Thursday, January 26, 2023
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Dodgers Tame Texas in Opener

The Dodgers scored eight runs on fifteen hits and got four scoreless innings from the bullpen to defeat the Rangers 8-4 in the interleague series opener on Tuesday night in Arlington. The Dodgers overcame a lackluster start from Walker Buehler with strong relief pitching and a productive performance from the bats. The Rangers are really bad but the bats knocked around rookie hurler Ariel Jurado for three runs on five hits over his 2.2 innings of work. Eddie Butler got served as well with the Dodger hitters taxing him for five runs on eight hits over 4.1 innings pitched.

The Dodgers plated three runs in the third, two in the fourth and single runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings. The Dodgers were 5 for 17 with runners in scoring position, a nice change of pace from their season long struggles with men on base. Manny Machado collected two hits driving in four runs while Joc Pederson, Justin Turner, Brian Dozier, and Enrique Hernandez all had two hits with Dozier smacking his 20th home run of the season in the fifth frame. Cody Bellinger tripled and scored in the sixth and Hernandez wore his tight pants helping to contribute to his two hits and two runs scored.

Dodgers  8 15 0

Rangers   4 8 3

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The Rangers defense did them no favors as they committed three errors on the night. The Dodgers got on the board in the top of the third when Manny Machado drove home two with a two-run single into center. Dozier’s ground ball single plated Machado later in the inning to put the Dodgers ahead 3-0.

The Rangers ran up Buehler’s pitch count in the bottom of the third as the talented right hander ran into trouble. Buehler allowed two earned runs on four hits across four innings striking out four while walking two. He made 84 pitches and was removed for Caleb Ferguson in the bottom of the fifth. During that bottom half of the third, the Rangers scored twice, getting run scoring knocks from Elvis Andrus and Norma Mazara.

The Dodgers plated two runs in the fourth when Joc Pederson’s RBI single scored Hernandez as the boys in blue took advantage of a throwing error on Shin-Soo Choo. Later in the frame Machado’s sacrifice fly scored Taylor to give the Dodgers a 5-2 lead. In the top of the fifth, Dozier’s solo shot sailed over the center field wall to extend the Dodger’s lead to 6-2. Another RBI single from Machado in the seventh, and a Hernandez sac fly put the Dodgers up by an 8-2 score.

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Meanwhile the bullpen was stellar. Caleb Ferguson, Pedro Baez, Scott Alexander, and Pat Vendiite allowed just a lone hit over the final six innings of the game. Unfortunately Kenley Jansen still looked like garbage, allowing more runs (two tallies on a pair of singles) in the bottom of the ninth. Although he was able to get the final outs on a broken-bat double play. With the win the Dodgers have climbed back to ten games over .500 notching a 71-61 record. If Arizona loses the Dodgers would move to just a single game back of first place. I know the Dodgers are playing some pretty bad teams at the moment, but they’ve now won four in a row. The Dodgers are at least doing what they should be doing; beating the teams they’re supposed to beat. If the Dodgers were to lose to these bottom feeders then we would have a series problem. The Dodgers will wrap up the short two game set on Wednesday evening with southpaw Alex Wood countering fellow southpaw Mike Minor and a first pitch scheduled start time of 5:05 PM PST.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic
http://ladodgerreport.com

30 thoughts on “Dodgers Tame Texas in Opener

  1. Correction, Scott. Kike had 3 hits.

    Solid game for the batters. Our rentals had 6 rbi’s of the 8 runs scored.

    What do we do about Jansen? I guess we just let him play through it. That no-look catch by Jansen for the double play was like a sleight of hand move. Do you think it was luck or did he do it knowingly? Amazing.

  2. Jansen looking very shaky. But with lucky/great glovework. Maybe it’s time to put Jansen back as a catcher for a few weeks. Just kidding.

    One good thing I took from this game was how Buehler fought through a subpar game. He just couldn’t get the outs and had a 37 pitch inning. But the key was he didn’t give in, or try to get lucky or sneak a pitch, he kept mixing and making pitches and held the Rangers to two runs there in a launching pad of a ballpark. There’s a bit of Ryu in this kid.

  3. Here is a thought, since Kike is all of a sudden hot, why not let him catch since neither Grandal or Barnes can seem to buy a hit? He is the emergency catcher after all, and this is an emergency. Grandal was the only starter without a knock. He did walk once though, and he also hit into a rally killing DP, his usual performance lately. AZ lost and the Rockies won, so the Dodgers are now 1 back of both of them.

    1. Yeah. I will buy that Kike catcher lineup for a dollar! Maybe he will call a better game than Grandal. I for one would not be totally shocked by it. We are at about the point of the season where Grandal just breaks down and disappears. Hopefully Barnes has been pacing himself.

      1. You guys have to be kidding, Kike catching? What emergency is there?
        How many teams do you know of where every single positional player is playing at optimum level? There are weak links in every team and players who do some things better than other things. While I’m surprised Grandal has not disappeared completely as a batter due to his annual slumping, he’s certainly contributed his fair share the first half of the season. Has Barnes and Kike contributed optimally all season? Kike is starting to hit RECENTLY. Did you all forget? He was despised till recently as a starter. The Dodgers don’t need to do a boneheaded thing like Kike replacing Grandal. They’ve got enough bats and pitchers to get it done as is. All they need to do is do it, plain and simple. Muncy and the rentals are hot. Turner is on fire. Bellinger is contributing. We’ve still got Kemp and Puig in the wings and Verdugo if needed. Most of the pitchers are settled in. I think we look good even if the teams we beat are not good. We’re supposed to beat them. It’s up to the players to get their heads straight and focused.

        1. Jeff

          Your right, we are suppose to beat last place teams, but don’t get over confident either.

          The Dbacks were facing Bumgarner and the Giants, and although the Giants haven’t been that good this year, we lost the last series we played against them.

          But usually if most of the line up gets hits on this team, it is usually not a sign that we faced good pitching.

          1. Jeff

            And remember Orel said the issue with the Rangers, was the fact they had no pitching, because they have scored more runs then us in August, and since the Allstar break, I believe.

        2. I was kidding. I am getting pretty tired of MR. Automatic out though. I do not expect every player to be performing at optimum level, but last year when Grandal tanked, at least Barnes was a viable option. Grandal’s defense is still shaky, and he has not thrown out a runner since the Truman administration. They have went with Barnes all year as the back up waiting for some sort of miracle. But he has never looked comfortable up at the plate all year. But his defense has been stellar.

        3. Jeff
          Actually the Dodgers don’t need Kike period. He is one of the favorites and that is why he plays. Dummy has no business playing him ahead of Kemp, Puig. He is a backup. I would not be surprised to see him catch as Dummy does dumb stuff.

        4. Hey, he let him pitch and it cost them a game, so why not let him catch? He has played all the other positions. All he needs is one inning. And Jansen said the medication he was taking made him sleepy on the mound, so he quit taking it. Seems like to me, that if he was sleepy, he had no frippen business on the bump in the first place. One reason I will be glad to see this season end. Is the possiblilty that Grandal never catches another game for the Dodgers.

          1. Michael,

            I knew you were kidding but I can relate to what you are feeling about Grandal. He has not been as bad as other seasons with the Dodgers but I would also like to see another viable catcher at least backing him up if not overtaking him. Because Barnes is also a utility player, they keep him around, but I don’t see the point as he has not contributed much to the overall production of the team. Why the FO doesn’t address this I couldn’t say.

            I don’t agree with Package’s total dismissal of Kike. It’s just over the top and repetitive. He doesn’t take into account the improvements that Kike has made and some of the clutch hitting he has come up with. This doesn’t justify his poor first half performance and very low OB%, but he has contributed overall as well as Joc has this year. Every team needs utility players and Kike is our Utley for the foreseeable future. He is also not that expensive.

      2. YF

        I have a question, remember that article in Fangraphs about the Dodgers not being good in clutch situations?

        In the LA Times on 27th, the writer expanded a little on that article, and mentioned the OPS that our worse hitters had in these clutch moments, but remember in the Fangraphs article, they mentioned only the players that were at the bottom, but they never mentioned each player’s OPS, in these situations.

        And the writer McCullough said Joc’s OPS was 294, in these situations.

        I just want to know if that was correct, because that sounds so low, and this writer doesn’t always get his facts right?

        After all, Grandal’s OPS was in the 500s in this same article, and as you know, that is considered low too.

        But 294 doesn’t sound right, but I don’t know that for sure.

  4. Jeff
    Actually the Dodgers don’t need Kike period. He is one of the favorites and that is why he plays. Dummy has no business playing him ahead of Kemp, Puig. He is a backup. I would not be surprised to see him catch as Dummy does dumb stuff.

  5. Dodgers who will be free agents at the end of the year……Grandal…Dozier…Machado..Kershaw, if he opts out…..Axford….Hudson….McAllister.. Utley is retiring and does not count. Lots of relievers on the market this winter, plus some big ticket players. Going to be interesting to see who FAZ targets, if he still has a job. Oh I forgot Ryu, he is a FA also.

    1. Not sure how sarcastic Michael is being there, but from where i sit there’s zero chance Friedman and Zaidi aren’t back if they want to be.

      I figure Wood and Pederson are each a no-brainer for Arbitration. I wouldn’t mind going into it with Cingrani either.

  6. Arbitration eligible Dodgers. Puig….Wood….Fields…..Pederson……Cingrani…..Koehler….Baez…….Hernandez….Rosscup….Garcia…Seager and Taylor…..So, who gets kept???? Puig making 9 mil this year, Seager 605 thousand….Question, what do you pay guys who have spent most of the year on the DL??? Seager and Koehler. Fields also has spent significant time injured as has Cingrani. I have no doubt they will resign those last two. Anyone on this list you think does not get offered arbitration??

  7. Here is a kicker….they are paying Yasiel Sierra close to 20 million over the next 3 years and he is not on any of the minor league rosters and from what I have seen, he has not pitched anywhere this year…what a waste of money. Ala, Hector Alvarez. And they are still on the hook for some of his money and he is not playing anywhere either.

  8. Here is a little tidbit. The Dodgers are paying Yasiel Sierra close to 20 million over the next 3 years and as far as I can see, he is no longer in the organization. They are paying Hector Olivera over 9 million for the next 2 years…2019 , 2020. That’s some really efficient spending there FAZ. Neither contributed bupkis to the major league team.

  9. By the numbers……..name your favorite Dodger player by the number they wore…..warning….for some of us, this will show our age…players only, not managers….1. Pee Wee Reese….2 Don Demeter….3 Willie Davis…4 Duke Snider…5 Corey Seager….6 tough one, so I have 3…Fairly, Garvey and Furillo. 7…. Steve Yeager….8 Reggie Smith…9 easy…Wally Moon….10..Ron Cey….11…Manny Mota…..12….Dusty Baker……13….Joe Ferguson…..14…Gil Hodges…he belongs in the hall….15…Davey Lopes…..16….Ron Perranoski….17…AJ Ellis…..18….Bill Russell….19 again, easy…Jr Gilliam….20…Don Sutton…..21…..Jim Brewer…..22….Kershaw…with a nod to Billy Buckner and Brett Butler….23…..Kirk Gibson and Claude Osteen….25….Frank Howard……26…Tim Wallach…27….Matt Kemp & Phil Regan…..28….Wes Parker & Pedro Guererro….29 Adrian Beltre……30..again, no contest…Maury Wills……31…Mike Piazza…..32….Koufax…..33…Eddie Murray…..34….Fernando…….35……Bob Welch…..36.. Steve Bilko……37….Darren Dreifort…..38…Ramon Martinez….39..Campy….we will stop at 40…..Bill Singer…….special additions….42..Robbie….43…Mondesi…..44 Al Downing…53..Big D…..66…the wild horse…and 99….Manny!

        1. Jonah
          You sure got well quick! Good for you!! He has Matt’s number right but Matt is not my favorite player but he is certainly disrespected by Dummy who on my list on all managers I have seen in MLB ranks Last. I truly cannot stand Dummy. Fire him, do it now!!!!!!!!!!!!

        2. No I do not…Kemp and Regan wear and wore 27….get your head out of that Donkeys ass you have as your gravitar. The number is in front of the players name, not behind it…

          1. My mistake, quite so. A thousand pardons. Make that two thousand, call it inflation…

            make

  10. Jeff
    I dismiss Kike because he is not worth a starting position. Do you want a starter hitting around the Mendoza line? The only reason he is here is because of the FO and Dummy does everything exactly the way they want it. The Dodgers don’t need Joc either. They need to go. It isn’t about being expensive. It is about playing well and they do not contribute enough to stay with a large market team.

    1. Every team has players like Kike and Joc. EVERY TEAM!! It is not possible to have all position players be all-stars or start every game, night and day. No team plays like that. Plus, the financials will not support a team of all stars, just too darn expensive. Whining will not change this. You make statements about the FO that you could not possibly know but are sure of it! This is illogical. You are not a mind reader and you have no particular inside information so this is all in your imagination. You’re stretching the truth to fit your ideas which are not substantiated. Please watch the games and stop thinking so much.

      And…..Kike is not a starter. He is a situational player as is Joc, as is Muncy, as is Barnes. Can the Dodgers improve? Of course. In fact, both Joc and Kike have improved this year, Barnes has not. Muncy, being the wild card of the season much like Taylor was last year, deserves PT. He won’t be a regular starter because of his defense, but he will be used situationally.

  11. Jeff
    Of course every team has players that are backups. They just are not as bad as Joc and Kike. No one said every player had to be an all star. YOU DID!! You have no idea about what I know or don’t know. Who are you to tell me to just watch the games and quit thinking so much?? You just don’t like any criticism to any player. Well guess what? You want to make this personal, go ahead. Who are you to have an opinion of of who deserves the playing time. Kike and Joc play enough to be starters. I have every right to express my opinion just like you and if you do not like it, stick it!! You need to stick to your opinion and stop deciding what I should do.

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