Tuesday, October 23, 2018

World Series Game 1 Thread: Oct 23 @ Red Sox, 5p

Clayton Kershaw (9-5, 2.73) vs. Chris Sale (12-4, 2.11).

Finally, the hangover is over.

This year, the Los Angeles Dodgers face the Boston Red Sox, a strongly-favored team with a gargantuan payroll who cruised through the regular season and first two rounds of the playoffs, backed by strong starting pitching. Sound familiar?

Barring any potential racist gestures in the impending playoff series, it's admittedly difficult to dislike the Red Sox, and nigh impossible to hate on Boston manager and former Dodger Alex Cora. Dodger manager Dave Roberts continues to be friends with Cora, as they were teammates in Los Angeles in 2004, and Roberts was the one of the first to congratulate Cora on his marathon 18-pitch AB in May 2004 (you can read the definitive story of Cora's marathon 18-pitch AB here).

This is the first World Series managed by two players who each played for both teams. And this is the first World Series helmed by two minority managers. This is pretty cool stuff, set before the context of two historic franchises.

But let's face it, the underdog Dodgers should be the one the baseball gods (if there are any) prefer. While Boston has rattled off three titles since 2004, you may have heard that the Dodgers have been without a championship since 1988.

But we've got momentum. Our Game 7 NLCS victory over the Brewers (on the road!) was thrilling, as we saw some dormant bats awaken (Yasiel Puig, Cody Bellinger), some young stars shine (Walker Buehler, Julio Urias), some veterans show poise (Kenley Jansen, Justin Turner, Clayton Kershaw), and some unsung heroes astonish (Chris Taylor). Oh, and we've got this guy, too, who will both confound and surprise (like with a bunt single that led to an unrelinquished lead). We've got a full head of steam here.

It's time for us to capture some of that October magic.

It's time for us to grab this narrative.

It's time for us to rise up.

LET'S GO, DODGERS.

So grab your drum set, set it up in the back of your pickup truck, and let's take a ride down the street at 5mph.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Dodger Stadium Update: October 21, 2018

One more logo to paint on the lawn...

Spun by the Stadium yesterday afternoon to see what World Series merchandise was available.

They didn't have any hats except for that light gray "WS" one that the team wore on the field after Game 7. That was a "one size fits most" hat or $50 (ouch!).

The Top of the Park store did have this one t-shirt, though:

Most of the World Series merchandise was coming Wednesday of this week, however it looks like some WS-logo Dodger stuff is on mlb.com already.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

The Real Star of the Series: Lindsey Buckingham

More specifically, the LINDSEY BUCKINGHAM BEER KOOZIE. With every comeback, every basket catch, every lick-worthy dinger from Puig, the koozie was never far from the hand of the Delino.

Fleetwood Mac might have shit-canned Mr. B, but SOSG welcomes him (and his reasonably priced beer receptacle) with open arms. Luckily, Lindsey's legendary tune below turned out to be about the BeerBall folks from cheese-land.

Here's to four more wins!

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Once More, With Feeling

NLCS Game 7 Thread: Oct 20 @ Brewers, 5p

Walker Buehler (8-5, 2.62) vs. Jhoulys Chachin (15-8, 3.50)

For almost a full year now, I have lived in fear of the baseball gods.

These baseball gods have not been kind to me, a diehard Dodger fan. They have denied me playoff joys so many times during my lifetime, crescendoing in the last six years of consecutive NL West division crowns, which were followed by brutal disappointments. The 2013 NLCS loss to the Cardinals, followed up by an even worse dispatching in the 2014 LDS by the same team. Zack Greinke falling short in the 2015 LDS to the Mets. The NLCS loss to the eventual world champion Cubs in 2016. And the worst one, the gut-wrenching World Series loss in Game 7 last year.

I went to 2017 World Series Game 1 (with SoSG Orel; one of the best games of my life and needing a much overdue blogpost), as well as Game 2 (with my wife; probably the best baseball game I have ever witnessed if not for the sad outcome).

And then I had a shot to go to Game 7.

And I passed. I figured that the downside of the potential loss was much greater than the upside gain of the potential win. SoSG AC went without me. I was sad, but I was hoping the baseball gods would appreciate my sacrifice.

They didn't. The Dodgers lost in excruciating fashion. And I was sentenced to this past year of absolute baseball hell.

In 2018, I've tried even harder to be deferential to these baseball gods, following my Dodgers' many travails along the way. Losing three of four to the Giants in April. The depths of nine games below .500. The early loss of Corey Seager. The early bouts of ineffectiveness of Kenley Jansen's cutter. Justin Turner's wrist injury. Another Clayton Kershaw DL stint. Sitting in fourth place in the division, in June. Dylan Floro's walk-off balk loss. Kike Hernandez throwing BP to lose a critical game. The string of bullpen collapses. Chris Taylor's league-leading 178 Ks. The 1-6 record against the Cincinnati Reds. Brian Dozier. The river of shit on the Dodger Stadium field. Multiple power outages. The ignominy of having to play a game 163 against the Colorado Rockies, just to advance to the LDS. Having to listen to Joe Buck and John Smoltz' anti-Dodgers banter this whole fucking series.

Enough.

I'm breaking free of these shackles that the baseball gods have tried to place upon me. I'm not bowing to them any more.

The Dodgers are winning. I'm calling it.

I'm not even going to talk about the Brewers, as I'm moving forward. I'm not even giving this Milwaukee team the courtesy of a label for this blogpost. I'm already preparing for the World Series matchup with the Red Sox, whom we last saw in 2016 (we went 2-1). We're 12-8 this year in interleague play, which may not be as good as Boston's 16-4, but they haven't seen us yet. And we'll have a well-rested Clayton Kershaw, who won't be needed in today's blowout victory.

Fuck you, baseball gods. We're winning this Game 7, and going on to Boston.

Hasa diga eebowai.

(and speaking of LDS:)

Friday, October 19, 2018

NLCS Game 6 Thread: Oct 19 @ Brewers, 5:30p


Hyun-Jin Ryu vs. Wade Miley

Wait. Wade Miley? I think I blacked out or something because didn't he start Game 5? Oh yeah, Craig Counsell threw him out there for one batter, in a wackadoo gambit to get Dave Roberts to turn over his lineup. And it kinda worked...until it didn't. Good October Kershaw showed up and prevailed, and now the Dodgers stand one win away from returning to the World Series for the first time in about 365 days.

But, as the spooky gentleman above reminds us, let's not get ahead of ourselves. The Dodgers have to get the job done against the Brewers first. The adjustments they made in Game 5 were definitely encouraging, but holy hell have they struck out a lot in this series. We are still nervous.

One person who DEFINITELY got ahead of himself is Adrian Gonzalez, who tweeted this WHILE ALCS GAME 5 WAS STILL GOING ON:


It's now deleted, but holy shit, AGon. Sure, he got one right*, but you do NOT fuck with the baseball gods like that. The real pity is if he's proven 100% correct later tonight, there won't be time to ask him for tonight's Mega Millions numbers.

GO BLUE!

--

*We here at SoSG would VERY MUCH like to dance on the grave of the Astros' 2018 season, but we'll restrain ourselves until the Dodgers win this series.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

NLCS Game 5 Thread: Oct 17 vs. Brewers, 2p


All Belli, no flop.

Clayton Kershaw vs. Wade Miley

Are you awake? Are you alive?

In a 5+ hour Game 4 that felt like it took about 5 days (and at least 5 years off our lives), the Dodgers finally bounced back. The NLCS is now tied, thanks to the combined heroics of the Dodger bullpen(!!!), Brain Dozier (an early RBI single after most were shocked he was even starting), Manny Machado (a 13th inning single followed by taking second on a wild pitch, plus some...other stuff), and Cody Bellinger (walk-off single and the above game-saving catch).

Look for today's game to be ~NARRATIVE CITY~ with the FS1 broadcast (which, to this point, has been AWFUL, even by FOX standards) focusing on both the now-villainous Manny Machado and the postseason woes of Clayton Kershaw. The Manny complaints are legitimate, as last night's kicking of Aguilar's leg at first base was, at worst, dirty, and, at best, massively stupid. The Kershaw story? Well, that's up for him to write. We've seen both sides this postseason, and we're ready for the good chapter again.

So, take a late lunch, because this one's a weird-ass day game. At least it should end at a reasonable time, right? Right?

GO BLUE!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

NLCS Game 4 Thread: Oct 16 vs. Brewers, 6p


Dick Mountain vs. Gio Gonzalez

Last night's loss was a breaking point for a lot of people. Fans turned on players. Players turned on fans. The offense turned on scoring opportunities. It was a mess.

But that's in the past. And it has to stay there, if the Dodgers are to have any hope of winning this series. Molly Knight said it best on Twitter today:
Nothing more to say, really. Play better or go home.

What's it going to be, Dodgers?

Monday, October 15, 2018

NLCS Game 3 Thread: 10/15 vs Brewers, 4:30p

Walker Buehler vs Jhoulys Chacin.

That's right, Dodger fans. Just when you thought you were all snug as a bug wearing your Coat of Emotional Indifference, along come Justin Turner and Pedro Baez (!!!) to rip that fucker up and throw it in the shredder (I know, no such thing as a coat shredder, work with me here).

So now we're hopeful! Which means we're vulnerable! Which we promised we would never ever be since goddamn Game 7!

Someday we'll look back and realize these are good problems to have.

But not today.

So here's a little nugget of hope: Unlike Wade Miley — who has been so good against us he could join Billie Jean King in the Dodgers' ownership group — Jhoulys Chacin isn't a Dodger-killer. In his last start, the Dodgers won 21-5.

So let's channel our inner Michael Corleone and send the Brewers to go fishing with Al Neri on a cold, wintry day.

(splash)

It Was 30 Years Ago Today


Earlier at SoSG: It Was 25 Years Ago Today

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Good Times for L.A Pro Sports

Turner: Jeff Roberson/AP

Last Night's Real Hero

I'm not asking for a parade, for the Delino is not one to brag or boast.

But the second Delino Jr's daddy sat down with his spiked arnold palmer and brand new Lindsey Buckingham Koozie, the game changed.

Even YAZ could not harsh the mellow of the Delino's hardcore lemonade/iced tea fueled buzz.

Once Justin Turner cracked his two run dinger, the future of this series was cemented. The Koozie. The sweet sweet booze. The now somewhat tight, ten year old NLDS shirt (courtesy of SOSG's Sax). They will be the staple for the rest of the playoffs. Fight on!

Saturday, October 13, 2018

NLCS Game 2 Thread: 10/13 @ Brewers, 1p

Dammit cloud wipe that smile off your face.

Hyun-Jin Ryu vs Wade Miley.

Yesterday the Dodgers and Brewers teamed up to beat the Dodgers — but just barely, which I guess is the silver lining here. (Why always with the goddamn silver lining? Why can't we make the whole cloud out of silver???).

The good news is that resident Brewers youthful racist/homophobe Josh Hader won't be available today, and Ryu can solidify his status as the Dodgers' number-one pitcher (sorry Clayton, but giving up a 407-foot homer to a reliever will do that) by pitching the Dodgers to a win.

The bad news is that Miley dominated the Dodgers earlier this year, holding them scoreless over seven innings in a 1-0 Brewers victory in July. Oh, and the Dodgers are down in this series. That's bad news too.

Friday, October 12, 2018

NLCS Game 1 Thread: Oct 12 @ Brewers, 5p



Clayton Kershaw vs. Gio Gonzalez

The Dodgers are back in the NLCS for the third(!) year in a row. This will be a very difficult series for us here at SoSG. Is it because we still don't have 100% faith in the swing for the fences offense? Is it because the Dodgers reversed the Kershaw Game 1, Ryu Game 2 rotation that worked so well in the NLDS? Is it because the Brewers have such a formidable bullpen? Is it because the Dodgers have a chance to go back to the World Series and our hearts are still fragile from last year?

All those are things to worry about, sure, but the most important reason the Sons are concerned about this series is having to root against one of our oldest and dearest friends...BEER. OK, Miller beer specifically, but it hurts our souls to disparage any beer. (Even though "I like beer!" has become a real shitty take. THANKS, BRETT.) And beer brewers are our personal heroes.

But it's the Dodgers. And history is on the line. There are lots of other beers in the taps. (We'll need them all.) So, we officially kick Miller and all Milwaukee-adjacent beers to the curb.

GO BLUE!

Monday, October 08, 2018

Post-NLDS Thread: SoSG Orel, Machado Is Listening

Late season acquisition Manny Machado finally showed up in Game 4, lifting his NLDS average to a whopping .176 in the process.

I'll take it.

Let's go, Dodgers! On to Milwaukee!

More: Manny Machado's concussive blow helps Dodgers finish off Braves in NLDS (Andy McCullough, LAT)

NLDS Game 4 Thread: Oct 8 vs. Barves

"Look, don't give up on me just yet, SoSG Orel."

Rich Hill (11-5, 3.66) vs. Mike Foltynewicz (13-10, 2.85).

Manny Machado has batted cleanup all three games this series, where he is collectively 1-for-12 with 7 Ks, a .083 BA, and a .487 OPS. Sure, his one HR in Game 2 probably won the game for us. But the rest of his swings, a big looping disaster reminiscent of Cody Bellinger in last year's playoffs, is a catastrophe (Bellinger is also anniversarying his playoff performance with an 0-fer-series so far in 2018). If we lose this series--and last night's pendulum-swinging Game 3 loss seems to have shifted momentum to Atlanta--it's going to be because Machado has been a black hole up there at the plate.

Not that we didn't have our chances last night, battling back to tie the game after a Walker Buehler mental meltdown in the second inning (even Buehler recovered, and he sounded pissed off after the game), only to fall short by one run thanks to another Alex Wood mistake.

We've got D Mountain going tonight, so you know there's going to be at least one shaky inning in there. Let's get to Foltynewicz early, as we did in Game 1, and see if we can put this series away.

photo: AP / Mark J. Terrill

Sunday, October 07, 2018

NLDS Game 3 Thread: 10/7 @ Barves, 5p

The Wave sucks but I'll take it over the stupid imperialistic tomahawk chop any day.

Walker Buehler (regular season: 8-5, 2.62) vs Sean Newcomb (rs: 12-9, 3.90).

Goddammit, Dodgers. Now you've given us hope.

In the 2017 NLDS against the Diamondbacks, the Dodgers started:

  • Clayton Kershaw
  • Rich Hill
  • Yu Darvish

In the 2018 NLDS against the Braves, the Dodgers are starting:

  • Hyun-Jin Ryu
  • Clayton Kershaw
  • Walker Buehler

Which rotation makes you feel better?

Despite a frustratingly topsy-turvy regular season, the Dodgers are again in a position to sweep their NLDS opponent (we swept Arizona last year; haha, eat it Snakes!). Not only that, but the 2018 Dodgers led the NL in home runs with 235, while the 2017 edition was fourth with 221.

This is conflicting: How can this year's team, which scratched its way to a division title, seem better than last year's juggernaut? If this year's team could just stop leaving the bases loaded, we might stand a chance against the Brewers in the NLCS.

photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Friday, October 05, 2018

NLDS Game 2 Thread: 10/5 vs Barves, 6:30p

Clayton Kershaw (regular season: 9-5, 2.73) vs Anibal Sanchez (RS: 7-6, 2.83).

With half of the Ryu/Kershaw "controversy" settled — nice work, Hyun-Jin! — it's time for Kershaw to dominate tonight's game and make us wonder who would start a possible Game 5.

There's no other choice, really. Anything less than a stellar performance will serve notice that Kershaw is fatigued beyond repair, placing him behind Ryu and Walker Buehler as the Dodgers' third-best pitcher.

Clayton Kershaw, the Dodgers' third-best pitcher? Does not fucking compute.

So forget about what's going to happen in the off-season (he's totally opting out, by the way). Clayton Kershaw has a very high bar to clear tonight.

SoSG Sax and I will be in the house tonight, cheering him on. Go Blue!

Thursday, October 04, 2018

NLDS Game 1 Thread: 10/4 vs Barves, 5:30p

"Wassup peeps?"

Hyun-Jin Ryu (regular season: 7-3, 1.97) vs Mike Foltynewiczczskemindhiemfbw (RS: 13-10, 2.85).

Surprise! The era of the Dodgers totally and completely leaning on Clayton Kershaw is over as Dave Roberts tabs Hyun-Jin Ryu for his first-ever (I think; too lazy to look it up) postseason Game 1 start.

Kershaw, 30, has seen his velocity dip precipitously this season and has had to rely on old-man wiles to get by. Meanwhile, Ryu, 31 — wait a goddamn minute. Ryu is older than Kershaw but we're acting like Kersh is hobbling to the old folks' home while Ryu just hatched from an egg?

What an odd, stressful season this has been.

Anyhoo, is this really the sixth straight year we've gone through the playoff wringer? Ouch. Are you ready to forget the massive heartbreak from 2017 and cheer with an unburdened heart? Me neither, but let's pretend!

Two Sons in the house (AC & myself) so be sure y'all GT folks keep it lively. Go Blue!

P.S.: If you believe this...

...how do you explain this?

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Ryu Goes Thursday (Game 1); Kershaw Friday (Game 2)

The Dodgers named their starters for the 2018 NLDS, and for the first time in forever, Clayton Kershaw is not starting Game 1:

LOS ANGELES -- Hyun-Jin Ryu will start Game 1 of the National League Division Series for the Dodgers on Thursday, while Clayton Kershaw will get the nod in Game 2 on Friday, the club announced Tuesday.

That gives both pitchers an extra day of rest and keeps them in order, as Ryu pitched Friday night in San Francisco and Kershaw on Saturday. Because of scheduled off-days after Games 2 and 4 in the NLDS, Kershaw could still start Game 5 on normal rest, so the move does not affect his availability to pitch twice on full rest in the series.

This year, Kershaw has a 3.21 ERA with 7.6 strikeouts per nine innings, and a 3.9 strikeout-to-walk ratio on four days' rest. With five or more days of rest, he has a 2.48 ERA, a 9.2 K/9 and a 6.4 K/BB ratio. Although Kershaw has started on short rest repeatedly in past postseasons, there are no plans to use him that way this year. He did say after Monday's win over the Rockies, though, that he was available out of the bullpen on two days' rest.

If this sounds weird, it's because we haven't had a non-Kershaw Game 1 since 2009:

The move marks the first time since 2009 that Kershaw will not start a postseason opener for the Dodgers. Kershaw has allowed eight runs on 14 hits over his past 11 innings, while Ryu has given up only one run on 12 hits in his past 19 innings.

Look, as long as I get a chance to see both of them go at home this week, I'm okay with the ordering.

UPDATE 10/3 11.49p: Apparently, Dylan Hernandez is not okay with the ordering.

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Dodgers Leverage Global Footprint For Strength

Fascinating article over at mlb.com, indicating that the Dodgers' path to postseason contention is different from the other nine teams, in that the Dodgers leveraged homegrown players more than almost all the other playoff teams--but were without peer as far as looking internationally to fill their roster:

Dodgers
Homegrown (Draft + Int'l): 11 (WAR: 23.3)
• Draft: 6 (WAR: 16.1)
• International: 5 (WAR: 7.2)
Free Agents: 2 (WAR: 8.6)
Trades: 12 (WAR: 18.9)

Though the Dodgers had baseball's largest payroll each year from 2014-17 and rank third among postseason teams in 2018, they are the most homegrown postseason participant besides the Rockies. Clayton Kershaw (2006) and Walker Buehler (2015) were first-round selections, while Ross Stripling (fifth round, 2012) and Cody Bellinger (fourth round, 2013) were later-round steals. Los Angeles leads all playoff clubs with five international signees, including Yasiel Puig ($42 million contract out of Cuba in 2012), Hyun-Jin Ryu ($36 million contract, Korea, 2012) and Kenley Jansen ($85,000 as a catcher, Curacao, 2004). The Dodgers have fewer free agents than anyone, though both Justin Turner and Max Muncy have made bigger impacts that expected. President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and GM Farhan Zaidi have filled out the lineup with astute trades for Manny Machado, Chris Taylor, Yasmani Grandal and Enrique Hernandez.

Monday, October 01, 2018

Is the Sixth Time the Charm?

Game 163 Thread: Oct 1 vs. Rox, 1p

Buehler (7-5, 2.75) vs. Marquez (14-10, 3.76)

Unsatisfied with playing 162 games this season, the Dodgers opted to go one more round with the Colorado Rockies, in a matinee game today that will determine who goes to a best-of-five series vs the Braves, and who goes to a winner-take-all one-game series against an NL Central team.

And these are some hot rocks we're up against today, winners of nine in their last ten.

But wait, say you: didn't four of those games come against a Phillies team whose manager, still probably sore about losing the Dodgers job to Dave Roberts, might have told his Phillies to roll over and get pounded, 39-7 over four games?

And didn't two of the Rockies' wins over the Nationals this past weekend come against mediocre pitching, whereas they were routed 12-2 when they finally faced a real starter (Stephen Strasburg: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER)?

And weren't the Rockies' last seven games at home in hitter-friendly Coors Field?

And aren't the Dodgers 12-7 this year vs. the Rockies, punctuated most recently by a sweep at home in mid-September?

Well, we'll see how hot these rocks really are, I suppose, in this critical game. Sure, German Marquez struck out the first eight batters in his last start, but again, it was against the Phillies. And he's 2-0 against us this year in three starts, but that third start lasted only six innings, was a ND, and the Rockies lost 12-4.

On our side, Buehler struck 12 Rockies over six innings on September 19 (two starts ago), so he'll be no slouch. In fact, I think I can already hear him greeting the Rockies this afternoon:

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game

Woo woo!

Note: You want some bulletin board material for this game? Try this article from today's Denver Post, in which they liken Justin Turner to Randy Newman's "big nasty redhead." Hmm.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Series Thread (Games 160-162): Sept 28-30 @ Gnats


Fri, 9/28 7:15p: Ryu vs. Bumgarner
Sat, 9/29 1:05p: Kershaw vs. Rodriguez
Sun, 9/30 12:05p: Buehler Hill vs. Suarez

(Quick note: I've paid so little attention to the Gnats this year that I have no idea who Rodriguez and Suarez are.)

Hey, remember last Saturday? 2.5 games up in the division with 7 to play? So cool, right? It's amazing what going 1-3 against out-of-contention division rivals will do to your spirits. (Not the spirits we've ingested since then, but those are in play this weekend too.) In that same span, the Rockies have gone 5-0 and now sit 1 game up in the division going into the final weekend.

But just how final will this final weekend be for our beloved, but, let's be honest, wholly mediocre 2018 Dodgers? Well, they'd have to be truly, spectacularly awful in San Francisco to miss the postseason entirely. They do have a 1 game lead on the Cardinals for the second Wild Card, so only getting swept by the Giants, combined with the Cardinals sweeping the Cubs, would mean the Dodgers season would end on Sunday. Not outside the realm of possibility, but let's think a little more positively. (SoSG Patron Saint of Positivity Karina and old friend Yvonne Carrasco would have it no other way.)

The best way for the Dodgers to play past Sunday is to JUST WIN, BABY! A sweep of the Gnats would guarantee a Wild Card spot and maaaayyybe secure a division win, if the red-hot Rockies pick this weekend to up and die. Two out of three isn't as great, but would guarantee at least a tiebreaker game with the Cards for the WC.

So, yeah, this season, which started with a river of shit, is coming to a potentially painful finish. But it could also be the start of something AMAZING. What are you going to do, not watch? Well, I mean yeah, you're not, because you don't have Spectrum. But you're going to at least pay attention, right?!

GO BLUE! (Pretty please?)

UPDATE 9/30 9a (Sax): With the Dodgers and Rockies tied after 161 games, Rich Hill will take the mound today for the Dodgers. Holy shit, I'm freaking out here.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

228! 229!

Keep 'em coming.

227!

With one swing of the Mighty Turner's bat, the Dodgers come that much closer to a Wild Card.

But more importantly, they have reached 227 HOME RUNS FOR THE SEASON

To Justin and all the Sons, this one's for you.

In case you want to sing along...There's no place like home
With your family around you you're never alone
When ya know that your loved
You don't need to roam
Cause there's no place like home

Time's are changing everyday
We won't get by with those same old ways
(No-oooo)
Pulling together, we'll make it right
With help from our friends, I know we'll get by

Cause there's no place like home
With your family around you you're never alone
When you know that your loved
You don't need to roam
Cause there ain't no place like
(Better believe it)
There ain't no place like
(Better believe it)
Cause there ain't no place like
There's no place like home
"I mean no place child".

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Series Thread (Games 157-159): Sept 24-26 @ Snakes

Mon Sept 24 6.30p: Kershaw vs. Ray
Tues Sept 25 6.30p: Buehler vs. Koch
Wed Sept 26 6.30p: Stripling vs. Greinke

The Snakes are already dead, proclaimed SoSG Orel in yesterday's GT. But that doesn't make these Snakes any less potent, as they still wield the power to shape the NL West division race with a strong showing against the Dodgers in the desert.

Everyone says the Dodgers have a creampuff schedule down the stretch, however we are only 7-9 this season vs. both the Diamondbacks and our next opponent, the Giants (we've feasted on Colorado and San Diego). And here's the math: if we go 3-3 for the remainder of the season, Colorado (against the Phillies and Nationals, both of whom have also been eliminated from postseason contention) just needs to go 5-2 to tie (we have the tiebreaker, but still). So it ain't over 'til it's over.

Don't let a "dead" snake fool you, Dodgers!

And make sure you tune in for what might be Clayton Kershaw's last regular season start as a Dodger (cries).

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

IT'S COMING

What... you may ask?

A NUMBER even more magical than our cherished and cursed FIVE.

One more dinger.

One more tater.

One more bomb.

And the Dodgers will reach a plateau so magical, we dare not even speak its name.

SonsOfSteveGarvey, in conjunction with

...and the estate of Marla Gibbs, will be covering this historic event with up-to-the-second real time analysis. Get your champagne and Charles Shaw wine ready, SOSG-maniacs. For there's "no place like home(r)".

Friday, September 21, 2018

Series Thread (Games 154-156): Sept 21-23 vs. Padres

This picture doesn't have anything to do with my GT, but I did think of this game when looking at the Padres' starter for Sunday.

Fri 9/21 7p: Stripling vs. Lauer
Sat 9/22 6p: Hill vs. Nix
Sun 9/23 1p: Ryu vs. Lucchesi

This is it, the last home series of the year! The Dodgers are coming off a head of steam, sweeping Colorado for the first three games of this short homestand, seizing a 2.5 game lead on the division with nine games left. Hackneyed articles about the Dodgers' bloated payroll be damned; we are now a "blue-collar" team, according to Mike Lupica of mlb.com. So we need to keep grinding away at our magic number, currently at 8 for the division title.

There's more baseball to play.

That said, we always seem to do poorly against the bad teams (exhibit a: 1-6 record vs. Cincinnati this season), so do you think we'll keep up the grinding against a team that's not even .400 on the season (61-92)?

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Billie Jean King Joins Dodgers Ownership

This is unexpected and thrilling in equal measure — a move that helps us root for the Dodgers as an organization as opposed to merely a group of players. Welcome to the Blue, Billie Jean & Ilana!

Monday, September 17, 2018

Series Thread (Games 151-153): 9/17-19 vs Rox

Mon, 7p: Hyun-Jin Ryu vs Jon Gray
Tues, 7p: Clayton Kershaw vs Kyle Freeland
Wed, 7p: Walker Buehler vs Tyler Anderson

Three games against the team that's a half game up on us? It's crucial!

But what about that four-game series we just took from the team we're battling for the second wild card spot — wasn't that crucial too?

Well, it can't be as crucial as this series, so let's say it was critical.

But what about when we played the Rockies two weekends ago? And the Snakes three weekends ago? I heard those were crucial too!

OK, so maybe those were more like pressing series. But this series — it's crucial!

Also, we would be remiss if we didn't recognize that Tuesday is quite possibly Clayton Kershaw's last home start as a Dodger. What else is there to say but: Thank you for everything, Clayton! and (cries)

photo: Chris Carlson/AP

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Wonderboy Lives!

And is feeling the love.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Series Thread (Games 147-150): Sept 13-16 @ Cardinals

Thurs 9/13 4.15p: Kershaw vs. Gomber
Fri 9/14 5.15p: Buehler vs. Flaherty
Sat 9/15 10a: Hill vs. Gant
Sun 9/16 5p: TBD vs. Wainwright

Look, I could write something about how this is a critical four-game series for the Dodgers, 1.0 games out of the NL West lead with only 16 to play (pending completion of the AZ@COL game on Wednesday 9/12). There's still time, anything can happen, blah blah blah.

But let's face it, this year is toast, having lost all momentum following an absolutely pathetic series loss (and almost sweep) in Cincinnati, which drops us to 1-6 on the season against one of the worst teams in baseball.

Whose breakout star is named after a muppet.

Instead, it's time to look critically at this team and accept the fact that, despite bringing almost everyone back from last year's NL-champion squad, and witnessing a few bright surprises in Max Muncy and Walker Buehler, we've seen regressions across the board for this team:

  • CT3 is the king of Ks
  • Turner, our rock-solid bat, spent most of the year injured
  • Joc and Kike are worse than last year from the plate
  • Yaz is not only a defensive liability, his cold streaks at the plate are death to the lineup
  • Bellinger has struggled against the shift and, despite a good August (on which my brother can't stop reminding me), has been moribund all year
  • Kemp had a surprising first half but has fallen to earth
  • As has Chicken Strips and Wood
  • Dozier is batting .193 with the Dodgers, which is shockingly even worse than Logiebear was
  • Utley is old
  • Kenley is not Kenley
  • Kershaw, again injured, also doesn't have his best stuff this year
  • Our bullpen is unreliable, and Pedro Baez is still there
  • Charley Steiner is mixing up his calls
  • Rick Monday still can't tell us the score of the game
  • Dieter's organ is sounding more tinny than last year
  • Digital bobbleheads are a stupid idea
  • The new netting makes the outfield scoreboards difficult to read
  • The hat shuffle is too fucking difficult with seven hats
  • There are no dippin' dots in the future
  • There are probably no playoffs in our future, either

On the flipside, though, there is a positive side of the ledger (as SoSG Dusty reminded me):

  • We can get beer in our seats now

So I guess all is not lost, he says. I suppose he's right.

but it sure feels that way

(cries)

Monday, September 10, 2018

Series Thread (Games 144-146): Sept 10-12 @ Red Stockings

Monday 9/10 3.40p: Wood vs. Reed (that sounds kinda funny, huh)
Tuesday 9/11 3.40p: Ryu vs. Castillo
Wednesday 9/12 9.30a (ugh): TBD vs. DeSclafani

Did you know the Cincinnati Reds were originally called the Red Stockings? And if the kid in Nebraska who wrote the Wikipedia entry is to be believed, after an early dissolution and move to Boston (to make a team that eventually became the Atlanta Braves), the Cincinnati Red Stockings were "expelled from the league after the 1880 season, for 'violating' rules which had not yet gone into effect: namely, serving beer at games and allowing their park to be used on Sundays." Love the part about the beer violation; that gives the Reds more street cred in my book.

Street cred aside, however, we need the Dodgers to really take it to the Reds this week, and take advantage of drawing the third-worst team in the NL on our schedule in mid-September. We see two starters with losing records before DeSclafani on Wednesday, and he's 7-4 but with a 4.56 ERA. But you may recall, when the Reds visited us in Dodger Stadium in May, we were swept in the four-game series for the first time since 1976. So this may not be easy.

Since the third-place Diamondbacks are visiting NL West leader Colorado for a three-game set, this would be a perfect time for us to be stocking up some wins in the home stretch.

Friday, September 07, 2018

Series Thread (Games 141-143): Sept 7-9 @ Rockies

Friday 9/7 5.40p: Kershaw vs. Gray
Saturday 9/8 5p: Buehler vs. Freeland
Sunday 9/9 12p: Wood vs. Anderson

The last time we faced a divisional rival, we romped, taking three of four dramatic games vs. the Diamondbacks at home. Arizona entered the series in first place and exited the series in third place, allowing us a very brief stay at the top of the division, with happiness and momentum on our side.

And then, we went out and shit the bed vs. the Mets, ending with a comedy of errors and an inexplicably late yanking of our starting pitcher from the usually trigger-happy Dave Roberts.

Now we're in Colorado, against the division-leading Rockies, back 1.5 games. The 10-game road trip that starts tonight mandates that we get off to a strong start, because we end with four in St. Louis that won't be pretty (16 of the Dodgers' last 22 games are on the road). It's crunch time. Hope we brought our bats on this trip.

Monday, September 03, 2018

Series Thread (Games 138-140): Sept 3-5 vs. Mets

The Kempire Strikes Back...Twice

Monday 9/3 5p: Wood vs. deGrom L, 2-4
Tuesday 9/4 7p: Hill vs. Vargas W, 11-4
Wednesday 9/5 4.30p (?) Ryu vs. Wheeler

Coming off two consecutive 3-2 victories punctuated by two consecutive dramatic hits by Matt Kemp off of two consecutive misplaced pitches by Arizona reliever and pool defender Archie Bradley, the Dodgers now find themselves in first place, over Colorado by a half-game and Arizona by a full game.

That was one hell of a rip-roaring series, as we took three of four from the Diamondbacks, who came to Los Angeles in first place with momentum, and left in third place, battered and bruised.

Tonight's series doesn't start any easier, despite the fact that it's the 61-75 Mets. The opening game starts Jacob deGrom, whose 8-8 record belies his 1.68 ERA and 0.98 WHIP. But it's go time now: 25 games left in this short season. Let's go, Dodgers.

Show me what you got!

UPDATE 9/5: Okay, so we scorched the Mets 11-4 Tuesday night. I'm still pissed off at seeing our 4-2 loss on Monday. And now it seems the Mets only got the win through chicanery and deceit.

The Mets suck.

Sunday, September 02, 2018

At-Game Recap: Kemp HR Lifts Dodgers To First Place

Went to the game last night and had a blast watching the Dodgers' dramatic comeback 3-2 victory over Arizona, putting us in a first place tie for the division. With apologies to Allan Malamud, here are some notes on a scorecard:

  • Went to the game with my father and my brother-in-law and his wife. My brother-in-law is a Giants fan and wore a Giants spring training shirt to the game. I told him he was on his own.
  • I know it was a sellout crowd (announced attendance, 52,394), but there was no line at the Kings Hawaiian Barbecue in left field. Had a lobster roll before the game and was pleasantly satisfied. This is becoming my go-to place.
  • Took my position on the third base side, field level. Views were awesome as usual, despite that horrible netting which makes it more difficult to see the right-field scoreboard. Man, I love it here.
  • Saw the brand new beer-delivery-in-seat guy, but I had already gone up to grab my second beer, so I didn't partake. Was excited to find out that you could get beer at the Michelada Express line, which saved me a long wait.
  • The Dodgers looked woeful in those opening innings. I wasn't scared by Clayton Kershaw's two HRs yielded, as solo shots aren't deathblows and I knew Kershaw would settle. His line: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 Ks.
  • What was pissing me off, though, were all the missed opportunities. In the third inning, the one-out double by Justin Turner, stranded when Manny Machado and Matt Kemp both struck out, was infuriating. But the following inning was worse: Second and third with one out, Austin Barnes taps back to the pitcher who nails David Freese at home, but Barnes was so useless on his FC, he didn't even take second base (Puig, at least, was smart enough to take third on the baserunning gaffe). It ended up being irrelevant since Kershaw grounded out for the final out, but still.
  • I'm actually not sure why Brian Dozier was in the lineup (0-for-3 in the leadoff (?) spot, though he made a great defensive play). Or Austin Barnes (1-for-2 in the 8-hole). New addition David Freese batting fifth was weird, but he went 1-for-2 and also had some great grabs at first, so I'll take it.
  • Got a text from my mom, who was up in loge, complaining that I wouldn't stoop to visit her from the snooty field level. As I went upstairs, I bumped into with Stan Kasten. "Hi Mr. Kasten, I'm enjoying the game!" I said. "I'm not," said Kasten, "because we're losing!" But I got a selfie with him as we went up the escalators.

  • Said hello to my mom in the unremarkable fifth inning.
  • Also said hi to SoSG Alex Cora, in the house!
  • Then went back down to field level to see SoSG Orel, also in the house! He too was with a Giants fan, wearing said cap...who ended up liking the game after seeing the dramatic victory (probably doesn't get many of those up north). SoSG Orel was also sitting with SoSG regular Johnny Blanchard. Good to meet you, Johnny!
  • Kenta Maeda was dealing in the eighth inning, with 2 Ks.
  • The fateful bottom of the eighth played out like this. Turner singles to right, so I get excited. Machado works a ridiculous walk, which flustered Arizona reliever Archie Bradley. Kemp came up and after swinging late on two fastballs, watched a knuckle curve miss before slamming the fourth pitch into left center for a three-run HR. Why Bradley didn't throw more heat, I don't know; a second straight curve seems really stupid, and Kemp made him pay for that mistake. But Matt freaking Kemp? Who has had a horrible July / August, to balance out his torrid first half? HE hits the home run to take the lead? That was totally surprising.
  • My father, ever the optimist, called the Kemp HR. I, on the other hand, ever the realist, was calling "anything but a GIDP, Matt!" I'm glad my dad was right.
  • I did my part, though. I have a Dodgers cap from Sydney Australia (from the March 2014 games they played in that country to kick off the baseball season), and I like this hat but unfortunately it has not been good luck for Dodger games. So I turned it inside out for the late innings, and wore it upside down. It WORKED. That's good, as I like wearing that cap.
  • I was also wearing a Real Madrid jersey (the away jersey, which is dark blue). It's a weird call; I almost always wear Dodger shirts to the game. I felt like we needed a change of pace, though. And maybe this worked as well.
  • Kenley looked Kenley-esque last night, which was a nice change. Hopefully he's back?!
  • My brother in law got shit from some fans for his shirt, and I told him he was on his own.

So with that 3-2 victory, we're now in a tie for first, with one more game in this series this afternoon, and 26 games to play in the season.

Let's get schwifty!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Series Thread (Games 134-137): 8/30-9/2 vs Snakes

Thurs, 7p: vs Rich Hill vs Robbie Ray
Fri, 7p: Hyun-Jin Ryu vs Zack Greinke
Sat, 6p: Clayton Kershaw vs Patrick Corbin
Sun, 1p: Walker Buehler vs Clay Buchholz

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

"Series" Thread (Games 132-133): August 28-29 @ Rangers

Tues 8/28: Walker Buehler vs. Ariel Jurado, 5p
Wed 8/29: Alex Wood vs. Mike Minor, 5p

Just after abandoning all hope in the SoSG World Headquarters, following the dispiriting sweep by the Cardinals, the Dodgers beat up on the division rival Padres to get back a small piece of their manhood (if beating up friars makes one more masculine, that is). COupled with the Giants' shutout of Arizona in SF, and the Angels' late come-from-behind victory vs. Colorado, the Dodgers find themselves only two games back of the division lead and one game back of the Rockies. The Dodgers still have shrunken scrotums, abut at least there may be something in there after all.

Meanwhile, we Sons took the weekend off from posting Series Threads (i.e., we were hung over), but now we're back, somewhat hopeful again (and back atop Baseball Prospectus' Playoff Odds charts, at 56.0% playoff odds vs. Arizona's 53.4%), though incredibly guarded (and, as seen from the above picture, dressed in hipster garb). I would love nothing more than to have "Ariel, listen to me" in the first game, and then get make sure the second game ends on a Minor key for the Rangers.

I'm gingerly hopeful, that the offense will show up, that Matt Kemp's slump is over, that Kenley Jansen won't give up any more ninth-inning home runs.

You?