Legends of the Fall

I always use that title once this time of year. This is where legends are made and you never know who will step up when you least expect it. What better legend to feature that one Sanford Koufax, as his protegee goes tonight.

If New Orleans is really The Big Easy, then St. Louis isThe Big (It Ain’t) Easyfor the LA Dodgers. With just two weekends left in the regular season, these four games with the St. Louis Cardinals are extremely important for the Dodgers.  Maybe they aren’t “must win” games, but they are games they really need.  A split is the worst case scenario for the Dodgers. Taking 3 out of 4 would be amazing and 4 out of 4 would be almost impossible… but awesome. Winning 1 out of 4 or getting swept would really dash their pennant hopes. It is right about now for the boys in Blue to “man up.”

Talent-wise, this team is the class of the National League.  They allowed the fewest runs and are a handful of runs from being the top scoring team… and yet they have underachieved.  The Dodgers have the best run differential in the National League.  Look at the Top Teams in the NL:

  1. Dodgers +133
  2. Cubs +111
  3. Braves +103
  4. Cardinal +82
  5. Nationals/D-Backs +73
  6. Brewers +43
  7. Pirates/Rockies-3

Pythagorean Win-Loss

Baseball Prospectus has a Statistical Page calledAdjusted Standings.  In every division in baseball by all the statistical indicators, the team with the best Pythagorean Record is leading the division… except the NL West.  According to the adjusted standings, the Dodgers are the best team in the NL… except they are not even close.  I am not going to bore you with all the statistical analysis here, because it really means nothing.  However, it is fascinating to see how the Dodgers are where they are and why the stats say they should be much better… except they are not.  

Some of it…. maybe 25%… is luck.  Fangraphs doesn’t buy it, but some of it just has to bepure, blind luck.  No other explanation.On the other hand, luck is where preparation meets opportunity and there are no excuses. You are what your record says you are, but… BIG BUT, the Dodgers can change all that right about now.  

Next year, the Dodgers need more diversity. Right now, they have too many “all-or-nothing” players, like Grandal, Pederson, Dozier, Taylor, Muncy and Bellinger. All of those guys biggest statistic is the strikeout.  Some of those players will move on by trade or free agency and others, specifically Taylor and Bellinger, will figure it out. Some think Bellinger and Taylor had their career years last year – I don’t. In 5 years you will look back and see both players had better seasons.  Yasiel Puig did not have a career year, but I think it might be time for him to move on.  Alex Wood probably had his career year, but Kenley Jansen has lots of years left, like Marino Rivera with that cutter. 

I think Cody Bellinger will be a potential Hall-of-Fame player after his lackluster Sophomore season.  While Chris Taylor is not on that level, he will figure out how to cut down on his strikeouts and will be a very nice player… again.

The Dodgers need more players like Andrew Toles and Alex Verdugo… and down the line, like Gavin Lux and Keibert Ruiz.   The thing is: home runs are great but not striking out is a thing too.  I do not want Brian Dozier back and I am ambivalent about Manny Machado.  But, roster composition for 2019 is a matter for another day.

Now, Back to This One…

That’s what Vin used to say, but we still have a little over two weeks to play in the season… and anything can happen.  The Rockies don’t appear to be going away, so the Dodgers have to hang in until they face-to-face them again on next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I still say this team is built for the Post-Season… if they can get there.  We are about to see what these boys are made of. Like Babe Ruth said: “It’s hard to beat a person who never quits.” This – right here, right now is where legends are made and where losers are exposed. Here we go…

Dodger News

  • Alex Wood appears destined to go to the bullpen.  He has held it together, but I have held my breath every time he takes the mound.  There is something about the way he has pitched this year that scares me to death. It was never been discussed why his velocity has dropped so much from early last year and he has been skipped a few times this year for his regular turn.  It appears to me that he has been suffering from some sort of injury.  Can he pitch out of the pen?  We will likely see.
  • The bullpen can only get better from here.  Kenley is back (no more Colorado), Rosscup has been very good, Baez is better than ever, Fields is solid, Floro is outstanding, Ferguson is more confident every outing, Stripling is … the same.  Maeda is settling in and Alexander is dangerous in both ways. We have no clue if Urias, Axford or Madsen can contribute, but the Dodgers are not without options. 
  • For this team to win the NL West, 3 or 4 of the bats are going to have to wake up.  JT and Manny need to be who they are and Grandal needs to go on one of his patented hot streaks (he started yesterday, hopefully). If just two of these fellas could get hot, the Dodgers might be in high cotton: Hernandez, Puig, Taylor, Bellinger, Pederson and Kemp.  Just two!
  • Tonight, we will hopefully see The Kershawshank Redemption as our Ace sets the tone for the series.  Let’s get ready to rumble.  It’s all come down to these few games.  Wow!
  • Among Catching Qualifiers in MLB, Yasmani Grandal is 5th in BA, 3rd in OB%, 2nd in Slugging, 2nd in OPS, 2nd in HR, 4th in RBI, 1st in BB, 2nd in Runs Scored, 10th in PB, 8th in Errors and 1st in Total Chances, but his extremes are a problem.  He seems to be red hot or frozen cold.The Athletichas a great piece on him today and he thinks he may have figured it out. I’m not holding my breath, but it would be nice. I, for one, have expected more from him.  
  • Thanks to Carlos Zamora from Costa Rica for the kind words – Welcome to the family!


This article has 97 Comments

  1. Tulsa Drillers 6-5 win over the San Antonio Missions (SD)
    I was happy that Ben Holmes was on the mound for Tulsa in Game 2, as he has been a fairly consistently positive pitcher for the Drillers since being signed after his release from the Marlins. But he had a rough outing going only 4.0 innings allowing 5 runs (4 earned) on 6 hits and 2 walks with 5 strikeouts. The Drillers had a brief 2-1 lead after 2, but the Missions scored 2 in the 3rd and 2 in the 4th to take a 5-2 lead. As has been the case for most of August and the post-season, Gavin Lux and Keibert Ruiz led the Drillers back. In the home half of the 5th, Gavin Lux led off with a single which was followed by a walk to Drew Jackson. With runners on 1st and 2nd and nobody out, Ruiz went old school and hit a ground ball to 1B to move Lux and Jackson in scoring position with one out. Up steps DJ Peters who promptly bangs a 2 run single to close the gap to 5-4.
    Andre Scrubb, Yadier Alvarez, and Karch Kowalczyk held the Missions scoreless to give the Drillers a shot in the 9th. Guess who leads off? Gavin Lux…again, and again he gets on base, this time with a walk. Drew Jackson drew his 3rd walk of the game to put runners on 1st and 2nd with nobody out. On the 1st pitch, Game 1 hero, Ruiz, strokes a single to plate Lux with the tying run. After Peters and Jacob Scavuzzo struck out, Zach Reks worked a walk on a 3-2 pitch to load the bases. After a pitching change, on his 2nd pitch, Dauris Valdez unleashed a wild pitch to bring Drew Jackson home with the walk off winning run.
    The leadoff and #2 hitter did their job and got on base 3 and 4 times respectively out of 5 PA; Lux with 2 hits and 1 walk, Jackson with 1 hit and 3 walks. They both scored twice. Ruiz put them in scoring position once and singled in Lux in the decisive 9th. And while DJ Peters did strike out twice, he did have a 2 run single earlier in the game. All around tremendous win for the Drillers with good clutch hitting when needed most, and great clutch relief pitching. I wonder if the blow-up Alvarez had on the last weekend of the regular season kicked something in. He had a solid 1 inning relief outing in the final game and pitched a solid 2 scoreless innings allowing 1 hit and 1 walk to go with 3 strikeouts.
    Gavin Lux has now hit safely in each of the 7 playoff games.
    The Championship series now goes to San Antonio, and Dustin May takes the bump in Game 3 on Friday.
    Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 9-3 win over the Visalia Rawhide (DBacks)
    All eyes were on Dennis Santana as he took the mound in the bottom of the 1st to begin his 2 innings of work. It started out fantastic with a 3-pitch strikeout of 2B Camden Duzenack. But the next batter, 20-year-old SS from Nassau, Bahamas, Jazz Chisholm, hit a HR to right center. The rest of the first two innings went without a baserunner for Dennis. Santana had three strikeouts in this positive outing.
    The Quakes offense was held in check with 2 singles in the first 4 innings, but the 5th inning was a whole different story. After a walk to Nick Yarnall, Donovan Casey and Jeren Kendall both reached on errors to load the bases. Omar Estevez struck out for out #1, but Cody Thomas came up clutch again with a grand slam to take a 4-1 lead.
    The Quakes added a run on a double (Cristian Santana), single (Jared Walker), and a double play scoring Santana with the 5th run. The Quakes broke it open in the 7th. After two outs, Thomas booms a triple. Carlos Rincon follows with a base on balls, and Connor Wong hit a double scoring Thomas and putting Rincon on 3rd. The next batter, Christian Santana followed with a 3-run HR to take the lead to 9-1.
    Wills Montgomerie, Logan Salow, and Connor Strain pitched the next 6 innings in scoreless fashion. Austin Hamilton allowed two meaningless runs in the 9th to finish the scoring at 9-3.
    I will be watching the pre-season 2019 prospect list, and I hope to see the name Cody Thomas included.
    The Championship Series now shifts to Rancho Cucamonga where the Quakes have been lethal the 2nd half (29-6). Isaac Anderson will get the ball for Game 3.

    1. Cody Thomas is certainly climbing…

      Kaybear Ruiz is going to be a beast. We will have to wait a year, most likely!

  2. I hope you’re right about Bellinger and Taylor. I am afraid that Bellinger’s real level is around .265 with 20-25 HR and 80 RBI. Good for a nice career, but not HOF stuff. Taylor looks more like the defensive specialist hitting around .245 with 15-20 HR and 60 RBI. Grandal is what we are seeing this year – streaky and unable to hold onto the ball while trying to make a tag at home plate. All in all, this team is about what we’re seeing this year, not what we saw last year – except in the World Series. FAZ still has a lot of work to do.

  3. The Athletic’s Jim Bowden writes this about Yasmani Grandal while picking where free agents will go:

    11. Yasmani Grandal, C, Dodgers
    Age: 29, WAR: 2.4, OPS+: 113

    The switch-hitter will be the most sought-after catcher in free agency after another solid year that has included 22 home runs, 63 runs batted in and an on-base percentage of .339 in 448 plate appearance. Defensively he’s done a solid job of calling games and framing pitches as well.

    Early best fits: Dodgers, Nationals, Mets.

  4. I didn’t take part in the quagmire yesterday and I’m happy though I didn’t hear many of the folks out there use the words of our vaunted leader, “I’m ashamed to be a Dodger fan”!!! I surely wish MT would have asked Mr. Zamora if he felt that way… I think not…
    I remember sitting in Wrigley Field (no, not that one) downtown Los Angeles watching Steve Bilko and my P.C.L. Los Angels Angels asking my Dad would we ever get a Major Lg. team??? Be patient he’d say…
    Ashamed to be a LAD fan??? Really???
    As always AC, great stuff!!! Boy am I anxious to see the Lux/Ruiz era…

    1. I wasn’t ashamed yesterday, but I was ashamed watching the Reds beat them like rented mules the previous 2 days. If I were the Manager of the Dodgers, Guggenheim would be paying for some damage in the Reds Clubhouse. I think Tommy may have felt the same way and did the same thing. There comes a time when you have to go “bat shit crazy” to motivate anyone. I have been known to jump on the conference room table and motivate our sales people. I think Doc needs to inject some excetement at times. It’s not OK to lose 6 out of 7 to the Reds. When you tell players that they are “better than that” it motivates from both fear and confidence. Show them they you believe in them and EXPECT MORE!

      1. Mark

        Did you read that article in the Athletic about the Dodger’s mediocrity against the Reds, and the bad teams?

        It sounded like the players, especially the young players, didn’t have much leadership, beyond Turner.

        I think Cody is a player that has to play everyday.

        He is to valuable to the team to not play everyday, because he can beat a team on the bases, with his bat, and with his glove.

        And Roberts should have at least had Cody in the line up everyday, after he got so hot.

        A young player like Cody, should not be platooned against lefties, especially after how well he hit lefties, last year.

        Roberts has mostly played Puig against lefties the last couple years, except very recently, to see if he would start hitting lefties again.

        Cody should have been treated at least, that same way.

  5. Roberts certainly has his favorites, and Alex Wood is not on that list. Neither are Andrew Toles or Kenta Maeda. But Rich Hill can certainly do no wrong. In his last 5 games he has gone:
    6 IP, 4 runs, Seattle
    6 IP, 0 runs, San Diego
    5 IP, 3 runs, Arizona
    6 IP, 6 runs, Mets
    5 IP, 4 runs, Colorado
    He has allowed 5 home runs and has compiled a 4.82 ERA. But no talk in moving him back. Roberts has already said that Wood has been bumped from the Sunday game. In his previous 14 games before yesterday, Wood has averaged 5.76 innings, and not once allowed 4 runs in a game, with a 2.39 ERA, and yet he is a problem. If he is hurt, he has pitched through it since he has not been placed on the DL all year (the only pitcher other than Caleb Ferguson not to). And yet Ryu hasn’t been healthy for 4 years. Again, but Wood is the problem.
    Maeda’s situation is just as bad except his loss of starts and IP costs him some serious money. He went to the bullpen on August 14, and in that time, he has pitched in 8 games (9.0 IP). At least he was allowed to start his 20th game in his last start, which earned Kenta $1MM. There is no longer a chance that he gets to 25 starts, his next start benchmark. Maeda was at 109 IP at that time he went to the pen, and with the 9 IP in the last 26 games played, he has earned $250K. At 118 IP, he is a certainty to reach 120 IP for another $250 K, but also a certainty to not get to 130 IP for his next $250K bonus.
    I do not know what Toles did to get in the doghouse, but there he sits. 3 pinch hit AB since being called up is not much of an audition for 2019.
    I am convinced that FAZ will not make Roberts the scapegoat for the season and he will be back. Therefore, I am hopeful that Alex gets traded this winter and can go to a team that will have confidence in him. I feel the same for Toles who deserves better.

    1. AC

      It is very obvious that Roberts has favorites, with the way some players get unlimited chances on this team, without much real improvement, from year to year.

      I wonder if Wood, Maeda, and Toles, are all players or pitchers, that don’t say that much.

      Because I think that might be one of the keys why Roberts feels he can do what he wants, with these players.

      Because he won’t hear from these players, like he might hear from other players, or these players don’t play up to Roberts, like some of these other players do, that have been given unlimited chances.

      I think it is ridiculous that Maeda has to take a loss financially, because we know the owners of the Dodgers, are not hurting for money.

      This was only about staying under the luxury tax, not because the owners, are hurting.

      In fact, they should want to reward a player like Maeda, who is sacrificing himself, for his team.

      More people do seem to get on Wood like you said, but Roberts has not put Wood in the best place he could succeed, in the last couple weeks, like you pointed out.

      Wood pitched the best game of all of these starters, in the World Series.

      And that is because Wood never took one pitch off, when he was pitching, in that game.

      Because he is a team player first, it that may be another reason, that Roberts feels he can do this with Wood, too.

      I don’t know if Roberts does this on purpose, but he sure doesn’t put some of these players and pitchers, in the best place they can succeed, in.

      Like when Roberts pushed
      Woods starts back a couple weeks ago, because before that, Wood had really got in his groove, and was pitching well.

      And what Roberts is doing with Toles now, looks much like what Roberts did in spring training, after Toles was hitting much better, then Joc.

      It looked like Roberts was setting up Toles to fail in spring training, and it looks that way right now, too.

      I know there was rumors at the beginning of the season, that Toles was not getting along with his manager in AAA.

      But when that rumor came out, Toles wasn’t even with the team, he was rehabbing his hammy in Arizona, at the Dodgers training facility.

      I hope both Wood and Toles are traded too.

      Look at all the players they gave up, that are starting and playing for the Reds, major league team this year.

      They got nearly nothing for these players, but these players are flourishing on the Reds now.

      And they are not having to deal with these constant line up changes, either.

      But these players they are slighting, is not a good thing for the team.

      Because Toles has only produced when he was given a fair chance, and so has Wood, and Maeda.

      And the line up of these players they have choose, to be in their line up, are certainly not the type of hitters, that will produce a consistent offense.

      And that is why the Dodgers have not done as well as they should this year, like Mark mentioned.

      You don’t have to be a Mensa member, to see that we have a line up that is not balanced enough, to score runs consistently.

      And we have not had consistent offense from some of our outfielders, for some time.

      And because of that, they can’t afford to diss one of their outfielders that has only produced, when he was given a fair chance.

      And this applies to Wood and Maeda, too!

  6. I must admit, I laugh every time someone says “Bellinger had a career year in 2017”. He’s had ONE YEAR SO FAR!! No matter what kind of year he had, it will have been a career year, as he was a rookie!!!! Of course it was a career year!! It’s one thing to mention others who had career years, but it’s comical to lump a rookie in that mix.

    I guess we can say Walker Buehler is having a career year this year, and next season we shouldn’t expect these results!!

    1. Bobby

      Couldn’t “having a career year” as a rookie mean that MT thinks that last year will be the best year of his career? I think that is how a rookie season may very well be his best. He is just predicting.

      1. Mark predicted a potential hall of fame career for Bellinger. if that happens, then his rookie year will not have been close to being his best year.

        I’ve also said that Bellinger has Hall of Fame talent, with his glove and immense power. He could have 100 home runs before he’s even 24! This year is his sophomore year, and we’ve seen the “sophomore slump” and adjustments from tons of players over the years. How he grows next year (or hopefully the rest of this year) will determine how great his career is.

        My point was, when discussing guys who have had career years, it generally means those guys have had a few decent years and then 1 great year. It could mean career year, or it could mean young player finally got it (Beltre 2004). But calling a rookie as having a career year is comical.

  7. well, as we go into a critical series still not knowing what kind of team will show up, at least we have some increased clarity about the postseason picture.
    in short, Philly is basically out now and i’m inclined to say that Arizona is out of the WC picture, though they are still within striking distance in the NL West.
    i’m crowning ATL in the NL East and projecting that no other team will reach the playoffs from that division. in the NL Central, one of CHI/MIL/STL will win the division and AT LEAST one of the remaining two will likely claim a WC spot.
    in the NL West, the division winner claims a spot and there might be one more WC spot available (assuming all three NL Central teams don’t make it), although i think it is unlikely that it will be Arizona: they are more likely to get in as a division winner.
    we therefore have two paths to the playoffs: either win the NL West [and likely face ATL on the road in the NLDS] or win the WC2 [and likely face MIL/STL/CHI on the road in a one-game play-in].
    and then there are the various tiebreaker scenarios for which i’m very glad i’m not a professional writer or i would lose my mind,

  8. Curdybuff – I’d be lying if I said I don’ miss last year’s LAD runaway… But this here is what we sign up for hopefully every ST…
    Hell, alot of players and personnel already have their plane tix for Oct. to faraway places…
    One game at a time with the STL… That’s all I got…

    1. yep. to me you follow baseball for one reason and that is to win a championship. every year you have a chance to do so is a potential opportunity. it’s foolish to give up before we’ve been knocked out. at risk of jinxing it, i expect a crisp performance tonight: 6-7 strong inning by kershaw, some combination of our A-bullpen [ferguson, floro, alexander, maeda, jansen], and focussed at-bats strung together leading to enough runs to win. very confident about starting off the series on the right foot. we control our destiny.

  9. We owe this team a beat down, they have owned us since Clark V Niedenfur. However this is good stuff, stressful but really why we follow.

    We need to have some good starts to the game, in recent weeks we have been so lethargic in early innings. Hard to always play from behind especially against solid teams like the Cardinals. We have had early inning opportunities but just cannnot come through in the clutch. This narrative will be tested this weeekend, as we will have to hit in the clutch and pitch welll late to win. Obvious statement of the year but in regards to our 2018 Dodgers these things cannot be overstated. Will see, not overly optimistic but Kersh and Buehler can quickly change that line of thinking.

    We had Gomber on the ropes last time out but could not close and eventually lost late. Need to be better, tonight is very close to a must win in my mind, for both the standings and psyche.

    A quick question I imagine no more pen reinforcements are coming correct, Chargois, Cingrani, Axford are all done for the season? AC or Mark?

    1. only time we got them in my Dodger lifetime was 2009, in that series where Matt Holiday dropped that fly ball. But that’s it.

    2. i say treat it as a full-on playoff series. how about we call it a best-of-five where we’re forced to win 3 games in 4 chances? and please for the love of god, walk carpenter if the situation calls for it. he is that good and probably should win the MVP (although to me, arenado is the best player).

      1. Curdybuff

        I am more worried about Kenley then anyone, because he has not pitched much.

        And I am sure you know that was not the first HR, either Cardinal’s player had hit off Kenley, in that last series, against the Cards.

        But after writing this, I remembered St Louis has not been a good place for Kershaw, either.

        We better kick butt, like you said!

    3. I do not know how they can. There is 18 days remaining in the season (16 games). None of them ar pitching, and the minor league season comes to an end as early as Friday or as late as Sunday. There will be no rehab games. I find it very hard to see any of those pitchers in a must win game in a pennant drive. Just my opinion.

  10. Concerning run differential against the Reds, the Dodgers outscored the Reds 15-14 and lost 2 out of 3.

  11. Did I read it right, that Dodgers have a better winning stat against the better teams? If so I wonder how true that is vs the very best and very worst teams. The very worst team won’t be in the playoffs but the very best will be. So the question forward is how do they fare vs in the middle teams. So the plan all along must have been to make it by the skin of teeth to playoffs and from there it’s a shoe in. Well part of that will work out, the skin of the teeth part if we get that far.

  12. Haven’t commented in a while, but I still read most every day. I feel your pain Mark. I don’t know that I could ever be ashamed of being a Dodger fan, but I certainly have had far too many moments this year where I felt frustrated and disappointed in how they have played.
    I had the opportunity to take in a Dodger vs Mariner game in Seattle, while visiting family. They won the game handily, but, there was prevailing feeling that they were playing with a lack of passion. The Mariner’s pitcher was AAA quality only, so they took advantage of that. But otherwise, they seemed listless. Kershaw had a good line in the box score, but he certainly didn’t look like Kersh of old, nor did he look like a 30 million a year ace. I truly hope they get back to the WS this year and win it all, but alas, I have my doubts that it is going to happen.
    AC & DC thanks for keeping us updated on the minor leagues and the growing list of prospects. I always enjoy reading your updates. I came across this article this morning, which gave some insight into the life of a minor league player and the struggles they face, particularly the Latin players:

  13. some random prospect thoughts:

    i’m always amused when i see proposed trade packages like verdugo/may/lux and the writer says that “verdugo is the prize”–is that even true? in my heart i think i’d be more upset losing either of those two than verdugo. if he’s really as good as advertised, he has to start full-time from day one next season.
    we need to start developing some relievers. alvarez might be the place to start. hell, we may already have one in ferguson. longshots like sheffield, sierra too. develop dominant bullpen pieces. i know it’s a waste to take a guy like Santana and move him to the pen but as we’ve seen this year, bullpens matter. a lot. my money’s on jimenez to be the guy that ultimately achieves this role.
    ruiz is coming fast. he is something else. maybe it’s time to start thinking of will smith as austin barnes 2.0 [as others have already hinted at] and clear out the position for ruiz for the next decade. can’t wait to see cartaya next year but he’s just a whisper in the wind at this juncture.
    we should trade toles this offseason. he clearly has no place here.
    our entire organizational future could depend on the development of guys like white and gonsolin: we need to either hit on a few of these pitchers or trade them for players who can actually produce for us.

  14. For those who have the ability: today’s Col/AZ game is on facebook live. You can just search rockies on fb, and click on the watch live link

  15. The Dodgers need to win all their remaining series, nothing less, let’s see what happens.
    Mark, thinks this Dodger team is built for the playoffs, they may not be built to win the division. Whatever happens, many changes need to be made for next year.
    Play Ball

    1. i don’t understand what that even means. how you can be built for the end but not for the beginning and middle? sounds like all noise and no signal.

  16. Today’s lineup:

    Cleary were facing a leftie, and as we all know, our lefties can’t hit leftie pitchers

    1. Bobby

      Of course, our number one prospect that hit 396, and OPSed in the 900s against lefties in AAA, should only get at bats, and starts, against righties,.

      Because he doesn’t do close to the same amount of damage, against righties.

      Righties 304, lefties 396

      Overall average, 329 where does most of this average come from, it isn’t that hard!

      Especially with the righties in our line up that flail, against lefties.

    2. Why play Grandal and Puig after 3 hit days yesterday? One of these days, those odds are going to actually pay off. Another interesting stat that is easily found without your own set of algorithms; Austin Gomber vs RHB .222/.328/.333/.661 and vs LHB .292/.346/.417/.762.

      1. AC

        Two of the Diamondback pitchers had reverse splits like that too.

        Maybe if Roberts would really look deeper into the numbers, he would just stop starting every right hand hitter, if their is a leftie starting.

        And he would know that most of Verdugo’s overall average is from what he does against lefties, more then righties.

        And he would know he has a player on his team, that actually excels, when runners are in scoring position.

        I would think he would have more compassion for Toles after he had to work so hard in the off season, to try to come to spring training somewhat prepared, unlike others, that didn’t have that long road to recovery, like he had.

        I sure would be upset if I was him, because Roberts sure goes out of his way, for his favorites, even though they are not producing game, after game.

        The reason the Dodgers tried to push on their radio show about why Wood would be the one to go into the pen, is because Wood is experienced throwing in the pen.

        I would not stick Stripling in the rotation, this fast myself.

        It was really about both Ryu and Stripling, not about Woods experience.

  17. Just to set the record straight so that no one looses their minds:

    I have been ashamed of things my kids have done, but I still love them.

    I never said I didn’t love the Dodgers – Just that I was ashamed.

    1. Rudy

      Where have you been?

      We might be starting a support group after every game, in this next series.

      Bobby has the blood pressure pills, but my heart and blood pressure is just fine, so Bobby I will take a sedative, instead!

      But with this team, they almost always play up or down to their competition, so that is a positive for us!

      Mark we know you only want best for the Dodgers, just like you always want the best, for your kids!

        1. Bobby

          I have always wanted to try an edible, but Kaiser checks everyone’s blood, that are on pain meds.

          But I still see myself trying edibles, in the future.

          My brother is a big advocate and I know it is better for me, then pain meds, since I don’t plan on smoking it.

          My brother went out to see the Rockies last year, and he got some at the game, that day.

          1. They are much better than pharma pills for sure! I actually use that electronic pen with the different cartridges. It’s cleaner, no smell, no calories, much healthier, and cheaper than any pills or alcohol.

            But this team requires the good stuff, so I recommend we all take whatever we need to in order to survive the next 16 days

  18. Bobby – CBD edibles are the way to go!!! Not that I would know though…
    M.T. – You can’t get the paste back in the tube…Are you or are you NOT “Ashamed to be a Dodger FAN”…
    Me, I’ll always be a FAN, but oh buddy can they piss me off!!!

    1. I was ashamed, just like I would be ashamed if my kid pisssed in your Cherrios… but I would still love them (after I beat their a$$).

      I take CBD and it has helped my arthritis pain immensely!

      1. I will always be a Dodger fan but I have been ashamed of them a few times this year but not ashamed of myself for being a fan. It does make me take some losses harder and ’88 was a long time ago. They are missing a killer instinct, call it the Lasorda factor and could have put this division away with a few more timely wins and pooped the bed. They have played both the Snakes and Rocks tough recently and owe the Cards a payback so there is a good chance they can do it and I believe. Doc won’t change his approach so it’s up to the players to produce even though his lineups are truly puzzling. It is almost mandatory to have some alcohol or something stronger close by during the games!

        1. I was ashamed during the end of the McCourt years. I didn’t go to a game for maybe 2 years because I hated the idiot mentality of the fanbase at the games starting fights, and of course McCourt for being McCourt and embarrassing us nationally . Still rooted for the team, but only from tv/radio

  19. Let me express how felony stupid it is to sit Yasmani Grandal after his hot game. He has been cold for a while and then gets hot so Doc sits him. Dumb. Just Dumb!

    1. Not only Grandal, but Dozier over Muncy? Doc is looking at the same numbers that we have access to.
      Muncy vs LHP – .272/.385/.565/.951
      Dozier vs LHP – .228/.343/.338/.681
      1st AB against Gomber – routine 6-4-3 double play. I hope he gets a hit each AB, but the numbers do not support it.

  20. What a well written article DC – I actually remember reading in 2014. I have had many baseball “heros” over the years, starting, ironically enough, with Don Demeter when I was 8 years old. One hero is Curt Flood. His bravery in standing up to the system impressed me then and even more so now. I still can’t fathom any other vocation where you wake up one morning and find out you no longer work for IBM in Newport Beach, but instead you’re working for Google in Kansas City. This becomes particularly more troublesome when dealing with the minor leaguers.
    Please keep up your good work. I don’t always say thank you, but I appreciate your passion for the game I love so much and your willingness to share some of that with us on this blog. Thank you.

    1. Thank you 2demeter2. I live in awe of minor league players. They are playing against a stacked deck and living on subsistence wages, yet never give up. I am also in awe of so many knowledgeable posters on this blog who are passionate about the game, the Dodgers and so many who are very knowledgeable about the minor league system. This has to be the blog with the best discourse starting with Mark and AC and continuing with so many of the posters. One where opposing opinions are allowed and welcomed. and things aren’t taken personally.

    1. He has since the calendar struck September. He does not appear to be as concerned with as much launch angle and overswinging. His double in the 4th was a good example.
      Barnes is now above Mendoza line.

  21. That last play by Machado is one of the reasons I want him back next year. And if he hits like I expect, then all the more reason to bring him back.

  22. What happened to the long ball? Is this the return to Dodger baseball? Sure hope this tells something to those who think the new school is the best school. This back page should be the whole book!

  23. Roberts must send relivers to get ready for any work. Right now that the score is 9 _ 5. This win is very important

  24. They didn’t exactly rip the ball off Kenley. But he never looked comfortable, and for whatever reason, this year he’s lost the impeccable control that he always had in previous years, and hitters are making more contact. Much less swing and miss.

    I still have confidence that he can mostly get the job done, but I no longer have the feeling that it’s pretty much automatic.

    1. Orel did a great job in that 9th of telling us what Kenley’s doing and trying to do. At first I wondered why Kenley was in with a 4 run lead, but I understand getting him comfortable again, especially against StL.
      Hopefully Floro or someone else not named Madsen is ready to close tomorrow if need be

  25. Kenley is always like this, when he doesn’t get regular work, like Mark said.

    That is why I said he worried me the most.

  26. I’m not looking to trade Kenley this off-season. I suspect that he’s already planning to work extra hard this offseason to regain whatever he’s lost this year.

    Mark, I agree that Kenley is less effective when he gets too much time off. But I think you may have forgotten that he pitched the 9th yesterday. But I agree with “WHEW”. I just like it in all caps.

  27. The Dodgers have now played 147 games plus spring training games. Grandal is tired and bruised. Barnes is fresh and he looked it defensively. Can we all look beyond the box score before we gripe about Robert’s lineups?
    Dozier might not make the playoff 25 but then again there may not be a playoff 25.

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