Bullpen Can’t Be Perfect Every Night, Offense Lifeless Again

I would love to take responsibility for the Dodger’s latest loss on Monday night, after I screwed up the pregame the other day by arrogantly proclaiming a Dodger sweep. I had mistakenly forgotten that this series was a four-game wrap around and not a three-game set. Alas I can’t take all the credit for the Dodger’s pathetic 4-2 loss to the dbacks on Monday evening. That’s because once again the offense did all of the heavy lifting in this loss by scoring just two runs on five hits and were 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position. Needless to say, the Dodgers can’t win when they have several .220 hitting utility players in their starting lineup. They keep doing this against every left hander expecting different results, and yet it rarely ever works in their favor.

Dbacks   4 10 1

Dodgers 2 5 0

WP-Hoover-1-0

LP-Hatcher-0-1

SV-Rodney-5

HR-Kike-1-Lamb-3

I am imploring the Dodger management to stop doing this. Please just play the regular lineup. What’s super frustrating is that if the Dodgers just played their regular lineups against left handers, they would probably win on most nights. Unfortunately the Dodger brass think they’re smart by putting bad hitters in the lineup, or they really think that the regulars can’t hit left handers. Yet when you put automatic outs in the lineup, you’re just not going to score many runs. When you’re seventh, eighth, and ninth place hitters in your lineup are Segedin, Van Slyke, and pitcher, you’re not going to score a lot of runs. This just isn’t working. It didn’t work last year either.

The Dodgers are hitting .225 against left handers coming into Monday night’s series finale against the Snakes. Scott Van Slyke is batting .125. He’s had two hits this season in over 20 plate appearances. Rob Segedin is a career .233 hitter. And even though Kike Hernandez hit a home run today, he’s batting .235. Please I am begging the Dodgers, stop starting these guys! Hernandez has now played in 10 of the Dodger’s 14 games. Why are they doing this? Why are they starting utility players every other night? It’s infuriating.

Of course you can’t put all the blame on the scrubs. The regulars didn’t do anything offensively either. The Dodgers had 5 hits, three singles, a double from Justin Turner, and the Hernandez home run. The Dodgers actually had a 2-0 lead through the first five innings. They scored a run in the bottom of the second when Segedin’s ground ball single, and a walk to Van Slyke put runners at first and second. Brandon McCarthy reached base when second baseman Daniel Delscalso couldn’t catch the throw from Robbie Ray on McCarthy’s sacrifice attempt. That loaded the bases, and the Dodgers squeaked over a run on a Logan Forsythe sacrifice fly. Corey Seager then immediately whiffed to end anymore chances of scoring.

The Dodgers added another run in the fourth frame when Enrique Hernandez (Kike) homered with the bases empty and the Dodgers were up 2-0. For the Kike marching and chowder society, here’s a video of his home run. That’s Kike’s first blast of the season.

Another non-Clayton Kershaw starter could not make it past the fifth inning. Although McCarthy pitched well enough to win. The tall right hander tossed five innings allowing two earned runs on five hits. He walked three and struck out eight. McCarthy pitched well but again could not give the Dodgers innings, and the bullpen can’t pitch perfectly every night.

Of course the fifth inning was the inning that the dbacks scored twice and tied the game. They can effortlessly score runs, unlike the Dodgers who seem to be constantly struggling with the bats. With one out, Owings walks, and after Jeff Mathis struck out, Ray’s ground ball single to center advances Owings to third. Then A.J. Pollack singles in Owings, and David Peralta’s ground-ball single scores Ray. McCarthy whiffs Paul Goldschmidt to end the inning, but the snakes tie it up. The Dodgers were never heard from again after that.

The dbacks took the lead off of Chris Hatcher in the top of the eighth, when Jake Lamb slugged a solo home run. The Snakes would add one more run in the top of the ninth. The dbacks had ten hits on the night and 8 of them were from Pollack and Peralta. Each of them had 4 hits. Pollack drove in one and Peralta drove in two runs.

The Dodgers had one last chance to score in the bottom of the eighth when Turner led-off with a double thanks to Tomas misplaying the bounce. In typical Dodger fashion they stranded him there with three consecutive routine outs. Puig flied to right, Grandal popped out to second, and Hernandez popped out as well to strand Turner. Fernando Rodney recorded his fifth save of the season for Arizona and did his annoying arrow shtick.

The Dodgers split the series with the dbacks and continue to play unimpressive baseball. Through 14 games the Dodgers are now 7-7. They’ll face another left hander on Tuesday night as the Colorado Rockies come into town for a two game series. Rookie left hander Kyle Freeland (who beat the Dodgers in Colorado) will counter Hyun-jin Ryu at 7:10 PM.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Former Co-editor of Lasorda's Lair. Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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138 thoughts on “Bullpen Can’t Be Perfect Every Night, Offense Lifeless Again

  1. Sigh. So we go 2-2 against the D-Backs. Let’s see how we do against the Rockies, who are playing very well after outplaying the Giants in SF. The Rockies starters are underrated and possibly underpaid even though several can go 5,6 or 7 innings. Maybe the way you train young pitchers to pitch past the 5th is to have them do it for a season or two, instead of countIng on vets with injury histories. In retrospect would having a youngster, even Zach Lee, going instead of the likes of Latos, Anderson or Kazmir be much worse?

    Here’s what Dodgers Digest had to say after McCarthy came out. Our bullpen is being taxed way too early.

    “Grant Dayton took over for McCarthy, throwing a scoreless inning in relief. However, with Ross Stripling and Alex Wood unavailable, and Sergio Romo and Luis Avilan working the past two games, the Dodgers tried to get three innings out of Chris Hatcher. In the seventh, he escaped a jam by getting Goldschmidt out with runners on first and second, but he promptly allowed a homer to lead-off the eighth and surrender the lead. Hatcher then got two outs in the ninth as well before being removed for Avilan after allowing a single. Avilan proceeded to give up an insurance run on a double, issued an intentional walk, and then mercifully got out of the jam. But then why not bring him in while the game was still tied?

    Maybe there were other things at play here that we are not aware of, but I can’t believe that was the best decision available. Romo and Avilan pitched on back-to-back days, but Romo threw just 17 pitches and Avilan threw just 10. Even Pedro Baez only threw 17 pitches despite getting four outs yesterday. I mean the homer is still on Hatcher, but what did you honestly expect asking him to get three frames in a tie game?”

  2. No fire or passion in this bunch what so ever. Wasted Turner’s lead off double in the 8th when 3 consecutive hitters popped out. Pitiful. I would like to hang this one on Hatcher, but it is on Dave Roberts. What was he thinking leaving Hatcher out there more than 1 inning period? And I agree with Scott, run the regular 8 guys out there every night. The B group is pathetic, our starting catcher and CF are pathetic so far. Corey has had 2 BAD games in a row and tonight rewarded us with the unwanted Golden Sombrero.

    1. This was a text book game on why you need contact hitters and decent speed throughout the lineup. Having so many “true outcome” SABR hitters just makes the game easy for the other team.

      1. DD also lamented that McCarthy deserved better because he got “singled to death” in the fifth. I guess runs shouldn’t count if the exit velocity is inadequate.

        While I tend to agree with Scott, it’s worth noting that both our runs were scored by “scrubs.” Probably just a fluke. Puig is killing RHP but sucking against lefties, not unlike JT early last year. Having him in the middle of the order isn’t doing much good so far.

  3. One more thing. If they are even dreaming of trying to develop Hatcher as the third long reliever/spot starter, Heaven save us all.

  4. Scott, I’ve been saying this for two years now, play the A team against the lefties. Let the team learn how to hit against them. They are never going to improve by not playing their best players.

    As for Hatcher? MN already said it. More than 1 inning, or maybe 1 batter is enough. His track record is enough to make me wince when I see him come out of the bullpen.

    Do they really think that Segedin will hit better against lefties than Gonzalez? Or, were they trying to rest Agone?

    McCarthy has been rather impressive this season. He seems to have some command of his pitches. No one is going to win every game, but it could have helped if Hatcher didn’t give up the runs. It’s demoralizing to a team to give up runs late in the game. Why did they pull McCarthy?

    1. Roberts was saying he didn’t want to push McCarthy and risk McCathy over-exerting and injuring himself at this point of the season. If we had more dependable arms this would not have been an issue. Another lesser known side effect of having arms with injury histories. You end up taking them out earlier than you really have to.

      1. 5 innings is by design. This is who we are. Remember, other than your ace, starting pitching is overvalued. After 75 pitches your lame ducks are a liability. It could have been worse as those two gift outs in the first might have saved McCarthy from only going 4.

        We held the high scoring dbacks to 4 and lost. The last two losses I hang on the offense. We’re out of the gate like we’re running in mud. I think that will change, but the change won’t be brought on by the likes of the B team.

    2. Jeff

      Like I said yesterday, against lefties, usually Corey,Turner, Puig, Agone, Logan, play with these part time players.

      But usually it is these core players providing the offense, not the part time players!

      So instead of playing these core players with the part time players, why don’t they just play the regular line up?

      We are only talking about having our regular players play, instead of Scott, and Kike, and we are only taking about two or three of these part time players.

      Scott hasn’t don’t anything for two years, and Kike batting 190 all year, last year.

      He did hit a HR last night, but he hit a couple HRs early last year, and he tends to swing from his heels, after he hits a HR, and last year, he did that all year.

      They can’t be any worse, and it isn’t like it is only this year, these same part time players, were last in offense in all of baseball, against lefties, all last year.

      1. Hard to produce when you are injured MJ, and for the last two years SVS was injured a lot so his lack of production is expected, but he was healthy coming out of spring and hitting the ball hard, something we have yet to see this year. He is on a very short leash. His ability to play 1st base and all 3 outfield positions is about the only reason he is still here……….

          1. Hard to produce when you are on the DL….He played in 148 games over the last 2 years. Less than a full season. 334 at bats, 7 homers and 37 RBI’s. BA vs LH pitching close to .250. 4 of his homers vs lefty’s. That is not a bad average considering what the team has done. I do not hold his injury’s or his DL time against him. He had a track record of doing well against those guys. But he is not doing it now, and that is what is cognizant to what we are talking about. The past is gone, what he did then is a point of history, what he does now will determine how long he is on the roster, and the next 2 days, both of the Rockies starters are lefty’s. But everyone has to do their bit, not just Scotty, and that is the gist of the problem.

    3. Gonzo not hitting anybody right now. Avg below .240. Segedin was hot at AAA, and he got a hit in his first AB and scored a run.

  5. I agree to put the blame on the offense not Hatcher or an overworked bullpen.

    Two runs in four innings is great. But having the tying run at 2B with no outs and not scoring him (I don’t think Turner advanced to 3B) is pretty bad.

    Now I see the Ryan Braun interest. Braun in LF, Toles in CF, and Puig in RF.

    And let’s give AZ some credit. Good hitting team. Greinke, Corbin, Ray, can’t remember Saturday’s pitcher. Not a bad squad in the valley of the sun.

    1. I see an inconsistency here. Their wanting the One True Outcome type hitter is at odds with their overall team goal, which is, get to the playoffs every year and one of those times they’ll make it to the World Series. You would think they’d want high OBA hitters on the theory that they would score more often.

      1. Jonah

        Exactly!

        They were talking about that, on MLB Now, the other day.

        They think baseball is going to stop valuing these all or nothing hitters, for that very reason.

        There are to many walks and strike outs, in the game today, and that is making the game, unappealing for young fans, and fans, in general.

        Because players are not putting the ball in play enough, anymore!

        Saber metrics, put to much emphasis on HRs, and the fact, that they value a walk as the same as a hit, and value a strike out, as the same, as any other out, makes these all or nothing hitters, look more valuable, then they really are.

        The team’s problem is that they have trouble hitting in runs, and they don’t do the little things, to put runners in scoring position, and to hit runs in.

    2. Artie boy

      When it is hard for them to get hits and score runs, they need to work together on offense as a team, to do the little things.

      Last night after Turner hit that double one of the two next hitters, needed to get Turner over to third.

      Either with a grounder to the right side, or a fly ball, to deep right field, or with a bunt.

      If they did that, all the next hitter has to do, is hit a sac fly, or a slow grounder up the middle, or to the right side, or a bunt.

      Maybe Roberts needs to have some of these players bunt, to get the runners on third, or to bunt a run in, since they can’t do the other small things, that are needed.

    3. 3 straight pop outs left Turner at 2nd, Saturdays pitcher was Tajuan Walker who they got from Seattle for Segura.

      1. Michael

        We should have hit Walker, like we did the year before, but we beat ourselves, by swinging at his high, fastballs.

        We made it way to easy for him.

        1. Last year was last year. They have not seen Walker all that much because he was in the AL. And they only play the AL west once every 3 years except the Angels. But they were chasing a lot of bad balls. But that is the way some of these guys approach hitting. Joc is way out of rhythm. And Grandal cannot hit anything hard lately.

  6. I’m not advocating this but I’m now conceding there is a good chance that it happens: What do we have to give up to get Braun? I’d like to say SVS, Hatcher, and Kazmir (and/or McCarthy, Hill or anyone not named Kershaw, Jansen, Turner, Seager)

    1. Would you trade for those guys you just mentioned? Milwaukee is going to want a few of those stud pitchers we have down in A ball, and/or a couple we have stashed at AAA. It will be like the talks with Philly for Hamels, they will ask for Alvarez, Buehler, White, Oaks, Sborz, Vedugo, Rios – Seager and Urias …… Braun certainly isn’t what he used to be he is what FAZ likes – 30 home runs, .830 OPS, so they will trade 3 pieces to get him. Which 3? Stand by. I just hope our RH bats wake up so they don’t do this. I do not trust them in trade scenarios.

      1. Badger

        Braun is owed a lot of money still, and he has baggage attached to him, so it isn’t like we have to give up a top prospect, or pitcher, unless they are going to pay quite a bit of the money he is owed.

        They are rebuilding, so they would like to get rid of Braun, and his contract.

        1. If they have to pay money MJ, they are going to want better not worse prospects. If the Dodgers assume the entire contract it might turn into 1 higher level guy and a couple of lower level prospects. But from the story I read yesterday, Milwaukee wants guys who are close or are MLB ready. That changes the entire deal.

    2. Jonah, they do not want retreads. They want players who are either MLB ready, or close to that. That was in the story I read yesterday

        1. I agree with you, but they will try to get the best deal because the Dodgers have a better farm system than any of the other teams on his list. And MJ, the clock is ticking. He becomes a 10-5 player on May 24, so look for the Brewers to make a concerted effort to trade him prior to that since it seems they are going absolutely no where. One of their FA signings though is making a lot of noise. Thames has 7 homers already. No it is not the same Thames the Dodgers once had.

    1. He is at class A Rancho. It’s a hitters league pretty much and it was his first start. He is also the #2 prospect in the line…I doubt they do anything this early in his career.

    2. Already? He was throwing 95 in the early going, and then it dropped to 91-92. When he’s on he can regularly hit the high 90s. I just take it he’s out of shape.

    3. YF,

      We can’t trade Alvarez. He’s one of those great future ACES that we have stashed. Amazingly we keep most all of our future ACES in ‘A’ ball. Friedman likes to see his ‘star prospects’ and college age pitchers dominating against them recently out of high school players. It helps the minor league grade. Probably something he’s learn to do since his days with the Rays when his minor leagues were never anything to write home about.

      The Kool-Aid drinking fans just fall for this stuff. But do remember there is a draft coming up in June and there will soon be oh, another 3 or 4 top prospects or ACES coming up through the system.

      I’m still waiting for other teams to begin dropping out of the league due to us cornering the market on ALL ACES. FAZ is great and powerful.

      1. I don’t think this is accurate.

        I think the Dodgers are much more aggressive about promoting prospects than most other organizations.

        Urias, of course, being a prime example.

        1. And where pray tell is senor Urias today? He is at AAA having his innings monitored. And he wasn’t FAZ’s signing anyway…although he has not traded him,…….YET…….

          1. I’m not sure I understand the point you’re trying to make on any level.

            In terms of aggressively advancing players and in terms of player acquisition.

          2. Point I am making is obvious, you cannot use Urias as an example of their promoting players because he is obviously not here.

          3. Michael,

            He’s already been promoted to the major leagues to pitch in a high-leverage playoff game as a 20 year old!

            TWENTY years old. Playoff game.

            I think that says plenty about aggressive promotion.

            We could speak more about Mitchell White, Yusniel Diaz, Oneil Cruz and others, but Urias (I think) is irrefutable.

            Your original point, a wrong one I believe, was that the Dodgers keep their aces in A ball. I said I think that’s wrong.

            Obviously Urias was pushed out of A ball. Brock Stewart flew through the organization. Oaks moved quickly too.

            Mitchell White was drafted LAST YEAR, and is already in High A.

          4. I disagree MJ. They have used those kids in spots and if the rotation had stayed healthy, do you think they would have honestly called up any of them? How many innings did Urias average per start? Less than 6. How many starts did all the kids make? They relied on the retreads for the most part, and White is in High A ball because that is where his skill level puts him. Urias has not looked good yet, his control is way off and I personally feel they have actually retarded his development by bringing him up at such a young age. The kid has a lot of potential. He is not star material yet. Stripling is far more advanced than he is. He should become a pretty good pitcher, but I have seen a lot of pitchers who looked great early fall flat on their faces when inserted into the regular rotation. Oaks is just a kid too. Stewart is just now starting to throw again, Buhler has pitched in 1 game. You should promote on merit, not because you are desperate to save your season because your so called great pick ups are floundering at doing what they are paid millions for. Those who move through the system fast do so because they are dominating that particular level…Urias pitched in a playoff game out of necessity because the bull pen was banged up. Had Liberatore been healthy, Urias would not have been there at all.

          5. Your point WAS NOT calling up people to the majors, your point was a nonsensical statement that the Dodgers keep their aces in A ball.

            I brought up Urias because he wasn’t kept in A ball. Ditto Stewart. I didn’t bring up DeLeon, who also wasn’t kept in A ball.

            Stripling probably isn’t an Ace, and you brought him up.

      2. You’re right. Drafting and developing prospects by the Great and All Powerful FAZ is just a way to pad the statistics of the farm system, to burnish their reputations, to pull the wool over the eyes of fanboys like myself who are silly enough to chart the progress of the team’s minor league players.

        After all, we know that major league players are just conjured from thin air. *Poof!*

  7. It takes a lot of courage for me to say this, but has anybody noticed how the “Ladodgerreport Posters Choice” for 2017 American League Cy Young award winner is doing?

    Well, Jharel “Tall” Cotton has now pitched 16.2 innings of 5.40 ERA, 1.44 WHIP baseball in 2017.

      1. No and FAZ was a genius for trading 3 prospects for a pitcher on the DL and an outfielder who could not hit NL pitching, then re-signing said pitcher for 48 million bucks over 3 years, thus blocking the team signing someone who actually can take the ball every 5 days and be productive, then after said signing proclaim that this was a great deal and Mr. Hill was the #2 starter…..well he had that part right, he pitches like he is full of #2.

    1. I was wondering about that, and was about to check his stats because the folks here who were touting him as the next Cy Young have gone quiet about that.

      Who was the kid the Dodgers traded to to the Angels to get Howie? I forget his name already. I remember when he came up and had a couple of good games the usual crowd here were mocking FAZ for trading such a brilliant young talent for washed up Howie.

      1. DP-

        If you are going to make assertions please make sure they are accurate. So first and foremost please provide whom on this board said that Cotton was going to be the next Cy Young. You loony’s make up stuff and then claim it to be fact.

        Isn’t your Daddy calling you home yet?

      2. dodgerpatch, even though I will probably get another “EF, him, the kid the Dodgers traded to the Angels was Andrew Heaney. He has been on DL for over a year. Don’t see him coming back anytime soon.

        FACTS just aren’t welcomed here. Either spew “FAKE NEWS” fantasy world stuff or “He’s only here to cause trouble”. Very sad!!!

        1. I posted that info 16 minutes before you did. What was the point in posting it again? You really had nothing to say. Go back to Timmons to get your pat on the head and perhaps a doggie treat…

          1. Hillary said she would not run for office again…….best news I have heard all day.

    2. Grrr.

      This is not a zero sum game. Prospects the Dodgers trade do not “have” to do poorly for the front office to look good. If Cotton does well, which I hope he does, then that reflects positively on Friedman and company.

      They developed him. If Montas does well, they acquired him.

      Hill will be good. Cotton will do well.

      Everyone will prosper.

      1. Hill will never be good. He is what he is, a 13 year journey man starting pitcher who has had exactly 2 winning seasons in that time frame. He is prone to injury and now blisters. Blister Boy is not worth 48 million, he not even worth 48,000 at this point and he damn sure was not worth Cotton, who was not signed by FAZ’s regime, Montas and Holmes. And now they have strained a very good bullpen with their weak assed pitching staff after Kershaw, and the season is only 2 weeks old. Their platoon system is not working, they still are not beating LH pitching, and the only guys who have gone more than 5 are Kersh and McCarthy….who woulda thunk. Prosper? Maybe down the road, but at this point in the season that this team is ranked #5 in the power ratings is nothing short of miraculous. They have not shown it yet. Oh yeah, the great rally killer, Grandout lives!

        1. Stay positive!

          I didn’t say Cotton was signed by this regime, not sure what that comment was.

          This regime has signed a ton of good talent though, but I don’t think you were disparaging that.

          1. Good talent? That is debatable. Most of their free agents have been hit and miss. Their trades less than inspiring to most Dodger fans. The players they have drafted have not been around long enough to make any impact. I am positive, but I am also a realist, and the product I see on my TV screen almost every night does not inspire enthusiasm. Except for Kershaw and Ryu, the entire rotation is made up of free agent signings by FAZ. Except for Maeda’s performance last year, the results from these guys is not inspirational to anyone. McCarthy has looked good early. But he had 5 pretty good games before his arm blew out in 2015. So a ton of good talent, I do not think so. I think they like the low risk high reward guys more than they should. There is depth. No one can deny that, but they like quantity over quality. I for one think that is not the way to build a winner. The one good thing I will give them credit for is not trading the top prospects, Urias, Verdugo, Bellinger. Seager is no longer a prospect. They have a idea and a plan they are sticking too. Most of the fan base is very frustrated by their plan. And believe it or not, attendance has dropped the first 2 years of their regime. People do not want to pay money to see the 2nd horse in the field. They want the prize. And as far as being positive, I am positive, they will not get much for the 48 million dollar investment that is Rich Hill, AKA Blister Boy.

      2. Bluto

        Even you, must agree that the front office should have done there due diligence, concerning Hill’s blister problem, before signing him, to a three year contract.

      3. Michael

        I was saying that to Boxout, because he was making a smart remark, about this place.

        I thought you didn’t want to talk politics?

      4. True, but if Cotton does not live up to expectations and Hill does exceedingly well, then it eliminates the doubt.

        In retrospect, it woulda been kind of nice if the Dodgers hadn’t traded away Pedro Martinez, not because the trade at the time was bad, but because of how it ultimately turned out.

    1. Ef him. He’s only here to cause trouble.

      Looking at Braun’s contract it’s not as bad as some. He’s 33 and signed to 36. He might could still hit until that age. He makes 20, 20, 19, 17., with a 4 buyout. That’s 81 million. 10 WAR in those 4 years and he more or less earns the money. I’m thinking FAZ would only be looking at this year and next, and if he’s hitting ship him to an AL team. If he isn’t hitting, add his name to the dead contract list. The Dodgers can obviously afford it. I don’t want to do this as I don’t want to trade ANY prospects and as I mentioned I don’t trust FAZ in these situations. He’s likely to send 3 more top prospects for this guy. I’m looking for the B team to start lighting it up do FAZ won’t be tempted. The B must be, that is the answer. (You can quote me on that, I might be famous some day)

      1. “Ef him?” Now that’s not a very nice thing to say.

        Maybe he’s stirring the pot, but so? Or maybe he’s just speaking truth to power.

        1. And your Daddy is back tracking on Alvarez already. Amazing. He was a stud, ace type of material….now second guessing things.

          Here’s how you show facts…..

          Posted By Mark Timmons on April 12, 2017
          I cannot remember anytime in past history when the Dodgers had four arms with Ace Potential in the Farm System, namely Urias, White, Alvarez and Buehler. All four have Ace stuff!

          Mark Timmons says:

          April 17, 2017 at 3:03 pm
          However, Alvarez scares me.

          Now DP, I assume that is short for Dip. Please show whom ever said that Cotton was going to be a Cy Young candidate.

          p.s.—-I hear your Daddy calling you. He wants to conduct a teaching session with you on how to say something 3 different ways so that you can always say you were right.

          1. You LITERALLY said Cotton was the reincarnation of Cy Young. Don’t try to walk that back.

            As for Alvarez, I need to first get my talking points from Timmons before I respond to that point.

        2. He’s talking out his ass just to get a rise out of somebody. “Dodgerreport choice for American League Cy Young”? It’s deliberately provocative. It brings NOTHING to the debate. Screw that.

          1. talking out of his ass, always liked that phrase, only person I ever seen actually do that was Jim Carrey in Ace Ventura, actually kind of funny to watch….

      2. Badger

        I think they should bring up Bellinger, and see what he can do, before trading for Braun.

        I don’t know if he hits lefties, but he can play in the outfield, including centerfield.

        And see what he can do.

        1. I think Bellinger would strike out a lot. I’m hoping he works on the contact thing for a few months before the bring him up. It’s only been two weeks. We are going to need some patience with this group.

        1. At this point in this short season it is about the same. Joc might have been a little higher. Yep, higher. He only played in 124 games in AAA and most were at Alb. Had 150 K’s in 453 at bats so that is 33 percent. But he walked 100 times had an OPS over 1.000, and a OBP of .435 with a .582 slugging percentage. Those are all good numbers, so the K’s were outweighed by his offensive production, he hit 33 homers, drove in 78, scored 106 hit .303 and stole 30 bases. If you could get those numbers out of Joc at the big league level, you would be happy as a clam. I actually thought Joc had played 2 full years in AAA, but I was wrong. I am just hoping like everyone else, he gets it all together.

  8. As a public service and part of the ongoing Dodgerrick analysis,
    1 – The Dodgers are now 2 – 5 in games started by lefties and 5 -2 against righties. They are hitting .218 /.302 /.345/ .647 (19th in BA, 20th in OPS) against lefty pitchers and .266/ .367/ .449/ .816. (7th in BA, 2nd in OPS).
    2 – The Dodgers are hitting .213/ .348/ .380 /.727 with RISP (19th in BA, 15th in OPS) and .182/ .308/ .295/ .603 in late and close situations (28th in BA and 23rd in OPS).
    3 – The Dodgers are hitting .181/ .259/ .251/ .511 in losses and .303 ./406/ .542/ .948 in wins. They are 3 – 0 in blowouts and 2 – 5 in games decided by 2 runs or less. That is to be expected given the inability to hit in late and close situations.
    4 – Non-Kershaw starters are averaging 4.7 IP/start. They are 4 – 4 with a 4.33 ERA. Even Roberts is now saying that they have to get more innings out of their starters. Ryu, Maeda and Hill are pitching badly. You won’t win much if 2/3 of your rotation can’t pitch.
    5 – The Dodgers’ beleaguered bullpen is 5th in IP. They are 3rd in bullpen ERA and 2nd in WHIP, but you can’t expect to have to pitch 4 or 5 innings out of your pen every game without something giving out. In yesterday’s game, that meant having to rely on Hatcher for 3 bullpen innings in a 2 -2 game, which led to the loss.

    What they have to do differently going forward? Seems obvious to me.
    1 – Improve hitting lefties. This may require some change in personnel. There has been discussion about Ryan Braun ad nauseum and either he or someone else may be needed.
    2 – Get innings out of starters. This may also require a change in personnel. The good news is that they may already have some part of this solution in house (Urias, for example).
    3 – A change in coaching philosophy may be required to improve situational hitting. A non-Moneyball approach which involves moving runners over, being more aggressive on the basepaths, shortening up and not trying to hit a HR every time up will be helpful.

    1. Good stats.

      And while I agree with your approach to solution, I don’t believe it’s going to happen. These guys are wedded to what they know and love – Moneyball. Roberts is their guy, good choice I believe, and we will see a whole lot more of this. If this doesn’t get better, and quick, I can see a knee jerk so spastic it might kick their own teeth out. Or, it might work, what do I know. Braun steps in and mashes right away, inspiring everybody in the lineup. The Dodgers go on a 43-7 run and all is right in Dodgerland.

    2. Good ideas wasted on a front office determined to do it their way. Urias is not even close by the way. Even Roberts said that.

    3. Agree on 1.
      Not sure 2 won’t happen organically, but if it doesn’t there’s plenty of depth to try out. The big issue is the 40 man roster limit.
      Disagree on 3 on a few levels. First philosophy changes rarely work without structural/personnel changes. The latter often the result of the former. Second, this is a power league now. Small ball doesn’t really work in general, perhaps in isolated events it could add a benefit. Third, it’s very early and a small sample to start enacting philosophical changes.

      Again, I think Gonzalez’s power is a major potential issue. He can’t hit the ball to the warning track right now, much less out of the park. Some could try to shift the blame from the player to the elbow, but I don’t buy it. It wasn’t a serious elbow injury, he’s shown no outward signs of distress. On the other hand, the only solution, if it is an elbow would be an extended DL visit, not to continue to play with it.

      1. Not a small sample. Last year the Dodgers were 30th in hitting in late and close situations. This is an on-going narrative, like the problems with southpaws.

        I am not advocating abandoning hitting for power. I am advocating a different approach in late innings when you need to manufacture a run in a close game. The Dodgers seem incapable of doing that when they need to. Their record in close games seems to reflect this.

      2. To DL him would hurt his trade value. I prefer wait till July then trade for Something Of Value. (Book by Robert Ruark, also movie starring Rock Hudson and Sidney Poitier…)

        1. Gonzo does not have much trade value, and if he starts hitting it would go up some, but he becomes a 10-5 guy this year sometime too. Not sure the exact day. I doubt he would approve a trade unless he has no power to do so. SVS I think would benefit from a change of scenery, perhaps Pittsburgh or St Louis where his pop played, or maybe to an AL team that would use him as a DH.

          1. Good points, Michael.

            To Dodgerrick, the Dodgers in 2016 hit .249/.319/.409 overall. With runners in scoring position, they hit .250/.331/.410.

            That’s not amazing, but it’s fine and liveable.

            It’s also why I say it’s a small sample size this year to act on with a change in philosophy.

          2. In 2016 Dodgers hit .209/ .296/ .357/ .653 in late and close situations. They were 30th in BA, 27th in OPS and 20th in runs. It’s hard to win close games if you can’t hit in late/close situations. That’s why I advocate a change in philosophy under late/close circumstances. It’s hard to imagine a different outcome if you do the same things.

          3. Dodgerrick,

            Those are great and interesting stats. I’m humbled I couldn’t find them myself.

            Where did you find them?

          4. Dodgers’ website is the source of all the stats. Go to the stats tab and then look for sortable team stats. You are allowed to select both the season and the splits you are looking for.

      3. Bluto

        Sorry I just heard a big saber metric guy say, there needs to be more of the approach, that Rick is talking about.

        To many teams don’t have hitters, who put the ball in play, and when the ball is not put in play, baseball
        is unappealing, to young fans, and fans in general.

        Because a bunch of strike outs and walks, make, for boring baseball.

          1. Dear Moderators:

            Is there a way you can change the threading of the comment section? As currently employed it’s very hard to see which comments are in response to which.

            Case in point MJ’s reply above to me. I have no idea what that’s in response to.

            Sorry to be self-important.

          2. Bluto, I believe WordPress offers several different styles here ( http://weblogtoolscollection.com/archives/2009/08/23/wordpress-threaded-comments-the-easy-way/ ). Perhaps Scott can opt for one of these. I spent a lot of time on this forum ( http://castboolits.gunloads.com/forumdisplay.php?42-Humor-amp-Off-Topic )a million years ago when I first got on line. I’ve thought this way of handling threads works very well. Click on a thread and follow the comments. I’m going to have to go back there. They talk about everything!

  9. Just a rule to observe when reading posts, Don’t ever forget that a narcissist wants any attention that he can muster, good or bad it makes no difference. Just like the a-hole brat in the classroom, acting out to gobble up all attention in the room. This explains the Blogger known as The Catcher, or some know him as Timmons the Stench. He is a constant troll in here. I have to mention what a scumbag he is to “befriend” Scott on this blog, only to really just cause trouble and then start his blog up again. So EF him, he is and always has been a narcissistic jerk. He truly has one loyalty, and that is to himself. He is just so damn predictable.

      1. Wait, Timmons is posting here? Of course he would monitor to see who’s talking about him, but he’s disguised his disgusting self in here?

          1. LOL.

            If you folks insist on making this out to be some death struggle against your eternal foe, then I can assure you that he’s already won. You simply can NOT stop thinking about him and talking about him. He’s moved and gotten married already. You folks are the jilted lover still clinging to your bitterness.

  10. Pirates took a major blow today. CF Starling Marte suspended 80 games for PED use…….dumb dumb dumb…….

  11. My only prediction of the year, and I hope he does not make a liar out of me. Ryu goes 6, the Dodgers win by 1.

        1. I think they’ll light it up tonight.

          And I believe AGon will hit home runs when it warms up.

          I don’t believe singles are not valuable, or however it was phrased. We got tied by a barrage of thundering singles last night. I don’t know who said it first but “keep the line moving” works for me. I think it is an exciting brand of baseball. I still love watching small ball when it’s played by guys who know how to it – on offense and on defense.

          1. Badger

            That is what some people don’t get, a single can score more runs then a HR, when people are on base.

            And most hitters, can hit a single much more often, then a HR.

          2. Are you sure you meant to write this MJ:

            >>>>That is what some people don’t get, a single can score more runs then a HR, when people are on base.

            Perhaps you want to rephrase?

    1. Michael

      I have faith in Ryu too!

      I think his first game back, at Dodger stadium tonight, will be his best game to date, even though he is facing, a tough Rockie offense.

      1. Bluto

        What I am trying to say, is I rather have Agone up, with the bases loaded, then a hitter, like Joc.

        A single by Agone in that situation, gets two runs home.

        A strike out does nothing, and with Joc, I would get a strike out more often, then a hit, and even less often, a HR.

        1. Ah. Nobody’s going to argue you’d rather have a single than an out.

          But you wrote that a single can score more runs than a HR!?!??

          That said, and I’m not even sure this is where this discussion started, Gonzalez is here to provide power. The team needs his power to return.

          1. Bluto

            You are right!

            I didn’t make that clear.

            But really, Agone has also had a neck problem.

            And ask a couple people here, how bad that elbow felt, when they had the same problem, that Agone has?

            And they are not pro baseball players, like Agone is.

            They are retired baseball players.

  12. Bluto

    If the front office did there due diligence before signing Hill, where is their answer to the problem?

    Why are they only now, looking into any thing they can, to fix this problem.

    1. Who said or thinks they are “only now” looking into fixing the problem?

      Definitely not me. Definitely not the team. And I’ve seen Hill say the exact opposite.

      1. Bluto

        You don’t sign a pitcher to a multi year contract, if you don’t have an answer, to the problem.

        And after all of these other pitchers, you would want to be even more careful, wouldn’t you?

        And you know I thought Hill was different, because he had a higher upside, but I thought this was not going to be an issue.

        1. MJ,

          Are you serious with this?

          Do you think the Dodgers signed HIll with just blind hope that blisters wouldn’t resurface?

          Without being “in the room where it happens” I’m nearly 100% sure the Dodgers (and Rich Hill) felt (and still feel) they had a grasp (pun) of the problem and thought they could handle it?

          Are you insinuating that they signed Hill without having a “hand person” look at his hands and fingers? Without consulting a slew of doctors about blisters, their recurrence and their treatment?

          They obviously thought (and continue to think) they have ways to deal with this problem.

          They just haven’t worked out to date.

          Sometimes the best laid plans of mice and men go awry. Or whatever the poet wrote.

          1. Bluto

            When you are giving out a multi year contract, and giving millions of dollars away, you can’t just think you know how to handle something.

            You have to know.

            If he is only able to pitch out of the pen, that is a costly mistake.

            And now that I think about it, Hill wasn’t pitching well, even in spring training.

            They have a very bad record, when it comes, to signing these type of pitchers.

          2. Some things, I’m sad to say, are unknowable.

            Health is near the top of that list.

            Nobody knows if Kershaw will hurt his back again. Nobody knows if Cueto’s arm will fall off.

            Nobody knows what tomorrow will hold with regard to injuries. Especially things, like blisters, where there’s not a plethora of scientific research.

  13. Ryu won’t go 5 tonight. (He hasn’t yet.) His velocity was down significantly in his 2nd start from his 1st. He hasn’t built up arm strength yet. Dodgers playing Rox and their lefty. Dodgers lose by more than 2 runs; not enough guys left in the bullpen to make up for another short start by Ryu.

    1. Atta boy! Positive thinking!

      Again, I got the under.

      8.5 o/u on total runs. Bluto obviously has the over. I think I do too.

        1. Nah. Nobody but me ever does them. I haven’t lost any 500 push-up bets yet, but I’ve lost a few 25, and one 100. I have to do them in sets. My shoulders are junk. I’ll do 25 on the Dodgers tonight. What say you rick?

          1. I can’t do them. I had 6 hours of reconstructive shoulder surgery 11 years ago and now need a shoulder replacement – my arm won’t even move that way.

  14. Now that we are facing more lefties then righties, Scott and Kike, won’t be the part time players anymore.

    The lefties on the team that are platooned, will become the part time players.

  15. Well out of here for tonight. Hope you all enjoy the game. I am forced to watch on ROOT Sports,,,ugh! Drew Goodman is the worst announcer in MLB. So, I will turn down my TV sound and listen to Sir Charlie and Rick of Monday on the radidio, which will be far more entertaining than Goodman, and his crony Jeff Huson…I also would like to say that the opinions expressed by me on this site are my own and ladodgerreport is not responsible for their content……

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