If You Ain’t the Lead Dog…

Arizona is hot again.  The Dodgers are hot. Both teams are 8-2 in the last 10 games as they start pulling away from the pack.  The Dodgers are breathing down the D-Bags backs.  The Dodgers are now back to leading the National League in Home Runs and are just six runs behind the Braves for the league lead. The even better news is that the Dodgers pitching staff has moved up to 7th in the NL in team ERA and are actually 4th in WHIP.

Dodger starting pitchers are now 2nd in ERA and the bullpen has climbed from last to 7th.  Everything is trending the right direction.  There’s a good chance Kenta Maeda pitches tonight and Rich Hill is not far behind. Then, by the All-Star game you should see Clayton, Ryu, maybe Koehler and Cingrani.  Do the Dodgers have to do anything at the trade deadline?  I don’t think so.  That means they don’t have to overpay, but if the right deal comes to them, then they might.

I could see Caleb Ferguson being a nice bullpen piece this year.  It won’t hurt him and he might learn a new pitch from guys like Hill or Kershaw…. or Jansen. It was also good to see Daniel Corcino pitch well last night.  He has been a good soldier, working on his game and getting the opportunity to show what he can do.  Good for him.  He’s part of the Dodgers touted “depth” which has kept them in the race.

Rants & Raves

  • After a monumental disaster the first 45 days of the season, this team is coming together to be what I thought it would be.  It’s not how you start – it’s how you end up.
  • I am really happy for Joc Pederson.  Hopefully, he can keep it up.  If he does, the entire look of the team changes.
  • Walker Buehler’s injury may be a blessing in that he will miss a few starts and be able to pitch the rest of the way.  He could miss 3 or 4 weeks.
  • It was sad for me to see Adrian Beltre back at Dodger Stadium.  I’ll never get over that…
  • Ryu and Kershaw both threw bullpen sessions.  I think Ryu will be back around the first week of July… Kershaw sooner!




With OKC off for a travel day, three non DSL teams played with two coming up with victories. The two DSL teams split their games.

Tulsa 3-1 Loss to Springfield Cardinals


Mitchell White started for the Drillers and went 3.2 innings. White allowed all three runs, 2 coming off of a 2 run HR.  White allowed 4 hits and issued 2 walks to go with his 6 K’s.  Karch Kowalczyk, Shea Spitzbarth, and Corey Copping pitched the final 4.1 innings allowing only a single hit.  This was a well-pitched game by a very inconsistent bullpen.

Offensively there was not much to write home about. The Drillers got 3 singles from Errol Robinson, Luke Raley, and Zach Reks.


Rancho Cucamonga 4-3 Win over Lake Elsinore Storm (Padres)


Cristian Santana hit a 2-run HR in the 7thto take a 3-2 lead.  The Storm tied the game in the 8thon a RBI double by Hudson Potts off Quakes reliever Ryan Moseley.  After the double, Moseley unleashed a wild pitch to put Potts at 3rdwith nobody out, and with the help of two K’s, Potts was left stranded to keep the game tied at 3 going into the 9th.  The Quakes put together a HBP, an error, and groundball to score the eventual game winner.

All-Star Tony Gonsolin started and completed 5.0 IP, allowing 2 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks, with 6 K’s. Michael Boyle pitched 2 scoreless innings.  Marshall Kasowski relieved Moseley to start the 9thand retired all three batters, two by strikeout.  Kasowski warrants additional attention going forward.  In 20 games between Great Lakes and Rancho, Kasowski has garnered a 2.36 ERA, 0 .99 WHIP, and .125 BAA in 34.1 IP.  What is really eye-opening is the 61 K’s and only 2 HRs allowed in those 34.1 innings.  He has already been promoted once this year, and could get another to AA before the season is over.

Offensively, Santana added a single to his 9thHR for a 2 hit night.  LF Cody Thomas had 3 hits, and is now 7-11 over the last two games.  In his last 10 games, Thomas is batting .385.

The win put the Quakes in a tie with Lake Elsinore in the California League South with 5 to play in the 1sthalf.  Next week’s All Star game will feature 4 starters…SS Gavin Lux, 3B Rylan Bannon, C Connor Wong, and OF Logan Landon.  The All-Star pitchers include two Quakes…Tony Gonsolin and tonight’s starter Dean Kremer.


Great Lakes – 3-2 Win over West Michigan Whitecaps (Tigers)


Great Lakes got a well-pitched game from starter Leo Crawford and reliever Max Gamboa. Crawford started and went 4.0 IP, allowing 2 runs on 6 hits, with 3K’s.  Gamboa went the final 5 for the win.  Gamboa allowed 2 singles and registered 5 K’s. What was hopeful was that neither Crawford or Gamboa issued a walk.

2B Marcus Chiu hit a 2 run HR, his 8thon the season.  C Garrett Hope (2), and SS Moises Perez (9), both had doubles.

DSL Dodgers Guerrero – 14-8 Loss to DSL Cubs 1


LF Jaime Perez – 3 for 3 with a double (2) and HR (3), and 4 RBI’s.

SS Jesus Valdez – hit his 4thdouble.

DSL Dodgers Robinson – 5-4 Win over DSL Rays 1


DH Yunior Garcia – 2 for 3 with a triple (3)

SS Carlos Santiago – 2 for 4


This article has 38 Comments

  1. Lux is having a great year at RC, good for him.
    If the Mets are really going to move DeGrom, then the Dodgers should try and get him.
    Kershaw, DeGrom, Buehler, Stripling, and Ryu in the rotation with Wood, Maeda, and Hill in the pen.
    Ferguson in the pen would probably be a good thing for him, as you said he could learn a new pitch which will help him next year.

  2. Muncy, the long range solution for second base maybe, turned a double play yesterday. I will guess that he has been working out at second for several weeks now and Doc finally felt he was ready for games. I didn’t watch much of the game yesterday. How did Muncy look at second?

  3. Absolutely amazing!!! Doc preached patience for that 45 game skid and look what happened!!! This is the definition of team work and even with the injuries we’ve encountered, were in the running…
    Wished Caleb was given another inning to get the W… Sadly, I might see Toles for awhile!!!
    Go Blue!!!…

  4. I think the Dodgers should trade Joc while he is at maximum trade value OR let’s see if he can hit lefties. He had 3 extra base hits last night and did not over swing on any.

    AZ is hot right now but they are looking over their shoulder. The pitching was carrying them, now it’s the bats.

    Muncy has played 2B in the past and for now takes the Valera AB’s at 2B and gives JT a rest at 3B plus slide to 1B. He can play corner OF too, the bat plays somewhere. If Max can handle LHP why not Joc?

    Take care of business today then rest up for the Giants. If Hill can go Sunday the rotation is almost back. Alone in second place and the Rockies are in free fall, this could be a two team race in a couple weeks.

    1. The biggest drawbacks for Joc to start against lefties is that Puig also does not hitting lefties and this year, Bellinger doesn’t either. Also, Hernandez should be somewhere in the lineup against lefties. He needs at bats to have a chance to stay sharp. He already is not hitting for average meaning he is not a contact hitter. It is amazing that Kike’ has hit so many home runs without getting consistent at bats.

      1. I understand Kike needs to play some to stay sharp but he is not a natural CF. Joc should get a chance to play every day when he is hot like this. The biggest key for leftie on leftie is taking the ball the other way and Joc is doing that right now. Kike has no difference in splits. Puig, Logan and Muncy have reverse splits.
        Kike—LHP: .213 .710–RHP: .214-.716
        Kemp-LHP: .354 1.049-RHP-.324 .863
        Puig—LHP-.214 .625–RHP-.289 .867
        Cody–LHP-.216 .773–RHP-.252 .806
        Max—LHP-.348 1.184-RHP-.262 .992
        Logan-LHP .167 .528–RHP-.231 .620
        Joc—-LHP .150 .382–RHP-.307 1.001 Joc has only 20 AB’s vs LHP and 137 against RHP.
        Kike has 145 AB’s this year, Joc has 157.

        1. I wasn’t arguing with you Vegas Dodger and instead saying if the Dodgers were stronger against lefties Joc could hide in the lineup until he started hitting lefties, if he would. What was in my head didn’t get to my fingers. I would love to watch Joc play everyday. I like him in CF as well.

          1. Gotcha Bumsrap! I was just pointing out that Kike does not have better numbers against LHP this year. He has 70 AB’s against RHP and 75 against LHP. Joc does not get an opportunity against LHP.
            Other players splits:
            Barnes: LHP-.261 .751– RHP-.176 .570
            Yaz:—–LHP-.245 .723–RHP-.248 .830
            JT:——LHP-.294 .788–RHP-.241 .652
            CT3:—-LHP-.239 .836–RHP-.258 .775
            Barnes is better against LHP this year, Grandal has little power from the right side, that is a good platoon. However Kike and Logan (and Puig) offer no upgrade against LHP.

        2. Although Muncy has reverse splits to an extent, his OPS against righties 900s, and lefties 1000s, are still very good numbers, unlike both Puig and Logan, so that is not a good comparison.

          Because Puig is OPSing 200 points lower against lefties, then righties, and although Logan’s splits between lefties and righties, are a smaller discrepancy, Logan is only OPSing in the 500s, against lefties.

          And like Bum has already said, Roberts probably won’t try Joc against lefties, because the team hasn’t been good against lefties, this year.

          And because of that, Roberts probably can’t afford to try another iffy bat against lefties, in the line up.

          And Joc has not been good against lefties, in the past.

          And although Bellinger is batting about the same as Puig against lefties, when it comes to average, Cody is also OPSing, a hundred points higher then Puig, against lefties too.

          And Bellinger did hit lefties well last year, so I don’t see Bellinger as the odd one out here, like Bum does.

          I do think Roberts will start Joc against a leftie, he thinks Joc could handle.

          But I have no problem giving Joc this chance, because the team hasn’t been good against lefties, like I already said.

          But I don’t see that at the expense of Cody, Muncy, and Kike.

          Because all of these guys, have decent OPSes against lefties, that are higher then both Puig’s, and Forsythe’s Numbers, against lefties.

          And Muncy is top on this team, when it comes to lefties.

          1. As I remember, Puig didn’t do well against lefties last year either. Belli at least hits long balls against lefties this year and like you said, had decent splits last year. I guess my point is that neither Belli or Puig should be automatically in the lineup against lefties. But, who takes their place? Machado?

    2. Muncy has indeed played 2B more than I thought. He’s had 160 TC in the minors without an error and 78 TC in the majors without an error. IDK, maybe he’s not the fastest nor smoothest but he does catch what’s hit to and around him.

  5. Hammels auditions for the Dodgers tonight. Being a lefty, the Dodgers might make him look better than he is. If he were to join the Dodgers it would be awesome if he helped both Kershaw and Fergussen perfect the change up.

    1. I really wanted him in 2014, and 2015. and even 2016 haha. I thought adding him to Kersh/Greinke would get us a ring or two. Oh well.

    2. I think I’m content with Kershaw, Buehler, Wood, Hill, Ryu, Urias, Madea if they all get healthy. I’m not sure if Cole is what he once was anymore. It’s the bullpen that would need reinforcements. Of course, a DeGrom would be an entirely different story. Will the clock strike midnight on Max Muncy? It’s amazing what confidence can do for an individual. I was glad to see him a get a look at 2nd base last night. Through all of his ups and downs the last couple of years, I’ve never called for the release of the Dodgers’ team dad, but if Muncy can handle 2nd base and the Dodgers continue with a four-man bench, I don’t see the space for Utley.

  6. Arizona’s good play is usually their way of inviting Dodgers to a pool party at a later date. They’ll be offering free Dback gear to visiting Dodger fans as usual too. I really don’t get that as it has to have a shameful taste that their ownership displays such. I’m cool with their hate for us, actually I’m proud of them hating us.

  7. Right now Crawford and Cutch are carrying the Giants and Belt is out after an emergency appendectomy. Their rotation got Mad Bum back and Pence just returned but they are scrapping to stay afloat. Of course they always play the Dodgers tough but get them at a bad time and on the road. A sweep would be sweet! First let’s get out the brooms for Hamels and the Rangers! If Maeda can go 5 or 6 tonight it would be huge for the bullpen.

  8. Think how much better the Dodgers would be rated if they actually had a starting rotation. 1 pitcher doesn’t count as a rotation. Rib injuries usually aren’t that serious but usually very painful and slow to heal. As for Maeda and Ryu I’ll believe in them when they’ve come back and kicked some butt. Hill and Woody, I just have a tough time believing in either one. I do think Kersh will come back and eat some innings but have given up on him ever carrying the team to a WS championship. Though I’d be happy as he!! if it happened. Ferguson showed some scrappiness last night. He will improve I’m pretty sure but like Stripling did, he needs some time in MLB to mature. 2 or 3 years I think until he’s as effective as he’s gonna get. Gonna be a tough road beating out Arizona this year. Gonna be entertaining though for sure.

  9. I know a starting pitcher must pitch at least 5 innings to get a win. My question is why? A reliever can come in a game, pick off a runner that is on base for the 3rd out and never throw a pitch and still get a win if his team scores then scores. With the changes in how pitchers are used this rule needs to be changed. Ferguson pitched more than anyone else and let with a lead, but gets no win.

    1. Fangraphs has always liked Will Smith (#58) and have him ranked above Ruiz (#65). The Dodgers have two catchers in the Top 100.

      So Buehler has graduated…

  10. I grew up watching Brooks Robinson at 3B and IMO there haven’t been too many better… My father became friends with Brooks because he loved to throw money at the ponies at Hollywood Park… My father parked cars there and would get him as close as possible to the gate…
    The dribbler to 3B, the barehanded pick up and throw to 1B, a bang bang play and nobody did it better than first ballot HOF’er Adrian Beltre… Oh yes, I miss the man…

  11. Max and Joc not in the lineup tonite? Two of the hottest hitters we have and Max hits .348 of LHP. Joc only .150 vs LHP but a very small sample. Just 20 AB and only 2 K’s. I don’t understand it.

  12. Thought Barnes had hit into another DP but Kike saved him! (Plus a terrible throw).

    On a nice run.

  13. What a great grind it out win! Nice to see Maeda back. Really clutch job by the bullpen. Dodgers still have trouble with quality lefties. Muncy should play against all comers. Gain a game on the Snakes, keep pace with the Rocks, and watch the Giants fall into 4th place! I’m rooting for the Padres to pass someone! The team really earned this day off, keep the brooms handy.

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