Hole Digger: Dodger Bats Unable To Overcome Rich Hill’s Terrible Pitching in 7-6 Loss

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Rich Hill gave up five runs in the first inning and it was too much of a hole for the Dodger bats to dig themselves out of as they lost the series opener to the Dbacks 7-6 on Tuesday evening. Numberfire gave the Dodgers a 46.5% chance of winning the opening game but you have to assume that those odds would have been higher had Cody Bellinger and Corey Seager (sore elbow) been healthy and in the starting lineup. Instead we got old man Adrian Gonzalez and automatic out Enrique Hernandez instead. Hey the Dodgers are still 52 games above .500. You gotta look at the silver linings.

The bats were not the problem today. The Dodgers scored six runs on ten hits. Hill is still an enigma that can’t be answered. In his last start he carried a no-hitter into the tenth inning against the Pirates before giving up a walk-off home run to Josh Harrison. Tonight he was absolutely horrendous allowing five runs before you opened your beer.

Dodgers   6 10 0

Dbacks     7 10 0

WP-Godley-6-7

LP-Hill-9-6

SV-Rodney-33

HR-Puig-24-Pollack-8-Goldschmidt-32-Taylor-18

In that first inning he allowed a single to David Peralta and that started it all. It seems as though every other game the starting pitching is unable to retire the first batter of the game. The miserable pitching from Hill continued after he struck out Chris Iannetta. A.J. Pollack homered and Paul Goldschmidt singled off of Hill’s body. The line drive caused the medical staff to check on Hill. He appeared fine and stayed in the game but he was unable to retire anyone. Then J.D. Martinez’s ground-rule double advanced Goldschmidt to third.

Brandon Drury doubled over Granderson’s head to score two and the dbacks were up 4-0 in the blink of an eye. Jake Lamb singled in the fifth run of the inning. Five runs scored. One batter retired. Awesome pitching.  Hill was able to strike out Adam Rosales and opposing pitcher Zack Godley to end the inning, but we all knew that it was unlikely the Dodgers would win. This is what happens when your club is put in an early hole.

The bats tried to climb back into the game against Godley and they did, but the deficit was just too much to overcome. Yasiel Puig clobbered a monster home run over the center field wall to dead center to put the Dodgers on the board. A three-run second inning got the Dodgers close. Hill reached on a bunt single (the only thing he did right in the game) and scored on a Chris Taylor two-run shot (number 18 for Taylor) and the Dodgers were within two with the score 5-3. Then Justin Turner doubled and Yasmani Grandal’s single up the middle scored him to cut the lead to 5-4. The Dodgers would never lead in this game.

Hill’s terrible pitching didn’t stop in the bottom of the fourth inning when Peralta’s run-scoring triple scored Godley to put the snakes up 6-4. The Dodgers finally had seen enough pulling Hill right then and there. Ross Stripling entered the game and retired Iannetta to end the frame.

Rich Hill final pitching line : 3.2 IP 8 H 6 ER 1 BB 4K……..and a trail of tears.

Stripling then served up a solo home run to Goldschmidt in the bottom of the fifth and the Dodgers were down 7-4.

The Dodgers rallied in the late innings to make things interesting against Archie Bradley in the eighth. Grandal singled and after a force out, Gonzalez doubled him home. The Dodgers were now down by a 7-5 score. The obligatory Logan Forsythe whiff ended that rally with Gonzo stranded at second. In case you were wondering the Dodgers were 2 for 11 with runners in scoring position.

Fernando Rodney entered to close out the game in the top of the ninth. Chase Utley led off with a slicing line drive down the right field line that landed just inches foul. The Dodgers challenged and the call was upheld. But Utley doubled anyways and the Dodgers had something going. After a wild pitch sent Utley to third, Corey Seager (pinch-hitting) grounded out to third. Utley had nowhere to go. Taylor’s infield single scored Utley to cut the score to 7-6. Were we seeing some more Dodger magic happening again?

Not really no. Remember this is the Bellinger-less Dodgers. So that means failed rallies. With Curtis Granderson at the plate there was another wild pitch and Taylor advanced to second. Unfortunately some questionable strike calls killed the Dodgers and Granderson struck out. Turner was hit by a pitch to put two on with two outs, but Grandal weakly grounded out to end the game. Dodgers lose again.

Early deficits and listless offense was the main reasons the Dodgers were so bad in the month of April. However it’s become painfully obvious; the Dodgers can’t win without Cody Bellinger. But this loss is squarely on Rich Hill tonight. It’s hard to win baseball games when your starting pitchers give up five runs in the first inning. This has been happening way too much lately. It’s super irritating.

On the bright side Cody Bellinger returns from the disabled list tomorrow. The Dodgers fall to 91-39 and are now a pitiful 18 games ahead of the snakes who have now won five in a row. The magic number remains 14 over Arizona and 12 over Colorado. The Dodgers will try to even the series tomorrow with Bellinger back in the lineup. Hyun-jin Ryu will counter Robbie Ray with the first pitch scheduled for 6:40 PM PST. Doesn’t losing suck?

Yasmani Grandal 3 for 5

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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44 thoughts on “Hole Digger: Dodger Bats Unable To Overcome Rich Hill’s Terrible Pitching in 7-6 Loss

  1. I’m in a good place otherwise I’d be frustrated. It was a nice try in a throw away late August game.

    But still here are my complaints.

    Granderson got robbed on several pitches there, he should have walked.

    Grandal sucks with runners in scoring position. There’s a gigantic hole in his swing; almost every ball he’s hit well is waist high or lower – he cannot handle the high and tight pitches at any speed, and cannot hit anything inside out. And don’t get me started about the pitch calling in that first inning. Just awful. And his RBI single was actually a routine fly ball that just dropped because the AZ outfielders are horrible. This could be the DBack’s Achilles heel actually, poor defense.

    Say what you will about AGon, he’s the opposite of Grandal when it’s an RBI opportunity. And what more can you say about Taylor and Utley; they almost brought this game back to us. It’s nice to see them trying to come back even when you know they are looking forward to some R&R when roster expands.

    Not throwing in the towel was the only good thing tonight. It was funny watching the AZ bench and Rodney there at the end … it seemed like they grew more white hairs than us. We spotted them a 5 run lead for heaven’ sake.

    1. YF

      I agree with most everything you have said.

      When I saw Scott mention Agone at the begining of this thread, I understand why he did that, but Agone was not the problem last night.

      He did hit the ball hard to left, and if it was more in the gap, it would have hit two runs in.

      And of course Agone hit in a run in the eighth, with a double.

      That is why it is a shame that Cody sprained his ankle in the outfield.

      Because that alignment on defense, would get Agone’s bat in this line up, along with Cody’s bat.

      But Agone would be hitting more down in the order, and he is a better bat, then more then a few players in this team, just like YF has said.

      Forsythe in the line up against righties, is something that shouldn’t be happening.

      He is hitting below the Mendoza line against righties!

      And I would trust Agone in a RBI situation over someone like Forsythe and Grandal, unless Grandal was in a hot streak.

      And that alignment on defense, wouldn’t hurt us on defense!

      That is why I said that we don’t know with this few at bats, if Agone is not going to hit or is going to hit, because 30 something at bats, is to small of a sample, to know if someone can hit or not hit!

    2. Even though he has saved his last 2 games against the Dodgers, Rodney has not looked good doing it. He almost blew both of them. Going back to the game where he gave up 4 runs against them without recording an out. I think the boys in blue are in his head. The ump made a few questionable calls, and Grandy got robbed. But he also was swinging at pitches in the dirt he couldn’t hit if he were an ant. I was more irritated with Forsythe. I have never seen a player take so many pitches that were right down Broadway and never swing his bat. When he did swing, it was up in the zone and he missed it by a mile.

  2. AGon is now hitting .190/.222/.333/.556 in 42abs in the month of August. How many abs do you think he needs?
    AGon went 1 for 4 with a rbi last night.

    1. Package

      I am not sure, but I do know thirty something at bats, is not enough at bats, to know if Agone is gone, or he can hit.

      You were slightly concerned about Cody coming back, after missing ten games, so you have to know 30 something at bats, is not enough at bats for a hitter, to get their timing back, that has been off much longer then just ten days!

      I know he has been hitting the ball hard, so he might be hitting into bad luck, a little.

      I have a question for you, who would you want to hit against righties or hit in an important RBI, Agone, or Forsythe, or Grandal?

      1. MJ
        Not much of a choice but I would have to go with Grandal even though I am not high on him at all. The bat is too heavy for Forsythe to swing and well, you know where I stand on AGon.

        1. You better look at Grandal’s history. That guy is terrible in clutch situations. He proved that once again last night. All he needed was a single and the game would have been tied. But that all or nothing swing he takes and he got week contact and grounded out. The wise choice is Gonzo. He is a 13 year veteran with a HISTORY of clutch hits. And the more at bats he gets the better it will be. He got a clutch double last night. He does that a lot.

          1. I looked at the stats and Grandal is much better than either of the other two against right handed pitchers. From what I have seen so far from AGon, he is through. This is not something I just dreamed up. I too have followed AGon his whole career and he is way worse than back in the day and his numbers show it. I am not sure he can be a pinch hitter. He is also getting good at hitting into DPs. Too slow.

        2. Package

          I appreciate your honest answers!

          I would take Agone since he would be hitting at the back of the lineup, and his bat, would play better, at the back of the line up!

          Grandal and Forsythe strike out to much, for me.

  3. I agree with Scott and the pitching being horrible. This was a good writeup. However, I do wonder if the Dodgers should send Corey to the DL like they did Cody. That way he could rest and get that elbow straightened out. We should check, he may have some swelling or something. Afterall, everyone thought the Cody DL stint was the correct thing to do.

    1. He has elbow inflammation. You can get it a lot of ways. Strain it on a throw, or when swinging the bat. It does not bother him when he hits, but on throws it does. The DL would be an option, but I think they will not do that. They will give the swelling time to go down and figure out some sort of treatment for the pain. Inflammation can be controlled with drugs. I actually take Indocin to control the swelling I get from arthritis.

      1. Don’t you think they should not take any chances and give the elbow a rest? He will come back really soon just like Cody? Why are you making a difference between the two? Do you think AGon has had enough ABs to tell that he will not hit? Don’t forget the lesson you gave me on swelling and xrays.

        1. Sure I think they will be cautious. I am also sure they will not play him if it means a more serious injury. I am not making a difference between the two. I let the medical team of the team make the decisions. Running and hitting on a lame ankle is a lot different than throwing a ball. But that being said, both are important to the team. and they will be careful with both players. If the medical staff thinks that only a couple of days off are needed for Corey’s elbow, that’s what they will do. If he is still able to hit during that time, which he obviously is, then there is no real reason to place him on the DL and lose his bat for 10 days. Especially when the rosters are due to expand on Friday. Yeah, if it was early July, they probably put him on the DL and bring up say Charlie Culberson who can play the infield and the outfield. You have to look at what time of year it is. They have 32 games left. You put him on the DL and you only have his bat for 22 of those. Granted, with the lead they have, that is not much of a risk. I just think that we as fans know too little about whatever is bothering him to make that judgement. You are making an assumption on his condition without knowing how serious or minor it is. I would guarantee you the team is not going to put such a huge part of their future at risk. They will do what is best for Corey. As for Gonzo, I think 40 plus at bats after almost 3 months on the DL is way too small a sample to say he is never going to hit again. He has hit the ball hard at times, and last night was the same. He hit 2 balls really hard, one fell in for a double, the other did not. Also, in a clutch at bat, his approach is much better than either Grandal, who swings from the heels and strikes out way too much, or Forsythe, who likes to just stand there and look at pitches that are right down the middle. I also trust A-Gones track record, which is much better than either of those guys. Ethier is coming back in September after almost 2 full years on the DL, how do you think he is going to hit? Friday the reinforcements start coming. The team will be fine.

          1. One thing is sure. I am uniform and consistant. If one player can sit. So can two. If you make excuses for one or the other, you are not. Keeping Cody out of the lineup for 10 days was a poor decision and if they are consistant they can give AGon more ABs to see if he is able to hit. I do not want Corey to go on the DL but if Cody had to do it then so should Corey.

          2. Who is making excuses? I am using common sense. Yeah, Corey could be put on the 10 day. But the MEDICAL staff does not at this point deem it nessesary, What is so frippen hard for you to understand? If they felt it would do damage they would sit him. END OF STORY. You are more uninformed than uniform. You are consistent though. And totally WRONG.

    2. Pacakage

      We just trusted the doctors, so what ever the doctors decide, is best for Corey.

      Also it doesn’t bother Corey’s elbow to hit, so he won’t be playing on defense, until he feels better.

      Believe me, why would anyone with the Dodgers, want to keep this best player, out of the line up?

      Like I have already said, it isn’t Agone or Cody, it was suppose to be Agone and Cody in the line up together, against righties.

      And Cody in the line up against lefties, and Agone’s sits, against lefties.

      Have you taken a look at Forsythe’s, and other player’s stats, against righties?

      And Forsythe has not missed most of the season, like Agone has!

      Relax we will be getting plenty of players, once September begins.

      And Cody will be in the line up tonight!

      Everyone here wants what is best for the team, just like you!

      1. MJ
        I don’t see any difference between Cody and Corey. The Dodgers could easily play AGon and give him more ABs. Why not do the same as Cody? Put him on the DL. Bottomline is Cody sat against everybody, so Corey should do the same. Rest that elbow.

        1. Package

          You or me, don’t know enough, about either players, injuries, so I can’t tell you, what would be best.

          But if Corey’s elbow doesn’t get better, in the next few days, they might put him on the 10 day DL too.

          It will depend on what the doctors say, and how Corey’s elbow feels, after having a couple of days off.

          You have to remember that Corey continued to play with a sore elbow, maybe Corey didn’t say right away, that his elbow was hurting him.

          1. It has been bothering him for a couple of weeks, and he had a 15 game hitting streak with that elbow hurting. So, yeah, the injury’s are totally different. The one thing I have noticed is that Corey’s power numbers were down. He has hit 1 homer this month, but he is still driving in runs and hitting doubles.

    3. I would put him on the DL. But I’m not getting the vibe that they will, because they want to put AGon on the bench.

      1. No need really. Cody returns today. Rosters can expand on Friday. If they deemed the injury serious, he would already be on the DL, BUT he can still hit so he has value off the bench. They seem to think a few days off will do the trick.

  4. Well stated Scott. Hill was definitely not the same pitcher he was in Pittsburgh. But let us not panic here. The good, they scored 6. Considering the fact that they had only scored 10 total over the last 5 games, that is a good sign. Also, the bullpen limited the damage to 1 run, and at least it was earned. Stripling hung one, and Goldy did what good hitters do. They get Bellinger back tonight, and he will immediately go in the 4 slot. Turner will see better pitches almost guaranteed. You can complain about A-Gone, but Granderson is 4 for 36 as a Dodger. Yeah, 3 of those hits are homers, but he did crap over the weekend, and the same last night. He struck out 3 times. Do not get me started on Kike and Forsythe. Forsythe at this point should NEVER start against lefty’s. Kike is just as bad. But he did make an outstanding defensive play at SS. Turner is still not hitting the ball as hard as he was a few weeks ago. Taylor looks like he is shaking his doldrums loose. Grandal is an enigma. He got 3 singles last night with 1 of them driving in a run. And that shot could have been a double if he had been running, but he lost the ball, actually thought he popped it up. But when the chips were down, he grounded out meekly. He does not hit in the clutch worth a damn. Me, I would have rather had Barnes up there in that situation. But he had already been used as a pinch hitter. They need to play hard tonight and beat Ray, because tomorrow they get Greinke. And he has been better lately. Each of these games means 2 in the standings. They are still in a very comfortable position. This 3 game losing streak is only their 3rd of the entire year. You can bet they know exactly what they have to do. And don’t be like Forsythe, sit there with the bat on your shoulder and look at 3 straight strikes. It is infuriating.

    1. Michael

      I think you meant Forsythe shouldn’t hit, against righties, because his numbers against lefties’are better, but I agree with everything else, including Forsythe watching three strikes go by.

      But that is nothing new, when it comes to Forsythe!

  5. Cardinals traded Mike Leake to the Mariners. Looks like the Red Birds may have thrown in the towel. We have 5 games left with the Snakes. Cody is now back. The lineup immediately gets better with him in it. If they stick to what Roberts likes to do and take it one game at a time and not look ahead, they will be fine. Fans on all of the sites are holding their breath like this is the end of the world. This team has proven time and time again the ability to rebound. They have not lost 4 in a row all year. No reason to think they will do so now. They have done pretty well against Ray, especially in Arizona. I look for Ryu and the Dodgers to bring home a win tonight.

    1. Cody hit a 3 run bomb last night in his re-hab start. Do not think his timing has suffered with his 10 days off.

        1. No evidence that he won’t. Just because he missed 10 days no reason to think he totally loses that skill.

  6. Here is an interesting stat with Forsythe and Grandal.

    Grandal has struck out 32 times when runners are in scoring position, and Forsythe has struck out 19 times, when runners are in scoring position.

    Although Grandal has ten more at bats, then Forsythe, he has only struck out 6 more times.

    And Grandal has hit 18 HRs, and Forsythe has only hit four HRs.

      1. Michael

        Neither one of these guys I would want up in a tough RBI situation, but Forsythe is striking out way to much, to be slugging in the 300s.

        1. You are right there MJ. For the year, Grandal has struck out 102 times, and Forsythe 96. But Grandal has 80 more at bats than Forsythe. Team leader in strikeouts is Taylor with 116 then Corey at 110 and Bellinger at 108. Those are the only guys over 100. Granderson is hitting .118 as a Dodger and has struck out 13 times in 34 at bats. Not a great audition to be a part of the post season roster, but we all know he will be. Turner has struck out only 41 times all year. Kike has been striking out a little over 1/4 of his at bats. Puig has struck out 82 times. You and I both really dislike strikeouts. Wasted at bats in my book. But front offices do not look on them the way they did years ago. Then you look at players like Yogi Berra and DiMaggio who had very small strikeout totals in their careers. DiMaggio’s highest K total for any year was his rookie year in 1936 when he struck out 39 times. His career total was 369. Only 8 more strikeouts in his career than Homers…..361! The most Berra ever struck out was 38 times in 1959. His career total was 414. He hit 358 HR’s in his career. I doubt any hitter will approach those numbers ever again.

          1. Right now, and it’s still a bit early, but right now I’d bat Ethier instead of Forsythe and Grandal in a key spot with a runner in scoring position.

            Forsythe is good for innings 1-6. He forces the pitcher to throw a lot of pitches. I like it. But late innings, he’s going to strikeout because, contrary to what FAZphiles believe, actually most teams also have a stable of young power relievers who’s just going to challenge the hitters, and Forsythr is cooked when they pound the zone. Because he will constantly be in pitcher’s counts and the SABRmetricians can tell you what happens in those counts. (Hint: it’s uglier than going through a lineup the fourth time ….)

            Grandal, I’ve been watching his for 3 years now. No improvement in approach whatsoever since he arrived. He’s better Joc in that he stays consistent, but the gaping hole in his swing is the same and I’d swap in in late innings for Barnes. Better overall hitter and also less of a GIDP risk, especially with the shift on.

  7. Cleveland creating some space in the AL Central race. Dodgers still 10 games better than DC, and 20 up on Maddon’s Cubbies. Wild card in both leagues is tight. Just a few games separating 3 or 4 teams. That’s why the Mariners traded for Leake. They have 3 starters on the DL. The Dodgers have 4 starters on the DL. If Wood comes back and CK is his old self, I see a much better team the next 4 weeks. Plus getting all those fresh players from the minors up in a few days can do nothing but help giving guys like Turner, et al a blow and some needed rest.

  8. Dodger HR’s Bellinger. 34, Puig 24, Seager, 19, Taylor 18, Grandal 18, Turner 17, Hernandez 11, Pederson 11, Utley 7, Barnes 6, Toles 5 Forsythe 4, Granderson 3, Gonzo, Eibner and SVS 2, Gutierrez and Thompson 1.

    1. Welcome Michelle, or is this MJ?

      You make a good point about Puig. I feel that he’s found the right swing and the right balance, and he’s gaining confidence. It seems the game is finally slowing down for him. It’s been a joy watching him evolve this year and I hope he keeps it up. His talent will show through in the toughest situations if he can just remain disciplined. He has so much talent and he can do this until November!

      1. Scott

        Could you erase that post with my whole name, it is my fault, and I fixed the problem now.

        I’m sorry I know your a busy guy!

      2. YF

        It is me sorry

        Yes I wasn’t sure with Puig at first, but I love where he is now.

        I always thought he could hit 250 in his sleep, but he has really gone beyond that, this year.

        I do think your right, that Puig has slowed the game down!

        He was so quiet in his at bat last night.

        And you know he had to be really excited when he saw that pitch, he crushed.

        I think hitting him fifth, is worth a try.

        We don’t have anyone else, that can protect Cody, like Puig.

        Plus this will get him ready, for the post season.

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