From Hero to Zero, Yasmani Grandal Throws Victory Away

Game Three of this four game series against the Angels turned out to be a rubber match. Who woulda thunk it? Each team won a 4-0 shut out and the scene cut to Anaheim.

Angels starter Alex Meyer walked five in the first three innings, but the Dodgers just couldn’t come up with the big hit (or even a little nubber) to bring home a run. Meyer gave the Dodgers five gifts, and they couldn’t get one hit to add on. 

Meanwhile Dodgers starter Hyun-Jin Ryu held the Angels scoreless through the first three innings. 

Ryu was cruising through the fourth with two out when he took a comebacker off his foot.  Everyone came to the mound and Ryu limped about. He eventually took  the ball and got the third out to end the inning. 

Pantone 294 made their presence known in the bottom of the fourth when they unfurled the legendary big blue LA flag. As Joe Davis said on the broadcast: “Message delivered.”  

Unfortunately, the message didn’t get through to the struggling Dodgers hitters who meekly went down in their half of the fourth. 

Ryu returned for the second half of the game, still pitching well. Trouble was, Meyer did too. 

Eventually something was going to crack, and it was Ryu in the sixth. He hung a couple of curve balls that got pounded for a ground rule double, and then  two-run dinger. He gave up a couple more singles and that was it. 

Ryu was done and in came young southpaw Grant Dayton with two on and two out. He walked one to load the bases and then he gave up a booming fly ball to right field! 

We all know who’s in right, and the Wild Horse did not disappoint. He turned and ran…and ran…and reached up high to make an outstanding, running catch with his back to the plate! It was beautiful. 

Puig stopped the Angels from scoring more than two in the inning, but those little runs looked gigantic the way the Dodgers were not hitting.

Newly called up Trayce Thompson decided he enough of the whiffs and baby bouncers and he went YARD to lead off the eighth. The boys were finally on the board, and the stadium exploded in cheers from the Dodgers faithful. Justin Turner hit one to the warning track in CF, but it was just a loud out. 

In the ninth, it looked like the Dodgers were going to slink away quietly, after two quick strike outs. With two strikes on him, Yasmani Grandal caught a hanger of his own and blasted it over the wall and right in front if that stupid log ride in CF to tie the game. Anaheim went wild – with Dodgers fans! 

“Dodger Stadium South has come alive here in the 9th inning.” — @Joe_Davis

Alas, it was all for naught. The skipper sent Pedro Baez to the mound in the ninth, and those crazy ghost angels from “Angels in the Outfield” came to life. First Chris Taylor, at shortstop, picked up an error allowing Ben Revere to reach. Then Pedro Baez uncorked a wild pitch advancing the runner to second. Yasmani Grandal allowed a strike three pitch to pass through his legs advancing Revere to third. 

Grandal retreived the ball and threw to first – but the ball detoured into right field, and Revere rode home with the winning run. Just like that – Grandal went from the penthouse to the outhouse. That’s baseball.

Dodgers lose 3-2. Game Four tomorrow. Who woulda thunk we’d be here?

Who’s your Korean Daddy? Hyun-Jin struck out Mr. 500 Home Run Club Albert Pujols three times tonight.

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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47 thoughts on “From Hero to Zero, Yasmani Grandal Throws Victory Away

  1. Hero to goat In the flash of an eye. Grandal made 3 mistakes on that play, 1 he missed the ball, his biggest defensive fault strikes again, blocking pitches, 2 he threw the ball away…. he had no shot at getting the runner, and 3 He made the worst possible decision at the worst possible time, to throw the ball….he should have just eaten it and hoped Baez could K the next batter and maybe get out of the inning unscathed. Grandal has improved his game in a lot of area’s, but he still is lousy at blocking the ball in the dirt.

    1. Yeah, he didn’t frame that one so well did he. Some of that vaunted Dodger defense we keep hearing about.

      No worries. Colorado doing what they do every year and I’m not that concerned about Arizona. SF only 22.5 back now. Maybe they’re making a move?

      1. Could be. They have won 3 in a row. It is not the loss that bothers me, it is the way it was lost and the bats being asleep the first 7 innings of the ball game. They let a lot of hittable balls go by and swung at balls they could not square up. And that park played big last night because Joc and Turner crushed a couple that would have gone out at Dodger Stadium. I also think when you have the chance to make those chasing you lose ground, you take it. Colorado would be 6.5 out had they won and the Dirtbags 2.5. Kershaw tonight, AZ is in Colorado this weekend.

        1. It’s June. The West won’t be won until September. But I remain convinced the Dodgers will win the Division. It would take a monumental collapse to lose it, and my crystal balls tell me that won’t happen. The real question for me is the same one it’s been for the last 4 years, do we have a strong post season team. If everyone remains healthy, we might. As you know, the starting rotation doesn’t fill me with confidence. And I don’t expect our management team to do anything but perform the same deadline faux magic they’ve given us the last two years. I hope they surprise me this year.

          1. In other words, “the Dodgers have a decent team but I honestly don’t know if they’ll win the World Series.”

            Either do I.

      2. Pitch framing is a statistical mirage. The Dodgers defensive sabregeek stats aren’t all that. That play last night proves it.

      1. No shot Jimbo because he never set himself for the throw, then he made the really STUPID decision to try. From the position he was in, there was no way he was going to throw him out. He should have ate that ball. ESPECIALLY with a really fast runner on 2nd who was going to be on 3rd no matter what you do. It was not heads up baseball. Calhoun was coming up, and he had not done anything all night, neither had Pujols. Good chance Baez pitches out of that jam. You obviously were not seeing what I was. Those kinds of games are hard to stomach, of course if the bats had been doing their jobs, it probably would not have mattered. They were shut out for 7 innings, and have scored in exactly 3 innings out of 27 in this series. Not exactly a juggernaut.

  2. Yes that was a great catch by Puig. But not scoring early in the game did us in.

    But yes last night showed us that the age old adage of baseball “from the penthouse to the basement” still exists. As Vinny would always ask “what have you done for me lately”?

    My two thoughts on that play, aside from just holding onto the ball:

    Bellinger would have caught that ball.

    Utley “looks” old with the glove. Over the past week, a dropped pop fly, a ground ball that ate him up, and now a throw where he couldn’t coordinate his feet properly to jump. I do believe he had one diving stop, but it looks like his judgement is off just a bit.

    Oh well on to tonight.

    1. I don’t think it’s really judgement. From being too old myself, I see it as the old body just not able to move as fast and as fluently as it used to. His mind says he can get there but the body is a tad late. What was he out there for anyway? Bellinger should have been out there and Utley should have been DHing if he had to play at all…. Chalk another loss up to our stupid manager. GMs always hire dumb managers so they won’t highlight the GM’s errors. Kudos to Ryu, Puig, and Thompson.

      1. DR wanted to give Cody a day off the field, but I agree, late in the game, give up the DH and go for defense.

      2. That’s a novel one: The FO office deliberately hired a bad manager (who won the manager of the year) as an ingenious way of hiding their incompetence and failure and deflecting inevitable blame downstream. If they weren’t so stupid they’d be evil geniuses.

  3. Yeah, Bellinger catches it, but DR wanted to give him a day off the field and keep his bat in there, BUT if Grandal takes his time and does not rush the throw, he might have got him. He made a bad decision and it cost them the game along with the fact that they did not hit worth a crap the first 7 innings. 3 games against guys with large ERA’s and they have managed to score in exactly 3 innings. And only 1 of those did they do crooked numbers. Yeah, it is not yet July and I think they will eventually put some distance between them and the Rockies, but you need to beat teams like the Angels who’s starting pitching is very suspect. Ryu deserved a better fate, and so did Baez. Those great gloves from the night before abandoned them when most needed. Rockies-D-Backs while LA at SD….chance to pick up some ground. Then the D-Backs come to LA> Time to reassert the dominance over Az they have had the last few years.

        1. Utley looked about 5’2″ on that play. A good throw has him out by plenty. Passed ball and a throwing error on the same play. Yoiks. But, the ball should have been caught by Utley.

          1. Badger

            Did you see that tweet, such a lack of class?

            Just like they say, money doesn’t insure class, or integrity!

        2. A good throw would have nailed him. Utley jumped to get it, but was not close to catching it. It is still on Grandal. He missed the ball, it got behind him and he rushed the throw, you cannot put that on Utley.

          1. Oh I agree Michael, the error was on Grandal. But it looked like Utley had about a 6″ vertical on that jump.

            Didn’t see a tweet MJ. Been out most of the day. Am I correct in assuming it’s from our favorite asshat?

  4. Even Badger could have stepped off the bag to catch Grandal’s throw, and I’m sure he would at least have ran after it. Utley just stood there looking like a tired old man. If he had any pride at all, he’d quit now, he’s definitely finished. And that speaks volumes about our manager’s intelligence. Anyway, here’s video of all three home runs and Utley’s shame ending the game.
    http://m.mlb.com/video/topic/8879974/v1552302683/62817-revere-gets-winning-run-in-angels-walkoff/?query=dodgers-angels

    1. Jonah

      I just now read everyone’s comments, and you made the best point that could have saved that game.

      The runner going to first didn’t mean anything at that moment, so Chase has to catch the ball any way he can, instead of staying on the base to try to get that out.

      And to blame Grandal for losing that game is ridiculous.

      Grandal was the one that got the first hit in that game, and without his HR the Dodgers wouldn’t even have got a chance, to go further in that game.

      I didn’t read a thing about Taylor not making a clean play either.

      That play might have been close, but Taylor needs to field that ball cleanly.

      The person that is probably responsible for that end of that game, might be Roberts, and you all know I love Roberts.

      He has been playing people out of position way to much lately, and he has done that, even when he didn’t have to with most of the players.

      I hope Roberts will learn from this!

      The only balls I saw hit hard,was from Turner, Trayce and Grandal.

      And on the feed, those were the only hits that had high exit velocities.

      The Dodgers should have took advantage of all the free bases they were given.

      This game is not on one player, or the manager.

      The team didn’t get it done on offense, and they had plenty of opportunities to score, because they had quite a few people on base, early in that game!

      That Angel team doesn’t have close to the line up the Dodgers have, and they have made every game close.

      And really, the Angel’s don’t have that great of pitching, and we should have done better!

      1. We can agree to disagree. Grandal is totally to blame. He missed the pitch, and made a TERRIBLE throw. Had he taken his time because the batter did not break out of the box, he would have gotten the 2nd out. The out was important because there was 1 out at the time. 2 outs and a runner on 3rd, you have a better chance of getting out of the inning without a run scoring. Grandal continues to have problems blocking balls in the dirt. Baez made a great pitch. It is up to the catcher to keep the ball in front of him. That he homered to tie the game is part of the post. He was a hero, then he was the goat, and if you do not think it is true, after the game he took total responsibility in his post game interview. I give him points for that.

    2. He did not stand there like a tired old man, the ball was almost 3 feet over his head and he jumped trying to catch it, did you even watch the same game I was watching? I watched the replay numerous times. Bellinger might have been able to catch it, but there was no shot with Utley over there. Trying to put the blame on him is ludicrous. Grandal said after the game that it was all on him, he made a bad throw and did not keep the pitch in front of him…

      1. Michael

        Without Grandal the Dodgers would not still be in that game!

        Where was the offense from everyone else on the team?

        And Taylor made the first error, to allow the winning run on base!

        And if you read what I wrote, I didn’t blame Chase for losing this game!

        Because Chase was out of his normal position, and that is not his fault!

        I said this lost was on the team!

        1. Obviously. But he is the one who made the error. Of course only the outcome of the game matters. If you are going to say that he saved them from losing, that is inaccurate because without Thompson’s blast in the 8th, they lose 2-1. So without Thompson, Grandal’s HR means nothing. It is a loss either way. I know you did not blame Chase, but a lot of the other comments were aimed at his inability to catch a ball. Grandal made the error that cost them the game. Taylor made the error that put the winning run on base, that is true, after that, it is up to the pitcher to make good pitches to get out of the inning. Baez made a great pitch for strike 3 on Maybin, Grandal missed the catch, the ball went behind him, he double clutched the throw, even though he had plenty of time to throw out the runner, and he made a terrible throw. Since he took responsibility in the post game interview for blowing the play, there really is no argument. As for the hitting, they have been pitiful the last 3 games. Everyone knows that. Chase has played 1st base enough to make plays, an accurate throw gets the runner, but you still have a guy on 3rd with 2 outs. The fact is Thompson’s HR was just as important as Grandal’s. What would have been nice would be some clutch hits early in the game when all those guys were walked.

  5. I make the play.

    Utley will make a fine coach some day. Today would be good.

    I don’t buy Roberts is stupid. He’s learning. As for M.O.Y., I could take this team to the playoffs.

    Why does Bellinger need a day off? He’s 21. He plays baseball, he doesnt work in a mill. Playing baseball is what I DID on my day off. Utley is old, give him a day off. Today would be good.

    1. Badger

      I agree Chase has been playing to much, and he hasn’t been doing as well lately, probably because of that.

      Logan did finally get a hit at the end of that game, but he should be hitting by now, because he has had about 100 at bats, since he has came back.

      He constantly lets good pitches go by, and ends up in a lot of two strike counts.

      He may be having problems hitting, because he doesn’t know the pitchers as well, as he did, in the Ray’s division.

      But the whole team is suddenly not hitting, and like I already said, the Angels don’t have great pitching.

      We have to do better!

  6. Crazy game. Unique loss. Near unique?

    Great team.

    How anyone can dismiss framing after yesterday makes me question their observation skills.

    Unless they were listening on radio.

    Ryu adding value as a trade piece.

    1. I question umpiring skills.

      Forsythe is rather streaky. Check his career splits. His best months are April/March where he slashes .282/.377/.445. His worst month is July. We just need to wait for April/March.

  7. Point is this, they have quit hitting the last 3 games, they have lost 2 of 3 to a team they should beat. They have lost to a couple of mediocre pitchers with ERA’s north of 5. They are not hitting in the clutch, and they are making errors at crucial points in the game. Matters not who makes them, what matters is that they are made. They basically squandered some decent pitching. Kershaw going to night, hopefully Cody is back at first base and Seager back in the lineup. They have missed hit bat and his glove.

  8. The first wild pitch by Baez should have been caught by Grandal. He tried to backhand the damn ball. Why does he continue to do that? It’s catching 101, open the mitt forwards, spread your knees out to create a giant basket to keep the ball in front of you. How can he be in the big leagues this long and still do that? Who is our catchers coach or is there even one?

    Actually MM I disagree that he was in a poor position to throw the ball. In looking at the replay in super slow motion he never leaves his feet, picks up the ball, squares up, and he seems to be in a good stance, it was just a piss poor throw. I am sure he panicked when the ball got by him.

    I don’t think Utley made much of an effort to even try to catch it. He never left his feet. Maybe he can’t jump anymore, who knows.

    All around a very frustrating game. DR sure has some odd ideas of where to play people. We are forced to live and die with questionable lineups and bats that go to a slumber party very three weeks. I truly feel that DR is not a very good defensive manager. He doesn’t seem to know how to manage late in a tie or very close game. I agree with all of the defensive suggestions that have been mentioned. He should have managed to preserve the tie and then go for the win. He seemed content to just rely on what had gotten him to that point. Who are the bench coaches? Shouldn’t they be giving him more defensive scenarios to work with in late situations where you need to strategize to get to the next inning? Or the game is over.

    Oh well it’s a long season of ups and downs and streaks.

    1. Good analysis. Mistakes enough to go around. If we had scored 5 runs, the ninth inning wouldn’t have mattered. So the collective batters get the biggest “E”.

    2. If you watch the video, the throw was high and to the left of Utley, he jumped towards it but if missed his glove by about 6 inches. He did not make what looked like a desperation leap at it. Grandal also double clutched on the throw, if he had just cranked up and let go, he might have made a better toss. Grandal has had problems blocking low pitches in the dirt since he came to LA. The catching instructor is Steve Yeager. So you know he is getting one of the best to teach him, but that old saying pops up, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. Grandal is just not getting the message. I personally, would play Cody everyday at first. He is more agile than A-gone and a damn good fielder. He has proved that already and has saved quite a few errant throws, and he makes the position look easy. I would have put him at first for defensive purposes. And eschew the DH after they tied the game. I know the FO likes players who can move around, but there is a lot to be said of playing the same spot every day. I also think they are really missing Seager. My everyday lineup would be 1B Bellinger, 2B Forsythe, 3B Turner, SS Seager, RF, Puig, CF Pederson, LF Taylor, C Grandal. That leaves Utley, Barnes, Hernandez, Thompson and Freeman on the bench to give guys a blow, but I never take more than 2 of the regulars out of the lineup on any one day. They need a lefty bopper off the bench in my estimation. Most of their LH power comes from the starters. They also need one power RH hitter. If Thompson was more consistent he could fill that role, plus he could replace Taylor defensively late in games. Freeman, I DFA. I do not know why they claimed the guy in the first place. They have a GLUT of middle infielders at AAA> Calhoun, Muncy, Fernandez, Maggi, Culberson, that’s just the ones I remember. I think you put Forsythe at 2nd, play him everyday, and he will hit much better.

  9. Braves finally give up on Bartolo Colon. Here is a head scratcher, Dodgers signed free agent outfielder Blake Gailen to a minor league contract and assign him to Tulsa their AA team. Gailen is a 32 year old LH hitting outfielder who has not played since 2015. Strange….part of that depth thing I guess. He has never played in the majors. Well, Kershaw tonight, then down to SD for 3. Need to get some momentum going for the series with the D-Backs next week.

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