Saturday, June 15, 2024
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Dodgers Show More Fire Yelling Than Batting, Lose 2-1

The Dodgers lost the first game against the Nationals last night, and it was a tough loss to swallow. Hyun-Jin Ryu gave up early runs that the Dodgers’ cold/hot/cold offense just couldn’t recover from. 

Things didn’t look much easier for tonight’s game, as the Nationals sent big Max Scherzer to the mound. The Dodgers countered with their own big man, Brandon McCarthy. McCarthy surrendered a quick first-inning run on a base hit, two stolen bases and a sac fly, but at least tonight’s game started differently.  At first it wasn’t the sleepy Dodgers offense that we’ve seen lately. 

The boys came out swinging – and hitting – right out of the box in their half of the first. Chase Utley singled and advanced on an error. Then he hustled to score from second on an Adrian Gonzalez base hit. The crowd was excited and so was I. 

Go ahead and watch that highlight twice. Nothing else good happened for the Dodgers tonight.

That File Cabinet RBI turned out to be as valuable – and as rare – as blue gold. Despite giving up a first inning run, Scherzer was on. His pitches had some nasty movement, and he retired the first six outs on strikeouts. 

The Dodgers caught some breaks in the third, eeking out two walks and an error to load the basis for Chris Taylor with two out. Unfortunately, that was all the Dodgers could muster. The kid who blasted a grand slam to win the game in Milwaukee was played with and discarded on four outside pitches by Scherzer. It looked exactly like a kid versus a master. 

Bryce Harper led off the Nationals’ fourth with a ground rule double, and he was brought home to give the lead back to the Nats on two sacrifice outs. That’s a method of scoring the Dodgers sorely lack. 

Following Harper’s double, Brandon McCarthy retired the next nine Nats in a row. Trouble was, the Dodgers weren’t doing anything with the bats to advance the rare base runners they did get. After a bit of spark in the first, the bats went right back to sleep. 

Following their latest pattern, the Dodgers got everyone excited in the ninth when the kid, Chris Taylor, rapped a base hit against the Nationals’ rookie pitcher. Yasiel Puig came up with two out. He watched a fastball groove the pipe. He swung and missed another one belt high. Puig took the next two pitches, and Taylor stole second. The tieing run was in scoring position and the deuces were wild. Puig took ball three. Full count.

The Nats went to page one of the “How to Pitch Puig in a Pressure Situation” handbook. Go low and outside about two feet off the plate. It never fails, and it didn’t fail this time. Puig swung wildly at a pitch he couldn’t have reached with a six-foot long bat. Game over.

But the postgame fireworks almost went off when the Nats pitcher seemed to stare Puig down and say something to him. Yasiel came at him barking, “What did you say?!” Umpires and players quickly separated the two before anything could happen, and then the losing Dodgers gathered their gear and headed down to their locker room. Perhaps they were wondering where all that fire was from innings 2-8.

Dodgers lose 2-1

Dodgers offense tonight: 17 Ks and only 4 hits. That won’t even beat the Mudville Hens. 

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.

33 thoughts on “Dodgers Show More Fire Yelling Than Batting, Lose 2-1

  1. Dodger offense, many nights (including the lineups with Scott and MJs
    favorite failing lefties:-) – the Big Blue Steamroller, or the Little Engine
    That Could(n’t)???

    They were lucky to play the Cards and Cubs when they did…..and even
    then, the struggling Redbirds took three of the seven. This is the same
    level of performance as three years, and somewhere between a half
    and a whole billion dollars ago. I coulda done that for a buck ninety-eight!

    And so could most of you…

    1. Dud

      You are right the offense is a dud without Turner, because of Agone’s injury issues.

      But is we saw, Agone is still the guy that can hit I an important RBI when it is needed, most of the time.

      1. Dud

        I forgot to say that this was only one game, and if the platoon team was just cold for one game, Scott and I, wouldn’t feel the way we do.

        The platoon team was terrible all last year, except early in the season.

        Kike hit fine at the begining of the season last year, but it didn’t continue.

        And I am only using Kike as an example, but it isn’t him alone.

        Watch the other teams the Dodgers play, are they playing a bunch of utility players, every time they face a leftie.

        One or two is fine at times, to get one of the regulars a day off, but you don’t sit a couple of your best players, at the same time, against a team like the Nats.

        Did you see Harper, Zimmerman, Murphy, and Rendon on the bench in this series?

        We still need a really good right hand bat, that hits for a average, and hits with power too.

        We can’t count on all of are almost everyday players who hit rightie, to crush leftie pitching, so we need another bat that can crush lefties.

        It looks like most of our outfielders, are only platoon players, and that is a problem too..

        I knew Turner would do something in the off season, to be able to hit lefties better, and to his credit, he is hitting lefties better this year, but he is out right now.

        And Logan is struggling after coming back from being out.

        Logan’s average dipped below 200 after last night’s game.

  2. Teams go through these up and down periods all year. When we take on the better teams head to head we see clearly where we are. Where we are in early June is behind Washington. We can see where we need to go.

    Kershaw today, so we win this one – right?

    1. Badger

      You are right even though the Nats offense is working well now, even that will change.

      After all, Harper has not been the same offensive performer, since rushing the Giants pitcher.

      Harper was not the same last year, after Maddan intentionally walked him, almost the entire series the Cubs played the

      But I must admit I am surprised that McCarthy held them to two runs.

      1. Yeah you are Jeff. You’re gonna bet me 20 push-ups. You pick. We’re 58% favorites today. Who you got?

  3. The team rode a bit of an offensive wave with Bellimania. The luster has begun to wear off…or the novelty. He’s hitting .208 with one homer this month. He was a little bit like Puig and Hanley in 2013 coming in and turning things around. Now pitchers have apparently started to adjust, and he’s striking out at Joc-like rates. As good as he’s been, or was, it doesn’t answer the questions with the offense. The Dodger wRC+ has dropped from 108 and 4th in baseball to 102 and 8th in just the last few games.

    To me, that’s the issue. I’m not terribly concerned about starters not going deep into games. With seven quality starters, this is like an extended trial period. Sooner or later the most reliable aside from Kershaw will rise to the top. After a shaky beginning and a fastball in the 80s during Spring training, Ryu went seven and topped out at 94. Good! McCarthy has been good all year and went seven last night. I think Hill will find a rhythm at some point and will be a consistent #2 or #3. I’m not sure what’s going on with Wood, Urias is up in the air, and Maeda is probably going to be a five regardless.

    1. Dodgerpatch

      I expect more from Hill then just five innings.

      That is because he was paid like he was, to be a number two for our rotation, and he hasn’t been that good all year.

      I was ok when the front office signed him, because of his upside, but he has been a huge disappointment so far this year.

      I will of course give him time, but he hasn’t looked very good.

      1. Hill can get 5 innings 22 times and if he’s good, he will earn his money. That’s very much what he did last year and he put up over 3 WAR. That’s all he is here for. Who pitches the other 10 starts for him? Our #6. McCarthy looks good, but I don’t count on him to start 30. Who substitutes for him? Our #7. Wood might get 25 starts, # 8 subs for him, Kazmir and his $16 mil is likely toast, Urias will probably get 20 starts, #9 subs for him, same for Ryu with #10 filling in for him, Maeda might get 28 starts with #11 standing in for him. If used skillfully, the DQ/DL will allow our four strongest starters to be available for October. Its absolutely doable.

        1. Badger

          I expected Hill to pitch well for six and seven innings, like a real number two pitcher does, on an average.

          I assumed there would be times where he might have to skip a start or two, but I thought he would pitch well, when he was able.

          And I haven’t seen that yet!

          I feel Ryu is pitching better, then both Hill and Maeda.

          I bet Ryu has surprised you this year, too.

          I have to say McCarthy pitched better then I thought he would, so I have to give him credit, when credit is due!

          I have been to Sedona twice, and I do know a little about the part of the earth, that Sedona is on.

          I went on one of those pink jeep tours that they have, but it was a long time ago, so I don’t know if they still do that.

          I know that the Grand Canyon, Bryce, and Sedona, are on the same red rock.

          1. I wouldn’t expect much out Hill if I were you MJ. Expectations in general set you up for disappointment, but surreal expectations about a 37 year old with a long history of injury is silly. His projections are rather pedestrian. Expect that.

            We’re on what is called the Mogollon Rim, pronounced Moga-yawn around here. Look closely at this photo and you’ll see the state lines. It’s a most interesting place to live.

  4. Badger

    I was going to ask you about what you see is the difference in Cody and Joc, and that is, if you see differences.

    I already know that Cody didn’t have a full year at AAA like Joc did, and Cody handles lefties better.

    1. Difference between Joc and Bellinger? Good question. There are many similarities, most notable the all or nothing swing. Mechanically I like Bellinger’s swing better. I think he goes with the pitch better too. I haven’t looked at the spray charts but I would guess Bellinger has more hits to center and left. I’d like to see both shorten up with 2 strikes, but I doubt it happens. All or nothing. Outcomes, launch angles and all that.

      1. Badger

        Thanks !

        I forgot the game was early today, so I am going to go work out.

        It sounds like Maeda is going to go pitch in the pen, for now.

        Thanks again Badger!

  5. More reports this morning that the Dodgers are going to pursue pitching at the deadline, both starting and relievers. Hmmmm…….seems to me they could use some frippen offense. 16th in the majors now. They are wasting pretty good pitching even with the musical chairs starters.

      1. They did not report that this morning on Dodger Nation, it was just about looking for pitching depth. But I can see that they might want some OF help since most of the guys out there are not really doing a bang up job.

  6. Todays lineup and news. Taylor CF Seager SS Gonzalez 1B Grandal C Bellinger LF Forsythe 3B Utley 2B Puig RF Kershaw P………Kenta Maeda sent to the bullpen. Wood will start Saturday and Ryu Sunday. Pederson still does not have full range of motion in his neck. Giants get Sam Dyson from Rangers for cash and PTBNL. And Magic says Showtime Lakers would sweep these Warriors.

  7. Beyond the Box Score looks at Badger’s new boy, Wilmer, amongst others:
    www DOT

    A part of this:
    Perhaps most encouragingly, Font’s peripherals suggest that the top-line numbers are legitimate—he is running an higher-than-average BABIP at .333, and his FIP (2.52) and xFIP (2.83) are each more than a point below his ERA. While his age and injury history have kept the hype at bay thus far, Font is sure to get broader attention if he can maintain his early season performance.

    In other organizations, Font, Jurrjens, and Masterson might have done enough already to get a look at a major league start, but there are a lot of names in front of them on the Dodgers depth chart. Scott Kazmir is still around rehabbing a hip injury, and reportedly has begun to regain his velocity. Stripling has looked strong in the bullpen, and may be given an opportunity. Brock Stewart has already made three short minor league starts as he rehabs a shoulder injury, and Oklahoma City teammate Trevor Oaks (the Dodgers’ #16 prospect according to MLB Pipeline) has a 3.46 ERA and a K/BB over 5 in his first 10 starts. Yet, with Rich Hill’s blister situation, McCarthy’s injury history, and some early shakiness from both Maeda and Ryu, the non-Kershaw portion of the Dodgers’ rotation looks to be a revolving cast of characters again this year. If they were to match the last two years’ numbers, the Dodgers would be using 8 or 9 more starters this year. Just don’t be too surprised if you see Font, Jurrjens, or maybe even Masterson, jumping over the boards and onto the Dodger Stadium mound in 2017.

    Next, FanGraphs looks at Pederson’s struggles. It’s not exit velocity, it’s the swing stupid.

    www DOT

    While Pederson displays well above exit average velocity, the problem he appears to be having stems from a combination of pop-ups and weakly hit ground balls (I say weakly hit, because, while exit velocity still his well above average on his balls hit below zero degrees, the launch angle is such that it is difficult for those balls ever to be valuable.) So the question becomes, is this a sample size issue?

    Finally, a look at Ozuna (a potential trade target as per Rosenthal)
    www DOT

  8. ‘In other organizations, Font, Jurrjens, and Masterson might have done enough already to get a look at a major league start, but there are a lot of names in front of them on the Dodgers depth chart.’


    First the Duh…..Jurrjens and Masterson have had PLENTY of ML starts. In fact both have more ML starts then RICH hill.

    The reality is that all 3 pitchers were picked up off the scrap heap. That is what FAZ does best. THESE ARE ALL REJECTS FROM THE LEAGUE. Masterson hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2015. Jurrjens hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2014. Font hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2013. They each had their chance and failed. Just because Friedman shops at Bargain Basement Salvage Shops does not make them ML worthy.

    IF either of them were to reach the big league club that would signify that FAZ once again (with the highest payroll in baseball for the 3rd straight year) has failed at putting together a bona fide pitching staff.

  9. Another one of those nail biter, my nerves are shot wins. Did anyone see the look on CK’s face after Baez gave up the lead off triple to Turner? I thought CK was going to pop his cork! Nats fell apart in the field. News Flash! Adrian, you are not that fast!

  10. 2-4-6-8, who do we appreciate – yea, Chili!

    I’m just perusing our own system looking for replacements. I think we’re going to need them. I could be wrong – 1 earned run in two days and we’re 1-1. Impressive pitching. Hitting? We may need more better of that.

    1. That last two games were only won by one run.

      The Nats and Dodgers pitchhg must be good, with the close scores.

    2. Some BP arms down on the farm are intriguing. The bats, not so much at this point except maybe Verdugo or Calhoun. Dickson has been sliding down for a while.

    3. Any system has limits, already Seager, Taylor, Barnes and Bellinger (not to mention Toles) have been moved to the 40.

      It may be time to look outside the system as Badger implies.

      1. Depends on what they are looking for. I do not want a guy like Braun here nor McCutcheon. But they have to find some pop somewhere. You expect to get it from Turner, but he would have to have a monster 100 games to get to where he was last year. If he can get to 20 dingers, that will be huge. Pederson, Puig, Eibner, Gutierrez have not been the solution. You have to expect Taylor to cool down some. Grandal is streaky, Gonzo is lost power wise, Forsythe left his bat in Tampa. Utley does pretty well backing up people. Barnes has played well. But the bench production over all has to be a little disappointing. There has been some talk that they might go after Lorenzo Cain in KC. He is a pretty good CF, with speed and some pop. Not sure what it would take to get him. But I guess we will see pretty soon what they are thinking.

  11. Willie C went 1-6 in last nights game and did not play the OF like originally planned. Trace had 2 doubles in 5 at bats and is almost to the Mendoza line at .195. Dickson drove in his 41st run, but his BA is down to .250. Ravin got the win in relief.

  12. Derek Norris under investigation for accusations of spousal abuse. He said it is untrue, old friend Edwin Jackson called up to big leagues by the Orioles….his 12th MLB team. Kershaw on schedule to face Dallas Kuechel on the 14th of June in Houston. That would be a really nice birthday present for me if CK can win that game.

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