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:
- Verdugo CF
- Kemp LF
- Grandal C
- Bellinger 1B
- Puig RF
- Farmer 3B
- Utley 2B
- 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