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Handling the Ups and Downs of a Season

If there is any one life lesson baseball can teach us fans, it is patience. At least that is what it should teach. Four games in, I see fans on many sites going bat nuts over losing two of the four games.

Questions abound. If you step back and look at all four games, they were as different as they could be. Game five had it’s ups and downs too. Understanding that the game is not all that easy can only make one better understand that baseball, when played by professionals, is at its best.

I only wish I had those kinds of skills. My forte is music, and singing came naturally to me. When I would watch a player like Mays, or Griffey Jr., I would marvel at how easy they made it look.

But looks are deceiving and watching the game on television, I think we sometimes forget how fast things happen down on the field.

I saw a ball scorched down the line that Muncy looked like he reacted late on, but the replay showed he was moving as soon as the ball left the bat, he just did not have sufficient range to make the play.

I think one of the hardest things to get through is when the team has such high expectations, and they fall just short of their goal.

In the years that they are not expected to do well. which seem like a distant memory now, it is much easier to cope with the losses.

Here in Los Angeles, we have been lucky to never suffer through a 100 loss season. Came close once, 1992. Hard to believe because there was a lot of talent on that team. Including Daryl Strawberry and Eric Davis. 99 losses for that team.

Myself, falling just short can be agonizing. A year like last season, where they simply dominated the league and their division, is a huge disappointment. So was 21. Finishing a game behind the Giants was bad enough, but after beating them in the NLCS, to watch them fall to Atlanta in the NLCS just stung really bad.

I could have had more fun riding an escalator. But, that is baseball. Up one minute, down the next.

 

 

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Jeff Dominique

Yesterday, Bluto referenced an article from The Athletic. The headliner of that article is San Diego 17 year old (baseball age) catcher, Ethan Salas, who was just signed this year. He is going to be a stud. I am not keen on labeling Rookie League Players as can’t miss, but as long as he stays healthy Salas defines that label.

I recently wrote about Justin Wrobleski and I wrote about Mairoshendrick Martinus a bunch last year. Martinus will be making his US debut this year, but it is hard to get too excited for DSL players. One of my favorite DSL players was Heisell Baro, and he was just released. I really have not been following Juan Morillo. I do not have Keith Law’s contacts or ability to go watch the prospects, but I do respect him a great deal. I do know that Dave Roberts also likes Morillo. Thus I need to add him to my list of prospects to follow in 2023.

Badger

We are now 6 games in with run differential of +25. Only the Rays are better and they have beaten up on the Tigers and Nationals. We will eventually play some over .500 teams and get a better gage of how good we might be but I see no reason yet why we won’t challenge for a pennant. If we need to, we can trade assets when the time comes.

Dionysus

I am on the Jahmai Jones hype train.

I don’t know where it leads but at some point he’ll get a look.

I’m buying.

tedraymond

Well, so far this season for the Dodgers some things have remained the same from last year and some have changed.

One thing that has not changed is the inconsistency in run production. I thought that their hitting approach would be somewhat different this year and seemed to start that way the first couple of games. But, it looks like the HR or nothing approach will continue. This approach has proven to be successful during the season when the team will face a lot of mediocre to poor pitching. But, come playoff time it usually results in early elimination. The reason is that in the postseason the pitching is usually high quality and deep. Hence the phase “pitching wins championships”. Well, a more conservative approach (making contact) to hitting might help in those situations.

Excluding last night, Muncy has fallen into his “work the count” mode because he has absolutely no confidence in his swing right now. As a #4 hitter that cannot happen. Why the FO and/or Roberts continue to have him hit fourth while he is in this funk is head scratching. Muncy did this same thing at the beginning of the season last year…. and the year before. Add his awful 3B play so far there’s not much to like about Max right now. It will be interesting to see how this plays out for Muncy and the Dodgers.

What I’ve enjoyed so far the most is the pace of play. The pitch (and hitter) clock has really added to the enjoyment of watching baseball again. Even at 74 I was getting so bored with watching a game. I found myself yelling at the TV for the pitcher to throw the damn pitch. Or the hitter to quit adjusting their batting gloves after every pitch. Or MLB taking forever to review an obvious play. If they couldn’t figure it out in 60 seconds then the play should stand as called. After all, video replay was there to correct the obvious mistake.

I’ve, also, enjoyed the new additions to the team. I was so looking forward to the start of the season to see how all the new players, rookies and vets, would fit in and how they would play. So far, so good. It was time for a change and the Dodgers have the prospects to make that happen. Several more will be seen during the season, especially with the pitching staff.

The pitching has been fantastic so far. Mark Pryor and his staff seem to be the best in MLB. Without a couple of bad pitches and the team might be undefeated.

So, overall, the Dodgers should provide another year of success and winning for their fans. I, myself, have been entertained and look forward to the rest of the long season.
Carry on.

PS – Bear, are you playing at a public venue in Tarzana tonight?

Badger

It’s not exactly home run or nothing Ted. It’s launch angle combined with exit velocity. I’ve seen several line drives, as well as gap hits and warning track fly balls that will go farther when the weather warms up. The Dodgers have early league leads in a few important offensive categories, including WAR and runs.

I’m with you on the rest of your post, especially about Muncy. I don’t like to see him hunt walks instead of strikes and his third base play is abysmal. I’m lead to believe he may not be wearing a cup which is inexcusable. He got hit in the zone and he was acting rather weird, plus Roberts commented on it.

tedraymond

Yeah Badger, I did oversimplify the HR or nothing observation. The team is MLB leader in HRs and second in OPS. They have the top team batting average which confirms your point. But, also, leading in strikeouts. So, there’s that. If Muncy can get back to his Mad Max mode the lineup could be one the longest lineups in baseball. Overall, I’m enjoying the offensive output so far.

Jeff Dominique

After first homestand (6 games).

The Dodgers lead MLB in HRs (13) and BB (33), and #3 in K (59) behind Miami’s 64.

OBP – #4 (.371) behind St. Louis at .392
SLG – #3 (.532) behind Tampa Bay at .548
OPS – #2 (.903) behind Baltimore at .913
BA – #14 (.258) behind St. Louis at .344

There is a long way to go. I know i will continue to look at the numbers, but no real conclusions can be made until probably the end of May. The Dodgers are about to face several top clubs through May (and first weekend in June).

Mets (3), Cardinals (7), Phillies (3), Padres (6), Brewers (3), Twins (3), Braves (3), Tampa Bay (3).

They also have Arizona (4), San Francisco (3), Cubs (7), Pirates (3) and Nationals (3).

They face NYY the first three games in June. That will be 60 games into the season.

Bumsrap

Lots of good points.

I fully agree about the reviews. Use them to make sure egregious calls are overturned but not use them for minutia. At least they have stopped the long and stupid arguments.

This season has already proved ABS is really needed. In the mean
time the time clock is a success.

Muncy and Martinez might be studs next month but until they are, they belong toward the bottom of the lineup. If Vargas continues to get on base maybe he should leadoff.

Dodger pitching has been good and is deep.

Last edited 10 months ago by Bumsrap
Oldbear48

I went to the Maui Sugar Mill Saloon. My friend was supposed to be playing there last night, but cancelled at the last minute. Sometime this month before I leave, I will go out to the Cowboy Palace in Chatsworth and sit in with Chris Johnson and his band.

tedraymond

If the Chatsworth gig happens can you let me know the date and time? It’s about 1/2 hr from my place. I would like to hear you live. Thanks.

Oldbear48

I can do that..no problem

Jeff Dominique

OKC Dodgers 7 vs Las Vegas Aviators (Oakland) 6

OKC has won 3 out of 4, and all three games Jahmai Jones has been the star. After his two walk-off wins last weekend, Jones homered twice and doubled for a total of 5 RBIs. I did not watch this game so I have no idea how significant a factor ABS was. However, there were a total of 16 walks and 24 strikeouts. There were also 7 stolen bases.

Dylan Covey started for OKC. In the 1st inning, Kevin Smith singled and came home on a Tyler Soderstrom double.

In the top half of the 2nd inning, OKC scored 4 runs on 1 hit. With two outs, CF Ben DeLuzio drew a walk that was followed by the first of Jahmai Jones two HRs. That was followed by 4 consecutive walks and a passed ball for two more runs.

Covey’s wildness gave 2 runs back. With two outs, LV got a single and 4 consecutive walks to score two runs.

In the 4th, Jones hit his 2nd HR, a solo HR, giving OKC a 5-3 lead.

While Covey did not have any clean innings, he did get through the 3rd, 4th, and the first two batters of the 5th without allowing any further damage. However, Mark Washington was summoned after Covey reached his 80 pitch limit to finish off the inning.

In the top of the 6th, Bradley Zimmer singled, Ben DeLuzio walked, and Jahmai Jones doubled both home with his 1st double of the season.

Washington gave both runs back with a JJ Bleday HR (3), a single, SB, and run scoring single. With 2 outs and a runner on 1st, Justin Bruihl relieved Washington. After a SB, Bruihl got the final out.

Bruihl allowed a harmless single in the 8th. Wander Suero came in to close out the game, but ran into a little drama of his own. With one out, Suero walked for LAD prospect, Cody Thomas, who scored on a Dermis Garcia double (3). With the game tying run on 2B and one out, JJ Bleday followed with a line out to Luke Williams who doubled up Garcia for an unassisted DP to end the game. 

OKC had 5 hits, 3 from Jahmai Jones (10 total bases). Jones had 5 RBIs.

Jeff Dominique

The LA Dodgers do not play tonight, but OKC Dodgers do. Gavin Stone will draw the start and try to right the ship in tonight’s game.

The game is at 7:05 in Las Vegas.

Jeff Dominique

Maybe Cardinals RHH CF Tyler O’Neill will be available, sooner than the trade deadline. The following per MLBTradeRumors:
 

Cardinals outfielder Tyler O’Neill is not in today’s lineup, with Dylan Carlson taking his center field spot. It appears as though this is relation to a play in last night’s game where O’Neill was thrown out at home, trying to score from second on a single by Brendan Donovan (Twitter link with video from the Braves). Manager Oli Marmol is of the opinion that O’Neill wasn’t running with full effort on the play and spoke on the record about it last night and again today, as relayed by Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Katie Woo of The Athletic.

 

“There is a standard,” Marmol said. “You meet it, you play. You don’t meet it, you don’t play.” He further commented: “There’s going to be a style of play that we are known for. It’s going to involve effort and it’s going to involve being relentless. It’s going to involve being smart. We’re going to hold guys to that, because that’s how you sustain being good for a long time. There’s a lot of good players in that clubhouse, and down below, and I love competition. And the last thing you want to do when you’re in competition is open up a window.”

 

O’Neill doesn’t agree with Marmol’s view of the situation. “I’m trying to do everything I can to stay on the field and give it my best effort,” O’Neill said. “I’ve never been known to be a dogger in any caliber. So for him to say that is very strong words.” The outfielder also took exception to Marmol talking to the media about the situation. “I don’t think it should’ve been handled that way,” O’Neill said. “I think if there’s internal issues they should be handled internally. We should have each others backs out there. Sometimes it doesn’t go that way I guess. Live and you learn.”

 
I am not saying that this situation is being misinterpreted by Marmol, but I do know from personal experience that these mischaracterizations do happen. 
 
The Dodger OF have got off to a good start, so I doubt that he would be pursued by AF. But it might be an option down the road if the OF begin to falter.

Bumsrap

Interesting. And like you said, only if needed later on.

Dionysus

What will our rotation be at the end of the season?

Urias
May
Kershaw
Gonsolin
Thor
Stone
Grove
Pepiot
Miller
*Jackson best 3-IP save man

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