Saturday, April 30, 2016

Game 25 Thread: April 30 vs. Padres, 6p

Ross Stripling (0-1, 3.22) vs. Colin Rea (1-1, 5.06).

We've lost five in a row and now we look to Ross Stripling to get us back on the rails, hoping we can eke out a win against the lowly .348 winning percentage Padres. I can't believe I just wrote that. This is miserable. How are we a first-place team again (with a 12-12 record)?

This GT is going up late, so I can tell you that our lineup today is:

  • Utley
  • Seager
  • Turner
  • A-Gon
  • Grandal
  • Kike
  • Mr. Glass
  • Pederson
  • Stripling

Friday, April 29, 2016

Game 24 Thread: Apr. 29 vs. Padres, 7p

Alex Wood (1-2, 6.00) vs. Cesar Vargas (0-0, 1.80)

Well here we are again at the depth of the roller coaster ride that is the 2016 season. Fresh off an epicly embarrassing 4-game sweep at the hands of the lowly Marlins, the Dodgers will really need to hit that great reset button in the sky to salvage a shred of dignity in this homestand against the Padres. And it's almost getting too late to keep talking about how early in the season it is.

I find no solace in today's official game notes on Wood: "Wood struggled in Colorado last Sunday, allowing five earned runs in six innings...his strikeouts per nine innings stands at 5.14, which is in the bottom 10 of qualified pitchers in MLB." Hey, I guess that means he's not dead last in that statistical category, so that's something.

Many will, however, find solace in tonight's post-game fireworks show. A special tribute to Prince is planned with his music as the backdrop for the fireworks display. Indeed, we all wish we could pitch like it was 1999, because then we could lean on Chan Ho Park to turn this around instead of Alex Wood.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Holy Shit! Dee Gordon Busted for PEDs

Game 23 Thread: Apr. 28 vs. Marlins, 7p

Kenta Maeda (3-0, 0.36) vs. Jose Fernandez (1-2, 4.37).

"Ha ha, Dodgerfuckers! It is I, Don E. Mattingly, freed from the clutches of the nerd cartel of Kasten, Friedman, Zaidi, LLC! And I've got current Gold Glover, Silver Slugger and NL batting champion — and FORMER Dodger — Dee Gordon, and Giancarlo "Don't Call Me Mike" Stanton, and tonight's starter Jose Fernandez on my team!

"And now my plans for revenge are almost realized, with my beloved Marlins taking at least three of four from the suddenly slumping (there's a shock!) Blue Crew. Eat my mustache dust, Dodger Stadium! BWA HA HA HA HA HA HA!"

photo by Jeff Roberson/AP

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Game 22 Thread: April 27 vs. Fish, 7p

Scott Kazmir (1-1, 6.63) vs. Justin Nicolino, (0-0, -.--).

Both of my GTs this series have resulted in losses. And tonight, we're starting Kazmir, whose 6.63 ERA doesn't fit him for a starting rotation let alone a #2 slot.

But I'm still excited for tonight's game, notable because we know at least FOUR SONS will be in attendance at the game tonight. As statistical analysis as scientifically proven, when the Sons win, the Dodgers tend to win. So with four sons in the Stadium at once, could even Kazmir have a decent start? Could Carl Crawford successfully navigate left field at the high school level of competency? Could we actually win a game against Don Mattingly, Dee Gordon, and the rest of the day-glo Marlins?

At least I can be certain that we'll be consuming a lot of beer this evening. Post something in the GT thread if you want to join us!

illustration swiped from here

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Post-Game 21 Thread: Koehler Beats Kershaw, Inexplicably

The leaky faucet prevailed.


Clayton Kershaw was cruising through five scoreless innings. Tom Koehler was okay, but passed balls and errors had given the Dodgers two runs in the first, and Kershaw added to that with an RBI double in the fourth. This was just how you'd expect a Kershaw start to go.

The sixth inning...was not. Kershaw gave up five consecutive hits (Miguel Rojas double, Dee Gordon single, Martin Prado RBI single, Christian Yelich RBI single, and then a mammoth Giancarlo Stanton three-run HR) which threw this game to the shitter. Koehler, who had been pulled from the game for PH Rojas, got the victory. Kershaw was tagged with the loss. JP Howell let aboard a single which came around to score (partially because Yasiel Puig cavalierly played a fly out in right that I think he thought was the third out, allowing Yelich on second to advance to third, and later score on a bloop ball to shallow center).

This game was unwatchable in the second half, but I stuck with it because I wanted to hear Vin Scully's voice. But there were injustices all around in this game, including Carl Crawford's horrible routes in left field. It was like watching Adventures in Little League Play out there. Come on, Carl: if you're only going to play fifteen games a year, the least you can do is play well in the field. (Crawford did go 1-for-3 with a run scored.)

Game 21 Thread: April 26 vs. Marlins, 7p

Clayton Kershaw (2-0, 1.50) vs. Tom Koehler (1-2, 4.80).

The Kohler Beckon (TM) electronic pull-down kitchen sink faucet saves over 30% more water than typical 2.2-gpm faucets. That's great and all, but I still have to think Clayton Kershaw has the upper hand against a guy with a similar last name to a touchless faucet.

Carl Crawford is supposed to be reinstated for tonight's game, allowing Crawford to rejoin the 15-day DL up to five more times before the all-star break (assuming efficient injury stints).

Oh, and it's USC night at the Stadium tonight. The Dodgers' NL West lead shrunk to 1.5 games thanks to last night's loss; the Giants are only 2.5 games behind, in third place. Maybe a nod to the trojans will help us protect the lead.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Post-Game 20 Thread: Dodgers Honor Rick Monday's Flag-Saving Anniversary By Flaming Out To Miami


On a night where Rick Monday was honored for saving the American flag, and Clayton Kershaw was honored with a one-legged "in-action" bobblehead,...the Dodgers took the field with an Adrian-Gonzalez-less, all-righty lineup, and proceeded to lay an offensive egg against the Marlins.

Yasiel Puig and Trayce Thompson (?) both went yard for the Dodgers, but that was it for the offense. Wei-Yin Chen hadn't gotten a win since joining the Marlins, but that was because he didn't see a lineup as flat as ours as of yet. Ross Stripling gave up three earned runs and five hits in his 5.1 innings.

Dee Gordon went 0-for-5.

And Rick Monday did not make a great play today.

photos swiped from here

Game 20 Thread: April 25 vs. Marlins, 7p

You don't think I have any on-camera charisma?

Momentous night at the Stadium tonight: Clayton Kershaw has another bobblehead giveaway; Don Mattingly returns to Dodger Stadium in day-glo colors; and the Dodgers return from the roadtrip first in the NL West by 2.5 games. What a perfect night to have Ross Stripling take the mound, where we can watch the #5 and see if he pitches like a Ross or like a tosser (literally).

We also welcome Dee Gordon back to Dodger Stadium.

My aunt has been all over me about Dee Gordon, whom I was fine to let go from the Dodgers two years ago, only to have both of us watch him flourish in Miami last year. So Gordon is back to Dodger Stadium tonight as well, to make sure my aunt is vindicated this four-game series.

Gordon art swiped from here

Pops Garvey Is Coming to Bakersfield

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Post-Game 19 Thread: Dodgers Win Despite Another Short Wood Start AND Necessary Ninth-Inning Comeback


It's a rare occasion these days, for me to be able to watch a game live alongside another Son. (I'm working on this issue.)

But watching with SoSG AC today, we were giddy watching the Dodgers squander a 7-1 lead, capped by a five-run Rockies bottom of the eighth that just about nailed the coffin shut for the Dodgers--only to see us miraculously counter with five runs of our own in the top of the ninth, to win the game 12-10. This was truly unbelievable, and we were both going nuts with despair and then elation. And this is why baseball is so great.

Alex Wood sucked again, struggling through five innings before exiting in the sixth with another horrible line (5.0 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 3 BB and 5 Ks; his ERA is now 6.00 and he has had only one outing (of four) longer than five innings). So look, I had expected to lose this game, given Wood was starting. Even though Pedro Baez pulled off an impressive escape routine in the sixth. Even though Adam Liberatore had a scoreless seventh. And even though my fears came to fruition in the eighth, when Chris Hatcher proved ridiculously ineffective yet again (four batters, two hits and a walk, 3 ER), Luis Avilan let another two runs in, and Joe Blanton was needed to get the comebacker 1-6-3 DP to end the nine-batter frame.

Down 10-7 going to the ninth, it looked pretty bleak for us to try and take the game and this series. Adrian Gonzalez led off with a single to right; Yasmani Grandal forced Gonzalez at second, but advanced to third on Howie Kendrick's one-out single. Kike Hernandez walked, and Trayce Thompson hit into a FC at second.

With two out and down 10-8, pinch hitter A.J. Ellis singled to center to score Kendrick and make it 10-9 Rockies. And then a wild pitch by Jake McGee scored Thompson, and Chase Utley (2-for-6 with three runs and a RBI) doubled in Charlie Culberson (who had PR for Ellis). Corey Seager then doubled home Utley, to make it 12-10 Dodgers, and we too had notched five runs and nine batters in the next frame.

This is the kind of comeback victory that makes players believers. This is the kind of win that has one think, "wow, this team has some magic here." It's early. But this could be a turning point in this young season.

With the win, the Giants' 5-4 loss to the 6-11 Marlins, and the Snakes' loss to the Pirates, the Dodgers are in first place by 2.5 games with a 12-7 record. What a surprise that one game can make. We'll need it...especially when Wood starts.

graphical thingy courtesy fangraphs

Game 19 Thread: Apr. 24 @ Rockies, 1p

Alex Wood (1-2, 5.06) vs. Jordan Lyles (1-1, 6.0)

Yes, we know that yesterday was a great win and a very good day of pitching as Kenta Maeda continued his masterful introduction to the MLB. In fact, Maeda is the first pitcher ever to allow just one run in his first four MLB starts.

Alas, today is a new day and a shitty one at that as far as starting pitching is concerned. Alex Wood seeks to....well, not suck. And Coors Field is just the place for him to turn it around, am I right? Dodgers take a mediocre 11-7 record into the final game there before heading back home for a stand against the Marlins. Meanwhile, here nor there, not that we care, who is paying attention...Giants have a losing 9-10 record despite winning their last two.

Let's turn this roller coaster ride around today!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Game 18 Thread: Apr. 23 @ Rockies, 5p

Kenta Maeda (2-0, 0.47) vs. Tyler Chatroom lol (2-1, 2.79).

King Kenta, meet Coors Field. Maeda may be having one of the best rookie pitcher starts in Dodger history, but he has yet to experience the park that holds the outfield wall that turned Matt Kemp into a shell of his former self. (Oh yeah, it's pretty tough on pitchers too.)

Two of Maeda's starts came in pitcher-friendly Petco Park and AT&T Park, while one came in the second most pitcher-unfriendly park in the majors (Chase Field). So there's hope, but the King should tread lightly — just ask Scott Kazmir.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Game 17 Thread: Apr. 22 @ Rox, 5:30p

Scott Kazmir (1-1, 6.43) vs. Jon Gray (0-2, 5.53).

Things that don't mix: Water and oil. Narwhals and beach balls. Scott Kazmir and Coors Field? In reality, he's only pitched there once, giving up 3 ER in 6 innings while with the Rays. But in my head, I'm thinking things could get ugly out there, folks — what with the Rockies' rookie phenom Trevor Story, who's tied with Bryce Harper for the most homers in the majors at 8. Let's hope this is where the Story ends.

cartoon ©Liz Climo

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Game 16 Thread: Apr. 21 @ Barves, 9a

Clayton Kershaw (2-0, 1.64) vs. Matt Wisler (0-1, 4.61).

Breakfast baseball! The Dodgers go for their third consecutive series win with Kershaw on the mound (never "on the bump"), and what with yesterday's come-from-behind extra-innings victory and the bullpen finally doing its job, it could actually happen. Another round of mimosas!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Game 15 Thread: Apr. 20 @ Braves, 4p

Ross Stripling (0-0, 2.03) vs. Julio Teheran (0-2, 6.35)

Had Tommy John (Like a Ross!)
Now I'm back (Like a Ross!)
Threw a no-no (Like a Ross!)
But only kinda (Like a Ross!)
Then was good again (Like a Ross!)
Didn't get a win (Like a Ross!)
Prob'ly our Number 3 (Like a Ross!)
But slated Number 5 (Like a Ross!)

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Game 14 Thread: Apr. 19 @ Barves, 4p

Alex Wood (1-1, 4.50) vs. Williams Perez (0-0, 7.00)

Sticking with a theme, the Wood roller coaster started with a big drop, but may now be in an extended lift hill. He returns to Atlanta tonight for the first time since they traded him away. It's not uncommon for roller coasters to change parks, but we'll see how big of an attraction he is in his return.

The Dodger bats were all set to face Julio Teheran, but his start has been pushed back a day. They'll now face something called a Williams Perez, which is also the name of Argentina's premier gourmet food and cookware store.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Post-Game 13 Thread: Joc Straps Dodgers To Back With Big HR


It's another unlikely(-ish) hero for the Dodgers' offense today, as Joc Pederson, who had been struggling with a .242 average when play begin, launched a two-run HR in the fifth against Jeff Samardzija to give Kenta Maeda and the Dodgers the victory. Maeda allowed a third-inning solo HR to Joe Panik, but went a strong seven innings with only four hits (3 BB, 7 Ks) to earn the victory and move to 2-0 on the season.

Speaking of Samardzija, whose name I never tire of typing: I was able to watch the last three innings of the game, so I want to detail this play-by-play which was awesome. Samardzija, an off-season pickup by San Francisco, dropped to 1-1 with his six-inning performance, in which he was asked to bat with one out and a man on first in the top of the seventh inning with the Giants down 2-1. Samardzija ground bunted into a double play to end the inning.

Samardzija then faced three batters in the seventh inning without notching a single out. That first batter of the bottom of the seventh, Yasiel Puig, singled to center, stole second, and then scored on a infield grounder by Yasmani Grandal that Brandon Crawford bobbled, but was still probably not a smart move for Puig try to score--but Oyster Pubes couldn't hold the ball for his swipe tag, and Puig crossed home, but with the ball rolling around behind home plate, Puig stepped on home plate and gave the Dodgers a 3-1 lead. Samarzija then walked Howie Kendrick before being yanked. Samardzija, Samardzija, Samardzija.

Yasmani Grandal went 2-for-2 and scored a run. Dodgers go back up in the NL West by a half-game on the Rockies, who inched in front of the Giants for second place in the NL West.

Delino and SOSG Todd: In the flesh

At the game with these nuts 

Come meet us for the price of only a handful of garlic fries. 

Game 13 Thread: April 17 vs. Giants, 5p

Kenta Maeda (1-0, 0.00) vs. Jeff Samrdjjirrddzzaa (1-0, 3.38)

Thankfully the Maeda start is the ascent part of the Dodgers' pitching roller coaster. Kershaw, then Kazmir, then Maeda gives one whiplash. Kazmir is the part where the guy in front of you pukes. Maeda, on the other hand, hasn't given up an earned run yet and is a welcome relief thus far as the rotation continues to....well, rotate. I had the pleasure of watching him pitch for the first time in the home opener; he was poised and confident, looked like he'd done his homework on opposing batters, and was ready to play defense and to swing the bat. Let's hope he does all those things again today.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Game 12 Thread: April 16 vs. Giants, 6p

Let's hope that's Kazmir on the right.

Scott Kazmir (1-0, 5.40) vs. Johhny Cueto (2-0, 5.40).

When we last saw these "number two" (and I use that loosely, as well as metaphorically) starters square off, both had ERAs around 1.00. Since they both allowed six earned runs last weekend, we're now looking at ERAs loser to 5.00. The Dodgers have since found their footing in a series at home vs. Arizona, while the Giants lost theirs in Colorado.

The preview indicates that Chase Utley is 11-for-27 lifetime against Cueto. We haven't seen Utley for two games, however, so they'd better make sure the driver pulls by the retirement home on the way to the Stadium, if Dave Roberts wants to use Utley. UPDATE: holy Bengay, Utley is indeed confirmed as leadoff hitter today.

Round 2, boys and girls. Who's got the shoryuken tonight?

Friday, April 15, 2016

Post-Game 11 Thread: Dodgers Beat Bumgarner On Jackie Robinson Day


Clayton Kershaw improved to 2-0 with a seven-inning, 3 ER (0 BB / 6 Ks) performance to hold the Giants in check at the Ravine. Madison Bumgarner was bested by the usual, scratch that--he was solidly beaten by Kike Hernandez (TWO HR and a double, 4 RBI) and Charlie Culberson (2-for-4 with 3 RBI). Hernandez, who homered on the first pitch of the game, also laid out for a sweet catch on a Oyster Pubes fly ball to short left for the out. Bumgarner yielded 8 H and 7 R (4 ER) over a paltry five innings, thanks to those unusual offensive powerhouses. But hey, I'll take it!

Even more amazing was the fact that Chris Hatcher and Joe Blanton didn't fail to hold Kershaw's start. Each had scoreless innings of relief. Wow.

This was the 69th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's MLB debut. What better way to celebrate than a win over the Giants that gives us sole possession of first place in the division.

Game 11 Thread: April 15 vs. Giants, 7p

Clayton Kershaw (1-0, 1.20) vs. Ashley Madison (1-0, 3.27).

42s all around for Jackie Robinson Day today, as the division-leading Dodgers and Giants square off at the Ravine. I could say a lot about how Kershaw led the team to victory five days ago against this same opposing starter, or how the Dodgers have rebounded from a difficult series last weekend up north, or even how much I really dislike the Giants.

Instead, let me take the high road and honor Jackie Robinson with one of my favorite quotes of his:

"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives."

I also liked reading what Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said about his first time wearing #42:

Among those in uniform No. 42 will be Dave Roberts, the first minority manager in the history of Robinson's franchise.

"I think I'm going to make a conscious effort tomorrow to really understand and take in the scope and magnitude of tomorrow," said Roberts. "It's a big deal. Jackie's obviously impacted me and many others, so I want to take some extra time to reflect for sure."

Let's go get this one, boys.

Philadelphia Issues Apology To Jackie Robinson, 69 Years Later

Great read from the NYT today on Jackie Robinson, and how Philadelphia is trying to atone for bad behavior 69 years ago:

Although the resolution refers to the racism Robinson encountered as a visiting player in Philadelphia, it is generally accepted that the worst behavior the Phillies displayed toward him actually occurred earlier that season, in Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, during one of the Dodgers’ early homestands.

It was then that the Phillies, led by their manager, Ben Chapman, repeatedly shouted racial slurs at Robinson when he stepped to the plate, an encounter that was vividly portrayed in “42.”

The City Council resolution states that Robinson was told to “go back to the cotton fields.” According to Jonathan Eig, whose 2008 book “Opening Day” chronicled Robinson’s rookie season, Chapman and several Phillies also made comments about Robinson’s physical features.

Robinson later said that it was the closest he came to cracking and retaliating.

“For one wild and rage-crazed minute, I thought, ‘To hell with Mr. Rickey’s noble experiment,’ ” Robinson once recalled, referring to Branch Rickey, the Dodgers executive who chose Robinson as the player he felt capable of integrating the game while having the discipline to not retaliate to the taunts and harassment he would face.

In those initial games against the Phillies, Robinson held in his anger.

“He knew this wasn’t just symbolism,” Eig said. “He knew if he could integrate Major League Baseball, it would affect lots of people’s lives. And he knew if he lashed out, he might lose the opportunity.”

For his part, Chapman would insist years later that the taunting was motivated less by racism than by a desire to gain a competitive advantage over a presumably fragile rookie. [...]

In any case, the initial taunting of Robinson by Chapman and his players created a backlash. In the second game of that series, according to “Opening Day,” the Dodgers’ Eddie Stanky, a scrappy infielder and Philadelphia native, confronted the Phillies, shouting at them and calling them cowards for verbally abusing someone who could not fight back.

Commentators weighed in, expressing sympathy for Robinson. “It was the first time a lot of white people and white reporters in particular noticed the abuse Robinson was taking,” Eig said, adding, “I interviewed a fan who had been a teenager who went to one of those games, heard the heckling, and was shocked.”

Insatiable Former Giant Sandoval Needs To Be Fed By Others

Back in happier times.

We Sons of Steve Garvey have watched former San Francisco Giant Pablo Sandoval's career balloon right in front of our eyes, with a waistline that seems to defy physics (if not the integrity of belt buckles):

Now, according to ESPN, Sandoval needs a hand-holder for his eating issues (honestly, that's their headline, not ours):

A former personal trainer for Pablo Sandoval says the Boston Red Sox third baseman needs "a babysitter" to watch over him and keep him from overeating, a temptation for Sandoval that the trainer likened to alcoholism.

"He needs to be smart enough to say there's a problem," said Ethan Banning, owner of Triple Threat Performance in Phoenix, in an interview with the Boston Herald. "It's like the alcoholic that won't admit he's an alcoholic: well, you can't address that you're an alcoholic if you don't ever admit there's a problem."

Sandoval, 29, showed up to spring training overweight, and subsequently lost his starting third-base job to Travis Shaw. He had played sparingly this season before being placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with a shoulder issue. He was scheduled to get an MRI on Thursday.

A handholder to feed Sandoval? Maybe these guys are available for Sandoval's feeding?

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Game 10 Thread: April 14 vs. Snakes, 7p

This is what a sad ending looks like.

Ross Stripling (0-0, 1.23) vs. Robbie Ray (0-0, 3.00).

One of the few pleasant surprises thus far in this decidedly mixed season has been the emergence of Stripling — if one impressive (and ultimately futile) effort is enough to judge on.

This time Stripling draws the Arizona bats. Without bothering to look it up, I'm going to say they're not as good as the San Francisco bats. Except that Goldschläger fucker. Don't pitch to him.

3-D Helmets Crumbling Under First-Home-Series Pressure

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Post-Game 9 Thread: Dodgers 3-D Helmets End Losing Streak


Alex Wood led the Dodgers' 3-D batting helmets to their first career victory, earning a rare win of his own and lowering his ERA to 4.50 (7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 3 BB and 3 Ks). Rubby De La Rosa lowered his ERA as well by over 33%, which was amazing given our pre-game predictions. But hey, we'll take it (so will Adrian Gonzalez, who had a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth).

De La Rosa wasn't helped by his infield, who let the Dodgers take the lead when Chase Utley hit a ball to Nick Ahmed at shortstop; Ahmed threw the ball into right field, allowing Howie Kendrick to score in the bottom of the fifth. The very next play, Corey Seager hit a double-play ball to second, but Paul Goldschmidt bobbled the throw to first, allowing Seager to reach and Joc Pederson to score.

Kenley Jansen needed to notch a five-out save when Wood, and then Pedro Baez, tired in the eighth inning. Jansen needed five outs because, unlike our matte-finish batting helmets, we don't have a lot of depth there.

Yasiel Puig went 2-for-4 and is now batting .394, a notch ahead of Gonzalez' .389.

Yasmani Grandal went 0-for-3 in his first start of the season.

Game 9 Thread: April 13 vs. Diamondbacks, 7p

Giving the wood a little rubby.
(You probably thought I'd use a different picture here, didn't you?)

Alex Wood (0-1, 9.00) vs. Rubby De La Rosa (0-1, 12.46).

Wow, I haven't seen ERAs that high since Jim Johnson last year! Alex Wood has not won a game through spring training and his first start. Rubster De La Rosa is 0-3 with a 11.21 ERA vs. the Dodgers. Tonight's going to be a race to see who can break through the 15.00 ERA ceiling faster. De La Rosa has a headstart, sure; but I wouldn't count out Wood by a longshot.

Let's see if those super-secret 3D batting helmets can earn their first win tonight.

Dodgers Unveil New 3-D Logo Helmets, Lose Anyway

Is a loss in three dimensions worse than in two dimensions? I'm not sure, but at least the Dodgers' unveiling of a new batting helmet distracted us from a disappointing Opening Day loss at home:

The Los Angeles Dodgers are making two changes to their batting helmets -- one of which is unprecedented in MLB history.

The Dodgers today unveiled new matte-finish batting helmets for their home opener. Several other MLB teams have recently changed their helmet finish from glossy to matte, including the Dodgers' opponents today, the Arizona Diamondbacks. But the Dodgers' new helmets have a unique feature: The team's familiar interlocking "LA" logo is raised from the helmet shell instead of being flat against it, creating a three-dimensional effect.

The "LA" lettering projects outward only about three millimeters from the helmet's surface, but that's enough to create a noticeable sense of depth unlike anything seen on a typical batting helmet. Of the other 29 MLB teams, 28 of them use flat decals for their helmet logos. The Chicago Cubs use an adhesive embroidered cloth patch that provides a greater sense of texture, but it doesn't create the same 3D effect as the Dodgers' new headwear mark.

photo from ProHelmet Decals

Photos from Opening Day 2016

No, I wasn't there, unfortunately. But I had these shots sent in by a stringer, who captured the majesty of the Dodgers' home opener (and the last in the major leagues this year), honoring Vin Scully, before the Dodgers' bullpen threw the game away.

Vin Scully Av(e)!

Filling up.

One last grounds check

The giant flag returns

One last group shot at home with Vin Scully.

Looked like it was a great time! Until the final innings, that is.

photos from secret SoSG field reporter

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Game 8 Thread: April 12 vs. DBacks, 1p

Kenta Maeda (1-0, 0.00) vs. Patrick Corbin (0-1, 5.14)

After what seems like half a season already played before the Dodgers get a homestand, today is finally the day. The Yard is looking sexy as hell with the LA cut into the centerfield grass, the bunting hung, and the Opening Series logos painted along the baselines.

Loyal SoSGer Karen urged us to post the traditional quote from Field of Dreams, which we didn't on the season opener because it was an away game and didn't seem right. Now, it is definitely right.
Ray, people will come Ray. They'll come to Iowa for reasons they can't even fathom. They'll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they're doing it. They'll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. Of course, we won't mind if you look around, you'll say. It's only $20 per person. They'll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack. And they'll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon. They'll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they'll watch the game and it'll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they'll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come Ray. The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh... people will come Ray. People will most definitely come.

-Terence Mann, Field of Dreams,
I will, most definitely, be out there. So if any readers are, too, find me and buy me an expensive beer.

I've always maintained that every team deserved to win its home opener (except the Yankees), and hopefully the baseball gods will smile on us today as we look to pick up the pieces after a mostly disastrous series in San Francisco. Nothing like some home cookin' to get the team back on track, so let's enjoy one of the best days of the calendar year. Play ball!

image: @Dodgers

Monday, April 11, 2016

Dodgers Honor Scully By Renaming Street After Broadcaster Unseen By 70% Of LA Households

Hooray, Vin Scully!

Boo, SportsNet LA!

low-tech photos from Dodgers stringer

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Post-Game 7 Thread: Kazmir Can't Hold Five-Run Lead

This Kazmir sweater already has holes.


Top of the first inning, the Dodgers have ten batters come to the plate and score five runs, before Scott Kazmir can even take the mound. But Kazmir yields two runs in the bottom of the first, and then it was all:

Oh no
It go
It gone
I think
he stinks
And we die

If you want to destroy the lead, Scott
Groove them balls they can knock away
Watch lead unravel, we'll soon be losing
Pitching like a punk, pitching like a punk
we've come undone

Everybody now!

Game 7 Thread: April 10 @ Giants, 1p

Scott Kazmir (1-0, 0.00) vs. Johnny Cueto (1-0, 1.29).

The two NL West heavyweights go at it for a fourth and final time this series, with new #2s on the mound for each team. Kazmir signed with the Dodgers this offseason for $48M / 3 years. Cueto signed with the Giants this offseason for $130M / 6 years. Is Cueto worth twice the number of years, and roughly 3x the number of dollars? Let's see if today's start gives any indication on the relative worth of these disparate investments.

We know one guy who will come ready to play: Charlie Culberson. I'm still enjoying watching his highlights from Saturday's game, and he understood the importance of the rivalry in his post-game thoughts, especially given he started his major league career with San Francisco. Let's do it for Charlie and get a series split today, boys!

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Post-Game 6 Thread: Culberson Stars In Duel Draw

Duel draw, get it?
Remember when "Draw Something" was called "Pictionary"? I guess now it's called "Pictionary" again.


Clayton Kershaw struckout five over eight, yielding only four hits, but two of them were solo home runs. Madison Bumgarner lasted a puny six innings, striking out eight, and hitting one of those two said home runs. But neither factored into the final decision.

But you know who did (figuratively speaking, not technically speaking)? Charlie Culberson, a new Dodger who played only in the NL West (Giants and Rockies), in a smattering of games across three seasons prior to Los Angeles this year. Culberson went 2-for-5 with an RBI, but also made sweet defensive plays in the bottom of the fifth (a spin move on a shot up the middle to get Denard Span), as well as in the bottom of the eighth (after Culberson had just switched from short to left field), robbing Angel Pagan on a diving grab. Culberson then followed a Corey Seager double in the top of the tenth with a double to right, scoring Seager and allowing the Dodgers to take the 3-2 lead.

Charlie Culberson, man. I'll take it.

Adrian Gonzalez (2-for-5 also had a RBI, his fifth on the season, when he tied the game at 2-2 in the ninth inning. Adrian is so clutch.

Scott Van Slyke had an RBI but had to leave the game in the third inning. with back tightness. Carl Crawford has already tried to beat Van Slyke to the punch, going on the 15-day DL with back pain of his own. We've got 74 outfielders, and so few of them are healthy.

Not that any Giants fans were there to see it. The Giants' crowd upheld its reputation of being fair-weather fans who leave games early--even in close games; look at how few people were behind the plate in the top of the tenth:

Those fans are a disgrace to baseball.

Game 6 Thread: April 9 @ Giants, 1p

Clayton Kershaw (1-0, 0.00) vs. Madison Bumgarner (1-0, 5.40)

It's an early-season duel between two of the league's best pitchers, with the Dodgers looking to rebound from the ass pounding they received on Thursday and the gut-wrenching walk-off loss they suffered last night. Personally I'm sick of the texts and messages I'm getting from friends who are Giants fans rubbing it in after both of those games. Let's not let this season turn into a repeat of last season when we could hardly win a damn game up in SF no matter what we threw at them. Speaking of that, we should throw at them. Or at least challenge Hunter Pence to a duel.

This one's an early one, folks, so get those Bloody Marys whipped up and start to feel the hateHateHATE!

[Editor's Note: SoSG does not in any way condone gun violence.]

[Supplemental Editor's Note: SoSG does in fact condone day drinking.]

Friday, April 08, 2016

Game 5 Thread: April 8 @ Giants, 7:15p

Ross Stripling (0-0, -.--) vs, Matt Cain (0-0, -.--).

If you haven't been paying attention, Ross Stripling is this spring's Cinderella story. Stripling beat out the likes of Carlos Frias, Brandon Beachy and Zach Lee for the coveted fifth-starter spot — two years after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

After dominating the triple-A Padres, the Dodgers were cooled off by the pesky Giants yesterday (even year, remember). Stripling goes against SF stalwart Matt Cain, who may have been diminished by injuries lately, but hey, even year, remember.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Trailer

Look, we'd be remiss as proper Sons if we didn't post this (albeit late):

As one of the Sons said earlier, "Damn you John Williams!"

Meanwhile, Mark Hamill had this to say about Thursday's Dodgers-Giants game:

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Post-Game 4 Thread: So Much For That Scoreless Inning Streak

Wood sends streak up in flames


Dave Roberts had already seen Alex Wood's shakiness bring an end to the Dodgers' scoreless inning streak, at 31 innings of play, after Wood let three runs score in the bottom of the fifth. In the top of the sixth, Roberts let Wood bat for the final out. And Wood rewarded his faith by coming back out in the bottom of the sixth, and giving up the lead.

A two-run Joc Pederson HR in the top of the eighth showed the Dodgers weren't done yet, having watched their early 4-0 lead go up in smoke. However Pedro Baez let Hunter Pence hit a grand slam in the bottom of that inning, and it was done.

The Dodgers are now tied with the Giants atop the NL West with only 158 games left to play. Tough loss, but let's get Justin Turner (and maybe even Carl Crawford) back in the lineup tomorrow, and go at it with...Ross Stripling? Hoo boy.

Game 4 Thread: April 7 @ Giants, 1.30p

Wooden peavey

(get it, "wood and peavy")

Alex Wood (0-0, -.--) vs. Jake Peavy (0-0, -.--).

The Dodgers have not allowed a run all year. This streak will undoubtedly change in today's game, the Giants' home opener and a house of horrors for the Dodgers last year (where we went 2-8). Oh yeah, and we're pitching Alex Wood, who posted a 7.13 ERA in spring training.

Oh yeah, and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts will likely rest Carl Crawford and Justin Turner for this game. Turner is coming off of microfracture surgery, and Crawford is as fragile as a champagne flute. Did I mention leadoff batter Chase Utley is pushing 40?

All eyes will be on Yasiel Puig, who has been torrid this season and is tied for the team lead in HR...oh wait, he's 0-for-7 lifetime against Peavy. Hmm, maybe Kenta Maeda can pinch hit?

About Those 1963 Cardinals

Much ado has been made about the Dodgers' historic three-shoutout start, tied with the 1963 Cardinals, who also opened with three straight shutouts and went 32 innings without allowing a run.

But wait a second, the Padres are also being called out as being the only team to have been shutout in its first three games of the season. But how can this be?

Thanks to SoSG's intrepid analytics department, we've researched it to discover the 1963 Cardinals opened the season with a strange two-game series against the Mets, before a two-day rest followed by Game 3, a Saturday game at home against Philadelphia, for the Cards' third shutout. The Cardinals then played a Sunday doubleheader, where the Phillies ended up scoring in the first game's sixth inning, to break the scoreless streak.

A two-game series to open the season, followed by two off-days and a Sunday doubleheader, just sounds absolutely bizarre given today's scheduling standards. Given the Dodgers' many injuries, I'm glad we don't have a schedule like the 1963 Cardinals had.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Post-Game 3 Thread: In Sweep, Maeda Impression


The Dodgers are 3-0 and have scored 25 runs in 27 innings played. Plus they've allowed ZERO runs against, with scoreless efforts across 10 different pitchers (Yimi Garcia has had two appearances, in games 1 and 3).

And if that's not enough to absolutely astound one, starting pitcher Kenta Maeda hit a home run in today's winning effort, to momentarily lead the team in home runs (Yasiel Puig hit one as well, in the eighth inning, to tie Maeda for the team lead.


Okay, deep breaths. Yes, it's only the second time in MLB history that a team has started a season with three shutouts (1963 Cardinals--who ended up missing out on the NL pennant by six games to the Dodgers, who won the World Series over the Yankees). It's a Dodgers club record for scoreless innings to begin a season (obviously).

And Maeda: wow. He was all smiles when he returned to the dugout after his fourth-inning shot, and the Dodgers' silent treatment didn't last very long before erupting in joy. But Maeda's line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 4 Ks and 0 BB, wasn't too shabby either.

Justin Turner and Joc Pederson each had two RBI; Puig, Maeda, and Carl Crawford each had one RBI. Puig is now batting .600 with a 1.992 OPS. A.J. Ellis went 0-for-4 to drop his average to .125 on the season, but he did get a contested tag in at the plate to get Cory Spangenberg on a grounder to first, thereby maintaining the scoreless streak.

But before we start going nuts here, let's remind ourselves it's the Padres we've just swept. Onward to San Francisco for three.

photo: Denis Poroy, Getty Images