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Dodgers Enjoy a Grand-al Time in San Diego, Winning Second in a Row


There’s nothing like playing the last place team in your division to provide a shot of “Get better juice” and snap out of the baseball doldrums. Not far from last place themselves, the Dodgers pulled into San Diego fresh off an impressive win in their last game against the first place Arizona Diamondbacks. The lowly Padres did not disappoint, providing comic relief on defense as the boys in blue rallied behind another quality start from Hyun-Jin Ryu.

In my Youtube video from earlier today, I mentioned the Dodgers chances were in good hands with Ryu going to the bump, as he’s logged a good track record against the Padres, and he came through again tonight. Ryu pitched a strong six innings, striking out nine and allowing just two runs on a home run by Villanueva (with a man on) in the second inning.

The Dodgers’ bullpen kept the game clean behind an easy 1,2,3  seventh inning, with two strike outs, from Tony Cingrani and a scoreless eighth from Josh Fields. Fields benefited from an excellent catch of a pop up on the third base line by Kyle Farmer. Farmer – the third Dodgers catcher – channeled Yogi Berra by making the catch while falling backward.

Scott Alexander didn’t do so well in ninth inning mop duty. He gave up a double and two singles, but luckily he had plenty of cushion, so the run he gave up didn’t really raise anyone’s heart rates except perhaps the San Diego faithful.

After scoring seven runs yesterday, the Dodgers bats got even hotter, as they scored ten runs tonight. Some of those runs were gifts resulting from the careless Padres defense, who misplayed grounders, gathered under fly balls without catching them,  and dropping fly balls that were already in their mitts.  The Dodgers put up a high five runs in the third thanks to San Diego’s Keystone Cops. Nevertheless, the Dodgers displayed legitimate power from a three run home run by Matt Kemp.

There was one curious moment tonight when Matt Kemp was lifted from the game in the fifth inning for ice-cold Joc Pederson. Defensive reasons? It was a little early for that, and the Dodgers had a comfortable lead with Ryu still dealing. Why lift Kemp right when his bat is heating up? Who knows. The only thing we are sure of is more at bats aren’t helping Pederson who continued to drive his BA lower than the .145 it was at the start of the night.

Later came the deathblow – a ninth inning grand slam from Yasmani Grandal. Another tidbit I dropped in this afternoon’s video was Yasmani leading the Dodgers in BA. After tonight, he now leads the team in BA .373, OBP .460, home runs 3, and RBIs 10. The man is red hot, and it’s come just in time to launch the Dodgers out of the doldrums in Grandal style.



Oscar Martinez

I was born in the shadow of Dodger Stadium and immediately drenched in Dodger Blue. Chavez Ravine is my baseball cathedral, Vin Scully was the golden voice of summer all my life, and Tommy Lasorda remains the greatest Dodgers manager ever. My favorite things are coffee, beer, and the Dodgers beating the Giants. I also blog about my baseball card hobby at All Trade Bait, All the Time.

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Oscar Martinez
I was born in the shadow of Dodger Stadium and immediately drenched in Dodger Blue. Chavez Ravine is my baseball cathedral, Vin Scully was the golden voice of summer all my life, and Tommy Lasorda remains the greatest Dodgers manager ever. My favorite things are coffee, beer, and the Dodgers beating the Giants. I also blog about my baseball card hobby at All Trade Bait, All the Time.

57 thoughts on “Dodgers Enjoy a Grand-al Time in San Diego, Winning Second in a Row

  1. Quite a satisfying game.

    Indeed, what was that curious moment of Kemp being lifted for Joc? Another brain fart from Roberts? The guy just blasts a 3 run homer and gets pulled?

    Kike at 2B, not Utley? or the new guy? How many SO’s did Kike have tonight? 4! If we need a utility guy to start the game, why start someone who is having a hard time? Utley is the guy with a track record. Isn’t that why he was signed for times like this?

  2. It’s simply Roberts insisting on allowing Joc and Kike to get out of their slumps. Which means what? They get “back” to hitting .240? Hoping they hit .280 or better on a consistent basis is a pipe dream.

    I’m not waiting for average players to get back to average. I’d rather give the new guy a chance to see what he’s got (you know, like Taylor showed last year and Toles showed before that). Instead of giving (wasting) chance after chance to guys that have shown will only be average when given a starters job (and that’s if they do not continue to slump). When it comes to playing time, just like everything else, the risk of sucking should not outweigh the reward. But that’s just me.

    1. Kiké starts against lhp. It’s SOP in the platoon paradigm. And I think Yueh is right, Roberts is going to give Kiké and Joc plenty of opportunity to get things worked out. I keep saying it will be at least 100 at bats. We aren’t half way there yet.

      I too was surprised Kemp was lifted, but I shouldn’t have been. None of us should have been. Again, this is an organization built to play the odds. Their algorithms tell them Joc has a better chance against a submarining rhp, and he’s the defensive replacement. It worked, Joc got on base twice and we won.

      Squirrel look good. Credit where credit is due. Top of the order sucked. What are the odds Taylor repeats his .354 OBP? I say very slim. Can we win 94 with him getting on at .324? Yeah, maybe. Sure would be nice to see a .400 OBP guy in that spot. One of the three true outcomes is a walk. His BB% so far is 2.9. K% 24.6. Not good. We could live with that if he was hitting .350. He’s hitting .212. We have a handful of all or nothing guys leaning against the nothing post. Hope they get going. It’s mid April. We’re 5 games out.

      For the record, I don’t believe in the three true outcomes as those outcomes make up a very small proportion of the total offensive plays in a baseball game. I understand they are called such because the three are supposedly the only events that do not involve the defensive team, but I find that concept lazy and lame. It’s an inaccurate label. If the defense isn’t involved it should be called Defensive Independent Play So Hitter Isn’t Taxed, or DIPSHIT. Perhaps something like that. You get the idea.

      1. Badger
        “Their algorithms tell them Joc has a better chance against a submarining rhp, and he’s the defensive replacement, it worked, Joc got on base twice and we won. Badger, anyone could tell that Kemp was really heating up. To pull him at this point in the game is absolutely a bonehead move. Joc has had too many chances already. Sorry you feel this way.

        1. Just as a matter of record, how many on this site besides Badger feel Robert’s move to remove Kemp after a single and a 3 run HR in last nights game to bring Joc out of his career slump was the correct move?

          1. To be fair, Badger is not saying it’s the right move. He saying he understands the move.

            I’m actually on the fence about that one myself. Up early with a big lead, I get the kid into the game. Partly to keep Kemp fresh and partly to keep him out of making a fool of himself in the outfield. Fair or not, an error by Taylor will go unnoticed and quietly reported, but not so on a Kemp error. But then I wouldn’t have Joc in. I’d have Verdugo in there instead (or Toles when he heals).

            I understand playing everyday, yada yada. But like I said in ST and it’s working out so far like I said it would: a lefty outfielder on our squad will get plenty of ABs as long as they can come in at all 3 spots because one of Kemp, Puig or Taylor will be removed early or be taking an occasional breather. So far Joc has about the same number of at bats as Kemp.

            But all three of Joc, Toles and Vedugo can play all OF spots. All have options and can be shuttled back and forth between OKC and MLB. So I want to see some shuffling whenever one gets into a slump.

          2. Thank you Yueh.

            I did not say I was in favor of it. I said I understand why it was done.

            I thought I have been clear regarding my take on FAZorithms in general and Kemp in particular. My apologies for the apparent lack of clarity. I am one who wants Kemp to start every night, with the occasional day off, especially in the dog days, and I favor late inning defensive substitution to protect leads. I think it’s important our older guys are well rested at the end of the season. Anyone who thinks I would prefer having Joc at the plate in key situations has completely misread me.

            That said, I agree with Yueh when he says “big lead” being the key point. I wouldn’t have done it until the 7th. And, I t looked like it may have taken Matt by surprise. Maybe it did, maybe it didn’t, how would I know, but I state unequivocally – I don’t do that, ever.

            I say again, I’m doing my best to understand what these guys are doing. I do this so I don’t feel ambushed by these seemingly weird decisions. If it wasn’t working I’d be filing daily complaints. But it has worked.

            Adapt, migrate or die. I’m not going anywhere, so I adapt. I work at it anyway.

          3. Package

            I agree with you about not removing Kemp, and this is not just a slump with Joc, this is who Joc is.

            He should have worked on his hitting in the off season.

            But he didn’t, so he shouldn’t be catered to!

      2. Badger

        I just saw you mentioned 100 at bats, what about the thousand plus major league at bats, these guys have already, had?

  3. “partly to keep him out of making a fool of himself in the outfield. ”

    You mean you didn’t want him to outdue the SD outfield?

    Is it possible Kemp tweaked something? It was cold and windy last night.

    1. That was a bit tongue in cheek. Kemp has looked ok in left and I’d have left him in if we only had a 4 run lead. But we had a 5 run lead and Ryu was cooking. So I’d have pulled Kemp. It’s a borderline move but it would have been a great move if we had Verdugo on the bench instead of Joc. Even if they did have a submarine pitcher, I think Verdugo probably walks twice there too – he’s got the best strike zone eye in our farm system, according to David Hood. Joc on the other hand is average all around – sure he’s reduced his strikeouts this year but he’s also lost a lot of BA and pop as well.

      1. This is what I call ‘over-thinking’. It is a useless analysis that doesn’t stand up to logic. The only explanation that makes a little sense is they would like to see Joc breakout, but this is just wishful thinking. As MJ said, it is not who Joc is. His track record speaks for itself. The truth is they made a bad investment and can’t admit it.

        Another thought I had today was how ‘white-ish’ this team is. Kemp and PUig are the only black players that are starters. No blacks in the pitching rotation. Am I imagining this kind of lop-sidedness or is there some truth in it? Maybe someone with good analytics can pipe in and see what the ratios are in the league.

    2. This wasn’t about keeping Kemp fresh last night, this was all about catering to Joc.

      I would never take Kemp out after two at bats, and most managers would not put in a defensive replacement that early, in a game.

      No Kemp didn’t tweak anything!

      Joc has made more errors in the outfield, then any of the outfielders.

      But the official scorer didn’t give Joc those errors, because they were trying to pad their own home town player’s offensive numbers.

      And YF is you notice, they never make Joc play right field, they cater to him for some reason.

      Farmer has not got as many starts are at bats, as Joc has, and Farmer is hitting 292.

  4. Speaking of our kids, they are on a roll.

    Keibert Ruiz with 2 homers, DJ Peters goes deep again, Buehler goes 5 giving up 1 earned run and Dennis Santana strikes out 8 in a row en route to striking out 10 in only 4.33 innings.

    1. Buehler. Soon. If necessary rotate him on the 10 day jacuzzi wheel in August and September. It’s my opinion he should start between Kershaw and whatever left hander that comes behind him. I favor a Marine Corps rotation – left right left right left.

      1. Yeah. I much rather Buehler gets his innings in at the MLB rather than in the minors. So far our rotation is doing ok but if anyone of them falters (likely Wood or Maeda) I set the 10 Day Wheel ‘O DL in motion, and not wait until August or September. Then in late August I’d slow play his innings and get him ready to pitch in relief in the postseason.

        Also I hope Ryu builds up his stamina, because I think he’d be a great postseason starter at Chavez Ravine if he’s not gassed by October.

    2. YF

      When we were playing the A’s, their announcers said the A’s scouts said, that Joc is always looking to walk, every time he gets up to the plate.

    3. Justin De Fratus, right-hander for AA Tulsa, is the Texas League pitcher of the week after a 0.00 ERA and 9 strikeouts in 11⅓ innings.

      1. Thanks Bluto. Good to see you back. I don’t really consider De Fratus as a prospect anymore but he does have several years of major league experience as a reliever. Could this be the next Brandon Morrow? (I doubt it but it would be nice if he excels while with us.)

  5. Slogans that you don’t want to hear (but are appropriate):

    Padres: “Charity begins at home, welcome all visitors”

    Padres: “What do you expect, we are the Padres?”

    Dodgers: “Come out to Dodgers Stadium and experience the new food offerings”

    Dodgers: “Stringing together two game winning streaks like a Mother Fucker”

    OKC Dodgers: “To all prospects, you can come but you may never leave”

    Dodgers: “To all prospects, you can come but you might never get a shot at playing” (Note, Farmer sighting last night in SD)

    1. It was good to see Ryu pitch another good game.

      We all know how good of a pitcher Ryu use to be, and I hope he can build off, these two good starts, and get better.

  6. First, who would have thought that on April 16th the Dodger leader in wins would be Ryu with 2? Although I know why Roberts took Kemp out, I still think it was a bone headed move. Kemp has played well in the field and has yet to make an error. Even when they stuck him out in RF for a game. I would not jump up and cheer because the offense scored 10 last night. They had 8 hits. But the Padres gave them 10 free runners with 3 errors and 7 walks. The top of the line up, Taylor, Seager, and Hernandez, what the hell was he doing batting 3rd? They went 2-15 with 6 strikeouts…..4 attributed to the absolute disaster known as Kike. Kike has an OBP of .250, is hitting .171 and his slugging percentage is .293. The guy who is supposed to rake against LHP is hitting .190 against them and .150 vs RHP. He has 2 ribbies and no HR’s against lefty’s and 1 HR and 5 ribbies vs RH. He now has 15 strikeouts, tied with Kemp for 2nd on the team, difference is Kemp is hitting .333. His OBP is .391, and he is slugging .548. Kike has one less at bat than Kemp. Kemp has walked 4 times and Kike 5. It is pretty obvious who should be in the 3 hole. With Seager reaching the Mendoza line last night with his first double, 14 games into the season, 3 players are still below that line, Forshyte, Hernandez and the aforementioned Pederson. Forshyte can’t hurt the team on the DL, but Kike and Joc, who both have options left, need to go down. Verdugo is heating up at OKC, he hit his 2nd homer the other day, a walk off shot, and a trained monkey can replace Kike. Personally, bring up Solano, a guy with almost 3 years in the majors, a solid glove who can play 3 positions. Forshyte says throwing from 3rd caused his shoulder problem, so he is about as useful as a used Brillo pad. I do not want to rush Buehler, but he has got to be better than Font, likewise Liberatore should be much better than Alexander who continues to be unimpressive.

    1. If Buehler comes up early I’d like to keep him starting. For short term relief of Font and Alexander I would go with any two of Stewart, Liberatore, or Venditte. Does Alexander have an option left? If not then I’d keep him around a while longer.

      The team is working the counts better, but I agree they are far from playing well at this stage.

      1. Venditte would be a good choice for long relief. I am pretty sure Alexander has options left since he barely beat out Liberatore out of spring. Font I just dump. He is worthless.

        1. Michael

          Corey did hit a single up the middle, but he was not given a double last night, on that ball he hit, that sailed off the Padre’s right fielders glove.

          But that ball he hit to right, had the exact same exit velocity, that Kemp’s HR did, so that ball, was smashed.

          Everyone on the Dodger pregame show said, that Kike should not be hitting, at the top of the order, while he is scuffing, to hit.

          1. That is right, I was wrong, but he should have gotten a double on that ball that glanced off Renfroe’s glove. That was homer scoring for you. Did not want their pitcher to be credited with an earned run if Seager scored. He misjudged the ball, that’s not an error. He just could not get back in time to catch it and it barely touched his glove.

          2. Kike isn’t hitting in the order, he is batting. He has some work to do in order to be characterized as hitting.

    1. Michael

      That we agree on!

      But it could be the home scorer not wanting to give an error, to their own right fielder, too.

      1. Renfro misplayed the ball, taking two steps in, then had the ball hit off his glove. I think the scorer got that one right. It should have been an out.

        MJ the 100 at bats rule applies to everybody. e.g. – Grandal. He’s currently hitting .372 with 43 at bats. You think he will still be hitting .372 after 100?

        If Buehler is mowing them down at AAA, why does he need innings there? The guy is 23 and is nearly 3 years out from surgery. If he’s ready to go, let him go with the big club. They can limit him here as well as they can there. Nobody other than Kershaw is expected to pitch more than 135 innings. He fits right in.

        1. Badger

          I always thought it was a little different, when we are talking about players that have played in the majors, for a while, and had over 1000 major league at bats.

          But I guess it is a good measure, to know when it is time to make a move.

  7. I can’t believe that Forsythe blamed his sore shoulder, because he had to make throws from third!

    That is part of his assignment, to play second, and play third, and to give Turner days off, and in case something would happen, to Turner.

    Forsythe should be prepared to play third, and his arm and shoulder, should already be seasoned to play third, even before, the season begins.

    1. Believe it. I saw it online. Forsythe said the throws from third were why his shoulder is sore…..what a crock. Of course he needs to catch the damn ball first. Farmer had no problem throwing from there.

      1. I was surprised. Forsythe’s quote is out of character but if that’s how he feels then put him at 3rd during his rehab assignment and hope he takes longer to rehab.

  8. Archer claimed off waivers by the Brewers…..didn’t FAZ just get that guy???? Another BRILLIANT pick up and dump!

      1. yeah, got his name wrong..whoops….but still another dumb move by FAZ. Get a guy and he is gone in less than a month…

  9. Well, let’s see how this lineup does


        1. Package

          I like this line up too!

          But I thought it would be ok yesterday, when a leftie was pitching, so you just never know.

          I think Cody is due for a HR, what do you think?

          1. MJ
            Yeah, I think Cody is due for a hot streak and I really thought Kemp was going to tear the cover off the ball. That is the reason for me not liking Joc inserted in the lineup after only 2 abs. Maybe Roberts will try to keep this lineup going. Remember last year when he played the top of the lineup over and over and the Dodgers won over and over?

  10. Farmer in the game two nights in a row? What’s wrong with Roberts, doesn’t he realize he played well and got some hits last night?

    1. Package

      Did you hear the noise Kemp made, when he hit that one out?

      I was thinking the same thing too.

      I was happy for Kemp, because he had struck out three times, in that game before.

  11. Trayce Thompson DFA’d by the A’s……Rizzo says they should play less games……..they have been doing this since the first expansion moron, little late to bitch about it now.

      1. Badger

        I think Forsythe should have thought heavily, before going out on the DL.

        He might not have a position on this team in the starting line up, when he comes back.

        It looks to me with Forsythe, that he only uses his arms to hit.

        1. Yeah, like many I thought his comment was lame. I also think he will be given a lot of rope. FAZ obviously likes the guy and at $9 million he will need a lot of playing time to be better 1 WAR. He’s at -.3 right now. When Turner gets back some of the jockeying will end.

    1. MJ
      Kemp is getting close to knocking the cover off of the ball. Wish we would have kept Matty 3 years ago. Grandal wasn’t worth it.

  12. Dodgers trade Zack Neal and Ibandel Isabel to the Reds for reliever Ariel Hernandez. Guy can hit triple digits on the gun, but has serious control issues. Coaching staff reclamation project he is 26 years old. Kemp hits a 2 run jack for # 3 on the year and drives in another with a sac fly. 1-3, but productive. Again replaced by Joc defensively, but Joc PH for by Kike who hit a double. They score 4 off a Padre rookie in the 12th and squeak out a win in spite of another Kenley Jansen meltdown. Muncy recalled from OKC, Valera sent down, Muncy responds with a PH single. His first Dodger hit. Utley on base 5 times and was hit for #200 in his career…..#8 on the all time MLB hit list. Grandal finally comes up with a truly clutch hit with his 12th inning double that drove in 2. Farmer caps that with another 2 run double and the Dodgers win. Taylor saved their bacon in the 9th with a great catch and Puig robbed Pirela with a sliding catch in the 12th. Fields struck out Hosmer to end the game. Ohtani leaves Angels-Red Sox game in the 2nd with, you guessed it, blisters. Oh yeah, that guy Kemp, I think there is some value there……Kudos to Ross Stripling for his gutsy 10th inning performance where he got out of a bases loaded with 1 out jam…..Oh yeah, that Kemp guy…he is 6th in the league in BA.

    1. Don’t know Hernandez but his stats suggest he has dominant stuff, just has trouble controlling it. Muncy can hit minor league pitching , hopefully he can do it at the ML level. Utley leaned into that HBP. Great if you can get away with it. Kerwin Danley behind the plate. Meh. Utley at the plate, so far so good. He’s a pro, but I still expect sub .250 with a .700 OPS by year’s end. Our defense looks pretty good.

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