Dodgers Slug Another Six Home Runs, Beat The Snot Out of The Bucs Again

Things seem to be trending upwards for Clayton Kershaw. The ace lefty made his third start since returning from the disabled list. It looked as if his velocity is ticking up too. Overall he pitched well, and won just his second start of the season as the Dodgers beat the crap out of the Bucs again 8-2 on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. Kershaw pitched six innings allowing two earned runs on four hits, but only struck out two. He didn’t walk anyone and made 74 pitches.

There’s still reason for concern. He’s not missing as many bats as he usually does. Normally his velocity is around 94-95, but this season his velocity has plummeted. His pitches haven’t had the same bite as they usually do. It’s hard to imagine that Kershaw has won only two games this season and the Dodgers are only 1.5 games back of first place in the NL West. Hopefully Kershaw can keep building back his arm strength and his velocity returns to normal. Otherwise I don’t know if he can make it through another postseason run, honestly.

The Dodger bats continued to destroy Pirate’s pitching. On Monday the Dodgers scored seventeen runs in a 17-1 rout. Tonight the Dodgers hit six more home runs and scored eight runs on eleven hits. Four of the six home runs were solo shots, and two were two-run home runs. The Dodgers got two triples (Taylor, Grandal) and nine of their eleven hits were for extra-bases.

Pirates   3 5 0

Dodgers 8 10 0

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The Dodgers did most of their damage in the early innings against mound opponent, mysterious Ivan Nova. The right hander has had an up and down season but came into tonight after having a terrific June. Nova posted a 1.75 ERA in the month of June.

The Dodgers got to him right away when Joc Pederson and Max Muncy hit back-to-back jacks in the bottom of the first. Joc’s was on the first pitch of the game. That was Muncy’s first of two home runs on the night Muncy now has 20 home runs which not only leads the Dodgers but is third in the National League. Hello all-star game!

The Pirates would battle back with a run in the top of the second. Young catcher Elias Diaz would double and score on an RBI single from David Freese. That made it 2-1 Dodgers. Of course the Dodgers had an answer. Yes, Pittsburgh pitching is that bad folks.

The Dodgers did waste a Chris Taylor triple in the bottom of the second when they foolishly tried to squeeze him home. But in the bottom of the third, Muncy homered again and the Dodgers went ahead by a 3-1 score.

In the top of the fourth, Diaz doubled again, and once again Freese singled him in to cut the Dodger’s lead to 3-2. That’s the second RBI single on the night for Freese, who went 3 for 3 and drove in all three of the Pittsburgh runs. Diaz has been impressive as well. The young Bucco backstop scored two of the three Pirate runs.

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Like I said before, the Pirates are pretty bad. They’re actually much worse than their record indicates. Grandal’s triple bounced off the top of the wall in the bottom of the fourth. Then Taylor homered to extend the lead to 5-2. The Dodgers would score three more runs in the bottom of the sixth. Yasmani Grandal (who tripled and homered) would lead-off with a wall scraper. Taylor doubled, and Enrique Hernandez blasted his fifteenth home run of the season to give the Dodgers an 8-2 advantage.

Freese homered in the top of the seventh, but the Pirates got no closer. The Dodgers used three relievers to finish the rest of the game. Yimi Garcia, JT Chargois, and Erik Goeddel each pitched an inning in relief. The trio limited the Bucs to one run on one hit with seven strikeouts.

The Dodgers improve to 46-39 but gain no ground on Arizona after the Snakes knocked off the Cardinals. The Dodgers did however gain a game on the Giants, who got crushed by Colorado. The Dodgers should easily sweep the Pirates as they wrap up the series and home stand on Independence Day. The Dodgers already started the fireworks. Joe Musgrove was scheduled to start for the Pirates, but he has been reportedly scratched because of a finger injury. Rich Hill will take the mound for the Dodgers. Remember it’s an earlier start time of 5:10 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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62 thoughts on “Dodgers Slug Another Six Home Runs, Beat The Snot Out of The Bucs Again

  1. Bejeezus, I’ll take a dose of this baseball every game! More Muncy Magic. HR’s the name of our game and I like that just fine.

    Mr. Kershaw finally gets in the win column. But only 2 SO’s? Not the same dude he was. Believe it. He’s still a darn good pitcher. YImi, of course, gave up his requisite run per appearance for 1 inning or less. It’s like clockwork, you can really count on him. But who cares? We won. 🙂

  2. Bet no one had Muncy leading the Dodgers in HR’s coming into July, I know I did not. But they still are hitting more solo shots than HR’s with men on base and the RISP average is still lousy. They still need help.

    1. Muncy isn’t just leading the Dodgers in HRs, he has more HRs then Arrendo and Harper, in a hundred less at bats.

  3. On the other blog, Bumsrap posted a proposal to trade Puig and keep Joc. We’ve been disagreeing on that for a couple of years but it is starting to make more sense now, Joc is definitely improving and Puig is unfortunately regressing. I like Puig but I admit I’m looking at his potential and not his actual performance. Of the two, Joc presently fits our needs better. And with our surplus of outfielders, it is time for Puig to move on. It might be the best thing that ever happened to him. In a new town, new coaches, new teammates, something just might click and the real Puig may emerge. My preference is to keep Toles and bring him up as we trade Verdugo for ???? But if it works out we trade Toles and keep Verdugo, I’m good with that too. I’d think Verdugo has more trade value. Heck, I’m even good with keeping Grandal but I don’t think that will happen. Realmuto would be nice but that’s just about as likely as getting Mechado, FAZ will be FAZ. Hello 99 Cent Store!

    1. Jonah
      I think I will wait to answer as Joc is well known for having a good streak and then performing like Fido’s butt. At the end of the year if he is still playing well I would agree but for me the jury is still out.

      1. Package, to paraphrase George Gershwin, a ballplayer is a sometime thing… He’s no good until he’s good, then he’s good until he isn’t. Scott Boras would have us think otherwise. Celebrate the good times, endure the bad. Neither lasts forever.

    2. In the right deal I have no problem with moving Puig. After having watched him for a few years now I don’t know I’ve ever seen more unrealized potential in one player. The problem might be – everyone in baseball knows that.

      I don’t yet trust that Toles can get through a season without hurting himself. I like Verdugo’s talent, but there’s something about him that I don’t like. His ego maybe. The guy seems to be in orbit around himself.

      You know… I think the arms for bullpen relief are already here. But many of those hundred dollar arms seem to be attached to bodies operated by ten cent heads. I don’t KNOW that, but watching Baez and Garcia more or less confirms it for me. Who’s Goeddel? The guy that had a .550 slg% against in NY or the guy that strikes out the side last night? Fields has a WHIP under 1, so does Paredes who also has a BAA under .200. Alexander is allegedly a ground ball machine. Cingrani with a WHIP of 1.03. Koehler… well, actually he never looked that good to me, career ERA well over 4 but the FAZmasters saw something in him.

      If this team should by some miracle actually get healthy before the end of the year there may be enough here already.

      That said I still add a defensive shortstop and a proven, healthy bullpen arm.

      1. Badger

        Toles only got hurt last year, but after coming back from that knee injury and then dealing with the way they did to him, I am sure he tried to over do it at AAA this year, but I don’t know that to be true.

        It isn’t like Puig has not went out on the DL more then one time, he has went out at least three times or more, and Joc has went out on the DL three times in the last three years, before this year too.

        Toles played the entire season in 2016 from A ball, to the post season.

        You are not the only one I have heard, say that Verdugo has ego issues, but I try to remember he is quite young, and I have never watched him play everyday, so I don’t want to put a label on him yet.

    3. I think Pederson’s defense is dropping, however. I don’t think the difference in offense makes up for the difference in defense, as between the two.

    4. Jonah,

      Like package said, Joc is streaky, but so is Puig. I don’t think we will be able to replace Puig’s defensive prowess. He’s got great handles with the glove and speed that Joc doesn’t. I think Puig is the better all around player and athlete. Of course, if you are talking about nabbing an elite player, I’m in.

      If you noticed the 3rd game against the Pirates, every starter had a hit except Joc and Hernandez. With Hernandez, I expect it, but with Joc turning the corner, we need to see a lot more consistent hitting.

  4. After July we have a more tough schedule and that will tell us what kind of team we have.

    We play the Angels twice in the beginning of July, and play a series against the Padres.

    I don’t know about everyone else, but the Padres seem to have better pitching, then the Pirates do, if you ask me.

    I thought Nova was pretty mediocre last night, and it looked like his heart was not in the game, right now.

    1. MJ,

      When I said I liked Nova, I had mistaken him for Nola. You can see the difference in Nola’s #’s. He would be a great addition to L.A.

  5. On previous thread Jeff questioned if Taylor is a better player than Pederson. I have no clue. I would imagine the fact that Taylor is getting paid $575K with three years of arb remaining and Pederson at 2.6mm with only 2 years of arb would be a major influence.

    Puig is at nearly 10mm and only has one year of arbitration in front of him.

    I would trade Puig (and give Verdugo or, I guess, Toles a shot, but I think Verdugo is more likely) for that reason ($) and for the ones cited by Badger. But for the umpteenth time, I am so out of my league making opinions on this stuff.

    1. You are in the same league as the rest of us Bluto. I call it the CPL. Couch Potato League. I don’t always agree with you, but you offer your opinions respectfully, so that makes it easier to forgive your nonsensical FAZ kissing tendencies.

      Oops. Maybe I should rephrase that. 😉

      MJ, as a GM in the CPL I give Toles until the callups to prove he isn’t made of glass. We just don’t need him now. If somebody comes calling I could let him go. Like Detroit for Iglesias or Tampa for Hechavarria.

      1. Badger

        That is fair, and I am not saying to bring him up right now, because I think he should see more live pitching, and he needs to play everyday.

        But I would let Verdugo go, not only because I like Toles better, because Verdugo May get more in a trade then Toles, because he is two years younger, and still considered a prospect.

        But Toles is more of a proven player at the major league level, then Verdugo.

        And Toles is also a better RBI guy, and he is especially good for RBIs, with two outs.

        And that is one of this team’s biggest weakness, even when there are less, then two outs.

        And I think Toles has far more of an upside then Verdugo, because not only does Toles have more power, and has shown that power at the major league level already, he has far more speed then Verdugo does, too.

        And I am not going to hold Toles knee injury against him, because he has already proven he is not afraid of putting in some hard work.

        Because not only did he have to get himself healthy in the off season after that knee surgery, he also put in the work, to come to spring training prepared to hit, and his results in spring training, proved the work he put in.

        And if you noticed Verdugo’s attitude, that really makes me wonder if Verdugo is the right guy for this team, because I consider you, a very fair guy!

        And you are far from the only one I have heard, comment about Verdugo’s attitude.

        And Toles has also already proven he is a team player.

    2. Bluto, I was asking you if you thought Pederson was a better player than Taylor, but you didn’t really answer. I don’t think that. No way. I like Joc’s HR”s but that’s about it. Taylor is a supremely underrated player and underpaid. He’s a hustler and was able to dig himself out of his earlier slump quickly. I’m sure you’ve noticed how clutch he has been lately. I don’t think he should be playing SS at all. Not good enough defensively for the infield. CF is just fine. I’d take him over Toles and Verdugo, too. Taylor has proven himself already and he’s durable, not like Toles. How long will Toles last the next time he’s given a chance? No one knows.

  6. Well between Joc and Taylor, Taylor is the superior defensive centerfielder, and that is because Taylor is a much better athlete, and has far more speed then Joc.

    And Taylor’s numbers on defense in center last year, proved that Taylor was the superior defensive centerfielder, and he would be our regular centerfielder this year not Joc, if Corey had never went out.

    I think it is very apparent that the Dodgers don’t see Joc as a good defensive centerfielder, because when Cody has been played in the outfield this year, the Dodgers have always went with Cody in center, and Joc in left.

    And I think that says a lot, about what the Dodgers think about Joc’s defense in center.

    And Joc’s defensive numbers in center the last two years, don’t help his case.

    Taylor has even splits against both lefties and righties, and Joc has one of the wore disparities in all of baseball, between lefties and righties.

    And that is why the Dodgers choose to only start Joc against righties, so the Dodgers see Joc more as a platoon type player.

    And Orel has said, the Dodgers don’t see Joc as a young player anymore, and that is probably because, this is Joc’s fourth year, in the majors.

    Although with the way Puig has hit against lefties in the last couple years, I would start Joc against lefties sometimes instead of Puig, to see what Joc might do.

    Because Puig’s numbers against lefties the last couple years, have not been good at all, and he has had plenty of chances, to change that.

    The only advantage I see with Joc over Taylor, is that Joc has more power, and more experience.

    But with Joc’s experience, he should be father along, then he is.

    This is only Taylor’s second year playing everyday in the majors, and Joc has mostly played everyday in the last three plus years, except when he is sat against lefties.

    And Joc has still not proved he can hit consistently throughout a season, and Taylor hit consistently throughout the season, last year.

    Taylor does have some power, and he proved that last year when he hit twenty HRs, but he has struck out way to much this year, so I think he needs to work on that part of his game.

    And although Joc did cut his strike outs down last year, he also only hit about 11 HRs last year.

    But Joc has learned to get more contact in his game this year by quite a bit for him, but with the HRs he has hit lately, he is striking out a little more then he did at the beginning of the season, but he is still making much more consistent contact then Taylor is, this year.

    And it is not good for any lead off hitter to go down with a strike outs that often, because a lead off hitter’s main concern should be, to get on base, anyway they can.

    1. I’d like to see what Taylor could do every day in centerfield. He’s athletic enough to play well at shortstop but I don’t really want him there. I want him focused on one position.

      Here’s another thought – Bellinger might well be the fastest player on our roster. He’s no doubt one of the fastest. On what team does the fastest player play first base? The makeup of this team is odd that way. Taylor and Bellinger, both brought up as infielders, could very well be great centerfielders if they were allowed to focus on it. Yeah yeah, Bellinger is a good first baseman, but by the numbers, and we all now important the numbers are, up the middle defense is far more valuable than first base. With that in mind….. just for conversation sake….. using the players currently on our 40 man, how do you arrange the pieces on the Dodger chessboard next year?

      1. Badger

        I brought up last year, that Cody’s speed and his athleticism, is wasted at first, but he is not only one of the best centerfielders on this team, he is our best first baseman, too.

        And Taylor will only be at shortstop, for this year.

        But they are both blessed with speed and they are probably the best athletes on this team, although I do consider Puig a good athlete too, but he is not blessed, when it comes to hitting.

        Because hitting doesn’t come that easy for Puig like everything else, that comes easy for him.

        1. Badger

          I made the case, when Muncy was playing firstbase, and Cody was playing center, we were much stronger up the middle.

          And because of that, that made up for any short comings that Muncy had, at first.

          1. Bear
            You know I wouldn’t expect any more from Dummy. He always makes sure he has his pet Joc in there and benches Kemp more than God made little green apples. I hate that idiot. What is up with KiKi starting? Real strategic. A real Dummy. I guess Kemp needs another rest because he did not get 5 hits yesterday?

    2. If Machado comes, I posted how Rosenthal reported that the team may try to move Pederson because they value Taylor higher. It’s not the worst problem in the world to have too many quality or potentially quality OF players (in this context Pederson, Taylor, Verdugo, Toles, Puig)

    3. Taylor is batting back up to .264 now. He doesn’t get walks and strikes out too much, but a .270 average is not a three true outcomes type. I still have high hopes for him. He’s going to become of those veteran guys that’s good to keep on the roster.

  7. Good news from J. Morosi:

    Sources say the Braves are interested in Manny Machado but presently are more focused on controllable relievers, for whom there could be a buyers’ market.

  8. The Los Angeles Dodgers today acquired RHP Dylan Floro, minor-league RHP Zach Neal and international signing bonus pool space from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for minor league RHPs James Marinan and Aneurys Zabala.

    1. That makes no sense..they had Neal earlier in the year and released him. Marinan is their # 21 rated prospect and has an ERA below 1 so far. Floro has been decent,, but I do not think he is worth Marinan

      1. Michael

        Someone told me those HRs totals yesterday, but that still makes my point, even if Arenado has hit two more HRs then Muncy, and Harper has hit one more HR then Muncy, because both Haper and Arenado, had a hundred more at bats, then Muncy, not to mention, a lot more experience.

        And by the way, Muncy has hit twenty HRs faster then any LA Dodger ever has, so he is certainly, in good company.

        1. MJ
          Well, guess Kiki couldn’t get it done. Bases loaded and strikes out looking, Kemp sits because Dummy thinks it is the thing to do, WHAT A DUMMY!!!!!!!!

      2. I don’t know any of them so it doesn’t much register with me. Pushing A league pawns around the board doesn’t impress. Using them to land big league help would.

        I can see Taylor OR Bellinger in center. I can see Seager at third or first. I can see Machado at short or third. I can see Arenado in two years. I can see Pederson in left and Harper in right. After this, the reset year, I can see a world of possibilities.

        1. I suspect every trade is not one which obviously helps us. I think some of them are for the benefit of the other team and considered fairly benign as far as our interests. It is “sweetening the pot”, maybe getting another GM in the position of owing us a favor. Maybe this is the opening chords to the Scooter Gennett trade or enlisting Cincy into a three way in the works. Or it might be a case of none of the players is of any importance at all…

        2. Floro was a Dodger last year and Neal was on the roster earlier this year. Floro will be on the MLB roster, Neal most likely to AAA. Floro was doing well with the Reds.

  9. I don’t know anything about the pitchers in that trade, but I saw a post that said that trade was more about money, then anything else.

    And they are working with restrictions with that luxury tax, so I could see a deal that is only about money.

  10. Hill living right. A lot of solid contact not finding grass.

    We don’t need Kemp to beat these guys. And Kiké (not Kiki) has been hitting the ball well. Actually we could beat the Pirates with Kiki too. Lady Kiki. She’s an exotic dancer in LA.

    1. Badger
      You can spell Kike any way you want. Kemp is not being allowed to play. He is hitting better than any of the current Dodgers from both pitching sides leftys and rightys. To say that we don’t need Kemp is a bad case of excuseitis and not right. Dummy should have played Kemp. Kemp has missed time for all kinds of reasons and has missed more than any other starter, not reserve. It is unfair and uncalled for. If Kike has been hitting well it does not show in his numbers. Just because he has hit some HRs does not mean he should play above the starters in my humble opinion but I will not excuse a bonehead move just because he is the manager. Just because he can does not make him right. He is a DUMMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      1. Gotta hand it to Package’s dedication.

        In the face of overwhelming sentiment and evidence he holds true to his insults.

          1. Package

            I like a bunch of different opinions, including yours.

            I also thought Jeff’s response about the Monkey was also funny, but I didn’t see that yesterday.

          2. Not the first time Package, definitely not the last.

            Would love an explanation, but it’s not imperative.

      2. Resting Kemp is a good idea, package. We walloped those guys and the odds of sweeping them were high, even without Kemp. We’ve got some good hitters besides him if you’ve noticed.

  11. Love, love Hill.

    I wonder who is faster on the basepaths Hill or Adrian Gonzalez.

    Don’t overlook (and I’m presuming some are) the bonus money in today’s trade.

    Floro struck out 2/3 of the Dodgers he faced this year, “Obviously we know Zach and he’ll back in AAA,” Dave Roberts said today after the trade was announced, “and Floro is a guy we had last year as well, stuff ticked up this year. Getting him back, he’s going to get with his family for the next couple of days, don’t know when he is going to join us but at some point in time, he’ll be here. Really good sinker, gets righties out and lefties, keeps the ball down, he’s a guy that can go multiple innings if we need as well.”

  12. I don’t spell Kiké that way pack. HE does.

    Not sure why you are so stuck on that Kemp play every day position, but it makes little sense to keep the debate going. He’s going to be rested regularly, and I guess that means we will hear from you every time he is. And we will beat these pirate yahoos even with Kiké going 0fer.

    Hill completing 5, lowers his ERA to 4.56. Atta boy Rich. Not a QS, but do we expect one out of him? I don’t.

    1. Definitely would help if he could go 6. I feel like this adherence (if this is what it is) to the TTOP is a bit extreme.

      1. Alas we cannot blame the TTOP.

        Rich Hill exited because of neck tightness, Dave “Genius” Roberts said, as a result of that memorable head-first slide into home plate. He said Hill is day-to-day.

  13. Badger.

    I am not saying all this because Kemp is being rested. I am saying it because he is being benched. He is taken out, not played or any excuse Roberts can find. This has been going on since the season started. Kemp all but carries the team and is punished while others play who couldn’t carry his Jstrap play. It is downright irritating. There is no debate. You folks seem to have all the answers.

    1. If I had ALL the answers I’d be living in a larger house and driving a new Tesla.

      Kemp is going to have a very good year and hopefully finish in the lineup in the last month and in the last game of the playoff. That is good enough for me. I hope eventually it will be good enough for you too Pack.

      1. Yes but I still think FAZ/Guggenheim still wants to move him. After all, money is more important than some silly game! All that has changed is they are probably getting more/better offers than they were pre-season. They have likely raised their prices as well, now they expect the other team to offer prospects and pay half the salary as well…. Wouldn’t it be funny if Kemp drove us to the World Series, won MVP Honors and was traded for Joe Blow and $10MM? They have guys in the system that could POSSIBLY replace him and cost less than $600K. Wealth is right next to Godliness, you know….

        1. Silliness.

          Who, I cannot think of one (but I haven’t had coffee) was a performing player this current front office traded?

          1. Let me amend that, because it’s incomplete and incoherent:

            Who was a performing player traded for nothing in a strictly financial deal?

            I can think of Kemp’s original trade, maybe, for an example of a financial deal but the compensation was excellent.

          2. Silliness? That’s in the eye of the beholder. And I was holding up a mirror. See Perseus and Medusa. Not up to your usual standards, Mr. Data, but I give you credit for effort. That’s one.

          3. I cannot think of one. But no one was making what Matty makes either. But I think they are far enough below the tax that trading Matt is not the priority it once was and it would be a PR nightmare since right now he is one of the more popular players on the team. I saw a lot of Kemp jerseys at the ball park yesterday. If he is moved, most likely they would wait until the off season. As long as they are in this race, unless they got someone of equal skill, they would be cutting off their nose to spite their face.

          4. Agree on all counts Michael.

            Jonah, for the second time in this very comment section I am confused about a post. Not sure what Perseus and Medusa have to do with anything, but if you have a moment I’m sure you can point it out….

  14. Biggest beef from going to yesterdays game…..they do not sell those frozen malts anymore! That’s just wrong. Other surprise is how much these people pay for parking on site. My sister forked out 350 bucks for 5 reserved level seats and premium parking. Bought online premium parking is 40 bucks, at the stadium it is 50. Outfrippenrageous.. Does McCourt own the parking rights? If so he is fleecing the fans still…….

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