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Dodgers 9 Games Back: Hole Gets Deeper

If there was one guy who could snap the Dodgers out of their early season suck its Clayton Kershaw. If he can’t do it then nobody can. For the record he couldn’t despite allowing just two earned runs on six hits over six frames on Tuesday night as the Dodgers dropped their fourth consecutive game losing to the Dbacks 4-3.

Kershaw wasn’t his vintage brilliant self but he was good enough to stake the Dodgers to a 3-2 lead over Arizona before giving way to the bullpen in the seventh inning. But the Dodgers have a collection of gas cans in that dreadful pen and as usual they blew it. This time it was Adam Liberatore who got the call to ruin another game to the best team in the National League.

Dodgers  3 4 1

Dbacks    4 10 1





In case you were wondering who the best team in the National League is that’s the Arizona Dbacks who the Dodgers are looking up at from fourth place in the National League West, nine games behind. The Dodgers are now 12-17 and look every bit as awful as their record indicates. I can talk about how putrid the 2018 Dodgers are all day long. So don’t get me started. For now let’s look at how they lost another game to a divisional rival.

The Dodgers oddly had a 2-1 lead early despite doing their usual with the bats, stranding runners. The Dodgers hit into two double plays in the first three frames. In the top of the first Chris Taylor singled and Joc Pederson was hit by a pitch before Yasmani Grandal grounded into a double play. They did not score.

They grounded into another double play in the top of the third when Taylor singled again and Joc did the honors in that inning. They were actually able to score though when Cody Bellinger bombed one deep into the Phoenix night with Grandal aboard to give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead. Just think what could have been had Joc “Meet me in the middle” Pederson hadn’t grounded into that darn double play.

The Dodger bats didn’t do anything the rest of the game. They did not get one hit the remainder of the game drawing 4 walks and a hit by pitch. The Dodgers were able to plate one more run in the fourth only because of charitable Arizona defense. Chase Utley’s fly to left was misplayed when the ball clanked off of Daniel Descalso’s mitt and he came around to score on a Max Muncy grounder. That’s three runs on four hits and 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position. Arizona starter Matt Koch had an easy time (everyone does against the Dodger hitters) tossing five innings and striking out three and allowing just four hits. He didn’t factor into the decision but I’m sure he was snickering after every inning.

Kershaw allowed two home runs both solo shots to the red-hot A.J. Pollack in the second and the other to pinch-hitter Christian Walker in the fifth. Pollack now leads the NL in home runs with 10 after his three-run home run performance last night. Walker’s shot pulled the Dbacks within one run as the Dodgers clung to a 3-2 lead. After laboring through the fifth inning Kershaw tossed a 123 sixth frame. He made 101 pitches and got the Dodgers into the seventh with a one-run lead.

Unfortunately the Dodgers went to the gas cans in the bottom of the seventh. Adam Liberatore was the latest clown to trot out from the bullpen and immediately give up a lead. It happened within minutes as Arizona plated two in the seventh to take a 4-3 lead. Here’s how the latest disaster happened.

Deven Marrero and John Ryan Murphy (all-stars within their own right) both single. Descalso triples into the right field corner to score both runners and that was it. Right hander JT Chargois was able to restore order and retire the side, but it was too little too late. Andrew Chaffin, Silvino Bracho, Archie Bradley, and Brad Boxberger real actual relievers tossed four scoreless frames to secure the win for Arizona. They collectively gave up no hits, three walks and struck out four. The Dodgers have now lost seven out of eight to Arizona this year and unfortunately there are two more games left in this series.

Look even the biggest optimists can see this Dodger club is not a contender and it doesn’t take glasses or a magnifying glass to do so. Nine games back on May 1 and nobody being held accountable. Let’s not mince words; we’ve known each other far too long. The Dodgers stink.

The series continues on Wednesday evening for game 3 as the Dodgers look to dig themselves deeper into the division cellar. Southpaw Hyun-jin Ryu will try and somehow get the Dodgers out of their funk while the Dbacks look to take the series behind Zack Godley. Guess how that one is going to turn out?

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

37 thoughts on “Dodgers 9 Games Back: Hole Gets Deeper

      1. After considerable thought, brought on by Jeff’s well articulated post yesterday I think it’s time that I recognize what’s really going on here. The Dodgers just aren’t going for it this year. You want to see what going for it looks like, look at the Yankees and the Stros. No, this year is different. This is the year we are resetting the cap. That will come with costs. You lose your All Star shortstop? Tough break in a cap year. Your All World starting pitcher showing some wear? Sh*t happens if you live long enough. The bullpen sucks? Yeah, it does. So what?

        As I mentioned to Jeff, I’ve never liked how Friedman and Co go about their business. We were already playoff good a few years running when they got here. Our minor league system was #1 when they arrived. We’ve lost the last game of the year every FAZ season and our system has fallen to #10. And now we reset the cap. Gulp. Only the Guggs know what the 5 year plan looks like and for all we know we could be in year 4 of a 5 year plan that ends in selling for an enormous profit.

        I do think this season will get better. But this clearly is not a championship club. In all honesty it’s a team that is difficult to watch. I can’t imagine paying $50+ for a ticket to watch this. I’d rather go see the local high schoolers version of Cats.

        This could be an agonizingly long year for this organization and its fans. Stand by.

  1. Who would ever think a team that went to the seventh game in the World Series last year, would worry more about the luxury tax, especially the second richest team, in all of baseball?

    They could at least, went over a little, to bring a couple good arms, for the pen, and paid the penalty.

    Why didn’t they think about the luxury tax, when they accepted Forsythe’s option, that gave him a raise, and why didn’t they take Joc to arbitration, because both of these players, had bad seasons?

    1. MJ
      Great points on Forsythe and Joc. This FO is really the pits. Now they are talking about bringing in Tampa’s SS. Can’t spell it but it sounds like Horssera or something. You might know it would be Tampa Bay, huh? That is Friedman’s minor league.

      1. Hechavarria. Good player. Would improve the club. But not a real difference maker and at what cost?

        We will see some FAZ moves. We know what they look like. Hopefully it’s a Taylor and not a McKazderson.

        MJ. Big picture. Think like an investment banker.

        1. Badger

          I already told Jonah you would like Hechavarria.

          Because he is suppose to be a very good defensive shortstop, and he should not cost that much, because the Rays want to move him, so one of their top shortstop prospects, can be moved up.

          And that would make us better at two different positions, because Taylor can be moved back to center, because Taylor is a much better defensive center fielder, then Joc.

          Joc has had bad defensive numbers in center, the last two years, look at the numbers on his range in center.

          I understand the fact they are investment bankers.

          But I don’t think they don’t make a lot of money, from the mere operations, of this team.

          No other team in all of baseball, raised their ticket prices, more then ten percent, like the Dodgers.

          And the Dodgers raised their ticket prices quite a bit, beyond ten percent.

          Also when a team wins a World Series, the value of a team goes up.

          I believe the Giant’s value, went up triple, after they won those three World Series, so there is a bunch of value, in winning a World Series.

          1. And Badger, on Fangraphs, it said he wasn’t going to start on Monday, so I wonder if they were talking about this deal, right after Corey got his info, from his doctor.

          2. I heard from Jonah too and told him what I said here. Hechavarria would be a solid pickup, could be done while staying under the cap (goal #1 this year) but it does not really change much in the makeup of the team. We have middle infielders already here (Taylor, Hernandez, Valera) and they are all FAZ guys. Adding a 4th would be a glaring admission that those other 3 aren’t all that and the whole depth mantra we’ve heard for over two years is bullsh*t.

            That said, I won’t be surprised if they do it. If for no other reason a PR move is a good thing…. look everybody, we are making an effort to stay competitive. Keep buying those tickets…… Hechavarria jerseys are on sale at all Dodger Store locations…..

      2. Package

        Read the comments after the Dodger article in the LA Times.

        They have some regular people making posts there, that are both smart, and pretty entertaining remarks, after Dodger articles.

        This might make you feel a little better!

          1. Package

            The Dodger’s Bullpen follows the same Script, lets Snakes, steal one.

  2. Good points brought up by MJ regarding signing Joc and Forsythe. We could possibly surmise that something changed in the ownership and its dictates to FAZ. They really are not trying to win and not bringing in the talent that they need to win with. It starts at the top, ‘nough said.

    Interestingly, we match up well with Az on paper. One of the biggest stat discrepancies is the BAA. Ours is 2nd worst in the NL at .244. Az is .222, IIRC. That is a big stat. Our pitching is falling apart.
    Will Ryu be able to pull us out of this nosedive next game? He’s pitched well and we are due for a break. Fingers are crossed!

    1. Unfortunately they never play the game on paper. On paper at the beginning of spring this team was considered the front runner to win the World Series based on, guess what, their starting and relief pitching…….wow……

    2. Badger

      He had nine runs saved, the last two years, when he was with the Marlins, although he is not quite as good last season, but I do remember he covers a lot of range, and I believe his arm is solid, too.

      But remember Badger, bringing this shortstop in, will make the Dodgers better defensively in two positions, that are up the middle, like shortstop, and centerfield are.

      And doesn’t every team, value good defense, especially up the middle?

      1. Yes, like I said, he makes the team better, and that’s a good thing. But defense is not the reason we are losing games.

  3. Hechavarria is a former Marlin. Not a great stick, but a defensive wiz in the same category as Simmons with the Angels. Up the middle defense would be pretty good if they settle on a regular second baseman. Forsythe will start his re-hab assignment this week, probably Friday. Turner will not start his until next week. Weather for the Mexico series with the Padres looks bleak. 90% chance of rain on Friday, 70 on Saturday and 40 on Sunday. Hill is supposed to start Sunday’s game. Maeda and Buehler the Friday and Saturday games. The big hole in this team is the pitching. Starters still not giving quality innings. They have put the team in a hole more often than not. The bullpen at this point is atrocious. One day the offense is a monster, then it reverts and is a Chihuahua. There is a good chance they will leave AZ trailing by double digits. I am not holding my breath that they can turn it around. They should be a .500 team at some point, but a playoff team>? Not as constructed now. And ponder this. Boxberger has almost as many saves as the Dodgers have wins. Old friend Bud Norris is now the closer in St. Louis.

    1. Let’s hope the Dodgers keep an eye on where their young players eat in Mexico, and what they eat.

      They have already had health problems of this sort in SF, and one can get sick, very easily in Mexico, including at some of the best places, to eat.

      Believe me, I got very sick, after eating at one of the best places, in Puerta Vallarta, at the time.

    2. Mr. Norris
      I was just thinking today about past Dodger teams and it occurred to me that back in the day when the Dodgers started slowly or had a slump it seemed everyone had confidence that different players would respond and go back to usual good performance. Now there is no confidence in most of the players as many of them are not what you would call solid ballplayers. From the Bullpen to postion players some are very questionable. Take a player like Forsythe, it is very questionable if he will ever perform to expected standards and there are many more. Everybody is betting on the come or potential while back in the day we went by history as to what could be expected. BIG DIFFERENCE. This also includes players like Joc, Kike, as well as all the new inexperienced players.

      1. We clobbered teams last year because Cody went nuts, Turner was nails, Seager was terrific, Puig was actually good, Taylor played way over his head and the bullpen was lights out. It was all working last year. None of that is happening now. Will it? Yeah, sure, maybe. Except for Seager being terrific. That’s a huge loss, but if the rest of those holes aren’t patched we won’t miss a 5+ WAR shortstop all that much. We will still lose 4-3 when Kershaw pitches and 8-3 when he doesn’t.

      2. Well your post made me do a little research. Since the division era started, they have never been more than 6 1/2 games out at the end of April. This year they were 8 and now are 9 games down. The biggest deficit they have over come was in 2013, 9.5 back in June, and 2014, they were 10 out in June and won the NL West both years. Actually they have not been this far back at the end of April as far back as 1955 and probably farther than that. I think a couple of things have naturally contributed to this hole they are in. One is something a lot of people have not brought up. How over loaded this early schedule has been against division opponents. They will have played the Giants 10 times and the D-Backs 12 times by the 9th of May. They play the Pads this weekend and then have 2 more against AZ next week. With the D-Backs playing out of their minds and the Dodgers wallowing in the pig sty, they are bound to be behind. They have not played well against the Giants or AZ. They are 3-0 against the Padres, but 5-13 against the Giants and D-Backs. They also lost 2 games to the Marlins who are one of the worst teams in the league. They do not even play the Rockies until the 21st of May. They have 4 against the Reds next weekend, and then back on the road to Miami and DC. The obvious problem is lack of consistency from every facet of the team. Starting, relieving and offense. Getting Turner back should help the offense. The starters should get better, but the BP needs overhauling asap.

  4. I mentioned it in ST, I said it again in week one and week two, etc. “It is going to be a very bumpy ride this year.” Now it is just becoming an echo chamber in here. At least most are now finally believing what I and a few others have been preaching. Don’t expect anything great from this team and you won’t be disappointed. Even Badger has finally realized my often stated truth “this team just isn’t entertaining to watch”.

    Okay, back to your echo chamber programming.

    War Out!

    1. I see what I see. Right now there is little fire in this team. That doesn’t mean there won’t be. It doesn’t mean it’s too late. It only means so far, it isn’t working.

      I have no idea what the pulse rate of this team is, but there is a different feeling when you dig around the blogosphere and read what is being said. So many injuries, including Jansen. Is this just the matchsticks this team was built on are finally crumbling? … or is it just a blip?

      IF Alexander and Cingrani are going to be ok. IF Jansen, and his arm, are going to be ok. If Turner comes back 100%. If Puig. If Pederson. If Taylor. Baez. Forsythia. Garcia. Hill. Koehler. Urias. There is plenty of time for this thing to be turned around. I’m still hopeful True.

      But admittedly, this feels different. The confidence of this team looks non existent. A winning streak could change everything. We are all waiting.

      One thing we can count on – there will be no big deal made. The commitment to $197mm has been made. We get healthy and do it with who is here, we get lucky with a FAZ dart thrown from 50’, or this schneid continues.

      In the mean time, the play of this team remains uninspiring.

  5. Old friend Brett Anderson back in the bigs, called up today by the A’s. He has a decent half year and FAZ will sign him in the off season to replace Kershaw who will walk at the end of the season.

    1. I thought the same thing when I read his name today. McKazderson. You can bet FAZ will be watching.

      We have the talent here to compete. That’s why we were favored in the early polls. These guys just have to get healthy.

      This happened to us before. I believe the year was 2005, De Podesta’s second season. Injuries to Gagne, Izturis, Werth, Brad Penny and JD Drew derailed the Dodgers from 93 wins to 71 wins. Is this a replay of that? De Podesta was a moneyball trained guy.

    2. Michael

      I heard that about Anderson today too.

      How long will he last, before he goes out on the DL again?

        1. Scott

          Your right about that.

          But that guy is probably worth more then all of us, and with very little work put in.

    3. How bout Darvish? 0-3 start. Cubs starting to boo. This was the one smart thing that FAZ didn’t do, sign him.

  6. Venditte is the best reliever at AAA so far, but he has only pitched 13.2 innings…..Wonder if Roberts is tired of talking about losses yet in his press conferences……..Lasorda would be livid about now and the expletives would be flowing in Dodgerland.

  7. Ryu limps off in the second. Anybody surprised? Bad hop grounder costs Baez an out. The weird continues.

  8. Ryu has a strained groin. He won’t be back for a while….Jansen gets the save, but it was not pretty. Nice work by the pen. They needed that insurance run for sure….so they are 8 back and can cut it to 7 if they win tomorrow.

    1. Not pretty, indeed. Something is wrong with Jansen. His control is not there and probably his focus. Who is there as a backup closer if Fields sets up Jansen and Jansen fails? This is another area of worry.

      Dodgers held tight this game. Good to seell. Az just couldn’t get enough going this game. They are really not a very good hitting team but they have power, which we have lost. They also have better pitching. It’s time to start focusing on the fundamentals, again. Nevermind competing with Az. They need to start playing fundamental baseball. Too many errors, too many men left on the bases, no clutch hitting with RISP, pitchers need ball control, better coaching. Almost shit when Roberts brought out Baez to replace Ryu. He got lucky.

      1. And they hit into 4 double plays…can’t score doing that crap…..looks like Ryu will be out a while

  9. Someone needs to explain launch angles to Matt Kemp. It’s the new thing. His swing and that haircut are so 70s.

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