Monday, May 31, 2021

Series Thread (Games 54-56): May 31 - June 2 vs. Cardinals

5.31 Mon 6p: Bauer vs. Flaherty
6.1 Tue 7p: TBD vs. Gant
6.2 Wed 6p: Buehler vs. C Martinez

So the Giants came back into our house and spanked us back into third place. Mookie is almost certainly hurt, not just slumping.. Urias picked an inopportune time to drop the biggest turd of his career, with Roberts leaving him out there to hang for six innings (including trotting Urias out there for an inexplicable and impotent B6 AB, despite relieving him before the top of the seventh).

And the Dodgers are back to an offensive malaise, just scoring enough to make the final margin close(r) but not enough to win the game (see Friday's Austin Barnes B9 tying three-run HR, only to be followed by Kenley Jansen giving three runs right back in the top of the tenth).

St. Louis leads the Central with a record very close to the Dodgers' record (StL 30-23; LAD 31-22). This could easily be another series where the cards aren't in our favor.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Series Thread (Games 50-53): June 27-30 vs. Giants

Thu 5.27 7p: TBD vs. Alex Wood
Fri 5.28 7p: Walker Buehler vs. DeScalfani
Sat 5.29 4p: Julio Urias vs. Webb
Sun 5.30 1p: Clayton Kershaw vs. Gausman

It stands to reason that, if the Dodgers could saunter up to Birdshit Park last weekend and sweep the first-place Giants, that San Francisco could pay the same favor back to us in Los Angeles this weekend. Starting out the series with a bullpen game vs. the Wood, 5-1 with a 1.93 ERA, would be a good start for the Giants to regain momentum.

The Dodgers are coming off a thumping against the Trashtros Tuesday, but a loss to Houston on Wednesday, only our second loss in our last 14 games. I'm sanguine as always, though--but as a bonus, I'll be at the ballpark on Saturday for the first time in over a year and a half. And I can't wait.

Dodgers Dominate NL West Ballpark "Best Features" just posted a "one great thing about each MLB ballpark" article. And the funny thing was, the Dodgers are mentioned not only for Dodger Stadium, but within two other NL West team's best thing:

D-backs (Chase Field): The pool
I’ve never been in this before, during or after a game. But the Dodgers have.

Dodgers (Dodger Stadium): The "old Los Angeles" feel
Every time I’m in Dodger Stadium, I feel like I’m in early '60s Los Angeles, like Bob Hope is going to show up and do a USO show. (With Vin Scully as the emcee, of course.)

Giants (Oracle Park): McCovey Cove
In the words of Max Muncy, “Go get it out of the ocean!”

Wow, the Dodgers' impact is everywhere--even establishing mere relevance to other teams' ballparks. I guess this saved Will Leitch from mentioning Oracle Park's sixth-inning seagulls and birdshit bombs.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

"Series" Thread (Games 48-49): May 25-26 @ Cheaters

Tues 5.25 5p: Clayton Kershaw (6-3, 3.18) vs. Zack Greinke (4-1, 3.77)
Wed 5.26 4.30p: Trevor Bauer (5-2, 1.98) vs. Luis Garcia (2-3, 3.38)

Houston has lost its last three games, but they've still cheated their way to 26 wins this season and a +59 run differential (second-best in the AL). They're throwing some guy with a very tiny head in the first game against the Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw.

As for the second game in this "series", the Dodgers' Bauer is probably still fired up from his excellent outing in San Francisco, leading the Dodgers to their first of three victories this weekend, and enjoying hearing the crowd's boos as he powered his way through 126 pitches and 7.1 effective IP. Not sure if Bauer will be able to hear any boos over the banging of trash cans in the ballpark formerly known as Enron Field (also noted because of cheating!), but the arena is supposed to be at capacity attendance levels. Who says cheaters never prosper?

With the sweep over the Giants, the Dodgers have won 11 of their last 12 games despite fielding a lineup that inexplicably continues to feature Sheldon Neuse. If we can take care of business in Houston, that would be great momentum before a four-game series at home vs. San Francisco.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Kirsten Watson Is All About The Feels

We are almost about two months into the Kirsten Watson SportsNetLA tenure, and us Sons of Steve Garvey are at the end of our ropes with regards to Dodgers reporter / host Kirsten Watson.

The shoes of Alanna Rizzo, who left the Dodgers role last year, are pretty difficult ones to fill; Rizzo was knowledgable, insightful, and a good interviewer that built questions during the conversation, instead of just parroting things written down on a notepad prior to the cameras rolling.

But Watson's post-game interviews with the Dodgers players inevitably meander toward understanding their feelings. Rather than focusing on strategy, or picking up on some insight from watching the player's actions or expression during the game, Watson is obsessed with understanding how the player is feeling. I sometimes feel like I'm listening to a psychiatric therapy session.

Let's pull some examples.

May 23, to Gavin Lux, "How big did this one feel?"

May 20, to Will Smith: "Do you feel like things are going in the right direction?", and "Are those 'pinch-me' moments for you?"

May 19, to Kenley Jansen: "You got the save incredible was that feeling for you?"

May 14, to Austin Barnes: "How have you been feeling, offensively, in the batter's box." (I suppose, versus how it might feel offensively in the on-deck circle)

May 11, to Max Muncy: "Did it feel like this was the next step for you all?"

All these FEELINGS! I can't take it. I'm emotionally wrought hearing about feelings all the time with Kirsten, rather than getting any particular insights about the game or adding any statistical knowledge to the conversation. Feelings feelings feelings! Feelings, woah woah woah, feelings:

I'll try to keep adding Kirsten Watson feelings clips. For now, though, I just need to hug my teddy bear for a while.

Other Kirsten Watson lowlights:

May 21, to Chris Taylor: "What was it like watching Trevor Bauer, from your standpoint (all the way back in center field)." I really wish that CT3 would have responded, "he seemed very tiny in the distance, and I didn't have binoculars on me."

May 21, to Max Muncy: just watch Muncy's body language as he cringes his way through this interview. It's comedy gold, especially when Watson characterizes our rivalry with the Giants as "going back awhile now" (thanks, SoSG Dusty, for catching that one!).

Friday, May 21, 2021

Series Thread (Games 45-47): May 21-23 @ Giants

Fri 5.21 6.30p: Bauer vs. Wood
Sat 5.22 4p: Buehler vs. TBD
Sun 5.23 1p: Urias vs. DeSclafani

The Dodgers are coming off a 8-1 homestand where they seemed to have restored some offensive spark, not to mention some foundation in the bullpen. We've won our last four games.

The Giants are still in first place, by two games over the third-place Dodgers, and have won their last five games.

Game 1 starts out with new Dodger Trevor Bauer against former Dodger Alex Wood (5-0, 1.75 ERA this year).

Let's go!

Monday, May 17, 2021

Series Thread (Games 41-44): May 17-20 vs. D-backs

Mon 5.17: Buehler vs. Bumgarner
Tue 5.18: Urias vs. TBD
Wed 5.19: Kershaw vs. TBD
Thu 5.20: Bauer vs. TBD
(all games 7p first pitch)

We finally won a second-straight series, against the hapless Miami Marlins, who took Sunday's bullpen game by preying on a cast of nobodies on the mound for the Dodgers, plus an ineffective offense (and defense!) anchored by Sheldon Neuse (we were 6-11 with Neuse in the lineup, but I haven't looked again lately as I'd start crying).

Worst of all, Corey Seager was hit in the hand with a pitch on Saturday, and his broken metatarsal will keep him out for at least a month if not more. So you look at all those TBDs on the 18-23 Diamondbacks' plan, and it's hard to feel very positive. We're still two games out of first place and sitting squarely in third place, but this series against Arizona isn't going to change anything.

Stop believing in hope. It's only going to depress you.

Friday, May 14, 2021

Series Thread (Games 38-40): May 14-16 vs. Marlins

Fri 5.14 7p Kershaw vs. Alcantara
Sat 5.15 6p Bauer vs. TBD
Sun 5.16 Buehler vs. P Lopez

It's a two-game series, so it hardly counts as a "series win." Or a winning streak. Except for the fact that the Dodgers haven't won two games in a row in almost a month, so suddenly, those wins over the Mariners seem to carry more weight. Call it...a new hope.

Gavin Lux saved us in Game 1. Max Muncy used his bat and his glove to propel us in Game 2. And now the Dodgers face a sub-.500 Marlins squad whose 1980s era neon colors may be the brightest part of their fourth-place standings in the NL East.

So--to quote a wise man--let's fucking go, Dodgers!

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Series Thread (Games 36-37): May 11-12 vs. Mariners

Tue 5/11: Buehler vs. Kikuchi
Wed 5/12: Urias vs. Dunn

The Dodgers' slump keeps getting longer (and Leon's getting larger!, just like I told you it would. And with the Dodgers wasting opportunities all over Sunday's wet fart of a game (going 1-for-11 with RISP, not to mention striking out 10 times against a sub-.500 team), the question is, is this three-week stretch really a slump? Or are we actually that bad of a team?

I'm starting to think we may actually be that bad, certainly from an offensive perspective. Neither one of our catchers can hit. Max Muncy takes walks but is batting .219, not fit for a cleanup or #5 hitter. And Doc Roberts is trotting out the same lineup every day that hasn't produced in almost three weeks.

We've got two games against the Mariners, also a pathetic 18-17 (and also in third place in their division, though Seattle is only 2.5 games behind rather than a full three games like the Dodgers). The best we can realistically hope for, with this crappy offense, would be a split. And splits lead to more wet farts.

Friday, May 07, 2021

Series Thread (Games 33-35): May 7-9 @ Angels

Fri May 7 6.30p: Urias vs. Canning
Sat May 8 6p: TBD vs. Bundy
Sun May 9 1p: TBD vs. Quintana

13 losses in the last 17 games. A sweep at Wrigley Field, inlcuding two losses in which the Dodgers blew extra-inning leads. Preceded by losing three of four in Milwaukee, with the three losses by margins totalling four runs.

This team is unwatchable. Edwin Rios can't hit. Corey Seager can't field. Our starting rotation is down to four arms. The bullpen can't get the last out. And RISP is like kryptonite to this lineup, which Doc Roberts refuses to alter at the top despite Mookie Betts, Seager, and Max Muncy all hitting below .250 (only Justin Turner has an OPS above 1.0). We are an airplane disaster, just on a baseball field. (Hey, that might make for a good movie!)

At least we've sent Rios...somewhere (why they haven't sent him to the minors, given his current 0-for-32 streak extending all the way back to April 13, is beyond me; they settled for the 10-day IL instead). But Seager, who has made four errors already this year, is so awful fielding to his right (or throwing) that I've gotta think he's hurt as well. And maybe Mookie too (just guessing here).

Our last stop of this road trip from hell is in Anaheim, who has just cut future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols with a year left on his contract.. Anaheim must be a little depressed to have to make this decision, with Pujols never really achieving the level of play he had in St. Louis, and with no spot left for a 41-year old. So the Dodgers' visit to the big A should be just the tonic they need to get back on track.

You can thank us later, Joe Maddon.

Monday, May 03, 2021

Dustin May Out Until 2022 (and probably 2023)

Oh man. If you were watching Saturday's game in Milwaukee, the third straight loss to the Brewers, it wasn't the extra-inning 5-3 blown lead in the 11th inning that crushed your heart. No, it was the loss of Dustin May, who exited in the second inning in the middle of an at bat, which is never a good sign.

Today's MRI in Chicago (because who would trust an MRI in Milwaukee, anyway?) indicated that the news was indeed depressing:

The worst-case scenario was confirmed Monday when an MRI exam revealed a torn ulnar collateral ligament. May will undergo Tommy John surgery to reconstruct the ligament on May 11 in Los Angeles. The club didn’t disclose if May has a complete or partial tear. Rehabilitation timetables are generally 12 to 16 months. Anything longer and there’s a chance he doesn’t pitch for the Dodgers again until 2023.

“When you’re developing and now you get the year cut short, that impacts development,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “What Dustin has done is he’s just matured more as a major league ballplayer. His work in between starts has been way more focused, way more consistent, there’s a routine in there, and he’s been pitching really well. To not be able to build on that is really unfortunate.”

May posted a 2.74 earned-run average and 0.957 WHIP in 23 innings across five starts this season. He compiled 35 strikeouts to six walks, striking out 13.7 batters per nine innings.

“That’s a significant loss for us,” third baseman Justin Turner said before the Dodgers announced May’s impending surgery. “That’s a significant arm that we’ve relied on and we were planning on relying on. Just feel terrible for Dustin.”

Of course, first and foremost, all the best to Dustin it what will be a long and arduous recovery. He's gonna be missed.

Secondly, what's left of the Dodgers' pitching squad will have to pick it up if we have any shot of getting this World Championship team back on the rails. It's almost absurd to think that, one month into this season, we've already slipped from first place and we are quickly running out of arms (thanks to injuries to Caleb Ferguson, Tony Gonsolin, Corey Knebel, Brusdar Graterol, and David Price). I always thought that Price, who started the year in the bullpen, would slot back into the starting rotation at some point; I just didn't expect it to be now. Not that Price is ready now; he's still nursing a hamstring injury sustained in the Dodgers' first of three series losses, against the Padres.

Can you imagine if we had not signed Trevor Bauer this offseason?!

As it is, I am pretty depressed. This season already looks like a disaster; come what, May?

screenshot from LAT

Series Thread (Games 30-32): May 3-5 @ Cubs

UPDATE 5/3 11:49a: Saw this mural near Philippe's the Original, and decided I needed to post this up top to fire up our boys (both teams!). Let's do this! Defending Champions!!!

Mon May 3: Walker Buehler vs. Hendricks POSTPONED TO MAY 4--SEE BELOW
Tue May 4: Clayton Kershaw vs. Alzolay
Wed May 5: Trevor Bauer vs. Arrieta
All games at 4.30p PT

Momentum is a funny thing. The Dodgers lost the first three games of the series in Milwaukee, losing by one run in two of the games, and then two runs in the other game. We lost Dustin May to what appears to be a bad injury (MRIs coming this week). Our bullpen can't hold a lead if it had handles. Offensively, we looked absolutely awful, whiffing 10+ times in games, looking totally lost.

And then there's Sunday's laugher, with grand slams from A.J. Pollock (first inning) and Matt Beaty (second inning), leading us to a 16-4 victory in which we actually looked like a potent lineup again. It was a mass of runs, that's for sure. And then the team hopped on the bus with some velocity to head to Chicago for this series.

So do we come into Wrigley Field with any momentum? I'm hopeful, even though Edwin Rios' 0-for-27 streak still looks insane (Rios worked a walk Sunday, so that's a positive step). This would be a nice stop to climb out of second place (back 0.5 games from the Giants), and start playing like the team we should be.

UPDATE 5/3 7:30p: With the rainout, the new schedule is:

  • Clayton Kershaw vs. Hendricks, 11:20A Tues 5/4;
  • Trevor Bauer vs. TBD, 4.40p Tues 5/4;
  • Walker Buehler vs. Arrieta, 4.40p Wed 5/5.