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Stripling, Hot Bats Lead Dodgers To Series Win Over Braves

Ross Stripling turned in another quality outing and the Dodger bats did their thing as the boys in blue took the rubber game and series from the Atlanta Braves with a 7-2 thumping at Dodger Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The Dodgers have now won 17 of their last 22 and have six series wins in their last seven. The Dodgers are back above .500 again and I am at a loss for words because I still have no idea how they’re winning games right now.

The Dodgers don’t have a pitching staff. The Dodgers don’t have Clayton Kershaw. The Dodgers don’t have Kenta Maeda. The Dodgers don’t have Rich Hill. The Dodgers don’t have Hyun-jin Ryu. The Dodgers don’t have Julio Urias. The Dodgers don’t even have Tony Cingrani. All of those guys are currently on the disabled list. The Dodgers only have a half of Alex Wood. The Dodgers may not even have rookie sensation Walker Buehler after he suffered a rib injury after getting hit by a line drive. Right now the Dodger pitching staff consists of Stripling, half of Alex Wood, Buehler (if he doesn’t go on the disabled list), Kenley Jansen and a bunch of castoff journeymen middle relievers. It’s unbelievable. When 8 of the 12 pitchers on your staff are all minor league castoffs and random middle relievers then it’s a wonder how you win any games. Yet the Dodgers are winning series. So how in the world are the Dodgers winning games?

Braves     2 7 0

Dodgers  7 10 0




Thank god Ross Stripling pitched today. He was superb again tossing 6.2 innings allowing just two earned runs on four hits and striking out six. He issued no walks and made 96 pitches before being removed with two outs in the top of the seventh. Although for the life of me I can’t understand why he wasn’t allowed to just get that last out and finish the inning. Stripling’s only blemishes on the day were a pair of solo home runs from Ozzie Albies and Freddie Freeman in the top of the fourth.

The Dodgers had originally taken a 3-0 lead after scoring three runs in the bottom of the third. The red-hot Dodgers bats pummeled opposing starter southpaw Sean Newcomb, who has been one of the better pitchers in the National league this season. In the bottom of the third, Logan Forsythe led off with a solo shot, (his second of the year) that put the Dodgers on the board. Logie Bear had a good game, going 2 for 4 with a home run and an RBI double later in the game.

Then Austin Barnes singled and was sacrificed to second. Chris Taylor reached on an infield single and Max Muncy walked to load the bases. Then consecutive singles from Matt Kemp and Enrique Hernandez knocked in two runs and the Dodgers were up by a 3-0 score. They could have had more but Yasiel Puig and Cody Bellinger both struck out. Newcomb allowed five earned runs on seven hits and six over 5.1 innings of work. In the bottom of the fifth, Muncy bombed one into the right field pavilions to give the Dodgers a 4-2 lead.

The Dodgers got two more in the bottom of the sixth. With one out Cody Bellinger doubled and the Braves remove Newcomb. Former Dodger Peter Moylan (yes that Peter Moylan) comes into the game and gives up a ground-rule double to Forsythe that bounces into the seats. Bellinger scores and it is 5-2 Dodgers. I can’t believe Moylan is still pitching.

One-out later Stripling singles, steals second (!) and Taylor walks. Sam Freeman relieves Moylan and forces in a run by walking Muncy. The Dodgers are now leading 6-2. The Dodgers would get one more in the bottom of the seventh when Hernandez hit a home run over the center field wall. The Dodgers are now leading 7-2.

Erik Goeddel pitched a scoreless top of the eighth and then Adam Liberatore finished off the Braves in the top of the ninth to secure the win. Dodgers win it 7-2! The Dodgers still have no idea who’s pitching from day-to-day, but I’ll take two of three from the Braves and all these series wins, I tell you that. The Dodgers are now 33-32 and at the moment are in sole possession of second place in the National League West. The Dodgers are 2.5 back, the Giants are 3 back and Colorado is 3.5 games back. The Dodgers will be idle on Monday and await the Texas Rangers who will come into town for a two-game series beginning on Tuesday night. Not even god himself knows who’s pitching for the Dodgers (Daniel Corcino?) but Bartolo Colon and Cole Hammels will be toeing the mound for Texas.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

137 thoughts on “Stripling, Hot Bats Lead Dodgers To Series Win Over Braves

  1. Let’s hope not, Bobby. He looks nowhere near ready. However, if they keep his innings low, 2-3, he might squeak by.

    Stripling looks good. However, my golden rule of 3 innings for the starter, yielded 2 HR’s in the 4th inning. The old way of thinking about starters is going to be hard to shake, especially with someone like Roberts who only thinks in ‘old’ ways. This game might have been a shutout if he pulled Stripling after 3. But Roberts, thinking about the win for Stripling, needed 5 innings for him to get the win. For the Dodgers pitching staff, this is toying with trouble, but Stripling indeed, has been hot, and was a gamble that paid off.

    Muncy continues to impress………………..

    Hey, guess what, Scott? The Dodgers don’t need their vaunted starters. Get with the plan, man!! lol

    1. Jeff,

      The bullpen can’t pitch 7 innings every game. Their Arms are going to be rubber by end of season. A big reason they got off to such a terrible start was because they weren’t getting innings from their starters.

      Stripling didn’t give up two runs because he pitched too deep into the game he gave up the runs because he just made a couple of bad pitches. He can’t pitch shutouts every time out.

      The reason they’re winning games right now is because the bats are hot and scoring seven runs per night.

      They need reliable innings from their starters or they’re not going to last like this.

      1. Actually, it is only 6 innings, Scott. With the army of pitchers they’ve got, judiciously employed with discipline and aplomb, most of the pitchers will not have to pitch every day. However, without the bats, no plan is going to work. Meanwhile, we are seeing it work before our very eyes. We won’t win every game but so far it is working to our advantage. Let’s face it, we don’t have a starting rotation any longer. Do we need to call Stripling a starter, or any of the others? I can’t wait till they begin to use Kershaw in the middle of a game. That will take balls and insight. As long as they win, no? You do whatever it takes to win, not what looks good.

  2. Going and Coming

    Gonzalez released by Mets.

    .241/.304/.380 6 HR 26 RBI in 53 games.

    Edwin Rios the Dodgers No. 11 prospect went 4-for-5 with a 2B, 2 HR, 2 R & 5 RBI. Now slashing .365/.411/.635 in 13 games this season for OKC.

    1. I hope some AL team wants him, because he sure can hit, and I think he’d be a great trade bait for us.

      Now that Muncy has taken over a regular role, I don’t see any way Rios gets a shot with us, especially because he can only play 1b now

      1. With Seager coming back at SS, Taylor going back to CF, Belli to 1B, will there be any room for Muncy except as a utility role ala Hernandez? Plus, now that Joc has turned the corner, it further complicates the outfield PT as you want Joc’s power in the lineup. This is what we’ve been hoping for for a few years now. It seems unlikely that Rios gets a shot unless things go south.

    2. It is obvious that Agone is still hurt, and because of that, he should retire because these numbers are not close to when Agone is feeling at least, 80 percent.

      He is not even at 50 percent with his back issues, but that is the hardest thing for athletes to come to terms with, especially when they will never will be healthy enough to play or hit like they can, ever again.

      That is why this is not a fair comparison because we all know that Agone is not even close to 80 percent healthy, and we all know if he was healthy, he can hit.

      And most likely, Rios will never have the career Agone had, if he doesn’t become a two way player, and even then, I don’t think he will have the career Agone, has had.

      I don’t like to say never even with his issues on defense, because I believe a player can get better on defense, if they work hard to get better.

      Hitting is different, that is why I try to never give up on a player that can hit.

      1. MJ
        Agone will never be any good again. He is through. Wait, did I call for Agon to be through?? Wait for it, wait for it. YES, I did!! There were many who disagreed but I always knew he had seen his better days as a ballplayer. He will retire soon. He did fit FAZ plan for great players, get one who is hurt or just washed up and they think they have a superstar. Will the Los Angeles Dodgers EVER get a good solid player through trade or free agency, I think not.

        1. Wait.


          You made a call that A-Gon was over the hill within the last year or two?

          Wow. Way to go out on a limb with that call.

          1. Bluto
            I made that call right after the trade and also before the trade. Its OK Bluto, you have always made it personal. Its OK though, for you to give me credit for anything is really going out on a limb. You just have a way about you that is really over the top.

          2. Yes, package.

            Good call there.

            I’m also wrong quite a bit.

            That’s not personal, just fact.

  3. Been reading a few blogs this morning. Those who don’t wear blue glasses when they evaluate the goin’s on have us about even money to win the Division, Arizona at 41%, LA at 39%. 88 wins for both teams, and so much still depends on who on our roster is left standing through September. Same is true for Arizona. If they get their guys back, and we keep squirreling our way through the season with weak starting pitching and a pen that will be noodle arms by then, Arizona wins it. If their guys don’t make it back and ours do, we win it, but will probably go on the road for the playoffs. Cubs and Nationals are likely to win more games than we will.

    June predictions are only slightly more accurate than May guesses. But Scott may be right about the pen. I just don’t know I believe they are good enough, or strong enough, to keep bailing out this crystalline starting rotation. I like Jeff’s forward thinking but fast forward it far enough into this season, using AA arms in a pennant race sounds like a recipe for “wait til next year”.

    Anything can happen of course. But there at least a half dozen teams in baseball that are clearly better than we are. But, the yearly “make the playoffs and anything can happen” Kasten/Friedman mantra continues to resonate loudly. It’s worked SO well the last 5 years.

    Let’s continue to move on the Division, hope Arizona falters, and see where we are on July 31st. This is a scrappy group of squirrels and I still believe they are a warm weather team. And here’s hoping Kershaw and Maeda will be ok.

    1. Badger

      We can’t let the Dbacks gets to far ahead, because we only have two more series against them, this year.

  4. We all know our bullpens have fell apart by over use, in the post season.

    And we also know our bullpen will go up and down, throughout the season.

    The Nats play in such a weak division, that is probably why their players, have such good numbers.

    Even when the Marlins were ok, they really didn’t have a good starting rotation, so the players on the Nats don’t face top pitching in their division.

    And that may be part of the reason, they haven’t went farther, in the postseason.

    The Giants did the same thing we did against Scherzer yesterday, but the Nats didn’t score one run off Holland the Giants starter, or the Giants bullpen.

    1. Please don’t post opinions and then preface them with “we all know.”

      No, MJ. We don’t all know that. Even less, we don’t all believe that.

      Is anyone lamenting this team going far??!???! They went to game 7 of the World Series. You literally CANNOT go farther. They didn’t lost last year because of the ‘pen, IMO, they lost because Yu Darvish was tipping pitches for 2 of the 7 games.

      Opinions are great. Yours are often great, but let’s not classify them as facts.

      1. Bluto

        We all know here, that Agone has an injured back, and neck issues, it has been reported many times, so please don’t tell me what to say!

        And since all of that is the truth, why would you compare Agone to a AAA player, that had one of his best games of his career, and has only played in 13 games this year, that is simply a ridiculous comparison.

          1. Bluto

            Don’t they both play first base?

            And didn’t you just post Agone’s numbers recently, and someone told you, you should post Kemp’s numbers?

          2. Yes, no. Well… kinda. For the most part they both do not play first base. Rios is primarily a 3B. But, they also both have the letter “i” in their first name, and “o” in their family names.

            That does not imply a comparison.

            What does Matt Kemp have to do with anything?!??!?!?

            Sometimes your posts are ridiculously good, other times, like this thread, they are maddeningly inept.

      2. Bluto, we lost because our squirrel bats went to sleep. We scored 1 run in a Game7 at home. That is what I remember above most everything else….. Jansen and Kershaw’s fumbles are on the list, but in the biggest game of the year we fell flat

        Yeah, maybe Darvish was tipping his pitches, or maybe Darvish just wasn’t any good. Another deadline acquisition that failed.

      3. Everyone here, except I guess you Bluto, knows that a bullpen will be worn out, at the end of the season, and especially in the post season, if they are over used, throughout the season.

        That is just common sense.

        And bullpens do tend to go up and down throughout the season, including the Dodgers bullpen.

        And I never said the bullpen was the reason we lose the series, in fact, I have said, just the opposite.

    2. MJ
      I understand what you are trying to say and agree. Unfortunately, Bluto likes to make it personal. He says many things that he does not have the courage to say to one’s face that it just stirs up hate and discontent. He does not have the right to tell you how to comment, after all he is not your Mother, I don’t believe. If he does not agree he should say so and give his reasons if he chooses, but to constantly go off on another direction that serves no purpose for no good reason is wrong. Just my opinion.

      1. Badger, your opinion is bats going to sleep. Mine Darvish tipping pitches. To each his/her own. All are appreciated

        Ah, Package with more inanity. It’s not personal, Package, so don’t make it personal. I don’t have the right to tell MJ how to comment, I do have the right to correct her when she implies knowing things that are unknowable.

        1. Bluto
          You are the one making comments laced with sarcasm, not me or MJ. That is making it personal. If you don’t agree, say you don’t agree but don’t say things that are untrue or infer they are wrong, silly, or stupid. That may work to your disadvantage at some point. Why do you continually say MJ’s opinions are wrong and yours are right? Who made you the all knowing and all seeing God of blogs? I used to think many of MJs opinions were wrong until I started reading them closer. Perhaps you should try that.

          1. Using sarcasm is making things personal to you? Interesting.

            I think the only things, and I could be wrong (pun), that I have said MJ is erroneous about is that she is stating an opinion as fact.

            In that case, I am 100% right and she is wrong.

            Other than that, I think we’ve disagreed about the value of walks in OBP (where again her argument is a little senseless and without reason, but I don’t think I’ve said it’s wrong.)

        2. Bluto ….. we scored one run. We were 6 for 32 (.188) and 1 for 13 (.077) WRISP. Yes, I think the bats went to sleep. The Astros scored enough runs in the top of the first to beat us …. in a Game 7. We were never even in it. Dullest game of the year – in the biggest game the Dodgers have played in 40 years. And you think tipping pitches had something to do with that?


          1. So you think we should have beat the Houston Astros 1-0 in Game 7 of the World Series.

            On that we will never agree.

          2. No, I think the Dodgers would have won if Darvish hadn’t been tipping pitches.

            I have no interest in making up possible scores, nor do I see the value in it.

            I’ll guess that if Darvish had pitched at the top of his form and Morton pitches at the level he did, the Dodgers win 60% of the time.

          3. We scored one run. The odds of shutting out the Astros in that game had to be 500 to 1. And it sounds like you’re telling me had Darvish not tipped his pitches the Dodgers would have hit better. I have no idea how to respond to that.

          4. It seems to me you are thinking that if the game is played again with Darvish pitching better (or if in that exact same game, a player performed differently) then the Dodgers (or the rest of the Dodgers) will perform in the exact same manner.

            I, like you, am having a hard time getting my head around that.

          5. Thought about this.

            Not sure if Darvish pitches better, that means the Dodgers win.

            Not sure if they hit better, it means the Dodgers win.

            I think 55% of the time they would win if Darvish was who we (I) thought he was, but the Astros are and were pretty good.

  5. All-Star voting going on. Matt Kemp in the top 3 of the outfielders. He was the only Dodger I voted for except Max Muncy who I had as a write in candidate at 3rd. Arenado is by far a better player, but I just felt Max deserved some recognition and a vote. Turner has not played enough, Bellinger is not nearly the guy he was last year and Votto is a much better choice and I went with Scooter Gennett at 2nd. Guy is having a career year.

    1. Long way to go before the All Star game – 29 games. Forsythe could put together a 30 game hit streak with 10 home runs and 30 RBIs. Scooter could pull a quadrapleziac and be out of commission for 6 weeks.

      1. Badger

        The real question is, does Forsythe swing at the first pitch after yesterday, and is that a good idea, after yesterday?

        And how many balls go out against Colon tomorrow night, but he may surprise us, because that is baseball.

        1. Answer is yes, MJ. Forsythe should swing at a few first pitches in the regular season. That will help him work deeper into counts in the postseason. The other teams have compiled a ton of data on this guy and just throws the first pitch strike to get him into a hole.

          Especially when there is a ROTLeTTO situation. Jump on the first pitch if you can handle it, and get the runner in from third with a sac fly or better.

      2. Yeah, but you have to vote for someone, and you and I both know that Forshyte is not making that kind of a run. I just voted for the guys I felt deserved it at this point. I will submit one more on the last day of voting with my final picks. Hey, I did not even pick Harper for the outfield…

          1. I don’t vote anymore. Actually I couldn’t care less about the All Star game. I’d rather all our players have the time off.

    1. Badger

      I normally don’t either, that is why I asked about Kemp.

      But I did vote for Turner last year, because I knew he may not get another chance to make the Allstar game.

    2. Package

      Remember Roberts is going to be the Allstar manager for the National League this year.

      I bet Roberts puts Stripling on the Allstar team.

      I think Kemp and Stripling, deserve it more then any other Dodger.

      1. MJ
        No doubt. The two of them have had a great start. Let’s hope it continues for the remainder of the year.

        1. Package

          Let’s hope so, but both you and I know, it is a very long season, so every player or pitcher, will have their challenges along the way, but Kemp is always going to be one of the better hitters, on this team.

    1. After all these years of on point postings and discourse, Scott has to fear you turning into a spam-bot.

    1. Yeah, I think most of us agree with that take.

      But no mention of the salary cap?

      Hamels isn’t coming here because he makes $23 million. de Grom isn’t coming here because not only does he make $7.4 million he would cost 3 top prospects and FAZ won’t do that. Colon? Yeah, that could happen.

      Help isn’t coming in the form of legit big time Major Leaguers. History will repeat itself. The FAZ blueprint is there for all to see.

      1. Well said. Easy to play fantasy GM if you don’t have to live with this year’s budgetary restriction.

        I’m sure there will be a move at the deadline. Will DeGrom’s salary be palatable then?

        1. Yeah. It wouldn’t take much, dump Grandal or Forsythe for the space. But New York will ask, and get from somebody, 3 top prospects. Olney says they will get 2 ML ready prospects and 2 more highly regarded lower prospects. They’ll want Buehler and Verdugo just to start with. And deGrom would be worth that. But I doubt FAZ pulls the trigger on a deal that big. That’s something the Yankees would do, not the Dodgers.

          1. I am not nearly as confident about it being easy to “dump” players. They presumably tried all off-season to dump salary (for Stanton and others) and couldn’t.

            That said, there’s no way they’ll dump any of those players (Grandal or Forsythe) if the team is in the playoff mix. You don’t create holes, you fill them.

          2. I agree with that Bluto. They could move Grandal but I don’t believe they would at this point. Forsythe is an anchor that we will drag around the rest of the year. We can only hope he gets better but I wouldn’t count on it.

    2. YF,

      It’s not a bad plan. As long as we keep winning and getting a chance to make the playoffs, FAZ saves their face and continues to do things the hard way. Taking the Atlanta series was big in my estimation. The main thing is to get Turner back on the field. That bat is more important than any starting pitcher including Kershaw at this point in time.

  6. Its June. One game over 500, 4/5’s of the starting pitching is on the DL, the all star SS out for the season, Taylor and Cody striking out at a spectacular pace. And the luxury tax impact all season long. And didn’t the team raise ticket prices this season? Fun stuff so far. I guess Kemp resurgence on offense is fun to see, because his defense definitely isn’t.

    Hope everyone is having a nice day off. You OK with those fires in Colorado Michael Norris?

    1. Artieboy

      The Dodgers raised their ticket prices more then any other team in all of baseball, and by quite a bit more, then any team.

  7. I think we should take it easy on Bluto. He rubs people the wrong way, I know, but he’s really contributed to this blog and trying to dial it back a bit. I feel that he’s at heart a contrarian and probably tries a middle road, compared to mamy other blogs that are pure FBZ fanboyz. I think may even have persuaded him a little on the value of old school baseball, maybe just a little. Maybe that’s why he keeps chatting with us – at least we are nowhere the mainstream vanilla of the month, and (at least for me) I respect him for his contributions.

    1. I read there is a good chance he will miss all of next year and not be back until 2020. Guess it was good the Dodgers did not sign the guy. Sucks to be an Angel fan right now……Stuck with Albert’s contract for 3 more years after this. Trout saying he is not open to negotiating an extension until he sees what direction the organization is taking.

    2. YF

      I think that is a good decision, and I think the Yankees Japanese starter, should have done the same, because he has never been as dominant as he once was.

    1. YF
      Having read the article, I have a question or two. If the pitcher’s mound is moved back or pitching mound lowered or one of many changes that have been suggested what impact does that have on keeping stats going forward and selecting players for awards ect.? Change for the sake of change is not always good. Traditional baseball is good but player movements have caused the game to slow and replays are way overdone in my opinion.

      1. Package

        What has really slowed the game down, is the fact their are almost always more strike outs then hits, and the constant change, of relievers.

        1. MJ
          Yeah, and batters who constantly adjust gloves and step out of the box on every pitch. Also pitchers who take forever between pitches. Also review of plays has caused a slowdown.

  8. I have never had faith in the FAZMAN to do what is right at the deadline. And we all know it would take at least 2 top prospects to pry Degrom from the Metropolitans. But I just looked at the top 30 on the Dodger web site, and there are a few guys there who are never going to see Dodger blue. At least in my mind. Guys the Dodgers have a ton of in the minors and the majors. They might want a catcher, and Yasmani would be a huge upgrade to what they have now, but do you trust Barnes to handle the load the rest of the way with say, Farmer as the backup? The Dodgers are loaded with prime catching prospects. Especially at AA and AAA. The Mets are loaded at OF, but thin on the infield and they would no doubt want a pitcher back. Why not Sierra? He has been spinning his wheels in the minors for a while. Or Sborz, or any number of guys who have promise, but pretty much are blocked on the path to the big. Or Edwin Rios, who really has no position on this team, but plays 2 positions the Mets have a huge need at. It is all just supposition anyway. FAZ likes to hold on to his prospects, not trade them. OKC wins in 10, Broussard blows the save and gets the win. Strikes out 3 in the 10th. They are using that new rule down there where after the ninth inning they put the first batter due up on 2nd base with no outs. I hope they never adopt that one in the majors.

    1. Michael,

      FAZ doesn’t have a great track record at the deadline. But, their cockamamie approach has brought results and that is what offends our historical sensibilities about the game. It might sound like I’m defending them, but only in the way of their approach to a different system of putting a team together. The results have been astounding in spite of their obvious mistakes!! These guys are not afraid of ridicule and they seem to be the perfect fit in L.A. as to saving the owners bucks, and fielding a team that has brought excitement back to L.A. baseball.

      I don’t think Grandal is going anywhere. He has too much upside to dump. He is not perfect but better than anyone else we have and better than Ellis, imo, which was a motivation to trade for him. Grandal can be a much better player with more time and development. I’m assuming the Dodger staff still develops their roster as that is the role of the coaching staff. Whether we have the proper coaching staff is another matter. I can’t say.

      1. Jeff

        I agree with you about Grandal, because he at least has tried to get better, although his biggest issue is pass balls, but he has done better there too.

        But in very important games, you can’t have pass balls, and give other teams, an easy way to get in scoring position.

      2. I get where you are coming from Jeff, and I understand. My point is that the nucleus was in place before they got here. They were hamstrung a little with some large contracts and their first move was dumping Kemp. Then in the spring they just out right released Crawford. But all they have done since then is pretty much dumpster dive. They have made some really atrocious free agent signings, I mean has there ever in Dodger history been a worse signing than Olivera? The only major move in the off season was a salary dump to get under the tax. I get it, but the only major free agent signing has not thrown a single competitive pitch yet. Their so called depth has been tested and found somewhat lacking. The injury bug is obviously not their fault and it is also something you cannot really plan for. As for Grandal, he is 29 my friend. He is past the development phase. He has tried hard to improve his defense, but he still is one of the worst pitch blockers in the league and really does not throw out many base runner’s, two things AJ Ellis was hands down better at than he was. And his game calling is still no where near as good as AJ. I never expected a lot out of AJ at the plate, but he was a master at working a game. Grandal is a free agent at the end of the season and there fore a moveable piece. But knowing FAZ’s track record, Grandal will just walk at the end of the year because of the kids who are behind him, Smith, Ruiz, Wong. The catching instructor is Steve Yeager. So one of the best is instructing him, but most of that takes place in spring, not so much during the season. As far as exciting goes, I would have to disagree. I think that they are more exasperating than exciting. But we all have our own way of looking at the game and our own opinions of what is right and wrong with the team. They could just as easily have been buried in the NL west right now even with this short burst of energy had the D-Backs played .500 ball. They right now are a patch work quilt of B-minus ball players and borderline AAAA players. They got lucky with Taylor last year, but is he that guy, or what we are seeing now? Muncy is 27, so he is no kid. Is he what we are seeing now, or will he go in the tank the more he plays? Right now the guy has been a god send with Kemp being the only consistent hitter and everyone else playing in slow motion. Personally, I think this team even if it manages to make it to the playoffs, doubtful, is destined for an early exit. Re-set to 2019, when the kids take over.

      3. I think Grandal will get into a major slump as always. I’d trade him this year before the all star break and roll with Barnes and Farmer.

        1. YF,

          I wouldn’t do that under any circumstances. I used to be down on Grandal. I dreaded his slumps as always predictable. The same went for Joc. Both seem to have lifted their game, finally! Maybe I’m wrong, but you can’t trade guys that are playing this well. And, given who FAZ are, I just don’t see it. Maybe I’ll be surprised. In any case, both players are rocking tonight against Texas!!

  9. Good reads this morning.

    Elam’s ideas are thought provoking Yueh, but probably too Mensa for the average fan. If I was Commissioner the first thing I would do is employ the electronic strike zone. Easy enough to do as the ump would know what it is that millions watching know and he would know through a headset. The game wouldn’t miss a beat. The second thing is DH in both leagues. Being old school I didn’t like it for a while. I’ve changed my mind. A few other ideas:

    When I was playing a lot of softball tournaments I got very annoyed at how quickly the games would get off schedule. They ran later and later as the day went on. When I umpired tournaments I did something that fixed the problem. One minute between innings. Teams were required to run on and off the field, pitcher had one pitch warmup and it was PLAY BALL! It worked. Teams got behind the idea right away because they understood what I was doing. I think something similar should happen in MLB. When you change pitchers the guy coming in has 90-120 seconds and it’s Play Ball. He runs in and gets 3 warmups and a few seconds to go over signals. I’ve timed it myself. It can be done. In between innings? Well this is tricky because the networks use this time for commercials. Obviously pitchers don’t need 7 pitches to “warm up” between innings. Give them 3 and it’s batter up. No throwing the ball around the infield. Commercials can be handled differently, and I can go into that later.

    I like the idea of adding a foot or two to the distance between the mound and home plate. Not much though. It has to be only a subtle difference. Also, lower the mound to 6”.

    Bean balls: a pitcher has to able to pitch inside, but deliberately hitting someone has to stop. Put the guy at second base. Or allow a designated runner if someone gets hit. If the batter leans into the pitch, which we see a lot, it’s a ball. If the ball hits the bulky protective armor on your elbow, you don’t get first base, it’s just a ball. Call it the Bonds Rule.

    Extra innings: everyone steps into the box with a 1-1 count. Putting a runner at second after the 10th is not a bad idea either.

    There are other things but this post is already long enough.

  10. Got quiet suddenly.

    I think what we are seeing with our team is the fracturing of a 104 win thin ice team. We are like maple bats, high exit velocity, but easily splintered. Many of us saw the groundwork being laid. For me it was the McCarthy signing, followed by weak ass trades at the first deadline and it continued with the shallow water fishing looking for wounded players who could be had for cheap. It worked with Maeda and Morrow. Not so much with Anderson, Kazmir and Hill. And now with Kershaw fractured, and an organizational decision to reset the cap, we appear vulnerable.

    We can still hit occasionally. But when the squirrels go into hibernation, see Game 7, we can’t score enough to cover for our pitching. What to do? Well, we are seeing it. Bring up those now we planned to bring up later. It worked with Bellinger last year. Maybe it will work again. With virtually no money to spend, I don’t expect miracles at the deadline. Not from these guys.

      1. Read it.

        And I remember it. Got into it with a certain blogger who claimed the Dodgers didn’t offer Adrian a contract. Bullsh*t. He was offered 6 years. Adrian chose to leave. He took the money. They ALWAYS take the money. Don’t blame him. But enough with the tears. Yes, the Dodgers maybe could have handled it better, but 6 years and $60 million was offered.

        1. I remember that well. There were hoots and hollers that the Dodgers low balled him. That was BS. 10 mil a year back then was a very good salary…also, anyone notice that Adrian has never come close to those numbers again>? It took 5 more years before he drove in 100 runs again and 6 before he hit as many as 30 homers. And that season remains the only time he accumulated 200 hits. The Dodgers made the right call. His best year in Seattle he hit .276 with 26 homers and 99 RBI’s. He did much better his 1 year in Boston and the years he has been in Texas, but he has never come close to hitting .334 again. He will definitely go into the hall, and you can bet he will be wearing that Texas T on his hat,

          1. What I didn’t know, and found interesting in that article was Boras’ take and Beltre’s memory on how it went down sounded different. Boras said it was the owner, Beltre said it was the GM. The fact that neither answered the call because both were in a meeting with Matt Clement? That doesn’t sound right to me.

          2. Michael’s post piqued my interest.

            HOLY SHIT. He had 9.7 WAR in his final year.

            That’s almost borderline Bondsian.

            He’s still put up some terrific #s since he’s been gone, but never, ever at that level.

          3. NEVER underestimate a contract year. And NEVER base a future contract on a contract year. Go with a 3 year split, and if the player is near turning 30, adjust the numbers accordingly.

            I’ll give FAZ this much….. get them young and pay them until they turn 30. They are trying to do that. After 30 it’s a downhill slide, so stop it with the Hill’s and McKazderson’s.

  11. I personally think lowering the mound and moving it back is an asinine idea. It puts the entire diamond out of whack. What are you going to do? Move the bases 2 more feet apart? Fans like scoring. Leave that part of the game alone.

    1. Not out of whack Bear. In fact, what was suggested realigns the diamond. 60’6” has always seemed arbitrary and weird to me. How does that distance figure into it in the first place?

      And lowering the mound to 6” will help hitters. Most people want more offense, thus the all or nothing worship the Launch Angle Gods approach. I’m ok with more offense. Football changed a lot of rules to get more offense in the game. So did basketball. Didn’t hurt those sports. Moving the rubber a foot back won’t even be noticeable to the fan but one foot on a 98 mph fastball could be the difference between a foul ball and a fly ball to deep right.

      That said, they won’t do it. But it’s good talk about it.

      Another way we sped up softball was to enter the box with a 1-1 count. I could see that after the 10th inning.

      1. Retraining all those arms to throw 61 feet 6 inches is not going to be all that easy, especially off of a mound. I say leave the game alone. It is fine as it is. I do agree with the DH in both leagues and the umps having an electronic strike zone. That would cut down on arguments and bitching about calls that are really nuts. It would also cut down on veteran pitchers getting the benefit of the doubt on borderline pitches. Some guy on twitter suggested the Dodgers purchase Mike Bolsinger from the Chiba Lotte Mariners. Bols is 7-1 with an ERA slightly above 3.

  12. California League All Stars have been selected, and 6 Quakes were named. SS Gavin Lux, 3B Rylan Bannon, LF Logan Landon, and C Connor Wong will all start next week’s All Star game. Tony Gonsolin and Dean Kremer were named to the All Star team as pitchers.

  13. Looks like Fergie tonight and Maeda tomorrow….if, and only if, they can get their starting pitching in order will this team make a serious run at winning the division. They have already made 83 roster moves this year, with at least a couple more in the next few days, and it was also said by Roberts that putting Turner back on the DL was not out of the question. They need to do something. The bullpen arms are dragging as it is.

    1. Roster moves is a FAZ trademark. We still have some minor league arms that can pitch an inning or two, a start or two, and give the others days off. Continued musical chairs for the next few weeks.

      I don’t think 1’ would mean much to a pitcher Bear. Easy adjustment. Remember going from Little League to Pony League? Pony to Colt? No sweat man. But, again, won’t happen.

      They’ve already changed a few things. The DH. Remember when the strike zone was the arm pit (letters) to the bottom of the knee? Ballparks are smaller to. Some change is inevitable.

      1. Yeah, but those changes came as you grew. Not after you were already where you will be the rest of your life. I remember that 60′ 6″ looking like a long way to throw the first time I stepped on a HS mound. But like you said, it will never happen. The baseball gods on high will see to that. That strike zone was in effect from the day I started playing the game, but I still remember some little league umps thinking it was your shoulders. Umps today are way to sensitive to criticism, and there are not many really good ones.

    1. YF
      Why not just get rid of umpires all together? Who needs them right? Baseball doesn’t need anybody questioning anything. No Drama, no arguments, no fights just do what the computers and cameras say to do. The biggest thing is do not do anything traditional.

    2. BS way to rate a catcher anyway. I go with defensive ability behind the plate, IE, blocking pitches in the dirt, calling the game, and throwing out runners. All of which, Ruiz is said to have the best tools at our minor league level. Electronic strike zones would limit the arguments to a minimum as to balls and strikes, and take away that borderline call. I have seen so many balls called strikes and strikes called balls the last few years to last me a life time!

    3. Never going to happen because of the Union, unless major concessions are made.

      You can not like framing, but it’s pretty important in today’s game.

      1. Give them a larger slice of the pie. More money, better benefit. That will shut them up.

        Then fine them if they go under the 85% accuracy rate.

        These guys know they should get better or they will be humiliated. The calling of the strike zone changed with ezone being broadcast on every pitch.

        We don’t want to get rid of them pack. Somebody has to make the calls. They are part of the game! But so is replay. And replay technology has really passed up the officiating.

        If they can’t get the strike zone right, and the framing stat proves they CAN’T, take it away from them.

        1. Badger
          You say you need them to make the calls but you don’t like what they say? This is just another way to appease the sabermetric guys. Baseball has lost so much right now that it is no longer the game I grew up with. Guess it doesn’t matter.

          1. It hasn’t been the game you grew up with since Andy Messersmith and Dave McNalley became free agents in 1975. Baseball has been through a lot of changes since then.

            I think if the fans were to vote on it electronic strike zone would win. Fans are tired of seeing game results being effected by poor umpiring. They’ve nearly solved the mistake problems on base calls, but the strike zone has been all over the place for a long time. We only suspected it before the ezone. Now we have proof. I say give it a test in Spring Training. Maybe it won’t work.

  14. Badger
    You forgot one or two points on what rules FAZ lives by on your 1:52 post. Never sign a good solid or star player under any circumstances. Never trade for an all star or good solid player that requires a prospect or two. Unless it is free then do not do it quickly, and even then be suspicious. Continue scrap heap mentality and also the hurt player rule. Keep a Dummy on hand for manager and lie to the press and the fans.

    1. Pack, you do not consider Forsythe a solid player????? Neither do I. How many players are still here from the flurry of deals they did in 2015? Barnes, Grandal, Hernandez, Liberatore, Hill, Wood, Utley, Toles and Segedin. Plus a few prospects they signed. But mostly what they did that first year was dumpster dive. Forgettable names too. Like Bolsinger among others. It was a mess.

      1. Bear
        I do not consider Forsythe a solid player offensively or defensively. Got a couple of borderline mediocure players. Their part of building this club is still a mess in my opinion.

        1. That’s called sarcasm my friend. I think the Forsythe trade was one of the worst FAZ has made, compounded by the fact that they exercised his option and are paying him 7 million dollars to be mediocre. He will be one player I will not miss at all when he is gone.

          1. Bear
            Pay no attention to him. He does not know the difference between making a comment and making a comment to make someone look silly for their comment.
            If he keeps this up, he might be getting close to another person I know.

          2. LOL, I don’t think Michael pays much attention (with good reason) to me.

            That said, I’m not sure what kind of comment this one is.

          3. Actually Bluto, I read most of what you post. You always make interesting posts. I may not agree with you all of the time, but sometimes I think you are spot on.

  15. The strike zone got s little smaller at each level but it was still letters and bottom of the knee in high school. Now it’s the size of a box of Wheaties. Imagine trying to Koufax with a strike zone that went from your arm pits to the bottom of your kneecap.

    The pitch framing stat is something that should disappear from baseball. It’s a strike or it isn’t a strike. Period. And a strike is clearly defined. And while we are on the subject, by definition does the ball have to go over the plate to be a strike?

  16. Since I got my PC back, I am back to working on that list of the deals FAZ has made since his reign of terror started.

    1. Bear
      I am anxious to read that list of deals. I bet they are truly wonderful. Will it include all the foreign money spent? I hope so. We need to see exactly how good of business people these guys are.

      1. They usually do not list the foreign signings on there. You can actually see them yourself by going on your search engine and typing LA Dodger transactions 2015. It will pull up the page from the baseball reference site. But Olivera is on there and all the waiver wire pickups and trades, free agents and such. I thought it was mind boggling how many moves they made just that first year, and most of the free agents never made it out of spring training. I look back in my Dodger media guides that I have, and you never see that much movement in the past.

        1. I googled it a while back and read it was $273mm including fines. The names are an interesting read – Olivera, Guerrero, Sierra, Arruebarrena, Alvarez, Diaz, Fernandez, Estevez, im sure I’m missing some. Quite an investment.

          1. Badger,

            I think that’s a top level summation. For the past two-three years when the Dodgers have been limited in their spending by MLB’s rules, I don’t they disclose all the players and the aggregate sum spent.

            I’m sure it’s a formidable amount, it’s one way to use the team’s financial resources away from the luxury cap. Just like the size of the front office, the multiple waiver claims and the large (though not largest) analytics and sports science departments.

          2. Badger
            I see many that are not with the club anymore so I would not consider them an investment. They are a loss.

  17. Actually, Utley was in 2016. Corcino was picked up from the Reds that year, but was released at the end of 2015 and resigned at the beginning of 2017.

      1. Package

        Your probably right, because you know how they go with veteran players longer.

        And Forsythe just had one of his best offensive games, in the prior game, so this is probably just a day off for Forsythe.

    1. Michael

      Buehler on ten day DL for a micro fracture of his rib.

      I assumed they did that after the initial X-ray didn’t show anything.

      But with these guys you just never know what the truth is.

      1. Actually it is common to miss micro fractures on initial X-rays. It will heal. But, it may take longer than 10 days. It could be weeks.

        My understanding, limited I admit, is that stress fractures in athletes can be treated rather easily if caught early. If not allowed to heal through immediate rest, a stress fracture can progress and become a complete fracture. I took that class in 1976 and haven’t really updated my … classification…. so I may be talking out my ass here, but he took that line drive on May 21st and has made 3 starts since then. I do think we need more information and we may not get it for 10 days. I would make a plan B for when his next start is scheduled. And, it could be after the All Star game before he pitches again.

        1. Badger

          You never know with these guys!

          I broke every rib I had in that car accident, and I had to just get a preopt X-ray of my lungs, with Kaiser.

          And they didn’t send the actually X-ray to my dental surgeon, a doctor gave an observation of how my lungs looked, in that X-ray.

          And the doctor mentioned my ribs as malformed bones are something like that.

          I do remember it hurts when you laugh, and I believe it hurt when I took a deep breath.

          And that is with getting shots of Demerol every two hours, I believe, because my pelvis was shattered and my hip socket was broke off, and I was in traction, with a 25 pound weight, at my feet that was keeping my hip in place.

          1. I’ll bet you spent at least 60 days on the DL MJ.

            Ribs can be tricky. They are involved in every movement the body makes.

      2. Pretty sure they picked it up on the MRI they did last week. Ferguson will most likely go back to OKC tomorrow with Maeda being activated. Rumors say Hill is not far behind. Best starter at AAA is Banuelos right now. Tigers lost Miguel Cabrera with a ruptured muscle for the year. When healthy, he was one of the best in the game.

  18. Badger

    Just under a month, because Kaiser had to bring in a surgeon outside of Kaiser, because at that time it was an innovative surgeon I had to have.

    I couldn’t sleep at night, I was the only one watching the midnight music on TV, at the time at 1 am.

    I guess that was from the Demerol.

    1. I do wish Ferguson’s change was thrown more. According to gamecast he’s throwing two pitches.

      4 seamer and a curve.

    2. Yeah, they get lucky twice……..that’s luck, not great scouting. Taylor and Muncy had never even come close to these kinds of performances. And neither one is a spring chicken. Mature players can reinvent themselves as they go, then you have a slug like Grandal who is what he is and will never get better.

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