Sunday, August 31, 2014

Post-Game 137 Thread: Ryu Defeats The Enemy

DODGERS 7, PADRES 1

The Dodgers looked to be traveling down a familiar road of late in Petco Park: low offensive production wasting a solid starting pitching effort, this time from Hyun-Jin Ryu, whose return from the DL was much needed: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB and 7 Ks. The Dodgers had scored one in the first on a Scott Van Slyke single to right, but gave the run right back in the bottom of the first inning. Then the Dodgers scored another run in the fifth off a Matt Kemp RBI single, but proceeded to squander a rally when SVS GIDPd to end the inning.

But this time, we broke through in the eighth inning. Adrian Gonzalez led off with a single and Kemp doubled him over to third. Carl Crawford walked, and then Juan Uribe (who also recently returned from the DL) moved everyone up 90 feet with a single to right (3-1 LA). Jesse Hahn came in to pitch and threw wild during an A.J. Ellis AB, allowing Kemp to score (Ellis would end up walking the bases loaded again). Darwin Barney then singled to right, scoring two to make it 6-1 Dodgers. All of this came with none out, so even though the inning ended poorly (Andre Ethier single but Ellis tagged at the plate, followed by Yasiel Puig and Hanley Ramirez Ks), at least we opened up a big lead this time; after going 1-for-900000 in the first two games, the Dodgers went 6-for-14 with RISP in this one.

Uribe added an RBI double in the ninth to make it 7-1, and Pedro Baez pithed two innings to have the lead hold up. Avoiding the sweep allowed us to keep 2.5 games ahead in the division (and make it a winning "road trip" of five games), before our series at home against Washington.

Welcome back, Ryu, and welcome back, Uribe!

seamless graphics work by SoSG Sax

Game 137 Thread: August 31 @ Padres, 1p

Save us, Ryu!

Hyun-Jin Ryu (13-6, 3.28) vs. Eric Stults (6-14, 4.63).

With the NL West lead down to 2.5 games, the Dodgers call upon Hyun-Jin Ryu to return from the DL and and frickin' save us. Playing the role of Ken tonight is Eric Stults, who took the loss against us in June, but beat us in August, off of five measley innings pitched. We certainly haven't done much street fighting in the last two games, both one-run losses with poor offensive outputs. Can Ryu bring his shoryuken and win this match?

Post-Game 135/136 Thread: Serious Friars

That's a serious fryer.

PADRES 3, DODGERS 2 (12)
PADRES 2, DODGERS 1 (10)

We may have entered Petco Park like a lion (having beaten the Snakes twice in Arizona), but we're looking like a bag of dog food after two Padres extra-inning, walk-off victories (as opposed to those home extra-inning, non-walk-off victories, I suppose). Tonight's disaster felt a little bit more painful than last night's, as Alexi Amarista's one-out single off of Jamey Wright in the tenth not only wasted a great effort from Zack Greinke (8.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER 2 BB and 8 Ks), but it also came after the Dodgers wasted scoring opportunities in the eighth (first and third, two out; Carl Crawford lines to second), the ninth (one-out man on first, and Andre Ethier forces Drew Butera, and Dee Gordon (now 0-for-11 in the series) lined to left), and the tenth (two-out Matt Kemp double, but Yasiel Puig strands him). Meanwhile, on defense, we were getting very lucky: Butera and Hanley Ramirez pulled out a sweet pickoff play at second in the eighth; and in the ninth, J.P. Howell escaped a jam by spearing a comebacker and doubling off the runner at second.

And yet, we can't beat the damn Padres. Not Saturday, nor on Friday, when Kevin Correia shit the bed in the twelfth inning by allowing a leadoff single and two one-out walks; he got a gift force at home but then gave up the walkoff single to right. The Dodgers are a combined 1-for-15 with RISP in the two games, and the Giants' five-game win streak has them only 2.5 GB. It's sphincter-tightening time, boys and girls--time to wake this lineup up. Don't make me pour a vat of boiling hot oil on you.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Game 136 Thread: Aug. 30 @ Padres, 5.40p

Zack Greinke (13-8, 2.79) vs. Ian Kennedy (10-11, 3.75)

How hard can it be to beat these Pods? The Gnats are breathing down our necks and we can't seem to put this away. September call-ups should help, but that still won't solve a problem like Correia. Or Carmona. Here's hoping Ryu isn't still ass-hurt and that we can count on Hanley to play at least four innings in a row without pulling something (him, not us).

The first thought I had this morning when I woke up was "It just doesn't seem like this (Dodger) team has that killer instinct." Prove me wrong, guys, but it seems like you're all on 'ludes and can't be bothered to go for any jugular. Feel free to tell me I'm wrong in the GT comments, folks.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Game 135 Thread: Aug. 29 @ Padres, 7p

Dan Haren (11-10, 4.44) vs. Andrew Cashner (2-6, 2.43).

"I have to be able to step up," Haren told MLB.com. "I've been one of the five guys all year and however many starts I have left, they have to be as good as they can be." While not a Revolutionary sentiment, Haren knows he could be hitting The Streets if he can't hold his spot in the Dodgers' rotation. After winning their 3d series in a row against Arizona, the Dodgers are looking to beat up San Diego some more. Ya gotta beat the bad teams — after all, we wouldn't want the team's hard work to be All In vain.

Olney Backs Kershaw For 2014 NL MVP

From Byster Olney's latest blogpost (link insider only):

Clayton Kershaw started the year as the best pitcher on the planet, and in 2014 he has somehow gotten even better.

No team had loaded the bases against Kershaw even one time this season before the Diamondbacks did so Wednesday night. And naturally, Arizona didn't score. His success is predictable, writes Dylan Hernandez.

He gave everybody else a one-month head start by opening the season on the disabled list, yet as of this morning, Kershaw leads all starting pitchers in wins (16), along with his usual array of outstanding ratio statistics, from his ERA (1.73) to his WHIP (0.84), quality start percentage (91 percent), opponents' OPS (.524), etc. He has stranded the highest percentage of runners, at 83.3 percent. And he has the highest swinging-strike percentage (the guy in second place, Chris Sale, isn't that close).

From Elias: For the second consecutive year, Kershaw will take a sub-2.00 ERA into the month of September:

Sub-2.00 ERA through August in back-to-back years in live ball era (since 1920) (Note: Minimum 20 starts)

  • Clayton Kershaw, 2013 and '14
  • Greg Maddux, 1994 and' 95
  • Sandy Koufax, 1963 and '64
  • Hal Newhouser, 1945 and '46

I would vote for Kershaw as NL MVP. As of today, I'd rank them this way:

  • 1. Clayton Kershaw
  • 2. Giancarlo Stanton
  • 3. Andrew McCutchen
  • 4. Jonathan Lucroy

Keep 'em coming, Clayton!

Vin Scully Does Some Major-League Mythbusting

We don't get TWC at SoSG Worldwide Headquarters, so we apologize for the lack of new Vin transcriptions this season. But we've dipped into the archives (OK, last year's games) to bring you some fresh transcriptions we haven't run yet.




Vin Scully, from the seventh inning of the Cubs-Dodgers game on August 26, 2013:

Greinke allowed a leadoff single to Castro, who was thrown out trying to steal. He then retired thirteen in a row before giving up a single to Murphy. He's retired four and then gave up the bunt single—

Ground ball for one, they will get two. So just like that, thanks to the double play, two down.

That'll bring up Nate Schierholtz, who flied to left and grounded out.

The most famous double-play combination in history was immortalized by a New York columnist — he wrote for the New York World — in 1908.

What he wrote was — and he was writing about being a Giant fan and how the Cubs would break his heart:

These are the saddest of possible words:
"Tinker to Evers to Chance."
Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds,
Tinker and Evers and Chance.
Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble,
Making a Giant hit into a double—
Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:
"Tinker to Evers to Chance."
What's really interesting, you talk about — you say, Well that's one of the all-time greatest little bits of doggerel and trivia to a double-play combination.

But in all their years together, Tinker to Evers to Chance...they turned in fifty-six double plays. That's all.

And from what I've read, Tinker and Evers never spoke to each other for over two years. Yeah. Never said a word.

Ramirez and Ellis talk to each other.

Well, that makes a statement. Down goes Schierholtz, down go the Cubs, and at the end of six and a half, it's four-nothing Dodgers.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Ryu and Uribe Shenanigans

I went to the Zach Greinke Bobblehead night and noticed Ryu pacing outside of the dugout.  He looks like he is trying to avoid Uribe, first standing behind to security guard to hide from Uribe.  Then he tries to make a B line for the dugout, but SVS stops him.  So he actually walks into the dugout club section and down the steps.

Enjoy the clip (if this thing lets me upload it - which only seems to work on my computer and not mobile device.  Sorry.)

video


Ron Cey kindly signed my ball.


I also went to the Matt Kemp Statue day game against the NY Mets.  The extreme loaded dog was in honor of New York with sauerkraut and sauce.  It was damn good and there wasn't even any lederhosen.  Unfortunately the boys in blue played like phony dog poo.  What phony dog poo?


Scoreboard Watching: August 28, 2014

I guess Timmah is finally going to find time to wash his hair, as Yusmerio Petit gets the nod instead of Tim Lincecum in today's Giants-Rockies game. The Rockies' Jordan Lyles (6-1, 4.05) faces off against Petit (3-3, 3.59), who is getting heralded for retiring 38 consecutive batters (seven batters shy of the MLB record, set by Mark Buerhle in 2009). But hold on there, Tex: In six appearances this year as a starter, Petit is 1-2 with a 6.32 ERA. On the other hand, Lincecum has allowed 26 ER in his last 24.2 IP; so, Bruce Bochy has Petit fours'd into the game. 12.45p, first pitch.

Post-Game Thread 134: Kershaw Rolls; Van Slyke Rolls Ankle

DODGERS 3, DIAMONDBACKS 1

So we got the sweep, and Clayton Kershaw went an eight full innings and allowed only one unearned run, in the fourth inning, when Yasiel Puig dove but couldn't come up with a short fly ball, and when the ball deflected to left fielder Scott Van Slyke, SVS fielded the ball but came up awkwardly and lobbed the ball into the infield, allowing the run to score. Van Slyke's injury (which SVS is blaming on the Chase Field grass) didn't look horrible on replays, and we hope the big bearded man is okay; however it was a big loss from the game since he had just stroked a solo HR in the third that put the Dodgers up 3-0 (Matt Kemp had a two-RBI double right before SVS' shot, but was thrown out by a mile trying to stretch it to a triple).

Luckily for the Dodgers, we didn't need any more runs than the three we scored in the third inning, as Kershaw was at his usual lights-out level (6 H, 2 BB, and 10 Ks). Kenley Jansen saw three batters in the ninth and struck out two of them, for his 38th save.

A.J. Ellis raised his average to .192 on his second-straight multi-hit game (2-for-3). Way to go! Mendoza line in reach!

Day off tomorrow. SVS' ankle could use the rest.

Announcing SoSG Fest 2013...er, 2014!

Just when you loyal readers feared the Sons had taken their laziness to a whole new level, we're thrilled to announce that the SoSG Board of Directors has officially approved SoSG Fest 2014 and that it has now been scheduled.

Those of you who have been around this space for more than a few years know what holy hell is unleashed when Sons and loyal SoSG readers/commenters get together to watch a game together at an undisclosed location. Those of you who are newer will need to start training (here are some links to background on past SoSG Fests).

As in years past, we have a limit on space/participation/UN Security Council clearance for this event, so we ask that if you are interested in attending and available on Sunday, September 14, please send an email to our main email address and include your SoSG screen name with a brief paragraph on what you think you have to add to SoSG Fest 2014. First priority as always will again be given to readers who frequently comment and regularly take part in the SoSG diaspora. And true to form, Scotch and cigars as bribes will also score extra points. After we fill out our roster, we'll send emails to invitees with the event location and time.

It's been too long since we've seen some of you (and since some of the Sons have seen each other!), so we're looking forward to it. Hope to see you there!

Until then, here is a photographic look back at good times with the SoSG crew over the years.

SoSG Alex Cora Led Us in a Prayer before We Began SoSG Fest III

Karina and Karen Hosted a Make-Your-Own-Synthetic Drug Tutorial During SoSG Fest II

Neeebs Always Has Trouble Loosening Up at First

SoSG Dusty Baker Discusses Third World Debt at SoSG Fest I

"One Big Misunderstanding" at SoSG Fest III

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Game 134 Thread: August 27 @ D'backs, 6.30p

Clayton Kershaw (15-3, 1.82) vs. Wade Miley (7-9, 4.29).

Winning today's game wouldn't count as a "sweep", right? Because these stupid two-game series make no sense (especially given the MLB scheduling gods have given the Dodgers a rest day both before, and after, this intense two-game series). But hopefully we'll be wielding mini-brooms (to go with our mini sirloin burgers?), after Clayton Kershaw gets done with today's start. I do worry about Kirk Gibson ordering an inside pitch on Kid K (Roberto Hernandez did hit Alfredo Marte in Tuesday's game), but I'm hopeful that common sense will prevail. And that we can get out of Chase Field with a win, before resting up for our three-game series at Petco Park this weekend.

Random fact: A.J. Ellis' 2-for-4 performance last night (with a run scored) was only his second multi-hit game since July 4. It helped raise Ellis' batting average to .186. Keep 'em coming, A.J.!

Post-Game 133 Thread: 9 To 5

DODGERS 9, DIAMONDBACKS 5

I know our recent history with the Diamondbacks has been testy of late, with us swimming in their pool after clinching the division, and them hitting our players with pitches and breaking collarbones. But it's hard not to feel a little Fonda about the Snakes after watching last night's 9-to-5 victory. What began as a competitive game, punctuated by a two-run HR from Matt Kemp in the first, coupled with a two-RBI single by Ender Inciarte in the second to tie the game, ended up being a rout in the fourth inning. 11 Dodgers game to the plate in the fourth inning, notching three walks, five consecutive singles (Carl Crawford, Justin Turner, A.J. Ellis, Roberto Hernandez, and Dee Gordon), and two successful Dodger challenges along the way. It was all takin' and no givin': Dodgers turned a 2-2 tie into an 8-2 lead, Parton the seas with that onslaught.

This allowed Roberto Hernandez (6.0 dicey IP, with 3 ER, 2 BB and 3 Ks) to register the win, but not after the Dodgers dug into the bullpen's bot Tomlin-ing on Brandon League (who was ineffective: 0.1 IP and 2 H, 1 ER and 1 BB; I swear, sometimes that man is out to get me) before having Jamey Wright close the eighth and Pedro Baez allow one run but finish the Snakes off in the ninth. (J.P. Howell also pitched a scoreless seventh inning, with 1 K.)

The Giants beat the Rockies, albeit imperfectly, so the lead stays at five games with 29 to play (31 for SF). I suppose I should be freaking out about how anything can happen in this divisional race, but when late-season pickup Hernandez is winning games for us, I'm staying pretty Cole, man. I mean, it's enough to drive you crazy if you let it.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Game 133 Thread: Aug. 26 @ D'backs, 6:30p

"And we're going to hit you, and you, and you...."

Roberto Hernandez (7-9, 3.78) vs. Trevor Cahill (3-8, 4.54).

Hey, we love the Diamondbacks! The Dodgers are 10-4 against Arizona this season, yet haven't played them since June. This is a two-game series, and frankly anything but a sweep will be deemed an embarrassment and a disaster by Dodger fans and the media.

The Dodgers have faced Cahill four times this season (in March and April) and won three of those games. Cahill was sent to the minors for more than a month and reactivated after the All-Star break. Here's a plan: Let's help him back to the minors again.

photo by Gene J. Puskar/AP

Monday, August 25, 2014

Scoreboard Watching: August 25, 2014

Never. Gets. Old.

We've got 30 more to play, boys and girls. The Giants, 4.5 games behind, have 33 left to play. How we have played more despite having started the season with two games in Australia, a week before anyone else started play, seems a bit bizarre. But hey, we'll take the days off to rest our injured staff! We've got two days off in August alone, and then another three days off in September; most of our remaining games are against NL West teams with the exception of three against Washington (Sept 1-3) and four in Chicago (Sept 18-21). This is good, as we're 34-19 vs. teams in our division.

And what about our division? Well, the game that matters is Colorado @ San Francisco, 7.15p first pitch. Rockies throw Tyler Matzek (2-9, 5.38) vs. Jake Peavy (2-3, 3.58). Peavy has snuck in two wins since starting 0-3 as a Giant after coming over from Boston. But one of those wins came after giving up 10 hits to the Cubs over seven innings. With the Rockies having already swept the Giants at home (back in June), this may be a chance for us to pick up another half-game on our 4.5 game lead, while we sit idly. Colorado has won 7 of 11 vs. the Giants this year.

I suppose we could also concern ourselves with Milwaukee @ San Diego, 7.15 first pitch. Kyle Lohse (11-7, 6.49) vs. Eric Stults (6-13, 4.53). Playoff implications, at least for the Brewers (our potential opponent), so Go Padres!

Vin Scully, on Bribing Batters

We don't get TWC at SoSG Worldwide Headquarters, so we apologize for the lack of new Vin transcriptions this season. But we've dipped into the archives (OK, last year's games) to bring you some fresh transcriptions we haven't run yet.

Lou Novikoff.

Vin Scully, from the fourth inning of the Cubs-Dodgers game on August 26, 2013:

I was thinking about P.K. Wrigley. During the war, the Cubs had a player by the name of Lou Novikoff. They called him the Mad Russian, I guess just because of the last name, whatever.

And he put up great numbers in the minor leagues.

That's a strike.

But when he got to the big leagues, all of a sudden he was ultra-conversative, and I mean he would not swing the bat unless it was a perfect strike.

So Mr. Wrigley said — and again, this was in the forties — Mr. Wrigley said, "I will give you five dollars for every time you strike out swinging."

How about an owner saying that to a player.

High pop fly, a trio of Cubs, Castro's the middleman, but he's going to be run off by left fielder Bogusevic, and we have two down.

Anyway, they said that Novikoff, after making the deal with Mr. Wrigley, went up to the plate, had two strikes on him, swung at a pitch over his eyes for strike three. And as he walked away the on-deck hitter said, "Boy, you must really need some dough."

Five bucks if you strike out swinging.

I think you could probably spend a long time talking about the Cubs and the history and some of the things that have taken place, and some of the new things that have taken place that has the city up in arms, or at least the baseball fans who normally sit on the rooftops of the buildings around Wrigley.

Apparently they're going to put up huge video signs like we have here, and it will block the view of the people who sit up on the rooftops. And I mean they are angered.

One ball and one strike.

They are here, the loyal Cub fans. Good for them.

One ball, one strike, bottom of the fourth. Dodgers keep getting men on and leaving them....

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Post-Game 132 Thread: Overpowering Colon

METS 11, DODGERS 3

Two short days after LOLMets, it was LOLDodgers. Down 7-2 in the sixth inning, the Dodgers had just scored a run (Dee Gordon) off a leadoff single, Yasiel Puig walk (Puig had lost track of the count in that AB, btw; more on Puig's spaciness later), and Adrian Gonzalez RBI single. We were poised for a comeback: David Wright had already left the game due to neck spasms*; Mets starter Bartolo Colon had been effective through five but was laboring at the end of his audition for other teams; and Dodgers reliever Carlos Frias (who had entered the game relieving the ineffective Kevin Correia: 7 R in 3.0 IP, with 1 K and 3 HR) had just retired nine Mets in a row.

And then the bottom fell out (not that there was much bottom left in a 7-2 deficit, but hang with me). Matt Kemp hit into a 5-4-3 double play, which then became a TRIPLE play when Puig ran right through Dodgers third base coach Lorenzo Bundy's stop sign, and was thrown out at home by about 25 miles. The Dodgers should make Puig drink all the liquid in the dugout bubble machine, because that was a piece of shit baserunning exhibition by Puigster. If Bundy needs to wield a Jeff Gillooly crowbar at third base when Puig is rounding third (to be fair, Kemp ran through a stop sign recently but made it home safely; what happened to respect for authority here?!), then so be it. Inexcusable.

Frias then came out the next inning and melted down, allowing three more runs, and the Dodgers were pummeled 11-3 (Dee Gordon added a run in the eighth on an RBI triple). In good news, Gonzalez went 3-for-3 with and a run scored; Andre Ethier, with a rare start in the six-hole, went 2-for-4. In bad news, the reactivated Hanley Ramirez, along with Justin Turner and offensive abyss A.J. Ellis, all 0-fered. And then there's that Correia guy, who falls to 2-1 as a Dodger.

But this wasn't the only pummeling in the National League today: the Giants lost 14-6 to the Nationals, who scored 12 unanswered runs in their last three frames to take the lead and squish the Giants. All five Giants pitchers ceded at least one ER today. So there's that.

On the other hand, we host Washington in a week's time, and face Gio Gonzalez, Doug Fister, and Jordan Zimmerman. Hoo, boy.

Note: (*) Quote of the GT from Fred's Brim: "Wright is out for some reason. I am out because we are playing like assholes today"

A Fault in Our Star Wars: Episode One

In searching through the extensive, covert SoSG archives, I came across the following full length article.... in the f'ing draft folder. Like the lost episodes of the Honeymooners or the recently unearthed outakes from Star Wars...

... I now present the family DeShields experience at Dodgers Star Wars night. Circa 2013.

Would have posted this yesterday, but I had a layer of 100 Degree grime to powerwash. Avoid the visual... if you can.

Most importantly, the Dodgers were who we thought they were. The Spankers of the lowly Padres. In the time it took the family DeShields to walk from our seats to the car, the Dodgers put the final five nails in the monastery. But what of Star Wars night? What of theme? Of symbolism? Of Grand Moff Tarkin?

On a 100 Degree day, one of the less appreciated sights is a long line. Or... TWO OF THEM.

One for shirts, and one for entering the all you can eat pavilion. The problem - every third person in the t-shirt line had no idea they needed vouchers. So after waiting for 20 minutes, they came up empty handed. Not. Cool.

Except for the DeShields, whose family is now sporting truly kick ass nerd wear.

Though it might take my son two thousand days to grow into it. (Sidebar: what is the deal with Dodgers giveaways for kids? Between this and the Child Replica jersey, I'm convinced the Dodgers base their kids sizes on those roided up Little League World Series behemoths).

My boys did themselves proud in the All You Can Eat Pavilion. The rest of the ravenous crowd there, however, left me aghast.

I've expressed my issues with Dodgers Star Wars Night in the past.

As far as I can tell, there was a couple of guys dressed like storm trooper. So I heard. I never saw this with my own eyes, so it could be propaganda. The pics of the players wielding light sabers is always good for a "Hey, it's Juan Uribe holding a light saber instead of a churro" chuckle.

Showing Han kiss Leia on the Kiss Cam was cute. Albeit, this would have gotten more of a response.

On one hand, I'm glad the promotions don't overpower the game itself. (Unlike the wave, which I've now been over for almost 30 years.) That being said, I think the Dodgers could amp up the theme a bit. Have Jek Porkins throw the first pitch.

Or let people in costume do a lap around the field before the game begins. Heck, combine it with Bark at the Park.

Overall, the little DeShields had a great time, which was the whole point in enduring the indignities that is the all you can eat pavilion. And that t-shirt really is... as nerd-wear goes... pretty damn cool. But for 2014, it might be time to put a bit more thought in making the Star Wars pop off the screen and onto the field.

Game 132 Thread: Aug. 24 vs. Mets, 1p

Please let this happen today.

Kevin Correia (2-0, 4.09) vs. Bartolo Colon (11-10, 3.85).

It's a beautiful day to sweep the Mets. The Dodgers have their work cut out for them, although indications are that Hanley Ramirez will be activated from the disabled list just in time to provide some run support for Correia. Although he's 2-0 as a Dodger, Correia didn't exactly fool anyone his last time out (against the Padres), when he gave up four earned runs in five innings.

And if you're going to Dodger Stadium today expecting a Matt Kemp figurine, better show up early. They're running a little short, about 15,000 figurines' worth, and vouchers will be distributed to those among the first 40,000 attendees who don't get one at the stadium.

Post-Game 131 Thread: Gonzalez Gets High Five

High five, everybody!

DODGERS 7, METS 4

Adrian Gonzalez singlehandedly shifted the momentum of Saturday's game with his three-run HR in the fifth, and then added a sacrifice fly in the seventh to complement his RBI single in the fourth, ending the day with five of the team's seven RBI. None of those five RBI outshined the comical hilarity of Scott Van Slyke's check-swing infield single in the seventh, which plated Miguel Rojas and allowed Dee Gordon to advance from first to third on Mets pitcher Josh Edgin's throwing error. However, A-Gon's production today was nothing short of impressive overall; Gonzalez leads the Dodgers with 88 RBI, which trails only Giancarlo Stanton's 93 RBI in the NL.

Zack Greinke was the other story today, with Saturday's start having been pushed back to give him recovery time from a sore elbow. Greinke was solid if not dominating: 4 R, 3 ER, and 9 H in 7 IP, with 4 Ks and 2 HR allowed. Greinke said in the post-game interviews that he felt fine, so we'll cross our fingers until his next start.

photo swiped from here

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Game 131 Thread: Aug. 23 vs. Mets, 6p

Zack Greinke (12-8, 2.75) vs. Jacob deGrom (6-5, 2.87).

It's Pups at the Park day at Dodger Stadium! (And it's sold out, by the way.) The annual bring-your-dog-to-the-ballpark event (formerly known as Bark in the Park and probably renamed due to a change in sponsors) falls after a game in which the Mets turned in a pooch of a performance, helping Dan Haren and the Dodgers win Game 1 of the series.

DeGrom is coming off the DL to make his first start since August 7. He's recovering from right rotator cuff tendinitis, so expect Terry Collins to have him to be on a short leash tonight. Ha! I feel like such a heel for making that pun. Oh well, paws well that ends well.

1: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images; 2: via Natural Balance

Friday, August 22, 2014

Post-Game 130 Thread: Sad Niese

My sad niece.

DODGERS 6, METS 2

Last night, it was sad Ross. Tonight at the Ravine, it was sad Niese, as John Niese pitched a decent enough game (just like Tyson Ross did Thursday): 6.2 IP, 8 H, 2 ER...but 5 R crossed the plate, when the LOLMets had four errors, dooming his effort.

The wheels came off the bus for the Mets in the seventh. Down 2-1, Niese had two Ks before allowing a Dee Gordon triple (his 11th, leading the majors) and then walked Yasiel Puig. When Adrian Gonzalez hit to short, it looked like out #3...except Mets SS Wilmer Flores threw the ball away, allowing Gordon to score and Puig and Gonzalez to get into scoring position. Matt Kemp then came in to face Carlos Torres, and promptly doubled in both runners, both which hit Niese's ledger. Flores actually had two errors in tonight's game, and David Wright and Lucas Duda both added one each just to join the party [Sax's note: looks like they took away Wright's error in a late scoring change. Must be the vitamin water.].

A.J. Ellis added a RBI double in the eighth, which hopefully will break Ellis out of his slumpiness. Dan Haren had an RBI single of his own earlier in the game, after blowing a suicide squeeze that left Justin Turner hanging out to dry (in the same AB, his basehit to center scored Erisbel Arruebarrena. Haren, still thoroughly confounding in his fickleness, had a nice night tonight: 7.0 IP with 3 H, 1 ER, and 6 Ks. We'll take it.

At the Game

In a twist worthy of the WWE, Delino and Delino III are at the game... In Mets gear.  Which means tonight I. Am. Your. Enemy.  

Peace and Love
The DeShields.  EAST SIDE

Game 130 Thread: Aug. 22 vs. Mets, 7p

Dan Haren (10-10, 4.59) vs. Jonathon Niese (7-8, 3.50).

It's Justin Turner Bobblehead Night at Dodger Stadium!

Just kidding — but it should be. First, let's relive Turner's bacon-saving two-run home run last night, a blast that prevented the ignominy of losing a series to the woeful Padres.

Then let's give thanks to the Mets, since they're visiting us and all, for letting Turner go for basically no good reason. Turner is this year's spark plug, the invaluable bench player who's also proving his worth as a starter.

So, thanks, Mets! Let us repay you by beating you. It's the least we can do.

Even Cubs Players Are SoSG Readers


Screenshot from the MLB Network recap of the Gnats @ Cubs rain delay situation included a shot of the Cubs dugout on Tuesday. Is it a cry for help, or is it a tribute to Sons of Steve Garvey?

Post-Game 129 Thread: Sad Ross

DODGERS 2, PADRES 1

Tonight's game was the one where Ross finds out that, despite giving up only two hits and no runs through seven innings, he was about to be sorely disappointed. The Padres were up 1-0 in the eighth inning when Carl Crawford led off with an infield single that deflected off of pitcher Tyson Ross' glove, and then the next batter Justin Turner whomped a two-run HR to give the Dodgers the lead and the game. Ross might have struck out eight, but that dagger was enough to hand him the loss.

Clayton Kershaw also went a solid eight innings, striking out ten and giving up one run on three hits. Kenley Jansen got the one-inning save. And Turner, the only Dodger to have multiple hits tonight, led the Dodgers to their first victory all year in which the team trailed after seven innings--breaking a 0-for-46 skid. The win keeps the Dodgers 3.5 games ahead of the Giants, who beat the Cubs today but also ended up losing that rain-shortened game that was resumed after a Giants' protest. Hey, we'll take it.

Now the Dodgers host the Mets for three while the Giants play the red-hot Nationals in the District. But we've got Dan Haren going in Game 1. Yikes.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Game 129 Thread: Aug. 21 vs. Padres. 7p

Tyson Ross (11-11, 2.70) vs. Clayton Kershaw (14-3, 1.86 ERA)

Last night's game got us all feeling a little salty, and cussin' like ship captains. I'm too at sea (and lazy) to run down the litany of woes we face, but it does feel like there's a storm brewing off the port side.

However, our man Kid K takes the mound tonight. He finds himself starting a day early because Zanky's scheduled start has been pushed back until Saturday due to elbow soreness. If there is ever a time to turn this ship around, it's now. And Kershaw is the man to do just that.

No truth to the rumor that Anchor Steam will be my first beer of choice tomorrow night at the Yard, to put another nail in the coffin of this crappy pun meme.

Post-Games 127/128 Thread: Hot Carl/Stulted


DODGERS 8, PADRES 6
PADRES 4, DODGERS 1

On Tuesday night, the Dodgers beat the Padres, scoring 8 runs in the process. THAT'S GOOD!
On Wednesday night, the Dodgers lost to the Padres, managing only 1 run off of Eric Freaking Stults. THAT'S BAD.
--
On Tuesday night, Carl Crawford went 3-3 with a two-run home run. THAT'S GOOD!
On Wednesday night, Carl Crawford didn't start, and only managed a weak groundout in his pinch-hitting appearance. THAT'S BAD.
--
On Tuesday night, the Giants had lost a rain-shortened game to the Cubs. THAT'S GOOD!
On Wednesday night, the Giants won a protest to keep that rain-shortened game going, erasing the 1/2 game the Dodgers picked up in the NL West race. THAT'S BAD.
--
Zack Greinke's start tonight has been pushed back two days due to "elbow discomfort." THAT'S REAL BAD.
Taking Greinke's place is Clayton Kershaw. THAT'S REAL GOOD!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Game 128 Thread: Aug. 20 vs. Padres. 7p

Zack Greinke, in looking-nothing-like-Zack-Greinke times.

Roberto Hernandez (7-8, 3.72) vs. Eric Stults (5-13, 4.64).

Current Dodger Hernandez takes on former Dodger Stults on Zanky Bobblehead Night. Never mind that Greinke's scheduled start tomorrow is in jeopardy, baby — here's a compelling nuggest via STATS LLC/ESPN.com: "The Los Angeles Dodgers own baseball's best record against left-handed starters as they face one who is among the majors' leaders in defeats."

So yeah, we pretty much gotta win this one, folks. And guess what? Tonight's game is on ESPN, so we can actually watch it!

Puig's Helmet Is Angry

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Game 127 Thread: Aug. 19 vs. Padres, 7p

Kevin Correia, in more Friarly times.

Kevin Correia (1-0, 1.50) vs. Ian Kennedy (9-10, 3.54).

Former Padre Correia takes on current Padre Kennedy in a game the Dodgers must win in order to avoid their longest losing streak of the season (four games). The Dodgers have taken seven of 10 from the Pads this season, but — all together, now — the Padres always play the Dodgers tough. In other words, they have us right where they want us.

Or do they? Correia's Dodgers debut was a pleasant surprise, and the Giants are playing the Cubs, those same Cubs who beat the Dodgers at the beginning of the month. OK, I'm reaching here.

photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Two Dodgers Mentioned In Four-Man NL MVP Hunt

Nice to see not one, but two Dodgers mentioned in the hunt for NL MVP, according to ESPN writer Mike Petriello (okay, yes, this may be biased! But still cool). Along with Andrew McCutchen and Giancarlo Stanton, Petriello mentions Yasiel Puig and Clayton Kershaw (link insider only):

Clayton Kershaw and Yasiel Puig can both boast of being on the playoff-bound Los Angeles Dodgers, owners of the best record in the NL. Puig is having another outstanding year at the plate, essentially duplicating his 2013 (160 wRC+ last year, 161 this year), which ties him with Stanton for the third best in baseball. He certainly ought to do better than 2013's mere 2 percent of the vote, though his recent power outage -- he has only two homers since May -- and the unsettling concern that some voters may continue to wonder if he "plays the game the right way" also could work against him.

All of this uncertainty might actually work in Kershaw's favor, because while pitchers generally don't win MVP awards -- it's happened only once in the past 20 years -- pitchers generally don't have the kind of season Kershaw is having, either. You can make a very good case that Kershaw, seemingly a clear choice for the NL Cy Young Award, isn't just having a great season, he's having a historically great season. While some voters are reluctant to vote for a pitcher, arguing that someone who appears once every five days can't impact a season as much as an everyday player, that's short-sighted; after all, Kershaw faced 908 hitters in 2013, far more than the 600 or so plate appearances a regular player gets throughout the season. Of course, even then it's not a slam dunk, because Kershaw missed about six weeks with a back injury earlier in the year. Then again, how can we say that McCutchen's missed time is worse simply because it's happening now?

No matter how this all sorts out, there isn't going to be a consensus MVP pick. The record for most players to receive a first-place vote is 11, set in the AL in 1977. For the first time in years, the NL may be ready to threaten that number in 2014.

I like it. Way to go, Mike P.!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Root, Root for the "LA PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL TEAM"

It seems like SPAM... but tastes like non-canned meat.

LA's Professional Baseball Team is having a deal on tickets for an exciting professional game.

We're past the midway mark of the pro baseball season, and our local nine is burning up the standings with timely hitting -- not to mention two no-hit performances for their ace pitchers. Catch all the action in person with this offer for tickets to a professional baseball home game on select dates in August and September.

So click on over to the professional website and enjoy.

Reader Perspectives: 'No other place I’d rather be'


Last night SoSG Sax reminded us to remember the little things, and today awesome reader Dusty Baker's Toothpick reaffirmed that. DBT's comment is so nice I wanted to share it on the front page:

I was lucky enough to attend two miserable games this weekend. Even when we’re getting the snot beat of us, there is no other place I’d rather be.

On Friday night, my daughter and I sat in the RF all-you-can-shove-down-your-face pavilion. It was the first time since I was a little DBT, that I’ve sat way out in the pavilion. My daughter, on the other hand, being the privileged child that she is only knows field and loge views (the perks of having your pops work for a swanky LA law shop). While I was sitting out in the pavilion, I reminisced about being a kid, sitting in the sun with my family, rooting on our boys in blue. After three innings, my daughter had enough of the pavilion, and we set out on a trek to find a chocolate malt vendor. That’s our tradition, we must have a chocolate malt at the Dodger game. If you don’t have traditions, you don’t have jack. You have to honor those kinds of things.

Let me back up a little. Our Friday night started off in tremendous fashion. You all have seen the “Helpful Honda” ads on TV. On Friday night, the Helpful Honda people were at the Dodger game giving away free parking to anyone driving a Honda. I couldn’t believe it! When was the last time anyone gave you free parking at Dodger stadium? If getting free parking wasn’t enough, Friday night was the U.S. debut of Montejo Cervesa. The RF area next to Tommy Lasorda’s was the place to be for $4 beers and schmoozing with Montejo Cervesa models.

Our Friday night ended with us trapping a chocolate malt vendor on the reserve level. He was on his way to restock when we found him. After scoring our chocolate malts, we headed up to the Top of Hill gift shop, and then made some pictures against the downtown skyline. We left the game leading 2-0 only to find out that the bullpen couldn’t hold back the Cerveseros.

Sunday’s game was another great day at the park, despite the Cerveseros teeing off on Haren. I got to treat my pops, sister and nephew to great field level seats behind the visitors’ dugout. We got to the yard early enough to see Willy Peralta warm up in the bullpen and scored a ball from the bullpen coach. My nephew got the ball autographed by Tommy Davis who was signing in field level concourse. To see the kid’s face light up was incredible, another lifelong Dodger fan is born.

My peeps left after the 6th, but I stayed until the 8th inning, long enough to see the Dodgers’ whimper of a rally in the seventh, and to see Ethier play first base. Before leaving, I made my way back to the Cerveseros’ bullpen to enjoy my chocolate malt. I watched the 8th inning from the bullpen seats, the L.A. sun beginning its descent behind the stadium. The light breeze was immaculate, and I couldn’t help to think how lucky I was to be born a Dodger fan, and to enjoy the splendors of everything that that means.

Perspective: adjusted! Now bring on the (checks schedule) Padres!

photo by SoSG AC

Dodgers Still At 84% Chance Of Winning NL West

In times of need, we need statistics like baseball prospectus' playoff odds to ground us:

ESPN also has us at about 91% chance of making the playoffs, similar to baseball prospectus. See, things are bad after the sweep, sure. But they're not that bad.

Yet.