It’s Deja Vu All Over Again…

On April 25, 2017. The Los Angeles Dodgers had 10 wins and 11 losses and Dodger fans were talking crazy:

Here’s one:

Watching the Dodger hitters ineptitude last night was frustrating.

It seems to me (bright baseball minds on this sight can provide the stats that say yea or ney) that the inability to hit LH pitching or with RISP goes hand in hand with games like last night where there is a ‘hitting malaise’, when the whole team can’t hit to save their lives.

The above two lack of hitting stats are often sited, but the Dodgers seem to have a lot of games where the bats are silent where good pitching is not necessarily the reason. Last night seemed to be a case in point.

Here’s another:

Can we puleeeezzzee get a few hits and score a damn run! It’s Matt friggin Cain, not a right handed Sandy Koufax! We should have pounded this guy by now.

Yet another:

It’s early if this season is your perspective, but the Dodgers not hitting LH pitching, nor hitting with RISP has been a problem for a number of seasons. It has gone on way toooooo lonnnnnng, it’s begs to be fixed.

Fans were calling for Forsythe, Pederson, Hernandez and others to be traded or sent to AAA.  Dave Roberts was an idiot with his incessant lineup changes, platoons and all the horrific WRONG MOVES.  Everything Doc did was wrong and FAZ and the Dodgers front office were a bunch of stupid dumb-asses.

Then along came Cody Bellinger and the Dodgers next went 52-8, with that same blundering fool, Roberts and his constant lineup tinkering and the same idiots in the front office. Disclaimer:  For the uninitiated, I am being sarcastic! However, here we are: the Dodgers are also currently 1 game below .500 on April 25, 2018.  Is it Deja  Vu, all over again?  In 2017, it was Cody Bellinger who ignited the team at the end of April with his callup.  In 2018, Justin Turner is a week or two away from returning… and as good as Cody was, Justin Turner is the Dodgers’ best hitter. It’s time for ignition!

Also, Alex Verdugo and Andrew Toles are going to be factors in 2018… especially if any of the outfielders faulter.  Dave Roberst is seeing what he has and is giving players a chance to succeed… players like Joc Pederson and Pedro “El Gasolino” Baez who drive fans crazy, but Dave Roberts and FAZ want to win the war… not just the battle.  While you are thinking about the “little picture” (this game), they are looking at the “Big Picture” (this season).

Joc and El Gasolino won’t have forever to get it together… although Baez has not been as bad as many think.  I won’t bother you with the stats.  Look it up. Joc also has a key kit last night.  So my advise isQUIT TAKING LEAVE OF YOUR SENSES! It’s early, YES IT IS EARLY and the Dodgers are about where they were at the same time last year.  Oh, in case you forgot, they won 104 games last year.  Then I hear some say, “well they won’t win 104 games this year at the rate they are going.”  Really?  They are doing the same as last year.  You may be right and they may not win 104 games, but it’s not because they have the same record as last year.

Some say Kemp should be in there more.  What if he had a “tweak?” Well he did/does.  It’s a long season and Doc knows that the Dodgers need to be hitting on all cylinders at the end of the season.  Yes, Doc has it!  Some of you bitched about the same things last year.  This gets wearisome for me… it really does.

By the way, Clayton had a bad game – No more.  No less.  Except his bad game is just 3 runs. There’s nothing to see here. Move along! This will pass, JT will be back, some faces will change, the Dodgers will hit and they will pitch and field and win the West and be ready for the playoffs.  What I want to see is Maeda in the pen and Buehler in the rotation and this lineup:

  1. Taylor CF
  2. Seager SS
  3. Turner  3B
  4. Bellinger  1B
  5. Kemp  LF
  6. Grandal  C
  7. Verdugo/Puig  RF
  8. Forsythe  2B  (yes, Forsythe)

Kenley worries me, but the Dodgers have the resources to get a closer.  It’s always the darkest right before the dawn.

Be patient, grasshoppers!  I have to get to bed as I have to get up at 4:00 AM and fly to Atlanta.  I’ll be back at 7:30 PM and then return to the airport to pick up my wife at 1:30 AM who is coming back from a Netsuite Seminar in Las Vegas.  I am picking her up with her Birthday Present which she has no clue about.  Wish me luck! I’ve never bought a new car for someone’s birthday.


This article has 25 Comments

  1. “The Dodgers have scored two runs off three Marlins starting pitchers I had literally never heard of before this series began.” – Andy McCullough

  2. M.T. – Great work… You can bank that for certain…
    Got my wife a VW baby blue ragtop … I still use it to bail out myself sometimes..
    I drive a 2 yr. old Subaru Forester and love it…

    1. Wow – you boys are doing well in life in the US.
      Cars for Birthdays!!!

      I got my missus a new TV Control/Wand for her Birthday, because she wanted to change the Channels some times.

  3. ESPN’s leade about tonight’s game:
    ” — Trevor Richards outpitched Clayton Kershaw just months removed from working as a substitute elementary school teacher, and the Miami Marlins took advantage of a wild outing from the Dodgers’ ace to beat Los Angeles 8-6 on Wednesday night.

    Richards struck out 10 and pitched one-hit ball over 4 2/3 scoreless innings in his fifth major league start. The former independent league right-hander was pulled after throwing 100 pitches.”

  4. Mark the Dodgers clearly need Turner back in the lineup, but I see some other concerns that the Dodgers need to address.
    1 The Pen
    Agree with you on moving Maeda to the pen he is the 8th inning pitcher.
    Alexander is not helping the team giving up 10 hits and 8 earned runs in 9.1 innings, send him down to OKC, and let him work things out, or not.
    Bringing Baez into situations that he seems to fail at over and over is not going to make him a better pitcher if he is to remain with the team then use him in the middle innings where he is an above average pitcher, some pitchers just can’t handle the stress of the 8th or 9th inning pressure. Use him where he shows the most confidence.
    I would like to see either Locastro or Valera play some games at second and see what happens,
    3 Pederson
    The Dodgers still see hope for him ( yes he did get 2 hits last night ) but how much longer are they going to stay with him?

    1. My main concerns are the inconsistent offense [which is certainly JT-related], the WS-hangover lack of urgency, and the potentially productive players in AAA not getting a chance. I trust the talent level of the organization, the front office, and the manager [I have no view of the ownership). I trust we will get our bullpen sorted out one way or another, and overall I’ve been pleased with our rotation, especially Ryu. Mark is correct that it’s very early and no time to panic. It’s just frustrating to see us spinning our wheels when we know what we’re capable of.

  5. I like FAZ. I like Doc. Having said that. This team should be embarrassed from top to bottom about losing a series to the Marlins at home. Anything less than a sweep against a club the rest of the league is making hay against is a failure. Pitch Kenley while losing 6-3, but not in an actual tight game they go to Baez? Anyone not think Baez would lose that game when he came in? The entire handling of Kenley and some rotation decisions have been terrible. Even Joe Davis could see that Kershaw needed to come out last night prior to the home run. This organization had a chance to jump on the NL West early this year and blew it. As for the hitters, don’t get me going. Terrible right now. Just terrible. Everyone in the organization needs to take a good look in the mirror right now. This isn’t last year. A 53-7 run isn’t coming. There is plenty of time to right the ship, but this team needs to grow a little backbone right now.

  6. Agree with Hawkeye. I like FAZ and Doc but someone and maybe both FAZ and Doc seem to be in a chemistry lab doing experiments. Come on guys, do the lab work in AAA, now is the time to play to win. Doesn’t look like anyone is serious. Yes it’s early but so what.

  7. SO – when is it no longer “early”? The Dodgers have played nearly 15% of the season and are 5 games out of 1st. They are hitting .241 as a team (slightly below league average). They are 19th in OPS at .701. They are scoring about 4.5 runs per game, just above league average. A team with World Series aspirations can’t be an average team unless the pitchers are Koufax and Drysdale and even then it’s tough.

    It’s not just one or two guys who aren’t hitting – there are just a couple of guys who are. For all of the negative talk about Matt Kemp at the start of the season, at least for right now, where would the offense be without him and without Grandal, whom everyone (including me) wanted to trade for salary relief?

    How does the return of one guy (Turner) fix all of this?

    Has Taylor regressed to the mean?

    Is Seager hurt? Is his elbow precluding him from hitting with power? Is his proclivity to jump at the 1st pitch affecting his production?

    Has Bellinger learned to lay off of the low inside breaking ball?

    What’s going on with Puig and his .499 OPS?

    When Forsythe comes back will the Dodgers have to live with a starting 2B who has trouble hitting his weight?

    Is there another savior in the minors like Bellinger was last year? A guy who comes out of the blue and hits like he never hit before like Taylor?

  8. Let’s go back a little further…say to June 2013. On June 3, the Dodgers record was 23-32, and Don Mattingly’s job was twisting in the wind. Puig is recalled and starts on June 3, and starts to tear up ML pitching. From June 3 to June 21, Puig was batting .455/.478/.773/1.251 in 17 games and 69 PA. He had 6 HR’s and 12 RBI in that span, and yet the Dodgers were 7-10 in those 17 games. Their record dropped to 30-42 on June 21. Then a light went on and the Dodgers went on a 42-8 streak in their next 50 games to a record on 72-50 on August 17. The Dodgers went on to win the Division, and save Don Mattingly’s job… for 2 additional years anyway.
    The Dodgers are basically in the same position this year. Almost every one questioned Mattingly’s game management skills/bullpen use, and he was not well respected amongst the fan base. But we are not supposed to question Doc’s game management skills/lineup/bullpen use? It is okay to question Donny Baseball, but not Doc? And I am a Doc Roberts fan, but I am not blind.
    Most on this site are very quick to send Joc Pederson back to AAA. If he is sent, okay, but do not think for a moment that Andrew Toles or Alex Verdugo would make the Dodgers 16-7. Joc may be a problem, but replacing him is not the solution. He has had all of 53 PA thus far.

    Let’s take a look at a couple of problems, as I see it. Doc continues to put CT3 in the leadoff role. His slash line in 2018 is – .228/.269/.406/.674 – 6 BB & 27K – 108 PA – 0 SB & 3 CS. In all but one game he has been the leadoff hitter. A leadoff hitter with a .269 OBP? 6 walks and 27 K’s? Doesn’t anybody else see a problem with this?
    Is this a more fair representation of what CT3 is really like?
    2017 – Aug – Oct – .252/.317/.447/.764
    2017 – Sept – Oct – .218/.259/.356/.616
    Fulltime CF (08/19/17) – .233/.289/.363/.652
    His 2018 stats are ominously similar to when he assumed his fulltime CF position. I am not advocating taking him out of the lineup. But doesn’t it make sense to move a .269 OBP hitter out of the leadoff spot?
    Corner OF positions are supposed to be the big power bats on a team. Yet, the Dodgers RF, Yasiel Puig, is hitting .195/.256/.244/.499 with 7 BB and 18 K in 90 PA. He has 0 HR and 6 RBI’s. Is this acceptable for a corner outfielder? Against LHP, his slash line is .143/.194/.179/.372 in 28 PA and 1 RBI.
    Logan Forsythe before being injured in what is supposed to be his contract year….174/.224/.283/.507.
    1 HR and 4 RBI’s in 48 PA; 3 BB and 6K.
    The 8th best batting average on the Dodgers is Clayton Kershaw at .231.
    And yet the problem is Joc? Really? He is hitting .217/.321/.326/.647 in 53 PA. He has 1 HR and 6 RBI. He is 1-8 against LHP, but also has 1 RBI, the same number as Puig who has 20 more PA against LHP. He has a better OBP than the leadoff hitter, by a wide margin. Joc may not be the answer, but he certainly is not the problem.
    Other than Joc, the two biggest question marks for the team were Yasmani Grandal and Matt Kemp.
    Grandal – .324/.422/.577/.999 – 4 HR and 18 RBI.
    Kemp – .313/.348/.563/.910 – 4 HR and 12 RBI.
    They are tied for the team lead in HR and are #1 and #2 in RBI. Would the Dodgers would be competing with the Reds record were it not for Grandal and Kemp?
    Chase Utley has a OBP of .404, shouldn’t he get some leadoff time?
    Certainly there are other concerns that will hopefully be righted very soon. Cody and Cory with a total of 4 HR’s and 18 RBI’s. That cannot be representative of a full season. If it is, the Dodgers will be planning for 2019, and become a seller at the trade deadline.
    Some are not convinced that the loss of JT is not that big of a problem. While I do not believe he would be the difference of 5 wins, it is hard to argue that his loss is not significant. The 3B offensive output is the worst in MLB. Farmer/Forsythe/Muncy have a combined 2 HR and 10 RBI. Farmer has the highest BA at .214, while the other two are sub-Mendoza line averages. This is acceptable for a corner infield position? Plus JT’s spot as the #3 hitter impacts the rest of the lineup. He is the glue to that offense.
    Panic? Not yet. But should changes be made? I think so. What should they be? I am not FAZ or Doc with all of the background. However, while I am a Max Muncy fan, one change that I would like to see would be to option Max and recall Tim Locastro to play 2B. Locastro immediately assumes the leadoff role, and CT3 can drop down relieving some of the pressure. It certainly would not hurt.

    1. Your comments about Taylor are consistent with my memory. It seems that he does what Joc is accused of: swinging from the heels. Oddly, Joc no longer takes a big swing. He looks far too tentative up there in my view.

      I would see if one of the guys on the farm is the answer to the 2B problem. We know that Utley has run out of steam before the end of the season the past 2 seasons. Forsythe has not lived up to what we hoped he would be or what he had been in Tampa either last season or this season. Try Locastro at 2B and lead him off like you say and see if there’s any improvement.

      I would still send Joc down and see if there’s another iteration of his swing that might work. If Toles isn’t ready see if Verdugo is. Maybe he can spell all 3 OF part time given Taylor and Puig’s lack of production and Kemp’s achy joints.

      Next man up at 3B as well. Muncy/Farmer aren’t getting it done. Try playing Kike there daily while waiting for Turner to return? Try another of the legion of utility players the Dodgers stock in AAA and AA at 3B?

    2. AC

      My problem with Joc, is that Roberts insists on giving Joc, starts, and at bats, at the expense, of Kemp.

      Kemp has only had 16 more PA then Joc, and I think it is important to have Kemp’s bat, in this line up, especially when the offense is struggling.

      Roberts sat Kemp, and took him out of games to early, when he was hot, in order to give Joc more at bats, and starts.

      And Roberts is saying now, he is going to give Joc, even more chances, to try to get Joc to hit.

      I do agree with everything else you said.

  9. Thanks AC… Reasonably put and to the point… Rev. Jim is just stirring the pot…
    I’ll second the Toles query…

  10. Toles took batting practice today, and he will be out another ten days, only because the team is being over cautious, with him.

    He says he is bored, but fine.

  11. MJ, thank you for Toles update. It will sure be nice, IMO, to see him back in the lineup at Dodger Stadium

  12. On Chris Taylor:

    There is a certain amount of “luck” involved in baseball. In 2017, Chris Taylor had a BABIP of .361. This year, it is .278 which suggests that he has been either somewhat lucky last year or somewhat unlucky this year.

    HOWEVER: IN the last 14 days, Taylor raised that to .306 and over the past 7 days, it is .368. My eyes told me that and the figures bear me out! Chris Taylor is not regressing to the mean.

    In April , 2017, his BABIP was .375, May was .431, June was at .306. July was a whopping .523 and August was .316. He slumped at the end of 2017 and was .253 in September and October.

    Chris Taylor passes my eye test. Should he be leading off? That is up for debate!

    Chris Taylor has been scalding the ball as of late.

    1. I do appreciate your glass-half-full, positive observations. I wonder, though, if that glass is sometimes half-filled with scotch or some other wonderful elixir.

  13. From ESPN:
    “Yasmani Grandal doesn’t feels the Dodgers are struggling.”
    That way of thinking is a problem in itself.

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