Sunday, July 05, 2015

Game 83 Thread: July 5 vs. Mets, 1p

Mike Bolsinger (4-2, 2.76) vs. Steven Matz (1-0, 2.35).

It's true; heralded Mets rookie SP Matz is excellent at spinning things on his finger (click here for more spintastic goodness), while the Dodgers (15-15 in June) have been mostly adept at spinning their wheels. Still, thanks to the Giants' mini-slump, the Boys in Blue are four games up in the NL West. Let's take care of the Mess today.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

The best thing about Kauffman Stadium

The outfield view

Who needs the bay or the three rivers. Or a ravine.  

Greetings from KC.   

Bbq in belly is making breathing oh so hard.  

Still recovering from the St Louis provel cheese. How is that crap even legal. 

One more day of hard living and harder digestion. And one more ballpark 

Game 82 Thread: July 4 vs. Mets, 4.15p

Zack Greinke (6-2, 1.58) vs. Matt Harvey (7-5, 2.99)

Welp, throw out everything we said in the GT yesterday. Dodgers were back home after a grueling road trip, playing on a day's rest. Kershaw was taking the mound with a strong lineup behind him, up against a team that can't generate any offense. And lost.

Soooooo...I'm calling a do-over like we used to when we were playing in the streets as kids and a car or tree or something interfered with the run of play. We'll start Zack today and send Clayton to his room to think about why he's so mediocre this season.

This one's nationally televised (FOX) and on at an odd time for those of us on the Best Coast. Get those grills fired up early so the BBQ will be ready in time for the game. Oh, in case you thought I forgot:

Friday, July 03, 2015

Dirty chicken in St. Louis

Meet Me in St Louis

The Delino road show begins in St Louis. 

The lotto card netted me nothing

Game 81 Thread: July 3 vs. Mets, 7p

Clayton Kershaw (5-6, 3.20) vs. Noah Syndergaard (3-4, 3.59).

It's a proper welcome home for the Dodgers, whose strong 27-13 record should be a good relief after an exhausting June and a recent 10-game road trip on which the team clawed to a 6-4 record by beating up on the lowly Marlins and Diamondbacks. Our first series this homestand is against the Mets, who started out the season on a tear, but have fallen back to a near-.500 record and second place in the NL East.

Keeping with the living room furniture GT theme, the Mets start Syndergaard (get it?), who has an ERA+ of 104, not bad for a rookie. Kershaw has lost three in a row for the first time in his career. It won't get to four, especially if Don Mattingly decides to start Joc Pederson, Adrian Gonzalez, Yasmani Grandal, and Andre Ethier in tonight's lineup (i.e., unlike Wednesday's lineup choices).

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Caption Contest

Friend of Blog @themunson captured Clayton Kershaw pulling off a simultaneous earpoke (LH)/accidental bird flip (RH) while warming up in the bullpen. Caption it!

"Ear's what I think of you, win stat!"

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Game 80 Thread: July 1 @ D'backs, 6.30p

Wow, this looks so 1990s! And yet it launched Joe Quesada's career...

Brett Anderson (4-4, 3.13) vs. Robbie Ray (2-3, 1.98).

Sure, Arizona starter Robbie Ray has a 1.98 ERA in six starts, coming off last year in Detroit with a much more pedestrian nine-game, six-start, 1-4 record, 8.16 ERA. But is he grander than fire? I think that's a little bit of a stretch. Ray had a solid outing on June 9 vs. the Dodgers, but still took the loss. So we can do this, boys and girls!

Meanwhile, the Dodgers escaped June with a mediocre 15-15 record (that's right: one day off, but balanced against a makeup doubleheader). I'm happy to see if July brings better fortunes...or at least, brighter rays of light.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Post-Game 79 Thread: Dodgers Wash Hands Of Monday's Debacle


If cleanliness is next to godliness, then the Dodgers' extra-inning victory tonight was...still pretty mortal, but a win nonetheless. Credit Howie Kendrick (4-for-5), not only for getting the Dodgers back in the game with a game-tying RBI single in the seventh, as well as the go-ahead solo HR in the 10th. The Dodgers added two more with a 2-RBI Yasmani Grandal double; Grandal also had a two-run HR in the second to give the Dodgers a short-lived 2-0 lead. (I suppose that makes Grandal more of the hero than Kendrick; work with me here.)

Carlos Frias avoided the food poisoning that ailed his colleague...and went only one more inning than Mike Bolsinger last night, giving up three more runs than Gastro Boy. He also gave up three more earned runs than Bolsinger, as well. But this time, Juan Nicasio, Pedro Baez, and Joel Peralta all had scoreless efforts; and though Kenley Jansen gave up an earned run in the tenth (from Paul Goldschmidt, who absolutely owns us), the Dodgers prevailed.

The Giants lost in Miami (Dee Gordon had an inside-the-park HR!), so the lead extends back to 1.5 games.

Game 79 Thread: June 30 @ D'backs, 6:30p

Carlos Frias (5-5, 4.31) vs. Rubby De La Rosa (6-3, 4.69)

Don't let what happened to Mike Bolsinger happen again! Always wash your hands before preparing Curly Fries.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Game 78 Thread: June 29 @ D'backs, 6.30p

Mike Bolsigner (4-2, 2.95) vs. Allen Webster (1-1, 6.46).

Admittedly, when thinking about today's opposing starter and subsequent GT theme, I didn't look this one up. And since I'm a little fuzzy on all these 80's sitcoms, I did check the lyrics, though. And when I saw "You made me leap without taking a look" was rhymed with "You reeled me right in line, sinker, and hook", I have to admit I got a little depressed at how awkward that lyric reads. How about we repurpose this to, "We just can't wait to face this new stinker* / Fastball and change; not much of a sinker"? Then came you!

Anyway, the Dodgers, having just won their first series in their last four attempts, and having played 17 games in a row, square off against the Diamondbacks on the road. Meanwhile, the Giants, only one game behind the Dodgers, get their second day off in that same 17-day span, which is also their fourth day off this month. Whatchoo talkin' about, Willis? Oh dammit, I think I got that all mixed up.

Note: (*) Originally drafted by the Dodgers in 2008 (18th round)

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Post-Game 77 Thread: Greinke Finally Prevails

"My God, they're not going to give me run support, yet again. And why the hell is that Callaspo guy batting seventh again, Donnie? I can't take this crap."


Once again burdened with the albatross of anemic Dodgers offense, Zack Greinke pitched into the eighth inning and won the rubber match for us against Miami, 2-0. His outstanding performance was again necessary, as the Dodgers' only real run came off a seventh-inning Adrian Gonzalez double (his 23rd, and 48th RBI), scoring Howie Kendrick from first. Kendrick got an RBI of his own in the fifth, but it was kind of a gift as a grounder to second with men at the corners scored Jimmy Rollins from third, but should have been an inning-ending double play if not for Adeiny Hechavarria's botched throw to first (Kendrick was safe as Justin Bour was dragged off the bag).

Rollins went 1-for-4 and is at .211. Call the fireworks brigade.

Greinke went 7.2 IP and gave up no ER, 6 Ks and 1 BB, to lower his ERA to 1.58. Says ESPN in its Sunday Power Rankings article:

2. Zack Greinke, Los Angeles Dodgers: Greinke didn’t ask to be a show room display for the importance of run support, but finally, he got a win for the first time in 10 starts, beating the Marlins in Miami by a score of 2-0. Overall, Greinke is getting 3.75 runs per game in support on the season, but that’s counting a lot of scoring that happened in his first six starts, when he got his first five wins. Greinke has gotten just 2.6 runs per game over the past 10 turns (counting Sunday), and just seven runs total in his past five. Greinke’s scoreless streak is now at 20⅔ IP; can you blame a guy for doing whatever it took to get one measly win?

So now Greinke is 6-2, but he should be at least 9-2, even with the sporadic support from the lineup. That’s because the Dodgers’ pen also hasn’t done him many favors, costing him three wins. That trio of victories taken away from Greinke’s season tally is not the most in the National League -- Kyle Hendricks of the Cubs and Julio Teheran of the Braves have both seen five wins slip away thanks to pen implosions -- but you’d be forgiven if you thought that if it wasn’t for bad luck, Greinke wouldn’t have any. Even without those wins, Greinke should at least have the honor of following Max Scherzer in the All-Star Game.

Off to Arizona for three, starting Monday.

photo: AP / J Pat Carter

The Road to 30***: D'Lyin's Long Strange Trip to Every Baseball Park

And all roads must come to an end.

Except for the James Bond series.

And the never-hotter career of Andy Dick.

I couldn’t tell you the first day I went to a baseball park. Sometime in 1980/81 when the Phillies were rocking a lineup including Pete Rose, Mike Schmidt, Quick Draw Tug McGraw and “Mister .160” John Vukovich.

On July 5, 2015, I will have officially been to every major league ballpark*** And unlike the finale of The Sopranos, I know how this ends. In Arlington, Texas next to a friend who refuses to be named.
For the next chunk of days, I’ll be doing a retrospective of my long strange journey from young Carlton Fisk fan to ol’ dirty bastard obsessed with the Mets, Dodgers and the early work of Shannon Tweed.

I didn’t take notes at every park or have a Sax-like OCD-level tradition with each game. So you’ve been warned: some of these memories might be slightly tainted, exaggerated or flat-out wrong.

1.Veterans Stadium / Citizens Bank Park

The place where it all began, a stadium that should have resulted in my untimely demise as a Mets and NY Giants sympathizer. Thankfully, the angriest, nastiest fans in the biz (and I say that with all peace and love) are also the drunkest. As long as I made it to the seventh inning or third quarter, I was home free with only the faint smell of thrown beers and other questionable liquids. Veterans Stadium was the ultimate old school dump… replaced by one of those perfectly legit new stadiums that seemed to take/steal its design from Camden Yard.

The Vet was also the location of my first concert: Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers, a show which came FREE with a ticket to the game.

(For comparison's sake, the Dodgers recently had Robin Thicke perform before a game. And that right there is Philly vs LA in a nutshell.)

The Vet's parking lot (shared by the Spectrum back in the day) also provided my first contact high outside a Phil Collins show. Just as significantly, the Vet was the first (and, to date, last) time a stranger looked at my privates while at the urinals and felt the need to comment on it/them.

Yeah, Vet stadium was a dump that lent itself to fights, harassment and the occasional gawking leers at my genitals.... But it was our dump.

And now there’s Citizen Bank Park… a home-run hitter's fantasy. Complete with bars and restaurants across the street… as opposed to the toothless fellas who used to sell year old pretzels in paper bags. I’m all for progress, and Citizens Bank is a very nice park… but Philly’s not supposed to have nice things. It’s like watching your slobby cousin drive a new BMW. Part of the reason you loved him is he made you feel better about yourself when he owned a VW bug that smelled of French fries. Baseball grew up, getting bigger, roidier and prettier... and so did Philadelphia sports arenas.

Allow me to wax nostalgic for the old days of Philly sports while calling my shrink about that bathroom experience.

***Like fu-k I’m going back to Miami for their new park.

Their fans don’t even go, so S my Bs Miami.

Game 77 Thread: June 28 @ Marlins, 10a

Focus, Zack, focus.

Zack Greinke (5-2, 1.70) vs. Jose Urena (1-3, 4.34).

Zack is Mr. Consistency, having gone at least six innings in all 15 of his starts this season. The Dodger bats, let's just say they could use some more consistency. Let's also forget yesterday's defense and win this freakin' series.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Game 76 Thread: June 27 @ Marlins, 1p

"Today's a great day for a ballgame. Also, why am I in Texas?"

Clayton Kershaw (5-5, 3.33) vs. Tom Koehler (5-4, 3.76).

Funny thing about the win stat: It's practically useless, but we still want our guys to rack 'em up. With Giancarlo Stanton headed to the DL and the Dodger bats loving the Miami heat, now's the time. Go Blue!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Game 75 Thread: June 26 @ Marlins, 4p

Brett Anderson may be pitching but there's no raining on this parade!

Brett Anderson (3-4, 3.29) vs. Justin Nicolino (1-0, 0.00).

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Addressing Dodger Holes

Jason Martinez of indicated the Jimmy Rollins hole can be filled, but our starting pitcher rotation is the bigger vulnerability (link insider only):

Los Angeles Dodgers
39-33 record (NL West leader)
Trade target: Cole Hamels, LHP

The Dodgers have fared quite well in the pitching department despite losing starters Brandon McCarthy (Tommy John surgery) and Hyun-Jin Ryu (shoulder surgery) for the season. Of course, that's helped by Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke making two out of every five starts.

But don't let the success of the rotation mislead you into believing that struggling shortstop Jimmy Rollins is this team's biggest problem. Top prospect Corey Seager, currently getting his feet wet in Triple-A, will be the starting shortstop if Rollins doesn't get on track soon. That's a simple solution should the team conclude that the 36-year-old doesn't have enough left in the tank.

But what happens when guys like Mike Bolsinger (5.32 ERA over his past four starts) and Carlos Frias (10 ER in 10 2/3 innings over his past two starts) come back down to earth, which they're already showing signs of doing? And what if Brett Anderson gets hurt? His 14 starts are the most he has made in a season since 2010.

They'll need more than Brandon Beachy, who recently began a rehab assignment and is trying to come back from his second Tommy John surgery, if they want to avoid falling victim to another late-season Giants run.

With Joc Pederson now established as a key part of this Dodgers' team and Seager in line to be the team's starting shortstop very soon, the team might have a difficult time putting together a package to land Hamels. But if they were willing to include Julio Urias, who likely would be in the Phillies' rotation in 2016 as a 19-year-old, they might be able to get something done.

Game 74 Thread: June 25 @ Cubs, 11:20a

I think it's fair to call Frias "seasoned" at this point.

Carlos Frias (4-5, 4.68) vs. Jon Lester (4-5, 3.80)

Remember all the Lester hubbub in the offseason? Could we have imagined that he'd have the exact same record as Carlos Frias on June 25? OK, so Lester has more than a slight edge in ERA, strikeouts, and probably every other stat you can think of, but WINS AND LOSSES, AM I RIGHT?

It's lunch baseball, kids, and you get a heaping helping of Curly Fries, whether you like it or not.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Game 73 Thread: June 24 @ Cubs, 5p

"Do YOU think I say 'we' and 'us' too much, Mike? Mike? Hello?"

Mike Bolsinger (4-2, 2.87) vs. Kyle Hendricks (2-3, 4.28)

Does anyone know if that team that scored 10 runs on Sunday ever got on the plane to Chicago?

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Game 72 Thread: June 23 @ Cubs, 5p


Zack Greinke (5-2, 1.81) vs Jason Hammel (5-2, 2.89).