Wood Good Again as Dodgers Steamroll Atlanta 7-4

The only team to give the Alex Wood and the Dodgers a run for their money recently has been the Atlanta Braves. In tonight’s rubber match of the three game series, Alex Wood (12-1) took the mound against the only team to beat him this season, and he led the Dodgers to a victory that got the boys in blue back on their winning ways.

Alex Wood notched his 13th win, but it wasn’t exactly easy. Wood gave up a run in the first inning, and he needed help from his defense to get him out of a couple of close jams, including a bases loaded with no out situation in the fifth inning. The Dodgers were ahead 2-1 at the time, and the Braves loaded the bases behind two walks and a single.

Wood brilliantly picked off the man on second for the first out, and then he got a double play to end the inning. The threat was stopped, Atlanta’s momentum broken, and the Braves never recovered. The Dodgers went on to score three more runs on their way to victory.

Shortstop Corey Seager also contributed to the defensive efforts with this leaping catch.

The Dodgers’ steamroller offense was firing on all cylinders tonight. Yasiel Puig and Chris Taylor got the scoring started in the third when Puig walked and then Taylor did this…

Taylor batted leadoff with had three hits, two RBIs, and he scored three times. He’s now batting a very solid .313 with a .913 OPS.

The Dodgers scored again in the sixth when Justin Turner brought in Taylor with a deep sacrifice fly. That put the boys ahead 4-1, and they never looked back. They scored two more in the seventh on an Enrique Hernandez single to bring in Logan Forsythe, and Austin Barnes brought home a run on a Yasiel Puig double play.

The Dodgers scored their seventh run when Austin Barnes doubled to bring home Logan Forsythe. Forsythe boggled my mind today as he continued to struggle at the plate, and later added booting and bobbling balls to his act. Yet the man got a hit, walked once, and scored twice. I’m going to be keeping a close watch on him.

Oh yeah, newest Dodger, Tony Ciangrani came in and quickly gave up two singles and a three run bomb to close the gap to 7-4. He settled down and got the three outs to finish off the game. Hopefully that was a case of jittery nerves pitching for a new team. Guess we should keep a close watch on him too.

We’ll all be keeping a watch on the Dodgers and their newest starting pitcher, Yu Darvish, tomorrow from New York. Don’t miss it.

 

Dodgers Win 7-4!

 

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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59 thoughts on “Wood Good Again as Dodgers Steamroll Atlanta 7-4

  1. Except for Taylor and Corey, the offense did not wake up until late in the game. Wood showed some real cojones getting out of a bases loaded jam with no outs. Nobody scored and that kept the game right where it needed to be. Bullpen was good except for the 9th inning scare new lefty Cingrani put in everyone. First career hit for the ATL 2nd baseman was a3 run shot. But he settled down without any more damage. They stay where they are in the standings, and Colorado and Az lose another day off the calendar. Darvish’s first start tomorrow against the Met’s ace, deGrom.

  2. Hard to keep Taylor down. He and Turner have been great finds. Not sure what Roberts was trying to do there, leaving Cingrani in to clean up his own mess, but I think the result was ok and Cingrani’s going to have to keep working.

  3. More on Chris Taylor’s home run. That pitch looked very similar to a pitch that Taylor checked his swing on against the Giants (I recall it was either with the bases loaded or two on, the night where he went 0 for 6). I thought that pitchers might try to pitch him there soon, because Taylor’s swing path does not cover that small high and outside area of the plate well when it’s a heater.

    This pitch was perhaps a hair lower and Taylor hit it out. He got just enough of the barrel on the ball. I was surprised the back went out, and in any case it seemed to me he was looking for that pitch, and that says to me he is smart and adjusts.

    1. YF

      Did Taylor take it to the oppo side last night?

      I didn’t see most of the game, but I did see Wood get out of that tough inning.

      The game went off shortly after Wood did that.

      It got me mad, because the Dodger game was the only channel that went off.

      And the Dodgers are the only reason I have Sport Net LA, and cable has problems all the time.

      I wish Direct TV could carry it.

      Believe it not, this is the first time I have had cable, because we’re my other house was, I had to get Direct TV before many people had satellite TV, and there were never any problems.

  4. Taylor is another all or nothing swinger on this team. What separates him from others is how often he barrels it up. His BABIP is over .400. I find it difficult to believe that is sustainable, but it’s August and it’s still there.

    Adrian is on the 60 Day and unless something unexpected happens will likely spend a lengthy time rehabbing. There is no roster move that is immediate. And there is no need for one.

    We continue to pound everybody, but it sure seems we play weak looking teams. Maybe they’re intimidated, as the Braves looked awful. They had Wood on the ropes and bumbled their way out of a big inning. That seems to happen a lot for us. It’s good to be driving the juggernaut.

    Another sub .500 team on a losing streak up today. I won’t miss this one.

      1. Jonah

        I think Michael posted that yesterday but maybe people missed it, because it was one of the later posts, so thanks for posting it again Jonah!

        This is why I like Agone he is a team player, and he isn’t going to fool around and try to come back to soon, and he really wants to know if he can still play, with his injury issue.

        I know his back may feel better now, but he will only know if his back will be ok, after trying to play with it for a while.

        I don’t know what happened with Agone in Boston, because I have only seen a really good player, and he appears to be a good guy.

        And if Agone can hit like he did last year in the second half, he will be an asset in our line up.

        Because if Agone is ok he will be a better bat, then Forsythe or Joc, if he is like he was last year, in the second half.

        1. Frankly I don’t see AGon being anything more than a sub when the rosters expand. He might give Bellinger some time off just to keep Cody’s legs fresh for October. Bellinger’s unexpected meteoric rise has made AGon obsolete. Lucky us.

          1. Badger

            I only thought different if Agone was like he was, in the second half last year, and with the fact that Bellinger would still be in the line up, because he can play in the outfield.

        2. I read that last week on the Dodger site. Adrian did an interview where he told every one he was going to take the full 20 game rehab because he wanted to make sure there were no problems with his back. Ultimate team guy. Also, he was put on the 60 day retro to 12 July, which means he is eligible to come off the DL September 12th.

    1. Badger

      Do you think Taylor is different from other all or nothing hitters, because he does go to the oppo side at times?

      He didn’t appear to be that to me, because he is getting many more hits, then an all or nothing hitter, and because he is batting in the 300s, but you must have saw something in his stats besides that high Babip.

    2. The BABIP should be totally unsustainable, I tried to document that previously but it was caught up in moderation hell. His BABIP is Ruthian right now.

      But, like the season, let the fans just enjoy it.

      1. Bluto

        Taylors Babip 400, Turners 365, Corey 363.

        I know that a Babip is not always a true measure, so what are problems with Babip at times.

        1. BABIP is often used as a barometer for luck, and that is a significant indication of what it is. Typically around 30% of all balls in play fall for hits, but there are several variables that can affect BABIP rates for individual players, such as defense, luck, and talent level. In this year of a juiced ball, maybe we can lift that by 20%. Call it .340.

          So, what goes into a good BABIP? aBadger, Michael Norris, or any little leaguer (I think) can tell you that the chances of getting a hit varies based on the type of contact made, Taylor is 2nd in the MLB in line drive rate, with a LD% of 27.0%.

          Generally speaking from what I learned online line drives result in an expected batting average of somewhere between .670 and .700, so players hitting more of them should be expected to see better results.

          Taylor has been lucky, to be sure, but his quality of contact is among the best in the league, and he is an above-average runner, thus is able to make the most of that strong contact (or even medium contact I guess.)

          I can’t find any similar stats for The Babe, but it’s safe to assume they were impressive. If Taylor can continue lacing line drives, he may yet challenge this 96-year-old record. I doubt it.

          Most likely he will fade, as no player with a minimum of 600 PAs has ever, EVER, EEEVVVVVVEEEEEERRRRRR has achieved a BABIP over .400 since Rod Carew had a .408 BABIP in 1977. But that’s the beauty of baseball: there’s always time, hope and the chance for the unexpected.

          1. Bluto thanks!

            I know the line drives that you are talking about, are real line drives, not those dinkers, that will look like line drive hits, in the box score, like they always say.

          2. Hi MJ,

            I have no idea what distinguishes one line-drive from a non-line drive.

            Nor do I really care, other people can worry about that.

          3. I was taught early and often that 7 out of 10 line drives are base hits. I grew up with one thing in mind – hit it hard somewhere. Home runs came of course, but they were rare. Current stats say the average MLB player is 6’2″ and over 190. Chris Taylor looks smaller than most on the field and he is 6’1″ 195 pounds. By most standards that’s really put together. (Actually, he’s bigger than Mickey Mantle was). Bigger, stronger guys can usually hit it farther.

    3. Badger

      I looked at both Joc’s and Forsythe’s WAR and Joc’s is 0.8 and Forsythe is 1.0 isn’t that amazing.

      Both players have bad batting averages, and most of Forsythe’s WAR is from defense and his OBA.

      And Joc’s is also from OBA, but Joc has had more HRs and extra base hits, then Forsythe has, and Joc’s OPS is in the 800s, and I believe Forsythe’s is in the 600s.

      That is why WAR and OPS is not always a true measure of all players.

      1. I’m not certain what goes into the formula but I suspect it’s tweaked a lot. Joc has a negative.9 dWAR which tells me as a centerfielder he is less than replacement level. I hope we can do better than that. This staff deserves a lot better than that. Strong up the middle. Which begins behind the plate. Grandal, with 5 errors and a league leading (again) 11 passed balls has a positive dWAR, and why? Because he can move his glove from outside the strike zone to inside it and fool a big league umpire. I still don’t get that. You can see these guys doing it day after day. That shit didn’t work at the high school level when I umped. But apparently these top of the pyramid umpires get fooled by it. Oh well. Add that to the list.

        1. I do not see how a CF with only 1 error can have a negative dWAR. Makes no sense to me. Joc has made 1 error in over 100 chances. His fielding pct is .991. Kike’s on the other hand is .973. Joc is better than what that stat says.

          1. Michael

            We are not looking at the old way where errors, are how players are judged, on their defense.

            These other metrics are more about how much ground does a defensive player cover.

            And another metric will gauge a range of plays that go from an everyday play, to very difficult plays.

            I think these defensive metrics change to much from year to year, so I don’t put to much into just one year.

            And you know in the outfield sometimes, if a player doesn’t even get their glove on a fly ball that they should have caught, these outfielders, don’t usually get errors when they don’t touch the ball, so it is actually harder to make an error in the outfield, because of that.

            And like you know, that is up to the official scorer.

          2. From what I’ve read and tried to understand, defensive ratings are perhaps the most suspect.

            It is hard for the analyst to normalize positioning, communication and information flows.

            It’s also hard to compare how player X would have done in reacting to a hit as to player Y.

          3. OK MJ, I get what they are saying and that’s the metric geeks way of trying to make themselves relevant. But it does not pass the eye test. Not to me anyway. I look at routes the fielder takes to the ball. Is he getting a good jump and seeing the ball well. Does he catch the ball when he gets to it, does he have the good sense to NOT DIVE when he has no chance of cutting a ball off or catching it. So I place no value in the geeks stat. Case in point, everyone says Joc looks slow, well if you watch when he is after a ball over his head or to his left or right, he closes on the ball very fast. He runs excellent routes, which is one of the reasons he is a CF. Taylor, who is faster, does not look comfortable when I have seen him in CF and because of his lack of experience out there, he does not run good routes to the ball. I have watched baseball longer than the stat geeks have been dreaming up stats that they think define how a player should be judged, and my experience watching as much of the game as I have and being a student of the game, I am more comfortable with my analysis of Joc’s fielding ability than they are. Same with Puig, who NEVER takes his batting problems on the field with him and plays about as hard as any outfielder I have seen in a long time. The best? Willie Mays. He was unreal. Willie Davis was close. But he will always be remembered for making 3 errors in one inning in a World Series game. Griffey Jr was outstanding too. Joc is not those guys, but he is more than adequate out there. Otherwise, if there was a better option he would not be there at all.

    4. I don’t think Taylor is an all or nothing hitter. He’s more like Turner. BABIP is very high but to my eyes it’s because he has good bat speed and he does not swing with his arms fully extended. This leaves the upper outside corner a bit open but last night he showed he can swing higher like Turner and get to that pitch. (MJ he hit it to straight away center, a shade to right).

      I fully agree with Michael on Joc’s defense.

  5. Credit where credit is due. Badger won’t like this but Timmons has a very good site except for some of the yes men there, but that’s on them, not him. Today he has several videos of a Dodger farmhand we’re likely to see in the next year or so, Henry Ramos, 6’2″, 220 pounds, switch hitting outfielder, all three positions, hits for power and average. If he had as much exposure as Verdugo, I’d take him over Verdugo right now. Time will tell that story… I don’t think we’re going to be signing any big money contracts in the near future…

    1. I hope you’re wrong about no stars in LA Jonah, but if these guys being rounded up by FAZ are what we hope they are we may not need any over the hill gang members. We’ll be paying big contracts to Seager and Bellinger soon enough. This is LA, not Tampa. Bring the stars out!

      MJ, from what I’ve seen with Taylor I’m guessing he has 20/10 vision and remarkable hand eye coordination. With that he will punish mistakes in the strike zone. My approach would be be to attack him with change of speeds all over the strike zone. That young pitcher for Atlanta last night had poor command. Taylor crushed a hanging something right over middle of the plate.

      1. There will be stars, the Dodgers will grow them… And when they are at their brightest, they will be traded. (Unless they want to stay here for less money than they could get elsewhere… And that is really possible if the whole Dodger team is very good.) I hope that is FAZ’z plan.

    2. First off, Ramos was in spring with the Dodgers and was knocking the cover off the ball until he was injured. He was a Red Sox farmhand, and I mentioned the fact that he was hitting over .400 since his activation from the DL almost 2 weeks ago. Ramos will be a minor league free agent at the end of the season. He was a minor contract signing. He is 25 years old and from Puerto Rico. Hitting .416 with 5 homers and 17 RBI’s in 25 games. He was originally signed in 2010. So if Timmons is just now finding out about him, he is way behind me.

  6. I just looked up Henry Ramos. He’s been in the minor leagues since 2010 wth a career milb OPS of .739. Why all of a sudden is he hitting? Better have his blood tested.

  7. MJ
    I agree with you, I do not think Taylor is an all or nothing hitter. He is batting 313 with 13 HR’s. He has hit HR’s to all fields. I think of an all or nothing hitter as someone who hits a HR or strikes out. That is not Taylor. He had two singles last night.

    1. Al, what I meant by all or nothing is that his swing is all out, no matter the count. It’s under control, but extremely violent. He does not choke up nor does he shorten up with two strikes. When I first really noticed him as a ball striker was when I read he had an exit velocity of 106 on a ball that didn’t leave the park. Damn. That got my attention. I started watching him more closely. He reminds me Dustin Pedroia. Similar swings. I really like this guy. Would love to see more like him in Blue.

  8. Badger
    Some players change. Look at Toles. He was out of baseball. He was pretty good last year. Look at Taylor. Who ever thought he would be doing what he is doing. Ramos could be doing this without being juiced up. I would like to think Toles and Taylor are not juiced up. Ramos may be the third player FAZ pulled off the junk pile.

    1. I agree. My blood test comment was meant to be tongue in cheek. I don’t know the guy. I only know he’s 25 and suddenly doing things he’s never really done before.

  9. Simple question: who is a better defensive LF: Taylor, Cody, or Kike?

    In a one run post season game who do you in LF? Or is it not a concern, given the bigger defensive liability behind home plate?

    1. Artie, from what I’ve seen so far Bellinger is the more natural defender. Kiké plays adequately everywhere and Taylor is athletic enough to learn a new position. What I saw of Bellinger in the outfield I thought was impressive for a guy who plays first base. He’s really fast and he appears instinctive – good jumps and excellent routes. I think he has Gold Glove ability at multiple positions.

    2. Artieboy

      I didn’t look up the metrics on these guys, but I would think those players would be pretty close.

      But now that Taylor is playing left everyday, he is probably only going to get better out there.

    1. Jonah

      Darvish will be fun to watch tonight too!

      Of course the game tonight, will be on TV in Japan too, and as we all know, the Dodgers were the pioneers when it came to Japanese pitchers.

      Darvish said he dreamed as a boy, that he wanted to be a Dodger some day.

    1. Masonori Murakami. I remember him well. He was a LH pitcher. Only pitched 2 years for the Giants 64-65 had a 5-1 record with a 3.43 ERA. Was 21 years old after the 65 season and never pitched in the majors again. He quit because he had made a promise to the manager of his Japanese team that he would return. MJ is too young to remember the guy. Was in the majors long before Ichiro and Nomo.

      1. Almost. Actually, he and two other Japanese Minor League players were “loaned” to the Giants Fresno “A” team for a short while. He pitched so well he was called up to the Giants. After the season the Giants refused to return him to Japan. The disagreement was so bitter that the Japanese Baseball Commissioner had to rule on it. He allowed him to play for the Giants one more year (1965) but then had to return to the Japanese club who were his proper owners. ( I assume they had something like our Reserve Clause which was still in effect here.) He played an additional 17 years over there. An outgrowth of this event was eventually a working agreement between the two leagues that allowed Japanese players to retire after 9 years and sign to play in America (Nomo) or for Japanese clubs to basically sell a player to the highest bidding American team. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masanori_Murakami

        1. I remember the disagreement well. But when I read what he had wrote about his own experience was when I found out about the promise he had made to his manager and he did not want to go back on his word. Pitching in the majors was his dream. Back then, Japanese players were like American players, they had no way to switch teams unless they were traded and could not become free agents. That came much later in American baseball and like you said, later Japan and MLB to later make the agreement you talked about.

        2. Thanks for the info. Looks like the bad kind of pioneering. Good thing the Dodgers fixed the mess that the Giants created.

    2. Badger

      Thanks that was before my time!

      I didn’t realize that, because the Dodger media always talks about the Dodgers leading the way, with players from other countries.

      1. Well they have had firsts MJ, first to break the color line, Jackie as we all know, first Korean born MLB player, Chan Ho Park. First Japanese pitcher who was not here on loan, Nomo. They also had the first Australian born major leaguer, Craig Shipley who was a SS.

  10. I didn’t know that Al Campanis was from Greece, and Chili Davis was from Jamaica

    I didn’t even know that Al Campanis was a former player.

    I only remember him as a GM.

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