Bad Pitching Luck Combined with Bad Pitching Stops Dodgers Cold

I’ve never seen a Dodgers pitching staff bitten by bad luck and injury as this one. Tonight Kenta Maeda joined the club as the latest starter to leave a mound surrounded by trainers, coaches and groans of misery from the dodgers faithful. Unable to complete the second inning, Maeda was lifted from the game, and it was later reported he suffered a right hip strain. Whether or not he’ll miss any starts will be announced later.

Maeda’s night began strangely enough, with a 20-minute long first inning. He held the Phillies scoreless through the marathon inning, but gave up a solo home run to begin the second. After giving up a double, manager Dave Roberts went to the mound, but Maeda stayed in. He struck out the next batter, but Roberts and co. returned to the mound and pulled Maeda from the game. Once that miserable piece of business was over, the rest of the game continued straight downhill.

The Dodgers’ bullpen, which had begun to look good over the past ten days, returned to uselessness, and gave up five more runs over the rest of the game. Baez, Alexander and Hudson were the culprits, with Hudson being especially bad in the ninth, but Roberts wasn’t going to burn through another pitcher, so Hudson was forced to finish.

The Dodgers offense was awful tonight as well. They couldn’t get any kind of traction against Jake Arrieta, who held them scoreless through seven. then again, what else would you expect from a lineup that featured the Dodgers’ worst hitter batting third? And against Arrieta? Of course, the stupid experiment went south – Bellinger struck out twice, walked once, left two men on, and sucked the air out of every semi-rally that he came up in. He’s now something like 0 for 37, so I would expect him to bat clean up tomorrow.

The Dodgers were terrible – and boring. They lost the game, and we don’t even know how long Maeda will be lost. That’s the news folks. Have a glass of warm milk before sleep tonight. They say that helps.

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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25 thoughts on “Bad Pitching Luck Combined with Bad Pitching Stops Dodgers Cold

  1. Allow me to make some astute and penetrating observations on this game and the way it was carried out.

    The pitching staff is an unmitigated disaster. Both the starters and bullpen have achieved very little in the way of ‘progress’. As we’ve all said before, health is the biggest issue that the Dodgers face, and this is especially true with the pitching staff. The pitching staff is chosen by FAZ, selected by algorithms, and hand-picked from the list. The hand-picking is to show you that the human being is making the decision, but we all know that this is not the case. It is an agenda governed by $$$.

    Accidents do happen, though. Let’s say Maeda encountered one. Why does Roberts insert a pitcher that was slated to be the setup man for Jansen? I don’t believe for a second that Alexander will be that setup man. He doesn’t have any consistency as far as I can tell. Roberts first mistake of the game is to insert Alexander who cannot pitch for more than 1 inning. The situation actually calls for a long man which the Dodgers don’t have!

    2nd Roberts mistake: We’ve all been talking about the Bellinger belly flop the past month. Pull him. Let him work it out in his head, not the field. He needs some guidance and you don’t place the whole team in jeopardy by letting him play. There was no reason that Pederson should not play CF,
    while Cody works it out. Pederson is actually making progress in his hitting.

    3rd mistake: Why didn’t Grandal play instead of Barnes? Grandal is a much better hitter and rbi guy and he is batting better than he ever has this season.

    4th5th mistake: A fatal duo. Baez and Hudson. Do we need to keep seeing their failures to get that you don’t use them? Roberts only has hope. He is guessing when it comes to the pitching decisions. They are not decisions that are logical and follow our experience with these pitchers. Over and over again, they blow it.

    The Rockies and Arizona seem to have found their strides once again. This is not good for us at all. We may be 4.5 games behind, but those teams won’t be easy for us to catch given our woeful pitching and managerial problems. The Giants do look plain old bad. Their pitching has not held and they are in a tailspin. I thought they would overtake Arizona but it looks like the Rockies will outslug them for 1st place. Arizona pitching looks too good for a freefall. Our pitching is anyone’s guess.

    We are due for a major overhaul but when will that ever happen with this FO. You need to step up with cash in order to buy the arms we need to compete. And those arms need health. FO cares about neither. It looks like we will have to rely on the bats to keep us in the fight. It is a lot to ask as the batters see the pitching killing their efforts.

    On a positive note, Muncy really impresses me. His bat and glove have held and I think he has earned a place on the roster. Pederson is the only other possibility for CF if Muncy stays at 1B. Then, 2B becomes one of our biggest issues. Forsythe. Talk about a dead bat and being as un-clutch as it gets most of the time, he is just taking up space. This dumb FO keeps bringing in weak help for positional players and get lucky bringing back an unwanted Kemp. Go figure. Will they keep him? How could the team contemplate NOT keeping him? Their outfield depth is abysmal.

    My conclusion is that this team need to seriously take a different direction concerning overall incompetency of the FO and their poor decision making. It is on them. It is not a curse on the team. The wrong people are in charge.

    1. Jeff

      Roberts has talked about putting Muncy at second, and that is probably are best defensive set up, because although Cody is better in center then Joc, Cody is also a really good defensive first baseman.

      And Forsythe has not been playing well, and he is only good for a single most of the time, but it is normally not in a clutch situation.

      And he has had trouble hitting righties all last year, so I don’t see him suddenly starting to hit enough, to be a everyday player on this team, with Corey out.

      1. MJ, If we are only talking about defense, Muncy at 2B, Bellinger at 1B, and the only player we have that can cover centerfield is Joc. This doesn’t solve Bellinger’s hitting problems. He is getting worse even though his numbers are decent, not BA. He will still hit that homer every once in a while, but that is not solving our situational hitting problems. A little time off with the coaches may do him a world of good. Even a stint in the minor leagues could help. Puig’s been down at least a couple of times, Joc, too. We have no outfield depth and that is a problem. All our auditions failed. Remember the great start to Joc’s major league career? Then, kaboom, plunging to the depths. Bellinger could be heading that way unless they head off the bad habits now! I believe the coaching should be responsible for these player’s development. Maybe our coaches suck!?

        1. Jeff

          I agree with most everything you said, and I know Cody doesn’t look close, but he did hit well in April, so it has only been a month.

          Remember Joc was allowed to do that, for the entire season, but I agree with you, that should have never happened.

          And when Joc went down last year, he didn’t do well in AAA like Puig did, but I totally in understand what you are saying, because like I said, Cody doesn’t look close.

          It is even worse right now, because we only have a few players, that are hitting consistently.

          It is so bad, that Joc looks like one of the best options, and he is only hitting 246, or something.

          But I still think Joc is doing the best thing for himself, and the team, because we don’t need another all or nothing hitter in this line up, and I don’t care what our GM said.

          But our GM explains why Kike is always trying to hit one out, and that is one of the biggest reasons, Muncy is in the line up.

          Because Muncy is not only getting on base, he is also hitting with power, and he has hit consistently, and that is why he is in the line up, over Joc.

          Like I told Michael yesterday, the biggest number this front office cares about is OPS, and Muncy’s OPS is a hundred points higher, then Joc’s.

          But I think Joc should be in the line up, because we need a player to help the team be more productive on offense, with so many players struggling, and striking out to much.

          But Joc shouldn’t be playing over Kemp, it should be someone else.

          But they are not going to sit Cody after one month, because of what he did all last year, but it can’t continue to be like this, and it isn’t only Cody, that is having a bad month, and he has done more then most on this team, before this year.

  2. Astute. Penetrating.

    Except for the pull him comment. I don’t bench a young starter like Bellinger. According to the numbers, he’s making contact. As I mentioned to Bluto, it’s CASP contact so far, but he will find his groove. Like so many in this team, he’s a streak hitter – .214 in May, .286 in June. In wins he hits .275, in losses he hits .228. When the team starts winning, he’ll start hitting.

    For the humor impaired, that last line is meant as a joke.

    I’ve been concerned about the pitching for some time now. The starters are brittle and the pen is iffy. Not surprised so many are going on the DL. When your blueprint is the McCarthy, Kazmir, Anderson model (McKazderson) you should expect injuries and have a backup plan. Thus the depth, of which we are all so very well aware.

    It’s going to be a bumpy ride. I expected as much. But I also expect the team to play better. Still a lot of talent here.

    1. Badger

      What is CASP?

      Bluto gave me that thread about Cody, but I didn’t want to take their free week, because I thought it might be a pain to try to get it off, if I didn’t want to continue to pay their fee.

      Because I still think all of that added muscle he put on his upper body and on his oblique, might be the reason he can’t catch up to high fastballs.

      Cody has been a skinny kid all his life, and that added muscle could have taken away the flexibility he needs to reach those high pitches, and the quickness he had last year, to get to those high pitches.

      He hit a high fastball last year up by his ear, and he can’t hit a fastball above his belt now, and he is getting a lot of high fastballs.

      Just think of the tightness one gets, right after working with weights, that takes away a lot of flexibility when your chest is that tight.

      That tightness will dissipate after a while, but is the difference in Cody this year.

      And if you read about Cody, he has always been a skinny kid, until just before this year.

      Like Monday said during spring training, it takes a lot of flexibility, to swing like Cody does.

      And Cody had a lot more flexibility last year, and that is what is different about Cody this year.

      1. CASP contact. Candy Ass Sissy Pants. It’s a SABR term, which stands for Something Absurd Badger Regurgitated

      1. Badger

        I think Jeff got you back on that one!

        Because you are the King, of tongue and cheek!

        I told you our average hitters, would have a lot of trouble, against Arrieta.

        I also think only one leftie player, got a hit off Arrieta.

  3. Looks like Santana may be rushed up to the MLBin the wake of the Maeda injury. Interesting. Let’s see what this kid has.

    While we are bringing up long shots, why not give Yasiel Sierra a look. We’ve spent enough money on the guy. Let him pitch some innings – he can’t be worse than Baez or Hudson.

    1. YF

      Good things can happen when you let young guys get a chance, because you just never know, unless you try.

      We see some pitchers that have all the tools and good movement on their fastball, but they can’t perform up to their stuff, like Baez does, year after year.

      I don’t understand why Roberts lets those guys come into games, after the six inning?

      Forsythe didn’t help us in this game, because he misplaced two grounders in a row, and cost us two runs

      Forsythe has the most errors on this team, and he doesn’t have much of a bat!

      1. MJ, Forsythe is a very good 2Bman. Most of his errors have been from playing a position he should not be playing, 3B. When he is at 2B, he seems sound to me. His bat is another story altogether.

  4. Last season this team only came to life when Belly came up. This is why the team needed another bat from somewhere this past offseason. Thankfully, Kemp has produced but apparently, he is not enough. It was shown in Sept last year that the team relied on Belly because when he slumped, the whole team slumped. The same thing is happening again. Essentially, they lived by Cody and now they are dying by Cody. Does anyone think he will ‘wake up’ this season. He looks as lost as he did in the WS. What should they do? Is AAA even an option?

        1. It’s a FAZRoberts asservation. Collectively they are the omniscient vanguards of the consecrated algorithmic sacred tables.

    1. KLD,

      I don’t think they are living and dying by Cody. Last year, we had tremendous help from Turner, Seager, Taylor, and Puig seemed to have resurrected, also. Sure, it would help a lot if Cody was playing like last season, but keep in mind our pitching has collapsed and is the biggest factor in our seeming demise.

  5. Did you see that guy that Kenley hit has a fractured jaw after all, so he is on his way, to Phillie?

    Arrieta is a good pitcher, but it was a shame that Forsythe cost us two runs last night, especially against a really good pitcher.

    But I don’t know what the books says about tonight’s game, but I think we will win this game tonight.

    And hopefully the game tomorrow, so we can go to Colorado, in good shape.

  6. I just saw on the Dodgers pregame show, that the pitcher we are facing tonight, was in the Howie trade, but I think they meant the Chase trade.

    But anyways, we lost two pitchers, in both the Howie trade, and the Chase trade, but I didn’t know about the pitcher we are facing, tonight.

    But I do remember about the pitcher, they traded to the Angels.

    1. With starter Josh Beckett hurting and Dan Haren circling the drain at the time, the Dodgers had a clear need for a starter and Roberto Hernandez has done a nice job in filling that immediate need. Victor Arano was the final piece in that trade.

      If anything it’s more damning that the Dodgers didn’t have anyone in-house able to step in and fill that role, in the organization’s eyes.

      Hernandez was acquired by the Dodgers on Aug. 7 for two players to be named later. To date Hernandez is 2-1 with a 3.52 ERA in four starts, with 15 strikeouts and eight walks in 23 innings. The Dodgers on Aug. 16 sent infielder Jesmuel Valentin to Philadelphia as the first player to be named later.

      Arano, just 19, was 4-7 with a 4.08 ERA in 22 games with Class-A Great Lakes, including 15 starts. Arano had 83 strikeouts in 86 innings this season with just 20 walks, and 11 home runs allowed.

      Before the season Arano was ranked as the Dodgers’ No. 10 prospect by (new Cubs scout) Jason Parks at Baseball Prospectus.

      “Arano is not the most projectible arm, a little more polished than the average AZL arm,” Parks said in an interview with Craig Minami. “The body is a lot more mature than the other kids in that league.”

      The Dodgers signed Arano out of Mexico on March 4, 2013.

      1. Bluto I have to admit this post made little sense to me. Maybe it’s the lack of a time frame reference? Dan Haren was never “circling the drain” for us. That term is reserved for the McKazderson trio. Haren finished his time here with numbers nobody else will put up – 183 innings of 4.0 ERA, 1.17 WHIP. We sure as hell could use a pitcher like that now. We don’t have one.

        And I wasn’t aware of Arano but it looks like we let a good one get away.

        1. Definitely feels like a steep price for an aging Hernandez.

          As per Haren at that moment, you say tomato I say tomatoe.

          I also stole those words (from a free site.) trueblueLA, I think. Apologies for omitting the accreditation.

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