Monday, October 29, 2018

5 Burning Questions Ow It Burns Make It Stop

I did not tweet this tweet. Maybe we got hacked.

It's the return of Five Things! (That means something to like two of you out there.)

1. Kersh: In or out? Obviously he can make more than $65 million for two years so he'll opt out, but will he re-sign with us and stay competitive or sign with his hometown Rangers and enjoy the second half of his career closer to home? The first domino falls soon.

2. Harper? First of all, Goodbye Felicia/Manny. Secondly, do we break the bank for Harper? Does the front office think he'll fit their newfangled homer-only adjust-never approach? If we land Harper, who goes? Does Joc and/or Puig become trade bait? Remember we owe Kemp $21.5M next year.

3. Catcher issues. Grandal leads the free-agent catcher class with his 24 regular-season HRs and supposedly legendary framing skills. The Dodgers are unlikely to dish out for offense they already have and his butterfinger defense, but then who becomes the everyday catcher? Barnes? The minor-league guys are still years away so this one is a head-scratcher. Maybe a trade?

4. How to fix the bullpen. Once Kenley gets his heart surgery, will he return to the Kenley of old? Can we go Baez in the 8th to Kenley in the 9th and just figure out the post-starter bridge guys? Remember the Dodgers owe Jansen $56M over the next three years so he isn't going anywhere.

5. Forget small ball. It's big ball now. Somewhere along the line the front office decided to mash at all costs. Will they decide this year's results were worth it? Was NLCS Game 5 just a fluke? Will Justin Turner remain the only guy who excels at situational hitting?

OK that was more than five questions but you get the idea. This team needs to make some decisions.

Post-World Series Thread: WELP


*Ron Howard voice* They didn't.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

World Series Game 5 Thread: Oct 28 vs. Red Sox, 5p

JUST.

FUCKING.

WIN.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

World Series Game 4 Thread: Oct 27 vs. Red Sox, 5p


Muncy popped it up and over the center field wall for the win.

Rich Hill vs. Eduardo Rodriguez

Last night's historic marathon 7 hr and 20 min, 18-inning affair broke all space and time. No one knows who's starting today. No one knows anything that's going to happen next. HOW THE HELL CAN ONE GAME THREAD ENCAPSULATE THIS WEIRDNESS??!! I'm not even going to try. I'm going to get some more sleep before game time and try to sort this all out.

GO BLUE! *passes out*

Friday, October 26, 2018

World Series Game 3 Thread: Oct 26 vs. Red Sox, 5p


Walker Buehler vs. Rick Porcello

Failure was the overarching theme of the first two games of this World Series. Failure to execute at the plate. Failure to execute out of the pen. And, maybe most importantly, failure to get a third out. The Sox are ungodly good with two outs. Remember when "TWO OUT MADNESS!" was our thing? It was our thing, wasn't it? Maybe way back when.

Speaking of way back when, a lot is being made of the '65 and '81 Dodgers both being down 0-2 and coming back to win the Series. That's neat and all, but letting the past die has worked before in this Series and we need it to work again. Make new history, Dodgers. We've waited long enough.


Bring your broom, Broom Boy! The Dodgers need a sweep at home!

Just like the end of The Last Jedi, the future begins with the young: Walker Buehler on the mound. Joc and Cody back in the starting lineup. Seize the day, boys.

GO BLUE!

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

World Series Game 2 Thread: 10/24 @ Red Sox, 5p

We'll always have this moment. We'll always have this moment. We'll always have this moment.

Hyun-Jin Ryu (postseason: 1-1, 4.40) vs David Price (PS: 1-1, 5.11).

So it turns out there are a few things a team needs to play well in the World Series:

  • effective starting pitching [last night: noooooope]
  • timely hitting [last night: kinda]
  • strong defense [last night: noooooope]
  • canny bullpen management [last night: noooooope]

Why it took the Dodgers THE ENTIRETY OF GAME 1 to figure this out is beyond me. Maybe it was the cold weather, maybe Dave Roberts had brain freeze from shotgunning a pregame Slurpee (Coca Cola flavor, natch), maybe...the Red Sox are simply the better team.

But hey! It’s not the better team that wins — it’s the team that plays better. And the 92-71 Dodgers, who beat the 96-67 Brewers to reach the World Series, have it in them to take Game 2. They just have to execute when they absolutely can't afford not to (which frankly seems to be the only time they do so).

Although Boston native Rich Hill seems a natural to start this game, Ryu gets the start to set Hill up for relief work in later games. Road Ryu (8.59 ERA, 2.05 WHIP) is def not preferable to Home Ryu (0.00 ERA, 0.57 WHIP) but dude, it's the World Series. Sack up, Hyun-Jin.

Listen: Dodger Stadium is unfortunately going to be packed with entitled Red Sox fans on Friday. It's gonna suck. Let's give them one less thing to cheer for.

A Special Message. From DAD

To all the Sons and Daughters, stay strong. Game 2's coming!

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?

UPDATE, 10/28: No.

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.