Friday, September 30, 2022

Games 157-162 Thread: Sept 30-Oct 5 vs. Rockies

Fri 30 7p: Kershaw vs. Kuhl
Sat 1 6p: Grove vs. Freeland
Sun 2 1p: Anderson vs. Marquez
Mon 3 7p: Gonsolin vs. TBD
Tue 4 7p: Urias vs. TBD
Wed 5 1.20p: Kershaw vs. TBD

Baseball is all about tradition, and now it's time for the traditional end-of-season six-game series. The Dodgers' magic number for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, including the World Series, is down to 1 (with six games to play), so my guess is that the rotation doesn't exactly play out as planned. I'm looking forward to seeing how Tony Gonsolin does on Monday in his return from the IL.

This series will also be the last audition for Chris Taylor, Trayce Thompson, Cody Bellinger, and Joey Gallo; it's likely that only two of those four will make the postseason roster (only Mookie Betts is a solid outfield lock), with the other two being cut (hopefully not like the movie poster up there). But knowing the Dodgers, there will be more injuries between the end of September to the final postseason game--so we've gotta take a close look at everyone this series. Buckle up, Dodger fans!

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Games 154-156 Thread: Sept 27-29 @ Padres

The Padres were hunting for a ring. Tatis was focused on ringworm.

Tue 27: Anderson vs. Snell
Wed 28: Urias vs. Musgrove
Thu 29: TBD vs TBD

The Padres may not be in the divisional race anymore (the 2022 NL West Champion Dodgers are 21 games ahead of the Padres), but they're still fighting for their second wild-card position, only 1.5 games ahead of the Phillies (who have the third WC spot) and 3 games ahead of the Brewers. But you wouldn't know that from watching the play of heralded trade-deadline pickup Juan Soto, whose BA hasn't suffered much since being acquired from the Nationals (.242 vs .246), but whose OPS+ has dropped from 158 (his career average) to 136 with San Diego.

Manny Machado is still mashing--his BA and OPS have both increased since Soto has joined the San Diego lineup. And then there's Fernando Tatis Jr., who is suspended.

The Dodgers have nine games left to tinker with pitching options. Recent momentum from Max Muncy and Cody Bellinger at the plate is encouraging. But it's the arms which are going to be the question mark going into the 2022 postseason.

Friday, September 23, 2022

Games 151-153 Thread: Sep 23-25 vs. Cardinals

Fri 23 7p: Heaney vs. Quintana
Sat 24 6p: Kershaw vs. Montgomery
Sun 25 1p: Anderson vs. Wainwright

This series marks the return of all-time Dodger great Albert Pujols, who, after his legendary stint with the Dodgers, opted to play out one final year with the St. Louis Cardinals. Pujols is on 698 home runs (fourth all-time), and there is a chance he can get to 700 while playing at Chavez Ravine--which would be entirely fitting for the future Hall of Famer. (It is widely rumored that Pujols, always generous, may opt to give St. Louis a little bit of love on his HOF plaque, given that the Dodgers already have so much HOF representation.)

St Louis leads the NL Central by 7.5 games--but as the NL division leader with the weakest record, the Cardinals will likely have to play in the Wild Card Round before the NLDS. Should they advance, there's a chance these two teams could meet in the NLCS. Better not show the entire hand this series, right?

Welcome back to Dodger Stadium, Tio Albert!

Monday, September 19, 2022

Games 146-150 Thread: Sep 19-22 vs. D'backs

Mon 19 7p: Kershaw vs. Kelly
Tue 20 12p: TBD vs TBD
Tue 20 7p: TBD vs TBD
Wed 21 7p: May vs. TBD
Thu 22 7p: Urias vs. TBD

Five games in four days? Is that any way to reward the 2022 NL West Champion Dodgers after sweeping the Giants in San Francisco, finishing the season with an astounding 15-4 record against the team that edged us out for the divisional title last year?

Luckily, the Dodgers are a stratospheric 46-16 against the NL West this year, including a 11-3 record against the Diamondbacks. Our starting pitchers for this extended series aren't called just yet, particularly for that day-night doubleheader on Tuesday. But the Dodgers still have a six-game lead for the best record in baseball with 17 games left to play. I'd like to see us continue to smush some sad snakes here at home.

Oh, and I'll be at the Stadium on Wednesday evening; hit me up if you want to say hi!

Friday, September 16, 2022

Games 143-145 Thread: Sep 16-18 @ Giants

Fri 16 7.15p: May vs. Webb
Sat 17 6p: Urias vs. TBD
Sun 18 4p: Heaney vs. Cobb

Fresh off a stinging walk-off loss on Wednesday in Arizona, the already-crowned 2022 National League West Champion Dodgers will be up for a weekend series in San Francisco that doesn't have much impact on the playoff races. However, it is interesting to think that last year, these two rival squads were neck and neck gunning for the NL West title...and this year, the 29.5-game gap between the two teams is massive. The Giants are indeed...far behind.

Sure, the Giants replaced Oyster Pubes wth Joey Bart (batting .230 in the nine-hole). But they did pick up that pearl necklace-wearing former Dodger as well (he's batting .268 this season). And there's plenty of stories about how the Giants will make a run for Aaron Judge at year's end, in which case, the rivalry will be different. For this weekend, though, I'm hoping for the revitalized Max Muncy (who finally crested the .200 mark for the frist time Tuesday, before going 0-for-5 in Wednesday's loss) to deposit a couple of balls in the ocean.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Los Angeles Dodgers, 2022 NL West Champions

Step one to restoring the crown.

Monday, September 12, 2022

Games 140-142 Thread: Sep 12-14 @ D'backs

Mon 12: Anderson vs. Nelson
Tue 13: Kershaw vs. Kelly
Wed 14: TBD vs. TBD
all games at 6.40p

After winning two of three against the Padres this past weekend, the Dodgers have a 20-game lead and have officially clinched a playoff berth. But now, it takes two: Two more wins (or Padres losses), and the NL West Divisional crown is in order, for the ninth time in ten years. The Dodgers' +310 run differential is the most in the majors by over 100 runs. And in the Sunday Padres game, even Chris Taylor had a home run (though Justin Turner's grand slam was the dagger)--and even more amazing, Cody Bellinger had a base hit (snapping a 0-for-24 streak).

Bellinger is batting .200. Muncy is batting .197. Can both of them get over Mendoza by the end of the year?

Friday, September 09, 2022

Games 137-139 Thread: Sep 9-11 @ Padres

Fri Sep 9 6.40p: May vs. Clevinger
Sat Sep 10 5.40p: Urias vs. Snell
Sun Sep 11 1.10p: Heaney vs. Musgrove

With the Dodgers' magic number at a tantalizingly low six, there's a small chance we can blow into Petco Park and exit the weekend 2022 NL West Champs. Standing in the way are the second-place Padres, 19 games behind, including this cast of characters:

  • Manny Machado, whose MLB top-10 OPS this year (.894) is impressive (albeit behind Mookie Betts' .911 and Freddie Freeman's .908), but sometimes lackadaisical attitude caused a divorce from the Dodgers after his 2018 end-of-season rental;
  • Blake Snell, whose 2020 World Series Game 6 start was proceeding swimmingly against the Dodgers, until Rays coach Kevin Cash beheaded Snell's outing, leading to the Dodgers' game and series victory that evening;
  • Mike Clevinger, who died last Sunday against the Dodgers (3.1 IP, 5 ER), which the Dodgers went on to win 9-4;
  • Juan Soto, whose divorce from the Nationals almost brought him to Los Angeles--but instead he joined the Padres and also went 0-fer in two of the three series games last week;
  • Sean Manaea, who won't be pitching in this three-game series, but was beheaded by the Dodgers in his 12-1 loss last weekend (he lasted only 4.1 IP, giving up 8 ER)
  • Yu Darvish, who also won't be pitching in this three-game series, and survived his game last week in LA, helping the Padres to a 7-1 victory and their only win of that series.

So let's recap: Divorce, beheaded, died. Divorce, beheaded, survived. Hmm. That sounds pretty catchy, like one could sing along? Let's see if the Dodgers can bust through the two doors of Petco Park and grab some wins here.

Monday, September 05, 2022

Games 134-136 Thread: Sep 5 - 7 vs. Giants

Mon Sep 5 7p: Heaney vs. Webb
Tue Sep 6 7p: Anderson vs. TBD
Wed Sep 7 1p: Kershaw vs. Cobb

This Game Thread is late.

But the Giants are still lame.

photo from San Jose Mercury News; Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group, May 23, 2022

Friday, September 02, 2022

Games 131-133 Thread: Sept 2-4 vs. Padres

Fri Sep 2 7p: May vs. Darvish
Sat Sep 3 6p: Urias vs. Manaea
Sun Sep 4 4p: Heaney vs. Clevinger

The Dodgers just dropped two of three to the second-best team in the National League, but Dodger Nation isn't freaking out just yet. But with the 18-games-back Padres checking in for what should have been a divisional showdown (had they not been a full EIGHTEEN GAMES BACK, if you catch my drift), there's a chance that this series could tighten the Dodgers' sphincters a bit more than they are currently puckered.

Even still, it's three games with Manny Machado and Juan Soto, not to mention...oh wait, no, he's suspended for steroid usage.

Man, it's nice to have an 18-game divisional lead.

Go Dodgers!