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Scully Jinxes Cueto, But Dodgers Come Up Short 4-3

In the second game of their series against the Giants, the Dodgers brought Scott Kazmir to the party, and the Giants brought their $130 million dollar man, Johnny Cueto.  It was a rematch for both pitchers, who dueled last week up in the bay. Neither pitcher did very well in that game, with Kazmir giving up three home runs. Let’s see how this one turned out.

1st inning

Giants

Joe Panik singled in Denard Span to put the Giants on the board, 1-0.

3rd inning
Dodgers
At this point, a 1,2,3 inning made it nine retired in a row for Cueto and the Giants.

4th inning Giants 1-0
Giants
Lead off walk to Hunter Pence.
Brandon Belt – free pass to first as well.
Two on and nobody out.
Matt Duffy hit into a force play moving Pence over to third.
Next up was Brandon Crawford who promptly hit it over Enrique Hernandez‘s head for a ground rule double.
Pence scored, but Duffy had to stop at third.
Up came Cueto. K for the second out.
The Dodgers walked Angel Pagan to load the bases.
The strategy worked and the Dodgers got out of the inning cheap enough, only giving up one run.
Dodgers
Gone in order, 12 in a row now, and a perfect game taking shape.

At this point Vin Scully brilliantly said, “The no-hitter is still alive.”  So let’s see if ol’ Vinny can jinx the Giants.

5th inning Giants 2-0
Giants
Joe Panik led off with a base hit to right field. Panik became the fourth first-batter Giant to get on base in five innings. Luckily, the score was only 2-0.
Kazmir then issued a four pitch walk to Buster Posey (his fourth walk of the night).
Hunter Pence stroked a single to load the bases with nobody out.
Up came Brandon Belt. Base hit and the Giants went station to station. Giants up 3-0.
The boo birds began, and Kazmir was done.
Adam Liboratore came in with the bases loaded, nobody out, and orders to put out the fire.
Double play!
But Posey scored to put the Giants up 4-0.
Perfect game Cueto then whiffed to end the inning. Fire out.
Dodgers
Vinny’s jinx worked! Yasmani Grandal broke up the perfect game with a stand up double.
However, that was all Dodger fans got to cheer for.

7th inning  Giants 4-0
Giants
Yimi Garcia in to pitch for the Dodgers.
He promptly plunked Hunter Pence right above the left elbow. Pence took a couple of angry steps toward the mound, but quickly changed his mind.
Later Yasmani Grandal chased a high pop up to the backstop netting and made a great, falling backward catch to end the inning.


Dodgers
Justin Turner doubled.
Grandal walked.
Cueto’s pitches were now missing further off the plate, and flying very close inside at Dodger hitters.
Kike base hit to score Turner!  Giants 4-1.

8th inning Giants 4-1
Dodgers
Corey Seager hit a two-run blast to lift the Dodgers to within one run.

Ninth inning: Giants 4-3
Dodgers
The Boys in Blue came up in the ninth down by one, and three outs to get there.
Yasmani smashed a lead off double to center field!
Kike advanced Grandal to third with a ground out.
Joc Pederson popped up into an unproductive out. 2 out.
Yasiel Puig came up to loud cheers from the fans, but he skied an easy fly out to left field. 3 out and the Dodgers lost 4-3.

Scott Kazmir went 4 innings with 7 hits, 4 runs, 4 walks, 3 K’s.  ERA 6.43

Corey Seager hit a home run.

Yasmani Grandal and Justin Turner each hit doubles.

The Dodgers and Giants are once again tied for first place. Tomorrow’s game will decide that one.

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.
http://alltradebait.blogspot.com/

38 thoughts on “Scully Jinxes Cueto, But Dodgers Come Up Short 4-3

  1. At least they got off the mat and ended up with the tying run in scoring position. The Giants bullpen doesn’t look so hot either. Libertore did a nice job.

  2. Joc Pederson has forgotten everything Turner Ward was teaching him in spring. He is swinging from the heels again, and striking out way too much. 14 K’s already. He is still a solid defender, but he is bringing nothing to the table offensively. OF for now should be Kike, Thompson and Puig. Crawford will be back next Sunday in Colorado. Ryu had another setback, and we are stuck with a 48 million dollar BUST. Kazmir……thanks fried brains…..you are a moron….

    1. Joc worked with the same coach, that taught him that big swing, in the off season. He really didn’t work much, or at all, with Ward, about his swing. The only thing he worked with Ward about, was how to plan to get ready, to hit against the pitcher, that the Dodgers, would be facing, in the next game.

      1. They worked on his approach and he changed his stance repeatedly during the spring, but maybe you were not watching the same games I was….and that was all Ward and him, not his former coach

  3. Cueto is 3-0, but, you know, he sucks because we didn’t sign him. I had a feeling he might be a good fit with that team. I can take solace in knowing he probably won’t finish the year undefeated.

    Arizona is 3 games behind so they’re done. Washington and Chicago on pace for 146 and 133 wins respectively, so, that would be a record.

    Dodgers early favorite today. Guess Vegas doesn’t buy the Shark’s undefeated record in San Francisco.

    7-5. 5-5 in our last 10. Yeah, that sounds about right.

    1. Badger the Nationals played the Twins in two games, and they played the Braves in two series, and played one game with the Phillies. There record is very decieving!

      1. So, you’re saying they won’t win 146? Yeah, maybe you’re right.

        Yes, I’m being sardonically snarky. I do find many of the criticisms in here laughable. Not yours MJ, I think you know what I mean.

        I believe patterns are developed in the first 25-50 games that can tell us a lot about a team. But honestly, 162 games. So much can happen. I’m sticking with the only thing I know for sure, there are 3 teams in NL West that I believe will be in it until the final month. Between now and then all we can do is take a look at our team’s patterns and comment.

  4. As I said last night, I saw a lot from Kazmir that makes me very hopeful he will turn around. He’s back at 93 to 94 MPH (which is exactly what Cueto was), so his velocity is back. He’s not a soft tosser or “Ted Lilly” (he didn’t de-fraud and insurance company either). He wasn’t commanding his pitches last night. In the past he has had much better command. His velocity has returned, next he needs his command to return. I think he’s on track. I do not think he’s a bust. I mean, on occasion he made some REALLY good pitches last night… just not consistently!

    Stuff like this happens with pitchers – they just lose it for a time. Greinke was unhittable last April… not so much this April. Toward the end of Spring Training, Kazmir seldom was hitting 90, so 93 – 94 is back where he should be. I predict that in his next couple of starts, he will put it all together. That said, I still like Maeda at #2 better than Kaz… we will see tonight!

    Liberatore looked good. Howell looked improved… actually the whole pen looked good, except that Baez scares me a lot!

    I don’t want to rag on Pederson, but he is not an asset. He still swings from the heels too much. Yasmani did his job in the 9th by just hitting a solid double (short, level stroke, no uppercut trying-to-hit-a HR swing). Kike moved the runner to 3rd. All Joc had to do was hit a sac fly, but he’s swinging from his heels. He needs to go back to AAA and work on his swing – 14 K’s in 33 AB and a lot of weak pop-ups – he’s killing the team and a message has to be sent. You can’t do that and play for the Dodgers. This is not a knee-jerk reaction – I have felt this way since last August. Of course, I do have to admit that I never thought Joc was anymore than a 4th or 5th outfielder. I do hope he proves me wrong.

    Going down will break him if he is weak minded, but if he is strong minded, it just might MAKE him! Call up Barnes or Johnson. I’d love to see Johnson in LF and leading off.

    1. Justin Russo: ” Everyone freaked out about the bullpen after the four-game series in San Francisco and the home opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks, but there is zero reason to not be praising them right now. Over the last four contests, the Dodgers bullpen has pitched 12 innings, given up just two hits, three walks, and one hit batter while striking out 13. They haven’t given up a single run. They’ve been lights out, and you have to love that right now”.

      1. Boxout 7 they have pitched better, but all that concern, was not over just a few games. This has been an on going problem, for four years. But I do think they have gotten better, in these last few games.

        Maybe they know, that if they don’t turn it around, they will be replaced. I have always thought that Libertore was better, and that Mattingly, didn’t use him in the right way.

    2. Mark, Joc was not over swinging in that 9th inning pop up. Yes, he has swung hard and tried to pull too many pitches that he should have gone the other way with and he still has too much swing and miss. Joc is driving me crazy and I worry about him. Right now, he is having trouble making contact on bunt attempts.

    3. Mark Kazmir had a few pitches that were that speed, but nothing consistent. I am concerned, because he hasn’t had much command, and really didn’t have command, in the game he won in SD, until about the fifth inning, or sixth inning.

      He is the type of pitcher, that has to have his command. He was pitching defensively last night, like he was afraid of the Giants. The Dodgers can’t have a pitcher, that is afraid of the Giants.

      And Kazmir, said that, last night, in so many words, when he was interviewed. He said that he wasn’t pitching assertively. I sure hope, that you are right, because we have him signed for three years.

      I hope he turns it around, and can keep us in the games consistently, through the seventh inning. And do that, against the strong teams.

      1. Kazmir went 4 innings. He’s got 3 starts and 14 innings pitched. I have expressed my concerns about our rotation’s ability to pitch deep into games. This game was a manifestation of those concerns. Now Maeda and Wood need to go 7-8. What are the odds of that happening?

        1. So far I would place my bet on Maeda. Not sure why Wood isn’t pitching for us the way he did for Atlanta which was pretty good. Could it be the glamour of Hollywood?

    4. Mark I agree with you on Pederson. Maybe a wakeup call is needed. He’s still swinging for the fences like last year(170K’s) but what stands out the most for me is his lack of walks this year. Not sure if he is thickheaded or thinks he knows it all. Like someone once said ” there are none so dumb as those who will not learn”.
      I’d like to see Maeda as a #2 but I hesitate to put him in a situation where he will pitch more innings due to his backround.
      One of the pet peeves I have is Turner being hitting #3 of #4 vs LHP. He’s just not that good against them. The exact opposite is true of Hernandez. he is a monster vs LHP, not so much vs RHP. He should ALWAYS play and leadoff vs LHP. Just my nonvalued opinion.

  5. Been watching Puig at the plate and his approach to hitting. Sometimes he is ready and on the ball, but many other times he is horseing around at the plate and not really there.

    For what it is worth — He could use help. Here is my thought . . .

    Years ago, I watched Willy Mays work on hitting in Spring Training in Arizona where I grew up. He worked hard with attacking the ball, working on his balance, his follow through . . . and with his talent and the hard work — he was one of the most productive hitters ever.

    Same with Pete Rose. Work and development.

    Puig needs time with each of these guys before they pass on. Mays when ever, Pete by night so MLB does not know.

    1. I disagree he has been horsing around. He looked pretty focused last night. He also is not chasing all that low and outside stuff they were getting him out on last year. He has all the help he needs with our coaching staff. He probably has little knowledge of Mays. The guy is hitting well over .300, so he is doing something right. You might suggest what you just suggested to the real hole in the lineup….Joc Pederson. What a totally worthless AB in the 9th. All he needed was a fly ball, and he pops it up…….

  6. Despite the loss last night there are some positives that I am seeing lately:
    1 – the bullpen is pitching better. While I still don’t trust some of them, they have been getting it done lately;
    2 – Kike! That kid has a motor.
    3 – the back of the rotation. Wood was better the 2nd time out and Stripling has been sensational.
    4 – Maeda has been better than hoped for.
    5 – injured players are starting to return (while others have been injured) – we have gotten Grandal and Kendrick back and lost Crawford and Van Slyke
    6 – the sustained excellence of Kershaw (even on an off night he gives the team a chance to win) and Adrian Gonzalez

    Look – the season is long and there will be problems due to the way the team has been assembled, but things may be looking up. I still like my estimate – the eyeball test tells me this is an 87 or 88 win team in a tougher NL West. They are currently 7 – 5 (.583). If they win 58% of their games that is 94 wins. We would be thrilled with 94 wins out of the Dodgers this year.

    1. Crawford is due back next weekend in Denver. Ryu had another setback. Sore calf this time. So I would not count on him before July maybe. SVS not hurt that bad, but backs can be iffy. Pederson on the other hand has reverted to last years bad habits the last few games. Swinging for the fences, and not really getting good AB’s. And I know a lot of guys do not worry about it, but the kid is striking out WAY TOO MUCH. 14 K’s already this year…

      1. Yes, It is looking like Ryu might qualify as our “trade deadline” acquisition this year. If the old Ryu comes back in August, it will have been worth the wait.

  7. Mark_Timmons, Sadly, I am starting to agree with you on Pederson. The kid just has to get that runner home. I have had high hopes for Pederson. He succeeded all through the minors, but, the high percentage of strikeouts and weak contact are just not going to cut it. I think probably, everyone on this board had a bad feeling when we saw who was coming up with a man on third and less than two outs.

    We don’t have a left handed hitting center fielder besides Pederson, so I might try this before sending him down: After beginning the season in a 1-for-15 funk with eight strikeouts and no walks, Cardinals center fielder Randal Grichuk has since gone 6 of 17 with four extra-base hits (two home runs, two doubles), eight walks and four K’s. Thanks in part to his work with a pitching machine called a Hack Attack, Grichuk is now seeing pitches better. Prior to his turnaround, Grichuk stood in the cage at Turner Field last week and watched nearly 50 sliders from the machine. “The first few, maybe five to 10, I just took. The last 30 to 40 I would call out if it was a ball or strike as soon as I could pick it up,” Said assistant hitting coach Derrick May, “Just seeing pitches and building the strength of their eyes with work. What better to do it than with a slider machine?”

  8. I agree with you about Pederson. He does not look good. He has lost his confidence. He needs to go down to get his swing back. Move Thompson to center. I would put Kiki in left. He has earned the playing time. Grandal has a gun for an arm. Turner is starting to heat up. I have never liked Blanton, but he looked good the other night. His breaking ball looked nasty. The pieces are starting to fall into place. A few players are going to play themselves off the team and some are going to earn starting positions. I like what I see. Best of all, I like our manager and coaches.

  9. Yep. Long season. The only accurste prediction is – roster changes all the way to the end. What will that mean as far as wins? Nobody has a real clue.

    9th inning. A microcosm of the macrocosm? Maybe. Sure felt like it to me. Grandal comes through. Atta boy Yasmani. Nobody out, runner in scoring position. Are we playing to win, or playing for the tie? Well, clearly we played for the tie as Hernandez is asked to bunt. I didn’t like that a bit, but, ok, he’s asked only to get the tying run to third. And eventually he does. Pederson up. And the infield is actually playing back. All he has to do is put the ball in play. And he can’t. Why not? We all know why not. His swing has not changed one bit and everybody knows it. That being the case, with the infield back, did Roberts consider a squeeze? If not, why not? Pederson, by a wide margin, is the most likely on this team to strike out. His average is sinking (3 for last 18), he can’t bunt either? Apparently not. But he can at least put the ball in play. Nope. He pops up, Anyone really surprised? Puig then fails and the Dodgers go 0 for 3 WRISP in the 9th inning at home against their toughest Division rival.

    This one game sucked on many levels. But it’s only one game. Right? At risk, I’m going to say I think we are in for a lot of these.

    1. When you’re a 3-4-5 hitter, as Joc was through the minors, you are not asked to bunt. Remember Uribe? But if he wants to stay in the show, he may need to work on the bunt. Make ’em pay for the shift. If you can hit .200 and bunt .100, that’s .300, as the old-timers would say.

  10. It’s nice to see zeros from the bullpen. But pitching from behind the score is different than pitching when the team is ahead and trying to protect a lead. The “mop up” mentality makes the bullpen’s job easier, I think. It works to win the game when you have a team that has late inning capability, which our group has not been too good at. Man on 3d, less than 2 outs, 9th inning, to tie the game, and we leave him there. Against the HATED ONES. Pederson might be one of those guys the has to go up and down from 3A for a few years before he figures it out. Right now, he is a platoon player, and the next step is OKC. It’s nice to see Seager hang in against a leftie. He hit a bad pitch, but he tagged it. Today is Japanese day in MLB. Two of them pitch in Yankee game, and we have ours. We will see how they do.

    1. Maybe that’s why so many of the pitchers we acquired at the deadline last year flamed out. For the first time in years they were playing in games that mattered.

      If you lined up all the runners the Dodgers have left at third in my lifetime, the line would stretch to Reseda. Last year the Mets’ strategy seemed to be letting a Dodger get to third base and it was like Kryptonite. Can’t explain it.

  11. I did like to see that Joc and Cory were talking together in the dugout. I was wondering if they would be friends and it looks like maybe they are beginning to at least sit together in the dugout.

  12. I agree with B17 about the bullpen. I want to see them throw those zeros when we’re up by 1 run in the 6th. Can they throw those zeros then and shut the door? I hope so

    Seager showed last night he’s a pure hitter, regardless of what type of pitcher throws to him. Keep him batting 2nd all year. There’s no reason to move him from 2 to 8 just because a leftie is on the mound. He’s the franchise

    Maeda will be fun to watch tonight vs SF

    1. At least the team is playing better against the Giants this year, and especially, early in the season. Last year, at this time, they were not able to score a single run, against the Giants, at ATT, and that was in three games.

      And how about Cory last night? That was some HR, from the man child! He really didn’t look good, in his early at bats. And he really didn’t look good, with the first three pitches, that that pitcher, threw him, but he sure turned that around nicely.

      That pitch looked to be, below Cory’s ankle. I don’t know how he was able to left that pitch up, and get it out.

      And about the Dodgers, not hitting Cueto. The Dodgers, and there hitting coaches, need to work on a better strategy, to hit Cueto, the next time, they face him. After all, they were able to score four quick runs on him, in the first game, they faced him.

      Because Cueto, really doesn’t have good stuff, and his fastball, is not much over 90, most of the time, he isn’t as tough, as the Dodgers made him look. Because when Cueto allows people to get on base, he is not the same pitcher.

      And he falls apart quickly, like he did last night. That is because, when Cueto pitches from the stretch, and doesn’t use his wind up, he is not constantly changing his timing.

      The Dodgers need to work on this, before they face Cueto again. Because I think, if they can get past his wind up, and are ready to hit, and only look at the ball, being released from is hand, they will hit him hard!

  13. FYI:

    In the first four innings last night, Johnny Cueto throw 18 pitches that were 93 MPH or higher.

    Scott Kazmir, threw 22 pitches that were 93 MPH or above in that same time period. I think that demonstrates that his velocity is back consistently. Now, he has to get his control under control.

    That should give us all hope.

  14. I rarely second-guess, but I believe it was a mistake to have Kike bunt in the 9th last night. He was hot and that just steals your momentum. I’ll bet Doc learns from it. Next time, they have to pinch for Pederson. He can’t be trusted. Sorry!

    1. Agree with Kiké bunting, but you already know that. Go for the win. Kiké is hot, let him hit Grandal in then Pederson and Puig knock him in. Three straight doubles wins at home and lights the whole city up making them forget for a moment the Rams are home and are about to draft a QB #1.

      And if you have a young centerfielder you have to pinch hit for with a right hander on the mound, trade him.

      By the way, anybody see Wentz and Goff on Gruden’s show? It was filmed before the trade of course and both those guys thought one was going to Cleveland and the other would drop to who knows who. Now the choice is Cleveland or LA. Wow. Who is more LA? Gruden loved them both.

      My early pick is Goff. But I like Wentz’ arm and athleticism. And he can come out of the pen too. I made that last thing up.

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