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Is Tony Suffering From Cat Scratch Fever

I was reading Houston Mitchell today and I came across the following:

“Which makes writing a newsletter twice a week during the regular season difficult at times. At no point should this newsletter become a rah-rah cheerleader. And at no point should it focus just on the negative.” 

“But it’s hard to write a lot of negative things during the season about a team that consistently wins games. Every season there are holes on the team. This season it’s the lack of offense from Max Muncy and Cody Bellinger, and problems with injuries in the bullpen and rotation. And writing about that week after week after week is monotonous and beating a dead horse.”

I run into this issue every day.  My mentor in this arena told me that he could come up with a column and write it in 30 minutes.  He wasn’t wrong.  Me, as most of you who have followed, know that I rely on my research.  My two partners, Harold and Rob, are also research driven.

I have never been a Kool Aid drinker or Pollyanna writer about the Dodgers.  I recognize the negatives.  I have commented on them quite a bit.  I would prefer to just write positive commentary as most LAD blogs focus on.  But that is not who I am.  If I see or read something that I may disagree with, I comment on it.  That practice makes it easier for me to comments on your comments I have found that negative comments drive responses.  And yet that is not why I make those types of comments.    I do not follow the practice of making comments even if I do not believe them just to drive the comment count.  I always believe what I write about.

I have found that I like the way Houston Mitchell approaches his articles as well.  Maybe it is because I agree with much of what he says.  For the last week or so, I have commented that this year’s team reminds me so much of the 2017 team.  Okay the walk off wins are not there, but the dominance is very similar.  Houston Mitchell said something very similar in his latest column…

“The only season since this newsletter began that I was convinced the Dodgers were the best team in baseball was 2017. And we all know what happened there.”

Which brings me to tonight’s columns.  Houston Mitchell again wrote what I was thinking…

“The compulsive worrier in me sees Gonsolin have a poor outing in his last start, then sees him get lit up in the All-Star Game, and wonders if a serious regression is in store for the second half.”

 For me, it almost looks like Tony Gonsolin has hit a wall.  The number of swings and misses and chases that he got early in the season, he is not getting now. He does not appear to be attacking the strike zone as much.  Almost like he is nibbling. Nibbling is tantamount to not believing in your stuff.

While many were already calling Tony the likely CY winner, there were some of us who were concerned that he was just pitching too many innings early in the season.  He is now 40+ IP more than his high of 55.2 in 2021, and we have not hit 100 games yet.  And he is not showing any indication that he is getting stronger.

First 16 games, 88.2 IP, 17 runs (16 earned) on 48 hits.  In his last 2 games, 11.0 IP, 9 runs (all earned) on 13 hits.  Counting the 1.0 All Star inning, he has allowed 4 HRs in 12.0 IP, and none of them were cheapies.  I hope that it will not be a “serious regression” as Houston Mitchell stated, but he clearly is not the same pitcher.  I can hear the apologists now as they say that there were a lot of bleeder lucky bounce hits.  Maybe, but how many hard hit balls were turned into outs.  They even out.  Early in the season, those hits are outs.   To his credit, he owned the seeing eye hits after the game.

He had 7 whiffs on 90 pitches last night. That is one of his lowest totals all season.  In 18 starts, he has had less than 7 whiffs only once.  He has been in double digits in 12 games.  He just is not the same pre-July 7 Tony Gonsolin.  He has not pitched in 12 days, so he certainly was not overworked over the last 2 weeks.  Overworked over the season????

Okay, enough haranguing on Tony Gonsolin.  While he was not efficient or effective, this game was lost because of the offense.  The offense was 0-8 WRISP.  Multiple times, a runner on 3B with less than 2 outs and could not score. The top 3 in the order was 2 for 13; the middle 3 were 2 for 12; the bottom 3 were 4 for 11.  Gavin Lux 2-4, Cody Bellinger 0-4, and Trayce Thompson 2-3 with a BB.

It was a really tough night for Mookie Betts (0-5), but I am just as convinced he will have far more good nights than bad nights. Freddie Freeman has his 12 game hitting string snapped.

The 8 game win streak is also snapped, but the Dodgers did not lose any ground to SD or SF.  But they are now behind NYY for the best overall record.  This will become very important comes WS time.

It is one game, and it was to the worst team in all of MLB.  They were facing a pitcher that most will call AAAA who never hit 90 all night.  These games happen.  What I am most concerned with is if Tony Gonsolin will put the last 2 games behind him and get back to dominating.  If the team stays true to the 6 man rotation, then his next outing will come in Colorado on Sunday.  He has not pitched poorly at all in 12.0 IP in Colorado.  I am very much looking forward to that game.

The Dodgers need to put this one in the rear view mirror.  Now it is time to start a 13 game win streak.

  • Nationals – 2
  • Rockies – 4
  • Giants – 4
  • Padres – 3

Or am I asking for too much?

Finally, a look at CT3

Tuesday’s Game Preview:

 

 

 

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Bumsrap

It might just be that there is a book on Gonsolin now. If he averages 6 innings and keeps his ERA under 3.3 from here on out he will be a big asset to the rotation. He is not a young pitcher and I am not going to pre-worry about him.

It has been said but I just read that Soto was compared to Ted Williams. Ted didn’t hit .250 in any of his years (I’m guessing) like Soto is currently doing. He could be being pitched around.

Trace was pretty good when he first played for the Dodgers but he sure is a surprise this time around. I would still like to see himplatoon with Cody in CF.

Badger

As I just said on the previous thread, I think all the guys in this rotation could use a vacation.

As you may recall, earlier in the year on a different site I suggested this rotation may be vulnerable. I took a load of crap from the usual suspects there, but I stand by that position. Kershaw went down, Buehler is out, Heaney is out and Gonsolin looks like the wind has left his sails. Even several of our best relief arms went down. Hangnail epidemic indeed. I still say all of the starters, including Kershaw, could use a break or we could witness history repeating itself come September/October. It remains my opinion none of these guys are 200 inning thoroughbreds and to ask them to do something they’ve never done successfully is an unrealistic ask.

We went to sleep against the 30th ranked team in baseball and we did it at home. Betts, Freeman, Smith, Bellinger 0 for 17 against last place pitching. It happens. It’s a bit early for cruise control, the best record is of course important come late October. But late October won’t happen with a bus riding on several flat tires.

Sam Oyed

What to do with CT when he comes back? The platoon of Thompson and Lamb have performed very well. To lazy to check the stats, but I believe the combined platoon is better than CT ( is it a coincidence that the team is playing at its best with this platoon?).

Bluto

11 of the Dodgers’ 31 losses have come to the Rockies, Pirates, and Nationals.
1-5 vs Pittsburgh!

Last edited 4 months ago by Bluto
Singing the Blue

Actually the losses against the bad teams might be a good thing, or at least better than losing to good teams.

Apparently this team likes to take time off every so often and they often choose to do it against inferior opposition. That means that come playoff time, when they are only facing good teams, they should be up to the task.

If, during the season, they were clobbering the bad teams but having a hard time with the good teams, that might not bode well for the post season.

Bluto

Passan (on state of the trade market) ($$$$)
https://www.espn.com/mlb/insider/insider/story/_/id/34293330/what-jeff-passan-hearing-one-week-mlb-trade-deadline-offensive-edition

On Soto:
Yanks and Dodgers have the talent, money and motivation but Padres and Cards are considered the favorites

JD Martinez
Mentioned for the Mets

Bogaerts
Not likely to be traded

Wilson Contreras
Mets, Astros and Giants

Also mentioned Happ, Benintendi, Merrifield, Bell and drury also mentioned without suitors.

Bluto

#hugwatch is one of my annual favorites

Michael Norris

One too many tortillas for Moronta. I was tired of watching his uni get ready to explode every time he unleashed a pitch.

Michael Norris

Personally, I think everyone is over analyzing this. I watched the entire game. There was only one hit that was really hit hard off of the Catman. The homer to left. The other hits were just out of reach or misplayed like the fly ball to left that Thompson was way too cautious on. He could have caught that ball for the third out easily. Soto’s hit was pure luck. He did not even think it was fair. Ok, 7 days until the deadline. It is not my money, so I am going all in and trading for both Soto and Castillo. Those guys make this team that much better. It also assures us that we do not see the likes of Reyes, I never met a meal I did not eat, Moronta, Phil Bickford and David Price in the playoffs. Zack McKinstry should be packaged in a deal and given an opportunity elsewhere. He is not cracking this roster, and other than going in in a late inning as a defensive replacement, He has not seen the field. Prospects are suspects. I have seen way too many hyped players flame out before or when they get to the show.

Singing the Blue

Word is out that the Marlins are willing to listen on anyone but Alcantara. I can’t believe they’d trade Chisholm but I think we need to talk to them about one of Jeff’s favorites, Pablo Lopez. Only 26 and has 2.5 years of control remaining.

What do you think folks. An extra year of control above that of Castillo. Who would cost more in prospects? Who would you prefer?

Badger

Good question Jefe.

Who would you prefer?

Singing the Blue

Both have had past shoulder problems. If they were both controllable for the same amount of time, I might go with Castillo, but the extra year of Lopez means something and I’m thinking he might not cost any more in prospects. I’d be OK with either, as long as it didn’t cost us Cartaya or Vargas. I’m leaning toward being willing to trade Miller if the return is good. I’m feeling better about Stone these days than Miller.

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