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2023:What A Roller Coaster Ride

Face it, this season has been a wild ride. More ups and downs than we have seen in years. I cannot remember a season where a Dodger team has had to overcome so many injuries and happenings to get to where they are now.

Resilience, chemistry, a we don’t quit mentality. This team has all of those plus a genuine affection for each other. Unlike some other teams, the rookies are tutored by the vets, and the new guys are welcomed as brothers.

Former teammates from other teams are reunited with close friends. And it shows. Freddie and J-Hey, Mookie and JD. Kike coming back to the place where he established himself as a major league player.

Miggy Ro brought in to be a backup for Lux, instead becoming the starting SS and a steadying force on the defense. The Freight Train, Peralta, bringing the base hit celebration and a youthful enthusiasm for the game to the field and the clubhouse.

Heyward mentoring the kid, Outman, Kershaw, mentoring the kids, Sheehan, Miller, Stone, Grove and Pepiot. Veteran players getting their careers back on track and loving being part of a winning organization. On top of that, slapping the little sister city of San Diego right in the mouth with all their star power and leaving them to lick their wounds this winter and decide which direction to go next.

Players bringing fun to their game with the midseason acquisition of the Freddie dance. A better celebration than putting on a fishing vest, or a gold chain with the letters SD on it.

Just think, this team at some point in time this year lost every starting pitcher on the opening day roster! How many teams win their division after something like that?

Losing their starting SS before spring training was even over and replacing him with a veteran who was expected to be good defensively, and not add much to the offense. Then come August, he turns the offense up a notch or two and now stretches it so there are virtually no black holes in the order.

A special team for a special year. Win or lose the rest of the way, this has been an unforgettable year. At this point, I am very pleased with what has transpired. They defied the pundits who said they were at best, the third best team in the division, let alone the NL.

They have their destiny in their own hands. The remaining players from last season’s disappointing end are determined to not see that happen again. I would venture to say that this team is going to spend the time between the end of the season and the NLDS a little differently.

They will not go into that series flat. They will be prepared mentally and physically for whoever they might face. And it is going to be fun to watch.

 

09-20-2023 – MiLB Game Summary Reports

Midwest League Championship Series

Great Lakes is also in a League Championship Final: Midwest League.  They lost to the Cedar Rapids Kernels (Minnesota) in Game 1 after leading 6-5 going into the 9th.  24 year old (23 baseball age), 10th round pick in the 2021 draft, Michael Hobbs, pitched a 1-2-3 8th inning.  After the first batter flew out in the 9th, Hobbs seemingly fell apart.  BB, HBP, 3-run HR, single before being lifted for Lucas Wepf.  The first batter Wepf faced hit a 2-run HR before getting the final 2 outs.

Game 1 Box Score

 

Midwest League Championship Series

Great Lakes Loons 4 – Cedar Rapids Kernels (Minnesota) 2 – Game 2

Game 2 started out very well for Great Lakes.  23 year old LHSP, 11th round pick in the 2021 draft, Justin Wrobleski, started and pitched 4.0 scoreless innings, allowing 3 singles and registering 6 Ks.  Unfortunately, the rains came and suspended the game in the bottom of the 5th, and Wrobleski was not able to return the next day.

As the game resumed on Wednesday, 24 year old LHRP Jack Dreyer (UDFA), allowed the first run in the 5th on a single, fielder’s choice with runner moving to 2nd, and a single.  Three relievers shut down the Kernels into the 9th.  For the 9th, Michael Hobbs came in trying to make up for his prior playoff game.  Instead he walked the first two batters he faced, and a single scored the 2nd run.  Hobbs was lifted for 22 year old LHRP IFA Benony Robles, who retired the side without any further runs being scored, 2 via K.  He left both runners he inherited stranded.

 

Box Score

 

Midwest League Championship Series

Cedar Rapid Kernels (Minnesota) 7 – Great Lakes Loons 6 (7 innings) – Championship

Game 3 was played following the end of Game 2.  Maddux Bruns was the starter in this winner take all championship game.  Bruns allowed a run in the first on 2 singles and a sac fly.  He loaded the bases with 3 BB, and was lifted for Jared Karros.  Karros struck out the first batter he faced, but on a 2-1 pitched he grooved a pitch that Emmanuel Rodriguez hit a Grand Slam.  It was Rodriguez’s 3rd HR of the playoffs.  Karros got the 3rd out via a K.

After Great Lakes fought back to get the score to 5-4 in the 5th, Karros surrendered 2 additional runs.

GL fought back again in the 7th with a 2-run HR by Dalton Rushing.  Griffen Lockwood-Powell  flew out to CF to end the season.

Key Performers:

  • Dalton Rushing – 2-2, 2 BB, 2 runs, 3 RBI, double (2nd playoff) HR (3rd playoff)
  • Kenneth Bettencourt – 2-3, double

 

Box Score

 

 

OKC Dodgers 13 – Albuquerque Isotopes (Colorado) 8

River Ryan started his 2nd AAA game, and this one went a bit better.  He got through 4.0 IP.  He gave up 3 runs, only 1 earned.  6 hits and 5 Ks were the final metrics for Ryan.  Ryan should be in the rotation for OKC with Nick Frasso and Landon Knack next year.

Michael Grove entered in the 7th.  He faced 5 batters, struck out 4.  The only batter to reach off Grove reached on a Strike 3 WP.  This may have been Grove’s last rehab assignment outing, as he is expected to be reinstated off the IL this weekend.  He will be pitching out of the bullpen.

Alec Gamboa breezed through the 8th but in the 9th, he allowed 3 singles to load the bases, and after the 2nd out, he walked a run in and Jake Reed was brought in to shut it down.  The first batter he faced hit a grand slam.  He allowed a single and walk before registering the 3rd out to end the game.

OKC went scoreless in the first two innings, but scored in the next six innings.  6 of their 13 hits were XBH.  9 RBI’s were generated from three players: Miguel Vargas, Michael Busch and Óscar Mercado.

Key Performers:

  • Miguel Vargas (Leading off and DH) – 2-6, 1 run. 3 RBI, HR (9)
  • Michael Busch (3B) – 2-6, 2 runs, 2 RBIs, double (26), HR (26)
  • Óscar Mercado – 3-5, 3 runs, 4 RBI, double (9), HR (12) (Grand Slam)
  • Ryan Ward – 2-3, 1 BB, 1 run, 1 RBI, triple (6)

 

Box Score

 

 

 

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OhioDodger

Cedar Point.

Jeff Dominique

I am not sure what you are trying to say. If you are saying that it is Cedar Point Kernels, that is incorrect. It is the Cedar Rapids Kernels. I am known to make these kinds of mistakes, so I double checked. Here is the Cedar Rapids Kernels site:

https://www.milb.com/cedar-rapids

OhioDodger

Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio is an amusement park known for its world class roller coasters.
But thanks for the link.

Last edited 8 months ago by OhioDodger
Oldbear48

The streak was snapped but no harm no foul. Muncy had a two-hit night when all around him were flailing away. Giants come in for four, then they have four in Colorado before finishing in the city by the bay. Great catch by Outman to save a couple of runs. But a couple of errors led to runs.

Bobby

Looking forward to seeing how much Grove can help in the pen for 1-2ip.

Dionysus

He’s taking the Pepiit role bow that Pepiot is taking the Urias role.

SandyIsTheGreatest

*Pepiot

Badger

Miller gives up 2 earned in 6 and gets out pitched. Dodgers – 3 for 31, 0 for 4 WRISP. This is what often happens when we face better pitching. Add another Muncy error at third and a loss to an inferior club is the result.

It’s getting close to crunch time, when the team will face superior pitching every day. It would nice to see them barrel up the better pitchers before the tournament starts. We might see a couple more before the regular season ends.

Outman sure has looked overmatched a lot lately. Maybe he needs some days off.

SandyIsTheGreatest

For next year I think we need a legit RH bat [assuming JDM doesn’t come back], a high quality SP & possibly a back-end bullpen piece or two.

Without any moves, our lineup would be:

SS–Lux
RF–Betts
1B–Freeman
C–Smith
DH–Muncy
LF–Taylor
CF–Outman
2B–Vargas
3B–Busch

I like Deluca on the bench, maybe bring Heyward back, Barnes can battle Feduccia & Rojas can be the main IF depth.

Obviously, signing a LF [preferably an offense-first RHH] helps us a lot by moving Taylor to the bench, where he’s best.

Ohtani would push Muncy back to 3B and put Busch in the mix for LF.

Badger

Decent lineup. Though would drop Lux out of leadoff.

I too am assuming Ohtani as DH. But I must protest any scenario that pushes Muncy back to 3B. So, just for conversation sake, I’m trading Busch, or Vargas, putting Betts at second and Deluca in the outfield.

Last edited 8 months ago by Badger
Singing the Blue

It’s obvious that Mookie likes his time at 2B. I wonder if he’d prefer to spend every game there or if he prefers moving back and forth, as he has this year.

Will there be a conversation between him and AF right after the season ends and will AF plan next year’s roster accordingly?

SandyIsTheGreatest

I don’t know but there should be.

He’s our franchise player and he’s performing at the highest level possible.

Let him pick: God knows we have enough flexibility at both MIF & Corner OF to accommodate whatever he wants.

Jeff Dominique

I am not sure what Mookie would prefer. I think he is excelling in how he is working the lineup this year. So maybe he likes that.

I think many if not most of us would like to see Mookie at 2B full time. I think he has more opportunities for high impact there than in RF, although that arm sure puts the breaks on runners.

To answer your secondary question(s), that is much easier. Yes AF will talk with Mookie as to what he prefers after the season, and yes AF and BG (if BG is still with LAD) will plan accordingly.

I can see AF/BG wanting to platoon J-Hey and Jonny Deluca in RF. Deluca’s arm is not at the Mookie or J-Hey level, but it is average to above average. Per Baseball America and FanGraphs, they both see Deluca best as a utility OF capable of playing all three OF positions. He has the arm to play RF. They both see Deluca as a platoon reserve OF who will hit lefties. Seems like a perfect platoon partner for J-Hey. And J-Hey can take another under his tutelage.

Singing the Blue

I like the idea of Mookie at 2B and a JHey/DeLuca platoon in right field. With regard to those who consider him a 4th outfielder, it seems to me that those same people were saying the same thing about Outman this spring.

The front office will have a huge amount of roster analysis to do this winter:

Who will the second baseman be? Mookie, Lux, Vargas, Busch or some combination of 2 of the 4.

If Lux isn’t the second baseman, is he the shortstop, a utility man or traded? I doubt he’s traded because they would be doing that at his lowest value, but you never know. Maybe the Brewers like the idea of bringing him home to Wisconsin.

Miggy Ro has performed so well at SS so do you make him the every day guy? Platoon him with Lux? Make Miggy your infield utility guy and play him 3-5 times a week?

Can you find roster space and playing time for Busch, Vargas and Lux next year or do one or two get shipped somewhere else?

Who is the DH going to be in 2024? Max? Bring back JDM? Surprise the whole world and bring back JT? Rotate the at bats among two or three people?

And then there’s the starting rotation. Too many possibilities to mention here but that’s going to be the equivalent of a master chess match by the time he figures out his moves.

Oldbear48

Mookie is not moving out of the leadoff spot. He is most comfortable there and why would you move that quick strike bat out of that spot? Lux has nowhere near Mookie’s power.

Bumsrap

Might Betts play 3rd base?

Might DeLuca be converted to 3rd base?

Might Smith be converted to 3rd base?

Dionysus

No
No
Maybe eventually

Bluto

Miggy Ro”?!?!??!?

Jeff Dominique

Are you questioning the nickname? That is Miguel Rojas’ legit nickname. All the Dodger players, all the announcers, his Baseball Reference page, his MLB page all refer to Miguel Rojas as Miggy Ro.

Oldbear48

Yep, where have you been all year???? Don’t you listen to the Dodger broadcasts? Thats what they call him.

Bluto

Had no idea!

Live and learn.

Jeff Dominique

San Francisco has placed Brandon Crawford on the IL. He can come off the IL on the last day of the season, coincidentally against the LAD in SF. I would not be surprised to see Brandon Crawford call it a career and going out with the only team he has ever played for in front of a home town crowd that loves him playing the hated Dodgers.

They also released Paul DeJong. We are probably going to see a lot of Marco Luciano during the last 7 games LAD has with SF.

SandyIsTheGreatest

They should not be trifling with retirement ceremonies or anything–play to win

Singing the Blue

I don’t think Crawford will have any choice but to call it a career. He won’t get an MLB offer from anyone and I doubt he’s ready to sign a minor league deal at this stage.

At the rate they’re going, the Giants will be eliminated by the last game so they can put him at shortstop and let him have one last hurrah. He deserves that, he’s meant a lot to that organization.

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