Tuesday, April 16, 2024

RIP Carl Erskine

Carl Erskine, who threw 14 Ks and a complete game to win Game 3 of the 1953 World Series for the Brooklyn Dodgers, died in Indiana this morning at 97.

Carl Erskine, who pitched in five World Series for the Brooklyn Dodgers, passed away at Anderson Community Hospital in his hometown of Anderson, Ind., early Tuesday morning. He was 97.

Over his 12-year career, spent entirely with the Dodgers, Erskine went 122-78 with a 4.00 ERA, earning an All-Star nod in 1954 and helping the Brooklyn Dodgers win the World Series in '55. During his career, Erskine threw a pair of no-hitters and delivered an iconic and then-record 14-strikeout complete-game performance in Game 3 of the '53 World Series against the Yankees.

According to ESPN, Erskine's death leaves Koufax as the lone surviving Dodgers player from that [1953] World Series Dodgers team.

photo from Dodgers' twitter feed

Monday, April 15, 2024

This Bobblehead Looks Nothing Like Walker Buehler

Come on, Dodgers. Put some effort into these bobbleheads, for Pete's sake. We want Buehler to be excited to come back, not part of the witness protection program.

(bottom photo by Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Games 19-21 Thread: April 15-17 vs. Nationals

Mon 4.15 7p: Glasnow vs. Parker
Tues 4.16 7p: TBD vs. Corbin
Wed 4.17 12n: TBD vs. Irvin

The Dodgers just got spanked by the Padres, starting this homestand 1-2. Bobby Miller, who was scheduled to start Tuesday, hit the IL with shoulder inflammation. And the bottom of our lineup still sucks.

I don't know, man. I mean, we're two games up in the NL West (over the Padres and Diamondbacks), but this doesn't look good enough to win in the playoffs. It's early, I know. But we expect a lot more.

UPDATE 4.15 11:47a: Whoops, forgot to mention! SoSG Orel and I will be at tonight's game (Monday 4.15, Jackie Robinson Day). Drop a line in the thread if you are going and want to say hi and grab a beer!

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Post-Game 18 Thread: Padres Scrappy, Dodgers Crappy

Paxton, en route to his eighth walk of the outing

PADRES 6, DODGERS 3

The Padres took the rubber game on national television today, coming back from a 3-1 deficit to win, 6-3, at Chavez Ravine. Dodger pitchers gave up an astonishing 14 walks today, eight of which came at the hands of Dodger starter James Paxton, who was tagged for three earned runs thanks to another subpar outing from Ryan Brasier.

But it was J.P Feyereisen who coughed up a bases-clearing double to Jurickson Profar, whose ridiculous antics the night before caused Will Smith to name Profar "irrelevant." That quote might have been enough to propel Profar to his heroics tonight.

The bottom of the Dodgers lineup (James Outman, Kiké Hernandez, and Gavin Lux) was once again pathetic, going a combined 0-for-9--except that the malaise actually spread up the lineup to Teoscar Hernandez, who also went 0-for-4 on top of that. So the six hits from the top of the lineup didn't mean much when we couldn't convert any of those baserunners; the Dodgers were 1-for-5 with RISP and had many leadoff baserunners stranded in place.

Tonight marked the second time in this series that the Padres clawed their way back to a victory. I didn't see that spark from the Dodgers this weekend. We'll see if we get something back against the Nationals, starting tomorrow.

Friday, April 12, 2024

Game 16-18 Thread: April 12-14 vs. Padres

Strangely, these colors almost match the uniforms!

Fri 4.12 7p: Yoshinobu Yamamoto (1-1, 4.09) vs. Michael King (2-0, 3.14)
Sat 4.13 6p: Gavin Stone (0-1, 7.88) vs. Matt Waldron (0-1, 3.86)
Sun 4.14 4p: James Paxton (3-0, 1.64) vs. Yu Darvish (0-1, 3.86)

The Dodgers and Padres go back at it, after splitting two games in Korea to kick off the season. Since then, the Padres are off to a more tepid start, but they did take a series from the Cubs (albeit, playing at home), which is something the Dodgers couldn't do at Wrigley last week.

Jake Cronenworth is batting .304 with a .883 OPS, and Jurickson Profar is batting .333 with a 1.012 OPS. But their stars Fernando Tatis (batting .263), Xander Bogaerts (.237), and Manny Machado (.220) haven't come to life yet...though I expect them to bring their A-games to Chavez Ravine.

Saturday is Brusdar Graterol Bobblehead night, and the Dodgers' PR team is so excited, they referenced the wrong opponent on the ad (the Nationals come unto town Monday 4/15):

Graterol is on the 60-day IL with shoulder inflammation, so we won't see him in this homestand anyway.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Ippei, Ippei Shame

ESPN.com: Feds say Shohei Ohtani's ex-interpreter Ippei Mizuhara stole $16M

NYT.com: Ohtani’s Former Interpreter Is Said to Be Negotiating a Guilty Plea

Ippei Mizuhara may have taken one of the sweetest jobs ever and pissed it all away gambling.

$16M in gambling debts? Probably not likely to get that amount deferred.

Story is still evolving. I hope that Shohei Ohtani is truly in the dark on this, but it sure seems insane that someone could pilfer that amount of funds from you without your knowledge.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Post-Game 15 Thread: The Bottom of the Lineup Abyss

Use this tool to see Chris Taylor's batting average.

TWINKIES 3, DODGERS 2

The Dodgers dropped the final game of the series in Minneapolis solely because the bottom of the lineup is absolute rubbish. James Outman, who broke out for his first two homers of the year in the first two gmes, did get a hit today, raising his average to .186. But Kiké Hernandez was 1-for-4 with a K in the six hole; Miguel Rojas (also with two HR on the year) was 0-for-2 with a K for a .278 average; and Austin Barnes was 0-for-3 at the bottom of the order, with 2 Ks and what was almost a game-ending GIDP (Dodgers challenged and won, but Mookie Betts popped out to end the game).

The Dodgers went 1-for-7 with RISP, and that included a late-game pinch-hitting appearance from Chris Taylor, batting .037 (1 hit in 27 AB this year), who promptly struck out. Taylor used to take a lot of walks to partially offset his diminished batting skill the last two years, but these days he is striking out over 50% of the time (14 Ks in 27 AB). All those off-season attempts of Taylor trying to level out his swing (rather than uppercut it) do not seem to be paying off.

Bobby Miller was servicable through four innings and 73 pitches, yielding five hits and 2 ER (3 BB and 4 Ks). Alex Vesia gave up another HR to Edouard Julien, his second of the day, which ended up being the game-winning run. Michael Grove had 4 Ks in 2.1 IP and Joe Kelly had a scoreless eighth inning.

But we should have done better this series; we should have swept. We get a day off tomorrow before hosting the Padres at home this weekend.

Monday, April 08, 2024

Games 13-15: April 8-10 @ Twins

Mon 4.8 4.40p: James Paxton (1-0, 0.00) vs. Bailey Ober (0-1, 54.00)
Tue 4.9 4.40p: Tyler Glasnow (2-0, 3.18) vs. Louie Varland (0-1, 6.75)
Wed 4.10 10.10a: Bobby Miller (1-1. 5.87) vs. Chris Paddack (0-0, 4.50)

The last time the Dodgers were at Target Field, it was April 2022 and the Dodgers took both games en route to a 4-0 record against the Twins that season. Last year wasn't quite as good, with the Dodgers hosting Minnesota at home, winning two of three.

But those games weren't off the back of a miserable day at Wrigley Field, where Sunday's persistent rain and persistent Dodgers fielding errors led to a 8-1 thumping in the rubber match vs. the Cubs. Beaten, bruised, and cold, the Dodgers arrive in Minnesota a more fragile team.

Max Muncy was out of the lineup on Sunday in Chicago, and the abyss at the bottom of our lineup got even deeper:

  • Kike Hernandez, 0-for-4 with 3 Ks; now batting .182;
  • Chris Taylor, 0-for-3 with a K, now batting .048;
  • Gavin Lux, 0-for-3 with a K, now batting .156;
  • Miguel Rojas, 0-for-3 with a K, surprisingly batting .313.

To be fair, Sunday's top of the order wasn't much better, with a second-straight 0-for game by Mookie Betts, and an 0-for-4 outing by four-hole Will Smith. (Shohei Ohtani went 2-for-4 with a double and triple, and an RBI; Fredie Freeman went 1-for-3). But with Muncy out of the lineup, the automatic outs start coming early and often for the Dodgers, and honestly it's something we can't afford if we want to succeed this season.

Let's get cracking, Robert van Scoyoc!

Friday, April 05, 2024

Games 10-12 Thread: April 5-7 @ Cubs

Bellinger, back with the Cubs in 2024 for some kung fu fighting.

Fri 4.5 11.20a: Bobby Miller vs. Kyle Hendricks
Sat 4.6 1p: Yoshinobu Yamamoto vs. Jordan Wicks
Sun 4.7 11.20a: Gavin Stone vs. Shota Imanaga

The Cubs may have already lost ace Jordan Steele to injury, but they've still got some formidable arms, including Sunday starter Imanaga, aka "the Throwing Philosopher", who struck out nine in his MLB debut on April 1.

Of course, we've got our own Japanese superstar pitcher (who starts on Saturday), who has had mixed results in his two outings to date.

And it's another reunion with Cody Bellinger, who is back with the Cubs after signing a three-year, $80M deal with annual opt-outs. I liked Bellinger pre-shoulder injury, and though I was happy to see him return to form last year after two miserable post-WS years with the Dodgers, we've got plenty of ~.200 batters at the bottom of our current lineup with which to deal already (James Outman, Gavin Lux, Kike Hernandez, Chris Taylor--not to mention Jason Heyward, who is on the 10-day IL).

And look at that, we've got three of those awful hitters (Outman .120 BA / .387 OPS; Taylor .091 / .424; Lux .200 / .499) in the 7-8-9 spots for Friday's game! Surely at least one of those guys has to break out, right?

Thursday, April 04, 2024

Post-Game 9 Thread: Ohtani Slugs His First Dodger HR

The moment.

DODGERS 5, GIANTS 4: DODGERS SWEEP!

Shohei Ohtani finally broke out of his home run slump--the longest of his career apparently (but only by a game)--by CRUSHING a home run to right that sounded so amazing off the bat, the pavilion lights started flashing well before the ball even reached the fans in the crowd:

We ended up needing that insurance run after the Giants' Jorge Soler hit a home run in the eighth to make it close, but Dinelson Lamet secured the save with a scoreless, 2-K ninth, and the Dodgers earned the sweep.

Dodgers also got a solid start from Tyler Glasnow (6.0 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 2 BB and 7 Ks), as well as some small ball off the bat of Will Smith (RBI double to score Ohtani from first) and Kike Hernandez (RBI single to score Smith in the same inning). And Miguel Rojas hit his second home run of the year, which is absolutely crazy. Gavin Lux is clearly dealing with some confidence issues, but in the meantime, it's good to know we might have options.

Sax was at the game and I have to admit, I wasn't on the edge of my seat for that seventh-inning Ohtani AB, partially because Ohtani's offense to date hasn't been other-worldly (.270 BA, .749 OPS). But man, it was electric from the moment it left the bat. I can't wait to see more of this from Ohtani in the days, weeks, months, and years to come.

Wednesday, April 03, 2024

Game 9 Thread: April 3 vs. Giants, 7p

Tyler Glasnow, just hanging out around Dodger Stadium.

Tyler Glasnow vs. Kyle Harrison.

Kyle Harrison is the Giants' new pitching prospect, with a 2-1 career record and 3.98 ERA across 8 games. The 22-year-old debuted in August last year, and supposedly neutralizes lefty batters with a hard slurve from a low three-quarters arm slot.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers--who, to be fair, have played more games than most teams so far this season--are turning out to be pretty potent offensively:

  • Team batting average: 4th (.293), behind AZ, ATL, and PIT
  • Team OPS: 3rd (.863), behind ATL, AZ
  • Batting average: Mookie Betts second at .500 (NYY Anthony Volpe at .529)
  • Home runs: Betts first (5); Teoscar Hernandez second (4); eight others tied at 3
  • RBI: Betts first (11)
  • Runs: Betts first (14), T Herndandez second (9)
  • Slugging: Betts first (1.167)
  • OPS: Betts first (1.772)
  • Hits: Betts first (15); Freddie Freeman, Will Smith, and SD Luis Campusano tied for second (12)
  • AB: Ohtani first (33). But wait, that must mean...
  • BB: Betts first (8)

I'm not sure if I'll be able to see this majesty high up in the reserve deck tonight, but I'll be there, for my first Dodgers game in 2024! Let's get that SWEEP!

Tuesday, April 02, 2024

Post-Game 8 Thread: Dodgers Break Webb

DODGERS 5, GIANTS 4

I can't promise I can always put up a PGT anymore, but tonight's win in a bullpen game merited some digital ink. Not only did the Dodgers outflank the Giants' late call on the starting pitching (as they announced Logan Webb's start very late), but the Dodgers were bold enough to proceed with a bullpen game (Ryan Brasier opened with a scoreless inning, followed by a servicabel Ryan Yarbrough 4.1 IP (4 ER and 7Ks, but got the job done and earned the win). And the Dodgers still won.

Giants ace Logan Webb lasted only 3.2 IP and 96 pitches, yielding 5 ER that included another home run from non-player-of-the-week Mookie Betts, his fifth HR on the year. Freddie Freeman had a three-hit game with an RBI, and even the bottom of the lineup (James Outman, Gavin Lux, and Kike Hernandez) each got a hit, lifting their averages to .120, .200, and .182! Wow, that's still pretty bad.

Not as bad as Will Smith (0-for-4 with 2 Ks) or Shohei Ohtani (0-for-3 with a K), but who's counting? We'll take the series victory and remain in first place by a game over the Diamondbacks.

Sax is at the game tomorrow, so I'll put a new Game Thread up in the morning!

Dodgers Have 11 HR and 11 Correct HR Calls in 2024

"Follow me to freedom!"

Here's the Dodgers' 2024 HR statistics so far (through seven games played):

  • Mookie Betts: 4
  • Teoscar Hernandez: 4
  • Freddie Freeman: 1
  • Max Muncy: 1
  • Miguel Rojas: 1

Rojas even being on that list is insane, especially since Shohel Ohtani is not yet on that list. The Dodgers' 11 HR ranks first in the NL (the Padres have 10 on the year).

But what's even more insane is that all 11 home runs have been appropriately announced by the Dodgers' radio team while in flight, what with Charley Steiner sidelined with compound fractures in his back. Steiner, who usually does play by play with Rick Monday, often calls routine fly balls as home runs and vice versa, before their ultimate outcome. As a fan listening on radio, it's maddening.

That said, get well soon, Charley!

Monday, April 01, 2024

Mookie Betts Robbed Of NL Player of the Week

Unbelievable! This has to be an April Fool's joke, right?

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. of the Diamondbacks was just announced as the 2024 season's first NL Player of the Week. This, despite Gurriel being outperformed by Mookie Betts on every statistical category!

Here's the stats:

Gurriel: 8-for-17, 3 HR, .471 BA, 6 R, 10 RBI, OPS+ 315
Betts: 11-for-22, 4 HR, .500 BA, 9 R, 10 RBI, OPS+ 344

Another horrible call from MLB.

Games 7-9 Thread: April 1-3 vs. Giants

Blake Snell, brimming with enthusiasm over joining the Giants.

Monday 4/1: James Paxton vs. Keaton Winn
Tuesday 4/2: Tyler Glasnow TBD vs. TBD Logan Webb
Wednesday 4/3: Bobby Miller Tyler Glasnow vs. TBD Kyle Harrison
All games, 7p

With the Giants' off-season excising of Gabe Kapler and the decision to move on from shortstop stalwart Brandon Crawford, San Francisco finally took the opportunity to re-tool their lineup this off-season...and went nuts. Six years, $113M to Korean Baseball Organization star Jung-Hoo Lee; three years, $54M (and opt-outs!) to 3B Matt Chapman, and two-years, $62M (also with opt-outs!) to 2023 Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell.

So far, Farhan Zaidi's moves have paid off. The Giants are 2-2 including Chapman's two-HR performance to earn the Giants' first win, followed by Lee's first MLB home run in Saturday's win over the Padres. (The Giants were spanked by the Padres, 13-4, on Sunday.)

Speaking of which, guess what other Asian star does not have a home run yet this year? (Shohei Ohtani, who is also batting .269 with a .656 OPS, to Lee's .286 BA / .868 OPS.)

Dodger foil Blake Snell will likely get one of the two "TBD" starts in this series. In the regular season, Snell is 2-2 with a 2.59 ERA lifetime against the Dodgers, but we'll always have this.

So there's a lot of reasons to bring the hateHateHATE to this series, but here's another one: thanks to this stupid balanced schedule, this is one of only two series the Giants will play in Los Angeles this year. So bring your vitriol.

UPDATE 4/2 11.38a: Tyler Glasnow's start shifted to Wednesday, so there's a TBD for today's game. Giants named their starters for Tuesday and Wednesday--and neither start is slated for Snell.

UPDATE 4/3 8.50a: Game Thread for Game 9 is here.

Dodgers Need A New Font Guy

The Dodgers' 2024 website is sporting some seriously bad fonts. They've already introduced the washed-out colors and neo-gothic fonts in other announcements (which looked horrible, like this one).

But now they're sneaking in a new, all-lowercase rendition in the upper left of their website:

What's with the squished descenders on the lowercase g? And why are we tiptoeing around our team name with lowercase letters, just because it might be trendy? (Note that none of those examples have truncated or squished descenders, by the way.)

The Dodgers just spent a billion dollars on new hires. They can spend a little more to get a quality graphic designer.

Sunday, March 31, 2024

Post-Game 6 Thread: Muncy Flips Script, Bat

DODGERS 5, CARDINALS 4

On Sunday Night Baseball, the Dodgers rallied back from a 4-0 deficit to take the 5-4 victory, punctuated by a mammoth no-doubt two-run home run by Max Muncy in the bottom of the eighth inning:

Here's another look:

Pretty amazing, given the Dodgers were this close from being a .500 team, after dropping Game 3 of this series yesterday, thanks in large part to Joe Kelly's five-run (early Easter) egg. But even then, the Dodgers rallied back to tie it in the ninth, only to lose it in the tenth when Shohei Ohtani ended the game with a bases-loaded infield pop-up. That effort, as Muncy pointed out on the post-game interview, required St. Louis to burn a number of arms (including Giovanny Gallegos), which then left the Cardinals more vulnerable in Sunday's matchup.

Not that the Dodgers' pen was up to full strength, either. With Emmet Sheehan moved to the 60-day IL, the Dodgers optioned Kyle Hurt (2.2 IP, 0 BB and 3 Ks in Saturday's loss) and added Nabil Crismatt to the rotation just this morning. And the move paid off, with Crismatt (who got the win) going two scoreless innings with 0 BB and 3 Ks, on the back of a nasty changeup that fooled Wilson Contreras, Alec Burleson, and Brendan Donovan (all strikeouts). Daniel Hudson came in to record the save with a scoreless ninth, which was also great given Evan Phillips was unavailable after pitching the last two nights.

The big three weren't great in this game, with Mookie Betts, Shohei Ohtani, and Freddie Freeman combining to go 1-for-11. Teoscar Hernandez went 2-for-4 with a HR and 2 RBI (the Dodgers' first two runs of their comeback win).

And credit has to go to Dave Roberts, who pulled Kike Hernandez (0-for-2) in the sixth to pinch hit Muncy, who went 2-for-2 and raised his average to .348. Roberts also slotted Chris Taylor fifth in the lineup today, and CT3 reached base four times (three walks and a run-scoring hit, plus the Dodgers' first stolen base of the year in the eighth). Our offense needs production from the top three, but in the cases where it doesn't happen, it's great that Roberts might be able to find the hot hand amongst the others. Today at least, Roberts was spot-on.

Dodgers take three of four from the Cardinals and move to 4-2, tied with the 3-1 Diamondbacks in the standings for the NL West lead.

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Games 3-6 Thread: March 28-31 vs. Cardinals

Thursday March 28 1p: TBD vs. Miles Mikolas
Friday March 29 7p:
Saturday March 30 6p:
Sunday March 31 4p:

So I get it, it's "Traditional" Opening Day 2024, because the two games we played in Korea don't count. Except they do, in the standings. Well, cue the flyover for this four-game series against the Cardinals, anyway.

Sax here will be out of pocket for this series, so I'll leave it to you guys to tend bar. Don't ruin the joint while I'm gone!

Thursday, March 21, 2024

At-Game Recap (sort of): SoSG Nomo @ the Seoul Series (March 21, 2024)

Sons of Steve Garvey is dedicated to covering the Los Angeles Dodgers from a fan's perspective, oftentimes with a healthy dose of sarcasm. Unfortunately, the Sons' business expense accounts are limited (journalism is a going through some rough economic times, man!).

So we were able to get SoSG Nomo over to Seoul for Game 2 of this series. Unfortunately, we couldn't afford to get him in the Stadium. So Nomo has sent these pictures from just outside Gocheok Sky Dome:

Waiting for the subway

On the crowded subway

At the stadium

Relegated to watching the game at the snack bar outside

Thanks to SoSG Nomo for the photolog! (Now is probably a good time to tell you that subway fares are non-reimbursable by our finance department without a receipt.)

Ohtani's Interpreter Mizuhara Fired by Dodgers For Sports Gambling

In news broken by the Los Angeles Times yesterday afternoon, former Dodgers interpreter Ippei Mizuhara addressed the team Wednesday in private and was summarily fired by the team. Reports state that there was $4.5M in sports gambling losses; bets were not made on baseball; and Mizuhara was the culprit. Where it gets murky is Shohei Ohtani's involvement: did he send wire transfers to cover some of these losses, or was there (as alleged by Ohtani's attorney's) "massive theft" on Mizuhara's behalf? Mizuhara's story seems to be changing, let alone may not be corroborated by Ohtani's camp.

Mizuhara and Ohtani's relationship goes back to Ohtani's days with the Nippon Ham Fighters, extending through Ohtani's six-year run with the Angels, and then on to the Dodgers this year. There's been a lot of online speculation if the two are professional colleagues or actually friends, with reports of Mizuhara doing grocery runs for Ohtani and their wives shopping together in Seoul. But at the very least, their professional relationship is definitely over.

Even MLB is caught in the dark on this, as apparently they had not been contacted by federal authorities investigating this betting operation, which was run out of Orange County (and therefore violates California state gambling laws).

The Athletic reported that the Dodgers and Ohtani both kept quiet on this post-Thursday's game. Dave Roberts was decidedly deflecting comments from the press post-game Thursday. It's a nightmare start to Ohtani's Dodgers career, says the WSJ (Ohtani is batting .300 with 2 RBI and an OPS of .573 this year, through two games; he just missed a couple of HR in Thursday's game).

Will Ireton, who was Kenta Maeda's interpreter for three years, has picked up the interpreter role for Ohtani.