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NLCS Game 1: Cubs 8 Dodgers 4 Trainwreck

What an absolute embarrassment. The Dodgers took game 1 and threw it right down the toilet with poor strategy and one bum reliever’s meatballs in the bottom of the eighth inning. The Dodgers had grabbed the momentum in the top of the eighth inning when Adrian Gonzalez’s two-out bases loaded single scored two runs to tie the game at 3-3. The Dodgers were down 3-1 entering that frame and were unable to hit anything that opposing starter Jon Lester threw at them save for a pinch-hit solo home run from Andre Ethier in the top of the fifth.

The Cubs scored five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning when Miguel Montero hit a grand slam home run off of meatball thrower Joe Blanton that broke the tie and then Dexter Fowler added another home run that put another nail in the coffin. The Dodgers lost game 1 by a final score of 8-4. Honestly I have no idea what the hell Dave Roberts was trying to do in that inning.

NLCS Game 1-Cubs lead series 1-0

Dodgers  4 9 0

Cubs        8 9 0





The Dodgers and Cubs kicked off the NLCS in grand style, unfortunately there was nothing grand for the Dodgers as they were eaten alive by Jon Lester’s pitching and the Cubs superior defense. Throughout the game the Dodgers hit line drives and ropes but unfortunately they were right at a Cub’s defender. The Cubs also made several great defensive plays on Dodger balls hit all over the diamond. I don’t know if this was just great defensive positioning or bad luck. Perhaps a little of both.

The Cubs scored three runs early and they made it stand up for most of the game until that horrendous eighth inning. Dexter Fowler singled and then Kris Bryant’s double scored him to put the Cubs up 1-0 after one. In the second inning Jason Heyward tripled and Javier Baez’s double plated him. Maeda uncorked a wild pitch to move him to third and then during a squeeze attempt he stole home as Turner’s throw to the plate was high. That made the score 3-0 Cubs.

The Dodgers had a runner thrown out at the plate (Gonzo) and the Cubs stole home. Javier Baez’s steal of home in the second inning was the first time a Cubs player stole home in a postseason game since the 1907 World Series.

The Cubs scored one run in the first inning, and two runs in the bottom of the second off of Kenta Maeda who turned in another lackluster outing by allowing three earned runs on 4 hits over four innings.

In the eighth inning Andrew Toles singled and pinch-hitter Chase Utley walked. Justin Turner’s grounder to third pulled Bryant too far away from the bag and Toles slides into third safely to load the bases. After Corey Seager and Yasiel Puig both struck out against Aroldis Chapman, Adrian Gonzalez took things into his own hands after a failed pep talk to Puig in the dugout. He smashes a two-run single up the middle to score two and tie the game.

The Dodgers predictably not only gave it right back but really embarrassed themselves in the bottom half of the eighth frame. Joe Blanton Gave up a double to Zobrist, and then gets Addison Russell to ground out. They intentionally walked Heyward, which would be the first of two intentional walks in the inning. After Baez flies out to right field, The Dodgers decide to intentionally walk pinch-hitter Chris Coghlan for some reason. That loaded the bases and the Cubs sent up catcher Miguel Montero who immediately smashes a grand slam home run that probably still hasn’t landed. Fowler follows by homering as well and that essentially ended the game.

The game fittingly ended with the Dodgers lining into a double play. The saber kids would probably mention the Dodgers angering the BABIP gods with all of the line drives finding gloves.

I have nothing more to say about this game right now. I’m extremely annoyed and I need to take a break for the rest of the night. So I am going to walk away for the evening and I’ll have more on this travesty tomorrow. Until then the series continues tomorrow night as Clayton Kershaw takes the hill for the Dodgers against Kyle Hendricks at 5PM PST.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

113 thoughts on “NLCS Game 1: Cubs 8 Dodgers 4 Trainwreck

  1. Rebound tomorrow and I think we can win this thing. I think we gave them two runs early. Kendrick botched the ball in LF and I don’t get playing the infield in with no outs in the second inning.

    Toles must play! Other than the hangers that Blanton was throwing they should feel good about how they played.

    1. Toles and Ethier should play. I’m afraid it’s over for Puig and I’m sad. But I won’t be surprised when he comes back to life for a different club next year. But those great brains will play Reddick tonight…

      1. Wondering

        Puig has never been good in clutch situations, in the last three years.

        But he shouldn’t be hitting fourth, and he has not played that much, and all he has been is a everyday player, so he is probably a little better, then we have seen.

        I don’t think Ethier moves as well as he normally does on defense, because of his injury, but he is difinitly a much better hitter, then Reddick.

        1. Never?

          .845 OPS WRISP career, .838 WRISP in ’16. On this team I think that’s pretty good. I don’t have a problem with having him up there. He still has trouble with balls spinning away, so, remind him of that, but he can straighten out fastballs ok.

          1. I don’t remember the source, maybe Molly Knight, that described how Puig had basically crumbled in the playoff series against the Cards. He was the forgotten man in that game five the other night. I think there is a perception by the organization that he just doesn’t have the psychological make up to play at a consistently high level and in high leverage situations. Adrian was even trying to give him a Lombardi speech before his at bat where he grounded out weakly on a 3-1 pitch that looked like a ball – not a good at bat.

            That’s the reason you’re seeing so much Reddick. The stats might be close, but the team believes Reddick is less likely to make bad decisions at the plate.

    2. Hawkeye

      I just saw that hit to left again, and that was a very catchable hit.

      The only reason Byant’s ball hit that wall, was because of Howie’s bad defense, on that ball.

      It only hit the very bottom of the wall.

      That is why I questioned having Howie a natural second baseman, playng in leftfield, before this game.

      There was no reason to put Howie in left, instead of Kike, who not only covers more ground, he has a much better arm for the outfield, and has played a lot in the outfield, in his career.

  2. Reason to walk Coghlan was to force Madden’s hand to take out Chapman. It was working til the hanging slider up and right down the pipe. Had him 0 and 2 that pitch should have never happened. Blanton messed up.

    1. It did. Then instead of throwing that killer sinker he has, Blanton threw another breaking ball that was right down the pipe…game over

  3. Ruiz should’ve just held on to the ball and caught Baez in a rundown. Baez made a mistake and was breaking towards home when Ruiz threw to third, giving Turner no chance to nail him at home. That was less a steal of home than a missed opportunity to pick Baez off. Mistake number one.

    The Dodgers actually did a pretty good job putting wood on the ball and hitting line drives. Fowler made some really nice diving catches in the outfield, and the defense by the Cubs overall was excellent. Give them credit here. That’s a big reason why the Dodgers advanced and the Nats didn’t. Defense is a big factor in playoff baseball.

    The Dodgers did a good job to come back in the 8th against Chapman. Agon got the first hit by the Dodgers with the bases loaded since the playoffs started.

    The intentional walks in the 8th by Dave were gutsy and smart, I thought, especially the walk to get to Baez. At first glance that doesn’t make sense because Baez has been really hot, and already has a game winning homer. This is where Dave was reading the psychology of the player. He realized that Baez was going to be aggressive and try to press. Blanton was able to get him to chase his slider. Blanton’s stuff played better against Montero than Coughlan, and that got Chapman out of the game.

    That whole sequence could have worked to a tee. Blanton just didn’t have his slider working against Montero.

    I thought the Dodgers hung in there and did some pretty good things. It just takes one mistake.

    Edit – I didn’t even realize Fowler homered. I turned the TV off after the slam.

    1. You are exactly right, dodgerpatch, mental error on Ruiz. Baez was dead meat. Fake a throw to freeze him, then run him down. Another mistake was sending Gonzalez home, sure you want to be aggressive with two outs, but, Gonzalez had no chance.

      The game showed that the Cubs can be beat. Let’s get a split in Wrigley tonight.

    2. Dodger Patch

      The Cubs played good defense, but they had almost everything go there way yesterday.

      And those unprofessional broadcasters, are terrible to listen too, because they mise well be the president and Vice President, of the Cub’s matching and chowder society!

      1. Yeah, they seemed much more animated with every Cubs base hit….and the interminable interview with Arrieta singing the praises of every Cubs player on the team. Give it a rest, already.

        However, I thought they were good in that 8th inning. They were pretty quick to recognize the implications of Chapman coming up and were good at deciphering what Roberts was thinking in each of those walk situations.

        1. Dodger patch

          I agree they were better in the eighth ining.

          And they did explain almost all of Roberts moves, that is why I am suprised Dodgers Digest, didn’t digest there info better.

          Because almost every move worked, except Blanton just couldn’t get that last out!

          We would have been in a tied game, and coming up to hit in the next inning, and Chapman was already out of the game.

          And if we scored in the top of the ninth, like we did, Roberts would have brought Kenley in, to save the game in the bottom of the ninth, and we would have won that game.

          Excellent moves by Roberts!

  4. We can see why the Cubs are the best team. They just keep coming at you and taking advantage of every mistake the opposition makes. Leaving Blanton in to pitch with the bases loaded was a huge mistake/miscalculation by Roberts. He was pitching poorly and should have been removed long before Montero came to bat. I remember saying to myself, this is going to end badly. I didn’t realize how badly, though.

    How about Ethier? a PH HR. This brought back some life back to the Dodgers against a LH pitcher. Once Lester was removed from the game, the Cubs bullpen could not hold us. Toles and Agone came up big and it was a new game. Why did Roberts put in Blanton at all? Stripling pitched 1 perfect inning and he’s supposed to be a long reliever. Roberts over-thinking his bullpen. Go with what is working. It was enough that we were able to stay in this game. You could see the demise coming.

    Now, to get over it.

    1. Jeff

      With the bases loaded, Roberts stayed with Blanton, because he knew Blanton would be able to throw strikes.

      Dayton is a rookie, and he came in, in that last game, and walked his first hitter, then gave up a HR to Heisy.

      And Roberts walked the bases loaded, to make Maddon take Chapman out of the game.

      And if Roberts would have brought in the leftie Dayton there, Maddon would have went with his young catcher, who is hitting better then Montero this year.

      Roberts made all of the right moves, and it would have worked, if Blanton would have executed his third pitch better.’

      Because we would have still been tied, and Chapman would be out of the game.

      And you saw that we scored a run off the Cub’s former closer right away.

      Remember Joc got on, on an error, and then Toles hit Joc in, with a double.

  5. You give the Cubs outs, you give them baserunners, they will take advantage. Walking the bases loaded was a huge mistake, as was letting Blanton face Montero after that. Someone will say, but if it had worked, Roberts would be a genius–wrong. He would be a lucky idiot.

    1. I maybe wrong, but, I think the Cubs had a better right handed batter to bat against a lefty if Blanton was taken out.

      I didn’t like walking the bases loaded. In my mind, better to bring a lefty in to face Coghlin with runners at first and second. To much can go wrong with a man on third.

      1. Boxout
        Your right about the other right hand hitter, it was there young catcher, who is hitting much better, then Montero is this year.

      1. Dodger Digest agrees:
        It was then that Dave Roberts started a string of iffy decisions, beginning with intentionally walking Jason Heyward, apparently for matchup reasons and to put the double play into effect. Of course, that is basically insane since Javier Baez was next, Heyward is not a good hitter, and Blanton doesn’t induce ground balls.
        anyway if your main objective is making sure a one-inning reliever doesn’t pitch a second inning, something is wrong

        1. Wondering

          Roberts pitched to Baez, because Baez is a agressive hitter.

          Heyward is more patient, and gets his bat on the ball, in those type of situations.

          Baez is more like Joc, and Heyward, is more like Reddick.

          Baez does hit the ball hard, but at times, he gets to anxious and is to agressive.

          And you saw him swing at very first pitch, and pop it up, so that worked great.

          We were in a tied game, and Chapman would have still been in the game, if Roberts, wouldn’t have done that.

          And Chapman isn’t just any closer, he throws harder on an average, then any pitcher has, in baseball ever.

          And think about it, if Blanton executes his pitch correctly, the game is still tied, and we hadn’t used Kenley yet.

          So if we would have scored the run like we later did after the eighth ininng, that would have given us the lead, and Roberts could have brought kenley in, to save the game.

    2. Snider

      Roberts moves were very good, what would you have did, and what about Roberts moved, bothered you?

      I am just wondering, because I saw Roberts talk about his moves, on the Dodgers post game show.

      I’m just curious.

      1. As Boxout said, I think it’s a bad idea to walk the go-ahead run to third. Too many intentional walks have come back to bite us. Remember Game 1 of the division series last year. I think you need to keep the game tied and hope you can break through against their pen.

  6. Roberts has been pulling rabbits out if ass all year. He’s bound to have a few get stuck now and then, especially against better teams.

    Chicago has been at this rebuild thing for a while now. They had some high draft picks starting 6 years ago. They are there. We’ve only been doing it two years and having to build on Division Championships our picks haven’t been as high. We’ve also had the disadvantage of of such a ridonkulously high payroll, so, patience is needed. Today we have Kershaw coming off 12 innings of 1.459 WHIP and 5.84 ERA against the Nats so, there’s that. We face Hendricks who led the league in ERA and won 16, but we hit .130 against this year so, we’ve got that going for us. Never give up.

    1. Watford

      You have to give them credit, for coming back in that game, and having mostly good at bats, throughout that game.

      Everything was going the Cubs way, in that game, especially early in that game.

      The Cubs had to win that game, with there ace starting and playing at home.

  7. From across the pond it’s a Watford sighting!!! Damn good to hear from you!!
    Chronic is fired up this morning… ” One bum reliever’s meatballs in the bottom of the eighth inning”?!?
    Meatball yes, especially with a $%^& 0-2 count, Bum ??? Really???
    We are up to our arse in alligators with this Cub team, but as Roberts often says, we gotta grind!!!
    Let Kersh quiet the storm…

    1. Pete, had a trip to the Galway Races – what a town. boy they know how to drink & party. 3 days of mayhem. Best place I’ve been in Ireland.

      Hope life is good.

    2. Weren’t you after Watford’s email? If you two guys want to send emails to the address I published here, I will forward them for you and they will not be publicly exposed.

  8. Badger: “Chicago has been at this rebuild thing for a while now. They had some high draft picks starting 6 years ago. They are there. We’ve only been doing it two years and having to build on Division Championships our picks haven’t been as high. We’ve also had the disadvantage of of such a ridonkulously high payroll, so, patience is needed. ”

    Agree 100%. Very astute observations. Happily, I believe all the Cuban signings will turn out to be our high draft picks. Yadier Alzarez could become the best of all of them. And the bonus is, we can still win this year!!

  9. A few observations:

    1. If you think it was a bad move to walk the bases loaded you are also most likely the same ones who have faulted just about everything the Dodgers have done. You don’t think Roberts or the Dodgers are good “They are lucky, Yeah, that’s the ticket!” Anything to justify your narrative.

    2. Let’s not forget WHY Roberts walked the bases loaded – Chapman was due up and the purpose was to get him out of the game. AND IT WORKED! As Roberts said “I would do that 10 out of 10 times.” Right about now, half of the Giants fans think Bochy is an idiot. When your players don’t execute, you are an idiot! Montero was a .216 hitter and Blanton screwed up. That’s all!

    3. Blanton got Baez very easily and has been one of the best setup men in baseball all year. There was no reason to yank him and you generally don’t bring in a fresh pitcher with the bases loaded!

    4. Insofar as to those who think Roberts was overthinking the bullpen and suggested he should have left Stripling in: What is there to overthink? Stripling was due up to bat and Toles pinch hit for him. .. and got a hit! Are you saying that Roberts should have let him hit? It’s that same old “Blaming narrative” again. You try and fit the facts to your blame. It doesn’t work here.

    5. Roberts figured that if the team had to face Chapman in the 9th with no runners on, the odds were not good to score. That’s why he forced Maddon’s hand. Chapman had allowed 8 of 14 runners he inherited to score – it seems he is distracted a bit by baserunners, but when he starts an inning, he is nails.

    6. I support Roberts decision, not as a “stroke of Genius” because it’s really just Baseball 101. It was just a smart move to make considering the totality of the circumstances. That’s why smart people don’t play the game in a vacuum – they are playing THIS game, THIS series, THIS season, but they are also looking ahead. The game is not played in a microcosm… which ends up with you head stuck somewhere dark.

    1. I have no problem with leaving Blanton in, he has been great all year. But, I still don’t like walking the bases loaded. Putting another man in scoring position and at third base is a huge gamble. How many more ways is there to score a run from third (and bases loaded) even with two outs? I pitch to Coghlan and his 2016 .188 BA with runners on first and second. Although it would be nice to get Chapman out of there, let them use him another inning or two. Maybe he wouldn’t be available tonight.

        1. No, he is available. Maybe not if he had pitched another 20 – 25 in the next inning. Or if still available, maybe not as effective.

          1. I agree. 17 pitches isn’t that many. Getting him out of the game last night puts him in the game tonight.

      1. A few points about that:

        -Coughlan’s career BA against Blanton is .471 with a .1071 OPS

        -Coughlan has had a solid year, with 440 ABs, a .250 ave and 16 home runs. Montero hit .216/8

        -Montero’s splits are weaker against off speed pitches and sliders, which plays to Blanton’s strengths

        -Getting Chapman out of the game takes away the Cub’s biggest advantage going to the 9th

        -Walking another batter into scoring position is not good, but whether a base hit brings in one or two runs, at that point – in the 8th – matters less that just getting out of the inning.

        -Blanton pitched well against Baez. His slider did what it was supposed to do and drop out of the zone.

        I suppose if you really wanted to quibble, maybe Roberts takes Blanton out when he sees those first two pitches were meatballs. Maybe Blanton tries to get Montero to nibble at a fastball just off the plate. But that just delays the inevitable. The slider is Blanton’s pitch. He has to come with it at some point. Either he executes it well or he doesn’t. He just didn’t in that situation.

        1. Dodger Patch

          I agree, Chapman by far, was the Cubs biggest strength at that point of the game.

          That is why a team needs to be ahead, that late in a game.

          1. I don’t know what game you were watching. I seem to recall Gonzalez knocking in two against Chapman and almost taking Chapman’s head off while doing it.

            Chapman may be fast, but at least you know what’s coming.

    2. Mark,

      #2. Chapman was due up and the purpose was to get him out of the game.

      Blanton from the get-go, was doubled by Zobrist. That, in itself, spelled trouble. Why walk Heyward? He doesn’t pose the kind of threat that some of the other Cubs’ batters do. Coughlan even less so. Two weak batters intentionally walked to load the bases to get the pitcher out of the game. I can see that this strategy has more danger in it than pitching to these batters. After all, if the Cubs stayed alive until Chapman was due to bat, they wouldn’t have sent him to the plate anyway. That is a gamble that I would never have taken. The moment after Zobrist doubled, I would have pulled Blanton. In games like this, you have to act fast. Like I said in my post, I had this overwhelming feeling that Blanton was going to crumble, and he did, not only with Montero’s HR, but with another HR and another double. Why did Roberts leave him in after Montero’s blast? He was guessing and hoping, not watching the actual performance of Blanton. It’s understandable. Roberts has done this several times during the season, leaving pitchers in for too long.

      You’re right about Toles for Stripling PH. That was a brain fart on my part.

      Maeda has been very disappointing during these playoffs. He is not holding up well. It doesn’t seem he is built for the long haul. Giving up early runs is how we lost so many games in the first half of the season. The starting pitching is barely able to go any distance.

      1. #1. Guilty as charged. Didn’t think they did enough last winter, didn’t think they did enough at the deadline, and still waiting to be proven wrong.

        #2 It worked? SCOREBOARD. The operation was a success but the patient expired.

        #6 Bite me.

          1. Badger thanks for reminding me about the Ram’s game, I told my brother, I would watch them again.

            A lot of points scored in just a half hour.

    3. Mark

      We would have won that game, if Blanton would have executed his third pitch better.

      Chapman would be out of the game, and we would be facing the Cub’s former closer, and he is a former closer, for a reason.

      And if we had scored that one run in the ninth, we would have been ahead, and Roberts, would have brought Kenley in, to save that game!

      Roberts did everything right there.

      I guess Dodgers Digest needed to listen to that game more, because even those terrible anouncers, explained some of Roberts moves too.

      1. I don’t think you are wrong, but there are impacts of the move that you are not surfacing.

        First, with bases loaded Blanton has to pitch differently inside. He can’t risk hitting the batter, not can he risk a wild pitch.

        Even if these are just passing thoughts in his or Grandal’s head, they still impact pitch selection and execution.

        Maybe he throws a blunter slider to avoid spinning inside too hard. Maybe he doesn’t. But he only does with the bases loaded.

        1. Bluto

          I thought Blanton should have threw him a high fastball, just out of the strike zone, with two strikes, after he saw his slider hung in that previous pitch.

  10. I will have to watch two games tonight – Colts on one TV and the Dodgers on the other one. I hope we win both games – My wife’s family are still in and they root against the Colts and Dodgers. Damn Bay Area Out-laws! After the grand slam last night, I just quietly walked out of the room and hid in my Man Cave.

    On another note, I have head it suggested that Wood should start a game. I don’t think he have been been stretched out enough to pitch two innings, let alone start… that’s just from what I have heard. If they need another starter, it will be Urias. Anderson is also with thew team if there is an injury.

  11. 100% Truth:

    “Chicago has been at this rebuild thing for a while now. They had some high draft picks starting 6 years ago. They are there. We’ve only been doing it two years and having to build on Division Championships our picks haven’t been as high. We’ve also had the disadvantage of of such a ridonkulously high payroll, so, patience is needed. ”

    Does everyone really understand that statement? It puts it all into perspective.

    #9, in 2015, #4 in 2014, #2 in 2013, #9 in 2011 and then they several more first round picks and supplemental picks.

  12. 1. “Anything to justify your narrative”. I believe nobody does that more than you

    2. I understand the move. I don’t like it, but I get it.

    3. “You generally dont bring in a fresh pitcher with the bases loaded”. Unless you’re Maddon and your pitcher is Chapman.

    4. “You try to fit your facts”. See #1

    5. Yeah, I agree, Chapman is that good. Wish we could have had a shot at landing him. Oh, wait……

    6. “ends up with your head stuck somewhere dark”. Yep.

    “Does everyone really understand this statement?” Good question.

    I like Roberts. I think he’s been able to get this team to play over its head, especially when Kershaw went down. This series is different than the Nats series. This will take a Herculean effort by everyone on the roster. We cannot afford to hang sliders and blow rundown mechanics. Perfection will be needed. As you all saw, the odds went to 72% Cubs. Mistakes cannot be made against these guys.

      1. I have this gut feeling that for the Dodgers in this series, every at bat is clutch. Grandal is a very streaky hitter. We’re going to need him. Last 14 days, 1.069 OPS. Last 7? .457. Come on Yasmani.

        1. Badger

          Did you know the Cubs made four errors in there series, with the Giants.

          I just think you are giving them to much credit.

          But I also know, that you know that they can be beaten to, especially in a seven game series.

          And remember, this is more about Roberts, his coaches, and the players.

  13. Again, I have no issues with subjective moves. I have one opinion – others have theirs – no problem. I just call it the way I see it.

    Here’s the thing: It almost worked. Blanton was 0-2 on Montero. 0 Balls, 2 strikes. Why, oh Why do you throw one right down Broadway? Is that a Honeycutt thing? I have seen so many 0-2 HR given up by the Dodgers because they threw a strike. I mean, put one up high in the zone – At 0-2 those look hittable. No way he should have thrown a strike. That’s my only complaint. I think they believed they had a good shot to get Baez because he’s overly aggressive. They also believed Blanton could get Montero out – Lefthanders hit .189 against Blanton this year! My God, I love those odds! It didn’t work because he threw a freaking meatball on an 0-2 count!

    On another note, the AFL is in full swing. Calhoun hit a HR Friday. Chris Anderson has a 22.50 ERA – I think if he can’t turn it around here and now, this is it for him. Another wasted first round pick. Logan had a lot of good ones and a lot of bad ones. Not much middle ground.

    1. That’s true, Blanton hung a meatball. And a .216 hitter knew just what do with it. It wasn’t “a Honeycutt thing”. Generally with two strikes you throw high heat or bounce a breaker. He chose a breaking ball and didn’t want to bounce it with a runner on third. Might have been better to throw high heat, but it’s done.

      Interesting takes on “getting Chapman out of the game”. Like I said, I understand it, but I agree with those here who wouldn’t do it. It backfired, and it means Chapman will be available again tonight.

    2. The two pitches prior to that were meatballs, too. I don’t think it was Blanton’s intent to throw it up there. His pitches just weren’t breaking. I’m still not sure if we wanted to go a little more tight with that slider, or have it drop out of the zone like the one that got Baez out, but I don’t think it was his intention to throw a strike there….or a hittable pitch.

    3. Mark
      I don’t think Montero catches up to a high fastball just above the strike zone there, because he hasn’t played much this year.

      We saw just how rusty Montero was, when he wasn’t able to hit that second hanging slider out!

    4. Chin high fastball is what I’d of called. Was a mistake…humans make em. Get up, brush off the dirt and get her done.

  14. I trust Roberts to make the right decision at the time it needs to be made. He has proved to me that he is a smart as anyone in the game. Maybe smarter. Blanton could throw that same pitch 10 times, and it would go over the fence once. And it was a bad pitch. This is SPORTS and things happen. Coming back to tie the game as a thing of beauty. AGon said after the game that the game gave everyone confidence that they could beat the Cubs. I agree. I do worry about Hendricks. He has been great all year. It will take Kershaw at his best to keep this game close. Should be a nail biter. Puig had a chance to show some of his so called ability last night, and he, once again, failed. He swung at a 3-1 pitch that was a low outside strike and hit a squibber for an out. Terrible. Back on the bench for him. Toles should play all the time. I’m not sure the opposition knows what to do with him. We are seeing a pattern from Roberts that unless it’s Kershaw, starting pitchers are going to go through the lineup no more than twice. I don’t like it, but that’s the way he sees his staff, and maybe the game in general. Time will tell if that will be the next big thing in baseball. Basically, two starting pitcher types for each game. 3-4 innings each on a good day. The price of starting pitching will go down because it will become less of a required skill.
    THE GIANTS LOSE. It’s all gravy. Go Blue.

    1. Bobbie17

      You know I agree with you about Roberts, but we also have to give our bench coach credit too, because he is part of that process too.

      Isn’t fun to watch smart moves, and watch our players, play hard, to get back into games.

      And I agree about the defense too.

    2. The Dodgers will be on an island by themselves with that being the modus operandi. And I would conclude another MoneyBall type of move.

  15. I wish all of the young players, learned something, by the way that Agone swung his bat, with two strikes, and with runners in scoring position, against Chapman last night.

    Because with runners in scoring position, with two strikes, the idea is to at least get your bat on the ball to get the runners in.

    It is hard to hit a HR with two strikes, especially against good pitching.

    And a hit is easier to get in that situation.

    Javier Baez is a very agressive hitter, and he had way to many strike outs, when he first came up.

    He was worse then even Joc was, in his first taste of the bigs.

    He is still an agressive hitter, but even Baez with two strikes last night, with runners in scoring position, just tried to get his bat on the ball.

    And when he made contact, he hit a little dinker, just over the infield, that scored one run.

    And he made it to second, for a double, and then scored on Chooch’s bat throw.

    And if he would have swung hard, he probably wouldn’t have got that run in.

  16. I still think it was mistake to leave Barnes off this roster, with Chooch hitting so many balls hard.

    Roberts has more options when Barnes is on the roster.

    And Roberts would be able to pinch hit Chooch, against leftie relievers, in the later innings in the game, with Barnes being on the bench, in case something happens, to one of our other two catchers.

  17. I just read Mark’s favorite site Think Blue LA, and they had an article on Roberts moves last night, and they supported Roberts moves, unlike Dodgers Digest.

    And Joe Maddon, said that Roberts made all of the right moves, and Maddon also said he would have made the same moves.

  18. They lost a game. It happens. Blanton, who has been nails all year, made 3 bad pitches and it cost him. I agreed with walking Coughlin to get Chapman out of the game, but the last 2 pitches Blanton made to Montero were terrible. He got away with one, but the 2nd one was a killer. They missed opportunities, like A-Gone trying to score when he had no shot, and Puig and Seager trying to hit homers off Chapman, when all they needed was a hit. Joc Pederson did the same thing earlier in the game, swinging from the heels. But I was inspired that they came back against Chapman, and it took great defense to snuff the 9th inning rally. That hit by Utley gets over Rizzo’s head and it is 8-5….

    1. Michael

      I agree with everything you said.

      It is fun to watch a manager that makes smart moves, and watch a team, that just keeps coming back.

      If Blantons pitch cut down, or if he just threw a high fastball, just out of the strike zone, we would have won that game.

      And that would be a very important win, with the Cubs having there ace start this game, and also losing this game at home.

      And it was a easier game to watch, because it wasn’t an elimination game, like our last stomach grinder.

  19. First sentence on this article “what an absolute embarrassment”.

    Wow, what a ridiculous over reaction. We did not embarrass ourselves whatsoever last night. Utterly ridiculous

    Lot of good points in here about Roberts’ move. Everyone is right in their points of view, but if Blanton makes a quality 0-2 pitch instead of a batting practice pitch, we have a great shot at stealing game 1.

    Oh well. We came into the series knowing we can lose 3 games, and still win the series. If anyone thinks we were going to sweep Chicago, then you should watch more baseball. I”m sure everybody will be just fine if we split the first 2 in Chicago. Well, tonight we have a shot at that, with our best pitcher on the mound. We can get what we want. I”ll take it.

    Gonzales said the comeback gave them confidence. I agree with him. I sure as hell don’t think we embarrassed ourselves last night.

      1. It is going to come down to pitching and defense. Chooch runs Baez back to third instead of throwing to 3rd and it is just 2-0…so when they score 2 they are up 3-2. But hind sight is 20-20

    1. I agree also. Nothing to be embarrassed about last night. Dodgers showed a lot of heart. When the going gets tough the tough get going. These Dodgers are a gritty bunch and we haven’t heard the last of them yet.

      After reflecting on it awhile, I am sure Scott will reassess. The grand slam was a major body blow to every Dodger fan. dodgerpatch, said he turned the TV off, I didn’t but, was walking around the house wanting to puke. I also missed Fowler’s homer.

  20. I had no problem with any of Roberts moves last night except playing the infield in with no outs and Baez up. It cost us an extra run and then affects decisions later.

    The only other decision I hated was playing Kendrick in LF. I don’t care what Howie’s preference was. He has played 2B for over a decade. It cost us another run.

    How do you rattle Lesturd? Speed and making him field. Should that be Toles or Joc then? The only player with bad AB’s all night was Joc. Kike CF, TolesLF, Howie 2B.

    We have all seen that sack of shit Montero for years. High and away fastball would have put him away or at least set him up for the next pitch. That’s a bad job by Blanton and Grandal.

    I liked the way Kike looked last night. Much better approach at the plate and even though Puig hasn’t gotten a hit, he isn’t expanding his zone and getting himself out like in past years. He got robbed of a hit and he seems to have shortened his swing.

    1. Kike has not been that good. He is supposed to be better against LH pitching, but he was nothing more than pedestrian last night. A bigger concern to me is Corey expanding his zone too much, and trying to do more than was needed…..

      1. Michael

        Corey looked a little furstrated last night, but that happens.

        He is a rookie that has hit at the top of the order all year, and he will figure it out.

        I don’t like Turner hitting second, and Corey hitting third.

        And when Roberts puts Howie in leadoff, and bats Puig fourth, that gives Turner and Corey no protection.

        Who would a pitcher rather threw to, Howie or Turner, or Corey or Puig?

        Howie is no lead off hitter, because he isn’t patient, and although he hit some balls hard, in that last series, he still has only had two hits I believe in the post season, and he didn’t hit at all, in Sept!

        And Puig is not a fourth hitter.

        Puig almost over swings, in clutch situations, and he gets worse, when he is in the meat of the line up, let alone hitting fourth.

  21. This discussion is great. Actually, the 8th inning sequence in last night’s game is really good argument against the DH in the National League. That pitcher’s spot forced both managers to make decisions. Regardless of the outcome, it’s fun to watch….and second guess.

    1. Dodgerpatch

      That move last night, and our discussion today, is a good reason for the National League, to never adopt the DH!

  22. Good morning everyone, or good afternoon wherever you may be! The only guarantee is that we cannot sweep the Cubs. That’s all game 1 means. And we probably weren’t going to do that anyway. So let’s get a win tonight and even this series!

  23. On Kike Hernandez: He was on base twice last night in 4 plate appearances.

    Charlie Culberson got on base ZERO times in 7 AB’s.

    I’d rather see hits, but a Walk is the next best thing and Kike has a .500 OB% compared to Culberson’s .000. Good move already!

    Another thing: Cubs fans are blaming Maddon for taking out Lester too early! It probably was a mistake, but Blanton saved him.

    I talked to an old scout friend this afternoon about Roberts move to walk the bases loaded and asked what he thought. He is in Chicago. He said:

    Roberts is very smart guy. So are Bochy, Maddon and Francona – they would have all done the same thing although there are still a bunch of F________________ dumbass managers who don’t have the balls or the brains to do that.”

    In the interest of full disclosure he also predicts that Kershaw will get lit up tonight. I told him I was going to hang up on him… but I didn’t! Dumb Bastard! (he reads the blog). I called him that on the phone too! 😉

  24. Just my Opinion, but I would start this lineup today:

    1. Toles LF
    2. Reddick RF
    3. Seager SS
    4. Gonzo 1B
    5. Grandal C
    6. Turner 3B
    7. Pederson CF
    8. Utley 2B

    Here’s my rationale:

    1. Toles is undaunted – bat him leadoff.
    2. Reddick has been a contact singles hitter – let him hit higher
    3. Keep the lefties Back-to-back and then hit Grandal in from of Turner (we need to get Grandal going).
    4. Utley will be OK at #8.

    1. Mark

      I don’t want Reddick getting more at bats, then most of the players in your line up.

      I can see why you want to bat him second, because like you said, he is nothing but a singles hitter.

      I don’t move Chase!

      Turner has no protection in
      your line up, and Corey doesn’t have very much protection either, with Reddick hitting in front of him.

      This is only a seven day series, there is no time to get Grandal started.

      This is about winning this series.

      I want our best hitters to be comfortable, and that is by placing them in the same order, that they have hit in all year.

      And for defensive purposes, I would play Puig in right instead of Reddick.

      Because Reddick shouldn’t be playing over any of the other outfielders.

      Because Reddick hasn’t given us, much offensive production, and he is a liability in right.

      He has cost us runs with his defense, and he doesn’t have a good enough arm, to be playing in rightfield, on this team.

  25. Roberts is a very smart guy, as are Maddon, Bochy and Francona but they are all f’n dumbasses. Thanks old scout. That’s helpful.

    Agree with you about Kiké and his night. He made 2 outs but got on base twice. Seager, Kendrick and Turner all made 3 outs. Puig made 4. Yeah, hits are better, but, getting on base half the time is contributing.

    Kershaw lit up? Yeah, it’s possible. His routine hasn’t been stable of late. He didn’t have a good Division series. The Cubs are a better offensive team than the Nats. I don’t think lit up will happen, but I don’t expect shut down will either. I think it will be a close game.

  26. Strategy was sound. 1 pitch away from getting out of the 8th inning clean. Dodgers could easily have stolen a win last night but….baseball happened.

  27. The lineup includes all the players I said – they are just in the wrong positions.

    Roberts never listens to me!


    That sums it up. You are smarter than the rest of us in your summary. I submit…

  28. Yup, Reddick batting 5th again. One day he will come thru. Let’s hope today’s the day.

    I’d love an easy win today!! Please!!

    1. Bobby

      He is going to have to do a lot with all his bad defense.

      He should have threw Murphy out by a lot, but his throw was off line, and bounced twice before it even made it home.

      Toles has a better arm then Reddick!

  29. Reddick has not looked good for LA, but my step-son (who is here this week from SF) goes to a lot of Oakland A’s games and he says that Reddick was a Gold Glove caliber OF and had an above average arm. I told him how bad he has looked for us and he was shocked. But, it’s true. What gives?

    1. If I’m reading his stats right, his major league BA is .255. That is mediocre at best. Read that FAZ was forced to take him in order to get Hill. That was a bad trade all around…. But the big question is, Why does Roberts keep writing his name on the lineup card? That is not a smart move.

        1. Now that stat is going to come as a big surprise to Dodger fans who have watched him stink up Dodger Stadium the last 3 months or so…

  30. Todays comments are like patients at the once proud Oregon State mental facility playing volleyball on thorazine !!! Damned amusing….

  31. Someone tell ROY to scoot up in the box he isn’t going to get a fastball and even if he does he can’t throw it by him.

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