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Dodgers Return Home, Offense Does Not

Corey Seager

The Dodgers returned home to play a low scoring affair in the opening game of the Freeway series against the Angels. It was a return of 2015 baseball as the Dodger offense took the night off and the bullpen blew a late tie. It wasn’t a blown save, but a blown tie in the top of the eighth. Right hander Chris Hatcher was the blower, taking us back to the days of last season. The Angels defeated the Dodgers by a score of 2-1, thanks to a late rally in the eighth inning against the hapless Hatcher.

Of course it’s all for fun as these games don’t count. Yet we would still like to see them win. In the first game at Dodger Stadium this season with Vin Scully on the mic made us feel like the season already started. It was a wonderful feeling that no blown tie, or pathetic offense could take away from us. Enjoy every game this season. Every inning that Vin Scully gives us is a gift.

Meanwhile the Dodgers opened the game with not as many injuries as we originally thought. Kike Hernandez was back in the lineup but playing in center field. Corey Seager made his Dodger Stadium debut tonight as he appears ready for opening day. Ready he is, because the wonder kid collected two hits and committed an error.

The pitching match-up was good as left hander Andrew Heaney countered fellow southpaw Scott Kazmir. The good news for the Dodgers is that Kazmir looked effective. He threw 4.2 innings allowing one unearned run on four hits and struck out four. He induced 8 ground ball outs. He was relieved by Yimi Garcia. Pedro Baez, and Louis Coleman both tossed scoreless innings of relief.

Heaney pitched equally as well. Although on the days when the Dodger offense decides to leave town it doesn’t take much. Heaney went six frames allowing one run on six hits with four whiffs. Reliever Al Albuquerque struck out the side in the seventh inning, and rookie Cory Rasmus threw a scoreless inning too.

There wasn’t much offense for either club. The Dodgers stranded runners at first and third in the bottom of the first after singles from Kike and Justin Turner. The Angels threatened in the second with a walk from Andrelton Simmons and a single from Carlos Perez. However Shane Robinson grounded into a double play.

The Angels took the lead in the top of the fourth. With two outs, Kole Calhoun walked and went to third on a bumbling error from Seager. Carlos Perez’s line drive single to right scored the run and the Angels took a 1-0 lead.

The Dodgers tied the score in the bottom of the fifth. Seager singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Yasiel Puig drove him in with an RBI single to right. The Angels broke the tie off of Hatcher in the eighth. Cliff Pennington singled, C.J. Cron walked. Todd Cunningham singled to center to plate Rey Navarro to put the Halos ahead 2-1.

That was it. The Dodgers went down meekly in the bottom of the ninth to end the game. Old friend Javy Guerra made a surprise appearance. He retired two of the three batters he faced. The Dodgers scored one run on six hits, and were 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position. Sound familiar? Let’s hope they get all the non-existent offense out of their system now before the season starts on Monday. That’s right boys, get it all out now.

They were plenty of positives to take away from this game. Number one nobody got hurt, which is the most important. Kazmir looked effective, and Seager, and Kike are both healthy.

The Freeway Series continues Friday evening at Dodger Stadium. In game 2 Hector Santiago will pitch against Kenta Maeda at 7:10 PM. Our boys are back in town! Go Blue!

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

36 thoughts on “Dodgers Return Home, Offense Does Not

  1. Well Scott you are right to take the positives out of it, especially the much improved performance of Kazmir

    However, the rest of it looked all too familiar. Poor WRISP & and a watch through the fingers outing from Hatcher.

    Can see a few more nights like this in the coming months.

  2. I saw it differently. Heaney pitched better than did Kazmir. Heaney, 6 innings, 90 pitches. Kazmir didn’t even complete 5 and only threw 73 pitches. Kazmir does not look ready to me. This is the last game before he pitches for real and he couldn’t throw more than 73? Why not?

    Hatcher has the same problem he did last year – neither command nor control. I was hoping for more. Just throw strikes dammit.

    Roberts is still playing guys with no names on their jerseys. He must know what his starting lineup will look like, but we haven’t seen it yet. It’s time.

    1. Yes Hatcher was a little disapointing, and the players he was pitching to, we’re not major league players, so that made it worse.

      Kazmir didn’t look comfortable, in the first two innings, and didn’t have good control in those innings. He was always pitching behind in the count, but he did pitch better, and relaxed more, after those first two innings.

      I think Kazmir could have pitched more innings, and it was Roberts, that pulled him out.

    2. I saw Kazmir’s performance differently Badger. If Seager catches the popup Kazmir finishes the fifth and maybe starts the 6th. The only Kazmir made as many pitches as he did was because he was just barely missing the corners or wasn’t getting the calls.

      1. Bum, that dropped pop up cost Kazmir 5 pitches. He was taken out after 73. The game had no meaning other than being the last prep before we play for real. Why didn’t Kazmir throw at least 90 pitches? It’s gonna take at least that many to complete 6 innings next time out, which is going to be in a Division game next week.

        Point of order: the goal for starting pitchers used to be a complete game. We saw the greatest Dodger pitcher in history complete 54 (13 shutouts) in two years. And that was on 3 days rest. Now the goal is a Quality Start – 6 innings pitched with and ERA of 4.5. On 4 days rest. Wow. How things have changed

  3. It’s hard to win when the some of the players are not hitting.
    Thompson- .208
    Kike .160
    Barnes .212( 2 for last 28)
    Crawford .171( when not injured)
    I would rather see Sedegin and Culberson who are hitting start the season on the 25 man roster. Go with the hot bats because the April schedule is not going to be easy for us.

    1. You might be right. Thompson, in what was really a final audition, looked pretty lost at the plate last night

      1. Most people see the .295 he hit with the Chisox in a limited time but check out his minor league BA with is around .245

  4. I thought Puig’s second at-bat was a positive. He was down two strikes pretty quickly. He looked at the first two – checked his swing on the first pitch. At least the bat wasn’t on his shoulder. He recovered and worked the count until he roped what looked like a slider or curve to the opposite field. It was a good bit of hitting. He looked like he was taking a professional, workman-like approach to his at-bats – and he just looks like a physical specimen, an athlete. Just juxtaposing his physique with that kid Heaney pitching to him, it was like comparing a man and a boy.

    1. Puig only did that in his last at bat, after turning over, and pulling the ball, in his first two at bats. His last at bat, was a good at bat, and I hope he takes note, and doesn’t try to pull the ball, all the time.

  5. I was OK with the Heaney trade initially, especially if we had gotten a draft pick for Howie, but now in retrospect, I wish we had kept him. Hindsight is 20/20!

    1. Yep, I feel the same. Hindsight and all. Although not sure who would’ve played second last year. Hernandez, Guerrero, or Olivera were the options, I think. They might’ve been ok, but probably not as good as Howie.

      1. Plus if they tried to sign Kendrick this offseason like they did, they would’ve had to give up a prospect in the form of a draft pick anyways. So, that makes it a little easier to swallow.

    2. Someone asked Friedman, what he might have done different, and he said that if he had to do it again, he would have never traded Heaney. Heaney alone, is worth Gordon, to me.

    3. Something we agree on. It hasn’t gone as planned.

      Trade a young first round lh starter for a second baseman past his prime? Seemed odd. Dee for Heaney in the first place seemed odd, but, ok. I like young, talented lh starting pitching. Who doesn’t? Well, it appears FAZ doesn’t. Heaney was gone before he arrived. Wait, they do like Urias. Ok, Kershaw and Urias in the same rotation is probably enough lh starting pitching. But, Anderson. Wait, he’ll be gone and we will get a draft pick. No we won’t. We will pay him near $16 million for likely doing nothing but rehab. Kendrick will be gone and we have Hernandez to take over. No, we don’t. Didn’t go as planned. Two picks down the crapper, and two, apparently broken players still here making about $20 million. Gee, two picks and 20 mil. Hindsight. Maybe we should have kept Dee? And then there’s McCarthy. Remember him? $40 mil. And the Olivera signing. I think when the dust settled we were out $30 million. There’s more of course.

      What do you think mover? Want a do-over on a few of these?

      1. Well said Badger. I would love a do over. Lets start with Gordon. BTW, I would have preferred to have kept Kemp and traded puig.

        1. Well, you would likely be wrong on the Kemp vs. Puig trade. Even in an injury shortened season Puig’s WAR was almost twice that of Kemp’s (1.1 vs. 0.6 via Baseball Reference) due to Kemp’s offensive contribution being almost completely negated by his terrible defense. It’s likely going to be an even bigger gap this season presuming a relatively healthy season from Puig and further decline of Kemp. There is no way to paint that Kemp trade as anything but a good trade for the Dodgers.

          1. I don’t think defensive metrics are perfected yet. Kemp has always passed my eye test. An accurate strong arm and able to catch anything he can get to. Puig would have gotten the Dodgers more than Grandal if based only on his paycheck alone.

            So far I have enjoyed Kemp as a Dodger more than I have enjoyed Puig. It isn’t always about who I think is the better player. Kemp was sad about being traded and started slowly. He finished strong in a tough ballpark for a hitter.

          2. “I don’t think defensive metrics are perfected yet. Kemp has always passed my eye test.An accurate strong arm and able to catch anything he can get to.”
            No defensive metrics are not perfect, but not to dismiss your scouting skills but most non-biased professional scouts agree with the stats and will tell you Kemp is one of the worst outfielders in the league. Maybe he can catch things he can get to but if he can’t get to anything then it doesn’t matter. His range is considered subpar to put it lightly.
            “Puig would have gotten the Dodgers more than Grandal if based only on his paycheck alone.”
            Maybe. Do you know who was being offered for him in trades? I don’t. And I think a big objective of the trade was to get rid of that paycheck of Kemp’s.
            “So far I have enjoyed Kemp as a Dodger more than I have enjoyed Puig. It isn’t always about who I think is the better player.”
            Good point. I hear the best way to build a championship team is to look for “enjoyable” players and disregard talent.

        2. Mind boggling.

          I don’t think the Pods will ever engage in another trade with the Dodgers they were burned so badly. Do you realize how bad Kemp was last year? Oh, I know. He had a 100 RBIs, but an already bad defense is just getting worse as he slows, and his offense is declining. The FO flipped his good second half in 14 for the best value they could’ve gotten at the time. The Pods can’t get rid of him, now. They screwed themselves. And for those here who complain about Grandal and that trade ….it’s just confounding. You really want Kemp back? You can’t be serious.

          With the available information at the time, I still make the Gordon trade. That’s all you can do – use the best intel you have at the time and get the most value you can. The FO thought correctly that it was selling high on Gordon because his career up to that point hadn’t shown a lot. He had a great first half of 14, and then seemed to revert to the mean in the second. I just shake my head at the hindsight prognosticators here.

          1. It’s not like San Diego gave up that much. They got rid of a catcher they didn’t want and got a big-name player plus $30 million. I don’t want Kemp back, but until Grandal shows he can stay healthy for a full season I’m not convinced we could not have done better.

          2. 100 rbi’s is kind of a big deal. In the Padres 47 year history it’s only been done 19 times.

            Matt Kemp had a decent year. Would have been even better in Dodger Stadium. I don’t want him back, I just want to see somebody play everyday, hit 23 home runs and drive in 100. I don’t see Grandal or Pederson doing that. Puig maybe. Kemp is only 31. He could still put more together.

          3. “It’s not like San Diego gave up that much. They got rid of a catcher they didn’t want and got a big-name player plus $30 million. I don’t want Kemp back, but until Grandal shows he can stay healthy for a full season I’m not convinced we could not have done better.”
            San Diego didn’t give up that much? You’re telling me an all-star catcher is not much? What are you smoking? You don’t think San Diego would love to have Grandal back and would love to dump Kemp’s salary? And somehow I doubt the Dodgers could have done better or else they would have made that hypothetical trade you considered better. It’s also weird to me that people criticize Grandal’s injury history while completely ignoring Kemp’s injury history.

          4. Yeah, I’d say Puig could do it since he was on pace to match every single one of Kemp’s stats last year except RBI. He was pretty much offensively what Puig would have been had he played the full year. So, it’s funny to see people lament the loss of Kemp in the lineup and talk about how terrible Puig was even when healthy. And the difference in RBI can also largely be due to the fact Puig mostly batted 2nd and Kemp was locked in at 3rd or 4th in the lineup.

            I really think I might be losing my mind that people are criticizing that trade. It’s crazy talk.

      2. On that High Heat show, the guy said that Bochy said, that the Dbacks were the best team he saw in spring training. He said that Arizona was just doing everything, at a high level.

        I do think the Dbacks, played the Giants a lot tougher last year, then the Dodgers. I really hope they don’t get the job done, this year. Especially because the Dodgers have been so close, the last three years, and it would be a complete slap in the face, to all Dodger fans, especially with Greinke going to the Dbacks.

        The Giants three world series, are bad enough. I do hope the Dodgers will be there every year, but in baseball, and with baseball’s long season, things can happen, with the best of teams.

        So I do hope the Dodgers will continue to win there division, and will have that chance, because it things happen, and that doesn’t happen, we will be regretting, the last three years.

        I just hope, that that, doesn’t have happen, to make this front office, understand, that when the Dodgers make the playoffs, this is something, that doesn’t always happen, even with the best teams. So the front office, will have to adjust there thinking, and try to do more, in these moments.

        And I am not talking about selling, or trading the farm, but it is ok, to take some chances, when a team, gets that far. The front office, loves taking chances, on a few pitchers, that can be bought cheaply, but the front office, has a problem, when it comes to, quality, and quanity. And quanity, has not worked out, so well, this year, and the season hasn’t even started.

    1. Bum I sure you saw that game, last nite, by now. Did you see when Puig was on third, and there was a wild pitch, and Turner ran to second? Do you think that Puig, should have scored on that wild pitch, when Turner took second? I am just wondering.

      1. The ball skipped only a few feet away MJ. Apparently you didn’t buy my explanation. The way I saw it the throw to second would have been over 100′. The throw to the pitcher covering home would have been about 30′. Why chance making the third out at home when you have two in scoring position and the middle of the lineup coming to the plate? I think Puig made a good decision there.

        1. I only asked Badger, because I wasn’t watching closely, and I saw a guy on Dodger com, that said that Puig needs to pay attention, and the guys name, was Puig something, and I thought if a guy that uses Puig for his name, would be more not to express something bad, about Puig. Nothing personal Badger, I should have just been watching better. Badger I do value your opinon, really! And I am not BS ing you!

          1. No biggie MJ. It’s all good. I’m only telling you what I observed. As evidenced in here, some see things a bit differently. I saw the play and frankly was glad he stayed. Did you see how he got to third? He looked fast. I’ve got a good feeling about him. Just stay on the field Yassie.

      2. That was the new improved Puig MJ that didn’t try to score. Puig being on third also protected Turner in that he could run on a ball that got away from the catcher and the catcher would have to see what Puig was doing before throwing to second.

    2. Bum the Rays are going with a platoon at first. I guess Loney hit only five HRs, in a little over 100 at bats, last year.

      They were saying, the platoon would be cheaper, but the Rays, still have to pay Loney, the ten million they owe him, so I don’t understand, why they brought up, that the platoon was cheaper.

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