Thursday, July 25, 2024
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Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers Close Out First Half With Another Win

With all of the Dodger’s accolades and records being broken they have yet to obtain one meaningless statistical notch. They’ve swatted home runs out of ball parks at record numbers. They’ve walked more times than your neighbor’s dog. Their pitching staff is the best in baseball and Alex Wood has yet to lose a game this year. They’re 32 games above .500 and on pace for 110 wins this year. Yet with all of these accomplishments they have yet to pick up a complete game this season.

And you know how much I love complete games. So when Clayton Kershaw went out for the top of the ninth inning with a 5-2 lead and only 88 pitches thrown it looked like it was finally going to happen. You see Dave Roberts hates allowing starters to complete games. He’s addicted to the intoxicating allure of the pitching change. As a matter of fact I think I remember one game where he brought in Pedro Baez several times. Even though that’s logistically impossible in the game of baseball, somehow he did it.

Royals    2 6 0

Dodgers 5 6 0




Let’s not gloss over this complete game thing though. Even though the Dodgers have won again and completed a series sweep over the Royals ending the first half of the season with a six game winning streak. Clayton Kershaw pitched a complete game you know.

The Dodgers bats sure gave him a ton of support too. The boys in blue hit three more home runs, two of them by Justin Turner. The red dream’s first bomb came in the first inning off of opposing starter Danny Duffy. The Dodgers scored three runs in the bottom of the third. Trayce Thompson tripled off the Dodger bullpen gate in left field just below the 360 foot number sign. One out later Logan Forsythe’s single into center would bring Thompson in and the Dodgers were up 2-0. Later in the inning Turner would hit another home run to put the Dodgers up 4-0.

Kershaw didn’t need much help as he tossed nine innings allowing two earned runs on six hits and striking out 13. He didn’t walk anyone and made 99 pitches. The ace is now 14-2 on the season and I am for the record glad that he won’t pitch in the all-star game. I would rather see him rest than risk injury in an exhibition game.

The Royals put up a little bit of a fight in the fourth inning when Lorenzo Cain singled and Eric Hosmer homered to put the Royals within two runs. That would be as close as they would get. Austin Barnes slugged one out in the sixth inning and the Dodgers were up 5-2.

About that complete game, Kershaw got it. He struck out Alcides Escobar in the top of the ninth after Jorge Bonifacio doubled off the third base bag to end the game. The Dodgers win again and finish the first half with a 61-29 record. They are now 39-11 at home and have a 6.5 game lead in the NL West. The Dodgers are just the fourth club in MLB history to win 60 games by the all-star break.

With the first half over this a perfect time to take a break and reflect on what was an incredible first half of Dodger baseball. The Dodgers will return on Friday night. In the meantime let’s watch the all-stars for a few days and see how many home runs Cody Bellinger can hit in the home run derby. My guess is 600.

Happy Sunday everyone!

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

35 thoughts on “Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers Close Out First Half With Another Win

  1. Wonderful game by Kershaw and a great end to the first half. He’s locked in with all of his pitches working. I think the break will be good for us – we’ve played a lot of games with not many breaks.

    Kershaw is the first player in MLB history to strike out 13 in a CG with under 100 pitches. The Royals’ aggressiveness were used against them in this series. Good game planning.

    We are 50-0 this year when leading after 5 innings.

  2. Bill Plunkett?
    Verified account
    @billplunkettocr 3m

    #Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi on Verdugo: “Hitting .350, more walks than Ks, probably best outfield arm in (PCL) he’s a terrific talent.” (cont)

    Zaidi: “And frankly, he’s big-league ready or close to being big-league ready.” (more)

    Zaidi: “I remember saying this about Julio & Corey & Joc & Cody – it’s really hard to imagine a plausible scenario where it makes sense for us to move him (Verdugo)” in a trade-deadline deal.

    1. There was a Q&A with Fangraph’s Jeff Sullivan on the moving Verdugo to get a top line starter:

      “Cheese: Who is a realistic SP for the Dodgers, and what does it cost to get him. Verdugo + Calhoun plus a minor piece for Gray? Would they go for an all LHP playoff rotation if they can get Quintana?

      Jeff Sullivan: I remain unconvinced the Dodgers actually need a front-line starter. I’m also unconvinced they’d pay the price for one. Their depth is still insane and Kershaw/Wood/Hill is fantastic”

      I’d rather have Verdugo come up on September.

  3. Calhoun to the AL for a lefty reliever. (But I still think Dayton is the guy yo do the job ….)

  4. Great picture Bobby. I am sure the Dodgers are flying the players to Florida. Do the Dodgers also fly wives and girl friends? What about extended family? Cody’s dad is going to throw in the HR derby. He was at the game on Sunday. The announcers said he was throwing BP to Cody this week. I would think the Dodgers would treat the families well.

  5. Nice first 90 games. 72 to go. they could play .500 ball in the next 72 and end up with 96 wins. So lets all have fun at the break. 21 days until the deadline. Let the insanity begin. People will be coming up with the most outrageous trade scenarios. It happens every year. Dodger targets have been discussed for a couple of months now. I read a report on Liberatore and he is not making any progress in his rehab. More than a month away at least. Dayton should be back when his 10 days are up. Hatcher is absolutely nowhere near coming back. That thoracic syndrome has not been co-operating with his treatment. Kazmir stunk it up his last re-hab start. A-gone actually took 40 swings yesterday and 20 more off a tee. But they are saying no rush since Bellinger has more than ably filled his shoes. Ethier projects to September. So, that being said, who and what do they target? Well as stated many times on most all the media outlets, they are scouting several LH relievers. Which leads me to the conclusion that they do not trust at least 1 of the 2 they have now. My bet would be they go for an upgrade over Avilan. Dayton’s stuff is a lot nastier and he can get strikeouts when he needs them. So that is one direction. A lot of talk concerns a front line starter. Question there is who is an improvement over the 10 day DL trio they have, Maeda, McCarthy, Ryu, and what does he cost. What they are doing with those 3 is working, and Ryu and Maeda have pitched much better the last 1 1/2 months than they did at the beginning of the year. There are a lot of starters out there available because they had success in the past. Quintana, Gray, Verlander, Cole, all are rumored to be available. But they will not be cheap. Verlander I immediately say no to. If it was the Verlander of 3 years ago, maybe. This year he is not even as good as Maeda. Gray has been so so this season. But Zaidi likes trading for old friends. Cole is intriguing. The guy definitely has some nasty stuff. Quintana has also been mediocre this season. I watched him pitch Saturday against the Rockies. Me, and this is me, I go after Archer of the Rays over all of those guys. Under team control with a decent contract, and nasty stuff. But that is just me. I think deep inside they will target the reliever more than the starter and ride the horses they have at least for the foreseeable future. The bench is an altogether different problem. Gutierrez according to what I read this morning is not close to baseball activities. The disease he has managed to control is not so controllable now. Although you might love Kike as a person and a player, his production is well below 2015, but a little better than 16. He is versatile, and a good bat against lefty’s……..sometimes. But he is hitting .215, providing little pop lately, and like most of the bench players on the team, getting sporadic playing time. Utley is the consummate pro. He plays where he is asked, when he is asked and never complains. He still has great at bats and works the pitcher better than most. Age has definitely slowed him down, but he still surprises and ambushes pitchers when they least expect it. His 2nd half playing time will depend pretty much on how well Forsythe keeps his uptick going. He is also the only LH bat on the bench unless Roberts uses his all RH team. Barnes has exceeded what I thought he would do and is a very good backup. Like all of you, I am unsure which route they take. But I am leaning towards the minor tweak and no major moves. I do not think anyone out there is really worth a large package of prospects, unless it is Mike Trout. And remember, Stewart is on the roster and has been very effective so far… the starter needed might already be here.

    1. Avilan is a huge problem or at best a wasted spot in the bullpen. I’m sorry Hatcher has health issues but I don’t miss him one bit, in fact, a healthy Hatcher that last couple of months would mean more losses in the standings. Romo out of the pen is marginal at best, that could be upgraded and also help the club tremendously.

      Went to Bonehead Moron’s blog just to check it out the other day. Wow, that moron still has a hard-on for many of us that refuse to be a part of his blog. Funny I possibly take a look at his site once a month and every single time he is still stroking it for the posters here. Note to Badger: his book has finally come out, look for the title “The Catcher in the Rear”.

      Scott, please remove Catcher’s blog from your list of recommended sites, he has nothing but contempt for you.

      1. He makes that plain, doesn’t he? I read the blog because it is very interesting, many more posts than here, but I don’t post there. Some people blind themselves to what he was/is because he tells them that his daughter knows it is a lie and has a good relationship with him. She is in family pictures. But is that really his daughter? We are to take his word for that? His daughter would be in her late 20s, does this girl look that old? Saying something on the Internet does not make it true. Remember that when you evaluate both sides of any allegations….

        1. Oh, who cares? There’s so much drama surrounding people’s butthurt over Timmons!

          His daughter has nothing to do with anything. People have issues with Timmons because of his personality. He calls people with whom he disagrees morons, and people get their egos bruised and they carry on about it, even after he’s gone on to different blog.

          1. You’re quite right, there’s little excuse for posting that and I regret it and will not do it again. It was just that I know at least one nice person here who seems to have bought his “it never happened, see, here’s my daughter” line….

        2. Timmons daughter, TT referenced in the legal decision denying his appeal, would be 36.

          I’ve decided to take a leave of absence as every time Timmons’ name is mentioned and I comment it becomes a skirmish and an attack on me. People choose to believe what they choose to be true, or they just choose to ignore the facts. Those that have known Timmons as long as I have know who he is and are long gone. Some I hear from now and then. Two I know, who I talked directly with regarding the issues have passed away. My opinion on him is well known, and no need to revisit it at this time. It does surprise me that so many otherwise clear thinking people follow that guy around. His blog is better than this one, I’ll agree on that. The fact he is a liar and a louse doesn’t change that fact. The Report just doesn’t try hard enough in my opinion, and it reflects in the number and quality of posts here.

          I will enjoy the Dodgers at my own pace on my own time.

          1. Care to elaborate on this Badger? How is his blog better than this one? He writes once per day, we write 1-2 posts per day generally. Explain how we don’t “try hard enough”?

          2. It’s not better. I go back and forth. I really like Always Compete’s analysis, which I think is the best thing about that site.

          3. I think both sites are fine. We’re definitely not trying to compete with anyone. AC has some good takes for sure. We’re all Dodger fans here. There’s no need for arguing or competitiveness.

      2. I get rid of Avilan, Hatcher, Romo and Kike. They are all replaceable with better options. Kike at his best is mediocre.

        1. He doesn’t have contempt for you. The only time I can recall your name even came up on his blog he spoke highly of you. This is just someone who hates Timmons and has an agenda trying to stir stuff up.

          If you don’t like the guy, fine. I can see that. He’s a little opinionated, maybe a blowhard, rubs people the wrong way. But if you obsess over him on this site then that’s your problem, and it’s just dumb.

    2. Michael

      I like Archer a lot because he is young and he throws hard, but it doesn’t look like he has to use a lot of engery to throw hard.

      Although I don’t want Verlander, people just are not up on what he did last year.

      Verlander probably should have won the Cy Young in the American League last year.

      Take a look at his era and whip last year, and actually his velocity isn’t down like it was, three years ago.

      He was hurting about two or three years ago, and it had noting to do with his arm, he was recovering from an oblique surgery I believe.

      And he has always pitched really well, in the post season, and much better, then Kershaw has, in the post season.

      The Tigers problem was that they never got a good closer, and now they are getting old, as a team.

      I personally don’t think the front office gets another starter.

      I think they will get a leftie reliever, and maybe a bat.

      1. He is what he is. A good pitcher coming into the twilight of his career. I do not see any upside trading for him at all, especially since the Tigers will want at least 1 top 10 prospect, the most likely target being Verdugo. I do not make that deal. I would like to see what Verdugo can do at the MLB level. As for Timmons, well I am glad for him his blog is doing well, but I really have nothing to say to him what so ever. Yeah, it is probably about ego’s, but I have know enough bombastic blowhards like him, and I have no desire to engage in any repartee with the man.,

  6. I wouldn’t cry if they traded Joc and/or Puig for a relief pitcher or better hitter. I would not like any trade for a rental, we don’t need anyone that bad. J D Martinez looks like a very capable hitter, his numbers are better than Puig’s and Joc’s. But I would only trade for him if he would agree to sign an extension. Trade Forsyth if at all possible, Taylor can do that job. Pray God this is Utley’s last year so Kike can replace him next year. Dump Franklin G and SVS, any way possible, call up Verdugo. Try to get relief pitching for our discards and clean the deadwood out of our bullpen, have a Bon Voyage party for Agon and we’re set for a year or two at least.

    1. Jonah

      Most everything you said, sounds good to me!

      But I think we don’t have to worry to much, because I don’t see the front office going after much, but an arm or two, for the bullpen.

    2. The one thing you and all those who say trade Puig and Joc seem to forget is their defense. Martinez cannot hold a candle to Puig in RF neither with his arm or his glove. He has less HR’s and RBI’s than Puig. His BA is higher, but he is also 3 years older than Puig. Everything you read and hear from the front office and coaches is that the Dodgers are extremely pleased with the way Puig is producing out of the 8 hole. Why on earth would you trade Joc or Forsythe when they are finally turning their season’s around? Kike replace Utley? How? Kike is hitting .215. yeah he supposedly hits lefty’s pretty good, but he has not been doing that lately. This is most likely Utley’s last year, but Taylor could well step into Kike’s shoes easily. Gutierrez is most likely not coming back anytime soon and why do you want to get rid of SVS when he is not even on the MLB roster? They are not going to give up the farm for a reliever. They are scouting some LH relievers. That story has been around for a few weeks. I would like to see Verdugo, but it will probably be September before that happens unless he gets traded at the deadline. Forsythe was brought in to do exactly what he is doing now. Lead off, give them solid defense at 2nd. He has one year remaining on his contract, so unless something drastic happens he will be here next year. Do not know why you are even talking about A-gone. He is not even close to coming back and is the consummate team guy. He knows he is not the same player he was. And he knows the future is #35 over there at first. You want to trade dead wood, pick guys who actually suck at what they do, Romo, Hatcher, Kike, Kazmir. They are loaded with middle infielders at AAA, and some have MLB experience. Trading for over age outfielders, McCutcheon, Martinez, Braun, makes not one bit of sense when you have young controllable very talented kids already out there. By the way, Puig’s OBP is higher than Kike’s now, so none of that Kike produces better stuff.

      1. Michael

        OBA is not a stat that tells a player’s production.

        OPS is what they use to see how well a player has produced.

        And Puig’s OPS is not much higher then Kike’s.

        And Puig’s OBA should be higher then any other player in the the line up, because he is batting eighth, right in front of the pitcher, all the time!

        And really, Puig doesn’t have that high of an OBA, in fact it is low, considering where he bats, in the line up.

        Kike doesn’t bat eighth, or get four at bats, every night, like Puig mostly does..

        And he doesn’t get consistent at bats, like Puig does..

        And you always expect more from a everyday player, that is getting consistent at bats, over a part time player, getting at bats, here and there.

        Kike has hit eighth HRs, and Puig has hit 8 more HRs, but Puig also has had, 80 plus more at bats, then Kike does.

        Martinez is only 29, he is as close in age with Puig, as he is, with Mccutcheon.

        I don’t think they are trading for a everyday player myself, and I don’t feel strongly either way.

        But Puig does have terrible numbers against lefties.

        Martinez has much much better numbers against lefties.

        And Puig doesn’t have close to the offensive production that Martinez has, against righties either

        Check out both Martinez ‘s and Puig’s OPS.

        That is how offensive production is measured.

        Puig has only hit two more HRs then Martinez, but Puig has had a 100 more at bats, then Martinez!

      2. In no particular order…. Forsythe is a free agent this off-season, there is an $8.5MM option which I cannot see the Dodgers picking up. You neglected to note that Martinez; numbers come from a whole lot less at bats than Puig has. But I do doubt that they will trade for him UNLESS it becomes a requirement to get the relief pitcher they want in a package deal… SVS was recalled a few days ago, guess that one slipped by you…At least you admit Agon won’t be coming back any time soon, that just might stretch to forever…
        And anyone who believes anything the Dodger Manager or Front Office says must believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and The Checks In The Mail…
        Man, you’re just too positive in your assertions, too quick to label other posters as fools. Well, we’re all wrong sometimes and so are you. Cut yourself a little slack, you deserve it. And so do we.

        1. I see now the Dodgers sent SVS back down 2 days after bringing him up. What was the point? The Dodgers also acquired another journeyman outfielder of no note from the ‘Cards. The owners must own a lot of airline stocks the way they shuttle people around….

  7. Martinez against lefties

    500/ 575/ 1100 plus/ 1400 plus

    Puig against lefties


    299/383/600 plus/ 900 plus, against righties

    Puig’s ops 777

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