From goat to GOAT

One day you’re the goat, and the next day you’re the GOAT.  Okay maybe not GOAT, but certainly greatest hitter on that day.  After going 0-5 with 4 strikeouts and an error in Game 1, Justin Turner goes 2-4 and hits a go-ahead 2 run HR in Game 2.  With CT3 on 1st base after an infield single, Justin Turner hit a 2-0 splitter that stayed up over the middle of the plate and certainly not low enoughDEEPinto the LF stands.  Jeremy Jeffress is running on fumes after a long season.  Thanks to Josh Hader not being available, Jeffress could not be effective in back to back games.


But without the big 7thinning, there would not have been JT’s heroics in the 8th.  Facing top prospect pitching Corbin Burnes, Max Muncy drew a walk which was followed by 3 singles by Machado, Bellinger and Joc.  Bellinger’s brought in the first run and Joc loaded the bases for Yasiel Puig.  Unfortunately everybody knew what was coming as John Smoltz told everyone who was listening that Puig is a “sucker” for a slider low and away.  Sure enough Jeffress got it off the plate by a good 6 inches for a swinging strike 3. Good for Barnes to pick him up with getting the bases loaded walk to pull the Dodgers within 1.  Unfortunately that brought up Yasmani Grandal who did the only thing that he COULD NOT DO and hit into a 4-6-3 double play to end the threat.


With Hader unavailable, Jeffress needed to come back out and face the top of the order, and after the CT3 infield single, came the JT game winner.


There were a lot of positives to come away from this game.  For the 2ndstraight game, the Dodgers were down late and were still able to make a big comeback.  They were not able to come all the way back in Game 1, but it obviously gave them the confidence that they could still come back against this strong (but overworked bullpen) in Game 2.  The Brewers bullpen reminds me of the Dodgers 2017 bullpen.  Hader is the Brandon Morrow, but most of the Brewers bullpen is running on fumes just as the Dodgers were in 2017.


Alex Wood is not a Loogy.  Wood needs to feel the game, but if he feels like he has to be perfect…well that is not his game.  If he is not going to be the long man, then they should have Alexander as the Loogy.


Another big positive is the continuing hitting of CT3.  He now has five hits in 9 Abs.  Belli got an RBI single.  Unfortunately, with Jhoulys Chacin scheduled to pitch Game 3, CT3 figures to be on the bench in favor of Joc.  However, Joc is another positive as he had two hits today, including a ground ball base hit to the left side off LHRP Xavier Cedeno.  Maybe with Kike’ not hitting at all in the playoffs, CT3 gets the nod over Kike, and both will be in the lineup.


Pedro Baez has apparently turned the page and is now becoming a weapon in the bullpen.  Kenta Maeda gets fortunate (or maybe it was planned) with a long drive by Curtis Granderson that settled into Yasiel Puig’s glove. And finally Kenley might just be rounding into his mid-season form.  I did not like the free pass to LoCain, but to get Christian Yelich to break his bat and ground out to JT to end the game was good to see.


Overall, the Dodgers were 2-4 WRISP.  They also only had 5 strikeouts after 13 in Game 1.


Now the team heads back to LA and we get a Buehler v Chacin matchup in Game 3.  I like the Dodgers chances in that one.  Play one game at a time, but it is looks like Clayton Kershaw will get a chance to redeem himself in Game 5.  And who knows, maybe it will be a NLCS winner.

This article has 31 Comments

  1. I know it’s only two games, but after two games, the Dodgers bullpen ERA is 1.86 while the Brewers is 6.97. I know Kenley takes exception to how great people say the Brewers pen is. The Brewer’s pen has pitched 10.1 innings while the Dodgers has pitched 9.2 innings. The Dodgers pen has given up 2 runs while the Brewers has given up 6. Of course, Jeffress says the Dodgers are just “lucky.” Whatever, but right about now, they own you! My advice is shutup and let your pitching do the talking…

  2. Need to get to Chacin in the first 4-5 innings. Hader’s stuff is electric and it will be tough to score on him and I wouldn’t all be surprised if Counsell uses Hader again for multiple innings just to win one game at a time. With three consecutive games before a day off I hope the Dodgers offense can extend AB’s, drive up the pitch count and pass the baton from one to the next. Keep their BP tired and spent.

    I wanted Puig to come through at one of the biggest moments of his career, but once again the off speed low and away pitch got him chasing. What an AB by Barnes though. Buehler needs to be game 163 good.

  3. Come on Mark. You have to be lucky to come back from 6-1 to 6-5, just short of a single in the first game to tie the game or go ahead. You have to be lucky to come back from 3-0 against the self-designated”best bullpen on the planet”.
    This is what Christian Yelich had to say about it when asked about the bullpen’s collapse.
    “I wouldn’t say they gave it away,” said Milwaukee’s Christian Yelich, the presumptive NL most valuable player. “I think the other team earned it.”
    Kudos to the team for not giving in when the going got tough. JT’s hit might just have been that defining moment for the Dodgers. CT3’s hitting has been all important. Being on base for Turner’s HR made it just a bit more difficult for unlucky Jeffress who allowed an inherited runner to score and gave up a two-run dinger. He was unlucky that he was behind JT 2-0 when he served up the fat one. Huh!

  4. Wonder how luck plays out in the ravine. Classless words from Jeffrus. Yelich is a good sport. I’d bet he wishes he landed with Dodgers. I swear I heard change dropping when Turner hit that one out.

  5. The Bowman Hitting Challenge in the Arizona Fall League was cancelled yesterday due to rain. It reportedly will not be rescheduled.

  6. It feels really good to come away with a victory in a game where the Dodgers looked so over matched for much of the game. By the 6th inning, I was so disappointed. By the 9th so jubilant! I love baseball and I love the Dodgers!

  7. I just read a post from a Dodger fan in Dallas, and he said when Jeffress was in the Ranger’s bullpen, apparently a lot of hitters got lucky then, too.

    It looks like Counsell is following the numbers more then just watching the game, or why would he constantly be taking pitchers out, that are pitching well, like Miley yesterday?

    The Brewers could easily be down two games, with some of the moves, Counsell has been making.

    There is only two pitchers in the Brewer’s bullpen that have given us trouble, and that is Hader, and the pitcher who hit that big HR.

    I know we have hit Chacin hard, but I also think we have had some games, where we didn’t do much against Chacin too, so we can’t assume anything, with Chacin.

    If Turner doesn’t hit that ball out, I don’t know if we would have won that game, for sure.

    Because usually after an inning like we had before Turner hit that ball out, will come back and bite us, so we still have to do better, when runners are in scoring position.

    We only scored one run, after the bases were loaded, because the other run came home, before the bases were loaded.

    But hopefully, Counsell will continue to not stay with his starters that are pitching well, and instead, he will continue to burn out his bullpen before game five, and make this a short series.

    After all, we are scoring most of these runs off the Brewer’s bullpen, not their starting pitching.

    And this is all thanks to the Brewer’s manager, Counsell.

    I sure wouldn’t be happy with Counsell, if I was a Brewer’s fan.

    Like Mark has mentioned, our bullpen has been more dominant, then the Brewer’s bullpen, in this series.

    And these next three games at Dodger Stadium will not be any easier for the Brewers, even though they do have three players from Southern California, on their team.

  8. I was somewhat disappointed that DR did not pitch Buehler instead of RYU yesterday. I thought about it and finally came to the conclusion that DR was right after all. What changed my mind was that I realized Buehler is still a rookie and he would probably feel more at ease in front of 50,000 Dodger fans than 40,000 Brewer fans.

    1. Yesterday, I said I would have started Hill the 2nd game and I was serious. Here’s why:

      1. Buehler was fresh off a start where he lost it one inning. He has a 3.45 ERA on the road and a 1.93 at Dodger Stadium. I would not put that kind of pressure on a rookie… not matter how good he is.

      2. Ryu has a 3.58 ERA on the road and a 1.15 ERA at Dodger Stadium.

      3. Rich Hill has about the same road ERA as Ryu and Buehler, but his Road WHIP is 1.04. Since the All-Star game he has had a 3.03 ERA.

      4. If the Brewers had to face Ryu and Buehler back-to-back in LA, they would be hurting.

  9. I love how the pre-series prognosticators (including yours truly) wrote and talked about how the series was going to be all about the starting pitching for the Dodgers and the bullpen for the Brewers. Well so far, it has not gone according to plan. Dodger starting pitching…Kershaw 3 IP and Ryu 4.1 IP. Mark already posted above about the ERA for the Brewers pen. Outside of Hader and Woodruff, they have been less than adequate.
    Just an observation. Manny Machado is going to get a VERY big contract, but I wonder how many millions is he throwing away with his obvious lack of effort running out ground balls. It was evident before to many, but now it is front and center with the entire baseball community watching and commenting. I see no way he ends up a Dodger come FA, but I hope he hits enough HRs to get himself a WS ring and a parade with the Dodgers. I also wonder how his lack of effort will be accepted by the rabid fans in stadiums such as NYY and Philly. For Philly, many will look for Chase Utley type efforts. Remember they boo Santa Claus in Philadelphia.

    1. Do you think it will be AC? I’m worried it won’t effect his free agent value at all.
      I hope you are right, but I’m skeptical. I also don’t think how the fans will view him (you are 100% correct about Philly being a bad fit) will impact a team meeting Boras’ wants.
      I still think he makes more than 300mm. What do you think?

      1. Manny is an East Coast guy. He says he wants to be NYY. Whether NYY wants him is another guess. Their needs are a LHSP and their sites are on native upper NYer, Patrick Corbin, who has been a Yankees fan his entire life. Corbin will be expensive, and they will want another pitcher as well. The Yankees can always play Gleybar Torres at SS until Didi is back. They can always use the defensive whiz Tyler Wade at 2B or bring back Neil Walker. The persistent rumors have NYY looking to bring back Happ and McCutcheon, as well as signing Corbin. If the Yankees can move Stanton, they may make a play for Machado. But I do not think that is likely. Probably as likely as the Dodgers being able to move Kemp.
        The Dodgers will kick the tires, but there is no way they will spend the money to keep him. Contrary to some thought, Scott Boras is not Machado’s agent. Dan Lozano and MVP Sports Group is; the same agent who engineered the contracts for Pujols and Votto, so he knows and negotiates big numbers.
        If the Nats want to spend the money they will re-sign Harper. The Braves could be a player. They could then package Dansby Swanson and some pitching for a top OF prospect to replace Markakis.
        I think he ends up in Philly. They can use a poster boy like Manny Machado as the face of their team. They want him, and they have the money and desire to spend it. J. P. Crawford will not be a deterrent. The one question I would have is how will Machado and Kapler survive. Philly front office personnel, Andy McPhail, Matt Klentak, and Joe Jordan, are all former Orioles front office personnel when Manny arrived in Baltimore, and they want him in Philly. Citizens Bank Ballpark is made for Machado. He is a potential 40 HR guy in that ballpark.

      2. Thanks for correcting me on the agent.
        Interesting guess on the Yankees, makes sense to me!
        I still think despite their flaws and freckles Harper and Machado name their price.

  10. A couple of observations:
    1 – Just because the Dodgers’ starters have been outpitched by the Brewers’ and the Brewers’ ‘pen by the Dodgers’ thus far doesn’t mean the series won’t return to type. The Dodgers’ rotation is way way better than the Brewers – I’d take any of the Dodgers’ top 8 starters over anyone on the Brewers, but I expect that everyone but Jeffress will pitch better out of the Brewers’ pen as the series progresses. 2 games is a small sample size.
    2 – Roberts shouldn’t have hit Joc for Kike last night. That move left Grandal as the only bat on the Dodgers’ bench and he had to pinch-hit when the pitcher came up. I told my wife when Barnes was still hitting that Grandal would GIDP. The Dodgers has the bases full with one out and only manages one run. They were very fortunate that Turner hit his HR yesterday.
    3 – I think this is the offseason that Puig gets traded. He is projected to make over $11MM in his final arb eligible season and they have no place to play Verdugo next season. They either move Puig or Joc and Joc is cheaper to keep. This is especially with Puig’s reverse splits and with the inability to move Kemp and his $24MM salary next season. Puig has come up short often and GIDP frequently.
    4 – The decisions to keep Wood and Urias over Alexander is baffling. Wood has not pitched well out of the ‘pen yet and Urias simply doesn’t have the innings under his belt yet post-surgery. I admit that Alexander is terrifying – you never know when he’s going to be in the strike zone, but he made more appearance out of the bullpen this year than anyone else on the staff. And he has the ability to induce the double-play grounder.
    5 – The Dodgers have a couple of big free agents next season. Do they make qualifying offers to Grandal and Ryu? Do they resign them? I have no faith that Barnes can be the everyday catcher after a horrible 2018. Ryu is more easily replaceable and he has been injury prone. Of they 2, I would guess they will make more of an effort to resign Grandal.

  11. I think Puig is a much better hitter when he tries to hit the ball up the middle and to right center. If he did so, I think he would be exhibit more control at he plate, including a lot less chasing of breaking balls away. I suspect that he also might keep the ball off of the ground a lot less often.

    As frustrating as he can be at times, he’s still a huge asset defensively, and at 28 next year, still capable of full- filling his promise at the plate.

    I don’t consider any player untradeable, but there is no way I trade Puig without getting considerable value in return.

    As for Machado, I’m not going to pass judgment on his hustle. If that’s a problem, then I’m sure that the Dodgers’ brass has will act accordingly. In any case, if he’s not signed that’s a pretty big right handed bat to replace, since I would also expect that he would be even better with a year under is belt in LA, and a chance to begin next year in ST with the Dodgers.

    1. I’m with you on both. I wish Machado would bust it up the line like Utley but I don’t think he’s cost us anything by not doing so YET. Big guys take a while to pick up speed too. Often I was surprised by Seager not running the way Utley does considering Utley was his mentor. I know Machado had a big hit and a HUGE defensive play that I’m not sure Corey makes on Braun. Puig needs to relax a bit, It’s up to Turner Ward to get him to do so. The old Puig reared it’s ugly head his last AB.

  12. There was a little luck involved and that’s okay. Joc got a lucky blooper. Taylor got a lucky infield hit. Barnes was probably a little lucky considering he looks like he’s looking for a walk every at bat. Championship teams need a little luck too. What wasn’t lucky was JT’s dinger and the job Kenley and Baez did. Right now it’s Maeda in the 8th that worries me the most. Last year he came out of the pen throwing 95+. Not so much this year and he looks vulnerable to lefties. I think we are seating the rotation too much. No one is going on short rest so if we need a Game 7. Buehler will be on the bump.

  13. Machado’s lack of hustle has been raised with him before and his response has been to say “I’ve got to be me. I’m a chill kind of guy.” or something to that effect. His failure to hustle rubs me the wrong way but will have little to no impact on whether the Braintrust makes a move to keep him. Since Seager comes back next year at least in theory I see no way that they spend $300MM+ for Machado. I actually don’t see the Braintrust ponying up that kind of money for anyone, but Machado won’t be a need assuming Seager is back.

    Where does Machado end up? Maybe Yankees, Braves, Phillies, Nationals, Mets Angels.

    1. Mets are too cheap. Turner and Rendon in Washington so they would be more likely to pony up for Harper to come back. I don’t see the Angels. They have Simmons at shortstop and I don’t see him agreeing to play 3rd for them. Yankees and Phillies are most likely. However, the Yankees need SP first and foremost. Cashman has said that he wants to stay under the $206 million mark. They need LH hitting more than RH hitting unless they move Stanton. Didi going down opens up a spot unless they play Torres there. The people who brought Manny to Baltimore are now in charge with Philly. They have the money, they want him, but does Manny want Philly. It also means that Crawford is no longer the SS of the future if Manny won’t play 3rd. Atlanta could be a match, but I just can’t see him going there for some reason. Dodgers will do their due dilligence, but I think Yankees or Phillies.

      1. Yankees’ SS Didi Greorius just had Tommy John surgery so there is a current need at SS; but Yanks do have in-house solutions. Will they pay the big $$ for Manny? I agree they need SP.

        1. Sounds like Patrick Corbin and his family are huge Yankee fans. I think he’s priority number 1. If they prefer Harper to Machado then they also have to eat some money and move Stanton. They could always move Andujar to 1st if the rumors about Machado being willing to play 3rd for the Yankees are true, but they wouldn’t have to next season

  14. Going to be real interesting to see how much we can stress the Brewers bullpen the next 3 games in a row. Sure would be nice to put up some crooked numbers early to get into their pen early. I think Striker will be much better this time around, and you know Chavez Ravine will be rockin’. I have noticed Dodger Stadium is a helluva lot louder than it used to be back in the day. Our fans aren’t so mellow anymore, they dont sit on their hands. Gives me shivers when a big moment is happening and the old stadium is literally shaking. Love it.

  15. For me, Seager coming back is all the more reason to sign Machado. Who would want to pitch against the Dodgers with both Machado and Seager in the lineup, not to mention Turner, Bellinger, et al?

    1. That’s how I feel. They need a 2nd RH bat to go with Turner. Counting on a 34 year old Kemp would be a mistake and considering Puig’s reverse splits the last two years it makes a RH masher necessary.

      1. You better look at Machados numbers against righties, since he joined the Dodgers.

        His OPS alone, which is 741 against righties, might make this front office think twice.

        I don’t see this front office in a bidding war, against the Yankees.

        I did read a Yankee blog not to long ago, and a lot of Yankee fans, don’t like Stanton on the Yankees.

        Because they have to many hitters in their line up, that are much the same, so they strike out, way to much.

        And Stanton’s numbers are not that great this year, in the American League.

        Which is understandable, because he is not a pure hitter, that can adjust that quickly in a new league, with all new pitchers.

        1. His numbers vs righties don’t bother me. The Dodgers have plenty of guys who can hit righties and he’s only 26 in a new league. The Yankees need SP first and foremost. So, I’m not so sure they’re going to get into a bidding war either as long as they have Stanton. If they don’t upgrade their starters they’re going to keep winding up in the wild card game.
          I can really see Philadelphia blowing everyone away for Machado. Trout is going to leave the Angels in two years and he’s a Philly guy and a big time family man. Does signing Machado and Harper get in the way of that? Probably. Does just signing Harper get in the way of that? Possibly but probably not. A good outfielder would allow them to move Hoskins to 1st where he belongs. Putting Machado/Harper/Hoskins together would be formidable to but they need a SP too.
          As for Stanton it’s a lot different playing in NY than Miami.

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