Thursday, August 31, 2023

Games 133-136 Thread: Aug 31 - Sept 3 vs. Braves

I'm going to skip 2021 playoff results and just think about 2020.

Thurs Aug 31 7p: Lance Lynn vs. Strider
Fri Sep 1 7p: Julio Urias vs. Fried
Sat Sep 2 6p: TBD vs. Elder
Sun Sep 3 1p: Bobby Miller vs. Morton

The Atlanta Braves have a four-game lead for the one-seed in the National League, and ESPN pundits are already calling the Braves unbeatable this year. But there was this part, late in the article:

The Phillies beat the Braves in four games last October, but that doesn't make them more dangerous for Atlanta than the Dodgers, according to several executives.

"The Dodgers' talent, experience and consistency give them the best shot at taking a playoff series," one executive said.

Another dove into the numbers.

"The Dodgers share a lot of the same hitter run value numbers vs. pitching as the Braves, and have more hard-throwing relievers, who are successful [in October]," he said. "The Dodgers are ranked first in pitcher run value when a pitch is 96 mph or above."

Essentially, the Dodgers rank second to the Braves in most offensive categories, averaging 5.6 runs per game compared to Atlanta's 5.8. But their pitching injuries have piled up, leading to just the seventh-best ERA in the NL. Then again, Clayton Kershaw just returned from injury and looks as good as ever.

"I think the Dodgers' overall 26-man roster depth is probably better than Atlanta's, so I would think they have the best chance against them in a long series," one executive said. "And they are a team that knows how to win, can take a punch, and has a tremendous home-field advantage."

Said the executive: "That would be one heck of a series."

So let's see how this series goes. We will see all three of the Braves' key starters. The Braves might not see all of ours.

I will be there at the Stadium Thursday night. I also have no idea why the Dodgers aren't playing on the Labor Day holiday.

Monday, August 28, 2023

Games 130-132 Thread: August 28-30 vs. Diamondbacks

Mon 28: Bobby Miller vs. Gallen
Tue 29: Clayton Kershaw vs. Kelly
Wed 30: Ryan Pepiot vs. Pfaadt
All games at 7p

4-2 on the last roadtrip, which brings us to an amazing 21-4 record in August. Concerns that we are peaking too soon notwithstanding, the Dodgers have now opened up a 12-game lead on the second-place Diamondbacks and a 13.5-game lead on the Giants.

And like the Braves, the only other division leader with at least a ten-game gap, the Dodgers should be thinking more about resting our arms for the playoffs--so the TBD sitting on Wednesday's docket makes a lot of sense. With Tony Gonsolin out for the season, and the Dodgers picking up Tyson Miller off of waivers, let's not push anything over the edge!

Friday, August 25, 2023

Games 127-129 Thread: Aug 25-27 @ Red Sox

Fri 25 4p: Lynn vs. Crawford
Sat 26 1p: Urias vs. Paxton
Sun 27 10a: TBD Ferguson vs. Hauck

I just want to take this opportunity to thank the Red Sox again for giving us Mookie Betts.

photo swiped from this site

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Games 124-126 Thread: August 22-24 @ Guardians

Tue 22 4p: Bobby Miller vs. Noah Syndergaard
Wed 23 4p: Clayton Kershaw vs. Xzavion Curry
Thu 24 10a: TBD vs. Gavin Williams

Hot off two victories in a rain-altered doubleheader, and then followed by a two-day respite while Hurricane Hilary barreled through Southern California, the Dodgers face the Baby Groots in Cleveland. And though this series may not carry the level of drama like a space-age fantasy saga, a return sighting of Dodgers discard Thor Syndergaard, followed by a guy with strange consonant strings like a Superman villain, make this a weird series indeed.

As of Sunday night, the Dodgers had a 11.5-game lead over the second place Giants in the NL West. Cleveland is likely out of the playoffs at this stage (6.0 games behind the Twins in the NL Central, and 10.5 games out of the AL Wild Card). But crazy things happen in these Guardians episodes, so who knows?!

Friday, August 18, 2023

Games 121-123 Thread: Aug 18 - 20 19 vs. Marlins

Fri 18 7p: Tony Gonsolin vs. Sandy Alcantara
Sat 19 12n: TBD vs. TBD
Sat 19 6p: Julio Urias vs. Eury Perez

The Dodgers have won 11 in a row and now it's getting ludicrously implausible. Thursday's game, a 1-0 victory, came at the hands of seven scoreless innings from a Chicago White Sox castoff (Lance Lynn, now 4-0 with the Dodgers), and the first home run in almost a year for the meek Austin Barnes (who raised his average to a still microscopic .136).

Wednesday's game, a 7-1 victory, included home runs from the light-hitting nine-hole Miguel Rojas (now bating .220 on the year, with three HR total) and Chris Taylor in the eight hole (his 13th of the year, batting .219). If we could just get Max Muncy hitting again, this would be absolutely absurd.

But here we are, having feasted on poor teams but still thriving against good ones (Milwaukee still leads the NL Central, with a two-game lead over the Reds). And here come the Marlins, tied with the Reds for the third and final Wild Card position, and throwing their reigning Cy Young award winner to start the truncated weekend series (rescheduled due to the incoming hurricane Hilary).

I highly doubt we can stretch this streak to 14 by grilling the visting Fish. But that's okay, I'd much rather save some in the tank for the playoffs! I hope we're not peaking too soon.

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Games 118-120 Thread: Aug 15-17 vs. Brewers

Tue 15: Bobby Miller vs. Adrian Houser
Wed 16: Clayton Kershaw vs. Wade Miley
Thu 17: Lance Lynn vs.Corbin Burnes
All games 7p

Wait, we have a regular, no "TBD" rotation set for this three-game series? I'm confused.

We enter this series with a nine-game lead over the Giants in the NL West. The Brewers are also leading their division (3.5-game lead on the Cubs and Reds). After fattening up on a soft schedule for the last 13 games (Athletics 3-0; Padres 3-1; Diamondbacks 2-0; Rockies 4-0), it will be interesting to face a more formidable opponent.

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Games 114-117 Thread: August 10-13 vs. Rockies

Thu Aug 10 7p: TBD vs. Blach
Fri Aug 11 7p: Lynn vs. Gomber
Sat Aug 12 6p: Gonsolin vs. Lambert
Sun Aug 13 1p: Urias vs. Flexen

I was supposed to go to tonight's (Thursday's) game. But I can't go, so I'm salty.

But you know who isn't salty? The Dodgers, who extended their lead in the NL West to six games over San Francisco (who lost its last two), 11 games over Arizona (who were swept in the two-game series at home), 13 games over San Diego, (who lost three of four to us in the recent weekend series), and a crazy 22.5 games over the visiting Rockies.

All this, and we still can't pitch well. It's amazing.

Tuesday, August 08, 2023

Games 112-113 Thread: Aug 8-9 @ Diamondbacks

Tue 8.8 6.40p: Urias vs. Pfaadt
Wed 8.9 6.40p: Miller vs. Kelly

The Diamondbacks shared first place in the NL West at the All-Star break. Since then, they've absolutely cratered, inclduing losing their last six games coming into tonight, and now sit in third place in the division, nine games back of the Dodgers (the Giants are four games back).

The Dodgers have been on a tear, including taking three of four in San Diego, but it's not because of the pitching (Tony Gonsolin's "win" last night, 6.0 IP and 6 ER, actually raised his already elevated ERA further, to 4.42). We have been mashing the ball, thanks to Mookie Betts (grand slam yesterday, to put the Dodgers up 8-5), Freddie Freeman (OPS of 1.013), and even new additions Amed Rosario and Kike Hernandez have been surprisingly potent in the lineup. Heck, even Miguel Rojas went 2-for-5 yesterday, boosting his batting average to .221; now, only Max Muncy sits below Mendoza-line levels.

It would be nice to keep the mashing going in the desert here. Let's go smush some snakes.

Friday, August 04, 2023

Games 108-111 Thread: Aug 4-7 @ Padres

Fri Aug 4 6.40p: Bobby Miller vs. Yu Darvish
Sat Aug 5 5.40p: TBD vs. Blake Snell
Sun Aug 6 4.10p: Lance Lynn vs. TBD
Mon Aug 7 1.10p: Tony Gonsolin vs. Seth Lugo

With the trade deadline pickups of Rich Hill and Ji-Man Choi, the Padres are all-in! And I feel about as confident about that assertion, as I do about the Dodgers being all-in by picking up Lance Lynn, Joe Kelly, and Amed Rosario.

I suppose the material difference is that the Dodgers are 62-45 and have a 2.5-game lead in the NL West, whereas the Padres are in fourth place in the division, 9.0 GB (and 4.0 games out of the Wild Card race).

Still, these four games should be a better barometer of how formidable the Dodgers might be for the playoffs--at least, relative to the Dodgers' recent sweep over the hapless and homeless Athletics. Let's go, Dodgers!

Tuesday, August 01, 2023

Games 105-107 Thread: August 1-3 vs. Athletics

All games (Tues-Thu) at 7p

Honestly, if the Dodgers can't expand upon their divisional lead with this series, we'll have to look at ourselves in the mirror.