Dodgers’ Bats Silent, Matt Kemp’s Bat Very Loud

Fresh off a four-game sweep by the Miami Marlins – the worst team on the east coast – tonight was the first game of the Dodgers trying to prove to everyone, including themselves, that they are not really the punching bags they seem to be.

Residing National League West punching bags – the San Diego Padres – dropped by Chavez Ravine, and the battle to decide the worst team on the west coast commenced. This is how it played out.

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Dodgers
Pitcher Alex Wood singled Joc Pederson to second with two out.
Chase Utley waved a weak strike three to leave them both dangling.

3rd inning
Alex Wood had efficiently put down nine Padres in a row since a lone lead off single in the first.

4th inning
Padres
Matt Kemp made hitting a double off the CF fence look easy.
Melvin Upton Jr. singled Kemp in to open the scoring.
That broke a string of 32 consecutive scoreless innings for the Padres against the Dodgers.

6th inning  Padres 1-0
Yasmani Grandal slammed a solo home run. The Dodger Stadium crowd erupted like it was V-J day. Tie score.

7th inning  Dodgers 1, Padres 1
Alex Wood still bringing it for the Dodgers. For the second night in a row, a previously unreliable pitcher was doing a good job and keeping the score close until late in the game.
With a runner on first, Justin Turner made a great backhanded stop of a line drive that was headed to be a double.


A DP ended the threat, but 1-1 doesn’t win games. The Dodgers were going to have to score!

8th inning  Tied at 1-1
Padres
Pads threatened with two on, one out, and Matt Kemp up to face Chris Hatcher.
Hatcher gave up a no balls and two-strikes, 3-run bomb.
That gave Kemp four RBIs on the night. He scored twice and knocked in three. Besides that, he threw out Yasmani Grandal trying to stretch out a double in the fourth.

9th inning  Padres 4-1
Manager Dave Roberts brought in Kenley Jansen to get him some work, but all it did was infect Jansen with the Dodgers’ bad luck.
The Padres got runners on, and then Travis Jankowski pulled off a squeeze which became a bunt single when no one threw to first. Adam Rosales scored for an RBI. Padres 5-1

The Dodgers were never heard from again.

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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43 thoughts on “Dodgers’ Bats Silent, Matt Kemp’s Bat Very Loud

  1. Well, I was right – Wood continues to pitch well at Dodger Stadium. I expected LA to win this one, but I overlooked 2 things:
    1 – right now, they couldn’t hit themselves in the butt with both hands, and
    2 – the bullpen stinks!

    As soon as Hatcher came in, you knew that it was the ballgame, but really, what choices did Roberts have? We learned that Blanton and Baez (that other arsonist in the back end of the Dodgers’ ‘pen) were unavailable due to heavy usage over the past few games. Roberts doesn’t trust Howell. In the 8th inning of a tied game, I guess he didn’t have any other choices, but this highlights the HORRIBLE STATE OF THE DODGERS’ BULLPEN.

    I agree with Badger – Roberts has tried almost every available combination of position players in the starting lineup with similar results. The team is in a team-wide slump. Great!

    To lose 5 in a row is bad enough – to lose them to the Fish and Pads – well, that speaks for itself.

    1. What Roberts CAN do is even with Ethier on DL and Crawford is a LH bat he uses against RHP, he can stop with that match up and just let Trace and the others get some AB’s against RHP. Only way they can play is to get reps in against pitchers who throw from same side because there are more RHP in league anyway and I have had up to here with Crawford , both offensively AND defensively!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Yeah, that was bad. And the longest losing streak in the Majors. Good Wood though and that’s a plus. Can we hear it from the “we’re in first place” crowd? Good thing we are in the West.

    On pace for 81 wins. I’ll take the over.

  3. I was happy for Kemp. It has to be a good feeling to return home and do well. Good throw and a double and home run. I think Kemp would love to return to LA. I am one of the few that want him back.

    Agon always starts out well and then experiences a couple of slumps on his way to a .280 average and 100 RBIs. He is slumping now and Puig, Kendrick, and Crawford are not picking up any slack. In the mean time Thompson sits.

    1. Team is not hitting. Even Utley looked out of sorts. Seager and Grandal were the only 2 guys in the entire lineup who hit a ball hard. Crawford looked like he was stretching out to hit those ground balls. Gonzo is ofer his last 13. Culberson would have been a better option than some of these guys. Good news is that the Gnats and the Dirtbags both got pounded too….

    2. Bum I was so upset when Kemp
      was traded. I never believed that Puig would be that big right hand power bat. He is just not that type of player. And Mattingly was the one that pushed for Kemp to be traded, when this new front office first came. Because they really didn’t know the team.

      Remember they said that they were trying to make a more functional line up, and that was BS. Kemp would not talk to Mattingly, after he was traded. Even Mattingly said that he texted Kemp, and Kemp did not reply. Mattingly didn’t like when Kemp was upset about being put in leftfield. Last year, when Kemp didn’t produce for a while, I aways thought, it was because he got traded, and was just adjusting.

      I know he acted like it was no big deal, but I knew he was truly upset. And I was upset, because Kemp had hat great second half, before he was traded. And I was looking forward, in seeing him, hit like that, from the start of the season. Us Dodger fans, were robbed of that, when he was traded.

      After having to watch Kemp those few years, after he got hurt. We really deserved to watch the fully healed Kemp, from the begining of the year. I don’t believe those saber metric stats on defense, are that accurate on defense. If you really think about the outfield, and just think how many times does an outfielder, have other then routine flyballs, that affect a game even in a month? It isn’t really that much.

      I don’t think Kemp’s defense in rightfield, would cancell all of his offense, like saber metrics stats, say. Look at the money Heyward got, and look at his offensive stats. It sure looks like he is way over paid, and valued, considering that most of his positive stats, are going to go down, with age.

      Because players, just don’t have the same speed as they age. Heyward only hit 14 HRs last year, I believe, and he was the highest paid free agent this year, other then pitchers.

      1. Thanks for sticking your neck out MJ and talking that way about Kemp. Most here don’t want him back or his contract. I fully agree with everything, everything you said. I want Kemp back on the team. I’ll take Gordon back as well. Too late for Loney to return to the Dodgers.

        I prefer Kemp in RF over Puig offensively and believe Kemp’s defense would not hurt the Dodgers. I still am ready to trade Puig. Maybe Puig for McGee and Crawford, Kendrick, Hernandez, lots of money, Hatcher, Lee, for Kemp.

        I would then set the outfield with Thompson, Pederson, and Kemp and platoon Utley with Culberson. SVS would give Agon the rests he needs when he returns.

        1. Bum I agree, because Puig looks the same way, he did last year.
          And he is even worse, when he’s in tough situations. I think both Crawford and Howie, might be, bringing the Dodgers down, because they are having to be played, over some of the younger players.

          If Howie was hitting like Howie can, I might feel different. But I don’t know if I feel that way, because the Dodgers have a desperate need, for offense, and they need someone badly, to help Agon hit runs in, or do I truly think, that Howie will come around, and can help. I just wish McCarthy was ok right now, because I heard the Yankees need starting pitchers, and if we could deal MCCarthy, and someone else, maybe the Yankees would think about, giving up Andrew Miller, because they already have, two other really good, top notch relief pitchers, besides Miller.

          And I think McCarthy and Miller, have about the same contract, and because, the Yankees will have Chapman, again next year. And they did like MCCarthy , when he was there, but I am not sure, when Chapman, comes back.

      2. I don’t know why anyone thinks Yasiel Puig is special. He’s just a completely overrated player in my eyes. He was a flash in the pan in 2013, slumped in the second half of 2014 and was awful in the playoffs and had a lost 2015. It’s like Dodger fans have this myopic view of some of their players and think Puig is some great player when he’s had a very limited track record of success.

  4. I would take Kemp back, but I like Grandal a lot.

    The Hitters are in a funk. There seems to be a malaise hanging over their bats.

    Hatcher is worse than Horrible. Baez is unreliable and Howell is scary. All three may be gone soon… I can see Urias getting a call to work out of the pen soon.

    Fortunately, the Dodgers have internal options and it’s not Zach Lee who gave up 10 ER in 3.1 innings on Thursday. Stick a fork in him. LSU Needs a QB.

    Roberts is learning!

    Players are healing. Crawfish should be DFA’ed along with Hatcher. Does Hatcher have options? The Dodgers didn’t want Howell, but he opted in (as he should have). All the teams in the West have problems right now. I still am confident the Dodgers will win more than 92 games.

    Someone is going to have a 2B go down and need Instant Howie! It’s no secret that Howie can still be a very solid hitter. Fans may be down on him but baseball professionals are not. Look for a trade, but it might be a while.

    Wood’s delivery looked much smoother last night. He said he was going to stop lifting his leg so much. Let’s see how Stripling bounces back. If he can, then he might be a keeper.

    I know that Carl Crawfish is a nice guy, BUT HE HAS TO GO! THE ONLY REASON HE IS EVEN ON THE TEAM IS HIS STUPID CONTRACT! THAT SENDS A HORRIBLE MESSAGE TO THE REST OF THE TEAM! IT’S YOUR PLAY, NOT YOUR CONTRACT THAT DETERMINES YOUR SPOT!

    1. Thanks Mark for that! It seems like they keep Hatcher, because of his stuff, and because he doesn’t have options, I believe. It seems like they are afraid to let him go, because of that.

      I can see where they are coming from, because Hatcher, was decent, at the end of last year. I wonder what is Hatcher’s, and Baez’s average a HRs they give up per game, or number of innings? It can’t be good!

    2. I cautiously believe that Lee is much better than what he showed in his last game. Lee doesn’t do well if he hasn’t pitched in 4 or 5 days. His last start was 10 days prior to that bad start.

      1. True, he had to skip a start to come watch two blowouts at Coors and didn’t even get to face one batter. Waste of time. But I don’t think he’s as good as he looked in his first few games, either.

        1. He’s not. Zach Lee should have gone back to LSU 2 years ago. He’s in his 6th year in the minors. If he had any trade value he would have been gone by now. We can give him a couple of starts, but I think we know what to expect.

  5. Carl Crawford Howie Kendrick – without looking, who has the higher career batting average?

    Why sign Kendrick if after a month the plan is to trade him? Still makes no sense. He’s currently not worth $20 million. That could change, but what won’t change is the glaring fact we don’t need him. We need speed and enthusiasm. We need yutes out there. And evidently we have a whole stable full of them.

    If Crawford is DFA’d as some suggest, and he is picked up by another team, who pays the contract?

    I still believe this team will hit. They won’t hit great, some teams in the NL are just better hitting teams, but the Dodgers are a better offense than they’ve shown. I’m still not high on this pitching staff. And I still have the under on 92. This Duhvision has .500 written all over it.

    1. Maybe CC could be persuaded to retire. The Dodgers can always use another Vice President in charge of something or other, and the $30 million that comes off the books would be a nice down payment. But do you think he’s really the team’s biggest problem?

      That pitcher San Diego picked up on the cheap looked a lot better than most of our “depth”.

      1. I think at best the Dodgers might be able to buy out Crawford’s contract. He is owed about $40 million through 2017. It would be nice if Crawford would take $32M now and retire. I suppose he could still sign with another team if he decided to un-retire. I am sure the Players Union would screw with that though.

        1. I don’t know what Crawford’s total bill is right now, it’s $21MM for next year plus the remainder of this year’s salary, maybe $12MM. If we paid him all he has coming, neither he nor the Player’s Association could complain. We give him his release and some other club could sign him and pay him minimum wage ($500K @ year) for this year and next, and the Dodgers would save that much. Problem is, he’s not even worth that much…

          1. Crawford and Kendrick both have a career .291 batting average and nearly identical OPS+ numbers – 105 and 107. Neither is old yet. 34 and 32. Yet both look 40 right now.

    2. Badger don’t you think they should put a defensive replacement in for Crawford , in the later innings? He doesn’t do anything, to compensate for his bad arm. He doesn’t run to pick up the ball, and use that momentum, to help his throw.

        1. Badger I just can’t understand why Crawford, won’t try to make up
          for his weak arm. It isn’t that hard. All he has to do, is just run into a flyball, or run and pick up, a grounder, and step into his throw. Where is the pride?

  6. Jose DeLeon has been on the DL so far to start the year, but maybe he’s an answer to a reliable bp arm. Hell, I’d take Jose Lima over what we have now

    Cotton is another one that might need a call up, but from what I recall in spring games, his fastball was pretty straight; not a ton of movement. That’s scary

    Can’t blame Doc so far for the bullpen, when all of his options suck. Then again, can’t fault Donnie for the last 3 years either, as he pretty much had the same pen, minus some experience.

    1. I always assumed that the Dodgers were trying to minimize DeLeon’s innings to start the year while perfecting his mechanics in AZ. I see DeLeon arriving in July and maybe Urias pitching for the Dodgers in June and July, unless the pen actually gets worse.

  7. Wood pitched well last night, but I still think a good hitting team, will hit him hard. The Padres are not a true test! I read that Ryu is suppose to be back, before Ethier, and Ethier, is about a little over a month away. We can really use Ethier’s bat in the line up right now!

    Even as long, as Ethier has been out, I still think he will be able to hit faster, then Howie has. I just hope Ryu is ok, and he feels better, in his shoulder, then he has, since he has came to the Dodgers. Because Ryu might even be better, then before.

    We all need to cross are fingers, that Ryu is ok. But if they don’t fix this bullpen problem, it isn’t going to matter, what are starting pitchers do. Because they can’t pitch eight innings, every game they pitch. I think Puig needs to be moved down, in the line up.

    He almost looks worse then Howie now. I didn’t look, but Puig probably has the most strike outs, on the Dodgers now. Puig is not hitting, so Agone has no real protection, in the lineup. Puig needs to move down, in the order. And Turner is still not hitting like a third hitter, and he isn’t having good at bats either.

    I read that Guerrero and someone else, was starting there spring training, next week. If Turner’s hitting problem continues, maybe Guerrero needs to get a chance. He is better defensively at third then Howie, and he probably is the best back up, at third, on the team. And he will hit if he gets a chance, if he is ready. It is worth a chance.

    laAnd about Puig, Puig, looks like the Puig of last year, right now, and I wonder, if he has asked the hitting coach for help? Because he needs it. He is having terrible at bats, and in clutch situations, he easy for the pitchers, to get him out. And I am mentioning Puig and Turner, because, Turner hasn’t hit good, since the begining of the season. And he is the important number three hitter, and the Dodgers banked on him, with there trade, with the Reds.

    And Puig hasn’t hit much, since the first week, and he is getting worse, with each at bat he has. And this started before the whole team, shut down.
    Maybe Roberts needs to give the team, a day off, from batting practice, before the game. I know a lot of managers, do that, when a team is struggling to hit.

    They really didn’t look good last night, and that pitcher they faced, didn’t look that good. And it is hard to get excited, even if they beat the Padres. Because I don’t see the Padres, is any kind of real test. I wasn’t really in to the game last night, because of that, I think. I guess I need to see a tougher test. I hope they can get well against the Padres, because next week, there real test begins, on the road.

    I know they will start hitting, but this bullpen, is a joke, especially Hatcher, and Baez. Neither one of these two pitchers, should throw in tight situations. And that is what a bullpen pitcher, is for! Both Hatcher, and Baez are throwers! And Baez’s era, is a complete joke, because he is never charged for runners, that he allows to score. And that is why Roberts kept Maeda in, because he had more confidence, in Maeda, then anyone in the bullpen. The bullpen has been an on going problem, for the last four years.

    That is why everyone was so disapointed, that the Chapman deal, didn’t go through! And I think because he was suspended, he won’t be a free agent, at the end of this year, because he isn’t going to get his time in. The Dodgers would have had Chapman, for two years, even if we didn’t have him from the begining of the season. And that would have given the Dodgers, a replacement for Kenley next year, and give them time, to find another closer, after that. So the Dodgers bullpen problem, isn’t going to get better, if the front office, doesn’t address the bullpen problem seriously. I wish we could trade MCCarthy, and someone else, to get a set up guy, from the Yankees. I heard they need a starting pitcher, and they had MCCarthy before.

  8. Remember the “Bambino Curse” the Red Sox had? Well, we have one too, it’s the Matt Kemp Curse. We will have nothing but trouble for decades for trading away the Heart and Soul of the Dodgers. Not dissing, Grandal, he’s a good player, a real upgrade over Ellis, but it wasn’t necessary to trade Matt for him, Crawford and more money would have worked just as well, or even some other player. Mattingly just saw an opportunity to rid himself of Matt and convinced the stupid nerds. Don’t like to see the Dodgers lose but we’re going to see a lot of that from now on. I still hope for good things for Matt Kemp, he’ll always be Dodger Family, Friedman and company, never.

    1. Is there a difference between one curse or two curses? The Dodgers already have a curse after Piazza was traded. I hear the Dodgers are thinking about hiring Stephen Hawking to join the stupid nerd team.

  9. There’s a chance this Dodger team flames out and loses 90+ games. Their middle relief bullpen cannot protect a lead or keep a game tied and is in complete shambles, and some of these guys at the plate look lost (Turner and Kendrick). Combine that with questionable 3-5 starters, and things may go south. At best they’re an 85 win team, but I predicted .500 this year so I guess 12-12 is about right.

  10. Maybe SD is better than we think: Matty, Myers, Jay, A Ramirez, Norris.
    I’m not saying they are a spectacular team but better than one their record indicates.
    Congrats to Matty!

  11. So you’re saying the Piazza curse has expired? Or maybe we should call it the FOX curse, since they’re the ones who gutted the team and then sold it to McCheap.

  12. Well, here’s an interesting take. The Friedman cheerleaders at Dodgers Digest had this to say, in pertinent part:

    “All I’m saying is that for reasonable people who looked at the roster and had a checklist of question marks where things could possibly go wrong in 2016, this stretch has hit on a lot of them and it should be interesting to see how the Dodgers respond to this and how the roster eventually develops from here to maybe solve some of these issues.”

    And:

    “As much as I’d love to use this space to write something about how the Dodgers are actually doing wonderfully, if for no other reason than it would anger the “fans” who almost hope for a Dodger loss, the reality is that the concerns expressed are for the most part understandable and reasonable. That’s because a lot of the present worry stems less from the fact that the Dodgers are simply losing games and more from how they’ve been losing games: error-prone defense, mental mistakes on the basepaths, an anemic offense lacking a cohesive approach, a wildly inconsistent bullpen, and a so far similarly inconsistent rotation to match.

    While the Dodgers had concerns prior to the losing streak, primarily about their pitching, everything could be downplayed because the offense was generally humming, the defense was rock solid, and the baserunning was trending upward steeply. This was always going to be a talented team with question marks, but it was one that was still winning at an impressive rate (about a 102-win pace) thanks to seemingly improved fundamental play in front of all the uneven performances. Unfortunately, over the last week, those fundamentals have fallen apart and that has exposed the possibility that without doing the little things right, this team may not quite have enough in the tank to power them to the same levels as the squads that have averaged about 93 wins over the previous three seasons.”

    So – the emperor has no clothes. For all of the Braintrusters out there, depth is not the same as having good players – it could mean lots of mediocre players, which seems to be the case.

    Yeah, i know that it’s April 30, so it’s early. And I know that there have been bunches of injuries, but really, does anyone think that getting Andre Ethier back would fix the problems with the Dodgers’ offense? Or that a solution to the bullpen is just there somewhere, already in the organization? Or that all of the Braintrust Walking Wounded Rotation Brigade (McCarthy, Anderson) or Ryu will be back this year and pitching the team into the postseason?

    Well, I don’t.

    If there is a salvation for this team, it will be coming from the minors. And the Dodgers have concentrated on pitchers in the draft for over a decade, so most of the help will be coming from there. Do DeLeon, Cotton, Urias, et al have what it takes? I think that we need to find this out sooner rather than later.

    The Braintrust will not be taking on much additional salary and if the past 2 years have shown us anything, they will at best nibble around the margins with disaffected or injured guys in the hopes of finding “market inefficiencies” instead of trading for a major piece which could put the team over the hump. If the cavalry is coming, it will come from the minors.

  13. There are two things clear, something has got our most dependable out of sorts and none of us has a clue what that is. I don’t expect this crappy play to continue much longer. Harmoniously out of harmony with no sign of protest. And meanwhile the Angels can be viewed on channel 13 with rabbit ears just like the old days. So it’s easy to see which team will gain more youthful fans. A very strange path these Guggs are taking with their investors money. Selling local viewing rights to a company to hold as ransom with only a fractional percentage of it’s local fan base having the privilege to overpay only to get this shit. Nope, it won’t go on long.

  14. I hope that everyone is having a better week than these sluggards.

    Pitchers

    Stripling 5.06
    Kershaw 6.43
    Howell 13.50
    Hatcher 23.14
    Avilan 81.00

    Position
    Grandal .200
    Kendrick .136
    Puig .133
    Gonzalez 0.095
    Crawford 0.091
    Hernandez 0.000

  15. The writers at DD, good writers, Dodgers supporters all, are vested in FAZonomics. All of them want this to start working right away. Those of us who question the moves made since FAZenstein took over have had our motives questioned, but are not the least bit surprised by the erratic play. Now what? More of the same I would guess, but I don’t know. Puig and Gonzalez need to hit and our pitchers need to pitch. I just checked the stats and Hatcher, with his 8+ ERA has more appearances than anyone, which I find odd. Blanton’s numbers are better than I thought, as are Baez’, and Coleman and Howell are not where I thought they would be. Wood has a 4.82 ERA, and Maeda is on pace for 200 innings. Offensively we are very vanilla, middle of the pack. Gnats and Dbacks will probably outhit us this year, as will several other NL teams. Our defense will be good but not great, but defense is led by pitching and it’s impossible to predict what this staff will do. Top 10? Maybe. If all goes right. But with our history how can we expect things to go right?

    I’m in agreement with everything rick just said. We won’t be trading for any studs. We deal in nibbling the periphery of market inefficiencies. It’s who we are as a franchise and it’s who we will be until the minor league talent is here and peaking. And since they aren’t even due until next year and beyond, the peaking won’t happen until sometime after that. Yep, under 92. Like I said, 89 is looking like a reasonable goal. And for that to happen, we need all hands on deck.

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