Sunday, June 16, 2024
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Roberts, Puig & Bullpen Combine to Doom Dodgers

The night started out well enough. It was a beautiful Los Angeles evening, and fans were enjoying their new Enrique Hernandez bobbleheads. The new Dodgers ace, Ross Stripling was on the mound, and the Dodgers even broke the seal on the scoreboard early.

In the second inning, Max Muncy walked, stole second, and was brought home on an RBI single by Cody Bellinger. Cody advanced to third on a Cubs throwing error, and the boys were in business. Then the slide toward defeat began.

Yasiel Puig hit into a fielders choice and Bellinger was caught in a run down. He milked it long enough for Puig to have run to second and back twice, but when the Cubs tagged Bellinger out, they had time to throw over to first and get Puig for a rally and inning-killing double play. It turned out Puig disregarded his first base coach’s instruction to turn and head for first and, and he took the long run towards RF. By the time Puig realized he should be heading to second it was far too late, and he was caught trying to return to first. A classic boner.

Stripling kept the Cubs scoreless through the first four innings, despite the fact he allowed more base runners than we like to see. In the fifth he gave up a solo home run to Javy Baez. The Dodgers came back in the bottom half of the inning on a single by Cody Bellinger, a swiped second base on a wild pitch, and an RBI single from Austin Barnes. The Dodgers had a 3-2 lead.

Then the wheels fell off  Puig’s glove in the sixth. Yimi Garcia replaced Stripling, who was at 86 pitches and was possibly tired. I would have preferred he go seven if he had enough gas. Garcia immediately gave up a single and then Puig had a fly ball go off the top of his glove for an error. It was just a bad play that everyone makes, Puig being one of the last guys to make it, but he did – and it was costly. Another Cubs single tied the game at three.

With two out, Roberts lifted Garcia for Edward Paredes. He loaded the bases and gave a fat one to Baez, who promptly deposited it in the pavilions for a Cubs grand slam. Chicago went up 7-2. The eighth saw the Cubs score another and the Dodgers two. It was 8-4 going to the ninth.

The Dodgers might have had a chance to get the game closer, but Roberts insisted on the idiocy of Logan Forsythe batting in the middle of the order. This was a stupid decision from the get-go, as Forsythe came into the game 0 for 17 against Cubs starter Jon Lester. Why bat Forsythe fifth?????

Even worse than that, with your team getting off the floor and getting within four runs, with runners on base in a late inning rally – why, WHY would you allow an already 0 for 3, .210 hitter anywhere near the plate with a possible comeback on the line?  None of would, but Dave Roberts sent Forsythe to the plate with two out. Naturally, he bounced out and the rally was over. Despite the formality of a ninth inning, the game was over as well. Utterly frustrating.

The Cubs went on to score again in the ninth, but by then, most of the Kike bobbeheads had left and were on their way home.



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.

64 thoughts on “Roberts, Puig & Bullpen Combine to Doom Dodgers

  1. When the Cubs went up 7-2 I turned the game off and watched some NCIS episodes. Every team has a stinker now and then and this is one of those games. The Dodgers lost a game in the standings since the D-Backs are playing the inept and pitiful Marlins. So they sit 2.5 games back once again. Both Bellinger and Puig made bone headed running plays on the same play. The grounder was hit way too hard for Cody to even attempt to score and as the lead runner, he should have stayed on base and Puig did not ignore Lombard, he never looked at him. He just assumed that he was going to be thrown out and Bellinger would stay at 3rd. Dumb on both ends, more so for Puig who has been in the league long enough to know better. But Stripling was pitching well until he hung one to Baez who had a great game. Personally, I would have just put Baez on because he was obviously seeing Striplings pitches well. He was already 2-2 before he hit the homer. Stripling came out because of a high pitch count. Puig’s misplay of the fly ball was more shocking because Puig is usually very good at running down fly balls, but this one clanged off the top of his glove and it gave the Cubs the opening they needed to score 6 runs and put the game on ice. This one you forget and move on. The home plate umpire was once again pretty bad. Some of the calls he gave Lester were way out of the strike zone. But the most head scratching aspect of this game was Roberts line up. What in the wide wide world of sports compelled him to put Logan Forsythe in the 5 hole? The guy is hitting .216 against lefty’s with zero power. His OBP against them is .273! Come on Dave, how do you think these lineups out? Lester held the team to 1 hit for 4 innings. He ended up allowing 2 runs on 4 hits, but once again the bats were silent. They had no extra base hits. They ended up with 6 hits to the Cubs 15. Stripling had to work pretty hard for this one. He had traffic on the bases in every inning, so it was one of those high stress games. The bullpen had one of their bad days. So on to tomorrows tiff, Hendricks Vs. Wood and then a day game on Thursday with Kershaw and Quintana. Hendricks has been Kryptonite to Dodger bats before. They need to jump on him early this time. Kemp will probably get the night off since there is a lefty starting on Thursday and it is a day game. Good news is that Buehler is pain free and expected back in the rotation next week, and most likely the Dodgers will go to a six man rotation. 3 lefty’s and 3 righty’s. Ferguson will head back to OKC.

  2. No real trade rumors out there right now. Down in OKC, they lost 5-4 against Nashville. Henry Ramos hit his 5th HR, but they were held to 6 hits and the first 4 hitters went 1-15. Nashville had 3 triples. Venditte took the loss.

  3. Reading a story on Dodger Digest by Dustin Nosler. He was talking about the Dodgers international signings. They have added 63 players over the last year. None are the caliber of Alverez or Diaz, and most were signed for around 300,000 dollars. The oldest is 25 year old Darien Nunez, a LHP out of Cuba, there are a bunch of 16 year olds on the list. But Nosler seems to think there may be a gem or two in there.

    1. Yes, one would think that there are some diamonds there. I guess it’s a cheaper way for FAZ to build up a reserve army without committing all that cash to a few players. Genius or gimmick?

      1. They’ve been signing those guys since they got here in ‘14. How many of them are killing it in the minors, let alone helping the big club? Not genius. Not yet anyway.

        1. Badger. They are signed when they are 16 or 17.

          Out of the teams’ top 10 prospects 30-50% are international (out of a sample of 2 top ten lists only. Could be worse elsewhere, I admit.)

    2. Michael

      You are blaming Cody really?

      If this was only the first time this month that Puig was thrown out on base from a bad running decision, it would be no big deal, but this is one of many this month, and I can’t say the same about Cody.

      Although Cody should have probably just stayed on base, but he didn’t know until the ball was hit, it was going to be hit hard.

      1. Weird play, not sure what the Dodgers teach but if you’re on third and the ball is hit your way, you should go back. You’re a dead duck if you don’t. If it gets through you score easily. It’s similar to a line drive. I was taught “back” on a line drive. That was drilled into our heads in high school. You’re on third, back on a ball hit to the third baseman. The only exception would be if there is a runner on first less than two outs. Whatever. They looked amateurish, that’s for sure.

        1. Badger

          The real problem with that play, was why did Puig swing at a 3 zero pitch, that was not perfect, so he could at least, hit the ball into the air, into the outfield, instead of pulling a grounder down the line, in the worse place a hitter could hit a ball.

          But I agree with you, about staying back, but since that doesn’t happen often with Cody, I give him a break, unlike with Puig.

      2. I did not blame him MJ. I said it was bone headed on both ends. That ball was hit way too hard to be going on contact. Puig should have known better and I said that. He has seemed somewhat distracted the last week or so and I have no clue why. But both players could have played it smarter. For Cody, it was more a young players mistake, for Puig, it was a bone headed play. As for Puig swinging at a 3-0 pitch, it was a good pitch and probably the best he was going to get from Lester, he just tried to pull it and we all know what happens when he does that. He rolls over on the ball instead of meeting it square. He is one of the guys who has the 3-0 green light from Roberts.

        1. Michael

          Ok, but it is much more tolerable from Cody, because he hasn’t been doing this in almost every game lately, like Puig seems to be.

          If the pitch was that good, he should have been able to put it in the air, he probably should have just took the walk.

          Every player on this team has a green light, with a three zero count.

          1. No MJ. Believe it or not, Puig did not start getting the green light until his discipline at the plate improved a lot. And yes, Puig has been more than a little a loose cannon the last week or so. But like I told you, he tried to pull the ball and when that happens his success rate as a hitter is not very good. And he rarely hits a fly ball when he pulls unless it is over the center of the plate and he really barrels the ball up.

  4. I will add to Oscar’s blame sheet on Roberts by saying how many times have we seen Yimi Garcia come in and give up a run. It’ almost an automatic. The guy does not belong on the roster and I look forward to his departure ASAP. We have too many other pitchers ready to stand in. This was the beginning of the end for the game.

    No HR’s almost amounts to a no win for the Dodgers. The boys are-a-slumpin’, hitting wise. I can live without the base hit, but not without the HR.

    Badger, I’ve re-thought the Stanton trade and think it’s the ideal ticket for the Dodgers in spite of the big chunk that Stanton will make. The guy is a major kaboomer as he has proven throughout his career. He would fit well in L.A. We would get rid of Forsythe, the forsaken, Wood, the sometime Ace, and Puig, the never reliable, no more than a .250/.260 hitter, and a terrible base runner. His peak passed in his rookie year! Scary thought.

    The combined salaries for these 3 is $22.5mil. Stanton=$25mill

    DO IT!!!

    1. Again Jeff you are wishing for something that is NEVER going to happen. Quit living in a fantasy baseball world. The Yankees do not want castoffs. They have a young team that is sprinkled with some veterans. So why would they want the Dodgers flotsam. Get real. Forsythe? Hell, the Rays would not even want that guy. Yeah, Stanton is a major power threat. And he would make the Dodger lineup pretty potent. But the Dodgers do not have the work horse kind of starter the Yankees want and they damn sure do not want the injury prone Hill, nor the inconsistent Wood, and why would they want Puig when their outfield is crowded as it is? Stanton is mostly DHing right now. You guys need to get out of the fog and get yourself a HUGE dose of reality. FAZ is not doing that deal.

  5. If FAZ really wants to trim some fat and be armed to pick up some young and up and coming players, they should focus on getting rid of the contracts of Kershaw and Hill, both of whom are overpaid for what they give back. There are some others, but we have seen good results from the team without these 2 pitchers when they were on the DL. This has happened for the last two years in Kershaw’s case. I never thought I would say this, but it’s time for a change. Kershaw’s made a pile of money so no worries on that account. Let him try to rebuild his career somewhere else. Athletes do this all the time, look at Lebron, KD, JD Martinez, Stanton, and many others. This will probably not be a popular topic to many die hard fans.

    Get Stanton!!

    1. Gutsy call Jeff. I’m ok with it as I think it’s clear we’ve seen the best of Kershaw and don’t have a championship to show for it. The Yankees need a pitcher………

      Something that big is not within the FAZ orbit. Maybe we should start with a bantam weight move – find the replacement for Forsythe already. The guy is a stiff.

      I’ve come to the conclusion that not having Seager in the lineup handicaps Roberts. Profound I know. Part of the reason we are seeing things like Forsythe in the 5 hole is because Roberts is juggling 8 positions with 7 players. We have 2 second baseman that have no value to the roster. We need a shortstop so somebody else can play second base. We need a thoroughbred centerfielder too. With Taylor now out of the lineup we look 4A up the middle.

        1. Do you actually follow the team? Everybody knows why Taylor has not been playing. It has been almost a week. You must be following someone else or another sport.

    1. Good plan Yueh. He won’t make as many outs batting 10th.

      Is this team really playing for a championship? I know, I know, the answer is if course yes, but as it is currently constructed, can it REALLY compete for THE Championship?

      1. I thought Roberts toke Stripling out to early, because most of the hard hits off Stripling came off, his first

        But like I already said, the Cubs don’t have an AAA bullpen like the Mets do, so all those HRs the players hit in NY didn’t mean much, especially in that last game.

        And that was a beaten down AAA bullpen we faced in NY, especially in that last game.

        We don’t have a lot of players on the team, that can hit good pitching, so scoring runs against good pitching is hard for this team, and that is why we can’t make mistakes, when a runner is in scoring position.

        Forsythe did hit lefties last year, so that is probably why he was hitting fifth, but like I have said to many times, he should have never been given that contract for this year, because we already knew from what he did last year, and throughout his career, that he can’t hit right hand pitching.

        1. Forsythe put up 1.9 WAR last year in 119 games. That is the sole reason his option was picked up. It hasn’t worked out. Maybe he needs a new environment. Work a deal with Miami for Castro. How? Beats me. Maybe Mattingly likes the guy. Miami doesn’t need 3 years of high cost for a second baseman. Send them an A chip and $ along with Logan. I’m not the genius, FAZ is. Make it happen Fardrew.

          1. Badger

            We are paying Forsythe the same amount of money, Morrow is making a year.

            And you know, he was very lucky to have any war value at all, last year.

            He is a solid defensive second baseman, but no way is he an elite defensive second baseman like Baez, on the Cubs is.

            He barely hit over 200 overall last year, what team gives a player like that, another year, and with a raise?

          2. Badger

            Not only are we missing a 300 hitter like Cory in this line up, we are missing Turner’s 300 bat too, until he gets caught up.

            And other then Kemp, this line up is a bunch of 260 and below hitters, and a good pitcher like Lester, shuts down these average hitters, and most any power they have.

            That NY series, made to many of these hitters look better then they really are, even YF fell to the charms of the HRs these guys hit, in that last series.

            And Forsythe is even worse, when it comes to hitting, because he is taking way to many pitches, and swinging with only his arms.

            He doesn’t even hit warning track fly balls, let alone, even ball hard, unless it is on the ground into a shift.

          3. Remember, it’s not about average anymore. Everything is targeted to Wins Above Replacement. Only the old and infirmed value batting average anymore. Bear is old. I’m both. You? After your accident you were at least temporarily infirmed. The three of us might put up 1 Win Above Replacement…… which would best Forsythe by 1.2. Unload the dude.

  6. Last night the first 3 hitters (after Votto went out) in the Reds lineup:

    1. Schebler
    2. Peraza
    3. Dixon


    1. Peraza is having a pretty good year. He went deep this morning against the Braves…..there is some weird stuff going on in sports lately. Dead body found in the beer cooler at Sun Trust Park in Atlanta and a dead body found on the estate of an NFL player………

      1. He’s really not. He’s underperforming his career numbers to date, and those have been at the AAAA level at best.

        He has 2 HR this year, had 5 last year. Ended last year in negative WAR.

        1. He hit his 3rd today and had been on base in 24 straight games. He is not a difference maker, but he is not having as bad a year as say Forshyte…..

  7. I do not see FAZ making any kind of major move and neither do most of the blogs you read. Most are saying that if anything the Dodgers will bolster the bullpen. Garcia going into last night had given up runs in 3 of his last 4 outings. Paredes on the other hand had not let an inherited runner score since his call up. Goes to show you that one night you can be great and the next you could stink up the joint….where oh where is Pedro Baez when we need him! LOL. The front office made two really head scratching moves over the winter. First they picked up Forsythe’s option and the second was giving Utley a 2 year contract. Neither are contributing much. Forsythe had a resurgent 10 day stretch, but then turns around and just stands at the plate taking strikes and never getting the bat off of his shoulder. Pitiful. They need Taylor back in the lineup, but he is not going to be playing CF. So my take is you go get a good defensive SS. Hechevaria is being made available by the Rays. He would really improve the Dodgers defense.

    1. Hechevaria. We were talking about him earlier in the year. It was a good idea then and still is.

      The pen looks good most of the time. But every now and then……..

      I see some modest moves between now and the deadline. The cap reset is what is paramount this year. FAZ knows we are good enough to draw. Over 53,000 last night. This team will stay close all year. It’s my opinion that a big move is needed to put them in the Top 4 and I don’t see it happening.

      1. Badger, since spring training you and I have been totally consistent in one thing. We look at this team as having some significant holes. We are not as optimistic as most here. I question their off season moves from the get go. I think they did very little to improve the team at all. The bullpen has been a crap shoot ever since they came here. They have made some astute moves to help the pen, and then some that have not worked at all. Right now the money they dumped on Koehler looks like a total waste. I have read reports saying he might not be back until August. How effective can he be with that long of a layoff. Losing Corey for the year was a HUGE blow to the offense and they have never really recovered from that. Oh, they get it in spurts. Kemp was pretty consistent until the last week and a half, but nobody else has really been that way. Pederson, Muncy and Kike have had a pretty decent June so far as has Puig. Taylor, and Turner are not where we really need them to be, except Taylor was really beginning to heat up before his hammy problem. Neither of the catchers are contributing much in the way of offense. Bellinger has picked up some. But they still are playing musical chairs down in the pen. The starters are getting a boost with Buehler set to return next week. But I still have the feeling that this team is just not built to win. To compete, yes, but it is no where near a championship caliber team. Too many holes.

        1. Badger

          Mookie Betts, and JD Martinez, don’t have any trouble hitting 300, and having a high OPS.

          And any team rather have a player that can do both, and because we don’t, we have trouble getting hits, when runners are in scoring position.

          And that will kill a team in the post season, against good pitching.

          I support Roberts most of the time, but who would wake up, and think, you should take Stripling out after the fifth, when we are leading a close game, and most of the hard hits, are coming from hitters, that are ambushing Stripling’s first pitch?

          Wouldn’t you just tell Stripling, to watch his first pitches?

          And when is it better to have Yimi come in a close game, over Stripling?

          That was almost as bad as Puig’s mistakes, in that game.

          1. It was more about his pitch count than how hard they were hitting the ball, and he did not have a clean inning. He was at 86 pitches when he was pulled. Roberts made the right move pulling him, but Yimi has been ineffective his last few outings and had given up runs in 3 of his last 4. I would have let Paredes start the inning over Yimi. He up to last nights game had not allowed anything. On any given night the BP can either save you, or doom you. Last night it was the latter. They were all rested since Maeda was so good on Monday and went 7. Dave just picked the wrong guy. And they were not leading, the game was tied in the bottom of the 5th when Barnes knocked in Cody. Taylor was already in the on deck circle before the hit, so Roberts decided before he knew they had taken the lead to take Stripling out. I am more concerned with him batting Forsythe in the 5 slot. There is no way that guy should hit 5th anytime. Oh another thing. Stripling was getting strike calls on most of his first pitches. They did not really sit there and ambush his first pitch.

          2. Out of all his pitches only 2 hits came on the first pitch. Baez hit a 3-2 pitch for his homer. And neither of those hits led to a run. He gave up 2 hits and a walk in the 4th, but was saved when Schwarber was thrown out stealing. I was wrong about 1 thing, he did have one clean inning, the 2nd. 3 of his first pitches that were hit were outs. He never faced more than 5 batters in an inning, but there was someone on base in all but the second and he only made 11 pitches in that inning. Over the other 4, he made 75. It was because of that Roberts pulled him.

          3. MJ, of the Top 20 list of OPS leaders half of them are hitting .300. Obviously it’s possible, it just isn’t necessary.

            Strike one is important to both pitcher and hitter. I would expect Stripling to mix it up, don’t be predictable with your first pitch but make it a strike. I would ask that of every pitcher.

            Bear, I said last year I didn’t think the Dodgers were a Championship club, and that was with Seager. They surprised me, coming up one pffft performance short. Looking at this club, at this point, I don’t see them beating any NL Division leader (home field) in a long series. That could change of course, but it’s going to take a near Herculean effort to finish this season as a favorite. Solid moves are needed to fill those holes you referenced, but without payroll flexibility, can we count on those solid moves being made?

      1. MJ on their writers are pretty much on top of the pulse of the teams since they get reports from the people who cover those teams for them. And they rely a lot on the national baseball writers and the local reporters who are assigned to the team all year. The analysts on MLB network do a pretty good job too. ESPN is usually a little behind the rest on news and rumors since they are covering all sports and their guys usually work for someone else. Like Rosenthal who since he left FOX does a lot of work for the athletic. They come up with all sorts of trade scenarios, and there is a story today on about 8 trades some writer came up with that are really when you think about it, not going to happen. Most of them for the most part, unless they have a spy inside the front office have little to no idea what any team is thinking as far as trades. So the beat writers come up with these fantasy ideas that they think the FO should do and that’s where these off the wall ideas come from. One of the off the wall ideas this morning was that the Phillies should trade for Hamels because they need starting pitching if they are serious about winning their division. Amazingly, few of these fantasy trades ever involve the Dodgers. The reason is that nobody out there has a clue what FAZ is thinking.

      2. Michael

        But all those hits, other then Baez’s hits, were just for singles, and they were not hit that hard.

        1. I know. But you had said they were ambushing his first pitch and that was not the case….

          1. Michael

            But because they were only singles and only Baez was hitting the ball hard, that is no reason to take Stripling out, so there is no excuse to take Stripling out, and incert Yimi, like you said.

          2. The reason he was pulled MJ was his pitch count. It had nothing to do with the way he was pitching. DR does the same thing with all of his starters. If that pitch count is up around 90, which Striplings was, DR will pull his starter. It is his MO. Matters not if they are dominating or not.

      1. He is not the only one saying that USA Today has a report saying that the worm has turned and that the Orioles have dispatched their scouts to check out the Dodgers minor league system. They also report that they will not give a team a 72 hour window to negotiate a contract with him, which is a moot point since Machado himself is saying that he will not negotiate any contract until the off season after he is a free agent. The other thing is that he would still be essentially a rental because the Dodgers really have no place for him after this year with Seager coming back and under team control until 2021, so just how much will they be willing to part with to get Machado who would definitely be a game changer in the west.

          1. There’s room for stanton if he wants to come to LA.

            That it will be easy to shed contracts to bring Stanton in.

            From fans mind you, not any reporters

    1. He needs a day off anyway. Probably doesn’t want to hit against Hendricks anyway. Hendricks owns him. He’s 1 for 20 against him. I made that up.

      1. Muncy goes yard again and the squirrel gets a 2 run double after Wood gives up a screaming double and a homer to put Dodgers in 2-0 hole.

    2. It might be the refresher that he needs given his recent slide in production. He is in a bit of a slump.
      Muncy stands in and delivers once again! Bellinger looks resurrected. Dodgers take the series.

      Giants are hot. Can they take the series from Arizona? It might be our weekend!!

  8. It’s Muncy Bluto. Good story so far. Taylor not hitting like he did last year but looks like he may be coming around. Last 28 days, .303/.382/.545. Lets hope that pace continues. It’s brought his average up to .255, .800 OPS. BABIP not up to last year’s .361, but it appears on the rise.

    It’s a 4 game series Jeff. They win today they take the series.

    I wonder if it’s more likely the Dodgers would trade for Britton than Machado. Britton is coming off an injury and hasn’t pitched well. According to what I read this morning his trade value is dropping. Those are words that are music to FAZ.

    1. Thanks, I must have read it wrong.
      MLB had an article posted about the Dodgers being the front runner for Machado. It seems unlikely to me that this will happen, but who knows? I just don’t understand why they would go after a SS if they were committed to Seager. Perhaps the key is there, they are not committed to him playing SS.

      The only reason I posted about the Stanton trade was because of the article that you posted. I’m not saying it could be done, but if it could, I think this works for us, but not for the Yanks as Michael pointed out. It would be nice for FAZ to prove us all wrong and that they are committed to bringing proven talent to the team by doing a blockbuster. I guess we need Ned back for those to happen.

      1. It works for the Yanks to clear his salary and plug Puig in his spot. As for why the Dodgers would give the SS position to Machado I can only say this – Seager can easily be moved. First base would a good position for him. As would third base. Turner is 33. Maybe we move him, though he’s paid fairly well through age 35. A lineup with Seager, Machado, Bellinger, Turner, Puig, Kemp, Taylor…. and if we could substitute Stanton for Puig………

        Not likely, I know. But it’s fun to speculate.

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