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Dodgers Hammer Blue Jays as Gavin Stone Spins Best Game as a Major Leaguer

Going into the Toronto series, the Dodgers lineup had 7 hitters with OPS north of .800, the Blue Jays had 2.  All of those OPS numbers rose after Game 1 of the series.  They now have 2 north of 1.000, 3 north of .900, and 5 north of .850.Every starter had at least 1 hit, and 6 had 2 or more.  The team had 19.  After the game, Danny Jansen joined the .900 club in very limited PA.  He joins JT and Daulton Varsho.

Over the last five games, the team has scored 39 runs.  Three of those games, they scored 10 or more runs.  Not only has the team unloaded with their bats, but the pitching has been exceptional, especially the starters.  Only 6 runs against in those five games.  That is a run differential of +33.

The starters have started to get a little deeper into the games:

  • Tyler Glasnow – 8.0 innings – 0 runs
  • James Paxton – 4.2 innings – 1 run
  • Landon Knack – 6.0 innings – 2 runs
  • Yoshinobu Yamamoto – 6.0 innings – 0 runs
  • Gavin Stone – 7.0 innings – 1 run

This was Gavin Stone’s best game of his career.  He gave up a single to JT in the 2nd, 2 walks in the 3rd coming back after a long 6 run 3rd for the Dodgers, and HR to Danny Jansen on his worst pitch of the game.  It was middle/middle and had a big neon sign saying Hit Me, and Jansen did.  After that HR, Stone retired the next 10 Blue Jays, including his 2 Ks (Bo Bichette and JT).  Stone had 94 pitches, an average of 13.4 pitches per inning.


One of the highlights of the night (for me), was after the boos that Shohei was getting from the Blue Jays fans in the 1st inning, he goes yard to shut them up.

Will Smith had another 4 hit game. He was a triple shy of the cycle.  That is four 4-hit games in the first 28 games, and his 2nd in his last three games. He also had a sac fly.

The Dodgers were 7-14 WRISP.  Over the last 5 games, LAD is 23-60 WRISP, .383 BAA.  That includes a 1-10 game on Thursday.

The Dodgers had three more steals.  Mookie stole his 7th in 7 tries.  Teoscar stole his 3rd, and Gavin Lux stole his 1st.

That is 5 in a row for LAD.  On Saturday, Tyler Glasnow will face off against Yusei Kikuchi.  Tyler has not had a lot of previous success against Toronto or in the Rogers Centre.  That all changes on Saturday.




I came across the following note this week.  As of Tuesday afternoon, there were 63 pitchers on major-league injured lists with elbow or forearm injuries.  Sixty-three pitchers and it’s not even May yet!

While the Dodgers have had their share forearm injuries, for the last couple of years there has been a rash of shoulder injuries with the Dodgers.

  • Blake Treinen – Shoulder surgery – November 2022
  • Clayton Kershaw – Shoulder surgery – November 2023
  • Nick Frasso – Shoulder surgery – November 2023
  • Bobby Miller – Shoulder “fatigue” – Two consecutive years
  • Kyle Hurt – Shoulder “fatigue”
  • River Ryan – Shoulder “fatigue”
  • Brusdar Graterol – Shoulder injury

And we still do not truly know the status of Maddux Bruns or Payton Martin.

Why so many shoulder issues, especially with the young guns?  What is their winter workout regimen?

It has been difficult to believe what is said.  The status of both Graterol and Sheehan have gone from mild to “it’s a long term process”.  It has been more than a month since the start of the season, and Blake Treinen was supposed to be back at the domestic home opener for LAD.  He went from a bruised lung, to broken ribs. He has made one rehab appearance, but since it was in Albuquerque it really was not a fair test.  Who has confidence in the health status reports for any LAD?




Chris Taylor is a favorite bad guy right now.  As long as the Dodgers are winning, I am indifferent with him continuing to find his refined stroke.  When CT was at Virginia, he was considered a glove first contact hitter.  614 PA – .296/.384/.422/.806 – 83 K, 62 BB, 7 HR.  That is a 13.5% K rate.  That was his natural swing.  He recognized that the swing he had was not going to allow him to get to The Show and stay there.  He recognized that power was the primary hit tool to get to the Bigs.  Thus, he decided to change his swing to put more of a launch angle into it, to generate more power.

In 2002 MiLB PA, he hit .316/.402/.464/.866, 348 K, 235 BB, 27 HR.  17.4% K rate.

He did not get a MLB HR while with Seattle.  His professional career high HR was 8 before he landed with LAD.  In 2017 (first full season with LAD), he hit 21 HR.   He has been double digit HRs every year except 2020 while with the Dodgers.  But that came at a cost.  He struck out 142 times in 568 PA, or 25% in 2017.  And that has been his low.

His swing is the most extreme launch angle in MLB, and it makes it very difficult for him to hit anything up.  This year he is the worst hitter for pitches middle/middle and up.

But it hasn’t just been this year.  According to Jay Jaffe of FanGraphs, Taylor has had strikeout rates of 35.2 percent in 2022 and 32.6 percent in 2023 and has hit just .211/.303/.362 since a foul ball fractured his left foot on July 6, 2022.

It is not as easy to change your swing as many seem to think.  Swinging a bat very much involves muscle memory.  It has been more than 7 years with his revised swing, and now he wants to switch back to his more natural swing.  I know…just change it.

How much time?  I have no idea. He has been a good Dodger.  Whatever that means.  He should get at least as much as Miguel Vargas got.  As long as the Dodgers are winning, I am okay with letting him work it out.  As of right now it looks like a CT/Outman platoon…until one gets hot.
















OKC Baseball Club 5 – Albuquerque Isotopes (Colorado) 4

A different feel in this game.  OKC was held to 5 runs, but did have 12 hits.  The flip side is that Elieser Hernandez started and completed 5.0 innings.  For 4 of the 5 innings Hernandez was very good.  But that 4th (in the 4th) was not very good at all.  BB, double, and 3 singles pushed across three runs.

Blake Treinen pitched in his 2nd rehab game.  It went a little better.  He gave up a run on a single and double in his 1.0 IP.

Michael Petersen (H6), John Rooney (H3), and Ricky Vanasco pitched the final three innings without allowing a baserunner.  It was Vanasco’s 5th save.

OKC opened the scoring in the 3rd.  Kody Hoese singled, and Chris Owings doubled Kody to 3rd.  Hoese scored on a 4-3 fielder’s choice.  Miguel Vargas singled home Owings.

OKC retook the lead in the 5th.  After 2 BB, Andre Lipcius hit a 2-out 3-run HR for the final scoring.

OKC was 2-13 WRISP.  Good for the excellent relief pitching.

  • Miguel Vargas – 2-4, 1 BB, 1 RBI, double (8)
  • Trey Sweeney – 2-4, 1 BB, 1 run, double (8)
  • Andre Lipcius – 2-4, 1 run, 3 RBI, HR (7)
  • Kody Hoese – 2-4, 1 run, 2 RBI, double (4)
  • Chris Owings – 2-3, 1 BB, 1 run, double (1)

Box Score


Tulsa Drillers 4 – Northwest Arkansas Naturals (KC) 2

Kendall Williams pitched a very good 5.0 innings allowing only an unearned run.  He surrendered 4 hits, 2 BB, and registered 2 K.  Williams threw 79 pitches (44 strikes) in his 5.0 IP.

The Drillers took the lead in the 4th.  Brendon Davis singled.  Taylor Young reached on a force out.  Yeiner Fernandez singled and Austin Beck tripled both home.  The Drillers doubled their run total in the 5th on a Griffin Lockwood-Powell 2-run HR.  It was his 2nd HR in as many games.

  • Yeiner Fernandez – 2-4, 1 run
  • Austin Beck – 2-4, 2 RBI, triple (1)
  • Dalton Rushing – 1-1, 3 BB, 1 run, double (4)
  • Griffin Lockwood-Powell – 1-4, 1 run, 2 RBI, HR (2)

Box Score


Great Lakes Loons 5  – Fort Wayne TinCaps (Padres) 3

Great Lakes is on the road, and the first five batters reached safely, and the first four scored.  Alex Freeland led off with a HBP, Noah Miller doubled, and Kyle Nevin, Dylan Campbell, and Chris Newell all singled.  Campbell actually scored the 4th run on a fielder’s choice ground out.

Peter Heubeck had his third (out of four) solid start.  He completed shutout 4.0 IP allowing 3 hits, 1 BB, and 8 K.  He was at 79 pitches.

Jonathan Edwards relieved Heubeck, and he struck out the first 2 batters he faced before a BB, single, catcher’s interference, and BB forced in a run.  Livan Reinoso

relieved Edwards and got out of the inning and retired the side in order in the 6th.  It was a good appearance for Reinoso.

The Loons were shut down after the first 5 batters until the 6th.  Dylan Campbell singled and came around to score on a passed ball, and two fly outs.

In the 7th, Franklin De La Paz walked the bases loaded and a 2-run single.

Kelvin Ramirez pitched the final 2.0 innings.  He did not allow a run and recorded his 2nd save and lowered his ERA to 0.87 after 7 games and 10.1 IP.  He has 11 K and 2 BB.

  • Dylan Campbell – 2-4, 2 runs, 1 RBI
  • Noah Miller – 1-4, 1 run, 1 RBI, double (4)


Box Score



Inland Empire Storm (Padres) 5 – Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 2

The 6 game winning streak came to an end when the Storm scored 2 in the 8th and 3 in the 9th, 1 earned.

Patrick Copen and Callum Wallace pitched 7.0 innings of 0-hit ball.  Copen allowed 4 BB and 7 K for the first 4.2 innings.  Wallace faced the minimum 8 batters in his 2.2 innings with 4 K.

Christian Ruebeck lost the no-no in the 8th with the first batter he faced who doubled.  He moved to 3rd on a WP, after a BB, the run scored on a single.  A second BB loaded the bases and a sacrifice fly scored the go ahead 2nd run.

RC scored the first run in the first inning.  Jeral Perez continued his hot 2024 with a double and scored on a Zyhir Hope single.  The Quakes tentatively tied the game in the 8th.  Jesus Galiz opened the inning with a single. Juan Alonso walked, and after one out, Carlos Rojas singled to load the bases.  Galiz scored on a fielders choice, but that was all RC could produce.

Felix Cabrera allowed 3 runs (1 earned) in the 9th for the margin of victory.

  • Jeral Perez – 2-5, 1 run, double (6)
  • Zyhir Hope – 2-5, 1 RBI
  • Jesus Galiz – 2-4, 1 run

The Quakes (and Dodgers) got good news when learning that Josue De Paula will not have to go on IL with a hamstring injury.


Box Score








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Duke Not Snider

Great to see Stone step up like that. Knack too.
Fans keep expecting Buhler to assume a role, but we really can’t know how good he’ll be. And when will Bobby Miller be back?
Meanwhile, Peter Gammons is reporting that the Dodgers are interested in Boston LRP Brennan Bernardino. If they are considering him, they are probably exploring other lefty options too.
Satisfying win today against the underachieving Jays. Nice to see Max hitting .258 with an OBP of .361 and OPS of .855. That’s the Max we used to know.


I stopped watching in the 3rd, right when Stone was coming off those two straights walks and struggling with his command. He made a nice adjustment and I was surprised to see his final line. Could be a rurning point.

Bruns pitching today.


The bottom of the lineup looks to be stabilizing. Pages is proving that he is here to stay. He looks very calm and hits the ball with authority. Lux is looking much better and if Outman gets going look out.


As we see some of the fruits from the Dodgers development system, I went back to The Athletic survey of league front offices and they voted the Dodgers tops. I forget who first surfaced this, but thank you.


The following quote, to me, really extols Friedman’s “superstar or value” philosophy:

“One of the things he does so well is knowing which stars to sign,” another executive said. With the notable exception of Trevor Bauer, Friedman has aced that assignment in recent years by landing Mookie BettsFreddie Freemanand Shohei Ohtani. In part, another executive explained, that stems from the front office’s “insane discipline,” not wasting resources on mid-tier players so that when a star becomes available, the team can pounce.
“Andrew,” another executive said, “is the best at this.”

It’s a great time for Dodger baseball


It is indeed a great time to be a Dodger fan. Has been for about a decade.

When the Dodgers start clobbering teams it appears the anti Roberts talk disappears. When the players do what is expected of them Roberts isn’t such an idiot is he.

I admit I was pleasantly surprised Stone went 7 against a formidable lineup. 2 innings of bullpen is a lot easier for a manager to negotiate. Especially with Treinen and Graterol down.

After his last outing I figured Buehler could use at least two more. Guess we’ll see about that.

4 backups in the lineup today, including Taylor. I’m thinking we wont score in double digits today. Shut ‘em down Glasnow.


Has Kody Hoese figured things out?? What a huge turnaround in batting average!


I’m still doubtful he makes it to the majors, but he really deserves a shit-ton of credit for persevering.


Lux has said multiple times that Hoese can hit a baseball.


Just some random stuff I pulled off of Twitter:

As mentioned above, Peter Heubeck struck out eight batters for the second time in three starts, matching his career high, this time in four scoreless innings, allowing only three singles and a walk. He struck out the Padres phenomenal prospect, Ethan Salas, twice.

For those who don’t remember Heubeck was part of that arm-heavy 2021 draft. He’s now 21 years and has a 2.51 ERA and 37.8-percent strikeout rate in his four starts this season. From a details standpoint, the team has changed his “spiked” curveball (?????) to give it more “12-6”. It’s a major change of pace offering, which he throws anywhere above 80. His delivery has been retooled, and he himself has filled out. Really cut down on walks and HRs allowed.

Miguel Vargas seems to ONLY be playing LF now. 19 times, with 4 at DH. I think the ship has sailed for him at 2B, but I’d love to hear thoughts on if he could still spot-start at 3B.

On the Maddux Bruns front, he is another from 2021 and he starts today for the Loons against the Padres’ prospect Dylan Lesko.

Somebody actually saw Bruns pitch in Extended Spring Training and wrote:

From todays (written April 19) Giants/ Dodgers extended spring game this morning, Maddux Bruns tossed 3 innings, looked VERY good. Assuming he heads to an affiliate soon. Ronan Kopp looked good in his inning, best work Ive seen from him lately. Hyun-Seok Jang threw live faced McLain and Valladares


Nice win and a lot of fun to watch. We had a thunderstorm last night and rain today. Great day to stay indoors. According to Roberts, Buehler will get at least one more rehab start next week. They will figure out then when he is to be activated. Always have liked Chris Taylor. He has had some huge games for the team. Like many on this roster, he strikes out too much. But as many have said many times, K’s are not looked at in the same light as they were years ago. But I don’t think he has a long leash either. At some point they are going to have to make a decision. I believe at this point, he has zero trade value and if he is released, someone will pick him up for the minimum. I also believe Vargas is trade bait.

Wally Moonshot

If Taylor’s released I could see the A’s picking him up.


I could see that. Also could end up with the Marlins. They have little veteran presence.


Dave trotting out his RH lineup with Taylor hitting 9th. Kikuchi should have no problem with the bottom of the lineup. Ohtani can pass Roberts with his next homer as the Japanese born player with the most career homers as a Dodger. His teammates kiddingly booed him after he hit his homer yesterday tying Doc for the lead.


More of the same, indeed!

Rob Schelling

And yet he pitched better than the more highly touted Dylan Lesko, who got hammered.

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