Too Soon to Panic, but it’s Sure Time to Worry. Dodgers Lose 6-4

The Big Blue Steamroller needs a tune up folks – maybe even an overhaul. It’s the final month of the season, and the Dodgers look tired and lost. Lost on the mound and tired at the plate.

Sure, there are some bright spots. Yasiel Puig is still earning a Gold Glove and he hasn’t succumbed to the team batting slump like everyone else. The bullpen has seen Tony Cingrani steady himself, and Adrian Gonzalez is hitting with increased frequency. Justin Turner, Chris Taylor and Cody Bellinger are showing signs of returning to power as well. All of that still hasn’t been able to keep the Dodgers from dropping their last three series and surrendering a third of their unbelievable division lead.

The steamroller is stuck in the mud, and I don’t have to tell you how hard it is to generate enough energy to get one of those things moving again.

In the final of a four-game series in San Diego, the once unbeatable Alex Wood (L 14-2) gave in to the demons that have plagued Dodgers starters over the past couple of weeks, and he gave up a first inning run. Then he settled down a bit before giving up two more in the fourth (2 run HR) and another (solo HR) in the fifth. Wood ended the day giving up seven hits, three walks, and those two home runs. He also struck out seven. So there’s that.

The Dodgers showed a bit more life today and battled some to keep the game within reach for a while. They took a brief 2-1 lead in the fourth behind Chris Taylor‘s solo home run (19) and a Justin Turner ground rule double that scored Curtis Granderson.

 

Trouble was, Wood gave those runs back on the homers, and San Diego took a 4-2 lead after five innings. The boys teased us all and got close again in the seventh behind a Cody Bellinger triple that really had no business falling for a hit, and Yasmani Grandal‘s sac fly. The Dodgers were once again within one run.

Unfortunately, Dave Roberts sent Fabio Castillo out for the seventh inning, and he was (cue Scott) “Pathetic”. Fabio gave up two singles, a wild pitch and a walk to load the bases – without recording a single out. Do you think the skipper seen enough? ¬†Was a mound visit with the young pitcher in order? Nope and nope. Nobody went out to talk to him and Fabio stayed in. What do you think happened next?

If you guessed “soul sucking disaster”, you win. Castillo gave up a two run hit to make the score 6-3 and bury the Dodgers hopes for the day. By the way, they decided to pull Castillo after the iceberg had already struck the ship.

The Dodgers teased once again in the ninth (which I should admit is a good sign). Cody Bellinger hit a solo home run to overtake that Dodgers traitor, Mike Piazza, as the LA Dodger rookie with the most home runs in a season.

That closed the gap to two runs, and with two out, Yasiel Puig hustled out an infield single. Austin Barnes was the tying run and the Dodgers last hope. He weakly flied out.

I’m glad to see Bellinger rack up a personal best and shove the traitor off the Dodgers’ record books, but I sure would have appreciated a win in a game started by someone not named Kershaw.

Next up, the sputtering Dodgers face the red-hot  Arizona D-backs at Chavez Ravine. Now things are getting interesting.

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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35 thoughts on “Too Soon to Panic, but it’s Sure Time to Worry. Dodgers Lose 6-4

  1. They seem tired and disinterested and lost. The focus is just not there, and I believe that Roberts needs to defin the roles of the pitching staff very soon, especially the starters.

    We have the DBacks and the Nationals this month. DBacks are playing very well and we need to show up for those games, especially the starters.

    1. YF

      This series reminded me of our series in SF against the Giants last year, in that last series against the Giants, in SF.

      Remember we let the Giants sweep us last year, and let them into the post season, because of we allowed them, to sweep us.

      I know there is a fine line when a team is so far ahead, in between still playing and playing competitively, and resting the players, and making sure no one gets hurt.

      But I still agree with everyone, that thinks we need to clinch, first.

      I do think our starting pitchers, need to stay in the rotation, and just pitch.

      Our starters have had more rest then most starters will get, in a regular season, so they need to continue to pitch this month, and get sharper for the post season, because Wood wasn’t to sharp today.

      And I do think this next series, means more then we think!

      1. If the Dback’s sweep the Dodgers in the upcoming series, they will be 10.5 games behind and riding a 13 game winning streak. That is definitely something to be worried about. All the momentum is being drained out of the Dodgers that they had just a few weeks before. All the glory and magic have come crashing down on a team that everyone thought was unbeatable. They are now human, vulnerable, and without that psychological edge they had even without Kershaw!!

        Without Seager (Granderson batting 2nd???), there is a huge hole in our lineup. Without Darvish, we are back to the same pitching problems we had when Kershaw went down. We need at least 2 guys that we can count on. Wood is just getting back. He needs to pitch more unless he’s still hurt. Pulling him for Castillo is another stupid Roberts’ mistake. Stop with the minor leaguers experiment. Paredes looks good, how many auditions are necessary at this time? Enough.

        Forsythe is just about useless with the bat. He’s in a major Joc slump heading in the same direction, oblivion. They knew they had this problem most of the season and nothing has been done to address it. Hernandez is not the answer at 2b. Utley is a bandaid, a decent one, but the same problem remains. What are they going to do?

        Yes, for many it is a time to panic. Do we want to witness one of the greatest meltdowns in baseball history?

          1. Bluto

            I don’t know if you have been more a Dodger fan, or a Red Sox fan, but most Dodger fans, don’t always have positive thoughts when it comes to the Dodgers, because the Dodgers have not ever did anything easy, so the first down time, will scare Dodger fans, more then fans, from other teams.

            But I can imagine there were plenty of Red Sox fans, that had this mentality, before they finally won it all.

          2. The Dodgers have not ever done anything easy?

            Which team has? Baseball is hard at times, the best teams don’t always win.

            But the Dodgers have the best record in baseball.

        1. Jeff

          I can’t disagree with any of your points, because most everything you said is true.

          I do think Corey is an important bat in this line up, and now that he is out, it is like when Cody was out.

          And I don’t think Grandal or Granderson belong at the top of the order.

          And maybe if Granderson is moved down where he belongs, he might do better, and he won’t hurt us as bad.

          And I think every Dodger fan always have this type of fear, when it comes to the Dodgers.

          1. Bluto

            Our team historian, Viny has always said that.

            And the Yankees have quite a few world championships, don’t they?

          2. I have no idea who Viny is, nor what the point of your reply is.

            Of course, the Yankees have Championships. So do the Dodgers and Red Sox.

  2. For the first time this season I am truly doubting Dave Roberts and some of his decisions. The man was as phenomenal as the team for most of the season but now it seems he is making a few bad choices (tonight’s Castillo bit a big one). I really can’t understand why he isn’t playing the same lineup more that had produced so much success up to this point. I get it that he is trying to give guys some at bats, but every game? Kike has become a disaster and needs to stay on the bench. Agon should only be out there maybe twice a week. And Puig needs to bat 8th. Also, more Barnes and less Grandal. Hopefully, the magic will return after Seager comes back since the top of the lineup guys are getting hot again (I hope). Now, what the hell is up with the starting pitching? Are they all just tired? So, rather than being the greatest team in possibly, ever, will this be the greatest late season crash of a team ever? Not only are the making the fans nervous but they are kind of embarrassing in their losses. I mean, 3 of four to the lowly monks?

  3. They are trying to rest guys, and I understand that. I even understand doing tryouts before clinching – it gives the games a bit of meaning. Maybe. But I can see the reasoning.

    But I think we will soon be in the part of the season where auditions are over and guys need to sharpen up. Especially the starters. They are horrible and need to pick it up.

    It’s not about how far we are ahead, it’s about how many starts do they have left to get themselves ready. I think they should be over any fatigue issues now and they should all be ready, stamina wise, to pitch through October and early November. But are they ready, skill and focus wise, not by a long shot.

    When I said I’d like Jansen to be rested more in September I didn’t mean for us to get killed in so many games in a row.

    1. Think Warriors. No baseball player works as much as a basketball player. Warriors go full tilt every game and then reach deeper when in the playoffs. Grueling effort pays off with the proper conditioning, diet, etc. Warriors were also a team that got hurt regularly some years back. They changed their doctor and trainers and were able to advance to the next level. The physio staff are very important for overall health, not the coaches. Many baseball players are just too fat or bulked up. It’s kind of absurd like the beards.

  4. I agree with that Jeff. Baseball players are very skilled and there is a longer road to fame (other than guys like Puig), but basketball is hands down much more grueling.

    The thing about baseball is that you are basically asking starting pitcher wanna-be’s to give up their tendons and ligaments in their arms for the sport. Basically what your demand for some football players I guess. Crazy.

    1. Include the backs, knees, ankles, and feet of basketball players, as well. No pain, no gain as they say. They all know the score.

      1. It is a lot easier to get injured in baseball, then basketball.

        That is because baseball players, are not continually moving, so their muscles are not always warmed up, like a basket ball player’s muscles are.

        And there is much more specialization in baseball, then basket ball.

        Think about Bret Anderson, he is no athlete, but he was big enough, and had enough specialization, to play Major League Baseball.

        You have to be in better shape to play basketball, then baseball, because of that.

  5. Piazza wasn’t a traitor. He was traded by an idiot executive from Fox.

    I’m not worried yet. Let them go thru their slump, which is LONG LONG overdue. The good thing is that the timing of the slump is late Aug/early Sept. We have plenty of time to get mad, wake up, figure it out, and get hot, just in time for Oct 6

    1. You are very right Bobby. Piazza was traded over the head of the GM. Fred Claire had no idea they were even considering it. They did it because they thought Piazza was going to demand a 100 million dollar deal when he became a free agent at the end of the year, and they did not think he was worth that much. He proved them wrong. The traitor stuff started over his feud with Vinny. And the fact that he went into the HOF wearing a Mets cap, but the players no longer have a say over that. Garvey was no traitor either. But was thought to be so when he signed with the Padres as a free agent. That was on the front office, they wanted to play Greg Brock because they thought he was better.

  6. It seems we fans are a lot more worried than the players or the manager. Every tweet I see, all the stories, say the players and the manager are not worried. Ok, they have a 13.5 game lead with 26 to play. Az has 25 games left. The Dodgers play .500 ball the last 26 games and their record is 105-57. The Diamond backs cannot win 105 games. They are at 79 wins with 25 left which would give them 104. And there is no way they are winning 25 games more in a row. The Dodgers have 7 games left against the Rockies, who are also in a nose dive, 6 with the Giants, who will be out to exact some revenge for where they are in the standings, 3 with the Padres and 3 with DC, and 4 with the Phillies. So 13 of the 26 are against teams with a .500 record or better. 17 of those games are in the division. Roberts stated that this week he is going with a 6 man rotation, which leads to the same 3 pitchers facing AZ as last week in Az. Me, I make a tweak and start CK one of those AZ games simply to keep him in his rhythm. The way it is now, he starts the first Colorado game on Thursday, sorry, I start him one of the AZ games. I simply do not trust Hill, Darvish or Maeda, to stop the snakes. Although I do expect because of the night air, that they will not hit as many HR’s. You need to beat your closest pursuer and not give them a glimmer of hope. Right now, after last weeks meltdown, AZ is of a mind that they can go toe to toe with the Dodgers and win. This is a statement series, and who ever makes the strongest statement has the advantage going into the playoffs. Az for sure will be one of the wild card teams and they will have home field in the wild card game. Which means if they win that game, they play the Dodgers in a 5 game series. Anything can happen, and has in those short series, we all know that well. By the beginning of next week, I think Roberts backs off the auditions and starts to get the regulars more playing time. Corey should be back by the weekend and that will be a boost. Also the latest is that Joc is not a lock to join the team. His play at OKC has been terrible, although he did hit a HR last night, same with Thompson. But Farmer should be back.

    1. Michael

      “Losing feels worse, then Winning feels good”.

      Name the person that said this.

      I was thinking after we played the Padres this weekend, that the Dbacks are not as good as they looked against us, in that last series.

      Because even though we threw the pitchers that are more at the bottom of our rotation at the Dbacks, we still played a couple, of pretty close games.

      With the way the Padres beat us, that shows me, the Dbacks are just not as good as they looked, last week.

      We have just not played good baseball, in the last couple weeks.

      And our starting pitchers have let us down in the last couple of weeks too.

      I read they would use a 6 man rotation this week, and then drop one of Maeda or Ryu, into the bullpen, next week.

  7. Not every fan thought this team was unbeatable, even at the
    heart of the winning streak.:-).

    The losing streak now doesn’t worry me. The team, as constructed,
    still does.

    They are possibles, not probables, just like the 42-8 team of a few
    years back.

  8. Everyone I just read this, the Dodgers had 122 different line ups, when they were winning all the time, and so did the Cubs last year, but the Cubs had more line up changes then we even did.

  9. Dodgers called up Charlie Culberson and Josh Fields, McCarthy put on the 60 day DL ….finger blisters….ever heard that one before?

    1. Michael

      Have you bought a baseball card from Tops lately?

      They released a card for Cody breaking the rookie record for HRs, and I can’t find it

      They have a bunch of Cody’s cards, but they are all sold out.

      And non of those sold out cards, have today’s date.

      This card is suppose to be on sale until sometime tomorrow eastern time.

      1. I usually get mine off of EBAY. I have not seen the Bellinger card, but since he only broke the record yesterday it makes sense that it is not on sale yet. But there will be a steep price for it like all rookie cards. His bobble head, which has not even been given away yet is on EBAY for 50 dollars plus and more.

      2. I just got off Topps web site, the card is on sale for about 10 more hours. It is 12:40 LA time right now and it is 9.99….

    1. James

      This worse then any nightmare a Dodger fan might have.

      But the Dbacks might not be this good, by the end of the season, and we will forget this game tonight hopefully.

      And our relievers need to stop their high fastball strategy, like they have done all night!

    2. Well for one, they wanted as many RH bats in the lineup as possible, and Culberson is a pretty decent SS. Hernandez has hit 3 HR’s against Ray. And Baez is going nowhere. He has not pitched very well lately, but then join the club. Fields got rocked and so did Font. Culberson hit the division clinching HR against the Rockies last year, and has played well at OKC. With Corey out it was Taylor, him, or Hernandez at SS. Nobody hit Ray tonight so give him some credit. He did his job, the Dodger bullpen made it impossible for the offense to catch up. Just a bad game all around.

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