Hang on for a Wild Ride!

A lot of things just changed over the weekend. Big Time!

  • The Dodgers are in sole possession of First Place… hopefully to never relinquish it!
  • Matt Kemp got his mojo back.
  • Kenley Jansen got his back too.
  • Kike Hernandez just rises to any occasion: HR, defense, bunt!
  • The Dodgers won 3 back-to-back-to back games by the same score, 3-2. When was the last time that happened?  Like NEVER…. but I didn’t look it up.  It just sounded good to me. 
  • Alex Verdugo showed me he can work a walk in a tight situation – He didn’t bite when they worked just outside the zone.  We know he has excellent bat-to-ball skills, so why not lead him off?  That might result in fewer solo home runs.  
  • Maybe Dodgers fans were expecting Manny Ramirez… but they got Manny Machado – a good OB% defensive shortstop who strikes out 25% of the time and has a little pop. Based upon what I have seen, I would offer him a 5 year/$80 million dollar deal.

Yadier Alvarez

From Michael J. Duarte on Twitter:

Yadier Alvarez got in an argument last night with Drillers management about his slated start on Sun. (It’s believed he did not want to pitch in a meaningless game with playoffs clinched and wanted to pitch in 1st games of playoff series with Arkansas starting on Weds).

Alvarez reportedly packed up his locker and took an UBER from Springfield, MO to Tulsa, OK. A 3-hour ride traveling over 180 miles. He’s been unreachable today (the day he was supposed to start).

The Dodgers payed Yadier Alvarez $16 million to sign.  He has made his money and is fat and sassy, to say nothing of the fact that he is not a rocket scientist.  I have always heard through several sources that Alvarez is lazy, moody and refuses to train hard or prepare.  AC nailed it, Yadier feels entitled… after all he is the “anointed one.”  He was given the big money because he is so great. He believes his press clippings, but the fact of the matter is that he averages about the same number of walks (8) as strikeouts (9) per 9 innings.  

The Dodgers could suspend him, but his salary is nothing compared to his signing bonus which he already has.  Oh, the Dodgers could seek to get some of it back if they suspended him, but right about now, they need to just clean up this mess and smooth it over.  Next, get Derek Jeter’s people on the phone and make a deal.  Stick a fork in him… he’s done as a Dodger.

FAZ tried to sign several Cubans as did Ned Colletti.  I guess Yasiel Puig was a success, but most of the others, including Olivera, Alvarez, Guerrero, Arruebarrena (the jury is out on Diaz) were colossal flops. FAZ pushed the envelope in order to get an advantage, but it certainly hasn’t worked.  Hopefully, they have learned that throwing big bucks to Cuban players is not the path to success.  That’s not to say that there won’t be others.

Injury Report

  • Julio Urias has thrown 10 and 2/3 innings and has accumulated 19 strikeouts, but something happened in his last outing and it looks like they just might shut him down for the season.  That is probably the best thing  – Don’t push it! It doesn’t sound like it’s physical… just maybe rust?
  • John Axford is off crutches,   but has not yet resumed throwing.  I doubt we see him before the 15th. 
  • Chicken Strip pitched a bullpen session yesterday and if he’s fine today, he will likely come off the DL later this week. 

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 90 Comments

  1. Can Archie Bradley pitch for the visitors the rest of the season? Great job by the starting pitching all weekend. The bats and Roberts lineups were an entirely different story.

  2. Machado – I was certainly in favor of the trade. Regardless as to how it eventually turns out, I will always agree with the trade. I expected much MUCH more from Machado, and I hope the next 25 games will deliver. But if not, it will be time to move on. 5 years $80MM looks about right. I have never believed the Dodgers were going to sign him this winter anyway; nor Harper. That is just not what FAZ does. They will be looking for complimentary pieces, not window dressing.
    .
    Urias – I did not believe he would be an effective bullpen piece in September. It was just too traumatic of an injury and resulting surgery to overcome. I only hope we see a 90% Urias next Spring. Shoulder surgeries are not the same as TJ which have become much more successful over the past 40 years. Below are a couple of articles on the chances of Urias returning to be the same pitcher as he was. The first one is very technical, and the second very subjective with not a lot of data. But neither give the reader a lot of hope that the post surgery Urias will be as good as the pre surgery Urias. Oh that Chris Sale trade would sure look good right about now. Maybe Dodgerrick can find some other studies that are easier to read.
    .
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3899910/
    .
    http://www.baseballessential.com/news/2015/12/28/what-is-the-success-rate-of-shoulder-surgery/
    .
    The loss of Urias, the apparent reluctance to use Fields (another shoulder), Venditte (AAAA), and Rosscup (AAAA) shows just how fragile the bullpen is. Does anyone believe Cingrani (shoulder) is going to come back and provide meaningful relief? John Axford? He cannot make any rehab assignments so how is he going to be ready? We know how no rehab assignments work (right Kenley?) The bullpen was a mess in July and in August and the only ML addition is Ryan Madson, and just for September. IMO that was an ostrich syndrome…hiding your head in the sand and hoping the problem just goes away. It was not realistic. Now they are going to need to make due with bubble gum, paper clips, and baling wire and hope that the bullpen stays afloat.
    .
    I am happy for Matt Kemp. He is back where he always wanted to be, and he has been a hero in back to back games after keeping the team relevant in the beginning of the season. It sure would be nice to see Machado have just one of those at bats.
    .
    Alvarez – Entitled, petulant, selfish, egocentric. Have I left anything out? Using MT symbolism, even Ray Charles could see this was coming. I had the feeling that Alvarez was not going to be the anointed one when he showed up 40-50 pounds overweight in 2017. He dominated rookie ball at 20. Okay but that is really nothing special. He has not been successful since. It is time to forget about Alvarez and move on to players who want to compete and compete with the team he is assigned. I would not send him to Miami, because he would like that. I would send him to Tampa or Seattle or Toronto.

    1. Alvarez is a young person born and raised in poverty that was handed $16,000,000. Some people are born with grit, likeability, intellignece, athleticism, etc. Some get more than one super gift. Alvarez got an arm. If that arm gets the Dodgers a good return from Miami then by all means trade him there.
      .
      I like that he wanted the ball for a big game and don’t like that he pouted when he didn’t get it. He will evolve and while he is in the Dodger organization, the organization should help him evolve. Tough love, pat on the back, whatever and whenever.
      .
      If Miami thinks they can improve their fan base by adding Cuban players and those players want to play in Miami, then let’s feed the opportunity to make a good trade.

      1. Bums, pouting is one thing. Quitting on the team and going home is another. Would you really trust him as a teammate?

        1. I never have. I have included him in just about every trade I have proposed which half the time also included Puig. I don’t know him so I try to find a way to see a positive.

    2. On Urias:

      Fangraphs has an article on the Surgery Urias had:

      https://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/pitchfx-forensics-julio-urias-and-anterior-shoulder-capsule-tears/

      The things in favor of a successful Urias comeback are three fold:
      1. His age – most of the pitchers who had it done were in their 30’s;
      2. The fact that there was no surrounding damage; and
      3. According to the doctor, “Everything went very well, and the outlook is better than expected.

      The fact that he has already touched 94-95 MPH and has no impingement is a positive sign, but I do think it best to shelve him for the year. Evidently his issues are just rust. He has not pitched enough to repeat his mechanics consistently.

      On the bullpen: If the starters are Kershaw, Buehler, Hill, Wood and Ryu, then the bullpen is as follows:

      1. Stripling – Long Man or whatever
      2. Maeda – Ditto
      3. Baez – In his last 8 outings going back to to August 13, he has not allowed a run. My fingers are crossed, but he has been outstanding all of August (2.84 ERA)
      4. Alexander – He has been very good every other month: April – 6.97 ERA/May – 1.04 ERA/June – 4.02 ERA/July – 0.73 ERA/August 5.56 ERA – So he is due to have a great September
      5. Floro – He is quietly having an outstanding year with the Dodgers – 1.59 ERA and a 0.79 WHIP
      6. Madson – He’s a wild card who is receptive to having Honey fix him.
      7. Jansen – looks to have his mojo back.

      Axford could help by the end of September, maybe Urias, but like you, I am not sure about Fields, Cingrani,Hudson, Garcia or the others. I think that should be enough.

      OH, I forgot Caleb Ferguson, so I am good with the pen…

  3. I really think Kemp’s heroics just might be the spark at points this team needed to charge. That Dodgers are likely seeing themselves as belonging in their dream vision. Baez’ seems more mentally healthy and a little confidence is what was needed to be a major fix in the BP. Hopefully he’s a spark too. These guys need to know they belong then it’ll all come together. Dodgers, remember the Alamo!!! Or just remember Game 7 2017 WS is not the real you. And the chance to right that is at your fingertips. Grasp it like Kemp did these last couple games.

  4. The dog days of summer are over and evenings are cooling and Kemp might be getting a second wind unless he has packed on weight. For some reason hitting is contagious. Machado didn’t start the fire, maybe Kemp did.
    .
    Taylor vs. Dozier at second. A toss up?

    1. If those are the only two choices, it’s an easy decision. I would take Taylor because I would not pay the contract for Dozier. Lux is probably one year away. In my world, I would pay Utley the $1MM to be Lux’s personal mentor and 2B instructor over the winter. I would also consider Kike’ for one year at 2B.

      1. And you know how this front office values War, and Taylor’s War number is still 2, even with all those strike outs.

        But we also know saber metrics don’t see strike outs like they should, because strike outs break down an offense, or any offensive rally, way to much.

      2. Watching Kike’ make those plays at second recently has been impressive. He could very well be our regular 2nd baseman next season, especially if we don’t sign Machado (Yankees will probably offer six years at 120-150M and he’ll gladly accept).
        *
        1B – Bellinger
        2B – Kike’
        SS – Seager (hopefully)
        3B – Turner

        1. I think Machado signs with the Yankees, Dodgers, or Phillies. The Yankees have a young top prospect in Andujar playing 3rd with Gregorius at SS. So while it might be his preferred destination it is not a sure thing. The Phillies could hand him the SS position. Hoping the Dodgers would get the juiced up version on Manny Ramirez wasn’t a realistic expectation. I would be happy if Machado was brought back next year. Turner, Seager, Machado, Bellinger all in a row is very appealing to me. I don’t see any reason to bring back Dozier. Dozier’s lack of consistent production plus Taylor, Kike, and Lux would make me say no thanks.
          ~
          I like the thought of Verdugo or Muncy hitting leadoff

          1. Hawkeye

            I have liked what I have seen, when Muncy is in the lead off position, too.

            I think he also gets better pitches to hit, in the lead off position, and I think our offense meshed better, when he lead off, too.

  5. Keep in mind, we lose today and Colorado/Arizona win, we are out of first and tied for second with Arizona, Milwaukee and St Louis still hold the Wild Cards, this is not the time to let the foot off the gas petal

    1. Truth

      I agree, we have to continue to play with this same intensity, till the end.

      And actually, we have the best schedule to either win the West, or the Wild Card, because we still have that series in St. Louis, against the Cards.

      And the winner of the West, plays the Wild Card winner.

      And that is looking like the Cards right now, and you know how our series have gone in the past, against the Cards, so we still have a long way to go!

      And those last two series against the Dbacks and the Giants won’t be easy, either.

      This team has tended to play up to their competition this year, so I hope we don’t have any let down against the Mets in this series, or the Padres, when we play them again.

      1. The team with the best record plays the wild card winner regardless of division. Right now that would the cubs with us playing at atlanta in the other nlds.

        1. Exactly. As of now, Cubs get the Wild Card winner and we get Atl. I wouldn’t mind that scenario.

          My question is, if Milwaukee the wild card winner finishes with a better record than LA, and the Mil beats the Cubs in the NLDS while LA beats Atl in the NLDS, would LA, by virtue of being a division winner, still have home field over the wild card team who had a better record than LA? I’d think LA gets home field, but I’m guessing.

          1. Thanks you two, for correcting me!

            But I don’t think the Wild Card winner, ever has the home field advantage.

            Hopefully the Cards won’t be a Wild Card, but it is close right now.

            Because I think other than the Cubs, the Cards have the best rotation.

        2. And while a flawed process, my research indicates the world series home field advantage goes to the “pennant winner with the best [sic] record” suggesting a wild card could hold home field.

          1. Curly

            That does sound true now that I think about that.

            How many times has two wild cards made it in the same season to the World Series?

  6. Yeah, I’d throw money at the International Market as often as I could.

    I realize the new CBA limits the Dodgers’ ability to spend money in Cuba and maximize their revenue advantage, but they can still outspend 80% of the other teams in scouting.

    Remember it’s the Int’l money that help facilitate the Machado trade.

    Throwing good money after bad is usually not a wise practice, in this case it is IMO.

  7. 5/80 for Machado? Comedy. Let’s also offer Kersh 5/60, Harper 6/90, and Dozer 2/10 while we’re at it. Let’s pretend we’re back in 1996 all over again.

    1. It’s going to be interesting what happens over the off-season in regards to free agency. I think more and more teams are figuring out that giving long-term contracts to aging players is more often than not, not a good thing.

      JD Martinez, who has arguably been the best hitter in baseball the past two year received a 5-year/$110 million dollar deal with the following caveats: The last two years are $4 million a year less and he can opt out after the 2nd, 3rd and 4th years.

      Brian Dozier is a real hard-nosed ball player, but he will be 32 next year and has a career .247 BA – Kike Hernandez is only 8 points lower and 5 years younger. I would not even offer Dozier a contract… as much as I like him. Kike is still growing and developing as a player and Gavin Lux is getting close.

      Some thought Martinez would get a $200 million deal. Some said Harper would get $400 million, Manny $300 million. We shall see, but I do not believe that most players over 30 will get big deals. My point is: I would not sign Machado or Harper for a crazy deal. It has proven, over-and-over to be a bad decision.

      The best deals are home-grown.

      1. I don’t think anyone is going to get anywhere close to $400 million. FAZ has put them into the position to sign a top free-agent entering his prime.

    2. I don’t think Mark believed that Machdo would sign for 5 years at $80MM. I think it is his way of saying no thank you. At least it is to me.

  8. Yadier Alvarez is pitching right now for Tulsa, following a great 6ip of shutout ball by Mitchell White.

    Let’s see if these announcers discuss what happened yesterday.

    1. I didn’t hear anything, but he got three outs.

      Evidently, he returned and while he did not start, he played.

      1. The announcers didn’t address it, but then again these are the other team’s announcers who are talking, so may be they don’t know/don’t care.

  9. I agree Bobby, Machado may be worth only 5/80 but Boras will laugh at 5/180. Dodgers are likely out, I feel we should make a run at Harper. Likely will be out bid on him by someone.

    Any chance we make a play for DJ Lamathieu, maybe like 4/60 or 5/70. I feel he would be a great fit here at 2nd?

    Any word on Buehler? Fo him to complain seems concerning, landing foot injuries are problematic.

  10. I’ll preface this with I happen to like Machado…
    MT says ‘little pop’ and I smile…
    Coming to the Blue he avg’d 35/92… Not too shabby for a middle infielder… Ray Charles knows that!!!
    I hope he’s here, but we’ll see!!! M.T. still pining on Yas
    I don’t think Seager returns to SS nor do I think it would be prudent and as someone said, having Manny , Seager, Turner and the Kid in a middle of a lineup = Sweet…

    1. Of Manny’s 171 career HR’s , 99 have came in Camden Yards. He does not have more than 8 at any other park. His OB% away from Camden Yards is .317. That is a little troubling to me.

      Like AC, I liked the trade and I would like to keep him, but not at a crazy high cost.

      The only way Yasmani is with the Dodgers next year is if he takes the Q.O.

      1. Agree about grandal. We have prospects close enough to make a multi-year deal unlikely. Let him test the market. As for machado, someone once said in order to give a monster deal you have to consider position, health, and character. Position might be the stumbling block with Seager in the org.

        1. Also, I would bet on harper having a huge 2019. Watch bats right now and he is among the few who gets bonds-era one good pitch to hit per at-bat.

  11. Josh Sborz just induced a fly ball for a third out with the bases loaded and the OKC Dodgers up 4-1. He replaced Zach Neal. That is what I call a true “save”.

    Catcher Hunter Feduccia of the Loons just picked a runner off first base with the bases loaded and two out. No score in the bottom of the seventh.

    1. It will be tempting to go to a minor league playoff game if we qualify. Have to think our depth will play a role in September with call-ups. Verdugo already helped us win a game.

    2. I have often thought saves should be based upon a point system. If you did not put the tying or winning run on base, then it should be like this:

      Facing the tying run: 1 Point
      Facing the winning run : 2 points

      If you blow a save or lose the game, points are subtracted.

      1. Totally agree. I can’t see how it is a save if a pitcher goes into the ninth inning with a two run lead and none out. The game is not in danger unless he puts it in danger. A one run lead is somewhat different in that a solo home run to tie it is forever a possibility so with a one run lead there is always a danger.
        .
        Zach McAllister also got the third out when Julio Urias loaded the bases with two outs. Stranding inherited runners is an important relief statistic. In my opinion, Julio doesn’t look ready at this point for a pressure situation in MLB. Next year looks more promising and I am not sure we will ever see him as dominant as he had been. I truly hope he proves me wrong.

  12. Great read indeed.
    .
    I must admit I am one of those old guys who loved the game as it “used to be”. The human aspect- spirit, determination, awareness, etc. – is all important to me as you can’t measure it and it is what wins games when analytics are used equally on both sides. That is why I gravitate to minor league ball where the game is still a game and the youngsters are not nearly as much placed into slots because of numbers on paper. They are allowed to play, especially at the lower levels.

  13. Mark and I have had an ongoing discussion regarding the prospective success of the current LAD bullpen. We already know that Urias will not be in the mix. Many of us thought that would be the case, but others believed he was going to come back and be effective and that was a reason the Dodgers did not need to get an elite reliever. Sure, starting pitchers like Stripling, Maeda, Ferguson, and Wood can join the bullpen, but they are starting pitchers. They are not used to getting up multiple times in a game or going in back to back games. Only once has Ferguson come in in back to back games, and in that game, he gave up a 3 run HR against the Giants. I will say again that there are very very few more supportive fans of Caleb Ferguson than me. But he is less than 1 year removed from A Ball and putting him in late inning high leverage situations is not his strong suit right now. It may be next year, but in a pennant crunch, that is not who I would look to.
    .
    When was the last time Stripling was productive and effective in a high leverage relief situation? In his 11 games in relief in 2018, only two games were in a hold situation. Last year, Stripling had 4 holds, 5 losses, 3 wins, 2 saves, and 3 blown saves. Strip has become an excellent starting pitcher and his stuff can probably transfer to relief, but do you really want trust Strip in multiple high leverage situations in the final 3 weeks (not two months).
    .
    Maeda is good in perhaps multiple inning situations, but high leverage late inning? Back to back days? He has relieved 5 games this year, and in only one has he had as few as 2 days’ rest. In the 5 relief appearances, his average days rest is between 3 and 4 days. Jansen has gone back to back to back. That is what is needed, not starting pitchers who can provide multiple innings relief, but not successive days.
    .
    Let’s take a look at 4 late inning high leverage relievers who were traded at the deadline: Jeurys Familia, Keona Kela, Brad Brach, and Ryan Pressly.
    .
    Jeurys Familia – 19 games (21 IP) since the trade to Oakland. 6 back to back days, 4 with 1 day rest, and 0 days with more than 3 days’ rest. In those 19 games, 15 have been scoreless, and in 2 of those games, 5 of the 7 runs were scored. 1 HR, 7 walks, and 28 K’s. 4 holds, 0 blown saves, 4 wins, 1 loss. Remember he once had a 53 game consecutive save streak.
    .
    Keona Kela – 15 games, 14.1 IP after trade to Pittsburgh. 13 games were scoreless, 1 with 1 run, and 1 with 4 runs (09/01). That one game shot Kela’s ERA up. In the 15 games, he has 4 holds 0 blown saves, 2 HR, 5 BB, and 22K’s. He was in 4 back to back games (including the one he gave up 4 runs), 6 with 1 day, 3 with 2 days, 1 with 3 and 1 with 4 (just after acquisition). In August, he appeared in 14 games and had a 0.63 ERA.
    .
    Brad Brach – 16 games since trade to Atlanta with a 0.63 ERA. After sitting out 5 days before his 1st appearance, he spent the next 15 games never going over 2 days rest; 3 back to back, 5 with 1 day rest, and 7 with 2 days rest. 13 games he held the opponent scoreless. He has allowed 0 HRs, 7 walks, and 14 K’s. Since the trade, 7 holds, 1 blown loss, 1 win, and 1 loss.
    .
    Ryan Pressly – 15 games, 14.1 IP, 1.23 ERA since trade to Houston. 6 holds and 1 blown save. 1 HR, 0 walks, and 19 K’s. 2 back to back games, 7 with 1 day rest, 4 with 2 days, 1 with 4 days, and 1 with 5 days. 13 of the 15 games were scoreless, and the other two games only 1 run was allowed.
    .
    It might have been nice to have at least 2 of these guys in August when we needed relievers, instead of 5 consecutive blown save losses. All four of these late inning high leverage relievers were available. How many of these relievers could the Dodgers have traded for with Yusniel Diaz, Rylan Bannon, Zach Pop, Dean Kremer, Breyvic Valera, Luke Raley, and Corey Copping. The area that needed the most help was the bullpen, not a SS or 2B. If we had 2 of them, we could be comfortably in 1st place.

    1. AC

      I can’t agree with you more!

      And everyone forgets that Maeda is only really good against righties, so you are taking more of a chance with him against a leftie, in these high leverage situations.

      And we have so many players on this team to play second, so I assumed the front office was going to focus on the pen.

      I like Dozier, but the last thing we needed, was another all or nothing hitter, in this line up.

      1. Dozier didn’t cost us that much. We had plenty of ammo to go get one of those aforementioned relievers, or another reliever not mentioned. The reason we didn’t make those deals was not due to lack of capital, capital that was used to acquire Machado or Dozier.

        I also felt, however, that Dozier wasn’t needed on July 31, but that he could go on a tear like he’s done the last 2 years. So far, he’s not gone on said tear.

      2. You are looking at Maeda’s splits as starter, but as a reliever his ERA is 1.50 lower than as a starter.

        Last year in the playoffs, his ERA was 0.84 against R and L.

        Let him settle in and I think he will be a lockdown reliever.

        Stripling’s ERA as a Starter this year is 2.95, but as a Reliever it is 0.59. However, I would rather see Alex Wood in the pen as Maeda’s LH counterpart. It will work itself out.

        Floro is very solid and has been almost all year. Alexander is capable, but up and down and (I hate to say it), but Baez has been light’s out for almost 30 days.

        We shall see how this plays out. After all, it’s how you finish!

        … and if Axford and/or Madson have anything, well, that’s just gravy!

    2. I feel good that Machado is in the lineup everyday and not Taylor. It’s the Dozier deal that left me a bit frustrated. The Dodgers needed a relief pitcher badly Familia, Kela, and Leclerc were the three I was most high on. Leclerc may not have been available. Between the players that were dealt and the soon to be rule 5 eligible players they should have done better than Axford and Madson.
      ~
      The one thing about the Dozier deal that was a positive is that Forsythe was moved out so Dozier really didn’t cost anything.

  14. DODGERS WIN! DODGERS WIN!
    .
    OKC Dodgers beat the Colorado Sky Sox four straight to make it to the postseason when five games ago all looked lost. Today they won 16-4 in the second game after taking the first contest 7-1. Both were 7-inning contests. They was four elimination games in two days.
    .
    Connor Joe and Henry Ramos led the last four games after coming off the DL when four OKC Dodgers were called up to LA. Ramos went 13 for 17 with 11 runs batted in in the four games. Joe was only 8 for 12 with six walks.

    . Ogden, Great Lakes, Rancho Cucamonga, Tulsa and OKC all head to the play-offs after the AZl Dodgers won their championship.

      1. I knowing winning isn’t the big thing at the minor league level, at least in the minds of the Dodger brass. Player development is the goal but I think it is important for the players to experience what they must go through to win and at times see what looks most improbable happen. It was improbable that the Loons and the OKC Dodgers would make the playoffs a few short games ago.

  15. The Dodgers are going to have a plethora of Players eligible for Rule 5 and I don’t think they can keep them all:

    Rios
    Joe
    Ramos
    Ahmed
    Scavuzzo
    Peter
    Broussard

    1. no it’s true. And it’s quite frustrating to watch him nibble on the corners vs these crappy hitters instead of just attacking them. I expected 7 from today and he’ll be done after 5.

      1. I like Alex Wood a lot. I have only been concerned with his ability to stay healthy and why his velocity has dropped so much.

        Prior to 2017, I do not think he threw over 94 (correct me if I am wrong). However, in early 2017, he was frequently 95, 96, 97 and I even saw 98 a time or two. I may have seen him hit 92 once or twice this year, but now he is between 88-90 on his fastball, with an occasional 91. I just wonder, what is the cause of the drop in velocity?


        … and if he went to the pen, would the velocity return?

  16. Unreal the way this team strands runners. Grandal should have never hit. Puig has to go with the pitch. Just terrible.

    1. With Kemp on deck, I said to myself “squeeze the runner home with Puig now. If it doesn’t work, Kemp is still coming up with guys on base. If it works, great!”
      THAT would’ve been playoff type baseball.

  17. Another dips.. non move by Roberts. Grandal has to be ph for in the clutch!! Puig is dp guy you have to start runner our fastest runner!!

  18. A few observations…
    1 – Wood nibbles too much – so he doesn’t put hitters away. He doesn’t trust his stuff. He was really hanging his curve in the 5th
    2 – Roberts’ management of the bullpen in the 6th was absurd. He burned 3 pitchers when he didn’t have to.
    3 – Does Alexander make everyone else as nervous as he makes me?
    4 – The 7th – 1st and 3rd and no one out, can’t score. Grandal looked pathetic up there.

  19. For me the failure of the Dodgers to score with 1st and 3rd with no outs falls completely on Grandal’s shoulders. All he needed to do was make contact and hit a fly ball. But, he decides he has to hit it out on every swing. He had no good reason to get upset after that at bat, except to be upset at his own approach.

    1. No it is completely on Roberts.grandal has one good month a year and strikes or hits in a dp the rest. We have seen this over and over pinch hit for the guy. He has all kinds of players and Barnes can defend so do not let him bat with the game on the line. I’m sorry but Robert.s is the only one who can’t see this.

  20. That was a pitiful at bat by Kike in the bottom 8th. He had no reason to swing at what he made strike 2. I like Kike, but he should of done a lot better than that.

  21. Don’t forget Grandal hit a wall last year and only got 1 start in the WS last year as I recall. Catching is a tough position that takes a heavy toll on your legs, but geez he’s horrible lately. 1st and 3rd w/ no outs all he needs is a fly ball and he K’s.

    Loved the D-Backs series but this team is entirely too dependent on the long ball for runs. Can’t string together three or four hits in an inning= one run games. Gotta get fixed.

    1. He has hit a wall every season he’s been a Dodger. How in the world isn’t that a double for Bellinger?

  22. And those at bats after Degrom left the game, were against the worse pen in all of baseball.

    And we still couldn’t get the job done.

    And no one even hit a solo HR against this bad pen.

    I don’t think beating the Dbacks was a good gauge for us, because they were probably already on a downward trend, before they met us.

  23. Well we had beaten the Mets 12 straight games. We were due for a loss. Come back and take the next 2 and it’s all good.

  24. According to the Met announcers the ball Cody hit ricocheted off the wall directly to right fielder. With his speed Bellinger might have made it to second, and maybe not.

    Meanwhile why couldn’t Grandal hit that fly ball in his previous at bat?

    Therealten, can’t disagree that hitting for Grandal earlier might have been the best move at that time. It wouldn’t have been good for his ego, but it might also have served as a wake-up call for him to change his approach.

    Kemp choked!!! 🙂

  25. I agree, Grandal looked terrible striking out. It is on the players. They know what needs to be done. However, they all swing for the fence except Turner. This almost tells me it is a culture within the team or with management. We had runners on second and third and nobody has scored. A fly ball or a ground out will get us a run.

    Verdugo looks like a player. I was hoping to see Toles more, but they now have a long bench. These are four guys I wish would not see the field very often right now. They are Grandal, Taylor, Pederson, and Puig. Barnes is not any better. We just do not have a good situation at catcher. The only thing I can see with the catchers is let one play three innings and then pinch hit for him, then let another catch until the sixth inning and then pinch hit for him. We have four catchers now.

  26. Some of us thought that Verdugo should have been brought up earlier to help set the table. We found out tonight how wrong we were. Setting the table for the Dodgers is a waste of time, since no one will knock you in.

    Actually, with his ability to get on base via hits or walks, Verdugo should probably be leading off in front of Turner, Manny and Bellinger.

  27. Amazing. Wood gives up one run in 5 innings, and he is the problem. If velo was what identified a great pitcher, Greg Maddux would not be HOF. Maybe it is because Maeda is not the great reliever some think he is. He gives up a 3 run HR and Wood and his lower velo is the problem? And Kershaw and his drop in velo is not a problem? Roberts using 3 relievers in one inning is not a problem! It is Wood’s loss in velocity. Maybe FAZ should just put him on the DL for the rest of the season, then people would not have to worry about his drop in velo anymore.

  28. Now this the LADT I remeber… The torches are burning and the villagers have hit cobblestones looking for Doc’s kids…
    I think the Grandal abuse is now mind boggling…
    We win the next two…Easy peasy…

  29. Mark, I like your 2nd guessers are always right theory. However Robert’s make 2nd guessers have life nightly, and that is why he needs to go. Letting Ferguson face one in the 9th yesterday did not work out and it was the wrong baseball move. Robert’s was saved a la 2017 from his idiocy. Tonight he was not and his losing moves were as follows:

    Grandal hitting .094 in his last 30 games, was allowed to hit in a game changing and winning spot. Also he is one of the worst hitters in the league with risp, actually bottom 5. Therefore, since we have three catchers on the roster, we have Dozier, Utley and Freese on the bench, what does he do let’s him bat and he strikes out. Then Puig, Up 2 and 0, likely to see a fastball, perfect hit and run opportunity to stay out of DP, not on Robert’s watch,inning ends. Our comes his trusty little notecard to write stick figures I would imagine?

    Top 9, mostly lefties coming up, Maeda expressing in Texas about the anxiety of 9th innings, is sent back out. Ok but with expanded rosters let’s at least get Madsen up? No, empty pen, lead off double, empty pen still, hit Mcneil, okay Madsen to face Nimmo, no let’s just sit on my hands and try to pull one more rabbit out of my hat. Oh well, Kemp will save me tomorrow.

    Don’t get me started on him managing the sixth inning like it was the season on the line instead of just going from Baez to Floro and leaving it at that. Then, guess what, still have Rosscup for a lefty in a tough spot when the game is really on the line. Oh like Nimmo in the 9th lol

    He needs to go, please

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