Dodgers Win! (but Continue to Swirl in Third Place)

As (recent) Dodger folklore goes, no matter what’s ailing the team, Clayton Kershaw will make everything alright again. Well, the Dodgers have lately been ailing, banged up, not hitting, and losing games they should have won. Enter the savior GOAT.

The trouble was, nobody told the Rockies the mere presence of Mr. Kershaw was enough to notch a win. Tonight the Rockies came out of the box swinging – and making quality contact. The bases were loaded with no outs before the seats were warm, and it took some sneaky-good pitching, the arm of Yasiel Puig, and help from an expanded strike zone to get the Dodgers out of that first inning jam with just one run scored against them.

In the top of the second, Scott Van Slyke shook some of the rust off his 2017 start with a short-stroked ball that caught some air and sailed over the wall to tie the game at one run apiece.

The savior did his part by settling in and retiring the next nine men he faced. At the end of that troublesome first inning, Kershaw had thrown 27 pitches. By the start of the fourth, he was only at 47. At the end of the fourth, a dozen Rockies in a row had been shot down.

Chris Taylor, just called up from the farms with Logan Forsythe on the DL, opened the fifth with a double. Kershaw bunted, the Rockies hesitated, and the Dodgers ended up with men on the corners and nobody out. Up came one of the hottest bats in town – say it with me, ScottEnrique Hernandez. Kike blasted a double down the left field line to score Taylor.

Then Corey Seager singled in Kershaw.

It was 3-1 with men again on the corners, and still nobody out. Adrian Gonzalez knocked in another run with a FC, and the inning ended with the good guys up 4-1.

The savior was bit by the Rockies in the sixth, when he gave up a quick run on a couple of hits. He left after seven innings, up 4-2.

With two on and two out in the eighth, Kenley Jansen got the call for the four out save. He got the final out of the inning, and Los Angeles held its breath as he faced down the Rockies in the ninth.

Kenley vs:

Parra: 4-3

Story: K looking

Garneau: K swinging

The Dodgers win 4-2, and the legend of the savior goat grows.

The boys split the series with the Rocks, just as they did with the snakes, for a .500 homestand, and a solid third place in the NL West. They are now sitting on a .500 record for the season.

Brett Eibner, acquired this past winter from Oakland, made his Dodger debut, and he played like I would imagine I might in my Dodger debut – 0 for two with two strike outs, and getting beat by a ball hit right at him in center field.

Atta Boy: Corey Seager knocked in his 100th RBI tonight – in his 200th game.

Home Run: Scott Van Slugger (His first of the season)

The GOAT (3-1) went 7 innings with 5 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk and 10 Ks. ERA 2.54

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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49 thoughts on “Dodgers Win! (but Continue to Swirl in Third Place)

  1. Glad you mentioned the strike zone. Kershaw had a distinct advantage all night. And CarGo did not swing at the pitch that hit him. We got some breaks in that one. But, breaks come and go. I’ll take them and be glad we’re at .500.

    1. Badger

      I’m really glad that Taylor kept up with Kike up at bat, because I hate when politics allows a player to make the big team, instead of performance.

      It was good to see both Kike and Scott hit, and everyone else, but I know that pitcher hasn’t been good, so I am not going to be putting all my eggs, in one basket, and getting my hopes up.

      I still think the regular line up would not only do as good as this platoon line up, I think they would do better, if they were allowed to play consistently, for about two, or three weeks.

      And if they stick with this platoon line up all year, like they did last year, and they continue to be last in offense, in all of baseball, by a lot, Scott and I, are going to be PO!

  2. Personal observation here, and I think it has some merit. Kershaw was obviously irked at Anderson the Rocks starter because his slow stroll from the BP to the dugout delayed the game. Kersh jumped all over him after the game. I think it might have put him a little off his feed at the beginning of the game. He does get pretty emotional at times, and it happened more than once last night. When Eibner did not catch that fly ball to CF, Kersh was visibly upset. To his credit, Kersh settled down and pitched well. Not sure why Anderson pulled a stunt like that. The visiting pitcher is usually in the dugout by the time the home team takes the field. Well on to AZ. Lets see if they can pick up some ground on the front runners. Turner should be back in the lineup.

    1. Kershaw on the mound is one intense dude. That ball Eibner didn’t catch was hit pretty good. Eibner is not familiar with Dodger Stadium. I didn’t particularly appreciate Kershaw’s reaction, but, that’s Kershaw.

      1. I think in Kershaw’s mind, that ball was catchable, and Joc might have made the play. Who knows. I think he was upset about a few things and the home plate ump was one of them. That’s 2 games in a row the HP umpire has had a wide strikezone.

      2. Badger

        I agree with you, that ball was hit hard.

        And I don’t even know if Joc would have caught that, from where Eibner, was postioned.

        And Roberts has put Joc in for defense, in the last couple innings in games, even before Eibner, got here.

        I think it was more the way Eibner reacted, then anything else, that made that ball look more catchable, then it was.

    2. Michael

      Anderson or maybe Black, had Anderson do that, to bother Kershaw, to take him off his game.

      And obviously it worked, because Kershaw was still talking about it, after the game.

      And when did Orel say, the last time Kershaw walked the lead off hitter, at the start the game?

      Kershaw needs to let that stuff go, and not let other teams know, that they can get to him, like Kershaw did, after the game.

      1. Kersh is an emotional guy. He has like all humans a point where he shows that emotion, it is one of the things that makes him the great competitor he is. Obviously what Anderson did irked him enough that he was not really Kershaw that first inning, and to their credit the Rocks took advantage of that. Kersh and the team in turn limited the damage to 1 run, and got to the Rocks starter and won the game. As for what Orel said, I would not know. I do not get the games against the Rockies on MLB.TV. I have to watch those games on ROOT Sports with the Rockies announcers, who are by the way notorious homers. I turned the sound down and listened to the KLAC radio feed from my computer.

        1. Michael

          I forgot you were not listening to TV.

          But the point I was making, is it had been a very long time, since Kershaw has walked the lead off hitter, to start the game, and that is what Orel said.

          So what Anderson did, did get Kershaw off his game, and Kershaw verified that, by walking the first batter, and by talking about it, after the game..

          And the only reason I care, is because I am concerned, that Kershaw lets his emotions bother him, and I don’t want him bringing that stuff, into the post season, when he pitches..

          1. MJ, if you know anything about emotions, they are hard to contain. Sometimes they get the better of you. Sometimes they do not. I know that as an average everyday guy, they got the better of me a lot of times. Sometimes professional athletes channel that and actually perform better when a little bit mad. I think Kersh is well aware of his emotions and how to channel that energy. But I think it is way to early to worry about it happening in the post season, because right now, this is no where close to a playoff team. They have injury’s and they have holes to plug. Talk about the playoffs after August when we see where they are at that point.

    1. You mean our Triple A team is not in first place. I thought with all of our MAJOR LEAGUE depth that we would be smoking them other minor league teams. 7-7 at OKC isn’t quite that.

      Hell, we have aces throughout our organization. Ok, I bet we have all of our true MAJOR LEAGUERS in the lower levels.
      Let’s take a look.
      ‘AA’ Tulsa……6-6 What?

      We have 3 ACES in advance ‘A’ ball…..
      Rancho Cucamonga…..7-6 Best record in the organization BUT not quite smoking their competition.

      ‘A’ Great Lakes…..4-9 WTH? Isn’t this where most of FAZ recent draft picks would reside? They must be playing the ‘B’ squad at the lower levels too.

      I’ve got to find some of that Dodgers Blue Kool-Aid because I’m not seeing the superiority in the Dodgers organization. Maybe Bluto can send me a case of that stuff so I can get drunk on it.

    2. Michael

      I am not worried.

      And anyone is able to learn how to channel there emotions in a positive way, if they want to.

      And Kershaw is lucky he hasn’t had to deal with that kind of stuff, that often, or at all.

      And it looks like pitching in the post season, has gotten into Kershaw’s head, now.

      And he can’t let this little stuff bother him, and take him off his game, like he did last night.

      He can’t control others or the situation, he can only control himself.

      And the post season is the thing Kershaw needs to accomplish,

  3. No game today, so I am going to finish building my Huey Gunship model of Bruce Campbell’s Huey that he flew in Nam, and received the Medal of Honor for. He was with Hal Moore’s 1st Cav. Moore wrote We Were Soldiers. Excellent book and a pretty good movie with Mel Gibson. Next up, taking a Revell model of the Arizona and making it into my dad’s ship, the USS Nevada. They were sister ships and exactly alike, so all I need to do is put the correct number, 36, Arizona was 39, and the name on the stern. Everyone have a great day. I have some chores to do and places to go later….

  4. The software is wacko again. I’ve spent the last half hour trying to respond to Michael. Apparently it lost the original response, then the lying SOB says each subsequent attempt to post is a duplicate. How can it be a duplicate if the first one isn’t there? One of the things that keeps tempting me to leave this site…
    This is a good chance to bring up the suggestion you install a personal message system here. There are several available for this software and they are very handy for commenters to have private conversations that might annoy other commenters.

  5. John Manuel has his first mock draft on Baseball America (may be subscriber). The interesting thing is he intimates he heard the Dodgers are changing to looking for more upside than a “safe” pick.

    In many ways last year’s selection of Lux was a safe pick.

    I think that’s because there was a real dearth of SS prospects in the system.

    Now with a deep and profoundly robust system, the team feels it can take a chance on upside.

    I’m probably wrong.

    Speaking of probably wrong.

    Heyman’s latest article appraises the worry level for the MLB slow-starters.

    Obviously the Dodgers aren’t in that list, but his Dodger notes entail some really interesting notes (summarized below):

    1. There is no evidence of any real trade talk with the Brewers regarding Ryan Braun.

    2 The Dodgers’ plan to employ Franklin Gutierrez and Andre Ethier in left field hasn’t gotten off the ground. But there’s no reason to give up on the original plan yet.

    3. The Dodgers at some point last winter proposed $12 million for two years for Brad Ziegler.

    4. The Dodgers were positioning to take Schwarber in the draft if the Cubs hadn’t pulled a surprise in taking him, and some felt he’d fall to the Dodgers in the middle of the first round, as he didn’t really have a position.

    5. The Dodgers are 7-7 but have the second best run differential in the NL

    1. Bluto

      Who is our number two pitcher in our pitching rotation?

      I would say our leftfield platoon is doing better, then our centerfield.

      1. I presume you mean for the playoffs.

        Hill’s #2, right?
        Urias #3.
        McCarthy #4

        I think that (LF > CF) could be correct, if Gutierrez lives up to his potential as a lefty killer. Joc’s still a WIP.

        What do you think about the pitching?

        1. Bluto

          I am concerned if Hill is going to even be a starting pitcher, because the mention of bullpen and Hill, doesn’t sound to good.

          Because they went there so fast.

          What does Joc and WIP mean?

          I wonder who is going to be are next starter, from the minors, that is closest to coming up to the majors.

          1. I’m not sure what you mean on any level.

            What is Hill if not a starting pitcher? A long man? That’s preposterous.

            WIP means work in progress.

            Obviously Urias and Stewart are the closest to coming up and fitting into the rotation. But Wood’s there now. Do you mean beyond them?

            Other changes (Jurrjens, Oaks, Buehler and, more remotely, White) would need 40 man moves.

  6. At least you two are trying to breathe life into a blog which doesn’t seem to have any active members. Please, have mercy, call Dr. Kevorkian…

    1. Bluto

      I wasn’t sure about Stewart because he has been hurt.

      This is Joc’s third year, and he has been given a lot of slack, but right now, he is having trouble hitting, against righties.

      And he is striking out a lot, and he isn’t hitting with any power.

      He has a decent average against hand picked lefties, that Roberts thinks won’t give Joc a problem, but he doesn’t have many at bats, against lefties.

      And about Hill, that is what they are saying, he may have to go to the bullpen.

      I like Wood and if he can keep his velocity up, he should be even harder to hit.

      1. You might be surprised to know MJ that Seager has struck out more this year than Joc. Seager has been K’s 19 times and Joc 15. Seager is making more contact, but also has the advantage of playing everyday against all comers. I am not defending Joc’s lack of production right now just stating the numbers. Seager has struck out as many times this year as he did in 2015 when he was called up in September in less at bats. He has a little over 60 AB’s and in Sept 2015 he had 95. I think Joc will heat up, and pretty soon. He is working with Turner Ward everyday, so if it is mechanical, they will fix it. Gonzo’s power outage is much more frustrating because he is the big RBI guy and has been. Turner and Seager have picked up the slack. Seager of course has those high K numbers because he struck out 8 times in a row.

        1. Michael

          There is a big difference between Joc and Corey.

          Corey has had more at bats then Joc, and he isn’t hitting in the back of the order, like Joc is.

          So Joc is striking out, at a higher rate then Corey.

          And Corey missed most, of spring training.

          Corey has struck out quite a bit, but he has also provided power, with those strike outs, unlike Joc.

          This is Joc’s third year.

          1. I get it and I know what you are saying, but Joc has always had a high strikeout rate even when he was hitting 300 at AAA. He is a pure power hitter, Corey is not. Joc is also still trying to wrap his head around the changes he has made to his approach and his stance. He slides back to the old habits once in a while and to fans it is frustrating. Joc has been in the majors 2 years 1 month and 2 weeks, so he is far from being a seasoned player. I worry more about Corey’s K’s because he is a contact hitter. And MJ, Corey is in the same spot in the order every night. Joc has bounced all up and down the order and so has Puig. Corey has hit 2 homers and 5 doubles. Joc 1 and 1 double. Not much more in the power department there. Puig has 4 and Toles has 3. Gonzo, and Turner have zilch. Corey is a more skilled player than Joc. Joc has more pure power. They are both kids learning on the MLB level. If Joc is still a .200 hitter by July, they have a problem because they depend on the kid for power. With Gonzo, Turner and Grandal not providing it, it is up to the kids, and you can bet that they are feeling a little pressure to deliver. So you cannot say Corey has provided power with more K’s. He has had hits in clutch situations whereas Joc has not had all that many. But he has only driven in 4 more runs than Joc. Puig and Corey tied with 11. Pederson is next with 7 and then Toles who has 6. He has driven in more runs than Gonzo, Toles, Grandal, and Turner with less hits. So strike outs aside, he is one of the more productive players on the team since the big guns are not getting it done. I look at the whole picture and probably see it a lot different than you do, but if he hits .240 strikes out as much as he did last year, but ends up with 80 ribbies and 20 plus homers, it will be about his MLB average. He has not peaked yet. This culture in baseball does not look at strikeouts the way we did. It has changed.

        1. Michael

          Joc hit in four runs, with one HR, on opening day, and he hasn’t done much, after that.

          Joc has hit in one more run then Toles, but Joc has had more chances to hit in runs, then Toles has.

          Because Toles has hit, in the lead off, position.

          And Joc has played a little more, and had more at bats, then Toles, but he has been able to walk more, because he has hit mostly, at the back, of the line up.

          And Joc does not have more offensive production then Toles, or most of the team.

          Almost everyone on the team, have a higher OPS then Joc does.

          And OPS, is how offensive production, is calculated.

          And Joc doesn’t have close to the top OPS on the team, and he doesn’t have an higher OPS, then Toles.

          Toles has a higher offenseive production, then Joc does.

          And Corey missed most of spring training .

          1. Like I said I look at it differently than you do. Joc is what he is, and tonight he is 2-3 with a double and a single and he has scored 2 runs. I do not care that Corey missed most of spring, he did the same thing last year and he has a different skill set than Joc or Toles. I am less critical of players and do not center on a part of their game that is a weakness. Toles hitting leadoff is not a good thing. He is not patient enough to be a leadoff hitter because he is very aggressive. With another aggressive hitter behind him, Seager, it makes for low pitch counts right off the bat, and making it easy on the starting pitcher is not a good thing. It also leads to less RBI opportunities for the 3-4 guys, who are the RBI guys. I do think that moving guys around in the lineup is counter productive.

  7. Sorry, blind squirrels occasionally find a nut and Van Shite occasionally hits a home run. Van Shite is done, put a fork in him. He is taking up a roster spot that should go to one of the boys that is remaining in the minors, it ain’t right and it’s just plain stupid. Bring up Bellinger, find a way to get him in the lineup everyday, first base and OF are the most likely spots obviously.

    Again, leave Puig down in the order, something happens in his melon when he sees his name in the lineup batting in the 3 to 6 spots. He just isn’t ready emotionally to deal with batting up in the order.

    Did I mention that this roster has a lot of holes in it? Ok, I thought so.

  8. Bellinger will have a learning curve. I don’t trust AAA numbers. We’ve had a lot of guys hit well there and are mediocre in the bigs. Pederson hit .300 at AAA.

    Our pitching leads MLB in ERA. Our starters are 13th. Hitting? 11th in runs, 8th in OPS, 15th in slugging, 13th in avg. We’ve played one more game than 6 teams that have more runs than us, and the 6 teams right behind us. Overall we’re middle of the pack offensively.

    1. Badger

      I worry about that too, because he has a swing similar, to Joc.

      At least he isn’t playing in New Mexico, which help hitters stats.

      But against Righties, we’re are near the top.

      I hope Arizona gets eveyone hitting so there confidence will be high, going into SF.

      And I hope Agone can get going too.

      We haven’t swept the Giants at home, for long time.

      I think they took the first series at SF last year, but we had the leads in two of those games, and Agone tied the last game up, only to see the Giants win in the bottom of the ninth.

  9. Wood vs Walker……in a hitters park and a place this team loves to hit. Badger, can you dig up anywhere the Dodger record last year after 14 games? I have looked and cannot find it.

      1. Okay, they win the first 2 in Az they will be 9-7, only 1 game down from last year…difference is last year they were in 1st place….but lets not quibble…

    1. I just read an article that said Puig has had reverse splits in his career.

      And right now, he almost had the same amount of at bats, against lefties, as righties, and he is hitting 080 against lefties, this year.

      1. I just want Puig to play hard, and play smart, sooner or later the talent will kick in. He is definitely a different hitter than he was in the past. I think the new approach has as much to do with his splits as anything. I see him in the dugout constantly asking questions and talking with Turner Ward. 2 weeks in I am not worried. He has those kinds of numbers come late July, Los Angeles, we have a problem.

          1. Duh, like that is not obvious to us fans and the FO and coaches and the manager. There is not an easy fix either. They had better get better at it soon, or Lefty’s are all they are going to see.

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