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Please, No More On Atlanta and Washington WS Wins

Before I start this one…GREAT JOB BY THE BULLPEN.   CT3 granny and then a Freddie walk off single.  Boy did the bullpen and the Boys In Blue need that one.  That was Chris Taylor’s 100th HR.  Interestingly enough, Taylor’s 1st HR was also a GS. It was off Silvino Bracho, Arizona RHRP.

One more rant before I board the Big Ship for a Mexican Riviera cruise.  This is not my wife’s or my idea for the vacation, but my daughter, son in law and 2 grandsons chose it, so we are going.  My wife and I will be sitting by the pool with drinks.  I will be writing…some…  I have a couple of Bear’s articles that I will bring out of hibernation, and a couple more of mine.

I keep reading that we need to remember the Atlanta Braves won the 2021 WS even being below .500 at the same June juncture.  Two things here:

  1. The Braves won the AL East with 88 wins. The next team in the Division was Philadelphia at 82 wins.  They won the Division by 6.5 games.  Does anyone really believe that a team with 88 wins is going to win the NL West this year?  Maybe the playoffs, but maybe not.

 

  1. The Braves did not win the NLCS, the Dodgers lost it. The Dodgers had NO pitching in the NLCS.  Let’s review the 2021 NLCS:

Game 1 – The LAD starting pitcher was Corey Knebel.  Yes, Game 1 of the NLCS was a bullpen game.  Unbelievable! Knebel gave up 1 run in his 1.0 IP.  Tony Gonsolin relieved and blew the save.  Blake Treinen got the walkoff loss.  Total of 8 pitchers used.

Game 2 – Max Scherzer started.  He got the 1.0 inning save in Game 5 of the NLDS against SF, but had to come back after 2 days rest to start Game 2.  Other than the 2-run HR to Joc, Max pitched fairly well, but could only go 4.1 innings on a day after 8 relievers were used in Game 1.  Dodgers were ahead in the 8th inning, and they brought in Julio Urías who blew the save, and Graterol/Jansen gave up the walkoff with 2 outs in the 9th.

Game 3 – Walker Buehler started, and after a good 3.0 innings start, it did not go well in the 4th.  It went – single, F7, E8, single (1 run), single (1 run), BB, single (1 run), K, BB (1 run).  Alex Vesia came in to get Freddie Freeman to  lineout LF.  4 runs (2 earned).  8 relievers used.  LAD won thanks to an 8th inning 3-run Cody Bellinger HR.  A CT3 single and Mookie double got the eventual winning run across in a 4-run 8th inning.

Game 4 – Julio Urías started and went 5.0 innings. As it turns out, this was the longest start for any LAD pitcher in the NLCS.  He was not effective, allowing 5 runs in those 5.0 IP.  Tony Gonsolin gave up 4 runs in his 2.0 IP.  2 other relievers used.

Game 5 – Another NLCS bullpen game. Joe Kelly started and gave up 2 runs in 0.2 IP.  A Freddie Freeman 2-run HR.  6 relievers pitched 8.1 scoreless innings.

Game 6 – Walker Buehler who was already pitching on fumes was asked to start Game 6 on 3 days’ rest.  He was struggling but only allowed 1 run in the 1st three innings.  But in the 4th after 2 outs, Buehler hit a wall.  Walk, double, 3-run Eddie Rosario HR.

The Dodgers started the NLCS with 2 bullpen games.  The Dodgers allowed 28 runs.  20 runs came off Walker Buehler, Tony Gonsolin, and Julio Urías.  In 52.0 IP in the NLCS, the three SP available for the series…Buehler, Scherzer, and Urias pitched a total of 17.0 innings as starters.  That is 35 IP by a beleaguered and overworked bullpen.

Going into the NLCS, the Dodgers had 3 SP.  Walker Buehler had already pitched a career high of 207.2 innings after the pandemic year.  He just ran out of gas, and maybe (just spitball speculation here) he hurt himself by trying to come back on 3 days’ rest.  He was never the same pitcher in 2022, and we know what happened then.

Max Scherzer carried the team through the last two months of the regular season, but could not answer the bell in his most important start of the season.

Julio Urías threw 185.2 innings in 2021 regular season.  Previous high was 79.2 in 2019.

Kershaw was out.  Gonsolin sat out the first two months with shoulder inflammation.  Went back on the IL July 31 with the same issue.  Tony rejoined the rotation in September.  Only 17.2 IP in 4 September starts and  2.1 in 1 September relief appearance.

For April thru Aug, Walker Buehler was the best pitcher on the planet.  For those 5 months, Buehler had 27 starts, with 24 being quality starts.  He pitched at least 6.0 innings in 26 of his 27 starts.  He never pitched less than 5.0 innings in any game until the playoffs.  For April – August, he was 13-2 with 176 IP and a 2.05 ERA.  He had 183 K and 44 BB.  That is 4.16 K/BB ratio.  But his previous high in IP was 182.1 in 2019.  He had 36.2 in the pandemic year.  He was done by September, and that fatigue carried over to the playoffs.

Going into the playoffs the Dodgers had 3 starters, 2 running on empty (Buehler and Urías).  Scherzer hit his wall in the NLCS.  That is it.  How do you win a NLCS with that rotation?  The Dodgers were cursed when they signed Trevor Bauer.

2023 is reminiscent of late in the 2021 season when Los Angeles had Kershaw, Urías, Gonsolin and May all on the IL concurrently. The Dodgers relied on using openers for bulk pitchers such as Andre Jackson, Mitch White and David Price.  Or just going with full bullpen games.

Now in 2023, 4 starting pitchers left in the middle of June, and 2 are rookies.  How many are comfortable with the workload Kershaw is putting up thus far.  He is on a 194 IP pace, and he has not thrown that many innings since 2015 (at 27 years old).

The same can be said about Tony Gonsolin.  Two injury years in 2021 and 2022.  One shoulder, and one forearm strain.  6.0 IP is his max, but usually no more than 5.0.  That puts a burden on a strong bullpen.  But the Dodgers do not have anything close to resembling a strong bullpen.  Does Gonsolin finish the season without going on the IL again?

Of course Julio Urías can come back, but at the 2023 production level or the 2021-2022 production level?  Let’s hope he bounces back to the 2021-2022 Julio Urías.

Ryan Pepiot has not picked up a baseball since March.  I would not expect to see him this year.  Gavin Stone’s 2022 may have been an aberration.  Hopefully not.  He still figures to be next man up.  Dustin May?  Will he ever stay healthy?

Then there are those who are saying that Landon Knack and Emmet Sheehan will be starters in September.  That may be, but the Dodgers will not be in the race if that happens.  Gavin Stone had a far better 2022 than Knack or Sheehan have had in 2023.  How is Stone doing in 2023?  Neither one is being compared to Bobby Miller.  Knack and Sheehan are probably more suited to be relievers that SP.  Now if the Dodgers want to bring both up in place of Almonte, Scott, Vesia, I am all in.  Can’t be worse.

Then there is the 2019 Washington Nationals.  Yes after June 14, the Nats were 32-37.  After that game they went 61-32 for the remainder of the season.  That is a .656 winning percentage.

  • June 15 – June 30 – 10-4
  • July – 15-10
  • August – 19-7
  • September – 17-11

I do not see this LAD team going .656 winning percentage the rest of the way.  That would be 62-32 or a 100 win team.  With a 4 man rotation, including 2 rookies, and a poor bullpen, the team would have to average 8 runs a game.

Dodgers current starting pitching:

  • Clayton Kershaw
  • Tony Gonsolin
  • Bobby Miller
  • Michael Grove
  • Bullpen (Hopefully Julio Urías in July) – And maybe Noah Syndergaard can pitch like a CY winner after his reset.

2019 Washington Nationals starting rotation:

  • Steven Strasburg
  • Max Scherzer
  • Patrick Corbin (healthy and good)
  • Aníbal Sánchez
  • Erick Fedde/Joe Ross (as a starter was outstanding)

Bullpen had Sean Doolittle with 29 saves, and Daniel Hudson (acquired at the deadline) with 6 saves and a 1.44 ERA in 24 games (25 .0 IP).  Tanner Rainey, Austin Voth, Fernando Rodney and Javy Guerra were all capable relievers.

  • Anthony Rendon – 1.010 OPS
  • Juan Soto – .949 OPS
  • Howie Kendrick – Career year – .966 OPS
  • Asdrúbal Cabrera – Career year – .969 OPS
  • Trea Turner – .850 OPS
  • Kurt Suzuki – .809 OPS as a backup catcher
  • Adam Eaton – .792 OPS

Brian Dozier and Matt Adams each had 20 HRs with a .771 OPS and .741 OPS respectively.  They had 10 hitters with 12 or more HRS.  9 hitters with 15 or more HRs.

The Dodgers have two hitters at .900+ OPS (Freeman and Smith), and 3 north of .800 (Betts, JDM, and Heyward).  Maybe Outman and Vargas take off in the 2nd half.  Maybe Muncy hits .250+ with his usual OBP and HR.  Maybe Rojas will hit more in the 2nd half.  Austin Barnes cannot possibly continue to hit this poorly, can he?  A lot of maybes and what ifs.  Just not a lot of doing it already.

The Dodgers can score runs.  They are averaging 5.5 runs/game, and allowing 4.6 runs/game.  For the final 93 games in 2019, Washington averaged 5.8 RS and 4.2 RA.  Can the Dodgers match that?

The Dodgers do not have four starters to match the 2019 Nats rotation.  Steven Strasburg owned the 2019 playoffs.  Max Scherzer was not far behind.  The Nats were 10-0 in games started by Strasburg and Scherzer in the playoffs, including 4-0 in the WS.  Do the Dodgers have two SP that can match that.

Aníbal Sánchez started and won NLCS Game 1 against Milwaukee, and Patrick Corbin won Game 4, and the NL pennant, in his start against Milwaukee.

Yes, the 2021 Braves and 2019 Nationals were able to get into the playoffs and then get to the WS.  There are plenty of reasons why this year’s LAD team cannot duplicate what those two teams did.  Maybe they will surprise.  But 88 wins will not win the NL West and the Dodgers do not have the roster (RIGHT NOW) that Washington had in 2019, especially considering SP.

The Dodgers can obviously still win NL West and/or reach playoffs.  The Dodgers are heavily favored (90%) to still make the playoffs.  But to ignore the roster as it currently is and believing they are somehow going to improve with AAA or AA pitchers and Michael Busch is akin to:

Just might work.

Go Blue!!

 

 

06-15-2023 – MiLB Game Summary Reports

 

OKC Dodgers game against Salt Lake City Bees (LAA) postponed inclement weather

 

Springfield Cardinals 4 – Tulsa Drillers 1

The Drillers bats have just stopped.  River Ryan lasted 3.2 IP.  He allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 2 hits but 5 BB.  The runs were a direct result of walks.

A single and triple off Ryan Sublette scored the third run.

Two walks, a WP, and a SF scored a run off Jake Pilarski.  That is a total of 3 runs scored directly a result of BB.

The Drillers got their sole run after Jorbit Vivas singled home Austin Gauthier after he tripled in the 8th.

No Driller had more than 1 hit.

  • Austin Gauthier – 1-3, 1 run, 1 BB, triple (2)

 

Box score

 

 

Great Lakes Loons 3 – Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Brewers) 2

Starter Ronan Kopp (0.2) and reliever Mitchell Tyranski (1.1) pitched a combined 2.0 innings.  They allowed 2 runs on 5 hits and 3 BB. Jerming Rosario followed and pitched his best game at Great Lakes by far.  5.0 shutout and hitless IP, with 1 BB and 8 K, earning his first Great Lakes win.  Jack Dreyer and Benony Robles pitched 1.0 scoreless innings each with Robles getting the save.

Chris Alleyne and Alex Freeland opened the bottom of the 1st with singles and Alleyne reaching 3B.  Luis Yanel Diaz hit a SF to plate Alleyne.  Freeland stole 2nd and 3rd and came home on an Ismael Alcantara single.

In the 5th, Alex Freeland singled and scored on Damon Keith’s double (12).  That would prove to be the winning run.

  • Alex Freeland – 2-4, 2 runs
  • Damon Keith – 2-4, 1 RBI, 2 doubles (12)
  • Jake Vogel – 2-4

Box Score

 

San Jose Giants 11 – Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 4

San Jose rallied from an early 3-0 deficit and scored 11 of the next 12 runs to win the North Division First-Half pennant for the first time since 2013.

Rancho scored three runs in the first inning against Giants’ starter Manuel Mercedes, but did very little the rest of the way.

Kyle Nevin had an infield pop up single and moved to 2nd on an error on the play.  Josue De Paula single Nevin home.  Thayron Liranzo drew a walk.  A WP moved both runners up.  De Paula scored on a Jorge Puerta ground ball FC play at the plate.  Liranzo scored on a ground out.

RC did not score again until the 8th with 3 consecutive 2-out singles by Rayne Doncon, Luis Rodriguez, and Kenneth Bettencourt.

Quakes’ starter Jared Karros gave up two in the first, one in the third and a decisive two-run blast to Thomas Gavello in the fourth, as San Jose took the lead for good at 5-3.

The Quakes now have a magic number of three over both Lake Elsinore and Inland Empire, with just six games to play in the first half. Rancho will send Chris Campos (5-3) to the mound on Friday, as he’ll take on lefty Reggie Crawford (0-0).

  • Kyle Nevin – 2-4
  • Jose Izarra – double (11)

Box Score

 

 

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NortheastDodgerFan

The bullpen actually performed well last night, finally! We’ll see if they can continue succeeding.

Some Dodger fans like to say that no matter what Roberts, pitching coaches and the front office do, it’s up to the players to perform. Now that’s true up to a point, but the players, including pitchers, do not operate in a vacuum. There are coaches and team approach and philosophy, and there are trainers and others who are supposed to put the pitchers in a position to succeed, especially when rule changes affect the game (more stolen bases, the pitch clock, etc). If only one or two relievers were having problems, then I’d say only those guys need to make changes. However, if there are multiple relievers all having problems, then that tells me that there is a systemic problem with the way the team is preparing and coaching their pitching staff, especially the bullpen. I don’t know what that is, but I sure hope the coaching staff and front office are making the appropriate changes. Friedman and company may not even think there IS a systemic problem with the pitching. Something is just not right when most of the bullpen all suck at the same time. Except for last night, of course.

By the way, I enjoy your columns, Jeff. Go Dodgers!

Fred Vogel

The Dodgers are going to select right-hander Emmet Sheehan to their roster, reports Juan Toribio of MLB.com. He will start tonight’s game, making his major league debut. The club has an opening on their 40-man roster from designating Adam Kolarek for assignment earlier this week but will need a corresponding move to get Sheehan onto the active roster.

Singing the Blue

Hubba hubba! Keep ’em coming until we find one who is ready to stick.
Let me rephrase that, until we find another one (Bobby Miller has already shown us that he’s ready).
I would assume that Knack is next in line.

tedraymond

Yeah, but will Knack arrive just in the nick of time?
Asking for a friend.

Bumsrap

Grove was efficient last night. I saw him shaking Smith off a few times. A couple of pitches in hitters locations and a couple of very hittable balls with two strikes resulted in home runs. He needs to pitch smarter more than he needs to pitch better to every hitter.

The game was well pitched by both sides. The slam Taylor hit was on the pitcher just as much as the home runs were against Grove. Taylor mostly takes the same swing and the pitcher put the ball in one of the few places Taylor can make contact. Still have to hit the ball though and Taylor came through.

There are some reports that Stone untweaked his mechanics and he is working on getting back to the mechanics that made him successful. That sounds hopeful and rose colored glasses promising.

Good for Sheehan.

Bullpen obviously is feeling the pressure and for one night responded. Roberts struck the right note to complement the edge the bullpen had among themselves.

Jeff Dominique

Stone is too good not to get all the way back. I was surprised (pleasantly) that Sheehan got the call over Stone. Probably more confidence building at OKC.

Singing the Blue

I think Stone is a mess right now and has some work to do before he comes back, which I’m sure will happen at some point. He absolutely isn’t ready to be back here yet.

I was surprised that Sheehan got the call over Knack, but that might also have something to do with when they each had their last start.

Ultimately, for this year, and depending upon how any other prospects do when called up, Sheehan may spend a lot of time in the bullpen between now and the playoffs. So they may actually be looking at him as both a starter and/or a bullpen piece when he gets here.

OhioDodger

Great win last night. Bullpen with a bit of redemption. Except for the dingers, Grove looked good.

I still think the Dodgers SO too much. 26.4% of the time. 8.9 per game. 21st in MLB.

Outman needs to go down to OKC for a reset.

Bumsrap

I think I see Outman not keeping his eyes on the ball long enough. He seems to me like he is looking up before contact. Could it be as simple as that? Am I the only one who has noticed that?

OhioDodger

Send him back to OKC and have him do the Vargas exercise. No swinging. Just watch each pitch and identify it.

Singing the Blue

You’ve found out the little secret that nobody wants to talk about.
Outman has fired RVS as hitting coach and he’s now using Fernando V.

Bumsrap

Gavin Lux said he’s on track to start running again on Monday. Everything trending well with his rehab from a torn ACL.

— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) June 15, 2023

“This is great news for the team and hopefully means that Lux will be ready to go at the beginning of next season. He is only a few months out from the injury and this is about as good of news as we could have hoped for on Lux.”

—ESPN Senior Writer David Schoenfield doesn’t believe that the 35-year-old Martinez will keep up this level of production as the season goes on. His thoughts:

“Early results are NOT REAL. I just don’t see him maintaining a 146 OPS+ at age 35 after not hitting at that level the past five seasons. The Dodgers’ analytical staff certainly might be helping him, but this looks like a case where the rest of his season projections should be folded in, so something like a .260 average and sub-.500 slugging moving forward is probably more realistic.”

–According to Bleacher Report’s Kerry Miller, that injury and Urias’ rocky start to the season before then could drive his value down.

“Urías has spent nearly a month on the IL with a strained hamstring, and he was not himself in the month prior to that injury, posting a 6.25 ERA with 11 home runs allowed over the course of those six starts.” (via Kerry Miller of Bleacher Report)

Miller also discussed the difficult years that some pitchers who inked big deals this offseason have had, namely Jacob deGrom — who’s out for at least this season and potentially 2024 — and Carlos Rodon, who hasn’t yet made his debut for the New York Yankees.” All told, that led to Miller predicting that Urias signs a five-year, $160 million contract, — good for $27 million per year — instead of a longer term deal.”

OhioDodger

Borass will get some GM/team to overpay in both years and AAV. I hope it is not the Dodgers. And, the money they are talking about to sign Ohtani is ridiculous. I would also steer clear of that.

Bumsrap

I’m hoping Miller, Buehler, and Stone are awesome next year and maybe add Giolito as a free agent. I don’t think Urias or Kershaw will be back. I don’t know if Gonsolin or May can stay on the mound enough innings to be part of the rotation core.

Badger

I had a different take on Grove. 4 dingers in 5 innings is not efficient in my scorebook. He’s got the stuff, and he got away with center cut in the minors. Not here.

I too am surprised it’s Sheehan. Bring them all up between now and July 30th.

Martinez. Nope, he won’t maintain a 146+ but he doesn’t need to. Consistency and an OPS of .800 will help this club.

Outman. Same as Martinez. Don’t chase, but don’t look at strike 3 either. See ball hit ball. Pitch recognition. Learn it. It’s different at this level.

6 runs a game average the rest of the way.

Bumsrap

He only used 3 pitches to give up 4 runs. That’s efficient. Minus those 3 pitches, he quickly worked his way through their lineup.

Badger

4 home runs takes 4 pitches. But other than that?

Minus that 1 pitch to Taylor, we lose.

tedraymond

I guess the Dodgers found their “easy” button. This was more like we are used to seeing. 5-6 innings by a starter. Then close out innings by the BP. The offensive has an inning or two where they erupt for all their runs and are otherwise quiet. Grove has a groove problem too many times with each outings. I noticed his velo was down a bit and it did seem to make any difference. Location, location, etc!

When CT3 is on his power is fun to watch. He’s too talented to have the contact issues his seems to have in between clutch home runs. He did a nice job at 3B. He’s always very dependable defensively regardless of any hitting problems he might be having.

Anxious to watch Sheehan. We are getting a great preview of the prospects so far this year. Good or bad it’s nice to see them get an opportunity. I was hoping this would happen just to see if they were being overrated or were legit MLB players. Some will eventually be Dodgers. Others will be on other MLB teams. And, unfortunately, some will never have a major league career. No matter what the outcome for them it’s quite the accomplishment for all.
Carry on.

Badger

These guys were scheduled to wait at least another year. Buehler opened one door, May a second, Urias a third. And there’s Pepiot and Syndergaard. I also await Gonsolin and Kershaw needing some downtime. Great opportunity for the young players, very tense time for the organization and fans.

I’ll watch every pitch.

Last edited 9 months ago by Badger
Singing the Blue

Poor Gavin Stone.
Gave up 10 ER in 3.1 innings tonight.
8 k’s, 2 bb, 11 hits.
Although apparently a lot of the hits were ground balls through the infield and bloopers.
Still, his confidence couldn’t have been high going into that start.
I see a trip to Arizona in his immediate future.

Badger

This bullpen is embarrassing.

Bobby

this is bad

OhioDodger

Another bullpen meltdown. Sheehan deserved better. Good job kid.

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