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Runs, Hits, First Place Still Elude Dodgers. They Lose 5-1

The Dodgers had the day off yesterday, so they sat in second place, unable to help themselves. They returned tonight to open a weekend series against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Now they would be in control of their own destiny. Would anything change?

1st inning
Ross Stripling was in trouble quickly. The first two Bucs got on, and Andrew McCutchen recorded the third straight hit for the first RBI of the night.  1-0
2-0 after a high bouncer to Corey Seager.
Another bouncer made it 3-0 before the seats were warm.
Nothing really hard hit. It was little grounders packing big trouble.

2nd inning  Bucs 3-0
After a Joc Pederson double, the Bucs could have walked Howie Kendrick. After all, Ross Stripling was on deck. They chose to pitch to Howie. He stroked a double to score Pederson, who came in on a close play at the plate. 1-3


3rd inning  Bucs 3-1
McCutchen hit a solo homer to reclaim the three-run lead. 4-1

4th inning  Bucs 4-1
Pederson and Kendrick were on the corners with two out. Stripling didn’t help himself and struck out to end the threat.

5th inning  Bucs 4-1
Josh Reddick saved a run by making a running catch at the RF line just inside the foul pole. Looked like a sure  stolen home run.

7th inning  Bucs 4-1
Stripling stayed in to be the first Dodgers’ starting pitcher to begin the seventh inning since Eisenhower was president. To underscore and repay his manager’s faith in him, Stripling immediately gave up another solo homer. 5-1

The Dodgers slept walked through the next two innings. Many of us at home just slept.

9th inning Pirates 5-1
The Dodgers’ last chance train was at the station.
Howie Kendrick got his third hit of the night.
Chris Taylor got a base hit and sent Kendrick to third. The Dodgers left him there.

Dodgers lose 5-1

Ross Stripling was the victim of some bad luck in that 3-run first inning. The Pirates weren’t hammering the ball, and two hits went right into Seager’s glove. On one he double-clutched, so the runner was safe. On the other, he had no easy play, and again, everyone was safe.

Both hits were semi-harmless bouncers right to the shortstop. There were no errors, but no one was out, and both plays resulted in runs.

The Dodgers had their chances. They got 9 hits off the Pirates’ starter, but couldn’t string together enough for a legit rally. Even when they managed to get a runner to third, there was never a feeling like they were going to score that run and tack more on. There was just no spark to the offense tonight. Having a great, big hole in the clean-up spot didn’t help things. It never will.

Bright spot: Howie Kendrick had three hits.

Ross Stripling (L 3-4)  went 7 innings with 6 hits, 5 runs, 2 HRs, 0 walks, 4 Ks.  ERA 4.07

Team with RISP: 2 for 8  But we knew that. 

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.

51 thoughts on “Runs, Hits, First Place Still Elude Dodgers. They Lose 5-1

  1. Dodger bats couldn’t compensate for poor pitching effort. The starters tend to give up too many runs in the first 4 innings. Playing catch-up, Dodger bats will have to be more clutch. They couldn’t do it today.

    Let’s face it, starters have not been very good, lately. It’s beginning to look like a crap shoot as to who starts. Luckily, the Giants are playing their worst ball all season.

  2. First off, I am just a fan, not a pundit, or a blogger, or any such thing like that. But I have been watching this game for more than 60 years, so I know a good ball player when I see one, and I know a bad player when I see one. I know when fans are being unfair in their criticism and I know when they are spot on. First off Jeff, that was not a poor pitching effort. Of the 4 hits in that first inning, 2 were bleeders, and one barely got by Turner. The other was a line drive that was hit solid. Harrison was actually called out originally, then that was overturned. Seager had no shot on the 2nd dribbler so he held on to it. After that, besides McCutcheon’s homer, which barely eluded Reddick’s glove, Stripling gave the team a solid effort. Yeah he gave up another homer in the 7th, but the offense by then had proven they were not going to get to the Bucco’s pitching. They got 9 hits off the starting pitcher and 1 run. Everyone in the lineup except for Grandal and Reddick had hits. Seager, Pederson, Kendrick and Utley had multiple hit games. Pederson had 2 doubles, and scored the only run. But when they could have used a clutch hit, he struck out chasing 3 pitches totally out of the strike zone. Grandal left runners on base with a couple of harmless fly balls. Reddick did contribute with a great catch at the wall, but he is totally wasted in the 4 hole. He has not done a thing to help the offense since he arrived, and Puig had 3 hits including a homer and a triple at OKC. Who would have thought that Brett Anderson would make his season debut before our vaunted deadline pick up, Blister’s Hill……..oh, and by the way, the Pirates have OWNED the Dodgers the last 2 years…

    1. Totally agree, that was not the pitching – Stripling pitched well. It was just death by a 1,000 cuts for him. Every pitcher gives up some hard shots during the game and I think Ross gave up two. The rest were just bleeders and bloopers. Based upon that game, I’d keep him in the rotation. Jesse Chavez also looks to be a nice find for us as a long man.

      It’s like Michael said, the Pirates just own us. 12 freaking hits and just 1 run? That’s insane. I would have torn up the locker room after the game for that. BTW, the teams that passed on Kendrick last year because he could have cost them a pick, probably wish they could have a Mulligan. He is still the player he always was. His career BA is .291 and he has only hit below .285 once. He is playing a very solid LF and is a fantastic teammate! Anyone who denigrates Kendrick is a moron! He’s a blue collar player who just shows up, steps up and shuts up!

      Reddick needs to trade spots in the order with Kendrick right about now. Reddick will hit – just like I knew Kendrick would hit after his bad start, but move him outta the cleanup spot. I think the Dodgers knew Ethier would not be back this year so they got a clone of him. Andre can’t hit lefties – neither can Josh.

      Verses LH hitting for his career, Andre is .234 (verses .304 vs. RH)

      Josh is .222 vs. LH (.265 vs. RH), but he is 4 years younger and get this: HE has improved his BA every year since 2013. So, maybe his best years are in front of him.

      Now, here is what it all boils down to: Brandon McCarthy and Brett Anderson have to save the Dodgers bacon this weekend! How’s that for a task?

      P.S. Did you see that moron Paplebon wants released?

      Chase DeJong is now 12-4 with a 2.69 ERA after 6 scoreless last night. Another FAZ find.

      1. Mark
        I don’t agree, Ethier is a much better offensive player, then Reddick.

        Reddick is only better on defense.

        1. Ethier has better power numbers, and has shown a great flair for clutch hits, but neither is worth a damn vs lefty’s

      2. Reddick
        Just needs to be moved way down in the order.

        Howie isn’t a clean up hitter, but you are right, Howie is a better hitter, then Reddick.

        Roberts needs to keep the order, that he has had most of the year.

        Utley, Cory, Turner, Agone, and I think Howie should bat fifth.

        I’m sorry Reddick is the only one in this line up, that didn’t get a hit, except Grandal.

        But Grandal probably hit the ball harder, then anyone in the order.

        Mc Clutchen just made a really good play on Grandals hit.

        And because Roberts is batting Reddick fourth, the Pirates pitched around Turner, to get to Reddick.

        And every other team will do the same thing, if they are smart.

      3. I don’t understand why a team would want to platoon, instead of having a player, that hits both lefties and righties.

        Having two players, to play one position takes away valuable roster space, that can be used for other needs the team needs.

      4. I am in shock, Mark and I actually agree on something…….there is hope for the world after all…..

    2. Michael
      I am wondering if Hill will pitch even before Kershaw comes back?

      I feel that way, because the Dodgers haven’t even speculated when Hill will be able to pitch.

      Hill has been out 27 days, and I can’t imagine a blister taking that long to heal.

    3. Maybe a little of my criticism of the Dodger starters giving up too many early runs lately rubs off on Stripling, too. Solid effort? I think many of us have forgotten what a solid effort is sans Kershaw. 3 runs in the 1st is not solid. 2 homers is not solid. I’m not looking for perfection, or expect it from Stripling. I just know that the bats are what are keeping us in games, lately, and winning them!

      I will give my vote of no confidence to McCarthy right now. Of course, I hope I’m wrong, but he is not inspiring any in me. Maybe Dodger bats will put it together for some runs tomorrow.

      Reddick is looking more and more like a platoon player. He should be yanked or slid down in the order. Hernandez should be retired back to the farm and maybe out of the Dodger system. He looks like a failed experiment.

      1. The defense let Stripling down in the first, but he did give up two home runs and Reddick saved a third. On a night of futility for the offense that would have still been enough. I was never a fan of McCarthy, but he pitched well his first three or four games back. No idea what’s causing the wildness, but it’s the kind of thing that can snowball a la Rick Ankiel.

        Reddick got two hits batting second and is hitless in cleanup. Wonder how long that experiment will continue. Hernandez…yeah.

  3. Seager also had a shot at catching and tagging out the runner trying to steal in the 1st. Seager had a chance to make 3 great plays in the 1st and was 0 for 3.

    Joc swung at 2 not 3 curves that wound up out of the strike zone after working the count to 3-1. The pitcher did a good job of setting up those 2 pitches. Maybe if Joc’s sees more lefty pitching he won’t get fooled like that.

    1. Bum
      A couple of those plays by Cory should have been made.

      And any other infielder, would be given an error, for double clutching a ball.

      I don’t know if Cory’s hand was bothering him, from being hit with the pitch, but a couple of those plays, should have been made.

      Because Cory was having trouble getting a grip on the ball, he double clutched at least two grounders, and runners got on because of that.

      And the grounder that they tried to make a double play with, was to slow to get a double play from.

      I thought they should have went home.

      The fact is Stripling pitched better, then the Pirates starting pitcher.

      The two HRs he give up was on him, but most of those runs in the first inning, wasn’t on Stripling.

      He really only gave up two hits in that first inning.

      The Pirates got most of there runs, on misplays, in the first inning.

    2. Bum
      I agree, Cory has had a lot of trouble with making tags at second base.

      They even mentioned this in Dodgers Digest.

    3. In his defense on the tag play, Grandal’s throw was wide, and the ball and McCutcheon arrived at pretty much the same time. The tag was right on McCutcheon’s noggin, and the ball was jarred loose….that is not Corey’s fault, and neither was the second slow hit ball that he held on to, he did double clutch on the first one and still got an out call from the ump that was over turned….so none of those plays were errors…learn how to keep score guys….and you have to watch the entire play. what you might consider bad fielding really is not

  4. “At the pace he’s going, Pederson would become the youngest Dodger center fielder with an OPS+ of at least 120 since Duke Snider in 1950. Something tells me that very few people, especially on a national scale, really appreciate how much he has contributed in 2016 and how promising he remains.”
    Jon Wiseman

      1. Mark
        It is your fault because , you jinxed Cory by talking so highly about him the other day.

        I think Cory should have been given errors, on the two plays, that he double clutched the ball.

        Those plays should have been made.

        1. Sorry MJ, you are totally wrong. especially on the second dribbler, he made exactly the right play. Grandal’s throw on the stolen base was off the mark and thrown right into the runner who knocked it loose with his helmet, and the first play, Corey did double clutch, but still got an out call that was over turned, so tell me how that is an error?? No way ……………..just bad luck and none of those hits were scorched.

        1. He looked pretty pedestrian last night and missed getting clutch hits, just lazy fly balls to the OF……

  5. BTW, Jose De Leon went 7 last night with 7 K’s (2 ER).

    Yasiel Puig is tearing it up at AAA! I wonder when they bring him back?

    If he comes back and plays with a chip on his shoulder – LOOK OUT!

    I still think he is a knucklehead, but if he finishes strong, his trade value would skyrocket!

    De Leon, De Jong, Oaks, Stewart, Urias are five pitchers who all have a shot at next years rotation.

    What is Brett Anderson come back “Light Out” down the stretch. Does he get a QO? I say yes!

    Stripling, McCarthy, Ryu (maybe he never comes back), Maeda, Kazmir (he may still opt out, depending upon how the rest of the season goes) and that Kershaw character are also all in the picture. Norris and Hill are not even thoughts.

    It’s going to be an interesting run this year and then in the offseason.

    1. Mark
      Do you really think that they will bring Puig back up?

      They are not selling any of his merchandise, and they took him off the promo they had about him, on the Dodger pre game, and post game show.

      I rather have Puig in rightfield, if he is going to do what he is suppose to do.

      Reddick is only a shadow of Puig.

      And it is so frustrating, because Roberts continues to bat him fourth.

      Reddick has such a long swing, he doesn’t get around on the ball.

      I think he came up with runners on, in all of his at bats, and he not only didn’t get a hit, he did nothing to advance the runners.

    2. I would think that both Noris and Hill would bet QO’s. Mark, I think Anderson would get a QO if he finishes lights out.

      I really like Stewart. I am curious why FAZ is so careful with De Leon.

      1. Everyone wonders why they’ve been so careful with De Leon.

        If any of those pitchers get QO’s it’s a vote of no confidence in the farm. Between them they’ve spent a career on the DL. But unlike last winter, there won’t be any good free-agent starters available. Pray for Kershaw.

  6. I’m sorry but I am just sick of us letting the Pirates beat us.

    We practically gave away that game, especially in the first inning.

    We don’t get a starting pitcher, that pitches to the seventh inning that often, so Striplings well pitched game was wasted.

    The Padres just took there series with the Pirates, just before the Pirates came to LA.

    We need to win this series, but it won’t be easy, because we are facing the Pirates best pitcher today.

    I hope Roberts doesn’t continue to bat Reddick fourth, because that takes the bat out of our most important hitter’s hands.

    They will continue to pitch around Turner, if Reddick continues to bat fourth.

    I really think that Reddick should bat seventh or eighth.

  7. I love watching Roberts’ post game interviews. He gave a glowing report of Stripling. Stripling said post game the he really appreciated being able to finish the 7th. He is gaining confidence by the day and a large part of that is Roberts. Manager Happy is also Manager Smart. If this season turns out to be a solid playoff run, I give MVP to the Manager. On 66: his recent statement is that he just is trying to become better and he realizes that his game has slipped. He was sent down because he was regressing and he says he knows that. A little self realization. It doesn’t sound like the team and he are giving up on each other. I’m starting to think that the giants are not as good as they think they are. A lot of sputtering offensive parts. We have to take advantage of the next couple of weeks. Go Mark Trumbo, my former favorite Angel, now my favorite Oriole. He hit a 3 run jack last night about 430.

    1. Yes Panick hasn’t been as good this year, and Belt went on his yearly slump, and has been striking out a lot.

      And they traded there third base man.

      Duffy was suppose to start at shortstop for the Rays yesterday.

  8. I love our Tulsa team, now made up of a lot of call ups from RC. Rios at 3B is a stud and is heir apparent to AGon at 1B when he hangs them up. Logan Bawcom took over for DeLeon last night, threw 7 pitches, 6 for strikes. My kind of pitcher. Hit it if you can.

  9. If McCarthy is ok today, I guess we have to give some credit to Honeycutt, who has been helping him with mechanical things. Hard for me to do.

  10. A good story in Dodgers Nation on the issue of meritocracy v favoritism, using Segedin as an example. It might be true. Good for us.

  11. It just seems like Puig lost his job for something other than performance and as such I not sure how well he would have to do in OK to get back on the team this year.

    I don’t think Reddick and Ethier will be on the team in 2017. Same goes for SVS. Kendrick might be the second baseman next year and Kike’ might finally get to be a regular in LF. If Puig doesn’t return and Verdugo is still a year away the Dodgers will have gone from 100 outfielders to searching for a right fielder.

    My preference at the time was to keep Kemp and trade Puig but for now, Grandal is good to have on the team. Who knows what Puig would have got the Dodgers in trade.

    1. Ethier will be on the team next year, already under contract. Hopefully Reddick will be looking for a job. Reddick will shortly convince the Dodgers it’s time to recall Puig.

      1. Wondering
        I agree with you about Ethier.

        Ethier isn’t going any where, without his consent.

        He has a right to veto any trade now.

  12. That had to be one of the most frustrating games that I’ve watched all season. The Pirates get 3 quick runs on a bunch of cheap hits and the Dodgers are hitting missiles and can’t score. I felt bad for Stripling because he was pitching well enough. However, I still would have pinch hit for him in the bottom of the 4th. Nova was hanging by a thread and you just knew if the Dodgers didn’t get to him soon, it would be the Pirates marching in their relievers to shut down the Dodgers the rest of the game. I certainly get not wanting to start a series with your starting pitcher only going 4 innings when he’s pitching okay, but they did just have a day off. Joc’s AB when he had a 3-1 count and then swung at ball four and five was infuriating. That had to be one of the worst AB’s that I’ve seen all year.

    Reddick has no business hitting cleanup. I’m not going to bash on the player even though I wasn’t thrilled with the trade. I’m just going to say he shouldn’t be hitting cleanup.

    Puig’s HR was to RCF which is a good sign for him.

    1. Hawkeye
      I agree that had to be the most frustrating games I have watched lately.

      I was on the wall, about pinch hitting for Stripling that early, but you were right about Nova, being on a short leash.

      We were not the only ones, that saw our hitters, hitting hard balls, all night long.

      And Reddick is hitting fourth once again today.

      Why would a pitcher pitch to Turner, when a pitcher, can pitch to Reddick?

      Reddick looks really over matched, almost anytime he is up to bat.

      Who is going to pitch first, Hill or Kershaw?

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