Monday, June 27, 2022

Games 72-74 Thread: June 27-29 @ Rockies

Mon 27: Tyler Anderson vs. Kuhl
Tue 28: Clayton Kershaw vs. Freeland
Wed 29: Julio Urias vs Márquez
All games 5.40p

After beating the Braves in a hard-fought rubber match on Sunday, notching the series victory (not to mention the Dodgers' first extra-inning win all year!), the Dodgers depart Atlant having left behind a lot of tears.

Freddie Freeman left some tears on the field, as well as at Friday's pre-game press conference. Daniel Hudson unfortunately left a tear on the field as well, tearing his left ACL late in Saturday's game. So I sincerely hope that our next stop on this road trip, to Colorado, is tear-free.

The Dodgers are now 5-1 on this roadtrip, which is a nice turnaround from a pretty bad June (12-10). Let's keep it rolling, Dodgers!

Friday, June 24, 2022

Games 69-71 Thread: June 24-26 @ Braves

Fri 24 4.15p: Urias vs. Anderson
Sat 25 4.15p: Heaney vs. Fried
Sun 26 4p: Gonsolin vs. Strider

Five home runs on Thursday! 26 total runs in the three-game sweep! Max Muncy with his first three-hit game of the season!

Yes, it's cause for joyous celebration. Except that this was against the Reds, 0-7 against the Dodgers this year and dead last in the entire National League. So the real test of this roadtip comes with these three games in Atlanta, whom we beat twice at home earlier this season (ironically, right after the Cincinnati sweep, making me question the creativity of the MLB scheduling team).

Max Fried on Saturday is no joke: 7-2 with a 2.77 ERA. And the Braves have won 18 of 21 including three of four over the visiting Giants this week, while the Dodgers have been basically playing .500 ball for almost the last month, save this Cincinnati series. On top of all that, the Dodgers' red hot 1B Freddie Freeman has already said his return to Atlanta will be emotional, especially with a ring ceremony on the weekend schedule.

Freddie will be shedding some tears. Hopefully Dodger fans will have some tears of joy this weekend, as well.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Games 66-68 Thread: June 21-23 @ Reds

Tue 6.21 3.40p: Gonsolin vs. Mahle
Wed 6.22 3.40p: Anderson vs. Castillo
Thu 6.23 9.30a: Kershaw vs. Greene

A little premature to call the season (especially pre-All Star Break, and with the Dodgers in first place by a half-game). But on the other hand, dropping the last series to the Guardians evidenced how poor this team really is: a combined 5-for-34 with RISP. What's worse, everyone treats their at bats with a runner on base like they're playing beer-league softball: wild hacks out of the zone leading to strikeouts; impatient swings early in the count; lack of positional hitting to advance the runner (I'm looking at you, Will Smith).

It's absolutely awful to watch. Not that I did, after watching us drop our fifth extra-inning game on Friday night (Dodgers are 0-5 in extras). The Dodgers' hitting coaches, Brnt Brown and Robert Van Scoyoc, are simply not doing their job. The Dodgers need to learn how to knock some runs in rather than just swing for the fences (we had 29 strikeouts in the three games, including 13 on Sunday).

And with Mookie out with a cracked rib, I think this season may be over before we even get to the break. 25 more games to go until the break, including this nine-game road trip (Cincinnati, Atlanta, and Colorado). This road trip will tell all.

Friday, June 17, 2022

Games 63-65 Thread: June 17-19 vs. Guardians

We interrupt the Pixar Inside Out running GT theme for this photo (and honestly, two wins in a row isn't enough to merit "Joy").

Fri 6.17 7p: Clayton Kershaw (4-1, 2.12) vs. Plesac (2-4, 4.70)
Sat 6.18 4.15p: Julio Urias (3-6, 2.80) vs. Quantrill (4-3, 3.38)
Sun 6.19 1p: TBD vs. Justin Bieber (Baby, Peaches, Love Yourself)

Two wins, and almost a no-hitter by Tyler Anderson, over the Angels earlier this week. But remember, this was a team that recently lost 14 in a row. And even with those wins, the Dodgers' idle Monday and Thursday still had us fall behind the first-place Padres, who swept the Cubs at Wrigley and now lead us by a half-game entering play today (Padres play the Rockies, so that's another three wins for San Diego).

The Cleveland Guardians' first visit to Dodger Stadium could present another series-winning opportunity for the snakebit Dodgers...if we can get Gamora of the same from Will Smith (a three-run HR on Wednesday) and Mookie Betts (a key insurance solo HR on Tuesday).

Cue up the Awesome Mix! This is happening!

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Games 61-62 Thread: June 14-15 vs. Angels

Tue 6.14: Gonsolin vs. Syndergaard
Wed 6.15: Anderson vs. Detmers
both games 7p first pitch

Swept by the Giants. Chris Taylor bloodied at the left field wall. Mookie Betts, 1-for-his-last-22 and 2-for-his-last-31. Walker Buehler, out for eight weeks with elbow issues. Only one winning series in the last four series played (four wins in the last 13 games).

Oh yeah, and now we are TIED for the divisional lead with the Padres, who beat the Cubs Monday.

This Dodgers team is going nowhere, fast. Gone are the hopes for a major-league record win number. This team is either too old to handle the aggressive schedule, or lacking a sense of urgency to compete offensively, or just absolutely lost. Two games against the Angels aren't going to help much.

Sadness. Indeed.

Friday, June 10, 2022

Games 58-60 Thread: June 10-12 @ Giants

Fri 6.10 7p: Walker Buehler vs. Junis
Sat 6.11 4p: Julio Urias vs. TBD
Sun 6.12 1p: TBD (Clayton Kershaw?) vs. Rodon

Hot off a series victory over the Chicago White Sox (which only came after a close 11-9 victory in the rubber match Thursday afternoon, in a game which had the Dodgers' win percentage at 6% at one point), the Dodgers go up to Birdshit Park for a weekend series againt the third-place Giants, 6.5 games back of first. The Dodgers certainly haven't looked good of late, dropping the last homestand 2-5 and then limping to the series victory at Comiskey Park.

Mookie Betts went 0-for-6 Thursday with 2 Ks and 9 LOB (egads!), and Justin Turner also had a 0-for-3 day with 2 BB and a K. But surprisingly, Max Muncy rejoined the lineup following a rehab stint in Rnacho Cucamonga, and he did great: 2-for-5 with 5 RBI, including a three-run HR, to lift his average to .159 (he's gaining on you, Bellinger!). So maybe there's hope for the Dodgers, with a resurgent batter with a penchant for deliveing balls to the ocean?

We've got two starters going who have notable this year for their short starts. And then we've got Clayton Kershaw pencilled in for his return off the IL on Sunday. So I'm still terrified with fear.

Tuesday, June 07, 2022

Games 55-57 Thread: June 7-9 @ White Sox

Tue 6.7 5p: Mitch White vs. Kopech
Wed 6.8 5p: Tony Gonsolin vs. Cueto
Thu 6.9 11a: Tyler Anderson vs. Cease

We may as well continue through the Pixar Inside Out characters, now that we limped to a putrid 2-5 homestand by dropping all three games to the Pirates, before stumbling to a split against the Mets. Oh sure, we took the first two games against a weakened NYM lineup. But in both Saturday and Sunday's game, the Dodgers gave up leads (4-1 and 2-1) in order to choke away a sweep and settle for a split.

I was there Saturday night to see Walker Buehler implode to his shortest start of his career (2.1 IP, 5 ER, 2 HR). The LAT's Dylan Hernandez blames Julio Urias' short start for Sunday's loss, but in actuality the overworked bullpen is also the by-product of a shortened spring training plus the way Andrew Friedman has constructed the lineup, as well as how Dave Roberts chooses to execute the moves. And so, Brusdar Graterol gave up a three-run HR on Saturday, and then was responsible for a blown save and three more earned runs in Sunday's loss.

And let's not forget the offending offense. Will "Slappy" Smith may have had a home run late yesterday, but his game-ended K with a runner in scoring position was almost fated; he shoudln't be batting cleanup with his woeful .227 average. Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger are both batting below .240 as well, and they combined to go 1-for-8 yesterday with two Ks. And Gavin Lux was 0-for-4 in the nine-hole.

The Mets were our first big test this year. We got a C grade, maybe a C+; and this is when they don't even have Max Scherzer or Jacob deGrom in their lineup. It was a pretty disgusting homestand. Will a day off, and some road games, snap this team out of it?

Thursday, June 02, 2022

Games 51-54 Thread: June 2-5 vs. Mets

Thu Jun 2: Gonsolin vs. T Walker
Fri Jun 3: Anderson vs. Bassitt
Sat Jun 4: Buehler vs. Peterson
Sun Jun 5: Urias vs. TBD
All games 7p except Sunday 6/5 @ 1p

After the bedshitting that was getting swept at home by the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates (winners of five out of six games this year), the Dodgers should be thoroughly embarrassed. Especially the offense, whose situational hitting absolutely stunk (a combined 6-for-28 with RISP); the baserunning, with runners getting thrown out trying to pop-up slide (Gavin Lux), or stretching for an extra base in vain (Chris Taylor), or getting picked off (so many people I can't list them all), or not tagging up properly and getting thrown out at home (again, Gavin Lux). We were awful for that series.

And our reward is now hosting the best team in the National League, the Mets, who are getting it done despite injuries to their top starters Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer. They've got players stepping up in the moment, not cowering under the bed.

And meanwhile, we just sucked. Swinging at first pitches when Pirate pitchers were wavering. Blowing saves that negated comebacks. Spotting the Pirates four runs before the seats were even warm.

Oh, I'm pissed off. This Pirates series was f'ing embarrassing.

Get your shit together, Dodgers!

Monday, May 30, 2022

Games 48-50 Thread: May 30 - June 1 vs. Pirates

Mon 5.30 7p: Buehler vs. Thompson
Tue 5.31 7p: Urias vs. TBD
Wed 6.1 5p: White vs. Quintana

Oh sure, a four-game sweep of the Diamondbacks (punctuated by a 3-1 victory on Sunday), leading to an 8-2 record on the longest road trip of the season, should be cause for celebration. Except that four of those wins came at the hands of the Diamondbacks (against whom we are 9-2 this season), and we failed to put away sweeps against both the sub-.500 Phillies and the sub-.500 Nationals on this same road trip. We probably should have gone 10-0, frankly. So it's hard to get super-excited when the competition is so poor.

Meanwhile, this series opens up with the Pirates (who won the series in Pittsburgh), before we get four against the Mets, the first real team we've seen in a while. The secret to earning a winning homestand probably rests upon a strong outing against the Pirates this series.

Oh, and to add insult to injury: I had tickets to Monday's game, to see Walker Buehler. And I can't go (my father is going to use the tickets, which is good). So yeah, I'm salty. Whoopee.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Games 44-47 Thread: May 26-29 @ D’backs

Thu 5.26 6.40p: White vs. Castellanos
Fri 5.27 6.40p: Gonsolin vs. Bumgarner
Sat 5.28 4.15p: TBD vs. M Kelly
Sun 5.29 1.10p: T Anderson vs. TBD

This series, the last leg of a ten-game road trip, starts with Mitch White. White's last start was not so great (2.1 IP, 3 ER), and this very short outing vs. Philadelphia burdened the relief corps. Can White, in the opener, not cast a long shadow over the rest of the series?

Hoping we can rebound after dropping yet another final game in a series, preventing a sweep (Dodgers are 4-2 on this road trip).

And in other news: Sax placed two bets on the Dodgers last week, winning on both the Monday and Tuesday games. I didn't place a bet on Wednesday. And we lost. (SoSG Dusty blames me for the loss.)

Monday, May 23, 2022

Games 41-43 Thread: May 23-25 @ Nationals

Let's do this.

Mon 5.23 4p: Tyler Anderson vs. Avon
Tue 5.24 4p: Buehler vs. Gray
Wed 5.25 1p: Urias vs. Fedde

After Max Muncy's horrible showing in Sunday's game vs. the Phillies, I felt the need for the Dodgers--and myself--to put my money where my mouth is. So let's go.

Friday, May 20, 2022

Games 38-40 Thread: May 20-22 @ Phillies

Fri 5.20 4p: Urias vs. R Suarez
Sat 5.21 3p: TBD vs. Nola
Sun 5.22 10.30a: Gonsolin vs. Eflin

Remember last week, when the Phillies came into town and spanked us in three out of four games (the Dodgers avoiding a sweep only when Gavin Lux came through for an unlikely walkoff win)? Well now we are back in their house, except this time we only have two starters named for a three-game series. So I'm not expecting much brotherly love this weekend.

The Dodgers start the weekend only 1.5 games ahead of San Diego (who took two of three from the Phillies this week).

Monday, May 16, 2022

Games 34-37 Thread: May 16-18 vs. D'backs

Victory Brewing Company...from Pennsylvania of course

Mon 5.16 7p: Gonsolin vs. Bumgarner
Tue 5.17 12p: TBD vs. M Kelly
Tue 5.17 7p: T Anderson vs. TBD
Wed 5.18 7p: Buehler vs. Davies

The walk-off victory on Sunday afternoon was great, especially given the rally came with two out off the bats of the struggling Cody Bellinger and Gavin Lux. But that doesn't change the fact that the Dodgers lost 5 of 7 against Pennsylvania teams in their last two series, including almost getting swept by the Phillies at home for the first time since 1985.

We were fortunate to prevail on Sunday. We don't really have much of a rotation at this point though, and our bullpen was horrible for three of the four games against Philadelphia. So let's see if we have anything left in the tank for Arizona, since we know how this went last time (hint: it wasn't good).

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Games 30-33 Thread: May 12-14 vs. Phillies

The Dodgers might be Donkey Kong, but this homestand sure feels like we're Mario.

Thu 5/12 7p: Anderson vs. Wheeler
Fri 5/13 7p: Kershaw vs. Gibson
Sat 5/14 7p: Buehler vs. R Suárez
Sun 5/15 1p: Urías vs. Nola

Eight games. Seven days.

Yes, that's what this hellish homestand has in store for the Dodgers, who return from Pittsburgh with their tail between their legs after dropping two of three to the lowly Bucs. Sure, a 4-2 road trip doesn't sound all that bad. But the Dodgers' offense looked positively awful for a lot of that series @ PNC Park: 0-for-5 with RISP on Monday; then 1-for-7 with RISP on Wednesday. And both of those games were losses.

Max Muncy (0-for-3 on Wednesday) is batting .138. Justin Turner, who had a breakout game on Tuesday, is batting .194 (0-for-3 Wednesday). And Cody Bellinger (0-for-4 Wednesday) is barely over Mendoza at .206.

And yet, Doc Roberts insists on putting them together in the lineup for two of the three games in Pittsburgh, as if they were eighth-grade girls at a Loyola High semi-formal. We have to at least sit one of them, or break up the string of badness. Because the way they are batting now, they pose abysses in the lineup that turn run-scoring rallies into missed opportunities.

After this series, the homestand continues with four games against Arizona (including a doubleheader). The Dodgers start play on Thursday nursing a 1.5 game lead on the Padres and a two-game lead on the Giants. Would be nice to gain some ground against the sub-.500 Phillies.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Post-Game 28 Thread: Animal Returns!

"Here we go again / I kinda want to score more than ten..."


Sure, it was just the second game of a series against a sub-.500 team that the Dodgers should have won anyway. But Justin Turner going 4-for-5 with 4 RBI was a welcome jolt for the team, coming off a 5-1 series-opening loss that gave an opposing pitcher his first win since 2019.

Tonight, the Dodgers restored balance to the force, notching huge offensive outbursts in the third inning (batting around, for five runs) and the seventh inning (four more runs), to maroon the Pirates and take home a very lopsided victory. Now 20-8 with a run differential of +80, the Dodgers now are on pace for an absurd +463 run differential for the season. Is this possible? With Justin Turner, whose average rose to .200 with this game, potentially joining the Dodgers' hit parade, it certainly is.

That said, remember back to April 24, when Cody Bellinger won NL Player of the Week? Yeah, well since then, Bellinger is 6-for-43 with a .140 BA and a meager .422 OPS. So let's not get too far ahead of ourselves here.

In the meantime, let's celebrate Justin Turner's outing, and hope it's a portent of things to come.

Welcome back, JT! (What took you?!)

Rubber match tomorrow morning, party peoples: 9.30am. As a reminder, the game thread for this series @Pirates can be found here.

Monday, May 09, 2022

Games 27-29 Thread: May 9-11 @ Pirates

Mon 5/9 3.30p: Urias vs. Quintana
Tue 5/10 3.30p: Gonsolin vs. Bry Wilson
Wed 5/11 9.30a: TBD vs. TBD

A sweep of the Cubs this past weekend pushed the Dodgers' winning streak to six in a row, and now Los Angeles is 1.5 games clear of the Padres and four games ahead of the Giants and Rockies. But with Blake Treinen out through the All-Star Break, we really need to be racking up these wins against lowly NL Central teams (like the 11-16 Pirates) in May, before the Dodgers' opponents get a lot more challenging next month (Mets, White Sox, Giants, Angels, Braves).

Friday, May 06, 2022

Games 24-26 Thread: May 6-8 @ Cubs

Fri 5/6 11a: Tyler Anderson (2-0, 2.55) vs. TBD
Sat 5/7 11a: Clayton Kershaw (3-0, 2.35) vs. Steele (1-3, 5.50)
Sun 5/8 4p: Walker Buehler (3-1, 2.12) vs. Stroman (1-3, 5.13)

The Chicago Cubs are cold. 9-15 on the year and fourth in the NL Central (7.5 games behind the Brewers), the Cubs have not come out of the blocks strong. And speaking of cold: Friday is supposed to rain, and the weekend isn't supposed to get warmer than 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Cubs are coming off a two-game series loss to the cross-town White Sox, after being felled Wednesday by a bloop RBI single from former Dodger AJ Pollock. (As an aside, Pollock is batting .190 this season with a 33 OPS+; the Dodgers traded Pollock to the White Sox for Craig Kimbrel, who has a 1.35 ERA over 6.2 IP, and a 300 ERA+.)

The Cubs' leadoff bat of Alfonso Rivas has been their spark this year, matting .333 with a .919 OPS to lead the team. Seiya Suzuki is batting .250 in the two-hole. And 3B Patrick Wisdom has five HR this year (more than any other Dodger player).

But with the recent awakening of some of the Dodgers' bats in our Wednesday 9-1 victory, maybe we can bring the heat into the Windy City this weekend.

Wednesday, May 04, 2022

Post-Game 23 Thread: Dodgers Get Fourth-Right

SoSG AC got texted from a friend at the game that, following the Giants' botched play in B7 (Gavin Lux infield RBI single), the Diamondvision posted "Do or do not. There is no try."


May the Fourth be with the Dodgers, who swept the Giants in two games with a resounding beatdown Wednesday, a 9-1 victory that snowballed with momentum like a Real Madrid Champions League playoff game.

Down 1-0 through three innings on a Brandon Crawford solo shot, the Dodgers got two back in the bottom of the fourth on successive RBI singles from Trea Turner and Will Smith. Then a Mookie Betts solo shot to lead off the bottom of the sixth.

Then a four-run seventh punctuated by the aforementioned Lux RBI single (Wilmer Flores fields the ball at first, and then has no play when Giants don't cover the bag), a Betts sac fly, and a Freddie Freeman triple. And then finally, a Max Muncy two-run HR to notch the final runs.

Unlike the Giants' penchant for running up the score, those last two runs were not a matter of gloating. Muncy has been off to a horrible start this season, as he probably is rehabilitating from that brutal injury from the end of last season. But his surprising 2-for-4 night (only his second multi-hit game this year) lifts Muncy's average to .151, the lowest of all Dodger regulars--so if Muncy can show some signs of life, that would be a huge boon.

All Dodgers starters reached base tonight. Only Chris Taylor didn't get a hit tonight.

Tony Gonsolin was fine, 5.0 IP with 3 H and 1 ER (1 BB, 5 Ks). The Dodgers used four bullpen pitchers to pitch four scoreless frames.

The Dodgers' 16-7 record is best in the National League, and one game ahead of San Diego in the NL West. And sure, the Giants had a depleted roster for this series, which probably contributed to the sweep. There's still 17 games to play here!

The Dodgers get a day off Thursday, and then a weekend series in Chicago, where it's scheduled to rain Friday and be in the 50s all weekend. Yikes.

Tuesday, May 03, 2022

Games 22-23 Thread: May 3-4 vs. Giants

The players have changed a bit. The rivalry intensity hasn't.

Tues 5/3 7p: Urias (1-1. 2.50) vs. Rodon (3-0, 1.17).
Wed 5/4 7p: TBD Gonsolin (1-0, 1.59) vs. A Wood (2-1, 4.19).

When the Dodgers last saw the Giants, it looked something like this:

Ah yes. I remember it well, but I can watch those highlights again just to be pleasantly reminded.

(And by the way, when I debated with my brother-in-law (a Giants fan) about the Dodgers' profligate spending to date, and whether it has been worth it so far, I was able to remind him of two inescapable truths: 1) 2020 World Series Championship, and 2) 2021 NLDS Championship. Yes, there could, and should, be more. But yes, those two accomplishments are forever.)

Okay, back to this one. The Dodgers open up the day tied for first place in the NL West with the Padres, and the Giants are in third just a half-game back. This two-game tango features one Giant starter who hasn't lost this year, and another who was a former Dodger who went 0-2 against us last year (in three starts) but then helped San Francisco win NLDS Game 3 against us.

Meanwhile, don't let a series win over the lowly 7-14 Tigers fool you. We've still got Justin Turner scuffling with a .187 BA (and a .499 OPS), while Cody Bellinger's flash of a comeback dissipated quickly in the Detroit series as he went 1-for-11 with an RBI (Bellinger is batting .208). And we haven't even named a starter for Wednesday.

Clench up, Dodgers fans.

Friday, April 29, 2022

Games 19-21 Thread: April 29 - May 1 vs. Tigers

Fri 4/29 7p: Anderson vs. Alexander
Sat 4/30 7p: Kershaw vs. Brieske
Sun 5/1 1p: Buehler vs. Ed. Rodriguez

The Tigers enter this series with a 6-11 record. Which is about what the Diamondbacks were sporting before last series, when the Dodgers' offense rolled over and played dead. Let's see if these visiting Tigers are any tamer?

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Post-Game 18 Thread: Snake-bit


I'm posting this only because I figure the Dodger faithful might need a spot to vent. We dropped two of three in Arizona to the lowly Diamondbacks, thanks to an overall lack of hitting (one run scored in the last 17 innings), not to mention three errors in the field. The worst of the fielding errors was on Tuesday from Gavin Luxe (deliberately spelled with an extra "e" after botching a throw that sent two runs home and paved the way for a third). But errors from Freddie Freeman and Max Muncy didn't help any in Wednesday's loss, either.

I'm salty. Let's take the day off, shall we?

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

ESPN Boldly Predicts A 5-WAR Season From Bellinger

Credit ESPN for some spicy takes, but man, this one is pretty bold:

Cody Bellinger will be a 5-WAR player for the Dodgers.

Alden Gonzalez: I don't know if we'll ever again see the Cody Bellinger who terrorized pitchers through the first half of the 2019 season, but I also don't know that we need to. Bellinger, the 2019 NL MVP and amazingly one of the worst hitters in the sport in 2021, will settle into who he is this year -- a high-impact player who will at times look dominant and at times, perhaps briefly, look lost. Sunday's two-homer, two-strikeout afternoon offered a perfect snapshot. Through his first 15 games, Bellinger had four home runs, three stolen bases and a .915 OPS, but also 20 strikeouts in 60 at-bats. He brings elite power and speed, not to mention strong defense at a premium position, but he also strikes out a lot. The Dodgers will take that.

Why it's mild: We get it, Bellinger was really bad last season. But he also has an NL MVP Award and is 26 years old. Combine that with the fact that Bellinger is off to exactly the start the Dodgers were hoping he would have, as you mentioned. With that in mind, we're just not sure how much heat predicting Belli becomes Belli again actually carries.

Just as context, in last year's campaign, Max Muncy led the Dodgers with a 4.9 WAR (Mookie Betts was 4.2; Corey Seager was 3.7). Walker Buehler had a 6.6 WAR to lead pitchers, but Bellinger isn't compared against pitchers.

In the World Series championship 2020 season, Betts led the Dodgers with a 3.6 WAR. I suppose that number would be a lot higher spread over a 162-game season, but that would assume Betts' pace could be maintained that long.

In 2017, Justin Turner had a 5.6 WAR and Seager had a 5.3 WAR. Bellinger was a 3.9 WAR.

To be fair, Bellinger had a 8.6 WAR in 2019, his MVP year. Could he get to 5 WAR in 2022? Seems a little bold.

Oh, and old friend Manny Machado leads the majors in WAR as of today, with a 1.7.

photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press

Monday, April 25, 2022

Post-Game 16 Thread: Walker Buehler: MLB's First CG SHO In Eight Months

Buehler deals, Snakes heel.


Walker Buehler has been good but not great this year: 1-1 with a 4.02 ERA entering this game. But in his fourth start, Buehler dazzled, pitching the majors' first complete game shutout since September 2021. His line: 9.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB and 10 Ks. Buehler's ERA dropped to 2.55.

Just: wow. Way to go, Buehler!

Now on the downside: apparently it was the highest pitch count of anyone this year (as per Joe Davis' call), at 108 pitches. And I'm a little surprised Doc Roberts let Buehler go so long into the game, given his penchant for the early hook, not to mention keeping the starters really protected this season given the lockout-shortened spring. So I guess we'll have to see how Buehler pitches in his next outing, which (with the day off), wouldn't roll aournd until Sunday May 1 vs. the Tigers at home.

The Dodgers got on the board early, using only nine pitches to have Mookie Betts walk, Freddie Freeman double Betts over to third, and Trea Turner double both runners home. Max Muncy, who started the game with a 3-0 count that he worked back into a strikeout (groan), doubled in Betts for another run in the fifth. And Will "Slappy" Smith hit a solo shot to center in the eighth that notched the Dodgers' final run of the game.

Only Justin Turner (0-for-4) and Cody Bellinger (0-for-3) were hitless in the Dodgers' lineup; both players had one K. At this point, one-tenth of the way through the season, only Muncy is sub-Mendoza. But Justin Turner and Mookie Betts are barely above .200 (.203, each), so we've still got a way to go to get this whole team humming.

And as a reminder, the Game Thread for this @Diamondbacks series is here.

photo: AP / Matt York

Cody Bellinger, NL Player of the Week (April 18-24)

Congratulations, Cody! Boy, I wasn't counting on your bat this year, certainly after last year's debacle and this year's spring training. Really hoping that this is a great sign of things to come in 2022!

(Cody did go 0-for-4 tonight in Arizona, but I'm still staying positive.)

Games 16-18 Thread: April 25-27 @ D'backs

Yeah, we've used this theme before, I'm sure of it.

Mon 4/25 6.40p: Buehler (1-1, 4.02) vs. Kelly (1-0, 0.59)
Tue 4/26 6.40p: Gonsolin (1-0, 0.69) vs. Davies (1-1, 5.02)
Wed 4/27 12.40p: Urias (1-1, 3.00) vs. Gallen (0-0. 1.00)

Snakes in the desert, never a good sign. And the Diamondbacks are 6-10 this season but they're throwing two starters with pretty good ERAs against us this series. We do miss the opportunity to reunite with former Giants curmudgeon and current D'backs starter Madison Bumgarner, though, as he took the start Sunday in a losing effort to the Mets. The Diamondbacks' effort in tha Mets series, in which Arizona lost two of three, was called "sloppy".

Meanwhile, the Dodgers are serving up their 1-2-3 in their starting rotation, even if two of them don't have ERAs you'd expect given the small sample sizes. It's an observation that LAT columnist Dylan Hernandez also made in today's column, set to the tune of an 1980's Howard Jones song. Woah, woah, woah, oh, oh ohh-ohh.

So ahead of this series: do you feel scared? Well, I do. But I won't stop and falter.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Post-Game 15 Thread: Belli Bombing Again; Padres Can Only Watch and Shudder

I remember this Cody Bellinger. It's been a while.


The Dodgers slammed the Padres today early and often, cruising to a 10-2 victory off the back of two Cody Bellinger homers that amassed 4 RBI between them. The Dodgers scored 18 runs in the weekend series @ Petco Park, versus the Padres' six runs. True, the Padres stole a victory on Saturday in extras, 3-2. But a series victory is still a series victory, especially on the road (though there were many Dodgers fans in attendance for all three games, which was cool to see and hear). And the Dodgers' run differential of +44 is higher than any other team in the majors, including the Giants, who are only in the mix because of Gabe Kapler's unsportsmanlike penchant for running up the score.

But enough about teams who didn't advance in the 2021 NLDS.

This Post-Game Thread is about the Dodgers, whose dominance today was again very well rounded. Freddie Freeman added a two-run HR of his own in the third. Mookie Betts went 1-for-3 with two walks and three runs scored. Trea Turner, Justin Turner, Max Muncy, and Chris Taylor all had RBI. And even Hanser Alberto got a hit.

The Dodgers didn't violate any unwritten rules, either. Clayton Kershaw started and went the minimum five innings (third win of the season), and his three Ks today put him three strikeouts away from tying Don Sutton for the Dodgers franchise lead in strikeouts. The Dodgers trotted a number of relievers out there including Reyes "Good Times" Moronta and newly-recalled Garrett Cleavinger, and only Justin Bruihl yielded an earned run. And the Dodgers gave Edwin Rios and Zach McKinstry some playing time in the seventh inning, with the Dodgers nursing a 10-1 lead which had the game way out of reach.

Because that's the way you play the game.

Cody Bellinger is batting .273 this season with a .915 OPS, second only to Freeman. This is not what I expected from Bellinger. What a pleasant surprise.

No rest for the weary; the Dodgers take their MLB-leading record to Arizona for three games.

Friday, April 22, 2022

Games 13-15 Thread: April 22-24 @ Padres

Dirty play, from a team whose colors are yellow and brown.

Fri 4/22 6.40p: Julio Urias vs. Nick Martinez
Sat 4/23 6.40p: Tyler Anderson vs. Yu Darvish
Sun 4.24 1.10p: Clayton Kershaw vs. Sean Manaea

The Dodgers venture to Petco Park with the majors' best record (9-3), one game ahead of the Padres (9-5); the Dodgers also have the highest run differential (+32) in the league. But these are the Padres, who flamed out at the end of 2021 and then fired manager Jayce Tingler, and then started the season with star Fernando Tatis Jr. on the 60-day IL after breaking his wrist in the Dominican Republic this off-season (Tatis is now tending to this injury by playing soccer with teammates, including slipping and falling on his good wrist).

With these headwinds, the Padres have decided to come out in 2022 and play like...thugs. Just ask Reds catcher Tyler Stephenson, who was chop-blocked into a concussion at the plate by Padre Luke Voit, clearly playing dirty. Yep, these are the Padres: beautiful ballpark, but unsightly play inside.

On Friday, I have no doubt that the Pads will try to rough up Urias (coming off a great start last week (5.0 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 5 Ks and 1 BB)). Saturday, Tyler Anderson gets the nod with Andrew Heaney hitting the Dodgers' 10-day IL, thanks to a great outing by Tony Gonsolin Wednesday that did not require an Anderson bailout. And then we wrap up with Kershaw on Sunday.

Also, very eager to see if Cody Bellinger's newfound contact hitting is a trend, or just a blip. And hoping that Mookie Betts and Max Muncy can break out of their slumps in this series.

Otherwise, let's just stay healthy this series.


Thursday, April 21, 2022

Post-Game 12 Thread: Catman: Do! Dodgers Take Series From Braves

Tony Gonsolin was the man today, but Jon SooHoo got another epic shot.


Tony Gonsolin has been the Dodgers' weakest starter this year, lasting only three innings in his first start, and then four innings in the second start--both of which needed to be backed up by Tyler Anderson in long relief. Today, coming off the news that Anderson would be slotted for Saturday's game, filling in for an injured Andrew Heaney, Catman got serious and got to work.

Gonsolin punished the Braves' bats today, giving up no hits through his first five innings, yielding a solitary hit to Manny Pina in the sixth inning. What's more, Gonsolin's six frames took only 83 pitches, which is more than any of his first two outings, but not too many more. With 3 BB and 3 Ks on the day, Gonsolin's ERA now sits at 0.69 across 13 innings of work.

And then there's that Freddie Freeman guy. His hugs and tears with former teammates grabbed the spotlight for the series opener on Monday. And Kenley Jansen, who also got commemorative gifts on Monday from his former team, got some of the focus on Tuesday when he earned the ninth-inning save over the Dodgers.

But on Wednesday, it was back to Freeman, who hit his second HR of the year (and the series). Traditional angle:

And check out this alternative angle cut:

Plus, Cody Bellinger is slowly coming back from the dead! Maybe. He's slowly worked his average back to .279, including a RBI triple as well as his third double of the year, both off of salty Braves starter Charlie Morton. Bellinger seems to have stopped overswinging with the whole corkscrew stance, and the results seem pretty smooth:

On the downside, Max Muncy is still languishing at .128 and Mookie Betts is at .178. But if Bellinger can pick up the pace, we can afford to be more patient with both of them.

All in all, a great 6-1 homestand, the Dodgers' first homestand of the year. I was happy to get to one game this homestand. Can't wait for the next visit to the Stadium!

Monday, April 18, 2022

Games 10-12 Thread: April 18-20 vs. Braves

Okay, someone is excited for this next series.

Mon 4.18 7p: Clayton Kershaw vs. Ynoa
Tues 4.19 7p: Walker Buehler vs. Fried
Wed 4.20 12n: Tony Gonsolin vs. Morton

The Dodgers see if their 7-2 record stands up against their first playoff-contending opponent in 2022. On the positive side, we know these Braves pretty well:

And then something else with the Braves might have happened in 2021, but it was all a blur after the Chris Taylor walk-off HR victory in the Wild Card Game, and then that epic NLDS Game 5 victory to vanquish the Giants.

So for 2022, what has changed between the Dodgers and Braves?

Well for one thing, there's this guy:

Former Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen is now with the Braves. He's 0-0 with a 6.75 ERA in four games, driven by a difficult first outing against the Braves where he gave up three ER. Since then, he's been lights out: three appearances with 4 Ks across the three games; two saves. Jansen's K/BB ratio is 5.00, right on par with his career average; and his 11.3 K/9 ratio is exactly in line with 2021.

And then, there's this guy:

Former Braves slugger Freddie Freeman is now with the Dodgers. He's 12-for-37 this year across all nine games with 4 RBI (three of which came yesterday!). Freeman's OPS+ of 125 this year is below his career average of 138, but so far he's got no HR (three doubles are his only XBH), though to be fair he only had 13 HR in his 2020 MVP season (Freeman has hit 30+ HRs three times in his career, including in 2021).

I'm very interested to see how Jansen and Freeman fare in this series, facing familiar friends now from the other side. We start the series with Kershaw, coming off his seven innings of perfect pitching. LET'S GO, DODGERS!

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Games 8 + 9 Thread: April 16 + 17 vs. Reds

Sat 4.16 7p: Urias vs. Greene
Sun 4.17 1p: Heaney vs. Mahle

Okay, I know I'm all over the place with these Game Threads for this Opening Series. Sorry about that! I am finding it more fun to be posting content (and for this homestand, I surprisingly have a bit more time to spend writing it), so I'm going to break this opening series thread up into multiple posts. I don't think this pace is sustainable, but who the heck knows.

Speaking of unsustainable paces, the Dodgers have now won four in a row and seem to be rolling. Even when the Dodgers can't string enough hits at opportune times--the Dodgers were 2-for-11 on Friday night, with 9 LOB--they still score enough to earn the win. It was heartening that the Dodgers scored in three of their eight frames on Friday, as the Dodgers had scored in three or more innings in only one other game this year. Yeah, I'd love for us to put more than a fencepost on the board each frame, but on Friday, those three fenceposts held up for a victory Friday,

So we've got two more games against the Reds this series, after winning the first two games. Let's go, Dodgers.

As mentioned in the original series thread, Sax and Orel will be there at the Stadium on Sunday, so give a shout out if you will be there, and maybe we can all grab a beer or twelve.

Friday, April 15, 2022

Happy Jackie Robinson Day (And Game 7 Thread)

Across the majors, they will be commeomorating the 75th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's MLB debut. All players will wear a Dodger Blue #42 on their backs, as well as a #42 sleeve patch. Rachel Robinson will be on hand for tonight's Dodger game, and manager Dave Roberts will host a ceremony with the full Dodgers team at Jackie Robinson's statue.

I had posted a Series Thread for tonight's Reds @ Dodgers game (7p), Tony Gonsolin vs. Vladimir Gutierrez, here--but what the heck, let's use this one.

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Post-Game 6 Thread: Slappy Delivers The Home Opener Victory

Slappy pummeling Mr. Red


Saving what was heading toward a disastrous loss, "Slappy" Will Smith banged an eighth-inning, three-run HR to give the Dodgers a 7-3 lead (Trea Turner had just given the Dodgers a 4-3 lead on an RBI single, but Smith's blast put this out of reach). Ironically, Slappy's shot went off the top of the wall, and then hit the glove of the Reds fielder before bouncing back over the wall (just watched the highlight), so that was indeed "out of reach". In that bottom of the eighth frame, the Dodgers kept on rolling, sending 11 men to the plate and scored six runs.

Also congratulations to Freddie Freeman, whose double to leadoff the eighth not only led the charge, but also gave Freeman a well-deserved ovation and chant from the crowd:

It was an impressive awakening after sleeping through six straight scoreless frames, especially after opening up the game with a first inning that saw five hits and three runs and chased the Reds starter, Luis Cessa. But the Dodgers then looked absent from the second through seventh innings, allowing the Reds to claw their way back to a tie game, off of two home runs across the sixth and seventh innings. So it was amazing to come back and give the sellout crowd a win.

Walker Buehler lasted 5.2 innings and gave up that first HR, a two-run shot to Aristedes Aquino. David Price, who relieved Buehler, yielded the second HR. But the offensive outburst in the bottom of the eighth put this game away.

Dodgers move to 4-2 and now sit tied for first place in the NL West, along with everyone else except Arizona. Jackie Robinson Day is tomorrow, so let's go!

Home Opener Game Thread (Game 6): April 14 vs. Reds

Thu 4.14 7p: Buehler vs. Sanmartin

The Reds are 2-4 in this short season, but worse than that, their team president and COO is in a spat with Reds fans telling them that their pared-down roster is justified and "to be careful what you wish for" with regards to fans' requests to sell the team. Yeah, that's endearing.

But we've got problems of our own here in Dodgertown. Julio Urias and his 13.50 ERA looked lost in his first start. Max Muncy and "Slappy" Will Smith are each batting below .200.

Oh, and for all of you trying to support the Dodgers on this first homestand: greedy Frank McCourt raised parking from $20 to $25 per game.

Thanks for the fan appreciation, Frank!

At least we have Jackie Robinson Day on Friday April 15:

Sax and Orel will be there Sunday, so give a shout out if you're going to this first series!

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Post-Game 5 Thread: Dodgers #5 Starter Ks 13, Perfect Through Seven Innings


One night after a rain-delayed 7-2 victory that was nip and tuck until a six-run top of the eighth inning, the Dodgers sent their #5 starter to the mound against a tableau where no other starting pitcher had lasted more than five innings all season.

Except this #5 starter was Clayton Kershaw.

And these were the Minnesota Twins. Without Carlos Correa in the lineup, as Correa was busy scheming other ways to cheat (and, dealing with a hangnail issue).

Kershaw dealt 13 Ks over seven frames and was pulled after only 80 pitches, withthe Dodgers nursing a 6-0 lead going into the bottom of the eighth.

Fans are pissed off thst Kershaw was pulled, and I get it. But Kershaw himself said on the post-game show that it was the right decision and his slider had lost its bite the last two innings. Not to mention, he isn't stretched out given the lockout, and it was 38 degrees out there today. I am cool with the decision.

We had 5 LOB through two frames and had notched three runs, but the middle frames were scoreless, before we opened up the eighth inning with consecutive HR from Cody Bellinger (whaaaaaaat?), Gavin Lux, and Austin Barnes, the latter of whom regained his lead atop the Dodgers 2022 HR board (with two).

Dereck Rodriguez was the victim of these three HR, two of which (Bellinger's and Lux's) ended up in the same spot, in deep right-center. It was a pretty cool show of offense from a team that hasn't had many outbursts yet this year, certainly not vs. expectations. And Max Muncy added a solo shot in the ninth to raise his average to .118.

Really good to see Muncy and Bellinger get good swings on the ball, for one of the few times this year. As it is, Muncy and Will Smith are the only starters below .200 so far this year. Chris Taylor went 0-for-5 with 2 Ks (Lux had 3Ks today), and dropped his average to .313.

Alex Vesia relieved Kershaw for the seventh and gave up a one-out single, but that was the only hit the Twins had in the shutout loss (Justin Bruihl had a scoreless ninth).

But the story today was clearly Clayton Kershaw, who now has as many Ks as our other four starters, combined (Walker Buehler and Andrew Heaney with five each; Tony Gonsolin with 3; Julio Urias with a goose egg). Dodgers come back to home for four with the Reds and then three with Kenley Jansen's Braves. Good to be back above .500, though we're still third in the division and one game out of first pending tonight's results.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Series Thread (Games 4-5): April 12-13 @ Twins

4.12 4.40p: Andrew Heaney vs. Chris Archer
4.13 10.10a: Clayton Kershaw vs. Chris Paddack

Aren't these twins cute?* Except the Dodgers are facing a different group of Twins, who re-stocked their last-place lineup with cheater Carlos Correa as well as former San Diego Padre Chris Paddack (whom the Dodgers see on Wednesday). Wednesday would also mark the 2022 debut of Clayton Kershaw, on whose shoulders we could be leaning to get us back above .500 (assuming we win Tuesday, that is).

(*) I know, you expected me to put up a different type of photo to accompany this post. See how much we've matured here at SoSG? Well, not really. But for this particular picture, yes.

Monday, April 11, 2022

Archiving the 2021 SoSG Attendance Record, for Posterity

Yeah, it's that time to clean up the sidebar, before our first homestand of the 2022 season.

SoSG 2021 Record: 4-3 regular season; 3-1 postseason

5/29 vs. SF (Orel, Sax): L, 6-11
5/31 vs. STL (AC): W, 9-4
6/24 vs. CHC (Sax): L, 0-4
6/26 vs. CHC (Sax): W, 3-2
7/22 vs. SF (Sax): L, 3-5
8/29 vs. NYM (Sax): W, 4-1
10/2 vs. MIL (Orel, Sax): W, 8-3

2021 Playoffs
10/6 WC G1 vs. STL (AC): W, 3-1
10/11 NLDS G3 vs. SF (Sax): L, 0-1
10/12 NLDS G4 vs. SF (Sax): W, 7-2
10/19 NLCS G3 vs. ATL (Sax): W, 6-5

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), 2020 (0-0).

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Post-Game 3 Thread: Dodgers Start 2022 Season With A Series Loss To Lowly Colorado


I was worried about the Dodgers after Game 1. But after today's loss, starting our 2022 campaign with a series loss in Colorado, evidences why all this talk of dominance is pretty premature.

The Dodgers' bats have been entirely mortal in the first place. But they aren't anywhere near as good as necessary to compensate for weaknesses in starting pitching, when neither Tony Gonsolin nor Julio Urias can reach the fourth inning. Yesterday was Catman-doodoo, with Gonsolin giving up one earned run and five hits in 3.0 IP and 62 pitches. His subpar performance didn't doom the game though, not when Austin Barnes (a) drops a pinpoint throw from Mookie Betts in right to allow a Rockies run; (b) fails to advance on the basepaths on a Freddie Freeman deep fly to center, costing the Dodgers a critical run in an eventual 3-2 loss; and (c) calls for a Blake Treinen cutter on Connor Joe in the eighth, which was crushed to left for a game-winning HR. Barnes hit a solo HR earlier in the game, but whatever.

And then today, Urias gave up six runs before the Dodgers even got on the board (in the top of the fourth). Sure, five of the Rockies' nine runs were unearned, thanks to errors galore by the Dodgers, suffering in the gusty winds on the field. But it was those same gusty winds that led to the majority of the Dodgers' runs, as three of those runs were gift-wrapped by Kris Bryant, who dropped a Freeman fly out, clearing the bases. The score really wasn't as close as it appeared.

So let's look at the batting averages of this dominant Dodgers lineup, through three games:

  • Mookie Betts .214
  • Freddie Freeman .167
  • Trea Turner .231
  • Max Muncy .067
  • Justin Turner .231
  • Will Smith .167
  • Cody Bellinger .182
  • Chris Taylor .571
  • Gavin Lux .375

Aside from CT3 and Gavin, we look awful. And Cody got two hits today--call for the parade--but those were his first of the year (he also has 3 Ks in 11 AB). Small sample size. But if there was anywhere I'd expect more output, it's in Colorado.

Monday is a day off, and then we play two at the delightfully frigid Target Field in Minneapolis (projected to be 54 degrees with a high chance of rain).

Friday, April 08, 2022

Post-Game 1 Thread: Opening Day Win, But Not Dominance


The Dodgers spoiled the Rockies' Opening Day at Coors Field, jumping out to a lead in the fourth inning off the back of five two-out runs. The five runs held up even though new closer Craig Kimbrel allowed one run in earning the save; Walker Buehler got the win with five innings of two-run ball (2 BB, 5 Ks).

I know, I should be thrilled. But I'm not.

This is a Dodgers team that is supposed to dominate the NL West and roll to the World Series, and against a hapless Colorado squad they looked positively mortal. With the exception of that top of the fourth, the Dodgers' vaunted offense had some apparent weaknesses, starting with Cody Bellinger (in the eight-hole, 0-for-4 with 5 LOB). Bellinger also swung at the first pitches of his first two ABs and looked immature and unprepared. Surpassing Bellinger was Justin Turner, 0-for-5 with 5 LOB of his own, but for some reason I still feel better about JT than I do about Belli.

If there's one thing that did seem clear, it is that when the Dodgers bats decide to get hot, it's like a tsunami--the wave comes fast and all you can do is run. Rockies starter Kyle Freeland couldn't make it out of the inning after giving up a two-out, two-run single to Gavin Lux, followed by an RBI double to Mookie Betts and a walk to Freddie Freeman. Tyler Kinley came in and gave up a Trea Turner RBI single, scoring Betts, and then wild-pitched Freeman in from third, to give the Dodgers a 5-2 lead. Justin Turner Kd for the final out of the frame, but the damage was done: five runs, nine batters, and a 2-0 lead evaporated in a snap. And all this happened with two outs; the Rockies didn't know what hit them.

Nor did Gavin Lux, who scored from first on Betts' double to take the 3-2 lead. If we can have Lux hit like this from the bottom of the order, it's quite an asset to flip the lineup back up top again to Mookie. But someone has got to teach Gavin how to slide:

That hurts just watching it.

The rest of the game, though, the Dodgers' offense left ducks on the pond (bases loaded in the fifth; one on in the sixth) and then went silent for the last three frames. The game kinda felt like we needed another run or two (especially in Coors Field), which luckily we didn't. But after seeing Kimbrel's unorthodox delivery and slight danger after giving up two doubles in the frame (reminded me a lot of Kenley Jansen!), the lead held up.

From this one performance, it's not clear if Kimbrel is going to resemble the lights-out closer that was with the Cubs in the first half of the season, or the ballooned-ERA that the White Sox had at the end of 2021. Luckily, the rest of the bullpen was lights-out, bridging the sixth through eighth innings with nary a scratch.

It's a long season. Let's go get 'em tomorrow.

UPDATE 10.10p: Of course, LAT's Bill Plaschke thought the Dodgers were great today.. Given his experience making predictions, that's another ominous sign.

Opening Series Thread (Games 1-3): April 8-10 @ Rockies

Fri Apr 8 1p: Buehler vs. Freeland
Sat Apr 9 5p: Gonsolin vs. Marquez
Sun Apr 10 12n: Urias vs. Senzatela

Opening Day 2022! And with all the talk of the Dodgers' vaunted offense (with many starters batting below Mendoza levels this spring, but hey, it's spring training), some have forgotten that we have a lot of holes in our starting pitching. So Tony Gonsolin gets the start in game #2 in batter-friendly Coors Field, followed by Julio Urias who ended up his 2022 Spring Training season getting shellacked by the Angels. At least we have Walker Buehler, picked by ESPN to win the 2022 NL Cy Young Award, leading off the series on Opening Day.

Let's do this!

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Baseball's Back. Kershaw's Back. And Introducing Freddie Freeman!

After pissing away what could have been an exciting hot stove season with a lockout, baseball finally came back last week. Thank the gods. All of us Dodger fans who had to fester since Corey Seager's departure

The Dodgers didn't waste any time by announcing the return of Clayton Kershaw (one year, $17M, but with incentivs that could take it to $21M based on number of starts). That's a great sign and every Dodgers fan is delighted to see Kershaw back in blue.

And then late last night, the Dodgers got the big prize in Freddie Freeman (6 years, $162M). That's a hefty price for a 32-year-old but his performance and durability have been great so far, and he's returning to Southern California after spending all of his career in Atlanta.

$162M is basically 27 times what was offered by the Giants to get former Brave Joc Pederson, so one could say we got Freeman for the price of 27 Joc straps.

Adding Freeman, the fourth former league MVP on this 2022 Dodgers team (along with Kershaw, Mookie Betts, and Cody Bellinger), gave me pause to scream, like this guy:

I think he's saying "FREEEEEEMAN!!!!!" But my memory of that movie is spotty, and I can't quite make out the small print subtitle.

Here's another take on the Freeman deal, from ESPN's Jeff Passan:

Let's f'ing go.