Thursday, April 29, 2021

Series Thread (Games 26-29): Apr 29 - May 2 @ Brewers

4.29 4.30p: Bauer vs. Lauer
4.30 5p: TBD vs. Peralta
5.1 4p: May vs. Woodruff
5.2 11a: Urias vs TBD

After a shitshow of a homestand, the Dodgers no longer sit alone at the top of baseball (tied with the Red Sox), not to mention the NL West (tied with the Giants). We still have the highest run differential at +34, which doesn't salve the wounds any.

The Dodgers average less than three runs per game over our past 10 games, which is reflected in our statistics: only Justin Turner has an OPS over 1.0, and we've got Gavin Lux (.189), Luke Raley (.206), Austin Barnes (.216) all sitting around the Mendoza line (Muncy is batting .227, but at least he can work a walk sometimes). Bernie Brewer might be pretty happy this series. Drink up!

Monday, April 26, 2021

Series Thread (Games 23-25): April 26-28 vs. Reds

(possibly the least diverse video of all time)

Mon 7p: Urias vs. Mahle
Tue 7p: Buehler vs. Hoffman
Wed 1p: Kershaw vs. S Gray

We're broken, people.

The Padres just spanked us three out of four games, including a 8-7 victory that came only after we choked away a 7-1 lead by letting the Padres score two runs in the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings. The Dodgers and their depleted lineup not only have a bullpen that sucks, but we also have Edwin Rios batting .103 and looking totally lost. Oh, and we're 1-5 when Sheldon Neuse is in the lineup (despite the fact that he has hit two home runs).

Sure, we've got tbe best record in baseball, the widest run differential in the majors, and we still are atop the NL West (barely, by one game over San Francisco). But screw it, man. With Cody Bellinger, Corey Knebel, Dennis Santana, Zach McKinstry, and Gavin Lux all on the Injured List, we're toast. 3-for-17 with RISP ain't gonna get it done.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Series Thread (Games 19-22): April 22-25 vs. Padres

Mookie Magic last week, in San Diego

Thu 4.22 7p: Walker Buehler vs. Weathers
Fri 4.23 7p: Clayton Kershaw vs. Darvish
Sat 4.24 6p: Trevor Bauer vs. Snell
Sun 4.25 4p: Dustin May vs. Musgrove

The Dodgers just took two of three in San Diego, got rewarded with a split and vacation in Seattle, and now come back to play host to the pesky Padres. Get ready for Hype Fest Round 2 of 6 (with the last two series against San Diego both played at Dodger Stadium). And just as Dodger fans turned out in numbers for each of the three Petco Park games; will San Diego fans travel north for this four-game set (if so, might I suggest the Pacific Surfliner, which is a convenient alternative to getting stuck on the 5 in traffic)?

Before jumping on the "rivalry" hype train, though, please take a quick look at the standings. San Diego (10-10) isn't even second in the NL West; the Giants (11-7) are ahead of them. So everybody, take a breath.

One of the neat things about this series is how this shapes up from a pitching matchup perspective: all three of the same starter pitcher matchups we saw last week in San Diego, plus an extra game (against a guy who had the Padres franchise's first no-hitter, earlier this year). And this time, the Dodgers are at home, where we haven't lost a game all year.

One of the scary things about this series, though, is how poorly we are batting going into this. With both Cody Bellinger and Mookie Betts (potentially) out, that leaves the burden to guys like Edwin Rios (.129 BA), Will Smith (.195), A.J. Pollock (.220), Chris Taylor (.222), and Austin Barnes (.222). Not a lot of confidence there, with everyone slumping besides Justin Turner, Max Muncy, Corey Seager, and this year's bolt from the blue, Zach McKinstry. Time to get serious, guys! Hope you used your Wednesday day off to hit the batting cage!

photo: K.C. Alfred/The San Diego Union-Tribune

Monday, April 19, 2021

"Series" Thread (Games 17-18): April 19-20 @ Mariners

Mon 4/19 7p: Dustin May vs. Justus Sheffield
Tues 4/20 1p: Julio Urias vs. Marco Gonzales

The Dodgers dropped the finale with San Diego but still won the series, and their 13-3 record is still best in baseball. So now it's up to Seattle for a quick two-game turnaround against...the second-best team in the American League, the 10-6 Mariners (who lead the AL West by a half-game over the Angels). And yet just one week ago, the Mariners were 24th out of 30 in ESPN's MLB power rankings, and now sit 2.5 games ahead of the then #4 Houston Cheaters (in fourth place)!

Even the local Seattle newspaper is aghast ("Just like weather, clouds could form on Mariners’ season, so enjoy it while you can"), reminding us that the M's weren't picked to win more than 80 games this year, they've lost starter James Paxson for the season already, and 2020 AL Rookie of the Year Kyle Lewis hasn't played a game yet this season (right knee injury from spring training). Lewis could be back for the Dodgers games. (We still won't have Bellinger, of course; and now Gavin Lux is also on the 10-day IL.)

I'm still just chuckling about the Mariners' 2021 logo, #SeaUsRise, which happens to be the same name as a Florida non-profit using music to address and motivate global climate action. Is a rising SEA supposed to be a good thing, or a bad thing? I'm totally confused now.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Series Thread (Games 14-16): April 16-18 @ Padres

"Yes, if the leak in the dike was about six feet high, I'd plug it like this."

Fri 4/16 7p: Walker Buehler vs. Carl Weathers
Sat 4/17 5.30p: Clayton Kershaw vs. Yu Darvish
Sun 4/18 1p: Trevor Bauer vs. Blake Snell

The hype machine has hit new levels, as ESPN is calling this MLB's hottest new rivalry. Sure, last year's sweep of San Diego in the 2020 NLDS was emotional. But let's keep this in perspective: San Diego is 2.5 GB; and Fernando Tatis Jr. is still recovring from a shoulder injury (he may be reactivated for this series). This April series might lack the fireworks that last year's playoff series had.

On top of this, Dodger pitcher Trevor Bauer completely admits that former Dodger and sometimes-motivated Manny Machado "has his number" (.588 / .667 / 1.412 in 21 plate appearances). The three ESPN pundits say the Dodgers--red-hot off a 6-0 homestand--win this series. We'll see.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Series Thread (Games 11-13): April 13-15 vs. Rockies

Tues 4.13 7p: Trevor Bauer (1-0, 4.15) vs. Antonio Senzatela (1-1, 5.56)
Wed 4.14 7p: Dustin May (1-0. 0.00) vs. Jon Gray (1-0, 1.54)
Thu 4.15 7p JACKIE ROBINSON DAY: Julio Urias (2-0, 2.84) vs. Austin Gomber (0-2, 2.89)

The Dodgers' first homestand of 2021 has gone pretty well, halfway through the games. Following a tight 1-0 win fueled by a majestic ring ceremony, the Dodgers romped through Saturday's game 9-5, and then watched Clayton Kershaw (6.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 Ks) outduel Max Scherzer (also 6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 Ks) for a 3-0 Sunday victory. So that's a sweep of the pesky (g)Nats!.

But all of those victories have our 8-2 Dodgers only a half-game ahead of the Padres, who boast a 8-3 record (second best in the majors; they got their first franchise no-hitter over this weekend, and won yesterday against the Pirates while we were idle). While San Diego feasts on the woeful Pirates, we get the Rockies for three at home, starting with the scrutinized Trevor Bauer, the rested Dustin May, and the lights-out Julio Urias. We've gotta keep the pressure on here, boys!

Monday, April 12, 2021

Archiving the 2020 SoSG Attendance Record, For Posterity

The 2020 SoSG attendance record was a lot easier to compile.

SoSG 2020 record: 0-0

Prior SoSG attendance records: 2008 (18-15), 2009 (21-10), 2010 (9-8), 2011 (10-7), 2012 (24-18), 2013 (24-16), 2014 (22-12), 2015 (27-13), 2016 (10-5), 2017 (27-13) 2018 (12-9), 2019 (12-5).

Archiving the 2019 SoSG Attendance Record, For Posterity

After procrastinating on this for almost 18 months, I suppose it's about time for me to archive the 2019 SoSG attendance record, for posterity.

I have a feeling that we attended 2019 games after August, including the playoffs--but I am pretty sure that I didn't get to the 2019 playoffs (a loss in the NLDS vs. Washington).

SoSG 2019 Record: 10-5
3/28 vs AZ (W, 12-5): Dusty, Sax
3/30 vs AZ (W, 18-5): Dusty
4/13 vs MIL (L, 1-4): Dusty, Sax
4/15 vs CIN (W, 4-3): Sax
5/6 vs ATL (W, 5-3): Orel, Sax
5/8 vs ATL (W, 9-4): Sax
5/10 vs WAS (L, 2-5): Sax
5/27 vs NYM (W, 9-5): Sax
5/28 vs NYM (L, 3-7): Sax
6/13 vs CHC (W, 7-3): Sax
6/15 vs CHC (L, 1-2): Stubbs
6/20 vs SFG (W, 9-8): Sax
8/4 vs SD (W, 11-10): Orel, Sax
8/24 vs. NYY (W, 2-1): Dusty, Sax
8/25 vs. NYY (L, 1-5): Sax

Prior SoSG attendance records: 2008 (18-15), 2009 (21-10), 2010 (9-8), 2011 (10-7), 2012 (24-18), 2013 (24-16), 2014 (22-12), 2015 (27-13), 2016 (10-5), 2017 (27-13) 2018 (12-9).

Sights from 2021 Opening Day @ Dodger Stadium (April 9, 2021)

Sax wasn't able to make it to Opening Day ceremonies @ Dodger Stadium this year, but I did get some great shots from the seats thanks to a trusty stringer in the family. Enjoy!

JT at the plate:

Muncy at the plate:

The new scoreboards wre "very difficult to read"--perhaps more difficult in the daylight?

Here's the new 2020 World Championship flag (no room for the California state flag now!):

Thanks, trusty stringer!

Friday, April 09, 2021

Series Thread (Games 8-10): April 9-11 vs. Nationals

Fri 4/9 1p: Walker Buehler vs. J Ross
Sat 4/10 6p: Julio Urias vs. TBD
Sun 4/11 1p: TBD vs. TBD

Happy Home Opening Day! Your World Champion Los Angeles Dodgers make their first appearance at Dodger Stadium with crowds since the 2019 season, which ended with a difficult playoff series loss to...the Nationals. This time, the Nationals come to town with a depleted lineup, having been racked by a COVID-19 outbreak in their ranks that has sidelined starting pitchers Patrick Corbin and Jon Lester, catchers Yan Gomes and Alex Avila, first baseman Josh Bell, infielders Josh Harrison and Jordy Mercer, left fielder Kyle Schwarber, and reliever Brad Hand: all of whom are on the injured list with unspecified injuries.

So it's totally understandable that we've got, at time of writing this Game Thread on Thursday morning, two of this weekend's starters as TBD. Heck, the Nationals might be holding tryouts in the parking lot before the game (right next to the COVID-19 vaccine distribution center; might not be such a bad idea!).

For those of you going to the Stadium on Friday--and, cross your fingers, at least one SoSG family member should be in attendance!--be careful around all those parking cones! The Stadium might be at 25% capacity, but the parking is (as always) still going to be nuts!


Monday, April 05, 2021

Series Thread (Games 5-7): April 5-7 @ Athletics

Monday 4/5 6.30p: Dustin May vs. Frankie Montas
Tuesday 4/6 6.30p: Clayton Kershaw vs. Chris Bassitt
Wednesday 4/7 12.30p: Trevor Bauer vs. Jesús Luzardo

Four games into the season, and we're already neck and neck with the Padres, a theme we'll probably hear all season long. And while San Diego gets to feast on a 1-2 Giants team for their next series, we get our 1988 World Series opponent A's (who are 0-4 this season, having been swept by the Astros). Boy, the Bay Area is off to a poor start this year.

Dustin May gets his first start of the year, having earned the spot over Tony Gonsolin and David Price (the latter of whom looked awful in a relief appearance against Colorado). I'm sure Kershaw will be itching to get back in the win column after his frustrating Opening Day loss.

Thursday, April 01, 2021

2021 Opening Series Thread: April 1-4 @ Rockies

Thurs 4/1 1p: Clayton Kershaw vs. Germán Márquez
Fri 4/2 5.30p: Trevor Bauer vs. Antonio Senzatela
Sat 4/3 5p: Walker Buehler vs. Jon Gray
Sun 4/4 12n: Julio Urias vs. Austin Gomber

This is the first Game Thread for your WORLD CHAMPION LOS ANGELES DODGERS! And yes, even though many of the players who got us here last year have returned (most notably, Justin Turner at third base), some have departed (Kiké Hernandez, whose jersey outsells Mike Trout's!; Joc Pederson; and Pedro Baez, among others). And then there's that Bauer guy that we picked up and have slotted him in at the #2 spot in this season-starting rotation.

And this re-stocked team has some pundits predicting the Dodgers will win 118 games this season, en route to a World Series.. Which will never happen, mind you, even if it may be fun to speculate. No, the Dodgers will face more difficult opposition this year from a investment-happy Padres team (adding Blake Snell and Yu Darvish, and locking up Fernando Tatis Jr. for 300 years); a bitter and hungry Braves team who narrowly lost the 2020 NLCS; and a new entrant Mets team who just plunked down $341M for 10 years of Francisco Lindor..

And then there's the whole American League, by the way--even if this year's wackball schedule doesn't have us playing anyone beyond the AL West during the regular season.

Me, I'd love to see the 2021 season be incredible again for the Dodgers, so we can put an end to the 156-day drought since our last World Championship. I won't be there for Opening Day this year, but I know I'll be gunning for the Dodgers for all 162 regular season games this year.

And this time: as reigning World Champions!