Monday, September 12, 2016

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.


Fred's Brim said...

FB is beyond nervous.
I am terrified we'll lose 2 in NY and 3 of 4 in Az while the Giants work over SD and a fading St Louis. I am hoping we'll still be up by the time we get home

Orel said...


QuadSevens said...

Yeah it's scary out here for Dodgers fans. But, I like Padilla's outlook over Schoefield's because it doesn't rely on "what-ifs". Padilla points out that our pitching is good. Everyone knows you need good pitching in the playoffs. Schoenfield is building a case for the Giants on "they are due to play better" and "Posey is due to get hot as well, right?" The Gnats playoff hopes, are just that. Hopes.

spank said...

Offense really needs to carry the team now.

spank said...

Utley 2B
Seager SS
Turner 3B
Gonzalez DH
Grandal C
Reddick RF
Kendrick 1B
Pederson CF
Toles LF

De Leon P

Orel said...

GTUP, mofos!