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Kazmir and Offense Shine, Hatcher Blows. Dodgers Win 8-4

Joc Pederson is back! But Cory Seager, Clayton Kershaw, Casey Fien and Hyun-Jin Ryu are now out. The universe is a cruel and cold place. Here’s how tonight’s opening game between Scott Kazmir and rookie pitcher Reynaldo Lopez went.

1st inning
Just after the start of the game, I jumped in my car, hoping for a quick dash home. I turned the ballgame on the radio and it was the bottom of the first. The Dodgers were already up 3-0!  Chase Utley led off the game with a home run.

Joc Pederson, fresh off the disabled list, then knocked in two runs with a single.

2nd inning  Dodgers 3-0
After a quick stop at the supermarket, I jumped back in my car, and turned on the radio just in time to hear the bottom of the second inning. The Dodgers were up 4-0 (on an Utley RBI single), and I hadn’t seen a run score yet.
Like I said, the universe is a cold, cold place.

3rd inning  Dodgers 4-0
In the meantime, Scott Kazmir had been effectively shutting down the Nationals.

4th inning  Dodgers 4-0
I finally got home to catch (naturally) the bottom of the fourth. I hadn’t seen any Dodger offense up to that point, but I did tune in to the game just in time to catch the Dodgers’ defensive unit’s circus act. Chase Utley and Chris Taylor collided in short center field when Utley, while catching a pop fly, crashed into Taylor, and sent him tumbling on the ground.

On the next batter, Taylor got a shot at another pop fly. This time the ball was right over the pitchers mound. Taylor stumble/ran up the mound, and leaped straight into the air to make the catch.

5th inning  Dodgers 4-0
Howie Kendrick and Justin Turner were on base after a pair of lead off singles.
Adrian Gonzalez, Mr. Butter and Eggs, smacked an RBI single right through short. 5-0.

After swinging for the fences and missing both times, Yasiel Puig came up with an RBI single of his own. That drove the Nationals’ rookie pitcher, Reynaldo Lopez, from the game. 6-0

Kazmir picked up his sixth strikeout, but he also grooved a fastball over the middle, and gave up a solo homerun. 6-1

6th inning  Dodgers 6-1
There was some trepidation about Kazmir after he landed awkwardly on his leg in the previous inning. He got out of the inning, but the TV broadcast team felt Kazmir showed discomfort doing so, and his night was done. So there was some surprise when Kazmir came out to the mound for the seventh.
He successfully completed the inning, but his landing mechanics appeared tweaked. Manager Roberts and pitching coach Honeycutt watched Kazmir intensely from the dugout. Job done.

7th inning. Dodgers 6-1
Kazmir notched his eighth strikeout of the day, and kept the Nationals scoreless.

8th inning  Dodgers 6-1
Chase Utley knocked  in his third RBI the night, with a single. 7-1
Chris Hatcher came in and quickly set fire to everything the Dodgers had built. He faced three batters and gave up two runs. 7-3
Adam Liberatore in. By the time this mess of an inning had run its course, it was 7-4, and the Nationals were within three runs.

9th inning  Dodgers 7-3
Yasmani Grandal came up with a home run to make it 8-4.

Kenley Jansen in. Job done.

Dodgers win! 8-4

Kazmir was on tonight. His fastball was working very well. He was hitting his spots and bringing it at speeds hovering around 93 mph. He was efficient and effective, racking up eight strikeouts on just 88 pitches.

Bonus: It was the first time Kazmir completed seven innings since May.

The Dodgers bats started strong against the rookie, Lopez, scoring thee runs before the seats were warm.
They also remained consistent, picking up hits, and scoring runs through multiple innings, including  RBIs from Yasiel Puig, and another home run from Yasmani Grandal.

The one sour note of the night: Chris Hatcher absolutely tanked it tonight. He only faced three batters, and was credited with all three runs scored against. The skipper knows Hatcher cannot be trusted in tight games, and tonight Hatcher showed he shouldn’t be used in blowouts – at least not in the ones the Dodgers are winning.

Scott Kazmir (W 8-3) went a strong seven with 4 hits, 1 run, 1 HR, 0 walks, 8 K’s.  ERA 4.30

Home runs: Grandal, Utley

Doubles: Turner, Taylor

Team with RISP: 5 for 14  Lots of opportunities tonight. I would have loved 8 or 9 for 14, but they got the job done well enough tonight. It was a good win.


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.

66 thoughts on “Kazmir and Offense Shine, Hatcher Blows. Dodgers Win 8-4

  1. I did not see any of the game tonight. I guess I could have but it was our 19th Anniversary and I made a conscious decision to stay married! 😉

    Great dinner and a foreign film (New Zealand), and the Dodgers won. I admit I sneaked peaks here and there on my Smart Phone. KAZ may be getting it together. I’m not throwing in the towel, but I don’t risk Kershaw. If he can’t go, then be sellers and hoard prospects.

    If he can go, I’m all in. I don’t think we need much, but we do need Clayton. BTW, my step-daughter and Son-in-Law were at Fenway tonight giving me blow-by-blow. He’s a big Sox Fan.

    Here we come!

  2. I saw most of it. Our offense clobbered a rookie, and that’s a good thing. Kazmir looked good. He’s now the ace of the staff, which is a scary thought. Yeah, Hatcher blows, so maybe we replace him. As long as the offense stays awakes it gives us opportunity to win. And it appears the giants have hit the schneid we knew was coming eventually. That’s always a good thing. Here we come? Or, there they go? Whatever. I agree we don’t win much of anything without Kershaw. We all must feel that and the numbers sure say it. Where’s De Leon?

  3. De Leon is still in the bunker getting stretched out and building his core muscles. Oh did you want him to pitch? He’s being prepared for hand to hand combat.

    1. He’s the next guy up. It’s time. Everyone else on this staff is a 5-6 inning guy, De Leon is doing that in Oklahoma, and doing it with swing and miss stuff, 13k/9, so, what’s the hold up? Throw him against the Cards on Friday.

  4. Sometimes an injury can be a good thing. Maybe the Dodgers have relied on Kershaw way too much. Now he is not there and it may be a long time. Back injuries are unpredictable. I am hoping we will see more games like last night. Good pitching, good hitting and good defense. Maybe everyone will feel like they need to do a little more. I have never seen so many injuries. If anyone says we have no depth, they are wrong. I do not understand why Toles did not score from third. Another base running mistake.

    1. giants and Dodgers both 5-5 in last 10. And you might want to check their injury list. Funny how their system is not ranked that high but the guys they bring up seem to know how to play at this level. When Panik, Duffy and Pence get back I believe they will improve on 5-5.

      I just saw that Cain is scheduled to pitch against Pomeranz. Boston heavy favorites (-170). As is Washington, though not as heavy (-148).

      1. Badger
        It has always seemed that way with any player the Giants bring up.

        That is why it is hard to believe that our minor league system is so much better.

        They obviously have good instructors in the minors, especially when it comes to hitting.

        I think our system probably has better pitching prospects, then the Giants.

        And we might not have a lot of position prospects, but we can trade some of our pitching prospects, to get what we need.

        I looked at some of Friedman’s moves, and most of his good moves, were from getting really good prospects, from teams, at the trade deadline.

        Maybe that is a little better way, to see what your getting, because a lot of those prospects, are further a long in there career, and closer to big league ready.

        1. I saw the giants up close a few weeks ago and they all looked like football players. They are a scary bunch, and I just read they will be on the lookout this deadline. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Chapman land there. From what I’ve been reading they really want to go for it again. They are close, especially if all their guys get back.

          Tailon left in game after taking a 105 mph line drive on the head? Really? Concussion protocols?

          Dodgers with second easiest schedule the rest of the way. If you believe Baseball Prospectus the giants will play 4 1/2 game worse than the Dodgers because of it. Isn’t that interesting.

          1. Badger
            The players on the Orioles looked really really big to me.
            And that was on TV.

            Have you seen the Dodger players lately?

            Once Cory fills out, he is going to be one big guy.

            Belt is the player on the Giants that looks really big to me.

            And of course Bumgarner.

            I read some Giants fans comments, and it sounds like Belt isn’t hitting much like he was early, and he is striking out a lot.

            I think Pence tried to rush his recovery, and I think he had a little set back too.

            And what Pence had, was major.

            The Marlins are not that far from us right now, and I don’t want to face them in a one game play off, so I hope one of the other teams, start taking charge.

            Bonds has helped a lot with the Marlins hitting.

            And when the season began, and the Marlins weren’t playing that well, Mattingly said something in the press about Bonds not doing his job.

            Mattingly is living a charmed life, because without Bonds, a lot of these Marlin’s players, wouldn’t be hitting that well.

            If we had to face them, we would have to face Fernandez, and that would be tough.

    2. Idahoal
      I don’t think anyone is saying that the Dodgers have no depth.

      What people are saying, that there is to many second rate starting pitchers.

      They are saying the Dodgers have to much quanity, instead of quality.


      1. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, every team in baseball has the exact same number of players in their pool. How are you measuring depth? If it’s having Major League ready players, where are ours? We need a pitcher, who do we go to? A 19 year old? Some tepid noodle arm named Tepesch? We need an outfielder we go to Toles? Who’s he? We need ANOTHER utility guy it’s somebody Seattle dumped for Zach “Can you believe they gave me $5,000,000” Lee? We allegedly have this deep system and there is nobody there that can help. Why? Because ’16 is not the target year, that’s why.

  5. I don’t think Kershaw is as bad, as some think.

    He might have just pushed himself to soon.

    Kershaw might just be back to where he was, when he first went out.

    And if that is true he isn’t as bad as everyone is thinking.

    Because where he was before, was very early in a disc problem.

    It was so early that his disc is capable of not being permanently injured.

    With a mild disc heriation, like Kershaw had before, the disc has a good chance, to going back to normal, because the disc heriation was caught very early, that is why Kershaw could still come back.

    I think that Kershaw just got out there to soon, and pushed himself to early, because that is Kershaw’s personality.

    This will give Kershaw a lesson in patient this time around.

    I am sure Kershaw as well as the trainer helping him in his recovery, will put the breaks on Kershaw this time around, if he gets out there to soon.

    That injection blocked some of his pain, so he probably thought he was further along.

    Kershaw was out there throwing at the Allstar game, and probably doing way to much to soon.

    If Kershaw disc is not any worse, Kershaw will be back.

    But I was worried that Kerhaw might try to do to much to soon, and his trainer, and his doctor need to slow him down!

    Kershaw is such a great pitcher, that he gets to do almost anything he wants, that is why he needs someone to watch him, and make sure he doesn’t do to much, to soon this time around.

    What Kershaw had wrong with his disc initially was not a disc problem like some think, it was more a disc irritation, it wasn’t a full disc heriation.

    That why they said it was mild.

  6. Well Mark’s theory that Hatcher is better in the 2nd half started off on a rocky note……he sucks…period. A story on says the Dodgers are gearing up for a major trade. I heard and saw the same thing on MLB network yesterday. Center of the rumors is the Rays. And Yasiel Puig a big part of it. It might expand to include Longoria, who is having a career year, and it might not. But pitching is definitely a part. Of course, I will believe it when I see it….

  7. They get the Nationals ACE today…..and we counter with……….Norris……well, they both are undefeated for their present teams…….and the comparison ends there……..he is not a relative by the way….neither is Chuck…………………although I have met Chuck……Urias back in the rotation……I guess the innings limit thing is out the window….with Kersh gone for a while…

  8. Badger, what is wrong with a 19 year old pitcher? Sure he is 19′ but if he can throw, let him throw. Toles looks pretty good to me. How about giving him time and a chance. Tepesch is gone. One game and they let him go. Get over it. Everyone they bring up you bad mouth. How about Seager, is he ok? Yes, the youngsters may be a year away. But with all the injuries, they had to do something. FAZ has tried to rebuild the farm system in three years. I think they have done a good job.

    1. Faz has been here less than 2 years…..and the rebuild started prior to his arrival. As far as Urias goes, you want to see what happens to a guy who is young and has never thrown a lot of innings, look at Strasburg and Harvey. Both were thrown into the fray and had some success, and a lot of trouble later. The kid has never thrown more than 80 innings in any year. He is not even fully grown yet. You want to burn out his arm, go ahead. TJ surgery just around the corner. He is NOT Fernando. He rely’s mainly on his heater, his other pitches are still developing. I think what Badger was alluding too as far as the guys they have brought up, Toles, Taylor and the signing of Tepesch, They are the same kind of second tier cheap moves they have made since they got here. They have not acquired one single player who has made an immediate impact, be it a pitcher, or a position guy. Even Norris is a low cost rental. The farm system is pretty good, but most of the kids are pitchers. They have very few top of the line position players in the pipeline and zero at AAA. Toles is a reclamation project who did well in the minors, whether or not he can produce at the big league level remains to be seen. He has a lot of talent. Yes, the injuries have made the demand greater than it should have been. And guys they expected to contribute in some way are now not going to do that anytime soon…..Ethier, Ryu and Kershaw. Anderson is said to be throwing again, but is he an upgrade from what they have right now? I doubt it. Seager was signed before the FAZTER got here……

  9. DeLeon pitches tonight for OKC, which means he couldn’t be available up here until Monday. Maybe Brock Stewart gets another shot on Friday. Or maybe Bolsinger comes back up!!!!!!

    Either way, I do believe we are going all in to obtain a young #2 type arm. Which means 24 year old De Leon would be the centerpiece for that. As much as I”ve loved DeLeon the last few years in the minors, I would understand sending him away for an impact arm now.

    Joc’s 2 out, 2 run single last night was the key moment of the game. 1-0 vs 3-0 is HUGE. He came thru. Hopefully his shoulder is a tad tender, so he cant swing for 500foot hr’s anymore, and he has to become a real hitter.

    1. Bobby
      I aree Joc’s two out single, was a big hit.

      And somewhere I read, the Dodgers are really not as bad, as we think, about hitting runs in, with one out or less.

      There biggest deficit is hitting in runs, is hitting in runs, with two outs.

      And I have no problem with Joc, if he shortens his swing with two strikes, and especially when runners are in scoring position.

      I also agree with what Orel said, that Joc’s injury just might make him a better hitter, because of him being so cautious about his shoulder.

      I sure hope that will happen, because we need more hitters.

  10. I think Gio Gonzalez goes tonight. Not Nat’s ace, but still good. We might miss Strasburg. As long as we keep hitting, pitching isn’t as important. Thank God. How about Ryu? I thought he would be back and help, but my guess now is that he will be unproductive for the rest of the year. Maeda has to figure it out because his role has become most important. McCarthy, Kazmir, Maeda, and the others might be good enough to get us there if we hit and if the bullpen stays strong. I guess McCarthy is our #1 now. Not good. I think size DOES matter. Unless you wear 66. The top 3 guys in the lineup are raking. I like Kendrick in there somewhere. With all the injuries, this might be the season when September call ups can make names for themselves and might help give this year an interesting finish. Some of the guys at OKC are just as good as some of those on the big league team. Give them a shot. I still want Culberson to come back. I don’t know why he gets passed over. Probably office politics.

    1. Gio isn’t the National’s ace, but he is a leftie pitcher.

      And when Roberts puts that almost all rightie platoon line up on the field, that line up, makes any leftie, look like an ace.

      And most of those games, that this line up is in, almost always, turns into a loss.

  11. I don’t believe that a #2 type arm is available in the trade market. Who is anyone going to trade who is really a #2? None of the Rays’ guys qualify.

    I am reminded of when Ned Colletti first darkened the Dodgers’ door. It seemed like there wasn’t a former Giant he didn’t try to sign. (remember Jason Schmidt and Bill Mueller? How did that go?)

    Now, Friedman is doing the same with former Rays. Great.

    How about just trying to get the best players and best deals, regardless of what teams they used to play for?

    1. Dodger rick
      I agree, go for the best players, but Archer, just might be more then a second pitcher, in the National league.

  12. Why Luis Avilan? He sucked in spring training and since. Left handed? No one better? DeLeon goes tonight.

    1. Bobbie17
      Avilan pitched really well, the last time he pitched at the big league level.

      I don’t think he wants to go back to AAA to soon, so he might be ok.

  13. Logan Bawcom. Great name. Been in the minors a long time now with OKC. Spot start last night. Bring him up next.

  14. Nothing wrong with a 19 year old pitcher al. But clearly he wasn’t ready and he wasn’t supposed to be. Yeah, I know, “he has nothing left to learn”. But, The Plan did not call for his call up. We went to him out of desperation. And if you recall its been me saying the system would take time to overhaul. 2018. Ring any bells? Yeah, Toles and Taylor have looked good. Is that good sustainable? Prolly not. We had Turner as utility, then we had Hernandez, then Kendrick played everywhere, Utley has utilitied on occasion. Utility Barnes is doing well at AAA, as is Segedin, but so what? Follow the bouncing ball.

    De Leon trade now? We didn’t use him at the deadline last year, why now? We don’t need an arm, we have Anderson and Wood, the same guys we had last year when we didn’t go after Hamels. That worked well as the two of them combined for an 18.00 ERA in the playoffs. Anderson Wood. Sounds like a window company. Glass. Perfect.

    Longoria might be going somewhere, but not here. Chapman will be moved, but not to LA. Deadline chaos will ensue of course, but I don’t expect the Dodgers to be mixed up in it.

    I will be shocked if FAZ tries to pull one out of their ass this month. I just don’t see it. But, again, surprise me.

  15. Tim Locastro made a recent jump from RC to Tulsa, and has stayed hot. Short stop. Might see him at 2B someday. Kyle Garlic from RC started slow, but seems to have found his groove at Tulsa.

  16. Badger, I do not think we will make a big splash before the deadline either. If we do it will come before the deadline. A lot depends on Kershaw. Bob Feller starting throwing when he was 18. If I remember correctly he was pretty good pitcher and pitched for a long time. In my opinion a screwball pitch is much harder on your arm than a fast ball, if you throw the fast ball with ease.

    1. You’re right about the screwball. Now it’s a two seamer that rolls off the middle finger with outward rotation. According to the kinesiologistic biomechanics out there, it’s supposed to be easier on the arm. Not sure about that as we seem to see a lot of TJ surgeries being performed. Maybe it’s just from throwing too hard. It’s my opinion 98 is a great tool, but working off speed in between those heaters is how to not only get hitters out, but it also might help lengthen a career.

      Joey Nuxhall pitched at age 15. He had a 67.5 ERA that year. He wasn’t ready either. Feller pitched at age 17. Gooden at age 19. I think it safe to call all those guys outliers. I would rather Urias takes his time.

      1. Badger
        I really think that Stewart had a much better first game in the bigs, then Urias.

        Stewart is more mature, because he is older, and he played baseball in college.

        I was hoping the Dodgers would bring him up, instead of Urias.

        I think Urias needs to pitch
        deeper into games, and do that in AAA next year.

        He can’t do that this year, because his pitch count is way to high right now.

        Urias just hasn’t pitched deep enough into games, and so he isn’t ready to pitch in the majors.

        Like I have said before, there are a lot of pitchers, that can pitch through a line up two times, without having any real problems.

        Starting pitchers, in the majors, are expected to pitch through a line up more then just two times.

        And Urias is not equipped to pitch through a line up, more then two times.

        He also hasn’t built up his arm enough, to pitch deeper into games.

        Stewart only had one bad inning, and in a the other innings he pitched, he didn’t allow a run.

  17. Speaking of Garlick (which I just added to my curry chicken, but that’s another story…)

    I really am rooting for Ryan Garlick to make it only because he’s a right handed bat with pop that can play OF/1b. All of our impact hitters that are on the up are left handed (Bellinger, Verdugo, Calhoun). Combine that with Joc and Seager, and we’re quite left, on the young side. Like in politics, I’d rather be balanced

    Future Dodger Chris Archer pitches today at noon at Colorado; be good to see how his stuff is, especially over there. Another future Dodger, Justin Verlander, is going right now vs Minny. His stuff does look at bit better; hes throwing 94. His ERA is also below 4, which would qualify him to be our #2 asap

    1. Bobby
      That is a tough call on Archer in Colorado.

      I do think Chris Archer would be a much better pitcher, in the National league.

      He is young, and look how well Lackey has done in the National League.

      And Lackey is older, and doesn’t have the same stuff, that Archer has.

      1. Good Point.

        Here’s the thing: There are reports all over the Web that FAZ is going Big!


        But, maybe not!

        They could just be keeping everyone honest! Make ’em pay more!

        I have no opinion, but like Badger said: I we didn’t trade De Leon last year, why now?

  18. Chris Archer
    This year – 4 – 13, 4.68, WHIP 1.415. This is not a good pitcher this year. He walks almost 4 per 9 ip.

    Lifetime – 36 – 45, 3.56, WHIP 1.227.

    And he’s not that young – he’s 27. This is his 4th full season in the majors.

    Dodger fans are judging Puig as not that good. This is his 3rd full season in the majors and he’s 25.

    Maybe Archer is what he is?

    The comparison to Lackey is inapt. Lackey was a star who looked to be over-the-hill and remade himself a couple of years ago. Archer has had 1 really good year (2015), just like Puig has.

    I have read the reports that Friedman is “going big” too, but they have only referenced talks with the Rays. That doesn’t sound like “going big” to me.

    No way the Braintrust is going after Verlander. He is old and overpriced – just the type of guy that they won’t go after – ‘nor should they.

    1. Dodger rick
      I would say that Chris Archer’s era, really isn’t that bad, because he has been pitching in the American League east.

      And he has been pitching to much longer line ups, with little run support.

          1. Dodger rick
            Did I ever say that Archer is better then Kershaw?
            I said Archer was the same age is Kershaw, and you said that 27 wasn’t young.

  19. The Dodgers have announced that lefty Alex Wood will “undergo an arthroscopic debridement” of his pitching elbow. The southpaw is expected to miss eight weeks after the surgery is complete, per the announcement.

  20. Big Splash at the trade deadline……lol…..this should be good. But I’m betting a lot of money that there is no big splash!

    But what makes this a little different than last year is that there aren’t any good FA pitchers available in the off season. The ONLY way for any team to acquire pitching now or prior to next year is to deal for them. That’s why the Giants, Red Sox, Cubs, Cardinals (to a lesser degree) did what they did. They all had vision. I’ve harped on it for over a year now that FAZ has no vision. A few want to call me out for it but the facts/results are obvious.

    So either they trade top prospects OR they get no ‘good’ pitching help (and that includes going into next season).

      1. There are a decent amount if not a lot of pitchers available after next season….Jake Arrieta being one of them.

  21. Cory, Joc, and Utley are not playing.

    The insanity continues.

    And Turner and Puig have reverse numbers against lefties.

    At least Robert could have had Howie bat second.

  22. Cory still with stomach virus. Hatcher to DL (reason unspecified); Culberson called up. Great – a whole team of utility infielders.

    1. And Gio held the Dodgers scoreless for eight innings last year.

      Why after seeing what happen with this platoon team against the Dbacks, would Roberts do this again.

      Roberts brought the best players in, in the ninth, in that last platoon game, and the Dodgers almost won the game.

      Hatcher is oblique injury.

      Why don’t they just get rid of this guy?

      Is it a way to try to help Hatcher pitch better, like last year, or did Hatcher say this, so he wouldn’t be dropped.

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