Monday, August 03, 2020

Series Thread (Games 11-13): Aug 3-5 @ Padres

Mookie sends love to you! And the Dodgers! But not to John Henry!

Mon, 6p: Walker Buehler vs Chris Paddack
Tues, 6p: Dustin May vs Dinelson Lamet
Wed, 6p: Ross Stripling vs Garrett Richards

Let's get the bad news out of the way: Commissioner Rob Manfred, who previously derided the World Series championship trophy that bears the title of his office, recently implied that players choosing to opt out this season for safety reasons were "quitters".

Also — brace yourselves — we're still stuck in the hellscape that is 2020.

The good news: The 2020 Dodgers (7-3) appear to be coalescing into a powerhouse. They lead the NL in home runs (17); the bullpen, while not perfect, has shown encouraging consistency; and Clayton Kershaw impressed in his season debut yesterday, which gives us hope that he and Walker Buehler can lead the rotation.

But let's not sleep on the Padres (6-4), who feature rising superstar Fernando Tatís Jr. and old friend Manny Machado. Not to mention starters that generally own us, although I can't understand for the life of me why they traded Dodger-killer Eric Lauer (to the Brewers).

In any case, Game On! Enjoy baseball (while it lasts)!

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Series Thread (Games 7-10): July 30 - Aug 2 @ D'backs

Thu July 30 6.30p: Ross Striping (1-0, 1.29) vs. Robbie Ray (0-1, 7.36)
Fri July 31 6.30p: TBD vs. Zac Gallen (0-0, 2.25)
Sat Aug 1 5p: Julio Urias (0-0, 1.80) vs. Luke Weaver (0-1, 16.20)
Sun Aug 2 1p: TBD vs. Merrill Kelly (1-0, 1.17)

Fresh off a sweep of the Cheaters in Houston, the Dodgers take their 4-2, third-place record into the Arizona desert to see if we can wake some of these bats up. Besides Justin Turner's team-leading .333 average (Corey Seager is close behind at .320), we've got only Kiké Hernandez at .280...and then there's a big drop to find Chris Taylor (.211), Mookie Betts and Max Muncy (.200), and Cody Bellinger (.192). Neither Betts nor Bellinger have a HR through six games. It's early, so I don't want to sound the alarm bells...but honestly the only person who seems to be stroking is Seager.

Let's get the rest of the team started in this series. There isn't a lot of time to waste in this abbreviated season, guys.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Post-Game 6 Thread: Dodgers Vanquish Evil


The Dodgers sweep the Cheaters with an extra-inning victory punctuated by a two-run Edwin Rios HR in the top of the 13th, which is officially MLB's first leadoff two-run HR. We didn't have the fireworks from Joe Kelly tonight, as he deals with his appeal following a eight-game suspension. But Mookie Betts had a clutch 11th inning double to go up 2-1 (the Cheaters tied it in the bottom of the inning, continuing the game); Corey Seager had a solo shot in the second; and Dennis Santana earned the win with a scoreless 2.1 IP to close the game (2 BB, 4 Ks).

Time to leave the Cheaters behind and let another team throw inside on them. We're off to Arizona.

available here

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Series Thread (Games 5-6): July 28-29 @ Cheaters

I get it, but it still tastes bitter.

Tues Jul 28 6p: Walker Buehler vs. F Valdez the Cheater
Wed Jul 29 4p: Dustin May vs. TBD the Cheater

With the high likelihood that this may be the last series we might play (that is, if the Marlins' coronavirus outbreak expands to the rest of MLB, curtailing the attempt to have a 2020 season), I suppose we'd better watch. But after suffering through two straight meager showings against a pathetic Giants team, Dodger fans can't be hopeful going into trashcan-ville again. You know that the Asterisks will be employing some underhanded and illegal cheating scheme again in this game, from rearranging cardboard cutouts to tip pitches, or still-unfound electrical impulse devices hidden under the players' jerseys. I'm not hopeful for revenge here.

Sadly, it's only Game 5 and I'm already forlorn.



Friday, July 24, 2020

Series Thread (Games 2-4): July 24-26 vs. Giants

Pretty stark difference in player caliber here. I'll take it.

Fri Jul 24 6.30p: Ross Stripling vs. TBD
Sat Jul 25 1p: Julio Urias Alex Wood vs. TBD
Sun Jul 26 7p: Alex Wood Julio Urias? vs. TBD

The Mookie Betts-infused Dodgers passed their Opening Day game with flying colors, defeating both the San Francisco Giants as well as the Johnny Cueto Fan Club of ESPN broadcasters (little mention was made of Dustin May's Opening Day spot start (4.1 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 Ks). Screw them. Now we're back to Joe Davis and Orel Hershiser to call the game appropriately.

Got off to a slow start yesterday but the offense came alive off the Giants' bullpen, and were helped further by some poor Giants baserunning and missed fielding opportunities (all of this, on national television). Let's keep this up this weekend.

Even At This Age...


...and still be putting up an .850 OPS! #ForeverBlue

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Post-Game 1 Thread: Dodgers Bludgeon Giants 8-1


$365M man Mookie Betts may have grounded out with the bases loaded to end the seventh inning. But that was the one low-light in another great Opening Day win for the Dodgers, led by Kike Hernandez (4-for-5, 5 RBI, 2-run HR in the eighth). Betts was 1-for-5 with a run and 2 Ks, but he had a great catch in right earlier in the game, and I have a feeling we might see one more highlight in that guy's Dodger career. Mookie also scored the go-ahead run to take a 2-1 lead on an infield hit, beating the play at the plate at home.

60-0 is still possible, Dodgers. Let's go get this.

Opening Day 2020 Game Thread: Giants @ Dodgers, 7p

Stubhub screenshot from Monday. Great seats still available.

Clayton Kershaw Dustin May vs. Johnny Cueto.

Holy shit, it's actually BASEBALL AGAIN!!! And though all respect goes to Clayton Kershaw for making his ninth Opening Day start, Kerhsaw scratched with back stiffness and hits the IL; Dustin May recalled and will make the start (3.30p) the biggest news will be seeing our own Mookie Betts play his first regular-season game in a Dodger uniform...his first of many games lasting through 2032. What a rush, what a day, what an incredibly hopeful day for Dodger fans.

It's a little bit of a bummer that Gavin Lux won't be on the Opening Day roster (to be fair, he reported late and he did look shaky, notwithstanding any service time conspiracy theories floating around). But it's all Mookie Mookie Mookie here. How I would love to see him hit a leadoff HR today. I would probably burst into flames right then and there.

We're posting this Game Thread incredibly early because there's no better time to say: IT'S TIME FOR DODGER BASEBALL!!!

Update from SoSG Nomo, 9:50a:
Here's the Dodgers' Opening Day 30(!)-man roster:

Wednesday, July 22, 2020


photos by Jon SooHoo/Dodgers, probably, ah who are we kidding who else would have taken them

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Mookie Betts! Mookie Betts! Mookie Betts!



Not posting for any particular reason — just wanted to start a Mookie Betts label.

photo by Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Monday, July 20, 2020

Well, I'll Be Damned, This Looks Like It Actually Might Happen

Nice illustration by Robert Carter (LAT), except the blue goes on top

Well it looks like the MLB 2020 "season" is on, after all. Which means we have to clean out the cobwebs and get this rusty ol' blog up and running again.

I'm going to leave the 2019 SoSG Attendance Record up there since we won't be replacing that in this season. But I'll try to have an Opening Day post up for Thursday's game against the hated ones.

In positive news, it has been incredible to watch baseball on television even without the crowds (don't worry, we'll be commenting on those stupid cardboard cutout things soon enough). Cody Bellinger's grand slam in yesterday's 9-2 exhibition win over Arizona was a delight, not only to see that ball carom off the empty right field seats, but also to see Mookie Betts and Max Muncy work two walks and 14 pitches, setting up a Justin Turner infield single and then the Belli GS. We didn't even have an out when we had four runs on the board. It was great.

And you read that right, SoSG Sax is actually WATCHING baseball again on television, for the first time in seven years. Unbelievable. More on that later as well.

Buckle up for this sprint of a season. Not sure if we'll get all 60 games and a post-season in--the European soccer leagues give me some hope, though the US' efforts managing COVID-19 have been much more disastrous than Europe's--but who knows. We'll be there for you.

Saturday, June 06, 2020

Keeping a Promise to Vin, 2020 Edition

Vin Scully, from 2008:

Normally on the telecast we talk about "This Day in Baseball." I don't mean to sound grumpy or grouchy, but I can't believe what I didn't hear. I listened to the news on the radio for about an hour and fifteen minutes today—did not hear one word about what this day really means. June the 6th, 1944. Do the names Omaha, or Utah, Gold, Juno, Sword, do they mean anything? They're the beaches at Normandy. Sure, today was D-Day, the invasion of Europe, when thousands of soldiers gave their lives so that we could be free. I'll be darned if I saw any real publicity about it at all. Please don't let that happen again next year. Please? Yeah, this day.

Vin Scully, from 2009:

It's about quarter of nine in Los Angeles. That makes it about quarter of six on the beaches at Normandy, in France. And 1944, June the sixth, tomorrow, that was the invasion of Europe.

We heard the names: Sword, Gold, Juno, Utah and Omaha. Those were the names of the beaches as the British, Canadians and the United States invaded Europe.

Let's go back to this one.

At quarter of six on the beaches of Normandy sixty-five years ago, something like forty thousand fell in the invasion that was called Operation Overlord. The bloodiest beach was Omaha.

And then of course there was that area called Pointe du Hoc. You probably saw that in the movie The Guns of Navarone, where the GIs had to try and climb thirty-foot cliffs and the Germans were on top of the cliffs shooting down at them.

So, do us older guys a favor. If you have children, would you please take time out tomorrow and tell them the sacrifice that was made sixty-five years ago?

Freedom is not free. Boy, a lot of fellas gave their lives so that we could be sitting here watching a baseball game.

Please don't forget it.

Vin Scully, from 2010:

...but I think we've been friends long enough, you'll understand.

Today, to me, is a far more important day than a baseball game. It is extremely important for those of us who have lived through it to make sure the kids in the country are extremely aware of it. And what took place on this day, June the sixth, 1944.

Oh yeah, you could just sum it up and say oh sure, Allied forces invaded Normandy. There is so much more, as Troy Glaus checks in. Ely's pitch, fastball inside, ball one.

First of all, "D-Day." The "D" in front of "Day" doesn't mean anything. It just meant the day of a military operation.

The one-oh pitch on the way, outside.

And it used to be D-Day for any military operation, but as the years have gone by, when you say "D-Day," they're talking about this day in 1944.

The two-oh pitch, fouled away.

It actually had two names. It was Operation Overlord and Operation Neptune. Overlord was the complete plan. Neptune was the assault phase.

The two-one pitch to Troy Glaus, waved at and missed, two and two.

Now before they could invade, they had to supposedly soften up the area. In April and May, Allied air forces lost twelve thousand men and over two thousand airplanes just trying to get things ready for the invasion.

Two-two, Glaus takes inside, ball three.

And then the day came, June the sixth, 1944. There were five beaches involved, in the, I think it was the Cotentin Peninsula.

Here's the three-two pitch and Glaus swings and misses and strikes out. One away.

Basically the Canadians had three beaches. They had Sword, Gold and Juno. And the United States forces had two beaches, Utah and Omaha. And of all five beaches, without a doubt, the bloodiest was Omaha.

Now, while the ground forces were going on, again, there were huge battles in the air. And there were over fifteen thousand killed, Allied, in the battle in the air.

The one-oh pitch, inside to Eric Hinske, who is hitting .323. Two and oh the count.

When D-Day finally concluded, when you include all of the people involved, the enemy, the Germans, and the Allied forces — and the pitch to Hinske inside — 425,000 men were killed.

As far as casualties are concerned — well, I shouldn't say just killed. The three-oh pitch, that's high, ball four. That included dead, wounded and missing in action.

For the United States, on D-Day, there were twenty-five hundred Americans killed, about several thousand seriously wounded and MIA.

And what is left of that gray day if we don't talk about it, if we don't convince the kids to take a moment and realize the unbelievable sacrifice that was made on this day? We would be really guilty.

The pitch at the plate is whacked to center. Kemp has a play and Matt makes the catch, and Hinske goes back to first base.

Well, I tell you what, make the trip over to Normandy, there are twenty-seven cemeteries, from Normandy straight up towards Belgium. There are 77,000 Germans buried along the way. Ninety-three hundred Americans have left themselves over there. Seventeen thousand Britons, over five thousand Canadians and another 650 Polish soldiers.

That's what they did and that's what happened on this day.

The pitch at the plate, ground ball by the diving Carroll into left field, so Melky Cabrera a single and that'll bring up Tim Hudson.

So anyway, I realize it's an intrusion, maybe you don't want to hear about something negative, but that's not negative. Any time we talk about a sacrifice in baseball, you can just about break down and laugh. The sacrifices that were made on this day in 1944, heartbreaking but at the same time inspirational.

So if you have children, please don't let the day go by. 1944, D-Day. The invasion of Western Europe.

Okay, let's get to the ballgame. Here's Hudson, two out, two on, no score, second inning....

From 2013:

From 2015:

From 2016: