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Lifeless Dodgers Drop Another Series, Fall Further Out of Playoff Race

I think it’s time to accept reality. The writing is on the wall. You can see it very clearly if you’re not delusional. The Dodgers are just not a very good club this year. After another predictably boring 5-2 loss to the Cardinals at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday night, have fallen to 3.5 games back in the NL West race. The Dodgers are not going to make the playoffs this season. As Oscar said in last night’s recap, nothing has changed. With only 35 games remaining it is unlikely things will.

Do the math. The Dodgers are 67-60. They would need to win 23 of their last 35 games to reach 90 wins. Can you see this club going 23-12? Sorry, but that’s not going to happen. The optimists still believe the Dodgers are going to win the World Series. The apologists make excuses and blame the injuries. The delusionals think they’re doing great. Last season the Dodgers won 57 games at Dodger Stadium. This season they are 32-32 at home. The real reason the Dodgers have stunk is their inability to win close games. In 2018 the Dodgers are 17-22 in one-run games. That is a direct result of their awful relief pitching and lack of situational hitting. Luckily their starting pitching is keeping them in ball games.

Cardinals 5 7 1

Dodgers   2 9 1





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As for the game tonight, it was just another non-descript zombie like loss. The approaches were the same, the relief pitching pathetic. St. Louis right hander Daniel Poncedeleon, a 26-year old rookie from La Mirada California shut the Dodgers down during his four innings of work Poncedeleon allowed just one earned run on five hits and struck out eight. Perhaps he found the fountain of youth. Maybe he could share some of it with the Dodger hitters.

The Dodger bats once again left a small arsenal of runners on base, unable to get any kind of situational hitting. The boys in blue were 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position and left 11 runners on base. The Dodgers left second and third with nobody out in the bottom of the fourth and did not score after Yasiel Puig walked and Yasmani Grandal doubled. The Dodgers left two more runners in the bottom of the sixth after Grandal singled and Puig reached on a Luke Weaver throwing error. The Dodgers had nine hits, with Manny Machado getting three of them. Grandal and Taylor each had two hits, yet the Dodgers could only muster two runs.

Starting pitcher Hyun-jin Ryu did not do them any favors either. The Korean left hander lasted just four innings allowing three earned runs on four hits and struck out four. Ryu walked one and made 72 pitches before Dave Roberts lifted him for a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the fourth. The bullpen wasn’t any better either.

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The Dodgers actually had the lead when they plated a run in the bottom of the second on three singles and a Yasiel Puig bases loaded hit by pitch that forced in a run. The Cardinals would immediately take the lead with three runs in the top half of the third. Jose Martinez’s RBI single and Yadier Molina’s two-run home run gave the Cards a 3-1 lead. The Cards added two more in the top of the seventh when Daniel Hudson knicked Tyler O’Neill with a pitch and Marcell Ozuna followed with a two-run bomb into the left field pavilions that put the St. Louis club ahead 5-1. Manny Machado homered in the bottom of the seventh to get the Dodgers closer, but of course nobody was on base. Former Dodger Bud Norris picked up his 26th save of the season.

The Dodgers look to get swept and fall further out of the playoff race on Wednesday night as they send Walker Buehler to the mound. The red birds will give the ball to right hander Jack Flaherty. Honestly, I can’t wait for this miserable season to end. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM PST.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

23 thoughts on “Lifeless Dodgers Drop Another Series, Fall Further Out of Playoff Race

  1. Lifeless? I wouldn’t call 2 runs on 9 hits lifeless. But, against the Cards defense being as poorly played as it was, it show the kind of lack that this team has. That lack has been present for the last 3 years even though we got to the WS last year. It was a mirage, all smoke and mirrors as this team keeps fooling everyone. But, I agree that they aren’t really going anywhere. Even with Manny’s ability to get on base, without the Turner/Kemp/Bellinger tandem, we wilt. Turner couldn’t turn it on tonight. Without his bat, it’s difficult for this team to win.

    Let’s face it, the real reason we lost was Roberts. He was sitting there jinxing the team as usual. The guys are very sensitive, you know.

  2. Yup, a bumpy and rough year as predicted in April.

    This team really has no option for success with both Roberts and this front office in place.

  3. It ain’t over yet. But the Cardinals can be added to the list of teams that are currently better than us. It’s probably their manager. It’s well known (by some anyway) that great managers can be credited with as many as 5-7 wins a year. Maybe Schildt (is that how you spell it?) is Earl Weaver. And it’s also believed (by a few) that bad managers can cost a team 20 games.

    It’s of course possible that Scott is right and this team just isn’t that good. Sure looks like it at this point. But I’m not a quitter and 3.5 games out with 35 to go is a tad early to throw in the towel. I’ll watch to the end just in case something memorable happens.

  4. Badger
    Dummy better hope that this is not a prolonged slump as this is not the time for one. If they do not make the playoffs you can bet Dummy is out of here. He needs to play the best he has in every game. Not the mix em match em Dummy version he usually uses. This year is on him.

    1. package, maybe we should all hope for the worst if it means the removal of Roberts. This is not a year to be proud of in any case.

      1. We will probably be just as successful hoping for the worst as we were hoping for the best. You must realize by now the baseball Gods don’t give a damn what we think or want. But I’m with you, hoping the rest of the season stinks so bad even Guggenheim in their sweet smelling penthouse is embarrassed enough to sweep all that FAZ-Roberts garbage out of California…

    2. That’s your take pack. I disagree. This year, and every year, is on the players. When Kemp and Muncy were tearing it up, we went on a winning streak and moved into first place. When they faltered, there was nobody to pick it up. We lose Jansen, who is here to take his place? Nobody. Depth? An illusion. You want to talk depth, look at the Cardinals. There is an organization with true depth. They have a starting staff of people I never heard of, but unlike our alleged depth, there depth has stepped up.

      I am too old and too experienced to give credit or blame to a manager. The numbers on that front are clear – 5 games max, more likely 2-3. Baseball is played by players, not managers. I know you don’t believe that, but I do.

      If our players pull their heads out their asses we still have a chance. The first thing I do is bench Kemp. We need a hitter in that spot. Verdugo is my choice. Not sure how to address 4 inning starters. Keep throwing them out there I guess.

      35 games. And even if we do make the playoffs, how far does this group go?

      This year is on FAZ. This is the team they’ve constructed and they have had 4 years to do it.

      1. So from your point of view. if a player is not playing well, it’s all on him? Just ignore the manager who signed or traded for the player, just ignore the manager who sends him out there to fail day after day instead of replacing him? Once a man is named “Manager”, he is untouchable, a God, not responsible actually for that which he is supposed to “manage”? You’re not a manager, you’re not a player, you’re just a fan. From a fan’s point of view, the whole organization, from Guggenheim to the useless hitting coach, is responsible. They want our dollars for tickets, parking, food, other crap, then they bought into the responsibility. I don’t think there have been very many players who didn’t put out their best effort every game they played.

        1. First of all, managers don’t make trades, General Managers do.

          Secondly, it is players, not managers who are MVP’s, Cy Young and All Stars. I have never heard any player, when accepting any award, give credit to his manager for actually playing him. OF COURSE it’s the players! Always has been.

          Third, Roberts has used the “replacement” practice every night since he’s been there. He is a manager that uses EVERYBODY.

          The rest of what you said I actually agree with. This is, in my opinion, win or lose, all on FAZ. If it works – great. If and when we win it all, I’ll admit I was wrong about them.

      2. Badger
        Come on man, I would never expect you to put all the blame on Kemp and replace him with a minor league player. This when Joc, Grandal, and others are playing no better. You are just one of many who never wanted Kemp on this team. No, the blame is squarely on Dummy. This year’s team has not played anything like last year. The team added Manny and Dozier and still no results. It is because of the lousy decisions of Dummy.

        1. Package

          First, I don’t care what anyone says about Kemp, because without Kemp carrying this team in the first half of the season, this team wouldn’t even be in a division race!

          And I don’t think Badger blames Kemp either.

          1. Pack is overreacting.

            I don’t put blame on any one player. But I think Kemp needs some time off. He has a recent history of fading. It was mentioned at BR yesterday. He did very much the same thing last year, hitting .170 over the final month. This is why I have been pushing the rest Kemp theme here. I’m not suggesting he’s done. Give him some rest and plug Verdugo in there. What is there to lose?

      3. The veteran managers records price that he is only as good as the players he has. Managers are the crossing guards when your kids go to school. They have nothing to do with what grades they get.

        1. Badger

          We need a hitter that excells in high leverage situations, not a hitter that is more adept, at getting on base.

          760 OPS in these situations at AAA, I don’t think translates well to the majors.

  5. We will probably be just as successful hoping for the worst as we were hoping for the best. You must realize by now the baseball Gods don’t give a damn what we think or want. But I’m with you, hoping the rest of the season stinks so bad even Guggenheim in their sweet smelling penthouse is embarrassed enough to sweep all that FAZ-Roberts garbage out of California…

  6. @billplunkettocr
    Follow Follow @billplunkettocr
    Can confirm #Dodgers did put waiver claim in on Bryce Harper. Was a block. No expectation of a deal getting done.

    Above from Plunkett. I can believe they offered Matt Kemp, knowing full well Washington would not make that stupid trade.

  7. The big difference in this series with the Cards, is the pitching!

    We didn’t face much good pitching in that last series, against the Mariners.

    And that is why I didn’t get so excited, with all the runs the team got.

    The Cardinals young pitching, along with Yadi behind the plate, are not as easy to hit.

    We left 11 runners on base, and the only hit with runners in scoring position on the Boxscore, was when Puig got hit by a pitch, with the bases loaded.

    Let’s hope that Roberts changes this line up especially at the top of the order, we can’t afford to leave 7 runners on base, like Joc did last night.

    1. How would changing the lineup help? The lineup has been changed every night for three years.

      We haven’t hit worth spit WRISP since 2014. I looked it up – 1st in ‘14, 22nd in ‘15, 23rd in ‘16, 25th in ‘17, and 20th this year. What happened between the ‘14 and ‘15 season that would cause such a dramatic drop off?

  8. Well, I for one have been saying since spring that I did not think this team was anywhere near as good as last years. I saw holes. I still see holes. I was skeptical of the off season additions, or lack of. Because I never felt they addressed losing Morrow. The big fix has not pitched since spring training, Tom Koehler. They were snake bit early by injuries to numerous players and then losing Seager for the season. Kemp and Muncy kept them above water for a long time, those two went into slumps and Badger is absolutely right, no body stepped up. Turner and Bellinger have been mashing, especially the last couple of weeks. Kemp woke up a little the last 5 games, and Machado came out of his funk. But Taylor, Grandal, Barnes, Kike, Joc, all have been sliding most of the month, along with that horrendous bullpen stretch, and they are what they are. Injury bug is hitting again, Axford, Goeddel, and now Chargois. That along with some questionable line ups, and pitching changes have put them where they are, and the two teams ahead of them are peaking. They traditionally do not do well against pitchers they have never seen before. That held true last night. Another thing I noticed is that they still let very hittable pitches just sail through the kill me zone with a bat on their shoulder. Joc had a couple last night right down the middle, and he took them. Taylor has been doing that all year. Grandal, when he is cold, could not hit a BP fastball, let alone catch up to a 95 mph pitch. Barnes is totally lost up there and should have been sent down. The bullpen, well, that’s another story. It is constructed like all of the bullpens since Friedman and Zaidi took over. It is made up of waiver wire pick ups, and borderline journeymen who were traded for little and are asked to step up on one of the biggest stages in the majors. Here is another little tidbit. 2 games, 5 homers by the Cardinals. 1 homer by the Dodgers, and it was insignificant. Home field has meant nothing to this team. Hitting with men on base in scoring position is not something they do well at all. The good news is that Buehler is pitching tonight, the bad news is that he has an offense sputtering to the finish line. Urias is close to coming back. Next years schedule is out. Dodgers open the season at home against the Diamondbacks on March 28th. The New York Yankees visit Dodger Stadium for the first time since 2013 in August and the Dodgers play in Boston also next year. That first series against the Diamondbacks is a 4 game set. The Giants come in next for 3. Have to wonder what the LA starting lineup will look like next Match.

    1. Badger

      I am only talking about the lead off hitter.

      I would have Dozier lead off tonight, even though he didn’t get a key hit in his one at bat, last night.

      Because Dozier is an experienced lead off hitter, and he has been good in these situations in games, since he joined the Dodgers.

      We can’t strand 7 runners on base, because getting hits in these situations, are hard enough for the best hitters, and especially for most of the hitters, on this team.

      I wonder if Turner’s wrist is hurting him, because he has been pretty quiet, in this series.

      It is very hard for this team to win games, if Turner isn’t hitting.

    2. They had no problem hitting the Pirates young pitching, that they never saw.

      The Cards have better pitching, and Yadi, handles those young pitchers, well.

      These Cards two young starting pitchers, had more gumption then some of our relief pitchers, in tough situations in games.

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