Dodgers’ Bats Take a Holiday, Lose to Cubs 2-0

Memorial Day brought game one of a four game series between the team with the best record in the majors vs the team with the most questionable one.

Alex Wood returned to the starting rotation in a test of his sore? healed? triceps muscle.

The good news was he had a team behind him that was heating up at the right time.  The bad news was, they chose to take the holiday off.

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Cubs
Bases loaded and two out for Ben Zobrist. Here was the big challenge for Wood and his triceps.
Alex Wood struck him out!

3rd inning  No score
Dodgers
Jason Hammel pulled up lame with a cramp in his warm up pitches and had to leave the game.
Travis Wood was brought in. The game became their Wood against our Wood.
The Dodgers went quietly.

5th inning No score
Dodgers
Nothing. 13 retired in a row.
Cubs
Lead off single with a two-base error on Yasiel Puig. Ben Zobrist standing on third.
Next batter knocked Zobrist in for first score. 1-0
Anthony Rizzo with a double to RF. 2-0

6th inning  Cubs 2-0
Dodgers
16 down in a row.

7th inning  Cubs 2-0
Dodgers
19 in a row. Sheesh.
Cubs
Casey Fien in for the Dodgers
Three up, three down, and the kid made it look easy.

8th inning  Cubs 2-0
Dodgers
22 down in a row.

9th inning Cubs 2-0
Dodgers
Howie Kendrick – K
Chase Utley –  4-3
Corey Seager –  4-3

Dodgers lose 2-0

25 Dodgers down in a row. What’s to say?

Positive note: Alex Wood seems healthy enough, with 5 quality innings.

The quicker I get outside to the BBQ, the quicker I can forget this mess, and you too.

Happy Memorial Day everybody! Thanks vets, and those who sacrificed, all the way to giving your all. Thanks dad!

Alex Wood (1-4) went 5 innings with 7 hits, 2 runs, 3 walks, 7 K’s.   ERA 3.99

 

 

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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51 thoughts on “Dodgers’ Bats Take a Holiday, Lose to Cubs 2-0

  1. Did not return home until the 8th inning. It was over then.

    We went to Ruth Chris’s Stake House — because today is free meal day there, for military as a Thank You for your service. Great meal.

    Crawford in his last AB, look terrible. Just cut him and let him be a minor league instructor.

  2. Ruth did not even look at our cards. 5 in our party (group) and said, “You are all military?” “Yes.” “Enjoy the evening.”

  3. Oscar,

    I hate to break it to you, but the Dodger bats did not just take a Holiday – they have been on an extended vacation!

    The Dodgers are currently 5th in MLB in Starter ERA and 10th in Reliever ERA.

    It seems like everybody hits or no one hits.

    1. That is true Mark, but the Cubs were not to impressing themselves. They wouldn’t have scored much, without Puig’s error, and Grandal, not catching the ball.

  4. Tempting to say A. Wood deserved better, but he failed to cover first which got the second run aboard. Maybe the airline lost the luggage with the Dodgers bats. If they can score a run off Arrieta it will be a moral victory.

  5. Although Wood didn’t pitch well, the big thing is that the Dodgers couldn’t score a single run in 7 innings against the Cubs’ bullpen, including 4 innings against their Wood.

    Something has to change.

    If what you are doing isn’t working, do something else. New hitters, new hitting coach, new something.

    1. JT is not swinging at bad pitches. Puig swings at bad pitches. Both are playing great defense. Grandal is not doing anything to help the team that Barnes and Ellis can’t do a little better.

      Agon looked like his back was hurting again. Maybe the epidermal he took recently that got his bat going again is no longer eliminating the pain in his back.

      1. Bum
        Agone just looked tired like everyone else. His back isn’t hurting him. The problem is having Turner in the third position.

        Turner shouldn’t be getting more at bats, then Agone! Puig, and Joc didn’t look good yesterday, and they both helped a wild pitcher, get easy outs, after he had been wild, and walked Agone. And Turner hasn’t hit since the begining of the season.

        Turner doesn’t have wild at bats, like Puig and Joc, but he can’t catch up with a good fastball. The third hitter, has to do more, then not swing at bad pitches. They have to hit, and drive in runs.

        And I like Turner. Turner is good at third, but Roberts needs to finally move him down. Even if he moved Turner down to the fifth position, that would be better for the Dodgers, as well, as for Turner himself.

        Turner, Puig, and Joc, are all now hitting close to 240, but I think they are all down below 240, after yesterday’s game.

        This was one game, and the Cubs didn’t look much better. Puig’s error, and Grandal not catching the ball, helped the Cub’s score.
        Also, the relief pitcher that came in, was a leftie, and the Dodgers, had a predominately leftie line up in for the Cub’s starter, who was a rightie.

        Cory had some of the worse at bats, he has had, as a Dodger, yesterday. He has played, since that last long game in SD. And he needs a day off. Even Utley looked a little tired, and he never does.

  6. Personally, I give Turner Ward until June 30th, but if these guys ain’t hitting by then – he has to go. Most of the team is hitting considerably below their career averages. Bring in Nomar, shoot bring in anybody!

    Bring in Rudy Jaramillo

    1. How can Pitching and Batting Coaches have any relevance when even the Manager doesn’t. Honeycutt and Ward almost certainly receive as many operational directives as Roberts. One good GM solves all the problems.

        1. When Wondering does his taxes, he just fills in the bottom line and works backwards so that all the number fit his final answer.

          Figures don’t lie, but liars figure!

    2. Yeah, I agree it looks like it isn’t working. Ward sure got the Arizona hitters hacking. Maybe they are just better hitters. Hard to know what the problem might be. Changing horses in the middle of the river can be dicey, but if the horse you’re riding ain’t moving, you gotta get off it. I’m thinking any major changes, if there will be any, won’t be coaching changes, they will be deadline deals.

      Looking at this from a purely baseball perspective, not easy wearing our blue glasses, there have been many references, and not just here, to our wasting Kershaw’s best years. I’ve seen it talked about all over He’s pitching like Koufax did (minus the 300 innings and complete games) and he needs help. Where does it come from if “the plan” is to not trade our top prospects? I don’t know anymore. All I see is Kershaw dominating, followed by days of flip a coin.

      If the giants keep it up we are in trouble. Its absolutely possible they can, and will be a 90+ win club. We need to start hitting or we won’t make 90 wins, and another Kershaw Cy year goes down the crapper. Texas might be looking pretty good to him in the coming months.

      Puig, Turner, Kendrick, Grandal, Pederson – the middle of our order, need to pick it up.

      1. Koufax as I remember pitched for a Dodger team that struggled to score a run. Kershaw has a good defense behind him. Yankee rumors include their willingness to trade Miller and if the Dodgers could get him, I think that would be the best move the Dodgers could make to keep Kershaw pumped up.

    3. I get a kick out of Nomar. He talks about hitters needing to make more controlled swings when he was a notorious first ball swinger and had one of the most vicious swings of any player.

      1. Bum
        Nomar was a successful at what he did, but not all players, are as good as Nomar.

        Swinging at the first pitch that is a strike, and in the zone a hitter likes, is the right thing to do.

        Puig doesn’t have enough impulse control, to only swing at his pitch, on the first pitch.

        And pitchers all know, that Puig loves to swing at the first pitch, so he isn’t going to get many good first pitches, to hit.

        Both Puig and Pederson, swung at high pitches, way out, of the strike zone yesterday.

        And Joc did that, in the first game, in NY.

        1. MJ, I am not saying Nomar wasn’t a great hitter. He was. It just strikes me as funny every time he reminds us that Puig almost always swings at the first pitch as if it were a bad thing even though he did that as well. He also likes to point out when players over swing even though he over swung as well, just with better results. He did keep his bat in the hitting zone for a long time even with his huge swing.

    4. MM
      It is mostly Turner, who is hitting way below what he has done in the last two years. I think his surgery, had slowed him down.

      He can’t catch up to a decent fastball. He lifts his leg, as a timing mechanism, maybe that is why he is having trouble, hitting fastballs. But I don’t know if that is the same knee he had surgery on. Grandal didn’t hit early in the season, last year, but hit later.

      This year, he hit well in the first month, but he only played, for two weeks I believe, in the first month, this year.

      1. To me, Turner looks to be running faster and moving better than ever before. I don’t think it’s the knee.

        1. Mark
          Then what do you think it is? I like Turner. I just don’t think he should continue to bat third. I heard a former player, say he is not catching up to fastballs. And he has been a great fastball hitter, in the last two years. He doesn’t look as heavy as he was, in the previous two years, but once again, what do you think it is?

    1. Rizzo and Heyward, are not hitting much better then the Dodger hitters, either. There both hitting just a little over 200. Rizzo probably has more HRs, but not a decent batting average. Zobrist, and Bryant, are there big hitters, right now, but not really anyone else. The Dodgers will have better at bats, I hope today. And I hope there are right hand hitters, in the line up. Righties are suppose to hit Arrieta better, and see him better.

      1. I’m just hoping the team doesn’t get swept. The Cubs are just a really good team top to bottom. I hope the FO are taking notes.

        1. Dodger patch
          Look at the some of the Cubs batting averages today. It looks like there pitching staff, especially there starting pitching, has been helping them, the most! I might be assuming this, but I was just thinking, that you probably don’t value batting averages, as much as I do, but like I said, I don’t know that for sure.

          1. I honestly haven’t looked that closely at the Cubs lineup. I hope they have a chink in the armor. It gives the Dodgers some hope to pull it together if they can iron out the issues and inconsistencies with the pitching…..and the hitting will help. The Giants are getting it done in spite of the lack of hitting…it’s the pitching. The Dodgers aren’t terrible. If they have fixable flaws or flaws that will work themselves out…same as the Cubs and Giants…then there’s hope.

          2. People have been rough on Wood and the bullpen but the mighty Cubs were only able to score 2 runs against them and those runs were aided by Dodger fielding.

  7. Unless something is bothering him, Turner will get hot, I’m confident of that. I’m not so sure about Puig. He goes through phases where he looks like he is pressing. That happens to everybody, but not everybody makes the mistakes he continues to make. He swings at way too many pitches out of the strike zone. I also see him at times just stand there with his bat on his shoulder and look at strike one, even when it’s a fastball over the plate. And he telegraphs it. It’s like he’s been told to take a strike. F that. Wouldn’t you rather he hit .300 by swinging at the first pitch than .200 waving at strike 3 sliders a foot outside? I would. Hack at fastballs over the heart of the plate on the first pitch. Always.

    I hate to say it, but AGon may have to rested more. He will be needed in August and September. Seager will be good, but can he go 150+?

    Disappointed in Kiké, but I don’t know it’s his fault. He must be terribly discouraged in the organization’s lack of faith in him. I know I am. I didn’t trade for him and I like him better than the guys who did.

    I still don’t trust Grandal to be that good, with bat or glove. He’s a positive WAR player for sure, and he goes through streaks, but I don’t see him hitting over .240 with the occasional home run. Blind Squirrel applies. And I’m not that impressed with his defense.

    1. I’m pretty confident that it is not the fault of the front office that Kike isn’t hitting. That doesn’t make me a FAZophant. That just makes me critical of faulty criticism. A player’s responsibility is to perform and be prepared. Kike has always been a utility player with divergent left and right splits. I don’t buy the argument that he’s not performing because his psyche is damaged over not being named the starting second baseman. Turner is the inverse of this narrative. He was a utility player who performed exceptionally the last two years and was justifiably rewarded with the starting third baseman position. He hasn’t performed. Ben Zobrist has never been a “starter.” That hasn’t seemed to have depressed him, his performance and certainly not he free agent value. He’s one of the big reasons whey the Cubs are doing so well, and I really had high expectations for Kike to have a similar impact and earn more playing time….like Turner.

      You trotted out the same argument with Guerrero last year. In essence, he didn’t perform because his sporadic playing time was evidence the team wasn’t treating him right. Thusly and unfairly maligned by an uncaring front office, he spiraled into despair and subsequently poor performance.

      A player’s performance is entirely his own responsibility, and it’s the job of the front office to make trades and assemble a team, not validate the feelings of players. I know you have a soft spot for CC, AG and Kike, but there are no excuses for a lack of performance, though I suppose your counter argument would hold front offices to the same standard. Fair enough.

      I still think Grandal has more potential than he’s shown, but at this point I’m having long term doubts about him, as well as the other underachievers such as Turner and Puig. Sometimes these failures to live up to expectations on the field don’t have easy answers.

      1. Dodger patch
        I am suprised that you don’t think a players mental state, doesn’t have anything to do with there play. Hitting can be really mental, at times.

        But I still contend that if he player, isn’t getting consistent at bats, and enough at bats, it is really hard, to judge what kind of hitter, they are truly are, if they havent been an everyday player, at the major league level.

        1. Sure, a player’s mental state has a bearing on their play, but that’s on him. It’s his job to show up to work and perform, and if he isn’t, go through the remedial batting practice to figure it out. My point is that it is not the responsibility of the front office to coddle the fragile psyche of an immature player who lacks mental discipline by continuing to play him in spite of his lack of performance…if in fact that is the reason for Kike not performing, and we don’t know that.

          No one here knows why player A is not performing. To delve into some psychobabble scenario involving the front office not validating a player’s feelings seems a stretch.

          Utley could have had a lot of excuses not to perform. A lot of people wrote him off before the season.

          1. I find your criticism of faulty criticism faulty.

            I said merely that he may be discouraged by lack of playing time, caused by the organization going out and getting 3 new (2 re-signed) second basemen. Then you say it is possible. Nobody but you said anything about coddling a player. Methinks your jumping at a chance to critique me has exposed your bias.

            By the way, I know what the front office’s job is. I felt the needle on the your condescension meter move on that one.

            Its my opinion that by hitting .307 he earned a starting role, or at the very least the platoon job with Utley. I don’t think what we are doing to him is the proper way to motivate young players. Feel free to disagree.

          2. I never said a thing about the front office. And when a front office, makes certain moves, that can upset a player, that is natural. I think that Kike hasn’t got enough consistent at bats, is his main problem. And there has been no room for Kike to play. I guess that is the point. And Utley is not a good example, because Utley is a veteran player, that has been established in baseball, for more then a minute. Didn’t you see Utley turn all of those boos, into silence. He is one hard nut, to crack. And I predicted, that Utley would come to spring training, ready to win the second base job. That is just how Utley is.

  8. Utley is having a very good (and surprising to me) year. Seager has been solid – not great, but solid which is fine for a 21 year old rookie. Pederson shows flashes; Thompson has been much better than anticipated.

    All other Dodger hitters are underperforming. I believe in slumps and streaks, and major league hitters (especially veterans) are usually aware of their mechanics enough to know what they are doing wrong. But nothing is working this year.

    Again, there are only a few options at this point in the season:

    1 – The Dodgers have some guys who have gotten “old” and lost their mojo sooner than expected;
    2 – The Dodgers have some guys who were not as good as hoped or expected;
    3 – The Dodgers coaches are doing a crummy job at getting the hitters to perform up to their capabilities.

    I suspect that it some combination of all 3.

    I suspect that Crawford is done; maybe Kendrick too, although he has shown signs of coming around and hasn’t been used to his best advantage as a utility player.

    I suspect that Kike Hernandez, Grandal, Turner, Puig and maybe Joc Pederson may fall into the second group.

    As others have noted, other than Utley, and the kids, all of the other Dodgers are performing below their historic averages, which might implicate the coaching.

    Something has to change. Since the Dodgers can’t trade or cut everyone who isn’t performing, does a coaching change make sense?

    1. Dodger rick
      I wouldn’t put Kike, in that second group, because he hasn’t got consistent at bats, and enough at bats, as the other players, that you have listed.

      1. It’s my opinion a young hitter like Hernandez needs just to play. He won’t learn the trade as a bench player. Bench players should be guys who are proven, but a bit older. Or is that old school grandpametrics?

    2. Right now, there’s not a whole lot the team can do about #s 1 and 2. There’s not a lot to promote or acquire on the market. #3? I dunno.

  9. I am just going to talk like a fan and say that i liked the idea of Utley and Kike’ sharing second with the player that was doing the best getting the most playing time. The Kendrick signing put an end to that scenario.

    My next thought was if Kike’ couldn’t concentrate as a second baseman then he should concentrate on the left side and back up third and short. Kendrick spoiled that as well and Culbertson took over as backup short stop.

    The third thought I had was that Kike’ could platoon in left but Kendrick and now Thompson spoiled that plan.

    The Dodgers only need Kike’ to backup short for now, otherwise Kendrick has replaced Kike’. Kendrick is the better hitter and can hit left and right side pitchers.

    The bottom line for me is not that Kike’ should get more playing time but instead he or Kendrick should be traded. They don’t need both. And, they don’t need Guerrero. SVS is going to force the Dodgers to do something even if it is only to reduce the number of pitchers on the 25.

    I will say that Turner totally won the third base job last year and the probability that Guerrero would have continued to pound the ball if he were kept at third is small, very small.

    I worry about Agon’s back and neck.

    I would think that if the return were fair and good, Puig, Agon, Guerrero, SVS, and Kendrick could be trade pieces.

  10. This may come as a surprise to you Bum, but everything you write is from a fan’s perspective. At least that’s how I have always approached your posts. Are you something other than a fan? Wait a minute…… are you a FAZoplant? Put here by the front office to see what fans really think of the rebuild? If so, tell them no more hammy pulling .200 hitting veterans, except those that might be a replacement part at AAA. THIS fan wants young guys that can run fast and jump high and hit .280 at the Major League level. You know, guys like Hernandez.

    P.S. To all you dad’s and grandpa’s out there, teach your kids and grandkids to hit left handed. Most right handed dominant people are also right eyed. If you hit lh, not only are you two steps closer to first base, get to face opposite side pitching 70% of the time, if you are right eye dominant your strong eye faces the pitcher and that is a huge advantage. Wish somebody would have told me that when I was a kid. I didn’t switch hit until college, but once I picked it up, I liked all those benefits. Bum, tell FAZ to look for right eyed lh hitters. There’s an algorithm for it. Have them point at something in the distance, cover one eye, if they are still pointing at it, that’s the dominant eye.

    This has been a public service announcement brought to you by Prof. Badgerstein, MBS CSUC.

    1. I just wanted to reinforce my fan’s perspective so as i wouldn’t sound like I was getting into the fray about Kike’ and playing time in general as if it were coming from a researched stat oriented expert.

      1. Well for what’s worth you know I agree with you. I realize Kendrick is a valuable asset, but I’d rather see what Kiké can do with more at bats. Not gonna happen.

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