Much Needed Win Against Stros, Cole

The Dodgers got battered and bruised yesterday 14-0. The Dodgers didn’t want to get swept against the Astros. Today Gerrit Cole was on the mound to face off against Walker Buehler. Buehler had to be the stopper today. Alex Wood is now on the DL. Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig are nicked up. First pitch of the game, George Springer hit a home run to make the score 1-0. I figured it was going to be Dejavu.

Joc Pederson started off with a walk in the bottom of the 1st. Manny Machado then singled and the Dodgers started to show some life. Brian Dozier then doubled with two outs to center field. George Springer dove for the ball and barely missed it. The Dodgers would score two runs and take the lead 2-1. That was a big hit for the Blue crew. In the bottom of the third, Manny Machado singled. Cody Bellinger then doubled and Macahdo scored and the Dodgers took a 3-1 lead.  Bellinger has been swinging the bat better of late. Manny Machado and Brian Dozier seem to be hitting the ball well.  Chris Taylor has also been getting some hits.

In the top of the third, George Springer walked and then was caught stealing 2nd. He had to leave the game. In the top of the fourth, Alex Bregman was hit by pitch. Marwin Gonzalez then singled. Buehler was then able to get Tyler White out and JD Davis out to get out of the inning. In the top of the fifth, Tony Kemp hit a solo shot for the Astros to make the score 3-2 Dodgers. Kemp and Buehler were teammates at Vanderbilt. In the top of the sixth, Alex Bregman doubled and Marwin Gonzalez walked with no outs.

Buehler struck out Tyler White who looks like Evan Gattis. Dylan Floro came in and got a huge double play from JD Davis to keep the score 3-2. In the bottom of the sixth, Chris Taylor hit a shot to center which looked like it was going out. Jake Marisnick lept and caught the ball over the wall. Taylor was robbed.  In the top of the 8th, Alex Bregman walked with one out. Scott Alexander got Marwin Gonzalez to ground into a double play.

Kenley Jansen then came in and closed out the victory. Great pitching by the bullpen. Ryu and Stripling are close to coming back from the DL. The Dodgers get a day off tomorrow. Then  they will play two against Oakland and four against the Rockies on the road.

James Moya

James Moya

Hi I’m James Moya. I am an avid Dodgers fan. I graduated Cal State Fullerton with a Bachelors in Communications. I used to freelance at the San Bernardino Sun. I’m excited about this opportunity to write for LA Dodger Report to gain experience. I’m a straight shooter on my opinions and I hope to get some good conversations going. My dream has always been to report on the Dodgers because Baseball is the National Past-time. I hope you enjoy the ride with me.

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35 thoughts on “Much Needed Win Against Stros, Cole

  1. I hope NotShyte didn’t do too much by getting that RBI double, Roberts will want to sit him down to give him some rest.

    We hung on to win 1 of 3, but this was a very ugly series with many weaknesses exposed [nothing to see that we all haven’t been seeing all season]

    Jonah and Scott, Are you guys talking about Moe and Lester website or Pedro Phile website or some other blog? [Just for you Badger]

    1. Not sure which websites you’re talking about? Moe and Lester? We’re just talking about the recent wordpress update that seems to have caused issues with the logins being saved.

  2. Thoroughly unimpressed with this win.

    This series just evidenced my sentiment from a week ago. When we play contenders, we can expect to win 1 out of 3. Unless we start manufacturing runs, that is how it’s going to be.

  3. I think today was the first time Machado had 3 hits in a game as a Dodger. Please correct me if I’m wrong. What I notice about Manny is that he doesn’t knock in enough runs for a team that is in real need of rbi’s that are not HR’s. He has 5 rbi’s in 17 games. Kershaw has 3 in 17 games. Dozier has 7 in 5 games.

    Manny gets on base, though. He is consistent in this whether by hits or walks. This raises his OPS, but there are players on our team who have a higher OPS than Manny who are making a fraction of what he makes. I like Manny, and his potential is very high, but is he the glue that this team needs? Dozier, otoh, has actually been more valuable to our team in the short time he’s been here. More rbi’s, an OPS of 1500, which won’t be sustainable, but the point is he is driving in runs which is the most needed aspect in our offense. The guy has been clutch. I cannot say the same thing for Manny.

    Here he is with a 3 hit game and I’m complaining about him. The guy hasn’t shown me he is clutch or able to drive in runs on a consistent basis. Even with all the HR’s he’s hit in his career, he’s never broken 100 rbi’s. This is a player who is said to be top 10 in baseball! Maybe I’m just expecting too much and it is too soon to say anything definitively. So far, he has not shown me a top 10 player as a hitter contributing to our wins. He is not losing games for us as Kike and Barnes do with their paltry contributions in general. They are offensive liabilities. Manny is not. But Manny has not changed the face of this team at all! This is what he was supposed to do and why he was so coveted. Which makes me think that FAZ will not be able to sign him come the off season. Other teams will offer him max, but will FAZ pay max? In my mind, you pay max for a game changer. Kershaw was a game changer, he got max. Even Kemp is not a game changer anymore and they won’t sign him unless he takes less which is a real possibility at this point. Kemp cannot sustain the level of play that marked the first half of the season. This is why I was hoping that Manny could be that game changer we need. Maybe he will be, maybe he won’t. We still need a game changer! Without it, no cigar! We don’t have enough to win consistently without that game changer. All the top teams have got one.

    1. Jeff

      They have spits that tell you how many opportunities to hit in runs, each player has, on Dodger com in stats.

      It would be how many at bats a hitter has had, when runners are in scoring position.

      I think I would move Manny to third too, because I have been thinking he has not had enough RBI situations, but I don’t know that, until I look at that stat.

      Because the hitters are only in those position in the order, at the beginning of a game.

      But sabers metrics like to have their best hitters, hitting second, so they will get the most at bats, after the lead off hitter.

  4. Manny has been hitting second, not exactly a RBI rich spot. He should be in the 3 hole. Justin should be hitting second to get him as many AB’s as possible. This team is not going to win without him producing. Got home after the game was over. It was a long month,

    1. We’ve missed you Michael.

      On Machado, his approach is better. Grandal gets into streaks too. I like what I see in Dozier, but at this point I like Machado a lot more.

  5. I agree with Michael, Machado in the 2 hole probably won’t get many RBIs. I’d hit him 3rd. He’s OPS’n over .900 WRISP, and at 25 he’s already put up 32 WAR. Give him time to settle in and he will be a very nice fit here. That said, he could get $30 million a year from somebody and I doubt that somebody is FAZ. Not their model.

    1. I saw that too Jonah. With the reset, and $70 million before reaching cap levels next year, the Dodgers can do anything they want to do, including blowing by the new cap. The question is, do these guys know how to plan new $200mm contracts? I haven’t seen it. We know by now what blueprint they follow. They cut their teeth in Tampa and Oakland. Will they be at the table bidding with guys like Harper and Machado in the pot? I’d like to think so, but I can’t help but see them folding when the bidding hits $30 million for 7 years. Not in their nature.

  6. Kemp and Puig both banged up. Pitching in disarray, and so far they have been dismal against teams with a winning record and they are playing the RED HOT A’s. John Axford?????????????? This is NOT a championship contender. Machado could hit .500 the rest of the way and this pitching staff would figure out a way to blow games. Dummy would have Kike hitting 4th and Kemp in the 7 hole or some stupid crap like that. Face it gang, this is not last years team. This is a dysfunctional group of wannabees with a few legit players sprinkled in there. Muncy is wilting like a cheap suit, last years ROY is hitting below .240 with less power and a ton of K’s. The bench is manned by guys who can’t hit in the clutch or otherwise. And there is little help at OKC. AZ is hanging tough, and the Dodgers are sputtering.

    1. Puig just came off the DL, what’s the matter with him now? Does he need more time off? Someone suggested both him and Kemp to the DL and both Toles and Verdugo to replace them… Sounds good to me.

      1. Puig’s Quad muscle is still barking. They are trying hard to keep him off the DL. Not sure how severe Kemp’s injury is. With Toles and Verdugo you are sacrificing a lot of power. Neither of those guys is a banger. Defense would be ok, but then the OF is lefty heavy again. Not the best scenario. A’s get Fiers from the Tigers.

        1. The way Puig, Kemp and Muncy are playing, are we really that worse off with Toles, Verdugo and Locastro?

          We need the first team available in September and October. If that means DL time in August, so be it.

        2. Michael

          Toles hit as many HRs as Puig did in the first month, of the season last year.

          And both Verdugo and Toles hit lefties better then most of the outfield including Puig, who hasn’t hit lefties, the last couple years.

          The only outfielder hitting lefties this year is Kemp, because Kike isn’t hitting lefties, either.

          1. You are talking ancient history. It means zip. One year does not translate to the next. Both he and Verdugo are more contact hitters than sluggers. So what I stated is true. You lose a lot of punch with those two guys in the lineup. Kike does not even belong in the conversation because he is a utility player. He hit lefty’s in the past, but not so much this year. Verdugo and Toles might give you maybe 5 to 7 homers apiece the rest of the way. If they are lucky because that is not either of those guys game. Puig and Kemp are both capable of at least doubling those numbers over the rest of the season, if of course they are healthy. Neither Toles or Verdugo have much MLB time under their belts. Both have shown flashes, but neither has been over whelming. They are both good hitters at the AAA level. That does not always translate to the majors. I am betting that Kemp will rebound and have a more than decent last 50 games if he is healthy. If his injury lingers, he will not be the Kemp we saw the first 100 games. I am surprised Puig came back early. The quad can take a long time to heal. But it did not seem to affect his ability to hit the long ball.

          2. Agreed, I’d rather have Kemp and Puig over Verdugo and Toles. But that means on the playing field. If they are hurt, then I’ll take the other two while they recover.

  7. The last thing this team needs another hitter, trying to hit every pitch out.

    That is this team’s biggest weakness.

    They have a bunch of players hitting not much above 250 or 260 with pop, but the pop more often comes, when no runners are on base.

    Because pitchers pitch much tougher, when runners are on base.

    And since Kemp has slumped, this offense has took a nose dive, unless they are facing sub par pitching, or a pitcher having a bad day.

    If you haven’t noticed, when one of these squirrels hit, most of the squirrels hit, because it often depends on the pitching, they are facing that day.

    1. Kemp and Muncy helped carry this team out of their sub .500 play. Neither have been performing for weeks. Give them some time off. We’ve got fathomless depth, right?

      1. Kemp’s slump has actually been over the last 12 games. He has one hit in that span. But now that we know he has an ankle problem it explains a lot. He is not able to fire off of that leg like he did when he was healthy, so he has been chasing pitches he can’t hit with authority hoping for a little luck and it is not happening for him. Pitchers have adjusted to Mad Max, and he has not adjusted back.

    2. Michael

      Toles was on this team the first year, from July through October throughout the postseason, and he hit the entire time, unlike I few of the players on this team.

      And he has, with every chance he has been given.

      If that was the way we decided on players, a lot of players on this team, would be gone already!

      I didn’t say a thing about Kemp, except he was the only one in the outfield, hitting lefties, which is true!

      Because you said the outfield would be to leftie, even though the other right hand outfielders are not hitting against lefties, on this team, and there are actually more right hand outfielders on this team this year, then lefties.

      And the one leftie that is an outfielder on this team, is a platoon outfielder, so that is no help against lefties either.

  8. I would rather have Puig an Kemp too. In September and October! Neither of those guys look right to me. Puig looks uncomfortable and Kemp looks incapable. He’s waving at stuff out of the strike and missing stuff in it. Get them both out of there. 10 days R&R. Beat it.

    I don’t care about punch from Toles and Verdugo. I care about ballers and both those guys are.

    And while we’re at it I’d lose Muncy too. Trade him to OKC for Locastro, another baller.

  9. I disagree that they are locks. I think they both have a lot of talent, but none of it is proven at the MLB level. Toles has had over 100 at bats once, Verdugo never. Toles has a ton of talent as does Verdugo, but I do not think either of them is the answer in a pennant race. Toles was good in 16, but that’s 2 years ago. Puig was great in 13, and has never been that guy since. Verdugo is a prospect until he proves different and he might get the chance. But it makes the outfield LH hitter heavy with both of them out there. Until Machado cranks it up and Turner gets back in a grove, Kemp and Puig are the RH power guys. My point is still the truth. They give up a lot of power with Toles and Verdugo playing in the same outfield.

  10. What this team needed was pitching and once again the Great FAZ flunked his mid term exam. Machado was a great pick up. Dozier is better than Forshyte. But Axford? Please, tell me there was a better option out there. The D-Backs are not sitting on their thumbs. They added 2 BP arms including Ziegler. The walking wounded are not going to get the job done no matter what FAZ thinks. Dave Roberts lineups are still mind boggling. Machado is hitting .315 with 21 of his homers in the 3 hole. The only hole Roberts has is the one in his head.

    1. I think we need fresh bodies to replace those that, for whatever reason, are underperforming. The reason we have a AAA team is for replacement players. I have NO problem giving both Verdugo and Toles at bats. The real pennant race starts at the end of August, 4 against Arizona, and in September, 15 against the West. It won’t hurt that much to give some our starters some time off.

      I think the pitching will come from those who were already here. Some are coming back from the DL, others will go on and off it the rest of the way. Cingrani, Fields, Urias, Ryu, Goeddel, Stripling, Baez, Garcia, Ferguson, Floro, Alexander…. there are some decent arms in that group to share the load going forward. Axford isn’t as bad as he looked, though he isn’t a stud either. And who knows, maybe some waiver deals are still to be made.

  11. Michael,

    The Dodgers have had the #1 pitching staff in the NL for a couple of weeks, now. Getting cranky about Axford is just letting off steam for the loss of the series against Houston. Axford’s appearance was an audition to see if he could hold an already lost game that Maeda managed. I don’t blame Roberts for using Axford, I blame Roberts for allowing him to continue to blow the game wide open and for allowing Maeda to pitch too many innings where he inevitably broke down and lost the game for us. These kinds of in-game managing need to be addressed. We’ll see how Axford is used in subsequent games and whether there is a place for him on the team. I think we have enough of a pitching army without him. We need to limit the innings of some of the starters, get Stripling back, and get our pen used to playing specified roles like long man, short reliever, and bridge to Jansen. Too many variables/changes by Roberts whom I deem a terrible decision maker when it comes to the pitching staff and his non-common sense use of his mind.

    1. It was just reported this afternoon. He is having the surgery in NY. It will not affect his TJ surgery recovery at all. He is way too young for this stuff. Jeff, and what is their record over that time? Axford has sucked for the last couple of years which is why he has bounced around so much. This pitching staff is not nearly as good as it looks on paper. They put a lot of pressure on the bullpen, and Roberts questionable use of his pitchers thrown into the mix makes things worse. They cannot beat teams with winning records. Their offense is sputtering worse than a model T. Axford’s ERA in Oakland last year was 6.5. Almost 4.5 this year. The guy is way past his prime. As usual FAZ throws a dart and hopes for a bulls eye. They lost to the Astro’s because they were out pitched. They scored 4 runs in 3 games. That ain’t getting er done.

  12. Michael,

    I can’t help feel you are too emotional to see what we have here. You want to see a team that is perfect, but it won’t happen. The Dodgers HAVE beaten teams with winning records. We hold series lead on the following: Milwaukee, Atlanta, Colorado, Washington, and Pittsburgh. The only winning team that we failed to beat in a series has been Chicago, and we tied the Phillies, so far. This is not to say that the Dodgers are playing stellar baseball. But, it has been enough, so far, to sustain us in the playoff race.

    Basing the whole shebang on losing this series to Houston doesn’t tell the story at all. It doesn’t matter if we beat any of the AL teams as long as we get into the playoffs with a more or less healthy crew and some momentum. There is ample time to work out the kinks with the batters and pitching staff. If you want a championship team, root for Houston. They’ve already proved themselves. But no one will guarantee that the Dodgers won’t win it all if they get their shyte together. Of course, it doesn’t look to good for them as we’ve said from the beginning of the year, yet they are tied for 1st place!

  13. Sorry Jeff. I am not emotional at all. I am basing it on what I see on the field and I am not drinking the cool-aid. Don’t ever assume to tell me who to root for either. I do not know how long you have been a Dodger fan, but I have been rooting, living and dying with this team for over 60 years. By the way, they are 3-4 against the Phillies this year, 6-7 against the Giants, and 4-8 against the D-Backs. They are 6-3 against the Rocks. 3-4 against the Cubs. They lost 4 to the woeful Reds. They have not even played the Cardinals yet. They did do well vs the Pirates, Mets and Braves, but even the lowly Marlins won the season series from them. By the way, the Giants qualify as a winning team and the D-Backs are definitely a winning team. Depending on the outcome of the game tonight, the Dodgers will be .5 in front or behind. I am not looking for perfection at all, no such animal in baseball. There have been great teams, but never perfection. What I am looking for, and pretty much what every Dodger fan should want is consistency. And who in the world said anything about basing the entire thing on what happened with the Stros? What happened with Houston is the same thing that happened in the series, they were outplayed and beaten by a more balanced, better team. Their so called depth is a myth. Oh, they have tons of mediocre, borderline MLB players sprinkled with some guys with a lot of talent. They have had a lot of injury’s and have been able to overcome them a lot better than most teams. Unless they improve in a lot of area’s a late run into October is a pipe dream. I am a realist. I look at this team, and there are some things to like. The defense has been decent, Forsythe is gone, Puig was heating up, until the relapse, Maeda has been steady until the other day. But Wood is down, Stripling is out, Ryu and Urias are not ready yet. The bullpen other than Jansen is about as reliable as a old lawn mower. Maybe that gets fixed, maybe not, maybe Roberts gets his head out of his ass and moves Machado to the 3 hole. Yeah, a lot can happen, but if the season ended today, they would have to face Az in a one game playoff to see who would win the division. Both are .5 back in the wild card race. They have 49 games left. Az 48 after tonight. What they do the next couple of weeks is going to be very telling. They are playing the Red Hot A’s, and a Colorado team in Denver that is doing a lot better the last few days. And another thing, they are 9-8 since the all star break, and that is not great baseball. Remember they went in the tank the end of August last year and lost 9 games off of their huge lead. I have a lot less faith than you that they will be better the last month or so, not unless a whole lot changes. Don’t look now, the Rockies are 1.5 games back. only saving grace is that the entire NL West is not that good.

  14. Michael,

    I’m afraid I’ve been a fan longer than you have, but that is not an issue for me. I felt your reaction to the big loss was a bit knee-jerk. I also don’t think you were fairly stating the case in your post that I commented on. The facts were shaded by your emotions. But, we generally agree on the problems of the Dodgers and the disappointing way in which they’ve executed in-game playing. They made strong moves in getting Dozier and Machado, but they haven’t found a way for most of the incumbents to play good baseball.

    But, I thoroughly disagree with you on the pitching. Yes, we have some injuries, but we also have some effective starters and relief men. Our bullpen is quite robust. Can it be better? Sure. I see the batters as more of a problem at this point than the pitchers. Slump-a-dump doesn’t cut it game in and game out. Not when you get multiple chances each game. Pitching is a different matter. Too many innings given to starters who are not equipped to handle it. We’ve got a relief army that has been effective, but not perfect. Chargois, Alexander, Floro, Goeddel, Ferguson, Jansen, and Fields coming back along with the possibility of playing either Stripling or Maeda in the pen come playoff time, or Urias and Cingrani, seem sufficient to me. Those bloody bats need to wake up and stay awake. If not, I pity the fans.

    1. You can disagree all you want. We see things a lot differently. We will see how it all plays out, but my opinion is that they will have to play a hell of a lot better than just above .500 to win.

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