Four game sweeps are difficult to accomplish. Four game sweeps against a traditional rival are exceptionally difficult to accomplish. On the day that Gil Hodges was finally and rightfully inducted into the National Baseball HOF, the Dodgers faced the Midgets by the Bay for the fourth game post the All Star hullabaloo, and swept them. This was the first time the Dodgers have swept SFG in a 4-game series since 1995.They did it different ways for each of the games. Different heroes.
On Sunday afternoon, it was the much maligned bullpen and the revised middle of the lineup that were the heroes. It was the usually reliable starter who had issues with his command of his fastball and slider. When that happens, Clayton Kershaw merely becomes mortal. He didn’t win his 8th game, but he did not lose his 3rd.
Clayton Kershaw did not have his best stuff (being kind). He was the first starter to give up an earned run in the series, and he gave up 4. He went 4.1 innings and threw 94 pitches (60 strikes). He could not get that 3rd strike by a lot of hitters, and his pitch count grew. He still had 6 Ks, but the 2 walks and multiple 3-2 pitches drove that pitch count higher. Kershaw allowed 5 hits and 4 were XBH: 3 doubles and 1 HR.
Clayton seemingly hit a wall after getting Austin Slater for the 3rd time in the 5th. He then hung a pair of sliders to Wilmer Flores (double) and Darin Ruf (HR), and the score was tied at 4-4.
The bullpen was summoned early and often. On the day when the HOF starter could not find his command, the bullpen was up to the challenge. Yency Almonte was the first reliever called, and all he did was strike out the two batters he faced on 8 pitches. His slider was just flat out nasty.
Four relievers followed, pitching an inning each, and allowing 2 singles combined in the 4.0 innings. Three of the four (Phil Bickford, Alex Vesia, and Craig Kimbrel) have been recently roasted by opposing teams. However, today they were lights out. Evan Phillips could have been included in that declaratory statement, but allowing 1 earned run in nearly two months is hardly reason for concern.
On the other side, after Alex Cobb started slowly and escaped the first inning, he started to settle in. Except for the 2-out double, single, double, single, by an unlikely foursome in the third inning, he was not touched. His splitter in the 4th thru the 6th were unhittable. He was able to get through 6 innings to try and save some of that bullpen.
Just like Dave Roberts, Gabe Kapler has to play the cards (relievers) he is dealt. Unfortunately for Kapler, the Giant relievers are much less reliable than the Dodgers 8 person pen. It is difficult to blame the managers when the horses are not there to pick from.
It has been stated on multiple occasions that if Max Muncy and Cody Bellinger begin to hit, there is no stopping the Dodgers offense. But when Jake Lamb, Gavin Lux, Max Muncy, and Trayce Thompson string hits together, the offense is poised to strike.
In a 12-hit attack, only Cody Bellinger of the 9 starters in the lineup did not get a hit. In most games, the team goes as does 1-2-3 in the lineup. Today it was 3-4-5-6-7. Jake Lamb batting in the cleanup spot had a pair of key doubles. Gavin Lux batted #5 for the first time this season, and he knocked in Jake Lamb after both of his doubles. Even Max Muncy doubled home Lux in the third. Trayce Thompson had an RBI single in the third and an RBI double in the 7th. It was after his double in the 7th that his brother Klay put on a dancing show right behind the Giants dugout.
The Dodgers win 7-4 and complete a 4 game sweep of the Giants for the first time since 1995.
Who’s ready for this 2nd half of the season? We know @KlayThompson is!#LFGDodgers pic.twitter.com/E9K2TICrvR
— Dodgers Nation (@DodgersNation) July 24, 2022
Trayce can also played a little defense.
Trayce Thompson goes into the stands for a wild grab! pic.twitter.com/jMvp2dFrgE
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) July 24, 2022
It is going to be hard to find a better defensive OF than Thompson/Bellinger/Betts.
Freddie, Jake Lamb, Gavin Lux, and Trayce Thompson all had two hits, including 4 doubles. Lux and Thompson had a pair of RBIs. The Dodgers were 5-11 WRISP.
For the last 12 games, Freddie Freeman has been unconscious. He is batting .522/.577/1.000/1.577. In 52 PA, Freddie has struck out exactly 1 time. I have no doubt that this streak will end, but while he is on it, the Dodgers will ride it as far as they can.
Another key contributor the entire season has been Gavin Lux. In the last 30 days, Gavin is batting .313/.391/.521/.912. Since Mid-April, Gavin has gone hitless in 3 straight games twice and 2 straight games 3 times. He has been remarkably consistent. He has been solid defensively at 2B and serviceable in LF.
Trayce Thompson and Jake Lamb have been excellent bench role players. I am guessing that when CT3 comes off the IL, Zach McKinstry will be optioned.
This team has now won 8 straight and are 19-2 in their last 21. To make it even sweeter, the Padres lost on Sunday and are now 11.5 GB the Dodgers. And the Giants? They are buried 16.5 GB behind the Dodgers.
And we repeat, if the Dodgers can get Max Muncy and/or Cody Bellinger producing anywhere near where they normally produce, what can stop this team. I know many like the idea of Brandon Drury, but for me, the only difference making bat that would interest me would be JD Martinez, if Boston should become sellers.
Pitching? Can you really ever have enough of it?
As a follow up, Tyler Mahle did pitch today against St. Louis, and completed 6 innings. He allowed 2 hits, however both hits were HRs by Paul Goldschmidt. A two-run HR, and a solo HR. He walked 3 and struck out 5. He threw 79 pitches and 47 strikes.
Today and forever: Gil Hodges, Hall of Famer pic.twitter.com/RlHWJXk4T3
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) July 24, 2022
With all due respect (and I mean that sincerely) to Badger and Bluto who do not hold Hunter Feduccia in high regard, I am not sure what you think the Dodgers should do with players like Feduccia. He is arguably a potential backup catcher for some ML team (maybe, maybe not). Austin Nola, Jacob Stallings, David Ross were all in relatively the same situation before they finally broke into the ML. Nola was 29. Nobody is saying Feduccia is going to replace Will Smith or even Austin Barnes. But maybe for another team???
STB was in no way implying that Feduccia be the headliner in any trade much less one involving Luis Castillo.
Just exactly what trade value do the following Cincinnati catchers have:
Michael Papierski – CIN – .132/.267/.132/.399
Mark Kolozsvary – CIN – .143/.278/.179/.457
And these are Cincinnati’s 2 catchers. Cinci
Or just exactly what trade value do the following MLB catchers have:
Mike Zunino – TB – .148/.195/.304/.499
Jason Castro – HOU – .115/.205/.179/.384
Anthony Bemboom – BAL – .115/.207/.212/.419
Robinson Chirinos – BAL – .157/.252/.257/.509
Martin Maldonado – HOU – .170/.237/.339/.576
Austin Hedges – CLE – .172/.230/.266/.496
James McCann – NYM – .183/.250/.293/.543
Kevin Plawecki – BOS – .184/.287/.253/.540
Jacob Stallings – MIA – .186/.248/.233/.481
Kyle Higashioka – NYY – .188/.238/.326/.564
Luke Malle – CLE – .191/.297/.277/.574
Jose Herrera – AZ – .192/.259/.212/.471
Yasmani Grandal – CWS – .196/.300/.454/.545
Austin Romine – STL – .167/.219/.167/.386
Kurt Suzuki – LAA – .183/.267/.280/.547
Patrick Mazeike – NYM – .175/.200/.286/.486
Michael Perez – PIT – .150/.209/.318/.527
Some of the above are starting catchers.
What should teams do with players they know will never make their MLB roster? Feduccia will undoubtedly never make the LAD roster. Should they just release him? Are you certain that Carson Taylor is a better prospect than is Feduccia? My guess is that he does have some value to some team (maybe even Cincinnati). Cincinnati found value in LAD throwaways Kyle Farmer and Scott Schebler.
Maybe you are right and he has zero value for anyone. Again I ask, what should the Dodgers do with him? Or what should they do with any of their organizational AAAA depth? After all they could be blocking prospects. Or should they just hold on to them like Jeren Kendall?
I could include players like Ryan Noda, Ryan Ward, and Drew Avans. What chance do you give them on making the LAD roster. Should the Dodgers just hold onto them until they are not even lottery tickets, and then release them? They could make someone else’s team.
Bluto, I know that you did not say any of the above. I am not trying to put words in your mouth. You were so quick to dismiss STB and his idea to try and get something in trade for Feduccia. And all I am asking is…what would you do with Hunter Feduccia?
What value do the following have:
Jose King, Sergio Alcantara, and Dawel Lugo – Or how about the value of the player they were traded for? Not all trades have to have frontline prospects to get valuable MLB players. And yes those three were traded for a big name.
My definition of our 4A players is an athlete good enough to be a replacement player at the ML level now, but not good enough to push his way onto our ML roster. I respect those players and figure they all deserve a shot. At OKC Hunter Feduccia is currently OPS’n higher than Jake Lamb did and just about equal to what Kevin Pillar did. Wouldn’t other scouting departments notice something like that? When I said Feduccia might do in Cincinnati what former Dodger and starting shortstop Kyle Farmer is doing I wasn’t kidding. I absolutely agree with STB that a player like Feduccia could be a valuable added piece in a trade with the Reds.
Other than what Goldschmidt did Mahle’s outing was pretty good. He got everybody else he faced out and threw 79 pitches in 6 innings. He’s got 98 innings pitched this year. His 4.48 ERA in a hitters park doesn’t worry me. If his shoulder checks out he might be ok and would certainly be cheaper than Castillo. That said, I still prefer Castillo. We’ve got enough guys coming off injury.
And thanks for that detailed catcher’s information. It’s exactly what I was looking for. Reading those numbers, I would think there’s a lot of teams looking for catching depth right about now.
To me the Hunter Feduccia’s and Stevie Berman’s of the world are the lifeblood of MLB. They face formidable odds of making it to MLB as do all but the most talented youngsters. Then again, how many first ten draft selections or first overall selections do not pan out as expected? Yet, the Feduccia’s soldier on as my Dad would say.
Looking at MiLB today with the 120 teams at the AAA, AA, A+, A levels plus the ACL, FSL and the DSL, how many of those players will make it to MLB? I am not sure of what the number might be, perhaps 10% which is probably high.
It seems too often that those young men who are trying to succeed at the highest level in the most difficult team sport to play are not valued or are even devalued. Let’s take that 90% away. That is, those who will not make it to MLB. Send them home. What do the other 10% do to prepare for MLB considering that at any given time they are not all at the same level. Would we go to the football or basketball models where I understand there is no minor league system? In short, MLB is totally dependent on the young men who are not considered prospects. That is, the 90%.They provide the proving grounds for those considered to be prospects.
It kind of sticks in my craw a bit when I read comments that these young men are trade bait or should be thrown in as part of a trade to get rid of them. Being from a fishing community I understand that fish used for bait are the least valued fish stock. Yet, in reality they bring in the most valued stock when used on a line or in traps.
Simply put, MLB cannot survive without the MiLB players, the vast majority of whom will never wear a MLB uniform. They have been devalued for decades, playing for minimum wage or less. Thankfully that is changing a bit.
Should Hunter Feduccia be traded? By all means but not to just get rid of him. Instead, to be a valued part in acquiring what the Dodgers might need and to help foster his career. IMHO, he is a player, and looking around as Jeff did, there is a spot for him in due course as a MLB backup catcher.
Well said H.
I just read a piece on Soto value at The Times. It was suggested the package from LA would look like this: Cartaya, Miller, Vargas, Pepiot, Busch and Grove.
Excuse me? Is that what the Trade Evaluator is saying?
I don’t get it. This guy isn’t Mike Trout or Mickey Mantle. He’s a one dimensional player currently carrying a -0.6 dWAR. Yes he also has 3.5 total WAR, but we’ve got 64 wins and lead our Division by 11.5. We don’t need Juan Soto, and certainly not for that price. I don’t want to see the Padres get him, but it’s my opinion even if they do they don’t catch us. He’s a free agent in two years. Sign him for $500 million then if you think he’s worth it and let him play in a lineup with Betts, Freeman, Lux, Smith, Cartaya, Vargas, Rios, and Miller, Pepiot, Grove and a couple All Stars in the rotation.
I still say if we do anything, and I think we will, let’s do pitching.
I could not agree with you more on Soto. Yes he is a generational offensive talent, but didn’t they say that and more about the current RF with LAD, Mookie Betts? The Dodgers do not need Juan Soto. Could they use him? Absolutely, like every other team. But they do not NEED him. Now if rental JD Martinez becomes available, I am looking to make a deal there.
And I agree with you that the Dodgers do need arms, because they are always so tenuous, and nobody knows how any of those on the IL will be when they come back. Heaney has already come off the IL and returned one game later. He has never before pitched like he was before the injury. Will he continue?
Tommy Kahnle…It took more games, but he returned to the IL.
I am not nearly as confident what Buehler or May will be there when they come off the IL. Danny Duffy?
I like Luis Castillo. But I do not think I like him that much to lose Ryan Pepiot or Bobby Miller or Miguel Vargas. And I do not think Kody Hoese, Drew Avans, and Kendall Williams will get it done. That is why I was looking at next tier SP, like Tyler Mahle or Martín Pérez. As I was saying what a great deal SD did to get Joe Musgrove others were saying he was nothing, and he never will be. I do not feel as much like that with Mahle, but I do think he could be a good mid-rotation pitcher. Maybe he would even surprise like Tyler Anderson. Perez is simply a rental who can give quality innings down the stretch. HIs cost will not be one of the top 10.
But they do need a couple of quality late inning relievers. Is everybody all that confident that Blake Treinen will return to what he was pre-injury? Will Graterol’s injury put more movement into his fastball? A starter can move Mitch White into that role, and later even Andrew Heaney.
So how about 1 second tier starter and a couple of rental relievers (or at least one).
Some trade packages are influenced by the need of the acquiring team.
Others are influenced by the value and estimated value of the selling team.
I think Soto will be the latter.
Yeah, not sure where you are coming from. I’m ‘on record’ (as much as one can be posting under a fake name in a small community) as saying I think the Dodgers invest (via signings and drafting) in Catchers specifically because they can be turned into high worth assets.
I’m all for trading Feduccia, just don’t think he adds a lot of value to the Dodgers side of the ledger.
Is there a Dodgers organization generated prospect list? I checked the Dodgers site and didn’t see one. The MLB Top 30 doesn’t even have Feduccia on it. And it can’t be because of his age as there are a few in their mid 20’s on that list. Seems to me a guy who steps into AAA for the first time and pounds out an OPS over 1.000 should be on somebody’s list.
He is, AFAIK, not on any list.
Now, obviously, MLB teams have their own exhaustive and specific lists for every team’s prospects that extend in all dimensions beyond FanGraphs or MLB’s Pipeline.
But if we’re trying to evaluate Feduccia, we can only use what we have and what we have sez he has little trade value.
From the ridiculously fun simulator:
JD Martinez for Hoese and Carson Taylor? Who says no?
If that was the deal, I sure would not say no. I would not care if Hoese or Taylor went on to become All Stars, they won’t for the Dodgers. JDM is a difference maker for this year. I love that deal which is probably why it will never happen.
For the Dodgers, Feduccia does not have value because of the number of prospect catchers in LAD organization. But I do not know how you can say he would have no value to other teams. Neither I nor STB said that Hunter Feduccia should headline a trade. But no value to Cincinnati? Houston? Cleveland? Pittsburgh? Unless you know what the organizational talent is like for the other teams, I am not sure you can assess him with zero value. And I do not care what the trade simulator may say since Mookie is a -107.4 per the simulator.
In all seriousness, I agree he has > zero value. My point is his value is probably marginal.
Like the last prospect mentioned in a deal?
Then again, what do I know!?!??!?!? I’m just using the info at hand.
No arguments from me. It is my opinion. Just like it is yours. The only opinions that matter are those on the Dodgers staff.
Since nobody has guessed (or chose not to guess) who Jose King, Sergio Alcantara, and Dawel Lugo were traded for, that was the asking price by Detroit for JD Martinez. Not a pretty trade for Detroit. But there was never much to begin with in that trade…just lottery tickets and hope.
Ya missed one Jeff. Austin Barnes is slashing .163/.303/.316/.619. But he is a defensive wiz right? Dodgers 11-0 when Jake Lamb starts. Play him the rest of the year. Some of the trade scenarios fans come up with are beyond dumb. One guy suggested the Dodgers need to send 6 plyers to the Reds for Castillo. Ridiculous.
Depends who the 6 players are.
Here’s my six. Sauryn Lao, Miguel Droz, Austin Gauthier, Joan Valdez, Benony Robles, Aldrich De Jongh
A fascinating group of six names, Jeff.
How many other players named Sauryn, Droz, Joan and Benony are we likely to find if we comb through MLB records.
Those guys should have extra value if for nothing else but their names.
I did not miss him, I chose editorial discretion and left him off. 😇😇
I think the Dodgers would be a better team against lefty pitchers if Trace played CF instead of Cody and Drury played instead of Max. Taylor in LF. Lefty hitters would be Freeman and Lux.
Trayce’s OPS agin lefty’s is not so muy bueno.
I know a lot of folks are touting Drury as an addition to our roster and I have nothing against him, but I’d like to suggest another Red, our old friend and former Dodger farm hand Donovan Solano. Solano’s batting avg and OBP are each 40 points higher than Drury’s.
Solano has hit over .300 for 3 of the past 4 years. Neither of the two is going to contribute anything defensively. The advantage that Drury gives you over Solano is that you can put him in the outfield as well as the infield; however, he’s not a very good outfielder.
Solano would cost a lot less in prospects than Drury. Each of them is a free agent at the end of the year.
You know I agree with Solano over Drury. He is also far more versatile which is what LAD prefers for their bench.
Just heard from Andrew. He’s clearing out two desks in his office for us. Expects us at 9:00 AM tomorrow.
I must admit, though, that I’m surprised to see you consider Solano more versatile since Drury also plays outfield.
Drury is Cincinnati’s choice. He has nearly 4 times the at bats. If you guys with desks think we really need more utility I’d recommend him.
For the record, I am not in favor of getting Drury or Solano. I would just prefer Solano to Drury. His OBP is better. I think Trayce Thompson, Jake Lamb, and CT3 are more than capable of role playing on this team. This team needs pitching more than another bat. But if JD Martinez becomes available you have to consider that as an option.
I do not think either would be needed for the OF. Thompson, Lamb, and CT3 will have that covered. I just like Solano more as an infielder.
Gonsolin with 12 earned runs in his last 11 innings. Getting tired maybe?
A nice 15 day stint on the IL wouldn’t hurt him. I hear there’s a hangnail epidemic going around.
This is about the time I figured he, Urias and Anderson would all need time off. The extra day rest between starts will help, but all of them will need a real break soon.