Friday, June 24, 2016

Game 75 Thread: June 24 @ Pirates, 4p

Nick Tepesch (0-0, -.--) vs. Jameson Taillon (1-1, 3.50).

After watching Mike Bolsinger struggle through his six starts, none of which made it a full six innings (and overall compiled a 1-4 record), the Dodgers realized they just can't get enough out of his starts, and optioned him (hoping Bolsinger would never let me down again), in order to call up Nick Tepesch.

Tepesch's mode involves not being intimidated by hitters and challenging them often, with a four pitch mix of fastball, cutter/slider, curveball and changeup; ideally, Tepsech would get the balance right.

Though not known to be overpowering while with the Rangers, where he posted a 9-17 record / 4.56 ERA over two seasons before elbow issues last year, Tepesch might have a new life with the Dodgers starting today. Maybe it's just a question of time, and Tepesch has matured since Texas, and he won't find himself behind the wheel and stripped tonight.

Hopefully, Tepesch will shake the disease that's afflicted most of our 4 and 5 starters this year--and there have been many unsuccessful candidates auditioning for these roles--and simply last deeper than five innings so the bullpen can enjoy the silence of a non-ringing bullpen phone. Dream on, you say?

Well, Pirates rookie starter Jameson Taillon only has three starts under his major-league belt, and as he learned from his last start, a rough four-inning, four-run effort vs. the Cubs, everything counts (in large amounts (like a 85-pitch count through four frames)). I can only hope he'll continue the recent trend and we'll be describing Taillon, it's no good (not to spread blasphemous rumours or anything).

My Three Sons


Picked up Little Dusty at Wednesday night's game. (And yes, I left early, irate over another Pedro Baez dinger and needing to get a tired Gnomes Jr. home. I hate myself enough as it is. Please don't make me take the Cersei Lannister walk of shame.) Now I just need Sax, Cora, Stubbs, and Delino to round out the current lineup. Make it happen, Dodgers promotion department!

What? Why are you laughing?

More Thoughts On That Crazy Walk-Off Victory (June 22, 2016)

Over 24 hours have passed since that crazy walkoff victory to sweep the Nationals at home. And I can't stop thinking about that game, including stuff like:

1. Was Dodgers 3B Coach Chris Woodward happy about that win, or not? If you look closely at the replay of the game, you'll note that Yasiel Puig ran right through Woodward's stop sign for home. It was only Daniel Murphy's double-clutch which saved what would have been a close play at the plate. Without that throw, as we saw, the Dodgers grabbed an unlikely victory.

We know Chris Woodward is learning on the job this season. However watching his body language in the video, it's pretty obvious that while everyone else is celebrating, Woodward may have had no cause for celebration (as you can see in the photo below).

And the video, again:

2. Did Dodgers manager Dave Roberts endorse that play, either? Roberts certainly didn't expect it, as Roberts said in the post-game interviews:

"I actually took my eye off the ball as it went into center field, so I didn't see what happened," Dave Roberts said. "Then I hear the crowd yelling and the dugout going crazy, so I turn to Yasiel and he's scooting around the bases."

3. And did Yasiel Puig's hamstring want that outcome, either? Seems like Puig needed to coax the hamstring along:

"I didn't see [the stop sign]. I was listening to my hamstring and I was trying to figure out how far it could go," Puig said. "If it exploded there, that's what was going to happen, but I was able to make it home."

4. Michael Taylor not only made that game-costing error, he also had 5 Ks on the night. Good on SoSG Delino for catching this point.

5. And lost amidst this game highlight was a great defensive catch from Adrian Gonzalez:

Man, what a game. Good times. Let's build upon it this weekend in Pittsburgh.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Post-Game 74 Thread: Rebus Time!

DODGERS 4, NATIONALS 3

To recap: Dodgers down 3-2, bottom nine, one out, Howie Kendrick on first. Nationals closer Shawn Kelley gives up a single up the middle to Yasiel Puig, but Nats CF Michael Taylor swiftly runs past the ball which rolls all the way to the wall for an error. Puig then races around the bases, blows through a stop sign, and scores the winning run. That's the second dagger for Dusty this series, as the Dodgers end up sweeping the pesky Nats. And after losing to Clayton Kershaw in the opener (expected), but then Yasmani Grandal's three-run HR yesterday (unexpected), Nationals manager Dusty Baker can't be happy tonight.

What the heck, how about you watch it on your own:

SOSG Player of the Game: Michael A. Taylor

Michael A. Taylor - Stock Photo of successful play.


More accurate rendering of Michael A. Taylor's play tonight
With all due respect to Puig, our newest local hero - Nationals outfielder Michael A. Taylor - simply KILLED it tonight with his bat and glove.

0 for 5. FIVE Ks. Earning him this rare Platinum Sombrero pin with luster and clarity.

Note: Open to other nicknames for five strikeouts.

But his perfection at the plate was only a prologue to the win he gifted us in the ninth. Watch it again for the smiles. For the laughs. For the joy of a single turned walk off inside the park homer.

Thank you Michael A. Taylor. Next time you're in town, drinks on us at any Lancers or Claim Jumpers. We'll even go halfsies on appetizers.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Game 74 Thread: June 22 vs. Nationals, 7p


Julio Urias (0-2, 4.50) vs. Joe Ross (6-4, 3.13)

The Dodgers have won five in a row! You might say it's a HIGH five. And speaking of high fives, the Dodgers are celebrating the co-inventor of the high five with a Dusty Baker bobblehead. So, break out your toothpicks and grab yourself a little Dusty. Not our Dusty. Though, he's open to you grabbing him too.

I will be at the game tonight (thanks to our Dusty...I'm saving a bobblehead for him), hoping to see Julio Urias get his first win. Beat the bobblemanager for the kid, Dodgers!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Game 73 Thread: June 21 vs Nationals, 7p

Tanner Roark (6-4, 3.14) vs Scott Kazmir (5-3, 4.64)

Gotta catch 'em all! I never knew that there was a Pokemon character called Roark. Well, his namesake goes all Wartortle against our Pikachu. Hopefully, Roark will bring his Wigglytuff so we can Golbat around. If Pikachu is anything like Kershaw, he will make Harper continue to Machoke. It is going to be another scorcher at the ballpark, so anyone going should keep their Tentacool.  It isn't that Farfetch'd that we still have a chance to win the NL West title, but we will have to Seel some of these games and Weedle past the Giants. If we don't win, I'll be really Krabby so lets put a Jynx on those Nationals and make them Fearow us. There's going to be an Electabuzz in the park tonight! Snorlax.

Post-Game 72 Thread: Kershaw Rises To The Occasion While Strasburg Bows Out

Our all-time saves leader.

DODGERS 4, NATIONALS 1

Washington Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg was scratched from tonight's matchup with back tightness, but Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw took centerstage and dominated. Seven innings, 8 Ks, 1 ER when he tired and labored through a tough seventh inning. Joe Blanton pitched a scoreless eighth and Kenley Jansen got his 162nd save, setting the franchise record (Eric Gagne apparently called to congratulate Jansen; Gagne will be at the game tomorrow for a ceremony).

Justin Turner homered in the first and singled in Corey Seager in the fourth inning, and Joc Pederson added a leadoff HR in the fifth off of Yusmiero Petit. Chase Utley added an insurance run in the seventh inning to stretch the lead back to three runs.

Really gritty effort from Kershaw tonight, who was humble in deferring the limelight to Jansen in the post-game interviews. With the Giants' 1-0 loss in Pittsburgh (off a solo HR from the Pirates' backup catcher, on a ball that Giants LF Angel Pagan had in his glove but lost over the wall), the Dodgers are 5.5 games behind in the division and are in the Wild Card lead.

photo: Harry How / Getty Images

Monday, June 20, 2016

Dodgers Still Favored Over Giants To Win World Series

And those guys at fivethirtyeight.com are supposed to be smart with the statistics and all, right?!


I'll take it. 

Game 72 Thread: June 20 vs. Nationals, 7p

Clayton Kershaw (10-1, 1.58) vs. Stephen Strasburg (10-0, 2.90).

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the Dodgers' offense won't be able to do much in the opening game of this series.

And sadly, that probably has nothing to do with the fact that we're facing Strasburg, third in the majors with 118 Ks (teammate Max Scherzer, whom we won't see in this series, is second with 128; Kershaw leads with 133 Ks). It's because our team is 12th in the NL in OPS (Washington is 6th), and our best hitter is Corey Seager (30th) at .280; Daniel Murphy of the Nationals leads the NL with a .358 BA. So, expect no run support for Kershaw, and a difficult loss for our ace on national television.

Roberts Has Full Confidence In Grandal

The Dodgers' offense is horrible this year, and Yasmani Grandal's malaise is at least one contributor; after a breakout season last year with an OPS+ of 112, he's suffering through an OPS+ of 78 this year. And reading the post-game recap yesterday, when Grandal stood at the plate when Brewers pitcher Tyler Thornburg decided to throw balls outside (Thornburg has just walked Howie Kendrick to load the bases with two out in the bottom of the ninth), it didn't seem like Dave Roberts was hoping Grandal was going to swing, either:

Grandal, hitting .184 this season, took a 3-2 pitch from reliever Tyler Thornburg (3-2) that missed high and outside, capping Los Angeles' third straight comeback win.

"I know Yasmani can conduct an at-bat, hit a gap, even draw a walk" Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "He's not hitting great right now, but I know he can get on base. I liked our chances."

Grandal is batting .184 this year. Ellis, for whom Grandal pinch-hit, went 0-for-2 yesterday and is batting .191 on the season.

Can we just get one of you two to start hitting! Please!

Congratulations, Cleveland

From one title-challenged franchise to another.

(Awesome to Nike for getting this out so quickly.)

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Post-Game 71 Thread: Walk Off Walk

Sorry, Scooter.

DODGERS 2, BREWERS 1

The Dodgers' offense, exhausted from yesterday's output, went back to sleep in today's day-game hangover. But luckily, Kiké Hernandez unloaded a solo HR in the bottom of the eighth to tie the game at one. In the bottom of the ninth, one-out singles from Adrian Gonzalez and Trayce Thompson put two on; Joc Pederson Kd, but Howie Kendrick and Yasmani Grandal both walked to win the game. Tyler Thornburg had a horrible ninth inning for the Brewers, who dropped three of four to the Dodgers in this series.

Meanwhile, it was Kenta Maeda who kept us in this game: 6.1 IP, 6 H and 1 ER against 3 BB and 8 Ks. He did give up the first-inning HR to Scooter Gennett, and it is always embarrassing to be beaten by a muppet. However Maeda persisted, and kept the Dodgers in this game with this efforts.

A walk-off walk over a sub-.500 team isn't necessarily cause for celebration. But for those who braved the oppressive afternoon 99-degree heat today, they came away with a hard-fought victory...and hopefully unsoiled undies, as well.

Now, is there another game this evening to watch?

Game 71 Thread: June 19 vs. Brewers, 1p

Today's stadium giveaway.

Kenta Maeda (6-4, 2.75) Matt Garza (0-0, 2.25).

The Dodgers are 9-8 in the month of June. They've scored 67 runs and allowed 61 over that span. If they want to transcend slightly better than average, they have to beat up on teams like the fourth-place Brewers — but, looking ahead, they also have to perform against teams like the first-place Nationals. who come to Dodger Stadium tomorrow for a three-game series. So get ready to put up your dukes, Boys in Blue!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Post-Game 70 Thread: Dodgers Offense Recovers After Dropping Mike

DODGERS 10, BREWERS 6

Mike Bolsinger was awful today, lasting only 2.2 innings while giving up nine hits and 5 ER (including a run in each of the three frames in which he participated). But lucky for Mike, his buddy Chase Anderson was worse, lasting only 2.1 innings and yielding seven earned runs, including a three-run HR by the strangely narcissistic Justin Turner (his ninth) in the third inning, to tie the game at 5.

The Dodgers went on to plate three more runs that inning and take an 8-5 lead, which they extended in the sixth on a Joc Pederson HR and an Adrian Gonzalez RBI single (A-Gon went 3-for-5 with an RBI).

Ten runs scored? Not sure what team this is, but if we can finally get Turner, Gonzalez, and Kendrick (who also homered) out of their slumps, and Pederson and Trayce Thompson can mature a bit, we might have something here. Though if we keep starting Bolsinger, we'll have to also keep being quick at dropping the Mike.

And, since it's an oldie but goodie:

What's Up With Justin Turner's Batting Helmet



Looks like he's painted it so instead of "LA", it looks like "J". Pretty sneaky.

photos from tonight's game vs. Milwaukee, 6th inning

Game 70 Thread: June 18 vs. Brewers. 7p

Mike Bolsinger (1-4, 5.76) vs. Chase Anderson (4-6, 4.42).

Do you like narratives? Because the narrative for tonight's game is how two guys who have known each other since they were 15-year-olds growing up near Dallas are now facing each other in a major-league game. Mike was Chase's best man at his wedding, and Chase was in Mike's wedding party. What's the matter, Mike? Chase not good enough to be your best man? Sure, you probably had a brother who was your best man but if the Brewers win tonight, it's on you, Mike.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Game 69 Thread: June 17 vs Brewers, 7p



Julio Urias (0-2, 5.82) vs Zach Davies (5-3, 3.88)

I went to the game last night. Stayed until the end and left disappointed...again. We can't seem to get the pitching, offense, and defense on the same page. Everytime we seem to start clicking, the "average" gods pull us back down to .500. So instead of dwelling on all this negativity, lets talk about food. The highlight of last night's game was eating the Hawaiian Dog and the ShockTop Brat. And with the Brewers in town, Extreme Loaded Hot Dogs has a Milwaukee County Stadium dog with fired cheese curds drenched in the Milwaukee Stadium secret sauce. When I visited Milwaukee many years ago, I remember the goodness that is in that secret sauce. So if you are at the game, give it a whirl and let us know if you liked it. Oh, you can also watch the Dodgers try and support Julio with more than just a strap. Go get 'em kid! Go Blue!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Post-Game 68 Thread: Baez, Blow(i)n' Away

BREWERS 8, DODGERS 6

Scott Kazmir wasn't good tonight, but the Dodgers still had a shot at overcoming his 3 ER effort (4.0 IP, and 2 BB against 8 Ks). He gave up three runs, but Trayce Thompson homered in the third to tie the game.

Casey Fien also wasn't good tonight, giving up three more runs in one inning of work in the fifth. However Howie Kendrick, Joc Pederson, and Justin Turner helped the Dodgers battle back with three runs in the sixth, to again tie the game.

But when Pedro Baez gives up a two-run HR in the ninth--that's just too much to bear. Jonathan Villar hit the shot which silenced the home crowd and led the Dodgers to loss. Baez picks up his second loss of the year by giving up yet another HR (at least his fifth this season; possibly his sixth). Pathetic.

Game 68 Thread: June 16 vs. Brewers, 7p

Scott Kazmir (5-3, 4.52) vs. Junior Guerra (3-1, 3.31).

Here's the good news: the second-place Dodgers have won two in a row and stand a chance to win a third consecutive game for the first time since sweeping the Braves eons ago. The sub-.500 Brewers should be good fodder for a four-game series; this year, we've tended to play well against the sucky teams (Braves, Reds, Padres, Diamondbacks).

But here's the bad news: we're now six games back of the Giants, because the Brewers were swept up in San Francisco, causing us to lose ground as we played the Diamondbacks. Junior Guerra is no slouch, either; his 1.18 WHIP leads Brewers starters. So let's hope tonight we don't see Junior make mince meat out of our subpar bats (the Dodgers rank 14th in the NL for batting average).