Thursday, January 26, 2023
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Dodgers Flail Bats and Fail, Don Mattingly Flails Arms and Sails

The Dodgers took on Don Mattingly‘s Marlins in the third of a four-game series, seeing brooms in their rearview mirrors, and Scott Kazmir took the mound, nursing an on again/off again thumb injury. Manager Dave Roberts shuffled his lineup, placing Enrique Hernandez, Yasiel Puig and Adrian Gonzalez at the top of the order. Would the move pay off and spark some runs, which are now scarcer at Dodger Stadium than affordable beer?

Here’s how it went down – and I do mean down…

1st inning
Marlins
A fistful of singles led to two fast runs for the fish.
Dodgers
That new 1,2,3 top of the order quietly went down 1,2,3 – but it’s fair to say Puig was robbed of a hit by a great flash of Miami leather.

3rd inning. Fish 2-0
Dodgers
Just spinning their wheels.

6th inning  Fish 2-0
Dodgers
Nine men down in a row, and the Dodgers were making it look easy for the newly minted and called up from AAA, Justin Nicolino.

7th inning  Fish 2-0
Adam Liberatore in for Kazmir (113 pitches and 2 runs).

The Marlins had not scored since the first inning, but then, the Dodgers hadn’t even advanced a runner past second all night.

8th inning
Dodgers
They got their best chance of the night when Marlins pitcher David Phelps walked two to load the bases and was tossed by the HP umpire for “asking” where his last pitch was. Then Don Mattingly got thrown out (for old time’s sake).

It was bases loaded and one out, with the big guns coming to the plate. On a cold night that gave the crowd little to cheer about – besides receiving gift fleece blankets – the fans got up and got loud.
Puig struck out and Gonzalez flied out to shallow right.

It all amounted to a whole lotta nothing.

And that pretty much summed up the Dodgers’ evening – a whole lotta nada. Kazmir pitched about as well as could be expected with a bum thumb. After a rocky first inning, Kazmir settled down. He received good support from the bullpen tonight, and the Marlins never scored again.

However, the Dodgers offense sunk deeper into a malaise of chasing bad balls, or when they made contact, it was just enough to fly out or set up double plays. Yasiel Puig had the hardest hit ball of the night, and that was back in the first inning. The boys kept it to a low 0 for 3 with RISP, but that had a lot to do with the fact only three runners got into scoring position all night!

The rally banana at the top of the lineup did nothing to spark any offense, so let’s all stay tuned to see what tricks the skipper pulls out of his cleats tomorrow night.

Scott Kazmir went 6 innings with 7 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 6 Ks.  ERA 5.76

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.
http://alltradebait.blogspot.com/

28 thoughts on “Dodgers Flail Bats and Fail, Don Mattingly Flails Arms and Sails

  1. Saw the dying embers of this one.

    2 hits.

    That’s all you need to know. Kazmir did well to regroup after the 1st innings but 2 hits.

    It took Utley coming in the 8th and walk immediately to get things in motion. He needs to play.

    I said that it would take 30 games to make a judgement on this team and that number is fast approaching.

    I miss the comments of Truth and hope it’s only a temporary absence. It seems one or two people are worried about voicing their opinions in here, which is a great shame.

    1. It’s happened before W. People get tired of the b.s. and move on.

      A four game sweep at home against the lowly Marlins would be an organizational embarrassment. But it sure looks possible. This Dodgers team is in a funk. But, still in first and only 5-5 in last ten so maybe it can get turned around. 15th in hitting, 8th in runs scored, 8th in team ERA. The stat that surprises and encourages is me is somehow we are 6th in QS. Washington and the Cubs are the only NL clubs better, with the Mets right behind us in 7th. I think all three of those clubs will eventually pull away from us in that stat. Our relievers rank 17th in ERA. No surprise there. The Dodgers are 0 for the series WRISP. I would not have thought that possible. Not even against a good team. But against the Marlins? Inconceivable.

    2. Somehow I don’t think Truther is worried about voicing his opinion, nor should anyone.

      Hopefully this team can put all the pieces together. They have pieces. I don’t know what’s going on with the hitting the last three games, but the lineup I still think is solid. I worry and wonder about a real right handed bopper. The team hasn’t really had that since Hanley and Kemp…as DR pointed out. We wait for Puig. Is Turner going to regress? Can Kike hit right handers? Does Kendrick give the team much? Is Seager going to be a stud, or is his ceiling what his brother does?…which is really good, but not franchise anchor good.

      Kazmir is all about command. I think he’ll be ok once he can consistently find it. …if. I hope Montas and his 22 ribs can get healthy soon.

  2. BS? The pot calling the kettle black? Please! That’s BS!

    Here’s my take: Dave Roberts is a smart guy – he will figure it out! FAZ is not telling him who to play, but they are supplying him with a boatload of statistics which can be overwhelming and confusing. I’m all for matchups, but this game is played by humans. When a guy is hot – keep him in, regardless of the matchups. Human beings are capable of great things when given a chance.

    Stop the endless switching and play the hot players. There needs to be more clarity as to who plays where. Come on, Dave – Man up! FAZ needs to move Kendrick in May – shoot package hm with Crawfish. I want to see Johnson and Barnes on this team.

    KAZ looked very good after the first inning – there is reason for hope. I think that when Crawfish is back on the roster, it messes things up. If not for his salary he would not be on the team. The Dodgers are better when he is gone. Yeah, I know he will likely sign with another NL West team and I am fine with that. It’s called addition by subtraction. The rest of the team knows that it’s only money that keeps him on the team -and that can destroy morale.

    Play the hot guys and sit the guys who don’t get it done.

    1. I would try to move Kendrick. He’s not doing any better right now batting against right handers as Kike could, and he might still have some trade value now before a year goes by with him not getting at bats or being shoe horned into this weird utility role. Left field? Yeah…understand….you want the career .280 bat in the lineup. …On the other hand, what if Barnes can’t handle being the utility guy against right handers? Is Kike really only a guy who hits lefties? …that’s why I’m not a GM.

      1. Move him? As in a trade? Not likely. If he suddenly lights it up, somebody might be interested, but only if we swallow salary. That signing is pretty high on the wtf meter.

        And patch, let me go on record saying I know I’m as f.o.s.as anyone. I make no claim that I am omniscient. I miss the input of those who have chosen to leave. Everyone’s opinion counts.

        1. I’ve been wondering where Always Compete has been. He’s the one poster I always look forward to reading. I hope he wasn’t chased away the omnipresent, oppressive and soul crushing negativity and glass-half-empty-itis of the resident Negative Nancies and FAZophobes. Sometimes I can just barely go on with this place because of it.

          Every forum has a struggle with moderation. To me, calling someone a moron is just Mark being Mark, and I kind of like some contentiousness if it’s not mean spirited. Someone ought to just call him a moron back in a not so mean and nasty way. Goof on his name. I laugh when Truther calls me Cabbage Patch.

      2. Kendrick at $10M for this year and next……not sure any team will take that on. Brandon Phillips is a much better player than Kendrick and no one is knocking down the Reds door to acquire him.

        1. That’s because Phillips has a no-trade and demanded an extension on the condition of that trade with the Nats that fell apart. He’s 34 and is owed 27 mil the final two years of his contract. His age, salary, no trade clause, demand for an extension and reputation as a jerk hurt his value. Not sure that Kendrick can be moved, but 10 mil for a career .280-.290 hitter who’s 32 might intrigue a team that needs a full time 2nd baseman.

          1. It might but ‘it’s a what have you done lately league’….. Pujols is a career .311 hitter. Not sure anyone is touching that.

    2. MM you would think after coming back, in Colorado, against the Rockies, that that, would give them more momentum, going into this series against the Marlins, but instead, they look putrid.
      Do you really think that Crawford coming back, makes that big, of a difference?

      Then maybe Howie coming back, and getting most of the playing time, has messed, with the team’s balance too. And Howie is just not helping at all.

      They say that spring training, is really for the pitchers. And the position players, really don’t need much time. And Howie has been playing a lot I think, and he doesn’t even look close, to hitting.

      And Turner, isn’t producing too. And we need Turner to start hitting badly, and I have been saying this almost everyday. When should we see, a difference with Turner? Does he need more time, or should everyone, be hitting by now?

      And I do know that Turner got a hit last night, but it was when, no one was on base. And if Turner is batting third, he needs to be a run producer. Puig has also stopped hitting.

      And Puig just can’t hit in the clutch, because you have to have good at bats, in the clutch. And Puig lets his emotions, and his impulses, affect his hitting, and his play. These three guys that I have mentioned, are batting more at the top of the order, and they are not helping, with there bats.

      Howie is not hitting, and doesn’t look close. And Turner, and Puig, are barely hitting, and most of there hits, have not happened, when runners, are in scoring position.

      We need the players, at the top of the order, to be hitting, and being run producers.
      And that is just not happening!

    3. Having a high IQ or book smart does not make a smart baseball manager. The jury is still out on Dave Roberts as a Manager but you do realize that Dave Roberts was not their first choice. Not sure he was even a choice. Ownership had to step in. Let’s not forget.
      FAZ providing Dave Roberts with a ‘boatload of statistics’ is evidence that they are influencing his decisions. Have you ever had a boss where he/she implied what she would like to see from you? Would you do the opposite of what they wanted?
      Or if you’ve been in a position of authority and you implied (maybe even stated) what you wanted to see and the person did the opposite, how long would they last?
      Based on statements that have been made since FAZ has been here it is obvious that they are influencing who stays/goes and who plays and when.
      Either Joe Maddon had enough of their charades or he did what he wanted and the ‘wet behind the ears’ administrators claimed most of the credit.

      I do agree with you regarding the platooning situation. The good teams DO NOT platoon more than one position. With a $250M (or $300M) payroll, there is no reason to not have an all-star caliber player at every position of which that player would be able to handle any pitcher. That would make the current GM’s non-relevant as saber-metrics would be history but think of the wins and championships the Dodgers would be contending for and winning.

  3. Yes patch. BS. That’s the term I’ve heard from many who are no longer on board.

    Our right handed power is relatively young. Give them a couple of years to mature.

    Oh wait……. we are are a “win it all now” organization. In that case, we are going to need a thumper in trade. I wonder who they might have an eye on? Keep in mind, no matter who it is, it will require Seager, Urias, De Leon and Bellinger to get him.

    If not for their salary, NOBODY would be on this team.

    1. With your injection of quotation marks, aside from obviously being snide and sarcastic, are you suggesting that’s my position or is an actual quote of mine? Because it’s not.

      If this front office truly had a single minded focus of tearing the team down and rebuilding for the mythical 2018 magic season before they let Kershaw leave, what they probably should have done is traded Agon a year ago and gotten as much value from them as they could. Hell, they could trade Kershaw for an entire organization’s minor league system. They could trade Kershaw for the entire nation of Cuba and corner the market. …Prospects up the wazoo forever. …planning for the magic 2028 season…gettin’ payroll low….makin’ money for Guggs.

      As for people no longer on this board, I don’t know…it’s pretty new. Scott’s only had it a little while.

      1. I never said anything about tearing a team down. What I said was they were building for the future. It’s my opinion they have a plan that will take a few years to implement. I don’t find that concept so difficult to comprehend.

        Again, nothing mythical about 2018. It will happen. Not sure about 2028, but I’m guessing that will happen too.

        1. It’s what I’ve been saying for a good while. Their plan changes weekly. It ranges from ‘we will compete and win now’ (and then doesn’t trade for or sign players that give them the best chance to win now) to ‘we’re getting younger’ (than signs older FA’s…a la Utley, Kendrick, Kasmir, etc.) to ‘we’re building for the future’ (and then trades/releases prospects that could be playing right now….Peraza, Hazelbaker, etc and didn’t trade Grienke last year for 2-3 top prospects). Trying to accomplish all 3 will lead to mediocrity and that is where the Dodgers are headed.

          1. See Badger, it’s posts like this that make me protesteth. If you don’t get it. You don’t get it.

        2. It’s not hard to comprehend. That’s exactly what they’re doing – building for the future, and and it will take a few years to – not implement – reach it’s stride. What you don’t comprehend is that the FO still intends to compete in the next couple of years. Oh sure, they’re not going to compromise that future to win now. Life involves compromises. Would Hamels have made the team better? Sure. Would it have guaranteed a WS? Nope. Would it have compromised that Magic 18? …we can argue about the degree, but yes.

          Why Utley, he’s old and washed up? ….because he makes the current team better now

          Why Kendrick? …because he makes the current team better now

          But we’re wasting Kershaw’s prime years! …well, I wonder what’s going on in Trout’s head right now. Growing up in OC, I should be an Angels fan, but I’m sure glad as a fan I don’t have to live with that Pujols contract, or CJ Wilson’s ..or the money they pay Hamilton to play for a rival…all to chase expensive free agents and now they stink and their farm stinks. …San Diego’s a cool city. Preller’s an idiot for chasing free agents and the Pods stink. …AZ blew their wad and now we’ll see what happens, but I wouldn’t be too hopeful for your favorite team.

          I like that this current FO is shrewd. There’s a risk they’re too smart for their own good and get too cute looking for value. If Latos had pitched that couple of months like he’s pitching now, there wouldn’t be an argument. But that gamble didn’t work. Bummer. But at least the gamble was the result of smart guys doing their homework and using data…ya know…facts.

          1. Facts? Signing and playing Utley and Kendrick is blocking the progress of Johnson and Barnes. Either of those 2 guys could be a ‘star’ in the making but are not given a chance.

            The LAD wins have decreased over the last 2 seasons. (And I would bet you a lot of money that trend will continue this year.)

            Friedman and Zaidi have never won a championship.

            Those are facts.

            You can keep competing and comparing yourself to the Rockies, Pods and D-Backs and beat your chest like your King Kong but the true challenges out there reside with the Giants (3 championships in the past 6 seasons), the Cardinals (1 championship, 2 appearances in WS), the Mets (1 WS appearance), the Nationals, the Cubs(much better young prospects and pitching staff) and throw in the Pirates.

            Compare the LAD’s to those organizations and report back to me.

  4. Everyone we are not use to losing three games in a row. And in 2014, we only did that once, and I do think, it only happened once, last year, but I am not sure. And this is all because we had Greinke and Kershaw. But I think it won’t happen to much, with Kershaw, and Maeda, at the top of our rotation. And this parcelly only happened, because Kershaw, let a inning, get away. We just need Maeda, to get us back on track today, but it isn’t going to be easy, with Fernandez pitching.

    Maybe today, our bats, will come alive. We never expected Kershaw, to lose that game, so who knows with Fernandez. And if the team can hit Fernandez today, and win. That should get us back on track, and give some confidence, to the players, and there hitting.

    Like I have said before, a lot of teams, are going through these offensive week long slumps, and then they start hitting again. The Giants, and there big two, Posey and Pence, were not really hitting, in are last series with the Giants. And the Giants went on, and got swept from the Dbacks, at home. And lost a series in Colorado against the Rockies.

    And then the Giants started hitting again, after that bad week. I just hope the Dodgers, will come out and hit today, and Maeda, quiets the Marlin’s bats, again. Because the Marlins, we’re not hitting, until the last game, they played against the Giants.

    And before the Marlins started hitting, Mattingly told the press, that Bonds was not doing his job right, in so many words. Because at that time, the Marlins were seven games back, and behind the rebuilding Phillies. This is Mattingly’s World Series, and the next time we play the Marlins, our team will be better.

    Because everyday Cory is playing, he is learning, and he will get better, like he has, at every level, he has played. And Turner did take a while to start hitting last year, when he came back, from his killer rash, but he did eventually, start hitting, but it took a little time, so maybe we should just be patient.

  5. I don’t get it?

    My opinion differs from yours, and that means I don’t get it.

    Sigh.

    It’s my opinion that Utley being brought in for one year was a message to the bevy of young infielders in this organization. The message? Watch and learn. The Kendrick signing remains a head scratcher for me. The Angels let him go for what I’m sure they considered good reasons. He comes here and plays in only 117 games due to an injury. We QO him, nobody interested, I’m guessing for the same reasons the Angels let him go, and then we bring him back for two years and $20 million? With Hernandez and Johnson already here? It makes no sense to me. Now we’re stuck with him. Hopefully he gets it going, but if he does – why Johnson? He’s now 25. He’s been in the minors a long time. Is there a plan for him? And is that plan maybe a year, or two, down the road? Hernandez will be 25 in August. He’s been at the ML level for two years, this is his third year. He’s hit .285. Why isn’t he starting? Is he part of the down the road plan too? And Barnes? Back in the minors, looking down the road.

    Yep, difference of opinion. And that’s all it is. Nobody is right in April. Just like we’ve had to do for three straight years, we have to wait for months to see who had it right.

    1. Badger Johnson had the starting job at second base, last year for the White Sox. And after I believe three months, he wasn’t hitting, and his defense at second, some don’t like. He was given a better chance, then Kike, has with the Dodgers. I guess he is begining to play in the outfield, in AAA. Besides the pitchers, I didn’t like when they signed Howie either. And every time I watch him bat lately, it just reminds me, of his signing, and it is for two years. And his at bats are looking so bad, it makes you think, that Howie, isn’t aging that well. But that might be a rush to judgement.

    2. Tough for the young infielders in the organization to watch and learn when they are playing in the minors and no where to be found when the games count.

      And regarding Kendrick…..yep Badger….but he had all of that leverage on the organization….so much that FAZ gave him $10M a year….more than they gave Utley. Are you sure they didn’t want the young guys to watch and learn from Kendrick?

      1. Good point. I don’t know what the thinking was. It wasn’t a position of need, and you can get some stud bullpen arms for $10 million. Isn’t that about what the Yankees are paying Chapman?

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