Sunday, March 31, 2024

Post-Game 6 Thread: Muncy Flips Script, Bat


On Sunday Night Baseball, the Dodgers rallied back from a 4-0 deficit to take the 5-4 victory, punctuated by a mammoth no-doubt two-run home run by Max Muncy in the bottom of the eighth inning:

Here's another look:

Pretty amazing, given the Dodgers were this close from being a .500 team, after dropping Game 3 of this series yesterday, thanks in large part to Joe Kelly's five-run (early Easter) egg. But even then, the Dodgers rallied back to tie it in the ninth, only to lose it in the tenth when Shohei Ohtani ended the game with a bases-loaded infield pop-up. That effort, as Muncy pointed out on the post-game interview, required St. Louis to burn a number of arms (including Giovanny Gallegos), which then left the Cardinals more vulnerable in Sunday's matchup.

Not that the Dodgers' pen was up to full strength, either. With Emmet Sheehan moved to the 60-day IL, the Dodgers optioned Kyle Hurt (2.2 IP, 0 BB and 3 Ks in Saturday's loss) and added Nabil Crismatt to the rotation just this morning. And the move paid off, with Crismatt (who got the win) going two scoreless innings with 0 BB and 3 Ks, on the back of a nasty changeup that fooled Wilson Contreras, Alec Burleson, and Brendan Donovan (all strikeouts). Daniel Hudson came in to record the save with a scoreless ninth, which was also great given Evan Phillips was unavailable after pitching the last two nights.

The big three weren't great in this game, with Mookie Betts, Shohei Ohtani, and Freddie Freeman combining to go 1-for-11. Teoscar Hernandez went 2-for-4 with a HR and 2 RBI (the Dodgers' first two runs of their comeback win).

And credit has to go to Dave Roberts, who pulled Kike Hernandez (0-for-2) in the sixth to pinch hit Muncy, who went 2-for-2 and raised his average to .348. Roberts also slotted Chris Taylor fifth in the lineup today, and CT3 reached base four times (three walks and a run-scoring hit, plus the Dodgers' first stolen base of the year in the eighth). Our offense needs production from the top three, but in the cases where it doesn't happen, it's great that Roberts might be able to find the hot hand amongst the others. Today at least, Roberts was spot-on.

Dodgers take three of four from the Cardinals and move to 4-2, tied with the 3-1 Diamondbacks in the standings for the NL West lead.

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Games 3-6 Thread: March 28-31 vs. Cardinals

Thursday March 28 1p: TBD vs. Miles Mikolas
Friday March 29 7p:
Saturday March 30 6p:
Sunday March 31 4p:

So I get it, it's "Traditional" Opening Day 2024, because the two games we played in Korea don't count. Except they do, in the standings. Well, cue the flyover for this four-game series against the Cardinals, anyway.

Sax here will be out of pocket for this series, so I'll leave it to you guys to tend bar. Don't ruin the joint while I'm gone!

Thursday, March 21, 2024

At-Game Recap (sort of): SoSG Nomo @ the Seoul Series (March 21, 2024)

Sons of Steve Garvey is dedicated to covering the Los Angeles Dodgers from a fan's perspective, oftentimes with a healthy dose of sarcasm. Unfortunately, the Sons' business expense accounts are limited (journalism is a going through some rough economic times, man!).

So we were able to get SoSG Nomo over to Seoul for Game 2 of this series. Unfortunately, we couldn't afford to get him in the Stadium. So Nomo has sent these pictures from just outside Gocheok Sky Dome:

Waiting for the subway

On the crowded subway

At the stadium

Relegated to watching the game at the snack bar outside

Thanks to SoSG Nomo for the photolog! (Now is probably a good time to tell you that subway fares are non-reimbursable by our finance department without a receipt.)

Ohtani's Interpreter Mizuhara Fired by Dodgers For Sports Gambling

In news broken by the Los Angeles Times yesterday afternoon, former Dodgers interpreter Ippei Mizuhara addressed the team Wednesday in private and was summarily fired by the team. Reports state that there was $4.5M in sports gambling losses; bets were not made on baseball; and Mizuhara was the culprit. Where it gets murky is Shohei Ohtani's involvement: did he send wire transfers to cover some of these losses, or was there (as alleged by Ohtani's attorney's) "massive theft" on Mizuhara's behalf? Mizuhara's story seems to be changing, let alone may not be corroborated by Ohtani's camp.

Mizuhara and Ohtani's relationship goes back to Ohtani's days with the Nippon Ham Fighters, extending through Ohtani's six-year run with the Angels, and then on to the Dodgers this year. There's been a lot of online speculation if the two are professional colleagues or actually friends, with reports of Mizuhara doing grocery runs for Ohtani and their wives shopping together in Seoul. But at the very least, their professional relationship is definitely over.

Even MLB is caught in the dark on this, as apparently they had not been contacted by federal authorities investigating this betting operation, which was run out of Orange County (and therefore violates California state gambling laws).

The Athletic reported that the Dodgers and Ohtani both kept quiet on this post-Thursday's game. Dave Roberts was decidedly deflecting comments from the press post-game Thursday. It's a nightmare start to Ohtani's Dodgers career, says the WSJ (Ohtani is batting .300 with 2 RBI and an OPS of .573 this year, through two games; he just missed a couple of HR in Thursday's game).

Will Ireton, who was Kenta Maeda's interpreter for three years, has picked up the interpreter role for Ohtani.

Post-Game 2 Thread: Yamamoto Horrible, Muncy Disastrous, But Betts Gets A Car

Not a good MLB debut for this man.


Yoshinobu Yamamoto picked up right where he left off in the spring, giving up five runs in his short 1.0 IP debut, in which the Padres batted around. Yamamoto now has a 45.00 ERA. (To be fair, Padres starter Joe Musgrove was also lit up, lasting 2.2 IP with 5 ER for a 16.88 ERA.)

Couple that with Max Muncy's two errors at third base, and the Dodgers were doomed to fall in Seoul in the second game of the Opening Day series. Muncy also had 3 Ks today, including a three-pitch K to end the game. Muncy now has 5 Ks in 9 AB this season. With Ohtani as the DH, there is no place for Muncy to hide on the lineup--and if he can't handle the hot corner, this is going to be a big problem for the Dodgers.

The one shining star for the Dodgers today was Mookie Betts, who went 4-for-5 (only a triple short of the cycle) and 6 RBI, including hitting the first home run of the MLB season, winning him a free Ioniq 5 electric vehicle. Betts will be able to bring this car back to the US, where it will likely get promptly stolen, but at least he can enjoy a couple months of driving before the inevitable theft. (I suppose in positive news, Betts' HR in the fifth inning blocked the car from going to Manny Machado, whose three-run HR in the ninth basically iced the game for San Diego.)

Betts, who wore Jordan 1 Griffey Freshwater cleats in the 2023 Home Run Derby as a hat tip to Ken Griffey Jr., got appreciation from the Kid himself:

Will Smith also had four hits with 2 RBI. James Outman, who logged an RBI today with a sacrifice, does not have a hit this year.

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Game 2 Thread: March 21 vs. Padres, 3a

SEOUL, KOREA (March 20, 2024): Shohei Ohtani and Clayton McCullough realize that the magnets in their batting helmets are pretty strong.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto vs. Joe Musgrove.

I remember 2014, when the Dodgers opened up the MLB season with two games in Sydney, Australia. SoSG AC and I were there for those first two games, back when Sons of Steve Garvey was rolling in digital ad revenues and our finance department was loose on the expense reimbursement guidelines.

But times have changed.

The good news is, the Dodgers' streak of international Opening Day(s) victories persists, with the team now 3-0 counting those two wins in Sydney, along with yesterday's win in Seoul (the Dodgers went 1-2 against the Padres in Mexico in May 2018). We'll see if Yamamoto can bring this to 4-0, though the odds are against him; San Diego has a 54% chance of winning, probably reflecting Yamamoto's ghastly 8.38 ERA this spring.

Guggenheim Secures Ad Space on Dodgers Helmets

I'm fully supportive of Guggenheim Baseball Management, as their stewardship of the Dodgers from the depths of Frank McCourt miasma to the powerhouse MLB team of today is absolutely remarkable, not to mention wonderful for Dodgers fans.

But I'm a little surprised that they're focused on branding for a non-consumer-facing entity. Maybe we'll see Guggenheim water at the Stadium soon?

Post-Game 1 Thread: Dodgers Comeback Based On Cronenworth's Porous Glove

Okay, I get it, autocorrect. Thanks for ruining my crappy photoshop illustration.


Prior to this game, most of the talk about the defense of the two players on the team revolved around Dodgers shortstop-turned-second baseman Gavin Lux, whose errant throws to first during spring training mandated wholesale infield changes going into Opening Day 2024. But the Dodgers were error-free in this first game of the season, and on the other side of the table, Jake Cronenworth's fielding error opened up the floodgates for the Dodgers in a four-run eighth inning that sealed the victory.

Cronenworth had only three errors last year, and only 20 across four years in the majors. But the webbing on his glove allowed a Gavin Lux dribbler to get past him Wednesday in Seoul, causing him to botch a potential double-play ball, and allowing Teoscar Hernandez to score, giving the Dodgers the 3-2 lead. That lead expanded to 5-2 on a Mookie Betts single to left, followed by a Shohei Ohtani single to left that scored Lux.

Jason Heyward got the Dodgers on the board in the fourth with a sacrifice fly to right that tied the game at 1. But the Dodgers' 1-2-3 batters went 4-for-11 with 2 RBI (Betts 2-for-4 with a walk; Ohtani 2-for-5; Freeman 0-for-2 with two walks). More concerning in the order is Max Muncy, who was 1-for-3 with 2 Ks, including a huge strikeout with the bases juiced in the third in which Muncy was very late.

Lux was also 0-for-5 in the game, and all the defensive positioning machinations can't have helped his confidence, coming off a lost season with a torn ACL last year. Lux and Muncy are two guys that will have to produce for the Dodgers, and fast.

Tyler Glasnow went five innings and gave up two ER, 4 BB and 3 Ks. Daniel Hudson got the win with a scoreless seventh inning; Joe Kelly got a hold for a scoreless eighth, and Evan Phillips picked up where he left off with a scoreless ninth.

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Game 1 Thread: March 20 @ Padres, 3a

Tyler Glasnow vs. Yu Darvish.

Hey, Seoul Series! Ain't that frickin' early on the radio, stereo; I can't afford Spectrum, you know?

The starting lineups haven't posted yet, but has been kind enough to post matchups. For the Dodgers, players who have fared well against Darvish include Freddie Freeman (.286 BA and .926 OPS with 2 HR in 28 AB), as well as James Outman (.333 BA and 1.166 OPS with 1 HR in 6 AB); not to mention new Dodgers addition Teoscar Hernandez (BA .333), who batted .414 in spring training this year.

For the Padres, the only regular to face Glasnow is Xander Bogaerts, who has a .167 BA and .583 OPS against Glasnow in 12 AB. Glasnow is new material for the rest of that lineup, which is still formidable with Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr., and Ha-Seong Kim.

I'm going to try and make it up early for this one...but we'll see.

Monday, March 18, 2024

Opening Day 2024 Is Coming, And Freddie Freeman Looks Terrified

Just got this email from the Dodgers. Besides the horrific Opening Day font, I reacted adversely from looking at Freddie's countenance:

We're supposed to be striking fear into our opponents, Freddie! Not ourselves!

(Great lighting job on Ohtani, btw--well done, Dodgers.)

Saturday, March 16, 2024

Big Shohei In Little Tokyo

Thanks to stringer Josh for sending these shots in, of a huge Shohei Ohtani mural taking form on the Miyako Hotel in Little Tokyo:

Ohtani has already been in MLB for six years, and he's never gotten a mural on the Miyako Hotel. I'm sure this has everything to do with the recent announcement of his marriage to Mamiko Tanaka. Can't think of any other reason.

Archiving the 2023 SoSG Attendance Record, For Posterity

Time to archive the 2023 Dodgers attendance record. And for the second year in a row, the Sons are at .500, though when I say "Sons", this may be just a record of my own attendance (inlcuding one game on the road in San Francisco).

SoSG 2023 record: 5-5

4/2 vs. AZ (L, 1-2): AC, Sax
4/17 vs. NYM (L, 6-8): Sax
5/1 vs. PHI (W, 13-4): Sax
5/13 vs. SD (W, 4-2): Sax
5/30 vs. WSH (W, 9-3): Sax
7/5 vs. PIT (W, 6-4): Sax
8/30 vs. AZ (W, 7-0): Sax
8/31 vs. ATL (L, 7-8): Sax
9/22 vs. SF (L, 1-5): Sax
9/30 @ SF (L, 1-2): Sax

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 (10-5), 2020 (0-0), 2021 (4-3), 2022 (4-4).

Friday, March 15, 2024

Dodgers Go With Oscar Winner for Opening Day; Japanese Film Debut Pushed To Night 2

Opening Day for the Dodgers is set, and for the seventh year in a row, it's a different choice from the prior year. Tyler Glasnow gets the nod for Game 1 (against the Padres' Yu Darvish), with Yoshinobu Yamamoto getting the start the next day (vs. Joe Musgrove).

Glasnow is coming off a year where he went 10-7 with the Rays, with a 3.53 ERA (118 ERA+). He also just won the Oscar for Best Actor.

I was secretly hoping for Yamamoto to get the Opening Day nod, after Sarah Langs reported that "If Yamamoto starts the first game, he would be the first pitcher to make his MLB debut as an Opening Day starter since Al Gerheauser in 1943" (and there have only been two others in the live-ball era). Alas, it's not to be, but maybe the diminished spotlight will benefit Yamamoto, who was not as sharp in his most recent Cactus League start.

Game 1 is set for Wednesday, March 20, with first pitch at 3am.