Dodger Chatter: Great Lakes Loons Roller-ing

The plight of the Dodgers has many Dodger fans concerned about them playing in the post season. More specifically, not playing in the post season. I tend to think they will make it but don’t lose any sleep over it at night. I have lived through all of the Dodger WS championships and do pine for another. Although I am in good health and questionably sound of mind (it has always been questionable) I will enter my ninth decade in a couple of years. So, I would kind of like to get another WS championship on my résumé before too long. The best game ever for me was the seventh game of the 1955 World Series. At that time, without TV, we listened to the afternoon games on radio, often with the permission of our teachers as long as we got our work done. Rather than get too antsy with the current Dodger situation, I take much sustenance from the minor leagues.

Presently the Great Lakes Loons are on a run that is not too dissimilar from their 2016 championship year. A few short weeks ago they were all but dead and lingering at the bottom of their division and the entire league. Now they one game up on the Fort Wayne TinCaps for the second half league lead since both the Lansing Lugnuts and Bowling Green Hot Rods qualified for the play-offs in the first half. The Loons are one-half game ahead of the West Michigan Whitecaps for the second half wildcard spot so they have given themselves two shots at making the play-offs. They are 14-4 in their last 18 games and have seven one-run wins in August.

The Loons do resemble the 2016 squad in that they are getting excellent relief pitching from a number of guys – Stephen Kolek, Melvin Jimenez, Devin Hemmerich, Austin Drury, Bryan Warzek, Darien Nunez and Jasiel Alvino.  Warzek, presently on the 7-day DL, might just be a Caleb Ferguson clone or perhaps a left-handed Marshall Kasowski. On the season he has walked four and struck our 34  in 18.1 innings.

Kolek has allowed only two runs in 24.1 innings pitched while Drury has allowed no runs in his 15 innings. In his last 28.2 innings Melvin Jimenez has posted an ERA of 1.26 and a WHIP of 0.66 along with 35 strikeouts and eight walks.

The relief pitchers support a group of young starters who don’t usually go deep into games or are on a pitch/innings counts – Andre Jackson, Alfredo Tavarez, Geraldo Carrillo, Joel Inoa and recently added Jose Chacin. On Wednesday evening Chacin went six innings giving up three hits, one unearned run while striking out eight and walking three. He induced seven ground balls.

The hitters are getting into a routine of timely hits led by shortstop Deacon Liput and pretty much the entire lineup chipping in, not so much with power but putting the ball in play, finding holes and forcing defenders to comment errors. Outfielder Josh McLain has a 12-game hit streak in which he has struck out only once. Outfielder Chris Roller has three walk off hits in the last seventeen games and saved another by throwing out a tying run at home in the bottom of the ninth inning to end the game.

The big likeness to the 2016 squad is that although the team struggled for most of the season they now play with a “can’t lose” mentality overcoming deficits and getting walk-off hits.

The team has had a big turnover during the season with outfielder Romer Cuadrado being the only present Loon who was on the opening day roster.

In Tuesday’s game left-hander John Rooney picked off his fifth base runner in his 14 innings pitched with the Loons. The Loons downed the TinCaps 6-3 on Tuesday and 2-1 on Wednesday on Roller’s walk off hit. The final game of the three-game set against Fort Wayne goes on Thursday.

Right-hander Zach Willeman made his debut with the Loons, in relief, on Tuesday pitching three innings while striking out five and walking none. He was the Dodgers selection in the 19th round of the 2017 First-Year Player Draft out of Kent State University. He is another one of the Dodgers many Tommy John surgery survivors.

In other news:

  • The Dodgers have signed Korean right-hander Hyun-Il Choi to a $300K bonus, according to a report from Ilgan Sports (Korean language link; h/t Dan Kurtz of MyKBO.net, on Twitter). Choi, 18, will reportedly receive a $300K bonus to join the Los Angeles organization. It seems the young hurler was viewed as a top amateur draft target for KBO organizations before the Dodgers wooed him across the Pacific. Choi certainly appears to be an intriguing prospect. According to Kim, Choi has a fastball in the low 90s, an impressive velocity for someone at his age. The curve needs work, but has a solid difference in velocity from his heater. Choi also has a respectable changeup with downward movement, a pitch that has a great deal of potential.

  • Dennis Santana (shoulder) threw a 30-pitch bullpen session Tuesday according to  J.P. Hoornstra of The Orange County Register. The bullpen session was the first mound work the rookie participated in since injuring his rotator cuff in June. Santana was able to touch 90 mph with his fastball, which is understandably off the 92.9 mph average posted in a brief stint in the majors this season. The Dodgers didn’t provide a projected return date for the 22-year-old, but with a rehab process from a lengthy layoff beginning late in August, a return this season appears unlikely.

  • Jordan Sheffield has made five appearances with  Quakes, in relief, in which he has allowed only two hits, no runs while walking three and striking out five.

Dodger News FromMark Timmons

  • Dodgers lose again… Wait that is old news and it’s not fake news.
  • Now you are seeing why I said I would not have re-signed Kenley two years ago.  Relievers are fickle – good one year, bad the next. That’s part of the reason why FAZ is loathe to give them big money.  Not many are worth it.  Next year, Scott Alexander may be an All-Star and I am not being sarcastic! Right now, without Kenley the Dodgers are screwed and I don’t know if he can recover….
  • But, the pen is not the problem.  The problem is still the hitting.  When your 2 through 7 hitters go 0’fer, it is criminal… especially when 5 or the 6 have been All-Stars and the other one was in the HR Derby.
  • I am not saying Dave Roberts makes all the wrong decisions – it’s just that the only chance this team has to win is to fire Doc and try something new.
  • At least Joc hit a bomb!
  • Ryu, Fields and Stripling will be up soon…. Hey, maybe they can hit!
  • Excuse me while I vomit….

This article has 59 Comments

  1. Take some deep breaths Mark. This is just the calm before the storm or the storm before the calm. You are right. The pitching has been very good and too often depend on a last inning “save’ when this team should just outscore teams. That is the fun of the minor leagues. Not so much riding on it and always something new and exciting. Last night the Loons gave up a run on a three error play, were dominated by Fort Wayne’s starter Tom Cosgrove, left nine men on base but pulled out a win in the ninth.
    .
    They played as the “Camels” last night and perhaps the camel will continue to be their rally mascot. – alternate mascot Rall E. Camel.
    .
    http://news.sportslogos.net/2018/08/09/great-lakes-loons-to-play-as-camels/

  2. Per David Schoenfeld of ESPNcom, “In these 12 games (in which the Dodgers have gone 3 – 9), Dodgers starters have a 2.40 ERA. Dodgers relievers have a 4.93 ERA, no saves, five blown saves … and eight losses. The team’s season is disappearing in this unfathomable run of late-inning defeats. (But, hey, the front office added Machado and Brian Dozier at the trade deadline!)”

    1. Bums, the Dodgers had a 20 game lead last year when they hit the bad streak. They are now in 8th place in the NL, closer to the Nats and 9th place than they are to a WC berth. Tampa Bay is now 0.5 games behind the Dodgers for 14th in ML. This is not 2017. But you are right, they can get hot and slip into the playoffs, and then anything can happen.

  3. DC, I do find solace in the minor leagues. Last night I wanted to shift from watching Brock Stewart pitch for OKC and Dustin May pitch for Tulsa. However, May was just dealing and dominating that I could not leave the Drillers game. He has a chance to be pretty special…not an Ace at ML, but certainly a very good mid rotation starting pitcher. Dodgers will need a strong #2 between Buehler and May and that rotation will rival Cards/Braves.
    .
    OKC beat Omaha Storm Chasers (Royals) 5-2. Stewart started and went 5.0 allowing 1 run and 3 hits, with 1 BB and 1 K. Manny Banuelos continued his strong transition to reliever with 1.0 IP allowing 1 hit. Unfortunately blown saves also are prominent at OKC with Joe Broussard blowing his 5th save, but picking up the win.
    .
    Dustin May and Tulsa beat the Arkansas Travelers (Seattle) 8-1. May went 6.2 scoreless innings allowing 4 hits and 2 walks, with 6 Ks. Marshall Kasowski 2.0 scoreless IP with 2 walks and 2 Ks gets the hold. Once again Gavin Lux had a multi hit night going 2-5. Keibert Ruiz also went 2-5. Cael Brockmeyer (2-5), DJ Peters (2-4) and Zach Reks (2-5) also had multi hit nights. Peters hit his league leading 24th HR. In 72 PA, Gavin Lux is now batting .354/.417/.523/.940 for Tulsa. Make no mistake, if the Drillers go on to win the 2nd half and into the playoffs, much will be due to the efforts of May/Lux/Kasowski after their promotion from RC.
    .
    Rancho continued their domination of the California League with a 13-8 win over their nearest rival Lancaster JetHawks (Rockies). Multi hit games; Omar Estevez (2-3), Cody Thomas (2-4), Cristian Santana (3-5), Donovan Casey (2-5), Hamlet Marte (2-4), Ed Yarnall (3-5). Donovan Casey hit his 4th HR, and the resurrected Carlos RIncon hit his 10th HR in only 82 PA at Rancho. In those 82 PA, Rincon is now batting .338/.415/.845/1.260.
    .
    As DC stated, Great Lakes beat the Fort Wayne TinCaps (SD) 2-1 after a 2 run walkoff single by Chris Roller with one out in the 9th. Roller went 3-4 including his walkoff hit and Romer Cuadrado went 2-4. But the stars for the Loons were the pitchers led by Jose Chacin 6.0 IP, 1 unearned run on 3 its and 3 walks with 8 Ks. Austin Drury followed for 2.0 scoreless IP and Stephen Kolek finished with 1.0 IP and the win.
    .
    Unfortunately the Ogden Raptors could not continue the wins after a 3-1 loss to the Great Falls Voyagers (ChiSox). The Raptors were able to generate all of 4 hits.
    .
    AZL Dodgers beat the AZL Angels 8-0. 2B Sam McWilliams went 2-4 with his 1st HR, and 1B Meaux Landry went 2-3. Again the stars in this game were the two pitchers…starter Jose Martinez 6.0 scoreless innings allowing 5 hits and 1 walk, with 6 Ks. Elio Serrano pitched the final three scoreless and hitless innings getting 6 Ks in the process.
    .
    The two Dodgers DSL team split their games. Overall the Dodgers farm went 6-2 last night.
    .
    While the ML team’s chances continue to swoon, the Dodgers farm teams have multiple teams either already in the playoffs or looking to get there.
    .
    OKC – 0.5 game lead over Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Brewers) with 14 games to go.
    .
    Tulsa – 2.5 game lead in the 2nd half over first half winner Arkansas Travelers. Because the Travelers won the 1st half, the Drillers must beat out the NW Arkansas Naturals (Royals) for the second playoff team in the Texas League North. The Drillers have 14 games remaining on their schedule.
    .
    Rancho Cucamonga – In the playoffs with a 1st half championship and a 10.0 game lead in the 2nd half with 12 games remaining.
    .
    Great Lakes – Need to finish in 4th place in the 2nd half to qualify and are now in 3rd place, 1 full game over the 5th place team Fort Wayne TinCaps.
    .
    Ogden Raptors – In the playoffs with a 1st half championship. 13 games remain on the schedule.
    .
    AZL Dodgers – In the playoffs with a 1st half championship. Also with a 1.5 game lead in the 2nd half with 4 games to go.

    1. AC,
      1) if Rancho already won the first half, and wins the 2nd half, how do the playoffs work out then?
      2) How good does Lux look!!! I wonder if he gets a crack at 2b next year, or he’ll get a full year at Tulsa and eventually move up to OKC. We could use a real leadoff hitter

      1. The next best overall record in the California League South gets the 2nd playoff spot. Right now that is the Lancaster JetHawks. However, the Inland Empire 66ers (LAA) and Lake Elsinor Storm (SD) are 1.0 and 3.0 games behind the JetHawks respectively.
        .
        Lux looks to be legit. I do not see him getting a shot at 2B for LAD next spring, but I can see him starting the season at OKC and getting in line for a callup during the year.

  4. Kenley’s wife gave birth at 8AM yesterday, so Kenley basically had no sleep. FAZAR basically messed up his season, remember the “slow start” in Spring training? I guess that was a bad idea.

    This is where the page turns. This is the absolute low. The team will turn it around now. Hopefully, FAZAR will stop batting guys mired in slumps leadoff or cleanup. Hopefully, they will take a more traditional approach to their lineup for the remainder of the year. Hopefully, Fields gets activated before Friday. What a mess, that bullpen is a tire fire.

    1. The birth of his child is the reason why Jansen should not have been in the game. This was not a save situation. Where was Maeda, or Ferguson, or Floro?

  5. We’ve entered the blizzard world. Who would guess that Pedro Baez would be shutting down other teams and Kenley would be giving up 3 home runs in two games.

    1. Butch Hobson was always a character. He has had a couple of other meltdowns this year with the umpires. But yes, I agree, Doc could use some of that fire.

  6. I am not an advocate for Joc or Dozier or CT3 leading off for LAD. None have worked. However, with this HR or K lineup that Doc has been saddled with, who leads off. While I would be screaming for a leadoff hitter if I were Doc, he doesn’t have the power to get one. There are three players at OKC that I would be more than willing to give a shot at leadoff…
    .

    1 – Tim Locastro – .297/.400/.436/.836 only 44 K
    2 – Alex Verdugo – .335/.390/.481/.871 only 44 K
    3 – Andrew Toles – .314/.352/.462/.814 only 49 K
    .
    By the way, Kyle Farmer started at SS last night. Can we start to think of Kyle Farmer as the utility over Kike’? Or Locastro?

  7. I cannot understand the fascination with Andrew Toles. If anything, he is NOT a lead-off hitter. His 49K are in only 236 AB. And he has drawn only 11 BB. And I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, Toles is a dead fastball hitter who is vulnerable to breaking and offspeed stuff.

    Locastro – 273 AB, 25 BB, and 44K

    Verdugo – 316 AB, 28 BB, and 44 K

    The player with the best stats among the three is the 22 year old Verdugo. Both Locastro and Toles are 4 years older.

    1. Toles has performed every time he has been on the 25 man roster. The apparent negative on him is that he is not a power hitter. I do not believe Toles is a legit leadoff guy, but neither is Verdugo. Locastro has been leadoff all season for OKC. But Toles deserves a chance more than trotting out Joc/Dozier/CT3 to lead off. Who would you rather see at leadoff? Kike? Muncy? Puig? Grandal? Barnes? The current 25 man has NO leadoff hitter. I guess you can put JT in that role. There has to be a change in the thinking. Not just for the 34 games remaining in 2018, but for next year as well.
      .
      I have advocated Verdugo over Toles for the very same reason that you stated…he is 4 years younger. But that does not diminish the tools that Toles brings. I would have no problem with an OF of Toles/Verdugo/Puig thru 2018.

    2. Absolutely agree Brooklyn.
      Been in agreement with you all the way about the need for Verdugo at the top of our lineup.
      Seager, then Bellinger, and now Beuhler have come up and given a chance, produced at MLB level.
      What is different about Verdugo?
      The team has been crying out for a Lead Off Hitter for years now, to set the table, and if most observers here and elsewhere can see it, then why can’t Faz?

      We have also highlighted the need to play the Hot Hands, and sit the Slumpers. Obvious stuff.

      On a positive note, our Starting Pitching looks solid.
      We just need our hitters to hit, then the Bullpen won’t be so much of an issue.

      The 9th inning rally last night, was the most pathetic surrender I’ve seen in a very long time.
      Taylor’s bat never left his shoulder!

      1. I don’t think Toles serves this team best, as a lead off hitter, even though he did a good job in the lead off position, last year.

        But in the last couple games when our lead off hitter left 9 runners on base, I do think Toles would have found a way, to get some runners home, if he was in the lead off position.

        But I don’t think a lead off hitter, usually has that many opportunities, to hit in runners normally.

        I have advocated for Toles, because he has had really good numbers, when runners are in scoring position.

        And that is this team’s, biggest weakness, and that is what is killing this team.

        And Verdugo’s numbers goes down a lot, in these situations.

        Verdugo average is 316 and his OPS in these situations, is only 760, while Toles’ numbers are much higher.

        Toles average is 389, and his OPS is in the 1000s, in these situations.

        Verdugo has had 90 opportunities at AAA this year to hit in runs, when runners were in scoring position, and he has hit in 29 runs.

        And Toles has had 60 opportunities to hit in runs, when runners are in scoring position this year, and he has hit in 28 runs, to Verdugo’s 29 runs.

        And like I have said before, Toles hit well in these situations in 2016, 2017, at the major league level, and in his few at bats, he had this year when he was up, unlike Verdugo, who’s average in these situations, was 133.

        I don’t think Toles has any more problems with off speed pitches, then most of the players on this team.

        Because most of the players on this team, don’t hit off speed pitches that well.

        And I have seen more then one player on this team, schooled after a pitcher has thrown them three off speed pitches, one after another, including Joc, who is in his fourth year.

        I just think Toles knows it is not smart to get in deep counts with pitchers, because the odds goes to the pitcher, the deeper the count.

        And I don’t know if trying to pick up a bunch of walks, by getting in deep counts, is the best strategy, for this team, either.

        Because like I already said, the deeper the count, a hitter gets in, the odds swing to the pitcher.

        And how many times have we seen one of our hitters, strike out, in these deep counts, this year?

        And that is why the Astros advocate for their hitters to attack the best pitches their hitters get, in the strike zone.

        And most of the time, the first three pitches a hitter gets, are the best pitches, a hitter will get, anyways.

        I do think Toles could walk more, but that is a lot easier to do, then hit, so I don’t see that as a problem.

        I do think Verdugo would be a good lead off hitter, because he is far more adept at getting on base, then hitting runners in.

        And that is the lead off hitter’s main job, to get on base, anyway they can.

        But I understand why some like Toles in the lead off position, because of his speed, and because he did well in the lead off position, last year.

  8. I just don’t understand how the chemistry of this team can get so jacked up by adding two Allstars. Who went around and taught them all how not to hit? Buehler pitched his a$$ off last night and again, no run support. I feel like this team is the Washington Nationals West.

  9. AC, I agree that Verdugo is probably not the long term solution at leadoff. In fact, I see him as being a #2 guy. But for now he is probably the best solution.

    I don’t know enough about Locastro to have come to any conclusions about him.

    As for Toles, I don’t think he is anything more than a 4th outfielder. His best tool is his speed, but even that is limited by the fact that he doesn’t get on base enough to use it to maximum advantage, and certainly he’s certainly not a talented base stealer.

    Admittedly, Toles has had only limited opportunities with the Dodgers the last two years, when he had OBP’s of .314 and .292, respectively. He had a .365 OBP in 2016, but that was also in limited play., and I believe that since then his vulnerability to anything that’s not a fastball, had been exposed.

    1. Brooklyn

      I am not advocating Toles to be our lead off hitter.

      But he had 100 at bats in both 2016, and 217, and he only had 24 at bats this year, for that 292 OBP.

      And you have to remember he missed most of last year, and he was also out for almost two months, at the beginning of the season this year, too.

  10. Watford, I was thinking pretty much the same thing last night, which culminated in Taylor never moving the bat off his shoulder in the 9th. But if I recall correctly, it wasn’t much different with the hitters that preceded him.

  11. A frustrated, angry fan sees baseball this way?
    .
    A hero is a hitter that hits a weak ground ball that finds it’s way into the outfield.
    A hero is a hitter that bloops a ball just out of reach of the infielders and drops in the outfield.
    .
    A choker hits a ground ball that an infielder makes a diving catch for and throws them out.
    A choker is a hitter that hits a ball 100+ mph directly to a fielder.
    .
    There is no difference between a player that puts the ball in play for an out and a player that strikes out. It is either a hit and an RBI or it isn’t.

    1. Anger can be addictive and unlike anxiety, shame or depression, it drives us towards the object of our arousal. Our brains become out of balance when we get angry as our left hemisphere is strongly activated. That causes us to use simple logic because the context processing right hemisphere didn’t keep up.
      .
      The angrier we get, the more we lose our ability to process subtlety and nuance. Reality comes to be seen in simplistic, good-or-bad, all-or-nothing perspectives. Other people come to be seen as ‘stupid’ or ‘evil’ for having differing opinions. All kinds of neutral events are seen with paranoia, as intentional threats.

      1. Bum

        I have it all on you men, because most women’s brain hemisphere’s are more well balanced.

        But don’t cross me!

  12. Well said Mark, thx for allowing us to get our anger out here, and be patient in our jobs especially those in management of 20 something’s. I can vent on 20 something’s here and be much more patient at work. 🙂

    As angry as I am at this club’s play, I have to believe that if we play like we did the last three days minus the Jansen implosions we will sweep the Padres and maybe the Rangers as well. There pitching is no where near the Cardinals so our RISP has to be better and our pitching only gave up 13 runs in 3 games. If we can win 5 in a row we may be only like 2 back going into the AZ series and then 3 out 4 could put us right there going into September and I would even argue favorites again to win the division. A tall task but possible.

  13. IMO, the Dodgers need to sweep the Friars this weekend. Time is running out.IFthey do not, after Sunday’s game, I would put Kemp, Jansen, and Ryu on waivers. If claimed they can always be pulled back, but if they clear, then they can be traded before next Friday. The road to the playoffs should be very clear by next Friday. I think Ryu gets claimed and will be pulled back, Harvey was claimed, so I would expect Ryu to be as well. Kemp will clear, and Jansen is an unknown, but if claimed, I would pull him back. It is better to negotiate with multiple teams rather than 1. The Dodgers do not make many announcements with respect to waivers, so Kemp may have already been placed on and cleared waivers.
    .
    After watching Jansen multiple times this year, I am not convinced that his cutter is an effective pitch right now. But I also am not a pitching coach and cannot state unequivocally that he has lost the cutter. It is just my eyes compared to prior years. Then again maybe it’s my eyes.
    .
    Gio , Wieters, and Zimmerman all cleared waivers for the Nats, and at least one will go (probably Gio). Mark Reynolds was also placed on waivers, but the Braves claimed him and Reynolds was pulled back. The Nats have now pulled Harper and Reynolds off waivers.
    .
    McCutcheon has now cleared waivers, and is waiting to see where he is going to be traded.

    1. If we do well this weekend, we owe the Cards a sweep, at their place.

      I am just trying to be positive, and you never know, with baseball.

      1. Agreed. You need to plan. You do not need to execute the plan. FAZ is thinking 3-5 years down the line. I am thinking about a weekend series.

        1. AC

          I think everything you said made sense.

          I am just trying to be positive, for a change.

          Because I don’t want the season to end, and I know you feel the same.

          But your right, if the Dodgers get too far back, they need to take advantage, and try to get some prospects.

          Hopefully they won’t have to make decisions like this next year.

  14. Could we get Sandy Koufax to speak to the team and explain what a complete game is for a pitcher? Sandy had more complete games a season than the entire NL this year. Sandy also wasn’t the only pitcher completing what he started!

  15. I think that the Dodgers have been “losing on purpose” so that we can take a pitcher via waivers since being down in the standing, they have preference, and then in September we will see what this team full of stars and talent can and must do!
    Mark, do you think something like that could be true? That is, not lose on purpose as such, but they are not too far away and URGENTLY need help in the bullpen!

  16. Wow Rockies win with another walk off HR, wonder what that feels like.? They have a favorable schedule down the stretch . Since August 7th not only have we went 4 and 10 with tons of gut wrenching losses, and it seems like the teams around us are continually winning in every way possible. So, with that said and the law of averages, we are do some luck and breaks soon.

  17. I think there is a 50/50 chance the Dodgers won’t lose tonight.

    Yes, I know they don’t play tonight, but they are so bad there is still the possibility they could lose.

    1. 1-1 tie game in the 9th. Yet another solo HR after being no hit for 6.1 innings. Floro comes in with bases loaded. Uh Oh! NOT AGAIN!

    1. AC

      I liked Elton a lot when I was in high school, and I still do.

      I also loved the lyrics that Berne Taupin wrote, to Elton’s music.

  18. Cole Hamels throws a complete game victory tonight. 5 games started for the Cubs…5-0. I stated late May that the Dodgers should look at Hamels at the trade deadline. General response – too expensive; over the hill; too old. Of course Maddon let him throw 114 pitches. Not bad for an old man. Doc would have pulled him at 80 to save him for October.

    1. Hamels won’t keep this up. The wins now are coming at big losses later. I think Murphy is the guy that was the big acquisition for them.

        1. Why is it that some guys look like crap and seem to be washed up and then they get traded and turn into Cy Young (Verlander and Hamels), and then the Dodgers get somebody that looks good and they turn into crap (Darvish, Machado, Dozier)?

          Explain that!

          1. I was actually thinking about that. I have a theory. Some players have a ton of talent but are motivated by challenges (pennant race). They do not necessarily go through the motions, but their competitiveness is just not piqued. They get moved to a playoff contender and BAM a lights goes on and the next gear kicks in. Neither Verlander or Hamels were journeymen pitchers. Verlander is a certain HOF. But playing for lousy teams does not excite them when they have both been at an elite level team wise and as individuals. They perform best when the pressure is on. While others do not play as well under pressure. What pressure did Machado have to play under at Baltimore or Darvish in Texas. The pressure of a WS, and the throat is really constricting. The pressure of a $126MM contract and playing in Chicago? Darvish should have gone to Minnesota. The Dodgers are getting from Dozier what he is…a power hitting 2B who has trouble making consistent contact.
            .
            Another potential example is David Price. Right now he is lights out for Boston, but there is no pressure. Boston is running away with it. But what happens to Price when the playoffs come?
            .
            I have no objection with FAZ scouring the waiver wires for hidden gems. All you need is one to turn out and you are a genius. But when it comes down to crunch time, you need to look at those who have been there. Winners are a higher priority than talent at the trade deadline, especially when the winners also have talent, just not at the level they used to have.
            .
            Bottom line, some excel when the pressure is the greatest, some choke (there I said it). Think about it as it relates to our Dodgers for 2013-2017. There is no question that Clayton Kershaw has more talent than Madison Bumgarner, but who would you want pitching Game 7 of the WS?

      1. Agree with Bobby about Murphy!

        Every time he came up when we were playing the Nats in the post season, he was the bat that scared me, the most.

        1. AC

          That is the problem, numbers don’t necessarily tell you, what a player is made of.

          Sabers also can’t quantify why certain hitters, get key hits, in situations, like when runners are in scoring position, so they don’t give these hitters credit, even if they are doing that, at a good rate.

          And what is funny, is that you are a numbers person, but you are well balanced, so you have no problem seeing that, in certain players.

  19. I feel Wood should go to the pen and Stripling start Sunday. The Padres hit Wood last time out and beat him, Stripling fired 6 scoreless against them and he was struggling then. Too important of a game, and in my mind the toughest of the series on paper. I realize nothing is a given right now and as Mark said we can lose on off days. But I just feel the bats will hit tomorrow leading us to victory and Kershaw will get us Saturday’s game. The Sunday game will be our momentum builder or killer, Mark my words!!

  20. The season is not over. There’s still a week left in August. We need to right the ship and get on a positive run heading into September. I see no point in looking at the standings and hoping for PHI/COL/MIL/etc. to drop out. We have to win and the rest will take care of itself. Last year everything was going our way and we still didn’t end up on top. This year we just need to qualify for the playoffs and then the real season begins. I’m not going to say we can’t win it all because no team in the NL is dominant and no AL team is unbeatable in a seven game series. Y’all need to read some Winston Churchill quotes about never giving up. We might not win this year but it won’t be because we aren’t trying.

  21. Per Houston Mitchell of the Times:
    “Where the Dodgers rank in the 15-team NL this season in different clutch hitting stats:
    Runners in scoring position: 12th (.243)
    RISP, two out: 15th (.201)
    With men on base: 13th (.244)
    Two out, man on second: 9th (.232)
    Two out, man on third: 13th (.172)
    Two out, first and second: 14th (.185)
    Two out, first and third: 4th (.289)
    Two out, second and third: 9th (.209)
    Two out, bases loaded: 15th (.096)”

    “Dodger reliever ERAs in August
    Dylan Floro, 0.90
    JT Chargois, 2.70
    Kenta Maeda, 3.00
    Pedro Baez, 4.15
    Daniel Hudson, 4.15
    Caleb Ferguson, 6.00
    Scott Alexander, 6.75
    Kenley Jansen, 7.20
    Zac Rosscup, 7.94
    Erik Goeddel, 11.57
    John Axford, 16.20”

    “I am tired of watching Dodger hitters come up with two out and runners on base and swing for the fences. I am tired of Dodger hitters getting two strikes on them and still swing for the fences. I am tired of Dodger hitters coming up with a man on second and no one out and hitting a fly ball to left field. I am tired of Dodger hitters coming up with the shift on and not adjusting. I am tired of them not seeming to be aware of the situation they are in and still swinging for the fences anyway.”

    1. Rick

      I just read this, but you forgot to list our player’s individual numbers, in these two out situations.

      Those numbers are pretty telling, especially the players at the bottom of that list.

      1. Where are we ranked when we come up with 2nd and 3rd and nobody out or bases loaded and nobody out. I bet we suck then as well

    1. Wow – a great article. It primarily focused on how non-clutch the Dodgers’ hitters are, and while the ‘pen was mentioned, it wasn’t emphasized.

      What the article doesn’t really talk about is why the Dodgers’ hitters are so non-clutch. This has to do with approach with RSIP or with 2 out or with 2 strikes. This is what Houston Mitchell mentioned above – too many guys swing for the fences all of the time and do not change their approach. I have to think that the problem is coaching – the players will do what the coaches tell them to or they will be benched.

      1. Rick

        You forgot what our GM said was wrong with our offense, earlier in the season.

        Remember he said, the team just wasn’t hitting enough HRs.

  22. How many home run hitter do you need on a team the Dodgers just about have one at every position all of us on this board have vented and complained gave their opinions evidently the front office does not read this the Dodgers need to concentrate on pitching defense two maybe three home run hitters the rest contact hitters with speed not until then will there be a change from this year to the next’s.

  23. Despite a mention in the article that this isn’t a coaching problem, it appears to me that something is wrong about how this team approaches these situations. Clearly there has to be a change in the team philosophy regarding how they approach clutch situations. And that is a problem that has to be addressed by the field manager and coaches, and also the upper echelons of Dodgers management.

    There is some is some individual player responsibility, but for the most part I see this as being the outgrowth of overall team approach.

  24. The Dodgers have put themselves in this situation, and I’m not sure they can get themselves out of this mess. The players need to execute with men on base, and Roberts needs to play the best players and give the team a chance to win, he won’t.

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