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Dodgers Swept by Giants

Well that was humbling.  The Dodgers will now be limping home after being shut out by the Giants 2-0, that ended in a series sweep by hated ones.  Hated except up here in Northern California where I will now be roasted by Giants fans at least until they play again.  I can always point out standings, but for how long?

Let’s first examine the series.  The Dodgers lost all three games with 4 runs scored vs 12 runs scored against, for a -8 run differential.  I point that out only for those who admonish some of us with how much of a factor that is in determining how great a team is.  I am not sure that any of the games were in doubt from the Giants point of view. Their pitching was better, starting and relieving.  The Giants’ hitting was timelier. The Giants’ defense was better.  The Dodgers did out single the Giants.

Two of the LAD four runs were solo HRs by Gavin Lux and Freddie Freeman.  What about the rest of the AB’s?  The Dodgers were 2-24 WRISP, while the Giants were 5-21.  For the three games the Dodgers had 29 runners LOB while SFG had 16.  All in all it was a crumby weekend offensively.

The Dodgers are now 4-7 in the month of June, and are 4-9 in their last 13 games. They have been outscored 60-47 in those 13 games.  Their team ERA for the last 7 games is 4.50.  For the last 15 games it is 4.24.  The team is now 13-11 against teams with a > .500 record.  Right now, the Dodgers are not playing good baseball.  Is it a trend, or a preview?

To rub salt in the wound, the Dodgers lost Walker Buehler, maybe for the rest of the season.  He is not supposed to throw a ball for 8 weeks, which takes him into mid-August.  Two weeks to get back on the mound for a bullpen session.  Another week plus for a simulated game.  Two games in rehab.  At best (???) by the end of the season, which is exactly what Doc said when he mentioned they hope to get Buehler back before the end of the season.

As some of us tried to point, there was just something wrong with Walker Buehler in 2022.  I do not believe anybody on this site speculated as to what the problem was.  But Walker was not the same pitcher, and it was his fastball that was a dominant pitch before 2022 and then became extremely hittable this season.

 

 

I know that there was speculation that Buehler may have been the benefactor of high spin rates due to the sticky stuff.  I chose not to speculate as to the reason.  But now there is some evidence that Walker may have benefited.  Somebody went back and pulled the information.  Buehler’s fastball spin rate decreased from 2,611 rpm before the crackdown of foreign substance last year to 2,349 rpm after.  What does that mean?  I am not sure.  But there is another puzzle piece to fill in.

With the loss of Walker Buehler, what does that do for the rotation?  The Dodgers will pitch Tony Gonsolin and Tyler Anderson against the Angels.  They will have an open date on Thursday, allowing Clayton Kershaw to pitch Friday against the Guardians.  Julio Urias should go Saturday against Cleveland, and Andrew Heaney would be in position to start on Sunday against Cleveland.  I have no idea how deep the rotation can pitch into the games, but they would be back to a 5-man rotation. Now the speculation for how long.

For me, the biggest concern would be Tony Gonsolin, BECAUSE of his exceptional pitching thus far.  On June 8, Tony Gonsolin completed 57 IP in 2022.  That is more IP than he has ever completed at the ML level.  In 2017, he threw 70 IP and in 2018, 128 IP in MiLB.  In 2018, 83 of those IP were at Rancho Cucamonga in a league he was nearly 1 year older than the league average.

It is a benchmark that he has never surpassed at the ML level, and what happens from here forward is uncharted.  We just do not know if he can continue at this pace.  That is not criticism of the Catman.  What he has done this year has put him at the pinnacle of the CY race and is deserving of all the accolades thrown his way.  But to ignore that he has never done this before, is unwise for LAD officials.  And I do not consider them unwise.  Let’s not forget in 2021 when Walker Buehler was the odds on favorite for the CY going into September, and then the wheels came off.  Too many IP?  We will never know.

Will Tony Gonsolin suffer the same fate, or will he beat all the odds and continue to be the Ace throughout 2022?  Remember he did have a sore shoulder in 2021.  Could that reappear again before the end of the year?

Last year, the Dodgers had an Ace they could grab a hold of and hold on.  They actually had two after July.  This year, there is no clear Ace.  There have been some outstanding YTD performances from some unlikely sources:  Tony Gonsolin, Tyler Anderson, Andrew Heaney.  There have been some outstanding YTD performances from expected sources:  Julio Urias and Clayton Kershaw.  And there have been some disappointing YTD performances…Walker Buehler and Craig Kimbrel.

The Dodgers are going to ride this pitching depth as long as they can.  Mitch White pitched 5.1 hitless and scoreless innings at a AAA game on Sunday.  He is growing.  Not to the level of Tony Gonsolin, but nevertheless he is gaining momentum. Mitch is ready and waiting to jump back in when needed.  Ryan Pepiot is close.  I do not think the Dodgers would hesitate to put Pepiot into the ML rotation if necessary.  In the interim, he is going to remain in AAA to work on his command.

After the ignominious sweep, it is not the end of the world or even the baseball season.  The Dodgers are still in 1st.  They are still on pace for 100 wins.  But the crowd is getting closer. Milwaukee is the first team looking up to be in the WC and they are only 4.0 behind LAD.   The Dodgers have their two best pitchers going against the Angels at home.  Then the Guardians come to LA for a three game series.  It figures to be Kershaw, Urias, and Heaney for the series.  Mitch White could piggyback with Heaney.  That is still a formidable rotation, and not one that I would count out.  The bullpen is another issue.  Before next Sunday’s game, there figures to be one less reliever on the 26-man (Heaney activated), and one more to be moved after the game (13 pitcher limit on roster).

I want to be clear.  I still believe in the Dodgers.  Even without Walker Buehler, I think they are in a position to get to and win the WS.  But to ignore concerns is not going to make them go away.

Tomorrow, I will look at the offense.

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Fred Vogel

Maybe shake up the current line-up:

1.T. Turner
2.Lux
3.Smith
4.Freeman
5.Betts
6.Muncy
7.J. Turner
8.Bellinger
9.Taylor

The only ‘untouchables’ I see on the current roster are:

Betts
Freeman
Smith
Lux
T. Turner (only if extended)
Buehler

Let’s see if Gomes is a trader.

Badger

Every team goes through slumps. I think these guys will figure it out. It begins with hunting only strikes. We strike out plenty on pitches over the plate. Don’t make it easier on them by chasing.

I read in various places that people have confidence in placing our prospects right into starting roles. I don’t share that confidence. Hope I’m wrong.

Badger

Once again you articulate it all much better than I can.
I’m guessing only a couple of the names you mention can help the team win tough games in the summer and fall. Vargas and Pepiot are the two I have hope for, Miller I still believe maybe can get 3 outs once he gets focused.

Offensively it’s going to get done by the guys currently getting paid to do it or it won’t get done at all. We have competent competition and currently they see blood in the water.

I still look for a pitching move. Maybe more than one. The 3+1 post season starting staff, whoever they are, need to be protected so the disasters we’ve seen with our staff recently are less likely to happen.

Last edited 5 months ago by Badger
Bumsrap

First let’s not assume the Dodgers are a super team that should win between 105 and 110 games. They are a team that can get into the playoffs. Let’s take them off the pedestal and enjoy the season.

I remember the years where the Reds had Rose, Griffey, Morgan, Bench, Perez, Foster, Concepcion, Geronimo and were fighting the Blue with Lopes, Russell, Smith, Garvey, Baker, Cey, Yeager, Toy Cannon. Ferguson.

As those 70’s seasons progressed it seemed when the Reds would claim the Division the Dodgers would often win face to face battles but then not do well with the net 10 games that followed but the Reds would.

It’s not the battles, it’s the war. Giants just won a battle. Let’s see what happens with the next 10 games.

Last edited 5 months ago by Bumsrap
Michael Norris

Did I mention I hate losing to the Giants? My take is that this team has no sense of urgency, their high-priced stars are underperforming. Their on-field leader is aging, their manager is about at fiery as a lamb and the team has no fire. Yes it is only June, but losing to the Giants in the fashion they did is just hard to swallow. Games 2 and 3 were there for the taking and they failed miserably. Hard team to watch. The all or nothing approach needs to go. Hope Taylor is not injured to badly.

Bumsrap

New rules, new game plan.

Relievers have to pitch to 3 hitters. Yes there is an unless.
The DH means relievers and starters won’t leave the game for a pinch hitter.

So, why stock the bullpen with a bunch of one inning relievers?

Starters are only going 5 innings, rarely 6 innings.
Some starters lack experience pitching more than 60 to 100 innings.

It’s time to pair up starters.

Two paired starters should be able to pitch 9 innings combined. Less need for a closer or setup reliever.

I repeat:

Kershaw and White
Urias and Stone
Anderson and Grove
Gonsolin and Fergusson
Heaney and Pepiot

Trade Kimbrel and a few other one inning relievers.

Can Bogarts play third? How about CF?

Singing the Blue

Bogaerts –
Has played a few games at third, so yes.
Has never played a MLB game in center, so no, not a good gamble.
Can opt out after this season and will almost definitely do so, so you wouldn’t want
to give up too much to get him.
Sox are playoff contenders as of now so would be unlikely to trade him anyway,
although that could change by the deadline.

The group here seems to be divided in terms of how much we should depend on our prospect pitchers this year. I tend to be on the side that says it would be very risky.

Fred, your tandem setup includes three of those prospects and Ferguson whom I don’t believe has gone more than one inning in any appearance this year. Yet you seem to be willing to dump most of our bullpen to accomplish this strategy. I’m no more the expert than you are, but for me it’s a pass. I don’t think Grove or Stone are ready. Pepiot might be but I would have my reservations. The one guy I think has proven he deserves a chance is White.

So, for me its
Kershaw
Urias
Gonsolin
Anderson
Heaney and White

Bumsrap

Yeah,but not near controversial enough.

Bumsrap

The alternative for not pairing pitchers and using Stone, Pepiot, White, and Ferguson for three or four innings is to string together 4 one inning relievers for innings 6 through 9 every single game.

Stone, White, Ferguson, Pepiot might not be ready to start and go 5 innings. That would take command and control or they would be at 85 pitches through the third or 4th. They would wear out a bullpen. But who cares if they make 80 pitches in 4 innings if it closes out a game.

Every once in a while we have to think outside the box, especially if rules change.

Last edited 5 months ago by Bumsrap
Singing the Blue

You make a valid point about having to use four one-inning guys if we don’t try one four-inning guy.

Let’s take Fergie out of the conversation for the time being. Management has made it clear that they view him as a one inning guy and I seriously doubt they’re going to turn around and try to make him a 3-4 inning option at this point since he could ultimately fill the role of a high leverage bullpen piece.

As I mentioned above, I have no problem with using White in the manner you suggested. He’s proven that he’s ready for it.

I just think that when you bring up a pitcher before he’s ready it has a major effect on his development and ultimately either delays it or ruins him altogether because of the blow his confidence takes when he’s smacked around by big league hitters.

If Pepiot can keep his walk numbers down for a few more weeks, he could also get a shot, but I absolutely think Grove and Stone need more work and should not be put into probable fail situations.

I do believe we need at least two multi inning guys in the pen. Whether that would be White/Pepiot or if that means Andrew needs to go out and get himself someone on the trade market will ultimately be up to him.

If May is going to be available within the next 4-6 weeks, he would be ideal for that role.

Badger

3-3-3 with 2 days off. 48 pitch limit.

I didn’t think that through of course but the challenge was “outside the box”. I think I nailed that.

On Base and Slug. Or is it Slug and On Base? Which is us and how to go about making it work individually. With the above 2 being the choices I take On Base first, slug second. To those Dodgers who are chasing, and especially with 2 strikes, I say …. calm the **** down. You know your strike zone, STAY IN IT.

I still have faith in our hitters. The Yankees aren’t going to finish like they are playing now. But we might finish like that.

Last edited 5 months ago by Badger
Bumsrap

You didn’t think that through? Like I did?

Badger

I’m sorry, I didn’t really read that in your post. My error.

Last edited 5 months ago by Badger
Bumsrap

Well, okay I did give it a little thought.

OhioDodger

The Dodgers offense should be embarrassed by their showing in Chicago and SF. Someone (Dave) needs to get in these guys grilles. Time to shake up the lineup also.

Bluto

Badger,

I saw the following on another board and have stolen it completely. I think it may be of interest to you:

Interesting analysis on ESPN. I have said all year I am NOT worried about our pitching. Even with Walker struggling (and now injured) and Urias having some bad games. The Dodgers have the arms. What is interesting is this particular correlation. Walk to strikeout ratio seems to quite accurately predict a team’s success. Absent any analysis of offensive numbers. 
ESPN:
A few weeks ago, baseball statistician Bill James did a study on if controlling the strike zone is as important now as it was in Ted Williams’ day. He came up with a simple formula that pretty accurately predicts a team’s winning percentage based only on walks and strikeouts.
In his study, he explained that 90 teams had a strike zone winning percentage of .613 or higher, with an average of .638. Their actual winning percentage was .595. The worst 109 teams had a strike zone winning percentage of .363 and an actual winning percentage of .377.
In other words, knowing nothing about a team other than how well it controls the strike zone is a strong indicator of how good or bad the team is.
Heading into Sunday’s games, the top three teams in strike zone winning percentage:
1. Yankees, .629
2. Dodgers, .627
3. Astros, .573
The Dodgers also led the majors in this category a season ago, although their pitching depth will now be tested with the news that Walker Buehler will be shut down for at least six weeks because of a flexor strain in his right elbow. Of course, the Dodgers excel at getting the most out of their pitchers. For example, Tyler Anderson had a career strikeout-to-walk ratio of 2.90 before signing with the Dodgers. Now it’s at 6.11 and he’s gone 7-0 with a 3.07 ERA. Tony Gonsolin is also 7-0, with a 1.58 ERA. So, as expected, the Dodgers’ 1-2 punch is Anderson and Gonsolin rather than Buehler and Julio Urias.

Badger

Give me the stats for the last 2 weeks, and month. If they read the same I’ll stand corrected.

What I remember saying, and still believe, is this staff is vulnerable. I did not say our minor league prospects couldn’t step up and carry the team, I said it would be very risky to count on it. I suggested a deadline deal was probably the best play. I got push back from a few guys there that made a choice to disagree with nearly everything I said. I found it annoying.

Last edited 5 months ago by Badger
Badger

Jack Harris

He has summed up this morning what I have been saying for weeks now. Jeff has seen it too.

https://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/latimes/default.aspx?pubid=50435180-e58e-48b5-8e0c-236bf740270e

How long will the schneid last? Playing teams like the Angels are supposed to help but we’ve played inferior teams the last few weeks and didn’t play well. Some elsewhere are blaming Roberts because of course they are. I don’t. The best managers are only worth 3 wins a year. That works in SF, but our manager just fills out the card with All Stars, MVP’s and Cy Young candidates. What’s he supposed to do after that? How does a guy like Roberts light a fire under Mookie and Freeman? We have several batting instructors who are supposed to fix Turner, Muncy, Bellinger and Taylor. That’s not Roberts’ job. We have pitching instructors throughout the organization that are teaching the Dodger Way to throw a baseball. It works great until bodies fail, then what? White, Pepiot, Grove, Jackson and Price. Bullpen games? With this bullpen?

This team has issues that some of us saw coming. I believe we have the wherewithal to address these issues. It’s happening a couple of weeks before I thought it would, but it’s happening. Time to get back to what was working early. Work the count to your favor then stop swinging at ball 4. Pitchers, throw strikes. Fielders, for heaven sakes catch the ball, throw the ball accurately and back up bases on every play. It’s baseball. Play it like you’ve been taught to play it since Little League.

Last edited 5 months ago by Badger

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