Last Place Team Blocks Dodgers From First Place. D’s Lose 4-2

Forgive me, loyal readers,

I missed the first half of the game tonight, but unless you’re a masochist, you don’t want to read too much about the first half of the game. The Dodgers were already down 4-0 by the time I tuned in.

I say again, it was 4 runs, 9 hits for the Snakes. 0 runs for the home team.

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Dodgers
I turned on the game at the right time. Andrew Toles had walked, and was already standing on first base. Scott Van Slyke came off the bench to PH and rapped out an RBI single.
It looked like the Dodgers were going to make a game of it.

8th inning  Snakes 4-1
Pedro Baez on the mound.
1,2,3. Job done.
Dodgers
Top of the order.
Corey Seager caught a one out walk on a ball four that flew in at Vin Scully level.
Justin Turner blistered a long out.
With a beautifully professional bit of hitting , Adrian Gonzalez went to left field for a base hit that took Seager to third.
Manager Dave Roberts sent in Chris Taylor to pinch-hit.

Taylor had hit a grand slam against the Snakes earlier this season, so it looked like a good bet. Unfortunately, Taylor still believed his grand slam hype and talk and swung for the fences on every pitch. The rookie was out chasing a home run rather than a base hit, an RBI, and keeping the inning alive.
He swung for the fences twice, and flied out with a can of corn to center field.

9th inning  Snakes 4-1
J.P. Howell on the mound.
On what potentially looked like an incredible catch for the third out, Toles ran right into the center field scoreboard. He ate a face full of light and steel  at full speed. He looked stunned after the collision with the wall, while the ball rolled in the grass, unseen, off to his right. The Dodgers’ trainers and the skipper came out to center field to evaluate him. They checked him for several minutes, and TV showed a bloody towel. Toles remained in the game.

8th inning  Snakes 4-1
Dodgers
Three outs to get three runs.
Yasmani Grandal: Long out. F8
Toles: 4-1 (Was probably still seeing double, thanks to that scoreboard)
Joc Pederson:
KA-BOOOOOM
Pederson’s 15th homer of the year. 2-4
With two out, Scott Van Slyke tried his best Brando on a ball between the legs, but the ump didn’t fall for the HBP act.
He struck out swinging, on one above the belt.

Dodgers lose 2-4

Scott Kamir (L 9-4) went 6 2/3 innings, par for the Dodgers’ course, with 8 hits, 4 runs, 1 HR, 0 walks, 7 K’s.  eRA 4.41

Home run: Joc Pederson

Team with RISP: 1 for 5  I didn’t need to see the game to know this was ugly.

Oscar Martinez

Oscar Martinez

I was born in the shadow of Dodger Stadium and immediately drenched in Dodger Blue. Chavez Ravine is my baseball cathedral, Vin Scully was the golden voice of summer all my life, and Tommy Lasorda remains the greatest Dodgers manager ever. My favorite things are coffee, beer, and the Dodgers beating the Giants. I also blog about my baseball card hobby at All Trade Bait, All the Time.

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73 thoughts on “Last Place Team Blocks Dodgers From First Place. D’s Lose 4-2

  1. It certainly looks like the Indians are all in for this year. They just acquired Andrew Miller and a trade is in place for Jonathan LuCroy. Lucroy only has to waive his no-trade right.
    I have no idea how good the prospects are that Cleveland had to give up or how that would relate, in value, to what we wouldv’e given up had we made the same trade.

    1. Cleveland going for it. I like to see teams do this. I know some don’t like it, but I do. Weren’t we told by somebody that Toronto wouldn’t be able to compete for years because they went for it last year? They currently lead the very competitive AL East.

      Yeah, and Kemp is untradable.

      1. Well, I’m not sure I’d call that a trade. More of a dump. But Kemp could hit a lot of HRs in Atlanta.

  2. Crazy stuff going on around baseball:

    The Pods dumped Matt Kemp to THE ATL in exchange for Hector Olivera whom the Pods will allegedly DFA. MLB Trade Rumors said this:

    A Kemp trade has long been difficult to imagine, as his considerable power is largely negated by his poor defense and his difficulty getting on base. Though he’s clubbed 24 homers this season, Kemp is hitting .262/.285/.489 overall, which translates to just a few ticks above the league-average batting line, per park-adjusted metrics like OPS+ and wRC+. However, while Olivera is owed less money than Kemp, his recent off-field issues look to have motivated the Braves to rid themselves of him before he ever has the opportunity to play another game in their uniform.

    That’s two deals where FAZ has flat-out swindled the other team. Man, Kemp sure lost it quick.

    Then the Yanks are going into re-build mode after trading Chapman for Prospects and today trading Andrew Miller for Cleveland’s #1, #4, #30 and another lower prospect. So far, the Yankees have added 8 prospects for their two top relievers.

    Cleveland also is trying to get Lucroy (subject to his approval) for 4 more prospects, including their #6, #12, #22 and a closer who averages 13.7 K’s per 9. I think Cleveland just became the favorites in the AL. They were able to do that because they have a roster that does not have any really bad long-term deals as well as a rotation that is farm grown.

    The Yanks have given up and will have Sabathia ($25 mil) and Teixeira ($23 mil) come off the books next year. They are trying to trade McCann and Beltran. They have one more year of A-Rod (who may get cut) and they are still stuck with Gardner, Ellsbury and Headley for several more years ($46 mil a year).

    We are witnessing a shift of epic proportions. The way to win these days is to stack the farm and make strategic trades as needed. A year and a half into it, FAZ has made great strides, but they are still paying Crawfish ($21.8 mil), Guerrero ($7.5 Mil), Arruebarruena ($5.5 mil), Olivera ($4.6 mil) and Kemp ($3.5 mil). Throw in Ethier ($17 million) who is owed through 2017 and you have a lot of money tied up in nothing.

    FAZ hasn’t been perfect – Beachy ($1.5 mil) and Olivera ($4.6 mil ) are on them. However, they have managed to stay competitive during rebuilding … which most teams can’t do.

    It makes sense for the Indians to trade for Miller and Lecroy at the cost of 8 prospects. It would be absurd for the Dodgers to do the same.

    Maybe the help we get comes from within and maybe, just maybe, that’s all we need! This is a new ERA – the POST STEROID ERA!

    1. Mark
      I heard that we are still paying for Kemp too.

      And you are right about Faz not being perfect.

      Signing Olivera was one big mistake.

      And because they made that big mistake, they had to get rid of him.

      If you notice the Braves didn’t get rid of Kemp, like the Padres did.

    2. The Dodgers need help in the bullpen badly.

      And it is because this front office signed pitchers that can’t pitch deep into games.

      And they didn’t do much to help the pen, after not trading for Chapman.

      And after last night, does anyone think we need another bat?

      I don’t like the fact that Friedman said that he was going to get elite players at the trade deadline.

      And Mark you were suggesting a trade everyday lately, why have you suddenly stopped doing that?

      I will tell you this, the players on team won’t like the front office not making any moves to help this team, especially after how well they have played since Kershaw went out.

    3. Maybe if they didn’t sign Olivera, and give him that big bonus, they would have some more money to pay toward those contracts.

      I notice you didn’t include Olivera’s big bonus.

      1. Money is not the Dodgers problem. They could pretty much pay them all off if they wanted to. But that’s not how they do business. Most baseball teams backload contracts. They do it because they calculate how much they have coming off the books in the next few years.

        1. Michael
          I know that bonus didn’t count toward the payroll, but it was still money the Dodgers paid.

          And Mark only listed that minor money we still have to pay for Olivera.

    4. Mark
      You list those little contracts of Guerrero and the other Cuban shortstop, without listing the big bonus the Dodgers already gave Olivera, which was 28 million dollars, plus that 4.6 million they are still paying him.

      Kemp was given that contract after he had an amazing season.

      He just got hurt after that.

    1. Cleveland was willing to give up a switch-hitting catcher who has a 42-game hitting streak in the minors for Lucroy. Can we get him if the deal falls through?

      1. He would not have a say in being traded since the Dodgers are not on his no trade list….I am for it if it gets Grandal out of here. But the buzz is a 3 way deal with the Rays and Reds, with Bruce and a Rays pitcher, as yet unnamed Rays starter, probably Archer, with Urias heading to the Rays…..I do not think I would do that deal unless we got Sale back, because Sale is a real difference maker. Archer is a work in progress.

    2. Read the same thing. On MLB.com just a few minutes ago. As far as Kemp losing it as Mark puts it, well Matt had a serious injury, a very serious injury. Is he the fielder he once was? No, he has lost some speed, and he has arthritic hips, which most likely limit his range of motion. But he still can hit a baseball out of sight, and should do more of that with the Braves. He has 24 dingers already with 2 months left in the season and he had 23 all of last year. I do not think FAZ fooled anyone by trading Matt. Because we got garbage back. I am not saying Matt would have made a huge difference had he stayed in LA> They obviously felt he needed to go. But all we have left from that trade is Grandal. He might be here 10 years, and he may not make it through 1 more. But I would take the excitement that Matt brought to the plate over the boring meat head that is Yasmani Grandal. Even though they unloaded Kemp’s contract they still pay some money on it. Whatever they are paying Grandal is a waste of money. He is about as clutch as a worn out Chevy transmission. Good luck Matt….make Braves fans cheer..

      1. My take is that the Dodgers usually have trouble with pitchers they have never seen before, rookie or not. Now they hammered that kid last week, but a lot of times they make them look like Cy Young.

        1. Thanks Michael
          I appreciate your opinion about that pitcher.

          I was trying to think why that pitcher was so effective, and I think the one thing he really did well, was throwing strikes, and not getting behind on his count.

          And it seemed like he could throw all of his different pitches for strikes too.

          I am hoping today, the team can hit and win this game, against Corbin, a leftie pitcher.

          I know how they are against lefties, but I want to see them, to at least win the series today.

          The Giants have a tough schedule in August, and we need to beat teams like the Dbacks, if we want to stay in this race, or win the west.

        2. Michael
          I heard some Giant fans say the same thing about the Giants, when they face a rookie, they have never seen.

  3. I was looking at the article where Friedman told some of the press that they would be targeting elite players at the trade deadline.

    And those were Friedman’s exact words.

    Well we he has 28 more hours to do what he said he was going to do.

    Let’s see if he is a man of his words.

    1. I agree MJ, and while Bruce is a upgrade offensively, his defense leaves a lot to be desired for a team that has prided itself on defense the last couple of years. And he is not an ELITE player. Neither is Archer, or Moore. Now they get Sale, and that’s a whole different story, and worth Urias. They get Lucroy, and that is a difference maker too. But you notice, the Giants get Pence back, and immediately win……that’s the kind of spark that is needed in LA, and Bruce’s numbers at Dodgers Stadium are not good.

      1. Michael
        I agree Bruce isn’t an elite player, he is just having a good year.

        We need a rightie bat, we need at least a good arm for the pen too, but it looks like nothing is going to happen.

        And if they don’t do one thing, I hope it doesn’t mess with the moral of the team.

  4. Grandal looks like Pete Rose compared to Kemp.

    Matt Kemp just has 150 more at bats than Grandal. Grandal averages a HR every 20 AB’s. Kemp averages a HR every 18 AB’s.

    Kemp has a .285 OB% – that’s HORRIBLE! Grandal has a .326 OB%. Not great, but respectable.

    Out of 158 MLB players who qualify for the batting title, Kemp is #152 in OB%.

    The Padres gave him away to keep from paying him (well they are still paying a pretty large portion) – ATL is hoping that he can hit a few more HR in ATL.

    Some of you just don’t want to be confused with the facts as you have already made up your mind, regardless of fact!

    BTW, we got a player back from the Pods who is 5 years younger than Kemp.

    Let me break this down: Kemp is being paid $21.5 million (the Dodgers are kicking in $3.5 million, the Pods are paying $2.5 million, PLUS they are paying $46.9 Million to Olivera) for the privilege of having Matt Kemp go away. The Braves are effectively getting Kemp for about $9.5 million a year!

    Notwithstanding their salaries, there isn’t a GM in MLB who would trade Grandal for Kemp even up. Oh, and the Dodgers have no obligation to Grandal after this year.

    If you don’t think the Pods got swindled, then I’ve got a bridge I know you would buy!

    1. I once again refer you to Kemp’s numbers with runners in scoring position. For some reason that stat apparently isn’t used when computing wins above replacement. On the right team, Kemp has value.

    2. Reading your financial breakdown of the trade leads me to surmise, correctly or not, that the Padres would have been just as willing to trade us Kemp for Crawford who they could dump as they will with Olivera. Financially the same with them and Kemp would cost us little more than he is costing Atlanta. And the option to DFA him would be there for us if need be.

      1. Wondering
        I was thinking the same thing about Crawford.

        The only difference might be money wise, Crawford’s remaining years on his contract is probably less money, because I think Kemp has more years left on his contract.

    3. Mark
      Pete Rose values batting averages, not OBA.

      A player can get a lot of walks, if they try.

      When did Grandal hit 300 for an entire season in the majors?

      And Mark qualifying for a batting title has nothing to do with OBA !

      And where does Grandal rank in batting averages, on your same list?

  5. I noticed from the box score last night that Roberts used 2 pitchers to pitch the 9th inning in a game the team was 3 runs down. Interesting. Roberts manages pitchers at bat to at bat, and apparently is not too concerned about overall strategy. Tactical baseball. I think that’s why his use of the bullpen has been effective recently. Being 3 runs down, you would think that he would stick with the guy who started the inning. I don’t think anyone was on base, but I might be wrong on that. Interesting use of the bullpen, and more proof that this manager is always in the game.

  6. MichealNorris, your comments about Grandal are hilarious. I don’t agree entirely with you, but I do find the comments fun to read!

    As far as Olivera. I think we can see now, after 3 teams have traded him and now dumped him, that he was a complete waste of money. We signed him to a 6year/60mil type deal. He didn’t even earn 1 million of that deal from any of his teams. A complete and utter garbage signing by our organization. That $60 could have gone to Andrew Miller last year, or Greinke this year, or god knows who.

    Combine that with the signing of Arrubarrena (I wont add Guerrero to this list, because he did provide a lot of value early last year) and that’s nearly $100 milllion our organization, regardless of who was running it, totally threw out the window.

    We have like 28 hours to go till the trade deadline. So far, we’ve helped ourselves with Bud Norris. I’d love to understand Andrew Friedman’s definition of “elite level players”

    1. Bobby
      I totally agree with everything you have said.

      And I will be very disappointed if nothing is done.

      Our team earned some help, by playing like they have, since Kershaw went down.

    2. Bobby……last time I checked, it takes runs to win games. Matt Kemp for all his faults drives in runs. Yasmani Grandal has power to be sure, and this year he has hit about 16 HR’s and drove in 43. Great, he hit his HR today and the team was already winning. For the most part he is miserable with RISP and he has NO POWER RH. Most of the Dodgers power is from the left side. Grandal, Seager, Pederson, Gonzo all over double figures in homers. Unlike Mark, I could care less about a players WAR or any other geek stat you can think of. Does the guy drive in runs? Does he hit in the clutch? Does he drive in more runs that he lets in with bad fielding? Matt Kemp, again I think Badger was wrong, Kemp had a great season in 2011. He was coming up on being arbitration eligible. So they gave him a big contract. BUT, his numbers, other than a slight down year in 2010 as far as batting average, were very good. 2007 10 HR 42 ribbies in 98 games. And he hit .342. 2008 18 HR, 76 RBI and a .290 batting average. 2009 26 HR, 101 RBI’s ..297 BA. 2010..28 HR….89 RBI and a .249 average……only time in his career he has hit under. 250. 2011.. 39 HR 126 RBI’s and a .324 BA. ..now, 2012, the year he got hurt…He was hitting close to 360 when he went down, with 20 HR’s and close to 55 RBI’s….he played at the end of the year, but obviously was still hurt. So he finished with 23 HR and 69 RBI’s…Point is this….this is the only year in his career where Kemps OBP has been under 300….he has consistently drove in runs, 100 last year with 23 dingers in a much bigger ball park. Grandal cannot come close to that kind of production, his so called main skill is framing pitches. His game calling has improved a little because he is being tutored by one of the best. His pitch blocking skills leave a lot to be desired. To me, and I have seen a lot of catchers in my time, he is at best very average and an under average hitter….a catching version of Rob Deer without the same HR production….I dislike the guy, and have from the beginning. That is on me. I thought it was a lousy trade then, and I still think that….Kemp will do well in the ATL…..I cannot wait for the day that Grandal is an EXE Dodger…

  7. For the life of me,somebody please help me understand why there are these two idiots seating on folding chairs down the side likes.

  8. The Dodgers expressed interest in Lucroy recently, per FanRag’s Jon Heyman (on Twitter), but the talks were part of a larger deal that would have involved more teams. FOX’s Ken Rosenthal agrees with Heyman, tweeting that the Dodgers were likely to spin him elsewhere if the deal had been worked out. In addition to Lucroy, Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes is drawing interest from other clubs, tweets Yahoo’s Jeff Passan, so there could be a wide array of moving parts. Speculatively, Barnes could be a near-MLB-ready fit to head back to the Brewers in a potential three-team deal.

    1. I mean, if everybody is making out like bandits on trades, I still think we can ship off a few pieces to contenders that won’t hurt us this year as well.

    2. Wondering
      I heard this deal from someone like us.

      Grandal goes to the Indians, the Indians send almost the same prospects, to the Brewers, but a couple less, and we get Lucroy.

      Three team deal

  9. Wow – a lot of differing views here.

    Mark is right about Kemp. He’s not the player he used to be. The Braintrust also made an effort to improve the tone in the clubhouse and Kemp was a problem there too. Kershaw recently said that this year was the best clubhouse he had ever been in. Developing esprit de corps can help.

    Not only did the Braintrust get rid of a player on the way down, they got rid of some salary plus got a useful player in return in Grandal. Grandal certainly isn’t perfect but otherwise Ellis would be starting behind the plate and he simply can’t do that any more. I was against the Kemp trade at first but the Braintrust was right about that one.

    That’s why I can’t figure out why they would trade one overrated power hitter who can’t field (Kemp) and then trade for another one (Bruce, Braun). Those are deals that they shouldn’t do.

    I think that it is time for Puig to go, but not until they have enough OF to do the job. Toles is a nice 4th OF but not a starter. Possibly the same with Thompson, but Thompson and Ethier increasingly look to be out for the year. I think that they should keep Puig for now and work on getting his replacement during the offseason.

    No switching catchers in a pennant race – too hard for the pitchers. So no to Lucroy.

    They need a starting pitcher and an 8th inning bullpen arm. Sale is the best but he will cost more than the Braintrust will pay. Plus, Friedman wants every current and former Tampa player, so I expect to see one of Tampa’s pitchers wearing the Blue.

    Not many top bullpen arms left. They have waited too long to pull the trigger on a deal there.

    If there is a big splash to be made, it will be a starting pitcher.

    1. Dodger rick
      That may be because Bruce is only a rental.

      But I see them as much the same type of player, but I think Kemp is a better over all hitter, but Bruce is having a good year, in a contract year.

      And actually we need a right hand power bat, not another leftie bat, and I think Kemp is better on defense then Bruce.

      Bruce is not playing in a big outfield like Kemp was.

      And I question defensive saber metric numbers, and that is where Kemp gets evaluated badly.

      Those same saber metric numbers that Mark is using to down Kemp, are the same saber metric numbers that got Jason Heyward a big multi year contract, and he is hitting in the low 200s.

      1. That’s part of the reason some of those dope-fiend deals will go away.

        Again, I warned against signing Heyward.

        This is a new paradigm!

        1. I don’t know about that Mark.

          Look at all of the prospects and even high prospects, that teams, have given up, for closer’s in just this trade deadline.

    2. Because Bruce is cheap, even though he’s Ethier Lite. They can trade Ethier before his option vests and make room for Verdugo….oh wait, they’re trading Verdugo and Bellinger? Not our guys. Better to have Tampa players.

    3. I disagree Kemp was on the way down. The stats do not show that. He had a pretty good year in 2014, although it took him a while to get going and most of you forget how badly he was injured. He had 3 major surgeries. As far as the club house crap, well that stuff is over rated. He clashed with DM about not playing CF, but when he finally went out to RF, he did a great job and was their best hitter the last 2 months of 2014. I believe he was trade more because of the OF log jam than anything else. Ethier was UNTRADEABLE after a miserable 2014 where he only hit .249 with 4 HR’s. Kemp was a marketable piece, and they paid 30 million of the money he was owed. Puig was coming of an injury plagued year. So Kemp was shipped out. It was a BAD trade. All that is left is Yasmani Gasbag. A so called great pitch framer, who will be extremely fortunate to ever hit .250!

  10. Actually Bruce is not technically a rental; he has a team option for $13mil next year, or a $1 mil buyout.

    So, anyone who gets him, has the right to keep him for $13mil next year, which, by today’s standards, is a great bargain for a player of his talents (good talents, by no means elite talents!). Plus, anyone who gets him this year and has that right to keep him for next year also has a great trade asset; a 1 year guy on a very reasonable contract. We could easily use him this year while he’s playing well, and then cash out this winter and recoup some of the prospects we gave up to get him. Might not be the worst move ever (i.e. Hector Olivera)

  11. “Matt a Kemp is not the player he used to be.”

    Matt Kemp never really was the player he used to be. He had one great year, and for that we decided to pay him $160 million. Shame on us. I’ve got an idea, the next time a Dodger has an MVP like season trade him immediately. And by the way, he got hurt trying to run through a wall for us. Note to all outfielders, if the outfield wall you’re about to crash into is made of anything other than goose down pillows, run to the warning track and stop. That maybe out you’re trying to steal just isn’t worth it anymore.

    1. Was it Al Campanis who said it’s always better to trade a player a year too soon rather than a year too late? We obviously don’t follow that advice.

    2. I disagree for the reasons I stated above. His numbers were improving every year,, except for the down year in 2010 with the batting average and RBI’s….he was off to a great start in 2012, and probably would have hit over 40 HR’s till the Coors Field wall intervened….

  12. FAZ doesn’t have time to work on trades now, he’s making out the lineup for tonight’s game, listing the signals the coaches will flash to the batters who will ignore them, and listing the signs the catcher will send to the pitchers…. The team doesn’t run itself, you know…

  13. 7-6 since the AS break?
    Too early to say SF pulled out of their slump. But pretty easy to see we are still meandering. But maybe in modern baseball meandering is fine.

  14. Great no utley, Gonzalez, or Peterson in today’s lineup. Kiki and push in. Still no moves. At least get another jeez.

  15. This line up is still the same line up, that’s is last in offense, in all of baseball.

    I guess they are giving this series away today.

    Only Scott and Howie hit lefties.

    Turner is hitting below 200 against lefties, and Puig is hitting 229 against lefties, even though they both hit right handed.

    Kike hit at A, and AA, let’s see if he is really back.

    This line up wouldnt be so depressing, if I thought our front office was out there, getting the players or pitchers, that would help our team.

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