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A Tale of Two Pitchers

This was a day of pitcher observations.  Ryan Pepiot was making his 5th ML start.  And newly acquired Nick Frasso was making his first start as a Dodger affiliate with the Great Lakes Loons.

Neither pitcher figured to go long in their starts.  Pepiot gave up a lead off double to Luis Arraez. Arraez is such a prolific hitter that it was not that all surprising.  But it was the next batter that set the tone.  He got behind Carlos Correa 3-1, and got him to chase a slider that was a ball as soon as it left his hand.  He then got Correa to swing at a slider up in the zone for his 1st K.

Pepiot retired the next two batters to get out of the inning.  The second inning started similar to the first with a leadoff single to Jose Miranda, and stranded him there with 2 Ks.

With a 2-0 lead, Pepiot walked Gary Sanchez to lead off the 3rd.  Arraez hit an oppo single.  Up comes Carlos Correa and the deafening boos.  He fouled out to Freddie FreemanJorge Polanco unloaded on a 1-2 hanging slider for a three run HR.  Pepiot got the next two on a pair of pop ups. Pepiot needs to learn that with a 2-0 lead, you do not walk the #9 hitter.

The continuing problem with Pepiot’s game is that he threw 60 pitches in three innings.  Pepiot is going to need to trust his “stuff”.  He has the same problem that Julio Urias and Tony Gonsolin had trying to make that perfect pitch.

In the 4th, after the strikeout of Nick Gordon, Pepiot inexplicably walked Jake Cave.  On an 0-2 pitch, he got Tim Beckham to hit into a 6-4-3 DP…the pitcher’s best friend.  Pepiot will learn to trust his defense more as well.  He does not have to do it all himself.  He is used to dominating at AAA, but MLB is not AAA and he will learn to adjust.

In the 5th, Pepiot was running out of gas.  He left a 92.9 MPH 4-seamer center cut and Gary Sanchez hit it out.  He then walked Arraez on 4 pitches.  Ryan’s saving grace on this night was Carlos Correa, and he got Correa to fly out to Mookie.  His night was done.  Arraez got to third on a pair of free passes by Alex Vesia, but Vesia got the final out on a fly ball to Belli .

Pepiot’s final line was 4.1 IP 4 runs (all earned), 5 hits (2 HRs), 3 BB, and 2 K.  He threw 84 pitches, 51 strikes.

Pepiot left on the wrong side of a 4-2 game.  But this is the Dodgers.  In the bottom of the 5th Mookie hits a one out double and scores on Trea Turner’s single.  Turner steals 2nd base and easily scores on another Will Smith opposite field double.  Then the LAD muscle took over.  A solo HR by Chris Taylor put the Dodgers in the lead, and Joey Gallo was welcomed to LA with a 3-run pinch hit shot and an 8-4 lead.

The bullpen did the rest.  Alex Vesia, David Price, Evan Phillips, Chris Martin, and Craig Kimbrel finished off the Twins.  Of course there was the usual drama with Kimbrel.  Joey Gallo fittingly caught the final out of the game.

The Dodgers completed their 33rd comeback win before the largest attendance of any MLB game this year, 53,432.  They have now won 10 in a row.  They are 30-5 for July and August, and are 32-5 on this run.

Nearly 2,300 miles northeast of Los Angeles, RHP Nick Frasso was making his debut as a Dodger.  Frasso is coming off TJ surgery, and the Blue Jays were very careful with him.  His three outings before his debut were:

  • July 4 – 4.0 IP – 60 pitches.
  • July 12 – 3.0 IP – 66 pitches – 8 days between starts
  • July 26 – 4.0 IP – 55 pitches – 14 days between starts

His start for Great Lakes was 15 days between starts.  For his first inning, he retired the side on 8 pitches with a strikeout.  He allowed a single in the 2nd inning, but got the side out without a run on 16 pitches.

In the third inning, he gave up a leadoff single.  After a strikeout, Nick picked him off the runner.  Frasso then surrendered a two out double, but got the final out on a pop out.

Nick’s final line was 3.0 IP, 0 runs, 3 hits, 0 walks, and 4 strikeouts.  He threw 44 pitches, 32 strikes.

The Loons came back and won this game with Diego Cartaya hitting a game tying HR (9) in the 8th.  And then the Loons got a walk off win in the 10th on a sac bunt/throwing error.  Cartaya was 3-3 with a double (11), single, and HR.

 

The Dodgers and Loons both win, but neither starting pitcher figured in the decision.  Ryan Pepiot needs to master his command, and Nick Frasso just needs to pitch.  Both figure to be featured pitchers for the remainder of this year and years to come.

Small editorial.  There were rumors that the Dodgers were interested in pursuing Carlos Correa.  I think the Dodger Stadium fans let management know just how bad of a decision that would be.  It is increasingly clear to me that the Dodgers have to sign Trea Turner to a long term deal.

 

 

 

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Badger

Agree about Pepiot. Throw strikes, and keep that breaking ball down. I would like to see him in the rotation the rest of the way, for all the reasons I’ve mentioned several times.

Frasso looks like he could be the real deal. You never know with TJ pitchers, no doubt that’s why we were able to get him. Move him up.

Alberto is convincing me.

I hope our offense isn’t peaking a bit early.

Oldbear48

The fans reaction to Correa was exactly what I expected it would be. I doubt there is any player who was a part of that team they would accept. Maybe Verlander, but he is locked in over there and way too expensive for his age. Judge hit #45.

Singing the Blue

I think that ultimately the LA fans would eventually be OK with AF’s signing any of the guys on the 2017 Astro team EXCEPT Correa.

He was the spokesman and loudest mouth and the most grating personality.

Oldbear48

About the Muncy and Gallo homers, #13 hit his 13th, and #12 did the same. Gallo’s shot going to left center was very encouraging.

Bumsrap

I am guessing there is a difference between being able to throw strikes but nibbling as the cause of extra pitches and not being able to throw strikes. One seems like it would be easier to fix such as putting an electronic dog collar on his neck and zapping him every time he misses the strike zone. STB probably has more if these kind of ideas.

Sign Trea to a long-term contract? How long? I suppose he and Gavin could switch positions down the road if age makes it necessary to move Trea to second.

Maybe Roberts and Friedman deserve credit for keeping Max in the lineup but his resurgence doesn’t justify him hitting anywhere but 9th up to now. His walks would have looked good in the 9th spot.

Dodgers payroll would look pretty good without Kershaw, Muncy, and Justin next year.

Badger

Turner is 30 next June. Not having a clue if he even wants to stay here, a front loaded contract with opt outs is what I expect to see offered.

Kimbrel. He still has time to iron out his wrinkles, but is he the guy we want closing games against the better teams we’ll see in the playoffs?

Bluto

Doesn’t the payroll look pretty good now?

I’ve always been torn on this. On one hand, baseball is a business and shouldbe run like one. On the other hand, the owners have basically admitted to not spending what they can and have, by practice, treated the CBT thresholds as de facto salary caps.

The Dodgers make a shit-ton of money, shouldn’t we fans be wanting the team to spend to the max? (Pun?)

Singing the Blue

The Dodgers have no idea what their payroll looks like until the Bauer fiasco is settled. “Sources” are now saying a decision on his appeal won’t come down until after the World Series.

What if the suspension is cut to half of this season? That means the team has to pay him half his salary while not having had the benefit of having him on the roster. And then there is his opt out for next year which he may well not exercise so they’ll have to pay him that salary as well.

Singing the Blue

I completely agree that logically it makes no sense for the Dodgers to be penalized (both paying his salary and the accompanying penalty dollars) if Bauer’s 2022 suspension is reduced.

On the other hand, when have we ever been able to equate logic and MLB decisions when it comes to this type of stuff.

Singing the Blue

I think your electronic dog collar idea might just work, as long as you don’t use it on a dog. Cruelty to animals, you know.

A less painful solution might be to show Pepiot a picture of him in a Dodger uniform and one in an OKC uniform before each start.

Label the first one “this is you if you throw strikes”
Label the second one “this is you if you nibble”

Badger

That might work.

From what I’ve seen, which is nearly every pitch he’s thrown with the Dodgers, I have the catcher set up middle middle, still as post, and have him throw everything right down the pipe. With his movement nothing will wind up there.

Bluto

Question/Opinion Solicitation:’

Rank the following in terms of contribution to the teams’ current and future success:

  1. Mark Prior
  2. Dave Roberts
  3. Robert Van Scoyoc
Badger

Van Skyhack 2.5 WAR

Prior 2.0 WAR

Roberts 1 – 1 what remains 2 be determined.

Badger

Van Skyhack – Dodgers lead league in Offensive WAR

Prior – Dodgers lead league in pitching

Roberts – fills out lineup card

You’re up.

Bluto

Well, i think managing the clubhouse and the egos within is quite a task.

I also think his loyalty while easy to question, is a strong quality.

For Prior or Van Scoyoc, i feel like they are figureheads for the entire development programs. But those programs are really, really strong

Last edited 3 months ago by Bluto
Singing the Blue

That Alcantara promotion is fascinating. He was hitting below .200 in about 300 at bats at Great Lakes.

Had very good years in 2019 and 2021(didn’t play in 2020) but this year has been miserable.

I’ve never seen “change of scenery” applied this way before. 🙂

Singing the Blue

Thanks for the update. Now his promotion makes some sense. He’ll probably hit .300 there. Baseball can be a strange game sometimes.

Singing the Blue

Well, he hit a triple. Saw video of it – he really flies around the bases.

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