This game had everything. Superb starting pitching, both p*** poor relief pitching and some good relief pitching, clutch hitting, smart base running, some excellent defensive plays, and the unveiling of the next Andruw Jones (defensively anyway). This was a thoroughly entertaining baseball game. Here’s some nice defense:
The broadcast? Not so entertaining. I think the broadcast crew was discussing the Freddie Freeman in Atlanta drama waaaaaay too often. I understand the newsworthy story line, but don’t beat it to death.
The Dodgers went in to Atlanta with what looked like two evenly matched teams; but seemingly going in different directions. Atlanta was 18-3 coming into the weekend, and the Dodgers were 10-9. The Dodgers were fresh off a thorough thrashing of the Cincinnati Reds, and the Braves took 3 out of 4 from the Giants, two in walk off fashion.
The two teams split the first two games, and it came down to the third game to see which team would take the series. The Dodgers took the series in LA, could they duplicate that in Atlanta. For 8.2 innings, it looked like Atlanta was going to shutout the Dodgers and take the series.
Kenley Jansen was on for the second consecutive game for the save. He struck out the side in Saturday’s game, and struck out the first two batters he faced in the 9th. On a 3-2 pitch, Gavin Lux gets a line drive single. Chris Taylor, who had a pinch hit single for Eddy Alvarez in the 7th, stroked a single into left field. With Lux running, he easily made it to third. On the first pitch to Trayce Thompson, CT3 stole 2nd. With runners in scoring position, that has been a big problem for the Dodgers of late. But not on this AB. Trayce lines a pitch off the top of the glove of Matt Olson to plate 2 and tie the score.
Trea Turner lines a 2-1 pitch into CF that was dropping quickly, but not quick enough for Michael Harris II. No other Braves OF makes that play.
Reyes Moronta is showing the SF closer ability once again, entered the 9th for his 2nd inning. He retired the side in order, striking out two, including Dansby Swanson.
The Dodgers were entering dangerous waters, AKA extra innings. The Dodgers were o-fer in extra innings. But this time, the drama was building. Will Smith was pitching for Atlanta. Trea Turner was the ghost runner at 2nd, and Freddie Freeman was at the plate. Freddie lines a double to score Turner and give LAD a 3-2 lead.
Will Smith hit a deep fly into RF and Freddie moved to 3B. Muncy with one out, only needed fly ball to score Freeman. Instead he kills the pitch but on a line right at Olson. Yes, it was hit hard. But I am sorry, take a little off the swing to get a fly ball. Needless to say, Freeman was stranded at 3B.
Enter Craig Kimbrel. Matt Olson was the first hitter to face Kimbrel, and he hit an RBI single. Having blown his 2nd save, the Braves were smelling another walk off win. But Kimbrel was equal to the challenge, but not before William Contreras hit a fly ball to the deepest part of the park, and Belli was able to catch up to it as he backed into the wall.
Okay, on to the 11th. The Dodgers have not played into the 11th this year. With the speedy Cody Bellinger the ghost runner, Gavin Lux hit a long fly into right center that Michael Harris II ran down. He ran 104 feet to make that play. Again, no other Braves OF makes that play. But it was deep enough to get Belli to 3rd.
The hitting star for the Dodgers, CT3 hit a double off the glove of 3B Austin Riley, and Belli walks home. But more importantly, an insurance run is in scoring position. With two out, Trea Turner came to the plate with an 0-5 night with 3 Ks. Odds are he is going to get a hit, right? Yep! Single into CF and Taylor easily scores.
Bottom of 11, and Brusdar Graterol is in for a redemption game. A ground ball out, gets the ghost runner to 3rd. With the infield in, Harris III hit a hard ground ball but right at Muncy who holds the runner at 3rd and gets out #2 at 1B. The Bazooka struck out Dansby Swanson on a 101.9 sinker, and gets his first save of 2022. Dodgers win their first extra inning game and take the series.
There were a lot of heroes on this night. Tony Gonsolin pitched a fantastic 5.2 innings, but was just outpitched on this night, by the moustache…Spencer Strider. Down 2-0 with 2 outs in the 9th, and it looked like the Catman was going to lose his 1st game of the season. Gavin Lux clutches up and gets the two out single. CT3 and Trayce Thompson clutched up to get into extra innings. Freddie in his last official AB in Atlanta in the 2022 regular season, gets a key double. Trea Turner gets a big hit after having a miserable night at the plate. CT3 with three hits including a clutch double. And Brusdar Graterol coming back from a disastrous game 2 outing, seizes the moment and shut down the Braves.
The Dodgers were 4-18 WRISP, but the Braves were worse with 2-16.
Not to be lost in the sweetness of the victory, the Dodgers picked up a game against the Padres, Giants, and Mets. Overall, it was a great Sunday, beating a good Atlanta team.
On to Colorado. Game 1…Tyler Anderson vs Chad Kuhl.
Typical Dodger game:
9th, Jansen blows the save
10th, long fly ball, caught at the wall
11th, couldn’t score 1 let alone 2runs
wait, that was the Braves. Never mind.
I get down on Taylor and all of his Ks, but he was a stud last night, kind of lost in all the Freddie noise. Will we have to watch Muncy continue to start and hit in the middle of the line up all year? We have three guys that were at one time huge contributors all clearly failing miserably to produce much of anything. Dodgers will not make their goal of a WS with all three of these guys in the line-up daily. Dodgers need a RH bat/3B or OF bad. Trading away AJ looking more suspect all the time. He wasn’t an all-star but a competent hitter/fielder who could be producing more than any of the futile three are. Not sure we even got a decent closer out of that trade.
Stay positive Marcus! It’s only the best team in the NL Wesst and one-one thousandths off the best team in the NL. And that’s with the under-performing of key players.
They’ll be fine. The closer’s fine. The needs are minimal.
So you ADMIT there are needs?
Care to elaborate?
Players moving to their career means is first and foremost. Maybe an acquisition if there is reason to believe some won’t?
OK, we know what is meant by that, but obviously have no idea how to determine where that actually might fall, and replacing .830 OPS’s, which is career averages of the three we are talking about, is not possible. One maybe, but not 3.
Gonsolin and Anderson are both on pace to be 20-0 with 200+ innings pitched. I got the under. Urias is on pace for the same 200+ innings but he won’t be 20-0. Must be run support, right? I got the under on that too. How to give those guys time off? White and Pepiot? Good plan.
So if none of our hitters return to form, and 3 of our starters throw 200+ innings, what are our post season chances? And if we decide acquisitions are needed… for all 3 hitters and maybe a couple of starters to give our 20-0 guys a breather, what’s the plan?
joke or serious?
if serious, there’s that old adage: “hope for the best expect the worst.”
I’m sure there’s a plan for the scenario you imagine. I’m not that worried about trying to engineer it.
I am sure there are even worse case plans. Freeman and Mookie out for the season, as well. But, again,I’m not gonna waste my time trying to imagine what it is.
I think it’s most likely that 2 of the 3 start to play to the “back of their baseball card” as Friedman recently quipped. JT probably doesn’t, age may be impacting him. Sure Gonsolin and Anderson revert back. But Buehler and/or May will contribute.
so. I guess a RH bat and maybe a starter or relief pitcher with limited term (short, very short term rental)
maybe 1 pitcher called up from AA, but I doubt it. Friedman doesn’t like to do that, and the roster crunch is real.
I’ll be very wrong.
Bluto, I was writing my reply before I noticed Badger’s. Since I already it, I might as well post it.
You mean Gonsolin is going to stop pitching this year because he is already well past his largest number of IP (by 135%) and we are only at Game 71? His career mean is also not 1.58 ERA.
You mean Tyler Anderson’s ERA is going to balloon to 4.35 from 3.00?
Clayton Kershaw is pitching above his career mean. You expect him to keep his ERA at 2.00 and his WHIP at 0.911?
I do not think you want Andrew Heaney to come back and pitch at his career mean.
Julio Urias’ ERA and WHIP are better than his last year, but his K/9 and K/BB are below last year’s. And that was last year, not his career means.
I do not think you want Gavin Lux to regress.
I am assuming you are referring to Muncy, JT, and Belli. What you really want is Belli to play at his 2019 year, and that is not going to happen. If he can improve to get somewhere at or above .750 OPS that would be okay with me. But that means .880+ for the rest of the year. You actually expect that?
For Muncy to have his “normal” 35 HRs, he is going to need 30 HRs over the next 92 games. Realistic? Maybe 2020 and 2022 are his new norms.
JT – I am sorry, but age is fighting against him. That is an opponent that nobody beats.
Do you expect Gonsolin to pitch 166 IP (current pace) and pitch as well as he has up to now?
Do you expect Tyler Anderson to continue to pitch 181 IP (current pace) and have an ERA at 3.00?
Do you expect Clayton Kershaw to stay off the IL the rest of the year? We all hope he does, but can AF and BG REALLY count on that? Should they?
Do you expect Andrew Heaney to come back and pitch as he did in the beginning of the season with a shoulder that has put him on the IL twice this year?
Do you expect Walker Buehler to come back in September and pitch like April-August of last year? Or do you just hope he does.
Would you rather Mitch White start in the playoffs or Luis Castillo/Frankie Montas?
Finally Craig Kimbrel – We all hope he finds himself, but he really has not been good since 2018, except for the first half of 2021 with the Cubs. But then he went back to what he has become with the CWS, and continues that path with the Dodgers.
The Dodgers are a very good baseball team, but IMHO do not have the horses for a deep playoff run. But I do hope that you are right, and I am wrong.
It would have been a shame if all of that wasn’t posted.
im sure we will both be wrong
As with Badger, I’m not sure if you are serious or joking.
Apart from Badger, I think you are joking. Obviously your reply is full of stuff I didn’t write and weird false binaries.
Not joking, but I admit to a lot of hyperbole. But you cannot simply cherry pick the guys that are doing poorly (Muncy, Belli, and JT), and ignore the career years of others when you talk about getting to the back of the baseball cards (or career means, which you did say). Where would this team be if it were not for career years for Gonsolin, Anderson and Lux. Do you expect that to continue (and I am asking not implying you said otherwise). But I will say it. Not in 1st place and probably hunting for a WC spot. Will any improvement in The Three offset the more probable regression of others? That is why they play the games. There are still 91 games to go.
I didn’t cherry pick. To me, the biggest need is for Muncy, JT and Bellinger to play more “normally”. That’s what Badger asked of me. Not any of the silliness you went into.
If you want to create a hypothetical of every player taking a turn for the worse, go right ahead.
Again, “Hope for the best, expect the worst”.
Of course Gonsolin and Anderson and Lux could trend down! I hope they don’t, but of course they could. So could Austin Barnes/Hanser/Andre Jackson trend back way up beyond imagination! Or Chris Taylor start missing fewer pitches.
It’s as much of a waste of time, trying to project how every player is going to do in the 2nd half as it is to try and create counterfactuals for everyone who has impressed. I like being impressed, I’d rather not diminish it by imagining it didn’t happen.
To me the future upside of the team primarily relies on what I said it does. Why can’t we leave it there?
Because others do not see it that way. Thus the difference in opinion and dialogue.
I am sorry, but I have come to the conclusion that I cannot accept what the Dodgers PR team says about injuries.
Danny Duffy was due back mid to late June. Now it is moved to August.
Victor Gonzalez and Tommy Kahnle are now expected back in August. Kahnle was not originally expected to be out nearly this long. I still do not believe VGon will be back in August after May elbow surgery.
Blake Treinen was originally expected not to be out much time. Then went to All Star Break at the latest. Now he is “weeks away” from throwing on a mound. Now there is speculation that he is out for the season.
Does anyone really believe Buehler will be back in August?
Mookie is now expected back later than originally reported. We were originally told he would miss two weeks (his full 15 days). Apparently there is no change in his recovery. It is now more realistic that he will be out until after the AS Break.
Caleb Ferguson just threw a bullpen session and is scheduled for another on Wednesday. He is eligible to come off IL on July 2, which he is expected to do. But was he really injured, or was there a roster issue?
I heartily acknowledge that AF, Doc, and the Dodgers do not have to give accurate medical data on the players. I also acknowledge that one person’s recovery time is different that another. But couldn’t they be more realistic rather than overly optimistic in the beginning stages? We have come to know the recovery time for TJ and ACL. Shoulder inflammation? Forearm soreness? Crack rib? The various grades of strain/sprain/pull/tear?
Totally agree, Jeff. The Dodgers always underestimate the time a player will be out of action.
I was shocked that they admitted Hudson was done for the year.
I’m sure they don’t believe the stuff they put out to the public, so they can plan accordingly, but we need to stop believing the press releases.
May actually seems to be making progress so we’ll hopefully see him no later than early August. They don’t dare keep Fergie away any longer than this weekend or he’ll tell the world that he’s absolutely fine and the league office should look into it.
As far as Buehler, Duffy, Treinen, Kahnle, Vgon and Mookie, “we expect them all to be as good as new by Spring Training.”
Well said Jeff. Twice in fact.
Bluto – point taken. We can hope those three return to earlier form, but I don’t expect it. As I said earlier, I believe Bellinger will put up 3 WAR and that is good enough. Muncy? He has hinted that it might take months to heal, maybe not until next year. I think Turner will be hot and cold the rest of the way but this is it for him. His bat looks slow.
I would not be surprised if Buehler doesn’t pitch again this year. I won’t be surprised if Kershaw takes more time off. Mookie cracked rib? Those are difficult injuries and often take months. Urias, Gonsolin and Anderson will all need a break. Treinen, Duffy, Kahnle? I’ll believe it when I see it.
I still believe we are good enough to win the West, But we must be prepared for contingencies moving forward. I’d like to see a reliable innings eater, another late inning reliever and if possible an improvement in our utility production. There will be trades. There might be more off the wall pick-ups (like Trayce) I also believe it’s soon going to be time to see what our top prospects have to offer.
And I too might be wrong about all of this. But I don’t think I am.
I know I’m wrong about most things and I emphatically agree there have to be contingencies by people who know more than we do.
The season is many months long to what Muncy’s hinted, if he needs 60% of a season to recover that’s not an awful price to pay. Same with Mookie. Take a month!
All those worries you have are well founded, but at the end of the day. The Dodgers are really good if not great. If past is any prologue, they’ll overcome all those things (except Buehler, I’m pretty sure he’ll be back) win 100+ games and have as good a chance as any of winning it all.
Yeah, there will be trades. I just don’t see a slew of them.
Remember the story about two guy going backpacking and one is putting track shoes in his backpack? The other asks why in the world would you pack those track shoes and gets the response of because we might be attacked by a bear. But you can’t outrun a bear says the onlooker. I don’t have to outrun the bear, I just need to outrun you.
The Dodgers have weaknesses and strengths. All they have to do is outrun the other teams to survive the season and get to the playoffs.
They need to entertain me as well. Run Trea. Run Lux. Run Bellinger. Run Taylor.
That is where we have a disconnect. It is my belief that this team is in fact more than good enough to get to the playoffs with very few changes. Just like the 2013-2021 teams. For me, I like counting World Championships rather than division titles or Wild Card entries.
Since 2008, the Dodgers have been to the playoffs 11 times. – 1 World Series Championship.
Since 2008 the Giants have been to the playoffs 5 times – 3 World Series Championships.
The Dodgers have won the exact same number of Championships as the Royals and Cubs in that span. If that is acceptable to some, great. But it is not acceptable to me. Not with a $300MM payroll.
It’s not easy to keep up with the Royals.
After all, they’re royalty and we’re only trolley dodgers.
Yeah. Kansas City. Royalty. Almost synonymous.
I agree with the point about playoff appearances vs championships. This team is put together yearly with championships as the goal. With the way the business of baseball is being run, there are only a few franchises where that’s true. There are outlier franchises that have little money but make the playoffs, but how many actually win it? Well, Kansas City did. Who’s the next small market team that will do it? Milwaukee? Minnesota? Wanna bet?
Isn’t this the issue? That Castillo pitcher. How much would his addition increase the chances of the Dodgers winning the World Series vs. topping out with the NLCS? 2%
is that really worth it?
Good question. I want a guy like him to give opportunity for our 1-3 starters to get a day off now and then down the stretch. If he ends up being one of the 1-3, great. What’s that worth?
Muncy looks like he’s trying to hit a whiffle ball with a broomstick, Turner is late and Bellinger continues to chase. Team is 1 for 15 after 5. Wake up guys.