 SB and 0 CS, Tulsa has 6 SB and 1 CS, RC has 12 SB and 4 CS, and Great Lakes has 12 SB and 4 KC. Seven different base runners have a SB for RC while CF Brayan Morales has 7 SB for Great Lakes. Brayan Morales is quickly becoming my Cristian Santana for this year. He has a chance to be special. This team was built on power and Grandal, Taylor, and Bellinger lead the team with TWO. The team has as many below the Mendoza line (Seager, Kike’, Logan, and Joc), as hitting above .300 (Grandal, Utley, Kemp, and Bellinger). It is highly unlikely that any of the 4 will remain above .300, but it is very conceivable that 3 of the 4 could remain under the Mendoza line.
    .
    It is hard for me to believe that Corey is fully healthy. Since his apparent elbow injury last year, he had one multi hit game after 8-25, and batted .209/.277/.341/.618 from that date through the end of the season. He had 3 doubles and 3 HR’s in 101 plate appearances. He has certainly not improved on those numbers now that he is “supposedly” healthy. There is no reason to second guess any different approach to dealing with the injury, but it is time for everyone to be honest about what is going on. He has only struck out 8 times, so it is not necessarily his timing that is off. If he is hurt, take him out and get him healed. If it is only lack of ST AB’s then move him down the order and let him work himself back up. He doesn’t help an offense with a sub .200 BA and 1 XBH batting #2.
    .
    Why does Farmer only have 14 AB’s while Logan has 46 and Kike’ has 33? Even Joc has 25. Doc is just not playing the best 8. He is constantly changing the #3, #4, and #5, but not the #1 or #2. I agreed with Hawkeye…Why did Doc start an obviously weakened Alex Wood, and thus giving Maeda 2 more days of rest he did not need? Why is Font still on the 25 man? It is doubtful that he would be claimed. Why didn’t FAZ go out and get the lockdown setup rather than seeing what Koehler MIGHT do. Koehler does not have Brandon Morrow “stuff”. By the way, Morrow has appeared in 5 games for the Cubs, and has finished each of those games, with 2 saves. In 4.0 IP, he has allowed 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 BB, and 4 K. Sure seems like the Dodgers could have used him.

  10. I am fine with Breyvic Valera instead of Solano.

    In retrospect, Forsythe should not have been re-signed. He’s just not an LA guy… kind of like Josh Reddick!

  11. The pitching right now is not giving the Dodgers that chance of winning they’re supposed to. I guess expecting shutouts in this day and age of favoring the hitters is unreasonable. I do think holding the opposition to under 4 runs is pretty reasonable. After only 13 games though you can’t make permanent judgements. Things change in baseball. Just hope the change is for the better and not worse. Go Dodgers

  12. I was looking forward to seeing Logan having a helluva year, it being his contract year.. His D up the middle was always there…
    How does one get the MT moniker “just not an L.A. guy”???
    I was a big Reddick fan and it just didn’t click for him over his 47 games… Gonna have another good year for Houston I suppose…

    1. I too liked Reddick… but he did not deliver.

      Logan has not delivered.

      It’s a bottom-line business.

      FAZ thought the depth would help and like me, thought Logan might have a career year. I was wrong and so were they if they tought that.

  13. Good news: Alex Verdugo hit a 3 run shot in the bottom of the 10th to win the game for OKC. All 7 of his rbi this year have come in clutch, late inning moments.

  14. Forsythe has been terrible. If his DL stint is prolonged perhaps someone can grab the 2B job and keep it. I like Forsythe’s demeanor, but the results have not been there and he looks like a late inning defensive player rather than an everyday player. No real pop in his bat, but the $9 million he’ll make this year should set him and his family up nicely for the future. Good gig if you can get it!

  15. One takeaway I noticed from todays game that I haven’t seen in a long time is guys grinding at bats. I know Godley couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn door today, but I saw some great at bats from Puig, Utley, Barnes, etc. Lots of 3-2 counts and guys taking. We need to get back to that, that is what made us so tough last year.

  16. Dodgers Clayton Kershaw lifetime ERA progression:
    2008 – 4.26
    2009 – 3.36
    2010 – 3.17
    2011 – 2.88
    2012 – 2.79
    2013 – 2.60
    2014 – 2.48
    2015 – 2.43
    2016 – 2.37
    2017 – 2.36
    2018 – 2.35

  17. Clayton Kershaw, after today’s game:
    “The whole don’t panic thing because its too early thing doesn’t work if you are using that in the back of your mind as an excuse. “Its early we’ll figure out doesn’t really work cause then you got to figure it out at some point.”

    “So for me, I don’t really like that saying, There’s need to be a sense of urgency every game out there””

    They count even when it’s early.

    1. Connor Wong is having a tremendous start to the season. FAZ loves the versatile catcher, and Connor is proving his high draft selection was worthy. I am glad you have MiLB TV so you can see some of these youngsters. They are fun to watch.

      1. Yeah, I love it when kids are playing while the Dodger game is on. I can throw the milb app on the laptop or ipad and catch some minor leagues.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *