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Dodgers Salvage One Game Behind Bobby Miller Gem

Bobby Miller has often said that he wants to show the Dodgers that he can be counted on to pitch the big game.  Well he is showing the Dodgers that he can be counted on as Walker Buehler was in his rookie year.  Right now he has to be the #2 in the rotation behind Clayton Kershaw.  Not that he is as dominant as Walker was in his rookie season, but Lance Lynn and Julio Urías do not inspire a ton of confidence.

This was Bobby’s 2nd start against Atlanta.  His MLB debut was also against Atlanta. He pitched 5.0 innings allowing 1 run on 4 hits.  He walked 1 and struck out 5.  He threw 95 pitches.  Miller was not intimidated one bit by the Braves.  He came after them from his first pitch to Ronald Acuña Jr.  After 96 pitches and 7.0 IP, Bobby Miller left the game with a 2-1 lead.  He turned the game over to Shelby Miller and Brusdar Graterol.

Bobby Miller now has 12.0 IP against Atlanta, allowing 2 runs on 7 hits, 2 BB, and 10 K.

After he recorded the first two outs in the 7th, Miller left a changeup out over the plate (basically center/center) and Matt Olson crushed it.  It was Olson’s first hit of the series, and it was no cheapie.  He followed that with an 8 pitch BB to Marcell Ozuna.  His 8th pitch was not a strike, but it was located in a spot that had been called a strike most of the day.  In the past, this might have triggered a mental breakdown on the hill for Miller.  Not on this day.  He got Dodger Killer, Eddie Rosario, to hit into a routine 4-6 force out.

Miller’s ERA is now down to 3.80.

After Ozuna’s one out double in the 2nd, Miller reeled off 16 straight Braves outs.  One of those out was a flair into RF that Jason Heyward read perfectly, got a good jump, ran 90 feet, dove and caught the ball off the bat of Acuña Jr.  It is great to have a GG RF to allow Mookie to play GG 2B.

Miggy Rojas missed a 2-run HR by a foot, settled for a double, and got to 3rd on an errant throw home.  With the infield up, Mookie bounced one over the head of Orlando Arcia, and Miggy scored the second run.

After back-to-back 0-fers, Mookie singled three times in the 4th game.  For the series, he was 5-14 with 2 BB.  He also had 2 big HRs.  Mookie now has a career high 38 HRs, 99 RBIs, 117 runs, and 161 hits.

There is still 26 games to go, but Mookie has closed the gap on Acuña for NL MVP.  There is a valid argument to be made for either player.  But the award is MVP, not most outstanding offensive player.  With Mookie playing GG level RF, GG level 2B, and a solid SS, Mookie’s versatility could move the needle into his favor.  That versatility proves his value to the Dodgers.

James Outman was 3-11, but had 5 walks.  That is a .500 OBP.

Outside of Alex Vesia, the bullpen was outstanding in this series.  Vesia allowed 4 of the 5 runs scored off the relievers in the series.  Gus Varland gave up the other (game 2).

Bobby Miller has now faced Atlanta twice and pitched 12.0 innings.  He has allowed 2 runs on 7 hits, 2 BB, and 10 K.  Certainly the next time he faces Atlanta, it could go in reverse, but for now, his confidence has to be sky high when facing the best offense in the game.

For a small illustration as to how well the Braves barrel up and hit the ball hard:

The Braves have hit 182 balls in excess of 110 MPH.  The Dodgers have 25 of such hits.  That is good for 28th in MLB.

Besides Miller, the second best starting pitching came from another rookie, Emmet Sheehan. Combine them with Ryan Pepiot’s last start, and Gavin Stone’s last two outings (one MLB and one yesterday MiLB), and the LAD future pitching looks promising.  They are not dominant, but they are promising.  They will not all be SP.  One and possibly 2 will move to high leverage relief roles (my prediction).

Even though Atlanta won 3 of 4, the Dodgers were in every game except the 2nd.  If they had hit WRISP in either the 1st or 3rd game, they could have beat Atlanta in either or both.

The Dodgers got more players into scoring position but could not get them home.  For the 4 games, the Dodgers were 5 for 34 WRISP, while the Braves were 10 for 26.  In games 1 and 3, Atlanta was 4-11, while LAD was 2-19.  This is an area that the Dodgers HAVE to change their strategy.

In addition to not coming through in the clutch, the Dodgers struck out 41 times in the 4 games vs. 27 for Atlanta.  Put the bat on the ball, and there is a chance that something positive can come out of the AB.  In the 1st inning of yesterday’s game, Ozzie Albies simply reached out and stroked a hump back flair single into RF.  The series could have changed had the Dodgers done that once in Game 1 and once in Game 3 WRISP.

As Bear mentioned on the last post, the umpiring was bad (not unusual), but the NY video review crew blew two plays that should have been overturned: one against the Braves and one against the Dodgers. It was almost like the plan was to uphold both umpire’s call so both team’s lose future challenges.

It was not like the called 3rd strike against Mookie with the bases loaded, but the umpiring seems to be getting worse.

Two Dodgers were rewarded with Monthly Awards.  After his incredible August, Mookie Betts was named Player of the Month for August.  James Outman was named Rookie of the Month for August.  It was his second such award, as he was previously named April Rookie of the Month.

Are the Braves a better team than LAD?  A resounding YES.  But are they invincible?  Absolutely not!!  If they are to meet again, both will have to win their respective NLDS.

Let’s see if the Dodgers can “fix” Julio Urías and Lance Lynn in their next four games.  They will only need three starters in the NLDS.  Maybe they will use 4, but they could get by with 3.  But they will need 4 in the NLCS and 4 in the WS.

Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, bring on the Fish.




09-03-2023 – MiLB Game Summary Report


OKC Dodgers 9 – Round Rock Express (Texas) 1

Walker Buehler had his first rehab assignment at OKC.  He threw 2.0 perfect innings, striking out 2.  He threw 24 pitches (15 strikes).  While that was a big positive on the day, Gavin Stone’s performance was even better.  He followed up his very good appearance against Boston with 6.0 scoreless IP on 1 hit.  He walked 1, and struck out 7.  He threw 50 strikes in 80 pitches.

The Dodgers had 12 hits and 8 BB that generated the 9 runs.  The Dodgers scored a run in the first inning when Óscar Mercado hit into a fielder’s choice with the bases loaded. Oklahoma City added four runs in the fourth inning on a solo home run by Hunter Feduccia and a bases-clearing three-run double by Jonny DeLuca for a 5-0 lead. Mercado connected on a two-run home run in the seventh inning and Miguel Vargas belted a towering two-run homer in the eighth inning to put the Dodgers ahead, 9-0.

The Express scored 1 off reliever James Jones in the 9th.

Key Offensive Performers:

  • Jonny Deluca – 2-4, 1 BB, 1 run, 3 RBI, double (7)
  • Miguel Vargas – 3-5, 1 BB, 2 runs, 2 RBI, HR (7)
  • Justin Yurchak – 2-3, 1 BB, 2 runs
  • HR – Óscar Mercado (1 as OKC) and Hunter Feduccia (9)


Box Score


Arkansas Travelers (Seattle) 4 – Tulsa Drillers 1

The Tulsa Drillers were held to just one run in the final game of a six-game series with Arkansas Sunday night. The limited offensive production resulted in a 4-1 loss to the Travelers.

Sunday’s finale began with a scoreless first inning before the Travelers put two runs on the scoreboard in the top of the second. The rally began when Tulsa starter Ben Casparius walked the inning’s leadoff batter. The Travelers followed with three straight singles to produce the first run. A sacrifice fly made it 2-0.

Imanol Vargas produced the Drillers only run of the game in the fourth inning with his 19th home run of the season. The blast landed on the concourse beyond the right field wall and bounced out of the stadium.

Three straight, two-out singles in the top of the seventh against reliever Jake Pilarski produced the third run for the Travelers, and a balk in the ninth from Tulsa reliever Carlo Reyes made it 4-1.

Both teams finished with seven hits in the game. Yusniel Diaz and Jose Ramos led the Drillers with two hits each. Diaz has not hit safely in seven straight games.


Box Score


Dayton Dragons (Reds) 7 – Great Lakes Loons 0


The Great Lakes Loons were shutout for the sixth time this season in their final home regular season game of 2023, losing 7-0 to the Dayton Dragons. Great Lakes finished their home slate with a record of 34-31.

Hyun-il Choi struck out two in his first frame but permitted four runs and five hits across the next three innings. A hit by pitch and walk started the second, Dayton’s Justice Thompson lined a ball to left field to open the scoring. A Hector Rodriguez sacrifice fly made it 2-0.

In the third inning, Edwin Arroyo and Sal Stewart both reached via base knocks to begin the frame. Allan Cerda sliced a single to left field, and an Austin Hendrick sacrifice fly pushed the Dragons ahead 4-0.

The Loons bullpen kept it within striking distance.  Franklin De La Paz struck out two in the fifth inning, and Mitchell Tyranski induced a 4-6-3 double play in a scoreless sixth. The Loons offense only managed two baserunners in the middle innings.

Dayton added three insurance runs in the final three innings. Two errors plated two runs in the seventh, and a solo home run brought the score to 7-0 in the eighth. Michael Hobbs pitched the seventh, and Christian Suarez tossed the eighth.

Non-pitcher Taylor Young pitched in the ninth forced two flyouts, and after a single, punched out Justice Thompson on six pitches. The 25-year-old made his pro debut on the mound.

Great Lakes offensively had two hits. With two outs in the third inning, Nick Biddison doubled, and Taylor Young walked, but Dayton right-hander Carson Rudd summoned a popup. Rudd went five scoreless innings. Five of the final nine outs for Great Lakes batters were strikeouts.


Box Score



Stockton Ports (A’s) 8 – Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 7

21 year old RHP Joel Ibarra was roughed up in his 1.2 IP.  He was staked to a 3-0 and a 4-2 lead but left after allowing 4 runs on 5 hits and 1 BB.  He did have 2 K.

Kendall George led off the game with a single.  He moved to 2B on a Josue De Paula BB and scored on a Joe Vetrano single.  De Paula moved to 3B on the play and scored 5-4-3 DP.  With two outs, Jesus Galiz slugged his 8th HR.

The Quakes scored a run in the 2nd and 3rd inning on solo HRs by Jose Izarra (7) and Jake Gelof (1).

In the 8th, the Quakes loaded the bases with nobody out on a single and 2 BB.  Jose Izarra singled home 2.  With runners on 2nd and 3rd and no outs,  a ground out and line drive to 5-U double play ended the inning.

Three Quakes relievers kept the Ports off the board until the bottom of the 8th. Reynaldo Yean and Noah Ruen entered in the 8th and allowed 4 runs on 3 hits and 2 BB, and a fielding error.


Key Offensive Performers:

  • Kendall George – 3-5, 1 run
  • Joel Izarra – 3-4, 1 run, 3 RBI, HR (7)
  • Joe Vetrano – 1-3, 2 BB, 1 RBI
  • HR – Jesus Galiz (8), Jake Gelof (1)


Box Score



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“The Dodgers have 25 of such hits. That is good for 28th in MLB.”

Well I would have got that wrong.

“It was almost like the plan was to uphold both umpire’s call so both team’s lose future challenges”

Excellent point.

What to do about the poor umpiring. Nothing on balls and strikes. The league, for whatever reason, has decided not to address it. I think challenging strike 3 is worthy of discussion. Maybe even only after the 7th to avoid the many reviews that the plan would incur. The easiest plan is to wire up the umps. Nope. Not gonna duit. So we live with inadequate.

“Are the Braves a better team than LAD? A resounding YES.”

Resounding agreement. But they can be beat in a short series. Their odds might be better in a longer one, but again, I like our chances. In the mean time, get the pitching staff together, work on our two strike contact skills and practice barreling strikes WRISP. The pennant is within reach.


Braves are definitely the better team, and there is nothing we can do about that. We will win our division and we are on target for over 100 wins. Our pitching has been our Achilles heel but we have enough to get to the Braves again barring any new injuries. Even with 3 healthy pitchers, it will take a feat of magic to beat them. I don’t see them choking as we did last season. From my perch, I would say we are a better team than I originally thought we were at the beginning of the season. We made some very positive adjustments all over the place and we held fast to our belief in Muncy, Peralta, Heyward, & Outman. We continue to bring on the rookie pitchers out of necessity and belief in them and they have benefitted, IMO. Mookie is risen again! Freeman is his best self, and Smith has cemented himself as our C for the next few years, at least. Next season will bring more changes and adjustments to the team but it doesn’t seem there will be any dropoff in our dominance.


It’s not the results we were looking for against the Braves, but I too think they can be beaten in a short series. But, the starting pitching must step up for that to happen. I wanted to share my thoughts on the current state of the starting pitcher in today’s game.

The importance of a starting pitcher has been diminished since the turn of the century.  This may be happening for the most obvious reason.  Financial, of course.  The less required of a starter the less his value to the team and the less money has to be spent for that player.  How can the Mets justify paying Scherzer and Verlander each $43M+ when they can’t average six innings per start?  I know their owner Steve Cohen seems to have unlimited funds, but I think he learned quickly that his silly spending doesn’t equal a winning team.  It’s the same with our buddies down south.  Look for GM’s from both teams to be under pressure at season’s end.  At least Cohen has a plan and knows he can’t keep spending like he has and be successful both as a winning team and as a business.

With the desire to save money in starting pitching salaries, teams, such as the Tampa Bay Rays, I believe were the first to come with the “opener” concept.  They had built a bullpen of young and inexpensive pitchers.  They would start a reliever that matched up with the opponent’s first 6-7 hitters.  Depending on the reliever he would pitch for an inning or two to start the game.  The rest of the game the available pitchers in the bullpen would finish the game. This opener routine might be used 1-3 times through a rotation depending on the situation with the starting staff. 

As a baseball traditionalist I really disliked this strategy.  But, it was Tampa Bay.  The baseball world paid little attention.  Kind of like their fan base.  Then the 2020 World Series happened. The Covid postseason.  TB had Blake Snell, Charlie Morton, and Tyler Glasnow as their starters along with reliever Ryan Yarbrough in a bullpen game.  Yeah, a bullpen game in the World Series. 

Morton started one game and was thoroughly roughed up by the Dodgers going only 4+ innings.  Glasnow and Snell each pitched two games each.  Although Glasnow struckout 15 Dodger hitters in 9.1 innings they crushed him for 10 runs in the two games.  

And then there was Blake Snell.  In his two appearances he pitched 10 innings and K’d 18 Dodgers.  He pitched game 6 for the Rays and was dominating the Dodgers allowing 2 hits, 1 run, striking out 9 while throwing only 73 pitches.  But, according to Snell’s analytics he had to be removed blindly by his manager.  Forget what everyone’s eyes were showing them.  That Snell was dominating and yet he was finished.  At the same time.  I know analytics expose the odds of what might happen, but it’s not always the case.  The main reason I don’t care for analytics is  the complete disregard for what’s actually happening on the field.  In this case Snell was in complete control.  Yet his manager, Kevin Cash knew that Snell had to be removed because he was into the sixth inning, threw 73 pitches, and had given up a hit.  That’s right, a hit!  Only the second hit by the Dodgers, but it apparently validated the computer’s data and Snell was about to get shelled by the Dodgers.  Fans were coming unglued and screaming for Cash to remove Snell immediately. This, of course, wasn’t the case.  I’m sure most of their fans were stunned.  The Dodger hitters had to be looking at one another going “WTF?”.  The rest is history.  Thank you Kevin Cash for out Robertsing Dave Roberts.

The above is a small example of what is expected from a starting pitcher in the 21st century.  Through analytics it has been determined that 100 pitches is the wall that should not be climbed.  For every starting pitcher.  Now, it’s moving down to 80 pitches.  And yet, even with limiting the pitch count the pitcher in the 21st century has issues with staying healthy.  It’s sore shoulders, ligament damaged elbows, obliques, hamstrings and calf pulls, knees, blisters on fingers.  So, with all the advanced training methods, diets, nutrition, video, and improved travel conditions these guys cannot stay healthy and even when they do pitch not much is expected from them.  I mean who decided that after 100 pitches a pitcher was subject to major injury to his arm?  And now 60-80 pitches have become the danger zone.  And yet, they still are constantly injured!

I think this fascination with throwing 100 MPH is the main culprit with so many TJ surgeries.  It’s certainly not from throwing too much.  Throwing a baseball is not a natural movement for a human shoulder.  To try to throw as hard as possible for as long as possible is not a healthy way for a pitcher to treat his arm.  A simple compromise is to learn to pitch and thus reduce the need to throw hard on every pitch. It’s location, not velocity, that provides the opportunity for success and well being.  Will it solve all the arm issues?  No, but it would probably reduce the amount of TJ surgeries, other arm discomfort, and allow a pitcher to be more available to do what they are being paid to do.  Will things change for the modern pitcher?  Unfortunately, I doubt it.  How many outstanding young men are being cheated of their dreams because of today’s pitching philosophy?  And as fans we are not able to watch them maximize their talents on the mound.  Any starting pitcher that has begun his career in the last 8-10 years, with today’s standards, may never be inducted into the Hall of Fame.  The standards for the Hall may have to be changed in order to reflect the limitations of the 21st century pitcher.

It seems to be the way things are in sports today.  Who can throw the hardest.  Exit velocity and distance with hitters.  In golf, it’s making the clubhead the size of a shoe box in order to hit a tee shot 350+ yards,  With basketball it’s the 35 foot three point shot.  It’s all about the spectacular and the hell with fundamentals.
Thanks for reading.
Carry on.


Well said Ted.

It has taken me a while but I’ve learned to accept analytics. Baseball has always been a game of stats, who among us didn’t analyze the back of baseball cards. But like everything else in this data driven world baseball analytics has leapt forward with all of it. Fine by me.

I’ve been clear with my take on most of this. Bottom line is it’s about WAR. It’s my belief starting pitchers can get to the HOF by going 6 innings 28-30 times a year if they learn to dominate doing it. If the starter is a guy throwing 100 mph regularly that inning’s count goes down to 5. 15 pitches an inning is every pitchers goal. Maintain that and most good pitchers should be able to go 5-6.

I don’t care who you are the human arm is not designed to throw a baseball 100 mph. If a pitcher is dependent on that pitch he better plan on being a reliever. I watch Miller pitch and sometimes I cringe. 100 now and again might be fine but use it wisely. I suggest you dial it back a bit, like Koufax did, and learn to change speeds and find edges.


Kendall George has been fantastic since we drafted him!


The umpiring is at an all-time low. MLB refuses to get rid of the consistently bad umps because the union won’t stand still for it. Players can’t argue balls and strikes. So, what is the solution? Minor leaguers can call for a review on the third strike. That is one way to semi solve it. But the only true way is the ABS. As for the travesty New York pulled yesterday, that can be solved. Just fire the guy in the booth. Both of those calls were so obvious it was amazing that no one in New York saw that.

Fred Vogel

Why am I not surprised.


He is done as a Dodger. MLB will most likely suspend him again and that will rule him out of the playoffs. I say cut him now. He is of no use, and his value in free agency just plummeted.

Scott Andes

I’m guessing they can call back up Pepiot now right?


If he us put on admin leave, I think they are able to replace him on the roster then. Dodgers said he is not traveling with the team and they have no further comment.


Don’t hit women

Farhan Friedman



Never criticize Julio’s fast ball!

Singing the Blue

I’m willing to bet that alcohol abuse played a part in this. That would explain a lot of things.


this, combined with his loss of 4mph on the fastball, will cost him a few dollars

Singing the Blue

On behalf of Bumsrap, I would like to offer the O’s Muncy and CT3 for Holliday. And apparently Urias would also be available to be included.


No he would not. He becomes a free agent after the World Series and he is in serious trouble. It is going to cost him millions in free agency.


Sarcasm, Alert


Some people like Muncy so much that if they were the O’s GM they would trade Holliday for Muncy, or so it would seem from their comments about Muncy.



what do you think of the tear it down and rebuild strategy? It obviously worked for Houston and seemingly is working for Baltimore, (and for Theo’s Chicago) but it fails almost everywhere else.

it is fun to have top of the draft picks!


Yeah, the Cubs are a weird condensed one but Theo did trade a bunch talent for prospects, and/or drafted/signed them, like Rizzo, Addison Russel, Jorge Soler, Jake Arrieta, Bryant, Schwarber, Baez and Hendricks.


Very sad news about Urias. I hope he gets the help he needs.


If he does, it will be from some other organization. This is his third offense. MLB most likely to come down very hard on him. He is done in LA. With all of the flak they took about Bauer, this is a worse situation.


Third offense? I am not aware of another incident other than the 2019 incidence. Regardless of where he gets the help, I hope he gets it. And yes, he is done in LA. He was gone after this year anyway.


If this is true, and if video exists, he’s done.


Boras has his work cut out for him.






This situation will help our rookies adjust and adapt to Dodger baseball. We may not go all the way but our young guns will gain invaluable experience for next season. Onward!!

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