Don’t Blame The Pen. Dodgers Strike Out and Stumble Into 2-1 Loss

Game two of three. The Dodgers were coming off the high of last night’s blowout win, and Brandon McCarthy was coming off the low of his last outing. How would this balancing act play out?

1st inning
Snakes
Two pitches into the game, the HP umpire took a foul ball off the mask, causing a 15 minute delay.
McCarthy then went 1,2,3, with two strikeouts.

3rd inning 
Dodgers
Chase Utley doubled.
Justin Turner singled to score Utley.  1-0


Snakes
McCarthy with five Ks through three.

4th inning  Dodgers 1-0
Snakes
Four scoreless on three hits for McCarthy.

5th inning  Dodgers 1-0
Snakes
McCarthy began the inning at 55 pitches.
A great catch by Andrew Toles at the center field wall!


Seven K’s after five.

6th inning  Dodgers 1-0
Snakes
McCarthy started the inning at 68 pitches. Ended at 78 (55 for strikes) with 8 strikeouts.

7th inning Dodgers 1-0
Snakes
McCarthy out. Adam Liberatore in. 1, 2, 3, job done.

9th inning  Dodgers 1-0
Dodgers
Three quick outs.
Kenley Jansen vs Snakes
Segura: 6-3
Bourn: single!
Goldshmidt: PF5
Lamb: double to tie the game. Blown save!

12th inning Tie score 1-1
Dodgers
A FC and a pair of walks loaded the bases with two out for Yasiel Puig. He swung at ball four to strike out and end the inning.
Snakes
They won on a walk-off single. Sheesh!

Dodgers lose 2-1

Brandon McCarthy was straight dealing tonight. He was changing speeds effectively by dropping speeds from 92-94 to 79. His stuff was electric as well, with great late movement. There was really no reason he could not have gone seven.

Howie Kendrick continued his tear at the plate with his third straight game with at least three hits. Despite padding his stats, Kendrick struck out when it mattered most – with bases loaded.

Meanwhile, the rest of the Dodgers were MIA at the plate, and when they did manage to get on, they bumbled and stumbled on the bases, running themselves out of rallies. I’m looking at you, Scott Van Slyke and Corey Seager.

The lack of offense put extra pressure on the pitchers, as they had to make that skinny 1 run stand up. Ultimately, they couldn’t.

Side note: Things got interesting in the 7th and 8th innings as Snakes fans battled to cheer louder than the @Pantone294  traveling Dodgers fans. The Dodgers fans occupied a full three sections in the right field bleachers.

Brandon McCarthy went 6 innings with 3 hits, 0 walks, 0 runs, 8 Ks.  ERA 1.69   He really desrved better than he got tonight.

I warn you, the following stat is disturbing, and may cause you to feel sad and frustrated:

Team with RISP: 1 for 15

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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58 thoughts on “Don’t Blame The Pen. Dodgers Strike Out and Stumble Into 2-1 Loss

  1. I’ve been extremely busy, and haven’t posted in a long time. And my best guess is that I won’t be posting much. However, I decided to post this time because at the end of the last thread I couldn’t believe that no one criticized the Dodger’s decision to pitch to Jake Lamb in the bottom of the 9th. When Michael Bourn stole 2nd, my first thought was that with 1st base open, the Dodgers would put Lamb on. With Goldschmidt out of the way, it seemed to me that walking Lamb was a no-brainer. And when he finally had two strikes on him, it was time to go up and in or up and away, not a belt high fastball down the middle. Best guess is that Kenley just missed his spot on that pitch.

    And if the Dodgers decided not to put the winning run on first base, then I beg to differ. The important thing in that spot was to get the hitter at the plate and keep the runner on 2nd from tying the game. I would have taken my chances putting the winning run on 1st, especially given the kind of year that Lamb is having.

    And Mark, I disagree with you about Chris Archer. I admit that I haven’t really seen him pitch much, but the guy is young, has a team friendly contract that I believe runs through 2019, and prior to this year had a very good track record. I don’t know what it would take to get him, but if the price isn’t excessive, he’s worth going after, both for this year and beyond.

    1. Hey Brooklyn,
      I get the strategy that you’re tossing out there, and a lot of times that percentage move of putting Lamb on because he’s a pretty good hitter is the right move.
      But that’s not a move I make with Kenley Jansen – not even in a one-run game. Kenley is one of the top savers in the majors, and he’s my workhorse. I figure to use him to shut Lamb down – because he can.
      The other reason is, I don’t want to mess with Jansen’s head by implying I don’t think he can get the job done, or mess with his pitching rhythm by having him throw four balls on purpose, and then ask him to refocus on the next batter.
      That’s most of the time.
      But if my pitching coach came to me with concernsabout Jansen not having good stuff – I would have gone for the percentage play and avoided the stronger bat. Some observers out there said they knew Jansen didn’t have it tonight. I’d love to know if Honeycutt informed Roberts about that.

      1. Good to see you again Brooklyn.

        Two things – I figured Bourn was going to steal because Jansen has that sloth like move to the plate. I think I could steal on him. Secondly – does anyone believe Bochy pitches to Lamb?

    2. Brooklyn
      Good to hear from you!

      That crossed my mind too, but I think it was after Lamb hit the tying run in.

      But I didn’t know that Kenley, was so much more comfortable pitching to Tomas, before I saw Kenley pitch to Tomas.

      But after seeing how comfortable that Kenley was, pitching to Tomas, I would sure do that next time.

  2. Just got home from seeing the RC Quakes play tonight. Was a lot of fun. Quakes lost 7-4 after taking the lead 4-3 in the bottom of the 8th. The OF who came with Bud Norris from Atlanta, Toscano hit a 2 run homer in the 8th to put RC ahead. They had been trailing the entire game. Andrew Sopko ( 9-2) was the starter and he gave up 3 runs in 5 innings and was on the hook for the loss. There were 2 outs in the 9th, and a ground ball to SS Michael Ahmed was mis played for an error. That opened the door for Lancaster and Ramon Laureano hit a pinch hit 2 run double to put Lancaster up 5-4 ..they scored 2 additional runs off Jeff Malm, 2-0 1.69 ERA prior to this game to seal the win……lots of fun there…you should try it…..

  3. In the 9the, Utley visited the mound and later Agon visited the mound. It was if they knew bad was coming. Made me worry.

    That seemed to be an easy steal of second.

    I’m going to agree with Brooklyn.

  4. I too am going to agree with Brooklyn. 1 for 15 with RISP. We did not deserve to win, but we certainly could and should of won. You must win the games that you should win. Jansen could not locate his pitches. He generally gets his first pitch over for a strike. Could not do it last night.

    1. It was a game that McCarthy dominated. The hitters sucked and Jansen should have closed. When you win games you don’t deserve it energizes you. When you have someone as good as Kenley, you expect perfection.

  5. Good to hear from you Brooks. Godspeed!

    Well, the moves that don’t work are always the bad ones. I don’t know if I would have walked him or not, but it is a possibility. Would Bochy have walked him? Probably! Would he have walked him if Jansen were his closer is the real question. I think if you have an elite closer, you have to trust him, but I’m not saying that’s wrong. Indecision my or may not be part of my problem.

    Archer has not been good this year, but I suppose that could change. I hear the price is high – De Leon and two more top 20 prospects. The fact is, De Leon could be better THIS year. I would not do the deal, but that’s just me.

    They just sent Lamb back to the minors…. John Lamb of Cincy! 😉

    Michael,

    I was in RC a couple weeks ago, but there was no game. I plan to hit it again.

  6. I don’t think it’s about trust in that situation I believe it’s more strategy. Make lamb feel the pressure. Lambs AB changed after Bourne stole second so a fastball at the letters could have forced him swing and miss. Jansen was off though. These are the games that one remembers when a team misses the playoffs by a game or two.

    Good to hear from you Brooklyn.

    1. I agree it’s about strategy. You walk the 1.000 OPS left handed hitter and pitch to the right hander. It’s a no brainer. Rookie manager screwed the pooch on that one. Learning curve.

      I don’t trade De Leon now. I did at the deadline last year, but not now. Bring him up and get his feet wet.

  7. Braves want a catcher. Maybe they have a player the Brewers would like to be part of a package for Lucroy with Grandal going to Atlanta , Inciarte to the Brewers, and Lucroy going to the Dodgers just to get talks started.

    Grandal 3rd and 4th (final) years of ARB are in 2017 and 2018. Inciarte’s 1st year ARB starts in 2017.

    There is a team option on Lucroy for 2017 so he would be a free agent for the year 2018.

    The question is how much more would the Dodgers have to give the Brewers to get Lucroy. Puig?

    I’d like to get Gray from the A’s as well. Would De Leon and Montas and Kazmir get him? The advantage of that trade might be moving Kazmir. De Leon and Montas seem to be risky health wise to me.

  8. Doesn’t look like the thought even crossed his mind:

    “”Jake Lamb is a great ballplayer and he got a big hit against one of the best closers,” Roberts added. “We expect Kenley to be perfect. It’s not going to happen.””

  9. Really in that game last night, our players not only did not hit well, with runners in scoring position, they also made a lot of stupid mistakes, that have been made, in games before.

    Cory’s and Scott’s base running errors, sapped any momentum the Dodgers had just gotten.

    And these base running errors, happened right after each other, it seemed.

    Cory said that he thought that Amed was in a different position when that ball was hit, but I don’t know if that makes a difference when the ball, was hit in front of Cory, and to the right side of Cory, but Cory did take the blame for that error.

    Howie struck out on three bad pitches, with the bases loaded.

    And Puig didn’t take another pitch, after the pitcher was behind on the count, and Puig did this, after this pitcher,
    had had trouble, throwing strikes, to the hitters before Puig.

    I know you guys are going to get on me, but did you see Puig in leftfield, very close to Howie, on the hit by Lamb, that tied the game?

    Why is Puig even in leftfield?

    These errors and mental mistakes bother me, because they keep on happening, and they are a reoccurring theme, in the close games, that this team loses.

    And this stuff, , shouldn’t keep on happening.

    There is nothing worse, then watching a team, lose a game, that they just gave away.

  10. And I don’t think the Giants will try to get Chapman or Miller, but we better hope they don’t!

    But there closer, has had a lot of trouble this year, and if the Giants got one of these two pitchers, they will be hard to beat.

    In fact a couple of the Dodgers players, have said off the record, that they hope the front office, won’t let that happen.

    I don’t think the Giants have those type of prospects, that will get one of those pitchers, but that would really put the Giants, in a good position, especially with Bochy’s good bullpen management.

  11. The giants lost. The giants lost. Feels so good. Tough game to lose, but we have won our share late, lately. Big time praise for McCarthy. I can’t wait for his spot to come up again. I just hope the stitches hold up. Nice seeing Brooklyn here again. Observant guy. D’backs suck right now, and I think have torched the season, so Maeda should be abel to handle them. Can’t expect the giants to lose again with Cueto. I don’t want to give that game back to them, heading back east.

  12. I didn’t see it MJ.

    If the Braves need a catcher, and they had the choice between Lucroy and Grandal, why would they choose Grandal?

    Rookies will make bonehead plays from time to time. Roberts and Seager are both rookies. Chalk it up as learning experience.

    WRISP remains an issue with this club. We can hope that suddenly changes.

    1. Why Badger? Because the Braves would have to give up lots more players to get Lucroy than they would to get Grandal.

      1. Sorry. I guess I don’t follow. If the Braves are sending Inciarte, one of the best young outfielders I’ve seen the last two years, wouldn’t it be to keep the best catcher? Would you do Grandal for Inciarte? Ender sure hit a speed bump in Atlanta.

    2. Badger your right, it is more a team thing to me, then anyone player.

      I do appreciate your stance about not pitching to Lamb, and I do think you, and Brooklyn are right.

      It did cross my mind, especially when the broadcaster, talked about how good Lamb has been this year.

      And especially after how easy Kenley handled Tomas, without kenley really having his good stuff.

      But I am not mad at Roberts about not making that move, because I have seen Roberts get better, as the season goes along, especially with the bullpen.

      I think Roberts shouldn’t bring in Fiens right now, in any high leverage situations, because I think Fien is feeling pretty snake bitten right now.

      Because of this, Fien is starting to try to be overley careful, and we know what happens, when anyone is trying to be overly careful, because of past history.

    1. I think the PCL is tough for a pitcher like Stripling – not enough bite for that big curve because of thin air! It will help him in the long run.

  13. What would you think of a manager who was leading by 1 run in extra innings and the other team had runners on 1st and 3rd with no outs? Should he walk the bases loaded to have a forceout at any base? Conventional wisdom would say yes. However, Bruce Bochy did not do that and he lost the game last night. It’s all second guessing and second-guessers are never wrong.

    You have to play it the way you play it – there usually is not a “right or wrong way.” Lots of people second guess Roberts the same way Mattingly was second guessed. I didn’t like Mattingly but fans can always criticize decision when they don’t work. I rarely second guess because you have no way of knowing what would have happened had the other decision been made.

    Bochy and Maddon whom I consider to be the best managers in baseball make decisions that make you scratch your heads too… but they likely have their reasons – and if they have some inside intell that we don’t, they aren’t going to tell us anyway.

    The only problem I had with Roberts last night was that it didn’t work. Second guessers are never wrong. Me? I’m wrong a lot, but second-guessing is an exercise in futility.

    1. Mark, we all know that the Dodgers could have lost the game in the 9th instead of going into extra innings had Lamb been intentionally walked. It is not so much second guessing as it is just saying what we were thinking while we were watching the game.

      To me second guessing is saying if only it were done this way the Dodgers would have won. That said, all good points Mark.

    2. Mark
      I don’t think anyone criticized Roberts about that move.

      I just think that Brooklyn was wondering out loud, if anyone thought that might be the best move.

      I haven’t said to much about Roberts management, because I see he is learning.

      He has handled the bullpen better, as the season has gone along.

      And I think he is the reason, that this team, does try to come back and win games, unlike before.

      The team also has more energy this year, most of the time, and Roberts own energy, reflects on the team.

  14. Michael: What is Sopko’s game? Fastball? Off speed? Control? He had 0 BB. 2 3B and 1 2B of the 4 hits. Cheap shots? He’s a Gonzaga grad and along with Sborz has been good so far.

    1. They had 2 triples and a double off of him. The leadoff hitter in the first ripped one down the RF line into the corner for a 3B hit and scored on a sac fly. They hit another triple in the 3rd and he scored on a single. Sopko threw fast balls and what looked to be a slider. No real curve that I saw. He has good control, and the ump seemed to be squeezing the strike zone early. I am pretty sure that was Toscano’s first game with the quakes. He did pretty good 2-4.. Corey Copping was impressive in relief, and Malm, although he lost struck out 2 before the error opened the flood gates. Lancaster made 3 errors, 2 by their 3rd baseman. Johan Mieses, one of their top prospects who was hitting only .215, but has 13 homers, hit a awesome shot down the LF line that just curved foul. Was crushed, trust me.

      1. Michael
        I bet you would love to have those same seats, at Dodger stadium, for the same price.

        I’m glad you are enjoying yourself so much, while you are here in California.

        I hope your dog is too.

        1. Those seats would cost a lot. We got 4 seats off to the right of home plate in section 5 about 5 rows up for 13 bucks apiece…..Yeah in the old days field boxes were 12 bucks. I know because I used to sit there when I went alone. Yeah I needed a break..and my dog is doing fine

  15. There is a huge difference between first and third, and first base open, and open with one of the best hitters in the league in the box. Yeah, second guessers are always right, but what is it when you are watching it live and you say to yourself “bad idea Dave, put him on and pitch to the inferior RH hitter.” I think most baseball people would say play the percentages.

    1. I disagree. Conventional wisdom is that you don’t walk to put the potential winning run on base when you are on the road in the 9th, because you have no chance to tie if he scores. Especially with Jansen on the mound, you let him take his chances with Lamb. The fact that it didn’t work out doesn’t mean it wasn’t the right move.

      If Jansen did walk Lamb and the next guy doubled, everyone would be complaining that they walked Lamb.

      1. I get that point. I wouldn’t have complained. But then, I’ve watched this dback team a lot more than anyone in here. Lamb is as tough as Goldschmidt with a stick in his hand. Castillo is a far better matchup for Jansen.

        Different strokes.

      2. Dodger rick
        Both you and Mark, are both right.

        Everything that you have said is true, as well as what Mark has said.

        Rick you are right, that that is the traditional thinking in baseball.

        And Mark is right too, because both Bochy and Maddan, don’t always follow the tradition thinking of baseball.

        But considering what is happening right now with Lamb, and with Tomas, I do think that Brooklyn and Badger, do have really great points, about not pitching to Lamb.

        And after watching both Lamb’s and Tomas’ at bats, I am sold on Badger’s and Brooklyn’s strategy, at that time in the game.

        Kenley handled Tomas, like Tomas was nothing more, then a little lamb.

    2. My first inclination after the SB was to walk Lamb, but then I remembered more than one occasion where Mattingly did that and it bit him in the ass. I think the idea was not to try and get Lamb to swing at something out of the zone and if not go ahead and go after the next guy. But Jansen was struggling with command–he was behind on every hitter, he may have gotten away with one to Goldie, but he didn’t get away with that pitch to Lamb. There’s a good argument on both sides, but I don’t think I can blame the manager here…the closer has to do the job.

      The hitting? Bases loaded continues to be kryptonite for the Dodgers. Half of that is 90% mental as Yogi would say.

  16. The thought of walking Lamb didn’t cross my mind at all. But maybe it should have, because on the prior pitch, Jensen grooved one to Goldschmidt that should have been hit 500 feet, and Goldy just missed it. Kenley was clearly off all night, but I thought with 2 strikes, he’d be able to get 1 pitch to do what he wanted. Nope.

    Either way, the problem was the horrible lack of clutch hitting. Even Howie, who was like 4-5, looked horrible at the plate with the bases loaded when he struck out on a horrible pitch; that was the time we needed a big hit.

    OH well. Get today’s game, and we accomplish our goal of taking 2-3. That’s all you can ask on the road. I trust we come thru today

  17. MJ, you hit it on the nose about Howie. I wasn’t so upset that he didn’t get a hit with the bases loaded, as much as I was upset over the fact that he none of the pitches he swung at were strikes. Had he shown more discipline he may well have walked in that at bat.

    And by the way, I wasn’t suggesting that the Dodgers give up the farm to get Archer. I said “if the price isn’t excessive, he’s worth going after, both for this year and beyond.”

    By the way, what is De Leon’s health status right now. My best guess is that he would have been recalled long ago had it not been for injuries this year. In fact, I suspect he may well have been recalled before Urias had he not been injured.

    I’d love for the Dodgers to get Lucroy and/or Miller. But as always, it all comes down to price. I suspect the Dodgers’ willingness to part with prospects depends in large part on how some of there younger prospects have progressed this year, and how they feel about this years draft crop. If the Dodgers feel that that have a surplus to deal from, then they’re more likely to be amenable to dealing some of their prospects.

    1. I have heard that De Leon was not injured. The Dodgers were just working to “strengthen his core” and wanted him to pitch into September or October. He pitched 114 innings last year and I think they want to limit it to 140 to 150, so they just held him out. From what I know, he was not injured. He’s really more advanced as a pitcher than Urias and he will be 24 next month!

      1. If he wasn’t injured, what were they waiting for? They threw all these other kids into the breach while their best pitcher was working out? That sounds like the Germans not committing their Panzer reserves after D-Day waiting for the main invasion to come.

  18. Good point about the count Bobby. But at that point, if you do decide to pitch to him, you don’t give him anything to hit. Not with a RH .260 hitting catcher on deck. A number of mistakes and bad at bats in that one. Oh well indeed. We’re favored today. 2 of 3 ain’t bad.

    Brooklyn, I don’t think FAZ is likely to part with any top prospects this year. They didn’t last year when the odds at getting to the WS were better, why would they do it this year when the odds are against us?

  19. Was watching the Quakes play so I missed the game. But it seems from what I read that a lack of clutch hitting and some bone headed base running contributed to the loss. Seems to me the middle of the line up, after reading the box score was pretty unproductive. Hard to win when you cannot get the runners home. But hitting with runners in scoring position has been an Achilles heel for this team all year. 2 weeks to the deadline…we wait with baited breath…..

  20. FYI:
    CarGo has a .327 BA at Coors and .257 elsewhere… and a .243 BA in Dodger Stadium.

    The same is true with Nolan Arenado. He hits .307 at home and .258 away and has a .221 BA at Dodger Stadium.

    If you ever trade for a Colorado hitter, you will be disappointed. Ask Toronto about Troy Tulowitzki – he has a .239 BA as a Blue Jay in almost a full season. I told you last year that Price and Tulo were horrible deals for Toronto – they lost price and Tulo is not very good.

    1. The Dbacks have been pitching way inside on Turner, this entire series.

      The Dodgers need to pitch inside more, against teams, like the Dbacks.

      Or teams like the Dbacks, are going to continue to pitch way inside to Turner, to try to knock Turner off the plate.

      We need to protect Turner, because he is one of our best hitters.

  21. Don’t this lineup strike terror into opposing pitcher’s hearts?
    Kendrick, LF
    Seager, SS
    Turner, 3B
    Van Slyke, 1B
    Puig, CF
    Taylor, 2B
    Ellis, C
    Walters, RF
    Maeda, P

    Now who would bet on us winning this one?

    1. Wondering
      That just might work!

      I demeaned the other almost all rightie team, and they had a great offensive day.

      Keep it up!

    2. Puig in CF? Whoa, Nellie. Taylor should’ve been in the lineup last night after his performance Friday. But yeah, Maeda should bat eighth in that lineup. I think it’s probably to give some of the veterans rest after a long night game.

  22. We have had great pitching for quite a while now. Opponents BA at Dodger Stadium may be a result of that. Averages away from Coors however are relevant.

    Tulo wasn’t too bad in the ALCS, and somehow with his .239 BA this year he’s put up 2.1 WAR – in 68 games. That’s over twice what Grandal has produced.

    We’re favored today Wonder. You gonna bet against the Mighty Maeda? I think I saw -158 and 9 runs. Does that lineup score half of 9 runs?

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