Monday, October 29, 2018

5 Burning Questions Ow It Burns Make It Stop

I did not tweet this tweet. Maybe we got hacked.

It's the return of Five Things! (That means something to like two of you out there.)

1. Kersh: In or out? Obviously he can make more than $65 million for two years so he'll opt out, but will he re-sign with us and stay competitive or sign with his hometown Rangers and enjoy the second half of his career closer to home? The first domino falls soon.

2. Harper? First of all, Goodbye Felicia/Manny. Secondly, do we break the bank for Harper? Does the front office think he'll fit their newfangled homer-only adjust-never approach? If we land Harper, who goes? Does Joc and/or Puig become trade bait? Remember we owe Kemp $21.5M next year.

3. Catcher issues. Grandal leads the free-agent catcher class with his 24 regular-season HRs and supposedly legendary framing skills. The Dodgers are unlikely to dish out for offense they already have and his butterfinger defense, but then who becomes the everyday catcher? Barnes? The minor-league guys are still years away so this one is a head-scratcher. Maybe a trade?

4. How to fix the bullpen. Once Kenley gets his heart surgery, will he return to the Kenley of old? Can we go Baez in the 8th to Kenley in the 9th and just figure out the post-starter bridge guys? Remember the Dodgers owe Jansen $56M over the next three years so he isn't going anywhere.

5. Forget small ball. It's big ball now. Somewhere along the line the front office decided to mash at all costs. Will they decide this year's results were worth it? Was NLCS Game 5 just a fluke? Will Justin Turner remain the only guy who excels at situational hitting?

OK that was more than five questions but you get the idea. This team needs to make some decisions.

Post-World Series Thread: WELP


*Ron Howard voice* They didn't.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

World Series Game 5 Thread: Oct 28 vs. Red Sox, 5p

JUST.

FUCKING.

WIN.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

World Series Game 4 Thread: Oct 27 vs. Red Sox, 5p


Muncy popped it up and over the center field wall for the win.

Rich Hill vs. Eduardo Rodriguez

Last night's historic marathon 7 hr and 20 min, 18-inning affair broke all space and time. No one knows who's starting today. No one knows anything that's going to happen next. HOW THE HELL CAN ONE GAME THREAD ENCAPSULATE THIS WEIRDNESS??!! I'm not even going to try. I'm going to get some more sleep before game time and try to sort this all out.

GO BLUE! *passes out*

Friday, October 26, 2018

World Series Game 3 Thread: Oct 26 vs. Red Sox, 5p


Walker Buehler vs. Rick Porcello

Failure was the overarching theme of the first two games of this World Series. Failure to execute at the plate. Failure to execute out of the pen. And, maybe most importantly, failure to get a third out. The Sox are ungodly good with two outs. Remember when "TWO OUT MADNESS!" was our thing? It was our thing, wasn't it? Maybe way back when.

Speaking of way back when, a lot is being made of the '65 and '81 Dodgers both being down 0-2 and coming back to win the Series. That's neat and all, but letting the past die has worked before in this Series and we need it to work again. Make new history, Dodgers. We've waited long enough.


Bring your broom, Broom Boy! The Dodgers need a sweep at home!

Just like the end of The Last Jedi, the future begins with the young: Walker Buehler on the mound. Joc and Cody back in the starting lineup. Seize the day, boys.

GO BLUE!

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

World Series Game 2 Thread: 10/24 @ Red Sox, 5p

We'll always have this moment. We'll always have this moment. We'll always have this moment.

Hyun-Jin Ryu (postseason: 1-1, 4.40) vs David Price (PS: 1-1, 5.11).

So it turns out there are a few things a team needs to play well in the World Series:

  • effective starting pitching [last night: noooooope]
  • timely hitting [last night: kinda]
  • strong defense [last night: noooooope]
  • canny bullpen management [last night: noooooope]

Why it took the Dodgers THE ENTIRETY OF GAME 1 to figure this out is beyond me. Maybe it was the cold weather, maybe Dave Roberts had brain freeze from shotgunning a pregame Slurpee (Coca Cola flavor, natch), maybe...the Red Sox are simply the better team.

But hey! It’s not the better team that wins — it’s the team that plays better. And the 92-71 Dodgers, who beat the 96-67 Brewers to reach the World Series, have it in them to take Game 2. They just have to execute when they absolutely can't afford not to (which frankly seems to be the only time they do so).

Although Boston native Rich Hill seems a natural to start this game, Ryu gets the start to set Hill up for relief work in later games. Road Ryu (8.59 ERA, 2.05 WHIP) is def not preferable to Home Ryu (0.00 ERA, 0.57 WHIP) but dude, it's the World Series. Sack up, Hyun-Jin.

Listen: Dodger Stadium is unfortunately going to be packed with entitled Red Sox fans on Friday. It's gonna suck. Let's give them one less thing to cheer for.

A Special Message. From DAD

To all the Sons and Daughters, stay strong. Game 2's coming!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

World Series Game 1 Thread: Oct 23 @ Red Sox, 5p

Clayton Kershaw (9-5, 2.73) vs. Chris Sale (12-4, 2.11).

Finally, the hangover is over.

This year, the Los Angeles Dodgers face the Boston Red Sox, a strongly-favored team with a gargantuan payroll who cruised through the regular season and first two rounds of the playoffs, backed by strong starting pitching. Sound familiar?

Barring any potential racist gestures in the impending playoff series, it's admittedly difficult to dislike the Red Sox, and nigh impossible to hate on Boston manager and former Dodger Alex Cora. Dodger manager Dave Roberts continues to be friends with Cora, as they were teammates in Los Angeles in 2004, and Roberts was the one of the first to congratulate Cora on his marathon 18-pitch AB in May 2004 (you can read the definitive story of Cora's marathon 18-pitch AB here).

This is the first World Series managed by two players who each played for both teams. And this is the first World Series helmed by two minority managers. This is pretty cool stuff, set before the context of two historic franchises.

But let's face it, the underdog Dodgers should be the one the baseball gods (if there are any) prefer. While Boston has rattled off three titles since 2004, you may have heard that the Dodgers have been without a championship since 1988.

But we've got momentum. Our Game 7 NLCS victory over the Brewers (on the road!) was thrilling, as we saw some dormant bats awaken (Yasiel Puig, Cody Bellinger), some young stars shine (Walker Buehler, Julio Urias), some veterans show poise (Kenley Jansen, Justin Turner, Clayton Kershaw), and some unsung heroes astonish (Chris Taylor). Oh, and we've got this guy, too, who will both confound and surprise (like with a bunt single that led to an unrelinquished lead). We've got a full head of steam here.

It's time for us to capture some of that October magic.

It's time for us to grab this narrative.

It's time for us to rise up.

LET'S GO, DODGERS.

So grab your drum set, set it up in the back of your pickup truck, and let's take a ride down the street at 5mph.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Dodger Stadium Update: October 21, 2018

One more logo to paint on the lawn...

Spun by the Stadium yesterday afternoon to see what World Series merchandise was available.

They didn't have any hats except for that light gray "WS" one that the team wore on the field after Game 7. That was a "one size fits most" hat or $50 (ouch!).

The Top of the Park store did have this one t-shirt, though:

Most of the World Series merchandise was coming Wednesday of this week, however it looks like some WS-logo Dodger stuff is on mlb.com already.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

The Real Star of the Series: Lindsey Buckingham

More specifically, the LINDSEY BUCKINGHAM BEER KOOZIE. With every comeback, every basket catch, every lick-worthy dinger from Puig, the koozie was never far from the hand of the Delino.

Fleetwood Mac might have shit-canned Mr. B, but SOSG welcomes him (and his reasonably priced beer receptacle) with open arms. Luckily, Lindsey's legendary tune below turned out to be about the BeerBall folks from cheese-land.

Here's to four more wins!

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Once More, With Feeling

NLCS Game 7 Thread: Oct 20 @ Brewers, 5p

Walker Buehler (8-5, 2.62) vs. Jhoulys Chachin (15-8, 3.50)

For almost a full year now, I have lived in fear of the baseball gods.

These baseball gods have not been kind to me, a diehard Dodger fan. They have denied me playoff joys so many times during my lifetime, crescendoing in the last six years of consecutive NL West division crowns, which were followed by brutal disappointments. The 2013 NLCS loss to the Cardinals, followed up by an even worse dispatching in the 2014 LDS by the same team. Zack Greinke falling short in the 2015 LDS to the Mets. The NLCS loss to the eventual world champion Cubs in 2016. And the worst one, the gut-wrenching World Series loss in Game 7 last year.

I went to 2017 World Series Game 1 (with SoSG Orel; one of the best games of my life and needing a much overdue blogpost), as well as Game 2 (with my wife; probably the best baseball game I have ever witnessed if not for the sad outcome).

And then I had a shot to go to Game 7.

And I passed. I figured that the downside of the potential loss was much greater than the upside gain of the potential win. SoSG AC went without me. I was sad, but I was hoping the baseball gods would appreciate my sacrifice.

They didn't. The Dodgers lost in excruciating fashion. And I was sentenced to this past year of absolute baseball hell.

In 2018, I've tried even harder to be deferential to these baseball gods, following my Dodgers' many travails along the way. Losing three of four to the Giants in April. The depths of nine games below .500. The early loss of Corey Seager. The early bouts of ineffectiveness of Kenley Jansen's cutter. Justin Turner's wrist injury. Another Clayton Kershaw DL stint. Sitting in fourth place in the division, in June. Dylan Floro's walk-off balk loss. Kike Hernandez throwing BP to lose a critical game. The string of bullpen collapses. Chris Taylor's league-leading 178 Ks. The 1-6 record against the Cincinnati Reds. Brian Dozier. The river of shit on the Dodger Stadium field. Multiple power outages. The ignominy of having to play a game 163 against the Colorado Rockies, just to advance to the LDS. Having to listen to Joe Buck and John Smoltz' anti-Dodgers banter this whole fucking series.

Enough.

I'm breaking free of these shackles that the baseball gods have tried to place upon me. I'm not bowing to them any more.

The Dodgers are winning. I'm calling it.

I'm not even going to talk about the Brewers, as I'm moving forward. I'm not even giving this Milwaukee team the courtesy of a label for this blogpost. I'm already preparing for the World Series matchup with the Red Sox, whom we last saw in 2016 (we went 2-1). We're 12-8 this year in interleague play, which may not be as good as Boston's 16-4, but they haven't seen us yet. And we'll have a well-rested Clayton Kershaw, who won't be needed in today's blowout victory.

Fuck you, baseball gods. We're winning this Game 7, and going on to Boston.

Hasa diga eebowai.

(and speaking of LDS:)

Friday, October 19, 2018

NLCS Game 6 Thread: Oct 19 @ Brewers, 5:30p


Hyun-Jin Ryu vs. Wade Miley

Wait. Wade Miley? I think I blacked out or something because didn't he start Game 5? Oh yeah, Craig Counsell threw him out there for one batter, in a wackadoo gambit to get Dave Roberts to turn over his lineup. And it kinda worked...until it didn't. Good October Kershaw showed up and prevailed, and now the Dodgers stand one win away from returning to the World Series for the first time in about 365 days.

But, as the spooky gentleman above reminds us, let's not get ahead of ourselves. The Dodgers have to get the job done against the Brewers first. The adjustments they made in Game 5 were definitely encouraging, but holy hell have they struck out a lot in this series. We are still nervous.

One person who DEFINITELY got ahead of himself is Adrian Gonzalez, who tweeted this WHILE ALCS GAME 5 WAS STILL GOING ON:


It's now deleted, but holy shit, AGon. Sure, he got one right*, but you do NOT fuck with the baseball gods like that. The real pity is if he's proven 100% correct later tonight, there won't be time to ask him for tonight's Mega Millions numbers.

GO BLUE!

--

*We here at SoSG would VERY MUCH like to dance on the grave of the Astros' 2018 season, but we'll restrain ourselves until the Dodgers win this series.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

NLCS Game 5 Thread: Oct 17 vs. Brewers, 2p


All Belli, no flop.

Clayton Kershaw vs. Wade Miley

Are you awake? Are you alive?

In a 5+ hour Game 4 that felt like it took about 5 days (and at least 5 years off our lives), the Dodgers finally bounced back. The NLCS is now tied, thanks to the combined heroics of the Dodger bullpen(!!!), Brain Dozier (an early RBI single after most were shocked he was even starting), Manny Machado (a 13th inning single followed by taking second on a wild pitch, plus some...other stuff), and Cody Bellinger (walk-off single and the above game-saving catch).

Look for today's game to be ~NARRATIVE CITY~ with the FS1 broadcast (which, to this point, has been AWFUL, even by FOX standards) focusing on both the now-villainous Manny Machado and the postseason woes of Clayton Kershaw. The Manny complaints are legitimate, as last night's kicking of Aguilar's leg at first base was, at worst, dirty, and, at best, massively stupid. The Kershaw story? Well, that's up for him to write. We've seen both sides this postseason, and we're ready for the good chapter again.

So, take a late lunch, because this one's a weird-ass day game. At least it should end at a reasonable time, right? Right?

GO BLUE!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

NLCS Game 4 Thread: Oct 16 vs. Brewers, 6p


Dick Mountain vs. Gio Gonzalez

Last night's loss was a breaking point for a lot of people. Fans turned on players. Players turned on fans. The offense turned on scoring opportunities. It was a mess.

But that's in the past. And it has to stay there, if the Dodgers are to have any hope of winning this series. Molly Knight said it best on Twitter today:
Nothing more to say, really. Play better or go home.

What's it going to be, Dodgers?

Monday, October 15, 2018

NLCS Game 3 Thread: 10/15 vs Brewers, 4:30p

Walker Buehler vs Jhoulys Chacin.

That's right, Dodger fans. Just when you thought you were all snug as a bug wearing your Coat of Emotional Indifference, along come Justin Turner and Pedro Baez (!!!) to rip that fucker up and throw it in the shredder (I know, no such thing as a coat shredder, work with me here).

So now we're hopeful! Which means we're vulnerable! Which we promised we would never ever be since goddamn Game 7!

Someday we'll look back and realize these are good problems to have.

But not today.

So here's a little nugget of hope: Unlike Wade Miley — who has been so good against us he could join Billie Jean King in the Dodgers' ownership group — Jhoulys Chacin isn't a Dodger-killer. In his last start, the Dodgers won 21-5.

So let's channel our inner Michael Corleone and send the Brewers to go fishing with Al Neri on a cold, wintry day.

(splash)

It Was 30 Years Ago Today


Earlier at SoSG: It Was 25 Years Ago Today

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Good Times for L.A Pro Sports

Turner: Jeff Roberson/AP

Last Night's Real Hero

I'm not asking for a parade, for the Delino is not one to brag or boast.

But the second Delino Jr's daddy sat down with his spiked arnold palmer and brand new Lindsey Buckingham Koozie, the game changed.

Even YAZ could not harsh the mellow of the Delino's hardcore lemonade/iced tea fueled buzz.

Once Justin Turner cracked his two run dinger, the future of this series was cemented. The Koozie. The sweet sweet booze. The now somewhat tight, ten year old NLDS shirt (courtesy of SOSG's Sax). They will be the staple for the rest of the playoffs. Fight on!