Wednesday, June 12, 2024
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Giants/Dodgers Rubber Game Picked up By ESPN

Kenta Maeda

Corey Seager hit his first home run on Saturday evening, but in typical Dodger fashion their late inning rally fell one run short. They usually all do. I’ll have to discuss Dave Robert’s Mattingly-esque decision to have Kike Hernandez bunting in the ninth inning with a runner on second base. It killed that rally. Please stop disappointing me Dave.

Johnny Cueto completely shut the Dodgers down allowing just three hits and one earned run over 7.1 innings. Scott Kazmir had his second consecutive pathetic start allowing four earned runs on seven hits and walking four over just four innings. That’s the second straight time he’s not made it past the fifth inning and my patience is starting to wear thin with him. The Dodgers were also 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position.

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Sunday evening’s rubber game was picked up by ESPN so the Dodgers will be on a national broadcast for the first this season. Kenta Maeda will have his first exposure to a national television audience as well as he makes just his third MLB start. The Giants will counter with Jeff Samardzija.

Dodgers vs. Giants

Utley 2B

Seager SS

Turner 3B

Gonzalez 1B

Puig RF

Grandal C

Kendrick LF

Pederson CF

Maeda P

Jeff Samardzija-1-0 vs. Kenta Maeda-1-0

Game time – 5:05 PM – TV- ESPN

The Shark as they call him was a first look free agent signing by the Giants this winter. San Francisco signed him to a five-year 90 million dollar contract. So far this season Samardzija is 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA through two starts. Last season he posted a 11-13 record and a 4.96 ERA in 32 starts for the White Sox. Samardzjia has faced the Dodgers four times and is 1-2 with a 4.91 ERA. He’s 0-1 with a 6.14 ERA at Dodger Stadium.

The current Dodgers are hitting .444 (15 for 34) in limited action against Samardzija. The Dodgers have posted an 1.135 OPS against him with two home runs. Chase Utley has had success and is hitting .400 (6 for 15) with 3 doubles, a home run, and five runs batted in.

Dodgers vs. Samardzija

Chase Utley 16 15 6 3 1 1 5 1 4 .400 .438 .933 1.371 0 0 0 0 0
Enrique Hernandez 6 6 2 1 1 0 2 0 0 .333 .333 .833 1.167 0 0 0 0 0
Yasiel Puig 4 3 2 0 0 0 0 1 1 .667 .750 .667 1.417 0 0 0 0 0
Adrian Gonzalez 3 3 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 .333 .333 .333 .667 0 0 0 0 0
Howie Kendrick 3 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .333 .333 .333 .667 0 0 0 0 0
A.J. Ellis 2 2 2 0 0 1 2 0 0 1.000 1.000 2.500 3.500 0 0 0 0 0
Justin Turner 2 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .500 .500 .500 1.000 0 0 0 0 0
Total 36 34 15 4 2 2 10 2 7 .441 .472 .853 1.325 0 0 0 0 0


Maeda is making his third start in his brief major league career. His first two starts against the Padres and Dbacks have been nearly identical. In both starts he allowed no runs on five hits over six frames. He struck out four in both start and has walked just one. In one start he earned a win and the other he got a no-decision. He’ll face his first real test tonight against the Giants.

In other news Carl Crawford is nearing a return from his back injury. Unfortunately Hyun-jin Ryu has suffered another setback with a groin injury. Crawford is preparing to go for a triple-A rehab assignment while the club is in Atlanta. According to reports, he’ll rejoin the club in Colorado on April 24. Ryu on the other hand will continue to do arm exercises until his groin heals enough for him to return to throwing.

A win tonight gives the Dodgers a series win and sole possession of first place in the NL West. After Sunday night’s game the Dodgers are off on Monday and then will travel to Atlanta for a three game series Tuesday-Thursday before making their first trip to Colorado over the weekend. Enjoy the game tonight everybody. Memo to Dodgers, please beat those bastards.

Go Blue!

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

43 thoughts on “Giants/Dodgers Rubber Game Picked up By ESPN

  1. I think I remember that there were mixed opinions about what to do with a runner on second and no outs here. I think most were excited that Turner punched a grounder to second to move a runner to third with no outs. It might be interesting to what is said now about using an out to get a runner in scoring position to third.

    There is the old rule about playing for a tie at home and a win on the road. I will take my chances that one of the next three hitters gets a hit to score that run from second instead of using an out to move the runner to third and then hope for a fly ball deep enough to score the run or the right kind of a ground ball.

      1. In that case, Grandal would have to score from second, and not all hits to the outfield, would score Grandal from second.

        Grandal with the infield playing back, would be able to score from third, on a mere grounder, to anyone, because the Giants defense, we’re playing back.

        It didn’t even have to be a flyball. And that has to give the Dodgers, the best odds to score.And the Dodgers would still have another chance with Puig, so I don’t agree.

        And play for the tie at home, is an old baseball adage, and there is a reason for that adage.

  2. Trying to go the other way so that if you make an out the runner moves over is different from deliberately giving up an out to get the runner to third. The SABR guys think the bunt is always a bad play, but I think it depends on the hitter you have at the plate and who’s coming up. As hot as Kike has been and as much as Joc has been striking out I can’t help thinking a bunt was the wrong move.

    But you could also argue Puig should have been in the game sooner. Did anyone really expect Kazmir to be Cueto head-to-head?

  3. Personally I always go for the win. In my opinion the strategy employed by Roberts in the 9th is ok if you are already tied. In the situation we had last night you have Hernandez, Pederson and Puig coming up and you bunt? Not me. I don’t take the bat out of Kiké’s hand. I turn all 3 loose. Win this thing. Send a message.

    Kazmir beat Cueto? I expected it to be won or lost by the bullpen. I feel the same about tonight’s game. And the game after that.

    1. Badger just putting the ball in play, has to be the best odds, for the Dodgers. And like I wrote above, Grandal wouldn’t be able to score, on all hits to the outfield, so moving him to third, was the best odds.

      1. Best odds for a tie MJ. And I agree with that if your strategy is to tie at home. That’s what most people would do. I let Kiké hit. He knows how to go the other way and he knows how to find gaps. He’s currently OPSn 1.176. That’s in Barry Bonds neighborhood.

        And again, just different strategies.

          1. Yeah, he grounded to third and Grandal advanced. I’d like to know how many bunt attempts he’s made as a pro.

  4. snider fan: “Trying to go the other way so that if you make an out the runner moves over is different from deliberately giving up an out to get the runner to third. The SABR guys think the bunt is always a bad play, but I think it depends on the hitter you have at the plate and who’s coming up”.

    Agreed, “going the other way/hitting behind the runner” is ALWAYS the correct play, bunting not so much (But could be). I don’t know for sure what SABR guys think of bunting, but if your right, can we put to bed, FAZ calling the shots and not letting Roberts manage?

    1. Boxout 7 I always try to explain that to people, but they don’t believe it, but everyone here, already knows that, I believe.

  5. Bum Joc redeems himself! He got ahead of the count, and was patient! That was for you Bum, and you deserve it!

  6. Now that was great timing. Jessica Mendoza was right spot discussing Joc’s weird swing, and when he did what she told him to do, he absolutely crushed it

    haha, go Joc!!

  7. OK well this is what we wanted. a 3-1 lead, big game, going to the 8th. We want to know who’s gona be the bridge to Kenley

    Let’s see what happens!!

  8. It really sucks for Kike, because not only is Howie blocking out at second, he is blocking Kike out, of playing leftfield.

  9. Those two outs by Kike and Thompson were hit on the nose. They were just hit right at a defensive player.

  10. My lord, how bad was that home plate ump in the 9th??? That strike zone cam proved him wrong 3-4 times just in that inning

    1. The ump yesterday was real bad. And that is even worse in the ninth inning. And that ESPN guy said, that that was a strike, that Kenley didn’t get. And one guy on the ESPN crew, called Maeda a number two.

  11. It’d be nice for the FAZophobes to grudgingly concede that, “ya know! That Maeda signing wasn’t so bad. Meh…I’ll give FAZ credit for that one ….and maybe we can live without paying Greinke a billion dollars.”

    I won’t hold my breath on that one.

    Hatcher sucks last week. ….I love Hatcher tonight! . What a great game!

    Send Pederson to AAA! …He wins the game tonight.

    It’s a long season. If Hatcher can start pitching like he did at the end of last year….but just do it a little sooner, we’d be happy.

    If Pederson can just hit between .250 and .275 with 25 homers, I’d be happy with that. He’s always going to whiff a lot. That’s just who he’s always been. I can live with the high SO rate…which is comparable to Giancarlo, if it means a few game winners like tonight.

    It’s not too early to start thinking about Maeda as the ROY. He is a rookie, after all. He kept hitters off balance all night, even with him not locating his curveball.

    1. Yes, the Maeda signing is looking good. So are Dodgers, first place, where they belong. Love it!!

      Hatcher looks good. He has great stuff, just keep it on the corners. I still think the bullpen will be a strength. Lots of options to get it right. But, I do like what we have right now.

      Pederson, very happy for him. I guess we have to remember these guys are in early 20’s, with lots to figure out. They are doing better than I was in my 20’s. Good job Joc, but, try choking up a little and just hit the ball in the “middle” with a man on third and less than 2 outs. I would be MUCH MUCH more than happy with .275 and 25 homers.

      Agreed, “not too early to start thinking about Maeda as the ROY”. Is it too early to start thinking about Maeda as the Cy Young winner?

      1. Cy Young? He’s 2-0. Right there with Matt Latos and Ian Kennedy. There are a lot of pitchers starting off well.

        Yes, so far, so good. He’s averaging 6.1 per start, which is about what to expect from a solid #3. His WHIP is 17th in the league and his BAA is 28th. I know you guys are excited about FAZ getting something right, so am I, but let’s just wait and see how that elbow holds up come September before we make declarations about best pitcher in the league.

        Pederson punished a mistake. Good to see that. Now, about that line drive back through the middle with two strikes.

        1. OK, might be a “little” early to declare him (or Matos) Cy Young winner. Kershaw might have something to say about that before it’s over.

          I didn’t mean a line drive back through the middle. I meant hit the ball smack dab in the middle of it. But, yes a liner is what I want to see. Solid contact, getting at least a fly ball (deep).

  12. Maeda is a gamer, and once he starts a game, with better control, he will be able to keep his pitch count down. And Badger, at least he pitched into the seventh, and that was after starting out shakey, with his control.

    Maybe Maeda should get that yearly injection, that Greinke gets, in spring training.
    Some point to this, as a problem, but I see it as maintenance, on Greinke’s part.

    And that Greinke knows his body, and what it takes, to maintain it.

    1. MJ, I definitely see the Greinke “yearly Injection” as a problem. It may be similar to an “oil change”, but, at some point the old engine still gives out. Besides, he isn’t even changing the filter.

      I don’t see Greinke getting through that six year contract without major time(s) on the DL.

        1. Dr. Boxout7, isn’t sure who will go down first, but, thinks both will need TJ surgery sometime over next six years (Haven’t reviewed the medicals). Dr. Boxout7, is sure, which team will be more adversely effected by prognosis becoming fact.

          Thou shall not put all eggs in one basket.

          1. Be honest Dr. When you go to the henhouse to collect eggs, you take one basket with you.

            I’ve been clear about my feelings on Greinke. I believe he will pitch well for at least three to four more years. He is wicked smart and will figure out ways to get people out throwing 70 mph. Maeda worries me for all the obvious reasons. He’s already got issues with his elbow that caused other, albeit more cautious, GM’s (which is all of them) to back off. He’s throwing a different ball on shorter rest and he’s about 155 pounds. He might surprise me. I hope so. I hope my gut feeling is wrong. But, I’ve learned to trust my instincts on these things.

  13. Very astute observation. The Dr. does go to the henhouse with only one basket to collect each day’s bounty. But, the eggs retrieved each day are added to the already large, growing stash of eggs in the refrigerator, that have been collected, nurtured and are constantly being carefully prepared to serve the Dr’s organization, as essentially interchangeable baseball studs, I mean culinary delicacies.

    All kidding aside, if Maeda can just get through this one season, with the creative contract he signed, he will have been a huge Dodger success. The multiple potential # 1’s in the minors will start to arrive after this season, making Maeda not as important in the future.

    I don’t know what Greinke’s “yearly injection” is all about, but, if it was JUST maintenance everybody would do it, it has to be a concern. I think Maeda/Greinke are similar pitchers, relying on off-speed and location. So maybe they have equal chance of elbow lasting or blowing up.

    Lastly, I do know prototypical starting pitcher is 6’4″, 200 – 225 LBS, but, lets hope dynamite truly does come in small packages this year.

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