Friday, September 30, 2016

Series Thread (Games 160-162): Sept 30-Oct 2 @ Giants

Stay strong. Don't cry. *cries*

This is it, you guys. The final three games with this legendary voice bringing us the pure poetry of baseball. Last weekend was our farewell to him, this weekend is Vin's farewell to us. It is sure to be magnificent.

Beyond the emotion of Vin's final call, the actual games in this series are not entirely devoid of intrigue. The division is wrapped up, but the Dodgers still have a very slim chance to overtake the Nationals for home field advantage in the NLDS. More importantly though, they can play the role of spoiler for the Giants, knocking them out of the 2nd Wild Card spot (with some assistance from...*sigh*...the Cardinals).

Pull up a chair...

9/30, 7:15p: Rich Hill vs. Ashley Madison

10/1, 1p: Clayton Kershaw vs. TBD Ty Blach

10/2, 12p: Kenta Maeda vs. TBD (on no days rest) Matt Moore

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Series Thread (Games 157-159): Sept 27-29 @ Padres

9/27, 7p: Kenta Maeda vs Paul Clemens

9/28, 7p: Jose De Leon vs Luis Perdomo

9/29, 6p: Brett Anderson vs Christian Friedrich

Vin Scully Sings the Hits - On Itunes Now! (For Reals!)

Who would you rather listen to croon THE WIND BENEATH MY WINGS?

It's no contest - there can be only one heeeeerrrrro. Even if you missed Sunday's game, you can now OWN the cover described by my wife as "Beaches-worthy." All you have to do is find 99 cents in your seat cushions, go to your nearest internet cafe and click HERE to purchase Vin Scully's rendition of the Divine Miss M classic. It's a love letter to his wife, and to all of us.

I guarantee that after one listen, you'll get the same tat that I'm now rocking

Special thanks for this sonic intel goes out to pop culture enthusiast and all around solid Husker Dude TODD, proprietor of A Very Pleasant Good Evening.<

Dee Gordon Honors Jose Fernandez with HR

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Mighty VIN

It would have been enough just to be present for Vin Scully's last official game.

A moment so majestic I didn't even mind my heat stroke... or how much money we spent on beer and futuristic ice cream products.

It would have been enough to witness a game-tying homerun...

Or a walk-off homer in extra innings...

Note - I thought I'd already been in attendance for the most exciting NL West Clinching moment possible.

Man, I was wrong.

It would have even been enough just to see a game with the family on a Sunday in LA.

Put it all together... and it truly was...

Animal helps lead the Dodgers multiple comebacks.

A much-deserved victory lap!

Tipping their caps to the Mighty Vin.

And just when you thought it couldn't get any more emotional, Vin plays a serenade to his wife... the "Wind Beneath (His) Wings"

Easily putting the Better Midler / Krusty duet to shame!

A game all in attendance will never forget... dedicated to a man this city will always remember. Thank you, Mr. Scully

"Shame on us if you ever have to pay for another meal in public." - Crash Davis / The Mariner

Lazy Bill Plaschke Once Again Uses Tired "One Moment / The Next Moment" Cliche To Capture Dodgers' 2016 Clincher

Bill Plaschke is a renowned sportswriting hack.

But one would have thought that, in a storybook ending game highlighted by the final home appearance of Dodgers legend Vin Scully; a walk-off home run by unlikely slugger Charlie Culberson; and a division-clinching victory for the Dodgers--Plaschke could have at least spent some effort to write the post-game column.

Nope. Not Plaschke, who probably was so busy staring at himself in the mirror, that he went back to using a tired writing device that is SO LAZY, he's used this same device no fewer than 13 times in the past eight years (a fact which we have thoroughly researched, up to 2013):

One moment, the Dodgers’ unlikely journeyman, Charlie Culberson, was driving a ball over the left-field fence for a 10th-inning home run to give the Dodgers a 4-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies and their fourth consecutive National League West Division championship.

The next moment, after the team hugged and bounced in the infield while its fans danced in the stands, everyone stopped and pointed to the press box.

Unbelievably lazy, Plaschke. And after spending a bit more time on a reasonable valentine piece on Scully earlier this week, you'd think that you'd do better than phoning it in, for a game like this.

Or as Scully himself might say,

"In a career that has been so derivative, the recyclable has again happened."

Sunday, September 25, 2016


This was the only official artwork I could find, OK?

UPDATE: How's this?

Dodger Batters Tip Helmets to Vin

So cool. So freakin cool.

RIP Jose Fernandez

Friday, September 23, 2016

Vin Scully Ceremony Highlights

Series Thread (Games 153-156): Sept 22-25 vs Rockies

9/22, 7p: Brett Anderson vs Tyler Chatwood

9/23, 7p: Scott Kazmir vs Jon Gray
DODGERS 5, ROCKIES 2. Dodgers win on Vin Scully Appreciation Day!

9/24, 6p: Clayton Kershaw vs Chad Bettis
DODGERS 14, ROCKIES 1. Magic number = 1!

9/25, 1p: Rich Hill Brandon McCarthy vs Tyler Anderson
DODGERS 4, ROCKIES 3 (10). Seager game-tying HR in the 9th. Culberson walkoff HR in the 10th. NL champs fourth year in a row!

More Vin

Thursday, September 22, 2016

A Little More Love for VIN

A friend that I'll just call "RAB" shared a little ditty about his Grandfather. Note: even though it's in blockquotes, no guarantee this is a direct quote

My grandfather was a rabid Dodgers fan since Brooklyn... even claiming he moved to LA just to follow them West. He'd listen to or watch pretty much every single game they played.

When I was older, I tried to take Grandpa to a game but he REFUSED. "What's the point of going. Vin paints a better picture of the game than the game itself"

Maybe Gramps was just cheap :-)

He also could have listened on headphones at the stadium... that tends to go well.

But the sentiment is spot on.

There will never be another Vin.

As another living legend once said...

See some of you at the game on Sunday, with the family DeShields in tow!

Vin Scully in Motion

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Jerry Reuss' Vin Scully Story

From "The Man. The Voice. The Stories," an oral compilation of Vin Scully stories from Jason Stark at

Jerry Reuss: "I was pitching a game for Houston -- it was either '72 or 73. It was a weeknight game, and there was maybe a crowd of 20,000 there. But as I stood there on the mound ready to deliver a pitch, for whatever reason it caught my attention (from the sound of those transistor radios) that Vin was in midstory. ... It was the only time it ever happened, but I can hear by his cadence, his inflection, that he was in midstory. It just caught me. So I stepped off the mound, threw down the resin bag, rubbed my hand, and I could still hear him tell the story. ... He got his point out, people laughed, and without missing a beat, he said, 'Now Reuss is ready to deliver.' ... That's the kind of respect that Vin Scully deserves."

Series Thread (Games 150-152): Sept 19-21 vs Giants

This never gets old. Especially when we're in first place!

9/19, 7p: Clayton Kershaw vs. Madison Bumgarner
DODGERS 2, GIANTS 1. Dodgers walk off in the 9th!

9/20, 7p: Rich Hill vs Johnny Cueto

9/21, 7p: Kenta Maeda vs Matt Moore
DODGERS 9, GIANTS 3. Magic number = 5!

Is there a better argument for appreciating the present than this?

Dodgers vs. Giants! First place vs. second place! 13 games left! 5-game lead! Magic number at 9! Vin's storied career coming to an end!


Enjoy it, folks. Who knows what the future holds...and here's a little blast from the past, back when Game 1's grizzled veteran starters were wee lads:

Photoshop by @akaTheConman

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Game 2: No One Is Looking At Anyone Else


ESPN coverage, here.

Oh yeah, and even Giants homer Hank Schulman (SF Comical) believes Madison Bumgarner should just shut up.

A Promise Is a Promise, Cliffy

Monday, September 19, 2016

Vin Scully, on (Gasp!) Retirement

UPDATE: Transcription here.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Series Thread (Games 146-149): Sept 15-18 @ Snakes

This snake was not a Dodger.

Th 9/15, 6.30p: Rich Hill (12-3, 1.80) vs. Archie Bradley (6-9, 5.10)

Fr 9/16, 6.30p: Kenta Maeda (14-9, 3.28) vs. Zack Greinke (12-6, 4.54)

Sa 9/17, 5p: Bud Norris (6-10, 5.05) Brock Stewart vs. Shelby Miller (2-11, 7.12)

Su 9/18, 1p: TBD Jose De Leon vs. Robbie Ray (8-13, 4.55)

Dodgers open the series in Arizona with a magic number of 13, following the Dodgers' series win vs. the Yankees, coupled with the Giants getting swept by the Padres in San Francisco. The Dodgers' offense was a little toothless in the last two games, but benefitted from two Yankees miscues to take the 2-0 lead. We face right-handed starters in the first three games of this series, so let's hope we get the bats back again and whittle that magic number down further.

unfortunately, animals were indeed hurt in that picture; however, none of the Sons were responsible

Monday, September 12, 2016

Series Thread (Games 143-145): Sept 12-14 @ Yankees

Baseball stadium or church? You decide.

9/12, 4p: Jose De Leon vs Bryan Mitchell

9/13, 4p: Julio Urias vs CC Sabathia

9/14, 1p: Clayton Kershaw vs Michael Pineda
DODGERS 2, YANKEES 0 Magic number: 13 [Sax]

Optimistic? Pessimistic?

The Dodgers dropped two of three to the sub-.500 Marlins this weekend, and coupled with the Giants' sweep of Arizona, the NL West lead is only three games with 20 games left to play (including six head-to-head matchups with SF). I'm not feeling very good about this.

ESPN Dodgers beat writer Doug Padilla, however, is sunny in his disposition:

The Dodgers are building a proverbial human pyramid now, by stacking high some quality pitching. Clayton Kershaw returned for the first game of the series (a loss), Rich Hill fired seven perfect innings in Game 2 (a victory), and Kenta Maeda showed that he continues to get stronger down the stretch with a solid outing Sunday (another loss).

With more run support, and a better defense Sunday, the Dodgers know they could have been better against the Marlins, and former manager Don Mattingly. But at least the starting pitching looks like it could be something to lean on rather than a part of their game they have to overcome.

Nice way to overlook two of those games being losses.

ESPN's David Schoenfield, however, likes the Giants' chances:

[T]he odds say the Dodgers will win a fourth straight division title. But I don't think it will be quite so easy. Consider:

  • The Giants are due to play better. Maybe they weren't actually the best team in baseball when they ended the first half with a better record than the Chicago Cubs, but clearly they're not the second-worst team in baseball.
  • Baseball teams are streaky. While the Giants' extreme splits are abnormal, a bad stretch doesn't necessarily predict more losing. They're just as likely to go on a nice winning streak now. That's baseball.
  • The Dodgers play 13 of their remaining 20 games on the road, and they're 47-27 at home and just 33-35 on the road.
  • The teams have six games remaining against each other, including the season-ending series in San Francisco.
  • Hunter Pence is hot, with eight hits in the Arizona series. Buster Posey is due to get hot as well, right?
  • Strickland, if he does win the closer's role on a regular basis, will be fine. He has a 2.41 ERA in his major league career and has held opponents to a .202 average (.213 this season). He has been the Giants' best reliever over the past two seasons. So why has Bruce Bochy been so hesitant to name him the closer? It probably goes back to the 2014 postseason, when Strickland, with just seven innings of big league time, allowed six home runs in eight appearances. It's tough to trust a guy in close games after seeing that, but Strickland is a solid reliever and has earned the opportunity. (As a bonus, rookie Derek Law, with a 1.94 ERA and excellent peripherals, is due to come off the DL this week.)

I know the Giants' sweep was over one of the worst teams in baseball. I'm still nervous.

Friday, September 09, 2016

Series Thread (Games 140-142): Sept. 9-11 @ Marlins

This guy. 'Nuff said.

9/9, 4p: Clayton Kershaw vs Jose Fernandez
MARLINS 4, DODGERS 1: Kershaw: 3 innings, 5 Ks, takes the loss--but we're happy to have him back [Sax]

9/10, 4p: Rich Hill vs. Tom Koehler
DODGERS 5, MARLINS 0: Rich Hill with a perfect seven-inning sort-of game; Pederson 2 HR [Sax]

9/11, 10a: Kenta Maeda vs. Jose Urena
MARLINS 3, DODGERS 0. Ugh [Orel]

What The Hell, Let's Consider Getting More Outfielders

ESPN's Jim Bowden, whom I don't recall having a very good track record on predictions anyway, indicated some potential off-season trades that he believes will transpire. The Dodgers are mentioned in two of them, and they involve making our outfield another logjam again:

Andrew McCutchen, CF, Pittsburgh Pirates: It would be an unpopular move in Pittsburgh, but trading McCutchen has become a real possibility. The Pirates think top prospect Aaron Meadows will be ready as soon as next year, and they have internally discussed the possibility of moving left fielder Starling Marte to center field and putting Meadows in left. A good fit for McCutchen would be the Dodgers, who could put him in left field, where he's better suited at this point in his career.

Ryan Braun, OF Milwaukee Brewers: The Brewers have already discussed a trade with the Dodgers that involves sending Braun to Los Angeles for Yasiel Puig; expect those discussions to pick up again if Puig doesn't have a strong finish. Other potential fits include the Blue Jays (if Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista depart via free agency); the Nationals, who will need to replace Jayson Werth; and the Cardinals, who are not expected to pick up left fielder Matt Holliday's club option.

I know McCutchen has declined precipitously this year, but if he's still good, it would be fun to have him. As for that admitted cheater from Milwaukee who aced Matt Kemp out of a MVP award in 2011, I'm not sure if I want him in our outfield.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Series Thread (Games 137-139): Sept 5-7 vs D'backs

Yeah, you knew we were going to use this picture....

9/5, 5p: Kenta Maeda vs Zack Greinke
DODGERS 10, DIAMONDBACKS 2. AGon: 2-run HR; Joc HR, Seager 3-run HR, Turner HR, Grandal HR, all in 5th off Greinke; Maeda: 6.1 IP, 1 R, 8 K, 1 BB

9/6, 7p: Ross Stripling vs Shelby Miller

9/7, 7p: Brock Stewart vs Robby Ray
DODGERS 3, DIAMONDBACKS 1. Dodgers' first sweep after the All-Star break

photo by @thkbleu

On A Tight Budget? Love Guys Named Brock? THIS DEAL'S FOR YOU!

SeatGeek's got your massively discounted ticket for tonight's game.

Go save some money, people!

Friday, September 02, 2016

Series Thread (Games 134-136): Sept 2-4 vs Padres

Puig's back!

9/2, 7p: Julio Urias (5-2, 3.71) vs Clayton Richard (1-3, 3.51)

9/3, 6p: Rich Hill (10-3, 2.09) vs Luis Perdomo (7-7, 5.84)

9/4, 1p: Jose De Leon (0-0, -.--) vs Christian Friedrich (4-10, 4.84)
DODGERS 7, PADRES 4. De Leon (W): 6.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 9 K, 0 BB. Puig: 3-run HR

The Dodgers start this series in first place by 2.5 games, thanks to the Giants' second straight loss to the Cubs on Friday. Joining the team for this homestand are some new old faces, such as Puig, and just plain new faces, like De Leon. This is the soft part of the schedule — time to strike!

photo by @scottkilleen

Can We All Just Chill Out, Like Andrew Toles

Seriously, my dudes. I know the come-from-behind grand slam hit by Andrew Toles Wednesday night was absolutely majestic and all. But can I ask you please to just calm down, like the Toles man himself?

Re-posting this video, just to remind us all to take a breath. And inhale.

Get to know tonight's #Dodgers starting center fielder, Andrew Toles, with the Dugout Report.

A video posted by SportsNet LA (@sportsnetla) on

Credit to Alanna Rizzo for keeping a straight face.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Scoreboard Watching: Giants @ Cubs (Sept 1, 2016)

Thanks to the Dodgers' improbable win late last night in Colorado (at one point, Colorado had a 99.0% chance of winning), led by the heroics of the surprising Andrew Toles (who took the Rockies' 84.4% chance of winning the game and turned it into a 14.4% chance, with one swing of the bat), the Dodgers now wield a 1.5-game lead in the NL West.

We have a rare off-day today but the Giants open up a four-game series in Chicago. While the Cubs' 15-game lead over the Cardinals in the Central means they will probably be resting all their good players this series, let's hope they can still give the Giants fits. Game 1 today pits SF's Jeff Samardzija (11-9, 4.00) vs. Chicago's Mike Montgomery (4-5, 2.60). Montgomery is 1-1 with a 3.18 ERA in his two starts this season, but he wasn't a very good coach of the Golden State Warriors (he was much better at Stanford).

This game probably won't end up the Dodgers' (or Cubs') way, but who knows. First pitch, 5p.