Time to Flush the Snakes!

This is what MLB Players live for.  This is where legends are made and failures are lamented.  This is why they play the game.  This, my friends, is called a Pennant Race. May the best horse win.  No Snakes allowed!  I have said for quite some time that this Dodger team is built for the Post-Season.  I might add that it is also built for a pennant race… that is with two assumptions:  #1: I assume that Kenley Jansen will be healthy (mentally and physically); and #2: I assume Chicken Strip will be dealing with Spicy Mustard.  We will see how mentally strong Kenley is, and if he recovers from the bad streak, it could make him even better.  Adversity will make you or break you!  I think Kenley will make this a stepping stone and not a stumbling block.

You may say that is “wishful thinking” and you would be correct – it is!  The Dodgers won’t be successful without Kenley! I think that is just the way it is, so that is what I am wishing for, but with Chicken Strip, Maeda, Baez, Alexander and Floro pitching out of the pen, he should not be asked to do that multi-inning thing often… if at all. Wow! Floro has been a real find for the Dodgers, hasn’t he?  In 20 IP, he has struck out 24, has a 1.74 ERA, .87 WHIP and the league is hitting .153 against him.  Erik Goeddel has also been very solid this season.  I think Julio Urias will be up soon, even though Roberts said he wants him to be able to pitch back-to-back.  I do not think he should do that.  Let him pitch when he can… don’t push it.  

I am feeling very good about the pitching right about now.  I’ll feel even better when/if Kenley is back on his game.  The Dodgers are far-and-away the best pitching team in the NL and even with their struggles offensively, they are barely behind the Cubs in runs scored… and I am going to go out on a limb:  September will be the FIRST month of this season where the Dodgers post a “Positive Clutch” stat!  Why do I say that?  WAG!

Puig Flies: According to MLB.com:  Puig went from home to third in 11.02 seconds, the second-fastest time for a Dodgers player since Statcast™ began tracking in 2015. The only faster time was Carl Crawford’s 10.72 seconds on April 27, 2015. Puig also had a sprint speed of 29.5 feet-per-second on the play.

In case you are old enough to remember:

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 101 Comments

  1. Just my opinion, but I would be shocked if the Dodgers acquire Ryan Madson. I think it was just to block him from AZ or COL

  2. I can not even begin to imagine living in an area where there would be snakes like that. It gives me the hebegeebies.

        1. Rudy

          I figured that, my brother lives in a suburb of Portland too.

          I bet you once lived in California, too.

  3. Maeda made me nervous last night. If Kenley comes in tonight with a 1-2 run lead, I’ll likely have to watch that 9th inning while on the toilet! This will NOT be easy, and the back end of the bullpen is going to need to come thru over the next 4 days for us to take 3 of 4 and take over 1st place.

    Of course, we could just outslug these guys too, and put them out of their misery. And I’d think living in Phoenix is misery. So let’s put them out of it.

    1. Bobby

      I was going to tell you not to tempt fate last night, after you mentioned the solo HRs, but I realized you are just to cool, for something like that to happen.

  4. Yes, quite old enough to remember Arizona. One of my favorite songs during my freshman college days. You are even older if you remember that Mark Lindsay was the face man for Paul Revere and the Raiders.

    1. He lived in Council Idaho (population well under 1000) even before that. Most everybody thinks The Beatles were the 1st. with long hair (how that was considered long hair????) but longer hair was a trend for a hipper-smaller scene before The Beatles. Mark Lindsay had it as part of band act as well as several others I can think of.
      .
      Who cares about that stuff when we are praying voodoo chants for a sweep off Arizona @ L.A.! Yep 2 games ahead of the snakes when the series closes. Slap it down with the back of my hand. Jansen will be just fine!

      1. in the excellent documentary that recently aired about Robert Kennedy, i was surprised at how much grief he got because of his unruly hair,. some people just don’t know what to focus on in this world . . .

    2. AC

      I was a young teen 12 or 13 years old, when that song came out, and I liked it too.

      I also do remember Paul Revere and the Raiders, because my brothers are about ten years older, then me.

      I remember that to be on one of those top hits albums, and yes, I do remember albums, too.

  5. Tonight starts the 4 game series with Arizona, and the Dodgers need to take 3 out of the 4 games but nothing less than a split. My two fears are the offense and the bullpen. It’s down to one series at a time until they win or lose the division. Let’s see what happens.

  6. Yesterday, the AZL Dodgers beat the AZL Indians 2 in a come from behind 9-8 semi-final victory. Tonight they face the AZL Cubs 1 in the winner take all championship game. Good luck to manager Mark Kertenian and the AZL Dodgers.

      1. There is some potential in the AZL, but this is rookie ball, so they are just names right now. I will publish a report on the AZL in the next couple of weeks.

    1. Really Peter? They made the trade with this in mind and he is doing what he’s paid to do. I have an issue with him not always hustling, it’s not professional. I would not throw big money at him without having this conversation. He has all the talent in the world but has a temper and gets moody. He seems to be getting in a good place right now and the timing could not be better so of course I want him to do well. I want him to hustle too!

  7. Since I post from the west coast I am often the last post before comments are closed. That happened again last night, but I had a question I want comment on so I will repost my comment.

    An observation and question. When Puig tried to steal home Bellinger was at bat. As the pitch is delivered the catcher steps forward in front of the plate and Bellinger steps back out of the box and gives him a clear path to the pitch and the tag. Could the catcher be called for interference for stepping so far forward and why wouldn’t Bellinger swing (gently) hit the catcher with his bat and get the call for interfernce.

    1. If you are going to try to steal home it seems like it would be better with a right handed batter to screen the catcher’s vision.

      1. this guy knows

        that said, it was a pretty perfect time to do it. two outs, 0-2 count, already have the lead.

  8. the pitcher stepped off the rubber so it’s a live ball situation. the batter has to get out of the way.

      1. I think it depends on the jump, and the lead, almost as much, as speed, when it comes to stealing home.

        And it is really hard to measure the speed of each runner, from third to home, for that same reason, too.

        But with all the shifting today, I would think it would be easier, to steal home.

  9. man, russell martin is batting .197 this year. i saw he was on mlbtraderumors list of 2019-2020 free agent catchers and his name caught my eye. not sure we want to add a 36 year old catcher on a one-year deal but i think we need a stop-gap option in case we don’t retain grandal. smith, ruiz, cartaya are all top shelf but they are not ready for prime time. and i’ll believe farmer as a back-up catcher when i see it.

  10. I know I have been spoiled by the Dodger teams over the past few years but I do not have a warm fuzzy feeling about Kenley, Alexander or Maeda closing out the games. I am hoping that Stripling can step into this role until Kenley gets his Mojo back. That’s if Chicken Strips Back is going to be Ok. If not, it’s going to be a long nail biting end of the year.

    1. i feel pretty confident in maeda in that role. i give him a pass on yesterday but he has to learn to challenge hitters in that situation. a walk is literally the same as a home run with a two-run lead [double play i guess but a minor consideration]. even with a prime KJ we didn’t get it done last year so i’m open to whatever works. remember the astros had a few piggy-back games where they let a guy finish off the game throwing multiple innings. not sure urias could be that guy but maybe stripling or wood could. ferguson is even in the discussion for that role. not tandem starters per se but a long man who could step in with a lead and finish the game.

  11. Also, I am a drummer in a Classic Rock Jam band and we play Kicks and Louie Louie. Love Paul Revere and the Raiders.

  12. minor league won/loss records don’t mean much but i’m starting to notice rancho cucamonga’s. tonight uceta pitches [and gonsolin for AA] and yesterday leo crawford moved to 8-0. any thoughts from the prospect mavens here about crawford? he’s mostly escaped my notice.

    1. Leo Crawford was one of the late season standout pitchers for Great lakes in their championship run 2 years ago. Last year was kind of a development year back at Great Lakes, but he was resurrected this year at RC after a slow start. I believe that DC did a nice write up on Leo a little while back. I do expect that he will be assigned to Tulsa next year as a 22 year old. Good age for a prospect at AA. He is not expected to be a top of the rotation type starter, but we will need to see what he does next year at Tulsa.

      1. Leo Crawford was signed by the Dodgers as a minor league free agent in 2014 as a 17-year-old out of Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua. He played his first year of professional baseball with the Dominican Summer League Dodgers in 2015 posting some surprising numbers. He recorded a 1.41 ERA along with a 1.03 WHIP and struck out 74 in 63.2 innings while walking only 10.
        .

        The 6’ 0”/180-pound Crawford continued to impress in 2016. He made 12 appearances -four of them starts – with the Arizona League Dodgers posting a 2.58 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP. He struck out 39 in 38.1 innings and walked but seven.
        .
        The step from the Dominican Summer League in 2015 to the Class-A Midwest League in 2016 was a giant step, but that is exactly what Crawford did when he debuted with the Loons on August 7,2016. During August and early September, he pitched 28.2 innings with the Loons posting a 2.20 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP while striking out 24 and walking seven.
        .
        As AC mentioned the now 22-year-old lefty played a significant role in the Loons 2016 championship run. He went 2-0 over two starts and 10 innings with an ERA of 1.80 and a WHIP of 0.70. He struck out 11 and walked one.

        2017 for Crawford was a down year of sorts in which he made four trips to the 7-day DL. He started the 2018 season with the Loons and again was not the dominant Leonardo Crawford as we know him in 2016.. But again, he had two trips to the DL.
        .
        On July 2nd he was promoted to the Quakes and has made 11 starts in the hitter friendly California League. His ERA is 2.77 and his WHIP is 1.14. He is far short of innings to qualify but his ERA would be second in the league if he were eligible by innings pitched. He has struck out 61 and walked 19 in 68.1 innings while allowing only three home runs. He is not unhittable but tends to be unflappable working well with men on base.
        .
        Here is the recap of his Loons appearance in the play-offs in 2016 when he was most needed.
        .
        https://www.milb.com/milb/news/crawford-spells-relief-as-loons-even-finals/c-201588138

          1. Very similar in stature and age -21 results. I think Crawford would be Rule 5 eligible after the 2019 season.

  13. If we take 3 of 4 or 4 of 4, there is no guarantee we take over 1st place. Let’s not forget the Rockies. That said, I would be satisfied with either of the above.

  14. Arizona Fall League Rosters have been reported (they are subject to change). The Dodgers will once again be a member of the Glendale Desert Dogs. They will be joined by members of the NYY, Cleveland, ChiSox, and Orioles affiliates.
    .
    Dodgers on the Roster:
    .
    Ben Holmes – AA – LHP
    Nolan Long – AA – RHP
    Andre Scrubb – AA – RHP
    Jordan Sheffield – A+ – RHP
    Keibert Ruiz – AA – C
    Errol Robinson – AA – SS
    Jared Walker – A+ – 1B/3B
    Cody Thomas – A+ – OF

    1. Frequently, at least one player breaks out in the AFL and is in the Majors the nexct season.

      Who could it be?

  15. The Dodgers did what they needed to do against San Diego and Texas plus it gave them some momentum for the AZ series. They are at home and AZ would feel victorious if they split the series. Dodgers need to win 3. Dog days of summer are about to wind down and shorter and cooler evenings are coming. Magic says this is win time.
    .
    Machado was a must have this year and he is making a difference. Did I miss something about his clubhouse antics with the Dodgers? I thought he was being cool.

  16. standings update:

    we are .5 games behind COL and 1 game behind ARI in the NL West

    and .5 games behind COL, 2 games behind MIL [1 in the loss column], and 2 games behind STL in the Wild Card

    PHI is one game behind us in the Wild Card

    ATL is 3.5 games ahead in their division [4 in the loss column] and CHI is 4.5 games up [5 in the loss column]

    CHi is currently 4 games up on ATL for best record in the NL

  17. I don’t like the lineup at all, I know it is one of Robert’s matchup/numbers specials.
    However the most important series of the year, where game 1 momentum is real, get the best hitters this month out there. Taylor and Kemp should be on the bench and Bellinger and Muncy playing. Also first base is not Hernadez’s best postion, he should be in the outfield with Bellinger. Come on Roberts put the book down and open your eyes. Barnes has to play one game this series, this one makes the most sense since the other LHP going for the Dbacks, Patrick Corbin has reverse splits.

    Madson would be decent addition, and who knows Honey could fix him, the guy has pitched well on the biggest stage, I will be disappointed if the FO does not ante up for him, the cost cannot be much more then a lottery ticket??

    Go Blue!!

  18. DODGERS REINSTATE JOSH FIELDS

    LOS ANGELES
    – The Los Angeles Dodgers today reinstated right-handed pitcher Josh Fields from the 60-day disabled list and optioned right-handed pitcher Yimi Garcia to Single-A Rancho Cucamonga.

    Fields, who missed 54 games with right shoulder inflammation, has appeared in 37 games with Los Angeles this season, going 2-2 with two saves and posting a 2.36 ERA (9 ER/34.1 IP).

    Garcia, who was reinstated from the disabled list on August 24, has made 22 relief appearances for the Dodgers this season, posting a 1-2 record and 5.57 ERA (13 ER/21.0 IP) while striking out 17 batters and walking three.

    To create room on the 40-man roster, the Dodgers designated infielder Rob Segedin for assignment.

  19. Tonight’s Lineup:

    1. Dozier 2B
    2. Turner 3B
    3. Machado SS
    4. Kemp LF
    5. Hernandez 1B
    6. Taylor CF
    7. Puig RF
    8. Barnes C

    I know what Doc is trying to do with an ALL-RH lineup and I have no problem. The other argument is that all RH hitters make it easier for a LH pitcher. Maybe or maybe not! I’m guessing that there is some rationale for the lineup…

    There’s no reason these guys can’t execute.

  20. I’m actually quite excited for tonight’s game! Big series. Pennant race. Bears preseason on ipad. Things look good!

  21. More – Dodger Hitters Verses Ray:

    Bellinger – .167
    Dozier – .400
    Kemp – .429
    Kike – .269
    Taylor – .438

  22. Maybe it works. But let’s take a look at the August offensive numbers for the starters:
    .
    Dozier – .223/.364/.433/.797
    JT – .396/.481/.703/1.184
    Machado – .265/.315/.490/.806
    Kemp – .197/.280/.273/.553
    Kike’ – .333/.400/.510/.910
    CT3 – .195/.284/.338/.622
    Puig – .271/.311/.457/.768
    Barnes – .111/.360/.167/.527
    .
    Look at two of the LHH reserves for tonight:
    .
    Cody – .368/.429/.563/.992
    Max – .273/.355/.673/1.028
    .
    By inserting two LHH who are having a much much much better August for Kemp and Taylor, you get two better bats, and you do not allow Robbie Ray to pitch to one spot against an all RHH team. He finds the spot, he does not have to move.
    .
    We will never know which lineup would be more productive, so all we can do is hope that Kemp and CT3 can produce some offense tonight.

    1. 1. Robbie Ray’s stuff is filthy;
      2. It’s all over the place; and
      3. He might be out by the 4th inning.

  23. I said it earlier and I will repeat what AC said as well, the current Taylor and Kemp should not be in this lineup, Cody and Muncy should be.

    1. Taylor and his .438 against Ray should be out?

      WOW!

      Where does he have to get to… .600?

      Then he could play?

  24. I was thinking the same as AC.

    And Muncy hits lefties more then a few players in this line up.

    And I always like to see Cody in the line up too, especially since he has been so good in August.

    Dozier has good numbers against Ray, but he hasn’t hit lefties since he has came over here, either.

  25. Here’s my point:

    There is no wrong or right answer.

    The the Dodgers beat the hell out of Ray tonight, does that mean I am right? NO!

    … and if Ray shuts them out, does that mean you are right? NO!

    There are so many variables.

    AC could be right – maybe it’s best to have a few lefties…

    I just don’t know.

    1. I agree with your point.

      But from the history it is easier to see it that way.

      But like your point, no one knows for sure.

  26. Mark that was a different Taylor then the current version who swing through straight 90mph fastballs with regularity.

    Kemp has similar numbers against Ray but has been overmatched all second half and should be playing a couple times a week, and not game 1 of this series. First at bat was an indicator of how far off he is.

      1. I predict that Puig will not be a Dodger next year.

        I also predict he will not be traded.

        You know what that means…

        1. I’ve been wrong on every prediction I’ve ever made about Puig so I give up. All I know is he will never be WS MVP 😉

  27. Dodgers 5 baserunners in 4 innings – 0 for 4 RISP.

    Hill looks good.

    Kemp should not be playing right now. In the last 30 games, he’s hitting .191 with 20 K vs. 10 H and 1 HR.

    They have to figure out some way to get Muncy’s bat in the lineup. He doesn’t have big splits LHP vs. RHP(.985 OPS vs SHP; .968 OPS vs. RHP).

  28. Welcome to playing a real team again. Real teams like this get 2 out big hits, whereas crap like SD and Tex don’t. Coming back in this one would be gigantic!

    1. Generally I would say that inter division matchups where players have a pretty good sample size to be judged by is a reasonable way of choosing the lineup.
      ~
      How many career AB’s can Bellinger really have vs Ray? If I’m Lovollo I’m thrilled to see Bellinger on the bench. Roberts lineup also leaves no real RH bats off the bench.

  29. I like Taylor, but he needs to sit. We really do not have one outfielder that is hitting right now. We need Toles and Verdugo badly. I can only hope they will be in the line up on Saturday.

  30. Another solo HR. Boy, they let Ray off the hook. He had no command early and they could have knocked him out. He got himself right and has looked tough. Bad hitting again.

    1. Terrible AB by Kemp in the 1st. Two straight walks and he flails at three straight pitches. Kike chased ball four. I don’t know what Muncy was doing after he got into a 3-1 count

    1. Bobby

      The fact the Dbacks threw a leftie at our right handers at the back of the line up, says it all!

      Because those righties have not hit lefties all year, and the Dbacks knows that!

  31. Hate to be right, but said it before the game, Robert’s cost is the game with this lineup with kemp in the 4 hole and Taylor

    1. Most of us know stacking a lineup with hitters all from the same side (unless all 8 hitters are hitting .300 against that pitcher) is stupid.

  32. Dodgers – 15ks. 0 for with RISP.

    Taylor hitting .188 before tonight with 32 k in last 88 AB – last 30 games. Add tonight’s golden sombrero and it’s 36 K in last 90 AB. He shouldn’t be playing. Neither should Kemp. his GIDP in the 8th was a killer.

    Roberts needs to run a regular lineup out there and give them a chance to get into a rhythm.

  33. I swear if CT 0 for 3 (0 for 4 tonight) is in tomorrow’s line-up I will s&i% my pants. He is unbelieveably bad right now and for the life of me I have no idea why he is even penciled into the line-up. His AB’s are painful to watch, either swinging at a pitch in the dirt for a strikeout or watching strike 3 right down the middle.

    Put his butt on the bench but it kind of shows he has very limited bat to ball skill and last year was most likely an aberration. Kemp is toast and I hope we win the next three but it looks like the five game winning streak against some bad teams was a mirage. When the Dodgers play against good pitching like the D-Backs and Cardinals the team with the horrible RISP and absurdly K rate always surfaces.

  34. Did Baez finally look himself in the mouth and see he’s better than he thought? He can probably hit near the top of the order and contribute no worse than most. He sure handles pressure better and even the clock work is par.

  35. Tomorrow’s game is huge, win and we are in postion to win 3 or at least split. Lose and we could be looking at an uphill battle.

    I think playing a few call ups over Taylor or Kemp has no downside. Both are in horrible slumps and just seem lost, how can toles or verdugo be any worse?

  36. There must be a good reason why Verdugo and Toles haven’t been added to the roster. Does anybody know what it could be? Doc can’t play guys who are not on the roster so he can’t be blamed for not playing them.
    The lineup experiment , well ok tried it, it didn’t work so please let’s not pull that one again.
    Looked to me like Rich Hill was about the only guy out there that really really wanted to get a hit. Nice job Rich, tough luck.

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