Friday, August 17, 2018

Series Thread (Games 123-125): August 17-19 @ Mariners

Friday 8/17 7p: Buehler vs. LeBlanc
Saturday 8/18 7p: Hill vs. Ramirez
Sunday 8/19 1p: Kershaw vs. TBD

It's a tale as old as time, but the Dodgers' season needs to turn around with this series, or we're doomed. There's positive thinking for you!

Monday, August 13, 2018

Series Thread (Games 120-122): 8/13-15 vs Giants

Mon, 7p: Clayton Kershaw vs Madison Bumgarner
Tues, 7p: Alex Wood vs Andrew Suarez
Wed, 7p: Hyun-Jin Ryu vs Derek Holland

Friday, August 10, 2018

Jansen to Miss 3-4 Weeks For Irregular Heartbeat

Ouch.

We may have had a great comeback victory vs. the Rockies last night, but the high altitude of Coors Field felled closer Kenley Jansen, who has had heartbeat issues flare up in Denver in the past:

Los Angeles Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen is expected to miss about a month with an irregular heartbeat, sources told ESPN's Buster Olney.

Jansen was taken to the hospital with the issue before Thursday's game at Colorado.

Manager Dave Roberts said after the Dodgers' 8-5 victory that Jansen was at the team hotel earlier in the day and didn't feel right. Jansen called the trainer and was taken to the hospital.

Jansen has dealt with an irregular heartbeat in the past. Roberts said the right-hander had his medication with him on the trip and will visit his cardiologist in Los Angeles.

[...]

Jansen spent a month on the disabled list during the 2011 season because of blood-thinning medication he was taking to treat an irregular heartbeat. In 2012, he was out again after suffering an irregular heartbeat during an Aug. 27 appearance in Colorado. He underwent a procedure on his heart on Oct. 23, 2012, to return it to normal rhythm.

Get well soon, KJ!

Meanwhile, get us another reliever, Farhan! (And get rid of Pedro Baez while you're at it. My favorite quote from the post-game interviews last night came from Dave Roberts, describing Baez' four-run, three-hit, one-third-inning meltdown last night (at the end of the video montage): "Baez has had three or four days off, and that’s a spot where he’s got to go up there and get outs." Well, that didn't work so well for Pedro. Or us.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Series Thread (Games 116-119): August 9-12 @ Rockies

Thurs 8/9: Ross Stripling vs. Tyler Anderson LAD 8, COL 5
Fri 8/10 5.40p: Kenta Maeda vs. Jon Gray
Sat 8/11 5.10p: Walker Buehler vs. Kyle Freeland
Sun 8/12 12.10p: TBD vs. Chad Bettis

We're back in second place, 0.5 games behind Arizona and 2.5 games ahead of the Rockies.

We really need a big series here.

If I only had a sign...

------

UPDATE 8/10, 11.40a (Sax): Wow, what a comeback. When Baez gave up that Iannetta three-run HR to change a 3-1 Dodgers lead to a 5-3 deficit, I was disconsolate to say the least. But the Dodgers came back with home runs from Cody Bellinger to tie it, and Brian Dozier to ice it, and won Game 1, 8-5.

I'll take it.

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Series Thread (Games 114-115): August 7-8 @ Athletics

Tuesday 8/7 7p: Rich Hill (4-4, 3.63) vs. Sean Manaea (10-7, 3.38)
Wednesday 8/8 7p: Clayton Kershaw (5-5, 2.55) vs. Brett Anderson (2-3, 4.64) Mike Fiers (7-6, 3.48)

First off, I don't like calling these two-game escapades a "series." It's like calling a one-night stand a "relationship."

But all the talk is going to be about Rich Hill's return to Oakland (67-46 on the year, five games better than the Dodgers' 62-51 record), given it was the last team on which Hill pitched (in 2016), and he hasn't faced them since. But what about our opposing starter, and why isn't he getting more press? So Manaea vowels in his name! Why isn't that getting more press?

Manaea is no slouch, having pitched a no-hitter against eh Red Sox on April 21 of this year, when Boston had a winning percentage of .894, making them the best team to ever be no-hit. Strangely, Manaea's feat only had him share the AL Player of the Week award...along with Manny Machado (11-for-22 with five HR, two doubles, eight RBI, seven runs scored). I'd be happy if Machado could erupt like that again in Oakland tonight.

Dodgers start the day a half-game back of first place Arizona, who is also two games in front of the Rockies.

Seager Opts For More Surgery

This time, on his hip. From ESPN:

Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left hip on Tuesday in New York, the team announced.

Seager is recovering from Tommy John surgery on his right (throwing) elbow, which he had in early May.

Seager is expected to resume baseball activities in January and be ready for spring training, the team said.

Monday, August 06, 2018

Post-Series Thread: Still Nervous Time Regarding Houston

Well, that series didn't quite go as I had hoped.

Coming off a killer pair of victories against the Brewers, we hosted the Houston Astros only to get shut down by Justin Verlander (14 Ks) on Friday, then slaughtered 14-0 on Saturday, before winning Sunday's finale in a tense 3-2 victory.

Sunday's heroes were Walker Buehler (8 Ks over 5.1 IP), new Dodger Brian Dozier (two-run double in the bottom of the first, to put the Dodgers up 2-1), and Cody Bellinger (RBI double in the third). Manny Machado went 3-for-4 with two runs scored. And while our squad nurses injuries to Alex Wood (tendinitis), Erik Goeddel (right lat inflammation), Yasiel Puig (oblique), and Matt Kemp (ankle, not to mention a batting slump), Houston also came away with injuries to Lance McCullers and George Springer (whose leadoff HR Sunday was thankfully short-lived). That's a lot of casualties in a weekend series, which compounds the overall concern about the Dodgers' chances to win a World Series with this squad.

The LAT's Dylan Hernandez greeted us this morning with concern not of the Astros, but of winning the NL West:

When the Dodgers moved into first place for the first time on July 12, the expectation was for them have a comfortable lead over the Diamondbacks and Rockies by now.

Only the anticipated midseason surge by the Dodgers hasn’t materialized and here they are, still clustered with a group of so-so teams. And if the season ended Sunday, neither the Dodgers nor the Diamondbacks would be in position for a wild card spot. The Milwaukee Brewers and Atlanta Braves would play in the wild card game.

“I think that it’s a lot [harder] than saying you get to first place and you’re just going to leave everyone behind you,” manager Dave Roberts said.

The reality is that the Dodgers aren’t as good as they were last season. As much as Andrew Friedman’s front office was credited with building a team that reached the World Series, it’s undeniable that the group’s efforts were aided by a league-high payroll.

The Dodgers are now operating with a budget, the $197-million luxury-tax threshold.

They have something of a feast-or-famine lineup. Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig were sidelined with injuries Sunday, but the Dodgers nonetheless started eight position players who averaged almost 19 home runs between them. Remove Manny Machado from the group, however, and the highest batting average entering the game was Joc Pederson’s .261.

If the Dodgers were criticized in previous seasons for constructing teams that were better suited for the regular season than the playoffs, the opposite is now the case.

But look, we ended up the weekend tied with the Diamondbacks, whom we can watch play the Phillies tonight at 6.40p (Arrieta (9-6, 3.32) vs. Godley (12-6, 4.46)). We may get back to outright first place by the end of the night, while we enjoy our first off-day since the All-Star break, before pitting Rich Hill against his former Sean Manaea and his former team.

And, Roberto Osuna didn't pitch this weekend, saving Osuna from inevitable boos, and allowing the Astros to postpone heralding the further erosion of any possible integrity for another day. So that's a win, I suppose.

Lest you fall down the Dylan Hernandez rabbit hole, I should remind you that Baseball Prospectus' playoff odds have the Dodgers at a 62.1% chance to win the division, with the Diamondbacks at 29.0%. We still wield the World Series of any NL team (13.3%), trailing only Houston (17.0%) in the majors.

Ah yes, Houston. I'm hoping we don't have to see them again this year, as this series didn't give me a lot of hope. But we move on.

Let's lick our wounds and get cracking on the divisional title, boys.

Friday, August 03, 2018

Series Thread (Games 111-113): 8/3-5 vs Fuckin Assholes

Fri, 7p: Alex Wood vs Justin Verlander
Sat, 6p: Kenta Maeda vs Lance McCullers Jr.
Sun, 1p: Walker Buehler vs Gerrit Cole

These fuckin assholes again.

Thanks Orel for the post; UPDATE from Sax (6:37p):

Well, last night was the first time I'd been to the stadium in a long time, and it was really cathartic to be there for that 21-5 explosion over the Brewers. I'd been filled with hangover dread for a lot of this season, having gone to a number of games early on (when we were falling nine back of the NL West lead), and the team looked like it hadn't yet overcome that bitter World Series loss from last year. Neither had I, for that matter.

Last night, for me, set the Dodgers rejuvenated. Not only did we re-take the division lead and now sit a game ahead of Arizona and two games ahead of Colorado, in first place--but the trade deadline moves to pick up Manny Machado (what an arm!) and Brian Dozier (two HR in three games now ties the season output from his successor, Logan Forsythe), but it was a full beatdown of a decent team vying for the lead in its own division. We made the Brewers look like chumps last night, Christian Yelich and his hometown fan club (who sat a couple levels up, behind me) notwithstanding (local boy Yelich was pretty great last night, to be fair).

And here come the Astros again, still playing with racist idiots, but now recently fortified with a player suspended by the league for an alleged domestic violence incident. This, from an organization that earlier cited its "zero-tolerance" policy on domestic violence. Uh huh.

The Astros are worthy of your hate. Let's hope we didn't use all of our offense in Thursday's game.