Monday, January 30, 2023
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Kenta Maeda, Joc Pederson, and Dodgers Cast Shadow Over Giants

Joc Pederson

Japanese import Kenta Maeda and center fielder Joc Pederson delivered big for the Dodgers on Sunday evening during their 3-1 victory over the Giants on ESPN Sunday night baseball. Maeda’s solid pitching and Joc’s huge two-run home in the fifth frame were the difference makers for the Dodgers. The victory gave the Dodgers a series win and sole possession of first place in the NL West. The Dodgers actually defeated the Giants and were not embarrassed on a nationally broadcasted game. Sounds good to me.

The late start game time featured full shadow updates from the ESPN crew. They were in midseason form with the shadow analysis. Ironically Kenta Maeda cast a shadow over the Giant hitters throughout the game. The right hander struggled with his command early. He walked two in the first inning, which is a rare feat for the control specialist. Maeda had only walked one during his first two starts. He finished the game with three, and none of the free passes scored.

Giants    1 5 0

Dodgers 3 6 0

WP-Maeda-2-0

LP-Samardzija-1-1

SV-Jansen-5

HR-Panik-2-Pederson-2

Maeda used his ability to get hitters to swing at bad pitches out of the strike zone, limiting the Giants to just one earned run on 4 hits across 7 innings pitched. He struck out seven and did a magnificent job mixing his pitches to keep hitters off balance. The only blemish on his otherwise outstanding night was a solo home run to Joe Panik in the top of the third inning. He also got a huge double play (Matt Duffy) to escape a first and second jam in the top of the fourth inning.

The Dodgers came from behind off of opposing starter Jeff Samardzija, who looked to be on top of his game early on in the game. In the bottom of the fifth, Yasmani Grandal walked, and Joc blasted his second home run of the season into the right field pavilions. The Dodgers went ahead 2-1. They added an insurance run later in the seventh inning. Yasiel Puig singled and stole second base.

Grandal singled off of Brandon Crawford’s glove. The shortstop made a nice diving stop to keep the ball in the infield, but could not get the out at first. With no play at first, Puig seized the opportunity to come around and score. Crawford’s throw to home was on the mark, but Buster Posey dropped the ball. It was ballsy base running, but I liked it!

The Dodger bullpen took things the rest of the way. Chris Hatcher pitched a scoreless eighth inning, and Kenley Jansen came in to pitch the top of the ninth. Maeda picked up his second win as a Dodger and Jansen earns his fifth save of the season. The Giants were 0 for 4 with runners in scoring position.

With the win the Dodgers improve to 8-5 on the year, and go into their second road trip of the season with a winning home stand. Monday the Dodgers are off and then they travel to Atlanta to begin a six-game road trip. They’ll play three in Atlanta, and three in Colorado over the weekend. Beating the Giants feels so good! It’s a great way to end the week for everyone. Go Blue!

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

53 thoughts on “Kenta Maeda, Joc Pederson, and Dodgers Cast Shadow Over Giants

  1. The way Maeda’s pitches weaves on the edges, reminds me a lot of Leary in 1988. Unlike Belcher, who was a former No. 1 overall pick, Leary came out of nowhere that year to become an unheralded number 2 behind Hershiser.

  2. Indeed a very fun game. I really hope Meada collects every cent of the incentive part of his contract and thus inspire more signings as such. Goes to show when a player targets being with the Dodgers so highly he’s got winning foremost. Wish Giants were sticking around Dodger Stadium for more than three.

  3. Out of 30 teams, the Dodgers are 3rd in Fielding %, 5th in Runs Scored, 6th in runs allowed, 3rd in starting ERA and the relievers have cut 1.50 Runs off their ERA (now 4.04) in a week. There are still 11 on the DL and the Dodgers are bringing De Leon and Urias along slowly.

    This team is solid if not spectacular… but they could get spectaculareeerrrr as players get healthy and trades are made. The FAZ bashing has stopped as I think fans are starting to “get it!” Again, I find it amazing that the comments slow down when the Dodgers win….

    1. And when the Dodgers stumble, and look like crap, the FAZophants, such as yourself, are much quieter.

      We are a divided house, that’s true. But for you to insinuate what you do is nothing more than a cheap shot. We are ALL Dodgers fans and none of us want to see them fail. And we all “get it”. The organization’s plan isn’t that complicated. And we know you think we are morons, you certainly have said it often enough.

      This team, like many Dodger teams of late, is starting off just fine. They are hardly tearing it up, currently the 7th best record in MLB. I’m glad to see them in first place.

      One game at a time, to the deadline. Where will we be on July 31st? And will all those players who have landed on the DL be able to come back 100%? If they do, this team will have some interesting choices to make. If they don’t? And since it seems to be a pattern, who might be next to go down?

      It’s no secret we are among the leaders in odds to win the World Series. We should be. We have the talent and we have the resources. This is a very good baseball team. Only one in here believes the team will finish below .500. But are we really good enough to win it all? That is the goal, is it not?

      1. I think the point that Mark illustrates is also put on display by this post, where a satisfying win results in a tone of indignation. Some of you folks have invested so much being critical of this front office that a winning team, one that seems to go according to plan – at least initially, puts you in an awkward position. Either you melt away in rhetorical despondency, become defensive, or re-craft your position.

        Look, let’s all be happy that the Dodgers won and hope they continue to win. I think you’d enjoy the game a little more, and the Dodger’s success – if it hopefully continues -a little more if you would just grudgingly accept that The Plan, which you know profess to understand, ain’t a bad one.

        I enjoy having differences of opinion by intelligent and informed baseball fans. Do you ever read the comments on DD? Ugh! I respect Dodgerrick and his opinion, love reading AC’s posts, take pleasure in clowning on Truther and reading his comebacks, and enjoy your wit and prose, MJ’s passion…and all the rest that makes this great commentary.

        We get annoyed with each other, but we’re all still Dodger fans. You wanna know what sight I’ve always found really annoying? I can’t stand Hardballtalk and Calceterra. It’s like me reading the Huffington Post. Here’s a recent attempt at drama dredging: How dare they attack Vin.

        http://mlb.nbcsports.com/2016/04/17/vin-scully-ripped-into-ryan-howard-on-friday-for-some-reason/#comment-1024221

        1. I noticed the indignation too. In Mark’s post.

          Finding flaws in construction is not being negative, it’s actually being constructive. You have cracks in your foundation, you don’t know about them but when somebody points them out to you, you gonna say “negs gonna neg”?

          Yeah, some might do just that.

          I saw issues, and said the same thing with Anderson and McCarthy and I heard the same bullshit then that I’m hearing now. I love the Dodgers – and I like this team. I have some suggestions that I think would make it better and I have some cautions I would look out for. I submit that FAZ has the same cautions as I see them making backup plans for the very issues that concern me. Some call it negative and I say the reason they do is for the same reason others get calledout on – an investment in an opinion.

          As for “the #1 rated farm system”. Yeah. Great. I hope they are as advertised because we are going to need them. Hell, just a few games in and we have a full rotation plus bullpen help and half a starting lineup on the DL.

          Yes, there are worse sites. This one could be better. I’ll continue to try to do my part to make it an interesting place to talk Dodger baseball.

    2. The team started the year with question marks and most of the negative thoughts about the team had to do with it having too many question marks. Those question marks are getting smaller and it follows that most are relieved that players are stepping up.

      Everybody would like to enter a season with the core of the team having been to a WS and a track record that helps predict their performance for the new year. Everybody here is an extreme Dodger fan and all want the team to do well. Some are more uncomfortable with question marks than others and some just bull doze their way through those question marks.

      Everybody just needs to keep sharing their thoughts and if arguments result from them, all the better. And if morons share their comments then this place really gets interesting.

      1. Bum is that all you are gonna say, on a night where your guy Pederson, hits the game winning HR, and redeems himself?

        You had to feel good, because even you, have been frustrated, by Joc, like you said. Joc really had a good at bat, in that sequence, and he looked in that moment, that he had slowed the game down.

        I was happy for you Bum, so I hope that made your night.

        1. Thanks MJ. There are a lot of us that like Joc here and all wish him well. If Joc, Cory, Trayce, Kike’, Yasiel, Yasmani, and Ross have good solid years the youth will have spoken and the Dodgers will be awesome.

          1. I like Joc. I sure want to see him succeed. But I saw the same thing Mark did. He could hit .300 with that swing against 4A pitching, but he wasn’t going to get away with it here. The league knows how to pitch him and he hasn’t fully patched those holes. He hit a mistake. Good sign. But Major League hitters are supposed to hit mistakes. If he’s pitched properly, he is still a .220 hitter.

          2. Bum I read an article at Dodger com, and Joc said he choked up on the bat, and he wasn’t even trying to hit a HR, and he said, that he was suprised that it went out.

            This just might be a break through for Joc. He needed to learn that he doesn’t have to have a big swing, to get it out, or to drive the ball. Maybe he is ready to surrender, and stop thinking that way, and will keep his swing smaller.

            He has to have good at bats, so he can get his pitch, but his pitch, might come on the first pitch sometimes.

            And he needs to start practicing bunting, so if he is in that position again, Roberts, will trust him to get a bunt down. And if Joc is not getting the hits he wants, or hitting into the defensive shifts, the bunt will help him get on. It looked like Joc was trying to drag a bunt, and not just getting the bunt down. If Joc just takes his time, and bunts it down the third base line, he will make it to first easily.

            All he has to do, is get it down, and make sure it goes down the line a little, because there is really no third baseman, down the line.

          3. MJ, this was not new for Joc this year. I have noticed that he isn’t swinging near as hard as he did last year but others keep saying he is still swinging hard and hasn’t changed. Either way, the proof will be in the pudding.

            It would be fun to see all players bunt against the shift and destroy it. I hate it.

  4. When CC and SVS come back who is going down? Tough decision.

    Maeda knows how to pitch. We all talked about how good Grienke was as a pitcher. Maeda is just as good in my opinion. I know he has just started three games, but he has the tools, and knows what he is doing on the mound.

    1. al, nobody questioned Maeda’s ability to get people out. And by nobody I mean all GM’s out there. There was consensus on his ability. The question mark on him was, and is, the same question mark that came with McCarthy and Anderson – can he and his questionable elbow hold up to the ML schedule, a schedule that is far more demanding than that in Japan. His good start surprises NO ONE. Let’s see if he holds up for not just this year, but several years into the future.

      To make final judgments on a team after less than 50 games is silly. To make them after 13 games is laughable. We look good. We don’t look great. Great could come down the road. We could have another great 40-8 run and look like world beaters, just like another failed Dodger team did a few years ago. It’s early and it’s going to be early for a few more months. I have the same optimism and the same questions I’ve had since the beginning of last year. Are the Dodgers a crystal palace and does FAZ know how to finish. Gonna be a long year.

      1. Not true. There were a lot of scouts who questioned Maeda’s stuff and whether it would translate over to MLB. He doesn’t throw particularly hard, and comps to Tanaka or Darvish aren’t relevant.

        If his talent was so self-evident, in spite of “irregularities” wouldn’t he have been signed to more money?

      2. Badger I have a question, didn’t Maeda pitch 200 innings last year? And if that is true, what is the big difference?

        I know that they pitch only once a week I believe, but it still looks like some Japanese pitchers, still pitch about the same amount of innings.

        And at least, Maeda pitched seven innings, even after starting shakey. I will say this about Maeda, he is a gamer!

        Even with runners on base, he never gives up, and expects to get himself, and the team, out of the inning.I know it is still early, but Maeda looks to be better, then most scouts, said he would be.

        And maybe, because he doesn’t throw hard, he will not have the same injury problems, that hard throwing pitchers have. I thought that the off speed pitches, were suppose to be harder, on a pitcher’s arm, but Vin, had a survey, that said different. And I know that is just one sample, but who really knows.

        And even if some day, he needs a TJ surgery, he should be able to continue to pitch. Because that is a long contract.

        1. The “big difference” is in Japan they pitch in 6 man rotation. Also, I recently read an article at baseball essentials that talked about how unregulated young Japanese pitchers are when it comes to pitch count. Young players, I’m talking 18 and under, are often asked to throw well over 100 pitches, and Matsuzaka once threw 250 in 17 innings as an amateur. I’ll grab that article if I can find it. It talks about the high percentage of Japanese pitchers that come here and in short order have have TJ surgery.

          patch, Maeda’s talents were never in question. The question was the tenderness in his elbow. Those that were actually in on him backed away. We didn’t because of course we didn’t.

          http://www.baseballessential.com/news/2015/03/16/are-japanese-pitchers-at-greater-risk-of-injury/

          1. Thanks I should know better, because Vinny, just had some dialog on this subject, I think, but thanks Badger!

          2. Good article Wondering.
            I’m wondering too – 165 pound Japanese pitcher with a tender elbow. I’m hoping he makes it to the finish line and others are talking about a Cy Young candidate.

  5. Nice job all around, and was impressed that Puig after 2 horrid AB”S against Samardja, came back with 2 strikes to hit a solid single. I know it is early, but it is fun to note how well 2 exe Dodgers are faring so far. Mat Latos leads the league in WHIP. And Jeremy Hazelbaker, you all remember him, is hitting over .400 for the Cardinals……

  6. “But for you to insinuate what you do is nothing more than a cheap shot.”

    What a sanctimonious crack by the lead cheap shot artist on the planet!

    I’ve always got plenty to say and I comment, win or lose!

  7. My response to Joc Pederson’s night:

    AWESOME!

    However, I still have very little faith in him, but I hope I am very, very wrong!

    1. I root for Joc but his bat has to do all the talking. Using a pitching term, if he can master command, he has the tools to be an Ace.

  8. The bullpen held the lead yesterday. Good for them. What yesterday’s game proved to me is that this is a team that must rely on the starters going 7 innings a game. If we get into the bullpen in the 5th or 6th, we are done. Other teams are better able to play that sort of game. We can’t be a 6-1-1-1 team. So far, we have shown 3 decent starters; now if only the other 2 will pull their weight. Ryu is a big loss for this reason, and I am wondering if he will ever make it back. Great to beat the Hated Ones. We all have to pull for Grienke this week when he matches up against Bumgarner.

    1. I agree Bobbie. As long as our starters go 7, we have a much better shot. And that is true for every team. The difference of course is, who gives a sh*t about other teams?

  9. Well I kept my trap shut most of spring training, of which I attended with our number one resident D’Backs fan (pun intended), and the first road trip and home stand of the season. So I guess that earns me the right to spout off finally.

    First off, damn I am glad the season has finally started and we can actually start arguing with some substance and not just conjecture.

    Overall I am happy with the way the team is playing to this point. I am cautiously optimistic. I have a definite problem with Honeycutt still being the pitching coach. I championed for a complete overhaul of the coaching staff, not 99.99%. He is way too old school. This FO is trying to win with new technology, why do we have a tired old retread coaching the most important aspect of the team?

    Here’s a thought it had, why isn’t there a training/instruction program that 100% relief pitching. I mean there are dedicated people who view film of opposing batters, trainers who work exclusively with relief pitchers, psychologists/brains who study the mental side. Gee, and coaches who teach exclusively how to use more than one or two pitches. It seems that relief pitch teaching and instructing is just lumped in as a an afterthought to the overall pitching staff. Relief pitching shouldn’t be so willy nilly as to who gets brought up, when they get brought up etc…. Just my thought.

    The injuries again really bug the hell, out of me. How is there are soooo many injuries in baseball training camp, which is a non-contact sport. Are most of these guys just lazy all off season. How can the training staff not be more in tune with the players activities during the offseason? I have asked this question before, is there something in the CBA that prevents them from working with the players during the off season? They are paid way too much to not stay in baseball shape year round.

    The team on the field so far has impressed me, and depressed me equally. Kazmir scares the crap out of me. Mark thinks he will come around, I hope so, but I just don’t see it. Wood, no good wood here, nothing more to say. Stripling is a stud, I hope. Let’s pray he doesn’t flame out. The enthusiasm he brings is electric. Hopefully it is a sign that the guys still on the farm are of the same readiness and caliber. Please don’t let Honeycutt screw him or them up. Maeda, I really like. He’s a pitcher, and he looks very confident and athletic defensively. Now that is a nice change from last year. As for Pederson, I am in the camp of “send him down” for a while. Yes it’s tough love, but if he is as mentally strong as he needs to be it will only motivate him. If not then move him on and let’s see who else we have. It’s been a long 4 month audition since the ASG. Last night was just one hit. If he’s still struggling after this road trip, it’s back to OKC. We have the depth. I also agree to let Utley play all the time. He’s a gamer and he has got to be an inspiration to the kids. Kike’, let him play every day too. He is a game changer, oh and Mr. Roberts (no not James Cagney), DON’T EVER MAKE HIM BUNT AGAIN WITH A RISP. The situational hitting is coming around, I think the new coaches attitudes are starting to show. AJ looks old and tired and not really into the game. Those passed balls should have been caught. It’s time to move him to coaching. We have depth at catcher. Puig, I am still hoping for a continued turnaround. I have seen some good at bats and some laziness to his approach a few times, but I am still hopeful. If he doesn’t turn by June, trade bait baby!!! Seager is the real deal. The hype was dead on. Let Crawfish walk, don’t mess with success. The kids are showing they can play and learn at the same time.

    So far we have only seen those in our division. Hell we haven’t even traveled more than one half of a time zone since April. We swept the lowly Padres, whoopee, lost 3 out of 4 to the midgets, piss poor. 2 of three from the D’Bags, put that in your pipe and smoke it Brenly. He is such a frikin tool bag. Then we just took 2 of 3 from the midgets, sweet!!! I would say the first 13 games went about as they should have, so far so good.

    Now we go on the road briefly. Atlanta we should beat 2 of 3. Colorado may be interesting, Kazmir and Wood both get to throw in the thin air of Colorado. HMMMM. I will hope for 2 of 3 but I wouldn’t be surprised with 1 of 3. Then it’s back home.

    I don’t see the real tests for this team coming until May. We travel to Toronto and then fly right back all the way to the west coast and play 4 with the Mets and 3 with Cards. Oh and then 4 with the Angels, 2 in L.A and 2 in Anaheim, WTF, a freeway series in mid-season? Then it’s the Padres and Reds. Then after a day off we finish the month in Wrigley and Shea. That is 25 games in 26 days with only 1 day off and a lot of cross country travel. This is when we will see what this team is made up of physically and mentally. I pray it doesn’t turn into a revolving door with OKC like last year. The training staff will get to show what they are made of in the month of May.

    I am still suspect of the FO, but!!!! I will continue to have an open mind, at least until, they make a few more head scratcher moves.

    As far as the TV deal goes. Fuck em!!!! I got unlocator.com and paid for MLBTV. At least my money goes to MLB and a website and not the pricks at Guggs and TWC.

    Cheers Everyone!!!!!!

  10. I really didn’t like the way that Puig played, last night. I know Puig was called safe at second, and then at home, but I didn’t like what he did. He was lucky, because he should have been out, by a lot, at both bases!

    I think Puig did this, because he was wanting stand out, and he wanted to be the big star. But this is one of Puig’s biggest problems, and it effects the team. Any time there is a big game, or a national
    Broadcast, he has to always try to be, the star of the game.

    And when he does this, it takes away from him, playing within his self, and gets him off his game. And this is important, because in any big game the Dodgers are a part of, Puig doesn’t play within himself, and he doesn’t play well.

    And because of this, Puig isn’t able, to perform, at his highest level. And this becomes more important, in very important games, and especially, in the post season. Puig did adjust, in his last at bat, but then, he had try to make something happen, to bring attention, to himself.

    He should have been thrown out, at both second, and at home plate, because these plays, weren’t even close. And the only reason, he wasn’t thrown out, was because I think, that both Crawford and Posey, saw his big body, coming at them, and just couldn’t hold on, to the throw.

    Because the throw was there, way before Puig, got there. And Puig didn’t have a good enough jump, to steal second, and the play at home, was a little closer, but still wasn’t close. Puig shouldn’t have gone. And when Puig makes risky moves, to make himself stand out, he can also take the Dodgers, out of close games.

    I wish Puig could learn, from Chase Utley, because Utley also try’s to make things happen, but when Utley takes chances, most of the time, the plays aren’t really that close. And if Puig wants to steal bases, he needs to work on studying the pitchers, and steal at the right time, and when he truly has a good jump, and he needs to learn how to slide, so he doesn’t injure himself.

    Puig needs to grow up, and learn how to play within himself, so he can contribute better, in big games, and then, he will not only stand out, but he will be also be respected, and bring more to the team. And I think that Puig’s earlier at bats, we’re not that good, because of this same reason.

    And it is to bad, because these ESPN announcers, had heard, that Puig has been much better, this year, and has not only done well, but he has been a good team player. But the way Puig played last night, took away, from all the good, that the announcers had heard. And Puig was just trying to do, way to much.

    And I do have to say, that Puig has been much better, this year, but he still needs to learn how to be a team player. And stop trying to be a star in games, and especially, games, that are important. And if Puig can do this, he will not only play much better, and contribute much more. Pitchers won’t be making Puig look silly, in big games, instead Puig, will be driving there balls, against the wall, and over the wall.

    1. Yes, Puig was lucky to be safe at both 2nd and home, but, I think I saw the 3rd base coach waving him home. Not sure the coach did, but, I think so.

      I don’t believe there were any outs. Probably not the time to get overly aggressive. I didn’t like seeing Seager get thrown out by 10 feet either and they were down in the score then.

    2. I have to differ here. I saw Puig adjust and handle a pitch on an 0-2 count (which by the way he has done plenty this year already, even more than other veterans). He wasn’t trying to hit a home run after Joc hit one. And he wasn’t trying to stretch a single into a double (although he did take a wide turn and was thinking about it). Big difference in his mindset, I see this year so far.

      Then he put a lot of pressure on the defense in a 2-1 game, but it wasn’t in the 8th or 9th inning. His pressure caused those mistakes by Posey. He could have taken a better jump, sure, but it was on a 1-1 count, which is a good count to go on in that situation. Tommy’s teams used to go on those types of counts, and often ran into outs, but over the course of the season these types of plays will win a lot of games, and these are the types of plays that play well in the postseason.

      On the run home, I think he was being waved home because the ball went off the glove. The 2B made a great play there to get the ball so quickly. As soon as I saw the hit off the glove on TV I was thinking go home as well. 9 times out of 10 that play would not have been that close, and on replay you can see that Posey didn’t really drop the the ball, more like he swiped before the ball even got there. Still a great play by the 2B there and I like these kinds of plays.

  11. On Puig being safe at home: He was being sent by the coach, because it would have taken a perfect throw and catch to get him. I like those odds on close plays. I would have sent him too… but I would have no problems with him going on his own. And… I have always called him a knucklehead, but I have no problems with this.

    1. If you watch Puig, he plays much different when it is a national broadcast, or in the post season, and has a need to stand out, and this causes him, not to play well. He had no good jump, to run to second, and he barely made it, to second, because he slid to soon, and he didn’t have a good jump.

      And he has never took the time, to learn the pitchers, or put the work in, to be able to steal, and to know when he should steal. It was very forced, because that was the first time, he was on base. I agree with the play at the plate, because that came off something, that happened on the defense, in the field.

      But the steal was forced, and I want Puig to play within him self, in every game, but especially, in big games, and in the post season.
      But in a big game, with many people watching, he always try’s to hard, to be the star, and doesn’t play within his self, and he doesn’t play good. And he has done this in almost every post season.

      He never has good at bats, in big games, because of this. And I want him to do better, in big games. Believe me, I believe in making things happen, and testing the defense.

      1. In that situation, with that count, I think it was fine for him to go. He is not the studying type. He’s gotta learn on the job. But he does adjust. I hope people are seeing this and appreciating it. Yesteryear he may have run too early or too late in the count.

        Also, I always hated the lack of energy on Mattingly teams. Let Puig be himself. He’s not the total knucklehead that people made him out to be. He’s starting to grow up under Roberts.

  12. Well I kept my trap shut most of spring training, of which I attended with our number one resident D’Backs fan (pun intended), and the first road trip and home stand of the season. So I guess that earns me the right to spout off finally.

    First off, damn I am glad the season has finally started and we can actually start arguing with some substance and not just conjecture. Overall I am happy with the way the team is playing to this point. I am cautiously optimistic. I have a definite problem with Honeycutt still being the pitching coach. I championed for a complete overhaul of the coaching staff, not 99.99%. He is way too old school. This FO is trying to win with new technology, why do we have a tired old retread coaching the most important aspect of the team? Here’s a thought it had, why isn’t there a training/instruction program that 100% relief pitching. I mean there are dedicated people who view film of opposing batters, trainers who work exclusively with relief pitchers, psychologists/brains who study the mental side. Gee, and coaches who teach exclusively how to use more than one or two pitches. It seems that relief pitch teaching and instructing is just lumped in as a an afterthought to the overall pitching staff. Relief pitching shouldn’t be so willy nilly as to who gets brought up, when they get brought up etc…. Just my thought.

    The injuries again really bug the hell, out of me. How is there are soooo many injuries in baseball training camp, which is a non-contact sport. Are most of these guys just lazy all off season. How can the training staff not be more in tune with the players activities during the offseason? I have asked this question before, is there something in the CBA that prevents them from working with the players during the off season? They are paid way too much to not stay in baseball shape year round.

    The team on the field so far has impressed me, and depressed me equally. Kazmir scares the crap out of me. Mark thinks he will come around, I hope so, but I just don’t see it. Wood, no good wood here, nothing more to say. Stripling is a stud, I hope. Let’s pray he doesn’t flame out. The enthusiasm he brings is electric. Hopefully it is a sign that the guys still on the farm are of the same readiness and caliber. Please don’t let Honeycutt screw him or them up. Maeda, I really like. He’s a pitcher, and he looks very confident and athletic defensively. Now that is a nice change from last year. As for Pederson, I am in the camp of “send him down” for a while. Yes it’s tough love, but if he is as mentally strong as he needs to be it will only motivate him. If not then move him on and let’s see who else we have. It’s been a long 4 month audition since the ASG. Last night was just one hit. If he’s still struggling after this road trip, it’s back to OKC. We have the depth. I also agree to let Utley play all the time. He’s a gamer and he has got to be an inspiration to the kids. Kike’, let him play every day too. He is a game changer, oh and Mr. Roberts (no not James Cagney), DON’T EVER MAKE HIM BUNT AGAIN WITH A RISP. The situational hitting is coming around, I think the new coaches attitudes are starting to show. AJ looks old and tired and not really into the game. Those passed balls should have been caught. It’s time to move him to coaching. We have depth at catcher. Pig I am still hoping for a continued turnaround. I have seen some good at bats and so laziness to his approach a few times, but I am still hopeful. If he doesn’t turn by June, trade bait baby!!! Seager is the real deal. The hype was dead on. Let Crawfish walk, don’t mess with success. The kids are showing they can play and learn at the same time.

    So far we have only seen those in our division. Hell we haven’t even traveled more than one half of a time zone since April. We swept the lowly Padres, whoopee, lost 3 out of 4 to the midgets, piss poor. 2 of three from the D’Bags, put that in your pipe and smoke it Brenly. He is such a frikin tool bag. Then we just took 2 of 3 from the midgets. I would say the first 13 games went about as they should have, so far so good. Now we go on the road briefly. Atlanta we should beat 2 of 3. Colorado may be interesting, Kazmir and Wood both get to throw in the thin air of Colorado. HMMMM. I will hope for 2 of 3 but I wouldn’t be surprised with 1 of 3. Then it’s back home.

    I don’t see the real tests for this team coming until May. We travel to Toronto and then fly right back all the way to the west coast and play 4 with the Mets and 3 with Cards. Oh and then 4 with the Angels, 2 in L.A and 2 in Anaheim, WTF, a freeway series in mid-season? Then it’s the Padres, Reds. Then after a day off we finish the month in Wrigley and Shea. That is 25 games in days with only 1 day off and a lot of cross country travel. This is when we will see what this team is made up of physically and mentally. I pray it doesn’t turn into a revolving door with OKC like last year. The training staff will get to show what they are made of in the month of May.

    I am still suspect of the FO, but!!!! I will continue to have an open mind, at least until, they make a few more head scratcher moves.

    As far as the TV deal goes. Fuck em!!!! I got unlocator.com and paid for MLBTV. At least my money goes to MLB and a website and not the pricks at Guggs and TWC.

  13. We all should be happy because the team is playing better this year, and I know they started out fast, in the first month, last year, but not against the Giants, like this.

    And what they are doing now, is much more sustainable, then all of those HRs, they hit, in the first month, last year.

  14. Tim R… or is that Alfred E?

    Great comment – I don’t agree with it all but it was well reasoned and I can’t argue with it. I liked it a lot!

  15. I liked it too. Been wondering when you would speak up. Welcome back.

    Way too early to tell anything. The midgets took a 7 game series from us but we played them even. We beat the struggling Dbacks and we beat the snot out of the lowly Padres. So far, it’s a’ight.

    About the physical breakdowns. You’re right to ask wtf are these guys doing in the off season. And it’s within reason to ask – are we done with that nonsense or ……. who’s next.

  16. On the relief coaching, I’ve been wondering about that. I think it should be implemented in AAA and in the Majors.

  17. But I don’t think it’s actually a true program, art, craft. Relief pitching needs to be a true long term program. It’s too much of an afterthought. He’s no longer a starter, let’s convert him. Hitting is taught long term, the position players are taught long term. Why not relief pitching? It’s such an integral part of the game these days.

    1. Well it’s a good question. I don’t have an answer. Pitchers are generally drafted as starters. The relief mentality may not be in their DNA. They become relievers to pitch at the ML level. That is where bullpen coaches come in. I don’t know how much importance organizations put in bullpen coaches. I suspect you and I would make sure the system was deep with good ones. But for pitchers the money is in starting.

      1. Right, and I think the question is, are current bullpen coaches limited in their teachings and influence, or are we looking at innovations there? There is not much information in this area which leads one to think that there is no advanced system in place for relief pitchers. Maybe some would say the silence means there is something going on but they are just not talking about it — but I don’t buy that that — remember all the talk from the FAZophiles on them playing the deadline deals “close to the vest” … guess what the silence means just that ….

        1. FAZ could have made some blockbuster deadline deals. The Dodgers could have had Cole Hamels and Troy Tulowitzki and maybe that would have handed them the World Series in 2015. Many fans wanted that and FAZ could have delivered it. Those two players were difference makers and they could have been Dodgers… at what cost?

          Seager
          Urias
          De Leon
          Holmes
          Verdugo
          Bellinger

          Some of you would have pulled that trigger and that’s fine. I would not have made those deals. I like our chances going forward for the next 20 years. Some would sell out for one bag of dope… not me!

          1. Timmons point taken and I was just needling you a bit there. I’ll lay off. Cheers.

          2. You calling De Leon a bag of dope? Is that because he’s Hispanic with calves as big as cantaloupes? (see Fei’s needle point)

  18. Ron Cervanka of Think Blue LA has a good read about the Dodgers pen:

    http://www.thinkbluela.com/index.php/2016/04/18/dodgers-bullpen-not-given-the-credit-it-deserves-ever/

    In it he writes this:

    Although it is unlikely that the criticism of the Dodgers bullpen will ever completely go away, why is it that we are hearing very little about the fact that the Dodgers current eight-man bullpen hasn’t allowed a run in 14 consecutive innings? Why isn’t the media and social media reporting that they have held opposing batters to a .069 batting average (3 for 43) while striking out 14 during those 14 scoreless innings? Yet in spite of this, the negative comments immediately flood social media the very second the Dodgers bullpen gate opens or we’re told that so-and-so is warming up in the ‘pen.

    The simple answer, of course, is that people – especially Dodger fans – need something to complain about, justified or otherwise. But the real truth is that the Dodgers bullpen has been absolutely brilliant.

    BTW – Watch for LH Joe Thatcher in a Ravine near you soon!

    1. I like Thatcher signing. Finally someone with a track record without injury question marks.

      Though as I said a while ago, before this blog, I want to see our youngsters pick up the bullpen. Hopefully we see that in the second half and the postseason. I like my chances with Urias as the LOOGY against the Cubs in a 7 game series!

    2. The LA Dodgers bullpen currently ranks 19th. You post articles like this and expect what? That we will buy it because some guy on another blog says something that supports your disdain for anyone who questions management?

      Your criticism of Dodger fans is getting tiresome. We don’t need something to complain about like you keep suggesting, we need something to cheer about. We are 5-5 in our last 10 and trail the midgets by one game in head to head competition. I want to bury those guys every time we play them. I want to do the same to every team in the West. I’m not being negative when I say I don’t see the Dodgers as the the team to beat in the National League. Im being honest.

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