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KiKi’s Homer Beats Angels

Kike Hernandez

The Dodgers finished the first half of the season today against the Angels. Deck McGuire faced off against Clayton Kershaw. This was the final game against the Angels for the season. All these games have been very closely contested games and the Dodgers needed to win today to even up the series with the Angels. If the Dodgers won today they would end the season 10 games above .500 and in first place in the NL West.

The Dodgers got the scoring started in the the bottom of the 2nd when Yasmani Grandal connected with a solo shot.  Andrew Toles then reached on an infield single. Chris Taylor then hit a single. Kiki Hernandez hit a fly ball to score a run followed by a single by Clayton Kershaw to score a run to make the score 3-0. It looked good at that point with Kershaw on the mound.

Kershaw got into trouble in the 4th. Justin Upton hit an infield single followed by a single from Ian Kinsler. Jefry Marte then hit a three run shot to tie the score. Who in the heck is Jefry Marte? Kershaw wasn’t sharp today but he kept the Dodgers in the game as he struck out 8 batters. In the bottom of the 6th, Cody Bellinger hit a single then turned it into a double and the Dodgers looked like they were cooking. Bellinger ended up getting picked off. Bellinger had two hits on the day.

Yasmani Grandal then singled and he ended up reaching base four times today. Andrew Toles then hit into a double play.  In the top of the 7th, Kersahw couldn’t finish off Mike Trout on some close calls. Kenta Maeda came in and hit Justin Upton on the first pitch to load the bases. Maeda then struck out Ian Kinsler. In the bottom of the 7th, Kiki Hernandez hit a a solo shot and the Dodgers took a 4-3 lead.

In the bottom of the 8th, the Dodgers added some insurance. Cody Bellinger hit a single. Yasmani Grandal then also hit a single. This happened with two outs. Andrew Toles then hit a single and the Dodgers led 5-3. Kenley Jansen came in and closed the deal. Now the All-Star break for four days. Hopefully Manny Machado will be a Dodger.

James Moya

Hi I’m James Moya. I am an avid Dodgers fan. I graduated Cal State Fullerton with a Bachelors in Communications. I used to freelance at the San Bernardino Sun. I’m excited about this opportunity to write for LA Dodger Report to gain experience. I’m a straight shooter on my opinions and I hope to get some good conversations going. My dream has always been to report on the Dodgers because Baseball is the National Past-time. I hope you enjoy the ride with me.

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James Moya
Hi I’m James Moya. I am an avid Dodgers fan. I graduated Cal State Fullerton with a Bachelors in Communications. I used to freelance at the San Bernardino Sun. I’m excited about this opportunity to write for LA Dodger Report to gain experience. I’m a straight shooter on my opinions and I hope to get some good conversations going. My dream has always been to report on the Dodgers because Baseball is the National Past-time. I hope you enjoy the ride with me.

57 thoughts on “KiKi’s Homer Beats Angels

    1. Give me a frippen break……no way, Muncy and Kemp maybe, but not some slug hitting under .250 and playing sporadically

        1. I’m not following the line of thinking here.

          Hernandez hits the go ahead home run, Roberts gives him some encouragement and that means he’s not thinking clearly?

          The team is built the way it’s built. Look closely. The Dodgers are not a WRISP constructed 40 man. We will win with slugging and bullpen excellence or we will fail with it. I think the reason Roberts said what he said about Hernandez is because of the importance the organization puts on utility. Roberts KNOWS how important Kiké is to this team. If you examine our minor league system it would appear obvious what we are choosing to develop is more Kiké’s – and bullpen arms. This is who we are. A different lineup every night and 5 pitchers dividing up 27 outs.

          Kiké shows up night after night, plays 7 different positions for the team….. yeah, THAT is what this organization values. He hits the game winning home run and Roberts appreciates it. We should appreciate it too.

          1. Badger
            I think that many people do not understand Robert’s thinking and some are opposed to the way the team is handled from the manager to the FO. It appears to me in your comments that you are OK with most things as long as you understand what you think the plan is and just say it is the way it is and we need to go along. I get most things you say the FO or Roberts is trying to do. The difference is many times I disagree with things they do and you seem like it is ok as long as you see their management style. I know you will say you do not agree with some things but I think it is the way you are perceived. You believe Roberts handles Kemp one way and do not really think it is a big deal. I however, think it is wrong and am very vocal even to the tune of calling him Dummy. Guess it really doesn’t matter anyway? My point is Kike is just a utility player but he gets more attention from Roberts than others. In other words he plays favorites.

          2. Pack, Roberts’ only favorite is Roberts. Other than that, yes, he sucks up to FAZ, saying and doing what he knows will please them. Yes, Kike is a utility player, but the Dodgers are a team largely made up of utility players and nothing bad comes from giving a player praise/ Isn’t Kike second on the team with home runs? Some utility player…. FAZ learned in Tampa to work with players somewhere below the super-star level and I’m pretty sure that’s what Guggenheim wants him to do here. I’ll be surprised if the Dodgers bring Manny here for 3 months even. I don’t think they will make any attempt to sign him this winter although I’m certain information to the contrary will be released to the popular websites in order to placate the fans. I have sympathy for your outlook but you are going to continue to be one unhappy camper unless you come to terms with the way the Dodgers are going to operate as long as FAZ and Guggenheim are running things. Chill, life is better when you’re not beating your head against the wall…
            (I would have used Sisyphus in the artwork below but that have confused Bluto who is very weak in Greek Mythology…)

          3. We’ll pack, some of what you say there is true.

            Let me see if I can clear up any misunderstanding.

            I do try to understand what the plan is. I don’t necessarily agree with it. It’s like saying I understand what a certain foreign leader is up to, but that understanding does not mean I agree with him. I have been abundantly clear and consistent with my take on FAZ. If you’ve been reading my take since they got here in October of ‘14 you will be fully aware of this.

            I do not think Roberts is a dummy, nor do I think he is a bad manager. I think he is merely playing the hand he is dealt. This team is built on utility players, squirrels, 5 inning starters and bullpen strength. I wasn’t on board with this, said so repeatedly the last 3 years, and was profoundly surprised the plan got us 104 wins a a World Series berth. I was wrong about how good they were, but ultimately right that they were not a championship team. I feel the same way this year.

            Kemp. I like the player. He has a lot of miles on his body, and has been injured before. It’s my opinion that to make sure you have a horse like him at full strength for the finish you have to pace him. I would offer the same advice on Kenley Jansen. With our history of DL use, I don’t want to see either of these aging veterans unavailable in September and October.

            Just a utility player? There is no “just a utility player” on this team or in this organization. Utility players are the foundation of this organization. I ask that examine the minor leagues and tell me what you see. I see more utility players and bullpen arms. It’s my opinion that is who we are.

            P.S. – what Jonah just said……didn’t see the post before posting mine but I think he’s spot on.

          4. Badger, I can see you are not thinking, too. I responded to the post that said Roberts’ “is right there for team MVP for first half of the season”. Michael echoed my sentiment but my remark went right over your head. What were you thinking?

          5. Jonah,

            The issue with Sisyphus is he was condemned by a higher power to live a life of unattainable gratification and suffering.

            Banging your head against a wall is what a stupid person does to himself.

            It’s interesting that you settled on the latter phrase and comparison when describing Package’s plight.

          6. “Jeff:
            July 16, 2018 at 5:15 am
            Another reason to replace Roberts. He doesn’t think clearly.“

            I was, at least partially, responding to that comment. I was assuming with that comment you were responding to the comment about Roberts praising Kiké. Now you’re saying, and I quote:

            “I responded to the post that said Roberts’ “is right there for team MVP for first half of the season”.

            Roberts is the MVP?

            Roberts, in a good mood after his 7 position utility guy (count them, 7!) hit the game winner, so he praised him and some think this is another reason to fire him? Because he doesn’t think clearly? I find that laughably absurd.

  1. I think what Badger is saying don’t take all of Robert’s words so seriously, because his job is to manage these players the best he can, and have them buy into the team concept.

    Kike is an untility player, and most utility players don’t get much credit for the Job they do, like everyday players.

    The other players knows his contributions to the team, but they are not threatened about Roberts saying that.

    Roberts talks to every player individually, before a game too.

    Roberts is not only there to manage the players, he is also there to motivate the players.

    I understand why Package says he has favorites, and he does, but so does every manager, but they should not come across like they are favoring certain players.

    Orel bothers me a lot more then Roberts, with the way he talks about some players, and treats certain players like they are rookies, and he has his favorites and shows it in every broadcast.

    He hasn’t learned a thing from Vinny who was not a homer for the Dodgers, especially compared to broadcasters today.

    1. I think Roberts knows the success of this team will be determined by the FACT that his roster is made up of several utility guys. And that is represented on the field and in the bullpen. Roberts, a utility guy himself, was excited Kiké got it done in a clutch situation. Kiké, a utility player extraordinare, has come through for Roberts many times this year, playing EVERY position on the field but catcher and pitcher. Roberts knows his value. He was just expressing that and evidently some people think that expression is an example of “not thinking clearly” and cause for termination. Ridiculous.

      1. Badger

        Your right, Roberts knows the value of part time players more then most managers, because he wasn’t a star player either.

        But I don’t think he is doing anything elaborate, beyond motivating his players, and having them continue to buy into, the team concept.

        The front office is the one that are in love with utility players, and I think every team needs a couple of good utility players, but not a team full of utility players.

        The Red Sox, the Yankees, and the Astros do have utility players, but they also have star players, and very good everyday players.

        That guy on High Heat was right, when he said, the Dodgers don’t have as many talented players, as these other good teams do.

      2. Badger,

        Sorry, there was a typo. Roberts said ‘Kike was right there for the team MVP for the first half’. Does this make any sense to you? Are you just going to accept statements like this from the leader of your team? Roberts needs to respond to things accordingly, not according to his own silly idea of what a team MVP must be. You’re a manager put into a public position. Sure, I’m making a mountain out of a mole hill, but the point is justified. There is no way that Kike gets anywhere near the MVP for the first half of the season and it’s not because I dislike Kike. I’ve seen some important changes in him, but both he and Joc need to show a whole lot more for accolades like MVP or ‘important part of our team’. Either one can be replaced easily. Strangely, Kike makes the same amount as Seager, Bellinger, and Taylor, combined! There’s a stat for you.

        1. It makes sense to me that Roberts would say that.

          Do I think Hernandez is the team MVP? Of course not. I’d go with Muncy or Kemp. But there’s also August and September to get through. The MVP is yet to be determined.

  2. I in no way think Roberts is a dummy or stupid. You do not get to be a major league manger by being stupid. Unless you are Shultz, who was the Mariners first ever manager before they moved to Milwaukee and became the Brewers…he was a clown. I sometimes scratch my head at Roberts in game decisions and his lineups defy description sometimes. But I agree with Badger that the man is playing the hand he was dealt. Matt Kemp is a damn good ballplayer, he is also 33 years old with a history of injuries that have kept him out of games for significant time. Think about it, Andre Ethier is the same age and essentially is out of baseball now. Kemp is a major part of this team now, so if they pull him late in games, or rest him in a day game after a night game, I see and understand the logic. I also agree that this is a team filled with essentially utility players. Outside of the outfielders, all of the players on this team play multiple positions. It is pretty much the same on every roster in the system. And there is really no bona fide super star player on this team save Kershaw. He is the only really upper echelon player they have. Jansen would be a close second. This is the way the FAZMASTER constructs a team. Lots of top prospects in the system and lots of arms. Low risk high reward is their motto. Over the next few years this is the kind of baseball you can expect. There will also be guys like Muncy, who is way past being a kid who come out of nowhere. Taylor had a great year last year. He has regressed some and his K rate is way to high for a player like him. Joc has improved, but still will probably never be more than a .250 hitter with some pop. Toles was raking in the minors, but once again we see that no matter what your track record is, it is not always going to translate to immediate success up in LA. Toles will probably hit better over the next couple of weeks, but since his first game, he has not really hit the ball hard except the one off the wall Saturday night. They are what they are. What they might be depends on if they stand pat or deal at the deadline, how healthy they can stay between now and October, and how much strain they put on their pitching staff. A 1/2 game lead in July means nothing.

    1. Michael

      Toles has already hit in as many runs, as both Joc and Kike, this month.

      And both Kike and Joc, have had almost double the at bats and double the opportunities, to hit in runs, then Toles has.

      And both Kike and Joc, have hit two HRs and have hit three doubles during this time, and have a few more hits, but they have only hit in four runs, just like Toles.

      And remember Toles has only been back playing, for just over a month, after being out, for almost two months.

      Toles has hit the ball hard, just because he hasn’t hit the ball against the wall every time doesn’t really mean much, because he was just trying to get those runners on base home.

      Joc didn’t have to hit a HR the other night when the bases were loaded, a hit would have done the job, like someone here, already pointed out!

      And even a walk would have been suffice, to get the run in, especially with that pitcher lacking command, and behind on the count, with two balls.

      Toles hit in an insurance run yesterday, with two outs too.

      HRs don’t always translate, to a bunch of RBIs, especially so many solo HRs.

      Because pitchers pitch tougher when runners are on base, and especially, when runners are in scoring position.

      1. MJ, Yes, he knocked in 3 runs, right place, right time. Joc hit a ball to the warning track that during the day would have cleared the wall, wrong place wrong time. I know all the stuff you said. But he is not hitting the ball hard. The other day he hit 3 weak grounders. Now, in all likelihood he will hit better, that is what has been seen so far in his career. But right now he is not. Joc was hot the entire month of June, and has cooled off. Kike is what he is. So quit telling me stuff I already and everybody here already knows. Hard to knock in runs when no one is on base. 2 of Joc’s hits came leading off an inning. I am just saying as hot as he was in AAA, that has not translated up in the majors. Not an indictment of Toles ability, just a fact of what it happening now.

        1. Point is, Joc made good contact on that pitch. And he was not the only one who failed to drive in the run. It is a team game, if the team does not do it as a unit they do not win, no one player is more valuable than another. Some are just more consistent.

        2. Michael

          Most of his hits for RBIs except one, were hard hits, I looked at the velocity on all, so I know exactly how hard he hit those balls.

          Joc was extremely hot, in the first two weeks of June, he didn’t have a lot of hits after that, in fact I believe he hit 3 HRs, and had two hits.

          Joc had double the opportunitites to hit in runs, then Toles did, so don’t give me, there was no one on base, because that is just not true!

          And the point is we only needed a hit, so maybe our hitters approach in these situations, is the problem.

          And that is why someone here, probably made that same point, about that warning track out.

          1. And this matters because”””>>>????? Who cares? Obviously you, I do not. All players go through both hot and cold streaks. In the month of June, the entire month not just 2 weeks, Joc hit .283 with 10 homers, and 14 ribbies. He only struck out 9 times the entire month and had an OBP of 358. Kike hit .266 with 7 homers and 13 RBI’s and a OBP of .348. Both are below the Mendoza line this month and both have 2 HR’s and 4 ribbies. Joc has struck out 8 times already this month. Toles has 6 hits in 23 at bats with 2 of them doubles. He is not knocking the cover off of the ball. At least 2 of those hits are of the infield variety, but his OBP is barely above his BA. Puig who had the same amount of at bats as Toles when he went down was hitting .348 for the month with an OBP of the same, .348 and he had driven in twice the number of runs as all 3 of those guys, 8. And Joc was leading off most of the time. Pederson actually hits a lot better lower in the order. But 7 of his homers came in the 1 hole. They are entirely different kinds of hitters. Toles is more of a contact bat, and Joc a power bat. But had Pederson not heated up when he did, the team does not win some of those games. Let Toles play in 40 or 50 games and lets see where he is. You cannot compare him to players who have been here all year long.

    2. Michael,

      Just wait till the initial contracts of Seager, Stripling, Bellinger, Taylor and several others come up for negotiation. We can expect a sea change in their salaries which means that FAZ is either preparing to trade them in and continue to farm the talent, or some of the big salaries like Kershaw, Hill, and maybe Turner, will be gone. By your account, which I’m not criticizing, Kemp will be gone starting next season. If the FAZ genius for farm hands and infirmary survivors is key for the future, it will certainly be a model that will influence the game at large. This is one way to bring down inflated salaries and still be competitive, which we are. This doesn’t solve the 1% getting even more and never will. I do look forward to seeing how it all plays out.

  3. Bobby says:
    July 16, 2018 at 2:42 pm
    Jason Stark has hinted that Machado will be a Phillie after the All Star game tomorrow and before the season resumes Thurs/Fri. It’ll be an interesting next few days for sure

    AlwaysCompete says:
    July 16, 2018 at 2:57 pm
    Stark did indicate that there is a hand shake deal in place, and the Phillies feel confident. They have the pitching the O’s are looking for. With Nola and Arrieta and Eflin they could be formidable.

      1. I heard some tv analyst several days ago, might have been Karros, say the Phillies. AC has also said FAZ will go more low key… relievers and maybe Iglesias from Detroit and somebody else from the Twins that didn’t impress – basically do what they always do…. which is what I expect. Why would I expect something different? Why would anyone expect something different?

    1. Michael

      Joc May be leading off, but that doesn’t change the fact he had double the opportunities, that is a fact.

      And it doesn’t matter how hard a hitter hits a ball, if they don’t hit runs in.

      The whole team has trouble doing this.

      You are the one that started down playing Toles, and that is not surprising, because this is not the first time.

      And he no more unproven, then a hitter, that still has not hit consistently.

      And if anything, the expectations are higher for a player, that have played longer.

  4. I know that FAZ is not really going to give up the farm for a rental. Not his MO. They will retool the bullpen, probably try to get a more offensive minded player to play 2nd full time and that is about it. No superstars or difference makers unless they trade for a bullpen stud. Report is the Ryu threw a 50 pitch BP with no problems….

    1. Bear
      You know that FAZ will never add expensive players or top tier players. It is their MO. Every year FAZ says the same thing or lets someone else say it and report to the press and Bingo it is a fact. You would think everyone would get it after a while. They could surprise me and you but I bet on me and you.

      1. Yeah Bear.

        Just ignore history!

        Like Jonah posted, some people just bang their heads against the wall of reality.

        1. Yeah Bluto
          I must have forgotten all the all stars and league leaders the Dodgers have added since FAZ joined the organization. Gimme a break.

  5. The Athletic has a piece on Tolesy and his struggle with anxiety.

    I defy anyone not to root for this guy.

    Just too much depth on this team. If Machado comes over, then the OF is AT LEAST:
    Taylor, Pederson, Kemp, Toles and Kike.

    With Verdugo running out of time in AAA.

    1. Bluto
      I don’t care how hard you root for Toles. He should be sent down. I see why it has taken so long for him to get the call. Not a very good fielder and he is sitting on .261 batting in a small sample size. He’s anxious, so am I.

      1. I’m rooting for him more as a person than a player. MOSTLY BECAUSE, as a player I don’t think I’ve seen nearly enough to make a conclusion (like the one you offer) yet.

        I’m sorry to hear you struggle with anxiety, my son does as well.

      2. Package

        You may not be impressed with overall average, but he is hitting 500 when runners are in scoring position.

        He and Taylor, hit in the most runs, this last week.

        And he has only been back, for a little over a month.

        And you know how hard it is for this team to get hits, when runners are in scoring position.

        1. RBIs are a poor indicator, MJ.

          As for his RISP, he’s only had 6ABs. It’s statistically insignificant.

          The Dodgers are in a great spot. They have lots of OFs with talent. Young ones, older ones, versatile ones. It’s why the Machado thing doesn’t make sense to me.

          McCullough has more:

          If the Dodgers add Machado, they would be improving a strength, rather than fixing a weakness. The bullpen remains an area of concern. “We need arms,” one team official lamented earlier month, as a raft of relievers landed on the disabled list, with Josh Fields, Tony Cingrani, Pedro Baez and Yimi Garcia all on the shelf.

          1. Bluto

            Thanks, your right, that is a small sample.

            I was just looking at the numbers, because of we haven’t been good, with runners in scoring position.

            And that actually suprised me.

            I wouldn’t have said anything, but this was not the first time, to try to down play this guy.

  6. The Athletic has a piece on Tolesy and his struggles including those with anxiety.

    “I wasn’t a bad guy, you can ask anybody. I just did dumb shit all the time. Once I figured out that I had to stop doing dumb shit, that’s when I had success.”

    Read about how he figured it out and I’ll I defy anyone to try and root against this guy.

    There’s just too much depth on this team. If Machado comes over, then the OF is AT LEAST:
    Taylor, Pederson, Kemp, Toles and Kike.

    With Verdugo running out of time in AAA.

        1. The free week subscription, that one has to stop, after a week.

          I don’t want to have to pay the 59 dollars.

          This is why I am Leary to accept these type of deals.

          1. Oh.

            I think you meant wary.

            I don’t know how to cancel, because I haven’t.

            I would contact their customer service.

  7. Don’t forget about Muncy in the HR derby tonight, on ESPN?

    Story’s like Muncy’s is one of the reasons I love Baseball.

    I can’t be any happier for this guy.

  8. I care less about how much experience a player has. They are big leaguers now and they are expected to perform as such. I root for Toles because he wears the uniform. And he has shown flashes in the past, but I am not going to anoint him as anything special until he does something special. He played in 34 games at AAA and had about 150 plate appearances. They brought him up instead of Verdugo because he has had prior success at the big league level. And probably because they thought he was the best option with Puig out. Only FAZ knows the reason why. But I am also not going to sit here and hammer on Pederson or Kike because they have slumped lately. It is the big leagues and it happens. Pederson has improved a lot from what he did before. He still has one of the best AB to K ratios on the team. Almost 250 at bats and only 40 K’s. Kike strikes out a little more than Joc, but as Badger has said his value lies in his versatility and that is what FAZ likes. Kike will probably never be the .300 hitter he was 3 years ago, but he has been pretty good in the field and now and then he unloads a clutch HR like he did Sunday. Toles hitting .500 with men in scoring position after 7 games and 23 at bats means nothing. Kemp is hitting over .400 in almost 300 at bats. Now if Toles gets to 300 ABs and is hitting like that, then he would be something special. Until he has played more games and contributed to the teams success over an extended period of time I am not impressed at all. That is my opinion and I do not care what argument MJ might throw at me, it will not change anything. Being in the big leagues calls for a player to constantly make adjustments. Those who do succeed. Those who do not are soon gone from the scene. Young guys either adjust, or rot on the vine.

  9. Zach Britton. He has been just average over the last two years (mostly injured), but his salary fits under our lux tax cap, and he will be a good addition to our bullpen. We are developing a great mix of high heat pitchers and ground ball pitchers.

    I also see our FO target more and more pitchers with fastball-splitter combinations. I have said earlier on this is the answer for modern “fly-ball” hitting trend. I’d be interested to see how guys like JD Martinez, Turner and Taylor do against splitters.

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