Friday, September 29, 2023

Games 160-162 Thread: Sep 29-Oct 1 @ Giants

Quick post here. i am at the game Saturday more later

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Games 156-159 Thread: Sept 26-28 @ Rockies

A picture of Coors Field with a couple of strays.

Tue 26 12.10p: Pepiot vs. TBD
Tue 26 5.40p: Miller vs. TBD
Wed 27 5.40p: TBD vs. TBD
Thu 28 5.40p: TBD vs. TBD

The Dodgers are still four games back of the Braves with seven games to play, so that #2 position in the NL Postseason is all but set. But there's still some milestones for which to play, namely an opportunity for Mookie Betts, who already has more RBI (105) than any leadoff hitter in baseball history, to be the first leadoff batter with 40 HR in a season (Betts is at 39). Freddie Freeman, at 57 doubles on the year, has a chance to get to 60 which would be the most in the modern era (former Rockie Todd Helton has 59).

And of course, there's no better place to chase these offensive records than Coors Field, and the Dodgers will get four chances at it. That said, I definitely would want Betts and Freeman to get some rest, too. We need them both for the NLDS, that's for sure.

photo: Justin Edmonds / Getty Images

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Games 152-155 Thread: Sept 21-24 vs. Giants

Giant in the distance.

Thu 21 7p: Sheehan vs. Harrison
Fri 22 7p: TBD vs. Manaea
Sat 23 6p: Kershaw vs. TBD
Sun 24 4p: Lynn vs. TBD

The Giants are 76-76 this year and three games out of the final NL Wild Card spot. But they have to vault over Miami and Cincinnati to get there, but it's still possible--FanGraphs says there's a 2.1% chance of the Giants making the playoffs.

Now, the Dodgers could pull a 2021 NLDS here and just squash all hope for their rivals. Or, the Dodgers could just take it easy--we're comfortably set for the #2 National League playoff slot, which gets us a bye in the first round. It's a nice position in which to be for these seven remaining games with the Giants (four here, three up north).

I'm going to the Stadium on Friday, and am excited to watch TBD as our starter.

Monday, September 18, 2023

Games 149-151 Thread: Sept 18-20 vs. Tigers

Mon 18: Lance Lynn vs. Rodriguez
Tue 19: TBD vs TBD
Wed 20: Miller vs. Olson
all games 7p

The Tigers are not going to play in October. And the Dodgers, fresh off a sweep of the hopeful Mariners in Seattle (and having clinched the NL West as part of said sweep), go into this series without a real agenda either.

No stakes. Sleepy tigers. You get the drill.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

DODGERS CLINCH 2023 NL WEST TITLE (Post-Game Thread 147)

"In a year that has experienced so much change, one thing is the same: The NL West STILL runs through LA!"


The Dodgers battled through nine scoreless scoreless innings, including a particularly nail-biting bottom of the eighth inning (two on, none out: Alex Vesia gets JP Crawford swinging, and then Boston castoff Ryan Brasier gets Mariner phenom Julio Rodriguez swinging, before striking out Teoscar Hernandez to quell the threat). Clayton Kershaw delivered four scoreless innings, and Emmet Sheehan gave three more. And after trading runs in the tenth, the Dodgers erupted in the eleventh inning with five runs, stoked by Max Muncy, Chris Taylor, and Kike Hernandez RBI singles. The ghosts of our 2020 WS team drove us to victory, including Joe Kelly messily but effectively cleaning up the bottom of the 11th.

More important than all that, the Dodgers clinched the NL West divisional title, and celebrated at T-Mobile Park in Seattle:

Loved these quotes from Jack Harris' LAT piece (only available online, given the LAT's stupid only-print-features-in-the-new-diminished-sports-page plan):

“I think everybody talked about what we didn’t do [in the offseason], but we still had Mookie, we still had Freddie, it’s not like we were underdogs by any means,” said Clayton Kershaw, who pitched four scoreless innings in what became his fifth career start in a division-clinching game.

“It wasn’t like a ‘silence the doubters’ kind of moment,” Kershaw added, standing shirtless and beer-soaked in a plastic-wrapped postgame clubhouse. “We were expecting to do this. We were supposed to do this. But it doesn’t make it any less special.”

Technically, Arizona could still also claim a share of the divisional crown, if they win their next 12 games and the Dodgers lose their next 15 (not exactly sure why the gap in games played is so huge). But at this stage, the Dodgers are basically set with the #2 seed in the NL, and the Diamondbacks (who won an extra-inning thriller against the Cubs) are tied for the third Wild Card spot (with the Reds), behind the Cubs and the Phillies, and with the Marlins (0.5 GB) and Giants (2.5 GB) also in the mix.

Time for us to rest up the few guys we have left.


Friday, September 15, 2023

Games 146-148 Thread: Sept 15-17 @ Mariners

Fri 15 7p: Miller vs. Kirby
Sat 16 6.40p: Kershaw vs. Miller
Sun 17 1p: TBD vs. Gilbert

The Mariners are fighting for their playoff lives, 1.5 games out of the divisional lead (in third place, behind the Cheaters and Rangers) and 1.5 games ahead of the Blue Jays for the final AL Wild Card spot.

The Dodgers, with a 13.5-game lead in the division and a magic number of 4, don't have a lot to stake on this series. So, just like the last series against the Padres (which the Dodgers dropped, culminating with a meek performance vs. 2020 WS G6 exiter Blake Snell), I guess we'll just have some fun out there in Seattle.

Monday, September 11, 2023

Games 143-145 Thread: Aug 11-13 vs. Padres

Ah yes, Ricardo. I remember that prediction.

Mon 9.11: Stone vs. Avila
Tue 9.12: Lynn vs. Wacha
Wed 9.13: Pepiot vs. Snell
all games 7p

The Padres, like the New York Mets over in the NL East, were supposed to use their big-name roster to romp to the divisional crown.

And here we are in September 2023, and the Padres are in fourth place and 10 games under .500, 21 games behind the NL West-leading Dodgers, whose divisional lead against second-place Arizona is so fat, that we're starting three dudes who weren't even on the roster the first half of the year.

Sure, we might get swept by San Diego at home this series. But with a magic number of only 7 with 20 games to play, it's not worth losing any sleep about this "rivalry series." Let's just have some fun.

Friday, September 08, 2023

Games 140-142 Thread: Sep 8-10 @ Nationals

Should we tell Washington he's already eliminated from this race?

Fri 9.8 4p: Sheehan vs. Gore
Sat 9.9 1p: Miller vs. TBD
Sun 9.10 10.30a: TBD vs. TBD

The Dodgers barely exerted any effort in Miami earlier this week, winning only the last game after going down meekly in the first two sessions. This may be a hangover from the unfortunate Atlanta series outcome; or it may be lingering effects from knowing Julio Urias isn't going to pitch again for the Dodgers, probably ever.

That said, the Dodgers still have a 13-game lead in the division (which has expanded over the last ten games, since the Dodgers' 5-5 record still beats the Diamondbacks' 4-6 record and the third-place Giants' 3-7 record), and with a magic number of 9 in the first week of September, we are fine to limp to the finish line rather than exhaust ourselves going into the playoffs.

So let's just have fun out there, Dodgers! Maybe participate in the Racing Presidents event, or go grab a sandwich from Swizzler? Or do some scoreboard watching--Diamondbacks at Cubs this weekend looks pretty interesting.

Tuesday, September 05, 2023

Games 137-139 Thread: Sep 5-7 @ Marlins

Tue Sep 5: Kershaw vs. Luzardo
Wed Sep 6: Lynn vs. TBD
Thu Sep 7: TBD vs. Garrett
all games 3.40p first pitch

After a depressing weekend against the Braves in which Lance Lynn threw BP meatballs on Thursday (loss); then Julio Urias went back to his wobbly ways Friday (loss); followed by the Dodgers coughing up multiple chances to win before Alex Vesia crumbled in extras on Saturday (loss)--the Dodgers salvaged a psychological win by avoiding the sweep on Sunday afternoon.

Whoop dee frickin' doo. We're clearly not in the Braves' tier, despite having the second-best record in the NL and the third-best in the majors. Cap that off with Julio Urias arrested Sunday night for what would be his second offense of domestic violence--no MLB player has ever been suspended twice under the policy (enacted in 2015), and Urias had a 20-game suspension for his first incident, in which the victim dropped charges--this truly was a shitty weekend for the Dodgers.

I can try and be hopeful in that the Dodgers still have the second-best run differential in the majors, and our 14-game lead over second-place Arizona (and 15-game lead over the Giants) will allow us to coast to the end of September. Walker Buehler just had a nice rehab outing in Oklahoma City (with a fastball up at 95mph), and he could return and fill a rotation slot. And Bobby Miller, who earned the Dodgers' victory on Sunday, has already been knighted as the Dodgers' new ace by LAT columnist Bill Plaschke (which means he is probably going to be a pile of shit in the playoffs, the way Plaschke's predictions typically play out).

So maybe it isn't all bad? If you squint your eyes, realize that whatever might happen in this series is against the ~.500, playoff-missing Marlins, well yeah, sure, maybe the last weekend wasn't a total disaster. I mean, there were some survivors on the Titanic as well, right?

Thursday, August 31, 2023

Games 133-136 Thread: Aug 31 - Sept 3 vs. Braves

I'm going to skip 2021 playoff results and just think about 2020.

Thurs Aug 31 7p: Lance Lynn vs. Strider
Fri Sep 1 7p: Julio Urias vs. Fried
Sat Sep 2 6p: TBD vs. Elder
Sun Sep 3 1p: Bobby Miller vs. Morton

The Atlanta Braves have a four-game lead for the one-seed in the National League, and ESPN pundits are already calling the Braves unbeatable this year. But there was this part, late in the article:

The Phillies beat the Braves in four games last October, but that doesn't make them more dangerous for Atlanta than the Dodgers, according to several executives.

"The Dodgers' talent, experience and consistency give them the best shot at taking a playoff series," one executive said.

Another dove into the numbers.

"The Dodgers share a lot of the same hitter run value numbers vs. pitching as the Braves, and have more hard-throwing relievers, who are successful [in October]," he said. "The Dodgers are ranked first in pitcher run value when a pitch is 96 mph or above."

Essentially, the Dodgers rank second to the Braves in most offensive categories, averaging 5.6 runs per game compared to Atlanta's 5.8. But their pitching injuries have piled up, leading to just the seventh-best ERA in the NL. Then again, Clayton Kershaw just returned from injury and looks as good as ever.

"I think the Dodgers' overall 26-man roster depth is probably better than Atlanta's, so I would think they have the best chance against them in a long series," one executive said. "And they are a team that knows how to win, can take a punch, and has a tremendous home-field advantage."

Said the executive: "That would be one heck of a series."

So let's see how this series goes. We will see all three of the Braves' key starters. The Braves might not see all of ours.

I will be there at the Stadium Thursday night. I also have no idea why the Dodgers aren't playing on the Labor Day holiday.

Monday, August 28, 2023

Games 130-132 Thread: August 28-30 vs. Diamondbacks

Mon 28: Bobby Miller vs. Gallen
Tue 29: Clayton Kershaw vs. Kelly
Wed 30: Ryan Pepiot vs. Pfaadt
All games at 7p

4-2 on the last roadtrip, which brings us to an amazing 21-4 record in August. Concerns that we are peaking too soon notwithstanding, the Dodgers have now opened up a 12-game lead on the second-place Diamondbacks and a 13.5-game lead on the Giants.

And like the Braves, the only other division leader with at least a ten-game gap, the Dodgers should be thinking more about resting our arms for the playoffs--so the TBD sitting on Wednesday's docket makes a lot of sense. With Tony Gonsolin out for the season, and the Dodgers picking up Tyson Miller off of waivers, let's not push anything over the edge!

Friday, August 25, 2023

Games 127-129 Thread: Aug 25-27 @ Red Sox

Fri 25 4p: Lynn vs. Crawford
Sat 26 1p: Urias vs. Paxton
Sun 27 10a: TBD Ferguson vs. Hauck

I just want to take this opportunity to thank the Red Sox again for giving us Mookie Betts.

photo swiped from this site

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Games 124-126 Thread: August 22-24 @ Guardians

Tue 22 4p: Bobby Miller vs. Noah Syndergaard
Wed 23 4p: Clayton Kershaw vs. Xzavion Curry
Thu 24 10a: TBD vs. Gavin Williams

Hot off two victories in a rain-altered doubleheader, and then followed by a two-day respite while Hurricane Hilary barreled through Southern California, the Dodgers face the Baby Groots in Cleveland. And though this series may not carry the level of drama like a space-age fantasy saga, a return sighting of Dodgers discard Thor Syndergaard, followed by a guy with strange consonant strings like a Superman villain, make this a weird series indeed.

As of Sunday night, the Dodgers had a 11.5-game lead over the second place Giants in the NL West. Cleveland is likely out of the playoffs at this stage (6.0 games behind the Twins in the NL Central, and 10.5 games out of the AL Wild Card). But crazy things happen in these Guardians episodes, so who knows?!

Friday, August 18, 2023

Games 121-123 Thread: Aug 18 - 20 19 vs. Marlins

Fri 18 7p: Tony Gonsolin vs. Sandy Alcantara
Sat 19 12n: TBD vs. TBD
Sat 19 6p: Julio Urias vs. Eury Perez

The Dodgers have won 11 in a row and now it's getting ludicrously implausible. Thursday's game, a 1-0 victory, came at the hands of seven scoreless innings from a Chicago White Sox castoff (Lance Lynn, now 4-0 with the Dodgers), and the first home run in almost a year for the meek Austin Barnes (who raised his average to a still microscopic .136).

Wednesday's game, a 7-1 victory, included home runs from the light-hitting nine-hole Miguel Rojas (now bating .220 on the year, with three HR total) and Chris Taylor in the eight hole (his 13th of the year, batting .219). If we could just get Max Muncy hitting again, this would be absolutely absurd.

But here we are, having feasted on poor teams but still thriving against good ones (Milwaukee still leads the NL Central, with a two-game lead over the Reds). And here come the Marlins, tied with the Reds for the third and final Wild Card position, and throwing their reigning Cy Young award winner to start the truncated weekend series (rescheduled due to the incoming hurricane Hilary).

I highly doubt we can stretch this streak to 14 by grilling the visting Fish. But that's okay, I'd much rather save some in the tank for the playoffs! I hope we're not peaking too soon.

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Games 118-120 Thread: Aug 15-17 vs. Brewers

Tue 15: Bobby Miller vs. Adrian Houser
Wed 16: Clayton Kershaw vs. Wade Miley
Thu 17: Lance Lynn vs.Corbin Burnes
All games 7p

Wait, we have a regular, no "TBD" rotation set for this three-game series? I'm confused.

We enter this series with a nine-game lead over the Giants in the NL West. The Brewers are also leading their division (3.5-game lead on the Cubs and Reds). After fattening up on a soft schedule for the last 13 games (Athletics 3-0; Padres 3-1; Diamondbacks 2-0; Rockies 4-0), it will be interesting to face a more formidable opponent.

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Games 114-117 Thread: August 10-13 vs. Rockies

Thu Aug 10 7p: TBD vs. Blach
Fri Aug 11 7p: Lynn vs. Gomber
Sat Aug 12 6p: Gonsolin vs. Lambert
Sun Aug 13 1p: Urias vs. Flexen

I was supposed to go to tonight's (Thursday's) game. But I can't go, so I'm salty.

But you know who isn't salty? The Dodgers, who extended their lead in the NL West to six games over San Francisco (who lost its last two), 11 games over Arizona (who were swept in the two-game series at home), 13 games over San Diego, (who lost three of four to us in the recent weekend series), and a crazy 22.5 games over the visiting Rockies.

All this, and we still can't pitch well. It's amazing.

Tuesday, August 08, 2023

Games 112-113 Thread: Aug 8-9 @ Diamondbacks

Tue 8.8 6.40p: Urias vs. Pfaadt
Wed 8.9 6.40p: Miller vs. Kelly

The Diamondbacks shared first place in the NL West at the All-Star break. Since then, they've absolutely cratered, inclduing losing their last six games coming into tonight, and now sit in third place in the division, nine games back of the Dodgers (the Giants are four games back).

The Dodgers have been on a tear, including taking three of four in San Diego, but it's not because of the pitching (Tony Gonsolin's "win" last night, 6.0 IP and 6 ER, actually raised his already elevated ERA further, to 4.42). We have been mashing the ball, thanks to Mookie Betts (grand slam yesterday, to put the Dodgers up 8-5), Freddie Freeman (OPS of 1.013), and even new additions Amed Rosario and Kike Hernandez have been surprisingly potent in the lineup. Heck, even Miguel Rojas went 2-for-5 yesterday, boosting his batting average to .221; now, only Max Muncy sits below Mendoza-line levels.

It would be nice to keep the mashing going in the desert here. Let's go smush some snakes.

Friday, August 04, 2023

Games 108-111 Thread: Aug 4-7 @ Padres

Fri Aug 4 6.40p: Bobby Miller vs. Yu Darvish
Sat Aug 5 5.40p: TBD vs. Blake Snell
Sun Aug 6 4.10p: Lance Lynn vs. TBD
Mon Aug 7 1.10p: Tony Gonsolin vs. Seth Lugo

With the trade deadline pickups of Rich Hill and Ji-Man Choi, the Padres are all-in! And I feel about as confident about that assertion, as I do about the Dodgers being all-in by picking up Lance Lynn, Joe Kelly, and Amed Rosario.

I suppose the material difference is that the Dodgers are 62-45 and have a 2.5-game lead in the NL West, whereas the Padres are in fourth place in the division, 9.0 GB (and 4.0 games out of the Wild Card race).

Still, these four games should be a better barometer of how formidable the Dodgers might be for the playoffs--at least, relative to the Dodgers' recent sweep over the hapless and homeless Athletics. Let's go, Dodgers!

Tuesday, August 01, 2023

Games 105-107 Thread: August 1-3 vs. Athletics

All games (Tues-Thu) at 7p

Honestly, if the Dodgers can't expand upon their divisional lead with this series, we'll have to look at ourselves in the mirror.

Friday, July 28, 2023

Games 102-104 Thread: July 28-30 vs. Reds

Fri Jul 28 7p: Bobby Miller (6-1, 4.28) vs. Brandon Williamson (2-2, 4.60)
Sat Jul 29 6p: Emmet Sheehan (3-1, 6.75) vs. Luke Weaver (2-2, 7.20)
Sun Jul 30 1p: Michael Grove (2-2, 6.19) vs. Graham Ashcraft (5-7, 5.64)

Well this is hilarious: the vaunted Dodgers start three minor-league callups to face the red-hot Reds, vying for the NL Central divisional lead with the Brewers. The Reds are largely back in the mix thanks to the outstanding phenom Elly De La Cruz, quite possibly the fastest third baseman to ever play the game. Wish I could see this series live, but I'll be out in the wilderness this weekend.

Go Dodgers!