MLB is heading into the final stretch for the traditional and recognized end of the first half of the season. The Dodgers have 5 games, remaining and will have an open date on Sunday. They have a game for each of the five current members of the rotation. Mitch White drew the first game assignment. LHP Matthew Liberatore was scheduled to start, but initially gave way to fireballer RHP Jordan Hicks, and his 103 MPH fastball, as an opener. Hicks had problems with the fastball command, however because of a Trea Turner DP, he got out of the first inning in spite of 2 walks and a Freddie Freeman single. Liberatore would still come into the game in the 4th, and he was one of 7 pitchers on the night. That might work in the Dodgers favor for Wednesday and Thursday.
Cody Bellinger drew a 2-out walk and Jordan Hicks was done after 38 pitches.
But this was not Mitch White’s night. He gave up a 2-out HR to Tio Albert, but then seemed to fall apart. With the 7-8-9 hitters coming up, White figured to be able to navigate out of the 2nd inning without further damage, especially with the 8 & 9 hitters hitting .196 and .181. Result – single, double, single and the score is 3-0. Two of the three outs were not cheapies, so Mitch was not fooling anyone. The Cardinals went on to score 3 additional runs. Overall Mitch gutted out 5.0 IP on 90 pitches, giving up 6 runs on 10 hits. Alex Dickerson’s and Andrew Knizer’s next contracts are going to require that they get to face Dodger pitching as of often as possible. Knizer coming in to the game 2 for 26 and goes 3-4 with three RBIs.
Agreed, White had a poor night, but make no mistake this game was lost in the 7th. After loading the bases with nobody out, and down by only one, Doc sent up Max Muncy to get at least one run. No after watching Freddie Freeman take a ¾ swing for a base hit, Muncy is looking for a HR and weakly flies out to CF. Hanser Alberto did the same. Bases still loaded, 2 outs now, and Cody Bellinger coming up. Belli would go on to strike out, and for all practical purposes, this game was done.
We got a glimpse of Ryan Helsley and his 102-103 MPH fastball. But then Doc trots David Price. Yet another sub Mendoza hitter, Lars Nootbaar comes off the bench and kills a double down the RF line. He eventually comes around to score on another Andrew Knizer RBI hit. The Dodgers do not have a better 8th inning reliever in a 1 run game than David Price? You want a lefty? There were 2 in Alex Vesia and Caleb Ferguson. Both are better high leverage pitchers than Price, at least to this amateur manager.
Jordan Hicks, Junior Fernandez, and Ryan Helsley all have 100 MPH fastballs?? Hicks and Helsley 103?? Apparently 103 up sounds like a strike to home plate umpire Will Little to Mookie.
That run off Price would prove to be the winning run, as Freddie had hit a booming HR in the 9th. Then yet another strange occurrence as Giovanny Gallegos throws 7 straight balls to Max Muncy and Jake Lamb, and Lamb inexplicably swings on a 3-0 pitch to hit a routine flyball to CF and the Dodgers’ 7 game win streak is over.
It was an ugly game to be sure, but the good guys did not quit. They almost came back from another 5 run lead. However they fell a run short, and largely because Max Muncy and Hanser Alberto hit short fly balls with the bases loaded, and Belli struck out. All against Packy Naughton, a pitcher with a 3.80+ ERA. I give Hanser a little leeway as he plays once a week.
Before the masses come out and tell us the Dodgers need to go get Luis Castillo, let me remind everyone that Mitch White is a #5/#6 pitcher who was pitching very well in three of his last four starts.
Andrew Heaney had a 30 pitch simulated game Tuesday at Busch Stadium. He is scheduled to go out on a rehab assignment at Rancho on July 16 and is scheduled for 3-4 innings. Doc thought that he might need two rehab starts before being activated, but because of the MLB All Star Game, MiLB will be dark Monday through Thursday, so no games for rehab.
Doc says in order to keep Heaney healthy the rest of the year, it is unrealistic to see Heaney go past 75 pitches in any of his starts. Will the #5 be a Heaney/White piggyback?
As an editorial, I am getting a bit tired of announcers making excuses for Max Muncy. He hit the ball hard last weekend. He still walks a lot. He is still hurt. But here are his numbers each month:
- April – .136/.313/.273/.586
- May – .164/.341/.254/.595
- June – .197/.312/.364/.676
- July – .129/.356/.387/.643
- Season – .161/.313/.309/.622
I do not care what the back of his baseball card says. This year it says you do not want him up in a critical situation…say like with the bases loaded with nobody out. He is 4-31 in July with 6 walks and 14 strikeouts. His 4 hits are 2 HRs and 2 doubles. So when he actually makes contact with that three outcome swing he hits it hard. He just does not do it very often. Maybe it starts on Wednesday against Adam Wainwright with Tony Gonsolin going for win #12.
Yeah Mitch didn’t have it last night but Doc could have gotten him out of there sooner if he really wanted. I commend Mitch for taking one for the team to save the bullpen.
Not sure why Lux didn’t bat with the bases loaded instead of Muncy. Eerily reminiscent of playoff baseball where Roberts move(s) don’t work out. Oh well it was an entertaining game. I hate losing to the Cardinals.
I too give all the credit to Mitch for gutting it out, when he clearly did not have it. Sure Doc could have pulled him sooner, but Mitch is the #5/#6 pitcher and you just need innings with that guy. Where I had the problem was with David Price pitching in the 8th only a run down. Why not the 6th instead of Bickford? Or 7th instead of Almonte? Why not Alex Vesia or Caleb Ferguson in the 8th? Maybe it would not have worked out either way, but why David Price in a high leverage situation? BTW, I said that when he was announced. My wife laughs at me managing from my chair.
Bases loaded and no outs. I think I will pinch hit with a lefty. Hmmm, I have Muncy hitting .160 or Lux hitting .300. Duh.
Funny thing is…Lux would have had a better chance with Naughton and Muncy would have had a better chance with Helsley.
Doc needs to get over his Muncy man crush. Time for a change.
Lux pinch hit later and struck out, but, he should have been the guy earlier.
The top of our lineup looked great. 5 through 9, including pinch hitters, was 1 for 17 with 2 walks. Team 1 for 9 WRISP. And we only lost by 1 run.
Muncy and Bellinger. Still hopeful. Still waiting.
Helsley has an ERA+ of 552. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen one that high.
Once again, not really a team offensive effort. We seem to do this a lot. Leave the bases loaded with nobody out?
Everyone knew that Helsley would be coming in the 8th with that 103 MPH 4-seamer. Max Muncy hits that pitch so much better than Lux, and Lux stays on the breaking ball slower stuff (Packy Naughton) far better than Muncy. The pitch Muncy popped up into short CF, Lux has been driving into LC. To me it was obvious who should have batted with the bases loaded. Muncy swings from the heels no matter the count. Does not adjust. He is trying for that HR every time. And every so often, he actually runs into one and then everyone is back on the Muncy train, until he goes 0-15 again. At least with Belli, he does try to make adjustments on occasion. Not always successful, but I have seen him try.
Doc’s obstinance with Muncy is very reminiscent of how he was with Pedro Baez a few years back, and with Belli last year. I am not saying he is wrong. There is so much mental aptitude for this game. My son has had managers like Doc, and managers who will bench you at the first sign of a slump. He prefers the Doc manager because he knew he would eventually come out of it, and appreciated the manager’s confidence in that fact. If it impacted the team, that would be different. But right now, Muncy is not hurting the team. Just keep pushing him out there to see what happens. Get back on that horse. Of course come playoff time, things will be different. See 2019 and 2020 KJ.
Lux will never be able to catch up to the 103 MPH high 4-seamer. Then again, not many have been successful with Helsley this year anyway. However, Lux is becoming a star pupil of Freddie Freeman. If he continues with the plate and bat discipline, with his ability to leg out infield hits, he is a potential batting average champ.
I blame the loss on the offense pure and simple. Bases loaded, no outs and you do not score? Pitiful. Blue Jays just fired Charlie Montoyo. 4 games over .500, but have lost 9 of their last 11. And you think Roberts is bad?
“Ticket prices for the #MLB All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium next week are currently at a record highs, according to TickPick. The average ticket price is $650, 83% higher than last year and 18% higher than the previous record set in 2016 at Petco Park in San Diego.”
We have so many things to blame!
Inflation. The market. Corporations. Crony capitalism. Wealth inequality.
I’ll stick with bases loaded and no out as blame enough for the loss last night.
Edgardo Henriquez video:
I said it a couple of days back. How did I know that AF would go after Jake Reed a second time? The same reason he went after Zac Rosscup twice (did not work either time). And JT Chargois and Casey Sadler. These are the relievers AF likes.
Do you know how this affects the 40-man (were we at 39 or 40 before Reed)? And does he have options remaining?
The Dodgers were at 39 after DFAing Ian Gibaut.
It figures to be a very nice pitcher’s duel tonight in Springfield, between Tulsa and Springfield. 23 year old RHP Gavin Stone is schedule to start for Tulsa while 22 year old RHP Gordon Graceffo will start for Springfield. Both RHSP started the year in High A, dominated, and continued their dominance at AA after their promotion.