Thursday, June 20, 2024
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Do Lifesavers Come in Blue? We Need 25 of Them

On a night that followed a game spanning two calendar days, and amounted to a loss that kept the Dodgers under .500, they sent their ace, Clayton Kershaw, to the mound with hopes of balancing out the season.
Unfortunately, the Diamondbacks refused to cooperate, and then some. The damage to the Dodgers began as a trickle, with Kershaw giving up a solo home run in the 2nd. He was touched for another solo home run in the next inning as well. It was Kershaw’s second and third home runs allowed of the season, a continuation of a troubling pattern that reached its zenith last year when Kershaw gave up the most dingers in his career – and that with missing two months of the season!
The Dodgers tried to put up a fight. Austin Barnes doubled down the LF line to open the 3rd. Kershaw bunted him over to third base, and Chris Taylor knocked him in with a humidor sac fly to tie the score at 1-1.
At the end of four innings, the Dbacks had only two hits, but they were both outta the park, and that was enough for a 2-1 Arizona lead.
Despite the homers, Kershaw hung tough and hung around through six innings.  After 92 pitches he was done, but were the Dodgers as well?
With his beard that’s straight out of the gulag, Scott Alexander replaced Kershaw in the 7th, and he promptly set everything on fire. Back to back singles and a walk loaded the bases. Alexander struck out the next batter, and after 11 pitches, he walked in a run to put the snakes up 3-1.
With Dodgers-killer Paul Goldschmidt coming up and the bases still juiced, Roberts called on Pedro Baez, who added to the shenanigans by walking in the fourth and fifth Arizona runs. After a mound visit from Rick Honeycutt, Baez settled down and got the last two outs without any more damage.
The rest of the game was nothing more than the thrashing of a dying animal in the Arizona desert. Just for laughs, the Dbacks hit one last homer, letting the Dodgers know that despite all the talk of a magic humidor, they don’t have any problem hitting home runs in their house.

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.

52 thoughts on “Do Lifesavers Come in Blue? We Need 25 of Them

  1. 6 games into the season and it is way too early to panic. But there are obvious area’s of concern. Lack of runs for your ACE who starts the year 0-2 for the first time since 2009. Kersh has 2 losses, but this one is on a brutal performance by Alexander and Baez. Team had to be demoralized after they turned a tight game into a joke. Just as last night, the team looked out of sync. I think there had to be some residual fallout from a brutal loss. The sooner #10 gets back in the lineup, the better. Last year they played well without Turner. But he is their heart and soul and they seem to be lacking aggressiveness. Kemp looked overmatched by a pitcher he had previously done well against. Bellinger follows a good game with a stinker. Forshyte is reverting to what he was last year, lousy. I also think the humidor is playing a part in all this. Taylor and Puig both crushed balls that last year would have ended up in the seats or at least off the wall. And I am sorry, but Alexander did not look like all that in spring. He struggled with location during the spring and could not find the plate again tonight. Walking a pitcher who is pinch hitting and trying to do nothing but bunt the ball is a recipe for a disastrous inning. And then Baez comes in and makes it worse. First use of the call up. Fields did not go on the DL, he is on the paternity list with the birth of a child. Neal will most likely be gone by the weekend. Thompson claimed by the Yankees who are dropping like flies in their outfield. Hicks and Ellsbury both on the DL. So they need to win tomorrow behind Wood to just break AZ’s 8 game in season winning streak against them. Chase Field remains a den of horrors for the Dodgers.

  2. Yep, we’re starting out notta so good. Who cares?


    I’m no more nervous about this club today than I was yesterday. We are stumbling out of the gate. It happens. The offense will get untracked. The defense? Well, SF didn’t score much on us. That’s a good thing. 13 earned runs in 2 games in Arizona is laughable. It helps to have a good sense of humidor for times like this.

    Ok, that one needs a little work. It’s early.

    I’m not worried yet. This is basically the same team that won 104 last year. I trust they will get their swag on before too long.

    I am a little concerned about Kemp. His launch angle is flat. And the bullpen needs some time off already. Would be most helpful if Wood can go 8. I don’t expect any of our starters to do that, but it would be nice.

    We have a lot of games in our own time zone this month. Most against teams that aren’t nearly as good as we are. We should be fine by the end of the month. I’ll panic later.

  3. Badger
    I am not worried yet but I am concerned as I have been all spring. You can’t just say we are better. Remember, there have been some changes this year with the loss of Darvish and others. It just doesn’t feel right. Hopefully that chemistry will get right and the team will roll.

    1. Yeah, I get the don’t feel right part. But I still believe there are too many good players here for the wheels to come completely off. The lineup will be improved when Turner returns, Forsythe can’t remain THIS bad, the pen still has some great arms in it. And – Buehler, Toles, Verdugo. We’ll be ok.

      Last night was weird. Several balls hit hard found gloves, and then there was Baez, Alexander and Neal. That won’t likely happen again.

      My biggest concern remains Kemp. I’d sure like to see him challenge outfields more often. Ground balls aren’t his friend.

      Day game. Patrick Corbin. He’s good. But, again, we are favorites. 8.5 runs. Dodgers win 5 to 3 1/2.

      1. Michael and Badger

        Exactly, if Kenley does his job, we would be 4 and 2, so this is nothing to Panick about, especially in a long 162 game season.

        Do we need to do things better, of course, every team needs to work to get better.

        But I do blame Roberts for bringing in Baez with the bases loaded, and I don’t care about what he has held Goldy, too.

        Because Baez has never been good, with he comes into a game, with runners on base, and he is even worse, when he comes into a game, with the bases loaded.

        And Michael is right about what Alexander did in spring training, and I would think coming to a new team, Alexander would have did better in spring training, but now he is doing this, in the regular season too.

        There is nothing worse, then when a reliever comes into a game, they give up free bases, like both Alexander, and Baez, did last night.

        Badger when did you start being concerned with Kemp?

        I noticed he had a really bad at bat, after he made that play in the outfield, and hit his knee.

        I just don’t see the passion in Kemp right now, like something else is on his mind, but that is only me.

      2. Tend to concur with Badger. Last year started quite slowly IIRC. I differ with Michael Norris about Kemp’s fielding, but align with Badger about his bat.

        I’m also disappointed in Alexander, who even with the excuse of back-to-back games was ludicrously wild.

        Dodgers 0-4 in games where Kershaw or Jansen appeared. Didn’t anticipate that at all.

        1. His routes may not be to your liking. But the results so far have been good. is he the best out there? No, but he has not given up anything yet and none of these losses can be laid at his door due to bad fielding. Logan Forsythe on the other hand has been a disaster at 3rd. He can’t hit or field, and I think mentally he is the one who is way off his game. Matt’s bat has looked a little slow, and he actually looked a little unsure up there. But a couple of hard contact hits, and he will be back on his game…..PS, he loves hitting in SF.

          1. Bluto

            I agree with Michael about Kemp’s defense, why would you talk about Kemp’s defense, after in the same game, another outfielder, made a three base error, and you said nothing about that error!

            I am more concerned with Kemp’s mental state, he just doesn’t seem right, up at bat, at the plate, but that could just be me, but it is still really early, to be truthful.

            Badger always says, after 100 at bats, that is when you should start worrying, not before that.

            But I don’t blame Michael questioning Forsythe, because Forsythe didn’t even hit above 200 against righties last year, and he has not been good against righties, most of his career

  4. One of those walks was to a pitcher who was there to bunt! Oh well

    Today is a great day for a win. Let’s beat those snakes, who, IMHO, are a very good team.

    1. That was pitiful. I shut the game off at that point. Sometimes this team is just too painful to watch. I at that point switched over and watched the Angels pound the crap out of the Indians. Much more entertaining.

  5. Are they better than the other teams in the division? At this point no. 3 of the 5 seasons they have won the division they had losing records in April. The year they ran off a 43-8 run they were 12 games below .500 when it started. So the track record says they will turn it around. But, every player on this team needs to step it up a notch with Turner on the sidelines. I don’t know if it is deer in the headlights or what, but Alexander has not seemed comfortable since he put on the uni. Baez reverted to being a thrower instead of a pitcher. These guys do not look like they are coming out of the pen breathing fire. After not striking out a lot in the first few games, last night Kemp was flailing at pitches he could never hit. Shades of yesteryear. Puig is hitting in bad luck because his approach has been good and some of the strike calls have been really bad. Collectively my analysis is that the hitters are in a funk. Only Grandal, and I cannot believe I am saying this, seems to be on his game. But hola, it is a contract year for granny, so he knows he needs to have a monster season. Taylor and Kike have hit ok. But what to do about Forsythe? Personally, I give Farmer a shot at playing everyday over there. His fielding when he has played has been excellent, and Forsythe has been mediocre there at best. I like Farmers approach at the plate, and the kid has got to be hungry to be playing. He is the only player without a hit so far this season, but he had the best spring of most of the other guys. I like his demeanor and tenacity and he looks when he is at the plate like he really means business. I believe Forsythe is too passive and looks at too many pitches often letting the best pitch he is going to get all game go by him for a strike. He did the same thing last year. I checked the roster of OKC and of the pitchers on the roster only 5 are on the 40 man, so if help is needed those 5 are going to have to provide it. One of the pitchers at AA Tulsa is also on the 40 man. Venditte is not. I know FAZ will be watching the waiver wire carefully. That’s how he goes about his business. It’s step up time or they will have to sweep the Giants in their home park just to get a .500 road trip.

    1. With the exercising of the Forsythe option, FAZ went all in on him. He will be given a lot of rope. Apparently he had toe issues last year. This year he appears to not be handling subbing for Turner. Put him back at second and bat him 7th an he should be fine. Farmer made the final cut – play him.

      MJ, Kemp had an OPS over 1.000 for much of Spring Training, but his last home run feels like it was a month ago. In 18 at bats so far he has only 3 hits, all singles. He had 5 dingers and 2 doubles in 57 at bats – .878 OPS this Spring. I want that guy. We don’t get him, he won’t last long.

      1. Badger

        I think his last HR was in that last game against, the Angels.

        I don’t see him hunting good pitches to hit, he seems almost defensive instead.

        I don’t see total concentration, when he is in the box.

    2. Michael

      I think that was a complement to Baez, because I don’t consider him a pitcher, he always reverts to throwing fastball, after fastball, and throws at our mercies, especially when the bases or loaded, by himself, or coming into a bases loaded, situation!

      How did you not mention a deer in a headlights look, with Baez, it must be a bear in headlights look, with Baez, if it is a deer with Alexander.

  6. I will restate my opinion on Kemp, he will not be in the regular lineup by June, either injury, sucking or both.

    The best feature of this current squad is they have a reliever with a most excellent 70s pornstache.

    Other good features, I’m not seeing them. Kershaw is weaker and vlunerable, Jansen is an incendiary device. Baez is still Baez. Forsythe remains appropriately glossed as Forshyte. Joc is still Joc.

    Like I warned previously and repeatedly, we are in for a bumpy ride this season.

    You had better hope the FO comes to their senses and brings Toles back up, gives him left field and possibly moves him to lead-off, bumping Taylor to 2nd which allows for a much better batting order. Sorry but Puig needs to be batting 6th, he really isn’t the 3 batter that he needs to be. This lineup should be producing better, Roberts ain’t the manager that can properly assess and implement a proper shake-up in the order, so it may all be a moot point.

    1. True

      I agree with you, that Puig shouldn’t be hitting third, but he is also hitting, into hard luck, because he has been hitting the ball hard, when he gets good pitches to hit.

  7. And that’s exactly why I wanted Dyson in centerfield. Speed. I value it.

    Puig has the natural ability to hit third in the lineup. But I bat him 6th.

    MJ I don’t think Kemp will get 100 at bats if he’s hitting < .200 after 99. They didn’t want him in the first place. He’s only here because he hit well in ST.

    Great start again today.

    1. Badger

      I think your right about that, but I still can see them, not doing a thing either.

      The Dbacks are just out playing them, today.

      The Dbacks are doing what the Dodgers should be doing, the little things, instead of trying to hit it out.

  8. Well so far Kemp has the only hit and the rest look disinterested…… the way, Stanton hit a 468 foot HR today…..nah, we do not need that guy.

  9. I’m so into the Dodgers this season that I didn’t even know they were playing (if you want to call it that) this afternoon. Now that I know they are playing will I turn it on, as the Pope would say “HELL NO!”

  10. This team at this point is totally unwatchable. Observations ….Corbin has changed something because the Dodgers have owned this guy. Farmer is much better at 3rd than Forsythe. Wood is pitching in bad luck. Kemp’s double was a flare, but that can always help a player who has not been hitting all that well. Everyone else is trying to kill the ball except Farmer who has the only other ball that was at least hit hard. Dave Roberts tinkers with his lineups way too much. I am pretty sure this is the 7th different lineup in 7 games. And Kike Hernandez has about as much business hitting 4th as Bluto does complaining about Kemps defense when the guy has made several good plays out there and no errors.

  11. The dbacks are a complete team. And we are seeing them without Lamb, Delgado and Souza.

    The Dodgers, and their all or nothing approach, look good when it’s all and look like sh*t when it’s nothing. It will get better.

    1. Good morning. Good afternoon. Good night. Never lifted his bat off his shoulder. Doesn’t get more pathetic than that.

  12. Corbin was pitching backwards all day, and our players assumed they were getting a fastball, every time they were ahead on their counts, they got to adjust!

      1. Badger

        It just gets frustrating when you see the other team doing, what the Dodgers should do.

        When everyone is swinging from their heels, it is easier to pitch to them.

    1. True
      I don’t think Kemp is the problem. I think Forsythe and Joc should go 1st. Forsythe is a bum, he can’t hit and he has 4 errors, nice. Joc should have been gone 2 years ago.

  13. It’s way too small a sample size (I think) but who is the worst all around player in this team right now?

    1. Joc, Kemp Forshyte, Kike

      Notice the distance that I put between the first two leaders of suck. At least Forshyte and Kinke have some usable service, while the other two don’t really quality.

      Give me Toles and send both Joc And Basket Case out on an iceberg.

      1. Joc and Kiké are bench players. Did you really expect them to be great? Forsythe? He’s a 2 WAR player that hits at the bottom of the order. He’s not the problem. The problem is Taylor, Seager, Puig, Kemp, all hitting .222 or less, and Turner not in the lineup. We need the middle of the order to hit.

        Take a breath. These guys haven’t all of a sudden forgotten how to hit.

        1. Badger
          Kemp has 18abs while joc has 13, Forsythe, Kike, Puig, Taylor, and Seager all have 24 or more abs. Kemp is not the problem, FORSYTHE and JOC are the problem. They may not be the problem in your eyes but when they play more than Kemp and have a much greater SUCK factor, to me they are definitely the problem. All the while Forysthe has 4 errors. Give me a break.

  14. Kemp has a higher BA and OBP than Hernandez. That at bat in the 9th was pitiful. But the whole offense stinks right now and they had better wake up soon. The Giants seem to have found their hitting shoes today with 4 HR’s. They are beating Felix Hernandez. This group right now does not even look like the best in the west, let alone the NL. At least the pitching has been decent for the most part. Time for the hitters to wake the hell up. Thompson on Yankees 40 man roster, but not the 25. Probably will be sent to Scranton.

    1. Just looked at the giants box. They have 6 guys hitting .300 or better. We have 6 guys hitting .222 or less. You know that’s going to change.

  15. i dont believe this team will be as good as last yr…cody will not be the same as he was .last yr ..that was his year he will come down to earth…seager wont be the same…bias should of been gone two yrs ago..kershaw is on his down side. puig is better ,,’either is gone and he came up with some clutch hits adrian is gone,, and the front office didnt go out and get any thing.. just my opinion ,

  16. I find it appalling that some want to lay blame at the feet of Kemp when so many others have done much worse. Take today’s game, the Dodgers had 1 hit. Guess who had the hit, right, Kemp. He has also made some good plays in the outfield but that $^^#&* Roberts plays the likes of Joc, Kike, Forsythe and others who are burning abs but accomplishing nothing. Put the blame where it belongs, in the bullpen and many other position players, not on Kemp.

  17. Here’s my take. I frikin Hate this pop up video number one. 2, Forsythe sucks but FAZ won’t suck up, they made a frikin mistake. Kike I am 100% behind… He just IS Not a middle of the lineup hitter.. He can play all over the place. Doc has really shitty mid game high stress long vision management experience. It will change. I hope very soon. CK has issues but will work it out, although there is a big book on his issues that all the other teams are reading. See sabermetric research.
    The bullpen sucks overall. Alexander looks like a cross between Ron Jeremy and Keith Hernandez. And that is enough to scare even Badger. Although I think Badger did some porn in the mid 70s. Kenley is cocky and got humbled. ow does he react? We shall see. Not too worried but we are essentially the same on field team as last year. Ruh Roh

    1. Good take Tim. FYI, my porn days continued through the 80s.

      I’m a Kemp fan but I have to be honest about what I’ve seen. 3 singles and a cue shot doink double for a .611 OPS. He’s a middle order presence. He just has to do better.

      Other than Grandal and Barnes, we just aren’t hitting. I think we will. I do agree with jerry that it’s more than likely Bellinger and Taylor won’t improve on last year’s production, which was outstanding, but they should produce. Seager is a bonafide star, IF he’s ok physically. That remains to be seen. It’s my opinion Puig will probably never rise to the level of his potential, but he too should hit. I actually like the potential of of our pitching staff but I recognize I could be wrong about them. Our starters are what they are – don’t ask them to do more than 5 innings and be damn grateful if they can finish 6. Same with pen. Don’t ask them to do more than they are capable of. i.e. – don’t bring Baez in with men on. And somebody wake up Jansen.

      I think we will be ok, but honestly I won’t be all that surprised if we aren’t.

    2. I totally disagree on Kike. He is what he is and that is not an everyday player. The guy is a utility man and nothing else and at no time except his first year as a Dodger has he hit over .211. He has some pop and supposedly kills lefty’s. At this point the only thing he is killing is rally’s. Your team is down 3 with 2 outs in the 9th and 2 on and you sit there with the friggin bat on your shoulder and never even attempt to protect the plate? You are downright pitiful. Anything near that dish he should have been hacking, especially with 2 strikes. The guy is a one dimensional hitter. They all are trying to hit the ball into the next county. What I wouldn’t give for a contact hitter like say, Andrew Toles, who has speed too. They stand on the bags, never attempt to steal bases, either take too many strikes or swing at pitches they could not hit with a 10 foot pole. Turner Ward has one hell of a job turning this bunch around. If Seager is healthy, he will be fine. Bellinger, well I do not think he hits 39 again unless he really changes his approach at the plate. They both will be better when the heart and soul gets back…..Turner. Forsythe is one of FAZ’s worst deals. The guy has not been anything close to what he was in Tampa. More like his Padre days. He is a better 2nd baseman than a 3rd baseman. He takes to many pitches, puts himself in a hole, and then makes weak contact. Other than the 1st game in Az when he got his HR and a single, the guy has been abysmal. I have serious doubts about Baez and Alexander. Beginning to think they should have kept Avilan because you know what you have with him, even Liberatore had a better spring than Alexander. Personally, I call up Venditte. He gives you a lefty and a righty out of the pen. Joc’s approach has been ok when he tries to go to the opposite field more. Puig has been hitting in bad luck and he has really crushed a few balls and had nothing to show for it. As for Jansen and Kershaw, CK is a bulldog. Sometimes too much, but he has the best stuff of any starter on the staff and no doubt will win more than he loses unless this offense is really as bad as it looks. Jansen’s attitude sucks. Maybe a few bad outings will make him get his head out of his ass and get pitches over the plate that are not cookie dough. Taylor also seems to be just a little out of sync. I do not think he goes .288, 21 again, but he should be a solid .270 hitter with 10 plus dingers. Until the power guys heat up some, this team is going to have problems scoring runs because their situational hitting really sucks. Chase Utley is so much better right now than Forsythe. These guys are a sad imitation of the 2017 Dodgers….the changes made so far in the roster have not helped anything.

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