Dodgers Offense Still Weak. Good News Kershaw Still Strong. Dodgers Win 2-1

The Dodgers’ offense has been sluggish lately, and that’s putting it nicely. They’ve put up very few runs, and then asked their pitchers to allow even fewer. That formula hasn’t been working, as their starting pitchers have been everyone not named Kershaw. Today that changed.

In an afternoon game that yours truly attended, the boys were once again anemic on offense, but they had the one pitcher on the staff that could be tasked with being just as selfish with giving up runs as they were at giving them for support.

Clayton Kershaw pitched a strong seven innings, striking out nine and only giving up three hits. Unfortunately, one of those was a second inning home run to Ryan Zimmerman.

The Dodgers made it look like they were going to waste Kershaw’s outing. As he settled in and got tougher, the Dodgers’ bats flailed and puttered against Washington starter Stephen Strasburg. Then, with two out in the sixth, last year’s ROY, Corey Seager got a hold of one and blasted a line drive to center field that sounded and looked like it was gone right off the bat. The crowd erupted, and the game was tied at one run apiece.

And then, the impossible happened.

Adrian Gonzalez struck out swinging. It should have been the third out of the inning, but it got past the Nats’ catcher and Gonzalez was off to the races. He streaked to first base and was safe. The folks in the seats behind me remarked, “Look at him run. Is he the catcher?”

Before I could inform them he wasn’t our catcher, he’s our File Cabinet, Strasburg uncorked a wild  pitch against Yasmani Grandal and the Cabinet streaked to second base. It was an amazing thing to behold.

The Dodgers weren’t done with their antics. Grandal doubled to center field and the File Cabinet scored from second base, to give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead they never relinquished. Although, they almost did.

Pedro Baez took over for Kershaw in the eighth, and he quickly gave up a triple to Trea Turner. One batter later Bryce Harper hit one back at Baez and Turner tried to score from third. Turner was caught in a pickle, and tagged out at third for the second out of the inning.

The skipper went to Kenley Jansen for the four out save, and Jansen came through to erase Ryan Zimmerman on a comebacker to end the eighth.

Photo: Oscar Martinez

Jansen gave up a single in the ninth, but made quick work of the next three batters to end the threat, shut down the Nationals, and help the Dodgers avoid a three-game sweep.

Life in L.A. was good again.

Photo: Oscar Martinez

Clayton Kershaw went 7 innings with 3 hits, 1 run, 1 HR, 1 walk and 9Ks.  ERA 2.20

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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32 thoughts on “Dodgers Offense Still Weak. Good News Kershaw Still Strong. Dodgers Win 2-1

  1. Nice comeback..Not much hitting but they got the job done. Down on the farm, Chris Heston claimed off waivers by the Twins. Rios hits HR # 12 in Drillers win. OKC drops a double header. Losing 5-4 in game 1 and 4-0 in the night cap. Scott Van Slyke has 3 hits in the first game and 2 in the second, raising his average to .277. Brock Stewart activated and sent to OKC.

  2. The Grandal double looked like he shortened up his swing (still hit it pretty far). Looked like 2015 A-Gon with that protective RBI swing. Maybe he’s learning.

  3. Warriors beat the Cavs. 1 game away from NBA title….I love seeing Lebron James lose…almost as much as I do the Giants.

  4. That bum Grienke won his 8th game…….oh wait a minute, wins don’t matter. Well he improved his 2017 WAR to 2.6. Only a smidge behind Kershaw’s 2.8.

    Or should we compare Grienke’s 2017 WAR to: Brandon McCarthy 1.2, RICH hill 0.0, Scott Kazmir N/A.

    1. Chili

      You know when a pitcher wins it isn’t all up to the pitcher, it is also based on run support.

      But I still think Greinke is a good pitcher and that he will pitch well, throughout his career.

      I do understand why the Dodgers didn’t match that extra year, that the Dbacks gave Greinke.

      I really think Greinke’s contract is to big for a team like the small market Dbacks.

      1. Too big for the small market team? But not too big for a large market team? So you are saying that the amount/length of the contract is not the issue. Just the fact the D-backs are willing to pay it, is.

        I’m not being critical. Just trying to understand what you are saying and what you mean.

        I’m assuming that you are looking out for their budget.

  5. Confucius ask.

    Is it better for a pitcher to pitch badly (or underperform) and be at 0.0 WAR then for a pitcher to not pitch at all and be at 0.0 WAR?

    So paying someone $16M per year and them not pitching means that they have performed equivalent to a ‘replacement level?’ Hmmm.

    1. Chili

      I agree with you about that.

      It is still amazing to me that someone like Bluto thinks it is still a good deal even if the pitcher only pitches one year, out of four years.

      And after having this happen with four different pitchers.

      I don’t agree with the pitchers they signed either.

      I did understand with Hill, because he had a higher upside, but I was surprised they signed him.

      But I didn’t get the risk for these other pitchers, that were nothing special.

      1. I’m not arguing/debating the signings as most everyone knows what I think of this FO and their little boy mentality with a billionaire’s wallet.

        My point is simply how WAR is calculated. Here’s one for you…..What if RICH hill has another bad outing and drops to -0.1 WAR and then hypothetically is out for the year (or simply finishes the year with a -0.1 WAR). Kazmir NOT pitching a single inning would have had a better season (actually better value) then RICH hill who might ‘hypothetically’ end the year with 5 or 6 wins and 80 innings pitched.

        1. You have a very valid point. The chances of them pursuing someone at the trade deadline who at least can give the team quality innings seems slim. We never really know where their heads are. I think that is one of the things that is so frustrating about the leadership on this team. I got my 2017 media guide last week. The number of ex GM’s and assistants is mind boggling. Makes you appreciate guys like Bavasi, Campanis, and Claire who did the job pretty much on their own. Some guys like Tommy and Newk we know are there more as figureheads rather than actual advisors. Colletti is listed as a special assistant and we all know all he does is TV analysis. Dodger Nation has been tossing out names of possible trade targets like Cain of the Royals, who I think is in the last year of his contract and 2 left handed relievers, Tony Watson of the Pirates and Rich Hand of the Padres. I still believe they need at least one solid starter, a lefty reliever and some POP off the bench. But that’s just me. I would send Pederson to OKC, let him face all comers, left and right and make him prove he is healthy and hitting again. I say OKC because nothing gets proved playing A ball. SVS has actually been hitting pretty good down there lately. He got 5 hits in a doubleheader yesterday and has raised his average to .277. Verdugo is a tick over .300. Maggi and Muncy are both over .300 down there too. They are more utility type guys. Dickson has 14 homers but a batting average about .250. So from what I see down there, there is not much help available. Thompson still below the Mendoza line.

        2. Chili

          I think you might look at what Kazmir did the previous year, and take in consideration that he isn’t dependable, and look at his prior stats.

  6. First two pitchers in this series I have never heard of or seen before. Both have pretty high ERA’s. The kid pitching Saturday has a name 13 letters long and I cannot pronounce it so he is Alphabet soup. Turner has a good chance of being back on Friday. So that is good news.

  7. Scott Kazmir career record. 108-96 in 298 career games. 4.01 ERA 1608 strikeouts 681 walks .248 BA against and a 1.35 WHIP. 10-6 last year with a 4.36 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP. He has pitched over 200 innings once in his career and been closer to about 170 the last few years. Rich Hill career record.. 40-30 with a 4.10 ERA in 227 career games 100 of them starts. 642 K’s and 283 walks with a 1.30 WHIP. Has pitched a grand total of 61.3 innings, including the post season since he joined the Dodgers. Kazmir is significantly more durable in almost the same period of time. Rich Hill came to the majors in 2005, Kazmir in 2004. Hill has won more than 10 games twice in his career, Kazmir has done it 8 times. Kazmir was out of baseball in 2012. Kazmir has been mostly a power pitcher while Hill relies on his curve and off speed pitches. That is basically their statistical comparison. Kazmir by this comparison has clearly been the more reliable of the two. Hill had a better year than Kaz last year that is true, but he is far more prone to injury. Especially at his age.

  8. Well Kershaw will not face Keuchel next week like I had hoped. Keuchel put on DL today with neck problems.

  9. Hill: $12,667mm, $16,667mm, $18,667mm. This is for ages 37-39
    Kazmir: $12,667mm, $17,667mm, $17,667mm for ages 32-34
    McCarthy: $12.5mm, $$12.5mm, $11.5mm, $11.5mm for ages 31-34. We know what he’s done the first two years. Will he make up for his ineptness over ’17-’18? I guess it’s possible. I say no.

    It just didn’t make sense to me when these guys were inked. It wasn’t going out on a limb to predict at best mediocrity out of this group. We listened as those FAZ supporters heralded these moves as forward thinking. “All three of these pitchers have potential.” But, so do a lot of players that don’t cost what those
    three do. High risks. Not good signings. I would like the next round of moves to be better. And don’t ask me what I would do. I don’t know. I’m not paid millions to figure that out. I’m paid nothing to be an evaluator – and I earn it.

    1. I totally agree. I too am not sure who they could have targeted. But I think there were probably better options out there in trade or on the free agent market, and why give them 3 or 4 year deals when I am pretty sure they could have been had for less. What I do know, and what is fact is that all of them turned a short term success into multi year deals with the Dodgers. None of them has a track record that yells, I am going to be better than I was. They all have had injury problems that have been well documented and their success as Dodgers so far is far from inspiring. So it is no great surprise that the fans question their signing. The front office has hung their hats on these signings of low risk, 48 million is low risk? High reward type guys. Ignoring the pitchers and players with a history of being good. Reddick if you look at him is nothing more than a middle of the road journeyman OF with little power. You can look at the players they have acquired and there have been only a handful to find any kind of success in Dodger blue. They traded for Bud Norris last year, and he had moderate success before the trade and little afterwards. He is now the closer for the Angels. Fans lament the loss of players who had established themselves as stars in LA. And in return they are asked to watch and support a team of reserve and bench players, save a couple of the regulars. Not the way they are used to things being done.

  10. Today in Dodger history, June 8, 1955. LHP Tommy Lasorda optioned to AAA affiliate Montreal to make room for LHP, Sandy Koufax.

  11. Yasiel Puig service time in MLB per Dodgers media guide. 3 years 108 days. That is his official time in the majors prior to the start of this season. Joc Pederson official service time prior to the beginning of this year..2 years 28 days.

    1. That is Puig’s playing time, not how long he has been in the majors!

      And that is Puig’s own fault because he didn’t want to come into spring training in shape, until this year.

      And he didn’t want to stretch and do the excerices he was suppose to do, to avoid having hammy problems, to avoid injuries.

      And that is even after being out for hammy problems two years, in a row!

      It is still his fifth year in the majors, and because of that, he should know what to do.

      1. MJ, that is his official time on a major league roster. It is posted in the media guide every year. Their retirement and benefits are based on that number. Time in the minor leagues is not counted as time in the majors. I am not making this stuff up. I can cite other examples. The players MLB playing time is right next to their personal information on their profile page. Puig has played PORTIONS of 5 years. But his total days in the majors are what I listed. I just got my 2017 Media Guide and those were the numbers going into this year. Seager had 1 year, 32 days going into this season. Andrew Toles had 87 days. Kershaw, even though he has played parts of 10 seasons, going into this year his MLB service time was 8 years, 105 days. You can sit there and argue all you like, but that is the official MLB total. And Puig’s attitude may have contributed to his demotion and injuries, but if he were to retire tomorrow he would not have 5 years active service in the majors. Puig has showed a marked improvement attitude and behavior wise this year. Being demoted last year was embarrassing for him. Dave Roberts has done a great job making him understand his obligations. He is hitting 8 simply because Roberts feels he has better at bats when he is in that spot in the order. Not putting too much pressure on him self. Statistically it shows he hits best in the 4 hole with a 400 average there. Eighth and sixth are the 2 next best spots. MLB does not use playing time as the measure for service time. They use actual days on a major league roster. Sorry, that’s the way it is calculated. They do not consider playing a portion of a season as playing a full season.

    1. So far they are. And both teams are playing well. We may have a fight on our hands right to the end.

  12. Like I predicted more than a week ago, we will be treading water for a while. The team is in a funk, possibly because of the DL maneuvers. Stuff like that is just bad news for the clubhouse in mid-season. Roberts is going to have to try to hold it together. I think he will, I’m just point out that he’s got a tough stretch coming.

    And I think we will see a Scott Andes explosion before the month is out. I can already feel the slow burn emanating from the new pages. Scott just take it halfway this time – we need to save all the mojo in September and October.

  13. I’ve got an idea for the dog days of summer.

    I’ve been going on some Podcasts. It’s a change of pace on most blogs, but with this group I think maybe it’ll be nice if we do some podcasts with Scott, Oscar and James, and maybe one of us long timers (switch it up each time). It’s just a phone call right?

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