Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Post-Game 131 Thread: Madison Hacked on Joc's Jack

DODGERS 2, GIANTS 1

Zack Greinke threw 114 pitches, holding the Giants helpless into the seventh inning. By then, the Dodgers already wielded a 2-0 lead thanks to a majestic solo shot to center field off the bat of Joc Pederson. Pederson, who had been demoted to ninth in the batting order for this game, looked ebullient rounding the bases--and looked like the type of energetic boost that this team se desperately needs. Pederson's HR off of "Ashley" Madison Bumgarner handed Bumgarner his seventh loss of the year.

Two runs was all the Dodgers needed, as well. When Greinke exited the game with two on and a run already in (to make it 2-1), Luis Avilan got Brandon Belt to ground into double play to shut off the threat. Kenley Jansen came in for the ninth and seal the win.

Dodgers are now 5.5 games up in the West, with one more game in this series tomorrow. Let's go, Dodgers!

Game 131 Thread: Sep. 1 vs. Giants, 7p


TONIGHT! The irritable force meets the indecipherable object!

Zack Greinke (14-3, 1.61) vs. Ashley Madison (16-6, 2.97)

If it's possible to die from prolonged exposure to INTENSE GLARES, then we're all dead tonight. (sad trombone)

But wait! The sad trombone was silenced last night, though most of you were probably asleep when it happened. Last night's win put the Dodgers up 4.5 games in the NL West. Even if Debbie Downer Sax's worst fears come true and the Dodgers lose this series, they'll still walk away with a 2.5 game lead. Plus, it's September 1st! The reinforcements are arriving! (mildly upbeat piccolo)

Of course, there's still the whole Roenicke thing...

Post-Game 130 Thread: Dodgers Finally Grab Spotlight Off Broadway

DODGERS 5, GIANTS 4 (14)

The Dodgers won a game. Against the Giants.

Adrian Gonzalez had a walk-off single with the bases loaded and none out in the bottom of the 14th, lacing the first pitch from Yusmiero Petit to left field to score A.J. Ellis. Ellis, Jimmy Rollins, and Chase Utley had all reached in succession off of Mike Broadway, who ended up with the game's worst line (0.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 Ks). With the bases loaded, even third base coach Ron Roenicke couldn't hold up the Dodgers from scoring--and really, it was about time, after this five-and-a-half hour ulcer-creating tightrope walk.

What was good--actually, what was amazing--was that the Dodgers' bullpen actually did pretty okay. Nine innings of work, post-Brett Anderson's five-inning, 3 ER start, and Pedro Baez, Luis Avilan, Kenley Jansen, Jim Johnson (two innings!), and Chris Hatcher (three innings!) all put in great scoreless efforts. Juan Nicasio blew the save in the eighth inning, allowing the Giants to score off a Marlon Byrd double.

But after that, the scoring completely shut down for both teams, though it seemed like it was the Dodgers who were regularly narrowly escaping jams AND blowing chances to win. Losing would have been dispiriting, particularly to Justin Turner (who doubled in a run in the first inning off of Jake Peavy), Adrian Gonzalez (whose two-run HR tied the game at 3), and Andre Ethier (who put the Dodgers ahead 4-3 until Nicasio's effort).

But six innings of scoreless bullpen work from our boys? Pretty damn impressive, and certainly needed. Dodgers' lead grows to 4.5 games; Giants' losing streak extends to three games; and though we won't have any arms for the rest of this series, Zack Greinke (Tuesday) and Clayton Kershaw (who PH unsuccessfully tonight; Wednesday) might be able to go beyond five innings?! Either way, we'll take it.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Game 130 Thread: Aug. 31 vs. Giants, 7p

Brett Anderson (8-8, 3.36) vs. Jake Peavy (4-6, 4.21).

The Dodgers go for their third no-hitter in their last 10 games against Peavy tonight — it won't be easy, given that Peavy sometimes leaves eminently hittable balls up in the zone, but I'm confident the bats will find a way to miss. Meanwhile, it won't matter if Anderson throws his own no-hitter, because he won't get any offensive support. SAD TROMBONE

Dodgers Being No-Hit Twice Sets Record, But World Series Precedent Amazingly Exists

Andrew Simon over at Dodgers.com had some good stats about the Dodgers' embarrassing second "effort" getting no-hit, which doesn't bode well for the team's future, though one other team in history has been no-hit twice and still gone on to win the World Series:

Only two teams since at least 1900 have made the playoffs while also suffering multiple no-hitters: the 1917 White Sox and the 2010 Rays. [...]

As for the company the Dodgers could join, Tampa Bay went 96-66 in '10, taking the American League East by a game over the Yankees before falling to the Rangers in the AL Division Series. Yet on May 9 of that year, A's left-hander Dallas Braden twirled a perfect game against them in Oakland. Less than two months later, on June 25, they drew eight walks against the D-backs' Edwin Jackson, who labored through 149 pitches for one of baseball's more unusual no-nos.

Back in 1917, there was no such thing as a division winner, as both leagues had only eight teams apiece. The White Sox went 100-54 that year, winning the AL by nine games over the Red Sox and then defeating the New York Giants in the World Series. But before that, Ernie Koob and Bob Groom of the St. Louis Browns no-hit Chicago on May 5 and 6.

Those back-to-back performances also set the record for least time between no-hitters pitched against the same team. However, the Dodgers have set a new NL record in that department, taking over for the 1971 Reds, who were no-hit on June 3 and 23 by the Cubs' Ken Holtzman and the Phillies' Rick Wise, respectively.

So there's hope for even our offensively incompetent team! Mark McGwire must be thrilled at the prospect of a happy ending here (no matter how slight).

Angels Announce New "No-Hit The Dodgers Night" Promotion For Sept 7 Game

Excited that the Dodgers choose every ninth game to roll over and play dead to a unassuming pitcher's no-hitter, the Angels have set up a "no-hit the Dodgers" promotional giveaway at the stadium, with miniature plaques to be given away to the first 20,000 fans in attendance. The plaques will be inscribed with the dates of the Astros' no-hitter, followed by the Cubs' no-hitter, and then a space will be left for the pending Angels no-hitter (which will be engraved at the stadium post-game, free of charge).
Angels owner Arte Moreno is lobbying to get the first game of the Dodgers / Angels series televised on ESPN, which would ensure the no-hit victory for the home Angels.
"Sure, we're only throwing Matt Shoemaker, he of the 4.48 ERA, said Angels manager Mike Scioscia. "But that's not much worse than Mike Fiers, and he did it Houston, so Shoe's got a good chance.
"Plus, we didn't have a promotion scheduled for that day (Jersey Mike's Sub Card day is the following game), and we figured: why not, it's not like [Dodgers hitting coach] Mark McGwire is going to help any."
Scioscia would not address the Dodgers' apparent "Ron Roenicke curse" when asked by a pool reporter.

And Look Which Dodgers Coach Seems To Be Admiring Arrietta's No-Hitter

That's right, none other than Ron Roenicke, he who has cursed the Dodgers.

I can't tell from this instagram shot whether Roenicke is smiling on the outside, but you can bet he's smiling on the inside. Sleeper agent!

[hat tip to SoSG Nomo for the pickup (and conspiracy theory fuel)]

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Post-Game 129 Thread: Sad Trombone

CUBS 2, DODGERS 0

I told you so. While the Cubs were getting motivated to have a pajama party this evening, the Dodgers rolled over and played dead on national television, ceding their second no-hitter in fewer than two weeks. Jimmy Rollins, Andre Ethier, Yasmani Grandal, and Joc Pederson all helped the Cubs' cause with two strikeouts tonight (Arrietta had 12 total).

Mark McGwire should probably get a lot of the criticism and scrutiny--sure, we lead the league in HRs, but tonight was total ineptitude tonight in his players' at bats. To be no-hit twice in the span of nine games is pathetic, and demonstrates the Dodgers have no gameplan whatsoever--except to predictably fail whenever they're on the national stage.

But I still blame Ron Roenicke.

Game 129 Thread: August 30 vs. Cubs, 5p

Alex Wood (9-8, 3.70) vs. Jake Arrietta (16-6, 2.22).

Put any thoughts of sweepage out of your mind, Dodger fans. First, this game is on national television, a stage on which we do not perform well. Second, three Cubs regulars have >.500 batting averages against Alex Wood (over the last five years): Starlin Castro (.500 BA); Chris Coghlan (.667), and Chris Denorfia (.800). Third, Arrietta (the Cubs' ace) is third in the majors for ERA, behind Zack Greinke and Sonny Gray--and is 10-1 on the road.

Going into play tonight, we're at 16 games over .500, as high as the Dodgers have been all year long. Enjoy the altitude now, because a sixth-consecutive win in front of a national audience would be downright shocking.

(but wouldn't it be awesome if we won?!)

image idea from SoSG Dusty Baker!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Bargain Basement

Not exactly flying off the racks at the top deck store. 

Game 128 Thread: August 29 vs. Cubs, 6p

Cubs Team Photo

Mat Latos (4-9, 4.81) vs. Jon Lester (8-9, 3.44)

The rare dualing starting pitchers both of whom shirk traditional spellings of their first name matchup.

Dodgers ride a four-game (4!) win streak coming into tonight's high-stakes clash with the Cubs. It will be an uphill battle given Latos' form of late, having been relegated to the bullpen (more of a place to sit and think about what he did than as someone who was actually called upon to come into the game in relief). But optimism prevails today fresh off the news that our beloved Vin Scully will return for his 67th season next year (praise be to Vin).

Programming note: don't sleep on the 6pm start given the usual 7pm start

Vin to Return, but only for Next Year. Life Is Bad.

One More Year

In his just-completed press conference, Vin strongly suggested that 2016 would be his last season on the mic. While we are overjoyed that he will be back next year, we are nonetheless saddened at the strong possibility - however ultimately anticipated - that this could be the end for his broadcasting career at the end of next season.
"I would say realistically, and I don't want any headlines, but I would say realistically that next year would be the last year."
Vin has given us everything, and more, and of course deserves to make his decision and have his legions of fans support that decision. But...the Dodger family still has a sad now.

I'll be at the Yard tonight and will judge the mood.

In the immortal words of Mr. F: (cries)

Friday, August 28, 2015

Vin to Return. Life Is Good

Game 127 Thread: August 28 vs. Cubs, 7p

Clayton Kershaw (10-6, 2.29) vs. Jason Hammel (7-45, 3.35).

With Kershaw on the mound, immediately following his recent imploring of his teammates to play with greater urgency, I'm assuming we're going to get a pretty solid performance from our starter. The question is if our offense, without Howie Kendrick and potentially without Yasiel Puig and Adrian Gonzalez, can put up much resistance.

If we can just mark Hammel early in the game, we might be able to send the Cubs (who have a better record than the Dodgers, even though they're in third place and 8.5 games out) to their third straight loss. Look, it's not impossible. I used to bullseye womp rats in my T-16 back home, they're not much bigger than two meters.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Post-Game 126 Thread: Red Sweep

Red sweep, standing by

DODGERS 1, REDS 0

The Dodgers scored the game's only run, when Yasmani Grandal had a bases-loaded GIDP in the second. Aside from that, Yasiel Puig re-injured his hamstring (Don Mattingly brought in Juan Nicasio to pinch-run, which is preferable to Nicasio entering the game any other way), Adrian Gonzalez injured his knee on a foul ball, and Zack Greinke pitched seven shutout innings. It is not clear whether Ron Roenicke had anything to do with either injury.

The Cubs rolled over and played dead for the Giants, so the lead stays at 2.5 games. Let's get back home now (after a 3-5 road trip) and see if the Cubs stay dormant.

Game 126 Thread: Aug. 27 @ Reds, 9:30a

Zack Greinke (13-3, 1.67) vs Anthony DeSclafani (7-9, 3.97).

Breakfast baseball as the Dodgers go for the sweep!

Dodgers Get A Little Too Excited After First Win In Cincy

Screenshots taken before Wednesday's victory.

"Dodgers answer call"? "Bullpen...comes up clutch"? "Dodgers power up?"

All this, after one 5-1 victory. Wow, these social media guys are hyperbolic.

Dilbeck Provides Giants With Locker-Room Material

Great. The LAT's Steve Dilbeck basically baits the arch-rivals up north, in "When will the Giants make a serious run at the Dodgers:

Every time the Giants put a little streak together and act like they’re exercising those championship muscles, they go all atrophy and fall back again. The Dodgers lose five of six, the Giants lose five of six. It's a frustration contest.

The Dodgers can only send out so many personal invitations.

Nothing much has stood out about the Giants this season. They field well (.987), hit OK (.267, .406 slugging percentage), their starting pitching is OK (3.92 ERA, 1.27 WHIP), bullpen is OK (3.27, 1.18). Mostly, they’re just very OK.

What they have done is beat up on the Dodgers (9-3), and the two will meet seven more times, so it’s certainly not like they can be disregarded. They are 2½ games back of the Dodgers, who have been so uninspiring they’ve allowed the Diamondbacks (6½ back) and the Padres (7½) to dream of great postseason finishes.

But the Giants have the recent pedigree and pose the most serious threat. There’s a little over five weeks to go, so there remains time for someone to finally discover their playoff mojo and get rolling.

As if Roenicke's sabotage isn't enough. Thanks a lot, Dilbeck.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Post-Game 125 Thread: Dodgers Again Limp To Victory Over Reds, Roenicke

Unconfirmed picture of Chase Utley's glove, after Ron Roenicke got to it before the game

DODGERS 7, REDS 4

Thanks to an outpouring of three home runs, scoring five runs in the fourth inning (Scott Van Slyke solo shot; A.J. Ellis and Yasiel Puig with two-run HRs each) off of Reds starter David Holmberg, the Dodgers jumped out to a 6-0 lead and looked ready to have Dodger starter Brett Anderson coast to victory.

Not so fast, said Dodgers third base coach Ron Roenicke. Unsubstantiated claims of his tampering with Chase Utley's glove (see above) led to Utley's two-out fielding error in the seventh, ushering in a three-run frame by the Reds; and in the ninth inning, Utley's porous glove again allowed former Dodger Skip Schumaker to reach base with two out--extending an inning which allowed the tying run to the plate, creating nervousness for most Dodger fans about the potential culmination of Roenicke's machinations.

Good prevailed over evil, however. Kenley Jansen eventually got the save, but it was another white-knuckle experience watching the bullpen (who really need to be more bare-knuckle, than white-knuckle, if we're to advance in the postseason).

Adrian Gonzalez added an RBI double in the ninth to score Puig. Anderson went 6.2 IP and gave up five hits and three earned runs, to earn the victory.

Cubs are up 2-0 2-1 in the first inning in SF. Let's go, Cubbies!

Game 125 Thread: August 26 @ Reds, 4p

The allegedly evil Ron Roenicke, about to shoot Emperor-style lightning bolts at umpire Mark Ripperger

Brett Anderson (7-8, 3.52) vs. [David Holmberg (1-3, 6.57), as well as vs. Ron Roenicke (1-5)].

When last these two pitchers squared off, 11 days ago, the Dodgers romped to victory and Holmberg lasted only two measley innings, giving up seven earned runs in the process. We've won rematch #1 this series, but don't think this one will go down so easy. This time, we've got Ron Roenicke on our coaching staff. Who knows what will happen.