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Dodgers in Steel Town, Maeda Vs. Locke in Game 2

Joc Pederson

So Nick Tepesch was predictably terrible in his Dodger debut and the Dodger’s 6-game winning streak was snapped in an 8-6 loss to the Pirates. Unsurprisingly Tepesch allowed five earned runs on seven hits over just 4 innings. The Dodger bullpen gave up the rest and the offense could never fully catch up. With the loss and yet another Giant’s win puts the Dodgers 7 games back in the NL West. The Dodgers can certainly get a wild card, but the NL West race is over. I mean O-V-E-R….OVER!!! The Giants are just a better club with superior starting pitching. The Dodgers can certainly get a wild card but the NL west is a pipe dream at this point.

Of course the front office only has themselves to blame for having to use a below replacement level starting pitcher. The front office spent millions of dollars on injury riddled and below average pitchers, and to nobody’s surprise they are all on the disabled list. Don’t expect Brandon McCarthy, Hyun-jin Ryu, or Brett Anderson to contribute at all this season. As I said in spring training, I don’t expect any of those guys to pitch even an inning this year. The Dodgers are going to have to go out and get two starting pitchers via trade.

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Dodgers @ Pittsburgh

Hernandez 2B

Seager SS

Turner 3B

Thompson CF

Gonzalez 1B

Puig RF

Van Slyke LF

Ellis C

Maeda P

Kenta Maeda-6-4 vs. Jeff Locke-6-5

Game Time – 4:15 PM – TV – FOX

The Dodgers continue their series with the Pirates in Steel Town as Kenta Maeda will counter left hander Jeff Locke. Maeda is 6-4 with a 2.64 ERA through 14 games. Over 81.2 innings pitched Maeda has struck out 79 and walked 24 with an 8.7 strikeout per nine rate. I have to give the front office credit for his signing though, as he’s pitched very well for the Dodgers. His last start was a no-decision in which he allowed one earned run on 6 hits across 6.1 innings pitched against the Brewers.

The Pirates pitching has been very poor this season, and Locke has had a disappointing season as well. Locke is 6-5 with a 5.44 ERA in 14 starts. He’s whiffed 48 and walked 23 over 82.2 innings pitched. His lack of the ability to get swings and misses has been a problem for him as he’s posted a 4.7 K/9 rate while 9.8 hits per nine and 12 home runs. Although he did pitch 6.1 shutout innings against the Giants in his last start. Locke is 1-3 with a 4.07 ERA in 4 career starts against the Dodgers. The current Dodgers are just 9 for 38 (.237) with a .652 OPS against Locke over 42 plate appearances.

Locke vs. Dodgers

Chase Utley 10 8 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 .125 .300 .250 .550 0 0 0 1 0
Adrian Gonzalez 9 9 2 0 0 0 3 0 0 .222 .222 .222 .444 0 0 0 0 0
Justin Turner 6 5 2 0 0 0 0 1 1 .400 .500 .400 .900 0 0 0 0 0
A.J. Ellis 5 4 1 0 0 0 0 1 3 .250 .400 .250 .650 0 0 0 0 0
Enrique Hernandez 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0
Joc Pederson 3 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .333 .333 .333 .667 0 0 0 0 0
Yasiel Puig 3 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .333 .333 .333 .667 0 0 0 0 0
Corey Seager 3 3 1 0 0 1 2 0 0 .333 .333 1.333 1.667 0 0 0 0 0
Total 42 38 9 1 0 1 5 3 8 .237 .310 .342 .652 0 0 0 1 0


As much as I’ve joked around and talked smack on the front office, they’ve still built a pretty damned good pitching staff. The Dodgers rank fourth in the majors in team ERA (3.38) which is pretty good for a club that has suffered the injuries that the Dodgers have. However the back end of the rotation needs to be addressed soon. They can’t keep starting Nick Tepesch. As a matter of fact Nick Tepesch can never start again.

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In some minor news and notes, you’ve all heard of the DFA’ing of Will Venable by now. The Dodgers jettisoned him once Yasiel Puig returned from the disabled list. The Dodgers also picked up a former reliever. Apparently reports are surfacing that the club has signed former lefty specialist and big iguana Randy Choate. According to the reports Choate was released by the Blue Jays on March 29th. The Dodgers have signed him to a minor league deal. Choate pitched briefly for the Dodgers back in 2012. He was acquired from the Marlins in the Hanley Ramirez trade.

Speaking of Puig, he homered last night. Let’s hope this is the beginning of him turning his season around. The Dodgers need him. You can catch the game today on Fox, and stick around here for more Dodger discussion and general tom foolery. Go Blue!

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

39 thoughts on “Dodgers in Steel Town, Maeda Vs. Locke in Game 2

  1. So Tepesch is done? Oh well. On that Hanley Ramirez trade didn’t we send them a pitcher by the name of Nathan Eovaldi?

  2. Scott,

    There are two chances the Dodgers will make a trade for two starting pitchers:

    (1) Slim; and

    (2) None!

    You sign injury-riddled pitchers when you (1) don’t want to give up draft picks; and (2) when you don’t want long-term deals (usually over 3 years). That’s why you sign guys like Anderson (great signing for 2015), McCarthy (still has 2-1/2 years) and Kazmir (crapshoot… but only 3 years). They didn’t want to sign Smardz or Cueto to longer deals and Greinke’s deal was just sick. AZ is going to be hamstrung a long time from that!

    They will stick to that plan UNLESS a trade partner offers a really, really good deal! The farm is so close to feeding the roster that it would be self-defeating to make a move now.

    1. Hate to admit it but most of this makes sense.

      I would add a (3) – when you’re building for a title run down the road.

      But why give injury prone pitchers multi year deals? Isn’t that crazier than giving Greinke 1 extra year?

    2. If any of our prospects are better than Cueto before he opts out after two years you can knock me down with a feather. Since when does three or four years of mediocrity beat five or six years of quality? Does Bill Gates shop at WalMart?

      1. Do you see Cueto opting out? His contract pays him about $110 through his 36 year old year. Not sure he walks from that. But, he is on pace for about 23 wins. Crazier things have happened.

        One more thing – with teams willing to pay $7.7 per WAR point (fangraphs 2015 numbers) how many real years will Arizona be hamstrung by the Greinke contract? As that number is going up every year, I’d guess maybe 2. If they get to a World Series, it might be worth it for them. After all, it’s been a long 15 year drought for that franchise.

  3. Tepesch can opt out rather than return to OKC. Is it just my imagination, or do other teams call guys up who throw shutouts at us 3 or 4 times each year while we get starts like this? Yes, we traded Eovaldi for Ramirez and he had a pretty good year for the Yankees last year.

    Puig credited the coaches at Rancho for helping him with his swing; expect to see more guys on “rehab” assignments.

    1. Snider
      That is what was good about yesterday’s game.

      Puig hitting that HR with a new compact swing. I hope we will see more from Puig, and the rest of the team today.

  4. I’m watching the dback game and am thinking the snakes would love to undo that Miller trade and sign Kazmir instead. Miller got issues. What happened to that 200 inning 3.02 guy?

    Just checked. He’s only making $4.35 mil this year. We’re paying Anderson and McCarthy about 6x that and they haven’t been seen in months.

  5. If anyone thinks Cueto will opt out after 2017, I want what you are smoking. He will be 32 then and is guaranteed 4 more years after that at $88.

    The Giants owe Samardzija $80 million per for 4 more years and he will be 32 in January. Yes, they went all in this year, but neither of those guys will last more than a year or two.

    Kazmir was a risk, but the Dodgers only owe him $35 million after this year. Anderson is owed nothing and Brandon McCarthy is owed $23 million after this year.

    So, the Giants owe Shark and Cueto $168 million after this year and the Dodgers owe Anderson, McCarthy and Kazmir a total of $58 million. It’s REAL money. Can you see the difference?

    It’s highly likely that Cueto and Samardzija will both have arms issues going forward…

    Oh… and the Dodgers are loaded with arms. The Giants? No so much. They have had a good run…

    1. Mark
      I said that we won’t know if the Giants getting Cueto is a good thing, until his opt out comes up.

      I do realize that this is only half of a season, and he is signed for five years, and his opt out, is in two years.

    2. Mark
      Cueto at this time, has pitched well enough to opt out. And the key word here, is at this time.

      Cueto has never been let go from a contract, because he was uneffective, like Kazmir has.
      And at this time, Kazmir hasn’t pitched well enough, to help the Dodgers to have a 500 record, other then when Kershaw pitches.

      And Kazmir has been anything but consistent.

  6. Also, Kenta Maeda is a worthy #2. Kaz is not really our #2. 2.64 ERA is a #2 Ranking in my opinion.

    Who will step up as our #3? The options are many!

  7. I can see the difference. Cueto and Samardzija are actually pitching, and winning. That’s gotta be worth something. In fact, I’ll give the gints all three of ours for their two. You keep forgetting, it’s not about money, it’s about performance.

    1. We’re screwed now! Because the Pirates have guys that shut innings down, in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings.

      I think Roberts knows when to replace Maeda now.

      I think about back to the game against the Marlins, that Maeda has said he can get out of it, but he hasn’t been able to most of the time.

  8. Did everyone hear that the Dodger’s predominately right handed line up against lefties, is ranked twenty ninth in baseball, for hitting I believe.

    That is a good enough stat, to stop playing this line up, that is mainly part time players.

    Let’s get our best line up, hitting against all pitchers.

    And play the part time players, to give days off, but not all the regular players, rested at the same time.

    And some platooning, for the regular players, that are facing a tough pitcher, and have very uneven stats, with pitchers, from the side that they are not hitting well against, but just don’t do it all the time.

  9. Mark said: ” . . . and the Dodgers are loaded with arms.” Meaning in the minors getting ready for ROY in some future season.

    We have been reading about these loaded arms . . . like day dreaming. On the Prospect list I see 14 pitchers in the top 30 Dodger farmhands:

    Jose de Leon
    Grant Holmes
    Frankie Montas
    Walker Bueller
    Jharel Cotton
    Yadier Alvarez
    Chris Anderson
    Chase de Jong
    Josh Sborz
    Jacob Rhame
    Imani Abdullah
    Angel German
    Brock Stewart
    Caleb Dirks

    So who, and how soon?

    Since most teams use 5 starters and 7 in the pen, and a couple of floaters between AAA and the big club —– a few of these guys can be traded along with position players for an arm or two.

    I still have faith in 22015, 2016 and 2017 draft and international signings — that others will come ontotheRoster — and be even better than most of the names above.

    But as of this moment in time — I have no confidence that the GM can or will make the necessary moves to get there.

  10. Maeda a #2? Yeah, right. Per True Blue LA, “Dodgers starting pitchers not named Clayton Kershaw are averaging 5.04 innings per start in June.”

    Maeda another 5 inning starter. Crud.

  11. It really sucks when the broadcasters favor a team like the broadcasters, are doing in this game.

    Mr. Hall of Famer, said that the Pirates were going to come back and score now.

    He wants the Pirates to win.

    And he said this, before McClutchen came up to bat.

    They are favoring them, because they are from the east.

    And they are feeling sorry for the Pirates, because they are tanking.

    And now they are trying to go back, and act professional.

    Mostly John the Hall of Famer was the one doing this.

  12. Maeda didn’t get his ball up far enough on McClutchen.

    Blanton has done good, but he really shouldn’t be the pitcher, to come in a tough inning.

    The Dodgers don’t have that pitcher, and that is why Blanton is doing it.

  13. The Pirates record in June = 6-17. The Dodgers visit was just what the doctor ordered….. unbelievable!!!!

    P.s. Great job Blanton….great job.

  14. The Pirates are a good club. They haven’t played well, but they likely will.

    Smoltz don’t seem to care much for the Dodgers. He said something to the effect that the Dodgers aren’t very good offensively. The way he said it was not – they haven’t hit to their potential – more like they just aren’t very good. And they certainly haven’t earned any respect for their offense, but I sure hope they will improve in the second half. They have to better than 26th – right?

    I think rick is right, a #2 should give you at least 6 every time out. 6 innings is more than it usta be, that’s for sure, but a #2 has to get very close to 200 innings. If not, he’s a back of the rotation starter. That is of course if we are talking about a playoff team. We are talking about a playoff team, right? Maybe not. In that case, yeah, solid #2.

    1. Badger
      29th against leftie pitchers, so that is the right platoon line up.

      And I guess Turner is back to having the reverse numbers against lefties.

      Because they said that a Turner had those reverse numbers now?

    2. He’s our second-best pitcher, for sure–even though ‘Cutch owned him tonight. Averaging about 5 and 2/3 per start, about the same as Kaz. Kershaw leading the league in innings, again. Without him we’re the Padres.

  15. I just read something interesting- remember Kyle Funkhouser? He turned down $1.75 million from us last year but signed with the Tigers for $750k this year. That year in college cost him a million. Take note kids – don’t stay in school!

    1. Badger
      Did you see that this platoon team was 29th in baseball offensively?

      They need to keep the same line up, except for days off, for only one everyday player, not everyone at once, like Mattingly use to do.

      And platoon occasionally, for everyday players, that have extreme splits.

      And that should only be one or two players.

      They must play the best line up everyday, especially when there right platoon team is ranking 29 in all of baseball.

      And once again, I hate these national broadcasters!

      All but Joe, and the analyst that analyzed for Joe, on Dodger game, that he was nationally broadcasted for the Dodgers!

    2. But Dodgers didn’t try to draft him this year? Was that a mistake? Or was the mistake in evaluating him last yea? Inconsistencies.

  16. 1 – The Dodgers’ starters other than Kershaw still only averaging 5 ip/start in June.
    2 – The refugees from the Braintrust Walking Wounded Pitching Staff (McCarthy, Ryu, Anderson, Wood) will not come back being able to throw a lot of innings.
    3 – Any of the prized pitching prospects that come up from the minors will not be allowed to throw a lot of innings (like Urias).
    4 – This means that no one other than Kershaw, (and once every 3 or 4 starts Maeda and Kazmir) won’t be pitching deep into games.
    5 – I’ve never ever seen a team go with an 8 man bullpen as much as the Dodgers have this year – then you realize that they have actually had a 9 man pen at one point (leaving a 3 man bench, and since most teams won’t use their backup catcher except in emergencies, this means they actually had a 2 man bench)! You don’t give the team a chance to win with a 3 man bench.
    6 – While the Braintrust didn’t want the team’s pitchers to be injured, this is the risk that it ran by signing or trading for the likes of McCarthy, Anderson, Wood and Maeda. They took the risk – it’s not a good one.
    7 – Before Mark reminds us all of how “great” the Dodgers’ pitching has been, who here thinks that over the long run, any team can survive with 4 5 inning starters?
    7 – Does anyone think that the Braintrust will make a big trade to fix this?
    8 – They still can’t hit. I believe that some of the hitters will have come around, but they still only average 4.2 runs/game. This won’t get it done.
    9 – The new coaching staff certainly hasn’t fixed anything. Since you can’t trade the whole offense, why hasn’t the management fixed the coaching staff?
    10 – So the rumor is that they are looking for “a big bat”. Will one big bat fix the offense? Who will they stop playing in favor of the “big bat”? What “big bat” is available?
    11 – Does anyone think that the Braintrust will make a big trade for a “big bat”, given its track record?
    12 – Since the Dodgers have mostly drafted right handed pitchers with early draft picks for several years, where is the help coming from in the minors? They only have a couple of blue chip prospects among position players in the minors.

    1. Our big bats are Gonzalez, Seager, Puig, Pederson, and Turner. Off the bench we have Ethier and SVS. Kendrick and Utley can still hit, but not nearly like they usta could. Grandal will hit 1 week out 5. Is all that enough? It could be if one believes Ryu, Anderson and McCarthy will all come back and earn their money. Do I believe all that will happen? Of course not. Too many thing have to go right. And even if they did we would need things to go wrong for the giants. I still believe we have some good talent in the minors. None of it is going to help this year. Can management sign the right free agent? They haven’t yet. Can they make the right trades? Meh. Perhaps.

      Look, the key to a successful year for the fans is still the same – lower your expectations. It also helps to live in the past while waiting for the future. The first year I became a Dodger fan they won a World Championship. I was 11. That was a really good year. I also made my first All Star team that year. In ’63 they swept the Yankees. In ’65 they won again and I earned my first varsity letter. Life was good back then. Being a Dodgers fan then was like being a giants fan now. So, to get by until they are good again I’m going to bask in the warmth of those memories. 2016? 2016 can go fu*& itself.

  17. The problem with Mark Timmons ‘view’ of the future and what FAZ is attempting to do with the Dodgers for 2018 or so, is all theoretical. Granted, theory is permissible, and every team engages in it and deploys strategies relative to it. But, in this case, we have real and present problems that have not been addressed at all by FAZ et Cie. The future is not guaranteeing us high quality pitching as Mark seems to believe, just a possibility. How many ‘stars’ from the minors flame out in their MLB careers. Pitching in the majors is not the same as pitching in the minors. To base a whole team concept on the future of the farm is absurd. No team has ever created a winner using only their own products.

    This brings to mind what FAZ has done the last 2 seasons regarding current pitching, NOTHING HELPFUL! Letting Greinke walk because of 1 year is patently absurd, but okay, they want to free up money. It’s a reason, maybe not the smartest one. They sign pitchers who currently cannot go more than 5 innings, have no track record in the MLB for being patented winners, and more importantly, most of them were/are injured! This in itself is inexcusable other than compassionate reasons that FAZ doesn’t have.

    We’ve had hitting problems for the last 2 years. Is this going to be solved by the farm? I think not. Kike leading off? What are they thinking? Kike pinch-hitting? lol. Grandal getting a clutch hit every 50 games? Agone hitting more and more ground balls, less HR’s and RBI’s, his bread & butter. The only stud who seems to be working out is Seager and his fielding is a bit wonky, but okay, I’ll play along. Who do they have waiting in the wings to take over from our sliding current roster? They thought Joc was the man. He’s a boy. They’ve done precious little for the batting and don’t seem interested in fixing what seems to be kind of broken. All of this is why I’m not a believer in the sci-fi vision of FAZ along with his yes man in the dugout reading his orders from a computer. The good news is that there are even worse teams than the Dodgers in their division!! Our only hope.

  18. Mark, you slay me. Maeda a solid #2? Please. The guy is barely going 6 innings an outing. Compared to Greinke who constantly was into the 7th at least. The WORST stat in MLB is quality start. Quality to me is going at least 7 and keeping your team in the game. Giving up the lead after you tie the game in the 6th is not quality pitching. Neither is giving up enough runs to put your team in a position where a comeback is virtually impossible. The Dodgers need a quality #2 and they need him now to stay in this thing. Will they trade for 2? Probably not, but considering how well their so called bargain bin guys are doing, they had better do something pretty soon or they are going to be so far back that they will never catch up. Remember, they have already played the Giants 10 games.

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