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Dodgers Open Interleague Series North of The Border Eh

Dodgers vs. Blue Jays

The Dodgers interleague all turf road trip continues north of the border as the Dodgers find themselves in Toronto, Canada opening up a three game series against the Blue Jays at the Roger’s Center. So put on your Royal Canadian mounted hat and grab some Canadian bacon, pull up a chair because it’s bound to be a great series of disappointment for us Dodgers fans. The Dodgers haven’t played in Toronto since the summer of 2013. If I remember correctly the Dodgers were in the midst of their 42-8 run back then. Man how I miss those days. That was such a great club. What a far cry from the bums of 2016, but I digress.

The Dodgers will probably have Justin Turner DH some more in this series, and Carl Crawford can’t even look at the turf because he’ll get hurt instantly. Saturday morning’s game (afternoon in Toronto) will feature Clayton Kershaw against old man R.A. Dickey, and Sunday’s match-up will see Ross Stripling taking on right hander Marco Estrada.

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Dodgers Lineup @ Toronto

Utley 2B

Seager SS

Turner 3B

Gonzalez 1B

Puig RF

Grandal C

Kendrick DH

Pederson CF

Crawford LF

Kenta Maeda-3-1 vs. Marcus Stroman-4-0

Game time – 4:10 PM TV- SNLA

Tonight’s pitching match-up will pit Kenta Maeda against right hander Marcus Stroman. Maeda had been pushed back so that he could get some extra rest and face more right handers. Maeda has been generally excellent despite having a career worst outing last time against Miami back on April 28. He allowed four earned runs over 6.2 innings pitched in that start. Overall Maeda is 3-1 with a 1.41 ERA in five starts. He’s struck out and walked just 6 while allowing 6.8 hits per nine. Maeda is a true pitcher that mixes his pitches well and changes speeds. Of course Maeda has never faced the Blue Jays, and I wonder if he has ever even been to Canada eh?

The Blue Jays will counter with Marcus Stroman. The 25-year old right hander is out of Medford, New York and selected in the first round of the 2012 draft by the Jays. He made his MLB debut in 2014, and pitched very well. In 2014 he was 11-6 with a 3.65 ERA in 20 starts. He whiffed 111 and walked 28 in 130.2 innings pitched. Unfortunately a torn ACL in his knee sidelined him for much of the 2015 season. He was only able to pitch in four games that year. He was still very good again, posting a 4-0 record, a 3.54 FIP and a 1.67 ERA. Stroman is having another stellar season in 2016. He is 4-0 with a 3.77 ERA in six starts this season. Stroman has a career 3.15 FIP and a 7.8 hits per nine rate. He has allowed just 13 career home runs.

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He has 28 strikeouts and 11 walks in 43 innings pitched. Stroman is one of only six MLB pitchers under 5’10 to start a game. Stroman is listed as 5’8 and 180 pounds. Stroman has a big arsenal of pitches. He throws a two- and four seamer that can touch in the mid 90’s, and has a curve, change, cutter, and slider. He’s never faced the Dodgers and there is only one Dodger to have ever had experience facing him and that’s Howie Kendrick who is 2 for 3 with a run batted in.

The Dodgers enter the series with a 14-14 record and are in a three-way tie with the Giants and Colorado for first place in the NL West. The Giants are 15-15 and the Rockies are 14-14. The Blue Jays are just as mediocre as well. They are also 15-15 and sit in third place in the American League East, three games behind Boston. They have also won three in a row. Toronto is 8-8 at home and the Dodgers are 9-6 on the road. The Blue Jays are having a problem with their offense. It’s not as prolific as it has been over the past couple of seasons. They rank 22 out of the 30 MLB clubs with a .237 average and eight in home runs with 35.

Interesting fact, Edwin Encarnacion leads MLB with 31 career home runs in May.

Make sure you come back over here after the game to check out our nightly recap. Let’s hope the Dodgers don’t embarrass themselves on an international scale. I think you know what I am talking aboot. Get it? Aboot?!

Go Blue!

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

76 thoughts on “Dodgers Open Interleague Series North of The Border Eh

  1. Scott, as I remember the 2013 team sucked in April and May. A lot of injuries. Then they finally shuffled the pen, promoting Kenley Jansen to closer. They DFA’s guys like Luis Cruz who Donnie insisted on starting despite the fact they were below the Mendoza line. Greinke and Hanley came off the DL, and then came Puig. I just don’t see anybody as good as those guys waiting to step into the lineup anytime soon.

    1. That was the story of the 2013 team, basically that got Puig and Hanley, both hitting like MVP caliber players in that lineup and a bonafide ace back in Zach Greinke. Unfortunately, this team doesn’t have an infusion of talent like that coming back.

  2. How would you like to be the Angels with their Top 2 pitchers looking at TJ? Richard and Heaney – Yikes!

    Everyone seems to have some big pitching issues this year. Look at the Giants, Arizona, Red Sox, et al.

    Here’s the stuff that kills me, because there is an element of truth to it but it is totally disingenuous, which is what I always expect from Badger:

    Not a whole lot said about the $30 million down the crapper on Olivera either.

    Firts he said $28 million, the it went to $30 million. So, I will address that:
    1. The VP of Intn'l Scouting and his Assistant lost their jobs in part due to that signing;
    2. The Dodgers have Montas, Thompson and Johnson to show for that deal. The jury is still out, but I like the odds that it will be a good deal. Thompson is on the big club and is productive. Montas is the Dodgers #4 prospect and Micah Johnson is #13;
    3. So, the $30 million down the crapper is a very deceitful statement. But the THE TRADE did exactly what it was supposed to do.” Typical Badger “Doublespeak.”

    Just like him accusing me of comparing Price and Greinke to Wood and Kaz. I said noting like that, but then he spouts forth his lies. He has to twist what I say to make himself look better? I have no clue why…

    I am not big on sabermetrics – people play the game, but it does have it’s place… and it’s here to stay and FAZ is only one of many teams using stats for lots of things. “The shift” works – that’s an absolute fact. Personally, I would like it banned, but that won’t happen. Teams will keep shifting until hitters wise up.

    According to most of you the Dodgers starters, excluding Maeda and Kershaw are horrid, BUT they are currently 7th in MLB in starter ERA, Horrible and they are 7th! Horrid and they are ahead of the Cards, Pirates, Giants and D-Backs. In fact, the Giants are 26th and the D-Bags are 29th.

    But, who do those teams possibly have to help? Not much. The Dodgers have Ryu, McCarthy, Anderson, De Leon, Urias, De Jong, Bolsinger and others to plug in a spot or two. I think the Dodgers starting pitching will be TOP 5 in baseball by season’s end!

    The Dodgers relievers are 19th, but they are ahead of the D-Bags (21) and the Giants (24). The pen will also improve. The Dodgers are converting Jharel Cotton to a reliever. He will be up soon. I like him in the pen.

    It’s too early to form an opinion, but finally, to say that FAZ is not trying to win this year flies in the face of the reality of a $250 million payroll.

    This is a public service announcement brought to you by me and me too, due to my split personality.

    1. Split personality? Are you and Badger in the same body? OMG! Good thing it isn’t a tight space 🙂

    2. Yes – starters other than Kershaw and Maeda have been bad thus far:
      Striping: 0 – 2 , 4.33, 1.41 WHIP, BA against .250, 1 HR allowed
      Wood: 1 – 3, 5.18, 1.48 WHIP, BA against .278, 4 HR allowed
      Kazmir: 2 – 2, 5.68, 1.36 WHIP, BA against .273, 7 (!) HR allowed

      Maybe not as bad as Cain and Peavy but bad nonetheless.

      You mention 4 injured guys who may come back – Anderson won’t be back this year. McCarthy may be back; 50% chance of recovery from TJ surgery; Ryu has had labral tear, not an easy thing to come back from. They thought he would be back already as you may recall… Bolsinger not a huge upgrade.

      Maybe Urias or DeLeon will help.

      The ‘pen is what it has been for several years now – I see nothing on the horizon that tells me that it is improving.

      Payroll of $250MM is deceptive. As you have pointed out ad nauseum, the Braintrust didn’t add most of the payroll. The actual payroll is $232MM. Of this, $10.1 MM is paid to former Dodgers or guys off of the 40 man roster; $59.6MM is paid to suspended players or guys on the DL; $8.5 MM paid to minor leaguers. That is a total of $78.2MM out of $232MM. The guys on the active roster make $154MM. And last year’s ending payroll was $316MM, so this year, the Braintrust actually cut $84MM from the payroll. That doesn’t sound like that the main goal is to win this year.

    3. Very well stated. Much improved tone. 🙂

      2013 LAD’s starting pitchers finished #1…..92 wins
      2014 LAD’s starting pitchers finished #2…..94 wins
      2015 LAD’s starting pitchers finished #2……92 wins

      So we’re looking at a drop, just a matter of how much. finishing #1 or #2 usually = 92 or 94 wins, how much does a #7 finish equal?

    4. You know, you mentioned four pitchers, including Price and Greinke, whose ERAs were worse than Wood and Kazmir so far this year. While you did not claim our guys were better pitchers, I think it still counts as a comparison.

      The Dodger relievers are 19th despite having the best closer in baseball. Cotton is being converted to a reliever because he was getting hammered as a starter. He may still be better than Hatcher and Baez, but that’s not saying much.

  3. Now that the Arr guy has been suspended again, can anyone possibly say that the Cubans after Puig were worth anything? Even with other teams they aren’t any good. Piss poor scouting and pisser poor front office evaluations. The best one is on the team because of his contract and he isn’t much good either. We’ve been through this before: the suits are Guessers with Money. Maybe a new form of Moneyball. And without accountability so far. I’m not sure patience is a virtue with this team. It’s been too long, with too many screw ups through different administrations. We should stick to the Amateur Draft and forget about this international BS. My guess is that Lincecum right now is better than our # 3(Kazmir). But then half of 3A could say the same thing.

    1. Not sure you can discount ALL Cuban players. A couple that come to mind are Jose Abreu (White Sox) and Cespedes (Mets)….could have had Cespedes and his 9 HR’s, 27 RBI’s so far this year but that would have taken money. FO only has money for old decrypted players or injury prone pitchers. Moneyball!!!

      And the Cardinals rookie shortstop Diaz is from Cuba. He was leading the NL in hitting so there are a few, but it appears that the Dodgers missed on most if not all of theirs.

      1. I hope Maeda pitches a good game to night. And I hope he gets good offensive support. It did look like Turner was hitting and seeing the ball better, in the last game, so I hope that Turner really starts hitting like Turner can hit.

        That would make a big difference in the Dodger’s offense. Also Puig has had some good at bats, and got a few hits, in those last two games. If Turner and Puig are hitting, Agone will difinitly hit too.

        And with Utley is back at the top of the order to night too. Maybe we will see some offense to night.

      2. I think he’s just talking about the ones we signed. As Mark says, a lot of guys lost their jobs–maybe even Logan White–over those two. But if you go back to the well often enough…

  4. There was an article on one of the links the other day. Mentioned how Ryan Braun removed us from his no-trade list.

    He’s having a good year, and has done well since his suspension thing. I’d be interested in trading a Trayce or Joc and others for Braun. Put Braun in LF. We can use that right handed power bat. Put the other of Joc/Trayce who wasn’t traded in CF. Puig in RF

    1. No. Braun cheated, took drugs to cheat Matt Kemp out of the Triple Crown. God will never forgive him.

  5. It was actually more than $30 million.

    For those who actually care about accuracy:

    Not a great deal. Unless of course Thompson turns into Harper. The point of course is Olivera being signed for $62.5 million was really dumb. For allegedly smart guys, FAZ has wasted a lot of money and been wrong about the talent level of several players

    As for who might come back to help this year, I don’t count on any of them. In fact, I think it’s more likely more will go down.

  6. While our BP has been suspect and at times downright HORRIBLE, the onus must be put on Hatcher, Baez and Howell. KJ is great, Liberatore is so far a pleasant suprise and Blanton has been outstanding since last year at Pittsburg.
    Many here and on other Dodger sites was against the Blanton signing. I was one of the few that wasn’t. So far so good.

    1. You are actually right about Blanton Richie. He’s been good this year. I am as surprised as anyone, but he has been very consistent. May as well let him pitch the 8th innings

      1. Scott that is what the Dodgers need to do. They haven’t made the Bluejays pitcher, pitch to them. This Bluejays line up, has been on the offensive, in all of there at bats.

        A lot of the Dodger hitters, don’t even go up there, like they are going to hit!

  7. I’m sure both Kazmir and Wood have the potential to improve. The problem is so far they’ve shown more potential to fail. The question is how much time before the stopwatch is clicked? I just know it gets old and it isn’t much fun when that bad feeling gets substantiated too many times. Seems by now we should have the right to feel more confident in a franchise with the resources it’s had these last couple seasons. It’d be cool if we were able to bicker less and cheer more for the only one thing we all want, VICTORY! I think we got that coming.

  8. I just read that Braun and Chapman being traded to the NL West makes sense. Arizona and SF of course. And here’s the thing – does anyone believe we would be pursuing players of that stature?

    1. I think he should have kept Cory batting six. He started getting more hits, and had better at bats. If Howie continues to hit, he can hit second.

    1. Puig is not a RBI guy. They put him that position because he is a big guy. But he isn’t that type of hitter.

    1. First time I have seen Libertore brake. He had a couple of easier hitters. He was way over throwing.

    1. Did you see that pitch that Puig swung at? That is why he isn’t good in big situations. He has no impulse control. The Dodgers need to get him hypnotist.

  9. Most of you guys haven’t watched baseball before have you?

    Hint: It’s a long game and a long season!


    Looks like Dummie Tee-ball is still the coach. Take out an effective RP just because of match ups and let a new RP , who obviously has NO GAME TODAY, lets him pitch to 3 batter when he should have been pulled after 2 batters because HE OBVIOUSLY HAS NOT GAME TO NIGHT. Nothing ever changes with these moronic robots.

  11. I agree. Let Coleman pitch the entire inning (unless that last batter absolutely owned him)

    Either way, Blanton just made a few more bff’s on this board!

  12. I agree with Mark — this Dodger team has so much depth. Really deep . . .

    The only problem is — depth without quality can stink at times. And these Dodgers can stink up the place a lot.

    This so called depth — has the Dodgers at 14-14, wow, .500. So that is like 81-81.

    But I can only hope that the guys can pull it together — and do what they are paid to do — play major league baseball better than anyone else in the league. They can do it.

    Tonight’s lineup has 4 Dodger hitters, hitting under .246. And no one hitting over .300. That is not good.

    1. Are bullpen has been so bad, that all of us, has had to put our faith in Blanton. This is what I am sick of! Our starting pitcher, pitches a great game.

      We come back and tie, and our bullpen once again, gives up a HR! The whole bullpen, are just batting practice, for every team we play! We could have had Chapman, but no they got Blanton.

  13. Friedman built a terrible pitching staff this season. The blame has to be put squarely on the FO for this train wreck of a season so far. I think the offense will probably be ok, but the pitching staff needs a major overhaul or this team will continue to go nowhere

    1. Scott our bullpen has been so terrible, that we have had to put our faith in Blanton. The bullpen is just batting practice, for every team we play! How many HRs to date, has our bullpen given up?

  14. This bullpen has given up nine HRs, in a month and six days. And Kazmir has given up seven HRs!

    1. And the 2 best pitchers on the staff, Kershaw and Jensen were inherited by these clowns.

      Won’t be long b4 they run them out of town.

  15. I’ve watched TOO many games like this one. It is going to be a long season. Are the Warriors playing yet?

  16. Go back and watch the HR off Blanton. It was a very good pitch. Ther hitter didn’t buy it and hit it out.

    The problem is not the pen – the problem is that Dodger hitters can’t do the same. That pitch that Blanton threw should have resulted in ground ball, but the Toronto hitter wasn’t having any of that.

    It’s easy to blame the pen, but pay attention: It’s the lack of hitting. I have seen it for several straight years. It’s time to look at what is common in those years: Crawfish! Gonzalez! Ellis! Ethier! Turner and Puig… to a lesser extent.

    Culture is hard to change. If this keeps up for several more days, I would run with this:

    1. Johnson 2B
    2. Hernandez LF
    3. Seager SS
    4. Grandal 1B
    5. Turner 3B
    6. Thompson RF
    7. Barnes C
    8. Pederson CF

    I think Gonzo, Kendrick, Utley and Puig could get the team a king’s ransom! Ellis, Crawfish, Ethier – not so much. Play the kids. screw the rest!

    I’m close to seeing enough. It’s not the pitching. It’s the hitting. It is evidently going to take a culture change.

    1. Mark the game was tied. And this bullpen was terrible last year, and they are starting early this year!

    2. I agree that the offense is anemic, but disagree about the pitching. My earlier post about the bottom 3 in the rotation (Kazmir, Wood and Stripling) revealed horrible ERAs, WHIPs, and in Kazmir’s case, 7 HR in 5 starts. This rotation won’t work. Another poster noted that the ‘pen has allowed 9 HR already and 5 blown saves. The pitching won’t get it done.

    3. Mark,

      They have the same problems as last year and it looks like the front office did nothing to fix it. The lack of situational hitting is just one problem. The pitching staff is not very good. Two starters and no middle relief will not get them anywhere. Same problems as last year. If they don’t make some changes on both sides of the ball then they have no chance of contending this year. But I agree in that I would like to see the kids called up too.

    4. They did nothing for the bullpen! Nothing! This bullpen ranked 19 last year, and gave away 18 games last year. There was a bullpen problem, because they did nothing.! The team came back and tied the game. We only need more hitting because this front office brought lousy starting pitchers, and did nothing for the bullpen. We are so desperate, that we have had to put our faith into Blanton. And that is is plain crazy! We had Chapman, and the only thing they did, was bring Blanton. You know Blanton should not be a set up pitcher! This is on Friedman, just like Kazmir, MCCarthy, Anderson, Blanton! And by the way, Kazmir puts the Dodgers behind, before they even get to bat! He has given up seven
      HRs. Stop making excuses for this front office.

    5. I agree that the line up is not good. Just not enough professional hitters. But a kings ransom for Gonzalez, Puig, Kendrick & Utley? Is the Dodgers going to pay 100% of their salaries? Utley has little to no value. Kendrick has little to no value. Puig has little value as does Gonzalez. So because the FO chose not to take Frazier and sign Cespedes this is the response 31 games into the season. Perfect example of poor management.

  17. I don’t know how to post about this game without repeating previous posts by me and by others here. Sadly, we are seeing the same thing play itself out repeatedly:
    1 – poor middle relief
    2 – poor hitting with RISP.

    The only reason that the Dodgers’ 3rd chronic problem (bad starting pitching) isn’t an issue today is that one of the team’s 2 good pitchers pitched. With Kershaw going tomorrow, the Dodgers have a chance to win. Otherwise, bad starting pitching, poor middle relief and bad hitting with RISP will keep this team from being more than an 85 – 89 win team.

  18. Mark. I am in your corner on this for sure. We can’t frikin hit. And not the long ball but just the extra base ball. The pen I still have issues. But the hitting is a joke!!!!!

  19. The pitch Blanton threw was a damn good pitch, but this stuff happens a lot when you can’t hit!

    When you can hit a bad pen looks average and an average pen looks good!

    Blame the pen all you want, but it’s not the root cause!

    1. Dodger’s pen is 5 – 5, 4.03. I know, wins and ERA not good measurement of bullpen. Peripherals are pretty good including WHIP and K/9; but they have given up big runs in key spots too often. Thus the 9 HRs allowed and the 5 BS.

        1. Thanks Dodger rick I have been wondering where I could get those stats. I use to just look at innings pitched, and the hits, BB, HBP, and runs.

  20. I think it’s time to play the depth card and play the kids.

    Maybe we win… maybe we lose, but the team needs new blood!

    I have always been about that!

    1. I’m good with that – let’s see Urias, DeLeon. Not many young position players are ready for prime time; Bellinger and Verdugo aren’t ready yet. Maybe next year or as Badger says, 2018.

    2. Storen is the Nationals former closer. A guy this front office, should have brought to the Dodgers! Who is harder to hit? Storen or Blanton? You better look at Stored’s stats with the Nationals. Our bullpen ranked 19 in baseball last year. And all this front office did, was sign Blanton. The only thing they pay money for, is former GMs. And this is all they could muster?

  21. The only help on the horizon this season is Ryu and Finger. They won’t let Urias throw more than six innings (even pitching a no-no???) So don’t look for him this year. Kazmir and his stupid three year contract will be dragging down the rotation for that long. You just know with that contract they’ll be running him out there every five games unless he goes on the DL. Think the best Blue hope for this year is another early exit from the playoffs. Maybe Blue can aspire to a decent draft pick next year.

    At least FAZ was smart/prescient/lucky enough to not keep Heaney. He really seems to be the latest incarnation of Billingsley. Between the self destructive signings of over the hill stars and lousy breaks Angels are more sucky than Blue again.

  22. See, FAZ is still trying to win while growing the farm… and I’m sure that Guggs and Kasten have wanted that… but I would be fine waiting until 2017 or 2018.


    Puig (times up for the knucklehead)

    DFA Crawfish.

    Call up the kids – pack the farm – I am fine with waiting. Man, the team could get a TON of Prospects…

    1. Welcome aboard Mark but there is not much value in those players….but they should attempt to get whatever they can. Not going to win anything with them anyway.

      1. Chili do you really trust this front office to make a team from scratch? Look at all of there terrible moves! They love former Rays, and A’s, and if they have a long injury history, then they will pay them more, and give them a multi year contract!

    2. Just come get them! They are yours for free! The entire Dodger front office! Hire them them to tutor your children in math!

    3. This front office can take Wood, Kazmir, MCCarthy, Anderson, Blanton, Hatcher, Howie and any of there big ideas with them. They have no idea how to build a team! They are not Ivy like the Cubs President!

    4. Mark still can’t stand to part with MCCarthy or Anderson, or Blanton, and more importantly, this lousy front office!

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