Rich Hill Was on Point, Dodger Bats Not on Point. Dodgers Split Double-Header

Almora Jr.

The Dodgers snuck in a win in the first game of the Wrigley Field double-header like they were the cast of Ocean’s Eleven. Down to their last out, Kyle Farmer’s beautiful pinch-hit two-run double in the top of the ninth gave the Dodgers a stunning come from behind win. The nightcap did not go the Dodgers way unfortunately, as the bats went cold and Brock Stewart (who is terrible) blew the tie in the bottom of the tenth. The Dodgers will have to settle for a split.

You can’t blame Rich Hill for this loss though. The curveball master (now sporting a full growth) was excellent as he pitched six scoreless innings en route to a no-decision. Hill returned from the disabled list and I’m guessing his finger was blisterless. Hill spun his trademark curveball with ease flummoxing the Chicago hitters through the night. Hill would allow just three hits and two walks while striking out six.

But Hill was a tad shaky in the early innings. The Cubs loaded the bases in the top of the second but Hill was able to pitch out of it getting a force out from Kyle Schwarber and a grounder from opposing starter Mike Montgomery. That was really the only trouble that Hill would get into until the bottom of the sixth when the Cubs would put runners at first and third. In that frame Javier Baez’s bunt single and Anthony Rizzo’s line drive single put the Dodgers in a jam. Hill would strike out Willson Contreras looking on a called third strike to end the inning, keeping the Cubs from scoring.

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Dodgers  1 9 0

Cubs         2 8 0

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Hill and the Dodgers would be locked into a pitching duel because opposing southpaw Montgomery was just as effective. The Dodger bats were unable to get the big hit and despite getting runners on base throughout the game, they just couldn’t get them in. Sound familiar? The Dodgers loaded the bases in the top of the second on two walks and a single. But Austin Barnes and Hill both whiffed and Chris Taylor flied out.

The Dodgers got two on in the top of the third, but Yasiel Puig lined out and Cody Bellinger struck out. The Dodgers got a lead-off double from Logan Forsythe in the top of the fourth and still couldn’t score. For the record Forsythe had the game of his life going 3 for 4 with two doubles, a single and a walk. In that inning Barnes, Hill and Taylor all made out without even advancing the runner. Excellent fundamentals boys!

The Dodgers finally scored in the top of the sixth. Bellinger walks and with two outs stole second. Light hitting Austin Barnes singles past the hole at short to score Bellinger and give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. The lead wouldn’t last. In the bottom of the seventh, the Cubs would tie it. Erik Goeddel on the mound and not having allowed a run in Dodger blue this year (14.1 scoreless innings) gives up a massive solo blast to Kyle Schwarber to tie the game at 1-1. Let’s move to the top of the ninth.

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The Dodgers had yet another opportunity to score. Guess what happened? Logan doubled and pinch-hitter Yasmani Grandal flies out. After Joc Pederson is intentionally walked, Taylor strikes out and Enrique Hernandez pops out. In the bottom of the ninth lefty Edward Paredes got two huge strikeouts (Schwarber, Happ) to get out of the inning.

The Dodgers had yet another chance to break the tie in the top of the tenth and again couldn’t do it. With Justin Hancock on the mound, Justin Turner walked. Max Muncy struck out and Puig flies out. But Bellinger strokes a single up the middle to send Turner to third. After Logan walks to load the bases, the Cubs made a pitching change. Up came Grandal with a chance to be the hero. Could he do it? Would he do it? Nope, he weakly flies out and the Dodgers are denied again.

In the bottom of the tenth the Dodgers essentially waived the white flag by bringing in Brock Stewart who was added on as the 26 man for the double-header. He’s been terrible all season and to nobody’s surprise he was terrible again. Stewart immediately gives up a triple into the right field corner to Kris Bryant. With a runner at third and nobody out the game was all but over. Predictably Stewart failed to record an out. Baez was intentionally walked and then with the infield playing up (because they had to at this point), Albert Almora Jr. banged a single through the infield into right field to plate the winning run. Dodgers lose.

In case you were wondering, the Dodgers stranded 13 runners on base today and were 2 for 15 with runners in scoring position in the nightcap. That’s just not going to get it done. It could have been much worse if not for the Farmer double in the first game. The Dodgers have to face Jon Lester in the rubber game on Wednesday afternoon. Ross Stripling will counter as the Dodgers look for the series win. Here’s hoping the bats get going again.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

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

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28 thoughts on “Rich Hill Was on Point, Dodger Bats Not on Point. Dodgers Split Double-Header

  1. Scott. Grandal is hitting .162 late in games where the score is close. He sucks period. With no outs his batting average is .203, with 2 outs it is .226. Farmer is hitting .273 when games are close and late, and .318 with 2 outs. His average against lefty’s is .258. He would have been a much better option than Grandal.

  2. Not all of us here are going to agree on things all the time. Me most of all. I am old school baseball, I think most of the saber metric stuff is worthless, and I think for the most part it has made the game the muddled mess it is today. There are some things I can agree with. I really believe now that they need an electronic strike zone. Especially after that pitiful performance by the home plate ump in the first game yesterday. I am also down with getting the DH in the NL. Not for the reason most people think. I want it there so high priced pitchers do not put their heads up as a target for guys throwing close to 100 miles an hour. Or placing their hands on the barrel of a bat to bunt and risking a broken hand or finger. For all the information available to him, how could Dave Roberts let Grandal hit against a lefty when he is pitiful late in games? Hell if I know. The game to me now is much less exciting than it was in the old days. I do not get a thrill out of watching both teams strike out 40 times in 2 games. The Dodgers deserved to lose that second game. And I am pretty tired of watching hitters flail away trying to hit 3 run homers with no one on base. They could have moved into a tie for first and they BLEW it.

    1. Question: “For all the information available to him, how could Dave Roberts let Grandal hit against a lefty when he is pitiful late in games?”

      Answer: Because Dave Roberts is not a good manager.

      1. “how could Dave Roberts let Grandal hit”

        Because he’s “50 times better” than the other guy ….. which makes him the greatest catcher of all time. Anyone who can hit over 10.000 and OPS 31.700 should never be taken out of the lineup.

  3. pack, the Dodgers were 2 for 15 with runners in scoring position. Dave Roberts did not get one of those 15 at bats. If he had, we might have been 3 for 15 and won that game.

    I’ve seen enough of Stewart.

  4. Agree with most here.

    What happened yesterday is why you have to be hesitant to resign Grandal for major money.

    In addition to the prospect depth at that position.

    1. It would be great if we could trade him now or in July. Ruiz is our top catching prospect, #2 in our system, Smith is ranked second best, #8 in the system. Both are right handed hitters and knowing how addicted this organization has become to platooning I don’t expect them to be able to part with Grandal’s LH bat. Not during the season anyway.

      So who is the catcher of the future? I read a rumor today that we could offer Ruiz and White to the Mets for Syndergaard or deGrom and they might do it. In the mean time, we wait for Grandal to have one of his hot streaks, and hope he can keep the ball from going to the backstop.

      1. Yeah, I don’t see them trading Grandal mid-season. Neither Ruiz nor Smith are going to be added to the 40 this year, full stop. It would be odd, to say the least, to create a hole for a team with aspirations of the post-season.

        A rumor about what the Mets may accept? Where was it? Legit source or fan speculation?

  5. I don’t agree that Grandal is worthless. He’s not the best in the league and he’s not the worst. Blaming the loss on him is silly. As others have mentioned, Roberts is a poor in-game manager. If we want to place blame on someone, it should be his choice of reliever in Stewart, who has let us down way too many times to even be on this team!! Why is this guy still on the roster? At least Grandal has added value through most of the year. His bat has had major influence when the team was slumping beyond hope earlier in the year. Fans have short memories.

    Having said this, the Dodgers as a unit, are in a hitting slump. When you are able to only get 5 or 6 hits a game, you are not going to win most of those. Dodgers get very lucky through the HR and their bullpen who have bailed their ass out way too many times already. We are a much better hitting team than we are showing. We are also playing the best pitching team in the NL.

    1. You will find out more often then not, Roberts and the Dodgers front office, will just go with platoon advantages, like managers already did in baseball, before saber metrics was even a factor.

      Because that is not the first time a hitter like Grandal shouldn’t bat, because of other factors.

      Grandal is hitting decently against righties, but he has not hit well against lefties and righties, in the last couple months, so he has been in somewhat of a slump, so those over all numbers you see on Grandal, don’t really apply to what he has done lately, especially in the last couple months, because he is incredibly streaky.

      And we have a few players on this team, that are streaky.

      What the players are forgetting, when they really started to turn this around, it wasn’t just based on HRs.

      Remember in Colorado when they had good at bats, and made sure they made contact when they needed to?

      In Colorado they really didn’t hit a bunch of HRs, anyways, for games in Colorado, they played together as a team on offense, and had good at bats, and they did hit some HRs.

      But this is Chicago and the wind is always changing, so it is not good to try to hit balls out, especially where the wind is blowing in.

      Most of the HRs in this series, have been hit down the rightfield line, not anywhere else, so they need to try to hit line drives, not put the ball in the air, unless it is a ball pulled down the line.

      And they are striking out to much when runners are in scoring position.

      They need to try to make some contact, to get a ball over the infielders, much like the Giant’s hitters do.

      And the Giants players tend to do that, because they are playing in a field, that is a incredible big.

    2. “The Dodgers are hitting in a slump.”

      Yes, that’s true. And do we blame that on Roberts? I’m sure some do. I don’t.

      The Dodgers used 6 relievers in game 1 and 3 in game 2 before Roberts went to Stewart. Who do you go to at that point Jeff? Seems to me Roberts waited as long as he could before going to Stewart. The fact that Stewart is a last resort is not Roberts’ fault.

      When your team hits .138 with runners in scoring position you deserve to lose. You guys think firing the manager will help the team hit better? Ha! That’s absurd.

      We actually won 1 of those games, which I find amazing. And I’m not gonna give Roberts credit for that win. It’s the players. 157 times out of 162 it’s the players. How do I know that? The algorithms tell me so. Have to listen to them. Gotta have the rithm these days people. No rithm, no rhyme. No rhyme, winzyme. Without the algorithms you are a loser. You don’t got the rithm you’re old school and out of date. Don’t keep pace, must replace.

      1. Badger
        Yeah, I say fire Roberts. If he did not change the lineup so often and make unnecessary changes the Dodgers might have a better record and still be rested. They don’t play long enough to get tired. I will never search high and low for an excuse for Dummy doing the things he does.

  6. Grandal is not worthless, he just totally sucks in the clutch. He hits much better in low pressure situations. Farmer would have been a much better option against a left handed pitcher because Grandal from the right side is frippen pitiful. That was my whole point.

  7. I would have played Barnes today.

    He also had a big hit yesterday, and he hits balls more on the line, and that is what is needed, with the wind blowing in.

    Barnes didn’t get to play for a long time, when Grandal was on his streak, and he needs to get more at bats now, and he should be in this game against Lester, today.

    I don’t know why these guys keep on hitting to rightfield, when it is obvious, it is better to hit from center, to leftfield.

  8. I’ve been out all day. I notice we are 1 for 5 WRISP and have no runs. We did that once yesterday too.

    Roberts won’t be canned. FAZ loves the guy. As you know, I don’t think it’s him. I’d rather get more better players than change managers. Best manager WAR ever? Joe Torre 29.4. How long did it take him to get it? 29 years. It ain’t the manager.

    In all honesty the method used for managers isn’t really a WAR modality, it’s more Wins Above Expectancy using the Pythagorean method. Maybe you guys already knew that and that’s why you didn’t bother to challenge me on it. Or, maybe you are so used to me being right you didn’t even question me on it. Either way, it still ain’t the manager. Like it or lump it, this is Pythagoristic enciphering organization and the computer will find the the greatest common divisor. It’s FAZonomics. And it’s here as long as Friedman is. Some will find it encipherable (see what I did there) but it will not change.

    1. Badger

      I don’t blame this on Roberts, because he is not making all of these moves, without having the front office on his mind.

      Our GM is in Chicago with the Dodgers too.

      1. MJ
        He is probably trying to get information from his old manager. He needs it as the one he has now is a dummy.

    2. Badger
      I just have one thing to say to you about being smart. If you are so smart, why do you have popups on your computer and I do not??

      1. Good question. I have no answer as it only happens here. Scott knows why. Ask him.

        Maybe you don’t DESERVE pop ups. Or…. maybe you don’t get them because you’ve already hit a lifetime’s worth in your career.

        And I’m not that smart. I only act smart. My Masters degree remains unfinished. I am operating at half Masters.

        Matt Kemp 0fer the series in Chicago. Bench the bum. Send him to the minors to work on his swing. Drop and give me 50 pack.

        1. Badger
          Why not check and see if FAZ will hire you. Then when I want to know something, I will have someone on the inside to explain it because what is in there now are sharp as marbles. I want your first assignment to be explaining why Roberts is so dumb? Followed by “Pickups and trades by FAZ. When you get all that up to date you can take some time off. They like to give people time off anyway. Oh, by the way, it will be you doing the 50 pushups. Scott is going to get it on the popups too.

          1. Ok, I made a few calls.

            This is what I can tell you:

            Dave Roberts went to UCLA and graduated, earning a degree in history with a minor in economics. He made $17 million as a player and currently has a three year contract, for how much my sources don’t know, but he has a .588 winning percentage and will no doubt be extended by a saber management team that loves him. When told some people think he’s a dummy he laughed and said “did those people make over $25 million before they were 50?”

  9. I am really looking forward to Mike Trout putting up 15 WAR and finishing third in the MVP because the Angels finished 20 games behind the defending World Champs.

    Can’t wait.

    Very excited.

    1. Me too.

      Trout makes $34 million a year until ‘21. He’s stuck in Orange County until then. Tough break, unless $34 million a year until ‘21 is a problem.

  10. Despite how Package feels, Dave Roberts is not dumb by any stretch of the imagination. He is exactly the kind of manager FAZ wanted. He believes in al the saber metric data they give him and he pretty much manages accordingly. Sometimes his methods may seem a bit odd to us. Especially his rotating lineups and constant changes. But the guy is far from being dumb. Mattingly did not agree with all that stuff. That’s why he is no longer here. My only real complaint with Doc is that I personally feel he is not a great in game manager. Sometimes he micro manages the team too much. But even though his contract expires at the end of the year, I am pretty sure FAZ will retain his services.

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