Kyle Farmer’s Pinch-Hit Double Gives The Dodgers a Happy Flight Home

Yasiel Puig Catch

The Dodgers entered Sunday afternoon’s series finale against the Giants in desperate need of a win. After Saturday night’s 14-inning loss and another Wilmer Font failure the Dodgers were in danger of finishing with a win-less road trip. The Dodgers were 0-4 on the current trip after the one rain out and the boys in blue were 2-6 overall with an 0-4 record on the road. So you know a win would do wonders for the club’s confidence. And what do you know? The perfect man was on the mound to do that job for the Dodgers, Clayton Kershaw. The Giants countered with Ty Blach, who somehow pitches like Juan Marichal every time he faces the Dodgers. The Dodgers were without Cody Bellinger who had a massive case of the poops (food poisoning) after eating some bad room service food on Saturday. However he would get into the game later.

The Dodgers had the lead through most of the game until they wasted a beautifully dominant Kershaw start by giving up a run in the bottom of the eighth that tied the game. The two teams once again battled into extra innings. But this time the Dodgers finally prevailed, thanks to a pinch-hit RBI double from Kyle Farmer, defeating the Giants by a 2-1 score. Kershaw and the Dodgers were also helped by several great defensive plays from the Dodger defense.

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Giants     1  8 0

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The Kershaw vs. Blach re-match did not disappoint. The two hurlers exchanged zeroes through the first few innings. Kershaw got a few defensive gems behind him. It started out with Austin Barnes, (who was playing second base) making this all-out diving stop. The Giants went tit for tat, making their own diving stop at second base as Joe Panik robbed Enrique Hernandez of a hit in the top of the second.

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The Dodgers would break through and score in the top of the fourth. For the record I have no idea why and how they can’t hit Ty Blach. Yasiel Puig singles to center and Hernandez walks, which setup a Matt Kemp run scoring single to score Puig and put the Dodgers ahead 1-0. They could have scored more but Logan Forsythe grounded into a double play to end the inning.

Kershaw was cruising right along. He didn’t allow anything except for an Evan Longoria double in the second after the first five innings. In the bottom of the sixth the Giants put two runners on after consecutive singles from Gorkys Hernandez and Austin Jackson. Panik’s sinking liner into right looked like trouble but Puig makes a great reaching diving catch and then throws to second to double up Hernandez to get the Dodgers out of the inning.

Blach would be removed after six innings. He allowed just the one earned run on four hits and struck out one while walking three. Corey Gearrin would pitch the top of the seventh for San Francisco. Utley singled and stole second but the Dodgers stranded him there to end the seventh inning. Kershaw gave up a second double to Longoria with two outs in the bottom of the seventh but got out of it by getting Pablo Sandoval to ground out.

Move to the bottom of the eighth. Hunter Pence singles into right. Then Kelby Tomlinson’s little swinging bunt dribbler puts two on with none out. The Dodgers hook Kershaw and bring in J.T. Chargois along with Bellinger to play first base in a double switch. Buster Posey (who was not in the starting lineup) singles to plate Pence to tie the game at 1-1. But the Dodgers induce a 5-4-3 double play from Austin Jackson to squelch the rally. Tony Cingrani gets Panik to fly out to end the inning. Kershaw pitched well, but comes out with the game tied. He tossed seven innings plus allowing one earned run on six hits and struck out six. He picked up a no-decision.

The Dodgers didn’t score in the top of the ninth and Josh Fields pitched a perfect bottom of the ninth, so on we go to extra innings yet again. With Pierce Johnson on the mound, Bellinger doubles and after Chris Taylor lines out, Corey Seager is intentionally walked. Puig flies out and there are two down. Things looked bleak again for the Dodgers, until Kyle Farmer came off the bench to pinch-hit. Farmer lines a slicing double down the right field line to score Bellinger and give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead.

Enter Kenley Jansen in the bottom of the tenth to nail it down. He whiffs Sandoval, but Pence singles. Crawford strikes out as well with Pence stealing second. Finally Brandon Belt goes down on strikes to end the game. The Dodgers win!

Take note that Clayton Kershaw is one of the most dominant pitchers in San Francisco to ever take the ball. Before today’s game Kershaw was 13-4 with a 1.30 ERA in 20 career starts at At&t Park. This includes four shutouts and a WHIP below 0.8.

The Dodgers can actually have a happy flight home. The boys in blue will return home to begin a five game homestand. They’ll open the stand on Tuesday evening against the Oakland Athletics. Hyun-jin Ryu will take the mound as Oakland will counter with left hander Sean Manaea. Happy flight boys!

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

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

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61 thoughts on “Kyle Farmer’s Pinch-Hit Double Gives The Dodgers a Happy Flight Home

  1. Here’s my take. If they don’t turn it around against Oakland, we need some changes.

    First off, what’s all this “depth” for if all we are going to do is shuffle the same guys around. For injuries? For what it’s worth, batting .150 or worse for 3 weeks is worse than an injury. If we believe (claim) about depth then use it.

    Second, we only had a few spots and everyone knew it in the off-season. So it matters to me who comes ready and who did not. Joc, Baez and Font did not. Toles, Kemp, Venditte and Farmer did. We saw problems with Seager and Bellinger in ST as well – not as bad as Joc but none too impressive regardless. All the starting pitchers were ready. At this point I carry more bats and get the starters one more inning on average.

    I know AAA just started and Toles is not hitting the cover off the ball. But he’s a spark plug type player and I’d call him up, even if it’s just to send a message. Same with Venditte and I agree calling up Stewart too. Joc can work on his new no-strike out swing in AAA.

    Finally, Farmer hits another game winner down the right field line. That’s an old school protective swing in a RBI situation. When will Joc, Grandal and Bellinger, who are way more talented than Farmer ever learn to do that? (I bet never.)

    1. 3 games of AAA cannot tell you much. Toles had already earned a place on the team. I agree he is a spark plug type of player, unlike Joc, and will be an overall better player than Joc. There might be some directive from FAZ about giving PT to Joc. Maybe they want to set up a trade and are trying to raise his value, but it is looking worse and worse for him. Any player in MLB is going to have a good day or good play at some point. This means nothing in the overall big picture. Get rid of him!!!

      Kike batting anywhere in the middle of the order is madness as well as Puig. Puig is off to a rocky start but batting him #3 is foolish and deserved. Puig at #2, or #6-7. Seager #3 works for me. Follow with Kemp, Bellinger, and Grandal. Then Farmer and Forsythe. I think Kyle should be playing 3B, Forsythe at 2B, Barnes backing up Grandal. Stick with it. Kemp, Taylor, Puig in OF. Stick with it.

      WTF is Maeda doin pitching in relief for 1 inning? He is a long reliever in this case. Don’t waste his appearance. Roberts, you have no clue.

    2. YF

      I totally agree with you, about the players that worked hard in the off season, and came ready to play.

      It gets tiring, watching these same players, come into spring training every year, not ready to play, especially when these players, need more help then most anyone, on the team.

      And that is why I think Roberts should give Farmer more at bats, and playing time, then he has gotten.

      We have not played very well against the A’s in the last few years, so I hope we are surprised, and our guys start hitting.

  2. Just want to say this, Ohtani is must see TV right now. Amazing 12K performance today. That splitter is nasty and will only get better if he keeps throwing it after the 98-99 heater (no need to throw 100 with that splitter…).

    1. YF

      I am glad you said that about Ohtani, I heard he was pitching really well yesterday, and now I wish I changed the Channel to watch him, pitch.

      I really liked what he did after he hit his first HR, when his teammates were ignoring him on purpose.

      He is a very likable player, and young man.

  3. Why does Toles have to prove himself at AAA? He was the starting left fielder last year and looked fine in ST this year. Our abundance in left field, although a good thing in most respects, is a result of some odd organizational planning by our front office. If this was another organization Verdugo would be in this lineup. Or Toles would be in the lineup.

    I’m sure everything will work itself out over 162 games. We still have 5 left fielders and a starting staff that is beginning to look like a group of long relievers. Maybe that’s the new SABR model. No more than twice through the order and you’re outta there. I’ll work on it. One ace, a closer, an 8th inning guy, a LOOGY and 9 starters that go 3-4 innings. Might save some money by not getting that second and third ace. FAZ leans that way, why not just go that way?

  4. Badger
    You know very well that if not for Joc, Toles or Verdugo would be with the team. Although I would hesitate to place all my eggs in Verdugo’s basket. If not for Joc and Kiki maybe Kemp could start hitting at a higher level as they are getting some LF abs. You know as well as I do that more is expected of Kemp than Joc or Kiki. You and the Dodgers just don’t like Kemp.

    1. I don’t like Kemp?

      Damn. I thought I did.

      I don’t believe the Dodgers (FAZ) expected anything out of Kemp. The logjam he created in left caught them by surprise.

      It’s difficult for me to choose between all our starting left fielders but I think I lean toward Kemp and Verdugo. I like Toles too, but with only a few hundred at bats he’s kind of an unknown. Verdugo is young, with a contact bat and a 94 mph fastball arm that can throw strikes to home plate from the outfield fence. I like what he brings. He’s Buckner with a better arm.

      I like the idea of a utility guy so as a concept I like Hernandez, but I don’t like his all or nothing swing. I’d rather he cut down on it a bit and work toward a .300 average instead of a 400’ fly ball.

      I don’t understand why Forsythe at $9+ million. So far he’s a -0.3 WAR player and I’m not the least bit surprised by that.

      Trade Joc. Please. Or trade Toles. We do not need both of them.

      Maeda a 1 inning reliever? WTF?

      1. Badger
        What I meant was that you and the Dodgers don’t like what Kemp brings to the team as much as Kiki and Joc, perhaps I am mistaken about Joc. Sorry for the thought you personally did not like Kemp. I just get tired of some who really, really want to get rid of Kemp.

      2. Badger

        Toles might only have 200 at bats, in two seasons in the majors, but Verdugo has not proven he can even hit major league pitching, yet.

        Toles hit five HRs in the first month of the season last year, in the majors.

        And Verdugo only hit six HRs all year, in AAA last year.

        And although Verdugo has a better arm, then Toles, Toles not only has more power then Verdugo, he has a lot more speed, then Verdugo too.

        And it isn’t like Toles doesn’t have a good arm, because he does have a pretty good arm, too, and really, he does make good contact, most of the time.

        1. MJ, Verdugo is a hitter. He’s also bigger than Toles. And, he’s 4 years younger. He’s shown he can make contact. I think home runs will come.

  5. Forsythe has had 2 ‘so-so’ years in his career. 2 out of seven…soon to be 2 out of 8. The FAZomaniacs overlook reality. I had predicted nothing from him last year and expect more the same this year.

    Why is Joc still on the team and getting opportunity after opportunity? He partakes in the fantasy football league with the bosses.

    Didn’t I mention a conflict of interest? No ‘professional’ GM and/or President would be in a FFL with their players. That is so wrong in so many ways.

    Kemp is ONLY here because it was the ONLY way FAZ was going to get under the salary cap this year. It killed them to have to bring him back but their bad signings of Kazmir and McCarthy forced their hand.

    I’m not sure they want Kemp to be productive…..(don’t tell me about the lip service from mgmt)…because that would show their original decision to trade him to be another bad move. They would prefer that he under performs or gets injured. What better way to control his performance than to play him sparingly.

    1. I agree with most of that Chili. My only pushback would be I think they would gladly take a sudden surge from Kemp – for two reasons – they might could then trade him and/or they could take credit for a genius move….. they dumped two bad contracts and upgraded left field.

      This whole thing has a very odd feel to it for me. Yeah, they don’t like Kemp, I think that’s clear, but until further notice he’s here for two years. If they can they will trade him, but if they can’t, and he continues to hit…. what happens to all those other guys?

      1. Exactly Badger. If Kemp hits that poses another problem. It blocks the youth.

        They want him to hit right now….because they are 3-6. They weren’t expecting to struggle out of the gate. But if they were truly wanting him to hit they would play him on a consistent basis. Anyone who has played the game understands that it is important to see live pitching on a consistent basis to perform well.

        In PA’s, Kemp is 8th on the team in plate appearances. As if his position/performance is the worse of the starters. He has ONLY 3 more PA’s than Utley who was not even suppose to be seeing much playing time. He needs AB’s.

        Don’t see them trading him without eating the majority of his salary. Traded him 3 years ago and ate half his salary. Now it’s going to be 75-80% or more.

    2. Chili
      I thought the object was to win? Obviously you feel like I do. These guys are just out for the money. They do not care about the Dodgers as a team like a fan. I hate Dodger Management and the owners are not far behind. This also includes Dummy who I have outlined many times. Joc and Kiki are jokes. Forsythe should have never be resigned especially for 2 years. Everybody ran down Colletti when he was running the show but he sure has a lot more to show from the roster than FAZ.

      1. Tell me how many players are in the Fantasy Football League with the FO and I bet I could pick the players that participate. It’s fairly obvious.

  6. Jon Heyman reported that the Dodgers are the front runners to sign Harper. If Heyman understood anything about this front office he would retract that. They have spent lots of money, but nothing on a impact player. Oh yeah, they went and got Darvish for 3 months, but it did not cost them a lot of cash. Harper is going to get a massive contract. I would predict close to 40 million a year. 10 years? Maybe not, but surely more than 5. As for Matt Kemp. Matt is a career .285 hitter. He has 922 career RBI’s. 259 HR’s. They have tried to trade him and failed. If they still want to move the guy it is in their best interest that he is as productive as possible. His numbers dwarf those of any player on this team except Utley, who has exactly the same number of career HR’s and is over 1000 RBI’s. Utley is a career .276 hitter. April is usually a terrible month for HR’s at Dodger Stadium. I believe that Kemp in LF a majority of the games is a good thing for the offense. Once Toles has had say 60 at bats in the minors, call him up and send Pederson down, or trade him. Kike should never hit higher than 8th in the order. He is no middle of the lineup hitter and I care less who is pitching. Kyle Farmer should take Forsythe’s job at 3rd and move the Scythe back to 2nd where he is much more comfortable in the field. The biggest difference I have seen in Taylor this year is less line drives. He had some of the hardest hit balls on the team last year. I think he has been trying to hard to elevate almost everything he hits. I also believe they will offer Kersh and extension, but it will be low compared to what another team will offer. Watch out for the Yankees. They drop a lot of payroll off the books next year. Most impressive thing in yesterdays game was the defense. Several outstanding plays.

    1. Harper will not sign with the Dodgers. Not that he wouldn’t be willing but rather Friedman & Zaidi will not offer him anything close to the offers he will be receiving. Oh sure the mindless FAZ-omaniacs will be touting how FAZ was in on the bidding and was ‘willing’ to pay for Harper and drove the price for him up. THAT WILL BE COMPLETE BS. This is and has never been an open auction. The ONLY person that drives the price up is the players agent ‘claiming’ that another team has made an offer. That statement when made could be factual and could not be factual (and most of the time seems to be unfounded).

      If a FO wants a frontline player than they will have to make an offer that blows the player, his agent and the other teams away.

      Now, if you want to wait until the cream is gone (a la the way FAZ does business) than you can offer lower monies for lesser talent with less competition for those players services. Does Kazmir or McCarthy ring a bell?

      The likelihood that Harper signs a $300M+ contract with the Dodgers is slim and none and slim left town with the last FO. It’s not happening! Outbidding the Nationals, Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, Rangers, Mets and Angels. NOT HAPPENING.

    2. Taylor has a very high SO/Walks ratio. Hi OB% is quite low, so far. This is a concern but I’m hopeful he’ll snap out of it. He played his heart out last season, let’s hope he doesn’t let down this year.

  7. I don’t get the whole people like or dislike Kemp. But he does have six hits and seven K’s to his credit.
    Maybe he’ll pick it up…maybe.

    1. His track record says he will. His approach looks pretty good. He is not chasing a bunch of bad pitches. I think part of the problem is where he is hitting in the order and the fact that there is nobody on the team really crushing the ball. Grandal and Taylor have more K’s than Kemp. I expect Matt to heat up plenty as long as he gets some decent playing time.

      1. Michael

        I agree with you about possibility that our line up, is the reason that Kemp isn’t hitting as much as he can, and with power.

        Why pitch to anyone, when almost the entire line up, has been pretty easy outs.

  8. I would love to see the FAZ 5 year plan. There are some young studs that will need to be paid and if they intend to stay out of the max tax bracket they will have to be selective. Looking now at projected payrol – the next two years are $185 and $182mm. 2021 has projected arb figures at $152mm and payroll at $176mm. What are Guggs plans for ownership? What are Friedman and Zaidi being told to do behind closed doors?

    Adding a marquee player like Harper to this roster would add pinache, but would it add value to the franchise? I’ll defer to Yueh on that one because I just don’t know. My guess is no. The Dodgers already have the multi billion tv contract and they already lead the league in attendance every year. Harper doesn’t change that. His contract however would be an enormous debt. He is from Vegas, maybe he wants to come back West?

    ???

    All that said, I don’t see FAZ going after Harper. Too rich for them. The guy I would be looking at is Arenado. Southern California guy, will be 29 in his free agent year 2020.

    Again, what’s the big plan?

    1. Adding a marquee player in LA. What a novel concept. Especially since from what I see right now, not one of the major sports teams has a marquee player except Kershaw on the Dodgers. Lakers are a mess and have been for years, only name on the Kings I recognize is Kopitar, the Clippers do not even belong here, and I know not one single Rams player. That being said, there is no way Harper becomes a Dodger with this ownership group and this front office. DNA testing has been conducted and FAZ does not have that kind of DNA. Some other GM is going to convince his ownership that Bryce Harper is the 2nd coming of Ted Williams and they will open their vault and pay the guy a ton. I think 300 million is way on the low side of what he will seek. I think they will concentrate on Kershaw if this year is a successful one. If this team pulls a SF El Foldo, Kershaw will be allowed to walk and they will retool with the kids. Maybe one free agent at a position of need, but for the most part I doubt very seriously that they even sniff a major pickup. That includes the trade deadline, where if they are floundering, I could see a couple of name players leaving. So long Yasmani……..

      1. With the FAZ track record, no star like Harper is likely to be seriously paid the big bucks. It’s just not in their DNA. If Kershaw didn’t put fans in the seats, they’d prefer to bring the farm boys up so they wouldn’t have to pay a premium pitcher. Having said that, they’ve seemingly worked some miracles leading the team to the WS. Things could be a lot worse.

        BTW, Rams have a very good team and coach. Well worth watching. They are relevant, once again.

    2. Neither Harper or Arenado are going to happen. The FBZ will only sign own FA’s and often not even then. Most likely FAs they sign are either late bloomers or has beens. A multiple injury record would double or triple the chances depending on the pedigree of the player.

  9. Badger
    That’s an easy one. More of the same. They absolutely do not believe in top tier players. Just get to the playoffs baby. If the team wins it is just luck. They are building nothing.

    1. They have talent in the system, untested to be sure, but there are some pretty decent prospects. Trouble is most are 2-4 years away. The top 3 guys, Buehler, Verdugo and Urias all have some MLB under their belt, but beyond that, the bulk is at AA Tulsa and A Rancho. OKC has some retreads and guys who have had some experience, but nothing outstanding that I can see.

  10. Oh by the way there Scott. I doubt the flight home was happy…….more relieved would be the right word….Did anyone notice that McBrittle actually won a game for the Braves the other day……….will miracles never cease?

      1. So few and so far between…….hard to remember anything but that HR by Springer that turned victory into defeat…….

    1. Michael

      I am surprised, that you are surprised, that Mc Carthy is pitching and picked up a win, after all, this is a contract year, for McCarthy .

      He will definitely be on the mound all year, and make all of his starts, just like he was, in his last contract year.

      1. I agree…..it is also a contract year for Grandal. I suspect his hot start has something to do with that fact. You never know what to expect with a guy like that. He probably stays healthy and wins in double figures….

  11. Ryu will open the series with the A’s tomorrow. I expect a decent outing from him. He usually pitches a lot better at home. Wood moved because of food poisoning that affected him and Bellinger. Not sure I want to eat room service at the hotel they were staying at after that. Staff all Giant fans???? I have had food poisoning once in my life and never want it again. I got it by eating a chicken burrito off a food truck down in the harbor area when I was pulling containers every day. It laid me up for 3 days. Lots of minor moves in the bigs, players on re-hab and such. Changed my gravitar again, this time shows Sandy watching the Mick round 3rd after a World Series HR. Probably from the 63 series. 7th game.

  12. Via BR every Dodger player has a 2018 WAR of less than 1. The entire team WAR is less than 0.

    I’m not sure how important that is right now, but it doesn’t look very good.

    1. hmmm…..less than zero……that’s not very good, but then again at this point neither is this team.

      1. The Dodgers are the Boys of Summer. They’ll warm up before too long.

        Stanton has already struck out more times this year than Di Maggio did in 1941.

        See the snow in Chicago? Every year this happens somewhere. The season is two weeks too long on both ends. Start in mid April, end in mid October. Badgerdamus has spoken. Make it so.

        1. Badger

          I can’t agree with you any more, about the season, so here is a second, let it be.

          I am surprised no one has brought up the weather, when it comes to our lack of hitting.

          If we don’t go for Harper or Nolan Arenado, which is very likely, I think Anthony Reddon would be a good player to sign, once Turner’s contract ends.

          But I rather have Nolan then Machado, if that was even a possibility, but I know it won’t happen.

          Did everyone see that Agone hit a grand slam yesterday?

          I just saw him hit in another run, right now.

  13. Chili
    Can you tell me who you think is playing in the FFL with Joc, Freidman, ect. Also is there information anywhere that notes this? Does anyone else know this?

  14. 568.com has a great article out on Ohtani’s splitter.

    We need to get more of our fastball arms to learn to throw the splitter. It seems like we couldnt teach our power farm arms the slider and now it’s the cutter that’s in vogue. But you end up with a ton of fly ball pitchers. Whereas the splitter comes out like a change up or a cutter (ie very similar to a fastball) but gets grounders. Maybe the Japanese are ahead of the SABR curve. The FBZ need to get ahead of the curve for once instead of always following what the more successful FOs (read Yankees, Astros, Cubs …).

    It is also funny, now that the much more savvy and rich Yankees have done their quick rebuild, that the old excuse of “but it’s so difficult to rebuild and remain in contention” has faded away. Let’s just face the music – the FBZ are not as good at the SABR thing as the top FOs. I’m not against SABR, in fact I think a lot of SABR is just weaponized old school baseball and it’s just the fringe type plays and strategems that draws the headlines. I just think FBZ it’s not good at SABR, and we need a better FO.

    1. The splitter has been around a while. I didn’t read the article but I know a bit about the pitch. I actually experimented with a forkball years ago and, unbeknownst to me, what I ended up throwing was a splitter, and I was able to teach some players how to throw it. It shouldn’t be that difficult for a professional pitcher to add this pitch to his repertoire. Smoltz has a video out on how to throw it. The grip is similar to a two finger, with the ball backed up in the fingers a bit.

      You may be right about FAZ. It’s also possible what they are doing will work. They both trained in organizations that had some success with the moneyball approach. They have the distinct advantage of stepping into an organization that was stacked with talent on both the ML roster AND the minor league system. The team made it to the 7th game of a World Series. Can they get that elusive championship? Who knows. How long will they have to get it done? Considering how good the organization was when they got here, I think 5 years is long enough. This is year 4.

      1. The FBZ were raised by moneyball organizations that did not win it all. They were getting the better of FOs that did not realize most of the stats actually tends to reinforce old school baseball but it makes keeping tabs on all of the players much easier. It’s weaponized old school baseball for the most part. Take exit velocity and spin. What matters is not the guys at the top – the eye test can pretty much tell who is hitting the ball hard and whose pitches have great “shape” (old school term for spin). The moneyball approach put them against each other based on stats and the FOs were then able to prioritize the prospects and journeymen players without seeing them or spending a lot of time on videos. Weaponized old school baseball.

        Now more than half of the clubs out there have moneyball FOs. And there are a bunch of moneyball FOs that have won it all (KC, Cubs, Astros, and soon the Yankees in my estimation). Unlike the FBZ fanboys, I do follow what the other clubs are doing, and the FBZ is not the best. When most of the FOs have access to the research and advanced stats, what it comes down to is true managerial talent, and I just don’t think the FBZ has it. They are unable to pounce on opportunities or negotiate effectively with teams (their favorite negotiation strategy is simply to leave a good offer on the table and wait it out … contrast this with the FOs from the last 5 WS champions and difference is night and day actually).

        1. They did win with those organizations, but it’s true they didn’t win a championship. What they did in Tampa and Oakland was impressive. Those two places are baseball ghost towns.

          Boston, San Francisco and Chicago are not impecunious franchises. Neither is Houston. The advantages FAZ have now are obvious. We’ve seen their penchant for high risk high reward players on the cheap, but that may have been by directive. They spent big on the IM (no tax) with not much return yet, but they haven’t engaged the bounteous ML free agent market yet. For me the tell will be what they do after this year with the cap reset. If they continue the close fisted gamble on the damaged approach, we will know they are still small market minded.

          5 years. That’s what I give them. I also won’t be surprised if the Gugg dominion markets the land and the organization around that time. As Tim mentioned, there is some money to be made there. And considering what’s going on globally, and last Fall’s talk of a revolt at Guggenheim Partners, how can anyone know what 200 billion dollar corporations are really thinking?

    1. He and Roger Craig are often credited with it, but I would suggest you research the history of the forkball. They are basically the same grip, with the ball being pushed back further with the forkball. I couldn’t throw the forkball with any control, so I moved the ball forward a bit and got similar action. I tried it because of Elroy Face. I think many pitchers in many leagues may have settled for a version of the splitter in lieu of an actual forkball. That thing is hard to control. There are a number of Major Leaguers over the years who have thrown a version of the splitter. Jack Morris, Gaylord Perry, Dave Stewart, Hideo Nomo. Lincecum threw it. But nobody threw it better than Sutter.

      1. The splitter is most effective if the pitcher throws high heat (i.e. most of our RH pitchers in the farm), and it gets both righties and lefties out early in the count. Badger mentioned Nomo, which was exactly who I was thinking of when I said that the Japanese may be ahead of the SABR curve.

        Of course I was never a prospect but it is very difficult for a pitcher to replicate their pitching motion when they move from fastball to curveball. Fastball to splitter? No problem. I hated hitting pitchers with good forkballs and splitters in high school and college.

        1. Good points.

          As a hitter I could see spin pretty early. The best hitters obviously do. Going against the best pitchers you don’t have much time. The splitter is on you in hurry and it’s moving. A ball always breaks the direction it’s spinning, but velocity on those pitches is sometimes the last thing you figure out and it’s often too late. Like you said, if the guy has serious heat, anything that looks like it you have start your swing. If you think it’s 90, and it’s only 85, if do manage to make contact it won’t be solid contact. I liked hitting fastballs, even good ones, and I could recognize curves quickly, but good change ups and variable speed sliders and splitters were very challenging. I can only imagine what facing a Major League pitcher would have been like.

  15. I think that as a fan, I am often confused by how this FO operates. I know getting under the luxury tax was a big deal for them. They did at least rid the team of Kazmir and McBrittle. Kaz is now a FA having been released at the end of spring. I think what is confusing is stuff like claiming a player off waivers like they did a little over a week ago, and then having the same team claim that player back a couple of days later. They use the waiver wire to claim guys who as far as I have seen have little chance to contribute at the major league level at all. Very few have even remained with the team for any length of time, and they do this a lot. A couple of their trades have worked out. Some we are waiting to see about. I, like Badger believe they have not yet, and most likely will not, addressed the top of the rotation behind Kershaw. You have an ACE, and 4 #4 pitchers. Now, Wood might break out of that mold and become a true #2. He did pitch that way last year and his first 2 starts have been pretty good. Maeda seems to have reinvented himself, Hill is Hill, you get pretty much the same thing every time out, and Ryu has not looked like the pitcher he was when he first came up. I doubt he will. To me, the big problem with this bunch is the load placed on the bullpen and the fact that they have to carry 8 relievers. That to me weakens the bench and the managers options in extra inning games and the late innings. Maybe if MLB ever expands the regular season roster by one or three as has been discussed a few times, this would not present a problem. But at this point it is a problem. Especially when your offense is sputtering as bad as the Dodgers is right now. Will they make moves at the deadline> ???// With this bunch,, nobody knows. They did totally catch everyone off guard when they went and got Darvish last year. The 13 man deal with the ATL and Miami that ended up netting them Wood is their other major move. They got Cingrani, and Watson last year too. But other than Darvish, they have never traded for a true IMPACT player. Not once. I doubt they will sign one this winter even being below the tax. IF they do, it will undoubtedly be their own guy, Kershaw, and even that is not guaranteed.

    1. Mr. Norris
      To me it is a no brainer, Roberts is causing a huge strain on the bullpen. His bullpen is also not as good as last year. You know, its funny how the Dodger’s problems are always the same. Pitching and obtaining top tier players.

      1. The reason they hired Roberts was simple. He buys into their sabermetric approach. He is also a very good people person. Being a player like he was, good but not great, he can deal with all sorts of egos and at that he is very good. Most of the remarks I have heard concerning Roberts from players is that he is a great communicator. Now, that being said, I am not and have not been too impressed with his in game managing skills. Of course, this is his first managing job. As some have noticed, he seems to jump the gun sometimes and others he waits too long. He pulled Hill too early on Saturday, and it ended up burning the bullpen down and putting the entire game on Font’s shoulders. Unlike the game in Arizona, this time Font immediately gave up the game, instead of pitching 4 scoreless, or in this case even 1. Font is not really that kind of a pitcher. He immediately got into trouble and although he battled McCutcheon, as is usually the case, he hung the 11th pitch right over the center of the plate. He missed Grandal’s target by a good 18 inches. Roberts has shown, at least to me, that he does not really have the grasp of how to manage tough situations in tight games. He did the same thing with Hill in the World Series. But I have seen other managers who have done the same thing. Tommy Lasorda wishes he never had called on Tom Niedenfuer to pitch to Jack Clark, in reality he wishes he had walked him. I do not put all the blame on Doc, but he does shoulder some of it. Right now my main concern is what I see as lethargy in this team. They seem to have no spark or energy. Nobody looks mad at what has been happening. But the fans are. This is not at this point, last years Dodgers. The additions and subtractions made in the offseason have so far not jelled. I in no way think this team is a 100 win team. At this point I am not sure they will win 90. Oh I am pretty sure they will get off the schnide and turn it around some. But the holes I perceived to be there, are still there. And I doubt very seriously that FAZ will do anything major. I am still waiting to see the 10 day DL carousel they had going last year start.

        1. Mr. Norris
          It seems to me that if Roberts is a people person and a great communicator, he would have won more games by now. We shall see.

          1. Being able to communicate is one thing. Leading is another. Making in game decisions is an altogether different skill. So far, I am not all that impressed. I think one of my biggest gripes is the constant tinkering with the lineups. Roberts as of today is 198-135 as a manager. Not counting the playoffs.

  16. I know Indiana is not the intellectual capital of the U.S. but this is ridiculous:

    “I never heard of Gehrig before I came here and I always thought Babe Ruth was a cartoon character. I really did. I mean, I wasn’t born until 1961 and I grew up in Indiana.” Don Mattingly.

    Roberts is Hawking compared to that guy.

    1. I had read that somewhere a long time ago. He must have never read much in school. I read a book about Gehrig when I was 8. There was a writer who used to write sports biography’s for the schools. I cannot remember his name, but his books were simple and easy to read and understand. I knew all about all of those old guys from reading the sporting news and sport magazine. Then in the early 60’s Fleer brought out a couple of sets of Old timers cards. I got a lot of information on players I had heard of but had no real access to their stats. Otherwise I may never have known about guys like Ross Youngs. Played 10 years for the Giants, 1917-1926. Had a career .322 batting average. Was on 2 World Championship teams. He hit over .300 9 times in his career. He died at the age of 30 in 1927 from Brights disease. It is a kidney ailment. He hit 42 home runs and drove in 592, John McGraw called him the best outfielder he had seen in the game. Elected to the Hall of Fame by the veterans committee in 1972.

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