Monday, February 6, 2023
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Dodgers Steamroller Stopped by Total and Complete Pitching Failure

That photo of a ball streaking through the air and headed far, far away is what Dodger pitchers and outfielders stared at all game long in today’s abysmal 12-5 loss to the Cleveland Indians.

Rich Hill went to the mound today, and he was awful. His curveballs weren’t working, everything was staying up, and that included the balls the Indians were teeing off on.  The Dodgers were down 3-0 before the seats were warm.

Cody Bellinger and Chris Taylor hit home runs again today, and the Dodgers actually scrambled to cut a 5-1 Indians lead down to 5-4.

The game was close for about a full minute. The Dodgers have made comebacks like this into an art form, and today looked like it might happen again.

 

 

Then the bullpen got involved and the pitching nightmares continued. Ross Stripling came in and immediately gave up a three-run homer, and later he surrendered another run for effect. Dayton came in and pitched a third of an inning, but he didn’t give up any runs, so Roberts got him out of there.

In came good ol’ Charlie Brown – I mean Chris Hatcher. He finished out the game giving up one of his signature long balls as well.  When the dust settled, it was 12-5 and the Indians were laughing and cutting up balls in the dugout to make funny baseballs with mohawk hair.

On the bright side, the boys won the series, and the kids are still seeing the ball and smashing it.

Goodbye Cleveland!  Zinzinatti awaits.

 

 

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/

46 thoughts on “Dodgers Steamroller Stopped by Total and Complete Pitching Failure

  1. it is on the starter, pure and simple. He does his job, and this kind of game does not happen. 7 runs in 4 innings, ERA ballooning over 5. Bad location, lousy pitch selection, it is on Hill. He does his job that he is way overpaid to do and the BP does not come in to a game that the offense has gotten him back into with no outs and 2 runners on. Stripling had no wiggle room at all. He had to throw strikes, and unfortunately for him, he hung one. Stripling has been pretty decent this year and I would rather see him in a starting role than Hill. Some of the blame goes to Roberts for sending Hill back out there instead of pulling him after the team got to within 1 run. The idea is to win the game, not give it away. Hill was obviously LABORING. He looked tired in the 1st inning. He looked exhausted by the 4th. Take him out, bring in your long reliever. I know DR was trying to get the guy a W. But the team is more important than that overpaid slug.

  2. A couple of news notes…Jair Jurjjens suspended 80 games for PED use….probably blows any chance of him ever pitching in the majors again. Pete Rose’s petition to be placed on the ballot in December rejected by MLB. Probably smashing any chance Rose has of being inducted into the HOF. You did it to yourself Pete. On this day in Dodger history….crowd of over 38,000 watches Johnny Vander Meer no hit the Dodgers in the first night game ever in NY. 1958, Don Newcombe traded to the Reds for Steve Bilko and Johnny Klippstein. 1959, Dick Gray traded to Cardinals for Chuck Essegian and Lloyd Merritt. 1976..Joe Ferguson, Bobby Detherage and Fred Tisdale traded to Cardinals for Reggie Smith.

  3. Piazza 35 HR
    Bellinger 18 HR

    Cody is half way there. Can he match/surpass Mikey Piazza’s historic rookie total? Hard to say but what a season this kid is having!

  4. Maeda and Ryu have now both served long relief stints. The groundwork has been laid for Maeda to go back to the rotation and for Hill to accept a couple of stints as a long reliever.

    1. YF

      They need to get Hill out of the rotation, but he just needs to go practice pitching in AAA, not in the bullpen.

      AAA lost one of their starters to PEDs, and Hill should join that rotation and prove he can pitch well enough, before coming back to the majors.

      And that is after he has pitched well, in at least five games.

      He is getting paid handsomely, so they should put him to work down there.

      1. That was Jurjjens MJ. Got 80 game suspension and pretty well derailed what ever career he had left.

    1. Fully agree, Badger. Roberts is not the best when it comes to pitching decisions. However, the problem of having enough SP’s to fill out a 5 man rotation keeps changing. Now it’s Hill needing to be pulled. Hill looks like Kazmir this season. He’s getting nowhere and is becoming more and more questionable.
      Now, it’s Kershaw, McCarthy, Wood, and Maeda as SP’s. Who is the 5th? None of the other pitchers have proved reliable as an SP. One of them will have to be the 5th. Which one? It’s a crap shoot, imo.

      Hatcher needs to be gone from this team. Ryu and possibly Maeda could be dangled as trade bait, but that extra SP is the big question at present.

  5. Question marks all over, especially Urias and Hill, but I’d still not want to make a trade. I just don’t think the FAZ can pull off a good trade in-season.

    1. Keyshaw + 2 short relievers.
      McBrittle + 3 relievers
      Maeda/Ryu + 2 relievers
      Wood + 2-3 relievers
      Hill/Stripling + 2 relievers

      Not sure how that rotation turns over, it may need some adjusting in the middle but you get the drift.

      The revolving DL will be in play all year, moving both starters and relievers, and a couple starters, up and down. We may need another good one. It would be helpful to have 2 three inning guys. Maybe Urias could be one of them. Do not ask anyone but Kershaw to go more than 5 unless they can do it under 90 pitches.

      Moves will be made soon and often. I think we will get another starter at the deadline and the starters at AAA will be part of the DL dance. Well, not Jurrjens of course.

      This could work if the team hits.

      I wonder if some of this could have been helped with an early commitment to a 6 man rotation.

      1. Roberts has never warmed to a 6-man rotation beyond giving Maeda an extra day to ease his transition to American Baseball.

        Never, even when they had all 6 (or 7 if you include Stripling) available.

        It’s just not in the cards.

        Baseball, in general, isn’t a 7-inning plus start outside of a select few.

        1. “Baseball, in general, isn’t a 7 inning plus start out of a select few”.

          I get that. How about 6? Kershaw is the only guy on the staff that averages 6. Everyone else is 5.something except Hill who is under 5. A few of them have already been used in long relief. I still think long relief is what this staff is built for. It’s been my belief since Day 1 most of these guys are going to be hospitalized by late September.

          Roberts is doing what he can to get them all some extra rest. It’s still June and some of them look exhausted. Hill looked like a cardiac arrest waiting to happen in the first inning.

          Yu Darvish. Get him.

          1. Badger

            Bluto is right that Roberts has never went with the idea of having a six man rotation, and he has been asked plenty, about that.

            Bluto Badger is just mentioning what is really happening with every other pitcher in the rotation besides Kershaw, and Wood.

            The rest of the rotation are pitching like long relievers, more then starters.

            And I will say this, since our bullpen has had some problems lately, not holding leads or holding the other team from scoring, this formula has not been working as well as it was, a couple weeks ago.

            But I think they will address the HR problems, and find a better way to pitch some of these hitters, better.

            I still think a team should pay more and get three pretty good starters for the rotation, that can pitch on an average six innings a game.

            And maybe do something like this, to fill the bottom two rotation places.

            That way a team has three pretty good starting pitchers for the post season too.

            And just have an abundance of these other starters for the two bottom places in the rotation.

            One of the bottom guys, can still fill in to give one of our top starters a day off, or have give them a break for one start.

            But now that I was thinking about this, our these quasi starters that cheap, if they pitch more like a long relief pitcher?

            Stripling is not making that much money, but it seems like he is pitching almost the same amount of innings, as some of these other other starters.

            But the team is doing well, so that matters too.

  6. Stripling optioned to OKC, no call up announced yet……as of right now, 1:25 AM MST….24 on the roster………Calhoun homers again. Thompson up to .209.

    1. Michael

      Didn’t you say that Calhoun had a hammy problem?

      Stripling really got send down fast, after those two HRs he gave up in the last two weeks, but Hatcher has a permanent spot in this bullpen, no matter how bad he is.

      1. He felt something while running the bases on a triple Tuesday. (What’s a slow footed stubby tree trunked individual like him doing running out triples? He has two of them, and three doubles, in his last eight games. Who was the idiot who said he was slow? Oh. Never mind) He says he will be fine. He’s taken a few days off as a precaution. Doesn’t matter. He’ll be part of the trade for Quintana/Archer/Darvish.

        1. Badger

          Thanks!

          I like Archer but he will cost to much, and Darvish didn’t impress me that much, in the post season, last year.

          I think Calhoun will be able to hit well in the majors, because Bellinger seems to be holding his own, right now.

          And Calhoun doesn’t strike out a lot, like Bellinger tends to do.

          But Calhoun is still able to hit with power, and make consistent contact, unlike Bellinger, and most power hitters.

          And that is a sign to me, of a very good hitter.

          I wish we could find a place for him, to play.

          Joc did hit the ball better yesterday, but he and Logan, are not doing the job offensively, right now.

          And they will give Logan more chances to hit, then Joc.

          Because Logan hits lefties so well, and he is a veteran player, and they usually give veteran players, more chances, to prove themselves.

          And the Dodgers need all of the bats they can get, to help hit lefties better.

          And Joc and Puig, are no help, against lefties.

          1. Pederson will probably start against RHP and Taylor against lefty’s. I cannot really understand why Puig does not hit LHP better. My guess is that he does not see the ball as well from a lefty or he is not picking up the rotation of the ball. If Calhoun was a better fielder, I could see him up already because one thing they really lack, and I wish Andre was healthy, is a good LH bat off the bench. The one really impressive thing about Bellinger is how well he hangs in against LHP. Seager does the same thing, but I have noticed that when Corey is struggling, he is pulling off the ball. Not taking a straight approach. I noticed the other day that a lot of times when Kike strikes out, he is stepping in the bucket. Just little things that can make a big difference. When Joc tries to hit those inside pitches, he basically does the same thing. Pulls his front foot back and swings at balls he cannot hit. Turner is hitting, but still no power from him. Bellinger, Seager and Taylor are providing that with an occasional assist from Kike and Puig.

    1. Badger

      What makes you think the Cubs will curse in the second half of the season?

      Have they been playing better?

        1. Michael

          Yes I noticed that error to late.

          Sometimes my spell check will go with another word, and I don’t see it right away.

    2. Michael

      When Kike doesn’t get fastballs, he is a different hitter.

      He needs to adjust better, to curves and off speed pitching.

      I don’t understand why Joc is wearing that helmet with extra protection, against righties.

      Joc looks slower this year too, speed wise.

      Bellinger & Corey both, do better against lefties.

      Who knows with Puig, but Puig has trouble hitting good fastballs, too.

      If he can keep taking the ball to the right side, he would probably do better, with good fastballs.

      1. He is wearing the flap because he just suffered a concussion. Heyward and Stanton sometimes use it also. Both because they were hit in the head with pitches. Joc usually wears that flap against lefty’s. But I can understand the reason for the extra protection. Kike is very weak against breaking balls. Puig is having trouble with fast balls over 95 and still occasionally goes after that low outside breaking ball. Joc is pretty fast, but he looks like he might have gained a few pounds. I still do not understand why when he got to the majors, he just quit stealing bases. He was pretty good at it in the minors. Taylor is one of the faster guys on the team……they sure do miss Toles’s bat and speed.

    3. Badger

      Guerrero is still leading in HRs in the Japanese baseball league, and he is still hitting about, 272.

      He has hit 19 HRs now.

  7. The Reds suck. We’re favored in all 3. We should get off this road trip with a winning record.

    You know, against these last place teams we might be well served to throw in a AAA starter for 5 innings. Brock Stewart threw 52 pitches on June 11. Masterson could maybe give us 5. Oaks could as well. Wheeler has gone at least 5 seven times. Wimer Font has gone 6 his last four outings and at least 5 nine times in a row. Saving some innings on the ML rotation arms by using your AAA guys against cellar dwellers might be a worthy strategy. It’s going to be hot and humid in Ohio the next few days. Give the frangible few enfeebled an extra day’s rest when it’s 85 and 80% humidity.

    MJ, in a word – enormously talented youth.

    1. Wouldn’t it make more sense to start a Font or Stewart in the 3rd game of a Cleveland series where the opposition is better and the Dodgers are guaranteed a series win.

      Why throw a more likely win (versus a bad team) into jeopardy when you can sacrifice a harder game?

      1. I would think so. I think Hill needs to work on his release point and mechanics because what ever he is doing, it is not working. And last year he repeated his delivery all the time. This year he is all over the place. And in game is no where to practice that stuff. DL him, let him work on things a few weeks, then at least 3 re-hab starts at the AAA level where the talent is better, then you have the guy for the latter part of the season and maybe he is the pitcher they traded for. You are paying him anyway, so why not? They have about 7 guys at AAA who are starting pitchers. Use Font, Masterson, Oaks, and Stewart the way they used them last year, come up, make a start, go 5 or 6 and go back down.

        1. I think it’s easier to beat Cincinnati than it is Cleveland. But, whatever, there are no guarantees in the Majors and the point is to give the delicate an extra spa day. Most of them look like they could use it already and it isn’t even summer yet.

          1. I guess I figure they’ll get time off with the DL manipulation. Not sure what the advantage of a 6 man rotation is when the team can just manipulate the DL to give 10 days off.

        2. Hill was suppose to be trying to throw with a different part of his fingers to avoid blisters, and that may be why he is having so much trouble, with his control.

          He should just go back to how he was throwing, before.

          Everyone knew he would have to go out for blisters this year, but we assumed that he would pitch mostly well, when he made his starts.

          1. Hill is at this point a mess. Orel and Joe both were discussing his lack of consistency in his release point. Maybe it is his grip on the ball, who knows. But I think he needs some serious down time and reworking of his mechanics if he is going to be any kind of help in the rotation. I read the article about the Dodgers possibly pursuing Quintana. The guy is 2-8 with an ERA of 5.30. Averaging a K per inning. Given up 10 bombs and has a WHIP of 1.41. Not very impressive for a guy with 6 years in the majors. His career ERA is 3.55 and career WHIP is 1.25. I can dismiss his won-lost total since the Sox have pretty much sucked since he got there. But I do not see someone his age, 28, who is worth a top prospect. I would rather get another RH starter than add another lefty. We have 5 of those already. But Archer, or most anyone else, will probably command at least 1 top 10 prospect.

          2. Archer and Darvish will generate high bidding. Cobb is another possibility, though he doesn’t excite. He was good 2 years ago. He looks like he could still eat some innings.

            Hill isn’t worth much if he is avoiding snapping off that curve ball. Maybe it’s a matter of a pitch count. If so, just have go 3 in long relief or 4 in short start work. He might last the year and be effective if you don’t ask him to throw 90 pitches.

  8. In my humble opinion, minor league teams have much better names than the majors. Of course all the MLB teams have morphed from something else. The Yanks were the Highlanders, Cleveland had the Spiders…..creepy. But stuff like Iron Pigs, and Lookouts, and Isotopes, just a lot cooler. Colleges have great names too. Love the Banana Slugs!

    1. Michael

      Yes I don’t want to see the Hill experiment at the major league level, anymore.

      Put him on the DL to figure things out.

  9. Tonight’s lineup. Utley, Seager, Turner, Bellinger, Taylor, Grandal, Pederson, Puig, Wood. Rumor is building that Dodgers might deal Grandal…….a big contract……….

      1. Same thread that Badger posted…they had a blurb about a big deal for Grandal….I assumed it meant a contract because I have not seen or heard any rumors of him being traded…..Badger posted that today at 6.08 AM. Josh Ravin recalled to take Striplings place…..just announced.

  10. Great look at Hill’s struggle here:
    ~
    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/rich-hill-is-out-of-whack/
    ~
    Summarized below:
    Batters are hitting the curve in the air. They’re not destroying it, but they’re making better decisions and applying better swings. That pitch has been less useful for Hill, which is a problem, given how often he prefers to throw it. …Velocity down. Location off, mostly up and arm-side. It could be something subtle and mechanical, with Hill flying open, or alternatively throwing a little too much across his body…

  11. I’ll say it again, and again. Joc and Puig should be used in a major trade for either an SP or a solid hitting OFielder.

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