Saturday, October 15, 2022

NLDS Game 4 Thread: Oct 15 @ Padres, 6.37p

Anderson vs. Musgrove.

A 22-game lead in the regular season doesn't matter for shit, now that we've dropped two straight in a best-of-five series, and are facing an elimination game way earlier than we had expected in this postseason. David is actually going to slay Goliath. The Dodgers hadn't really been challenged all year during the regular season, so let's see how this team fares when the stakes are actually meaningful and our backs are against the wall.

That said, I'm not expecting much. Our bats are now 0-for-17 in the last two games, and we have not scored a run against this Padres bullpen in the entire series. It's easy to point the finger at Will Smith, 0-for-4 last night and choker in multiple run-scoring opportunities this whole series. But the fact of the matter is that Chris Taylor (0-for-4 with 2 Ks) isn't much of a replacement for the listless Cody Bellinger; Mookie Betts (1-for-3 last night) is batting .182 in leadoff; Justin Turner is batting .100 this series; and Trayce Thompson (1-for 3, batting .111) is also punchless.

Dodgers pitchers are getting maligned here, especialy with Tony Gonsolin's four-out starting performance in Game 3. But six arms only let two runs cross the plate last night in Game 3. This is about our lack of offensive performance when the presure is on--and we can't score more than one run all game.

This is bad. I'm still drunk while writing this post. I'll probably stay this way through Game 4.

Friday, October 14, 2022

NLDS Game 3 Thread: Oct 14 @ Padres, 5.30p

Not the rally fowl we needed in Game 2.

Tony Gonsolin vs. Blake Snell.

After a deflating Game 2 home loss, the Dodgers head down to Petco Park with the potential to not play another game at Dodger Stadium this year. It's that terrifying, Dodger fans! And though I'm actually feeling more zen than I did before Game 1, I can't say that I'm feeling very positive.

Mookie Betts is 1-for-8 this series in the leadoff spot. Trea Turner is making errors or bad judgment calls in the field. Will Smith choked in two key situations to score runs in Game 2. Trayce Thompson and Cody Bellinger are chasing each other for the "most strikeouts" title. And the Dodgers went 0-for-8 with RISP in Game 2, and are 3-for-16 in this series.

Yes, our bullpen has been pretty sharp, with the exception of Brusdar Graterol, who needed a lucky comebacker and out at home to prevent further damage from his one-dimensional performance on Wednesday. But the Padres bullpen has been better, keeping us scoreless across both games. We've now ceded the advantage of the Wild Card round bye as well as home-field advantage. And we're having to start a guy who won't even last five innings, given his recent return from the IL.

I'm feeling like our goose is already cooked. Let's hope I'm wrong.

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

NLDS Game 2 Thread: Oct 12 vs. Padres, 5.37p

The Dodgers' Chris Martin seals the NLDS Game 1 victory, as Padres tears rain from the heavens. (hat tip, SoSG AC)

Clayton Kershaw vs. Yu Darvish.

The Dodgers eked out a win in NLDS Game 1, which was critical not only because the Game 1 winners go on to win the five-game series 71% of the time, but also because that was the only game in which the Padres' rotation was hampered by the Wild Card round last week against the Mets. But with this game, the Padres' rotation flips former Dodger Yu Darvish, who was dominant against the Mets in WC Game 1 (7.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 4 Ks and 0 BB). Darvish is 3-5 against the Dodgers in 10 starts, with a 2.47 ERA.

Clayton Kershaw takes the mound for the Dodgers, and he is 23-9 lifetime against the Padres across 45 career starts, with a 2.03 ERA. Kershaw will have the weight of his recently-redeemed postseason record, blah blah blah. I'm worried less about Kersh and more about the six-through-nine in this lineup, who combined for a shitty 1-for-13 with 5 Ks in NLDS Game 1 (Bellinger, who had 2 Ks, looked absolutely lost up there).

Look, I know all the talk is about the Dodgers owning the Padres after going 14-5 against them this season. But NLDS Game 1 evidences that the Padres are a lot more talented than that record would show. We've got to have our guard up--and that means taking good at bats (I'm talking to you, Cody).

I don't want to go to Petco Park with a split. Let's get this Game 2 win, Dodgers!

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Post-NLDS Game 1: Clevinger Bails Out The Dodgers

This photo is not from this game, because Fernando Tatis is suspended.


Oh sure, the Dodgers took Game 1. But that was only because the Padres, crippled by the Wild Card Round, had to pitch Mike Clevinger in Game 1. Clevinger gave up five runs in his three innings of work, and it was very fortunate that those five runs held up, because we were shit against the San Diego bullpen.

Julio Urias was good, but not great, in this Game 1 start. Give innings, but 3 ER: not a quality start for him, especially watching his mortality in the fifth (his final inning). Evan Phillips came in for a high-leverage sixth inning, and Doc made the right choices with Alex Vesia, Brusdar Graterol, and Chris Martin to close out the win.

Credit Trea Turner with his first-inning solo HR for opening this up; Will Smith with two huge doubles and an RBI; and Max Muncy and Gavin Lux for RBIs on their own. But Mookie Betts was 0-for-4; Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger were 0-for-3--and we couldn't do anything against the four Padres relievers that came in from the third inning onward.

That's going to have to change if we want to progress in this postseason. For now, I'm going to drink my last beer...and make sure I have enough for tomorrow and the rest of this series.

2022 NLDS Game 1: Oct 11 vs. Padres, 6.37p

Julio Urias vs. Mike Clevinger.

The Dodgers watched the Mets and Padres play a full three-game series, and now host San Diego in a best-of-five series. All the talk has been about how the Dodgers are 14-5 against the Padres this year, but this Padres team looked a lot better versus a 101-win New York Mets team: Jurickson Profar and Juan Soto each batted .333 at the top of the lineup; Trent Grisham mashed a 1.917 OPS (and a .500 batting average) from the eight-hole; and even Josh Bell woke up his power bat (Manny Machado, as well). Not to mention, both Yu Darvish and Joe Musgrove had great starts for the Padres in their two victories.

The Dodgers? Well, they've been taking some time off, which means that our pitchers are rested, but our bats may be rusty. And don't forget that Max Muncy, though hot at the end of the season, ended the year batting .196; Cody Bellinger slumped his way to a .210 batting average; and Chris Taylor, if he makes the postseason roster, is battling some neck issues.

Yeah, I'm pretty nervous. I may be at the game. Or I might be biting my nails at home for this one.

Monday, October 10, 2022

Urias To Start Game 1; Kershaw To Start Game 2

With today's news that Urias will start Game 1, the Dodgers are basically going all-in on winning these first two games at home. If the series goes long, Kershaw's only appearance of the series would be Game 2 without pushing him on short rest--not a good option given his injury issues this season.

Kershaw is 12-3 this year with a 2.28 ERA. Kershaw is 1-0 with a 0.75 ERA this year across two starts versus the Padres; he is 23-9 with a 2.03 ERA career against San Diego (45 starts).

Urias, 3-0 with a 1.50 ERA against the Padres this season, is 6-1 with a 2.19 ERA against San Diego across 15 lifetime appearances (10 starts). Urias, a Cy Young contender this year at 17-7 this year, definitely deserves the Game 1 start.

But man, I'm nervous.

Sunday, October 09, 2022

So, Padres It Is.

Padres win Wild Card Game 3, 6-0

I suppose this is the better of the two possible NDLS opponent outcomes, given our 14-5 record against them this season. And if nothing else, this makes the travel schedule a bit easier--especially important if the NLDS goes long, since there is no travel day between Game 4 and Game 5.

But my hope is that it doesn't get that far. Joe Musgrove, inspected Sunday but not found to have any illicit substances on him, was masterful in shutting down a potent Mets lineup that lit up the Padres on Saturday night. Yu Darvish looked good in Game 1. And Josh Bell finally awakened in this series.

The Dodgers have been playing simulated games just to stay fresh. I suppose the layoff was good for our starting pitchers (and given the alternative of playing a best-of-three series, I'm glad we had a bye). But this isn't going to be an easy series.

I'm nervous.