Dodgers Can’t Hit Eric Lauer, Lose Badly to Padres

Picard wearing Dodger hat

The Dodgers dropped the second game of the three game set to the Padres on Tuesday night, losing for the third time in their last four games. They’re now back to 1.5 games behind Arizona and continue to meander in the standings. The reason they’re stuck in second place is because of games like this. The Dodgers were able to muster only one run on four hits against opposing starter big lefty Eric Lauer and Rich Hill was awful. Any team is only as good as their weakest links and the Dodgers put their two automatic outs (Logan Forsythe, Austin Barnes) in the lineup tonight. I understand that Dave Roberts likes to get everyone playing time but when the bottom third of your batting order is Forsythe, Barnes, pitcher well you’re probably not going to score many runs.

Dodgers 1 4 0

Padres    4 8 0

WP-Lauer-5-5

WP-Hill-2-4

HR-Hedges-4-Myers-8-Muncy-21

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That doesn’t get Hill off the hook however. The Padres did all of their damage against Hill in the bottom of the fifth inning, scoring all four runs in that frame. Hill wasn’t terrible actually. He looked sharp early on. However he ran into command problems in the fifth inning and couldn’t escape. Leadoff walks kill and Hill walked leadoff batter Jose Pirela. Freddy Galvis’s ground ball single into right put two on with none out. Then Austin Hedges (a .194 hitter) smashes a three-run shot to put the Padres up 3-0. Read that line above again. Hedges is a .194 hitter! You can’t give up massive three-run home runs to a guy hitting below the Mendoza line. To make things worse, Hill gave up another homer later in the inning to Wil Myers and that was it. Hill’s final line was four earned runs on eight hits over seven innings with one walk and seven strikeouts.

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Meanwhile the Dodger offense was non-existent. Normally when the Dodgers don’t hit home runs they can’t score. You could say the lineup is one dimensional but they were able to score eight runs last night without a home run. On Tuesday night they had just one at-bat with a runner in scoring position. Lauer tossed 8.2 innings allowing one run on four hits, walking two and striking out eight Dodgers. Lauer was one out away from a complete game shutout before being lifted for Kirby Yates who got the last out of the game. If you remember Lauer shut out the Dodgers back in the Mexico series as well.

Defensive play of the game belongs to Cody Bellinger:

The Dodgers had a chance to score in the top of the seventh when Muncy singled, and Bellinger doubled him to third. But there were two outs and of course, Forsythe struck out. Speaking of Muncy, he got two of the Dodger’s four hits tonight. The lone murmur of protest came in the top of the ninth with two outs when Muncy hit his 21 home run of the season. That was the only highlight of the night for the Dodgers. The series continues tomorrow night with the rubber game. New father Kenta Maeda will battle left hander Joey Lucchesi with first pitch slated for 7:10 PM PST.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

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

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44 thoughts on “Dodgers Can’t Hit Eric Lauer, Lose Badly to Padres

  1. The Dodgers still not able to crack the lefty curse. Lauer looked like a Cy Young winner.
    Roberts bats Forsythe with men on 2B and 3B and two outs. Strikeout. The next pinch hitter was Toles. He chose to use Forsythe over Toles who is the worst hitter on the roster. Ah well. We expect blunders like this from Roberts.

    Muncy continues to mash. Didn’t anyone tell him Lauer is the best pickoff pitcher in baseball? He was victim #9. Laziness? Poor coaching? Someone is not doing their homework. First place is getting further away. Arizona is no longer daring us to challenge. They are in it big time. I really have no positive suggestions to make at this point except get rid of Forsythe once and for all.

    1. I think the balk rule must have changed. It used to be when the right foot crosses the left knee, he has to go home. There is an imaginary 45 degree line between the rubber and home plate. The right foot must land on the first base side of that line if you are going to first. Watching that move a few times I thought it was very close, but unless you’re running on the guy, you just have to wait. The man has 9 picks. Obviously they are allowing him his move.

      Kemp 0 for 4 with 4 strikeouts. Forsythe 0 for 3 with 3 strikeouts. Taylor, Turner, Hernandez all 0fer. Against a guy who came into this game with an ERA over 4.8 and WHIP around 1.8. We were 0 for 1 WRISP. One at bat with runners in scoring position. Squirrels. No nuts last night, that’s for sure.

  2. Package is right. The biggest problem the Dodger’s have is Dummy. Forsythe is a problem. Oh my, he is a problem. But since Dummy (theoretically, at least) has the option of leaving him on the bench, but doesn’t choose to do so, he becomes the problem. He should be pushing, hard, to get him removed. Apparently Forsythe has a rabbi in the Front Office. Must have to get that $9MM option picked up, last years efforts certainly didn’t justify it. So Dummy should have company in the unemployed line. You have very little chance of winning with 25% of your batting order almost an automatic out. I can’t help but believe that going on the field every day with a handicap has to erode the other players attitudes and efforts.

    1. Roberts plays the 25 FAZ gives him. Until Forsythe is off the roster, he will be part of the rotation. The problem is players, not the manager. I don’t get why that is so hard to understand.

      1. 1. He doesn’t have to play all the players if they are sub-quality. This isn’t Little League.
        2. Would Joe Torre have played Forsythe?
        Granted, the problem is the Front Office also wants to be the team manager. There are supposed to be league rules against that, if not organizational rules. Granted, they’re not enforced. And that isn’t likely to change. And as long as Dummy gets down on his knees to FAZ, then he will be known as Toady and will receive no respect from people who like to think for themselves.

        1. If Chili were still around, he would chime in about the Fantasy Football league!

          I am a huge fan of changing the silly nickname of the manager who won MOTY and led the team to a World Series FROM DUMMY TO TOADY.

          I think it says a lot about some of the discourse here (only some, not all!)

      2. In-game decisions, Badger. Of course he plays the roster, but his choices regarding decisions made during the course of the game are all his. How many times have you cringed when he calls certain pitchers to relieve? How many times do you cringe when Forsythe comes to the plate with RISP or any other time? The manager has a role. It is the head vs body. If the head is not thinking clearly, the body suffers. It’s biology. lol

        1. I heard someone talking about this recently. Roberts was basically a utility guy, a bench player. Never played more than 129 games, averaged a little over 300 at bats over a 10 year career. He knows you have to use everyone on your roster on a regular basis to keep them sharp. That means your $9 million starting second baseman will get some starts. As for the pen, with starters going 5-6 innings you are going to use them all. And you can’t use the same ones every night. You may not like who’s coming in next, but it’s his turn. Live with it …. or …. keep trying to find more better ones. I believe the Dodgers have used 26 pitchers so far this year. That number is going up soon.

          All that said, I think what needs to happen is to lose Forsythe, Barnes and Utley and replace them with some fresh sticks. Verdugo and Farmer would be upgrades. Pitching? Well, they are trying to find them, and of course they are doing it the way they know how. Hope it works.

          1. Well, Floro could be a keeper. Hudson, otoh, maybe another Baez. High speed hurler making mistakes, giving up runs. High speed pitchers without exceptional control are a high-risk choice. Paredes couldn’t make it. You need very controlled relievers. This is why Kenley has been so successful over the years and others have come and gone. With the Dodgers, this is an ongoing audition to establish those who can succeed in the kind of environment the Dodgers are constructed in.

            As far as Forsythe goes, allowing him to bat with 2 men on, knowing what kind of a lousy hitter he is, is not an intelligent choice. Then we see Toles, next inning, pinch hitting. There was no reason not to pinch hit Toles for Forsythe. I think most managers would not have let Forsythe bat. I see this kind of thing too often with Roberts. I don’t expect him to be perfect, just intelligent in his decision making.

  3. This excerpt from Daniel Murphy was really insightful:

    “It’s really difficult to get three hits in one inning. If you hit three singles, it’s one run. If you get a walk and a double, you might get one run. If you get a double and a single, you might get one run. So my goal is to touch second base every single time I step to home plate. If I’m not mistaken, somewhere in the neighborhood of 7 percent of ground balls go for extra-base hits. If I want to touch second base, I’m not going to be able to hit the ball on the ground. Pulled ground balls are not really base hits in this league anymore.

  4. For Badger, because of past discussions but super-interesting for hopefully everyone….

    MLB hitters explain why they can’t just beat the shift
    http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/24049347

    This bit from Daniel Murphy may also resonate here with those who wonder what has happened to small ball:

    “It’s really difficult to get three hits in one inning. If you hit three singles, it’s one run. If you get a walk and a double, you might get one run. If you get a double and a single, you might get one run. So my goal is to touch second base every single time I step to home plate. If I’m not mistaken, somewhere in the neighborhood of 7 percent of ground balls go for extra-base hits. If I want to touch second base, I’m not going to be able to hit the ball on the ground. Pulled ground balls are not really base hits in this league anymore.

    1. Yeah, thanks Bluto. You must think I’m an idiot.

      I know the rationalization for big strong hitters trying the beat the shift by hitting into it. I’ve read the articles. I just don’t agree with them. Maddon tells me by getting a single the defense wins, but .235 hitting into the shift is ok? I find that absurd. Mickey Mantle had no trouble hitting singles by bunting but Matt Carpenter does?

      I’m from a different era. When I played and coached the players weren’t all 6’2” 225 pounds swinging for the fences no matter count or situation. As a right handed hitter I learned early how to hit behind a runner. I was actually quite good at it. Why? Because I worked at it. The philosophy of baseball for decades was get on, get over, get in. 3 singles to score? Yeah, that’s one way to do it. On my teams a single meant we are likely to put a play on. Maybe a sac bunt, maybe a hit and run. All my teams were proficient in the art of playing baseball. We could all run, we could bunt, we could hit behind a runner. We could make contact. There is very little of this art left in the game.

      Did you see Bellinger’s double last night? You are probably thinking “what an idiot, you gotta try to hit the ball in the parking lot!” Me? I thought it was a a thing of beauty. Different strokes.

      1. Don’t know where you are coming from this morning.

        I don’t think you are an idiot in any way. In fact, I posted and referenced you because I think you would/could read that article and appreciate the POV.

        Just because you see things differently, doesn’t mean your points are wrong or idiotic.

        If you saw things in a silly or way that was bereft of reason, like others ( small subset) then I would think you were an idiot.

        Not the case and I’m not sure why you think it is.

        Daniel Murphys bit (not just the excerpt) I thought you would enjoy. As any no -idiot who likes to read would.

        1. Just as well, you’d have to be alive and able to think for yourself to understand and appreciate them. Trying to explain baseball in a book or computer doesn’t translate well….

          1. Was that English (Something in a book or in a computer doesn’t translate well?) Isn’t that how books are learned? How is something in a computer? Are you looking for information from a chipset?

            Or…

            Was that an attempt at an insult? Was it an insinuation that I am some sort of Turing Test?

            Whatever it was, it was interesting to me.

        2. Sorry. Woke up with a pounding headache. Should know better than to post ill.

          I do understand the principles behind the new strategies. I think they are flawed. I hope kids aren’t being taught this all or nothing baseball. If they are it’s their loss.

          1. I think that’s a very interesting question. How far down does this thinking permeate. Obviously the points that Murphy is responding to with his approach are dictated by the skill at the Major League level.

            It should be much easier for a High School, Pony League or even college hitter to be able to manipulate the pitch than it is for Murphy. Does instruction follow that reality?

            I would think it would.

        3. You can stream the games from your computer or phone nowadays, free. Of course, if you have no time, that is a different matter. mlbstream.tv/ No need to download the flash popup.

  5. Obviously there is way to many strike outs in baseball right now, and that has nothing to do with the shifts.

    Because there is still only 9 defensive players on the field, like there has always been.

    And it doesn’t take much power, to hit the ball the other way, because even a decent bunt would beat a shift, especially when there is only one defensive player on the left side of the infield.

    Jonah’s right, they should have not given another year, and that precious money to Forsythe, with the luxury tax concerns.

    Because really, Forsythe is not hitting much worse, then he hit all last year, except against lefties.

    And he is not the type of hitter, that is going to easily start hitting, especially with fewer at bats.

    That whole line up last night, revolved around getting Forsythe in the line up, and he predictable struck out three times.

    Because he still hasn’t figured out, he can’t get behind on the count, because that almost always, gives the edge to the pitcher.

    I bet shifts effect leftie hitters more then rightie hitters, because in baseball they have always had the most athletic guy, playing on the left side of the infield, because there are so many more righty hitters, in baseball.

    1. Not making an out should be the #1 goal of all hitters. A single improves your OPS. If you get two bunt singles against the shift and strike out your other two at bats your OPS for the night is 1.000. You OPS 1.000 for the season you will make $150,000 a day playing baseball. I’ve never had a $150,000 year, let alone a $150,000 day.

      Take what they give you. Then? Next man up.

      1. Badger

        You are forgetting a walk also improves a player’s OPS, because walks are rewarded the same as a hit, and walks are very important, for all or nothing hitters.

        And if hitters are getting deeper in counts they may walk, but that almost always, gives the edge to the pitcher, thus a lot of strike outs.

        The simple way walks and strike outs are counted by sabers, doesn’t encourage hitters, to make productive outs, and put the ball in play.

        And like I said, we are only striking out percent of the time, more then the Yankees, when it comes to the best 7 teams in baseball.

        But we don’t have two big sluggers, on this team.

        1. Productive outs is what sacrifices used to be. I just read that it takes three singles to plate a run. Single, bunt, single does the same thing.

          Walks counting in OBP, which is half of the OPS formula, is not new. Something else – contact hitters, singles hitters, usually don’t walk much. Why is that? Pitchers throw them more strikes and when they do, they put the ball in play. Example: José Peraza. FAZ didn’t like him because though he’s a decent hitter, .277 lifetime, his OBP, .317 sucks. He seldom walks. Last year his BB% was 3.9. Why doesn’t he walk? He doesn’t hit home runs and his 2B projection is .18. Pitchers throw him strikes. They don’t want to put him on base cuz he’s fast so wtf, make him hit it. His K% is 12.5. Pitchers pitch our squirrel lineup far more cautiously than they would a lineup of Peraza’s. FAZ don’t like banjo hitters. Maury Wills wouldn’t have a job with these guys in charge.

          1. Badger

            I know OBP is not new, but hitting for an average, has been down played.

            And like you said, OBP makes up half of the formula, for OPS, and OPS is highly valued in baseball today.

            I think down playing batting average, has allowed players to be considered more successful, even if they walk and strike out way more then they hit, and even more, then they hit HRs.

            But most of these numbers are about individual stats, instead of team play, when it comes to offense.

            But the Astros have changed that philosophy.

            They do value average, and don’t value strike outs, and they emphasize only swinging at balls, in the strike zone.

            I know sabers go out of their minds, when it comes to bunting, but when a pitcher is dominating a game, teams have to change their approach on offense.

            And bunting, and small ball is better, in these games, a pitcher is dominating, and in close games.

          2. MJ,

            I am NOT sure that you are implying otherwise, but the Astros are even more analytically driven than the Dodgers. They (reportedly) have the 2nd largest analytics department behind the Yankees.

      2. Badger, this is the job of the coaches, to train the hitters to think and act accordingly. If they are not trained, they are not going to do the basic work. This gets overlooked all the time. That is why the hitting coach is credited with helping guys like Puig and Joc. But it is an ongoing process until it is habitual, 2nd nature. These days, attention span is a major problem.

        1. Good point Jeff. I haven’t coached in years so I don’t know what is being said out there . I was taught early that 7 out of 10 line drives were hits. I have no idea if stats back that up but it’s how I approached hitting. Square it up and good things will happen. It’s finding the pitch you can do that with that matters. It’s different for every hitter. For me it was thigh high inner half. For sure it wasn’t a pitch out of the strike zone. And I NEVER took a fastball down the middle for strike 1 (Forsythe) and I did choke up with two strikes. Striking out was never an option. It sure is now.

  6. Hey MJ,

    That’s really interesting. Where did you read (translate in Jonah’s words?) about batters going deeper into counts? I’d love to see that data.

    I don’t think that’s the prime reason Strikeouts are up. I think it’s more because of specialized relievers, starters being pulled before they tire and before the TTTOP. Then there’s launch angle and better balls and strike calling.

    1. Bluto

      Just an observation and common sense.

      If a pitcher is ahead on the count, the edge almost always goes to the pitcher.

      So probably the odds favor a walk, more then a hit, when a batter gets deeper into a count.

      Of course this is going to vary with
      different hitters, but the odds should especially be better, for all or nothing hitters.

        1. Bluto

          I am just the opposite of you, because I am not a big numbers person, although I have learned most of the more important formulas, they use in baseball now.

          And I do check the numbers to make sure my observations about players is correct.

          And I do take in consideration baseball is a long season too.

          And I am also thinking what is best for the team, and best to score runs as a team, when a pitcher is dominating a game.

    2. Bluto

      I know they practice saber metrics, but that doesn’t mean they buy into every saber metric number, or idea.

      They got rid of every free swinger in their line up and on their roster, and they emphasize contact now, because they know strike outs kill to many rallies.

  7. I did not watch the game last night. We had just come back from going to the Reagan Presidential Library and dinner at the Claim Jumper. The Dodgers were down 4-0 when I got home. Seems to me that the same thing happened in this game that happens to this bunch a lot. You get a pitcher with not a very large resume and they are able to miss bats. Again the problem with this team up and down the lineup is consistency. They are not hitting on all cylinders. Muncy has not had a great week, but he hits a HR when they really do not need it. If they ever want to win a world series, or even win the division this year, they are going to have to be more consistent. They get within 1/2 game, and then they drop a game to a very beatable opponent. They need a few adjustments and changes…and they will be coming soon.

  8. Dodgers DFA Paredes, claim Zac Rosscup from the Rockies. Lots of rumors, but very little movement on trade front. Dozier seems to be a big target now….but he is having a down year. Only Rancho played yesterday beating Lancaster 6-1. Bannon went 3-4 with a double and a triple and is not hitting .300. Landon went 3-4 and hit his 10th HR. Lux was 1-5. Gonsolin went 5 innings to win his 4th and struck out 11. On the 22nd, I am going to watch the Quakes play the Modesto Nuts. So I get to watch some of these kids. Rosscup is originally one of Andrew’s boys drafted in Tampa Bay……

  9. Red Sox enter Machado sweepstakes. Considered long shot as farm is not that great. Machado said the Yankees are at the top of his list for free agency….Lots of outfielders now on the market and an interesting choice would be the kid in KC, Whit Merrifield….having a pretty good year so far.

  10. I just watched Bogaerts hit a single up the middle and he scored without another hit, proof that it doesn’t take 2 more singles to score after a single. Maddon is f.o.s..

    You know how Bluto loves to watch Hill pitch? I feel the same way about Chris Sale. And he’s paid considerably less than Hill. How can that be?

    1. Sale is amazing.

      The greatest. Just as much fun as Hill, if not way more….

      Young and cost-controlled. It’s amazing. I think Trout makes less than Hill too, but I could be wrong. Lindor…

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