Lobaton’s Homer Crushes Dodger Momentum in NLDS Game 2 Loss

Jose Lobaton

You didn’t think the Dodgers would just waltz out of Washington with two wins and ride home on an airplane of pixie dust did you? It’s just not that easy; although Rich Hill and the Dodger offense certainly made it easier for Washington then it had to be. The Dodgers blew an early 2-0 lead as Rich Hill was unable to get past the fifth inning (sound familiar?) allowing four earned runs on six hits over 4.1 innings in the game 2 loss to the Nationals.

The Dodger offense was spectacularly ineffective as they were unable to make any adjustments at the plate using the same swings on the same pitches. The killer blow for the Dodgers was Washington catcher Jose Lobaton’s three-run home run off of Hill in the bottom of the fourth inning that put the Nationals ahead 3-2. That not only destroyed any momentum the Dodgers had but essentially ended the game. The Dodgers left 12 men on base and were 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position.

NLDS Game 2 -Series Tied 1-1

Dodgers   2 8 0

Nationals 5 9 0





The Dodgers are trying to become the first team in MLB history to win a World Series with almost no starting pitching. They are finding out that is extremely difficult to do. To be fair, both starting pitchers were lackluster in his game. Both of the starters lasted just 4.1 innings, however Roark seemed to make less mistakes. I didn’t like what I saw from Hill as he fell behind in counts too many times. There were too many 2-0, or 3-0 counts early in the game. The Dodgers bullpen is great, but they are going to need some quality starts from their starters if they are going to make it through the postseason.

On offense Dodger killer Daniel Murphy was 3 for 3 with two runs driven in and Trea Turner went 2 for 4. The Dodgers had just two walks and a single after the fifth inning and never threatened after that. The Dodgers also loaded the bases in three different innings and failed to score. The Nationals would score three runs in the fourth frame, one in the fifth and add another in the seventh and defeated the Dodgers by a 5-2 score to even the NLDS. The series will shift to Dodger Stadium for games 3 and 4 Monday and Tuesday afternoon. Here’s how the game played out.

Once again the Dodgers got another monster home run from Corey Seager in the top of the first inning to put them ahead 1-0. This Seager bomb was hit to right field and he becomes just the third Dodger in postseason history to hit two home runs in the first two games of a postseason series. Rich Hill would start out well by striking out the side in the bottom of the first inning.

Bases loaded failure # 1

The Dodgers first bases loaded failure came in the top of the second. Opposing starter Tanner Roark gives up a single to Joc Pederson with one out. Yasmani Grandal walked, and Andrew Toles was hit by a pitch. However Roark struck out and Chase Utley grounded out. Dodgers get nada.

The Nationals loaded the bases as well against Hill in the bottom of the second. Murphy singled, after Anthon Rendon was called out on strikes Ryan Zimmerman walked. Danny Espinosa was hit by a pitch. Hill then induced an incredibly awesome 1-2-3 double play off the bat of Lobaton to get out of the inning. Unfortunately Lobaton would come back later.

The Dodgers plated their second run of the game in the top of the third. Justin Turner walks and Adrian Gonzalez singles him to second. Josh Reddick singles into right field and Turner comes around to score just ahead of the throw from Bryce Harper. The throw looked to be on the money, but the ball popped out of Lobaton’s glove when he tried to make the tag on the sliding Turner. The Dodgers take a 2-0 lead. Roark intentionally walked Joc to load the bases.

Bases loaded failure # 2

With the bases juiced and one out Grandal grounds into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning. The Dodgers would not score again.

Move to the bottom of the fourth. That’s where everything unraveled for Hill and the Dodgers. With the score still 2-0, Murphy walked. After Rendon and Zimmerman both fly out, Espinosa is hit by a pitch again. Then Lobaton crushes a 3-0 offspeed pitch over the wall to give Washington a 3-2 lead. That was really the game at that point. The momentum was smashed and Rich Hill was clearly useless. The Nationals would add two more runs and the Dodgers of course had one more bases loaded failure left in them.

That came in the top of the fifth. Turner and Reddick singles put two runners on base with one out. The Nationals wisely (It’s not brain surgery, I mean the Dodgers can’t hit left handers) brought in left handed specialist Mark Rzepczynski also known as scrabble in relief of Roark.

Since the Dodgers were not hitting and not making adjustments at all, manager Dave Roberts tried to mitigate that through pinch-hitters. The strategy didn’t work. Yasiel Puig pinch-hit for Joc Pederson and actually had a great at-bat, working a walk to load the bases.

Bases loaded failure #3

The Dodgers would once again, not score. Yasmani Grandal whiffed, and then Roberts went to the bench again. This time Howie Kendrick would pinch-hit for Toles. Kendrick lines to Werth in left and that was it.

The Nationals added single runs in the fifth and seventh innings. Singles from Trea Turner, and Bryce Harper set up a Murphy RBI single to center. In the seventh inning, Werth doubled, and once again Murphy singled him home. Murphy is now 4 for 6 in the series, and the Dodgers continue to pitch to him. There might have been more had Kendrick thrown out Harper at the plate in the fifth inning on a shallow pop fly to left.

‘The Nationals have a good bullpen too and they used five relievers to finish the Dodgers the rest of the way. Rzepczynski, Sammy Solis, Blake Treinen, Oliver Perez, and closer Mark Melancon combined to toss 4.2 innings of shutout ball. Hard to believe the Dodgers were done in by a backup catcher who hit a grand total of 3 home runs during the regular season, but that’s postseason baseball. She’s a cruel mistress sometimes.

The Nationals are too good of a club to be swept honestly, and the Dodgers are not a great road team. Look at it this way, the Dodgers were able to get one of the two on the road and I’m fine with that. Now the series comes back to Dodger Stadium where the Dodgers play a hell of a lot better. I think game 3 is pivotal here. If the Dodgers win game 3, then I think they’ll win the series. If they don’t then they are going to have a very hard time coming back from a 2-1 deficit.

One thing is for sure as I mentioned above, the Dodgers need to a quality start in game 3. That’s your job Kenta Maeda, please don’t screw it up. Game 3 will start tomorrow at 1:08 PM PST on MLB Network. Kenta Maeda vs. Gio Gonzalez.

At least the Giants are down 0-2. Silver linings Dodger fans.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

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

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119 thoughts on “Lobaton’s Homer Crushes Dodger Momentum in NLDS Game 2 Loss

    1. Yes it does get frustrating that Grandal, couldn’t at least hit a flyball into the outfield, when he came up with the bases loaded, with less then two outs.

  1. Scott
    Hill really don’t have that much command at all, because he was giving hitters, to many free bases.

    And he was really lucky the first time Loboton came up with the bases loaded, because he was able to get Loboton on just one pitch, to hit into a double play.

    The other thing that Hill did wrong, was pitch to Loboton, with the pitcher on deck.

    In that fateful inning, Hill walked Murphy, and hit the same 200 hitter, he had hit before, then he went 3 0 on Loboton, and instead of just putting him on base.

    He throws him a ball up, and let’s him hit a three run HR, with the pitcher on deck.

    1. This is nuts.

      Loboton stinks! He connected on a pitch, give him credit.

      But he’s not Bobby Bonds, he’s not Barry Bonds, he’s marginally better than the pitcher.

      1. With two players on the bases with a three zero count, wouldn’t be just better, to put the catcher on, and pitch to the pitcher.

  2. Grandal has a .267 career average with the bases loaded.

    Matt Kemp, the guy he was traded for has a .275 BA with the bases juiced.

    Grandal’s career batting average with the bases loaded his higher than his lifetime batting average. He’s only 27, so maybe he will get better. His late and close stats could be better – I’d like to see them better, but there’s only a two or three catchers I’d rather have than him, so there is that.

  3. Hill did not have good control all day. It’s somebody’s fault. Let’s hang ’em. Hang ’em high!

    Second guessers are never wrong. That’s the advantage they have. It’s easy!

    When Hill had his perfect game going, it was 7 days since he had pitched and I’d say he was extremely sharp then. So if they had let him pitch 6 innings in his last start that would have been the key?

    Come on! Get a grip. He pitched great at times and not so great at others today. In 4.1 innings, he struck out 7 and walked two and gave up ONE, count ’em 1, extra base hit. He may not have been at his best (Kershaw wasn’t either), but he was pretty dang good! ONE FREAKING EXTRA BASE HIT AND IT WAS A HR!

    Stuff happens. Quit the second guessing! Move on.

    1. And we are facing a leftie tomorrow.

      And it is a fair question to ask why a pitcher is pitching to a hitter, when they are way behind on the count, with the pitcher is on deck.

  4. Mark, Kemp is gone. Please live in the moment, or at least the game. Rehashing stats is just the same as second guessing.

    1. Good point Tim.

      Send someone to hell? I don’t believe that is necessary. How about sending him to the showers early ?

      Hill. Great at times? His line – 82 pitches in 4.1 IP, 4 earned, 8.31 ERA, L. That stinks. But we weren’t likely to sweep these guys. Moving on.

  5. Grandal stank today… Period…. Hill wasn’t that bad but it’s the post season and that’s exactly the same stuff that’s kept us from advancing in our past… It was a hanger here, walk there… Murphy everywhere… Sounds familiar… and I really want to make it this year!!

    If you are the Nats are you worried about Maeda? I know how great he’s been for us this year and I am literally praying for his best tomorrow…. But I can’t imagine Maeda has the Nats to concerned. Maybe that’s why he’s been so effective for us. Thoughts??

    Anybody watching the TX vs BJ?? Good game… Better than the debate…

  6. Leaving RISP is a team weakness – in the playoffs it gets exposed
    Not hitting LH pitchers is a weakness – same as above
    I hope they win this series, and miraculously beat the Cubs, but I’m a realist.

    I hope they continue to stay the course for next year and not trade the kids on the farm.
    I hope they address and fix the weaknesses for next season, as this is the third season now with the same holes.

    Three innings with loaded bases and no runs – really!

    1. It’s been a problem all season. It’s still a problem.

      I think it starts with the players. Gonzo and Ethier are the long-timers.

      They won’t trade the farm, but unlike what Badger has said all year, they are trying their best to win now.

  7. Maeda is 16-11 with a 3.48 ERA. He allowed 150 hits in 175 innings and had a 1.14 WHIP.

    Gonzalez was 11-11 with a 4.57 ERA. He allowed 179 hits in 177 innings and had a 1.34 WHIP.

    Who the hell knows? That is the history!

    1. I agree with that. Grandal killed us today. Poor, poor plate discipline. Absolutely can’t chase pitches coming in low in the zone in those situations. I was glad they dropped him in the order. I’d put Pederson behind him and hit Toles 2nd. Grandad did steal some strikes, but it didn’t make up for his poor hitting today. I’d think hard about playing Chooch tomorrow.

      Pitchers aren’t going to stay sharp with their control when they aren’t pitching enough.

      1. Hawkeye
        That is so obvious when Hill hits the same batter twice.

        It is to bad Hill, didn’t slow himself down a little, after putting so many runners on base.

        But I believe Hill gave up that HR, after being on base.

    2. Me……framing is an overblown stat. It gets a couple of calls a game maybe, but it sure does not drive in any runs. As far as Kemp goes. He hit 40 points higher than Grandal, hit 35 home runs and drove in 108. Those stats mean more than some bull crap pitch framing stat some moron dreamed up. Grandal did not need a hit in that spot, although that would have been nice, but a sac fly would have been cool too. But that’s just me. Bottom line, they lost the game and their starting pitching is very suspect. The better win the next 2 in LA< because if not, they see Scherzer again in DC in game 5…..that is of course if they split at home.

  8. If what I looked up is right, the Nationals have never faced Maeda.

    If you want to feel better about the game tomorrow, don’t read Dodgers Digest article on lefties, and Gio Gonzales.

    The Dodgers are not the only team, that has had trouble getting hits, with runners on base.

    Yesterday Dusty said the Nats problem in the first game, was not getting hits, with runners on base, like they have had problems with all year.

    I thought the Nats starting pitcher, was effectively wild today, and that made him hard to hit.

    That is why I think Turner didn’t get any hits today.

    I want to win badly to Jake!

  9. Mark I was just bringing up a point. Kemp is gone. The comparisons are done.
    Why in my face?
    I was just going against you about the second guessing. I never called you a name.
    Nothing. Now I am slow Tim again just for questioning something.
    Really Mark?
    Don’t push it… Please!!!!

    1. Mark lives in the past only when it’s convenient for him Tim. And as you know, denigrating is his calling card.

      I think playing Ruiz is a great idea. Keep Grandal ready to pinch hit. Unless of course the bases are loaded. Go with Ethier in that situation.

    1. You disagreed with the illustrious potentate! Mark believes he is right and no one else’s opinion matters. He is a Grandal lover, where as I am not. He touts his OBP, and other geek stats and tries to pass this guy off as Johnny Bench. I think he hits into too many DP’s, strikes out too much and is a below average defender.

  10. The guy who is struggling right now is Agon. One for nine so far and not making good contact. Pop ups and a slap single to LF. And we face a lefty tomorrow. Oh well hopefully it’s just a two game slump.

  11. The Dodgers players stats vs Gio are fugly. Almost have to go Culberson, Puig, and Chooch in the lineup. Kike’s 2 for 7 and Culberson’s 1 for 2 topped the list. Utley, Turner, and Gonzalez all have bad bad numbers. Grandal is 0 for 3.

    I think I would start Ruiz tomorrow. Having played in the east for some time, he has seen Gio a lot and he’s caught against Murphy a lot. While .241 against Gio isn’t great it is one of the best that the Dodgers have to offer.

    1. Hawkeye

      I think Turner has only three at bats against Gio, if I remember right, so that is not a great sample size.

      And it seems to me, that Turner is getting a little better against lefties lately.

      But the stats sure look bad, I agree.

      But I thought we would win yesterday game too, with Hill pitching.

      I think Hill needs to slow down a little, when he is getting behind on counts, and putting batters on base.

  12. SloTim,

    I was comparing Grandal to the guy he was traded for. Michael said Yasmani was not good in the clutch, so I looked it up and he’s not, although his batting average in the clutch is better than his everyday BA and then I looked at Kemps. What could be more relevant?

    Then, you come back and say: “Mark, Kemp is gone. Please live in the moment, or at least the game. Rehashing stats is just the same as second guessing.

    What the hell? Why even say that? Live in the moment? OK, the game is over – how can we live in the moment if it’s over? Stats are history? How was I re-hashing stats? And, if I was, how is that a bad thing? That’s what baseball is. If someone says one hitter is better than another, they look at (HELLO) stats!

    What you said makes no sense.

  13. Tim makes sense to me.

    Like I said last night, I would start Ruiz today and keep Grandal ready to ph. That said, with AGon struggling, do they sit him and go with the studly, ass kicking RH platoon that’s been used all year? I’m thinking they do.

    Gio Gonzalez had a terrible finish. 5 starts, 23 innings, 19 earned runs, 2-3 won loss. He finished with 3 straight losses. He’s right for the plucking, so…. pluck him.

    1. Just checked Maeda’s finish. Last 2 starts he went 6.2 with 8 earned runs. Yoiks. Hopefully a week off helped him get some needed rest. 32 starts on 4 days rest all year. Gallant effort by the tender arm who led the staff in skinny.

    2. Badger
      I noticed Gio had a very bad Sept too.

      He tends to walk a lot of hitters, so they will need to have patient at bats.

      I just wish this team was better against lefties, it is very unusual to have a major league team, that is horendus
      against lefties.

      But like I have said before, those stats are the part tme players, and Corey, Agone, and Turner.

      That is why I thought after this platoon team, wasn’t doing much most of the year, that they should have tried just the regular line up, and have them face lefties, to be ready for the post season.

      Roberts didn’t do that until the last week of the season, and then it was to late to really give our leftie regulars ready for lefties.

  14. I don’t think anyone actually thinks Kemp was good. The Padres traded him for a player they wanted no part of.

    Grandal is better, cheaper and younger.

    But that’s not the question, the question is whether the team is too lefty centric.

    My only rebuttal, and it’s quite weak, is that there aren’t that many (on average) good lefty starters. Maybe it’s a play of averages to weight a team to the right. Then add the injuries to SVS and Trace. Maybe throw in a missed opportunity for a RH utility player, and voila….

    1. Agreed. Also I think too much is made of the lefty/righty thing. I think a good left handed hitter is better than a bad right handed hitter against any pitcher, right or left. And the opposite is true also. Quality, not match up.

      1. Wondering
        That is why I thought that after this platoon team of part time players didn’t do anything, that it was worth a try to have the regular line up, to hit against lefties.

        Because the more regular line up, is the players, getting more consistent at bats, unlike the part time players.

        And when you get rid of two big rightie bats, it is good idea to at least replace one of those big rightie bats.

        I’m sorry Scotty, is not close to the hitter of Hanley and Kemp.

        Those guys might be defensive liabilities, but you can’t take away, that they are good hitters.

        Kemp has over one hundred RBIs this year, and Hanley had close to thirty HRs this year, and Kemp did hit more then thirty HRs, this year.

        Those are two big bats, that are hard to replace.

        1. I don’t believe this.

          Do you understand that Kemp was traded by the Padres (the Padres, who try to maximize return in the most unethical of ways) for a player who they had no interest in keeping in their system. NOT the majors, but in their system.

          The Padres owner (their owner!) went out of their way to celebrate trading Kemp.

          Kemp is barely a bench player, and you guys are celebrating him as a missing asset and piece of value.

          Am I being pranked here??!?!?!??

          1. You show me a bench player who hits 35 homers and drives in 108 runs……that is about the most moronic statement you have ever made……He was never a great fit in SD anyway, and they traded almost every player, not just Kemp, that they went after in 2015.

          2. True. They also traded Kimbrell. BUT THEY GOT VALUE BACK.

            True. They traded Shields. BUT THEY GOT VALUE BACK (less than Kimbrel.)

            They literally got nothing for Kemp. It’s my premise because he has no value. It’s your premise that Kemp has more value than Grandal.

    2. You haven’t been here long. Every time Grandal has a bad game, as has been the custom this season, the reflexive FAZ second guessers start to pine for the glory days of Kemp and criticize the trade that brought Grandal here.

      It’s this component that is the real back story between the exchange Mark and Tim. Grandal is better and cheaper, fills a position that was aging and in need of a replacement, and is actually one of the top five or six starting catchers in baseball.

      Your multi factorial explanation for the sometimes haplessness against lefties is as good as any. I don’t necessarily think it’s by design, though, to weight the lineup to the right.

      The one I don’t get is why Turner has more trouble with lefties than righties. I think if that split was reverse somewhat or at least equal, we might not be having the same conversation.

      1. Dodgerpatch

        My concern with are team not hitting leftie pitchers, isn’t about Grandal, and Someone brought up Kemps name.

        The only problem that I have with Grandal’s hitting, is that he needs to be a little more consistent, and not a all or nothing kind of hitter.

      2. Turner’s trouble with lefties has to be something mechanical, or that traditional (in person) scouting would explain.


        It’s beguiling.

      3. Not so. Kemp was loved by a lot of us and Colletti or anyone else that traded him was going to get heat. And I like Grandal; Our catching department was pathetic before he came. Better BA would be nice but I’ll take his home runs and OBP, thank you.

        1. Yes, I have no problem with Grandal being the catcher. And I understand why they traded away Kemp (as he had THE MOST VALUE of any of their OF’s). Most value and a terrible long term contract meant move him a.s.a.p. The Padres took him when they were buying/trading for everyone possible to put together a good team for the 2015 season. It didn’t work. Now everyone is tradeable and of course any one with large contracts are the preferred ones to be dealt. Should they have waited and gotten a better deal, of course but what none of us know is the relationship that might exist between management/ownership of organizations. It would not be the first time that one organization helped another. The Braves have a new stadium next year and in theory added a middle of the lineup hitter for basically nothing (except they now get to pay the $20M/year). As many of us know, there are no free lunches!

    3. Salary dump, and the Dodgers traded the same guy. Grandal better than Kemp??? Moronic. He is not even as good as Kemp was at his age……35 homers and 108 ribbies…….trumps 27 ..72 every time….oh I forgot, you are one of those guys who thinks those stats do not matter……and pitchers wins are unimportant too……….

  15. I’m expecting Maeda to be a warrior today and all we have to do is score some damn runs…
    I realize Maeda made some good $$$ based on his numbers, on top of the $3M base… Wouldn’t it be great if the league went to incentive driven contracts??? Westworld I know, but a guy could think about it…

  16. bluto, got a question for you as you seem to understand sabermetrics as well as anyone.

    I can’t figure out why todays math doesn’t like Matt Kemp. A system that loves home runs and OPS doesn’t reward him. 35 home runs, 108 RBI, .803 OPS, 89 runs scored, a respectable 126 OPS+ and only a 1.2, oWAR. And I don’t get the dWAR figures at all. While no one would give the guy a Gold Glove, he had 9 outfield assists and his fldg % was above league average and his range factor close to league average. Why such a large negative dWAR? The numbers just don’t support it. (for the record I’m not on board with dWAR stats) While his late and close numbers don’t look good, his “behind” OPS is a respectable .778 and he performs very well when the team wins, suggesting he contributed to the W. He also had a .906 OPS in the second half and played in 156 games, telling me the guy is reliable.

    Matt Kemp not good? I disagree and the numbers tell a story. Tell me you wouldn’t want 35 and 108 from a RH hitter in our lineup. If Yassie were to do that we would all be going ape over it. Well, not all of us. He would still be a knucklehead to at least one guy in here.

    1. Badger-

      I agree with the Matt Kemp response. Amazing how a guy that has averaged over 20 homers a year with a .286 BA over his career is considered ‘no good.’ Under those parameters, there aren’t many in the league that are any good. In fact the Dodgers would not have any good OF’s.

      Regarding Puig, yes he would still be a knucklehead (this I understand where Mark is coming from.) In fact I would conclude that IF he was putting up Matt Kemp type numbers he would be a bigger knucklehead.
      That play Friday night was a classic bone head (borderline selfish) play……could very well have cost the Dodgers that game if he and Pederson collided and the ball drops. Personally, I would not want to be playing in the OF with this guy around.
      And then his response afterwards……

      Yasiel Puig stole Joc Pederson’s fly ball then teased him on Instagram

      I’ll predict right now that he is gone in the off season.

      1. Chili
        It did not take Puig to long to revert back to what he has done, since he came to the team.

        But if you notice when he first came back, he was always throwing to the right base, and hadn’t done that, until the games got bigger.

        And I to think it is a need to draw attention.

        When he started off throwing to the right base, that just showed me, that he could do that from the begining, but he just didn’t want to.

          1. Thanks Chili,
            I don’t dis like Puig, but just before he was sent down, he was driving me nuts, with things he was doing.

            In Toles very first major league game, Toles was playing centerfield, and he went up on the wall, to try to catch a ball, and Puig was side by side Toles, on the wall.

            Then I actually saw Puig close to Howie in leftfield, and both times, he was playing rightfield.

          2. Yep, there is a place for everyone on a ball diamond after every batted ball and a RF standing near the LF on a ball hit to leftfield IS NOT HIS PLACE.

    2. I appreciate the sentiment, but I’m not the versed in the underlying mechanics. I’d simply say, and there are better people than I, when Kemp isn’t hitting HRs he’s bad at the plate, and he’s truly atrocious in the field.

      There was an article in 2014, back when Kemp could move about 100x better than now which spoke to how bad he is defensively and how that was killing his WAR even back then.

      Basically, I think it’s his atrocious defense combined with his inability to get on base. Outside of a homer that is. He just doesn’t get on base. I think he walked sub 20 times in over 400PAs! UNDER 20!

      I remember on TrueBlue there was a commenter who wrote something to the effect of: ‘Kemp hits big homeruns and we cheer. He strikes out and we boo. He plays atrocious defense and we shrug.’ And that was from someone who was neutral on Kemp.

      To keep in mind how bad Kemp is in the NL(from an analytics POV, a starters average WAR is 2. Kemp is .8. He’s barely a back-up! That said, if he could DH and remove the fielding maybe his WAR would be closer to 4. That’s low for a DH, I think, but it’s at least north of Starter level.

      MJ: don’t read my next sentence. Chili, batting average is a totally useless statistic to me and, MUCH MORE IMPORTANTLY, about 96% of the baseball front offices.

      And I haven’t mentioned his Neddish contract.

      Oh, I found it here:


      1. Bluto
        I am not offended at all, because I know that you are sabermetric guy.

        I just think some saber metric formulas could be better.

        1. Oh. They are can be and are always being improved, and even when they aren’t the new ones are interesting.

          I’m not sure exactly how to interpret them, but the exit velocity metrics are neat.

          1. Yeah, they’re really meaningful, telling us the useless stats of what we just saw, a home run or whatever…. I guess if you’re an old timer baseball fan, you judge a hitter by his home runs and slugging percentage; if you’re SABRE, you judge by exit velocity. Six of one, half dozen of the other….

      2. That article is from two years ago. He was an injured CF then. I would ask you to respond to my post and the more current defensive numbers. 9 outfield assists, a fldg % BETTER than league average and a range factor approaching league average. Why doesn’t that add up to a league average defender? Sounds to me like the opinion is based on opinion, not on the numbers. More hits, a lot more runs, more home runs, a lot more RBI, .800+ OPS, a higher OPS+ and his oWAR is less than Grandal’s why? Because Grandal walks? Doesn’t add up for me.

        1. Badger
          I have a problem to with how sabermetrics, doesn’t penalize players that much for striking out a lot, if they walk a lot.

        2. I said the article was from 2014, wasn’t trying to imply otherwise.

          I’ve read your question twice and I’m not sure what you want me to do? He doesn’t get on base when he’s not hitting for power, and his DRS (defensive runs saved) and UZR (which is modeled on the replacement player average) are among the worst in the entire MLB. That is, by definition, well worse than average.

          The trouble with fielding percentage is that it doesn’t incorporate range, arm strength or path to ball. It’s just reflective of catching the ball you engage with and throwing it to someone.

          Badger, we’re getting close to a point where you (and I am sure you might say the same of me) cherry pick stats to try to defend your POV. I’ve never met Kemp, I don’t think of Kemp, I actually enjoyed Kemp in his first and second years. But he stinks!

          Look, I’m not a huge baseball nerd. I have kids, I have a hard job. I try to figure out which stats the people who are baseball nerds and which stats the people who make their living in baseball use as good representations and formulate my opinion using those stats.

          WAR is one of them. So is UZR.

          But more than this, the Padres traded Kemp for Hector Olivera a player with literally ZERO value.

          That has to tell you something.

          Doesn’t it?

          1. It’s the most obvious case of dumping salary. He still produces but he is also overpaid. Blame it on the union or blame it on management or maybe can place blame on both. It’s the nature of the beast. Have a good year or two at the end of your current contract and then sign a bigger contract. Happens to all of them. Yes, at some point in the future, folks like Seager might be in the same situation.

        3. Wondering
          The thing about exit velocity is how often is this hitter, able to make consistent contact.

          I think Joc has one of the top exit velocities on the Dodgers, but how often is a making contact.

          If it isn’t consistent enough, exit velocity doesn’t mean much.

      3. Well BA might be totally useless to you and the ‘so called 96% of baseball front offices’ but IT does determine the quality of a hitter. Have yet to see a .230 hitter be viewed as a good hitter. Why even reward the highest batting average any longer, after all that stat is useless.

        Yeah, your right, those guys that get hit by pitches, walk and get on base via errors are the ones that should be paid the big bucks.

        And for the record, Matt Kemp walked a total of 36 times in 2016, not 20.
        His walk ratio was 5.3% for 2016. (7.5% over his career)

        Other notables walk ratio’s in 2016…..
        Chase Utley……….7.0% (LA lead off man, OBP of .319, Kemp with a .336 OBP would have been a better choice)
        Yasiel Puig………..6.5%
        Carlos Beltran…….5.9% (29 homers, 93 RBI’s)
        Adam Jones………..5.8% (29 homers, 83 RBI’s)
        Yasmany Tomas……5.5% (31 homers, 83 RBI’s)
        Starling Marte………….4.3% (.311 BA)
        Salvador Perez……..4.0% (22 homers, 64 RBI’s)
        Jonathon Schoop….3.4% (25 homers, 82 RBI’s)
        Rougned Odor………3.1% (33 homers, 88 RBI’s)
        Javier Baez……………3.3%

        Note that every one listed below the top 3 (Utley, Puig and Beltran) IS NOT GOING ANYWHERE from their respective teams.

        1. Hi Chili,

          I’m not sure what your point is at all.

          Who brought up walk ratio? Who awards high BAs? People still value RBIs and bunts very highly, what does that do for you?

          like I said to MJ and elsewhere, the BA argument has sailed. If you want to hold onto it, good on you.

          I can’t see one way it’s a more telling metric than the OPS slash. I appreciate a conversation like with Badger where we try to deduce what makes a metric valuable.

          But simply spitting dogma

          1. Wow.

            Guess you’re not aware of the batting title that is given in each league every year. Ever heard of folks like Tony Gwynn and Wade Boggs?

            I bring up the walk ratio cause of your comment…. ‘batting average is a totally useless statistic to me and, MUCH MORE IMPORTANTLY, about 96% of the baseball front offices.’

            Evidently you value OBP which gives more credence to walks. Go for it. How did that work out for the Money Ballers in Oakland? Please tell me how many titles they have won using that as their main barometer of determining a players value. It’s been 14 years…..as the MONEY BALL movie was released in 2011 based on Oakland’s 2002 usage of saber metrics. So far they have won NOTHING!

            So when a player hits in the 8th hole and has the pitcher hitting behind him and gets intentionally walked so they can pitch to the pitcher, does that really make that player a better hitter?

            I’ll take a lineup of .300 hitters over a lineup of .350 OBP any day. At least I know my lineup has the capability of driving in runs. Yes, RBI’s matter. Do RBI’s matter to you? Kemp had 108 of them. 3rd most in the NL and yet you are the one saying he has no value.

          2. OBP doesn’t give more credence to walks. It gives more credence to getting on base. That’s a big difference. The emphasis on walks solely is coming from you mostly. The point is to not make outs. I can’t remember ever citing an IBB given to an 8th place hitter as anything of merit, if I did you got me (although this could segway into a conversation about yesterday’s HR…)

            Ah yes, the batting title that was started in 1876. A very modern accreditation..

            An emphasis on OBP worked out well for the A’s. It got their GM recognition, admiration and a good chunk of ownership as a reward for his work.
            Oh, it also worked out nicely for the Cubs, Red Sox and Dodgers this year.

            But stick with those awards started in the 19th Century. That’s progressive thinking.

            RBIs are not, in my opinion, a stat that gives you information about a specific player. The impacting factors include what other players do. It’s why pitcher wins aren’t (IMHO) very interesting at all.

  17. Look, Kemp is a better all around ball player than Grandal will ever be. For a guy who was injured as badly as he was in 2012, his recovery is pretty miraculous. He was traded because he was the most trade able OF after 2014. And he was painted as a club house cancer. I get it…..it is over and done, but that 35 ..108 line in the OF beats anyone we had out there. Kemp lost speed and some agility when he was hurt. So, no, he is not a great defender at this point. He has a .983 career fielding pct, which is pretty good for any OF. I have read the biggest gripe about his fielding is the routes he takes to the ball. He had 12 sac flies this year….Grandal had 1. He grounded into 11 double plays, down from 16 last year. You can make arguments for both players, depending on how much you value batting average, home runs and ribbies against pitch framing, OBP, and WAR. None of which, as an old school guy, I think are worth beans……And to be honest…..I just do not like Grandal. He has lousy plate discipline and terrible pitch recognition……my opinion

  18. Lots of stuff on Kemp???
    I was hoping after shipping out Puig to OKC that he would return with increased trade value… Not too much, but in a pkg. of young hurlers or ??? we can score something… Please make it happen… I’m anxious to see a healthy Thompson at Camelback…

    1. I would like to see a healthy, mature Puig for 156 games. His second half numbers – .284 with an .837 OPS. (.500 slugging %).

      Talk about Kemp is in relation to FAZonian sabermetrics. We’re all about the algorithms now. Those of you who want us old goats on board with signing guys like McCarthy, Anderson, Kazmir, and that 13 player trade with Atlanta that landed us a bus load of WTF! might need to continue explaining how this FAZzy math actually works. Have patience with us. We are from a world where 2+2 equaled 4.

  19. Even big saber metric people, are really not sure that the way they rate defensively, is really a accurate, because defense is so hard to evaluate.

    If you think about it, how often does an outfield, make a game saving catch?

    Outfielders often are just catching routine flyballs, in the outfield, then saving extra base hits.

    And with all of this shifting, a outfielder, shouldn’t be to far from where the ball is hit, on an average.

    Maybe Kemps defense isn’t as bad as some formulas rate him.

    And a player is going to have a lot more at bats, then make game saving catches on defense, on a regular basis, so it isn’t as easy is some think probably, to value defense, as compared to offense, with players.

    1. MJ wrote:

      Even big saber metric people, are really not sure that the way they rate defensively, is really a accurate, because defense is so hard to evaluate.

      Which is true. BUT YOU HAVE TO TRY.

      You have to try and quantify it, and iterate on your metrics. Constantly approve them.

      As to the lot more at bats comments. We’re not talking about “game saving catches.” This is a very big point. There are only 27 outs in a regular game. On defense your goal is to get every out you can (not to just save a game.) If you can get 2 outs where average teams don’t, that’s a MASSIVE advantage.

      Conversely, if at bat you can avoid two outs where average teams either strike out or hit into that’s also a big plus.

      1. Bluto
        Those things are true, but the first thing that came to my mind is, it is a lot easier to get those outs on defense, then stop making outs on offense.

        Because hitting a pitched ball, is the hardest thing, to do, in any sport.

        1. What is the point of that statement? That a greater emphasis should be put on signing and developing good defensive players?

          I agree. I think the front office does too. See Reddick, Grandal’s framing, the emphasis on positioning and shifting….

          1. Bluto
            If your talking to me, I am saying it is easier to find or make a better defensive player, then to find a player that can hit, or teach a good defensive player, to hit.

            In baseball they always say if a player can hit, they will find a place where that player can play on defense.

  20. I am still mad that baseball, is not going to give the Dodgers and the Nationals, the late game tonight.

    It isn’t right, because the Giants and Cubs, were aready in California, either first thing in the morning yesterday, or right when the Dodger game
    ended yesterday.

    Our players, don’t get much rest.

    It was terrible that they cancelled that game on Saturday, and it didn’t rain.

    And really the weather was worse yesterday, because it was cold and windy.

  21. I liked Kemp too. I know his parents, but his attitude in the clubhouse is not something you want on a team. That was a problem here. So was Hanley. It was a problem in SD (the FO and coaches hated him). Maybe he has changed, but his fielding is still very poor. If he had a new attitude, I’d take him in LF. He did well in the ATL. let’s see what he does next year…

    1. It is to bad Hanley has an attitude problem, and couldn’t play shortstop.

      Because he does hit good pitching, and he actually has pretty good offensive stats this year.

      But he is also hitting in a great offensive line up too.

      What does everyone think about Howie’s arm in leftfield?

      I thought he made a really good throw to the plate on Harper, but he was pretty shallow.

      I like Howie, but his arm has cost us runs.

      It is like for every run Howie may hit in, he might give that run right back on defense, because of his arm.

      1. Agree 100% on Hanley.

        If AGon weren’t established, I wonder if the team would have tried him at first. I also wonder if, at that time, Hanley would have been receptive to it.

        1. Bluto
          When I saw Hanley playing leftfield last year, I got really turned off to Hanley.

          Because leftfield is not a hard position to play, for a former shortstop.

          If Hanley did the work and practice, he needed to do, to make that change.

          Hanley’s didn’t want to play leftfield, so he didn’t try to play leftfield.

  22. I don’t like home run games. Both of these games were that way. I guess I like them better when we win. For me, the HR is the least exciting play in the game. I don’t think we win an Earl Weaver type HR game. Our HR hitters are not good percentage hitters, for the most part. Go Cubs. Go Cubs. Go Cubs. I hope we don’t have to look at “don’t look at me” again until next spring. Go Cubs.

    1. Bobbie 17
      It would be nice if Bumgarner finally flopped in the post season.

      But if Bumgarner wasn’t pitching to that average Mets offense, I would have to give that guy credit, for being able to pitch so tough in the post season, and especially with runners in scoring position.

      That performance is etched in my mind, even more, after watching Kershaw struggle once again, in the post season.

      I don’t like Bumgarner at all, but I would love if Kershaw could pitch that tough, especially in his next game.

      Kershaw is still the key to our postseason.

  23. While we’re talking about batting average…
    Assume 600 at bats per season, 25 weeks per season:
    .200 BA is 120 hits or about 5 hits per week
    .250 BA is 150 hits or about 6 hits per week
    .300 BA is 180 hits or about 7 hits per week
    With that in mind, it’s hard to care much for BA. RBIs to a large part are relevant to runners on base in front of you. So why do we watch it and argue about it? Any part of it examined in a vacuum doesn’t have much meaning. Maybe the whole is greater than the sum of the parts…

    1. Wondering
      I am in to batting average, because players with good batting averages, make better consistent contact, that can help, even without getting just a hit.

      Look at Grandal, who I like, but he is more an all or nothing guy, when he is up to bat.

      Joc has gotten better, but he has the same problems as Grandal has, because they both strike out a lot, which doesn’t do much of anything, and they have trouble just putting the ball in play, when it is needed.

      To either hit a run in, or move a runner up, into scoring position.

    2. Wondering
      I would like to know how many routine flyballs does a outfielder catch in a week, and how many great run saving plays, do they make in a week.

    3. Other than what MJ has already stated about ‘better’ hitters making contact, etc., my only rebuttal is that players that play in 155+ games get close to 700 AB’s therefore all things being equal a .300 hitter would accumulate 35 additional hits throughout a season over a .250 hitter. Other than a guy hitting in the 8th spot a .300 hitter with pop is liable to draw more walks as teams will be more careful when pitching to him with men on base.

      Baseball is a percentage game so if they are willing to bat players closer to the top as every spot in the lineup on average gets a hitter another 30 AB’s (2 extra hits) throughout the season than trust me there is a big difference between someone hitting .300 compared to .250.

      Here’s 2 players saber metric #’s…….
      Player 1…… .365 OBP, .512 SLG, .877 OPS
      Player 2……. .352 OBP, .495 SLG, .847 OPS

      Traditional #’s
      Player 1….. 26 HR, 72 RBI
      Player 2….. 25 HR, 68 RBI

      These 2 are almost identical when looking at all of these numbers.
      So what does the eye ball test say and what is the ONE stat that shows there is a difference……BATTING AVERAGE

      Player 1 ………… .308
      Player 2 ………… .246

      Player 1 is Corey Seager
      Player 2 is Joc Pederson

      One is being viewed as the Franchise.
      The other is being platooned.

  24. I think a few of you are missing the point here. None of the regulars can hit lefties well, but all of the bench players can’t hit anyone. Period. You don’t lose game 3 of the NLDS with your backups, you lose with your best. Have some faith in the regulars. You play Grandal because at the least he can hit the ball out of the ball park (27 home runs). Im sorry but Carlos Ruiz sucks and hasn’t been a good hitter since 2008.

    There is no shame in losing with your best. The backups on the bench are not worth starting.

    1. It seems to me that Charlie Culberson had a bug hit or two… 😉

      Also, most of you realize that Kemp had 672 Plate Appearances this year, while Grandal had 457.

      Grandal averaged a HR every 16.9 AB’s while Kemp averaged one every 19.2 AB. They both averaged an RBI every 6.3 AB’s.

      So, there is that!

    2. It seems to me that Charlie Culberson had a big hit or two… 😉

      Also, most of you realize that Kemp had 672 Plate Appearances this year, while Grandal had 457.

      Grandal averaged a HR every 16.9 AB’s while Kemp averaged one every 19.2 AB. They both averaged an RBI every 6.3 AB’s.

      So, there is that!

    3. What are you talking about?

      The bench players include:

      Toles, Kendrick, Puig, Ethier, Barnes.

      Even Ruiz is pretty good for a back-up catcher. OK, maybe not.

      They are all above-replacement level hitters. Maybe not for lefties, but you said “anyone”

    4. Scott
      I understand where you are coming from, and I would have started doing what you have said today, a little sooner.

      Because like I have said to many times lately, those bad stats against lefties, is the part time player platoon team, and Agone, Corey, and Turner, not the almost regular line up.

    5. None of the regulars can hit lefties well, but all of the bench players can’t hit anyone. Period.
      Very sensible. Play your subs only for regular’s rest or injury.

  25. Scott, we are a platoon team. We had 1 guy with 600 at bats. Seager. We had 3 guys with 600 plate appearances, Seager, AGon and Turner. Our “bench guys” as you call them, are regulars. That has been one of the hardest adjustments those who have been following this team since the late 50’s have had to make.

    1. But Badger
      There are many more right hand pitchers in baseball, so by platoon standards, lefties get many more at bats, then righties, who are platooned.

  26. I understand Badger, but what some people don’t realize is that the regulars are the guys that got the Dodgers to the playoffs. Turner, Seager, Gonzo, Grandal, Joc, and Utley are the players who produced. They are the guys you have to have faith in. Yes Culberson had a big hit and he is not terrible, but Barnes had maybe 15 plate appearances in the bigs this year, Ethier hasn’t played all year, Ruiz is awful and cooked, Kendrick has been ice cold for the last month. those guys are late inning pinch-hitters or defensive replacements, and that’s it.

    You have to lose with your best, not with some .225 hitting utility player or washed up backup catcher. Have faith in the regulars, again there is no shame in losing with your best players on the field.

    1. Howie Hit .344 in July but has been sub-par the rest of the year, but the dude is a career .289 hitter. So there is that!

    2. Scott
      Did you see the line up?

      Howie is leading off again, and Puig is hitting fourth.

      Puig has been better, but I always get concerned, when he is batted, in the top of the order, because he tends to over swing.

      But I hope I my concerns, are proven wrong, and Puig starts this game, like he did against Moore, when we played the Giants, in that last series against them, at Dodger stadium.

  27. Kemp was plain horrible the first half of the last 3 seasons then turned it on. Too late to help SD. His defense is poor. Errors don’t measure everything defensively. His range is poor so he gives up a lot of hits that should be caught. Let’s not forget, he threw a hissy fit about playing LF and looked horrible doing it. Kemp, Hanley, and Beckett were issues in the clubhouse and aren’t missed by their teammates. I was a Kemp fan too.

  28. Howie is .01 point behind A-Gon in career BA, so even though he is having an off year, he has historically produced day-in-and-day out!

  29. That is why Puig shouldn’t bat at the top of th order.

    He over swings in most RBI moments, then he swings at first pitch when we need runners on base.

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