Darvish a Bit Shaky, But Still Strikes Out Ten, Dodgers Still Win

Taylor and Joc

Yu Darvish made his second start for the Dodgers on Thursday evening as the boys in blue wrapped up their three game set with the Snakes. Darvish certainly didn’t have his best stuff yet still managed to rack up 10 strikeouts which now gives him 20 punch-outs in just 12 innings.

While Darvish’s command was off, his talent was still on. Darvish tossed five innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits and walked two and picked up his second win as a Dodger. Darvish made 106 pitches which was the result of way too many three ball counts. Darvish constantly fell behind in counts and rarely did we see him break out that wicked curveball until the fifth inning.

Of course the moneyball new age guys will tell you that when a pitcher faces the order the third time through the numbers go down. That’s possible because the pitcher is tired, or the opposing club starts to figure out his pitches or release point. Yet I think it should be determined based on the individual pitcher and the situation. Some starting pitchers actually get tougher as the game goes on. It depends.

Dodgers  8 9 0

Dbacks    6 10 2

WP-Darvish-8-9

LP-Banda-1-2

SV-Jansen-30

HR-Taylor-16-Martinez-23-Iannetta-10

I still believe whole heartily that a well rested bullpen is better than using 7 middle relievers every night for five innings of baseball. The more pitchers you use in a game, the more likely one or more of them will give up runs. Thems the odds and break. So when Darvish was unable to get past the fifth inning it was almost as if he had contracted the Kenta Maeda/Rich Hill/Brandon McCarthy disease. That’s the inability to pitch past the fifth inning. Hopefully those guys haven’t infected him because the Dodgers had to use a bunch of their middle relievers for four innings again and it nearly cost them the game. The Dodgers still managed to hang on for the 8-6 win.

The Dodger bats came out slugging in the first inning against rookie left hander Anthony Banda, who was making just his third MLB start. The Dodgers scored three runs in the first inning and then plated three more in the fifth and two in the sixth.

The first inning was capped off by Kike Hernandez’s three-run bases clearing double. The Dodgers had loaded the bases on two singles and a walk. The Snakes scored single runs in the third and fourth frames. A Ketel Marte walk, a sacrifice from Banda, and a wild pitch put Marte at third base in the third inning. David Peralta’s ground ball single scored him to make the score 3-1 Dodgers. J.D. Martinez’s solo shot in the next inning cut the lead to 3-2.

Chris Taylor led off the fifth inning with his sixteenth home run of the season. The Dodgers followed with some small ball to score two more in that inning. Corey Seager walked and after a Justin Turner grounder, Cody Bellinger’s little nubber in front of the plate scored Seager on a throwing error from Chris Iannetta. A couple more infield singles from Logan Forsythe and Austin Barnes plated another run for the Dodgers. The Forsythe line drive single was challenged when the call was originally out. The Dodgers won the challenge with Forsythe’s slide into first being quite memorable. Justin Tuner’s two-run double in the top of the sixth gave the Dodgers an 8-2 lead.

Brock Stewart pitched the bottom of the sixth and immediately gave up runs and we all started to get a little annoyed. Daniel Descalso singled and Iannetta homered to cut the lead to 8-4. Stewart started the seventh inning and proceeded to do his best to blow the lead. After a fly out to Peralta, A.J Pollack doubled.

The Dodgers removed Stewart and called in left hander Tony Watson. Dave Roberts wanted to show some confidence in Watson because guess who was up? That’s right, Jake Lamb. The young slugger took Watson deep for a grand slam in the first game and tonight Watson would get a second chance for redemption. Lamb would hit a sharp grounder up the middle that deflected off of Watson’s foot and towards first base. Bellinger fielded the ball and dives on his stomach to tough the bag just in time for the out. Great play!

Watson comes out and Brandon Morrow takes over. He gets Goldschmidt to ground out to end the inning. Morrow starts the eighth and the dbacks continued to claw their way back into the game. A walk, single and stolen base put runners at second and third with none out. Things appeared irritating. Then Iannetta chops one to third and Turner throws home. Martinez is thrown out at the plate and the Dbacks get screwed out of a run. Ah the running on contact play, gotta love it.

Not surprisingly Marte immediately singles into center to score two, and the score is now 8-6 Dodgers. Left hander Tony Cingrani is then called in and he pitches beautifully by whiffing Gregor Blanco and Peralta to get out of the inning. Magnifico!

Kenley Jansen enters in the bottom of the ninth to close the door. He pitches a 1-2-3 inning getting Paul Goldschmidt to ground out to end the game. Kenley records his 30 save of the season. Dodgers win!

The Dodgers have not lost a series in nearly two months. They improve to 81-33 and finish the road trip with a 7-3 record. They’ll come home to face the Padres over the weekend. Rich Hill will face Clayton Richard in the home stand opener on Friday night.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

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

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36 thoughts on “Darvish a Bit Shaky, But Still Strikes Out Ten, Dodgers Still Win

  1. Correction Scott, they were 7-2 on the road trip won 2 of 3 in the ATL, swept the Mets and took 2 of 3 in Az. Darvish becomes the first Dodger since Karl Spooner to record 10 or more strikeouts in his first two appearances in a Dodger uniform. Spooner struck out 15 in his first game and 12 in his second. Had Spooner not hurt his arm, he would have really been a stud starter. Guy had nasty stuff.

  2. Lamb actually hit Watson better this time although Forsythe was playing right up the middle on that grounder and would have gotten Lamb if the ball didn’t deflect off Watson. But great great play by Bellinger there.

    Cingrani looked great. This was a tough lineup!

    Right now I am sold on both of our lefty pickups!

    1. Dodgers never do anything the easy way there Yueh. Always have to give the fans a stomach ache. But they got the W. How annoying it must be to the Arizona players to see all those blue jersey’s in the stands. I know if it was my home park and I heard Let’s Go Dodgers as often as I heard it tonight, it would probably make me question the fans commitment to the team. They even drowned out Beat LA! Kenley is trying to get them to let him change the name he is using for players weekend. I think what it is now is Mo Montro…..he wants to change it to Kenleyfornia.

      1. Michael

        All the Dbacks have to do is take the lead and beat us, and they would hear their fans.

        I heard a lot of fans saying, beat LA the other day.

        I was thinking the other day that we are the only team that have to hear that stuff, even though the Yankees have dominated teams for years.

        It is just that Los Angeles is called LA, more then the real
        name of Los Angeles.

        1. I lived there for 12 years MJ. They never have had a huge fan base. Even when they won the Series in 01. Trust me, when the Cubs come to town, there are more of their fans there than D-Back fans. That comes from the fact that there is a huge contingent of retiree’s from the windy city and the fact that the Cubs have trained there for years. Look how good their team is and how pitiful their attendance is, except when the Cubs and Dodgers are in town.

    2. YF

      When I saw Lamb hit that ball up the middle and hit Watson, I am begining to think Lamb is not as vulnerable as his numbers make him look, against lefties.

      I would love to see what he has done against lefties, since the Allstar break.

      Because he has hit our lefties pretty well, and pretty hard, except the ball that hit the fair pull.

  3. Rob Segedin had 2 doubles and 3 RBI’s in OKC’s win last night over Salt Lake. Check the new 30 top prospects list. Some new players in there now and Farmer moved up to # 25 after being #30 for a while. Connor Wong is on the list now too. OKC is playing Round Rock this weekend so they will get to see old pal Willie Calhoun. Round Rock is Texas’s AAA team. Should be interesting.

  4. Bullpen with an ERA of 9 last night. C&W pitched a combined 1 clean inning. That’s a start. But I’m not sold yet.

    Took Darvish over 100 pitches to go 5. Throw strikes man. You’ve obviously got strike out stuff, throw that spinning cheese over the plate.

    We beat a playoff worthy team 2 of 3 in their park. It was ugly at times but we found a way.

    Joc is listed at 6’1″ 220. At times he looks heavy to me, but there are several shots on his Facebook page where he doesn’t. I’m sure he could carry less than 220 with no trouble. Blackmon is 6’3″ 210. Trout is 6’1″ 235. Neither of them look heavy. I’d rather see my centerfielder built like a wide receiver, so 10 pounds lighter and he would at least look faster. He’s never been a great centerfielder. His range is below average, always has been, and a career negative dWAR sums it up for all those who value such things. His worth is in his OPS, which is about league average right now. I’m thinking FAZ will be on the lookout for an upgrade. But, at $555k, he’s a bargain.

    My confidence level remains high.

    1. Badger

      The bullpen does not have me convinced yet either.

      Everybody talks about how good Morrow has been, but I have seen him get in situations like he did last night, quite a bit.

      Darvish frustrated me, almost the whole five innings he pitched.

      Because he not only didn’t have command he didn’t have very good control, and he it took him till his last three hitters, to get his control.

      I hope we see more of what he did against the Mets, but he did handle Goldy pretty well.

      About Joc, I think Puig would be better in center, but he has that great arm for right, and he wants to win a gold glove in right, but good gloves are picked by managers and coaches.

      Joc needs to slim down like Puig did this year, if he wants to get to more balls.

      Joc might be over built up for center, and maybe he is a little over weight like Jonah’s pictures seem to show.

      On the one article in Dodger com, one of the 15 things that were listed for helping the Dodgers to be this good, was runs saved about average.

      And in that part of that article, it said every Dodger on the team on defense, is either average or above on defense, except for Joc.

      And centerfielder is one of the positions that is up the middle, and really good defense in center like at shortstop, can make a big difference, as compared to a position, like first base.

      Smaller players and slimmer players, usually can get to more balls, it seems.

      That is probably why Mookie Betts, has the most runs saved in rightfield, by quite a bit, over Heyward.

      Heyward has about 12 runs saved, and he is a tall guy, but he is slim and I think that gives him more range to get to balls.

      Puig is more built to go after them now too.

      1. Puig is 1 inch taller than Joc, but he weighs 20 pounds more. His weight is listed at 240 pounds, so he is not slim. Most of his is pure muscle.

        1. Michael

          Puig did lose weight, and he changed his diet, and hired a someone to cook him a healthy diet.

          The Dodgers adviced him to do this, and Puig is slimmer then he was, and he is not build up as much, either.

          Muscle weights more then fat, and that is why Puig weighs 20 pounds more!

          And Michael, muscles take up less space then fat, so people look slimmer, with more muscle

          1. And I think it is that Puig hasn’t built up his legs as much, because he is trying to avoid, having hammy problems.

    2. I agree. Joc was quite a force in AAA and I think he can be again at this level but it is going to require effort on his part. He needs to lose a bit of weight, concentrate on flexibility and speed drills, and get that bat stroke back he had in AAA. It’s all up to him.

      1. He AAA’d in Albuquerque. Everybody is faster at high altitude. Lighter too. Less gravity at a mile high.

        Usain Bolt is 6’5″ and weighs 207. He looks very well put together to me. Bellinger is 6’4″ and 210. Joc would be well served to lose about 15 pounds.

        Bullpen shouldn’t matter if we can score 8 every night.

    3. I’m stubborn in that I think Joc is an excellent defensive CF. I don’t recall Rick Monday calling too many defensive miscues by Joc. But then again that’s after watching Kemp play a below average CF when he was there.

      Oh well. Is Verdugo knocking?

      1. Badger

        There is one really good scene in that movie.

        Sam Kinison is in that scene, with Rodney!

        Rodney really gives very funny expressions!

      2. Artieboy

        Better then Willie Davis?

        I only saw him at the very end of his career, but he was suppose to be a guy, that could really go after a ball.

      3. “Is Verdugo knocking?” I can hear it. But I’m not sure about FAZ. They love the long ball. Don’t know that the Verdugo OPS potential will beat Joc’s. His dWAR will be higher.

        1. I think the FO is quite high on him (after all, they refused to trade him), but the 40 is a real problem with Gonzalez and Ethier looking to come off in addition to Buehler, Font, and Verdugo being waiting for a spot of their own.

          Farhan recently commented on this in an article about bringing Buehler up:
          “He will be in the conversation but there’s a lot of factors involved,” Friedman said of Buehler coming to Chavez Ravine. “So much of it has to do with how he’s performing, where our guys are currently, the number of 60-day guys coming back, other non-40-man guys being added and all of that factored in – so it’s hard to say right now.”

          1. Yeah, I get that. I was hoping to see him in September but maybe not. He has to somehow be included in next year’s plans. As for “refusing” to trade him – they didn’t need to. Everyone they got came cheaper.

    1. I presented a science challenge I thought he might comment on, but actually I hope he doesn’t. This place is so much better without the constant snark.

  5. If anyone wants to see a player with good splits, you should look at Corey’s splits, there almost perfect!

    Forsythe may go on a run this weekend, because we are playing the Padres again!

  6. Forsythe has been quite good of late. Up to to .500 OBP for August (short sample) and hitting .302, w/ .441 OBP and.923 OPS vs. LHP. Plus he fields well.

    Pederson has been a disappointment, hopefully he can go on a hot streak. Management seems high on him, maybe it’s stuff we can’t see or don’t have access to.

    I couldn’t care less about his weight.

    1. Bluto

      Forsythe is still not hitting above 200 against righties, and there are far more rightie pitchers in baseball, so that isn’t good for an everyday player.

      And Forsythe has hit lefties well all year, that is nothing new!

      But he hasn’t hit many extra base hits, at all!

      And if losing weight helped Joc be better on defense, I think that would be a good idea for Joc.

      But I am not sure if that would work, but it would be worth a try, since his defense has went down.

  7. The Marlin’s owner has agreed to sell the team to Derek Jeter’s group. Players may come and go but I wouldn’t expect to see Donnie Ballgame there next year…..

  8. There are enough fringe players on the 40 man that creating a spot for A-Gone should not be too hard. Same for Buehler. I see at least 3 or 4 players who could be and probably will be DFA’d to open spots on the roster, or they can go on the phantom 60 DL.

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