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Clayton Richard Shuts Out Dodgers in First Forfeit of Season

Clayton Richard

The apologists should be out in full force on this one. Oh the excuses they will make. They’ll say that it’s early and to be patient. They’ll ask you to tip your cap to Clayton Richard (Clayton Richard!!!) because he pitched a great game. They’ll tell you that the Dodgers just had an off night or whatever. Use your best judgment here and read between the lines because what we witnessed in Tuesday night’s pathetic 4-0 loss to the Padres was a repeat of the problems from the 2016 season. Let’s review those problems.

Padres    4 11 0

Dodgers 0 5 1




Problem 1- Non Clayton Kershaw starting pitcher gives up early runs and can’t pitch past the fifth inning….CHECK.

Dodger starter Kenta Maeda turned in a very 2016 performance allowing three earned runs on six hits across 5 innings. He walked two and struck out four. Maeda did not look sharp as he allowed two runs in the first inning putting the Dodgers in an early hole we all knew they would not come out of. The annoying part of it was a lead-off walk to Travis Jankowski started the San Diego scoring rally. And Maeda had Jankowski down 0-2. After a fly out, Wil Myers bloop single and Yangervis Solarte’s single up the middle brought in the first run of the game. Ryan Schimpf’s sacrifice pop fly to Corey Seager scored the second run.

Embed from Getty Images

Solarte stuck it to the Dodgers again in the third inning. His solo home run put the Padres up by a 3-0 score. He was 2 for 4 with two runs batted in and the home run. The Padres added one more in the top of the eighth off of Ross Stripling.

Problem 2- The all righty lineup does nothing for the entire contest. The Dodger’s “lefty killing lineup” and I use that in air quotes mustered 5 hits and 2 walks on Tuesday night. The Dodgers grounded into four double plays. Four! There was not a time throughout the entire game where I felt the Dodgers had a look at the game. I would love to know what possessed the Dodgers to bat Franklin Gutierrez cleanup. Of course the day after Joc Pederson crushed a grand slam home run, he is benched in favor of Enrique Hernandez also known as Kike.

It’s one thing to lose, but the way the Dodgers lose these games is utterly infuriating. I can handle the losing, but I can’t handle the club not putting out their best lineup because they think part time utility players are better at hitting then the regulars. Look I understand that you can’t put the loss squarely on Kike or Gutierrez. There were seven other hitters in the lineup that didn’t hit. But maybe, just maybe if the Dodgers put their best hitters on the field they would have a better chance of winning. It’s just common sense. Because we all know that Joc and Andrew Toles are better hitters than Kike and Gutierrez. I don’t care what the “numbers” say. In case you were wondering Kike hit .189 against southpaws in 2016. At least he wasn’t batting lead-off.

For Clayton Richard this has to be a huge confidence boost for him. He actually pitched a shutout against the Dodgers back in 2010 when the Dodgers were running out James Loney and Jamey Carroll. Richard tossed eight innings and allowed just 5 hits 2 walks and struck out 5 to go along with all the worms he was killing all night. For the record I think that Carroll and Loney might have done a better job than these Dodgers did tonight. Richard recorded 12 ground ball outs. The Dodger’s plate approaches looked listless and mechanical. This is why the Dodgers did not get to the World Series last year. Those that do not learn from their mistakes are doomed to repeat them.

The series is now tied and we head to game three on Wednesday night. Remember this is the first game on KTLA 5. Curveball master Rich Hill will battle Trevor Cahill at 7:10 PM. Cahill is a right hander, so we’ll probably see a normal lineup. Well at least we got to listen to Vin’s beautiful voi…..oh wait….damn. At least Puig did this…..


Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

49 thoughts on “Clayton Richard Shuts Out Dodgers in First Forfeit of Season

  1. This was embarrassing. Can we stop with the Kike Super Utility Experience already. I’d rather have Calhoun doing his all-hit, no-glove thing than Kike with his no-hit, so-so glove thing.

    1. Calhoun hits lefty too – he would not be any help. Maybe they should see if Joc can hit lefthanders for a while? At least he can play CF.

      1. Rick

        Calhoun still needs some defensive seasoning, but he does hit lefties.

        And actually makes more contact then Joc.

        But I am not advocating bringing Calhoun up.

        I think YF just said that, because it is pathetic the way this team can’t hit lefties.

  2. I’ll cast my vote for dumb strategy vs LH hitters. I said it last year, no sense in not playing your best lineup almost all of the time. Joc has got to learn how to hit lefties. Imagine what that would do for his confidence and the team’s spirit! At the same time, our best hitter, Seager, didn’t do diddly, and couldn’t come up with a clutch hit when we needed it. Hitters like Forsyth, Turner, Gonzalez, do well against all pitchers, but the Dodgers did not come to play, that is for sure.

    It’s only game 2 of the season. I went into it with trepidation about non-Kershaw starters. Maeda has confirmed this. It’s only 1 game, but this is what he did last year. With Hill coming up, and the miserable way he’s pitched in exhibition season, I hope his outing can be somewhat solid against a lousy team.

    Now, how about Stripling? Truly I cringe when he makes an appearance. I hope I’m wrong, but I see no improvement from last year’s season save for the acquisition of Forsyth who looks like a real player.

    I am gonzo over Turner. This could be a monster year for him.

    I am off to China for 3 weeks. I imagine I will not be able to see any games plus they block google!

    1. Jeff

      Remember Corey missed most of spring training.

      Corey only hit 250 against lefties last year, but he probably should have hit better, since he had the second highest exit velocity for a leftie against a leftie pitcher last year.

      The only leftie hitter, that hit it harder then Corey, was Papi, and that is pretty good company!

      1. The more Corey and Joc see of left handers, the more likely they will succeed agin ’em. Leave them in there against everybody.

    2. Stripling did fine. You are dead wrong about this kid. He could be a starter on most teams. Forsythe is a gamer……and this is last years team. Not enough changes to be that much better.

  3. They block Google? Dang. Information is not good for the mind. It confucius the people. Just do what good children do ….. exactly what you’re told to do ….. follow the leader. Jeff, I hope you are not taking jobs to China with you.

    The RH lineup would be a good idea if you have good RH hitters. Clayton Richard used to be good. Well, he was maybe not good, but he had his moments. Like in 2012 when he lead the league in hits and home runs. Wait, that’s not good for a pitcher is it. Ok, he sucks. If we can’t hit him…….. what are going to do against Lester? The Cubs #4 is Brett Anderson. Maybe we’ll get him. We can hit him, right? Here’s an idea I heard somewhere – leave Pederson and Gonzalez in the lineup. Trevor Cahill today. He was a’ight when he was in his early 20’s. He’s 29 now. He’s old and slow. We can take him.

  4. I do not get or appreciate the Kike sub for Joc. Joc has shown solid signs of growth this spring, and is better than Kike any day against left or right. The plan for Joc should be to have him realize his ability to be the full-time all-star center fielder he was born to be. Plus, I’ll bet he would have caught that home run that Kike mistimed his leap on. I can’t believe this is coming from Roberts. Stop the insanity, Andrew!

    1. I definitely agree with you E-L about the stupidity of sitting Pederson for Kike, especially when Joc had a grand slam under his belt and was surely full of momentum and confidence.
      Gotta disagree with anybody stealing that home run last night. I was at the game and sitting with a perfect view for that angle (field level on RF side close to wall). Joc might have lept higher than Kike, but I could see from there the ball sailed over the wall way too high for anyone to catch it.

  5. Well, it’s settled then. This one game sample size is ample evidence that the team just sucks, Roberts should be fired, FAZ run out of town, Kike DFA’d, and that the MLB commish should force a sale by Guggs to whatever O’Malley offspring still happen to be alive. In fact, I don’t think Seager’s all that. Trade him for prospects.

    I wouldn’t want to be labelled an “apologist” in the face of such a preponderance of evidence.

    You know why there are casinos? They make a lot of money. Oh, they lose plenty of times to lucky gamblers. Some gamblers actually win consistently and successfully, but the house always has a slight statistical advantage. It’s not always apparent in a single game of blackjack when the dealer loses, but over time, in the aggregate, the house always wins.

    “I don’t care what the numbers say.” ….Well, I don’t know what to tell ya. *shrugs shoulders*

    1. Umm, while I agree with your take regarding casinos, I think most people are looking at the results over the last 170 or so games there patch. Me? I was a Kiké fan for a while. I’ve advocated trading him for months now. I think he and Hatcher were mistakes and the patience shown for them, while might be considered admirable at FAZ parties, has run its course with most Dodger fans. That said, there seems to be a loud 24% running things these days, so, by all means, don’t look at the last 170, they are history. Look forward to the next 170. To the future and beyond!

      This is interesting:

      The aging curve. Anybody in MLB under the age of 22 are outliers. 20? What’s the rush?

      1. Cool graphs. Though interesting, he really didn’t touch on too many conclusions to be drawn, although he did make an important inference. Players who get significant at bats when they’re young go on to have longer careers. I think that’s simply because young players who get significant at bats just happen to also be extremely gifted baseball players whose gifts translate to a long and successful career.

        I would infer that the average age of rookies has been steadily rising for a couple of reasons: more players are getting their seasoning by playing in college, and baseball has evolved as a game that requires a deeper understanding of the game, which requires more time to master.

        Urias is a prodigy. No rush to blow out his arm. …Good thing we didn’t trade him for some guy like Hamels.

        1. I know that last sentence was put there just to get a rise out of me. Catbox doesn’t know any better, but you do patch.

          I would submit that players who get at bats before the age of 22 go on to have long careers because they are damn good players. Damn good players keep getting offers to keep playing.

          1. BAAAAAAAAAAAger, quit trying to pull “YOUR WOOL” over our eyes!! Aint going to work!

            Ewe know ewe pulled the trigger on trading Pederson, Urias and Seager.

            BAAAAger: “FAZ swallowed an olive by not trading prospects for Hamels. Prospects are nothing but prospects. FAZ coughed up a real hairball on that one.”

            Unmasking complete!!!

    2. Dodger patch

      Our platoon team last year, had the worse offensive numbers, in all of baseball.

      But all year, they played this platoon team, and a lot, even in the post season.

      I know we have Gutierrez but we don’t know what he is going to do, with all new pitchers.

      Scott makes a good point, because of these numbers.

      A part time AAAA player, isn’t going to hit better then most major league hitters, who almost play everyday.

      Isn’t a platoon suppose to give a team,an offensive advantage?

      We all know it was only one game, but we don’t want to see the same thing happen this year.

      1. MJ, it would be a relief to see this platoonning plan actually work. Not hitting Richard doesn’t bode well for future encounters with guys like Lester and Bumgarner.

        1. Badger

          I just don’t think most platoons, gives a team, that much of an advantage.

          I think it is better to play your regular players most of the time, so they will be ready to face lefties, throughout the year, and in the post season.

          The only time these platoons probably work well, is with players with, extreme splits.

          Like when Kike hit lefties really well that one year, and Joc wasn’t hitting at all, that made sense.

          I can understand when players need a day off, or players, that have extreme splits, but I don’t see a big advantage, with this platoon team.

          And I hope they don’t continue to send this platoon team out there, if they are not making a big difference offensively, like last year.

          And last year, they were last in offense, in all of baseball!

    1. Interesting stuff, Rick…although I think you forgot 1978. The five-man rotation goes back to Mets pitching coach Rube Walker. I’ve often wondered where the 100-pitch limit came from. While I agree that baseball seems to go overboard in “babying” pitchers there’s also the fact that both Fernando and Hershiser had careers impacted by shoulder injuries which likely were the result of overuse during great seasons. Would either give up their World Series rings for a few more 20-win seasons? You’ll have to ask them.

    2. Good article Rick. Well thought out and researched. I agree with you 100%. I read Mark’s reply and it is the same old song he has been singing since I first got on here. The Dodgers were right not signing Greinke, Queto et al. I agree those particular contracts would not be good. But signing guys who actually are healthy would be nice for once. Even Maeda had physical concerns and they wrote his contract accordingly. And giving those lame arms contracts of 3 or 4 years, was in my mind, fiscally irresponsible…..never thought I would say that in a baseball post. Right now we have Kershaw and 4 dispensary patients. I hope Ryu is truly healthy because he is the one guy in that rotation with the kind of makeup and stuff to be really good. I also saw here Mark was saying Urias and Stewart will be there this year. Well Stewart is at least a month away from even throwing a ball. Urias will be up later most likely. But they are still blocked by the medicine men. I also think you are dead on about the innings. If these bums could do that, this would be a pretty good staff. But only Kersh has shown that skill.

    1. I second that. And I did hear that the other site was charging him $500 to write articles for them so I’m assuming that if Scott only charges DodgerRick, oh $250, that he would jump ship.

      What say he?

  6. Of course a platoon makes sense. If player A has an OPS OF .700 vs. lefties and player B’s is .750. Then, if the sample is significant and defense and acumen are equal, you play player B. Not doing so is inane. Now if the split is bigger, or if the coaches have little faith player A can improve then it’s even more egregious.

    It’s only one game, but a depressing single game

    1. “Of course a platoon makes sense”

      On paper maybe. There are those that think the Dodgers will win 95+ and “run away” with the division. If we are that good, maybe we could live with young hitters learning their trade against same side pitching. Some of them might actually figure it out. If we are talking about a veteran with a sub .700 OPS, then yeah, platoon the geezer. On this team I leave Seager and Joc in there night after night. But that’s me. And I’m a f’n honey badger. I hate everyone and I attack anything. I live alone in a hole and eat whatever is close by. Why would anyone listen to me?

    2. Bluto

      Also against good pitching, and with these leftie problems, the team needs to have a better strategy, as a team, on offense.

      They need to do the little things, to score runs, when the offense, is not there.

      Like moving the runner over into scoring position, by hitting the ball the other way, and trying to hit the pitch, just right over the infielders.

      And with less then two outs, with a runner on third, a sac fly, or a grounder, to the right side, or even a bunt.

    3. Bluto

      I think your ops numbers in your example is to close, to play a part time player, over a player, that is playing almost everyday, and getting more consistent at bats.

      Because an almost everyday player is probably going to do better, then a part time player, that is more an AAAA player, with an OPS advantage, of only 50.

  7. Sure it’s only one game and we shouldn’t get too depressed, just like we shouldn’t be printing WS tickets after an opening day blowout. But I have the same uneasy sense of deja vu Giant fans experienced when their bullpen had two blown saves in their first game…like there was something we should have fixed this winter but didn’t get around to.

    1. On the button Snider….they do what they do since they got here, put a bicycle patch on a diesel tire. This FO has not signed or traded for one single impact type player since they took over. And do not give me that Grandal-Kemp stuff either. They have traded those kinds of players or let them walk. Forsythe was a nice trade, at least so far. But the list of bad trades and signings is a lot longer than the good ones.

  8. Per David Schoenfeld at this morning:
    “Take back all your mean tweets about the Padres: Yes, that was left-hander Clayton Richard tossing eight scoreless innings against the Dodgers in a 4-0 victory. The “IT’S ONLY ONE GAME” caveat applies, but worth mentioning to just create panic among Dodgers fans: The Dodgers hit .214 against lefties last season, worst in the majors.”

    Did they fix it? Maybe not.

    1. Rick

      The problem with that stat concerning lefties, is that that stat, belongs to the platoon team mostly.

      And they still marched that platoon team out there, all last year, even though that stat remained, the same.

      That is one game, but that pitcher seemed a lot like, the Giant’s pitcher, Moore.

      I wish they would mix it up this year, and see what the regular team, could do.

    2. This is our team. Until the contracts of Ethier and Gonzalez clear, we can count on more $48 million contracts that will not land ANY big name pitchers. The fact that they DID offer Greinke enough to sign him, some people forget to mention that, we know they are willing to after the big names. They got high balled by an unexpected source on Greinke. Stuff happens. But it’s clear in order to compete for those proven stud players, you have to be able to commit to dead weight salaries down the road. It’s just part of the construct. I think FAZ will be able to do that in ’18. I’ve said that for 2 years now. It is a little disconcerting they did those McCarthy/Kazmir/Hill contracts, but I understand why they took the gamble. So far? Hasn’t worked. And if you are going to give away 3 top pitching prospects, please don’t do it for 36 year olds on the Disabled List.

      Can we hit lh pitching? I think Thompson can. Hope so anyway. If he’s another bust, it won’t bode well for FAZ’s platoon record. We have Gutierrez, SVS, Forsythe, Kiké, Turner and Thompson. Hopefully they will do better than .214. Guess we’ll see.

      1. You are right on there Badger. The report that came out after Zack signed with Az was that he was 30 minutes away from accepting the Dodgers offer which was 160 over 5 years. Az swooped in at the last minute and gave him that 6th year he wanted and back loaded close to 50 million after the 6 years are over. I would not have given him the 6th year, and I think LA was right in not doing so. Nor would I have given that much to Queto. But the fact remains, why blow 48 million on a slug like McCarthy, when there were better options out there for less money. If your farm system has studs, you can afford to look around for those HEALTHY guys and give them 1 year deals. Like AJ Happ got in Toronto and he was one of their best pitchers that year.

        1. Good points Bear. Maybe on paper, where Fried and Zaid live, the McCarzmir upside appeared to have more algo-rhythm. You’re a music man, without the rhythm there can be no go. No go, no algo. No algo, no rhythm no algo-rhythm . No algo-rhythm no beat. No beat, no win. So, the bottom line in that logic thread is – things aren’t always as they appear.

          Puig got left out because of a brain fart by the poster MJ. Good catch.

          1. Badger

            I thought so, I hope the game tonight is better, because last night, it was pretty boring.

            I was turning the my channels back, and forth.

  9. Badger

    I knew you couldn’t help yourself, from getting it.

    I was turning back and forth, between the Dodgers, and the political shows.

    There is so much stuff coming out everyday, and happening, through the week.

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