Kershaw, Dodgers Stomp Mariners, Win Series

Joe Davis was blathering on and on about run differential all day during the Dodger’s 12-1 bopping over the Mariners in their series finale at Safeco Field in Seattle. Sure the Dodgers have the best run differential in the National League yet only have the eighth best record in the senior circuit. Before you start jumping up and down celebrating the Dodger’s run differential championship, you should understand why the Dodgers have a middle of the pack record in a very competitive National League playoff race.

Look no further than their record in one-run games. That unreliable turd-like bullpen is a big reason why the Dodgers have a 17-21 record in one-run games. Now take the Mariners as an example. The Mariners have a negative run differential, yet have a five game advantage on the Dodgers. Seattle has a 31-16 record in the close games. If the Dodgers didn’t have such a putrid bullpen they would probably be several games ahead of the rest of the NL West pack.

Forget about run differentials and one-run games for now, the real story should be the fact that the Dodgers actually won a series. Something they haven’t done since July 26-29 in Atlanta. For the record this is just the third series win since the all-star break.

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Dodgers  12 17 1

Mariners 1 5 1

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The Dodgers did it on Sunday with just two home runs and only five extra base hits. Twelve of their seventeen hits were for singles. The Dodgers scored five runs in the bottom of the first and never looked back. Cody Bellinger’s two-run single, and a two-run single from Yasiel Puig got them on the right track early in the game against opposing starter Roenis Elias. The 30-year old left hander allowed five earned runs on seven hits over three innings.

Justin Turner went 4 for 5 with five runs batted in and two runs scored. Turner’s three-run home run in the top of the ninth extended his hitting streak to 13 games in which he’s batting .462 during that stretch. The red-hot Cody Bellinger also had three hits and drove in three runs, and Brian Dozier had three hits. Enrique Hernandez homered in the top of the sixth, his eighteenth of the season. The Dodgers were 9 for 20 with runners in scoring position.

On the pitching side, Clayton Kershaw was fantastic. Kershaw allowed just one earned run on four hits across seven innings while striking out seven. He walked one and made 88 pitches. The Dodger bullpen provided actual relief this time with an eleven run lead, pitching the final two innings without issue.

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The Dodgers continued to be aggressive on the base paths as well. The boys in blue swiped five bags today. Chris Taylor stole two, Puig stole two bases and Dozier had a steal as well. The Dodgers have stolen more bases than any other club in the National League over the last month.

Of course when the Dodgers do win, they never gain ground. That’s because when they win, the Dbacks and Rockies win. That happened on Sunday as all three clubs won their respective contests. The Dodgers are still two games back and stuck in third place in the National League West. The Dodgers return home to open a three game series against the red-hot Cardinals. Oddly this is the first time the Dodgers have seen the red birds this season. Left hander Austin Gomber will take the mound for the Cards and the Dodgers will give the ball to Alex Wood. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM PST.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Former Co-editor of Lasorda's Lair. Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic Cheap MLB Tickets

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48 thoughts on “Kershaw, Dodgers Stomp Mariners, Win Series

  1. In the last thread, it ended with a push-up squabble between Badger and Package. It is now clear to us all, Badger-Stop the CBD and pick up the pipe again, lol. I was on record that I recommended this approach for the Badge.

    Run differential is one of those bullshit stats, there are so many of them anymore. Those bullshit stats are the things that have totally f’d up the MLB.

    1. One little joke about being high and people just go silly over it. I don’t do recreational drugs and I don’t drink alcohol. Been there and done that to excess years ago.

      As for the push-ups bet, it means a lot more to pack than it does me. 50 push-ups? Come on man. What’s infinitely more important than a chat room bet is the fact Kemp sucks. And it isn’t suddenly. In 152 plate appearances in the second half his slash line is .243/.272/.417 for an OPS of .688. He’s a middle order hitter. That sucks. That’s an OPS you expect from a bottom order hitter or a replacement player. I’d replace him for 10 games with Verdugo. I’m pretty sure he’d hit better and he’s damn sure better on defense.

      1. Since the All-Star Game, though, things have not gone well for Kemp. Standing at .310/.352/.522 when baseball took its midsummer respite, Kemp’s OPS has bled about 100 points in just a month, and he’s stalled at 1.1 WAR for the 2018 season. Neither ZiPS or Steamer are optimistic about a turnaround, projecting him to finish at 1.3 and 1.2 WAR, respetively, the primary difference between the two being playing time.

        Before Wednesday’s 2-for-4 performance, Kemp last had a multi-hit game on July 23rd and now has hits in four of his last 19 games. Overall, he’s 5-for-58 from that date with only a lone double. The result? A .086/.191/.103 line.

      2. Badger
        Mighty funny we did not talk about Kemp being bad in the 1st half. Now, after being jerked around by Dummy and pushed into a slump you think Kemp sucks. Well yes he has been in a slump but Joc stayed in one for 3 years and never did I hear how he should go from you. You site only the stats in the second half that you want to support your position. I see only sour grapes. I am sorry for the bet. If not for Kemp, the Dodgers would not even be in the hunt for a championship this year.

        1. Maybe I wasn’t clear.

          I don’t think Kemp sucks. I don’t even know the guy.

          His numbers in the second half are not good, and since the All Star break, as Bluto pointed out, clearly do suck. Only someone in denial would argue that.

          Will he pull out of his funk? Hope so. Rest him and maybe he will.

          As I’ve said early and often, the Dodgers play older than they are. In order for all of them to remain contributors, I think they must be rested throughout the year. I’ve been consistent with that. You call it sour grapes. I call it contingency planning. It makes sense if you give it some thought.

          So think about it – what has been a common thread in FAZ signings since they’ve been here? We’ve talked about it many times since October of ‘14. They sign high risk high reward players. What is meant by high risk? What do you think it means?

          It would appear that Roberts and the Dodgers brass recognize they must be careful with their tender mercies. Just look how they have managed lineup and roster moves. I submit to you that to keep these obviously fragile (high risk) players available through late October you need a plan. They have one. I agree with it. You don’t. I accept that reality. I am absolutely fine with it.

  2. I actually saw some swings that I liked in this game, like Puig taking the outside pitch the other way (with the second baseman shading towards the middle, and Hernandez not trying to hit a home run with runners on the bases early in the game (instead of trying to drive it, SO, and killing a rally). But whatever, let’s see if they can hit like this on a more consistent basis. I still think the bullpen is not the problem and will come around (especially with so many available arms in September). I think our overall approach is the issue and good to see us stealing more bases, hitting manageable pitches earlier in the count to move runners, and going with the pitch instead of hitting into shifts with the same swing instead of situational hitting.

    1. DAmn I’d take that bet in a second, I’d crush anyone in here on push ups, yes I’m serious.

      Badger, don’t get defensive, you made a “high” joke and now others are allowed to make a “high” joke, you can’t live on a one-way street, this road travels in both directions.

  3. I liked what I saw with Cody and Puig, but I wasn’t to impressed with the pitchers the Mariners threw at us, so I am going to have to see more.

    It will be interesting to see what we do against the Cards young pitching, because the Cards usually have good young pitching, in their farm system.

    I am really happy for Cody turning this corner, because he did do this last year, quite a bit.

    And his important first RBI made it easier for everyone else today, and this was the second time in two games, he delivered in that way.

  4. We saw the heart and the soul of the Dodgers play extremely well. Turner and Kershaw are the heart and soul of this team. Turner is the most underrated player I can think of. Given the choice of Machado or Turner, I take Turner. And, like I said in another post, Kemp is the same guy that the Dodgers traded away to the Padres. He was always a good hitter but never helped the team in the highest sense like Turner has.
    He is not our future, but our past. Badger’s comment above is a good one. Bring Verdugo on and let Kemp sit somewhere, maybe use him as a PH or DH when needed. We need the future to show up now.

    Bellinger, Puig, and Dozier look like players that will be effective and will be part of the Dodger core. I like Dozier’s hustle at 2B. He knows how to play the game. Good BB IQ. His hitting needs improvement. Add Seager to this group along with Turner, and we have an awesome infield. Hernandez, Joc, and Taylor, also seem like they are here to stay mainly because their contracts are cheap and Hernandez and Taylor are good utility players, not starters. Too many starts for utility players and they are not utility players any longer. Because all of them are used mostly in the OF, this is the area we need to focus on, starting CF and LF. For me, Kemp is out of the equation for the future and that is why we are looking at Verdugo or Toles, or ?? Joc is not a starter we can rely on. He is slumping again, 6 hits in August! His defense is good along with Hernandez, but we get little batting production from these two players other than some HR’s. But, they are inexpensive contracts. We need to settle the OF if this team wants to move forward.

    Machado is the big question for next year and the future. To me, he is not worth the money he will ask. I like watching him and his hustle is stellar. He gets on base, but he has not been clutch and is overrated as a fielder, IMO. Gold Glove? That’s just crazy. His throwing is suspect to me. He has a powerful arm but it is not under full control. So far, he is not the difference maker I had hoped for and because he will ask for the max, I don’t see FAZ as a buyer. Also, the wild card will be Seager at SS. If he returns without problem, where is he going to play? The only position will be 1B. This would solve the problem of CF with Bellinger there. But Bellinger is superb at 1B. It could work, though, only if FAZ is a buyer for Manny. This would settle the positional players except for LF. Can Verdugo be a starter there? We know that Toles can. Either seem better possibilities than Joc or Kike as starters.

    Then there is Muncy whom we have to place as a utility player, not a starter. His defense is atrocious, but his hustle and HR’s are thrilling. He is also cheap. He is the definition of depth in batting and along with Joc, Kike, and Taylor, are dirt cheap. But 2019 will bring some serious questions to the table regarding UFA’s and players in Arbitration. Will they resign Manny and Dozier? What do we do regarding Grandal and Ryu? To me, Grandal and Ryu have value and will not be easily replaceable, but at what price? Grandal’s defense can certainly use a makeover, but he brings some very good qualities to the table and has played quite well this year. I can see them replacing him, if not for $$, then for upside in either an up and coming farm player or solid vet. His very low % of throwing out base stealers stick out and his problems with PB’s and catching throws to the plate are big minuses.

    Ryu is a big question mark. Is he just a guy who can’t stay healthy? Can we really pay him $8M to be on the DL every year? This will be a reality check. Many decisions regarding relief pitchers will be decided for 2019. FAZ will have their hands full and replacing the manager will fall through the cracks, once again.

  5. I would pass on Grandal and try to re-sign Ryu. We have a lot of depth at catcher and everyone is just keeping the seat warm anyways for Keibert Ruiz. I wouldn’t mind seeing a Farmer and Will Smith tandem next year.

    Ryu on the other hand has experience and could be a bargain.

    I think both Kemp and Joc will improve, but it’s time to give them some time off. I’m not sold on Taylor and Muncy as long term solutions. I would like Verdugo in center, Puig in right and Joc/Toles as LF/4th outfielder. Both Puig and Joc has improved enough this year that I think they are worth keeping. I also think it’s not a lock that Kershaw opts out. If he opts in I think FBZ should re-sign Machado. He may not be getting the RBIs, but he is scoring a lot of runs and always seems to be in the middle of the action. I wonder if Seager is ok playing second, or maybe we play Turner back at second (that’s how he first broke in with us under Colletti, by mixing second and third). An infield of Turner, Seager, Machado and Bellinger for the next 3 years is a championship infield, in my opinion.

    1. YF

      You better check Verdugo’s defensive metrics in center, they are not good.

      Toles has one of the best numbers defensively on this team in center, with just his althletism and his speed, alone.

      Verdugo has not hit well in high leverage situations in AAA this year, and at the major league level, when he was up.

      Verdugo is a good hitter, but Toles it isn’t like Toles is not hitting 300 plus.

      He is hitting 320.

      He has way better numbers in situational hitting, after missing most of last year, and missing the first two months of this season.

      And unlike Verdugo, this is the first time Toles has seen the pitchers in AAA, because he only spent a month in AAA, in 2016.

  6. YF,
    Not signing Grandal will free almost $8M. And, using Farmer/Smith will be very inexpensive for FAZ. It fits their MO, but both players lack MLB experience and it is a kind of risk.

    Ryu may take less, but it will depend on the rest of this season and how he performs and stays healthy. If he injures himself again, I would cut bait.

    Kemp is a financial drain that will continue through next season until his UFA. It’s a lot of money tied up in a player who is not really the future of this club and takes away from others trying to come up, ala Verdugo/Toles. Freeing up his money, could land us more than one significant piece for the future. I think Kemp has topped out long ago. Not a bad player but not at that money.

    Joc will be a keeper for the time being because his contract is low. He has improved but perhaps not enough.

    Taylor/Muncy are also low cost solutions to the bench. With 28 HR’s, you don’t give the guy away at that price.

    Why does Machado’s signing depend on Kershaw opting in? We need to decide about Manny now. If he wants a max contract, the chances are slim the Dodgers are buyers.

    Your infield could work but that means letting Dozier go who is a very good 2Bman. That would be a hard decision to make.

  7. Random thoughts:

    Turner is 33. Machado is 25. I doubt many would pick Turner over Machado. That said, I don’t think the Dodgers will compete for Manny.

    Kershaw. At ages 25-26-27 he had 8, 7.7, and 7.5 WAR. The numbers are in steady decline since then. At age 31 does he deserve an extension? He’s owed another $70 million for ages 31 and 32. Do the Dodgers risk taking him out to age 35?

    Last year on this date we were 87-35, 21 1/2 games ahead of this year’s pace. Roberts was hailed as a genius. Something terrible must be wrong with him this year. We are 5th in the Wild Card Standings. Perhaps he should have a P.E.T. Scan.

    I think Grandal will make considerably more than $8 million next year.

    Muncy was an early season flare. I don’t expect much more out of him. Same with Kemp

    Taylor swings and misses too much for my liking, but he does manage decent WAR numbers and that’s what matters to FAZ. He’s cheap, arb eligible, they’ll keep him.

    I still prefer Bellinger’s speed in the outfield. Your fastest runner playing first base seems antithetical to me. His WAR will be higher in center. I know many don’t like that idea, but if you put your FAZ hat on, it makes sense.

    Looks like under 94 was a safe pick. 538 has us at 88 wins, 1 game back of Dbacks.

    It would suck watching Greinke pitch in the playoffs.

    1. Uh I’ll go on record of NEVER thinking Roberts was a genius. You must be looking in a mirror or something to make that statement. In fact, I believe that their were a few of us that knew the real shit on this managerial thing.

    2. Badger

      I thought the same about Muncy, but he has much better numbers in the last couple months then Joc, who is in his fourth year.

  8. Manny Machado has always wanted to be a Yankee, so I doubt he will sign with this team.

    Because the Dodgers would have to make a better deal then the Yankees, and I don’t see that happening like Badger said.

    1. MJ
      I agree that the Dodgers will not resign Manny. I do think the team would be much better with him than without him. I like Dozier too. He has been really good on defense too. It will be interesting how the team looks going into next year.

      1. Package

        I like Dozier a lot too, but I am also afraid of the time, he doesn’t show up, especially in the first half of the season.

        Maybe they can get a good deal with him, but I don’t have a lot of confidence, after they thought it was a good deal, to give Forsythe another year, with a raise.

  9. I wasn’t impressed with that starter yesterday, so I looked at his numbers.

    He was out with soreness in his bicep for sometime, and he had only pitched one inning in AAA in 2 games, before he was called up, to start yesterday.

    So I wouldn’t put a lot into what we did in the first inning yesterday.

  10. Badger
    Fortunately I do not own a FAZ hat and never will. I am also one who never hailed Dummy as a genius as I am sure you know. Just exactly who do you give credit for the Dodgers being as successful as they have been this year? Even as I know they are not that that good.

  11. Badger,

    What I meant by taking Turner over Machado was the salaries vs. production. Turner is at $16M while Manny will probably be making considerably more. But, you’re right about the age factor. But aside from this, without Manny producing much more than he is now, the Dodgers will not be going to the playoffs in any capacity.

    Regarding Kershaw, I am surprised at how well he has come back from the DL. He is pitching dominatingly, albeit without his top form. What he was and what he is now is also relative. He is still one of the best pitchers in baseball with his decline. That is how good he was, and still is. But, the money they ponied up for him really hamstrings the organization.

    Do you think FAZ will pay Grandal even more than $8M?

    They don’t need much more out of Muncy for the money they have him for. I don’t think he is going anywhere. But, Kemp is a whole ‘nother story. He helped us a lot and we got rid of whatzizname. He will be an expiring contract after 2019 and I don’t think there is any chance of the Dodgers trying to keep him unless he has a resurgent end to this season. Maybe we could trade him after this season.

    The more I think about Bellinger in CF, the more I like it if Seager goes to 1B. It solves two problems and leaves us with only one more position to resolve, LF. Toles has certainly done a good job there when he played. He deserves a shot. Can’t be worse than what we have now and the increase in speed on both ends will help. I like the fact that Roberts has the team stealing bases. Of course, I also think no one who ever followed the Dodgers last year thought Roberts was a genius. There was no way Roberts contributed to that outburst of power and dominating display we put on. I complained about him all year, but this year takes the prize.

    1. Jeff

      I can understand your thinking about Turner and Machado, and I am sure Badger will too, after explaining what you meant.

      Because I really think we got Turner for almost a steal, because every other team was afraid of his age, and that he might turn into a pumpkin, on another team.

      Look at Josh Reddick’s contract, Turner’s contract is not that much better, and we all know how Reddick performs in high leverage situations on both offense, and defense.

      Turner is our best hitter on this team, and talk about a player that always seems to deliver, in high leverage situations.

      I agree with both Badger and you, that Cody does a good Job in center, but I think Cody is more valuable to this team at first, because he makes everyone else in the infield better, when he is at first.

      And I don’t think Corey’s injuries will stop him from being able to play short, because he has been hearing he is to big for short, for quite a while.

      And he will have an even bigger chip on his shoulder, to prove to everyone they were wrong about Corey having to move, to another position.

  12. I think I understand why Sabers don’t value hitters, that hit in runs at a high level, in high leverage situations.

    Because they can’t quantify why certain hitters, do well in high leverage situations, and others don’t.

    And if they can’t explain something with math, they are a loss of words.

    1. I’ll go along with that, because it includes both on-base percentage (which is better than batting average) and power. What we need is a formula to rate how successful a batter is on advancing base runners in front of him. That would include RBIs and also advancing runners to second and third base.

      1. I think the existing scoring rules might be the problem here. If a batter bunts and the runner advances, he gets credit for it by not having an at bat charged to him. But he gets no credit if the runner advances on a grounder or fly ball. Same thing with a fly ball to get a runner from third to home but no credit for moving him up from first or second. The Lords Of Baseball could change that but I don’t believe that will happen. So, MJ, consider that you have something to complain about for the rest of your life. There is value in that. Maybe you could use Package’s wall…

        1. Jonah

          I have heard where in baseball they are going to try to give players more credit for being a team player, in fact someone associated with the Cardinals, was working on a way to credit hittters, for doing the things that help a team to be more productive on offense.

          And YF thinks there should be credit for these things too.

          But I think the way sabers credit and weight strike outs, is part of the reason baseball has slowed down so much.

    2. Badger

      That is the problem you can’t look at just one number, to evaluate players fully.

      But you are right, an OPS is one of the numbers you look at in these situations.

      And if that number is so much Lower in these situations, that says something.

      Because I think most people assume if a hitter is pretty good, they will automatically excell in these situations.

      But we all know that is not necessarily true.

      But you have to remember when numbers are so looked at now, players are very aware of their numbers, and in some instances, that can take away from being a team player.

      I definitely think some saber metric numbers are the reason the game has slowed down.

      1. MJ, I had this posted above but decided to move it here.

        WAR = (Batting Runs + Base Running Runs +Fielding Runs + Positional Adjustment + League Adjustment +Replacement Runs) / (Runs Per Win)

        There are several quantifiers that go into what is called “batting runs”, one of them being “late and close”.

        I don’t claim to be an expert in sabermtrics but I’ve done enough reading on the subject to know there are hundreds of modifiers that go into these calculations. RBI’s are weighted, just not as heavily as they used to be.

        The base of all this math is “runs created” and “runs produced”, how they were created and how they are produced, and all of it is weighted. Example: runner on first, batter a. hits a single to move runner 2 bases to third. Batter b then hits a fly ball out to score the runner on third. Batter b gets the RBI, but…. which batter had more to do with creating that run, batter a or batter b?

        There are numerous controversies created by this science. A glaring one happened last year when Aaron Judge had a higher WAR than Jose Altuve. Just about everyone agreed Altuve did more to help his team win than did Judge. Clearly he was more valuable, thus the MVP. But the WAR numbers said something different.

        Even Bill James issued a warning about this.

        For my own well being I’ve decided to accept the science for what it is while at the same time reserving the right to question it when I think necessary.

        I still value batting averages and RBIs, but I understand and accept the weighing of both when it comes to evaluating players.

        1. Badger

          You know more then I do, and I do respect your opinion on this.

          I do understand the fact that some hitters get more opportunities then others.

          And that is why you need to look at how many opportunities one hitter has had, and look at how well they did, in those opportunities.

          But I think sabers should value RBIs more, if a player is getting hits, in these situations, at a good rate.

          After all, it is runs that rule this game, and if a player can hit in runs at a high rate, they should be awarded, for doing that.

          They keep numbers on this, so why not reward a player more, for doing this.

          The game is getting slower, because some of these saber metric numbers, don’t encourage players to put the ball in play.

          I think the way that sabers value and look at strike outs, are one of the things, that have slowed down the game too.

      1. I was just thinking about you two!

        Tomorrow the Card’s starting pitcher is from La Miranda California, pretty close to where you two once lived.

        And one of this pitchers relatives might be the first European to find Florida looking for the fountain of youth, I believe.

        1. Considering the name used consists of both the family names and locator run together, you don’t think someone just adopted it?

          1. Jonah

            No because most Spanish people use their mothers last name, in their name too.

            Oh no, here comes Baez with the bases loaded, he has hit the batter in these situations in the past.

    1. Badger and Jonah,

      I knew the pitching we faced especially on Sunday, wasn’t that good.

      I think the Mariners figures they didn’t have a good chance with Kershaw pitching, so they didn’t pitch their best.

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