Wednesday, July 24, 2024
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Dodgers: 1 Cubs: 0 Clayton Kershaw to Kenley Jansen

Clayton Kershaw
Clayton Kershaw

Pardon the late recap, I didn’t start writing this recap until the 9th inning. You can surely excuse the vomiting I was busy with, that was a whale of a game.

Going into this game, it was somewhat of a must win for the Dodgers. Going down 0-2 back to a 3 game series in Los Angeles was going to be really difficult of course. So to ‘save the season’ the Dodgers sent their ’emotionally drained ace’ to the mound. The Cubs countered with Kyle Hendricks and they gave an incredible display.

The Dodgers looked totally overmatched versus Kyle Hendricks in the first inning, he had his stuff working and looked overpowering versus Dodger hitters setting down the Dodger lineup in order in the first inning.

Luckily Adrian Gonzalez gave the Dodgers the one and only run that Clayton and Kenley Jansen needed with this swing in the second inning

Gonzalez is rounding into form and he is a very streaky hitter, a good series could propel the Dodgers past a ridiculously tough opponent with any cooperation from the rest of the offense.

To be fair, Joc Pederson had some great plate appearances and nearly hit a home run following AGon but just missed one of Hendricks’s numerous mistake pitches.

Clayton Kershaw came up massive, and he had his best postseason performance, his slider, command, and control (for the most part) was on meaning he dominated a Cubs lineup that should scare any starting pitcher in the league.

He looked totally dominant, going 7 frames, striking out only 6, but kept batters off balance all night. He ended up walking one allowed two hits. Those two hits were bunched up back to back and represented the Cubs only real threat in the 5th inning, but Jason Heyward continued his miserable 2016 campaign and everything up until then was very uneventful.

By uneventful of course, I mean amazing!

Did I say uneventful? Well… During Kershaw’s 4th inning, Anthony Rizzo hit what looked to be a game tying home run with an absolute bomb to right field, but it was pulled just enough and the wind blew it just far enough to go foul. Rizzo later grounded out to Kershaw’s delight.

Kershaw did start to tire, and that man (Anthony Rizzo) walked to start off the dreaded seventh inning for Clayton Kershaw. Allowing the leadoff runner in the inning where your demons are normally exposed is a poor strategy. Kershaw though, gutted through an egregious Yasmani Grandal error as he started his route on a Ben Zobrist popup terribly and couldn’t catch a routine pass.

Addison Russell then flied out to left and then Javy Baez came up to bat:

Terrifying right?

The Cubs fans acted like every ball hit in the air was traveling 500 feet which did get annoying but that ball looked, sounded, and felt out. The Dodgers got the breaks today, thankfully and Kershaw’s line and narrative looks fantastic!

A special shoutout goes out to Kenley Jansen who is becoming the Dodgers version of Mariano Rivera, going multiple innings to shut down games. He was brought in after Kershaw conquered his 7th inning demons and dominated the Cubs, getting 4 strikeouts over 2 frames, and getting Anthony Rizzo to softly line out to end the game.

This was a huge win, the Dodgers were competitive in both games and definitely could have won last night (which was easily the worst matchup of the series) with some better pitches from Joe Blanton. I think all of the narratives that the Cubs were going to waltz through this series are dead and we have a legitimate series on our hands. Game 3 will be huge, and Dodger Stadium will be popping, so enjoy the off day and revel in the first road NLCS win since…


Adrian Garcia

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180 thoughts on “Dodgers: 1 Cubs: 0 Clayton Kershaw to Kenley Jansen

    1. Adrian

      That long hit by Rizzo, was pulled closer to the foul pole, not away from the foul pole.

      Orel said it would have been even more foul, but the wind was blowing from right to centerfield.

  1. Dear Big Dodger in the Sky,

    Help the Boys in Blue win at least 2 outta’ three in LA and please Big Dodger, make sure Chuck Pagano and Ryan Grigson are fired immediately!

    That’s all I want!

  2. Kershaw threw just 84 pitches and Jansen 18. Both should be well rested.

    Now, Rich Hill needs to show who is boss!We need him this series. He wasn’t bad the last game, but he needs to be better.

    Both teams have some key players who are ice cold: Rizzo who is 1 for 23 in the playoffs; Russell who is 1-22 and Grandal who is 2 for 19 along with Seager who is 4 for 30, although Grandal does have 5 walks. I predict whoever gets hot among those four will win the series.

    1. The Cubs haven’t seen Rich Hill. I would think and hope that that unfamiliarity prolongs the slumps of those two. Seager has been so consistent all year that I think he’s the most likely candidate to start hitting.

      1. Dodger Patch

        I agree about Corey.

        We still forget this is his first whole year in the majors, and only his second time in the postseason.

        Plus Corey is hitting at the top of the order.

        If Corey gets going and Agone and Turner can stay hot, they will give the other team, a lot of trouble.

  3. AGon getting hot at the right time. They may have to start putting him on.

    Hill at Dodgers stadium should be good. I think Toles and Ethier should play and Reddick needs to sit. But what do I know.

    The off day will have Jansen back at full strength and let’s how the two managers manage the bullpens. One strange “edge” we have is that our bullpen guys are used to working as a unit and pitching a lot of innings. This will be the case with 3 consecutive days of playoff baseball. Not sure if the Cubs bullpen can do 3 straight days like that. If our hitters can bounce their starters in the 5th or 6th innings all 3 games, I like our chances.

  4. I was listening to Chicago Talk Radio this AM, and they are really worried. One caller said “The Giants bullpen was the worst in the history of baseball and they barely beat them. The Dodgers have Kershaw and the best pen!” I like it!

    1. Yeah, being the underdog is kinda nice. Cub players got to be thinking “we better not blow this”. Good part is that they are thinking.

      Go Dodgers!

      1. I think Hill, Urias then Maeda. Then with the day off, Kershaw and Hill for games 6 and 7.

        Game 3 is big, but I like Hill at Dodgers stadium and I think our lefty bats are due against Arrieta. We have to be patient and make the Cubs go to their pen early all 3 games.

        1. But then Maeda is more effective when he has an extra day, and that formula of Kershaw on short rest and being the spot closer on his bullpen session day seemed to work out pretty well in the last series. I wonder if Roberts would try that again.

          1. I think it’s going to depend on how the series turn out. If we’re down I can totally see Kershaw starting game 5, but if we’re ahead then I think Roberts line up Kershaw and Hill for the last 2 games.

        2. YF

          Arrieta hasn’t been as good this year.

          He pitch count this year, seems to get high early.

          Last year they said that rightie hitters, actually have more success against Arrieta, but I don’t know if that is true this year.

          1. Well I think half of our lefty bats are in a slump, but I am hoping Arrieta helps them wake the hell up especially if the news writers start mentioning the Arrieta no hitter last year and him winning the CY Young over Kershaw last year …. that’s why I said they are due especially after last night’s no show offense.

  5. Before NLCS I said they should replace Barnes with Kike. That was my mistake. And they listened to me and did it and that was their mistake. I now see more use for Barnes than for Kike going forward. He looked pretty good last year but this one is one he’d like to forget ever happened. It is also a certainty that Toles and Ethier should be starting, Reddick should be on the bench with Puig, and Kendrick should be considered a back up infielder. Try to trade him this winter.

    1. Wondering

      I didn’t like to see Kike going after the first pitch, after Grandal was walked.

      We faced this same leftie at Dodger stadium, and he had control problems there.

      Kike swung at first pitch, and then grounded out.

      After that, Utley should have walked, but the ump called a ball that was way down, a strike on the last pitch, and then someone else walked.

      If Kike would have been more patient, we would have had an insurance run.

  6. So, the FO went out and did something that goes against their fundamental nature when they traded away some solid prospects for a rental (I read that Hill has told the Dodgers he would prefer to sign with an East coast team in the off season.). He was statistically one of the best starting pitchers available in the American League

    He has one of the best curveballs in baseball. He’s somewhat of specialist in that regard. The Cubs haven’t seen him yet, so their hitters are at the disadvantage of not having faced him and having the opportunity to come up with a game plan on how to counter him.

    Meanwhile, Arrieta has been somewhat average during the second half, his September was actually pretty bad, and he was hit hard in his last start in the NLDS. His performance is trending in the wrong direction – for the Cubs.

    I give the advantage to the Dodgers in this matchup.

    1. Dodger patch

      Hill will be ok if the Cubs don’t run on him, like the Nats did.

      But I wouldn’t count on it.

      Hill doesn’t handled base runners very well, because they can run on him easily, because he throws so many curves.

      I hope he has a better answer to the running game, in his next start!

    2. Where did you read that about Hill and the East Coast?

      Everything I’ve read is that the Dodgers are in love with him, and want to resign him.

      Obviously, the two could be mutually exclusive. But I’m curious where that info is from?

        1. Thanks!

          Lots of ambiguity in this line (or two) and nowhere does it say he told the Dodgers he would prefer to sign with an East Coast team, FWIW.

          —–> Hill would have preferred coming East to Boston or Baltimore, but the chance to wear Dodger blue is an experience he’ll cherish. We’ll see whether Hill is a rental or someone who would stay with LA.

          WOW. I’ve never been to the Dodgers official forum. Lots of bozos posting there.

          1. I enjoyed reading those posts. Entertaining for me.

            I don’t see Hill, at 37 and wounded as a good prospect for a long term deal, which makes him the perfect candidate for FAZ.

            Reddick? Yeah, he’s the platoon player these guys like so – him too. Puig is signed to a friendly contract, so he may stick as well.

      1. It was in one of those side bar tweet feeds on the ESPN website. Maybe it was that Cafardo referenced in Wondering’s link. I don’t really remember, and the veracity can certainly be questioned….just like the erroneous story that Puig threw a tantrum when he was demoted.

  7. The Dodgers are hitting .197 as a team, .200 WRISP, and Kershaw will only start 1 more. I can see why confidence is running so high.

    Fortunately many of the Cubs are in continued slumps. Zobrist, Heyward, Russell and Rizzo are are all struggling. Let’s hope they continue to hibernate.

    2 out 3? I can see that happening.

    1. Badger

      I bet a lot of teams have bad averages with getting hits, with runners in scoring position, because the pitching is so much better, in the post season, as well as there is more pressure.

      That is why I think the Dodger players, need to try to have a more productive offense, and have better at bats, to get runs in.

  8. Correct me if I’m wrong but it looks like Seager is struggling, Puig looks lost at the plate, and does it seem that Agons bat is a tad slower?Seems like everything he hits goes to left and left center. I know there was the HR last night and the key hit against Chapman, but again it’s to the opposite side. Now it’s still fine if it works. Mane they are pitching him away, or maybe he’s trying to foil any shift. I’m not sure if Chicago is employing a defensive shift against him.

    1. Artieboy

      Agone purposely hits the ball to the right side, especially when a pitcher throws a lot of off speed stuff.

      It is better for hitters, to try to hit off speed stuff, up the middle, or to the opposite field.

      Corey has been struggling, but in his last at bat last night, he hit it hard, but it was right at the outfielder, so maybe he is making the adjustment he needs to make, to hit better.

      He has had to adjust all year, so he is probably close now.

    2. Artieboy

      I don’t think Puig is to happy sitting on the bench.

      I don’t think Reddick should get the playing time he is getting, so you can imagine what Puig thinks.

      But Puig couldn’t get his act together this year, even with guy like Roberts, managing the team, so he kind of blew it.

      I think Puig thought he was going to bat sooner.

      I can’t remember if Roberts let Reddick face a leftie reliever last night, but if he did, I bet Puig thought for sure, that he would get the at bat, against a leftie.

      I kind of think Puig might have done something, to get on the bad list, because his playng time, is getting less and less.

      I believe I heard last night, that he hasn’t got a hit yet in the post season.

      But Roberts shouldn’t be hitting Puig fourth in the order.

      Puig is no power hitter, and he just isn’t as good under pressure, especially in the post season.

      Puig has never done much in the post season, except when we played the Braves, in the post season.

      And Puig isn’t getting a lot of at bats, and that makes it even harder for him.

      1. Puig is no power hitter?

        I disagree. He’s 6’2″, about 230 and layered in fast twitch muscle. His career slg % is .472, above league average. What he needs seems obvious to me, but apparently multiple hitting instructors can’t get through to him. At this point, a change of scenery appears to be what is best for him. That last at bat was just bizarre. I think it’s possible we may not see him much the rest of the way.

  9. Another nail biter. Sure would be nice to have a laugher just once…….as long as we were the ones laughing…..

  10. Following the numbers, and I’ve been reading them trying to figure out how saber dudes think, yesterday before the game the Cubs were 74% favorites to reach the World Series. Today, after the teams pitching staffs pitched a remarkable game, a game for the ages, and damn near void of any offense (thank you AGon) the Cubs are now only 56% favorites, with Hill v Arrieta a virtual coin toss at 50%. I got as far as Algebra II in high school and of course had some trig functions laid on me in Kinesiology classes in college, but I still don’t get how baseball geeks think. It’s day to day. Heck, those odds might change tonight when it’s reported Chapman has menstrual cramps.

    I know this, if Seager, Rizzo, Heyward, Zobrist, Russell and Bryant snap out of it, it could be a real shoot out for the next several days. If not? We can win the snoozers.

    Go to sleep, little bears, think of puppies and kittens.

    1. Badger

      Like I said above, a lot of the teams still left, or having trouble getting hits when runners are in scoring position.

      It isn’t just the Dodgers.

      And really the Dodgers offense, in the second part of the season, I thought was the best, or one of the best offense’s in the National League.

    2. Just because someone can compute a statistic to quantify a function doesn’t make it meaningful or more meaningful than an older statistic. New is just new, it’s not automatically better. A real stat geek could quantify the motions a centipede uses to move and prove that one was faster than another, the same conclusion that could be reached by visual observation…

  11. Last night a reporter asked Kershaw if he thought Baez’s last hit was going out, and Kershaw said yes.

    I think if Kershaw pitches to the seventh inning, and the first hitter gets on base, Roberts better think about bringing in someone from the bullpen, if that happens again.

    Kershaw performances in the post season, has shown he is tired, and not quite the same, at that point of the game, so I think Roberts needs to get Kershaw out, after anyone gets on, depending on the score in the game.

  12. I agree about Kershaw MJ. Pushing him like this, after what he’s been through this year, seems dangerous to me. Our lack of adequate starting pitching is our weakness. Well, that, and clutch hitting.

    Add the blind squirrel to my schneid list. If Yasmani runs into a couple it could change those odds – again.

    This is an interesting read:

    1. Really interesting, and thank you for posting although being reminded of the Brandon League signing brought the Brian Wilson signing to my mind.

      God, Colletti was the pits.

    2. Badger

      I think we are pushing fate a little to, by allowing Kershaw to pitch past that point.

      I guess at least Grandal is getting walks, instead of striking out all the time.

      And when him and Joc see more pitches like that, and wait for there pitch, they tend to do better.

      But Joc has done much better then Grandal in the post season.

      I just get upset at Joc, when he gets away from what he was doing, that has made him more successful.

      Because Joc has the ability to hit much better, but sometimes, he gets that HR mentality in his head, and that affects his at bats.

      And when it is both Grandal and Joc doing that, at the back of the order, it gets very frustrating.

  13. Did everyone see that Agone refused to stay at the Hotel that Trump owns in Chicago, with the rest of the team?

    I can sure understand why!

    1. I am disappointed that he hates Trump that much AND that apparently he likes Hillary. I hate them both but if Trump gave me a hotel room I’d sure use it; And if Hillary gave me a car, I’d drive it. Agon should remember what he is, a mercenary. Follow the money.

      1. Well….maybe your particular attitude is part of a larger problem: we’re too quick to compromise ethics for the sake of self-interest (or the particular side we’re on), whether it’s trading influence for a multi-million dollar donation to a…whatever, or simply rationalizing glaring character flaws. I say good for Adrian…as long as he doesn’t get all preachy and keeps his mind focused on the Cubs.

        ….or letting your personal beliefs, tastes and habits be dictated by a vast media industrial complex that drives popular culture and insinuates itself into every facet of our lives (btw, any way we can make the clickbait ads tempting me with how stunning Honey Boo Boo’s is can go away?). For example: the politically correct narrative that the Cubs are the team of destiny. Fight the power! Fuck the Cubs!

        1. Dodger Patch

          Agone did this is May I believe, but the story didn’t get out, until now.

          So no worry about the Cubs, and the post season.

      2. Wondering

        Remember Trump said all of the ileagal Hispanic people that come across the border, are criminals, thieves, rapists, and other stuff.

        And Agone is Mexican American.

        And Trump isn’t giving anything free, the Dodgers are paying for the players rooms.

    2. Like it or not, Gonzalez and most of the other MLB players are part of the 1%. Gonzalez shoots up his house, like Chapman, he might get a 30 game suspension, definitely no jail time. So it figures he wouldn’t like outsider Trump, but, would support Crooked Hillary.

          1. Wow. What a load of catbox.

            I agree with bluto on this one. We have been divided enough in here.

            Moving on dot gag.

      1. Boxout

        This was only because Trump said every ilegal person that comes over the border from Mexico, are criminals, rapists, and thieves.

        He didn’t say anything about Hilary.

        1. Hawkeye

          I should have known better, but I didn’t write that for the politics, I just thought that it was nice that Agone stood by his beliefs, because he is a decent guy.

          1. Boxout
            I heard Trump say those things, and it was way before he was a serious candidate.

            It was all over the news then.

          2. Somehow I don’t see you sitting down and listening to a Trump speech first hand. Like I said getting your facts from the corrupt media bought and paid for by Crooked Hillary is ridiculous.

  14. As I recall, the last series the teams played I think the Dodgers either split the series or won it with the Cubs winning a game at the end of the game because of Dodgers misplays. These 2 teams match up well and every game should be tough. On the first game: Roberts intentionally walked Couglan to load the bases to force Maddon to pinch hit for Chapman, who otherwise would have pitched the next inning. Couglan was hitting about .210. Roberts didn’t like Chapman pitching to that part of the order coming up. I have never heard of that strategy. Have any of you? Roberts is one smart dude and is managing aggressively this series. I think he’s even having fun doing it. The manager could be the difference in this series, and how often can we say that?

    1. Bobbie17

      Roberts mainly wanted to get out of that inning still tied.

      And he knew our players coming up to bat, would have trouble hitting Chapman, and most players in base ball do.

      But to keep the lead, and get Chapman out of the game, would be a great circumstance for the team.

      Because if we scored the go ahead run in the top of the ninth, Roberts could have brought Kenley in, to save that game for us.

    1. Actually, anyone who appreciates smart and sensible free agent acquisitions should have felt betrayed by the Brandon League signing. (Is that guy still getting paid by the Dodgers?)

      Kind of makes you wonder if the anonymous comments about Puig and “addition by subtraction” were not Greinke, but actually AJ. Maybe he was a little “catty” and loose lipped about teammates and liked to stir the pot a little bit, and maybe that factored into the trade.

      Just like any assemblage of humans, there will always be personalities, politicking and egos.

    2. Wondering

      I read that article you posted, and it is only part of a bigger article I believe on the Dodger com site.

      There is a lot more to it, about AJ and Kenley, and I think the team was just teasing Kenley.

      And Kenley said an that article that AJ was good to him.

  15. I think we are in excellent shape. If we take 2-3 at home, we have Kersh in game 6 in Chicago to send us to the World Series. If we take 1-3 at home, we have Kersh in Game 6 in Chicago to get us to a “anything can happen” Game 7. Obviously tomorrow is huge.

    Meanwhile, anyone here going? The plan is for me to be there for all 3 games (of course if the games are close late, you might see me running around in the parking lot or doing the stairs to keep calm)

      1. first drink is on me!

        Actually, I don’t attend that many games, but I do go to the important ones (Vin Scully Appreciation Night, etc)

      2. Watford

        How did your heart feel when Kershaw was pitching to Baez with a runner on first?

        And when Baez first hit that pitch?

        Did you think it was out at first?

        1. MJ – I jumped out of my chair but couldn’t shout anything as everyone asleep as 4am here.

          When Joc caught it, you could see the relief on Kershaw’s face.

          I couldn’t believe that we would stop the mighty Cubs from scoring at least one run. Only 2 hits.
          I’m no stats man, but I bet that was their lowest all season.

          One thing is for sure, every game has been edge of the seat stuff, every pitch has been meaningful, and I’ve absolutely loved it.

          Think we all have. I certainly didn’t see us getting to this point but am really enjoying the Rollercoaster Ride.

      1. When you actually pay attention to what catchers do with their gloves, it’s actually pretty striking. AJ in particular, when I’d watch him closely, had his glove moving all over the place trying to catch the ball.

        1. You’re correct about AJ. I remember an interview with FAZ when he first took over. He talked about how pitch framing wasn’t about fooling the umpire but getting strikes called that should be called strikes. AJ would often let balls takes his glove out of the strike zone instead of holding them where they hit his mitt.

  16. Well these last 2 games ought to shut up the Kenley haters. But Grandal has shown nothing. I do not care a rats ass about his pitch framing skills. The calls are as much a result of the umpires lack of consistency as they are his pitch framing., and as for his hitting skills, he is about as clutch as a hernia. He is painful to watch and that great move on that pop up last night cements his place as a lousy fielder.

    1. I’m starting to detect a pattern with your repeated posts regarding Grandal.

      I suppose I could provide observable, measurable statistical evidence that his so-called pitch framing skills have saved X amount of runs over the course of a season, which contributes to Y amount of additional wins over the course of a season, but I could also show you pictures from space of a round Earth and have Neil Tyson deGrasse personally explain it to you, but if you insist on believing the Earth is flat…..well….

      1. I tend to agree with Michael, the umpires are so bad and so inconsistent, that would make framing very difficult to judge even if you believed in it. As far as Grandal as a player, he’s the same as every other player in baseball, that is, there are better and there are worse and his quality changes day to day. Nobody is ever going to mistake him for Mike Piazza or Buster Posey.

        1. He sure was good last night…a couple of walks and an error….just the kind of stuff I love watching……..NOT!!

        2. It’s not judged, it’s measured. And the very way it’s measured eliminates the day to day variability and inconsistency of bad umpires. It’s measured over the course of an entire season and over several season. Grandal consistently gets more borderline calls, and this spans many hundreds of games with multiple umpires from multiple umpiring crews.

          The second sentence is just odd. What you’re saying is that we can’t use ANY stat to measure ANY player, and that they all vary so much from day to day that every player is just pretty much the same.

      2. You have your opinion and I have mine. I think pitch framing is an over blown way of saying the umps are pitiful, especially if they are fooled by that hand movement. I will say it stole a strike for Kenley in the 9th because that pitch was way inside…..Me, I like players who are if nothing else, consistent. Grandal is about as consistent as an old mans bowel movement…….case closed.

          1. The comments are a good indication of what most fans think of it. I’ve said it many times. The strike zone is directly over the plate. The catchers glove is about 4′ beyond the strike zone. Any ump that gets fooled by a catcher moving his glove after receiving it should be demoted and not recalled until he fixes the holes in his strike zone.

          2. I agree with that Badger, but they’re not going to be demoted nor drastically “fix” their ones.

            Framing takes advantage of that market blip.

            OPS in pitchers counts is lower (obviously), so there’s great advantage if you can convert a ball to a strike.

          3. Like I care what Mike Petriello says…he is an analyst..I do not listen to somebody who tries to tell me what I can actually see with my own eyes…….Grandal is a LOUSY hitter in the clutch, he has been in a slump for close to a month. He is terrible at blocking pitches in the dirt, and last night he could not even catch a foul pop……..I do not like the guy, never have and never will period, and I do not care where he ranks. I see enough of his mediocrity every game. Once in a blue moon the squirrel finds a nut…whoopee for him…….and shame on the umps for falling for that framing crap….show me hard stats, no assumptions that he saved more runs than his lousy fielding allowed…..

          4. Yes, definitely trust your eyes over an analyst’s. That’s a good philosophy. Outside voices, especially those whose career portends knowledge, should always be distrusted.

            And keep waving the pom-poms for Matt Kemp.

            The two are definitely not related.

  17. You know how I feel. I remember catchers trying to pull that b.s. with me. Didn’t work. And to see it work on ML umpires is embarrassing to the game. For the level they work, these guys are just bad. In so many ways they are bad. I see them making rookie mistakes over and over. Missing on balls and strikes is just one of the many ways they are incompetent. E-strike zone is the only answer.

    Grandal? Catch him when he’s hot and he’s worth watching at bat. Behind the plate? I find him very pedestrian. Can’t catch can’t throw. He can move his glove into the strike zone? Oooh.

    ATH is now saying Kershaw will pitch in Game 5 and come out of the bullpen in Game 7.

    1. If you noticed it they weren’t doing it right. The whole point is that because the movement is so subtle, and the time duration is mere fractions of a second, the human brain is tricked. Batters are fooled every time they take a called third strike.

      At least you’re smart enough to realize that simply denying the statistical significance of pitch framing is a losing argument, so you’re pivoting and changing tactics. I don’t think there’s any evidence that umpires or better or worse then they’ve ever been, unless you want to make an argument that the umpire’s union has rewarded mediocrity and complacency, and we all know how you feel philosophically about that.

      You could almost make a better argument that pitch framing has exposed a weakness with umpires which forces improvements, either in umpire vigilance, new umpires or electronic balls and strikes.

      Umpires were plenty bad before pitch framing

      1. “I don’t think there’s any evidence that umpires or better or worse then they’ve ever been”

        Wouldn’t the % of calls overturned by instant replay be an indication that umpires are making lots of mistakes? Can’t tell if it means they are worse than previous years, but rather an indication that they maybe need more training?

        1. Even better, we can just look at Pitch Fx data and see the umpires who miss the most balls and strikes calls. We could get an actual percentage of calls made or calls missed and devise a rating system.

          I don’t want electronic balls and strikes. For one, there are some basic logistical problems. How does a batter and catcher know a pitch was called a ball or a strike? A beep on the PA system? earphones in the umps ears telling him the call, which he then calls in the traditional way?

          Once Pitch Fx is used more extensively in the minor leagues, we can quickly and easily determine who the best umpires are in the game and promote them. The League should reward talent and excellence. That means that poor Cowboy Joe West probably should be nudged into retirement.

          You won’t eliminate missed calls with 100% certainty, but I don’t think you need that. The union will probably object …maybe strike, but if the League is now armed with the data that would allow them to immediately hire the best of the best, you eliminate any leverage the umpire union has. Just fire them if they strike.

          1. Everything you mention is already in place. The call could be made immediately through a headset. It really would be easy to do.

            If they refuse, those umps that can’t, or won’t, improve don’t get to work behind the plate and make less $.

            Then you have those arrogant umps, like Winters, that actually have the nerve to tell a catcher his “presentation” was bad. What an asshat. I wonder if the union said anything to him about that. Probably not.

            Something has to be done. It’s not the catcher, it’s the umpire.

  18. Is Ethier’s leg healthy enough to play in the field? He’s obviously healthy enough to hit. I didn’t get to watch the game Saturday so I don’t know if he played in the field but I don’t remember him playing in the field in the NLDS. I think Joc needs to go the other way more often instead of trying to pull the ball so much. He didn’t try to pull Scherzer and was rewarded. That’s one thing that A-Gon has done well. He’s take those outside pitches the other way. The ball he hit to Bryant last night was hit hard but it was an atem ball. Not sure what Grandal should do but maybe look for a first pitch fastball and ambush it. It seems he always takes the first pitch so pitchers can pump a fastball in there to get ahead. Joc does the same thing to a lesser extent.

  19. Patch, I have found that we probably shouldn’t try to confuse people with the facts when their minds are already made up.

    Grandal is in a slump, but so are lots of players (that’s baseball, for the uninitiated). The Elias Player Ratings are interesting. According to them, here are the TOP 5 players at each position:
    1. Goldschmidt
    2. Freeman
    3. Votto
    4. Rizzo
    5. Cabrera (A-Gon was #8)

    1. Murphy
    2. Cano
    3. Altuve
    4. Pedroia
    5. Kipnis (Chase Utley was #16)

    1. Correa
    2. Seager (very close to 1st)
    3. Andrus
    4. Bogarts
    5. Villar

    1. Donaldson
    2. Beltre
    3. Aewnado
    4. Turner
    5. Ramirez (Bryant is 7th because he played a lot in LF)

    1. Yelich
    2. Cespedes
    3. Cabrera
    4. Marte
    5. Upton

    1. Trout
    2. Blackmon
    3. Desmond
    4. Fowler
    5. Hererra (Pederson is 8th)

    1. Harper
    2. Betts
    3. Markakis
    4. Piscotty
    5. Bruce

    Disagree or Agree? Here’s the Catchers:
    1. Ramos
    2. Lucroy
    3. Posey
    4. Molina
    5. Grandal

    By the way, the great Matt Kemp was the 9th best LF.

    Of course, there I go-confusing you with that facts again. Sorry….

    1. Whoopee…tell me Mark, would you rather have Kike’s .190 7 HR about 20 RBI season, or Kemp’s .268 35 108?? If you chose Kike, you are a moron…

      1. I don’t know why you bring up Kike. Kemp wasn’t traded for Kike. But since you bring up that hypothetical, let’s say Kike and Kemp just swapped positions on the 40 man roster for the season. What would that mean? Well, Kemp can only play left field and maybe right, and I’m being very generous with my use of the word, “play.” Actually, since Kemp is such a poor defender and has such poor batting peripherals, most notably his walk rate, the reality is that Roberts would probably have only started him occasionally and used him mostly as a pinch hitter. Kike, because of his defensive versatility – he can play all three outfield positions and second base – and track record of hitting lefties, fills an actual need. #statsdontlie

      2. Michael, with all due respect, Kike has had a bad year, but I would take Kike Hernandez at $520,000 for one year than Matt Kemp at $22 million a year for 3 more years. Then I would not offer Kike arbitration if he had another bad year. At least I wouldn’t be struck with the $66 million dollar contract of Kemp and I could get a better player. If that makes me a moron, so be it! I can take it…

        However, the comparison that is more apt is Kemp to Grandal.


    Here are the stats. Go through the list and tell me that Yasmani Grandal is the guy you want up in a must hit situation. I can find about 10 there I’d rather see up instead of him. We already know he can’t catch and he can’t throw. He hit .228. His OBP was a pedestrian .339. There are 30 catchers on that list that hit better than him!

    Confusing us with facts. Ridiculous. Just read up.

      1. I could ask you the same question – are you serious, or do you just automatically reject anything I post?

        It wasn’t my link, it’s the same link Mark used to make his point. Duh. My point was not who “graded” better, that point was made by Timmons. I merely asked posters to put their own eyes to the numbers and perhaps notice something? Clearly you didn’t. I did. Maybe others did too. Maybe not. It would appear we may soon be seeing some better offensive catchers in MLB.

        And I’m not a hater. I just don’t see what the fuss is all about. He strikes out too much and frankly I think his defense kinda sucks. He’s ok, not great.

        1. No need to get upset. We’re merely having a friendly and spirited discussion on pitch framing and Grandal.

          There might very well be better offensive catchers than Grandal. Honestly, I didn’t look too closely. The rating system, regardless of the source, is basically just WAR, or Wins Above Replacement. Do you think offensive production solely determines WAR? Here’s an important question: do you think offensive production is the sole attribute that determines a catcher’s value? Is that your position? That seems to be what you’re arguing here.


      Here are the stats. Go through the list and tell me that Yasmani Grandal is not one of the guys you want on your team. I can find about 5 who have greater value. We already know he’s a top framer, and an All-Star. There are ONLY 4 catchers on that list that hit better than him!


      Confusing us with facts. Ridiculous. Just read up.

      1. I read them. I posted the link that Timmons references, but does not post. I saw some very interesting offensive numbers there. You didn’t.

        Like I said, I’m not a hater. I look forward to the occasional good offensive month he has. Consistent he ain’t. And like I said, I’m not enthusiastic about his defense. I saw nearly every game this year. I witnessed a lot of poor mechanics in fielding his position. I saw some wild ass throws and I saw a guy who lead the league, again, in passed balls.

        Difference of opinion I guess.

  21. I don’t know what the average MLB Catcher Batting Average is, maybe .250? Grandal hit .228 with a lot of homeruns. Catchers get around 400 at bats a season? A .250 hitter gets 100 hits, Grandal gets 91, a difference of 9 hits over a 6 month period. If he were hitting .250, he be getting about one and a half more hits a month. And the same people would be hating him. It’s not worth worrying about. Feel free to hate whomever you please, just don’t try to justify it….

  22. Badger,

    Grandal can’t throw? Wow! He was 12th in MLB is caught stealing % – if that means he can’t throw, then there are a lot of guys who are dramatically worse.

    His CS% was better than McCann, Castro, Navarro, Molina, Norris, Cervelli and Russ Martin, but here’s what’s stupid: Russ Martin caught 44% of the runners last year – this year he’s 15%. Grandal is at 29% all the time. Milona was at 41 % last year – this year it’s 21%. In Catchers ERA, Grandal is 4th in all of baseball.

    Grandal lead all catchers in HR and was 4th in RBI. He OPS’ed .816, which was 3rd among starting catchers (only Lucroy and Ramos were higher).

    More reading unless your mind is closed:

    If you don’t want me to call you a dumbass or moron, don’t say stupid stuff… because it is stupid and flat out wrong!

  23. This all comes from Mark saying people who are skeptical of Grandal do not appreciate facts.

    In fact, there are stats and facts to back up either side of the argument, on Grandal. Each side can say the other side does not appreciate facts.

    And the fact that this happens makes perfect sense. Because Grandal is a good but not great. So the way to end this argument is for Grandal to get great. Unless he gets worse like Reddick, whom no one defends anymore.

      1. Right, and they kind of have to.

        Speaking of Roberts. There’s an article out quoting an NL scout saying our bullpen is the basically the same as last year, and its number one because of how the manager uses it. I completely agree.

        1. Can you post a link, please?

          Not at all that I don’t believe you, but that I want to read it.

          Are not Blanton, Dayton, Avilan and Fields all new?

          1. It’s on the blog.


            The Dodger bullpen’s improvement over previous seasons appears “more about depth than a massive jump in quality,” one National League scout said. Added another NL scout, “When you look on paper, the talent looks about the same. You have to give credit to how they’ve been managed.”

          2. But that quote doesn’t really jibe with what you wrote above. If I read the exact quote and understand it correctly, this anonymous scout cites the “depth” as the primary reason for the improved bullpen, BUT ALSO gives credit to Roberts for how he handled it.

          3. Read again, 2 different scouts. One credit depth (which by the way is kind of meaningless for the bullpen), the other one credits the manager.

            For myself, just based on my experiences as a fan, I think the managers show their value the most on how they handle the bullpen. Not just Roberts but the whole staff including Honeycutt.

          1. Mark, this is tiresome. Just like how you pick at words, I said basically which is what the excerpt said.

            You love to throw people’s mischaracterizations back at their face but you do the same. So think about that the next time you want to call out someone.

      2. That is right Reddick has nine RBIs in two months, and four errors in the same amount of time.

        And four of those nine RBIs was from a grand slam that he hit, after
        we were ahead eight nothing.

        1. Josh Reddick has not impressed me while here, but there’s another side to that coin. Read this:

          He did not adjust very well and was obviously pressing which created a lot of problems, but if you read the above article, you might conclude that (at the right price) he might be a nice platoon partner with Trayce Thompson.

          Myself? I would let him walk and platoon Ethier and Thompson in RF next year. I doubt Ethier would bring much and he might not waive his no-trade option.

          I wonder if the Padres would trade Hunter Renfroe and another prospect for Yasiel Puig and Adrian Gonzalez with the Dodgers throwing in $20 million?

          1. Mark

            I think you got it right the first time.

            Reddick is not clutch.

            He can’t handle pressure.

            But even when a player isn’t providing good offense, they usually play decent defense, but not Reddick.

          2. Platoons not always the best thing.

            Because having to carry two players, to play one position, clogs up the roster.

            And Ethier is a much better hitter then Reddick.

            I was suprised that Reddick was only given a one year contract.

          3. I heard a very good stat about Agone today.

            When Agone hits in at least one RBI, the Dodgers record, is forty four and twelve.

    1. So, I could say that Grandal was the #3 Catcher in OPS, but someone could successfully argue that wasn’t true? Or I could say he was first in HR, but someone else could argue otherwise. I posted the facts: #1 in HR, #4 in RBI, #3 in OPS, #4 in catchers ERA. Tell me the facts that back up the other side. FACTS… NOT OPINIONS! I don’t think you can!

      1. The point is, Mark, no one disputes your facts unless you get it wrong. But there are countervailing facts supporting the other argument. I believe you understand this as a business owner, I’m just posting this for the hell of it. Because I’m in a bad mood.

          1. That’s the point. Especially for a good but flawed player like Grandal, thr other side sees it the same way and no need to accuse the other side of not being supported by facts. Kind of like Ethier or A-Gone’s production vs salary. And I don’t mean you Patch – you don’t call people out as much as Mark, other than Badger who I agree has a thing against Mark (which I find ok but it is what it is).

    1. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why people don’t like him. He improved this year and will keep it up. He’s a stud. Like has been said earlier “there are better catchers, but only about 4!”

        1. So did a lot of others and most weren’t caught. If Michael doesn’t like them because they were caught, then so be it, but few were caught. An extremely high percentage did it.

          Pete Rose tested positive for gambling! He’s got the Cubs in this series.


    Bitter Old Men!

    Pitch framing is not about fooling the Ump – It’s about getting better calls… and it ain’t going away unless they go electronic!

  25. In other news:

    The Diamondbacks hired Mike Hazen to be General Manager. Derreck Hall and owner Ken Kendrick, expressed confidence in their new hire. Hall explained that Hazen will look to build a sustainable contender, with a “well-balanced” approach. The long-time Red Sox executive impressed with his breakdown of the organization, presenting a “vision” that the organization’s top leadership found compelling.

    The incoming GM will take over final authority over the baseball decisionmaking for the organization, whereas Stewart had reported to La Russa. While the Hall of Fame skipper will stay in the organization — which was no sure thing after Stewart, VP DeJon Watson, and manager Chip Hale were all cut loose — he’ll do so in a diminished capacity. – MLB Trade Rumors

    LaRussa is a figurehead and it appears to me that Arizona will be following in Epstien’s and Friedman’s plan. Again, it happened just like I predicted!

    1. That happened yesterday morning. Old news here in Arizona

      But, did you know this?

      Harold at ThinkBlue believes it’s a SQUIRREL! …. myth:

      ” Pardon my sarcasm but pitch framing, in my opinion, is a myth perpetuated by the need to have a new type of subjective stat pop up every few years. It is not substantive because even with PITCHf/x – a pitch tracking system created by Sportvision – a determination SQUIRREL! ….must be made if the umpire would have called a ball or strike with a pitch in the same location without a catcher. That is indeed impossible to do. Additionally there is no way to determine how many runs good pitch framing would save or poor pitch framing would give up.”

      Wise man that Harold.

      I’m done. This has been fun, but time to read myself to sleep. Reading is what we old men do. Keeps the mind SQUIRREL!!!

  26. Yep. We should not be here. Same thing in 1988 and half of the Giants WS teams.

    Baseball is a funny sport. It’s a very lonely team sport. In basketball, you can sometimes hide if you’re paying with LeBron. Not in baseball. Even if you try to hide in the field, you may still be up with 1 out and 2 on, and the worlds watching if you can’t advance the runner. It’s a mental and spiritual team sport.

    1. YF

      I read a funny stat earlier, and the Dodgers war number was better then the Cubs.

      I think they ranked the Dodgers number three, and Cubbies number four.

    2. Some people have said we only won the games that Kershaw has pitched in, which is true, but they doubt we can win this way.

      Just look at what Bumgarner did for the Giants, when they won the series, in 2014.

      And I think Hill is a better pitcher, then what the Giants had, and probably Maeda.

      Maeda hasn’t been as good, but his last game wasn’t that bad.

      If Ruiz doesn’t allow that quote steal at home, Maeda only gave up two runs.

      And Howie not making that rountine catch, also cost Maeda one of those two runs!

  27. I think we need a new thread. Something that will get us away from rodent references and calling people bitter and stupid.

  28. So much to cover, but I am not going to let am erroneous argument die. I have posted stuff and left something off and someone else comes back and corrects me. It happened over the weekend when Wondering said I left Maeda off the rotation – I admitted to being brain dead.

    Do you like Pepsi or Coke? It’s Subjective (I like neither – don’t drink soda – if it doesn’t have alcohol in it, it’s probably bad for you)

    Peet’s Sumatra or Maxwell House? It’s Subjective.

    Do you like steak, tofu, shrimp, eel, monkey brains? It’s Subjective.

    “I don’t like Grandal.” It’s Subjective.

    “Grandal is a blind squirrel.” Not Subjective, Not Objective – It’s simply delusional.

    Grandal is #6 in Offensive WAR, #18 in Defensive WAR, #2 in Framing (It’s comical that Harold “Always Wrong” Reynolds is quoted), #6 in OB%, #9 in BA, #3 in OPS. Overall he is #5 or #6 in all of baseball among catchers… that a fact. What is subjective is that he will get better. That’s what I think, but that is purely subjective.

    Yueh_Fei says “But there are countervailing facts supporting the other argument.” I have asked and Patch has asked what those “facts” are? Please tell us!

    While I am on a roll, Yueh_Fei also said “Speaking of Roberts. There’s an article out quoting an NL scout saying our bullpen is the basically the same as last year, and its number one because of how the manager uses it. I completely agree.”

    So I took exception to that and said: “Blanton, Dayton, Coleman, Ravin, Stripling, Urias and Fields never pitched last year. You can’t say that with a straight face! ?”

    Not being mean, but just pointing out that NO WAY, NO HOW is this the same pen. FACT! I understand the implications of this statement:

    1. No one wants to give FAZ any Credit;
    2. FAZ was forced to hire Roberts by Guggs (that’s the Anti-FAZ narrative, which is not supported by facts);
    3. So it’s because of Roberts that the pen is better – FAZ had nothing to do with it; and
    4. The whole implication is to deflect any credit from FAZ.

    We nipped that one in the bud, didn’t we?

    Look, if the Dodgers had folded and went 79-83 like some predicted, I would have never heard the end of it, but here we are. They are where I thought they would be and I stood up for what FAZ has done all year. Most people have given up the fight and realized they were wrong, but there are still all these little jabs to try and justify the narrative in your head – “They overachieved, they shouldn’t be here, It’s because of Roberts, not FAZ.”

    You can give an opinion, no problem, but when you state opinions as facts, that’s a whole different thing. I won’t let it go by…

    If I make a statement, I am ready to defend it WITH FACTS! Do the same!

    1. Here are some facts that you continue to ignore:

      Fact – Only 1 guy predicted 79 wins. 1. He’s no longer here. Why did he leave? We all know why. Fact – Several of us predicted under 92 while you predicted 95. Fact – You were wrong. The rest of us were right. Fact – most of us thought with the core of our roster still here we were good enough to make the playoffs. Fact – we were right.

      Now we are at the crucial point in the season we ALL hoped we would get to – can we beat the better ball club in our league. We haven’t done it yet.

      Why you feel the need to continue to berate and belittle the posters here? …. those of us receive those attacks can only speculate. I think I know why, I think you are tortured by your past and maybe one day we can help you with that. In the mean time I would only ask you as nicely as I can – STFU with your smarter than everyone else attitude. You are not better than those you preach to. Enough already.

    2. Why confuse the issues with facts? At least, that is what many here seem to think.

      Yes, it’s funny to see some of the FAZ naysayers arguments as the Dodgers continue their march to a championship. For instance, “the NLW was an easy division, anyone could have competed in that division”.

      Well, tell it to Dumb and Dumber in AZ, they only finished back 22 games. Another example of a fact, no delusional caca.

      1. Well box, I know you love the FAZ, but it seems to me the heavy lifting is being done by the guys who were already here.

        Hill hangs an L on Arrieta today then I will be the first to throw an atta boy to Friedman. Even if he doesn’t, I do like the manager hire. I think we all do.

        1. Love the FAZ? No, I only roll one way. However, I do love where the FAZ has the Dodgers today. I do love the FAZ 2016 plan. I do love how FAZ overcame a bloated salary structure and very little production out of some of “the guys who were already here”. I do love the industry leading innovations that FAZ has brought to the Dodgers. I guess to summarize, I do love that the Dodgers NOW have top management after many many, too many years of mediocrity.

          Yes, it is true some of the heavy lifting has been done by the guys who were already here. Since FAZ has been on the job less than two years, this is to be expected. But, what a job separating the wheat from the chaff. Prime example, the bullpen, somebody caused me to throw up a little by mentioning League and Wilson above, names I had hoped to never hear again.

          artieboy makes a very profound statement: ” I find it fascinating that Roberts (a former outfielder) gets credit for the bullpen success, a success built on rotating pitchers between the big club and AAA, searching the waiver wire, and giving them limited exposure at any one time”. You should meditate on that statement. Perhaps, after doing so, you will come away with an appreciation what FAZ just accomplished over the 2016 season. F ing amazing if you ask me. Oh, and the bullpen isn’t all, Andrew Toles for instance, potential big time stud all done, OUT OF NECESSITY, on a shoestring. Add in Yasmani Grandal, I can’t believe some of you still can’t get on board the Grandal train. Here is back at the poster who mentioned League and Wilson, “Butera, Federowicz and Ellis”. WAKE UP catch a clue!!

          To summarize, I am LOVING this post-season, I didn’t want to wait until 2018. But, while loving this year, I am also loving the thought of FAZ on the job another two years and what they are going to cook-up for Dodger fans.

          1. Sounds like moon hit your eye like a big FAZza pie –

            and that’s amoré.

            I still believe the best is yet to come. This team is going to get better in the coming years.

          2. When you don’t have facts, blow smoke, huh? Oh well, I have come to expect it.

            But at least the 2018 FAZ plan looks as good to you as Lucille did to Stewart. I guess that is a step in the right direction.

    3. I never said that or anything close to, not even on the subject, so this time you lie. Someone else maybe said that, just not me.

    1. Mark
      You know I love Roberts, and this isn’t a knock on Roberts, but almost any manager would handle the pen better then Mattingly.

      Mattingly didn’t learn to much from his mistakes.

      He constantly stuck with players and pitchers to long.

      I remember when Frias started his very first game in Colorado.

      The Rockies had scored six runs, before anyone went out there to talk to him.

      I remember when Perez walked three hitters in a row, before Mattingly went out there.

      I remember when Mattingly brought in a leftie pitcher from the pen, that had only pitched about ten innings in the majors all year.

      He brought this pitcher in a playoff game, only because he was a leftie, and unsuprisingly this pitcher gave up a HR right away!

  29. Where is the link to this Roberts bullpen management? I find it fascinating that Roberts (a former outfielder) gets credit for the bullpen success, a success built on rotating pitchers between the big club and AAA, searching the waiver wire, and giving them limited exposure at any one time.

    I do give Roberts credit for bringing Jansen in with the game on the line and then having the guts to bring in Kershaw. As Tommy would preach “World Series are won and lost in the bullpen.” And Roberts understands that. I don’t think Mattingly understood that.

    1. Artieboy

      Roberts works well with all of his coaches, and is open to there expertise.

      And Roberts and our bench coach, and Honeycutt, all work togther.

      And they go over games and circumstances, before even the game is played.

      Roberts works well with others, and has an open mind, to what info he gets from his coaches.

  30. I think it’s been a fun discussion, actually. The sabremetric discussion from a few days ago was fun as well, and I wish it had continued. And in contrast to the usual sniping, the arguing here has had some substance: folks have had to defend their positions with facts and logic.

    Ultimately, it is all sort of silly and pointless – a bunch of grown men arguing with each other over baseball. However, there are still some things about it that are valid and important – some larger themes.

    I think I understand what Yueh meant when he said that those here with differing opinions had their own facts, and that there were valid in their own right. We all have our own beliefs…everyone gets a participation ribbon. There are no winners. He’s right in a sense that whether is pro-Clinton, pro-Trump, pro-#nevertrump, we can argue all day long and no is going to change anyone’s opinion. It’s certainly apparent that that Michael Norris is not going to appreciate Grandal any time soon.

    But I do have a slight problem with that. In this case, there CAN be a better argument. There IS such thing as being right and being wrong – if your argument is based on sound reasoning, facts and judgment. I think we cop out in this society a little too much when we concede that someone has simply a different point of view and that it should be accepted. No, there are points of view that are simply wrong and can be shown to be wrong (and I’m not talking about framing or baseball in this instance). In our culture, currently, our means of resolving issues boils down to either insulting or smearing an opponent or simply being afraid to confront or to offend. There is a middle way – having the courage to argue forcefully, ethically, and have facts, reason and moral weight on your side.

    off the soap box, now

    1. Well said patch.

      Better arguments are how debates are won and how juries are influenced. Having experience in both those arenas, I know that better arguments are often delivered with skewered facts. And unknowing audiences don’t know it’s happening to them. How would they? They don’t KNOW any better.

      I recently saw a Chris Angel video where he exchanged the top of bodies of a man and a woman in a park setting. Man it looked so real, and very creepy. He took those people apart. Then I read an explanation of how he did it – and
      of course it was explainable.


      Things are seldom as they seem. There is always an explanation, but we don’t always get one.

      1. But this isn’t a debate, there are no winners and no losers. There are just opinions and ALL of us have the right to have one, or maybe more than one. There is also no requirement that our opinions must be defended by logic and reasoning (that meets your approval). It is perfectly acceptable for any of us to post our opinion and just walk away from it. If you choose to argue against it, it’s just your choice. The Internet is a frustrating place for control freaks.

        1. Although I’ve never met you, Wondering, I can tell by the tone of your posts that you drown kittens for fun. I don’t have to defend that, do I? It’s my opinion.

          You can certainly have an opinion, but opinions don’t have equal value. Some are worth more than others. The value we ascribe to them is or should be rooted in some linkage to reality, i.e. – based on some factual foundation. The accepting of any opinion without judgement leads to dangerous ideas.

          1. You are wrong. That is my unqualified opinion. And, never having met you, I can tell you think you’re very smart, more so than any of us here, and using your logical and incisive mind, you can sway other people to your…OPINION!

  31. It is to bad that Blanton didn’t make a better pitch, can you imagine how the Cubs, and there fans would have felt, being two games down, and with the series going to LA?

    Talk about a freak out!

    I do think the Dodgers can win this series.

    I am not convinced that the Cubs offense is so much better, especially with good pitching.

    But I do respect the Cubs too.

    I would love to see Pete Rose, and the rest of the eastern media, be put in there place.

    The Dodgers haven’t been taken seriously for a long time.

    And having to listen to the guys broadcasting our games, is almost pure torture.

    They are just unprofessional and are so obvious, that they don’t want the Dodgers to do well.

    I wish TWC was allowed to broadcast our games too.

  32. I just read this stat and had to post it here.

    The Cubs were only shut out six times this year.

    And two of those times the Cubs were shut out, was against the Dodgers.

    And the two pitchers that shut the Cubs out, were Stewart, which I knew, and Kazmir, so this series, is not a lock for the Cubs.

    Even though most of the media want everyone to think, that the Cubs will easily dominate the Dodgers.

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