Dodgers Hit One Little Homer, Padres Hit Two Big Ones

As much as some of us may have wanted the season to end on the dramatic, division-clinching note from Sunday’s game at Dodger Stadium, there remains a weeks worth of baseball left to play.  The Dodgers traveled to San Diego and opened a three-game series against the Padres, with Kenta Maeda taking the mound for game one.

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Kenta Maeda had a rough first inning, capped off by a 3-run home run by Padres call-up, Hunter Renfroe.

After that first inning shocker, Maeda settled down and kept the Padres quiet through the 4th inning, with 1,2,3 innings in the 2nd and 4th.

Chase Utley got some back, with a solo homer in the 4th.

Nothing much happened until the…

6th inning  1-3
Dodgers
Chase Utley and Corey Seager opened the inning with back-to-back hits.
Howie Kendrick walked with one out to load the bases.
They proceeded to leave everyone there, with Josh Reddick‘s infield pop-up the perfect closing punctuation mark.

7th inning  1-3
With Kiké Enrique Hernandez on first, Yasiel Puig came up to PH. Puig got played like a toy piano, and was struck out on a high fastball. And then – nothing.

8th inning 1-3
Louis Coleman in and struggling. He couldn’t find the strike zone, and ended up with the bases loaded, and facing Renfroe. The same Renfroe responsible for all the Padres’ runs with that big home run in the first.
He ran the count full, with two deep and scary foul balls.
Fastball, belt high. Grand slam. 1-7

And that was the ballgame.

Dodgers lost 1-7 

Chase Utley still earning it: He had a double, two walks, and a home run

How about Howie! Howie spotted Adrian Gonzalez at 1B tonight, when Gonzalez came out with a stiff neck. Howie is the first Dodger ever with 10+ games at 1B, 2B, 3B & LF in one season.

These games may not look like they mean much, but they mean a great deal to the players who are on the bubble and hoping to make the postseason roster.

Speaking of which: Andre Ethier better start hitting-and fast – if he expects to beat Josh Reddick to the playoffs train.

Kenta Maeda (L 16-10) went 4 innings with 3 hits, 1 run, 1 HR, 1 walk, 5 Ks.   ERA 3.28

Home run: Chase Utley 

 

Oscar Martinez

Oscar Martinez

I was born in the shadow of Dodger Stadium and immediately drenched in Dodger Blue. Chavez Ravine is my baseball cathedral, Vin Scully was the golden voice of summer all my life, and Tommy Lasorda remains the greatest Dodgers manager ever. My favorite things are coffee, beer, and the Dodgers beating the Giants. I also blog about my baseball card hobby at All Trade Bait, All the Time.

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46 thoughts on “Dodgers Hit One Little Homer, Padres Hit Two Big Ones

  1. Expectations have been raised now that we’ve won the division. Let’s how things play out.

    Can I ask for everyone on both sides of FAZ to call a truce for a month and just focus on the players and the managers, instead of other posters.

    Rick, if you are still around, check out the Sept 20 Hardball Times article. They end up agreeing with you (and MJ) – based totally on numbers. But let’s put that aside and wait until the season’s over, ok? Let’s see how the postseason plays out. And actually from an academic point of view I’d like to see the midges make the wild card. Just because they did sign some FA pitchers with a view to the postseason.

    Never mind, let’s close out the Giants this weekend. Ha ha.

    1. Yeah, as much fun as it would be to knock them out of the postseason entirely this weekend, it’d be unparalleled to play them in the NLCS and beat them on the way to the World Series.

      Then again, having them make it, and then beat us in the NLCS would make for the most devastating year ever and we’d all never recover. Damn

  2. I read that Hardball Times piece and it is very informative. KAZ. Mac, Anderson and Hill were all acquired under different circumstances. Hill was the best available pitcher at the trade deadline while Anderson was on a 1-year deal (that was excellent), who accepted the QO. No one anticipated that.

    What you have to look at is why the Dodgers signed those players. The reason is pretty simple:

    (1) The farm system was close to yielding a plethora of good starters and the FO did not want to block them long term;

    (2) If you don’t sign risky pitchers, then you have to sign the Top-Tier guys like Price, Greinke, et al and that was not even a possibility; and

    (3) FAZ strategy is to grow the farm and fill the major league rotation from that.

    Next year, Buehler, De Leon, Urias, Stewart, Oakes and some others are likely to be ready. To grow a sustainable model, you have to let the youngsters grow into these roles. I can’t see 3 rookies in the rotation next year – I see them integrating one or two at a time.

    I think this strategy of signing injury-prone players is a “bridge” to the long-term plan. While you will always weigh risk verses reward, there will be occasions where the risk is worth it, but I do not see this as THE PLAN going forward.

    Next year, the Rotation will likely include Kershaw, Maeda, Urias, Buehelr or De Leon (I can’t see both) and McCarthy or KAZ. If both are healthy next year (odds say there is a chance) both can be decent or traded. They both have two-years left with small (comparatively) salaries.

    What has always bothered me is when people say “Why did they sign injury risks?” OK, tell me who else they should have signed. It would be easy to say JA Happ after the fact because he has been the best free agent pitcher signing last year (he’s 20-4 with a 3.20 ERA), but if you look at his previous body of work who could even predict that? Rich Hill would have been another option, but when people bitch about the Dodgers signing KAZ, Anderson, McCarthy or Hill they NEVER say who they should have signed, because that list is the big long-term deal guys – That is just not part of THE PLAN, nor should it be! Look at the teams that signed expensive free agent pitchers – that doesn’t work either.

    You have to look at the totality of the circumstances and in this case, it was done to be a “bridge” and guess what? IT WORKED!

    Insofar as a truce. A truce is needed when there is a war. There is no war. The war lasted all season as many bitched about such things. The war is over. History has recorded the outcome – that’s the real reason many left. Tim was the only “stand up guy” with guts enough to stay. If I had been wrong can you imagine what everyone would have said. You all know the answer.

    Now, back to this one: Last night is called Post-Clinch Malaise and Maeda pitching on short rest. In the playoffs, he should get 6 days. The Swami says I see Culberson on the playoff roster. Kike on bubble!

    1. Very true Mark when it comes to Anderson and Kazmir. The Dodgers were actually hoping Kazmir would pitch so well that he would opt out. However, McCarthy was not a short term bridge. It was overpaying a pitcher for four years. I wasn’t a fan of that deal because his body of work didn’t merit that deal.

      I believe the Dodgers have eaten the most expensive parts of his deal and he only makes $10 million a year the next two years. The Dodgers should be able to move him. Anderson will be gone. I thought his first contract was a good risk but after watching him pitch for a year you could tell why he would always be injury prone and I DID predicit him accepting the QO. Good luck moving Kazmir. Having such a chronic condition the Dodgers will be lucky to get 30 cents on the dollar for him.

      Malaise seemed to be from the coaching staff who I think has done a wonderful job. I get trying to rest people and keep people fresh at the same time, but they took their foot off the gas and managed the game like a spring training game and chose not to substitute at strategic times. No way Reddick should have hit with the bases loaded against a lefty. Their mission should have been sweep and get home field advantage.

  3. One of the reasons I like to jab at the Front Office every once in awhile is due to the hype given the team of 5 ex-GMs that would use sophisticated modeling combined with their baseball knowledge to find the nuggets that other teams would under appreciate.

    They should have known that a pitcher with a history of injury would want to take a QO of $16M and try to leverage 2 consecutive good years into a big 3 year contract. I think their craving for draft picks clouded their judgement about what Anderson would do.

    Based on what the Front Office did with McCarthy and Anderson, and Kazmir it would seem like Hill would have been just what they were looking for. By not gambling on Hill as a free agent they had to trade 3 top prospects to get him.

    I say this not to beat up on FAZ. I have poked at them from time to time but have simultaneously supported them much like I have supported a prospect that I was fascinated with. I like FAZ like I like Bellinger, Verdugo, De Leon, Stripling, Stewart, Toles, etc. I love their potential and have high expectations for them. Always have.

    1. Bum
      I think because McCarthy and Anderson played for the A’s at one time, and our GM was more familiar with these two pitchers, is why they signed these two pitchers.

      The thing I don’t agree with you Mark about, is that it was either McCarthy, and Anderson, or top tier pitchers like Price and Greinke.

      There were other free agent pitchers after the 2014 season, that were not high priced free agent pitchers, just like Anderson and McCarthy.

      There was Liriano, Hammels, Kendrick, Volquez, Young, Vogelsong, and a couple others I can’t remember off hand.

      And of course Price and Greinke were free agents last year, not in 2014.

      And I do think that the front office assumed that Anderson would not take the QO.

      But with Anderson, I think they thought that because Anderson pitched well that one year, that he wouldn’t have took the offer.

      I guess if Anderson wasn’t so bad in the post season, he might have not took that QO, so on this I will give them a pass on Anderson.

      And when it comes to Hill, I wouldn’t sign him to be my top depth in the starting rotation, but I would sign him for additional depth.

      And with Hill, he is a good enough pitcher, that I can see taking a risk on him.

      But like YF said above, Let’s enjoy the team and the players, along with Roberts and his coaches.

  4. I don’t want the Giants in the playoffs. The Dodgers have knocked the Cubs out of the playoffs with the help of a James Loney grand slam but have been knocked out of the playoffs by the Cards and Mets. We owe the Cards and Mets.

  5. Interesting article. The author Max Flingor is a recent graduate of Carleton College and works as an economic consultant in Boston. What could a hedge fund manager know about baseball? The following two statements stand out to me.

    “The Dodgers are betting the upside to having a talented guy stay healthy is greater than the cost of the dead salary if he gets injured. WHILE THIS PROBABLY IS TRUE FOR TEAMS WITH MASSIVE PAYROLLS, it is worth remembering that the MRPinj numbers for pitchers are a bit ambiguous.”

    “This suggests those Dodgers pitchers, who all have suffered serious injuries in their careers, aren’t undervalued and aren’t prudent investments for small-market teams.”

    The first statement validates Mark’s statements about the Dodger’s plan regarding starting pitching and the young arms in the minors. The plan was to create a “bridge” to the young guys. The author apparently agrees, a good strategy for teams with massive payrolls. I agree also, the Dodger situation was unique, lots of young potential starting pitcher studs, but, not quite ready. Bridge needed.

    The second statement, self-explanatory, small-market teams beware! Maybe, just maybe, the small town yokels realized they were now in LA and could do things differently than before.

    Hindsight is 20/20, the plan worked. The road is open for the young guys and the starting pitching future in bright in Dodgerland, unhindered by huge player contracts on aging starting pitchers. Additionally, the 2016 plan to compete also worked

    Only thing I disagree with in Mark’s post is, I believe FAZ very definitely weighed the possibility of Anderson accepting the QO. One year at $16M. I am sure FAZ lost less sleep over that than many on this board.

  6. I think the point of the article, and also looking at the circumstances, was to sign healthier low end vets, or unproven AAAA healthy arms. Because injured arms are not discounted all that much, and the Dodgers did not get good value. The bigger value was in the position players with injured histories (like Turner), not pitchers. The FAZ did many things right but not in the way they dealt with the starting pitchers.

    As for the kids, they were rushed into service this year due to the injuries. No one at the beginning of the year envisioned Urias and Stewart pitching so many innings.

    I agree with the approach on bullpen and on several of their moves, but I would call their approach on starting pitching flawed.

    I was the first, or amongst the first, to call the Kenta Maeda signing, and I had wanted them to keep both Iwakuma and Chapman, even though many were questioning how the FAZ kept missing their due diligence. Imagine if we had those two through the season. Again, I’m not saying the FAZ is horrible, just that they got many things right but the starting pitching strategy was piss poor. And on several occasions I happily ate some crow when I deserved it (one was after the early McCarthy starts which is ok I won’t go into that). On the other hand I, a mere fan, also got many things right myself, a lot actually; I just don’t toot my own horn or show up posters.

    1. Yueh_Fei: “I think the point of the article, and also looking at the circumstances, was to sign healthier low end vets, or unproven AAAA healthy arms.”

      Well, the pitchers signed by FAZ that are usually classified as walking wounded are the following; Kazmir, Anderson, McCarthy and Hill. Those are also the ones mentioned in the article. Let’s look at the facts:

      Kazmir, acquired prior to 2016 season

      2013, 158 IP
      2014, 190 IP
      2015, 183 IP

      McCarthy, acquired prior to 2015 season

      2011, 170 IP
      2012, 111 IP
      2013, 135 IP
      2014, 200 IP

      They look to me to be “healthier low end vets”. At least the contracts they signed indicate that. McCarthy $48M/4 yrs and Kazmir $48/3 yrs.

      Anderson and Hill do have injury histories.

      Anderson signed prior to 2015 for $10M (from memory) and accepted offered QO at $16M after pitching 180 IP of 3.69 ERA ball in 2015. Worthy gamble of $16M TOTAL in my opinion, but, didn’t work out in 2016. Hill is a question mark, RIGHT NOW, do they resign him? How much? What say you?

      1. To be devil’s advocate you could also say the first time McCarthy threw anywhere near 200 innings his arm blew up the following season. I didn’t have a problem with McCarthy’s injury issues. My problem with him was his past performance didn’t merit a $48 million investment.

        After watching Anderson for a year you could see the sad sack was a clutz and couldn’t even beat a RH batter to 1st base. He’s a non-athlete who will always get hurt even if it is by bad luck or flooky circumstances. He’s a pretty good darn pitcher when healthy, but those days will be slim and far between.

        Kazmir was a desperation signing because of what happened with Iwakuma and thinking the kids weren’t quite ready. I get it, but it makes my wonder how Iwakuma flunked a physical and Kazmir didn’t. I liked the structure of Kazmir’s deal thinking he would opt out after a year. Seemed smart on the surface.

        I didn’t like the deal at the time because I really didn’t know what we’re going to get out of Hill and I hated losing Montas, but if Hill can keep it together through the post season it could wind up an excellent deal. We shall see.

    2. YF
      Without these young pitchers, that were drafted when Colletti was the GM, the starting pitching rotation, wouldn’t have survived.

      That is why I say it is was both regimes that contributed to this team.

      And I am so glad that this front office had a chance to see Mattingly manage for a year.

      And after seeing Mattingly in action, they got rid of him even sooner, then when his contract ran out.

      And that move, has helped change the laid back feeling, in the clubhouse.

      I just wish the Nationals didn’t have all of the injuries, because I liked it better, when the Dodgers were the underdogs in this match up.

      I just hope the Nationals don’t do the same thing our players did, after Kershaw went down.

  7. Where to begin……
    First of all this Dodger team has surpassed my expectations this year. I had predicted 84-86 wins as I did not see a 90 win team. They won 90+, I was wrong on my prediction.

    Any predictor will be either 1.) right, 2.) wrong in the sense the team over performs expectations or 3.) wrong in the sense the team under performs expectations.

    So anyone that predicted the Dodgers to win 92 to 94 wins (am assuming they win another 2 to 4 games) were completely correct with their prediction. Kudos goes out to each and every one of you. Pat yourself on the back and collect your winnings from your bookie…..Oh, you didn’t put money down, well you missed a golden opportunity to make a little change, well then I guess you can just keep patting yourself on the back.

    Now to the important stuff. You know, playoff series wins and titles.

    This is actually what it is all about. You know the saying…..you drive for show and putt for dough. The regular season is for show, it is what attracts 3M+ fans to the games. It is what fills the coffers. Winning Divisions are important and sets up the team to have a financially successful following season. All good stuff and the entire organization can take credit for it (as they should have done so in 2013, 2014 & 2015) .

    BUT the Dodgers have been here before. Ahh, this is actually the 4th straight time they have been Division winners.

    A 92 win 2013 team with 3 quality starters lost in NL Championship series. (That Ned Colletti guy must have been pretty good.)

    A 94 win 2014 team with 3 quality starters lost in the 1st round. (That Ned Colletti guy must have been pretty good.)

    A 92 win 2015 team with 2 Cy Young finalists pitchers lost in the 1st round. (The last GM couldn’t get his team into the WS, so let’s replace him. Enter Faz, with Ned Colletti’s players, the team makes the playoffs again.)

    Here we are 2016.

    I do find it ironic how now that the Dodgers are in the playoffs that many of the FAZ supporters or the 90+win predictors are quick to identify the playoffs as a ‘crap shoot.’ Either your expectations aren’t as high of the team or you are keeping your personal expectations as low as possible.

    I would digress to say that IT is not a total crap shoot. Sure pitchers need to pitch and batters need to have productive at bats but that is what the entire season is about. Learning to pitch and produce at the plate in close games against good pitching. Are the pitchers and hitters ready? What’s that saying, ‘Success is when Preparation Meets Opportunity.’

    To say that the playoffs are a crap shoot undermines all GM’s/FO’s that made moves prior to the trade deadline. The 2015 KC Royals picked up Zobrist and Cueto. Both filled big holes and played big parts in the Royals winning the title. This year, Epstein in the off season goes out and signs Lackey, Heyward and Zobrist to fill holes. The Cubs were on their way of winning the Division way before they traded for Chapman. So one might ask, why make that trade? Success is when Preparation meets Opportunity.

    Epstein was looking ahead as Chapman solidified an already good bullpen.

    What we do know is that last year’s team needed a quality #3 starter. FO chose not to trade for that. Team was bounced in first round. This year the primary concern is starting pitching again. The pitcher acquired to help the team in the post season was Rich Hill. Will Kershaw, Maeda and Hill get it done?

    Not going up against the sisters of the poor in the playoffs and most every team will have good to excellent starting pitching.

    Some of us have vision beyond just getting in the playoffs. Speaking for myself, my vision is to get into the WS where both teams have a 50% chance of winning. Some FO’s build teams to make playoffs, i.e. 5 quality starting pitchers and some build their teams to win in the playoffs, i.e. 3 stud starting pitchers.

    I do think the Dodgers were built (and will continue to be built) to get into the Playoffs.

    Do they have the starting pitching to match up with the other playoff teams starting pitching and be able to shut down the offenses they will be facing? I still say no.

    I don’t say that to spite anyone but rather what my eyes have shown me throughout the season. Maeda couldn’t go 6 during the season, will he be able to make it through 5 in the playoffs? Over the past 2 months Hill has missed more starts than not. Kershaw has looked ‘normal’ but will the back hold up for another 4 weeks? These are their 3 best starters. Most teams aren’t completely healthy this time of the year but these are major concerns.

    Of the past 4 playoff teams, there are more questions/concerns regarding this year’s starting pitching than any of the previous teams. Maybe they fair better……

    In another week, we will begin to find out.

    1. Yes, where to begin!

      My preseason prediction was 90 wins, I also, like you, under estimated this team (maybe).

      Yes, Dodgers have won four straight division championships. Colletti was GM the first two championships. You say he must have been pretty good. I say, maybe not bad, but, NED put together teams that had the highest payroll in MAJOR LEAGUE HISTORY, by far, to win those first two division championships. FAZ has won their two division championships while having to deal with the bloated contracts that NED left behind. We all know Crawford and Ethier will be collecting $20M each another year and Gonzalez another two years. So unless you believe, like some, that money doesn’t matter in Dodgerland, unlike everywhere else in this world FAZ must have been pretty good also. Maybe better!!!

      Your statement, “I do find it ironic how now that the Dodgers are in the playoffs that many of the FAZ supporters or the 90+win predictors are quick to identify the playoffs as a ‘crap shoot.’ Either your expectations aren’t as high of the team or you are keeping your personal expectations as low as possible.”

      I find it ironic you state, “Speaking for myself, my vision is to get into the WS where both teams have a 50% chance of winning.”

      Your two statements seem contradictory to me. We all know it takes three playoff series victories to win a championship. Mathematically, that strikes me, and maybe you, of thinking the eventual champion has a 50% x 50% x 50% chance of winning it all, or a 12.5% overall chance of winning. Try flipping a coin three times and seeing how often you are correct all three times. Calling all three coin flips correctly is kind of a crap shoot.

      I think those of us calling the Dodger chances at a Championship are merely considering the “odds” of it actually happening. As Vinny has told us many times through the years, baseball is a game of inches. An inch can be the difference between a double play and an extra base hit. Less than an inch can be the difference between a home run and a pop-up. I would rather be lucky than good in the playoffs.

      Theo Epstein, recently said his deadline acquisition of Chapman, in his reasoned opinion, increased the Cubs chances of a championship this year to over 25%. I guess he feels the Cubs have an approximate chance of winning each of their three series of 64% (64% x 64% x 64% = 26.21%). If he is correct, Dodgers have less than a 12.5% overall chance of a championship. This all sounds like a crapshoot to me, even for the Cubs.

      I want the Dodgers to get “lucky” in this year’s playoffs.

      Lastly, the Midgets are the luckiest Dogs in the world. Two of their championships were as a wild card, 50% x 50% x 50% x 50% = 6.25% chance of winning. I agree with other posters, let’s bury them this weekend.

      1. Box-

        The first statement was an observation. The second statement was my opinion as to what the goals should be for the team. Both stand alone and are not contradictory. The 50% comes from ‘getting to the WS’ where in theory, each team has a 50% chance of winning.

        Regarding Theo’s statement, of which I never heard that but will take your word for it………proves my point of ‘forward thinking’ and also puts additional pressure on his team and himself. If he doesn’t have an issue raising the bar, so be it.

        But realistically I would guess that the odds probably did go up for the Cubbies to win it all after acquiring Chapman so maybe he was simply stating the obvious.

  8. Boxout7 – I think I’ve posted before what I’d pay for Hill – 4 years at 60 million, but that’s a pipedream as the QO is already 17m and someone will pay him Cueto money.

    However I just read the piece from Dodger Insider and actually I’d probably back off Hill now even at 4/60. Seeing how Cotton has fared (very well), and reading how our minor league coaches and fellow bloggers have evaluated our kids over the past few years, I think we don’t need another bridge year. I’d roll with Kershaw, Maeda, Urias and De Leon, and Stripling/Stewart. McCarthy and Kazmir and Wood will still be around. If we need more arms in August/September we’ve got De Jong, Oaks, Alvarez, Buehler.

    With regards of low end vets, I don’t think McCarthy, Kazmir are those. That article did discuss them already, and actually many others on this blog have already pointed out rightly that those were overpays. By low end vets I was think more guys like Chavez, who is a middle reliever but we could have gotten him for peanuts as a starter (he used to be a middling one) and he would likely not have sucked especially with half his starts at Dodgers Stadium. But we’re past all that now. The kids are coming! The kids are coming!!

    1. Yueh_Fei, must have missed your post regarding Hill. Thanks for the response now. You maybe right about someone paying Cueto money for Hill, especially if he has a big post-season. I hope the Dodgers don’t. Because of his age and injury history, I would like to see at most a Kazmir type contract, $48M/3 yrs. That might not get it done.

      We agree about about not needing another bridge year, well, definitely a smaller bridge. Kazmir and McCarthy might play a pretty big part of next years starting rotation. But as you say, “The kids are coming!!”

  9. Chili, I have lots of optimism this year. Here’s why.

    Unlike most, I think the 162 game season is a big grind and the best teams with the best collection of talent make it. Even the wild cards. Like you, I also don’t think the post season is a crap shoot (not a total one). Where we differ, and hence my optimism, is that I think it has less to do with the pieces or the FO moves. The best rosters don’t necessarily win – in fact they often do not. I think it comes down to the best managers who maxes the talent on their already very good teams.

    Every year for the last four, watching, I thought that we had enough to win. Getting a better starter could have helped, for sure, but ultimately I felt that even with a very good bullpen for the last 3 years, plus a third top line starter, we had no chance. We’ve had two aces for the past few years, pitching at the top of their games and with half their games at Dodgers Stadium. We should have advanced against the Cardinals and the Mets. We just weren’t clutch enough, and we melted down too easily (that last Mets game, or how we did not pull together after Ramirez got s broken rib).

    This year, I see a difference which gives me a lot of hope.

    We will see.

    1. YF
      I totally agree with you about this team being different when it comes to adversity, and being down late in games.

      Last year after Murphy hit that HR off Greinke in that last game, the team looked like that HR, took all of the energy out of the team.

      And that there was no way, they could come back and win that game.

      This year’s team, has took on Roberts and his coaches personalities, and have become grinders.

      Mattingly never showed much emotion at all.

      Roberts is full of positive energy and keeps this team, fighting to the end.

      I wish everyone could see that video that was on Dodger Nation, that was posted by Agone.

      Because that video would show everyone, just what the players, think about Roberts.

      It shows the team in a circle and when Roberts gets in the middle of this circle, the players go off on him, with a champagne shower.

      The players love this guy, maybe someone can bring that video over here, so everyone can see.

    2. YF-
      Definitely agree that this years team has a much better attitude and seem to be willing to battle against adversity. That can be attributed to Roberts. Even though I think Maddon will get NL MOY I feel Roberts has earned it.

  10. Winning makes everyone look smart. My biggest complaint of the suits is that they appear to throw $ at the wall and see what sticks. This year, enough stuck, but more credit goes to the performance of the players and manager. The Cuban experiment: remember that? Terrible. Except for 66, where are they now? How much was spent on those guys? Iwakuma was overly cautious, and then they spend $ of quasi damaged Maeda and later, overtly damaged Hill. These guys all look smart now, but my guess is that a small group of you guys, using Dodger $, could have made decisions just as good. This was a year when depth was paramount, and the suits did provide that, and with no Cubans. I love this team and appreciate the adversity, but let’s not ignore the fact that the giants meltdown had as much to do with our success as our own performance. The suits might have a plan, but for this year, anyway, the plan has been less important than actual execution by a group of guys and a manager who refuse to quit. Selecting Roberts was, by far, the best thing they did and possibly will ever do.

    1. Bobbie 17

      I love that you brought up the word execution.

      And I also know that you weren’t a big believer in Roberts in the begining.

      But once you saw the results that Roberts was getting from the players, you then started to believe that Roberts made a big difference with the players, and this team.

      And you gave this happy manager the credit he deserves.

      But I do think it is a lot more then the Giants breaking down, that got this team where they are today.

      This team won quite a few series, against good teams this year, unlike last year.

    2. Let’s not forget that their are Cubans named Alvarez, Estevez, and Diaz in the Dodgers minors who will be groomed properly and not signed to be rushed to the big leagues like Guerrero, Olivera, Puig, and Arrubureana. Guerrero was a bust. Olivera was used to bring in Wood and Avilan. Puig was a success considering what he was paid and he saved a season. Arrubureana is a headcase and if he continues to get suspended the Dodgers won’t be paying him. Sierra looks like a bust to me. Live and learn. Chapman is a success, Thomas has had moderate success with AZ The guy Houston signed is doing well I think. Moancada looks like a star. Some will work out and some will not. Until they change things in the international market, teams like the Dodgers will flex their financial muscle and acquire talent even if they don’t all work out.

  11. Here’s what is being left out:

    1. The Dodgers have the young pitchers on the team from Ned’s regime because FAZ was loathe to trade them. Many fans accused them of wanting only their own players and it would have been easy to do that, but they didn’t. They knew what was coming so they signed the “bridge” guys.

    2. FAZ was saddled with $65 million in bad salaries – A-Gon, Ethier and CC.

    3. Theo had the luxury of blowing it all up and stacking high draft picks. FAZ has remained competitive while rebuilding without high draft picks. I’m sure FAZ would have liked to blow it up, but Walter and Kasten said they wanted the team to be competitive, so FAZ had to do it differently. If you think the fans bitch now – what do you think would have happened had they dumped all the vets (Kershaw included) and stockpiled draft picks? We would have been bottom feeders until 2019 or 2020, but to me that was the way to do it. So, to compare FAZ to Theo is apples to oranges. The Cubs payroll is still WAY Below the Dodgers. I wish the Dodgers had done it that way too, but Guggs said no… and it’s not about the money because it would have been a lot cheaper. That part was for the fans.

    4. FAZ is not perfect – one one is. The Cubs signed Heyward which was stupid! Everyone makes bad moves, but over all I like what they are doing. Building the farm while remaining competitive is incredibly hard.

    5. Ib>I think that this team is Built to Win in the playoffs – with Hill and Kershaw and Maeda they are as good as anyone in their TOP 3 and they have the best bullpen and one of the best defenses in baseball and since the All-Star game, they have scored exactly the same number of runs as the Cubs. The only playoff team to score more runs is the Red Sox. So, I think we can win it all. That’s why FAZ coughed up 3 prospects for Hill – It was a lot to pay, but it was from our surplus and it may be worth it.

    MJ, the pitchers you listed were as a whole, no better!

    1. That is that point Mark.

      Most of the pitchers I listed, were not top pitchers, but they were as good, if not better, then Anderson and McCarthy.

      And the biggest difference was that most of those pitchers, made most of there starts, unlike Anderson and McCarthy.

      1. Mark
        You don’t know that Colletti wouid trade the prospects either.

        And Anderson not pitching this year, and MCCarthy not pitching last year, and most of this year, is a bunch of wasted money.

        And Kazmir couldn’t finish that year either.

        At least Agone has played more then any other Dodger, in the last four years.

        And was a big part of helping the team, win the West iin those last four years.

  12. I think I need to clarify my position on a few things. I appreciate Mark’s comments that I am a “stand up guy”. Actually yes I am, however I am only 5’11” so I don’t “stand up” very high. I need to clarify that I am not completely on the “dark side”. I don’t feel there is a dark side. I think it is a “blend run” that some are loathe to accept and others are starting adjust. It’s interesting see how some of the older posters (and I am ONLY ASSUMING THAT based on your comments) are accepting things SABRwise, or have come around sooner that what appear to be the “younger posters”.

    I feel like a few of the others that have been posting here quite frequently recently, who have questioned, not ripped “the FAZ” over the course of ST and the season. Yes we are all preparing to hopefully eat some humble pie together. And as it has been noted, we are man and woman enough to admit we have been wrong in SOME in some our comments/criticisms of the FAZ and correct in SOME too. Quite a few of us don’t agree with how the starting pitching roster was built, which lead to the hurried use of some of the younger arms. The position players, well other than Reddick I am really impressed with them. And yes some of them have been acquired under the FAZ.

    Personally I think the kids are ready at a younger age these days, at least as far as athletic “ability” goes. They train their entire lives for this opportunity. Sometimes to their own detriment, mainly too many innings on young arms. Are they ready for the grind of a very long season? Probably not. Are they ready psychologically for “The Show”? Some more than others that is for sure. The maturity of Urias and Stripling and Deleon and Stewart and a few of the position players is amazing. But pitching your first major league games, NY,SF and Chavez Ravine???? That takes ice in your veins. Hats off to the coaching staff for that part. I bet everyone on this board would soil themselves if put in that position.

    I am very happy with the way the young arms performed. Some of the credit definitely goes to the FAZ, they were patient and stuck to their timeline as best as they could. Were some pressured a bit earlier than others? You bet they were. The reason for that? Questionable signings of injury prone arms. I am sure the FAZ took that part into consideration when signing them, but didn’t expect the arms to all pretty much fall off at the same time. And at the same time as certain BP pitchers began throwing BP, as in “batting practice” during the games in late May through early July. Geez it was painful to watch a few of those middle inning relievers. But Roberts and crew put their heads together and did the best they could with what they had to deal with.

    Then came BackMageddon, I personally think we can all point to that as the turning point of the season. The vets all stepped up and I can absolutely say that the youngsters were motivated by not just the vets but their own will to show management their true meddle and that “they” can be counted on to be part of “The Team”. It has been very encouraging to see how things transpired since BackMageddon.

    I still wanted Chapman and Cueto though. If not both, at least one. We probably would have won the division a bit earlier with Chapman. I am NOT in Jansen’s camp at all never have been. He has always made me nervous. He can’t handle people on base, especially when HE puts them there. When we almost got Chapman and I heard Jansen’s nose was out of joint, I thought it was a good move. If it motivates Jansen great, if not let him walk and we sign Chapman for a few more years. Two issues solved at once. Oh well, that issue has been beaten to death.

    I have mentioned before that two guys hang out where I do that are contributors to a few shows on ESPN and also contribute to a few other sites and blogs. These two really know their shit, and are well connected. One thing that one of them brought up last week was about Hill and the playoffs. Hill mixed with Maeda and Kershaw is a very frightening thing for hitters. Leftie, rightie, leftie, or any combination of the latter two. . Each one has major movement on their pitches and each one throws a very similar pitch, but each of them throw from slightly different to very different slots. I know that didn’t make sense. He had to explain it 3-4 times over at least 3 beers. Regardless, it finally made sense. The hitters will constantly be having to adjust to where the “movement” pitches will be coming from, and then also having to adjust to where the signature pitch is coming from. I will give a major portion of the credit to the FAZ for this tactic, along with some scouts who have the eyes at the games. This goes right into the combination of SABRmetrics and the good old eye test along with long term baseball knowledge. Yes folks, this is the way the game is going, we old fuckers must learn to like it. I am having a hard time adjusting to it, but Roberts sure made it a lot easier to learn and adjust with.

    Just a note to clarify something. My suspicions and gripes lie more with the “Front Office” and “Guggs” than the FAZ. If you look at most of my posts it is the FO that I don’t like or trust, and that is more than just the FAZ, I don’t like Walter and a few others. If I really want to ruffle some of your feathers I can remind you that if we win the World Series, McCrook will be celebrating all the way to the bank too. He is like the ugly in-law.

    All in all, we have been at each others necks quite a bit this season, and I am sure some people are butt hurt, and a few for very good reasons, but it seems like we are getting a few more of the posters back and people are playing nice. The real hard work starts next week. If we don’t make it to the World Series I am sure EVERYONE will be all over EVERYONE in here. Let’s keep it civil until what happens, happens and enjoy the ride.

    Yes, I am humbled. But still cautiously optimistic.

  13. Remember everyone, the A’s in 88 were a super team much like the Cubs are considered to be right now.

    And in 88 they still found a way to not only beat the A’s, they also beat the heavily favored Mets.

  14. Damn, as I sit on my flight back to LA, I am really enjoying reading this thread! So many great viewpoints. All given with such well written posts.

    Since I have no desire to type this much on the iPhone 6, I’ll sit back and enjoy more posts. Thank u all!

  15. Thanks Al. You were one of those we were hoping would be back.
    Hopefully Bud Norris’s brother Michael is able to get things in order quickly and he can rejoin us.
    Now if we can just get our favorite limey Dodger fan back too. Yes I can call him a limey because I am one too.
    Can we get an olive branch in Dodger Blue?

  16. I disagree with some but I am not disagreeable when you state your case with facts and logic. Hell, you may be right. Palmer… or was it Emerson or Lake suggested Kike shouldn’t make the playoff roster and that Culberson should. I had already said Kike should but his argument pretty well convinced me.

    I like the current dialogue!

    Shoot, I even like Chili and Timmy. 😉

  17. MJ said:

    There were other free agent pitchers after the 2014 season, that were not high priced free agent pitchers, just like Anderson and McCarthy.

    There was Liriano, Hammels, Kendrick, Volquez, Young, Vogelsong, and a couple others I can’t remember off hand.

    JA Happ was one and he was nice, but who knew? Here’s the rest you mentioned. Let me know which ones you want.

    Liriano – $28 million/2 years – 8-13 4.88 ERA – WHAT?

    Hammel – He signed shortly after FAZ started – No time to sign him.

    Kendrick – 7-13 6.32 ERA – Seriously?

    Volquez – 10-11 – 5.37 ERA

    Young – 3-9 6.31 ERA

    Vogelsong – 3-7 5.00 ERA

    Thanks MJ for proving my point.

    1. Mark
      What years are you talking about with these pitchers?

      And how do you know they wouid pitch like this on this

      team, with a better defense, and better a supporting bullpen.

      And like I already said, they made there starts, unlike McCarthy, and Anderson.

      And Mark both Young and Volquez helped the Royals make a World Series, and win a World Series.

      1. And Mark young and Volquez, both had eras at 3 in the first year of there contract, and eras of 345 in there second year of there contract.

        You just listed this year, but we signed Anderson and McCarthy, in 2015.

        And the last era I saw that Anderson had this year, was about 16.

    2. I would have loved Liriano and Volquez here. And they’d agree to short contracts. It would have meant that Urias would not have been called up so early.

      Put another way, I think Brett Anderson would be out of the league had he been pitching in AZ, KC or on turf in 2015.

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