Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Game 158 Thread: Sept. 30 @ Giants, 7p

Mike Bolsinger (6-5, 3.48) vs. Mike Leake (10-10, 3.89).

Home field advantage or rest the starters? One look at today's lineup will tell you where Don Mattingly's head is at. The afterglow lasts until October 9, so enjoy!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Post-Game 157 Thread: THE WEST IS WON


The Dodgers win the NL West, marking the third-consecutive NL West title for the first time in franchise history. Clayton Kershaw was indeed lights out, with the first one-hit CG SHO against the Giants since Hideo Nomo in 1995. And all of those ghosts of having lost all seven games at AT&T Park this year? Even with Ashley Madison on the mound, the Dodgers won the one that counted, tonight.

Kiké Hernandez batted leadoff and went 2-for-5 with a HR and two runs. Justin Turner went 1-for-3 in cleanup with another RBI. Corey Seager went 1-for-5 but also had an RBI. Justin Ruggiano and A.J. Ellis, the latter of whom went 2-for-4, had back-to-back home runs in the sixth off of Bumgarner, which chased Madison (actually, the 13-pitch groundout by Kershaw in the top of the fifth also helped.

Five more games, and we really could rest everyone...except we are one game back of the NL East leader Mets (who also own the tiebreaker). Should we care? Relative to resting all of our injured players? All I know is, tonight I'm drinking!

Game 157 Thread: Sept. 29 @ Giants, 7p

Clayton Kershaw (15-7, 2.25) vs. Madison Bumgarner (18-8, 2.88)

Take 2...

So, it's come to this, huh? Despite plenty of chances to have this thing closed out before this series, the Dodgers roll into are still in Frisco needing one win out of four to clinch the NL West. I'm certain we were all hoping this would be long done by now, but alas, it was not to be.

There are some upsides to this scenario, though. First, the Dodgers are throwing co-ace Greinke Kershaw against a perfectly an occasionally beatable Peavy Bumgarner tonight, meaning this might not drag on much longer. Second, Enrique Hernandez is back. That might not seem like that big of a deal, but it will be was helpful to have the human rally banana around, should when the Dodgers manage managed to fall behind. And last, but in no way least, when the Dodgers seal the deal in SF, Vin Scully will be there to call it. Eh, never mind that last one.

OK kids, here we go...again. Cross your fingers, clench your cheeks, and pray to your relevant deities...again. This one's gonna be...also something!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Game 156 Thread: Sept. 28 @ Giants, 7p

(Thanks again to ThkBleu!)

Zack "Spongeworthy" Greinke (18-3, 1.65) vs. Jake "Skeevy" Peavy (7-6, 3.83)

So, it's come to this, huh? Despite plenty of chances to have this thing closed out before this series, the Dodgers roll into Frisco needing one win out of four to clinch the NL West. I'm certain we were all hoping this would be long done by now, but alas, it was not to be.

There are some upsides to this scenario, though. First, the Dodgers are throwing co-ace Greinke against a perfectly beatable Peavy tonight, meaning this might not drag on much longer. Second, Enrique Hernandez is back. That might not seem like that big of a deal, but it will be helpful to have the human rally banana around, should the Dodgers manage to fall behind. And last, but in no way least, when the Dodgers seal the deal in SF, Vin Scully will be there to call it.

OK kids, here we go. Cross your fingers, clench your cheeks, and pray to your relevant deities. This one's gonna be something!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Ladies and Gentlemen, Your (Potential Pl---ff) Opponent...

Rookie hazing's East / West Coast Rivalry heats up.

Not quite as inventive as the Dodgers' Wrestling theme (esp. the Iron Sheik costume!), but it's good to see underoos are alive and well.

Rookie Hazing Is Back

Game 155 Thread: Sept. 27 @ Rockies, 1p


Alex Wood (11-11, 3.60) vs. Chris Rusin (5-9, 5.39).

Magic number is stuck at two; likely playoff opponents Mets have clinched and are currently putting Matt Harvey's arm on ice. Can Wood deliver? Giants play the A's at the same time as the Dodger game, so by 4 p.m. we could be playoff-bound...or still two games back. Either scenario calls for drinking!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Game 154 Thread: Sept. 26 @ Rox, 5p

Brett Anderson (9-9, 3.52) vs. Kyle Kendrick (6-13, 6.37).

Isn't Kyle Kendrick a NASCAR driver? Anyhoo, the Giants are currently tied with the A's 10-10 in the 8th. If the A's win, it's all up to Brett Anderson. Go Blue!

UPDATE: Probably shoulda gone with the Kendrick theme. Here ya go:

UPDATE: Giants just went up 14-10. Not gonna happen today.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Game 153 Thread: Sept. 25 @ Rockies, 6p

Mike Bolsinger (6-4, 3.25) vs. David Hale (4-5, 6.32 after the first inning).

Dammit, we Sons celebrated so hard after dropping the magic number to three Thursday night (thanks to the Dodgers' 6-3 win over Arizona, plus the Giants' late inning collapse against San Diego), that we forgot to queue the GT up today...and we are already up 1-0 in the first inning following an Adrian Gonzalez run-scoring grounder to first. But wait, Colorado has two on and two out in the bottom of the first inning! I'd better get this GT up quickly!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Game 152 Thread: Sept. 24 vs. DBacks, 12p

Magic Number

Clayton Kershaw (14-7, 2.18) vs. Patrick Corbin (6-4, 2.99)

What the what? Didn't SoSG AC, Sax, Nomo, and Dusty just leave the last game about twenty minutes ago? Felt like it after trying to get out of the parking lot last night. Today features the extremely rare home weekday get-away day game, or as we at SoSG call them, hangover days.

Fresh off last night's miraculous non-Greinke start win and the much-appreciated Padres win over the Gnats, Dodgers now have the number five in their minds. Interestingly, Kershaw has only started against the DBags once this season, an outing in which he got his ass kicked. Turn that around, get out of town, and put this NL West title to bed, boys.

photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea - USA Today Sports

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Post-Game 151 Thread: Late Breaking (Good) News


The Dodgers won a game! Can it be so? Actually, the Dodgers looked pretty moribund through seven innings, quiet following a leadoff (?) home run (?) from Chase Utley (?). Carlos Frias gave one right back to Paul Goldschmidt to deadlock the teams at 1.

But in the bottom of the eighth, the zombie Dodgers came back to life. Jimmy Rollins reached on a bunt ground ball between first and second; Ronald Torreyes sacrificed Rollins over, and Chase Utley doubled J-Roll home for the lead. One batter later, Corey Seager launched one just past the right field foul pole into the lower deck, giving the Dodgers the 4-1 lead.

Meanwhile, the Giants lost in the ninth inning to the Padres on a walkoff Jedd Gyorko single that scored Matt Kemp and his beard (only one run was awarded). The Giants had battled back to tie it in the top of the ninth on a wild pitch, but lost in the bottom of the frame when Bruce Bochy's 11-pitcher roulette game finally ended with Santiago Casilla giving up the final hit.

Magic number is 5, with a day game tomorrow!

Game 151 Thread: Sept. 23 vs. DBacks, 7p

We've secretly replaced Lucille Bluth's regular Zack Greinke with Curly Fries. Let's see if she notices.

Zack Greinke Carlos Frias (5-5, 4.27) vs. Chase Anderson (6-6, 4.52)

Jesus, what an awful week. After suffering through a four-game losing streak, Dodger fans got the news this morning that reliable stopper Zack Greinke has been scratched from tonight's start due to calf soreness. Sure, that doesn't sound all that serious, but coming on the heels of everything else that's happened, it feels like a good, solid kick to the nads. Curly Fries gets the spot start. Fun!

There will be FOUR Sons in attendance tonight (Sax, AC, Dusty, and yours truly). Second time this season we've managed to scrape that many of us together. Come say hi! We'll be the surly guys* double-fisting beers.

*Curly Fries...surly guys...there's something there, but I can't quite get to it.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Post-Game 150 Thread: Nervous Time


Alex Wood was fine, taking a 1-0 game into the seventh inning. But the Dodgers were horrible, making stupid errors all over the place (Alex Guerrero getting flummoxed by an over-the-shoulder catch; A.J. Ellis letting a ball pass for a run; Jim Johnson being Jim Johnson), and adding no offense to boot. The magic number stays at seven. And this team, which apparently includes Chris Heisey in centerfield thanks to Don Mattingly, does not seem to give a damn.

So let's consult Don Mattingly, right? Surely Mattingly will instill some urgency here:

"Guys do look ahead," he said. "You've got to win a game. We've got a veteran group for the most part that's been through battles; it's not like we're going to get surprised by what's going on. We've got Chase [Utley] and Howie [Kendrick] and Jimmy [Rollins] and even our guys have been through this a few years. I feel like we won't panic."

Well, that wasn't very reassuring.


Game 150 Thread: Sept. 22 vs. D'backs, 7p

Alex Wood (11-10, 3.63) vs. Robbie Ray (4-12, 3.72).

The Dodgers' offensive indifference has spread and morphed into a bit of game thread indifference. Sorry!

Sax and Dusty will be at the game tonight, so I'm sure they'll find a way to get motivated.

Maybe some...liquid courage?

Monday, September 21, 2015

Post-Game 149 Thread: Stuck On Seven


All 7, and we'll watch them fall? Certainly not if the Dodgers' offense keeps up its listless ways. And, like a bad earworm, we can't get rid of 7 (as it stands in the way of love!).

The St. Louis Cheaters have already clinched, but the Dodgers aren't knocking the Giants out of it, maintaining their magic number at a healthy seven games with 13 to play. I'm not comfortable, certainly not with Chase Utley having to play third base to fill in for an injured Justin Turner (Utley was 0-for-3); Adrian Gonzalez experiencing stiffness in his back (2-for-4 with a HR), Howie Kendrick just getting back (1-for-5, with 5 LOB), and Joc Pederson and Yasmani Grandal both looking lost again.

Brett Anderson lasted only 4.2 IP, giving up 10 H and 5 ER with only 1 K (and 1 BB). Juan Nicasio remains useless with 0.1 IP and 2 ER yielded. And if Jim Johnson could get a 1-2-3 inning one of these days, it would be a welcome surprise.

But it comes back to the offense--come on guys, it's the Snakes. What are you waiting for?

Game 149 Thread: Sept. 21 vs. DBacks, 7p

Brett Anderson (9-8, 3.35) vs. Jhoulys Chacin (0-1, 2.95)

Sadly, the Dodgers saw no significant shrinkage in their Magic Number yesterday, as they lost and the Giants won. Thankfully, that team with a pool is in town, so that should help things in the shrinkage department.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Game 148 Thread: Sept. 20 vs. Pirates, 1p

Mike Bolsinger (6-3, 3.13) vs. Gerrit Cole (16-8, 2.60).

It's Yoga Day at Dodger Stadium! The Dodgers hope to namaste ahead of the Mets for home-field advantage in the first round of the playoffs, but we're in the downward dog days of summer, so hopefully the team can retain its focus. If they waver, maybe tOMmy Lasorda can give 'em a pep talk. Go Blue!

Kershaw: AP photo

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Game 147 Thread: Sept. 19 vs. Pirates, 6p

Magic (number) eight ball: YES

Clayton Kerhsaw (14-6, 2.12) vs Francisco Liriano (10-7, 3.45)

Kershaw will be dealing (no losses since June 27 with a 0.98 ERA over 13 starts), Giants are still reeling (their loss to the Diamondbacks puts them 8.5 games back), and Pirates have lost feeling (with a four game losing streak). So let's get keep whittling away at the magic number, now 8 with 16 games to play (only 15 left for the Giants).

Friday, September 18, 2015

Game 146 Thread: Sept. 18 vs. Pirates, 7p

Zack Greinke (17-3, 1.61) vs. Jeff Locke (8-10, 4.43).

Pittsburgh may have swept us in early August, but they've been on a recent streak of some tough Locke (not the first time I've used this pun) lately. They come into Dodger Stadium having dropped their last three games and wielding the edge in the NL Wild Card, but only by two games over the divisional rival Cubs. Adding injury to insult, the Cubs' Chris Coghlan took out SS Jung Ho Kang yesterday, breaking Kang's left leg and tearing his knee ligament. Brutal.

Locke has been characterized as promising this year, however this view is not only seen by many commentators as incomplete, but it carries a degree of rationalism that cannot be made consistent with our picture of Locke as the arch-empiricist of his period. So, there.

And anyway, we've got Cy Young hopeful Zack Greinke on the mound for us tonight. Let's keep whittling away at that magic number (now at 10) so we can let Don Mattingly get all of his crazy lineups out of his system, before the postseason begins.

See Ya', Latos

"Well now where will I do my complaining?"

Mat Latos will not get a chance to lose any more games for the Dodgers this year.

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers shuffled their pitching staff on Thursday, reinstating Carlos Frias from the disabled list and designating Mat Latos for assignment.

Frias has not pitched in the Majors since June 30 and had been on the DL with right-lower-back tightness. The right-hander was 5-5 with a 4.39 ERA in 14 appearances (12 starts) with the Dodgers before being injured. He worked 13 1/3 innings over seven Minor League rehab appearances, the most recent coming on Sept. 6.

Latos was 0-3 with a 6.66 ERA in six games (five starts) with the Dodgers, who acquired him from the Marlins in a five-player trade on July 30. The right-hander had recently been moved to the bullpen after struggling as a starter.

Latos, he of the complaining type, lost consecutive games for the Dodgers in early August, both to Pittsburgh (four innings, 6 ER) and then to Cincinnati (four innings, 4 ER). His most recent disastrous outing came in the 16th inning versus Colorado, when he managed an economical eight pitches in order to deliver the Dodgers a loss, after 10 Dodger pitchers before him went unscathed. Latos had five starts for the Dodgers, and only once got into the fifth inning.

Latos will now spend time trying to find that missing T from his first name.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Attack of the Fernando Valenzuela Bobblehead (Sept 16, 2015)

Like last time, video from SoSG AC.

Game 145 Thread: Sept. 16 vs. Rockies, 7p

Get it? De la Rosa? Wood? Ah, forget it. I didn't get enough sleep.

Alex Wood (3-4, 4.53) vs. Jorge De La Rosa (9-6, 4.28)

OK, so last night (and this morning) sucked. The Dodgers draaaaaaaagged out a 16-inning affair, only to lose 5-4. Even though the Giants lost, and the Dodgers' magic number shrunk to 11, it was still an ugly night.

Let's not talk about that. Let's talk about tonight. Specifically, tonight's lineup. Normally, we post the lineup in the comments (and you still can, purists), but this lineup is so spectacular, it needs to be highlighted for posterity...

I mean, just look at that. Marvel at it! This is truly what September baseball with a 7.5-game lead was made for!

Vin Eulogizes Dave Pearson

How Did I Possibly Miss This Move From Monday's Game

Kershaw, channeling his inner Travolta to start a 1-4-3 groundout. Article on here. Video, assuming's embedding glitchiness is okay, below.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Game 144 Thread: Sept 15 vs. Rockies, 7p

Brett Anderson (9-8. 3.36) vs. Chris Rusin (5-8, 5.14).

Shoot, it's right before the time when this GameThread (TM) is supposed to post, and I don't see any of us Sons Rusin to post some comments. So I'll hastily remind us that our magic number is 12 with 19 for us to play and 18 for the Giants. 37 more outcomes, and we just have to make sure 12 of those go our way.

Our opposing starter is 9-17 lifetime with a 5+ ERA, and that includes three years with the Cubs (so it's not just a Coors Field-inflated number). But if hitting coach Mark McGwire is going to tell our boys any advice tonight, he should remind them that it's only them standing solitary in the batting box, with no one else with them for support. Or, put another way, wise men say, "lonely" fools Rusin.

That totally did not work.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Game 143 Thread: Sept. 14 vs. Rockies, 7p

Tonight's stadium giveaway.

Clayton Kershaw (13-6, 2.15) vs. Jon Gray (0-0, 5.17).

Cowboys won last night, so at least Kershaw should be in a good mood. The whole team should be in a good mood, really, coming off a 7-3 intra-divisional road trip. The rookie Corey Seager cooled off yesterday, going 0 for 4, but Pederson (that other rookie) is showing signs of coming back to life, as is Adrian Gonzalez. Let's see if they can continue to improve against the Rockies' Jon Gray, who sounds like he should be a Game of Thrones character.


Special addition from Sax:

Wait, Gray [sic] in LA?

Dodgers 5k / 10K / Kids Run

The 2nd Annual Los Angeles Dodgers 5K / 10K / Kids Run occurred on Sunday.  I ran the 5K last year and this year they added a 10K to the fun.  However, I noticed that it was the same medal awarded for the 5K or the 10K, so I chose the race with less mileage but same reward (a SOSG trademark!).  With the additional race, it also brought many additional people - more than 6000 runners this year!  Apparently they sold out too! The 10K started at 7:00am while the 5K started at 9:00 am.  So, I arrived around 8:00 am and walked around the various booths at the runner's expo.  Then came race time and I lined up and some how made it near the start.  So I took out my phone and shot the crowd behind me.

Holy crap that's a lot of people!
Some people dressed in costume, like the two below.  I don't know how these guys made it with the blazing sun.  Good for them on dressing up, but damn it was hot.

Came from his blue man group audition.
Fellow blogger in the hot dog suit.
The 5K itself was again brutal.  Not only was it about 5000 degrees out, but to start you off going uphill first, really sucks.  Just like last year, this is essentially a parking lot run.  Apparently the 10K (from SOSG contributor and reader pictured below), was also pretty damn hilly as you had to go uphill twice through Elysian Park.  I might also add it was TOTALLY COOL to see @themunson in his SOSG shirt crossing the finish line!  Huge props to our readers!

SOSG represented in the house!  Nice job completing the 10K!

At one point during the race, I must have not sounded so hot.  So when a 13 year old kid passed me, he turned and asked if I was alright.  I told him yeah, I'm just old.  Crossing the finish line is always fun and Dodger alum including Matt Luke, Al Ferrara, Ken Landreaux, and Al Downing were there to greet exhausted and relieved runners.  

Dodger alumni congratulating runners.
After the race, the runners were able to walk around the warning track of Dodger Stadium to cool down.  Whenever you can get down to the field, it is always worth it.  Just like last year, the Dodgers hit a home run with the medal design.  Plus it is pretty big and weighs a good amount.  This year my time was worse than last year, but I somehow managed to place in the top 5 of my age group, so I have no complaints.  It was crazy hot this year, which is hard to plan for in a race, and the course is kinda boring.  But the medal and the finish are great and running with fellow Dodger fans is a blast.  I wonder if I should venture up north and run the hated ones half marathon in full dodger gear?  Hmmm...until next time, keep on running!

Just a stroll through the park.
5K on what Papa Cora calls the "magic screen".
Great medal design.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

R.I.P. Chef Dave

You can still donate the Pearson's care fund here:

photo by Ricardo DeAratanha/LA Times

Game 142 Thread: Sept. 13 @ Snakes, 1p

It's a Spongeworthy day!

Zack Greinke (16-3, 1.68) vs Patrick Corbin (5-3, 3.32).

Presumptive Cy Young frontrunner and confirmed dreamboat Greinke vs. D'backs lefty homegrown product Corbin. Don't forget to occasionally switch from football to baseball today!

SoSG Fantasy Football Week 1 Smack Thread

Take it away, Spank!

A new football season is here but the same ol' players are back. Pride Of Dong defends his title as we bring in a new year of smack talk. Bring it.

Bomb Squad vs. Pride Of Dong - San
Kiké's Banana vs. Smonks of Steve Garvey
Ginger Gesusus vs. The Dregs Of Society
Dead Arms vs. Sons of Steve Garvey
good grief Peanuts vs. Y'all On My "Joc"
Uribe's Gorillas vs. Chavez Ravine Bottomdwellers

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Game 141 Thread: Sept. 12 @ Snakes, 5p

Mike Bolsinger (6-3, 2.97) vs Rubby De La Rosa (12-7, 4.49).


Extra, extra, read all about it! The Dodgers apparently are supposed to beat up sub-.500 teams. Except when they're beating super-.500 teams. Then losing to losing teams is OK. Or something like that!

In any case, third-pitcher hopeful Bolsinger takes on old friend Rubby "Soho" De La Rosa in what is sure not to be a low-scoring affair. And if the Dodgers lose again, we can tell ourselves that they're just allowing themselves to get hot again heading into October.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Game 140 Thread: Sept. 11 @ Diamondbacks, 6p

If you refuse to watch this game, that would be a Wood / Ray ban.

Alex Wood (10-9, 3.51) vs. Robbie "Sugar" Ray (3-11, 3.72).

That day off seemed like a long respite, no? With the 8.5-game lead coming out of stasis, the Dodgers and Giants both return to play this weekend, facing NL West teams with nearly identical records (Arizona is 67-73; San Diego is 67-74). And I'm sorry, it's Friday; that's all I've got.

All around the world, statues crumble for me.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Post-Game 139 Thread: It's All Mat Latos' Fault


Last outing, Mat Latos complained about being pulled early in yet another ineffective start in his Dodger career. This time, Latos didn't even make it to the mound for game time, complaining of a stiff neck. And he's probably also complaining about being pulled from the starting lineup early, knowing Latos, who then watched us fall 3-2 to the Angels.

Losing our first game out of nine to the Angels shouldn't be all that bad, so I suppose I won't pull a Latos and complain about things, such as understudy Joe Wieland lasting a Latos-like four innings and giving up two runs, dropping his ERA to 8.31. Or about Luis Avilan coming in for the bottom of the eighth, in a 2-2 tie, and giving up a leadoff double to Kole Calhoun. Or Andre Ethier badly misplaying the ball to give Calhoun third base, easily. Or Pedro Baez relieving Avilan to give up a game-winning RBI to Albert Pujols. Or the Dodgers only going 1-for-5 with RISP tonight.

No, I won't be like Mat Latos; I'll just keep my mouth shut, and be thankful the Giants lost, so the magic number drops to 15 as the division lead stays at 8.5 games.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

DUAL Game 139 Thread: Sept. 9 @ Angels, 7p

In a SoSG first, here's our first DUAL-GT. Dusty and I both worked on GTs independently, and queued them up at the same time. YOU make the call on which one you like more (and on which one you are commenting)!

First, Dusty's GT:

Mat Latos (4-9, 4.92) Joe Wieland (0-1, 11.57) vs. Garrett Richards (13-10, 3.77)

One of tonight's pitchers doesn't have enough T's in his name and the other has too many. Anything can happen! Dodgers are 5-0 so far in this series against Anaheim, dating back to the first three games played in Los Angeles. One could say a season sweep is in the making, but then again, Latos.

Either way, we'll still have LA.

Continuing to Sax's GT:

When last we saw Mat Latos, he of the 6.56 ERA since being picked up by the Dodgers, he was complaining about being pulled too early after giving up four runs in his first two innings, and lasting only four innings total. Latos has since apologized to Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, but the better outcome might be lasting more than five innings, which Latos hasn't done in any of his last four starts (he went six innings against the Angels on August 2).

How about this, Latos: you start pitching effectively against a team arguably better than the Padres (your last regrettable outing, resulting in a 10-7 loss), and maybe you'll actually get into a rhythm. You haven't earned a win yet as a Dodger. Now would be a good time to shut up and pitch.


Might as well cram a third Son into this GT. I just dropped in to let everyone know that Mat Latos has been scratched due to poor attitude neck stiffness (Joe Wieland gets the start), invalidating all of the above post. Mat Latos ruins everything.

Update (Sax), 5:27p

Wieland's record added to the top. Yep, let's go for the sweep using the 11-ERA guy (to be fair, Wieland's lifetime ERA is a much-improved 5.98).

Update (Orel), 6:11p

I love lamp.

Post-Game 138 Thread: Kershaw Just Keeps Rolling Along

A bit of an obscure pull on a pretty average movie, I know. The play was better.


Clayton Kershaw pitched us into our fifth consecutive victory, our eighth-straight win against the Angels, and a magic number of 16 with 24 games to go (our 8.5-game lead is wider than any other division leader's except Kansas City). And as things keep rolling along, while Don Mattingly fields lineups with Justin Ruggiano (.247 batter; 2-for-5 with a HR and double), Chris Heisey (.133 batter who inexplicably notched an RBI, his first all season), and Chase Utley (1-for-5; okay, maybe there's no excuse for Utley at this point)--it is shocking that we're coasting to victories like this.

Corey Seager went 2-for-3 with an RBI double. Carl Crawford had a FC RBI. A.J. Ellis even had a RBI. What is going on here?!

Pedro Baez was ineffective in the ninth inning (two batters faced, two ER ceded; turned a 6-2 lead into a 6-4 margin), so we had to go with Kenley Jansen to maintain the victory (and notch his 31st save). Kershaw only had eight strikeouts in his seven innings, which is entirely mortal (for Kershaw). Mike Trout went 0-for-2 with two walks, and Albert Pujols went 0-for-4.

And yet, we keep winning, things just keep...rolling along. It's great to see, and everything. But I have this sinking feeling that we're peaking too early. I've got a singular impression things are moving too fast.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Game 138 Thread: Sept. 8 @ Angels, 7p

Clayton Kershaw (12-6, 2.18) vs. Andrew Heaney (6-2, 3.18).

Another battle of Los Angeles this evening, this time between a pitcher who is going up (Kershaw, with a career-high 15 Ks last outing, and 7-0 with a 0.93 ERA the last two months) and a pitcher who is going down (Angels rookie Heaney, who has an ERA of 4.62 in his last seven starts, accruing a 1-2 record). Heaney did get a win his last outing, with seven frames of 3 ER ball in a 9-4 win vs. Oakland. But I think Kershaw will remain calm like a bomb tonight anyway, and hopefully help us notch our fifth consecutive win.

Which Dodger Deserves The 2015 Cy Young? isn't known for uniformity of thought (see: Keith Olbermann), so it's no surprise that there is dissension about which NL pitcher deserves the Cy Young Award for 2015. Luckily for us, it's a debate between two Dodgers: Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw.

Jayson Stark says the award goes to Zack Greinke:

Now clearly, a lot can change over the next four weeks. But if the season were to end today, which remains highly unlikely, Zack Greinke has to be your 2015 NL Cy Young winner. And here’s why:

Because guys with 1.59 ERAs always win the Cy Young award

Greinke goes into his start Sunday in San Diego with an ERA so spectacular that only three qualifying starters in the entire live-ball era have beaten it over a full season. Perhaps you've heard of them: Bob Gibson in 1968 (1.12 ERA), Dwight Gooden in 1985 (1.53) and Greg Maddux in 1994 (1.56).

I probably don't have to tell you what Gibson, Gooden and Maddux have in common. But I'll do it anyway. They all won the Cy Young award in those seasons.

And ohbytheway, for what it’s worth, they all won it unanimously, too.

So think about that. Since baseball started handing out Cy Young Awards 60 seasons ago, not only has no qualifying starter pitcher with an ERA below 1.60 failed to win this award -- nobody with an ERA this low has ever failed to collect EVERY vote. [...]

Because the season didn’t begin in June

If the season had merely started on June 27, this would be easy. Kershaw has made 12 starts since then. Here’s how those 12 starts have gone: 0.96 ERA, a TOTAL of 10 earned runs allowed, about twice as many strikeouts (120) as hits (61) in 91 innings, a 120-to-9 strikeout-walk ratio and a 7-1 won-lost record.


Greinke in the same span hasn’t exactly been Cy Yuk himself, by the way. He’s 10-1, with a 1.47 ERA. And opponents are hitting .168/.206/.230 against him.

But head-to-head, over their last 12 starts, Kershaw has been The Man. No doubt, right?

Unfortunately for him, we’re required as voters to count all his starts this year, not just the ones where he’s been most superhuman. And that’s where this gets interesting.

When Kershaw was 5-5 with a 3.33 ERA after his first 15 starts, there were definite indicators that he was really pitching better than those numbers would indicate. But was he outpitching Zack Greinke? ’Fraid not.

Buster Olney, on the other hand, says it's Kershaw (link insider only)

Following Kershaw's effort against the Giants, I'd rank the NL Cy Young ballot this way, if I had a vote (full disclosure: I haven't had a vote for any award since 1996).

1. Kershaw
2. Greinke
3. Arrieta

There obviously are reasonable arguments to be made for all three candidates, with a month to play.

• He surpassed his career high in strikeouts Wednesday, reaching 251 (his previous high was 248 K's in 2011). This is the first 250-strikeout season by a Dodgers pitcher since Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax in 1966.

• How Kershaw beat the Giants:

A) He got ahead in the count: Kershaw threw a first-pitch strike to 30 of the 32 batters he faced, his most since at least 2009 and the most by any pitcher in a game this season.

B) He didn't let up: The Giants were 4-for-25 with 13 strikeouts after being behind 0-1 in the count.

C) He kept the pressure on: Kershaw got 14 Giants to an 0-2 count, his most since at least 2009.

D) He had them chasing: Kershaw got the Giants to chase 27 pitches outside the strike zone, his most in a start over the past four seasons.

• Kershaw induced 35 swings and misses Wednesday, the most by a pitcher in a single game over the past 10 seasons. The previous high was by Johan Santana, with 32 swings and misses in a game in 2007, followed by Carlos Carrasco (30, earlier this season), Francisco Liriano (30, 2012) and Jake Peavy (30, 2006).

• Eleven of Kershaw's 15 K's were swinging.

• Kershaw threw 132 pitches Wednesday. That's the second-most pitches thrown in a game this season, behind only Mike Fiers during his Aug. 21 no-hitter. Behind them: Cole Hamels (129 pitches during his no-hitter July 25) and Marco Estrada, (129 on June 24).

• Kershaw is the first Dodgers pitcher in the modern era (since 1900) to record consecutive 14-strikeout games.

• That was also Kershaw's fifth 12-strikeout game this season, the most by a National League pitcher since Randy Johnson in 2004.

Keith Law also says it's Kershaw:

NL Cy Young

1. Clayton Kershaw, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
2. Zack Greinke, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
3. Jake Arrieta, SP, Chicago Cubs
4. Max Scherzer, SP, Washington Nationals
5. Madison Bumgarner, SP, San Francisco Giants

Yep, I get it, Greinke has the lower ERA, and it's hard to look past that 1.59 figure. But while we might all have different opinions on how accurate ERA is as a measure of a pitcher's performance, I think everyone understands that there's at least some noise in that statistic, such as the help a pitcher might receive when bequeathing runners on base to relievers. Kershaw has the NL's best strikeout rate and a top-six walk rate (just a hair higher than Greinke's). Also, Kershaw has a long history of suppressing batting average on balls in play, while Greinke doesn't, so Greinke's .237 BABIP allowed this year appears to be at least somewhat the product of good fortune (though I don't agree with dismissing it entirely as such). I know Kershaw has done his job -- miss bats, avoid walks, keep the ball in the park -- better than Greinke so far this year, and that's why I have them 1-2 rather than 2-1.

LA Times' Dodgers Dugout Newsletter

Have you heard of Dodgers Dugout? Not to be confused with Robert Timm's fine site that was born around the same time as SoSG, Dodgers Dugout is the LA Times' Dodger newsletter written by Houston Mitchell (in NYC his name is pronounced "Howston Mitchell").

Here's a blurb from the LA Times:

Are you a Dodgers fan? Sign up for the new Dodgers Dugout, a free email newsletter from the Los Angeles Times on all things Dodgers. Click here to sign up.

A fresh newsletter usually comes out at the start of every series the Dodgers play. Now would be a good time to jump on as the boys enter the stretch run. Click here to see the online version of the latest edition and to subscribe.

Post-Game 137 Thread: Van Slyke Gets Gift


Scott Van Slyke had two RISP and one out in the top of the seventh, with the Dodgers up 4-3 in a back-and-forth game. His "double" on a chopper up the middle, deflected by Angels pitcher Trevor Gott, went into left field on the carom, scoring Justin Ruggiano and Corey Seager to put the Dodgers up 6-3. We did not look back, winning 7-5 (Greinke with his 16th win).

Stroke of brilliance: In the fifth inning, with Mike Scioscia sending in left-hander Jose Alvarez to replace starter Nick Tropeano, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly countered by pulling Andre Ethier for PH Ruggiano. Ruggiano doubled to left to score two and put the Dodgers up 3-1.

Offensive incompetence: The Dodgers were an astounding 7-for-22 with RISP, which is impressive for the .318 average (better than the Dodgers usually do with RISP), but horrible given there were 15 opportunities wasted. Let's tally the LOB by batter, shall we?

  • Carl Crawford, 1-for-4, 5 LOB
  • Chris Heisey, 0-for 1, 3 LOB
  • Chase Utley, 2-for-6 (with 3 Ks), 4 LOB
  • Adrian Gonzalez, 0-for-4 (with 3 Ks), 5 LOB
  • Justin Turner, 2-for-6, 3 LOB
  • Andre Ethier, 0-for-2, 2 LOB
  • Corey Seager, 1-for-3, 3 LOB
  • A.J. Ellis, 1-for-4, 3 LOB
  • Joc Pederson, 3-for-4, 2 LOB

That's 30 LOB for the team. We've got to learn how to score some players from the bases.

Upside, however: The Dodgers are now 8.5 games up on that other team, thanks in part to Mike Leake's meltdown in Arizona today (see below; Grumpy Cat was the Diamondbacks' special guest, throwing out the first pitch). Magic number is 17!

Monday, September 07, 2015

Game 137 Thread: Sept. 7 @ Angels, 6p

Zack Greinke (15-3, 1.59) vs Nick Tropeano (1-2, 5.51).

Dodgers trending up (1st place; 20-13 since August). Angels trending down (3rd place; 14-20 since August). Let's keep it that way.

Puig Gone Until Playoffs; Kendrick Back Much Sooner

Mark Saxon of says Yasiel Puig's hamstring will keep him out until the postseason. The good news is, offensive firestarter Howie Kendrick might be back sooner:

The first time Yasiel Puig strained a hamstring, he missed 38 games. When he suffered essentially the same injury to the other hamstring, his right, a few months later on Aug. 27, the Los Angeles Dodgers had just 36 games left in their schedule.

The math is fairly straightforward, and on Friday, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly admitted the team is uncertain whether Puig would return by the end of the regular season.

Puig traveled to Arizona on Friday to begin the lengthy process of rehabilitating his hamstring. [...]

The news is better on second baseman Howie Kendrick, who also is out with a strained hamstring. Kendrick has been making progress and is likely to play in minor league games in a matter of days. He could rejoin the Dodgers within a week.

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Post-Game 136 Thread: 19, Again?


Wait a minute, didn't I just post that the Dodgers, with a win today, were supposed to be up +20 games over .500? So what gives with the PGT picture?

We did indeed win (thanks in part to a great Padres gift, an error thrown by Padres pitcher Nick Vincent down the right field line, scoring three runs for the Dodgers), and we did indeed go up +20 games (78-58 to be exact). But our 7.5-game lead now means our magic number to win the division is 19.

So Brett Anderson's 5.2 IP (4 H, 1 ER, 4 BB and 4 Ks) did help the cause (even if Anderson did have to exit the game early with a leg cramp). "Real" RBI came from Andre Ethier (first-inning sacrifice fly) and A.J. Ellis (run-scoring single in the sixth). And the Dodgers head north (but not all the way north), to Anaheim, for three games starting tomorrow.

+20! Magic number at 19! Let's keep it going.

Game 136 Thread: Sept. 6 @ Padres, 1p

Brett Anderson (8-8, 3.43) vs. Andrew Cashner (5-13, 4.15).

7 1/2 games up with 27 games to play seems pretty good (it's the biggest division lead in the National League, and the second-biggest lead in the majors, only to KC). But +19 over .500, our season-high, still could sound a lot better if we could stretch it to +20 (and hopefully gain a game in the process). The Giants' playoff odds are down to 2.6%, but even stranger than that is that the Dodgers (whose playoff odds are 98.6%) have the best World Series winning percentage odds, across the majors (at 17.7%). Am I getting too excited here? Brett Anderson can either bring me back to reality, or show us how rosy the end of the season might be.

Buster Posey: Rude To 12-Year-Olds, Now Acting Out All Over

Sounds like the pressure is getting to Buster Posey, aka Oyster Pubes:

[...] Posey was stinging in two places after getting drilled on the arm by a Jorge De La Rosa pitch and fouling a ball off the inside of his left foot.

After the plunking, Posey uncharacteristically flung his bat toward the Giants’ dugout before taking first base.

“You ever been hit by a baseball?” Posey asked a reporter who asked about the bat toss. “It just didn’t feel good. That’s just the frustration.”

Hope Pubes didn't take out his frustration on any more 12-year-old kids.

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Game 135 Thread: Sept. 5 @ Pads, 5:30p

Alex Wood (3.67, 9-9) vs. Tyson Ross (10-9, 3.27).

7.5 games up! Potential playoff matchup team Mets dealing with Matt Harvey's innings limit. Go Blue!

Friday, September 04, 2015

Game 134 Thread: Sept. 4 @ Padres, 7p


Mike Bolsinger (5-3, 2.83) vs. James Shields (10-6, 3.78).

Despite last night's dispiriting lose-from-ahead loss, the Dodgers have won eight of their last ten. More importantly, SoSG and our awesome readership are on a five-GT streak of 100+ comments. We've made 978 comments over five games. Let the streaks continue!

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Game 133 Thread: Sept. 3 @ Padres, 7p

Mat Latos (4-9, 4.76) vs. Colin Rea (2-2, 5.95).

O happy day! Jose Peraza has a sore hamstring (that's the sad part, and what's up with this team and hamstrings?), and super-prospect Corey Seager is getting his long-awaited callup to the majors. What's the big deal? Take it away, Ken Gurnick:

Seager, 21, was taken with the No. 18 selection in the 2012 Draft, and he's rapidly progressed through the Dodgers' farm system. He turned heads last season by batting .352 in 80 games at Class A Rancho Cucamonga, and he followed up by hitting .345 in 38 games for Double-A Chattanooga.

Seager, a shortstop, is the younger brother of Seattle third baseman Kyle Seager, and he's batted .307 with a .368 on-base percentage and a .523 slugging mark during his Minor League career.

So let's get all Lisa Simpson and go Corey crazy!