Dodgers Choke Away Series To Snakes, Possibly The Season

Picard wearing Dodger hat

The Dodgers did it again folks. They chocked away another important game to a lousy team. Their 7-2 loss to the Dbacks on Wednesday night dropped them out of first place as the Rockies destroyed the Phillies again. The Dodgers fly to San Francisco for the final series of the regular season currently a half game behind Colorado. The Rockies play the Phillies one more time on Thursday. If the Rockies lose, the Dodgers start play on Friday against the Giants tied for first place. Another Colorado win means the Dodgers would be one full game behind.

Let me ask all of you a question. If you had no idea where the Dodgers and Dbacks were in the standings, would you have been able to tell which team was in first place and which was in third? I would think not as the Dodgers looked listless and unimpressive. Management decided to hold Rich Hill back for a potential wild card game that may become a reality. So they gave the ball to Ross Stripling. Former Dodger turncoat Zack Greinke countered for Arizona.

I didn’t expect much from Stripling honestly. He hasn’t pitched well in weeks and has been injured. Unsurprisingly he was awful. But the Dodgers had the advantage in this game early by scoring single runs in the first and second innings. They had Greinke on the ropes but were unable to knock him out of the game. Sounds like the 2018 Dodgers to me guys.

Dodgers 2 9 1

Dbacks    7 10 0

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LP-Stripling-8-6

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In the top of the first three consecutive singles with two outs from Max Muncy, Manny Machado, and Cody Bellinger put the Dodgers on top 1-0. In the top of the second Yasmani Grandal doubled off the wall, and one out later Stripling himself singled up the middle to score Grandal and give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead. Arizona challenged the call on the field, (Grandal may or may not have been tagged before touching home plate) but the original ruling was upheld.

While Stripling may have been able to hit, he certainly couldn’t pitch. The Dbacks scored three runs in the bottom of the second to take the lead and never looked back. .194 hitting Socrates Brito took Stripling deep to lead-off the inning. Then A.J. Pollack tripled and Nick Ahmed doubled him in. Obviously Stripling didn’t have anything, yet Dave Roberts stood in the dugout like a statue. Stripling continued to get lit up. After a ground out, Zack Greinke singled home a run. 3-2 Dbacks. Pedro Baez had to come in and strike out Paul Goldschmidt with the bases loaded.

The Dodgers had the bases loaded in the top of the third and failed to score. Turner and Muncy singled, and advanced to second and third on Machado’s deep drive into the left field corner. After Bellinger was intentionally walked, Puig’s scorching liner was right into Ahmed’s glove. Grandal’s ground out ended the inning, and any hopes of the Dodgers winning this game.

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In the bottom of the fifth, Friedman favorite and Cy Young candidate Scott Alexander gave up singles to Escobar and Goldschmidt before Pollack bombed one into the center field seats. That put the Snakes ahead 6-2. Not much else to say about the rest of this game. David Peralta homered off of Caleb Ferguson in the seventh inning. The Dodger bats predictably gave up. The Dodgers had one base runner from the fifth inning on. It’s unbelievably pathetic. Greinke would limit the Dodgers to just two earned runs on eight hits over six innings. He struck out six, winning his fifteenth game of the season.

The Dodgers now fall to 88-71 and a half game back of the Rockies in the NL West. The only good news that I can think of is that they have a one game lead over the Cardinals for the second wild card spot. The Dodgers are idle on Thursday and the Rockies will face Jake Arrieta on Thursday afternoon as they look for their seventh consecutive win. The Dodgers have to face Madison Bumgarner on Friday night. Hyun-jin Ryu will take the mound for the Dodgers. How about a little help Philadelphia….please? GULP

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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9 thoughts on “Dodgers Choke Away Series To Snakes, Possibly The Season

  1. Well, looks like there is little hope for the Dodgers now. Another embarrassing loss. Rocks win their 6th straight… they deserve to win the West. The Dodgers do not. They would need to sweep the Gnats, and hope the Rocks stumble against the other Nats. Odds are it ain’t gonna’ happen. The Dodgers might sneak in the back door, and take the second wild card, only to have to face the red hot Brewers or Cubs? Good luck.

    Another lackluster performance. Strips did not have anything tonight, or the last three games. He is not 100%, and Dodgers kept throwing him out there hoping for a miracle. Left him out on the mound today, to get slapped around…. that’s not goona’ boost his confidence. Why save your regular starters for the playoffs….. don’t you have to get there first?

    Alexander’s 3 run meatball was the nail in the coffin. Dodgers seemed to give up after that. Punched them in the gut. Ferguson’s derby ball was another nail, for god measure.

    Offense, same old story, just different smell. Wasted opportunities, as usual, continue to tell the Dodger story. 2-8 RISP, 16 LOB, 8 KO’s

    Heads will roll, I’m sure. Cannot wait to see who will be given their walking papers.

  2. There is plenty of blame to go all around. Seems to me that after two very mediocre starts, the choice to go with Stripling, who obviously is not the same pitcher he was a few months ago was very ill advised. The offense again sputtered. Roberts left his pitcher out there even though he was being knocked around. The HR should have been the wake up call, and definitely after the triple someone should have gone out there to the mound and talked to Strip. Grandal’s pitch calling was as bad as it has ever been. When Pollock was at bat, he called 6 straight fastballs, and Pollock was ready for the last one. Alexander could not have thrown a fatter pitch. Machado was close, but no cigar again with his drive down the left field line. Puig crushed the ball, but it was right at someone. So he crushed his bat. They did seem to just give up after the homer made it 6-2. The 7th run was inconsequential because they were never coming back as it was. Up until todays game, they controlled their own fate. Now they have to hope they can handle the Giants at their house, and that Washington keeps playing the kind of baseball they have for the last 10 games as they are 6-4 over that time and have won 3 in a row. Bumgarner-Ryu on Friday, Kershaw-Rodriguez on Saturday, Rodriguez is Pudge’s kid. Buehler-Suarez on Sunday. Exciting for some, excruciating for others. My take from the beginning of spring has been that this team was not championship material. They made their run, and for the most part have been pretty good this month. It seemed like they were peaking at just the right time. But I also felt that those losses to teams like the Reds, Mets and Padres were going to come back and bite them on the ass, and it has come true. If they had swept SD over the weekend, they would still be in 1st. If they had taken just 2 of the 6 games they lost to the Reds, we would not even be having this conversation. Now they are not even a lock to win 90 games. They have to take 2 of 3 from the Gnats to hit that mark. The good thing is that their 3 best pitchers are going to be pitching. Ryu has been great, Kersh has always been good in SF. Buehler can be dominant, and in a pitchers park like SF, he should have a good outing. The Rockies can end up with 92 wins if they win all 4. But they will have to face Scherzer on Sunday. It would be nice to see the Phillies at least put up some sort of resistance tomorrow, and we will know the result early since it is a day game. In a way, I would love to see some humility knocked into FAZ and the ownership. They have had their way for the last 5 years and it resulted in 1 World Series appearance. But this year, all the moves have not paid off. Machado has been somewhat productive, but no where near the player they thought they were getting and the hugeness of each game has not inspired him to step up his game. He still to me seems very aloof. No matter, he will get his money this winter. Guys who were not really expected to produce have, Kemp and Muncy and I find it puzzling that the two guys who carried this team early, are not in the lineup every game down the stretch. Kemp still leads the team in BA with runners in scoring position and has started 2 games in the last week. Roberts rotating lineups are not doing the job, Dozier is a poor mans version, actually a worse version of Josh Reddick. He has more homers as a Dodger than Reddick did, but his batting average is so far south of the Mendoza line that it will never see .200. Freese has been good, Utley fell off the planet after being injured. They have 9 guys on the team with more than 20 HR’s, and yet they have trouble driving in runs, especially with 2 outs. They score a ton, then have trouble with mediocre pitchers. This offseason will be interesting to say the least. I at this point, think they will maybe make the wild card, which would most likely mean they would have to play the Brewers unless the Cubs totally collapse, and if they won that game, then they would have to beat one of those clubs with 3 games on that teams home turf. Not an easy task. Only good thing on this off day is that Arietta is pitching for the Phils in Colorado. He is a bulldog and hates to lose. Hope some of that rubs off on his team mates who should be thoroughly embarrassed by their performance the last 3 games. Kapler should lose his job over having his team quit on him like that. Rumor is that Scioscia will not be retained by the Angels. But the chances of him bringing his managerial talents to LA are pretty slim.

  3. They miss the playoffs there are going to be some really pissed off fans. Nobody is just going to say, well they had a good year. Because of the last 5 seasons they are expected to win. With Kersh’s status up in the air, it looks like his chance to be a world champ in Dodger blue is slipping away. He Has 70 million left on this deal. Does he walk away from guaranteed money to pursue a title else where? The core of this team will be here a few more years at least. Hill has another season on his contract, so does Kemp, although I think they may make a concerted effort to move Matt this offseason. Buehler is becoming a bona fide ace. Wood should rebound next year, and Urias will be healthy hopefully. Bellinger, Seager, Verdugo, give you a nice young core group. It would be nice if they could find a position where Muncy’s defensive liability’s could be not so glaring. He seems to be better at first than anywhere else. But I want Belli’s glove there everyday. Grandal is a free agent, Smith and Ruiz are getting closer to being ready. Smith had a rough time in AAA after shining in AA. But he might only be a year away. You know that Grandal is going to want a multiyear 10-15 million dollar a year contract. Personally, I do not think he is worth the money. His bat is so streaky, and his defense, well, that’s another story entirely. Utley will retire. If I am the Dodgers I pick up Freese’s option. He can be that Utley like veteran presence in the dugout, plus he still has a lot left in that bat. I am sure FAZ will retain Roberts, but some of the coaching staff might be replaced. Not Turner Ward, but Honeycutt was making noises last winter that he was close to calling it a career. The assistant hitting coach will probably take some heat. There will be some trades, they have money next year, so maybe a major free agent, especially if Kersh opts out and cannot be re-signed. If they do not make the playoffs or win their division, they have no one to blame but themselves. They could not beat the patsy’s when they really needed to and losing 6 of 7 to the Reds was just awful. FAZ haters are going to be all over those guys.

  4. I don’t know how anyone can be surprised by this, with the way this team has played all year.

    Even choices in spring training this year were dubious at best.

    Our GM building a roster of mostly average or below hitters with pop throughout the line up, might look good on a computer, but it lacks baseball sense, as well, as common sense.

    And you saw that throughout this season, when this roster of players couldn’t provide any consistent offense.

    And this roster of players were having trouble like this, well before the strict platooning even happened, so this is not only about the platooning, it is the structure of this team!

    And it is a fact we have to many hitters on this team, that can’t hit both lefties and righties, so that is a problem too.

    These average or below hitters, don’t hit the ball the other way to advance runners, or just pull the ball to the right side, even with all the lefties we have in the line up.

    And this happened in these last two games too.

    And the strike outs is another weakness that comes with this line up too.

    And I know OPS is the champion of saber metrics, but batting average has its place too.

    Because the odds are a hitter that can hit for a decent average, will be able to get hits in high leverage situations, is usually higher then a hitter, hitting below 250, like a lot of hitters in our line up, are hitting.

    And instead of just looking at power in the minors, and in the majors, our front office should be championing good hitters in general, instead.

    Our GM would have not thought much about what Mookie Betts, or Francisco Lindor did in the minors, but even though they didn’t hit a lot of HRs, they were good hitters, and complete players.

    Hitting 20 HRs in the majors today, is not a big thing, and we all should know this, by watching this line up.

    This line up pads their numbers in games that are already over and, have trouble producing against decent pitching.

    And that is why the Dodgers run differential looks so good, but we all know better.

    Because this team have the worse clutch numbers of any team, in the last 42 years, and that is because of the structure of this line up.

    A team like the Dodgers does not need to be built like the A’s, with all the resources the Dodgers have, so we don’t need a bunch of platoon like hitters, taking up space on this roster.

    But don’t those offensive stats look so good on the stats charts?

    To bad that doesn’t lead to RBIs runs, and wins.

  5. I totally agree MJ, and I am not surprised at all. The only thing that surprises me is how the Phillies have just rolled over and played dead their entire series with the Rockies. Rox are beating them again this afternoon, 3-1. So it looks like the Dodgers go into SF down 1 with 3 to play. The need to sweep the Giants, hope DC puts up a better fight than the Phillies have and maybe slip in the back door. Other wise, it looks like they are going to be fighting to be the wild card.

  6. Mad Bum vs Ryu tomorrow. Little comparison. Ryu has given up 2 homers to the Giants hitters available for this game. Hunter Pence owns Ryu with a .419 average and 7 ribbies in 31 at bats. Hundley, Hernandez and Panik are the only other hitters over .300. The homers have been hit by Longoria and Crawford. By comparison Dodgers have 14 HR’s off Bumgarner, with Kike at 4 the leader. Kemp and Turner have each dinged him 3 times. But only Freese and Hernandez have BA’s above .300 against him. Kemp is actually hitting .178 against him. Turner a paltry .245. Turner has the most at bats at 53. Kemp and Puig in the 40’s. So hopefully the Mad Bum is not on his game and the HR bats come alive. Colorado up 5-3 in the 9th. First game in the entire series that the Phillies have actually had a shot to win. Cardinals are playing the Cubs. They are 1 game behind the Dodgers for the 2nd wild card. Cubs are .5 up over Milwaukee.

    1. Michael

      We have not faced their young starter that is pitching in Saturday’s game.

      But the kid has a pretty decent ERA.

      And I believe Saturday’s game is at 1:00.

      1. Rodriguez has a lower ERA than Kershaw. He is 6-4 this year. The game is at 1:05. Sunday’s game is at 12:05. He is Pudge Rodriguez’s son. He has some really long hair too.

  7. 3 games to go. How many thought it would come down to this? Nats-Rockies. Nats better their last 10 games and are on a 3 game winning streak. Rockies have been on fire going 7-0 since the Dodgers swept them. Cubs-Cardinals. Dodgers hold a 1 game lead over the Cardinals for the 2nd wild card, and the Cubs have moved a full game ahead of the Brewers for the division. The Brewers look to have the easiest path playing the helpless Tigers in Milwaukee. Nationals are pitching Ross against Freeland. Advantage Rockies. Waino going for the Cardinals, and Hendricks for the Cubs. Saturday the Cardinals face Hamels, who has been pretty good for Chicago. But the Cardinals counter with Mikolas who is 17-4. Rockies have Gray going against the Nats. Nats have not announced a pitcher yet. No pitchers announced for the Rocks and Nats on Sunday, Cards Cubs will be Flaherty, and Montgomery. It is clear that if the Dodgers want to be in the playoffs at all, they are going to have to sweep the Giants. This will not be easy as the Giants would love nothing better than ending LA’s season. The Beat LA chants will be long and loud at AT&T Park. It should never have come down to this. No matter who they face if the win the wild card, they will be on the road. Best hope is sweep the Giants and hope DC beats the Rockies at least once, then the 1 game playoff to decide the division would be in LA. No matter what, they really need to sweep the Giants who have given them fits all year.

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