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We Want A Championship!

That is after all the ultimate reason they play the game. Dodger fans got gypped after the last one. No parade. The pandemic screwed up a lot of things, and fans enjoying sports was one of them.

Now, with the team headed to the playoffs one more time, fans seem to really want this one bad. But many think it will be probably the hardest path to the series they have had.

And the reason is pitching. There are some really talented kids on this team, and a couple of grizzled vets. One gives up homers at an alarming rate, and the other is a hospital visit waiting to happen.

How many innings can they get out of Kersh??? Big question. So this time, things are going to really look different pitching wise. Openers and piggybackers.

That seems to be the formula they will be using to win these games. Right now, the Dodgers have one of the best bullpens in the business. They have a nice mix of flamethrowers and one guy who would have trouble breaking a pane of glass with his heater.

But a guy like that following someone like Miller, look out. I have been impressed mostly by the rapid progress of Pepiot, Sheehan and Miller. Grove looks better than when he first came up.

Another thing to watch is the Dodger defense. For the most part, the defense has been excellent, especially in the outfield, and at shortstop when Rojas is there. Freeman is a gold glove first baseman and when Mookie plays second, the defense is exceptional.

The problem is at third when Muncy is there. So far, Muncy has made 15 errors at third in 122 games. His fielding pct is .946. By comparison, Matt Chapman, who many fans want the Dodgers to pursue in free agency, has 12 in 136 games and his pct is .968. Chris Taylor has played 28 games there and has 1 error.

Defensively, I would rather have Taylor, but the Dodgers need Max’s bat. Catching is in the capable hands of Smith and Barnes. Both are good defensive catchers, and both call good games.

Where Smith falls short is catching base runners. His career pct of caught stealing is 22%. He is just below that number this season. He only has 2 passed balls all year. Considering Grandal was in double figures almost every season he was in LA, that is a great number. Barnes is worse in caught stealing, only getting 10% of the runners. Both need improvement and help from the pitchers who need to do a better job holding runners.

Barnes has one more passed ball than Smith. The backup players, Rosario, who has yet to make an error as a Dodger, Wong, one error in 10 games, Hernandez, 3 errors in 53 games, and Taylor, are all excellent fielders.

Say what you will about the offense, they score runs. They scored 900 for the first time in Los Angeles Dodger history. They also are the best at scoring runs with two outs with well over 300.

They are hitting .276, best in the NL, with runners in scoring position. Four 100 RBI players for the first time in team history, 5 players with 20 homers or more. A well balanced attack.

In my opinion, they still strike out a bit too much, Outman, Muncy and Martinez the biggest offenders, but those three also supply a bulk of the power.

They walk a lot and work high counts out of the opponents staff. They have some things to work on before the playoffs start, and they won’t know who they are playing until after the Wild card series. But they need to be ready for anything.

For some fans, just getting there is not going to be enough. They want the win.

 

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Oldbear48

Woodruf out of Wild Card series against the Diamondbacks and questionable for any series after. Nevin let go by the Angels. He was on a one-year deal. Old friend Rich Hill says he wants to pitch next year but might wait until mid-season to join a new team.

Badger

Nice piece Bear.

You have a prediction? Anyone else want to go out on that limb?

Oldbear48

I think I will, D-Backs beat Milwaukee 2-1. Dodgers best D-Backs 3-1. Phillies beat Marlins 2-1, Braves Lose to Phillies 3-2. Dodgers beat Phillies 4-1. Rangers beat Rays, 2-1, Jays beat Twins 2-0, Jays beat Astros 3-2, Rangers beat Orioles 3-2 Rangers beat Jays 4-3. Dodgers beat Rangers 4-2. World Champs. That limb big enough?????

Last edited 7 months ago by Oldbear48
Oldbear48

Rangers win AL pennant, Dodgers win NL pennant World Series goes 7 games, Dodgers win 4-3. Betts Series MVP. Miller, Kershaw and Sheehan win game’s, Vesia wins one out of the pen. Martinez hits 3 homers and drives in 8 runs.

Scott Andes

I’m good with this

tedraymond

I’ll play. The Dodgers get through the Division series in four games. The next series will most likely be against the Braves. Unfortunately, the Dodgers lose in six games. The Braves’ offense is just too much along with the playoff pressure for the Dodgers young pitchers. This is not to be unexpected, but will turn out be to a good learning experience for their future.

I hope I’m wrong!

Carry on.

Badger

All home teams win this week.

We beat Milwaukee. Atlanta beats Philadelphia.

I hope the Orioles beat the Astros but I don’t think they will.

World Series – A team from Georgia against a team from Texas. Barf. I adumbrate, which means to portend, they both lose in 4.

I too hope I’m wrong. But ‘cept for maybe that last part.

Bobby

Dodgers go 11-0 thru the playoffs and win the ring.

Bumsrap

Agree. And the young shall have led the way.

OhioDodger

Kimbrel will be the down fall of the Phillies. If they count on him in high leverage game on the line situations.

Last edited 7 months ago by OhioDodger
Oldbear48

Kimbrel got the save and pitched a clean 9th against Miami last night.

Oldbear48

D-Backs beat the Brewers 6-3. Burnes gave up three homers. Gallen goes for Arizona tonight against Peralta. Texas, Minnesota and Philadelphia all won their games.

Badger

And Tampa draws the lowest playoff crowd since 1919.

tedraymond

I think it was a little over 19K. And, I think they just approved for a new stadium with a capacity of 30K. Why bother. Move the team to Nashville which is a fast growing city with a strong MiLB attendance with the AAA Nashville Sounds. I think there is a group there ready to go if they could get a team.

Badger

I was wondering where they might could land. It’s past time to get out of Florida. Nashville. Hadn’t considered that but it makes geographical sense. Some interesting rivalries could be established there.

tedraymond

I watched parts of both NL wild card games. Injuries have really had an effect on many of the playoffs teams’ pitching staffs. I would be shocked if either Arizona or Milwaukee gave us much trouble in the first round.

Even if Atlanta prevails in first round their starting pitching could be an issue. Strider seems to be their only starter that looks like a true ace. At seasons end the Braves staff was ranked slightly lower than the Dodgers with both in the middle of the rankings. If it comes down to a Dodger-Brave series the team that outslugs the other will most likely head to the World Series.

So, with looking at the pitching situations with the other teams in the postseason and the Dodgers ability to slug and play defense, I’m more optimistic with the Dodgers chances to win it all. The big question mark is how well the kids pitch.
Carry on.

Badger

Oddsmakers will have the Braves as favorites. I don’t know how their pitching will look by then, nor do I know how ours will look. I remember Andes coming out with his bold statement that the Dodgers will not win with this starting staff. That got some pushback, but not from me. Since then the kids have pitched well. Can they sustain that level under intense pressure against the better teams? It sure would be cool if they did. I still say it only happens if the lineup continues to slug.

Bobby

Call me crazy, but I think if we outscore the other guys, we should win

Badger

Not if it’s only in two games.

Jeff Dominique

Norfolk Tides (Orioles) 7 – OKC Dodgers 6

Michael Busch and Miguel Vargas both hit doubles and HRs in a defeat to the Norfolk Tides, the Orioles AAA Affiliate in the International League, in the AAA Championship game. 

·      Michael Busch 2-4, 1 BB, 1 run, 2RBI, HR, double
·      Miguel Vargas 2-5, 2 runs, 1 RBI, HR, double
·      Hunter Feduccia 2-4, 1 run, 1 RBI
·      Jonny Deluca 1-3, 1BB, 1 RBI
·      Drew Avans – 1-3, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 1 run, 1 RBI

Michael Busch went 2-for-4 with a double, home run and two RBI, closing the Triple-A season on a 12-game hitting streak between the regular season and postseason. During the streak, Busch went 17-for-45 (.378) with nine extra-base hits, 13 RBI and 11 runs scored. He homered in five of his last seven games. He also led the Dodgers with five RBI in the postseason.

For the playoffs, Busch was 5-13, 1 double, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 1 BB

Two other OKC batters had good playoffs offensively.

·      Hunter Feduccia – 4-10, 1 BB, 1 double, 2 HR, .400/.455/1.100/1.555
·      Drew Avans – 7-11, 2 BB, 1 double, 4 RBI, .636/.714/.727/1.441

OKC took a 2-1 lead into the 7th inning. With Alec Gamboa pitching, he gave up 2 BB and a single to load the bases. With 2 outs, he offered up a grand slam HR, to 23 year old CF, Colton Cowser. Cowser is the overall #14 MLB prospect.

Norfolk took 5-2 lead into the 9th inning. Another prospect, 23 year old LF Connor Norby (Baltimore’s #7) hit a 2-run HR in the 9th. Norby was 3-3 with 2 BB, 2 runs, and 2 RBI.

Now trailing 7-2, in the bottom of the 9th, Jorbit Vivas led off and drew a BB.  After 2 outs, Vivas moved to 2nd on defensive indifference. Drew Avans singled home Vivas. Busch hit a 2 run HR that was followed by Miguel Vargas solo HR to bring the Dodgers to within 1. Ryan Ward struck out to end the game with the Dodgers just a run away from bringing home a AAA championship. Getting the PCL championship was special, especially with almost all of their pitchers either on the IL or in MLB, they came very close to finishing it off.

The Dodgers AAA team had several true prospects, but had a fair amount of AAAA players. The prospects the Dodgers might be able to tap into for 2024 or use in a trade package:

·      Michael Busch
·      Miguel Vargas
·      Hunter Feduccia
·      Jonny Deluca
·      Jorbit Vivas

Outside of Gavin Stone, the AAA starters were elsewhere. The relievers were primarily AAAA quality, save Kyle Hurt and Alec Gamboa. Neither may be ready for 2024 out of ST, but they will get considerable consideration during the season. 

Box Score
https://www.milb.com/gameday/tides-vs-dodgers/2023/09/30/738540/final/box

Badger

Gamboa got clobbered.

Of those prospects listed, who starts the year in the Major Leagues and who starts the year with the Dodgers? I still have Vargas at third. I think Busch is traded, maybe for starting pitching (who is about to make more money than his team can afford). Deluca and Vivas can stick with us and Feduccia? He’s 27 next June. I guess we can keep him, or, he takes Barnes spot.

I used to be good at this, but, I usta was good at a lot of stuff. I’ll defer to the experts here.

Jeff Dominique

Either Vargas or Busch gets traded. The other will break camp with the team. I still think it will be the one that gets the most in return, and since I prefer Busch to Vargas, I agree that Busch is the most likely to be traded. Busch was 1st team all MiLB, but as a DH. Busch was a better hitter at OKC before and into the playoffs. Neither player is scheduled to be measured for a gold glove at any time in their professional careers. Both players’ best position is probably 1B, which the Dodgers do not need. But the one who stays will get 1st shot at 3B. 

Busch (11/09/97) is almost exactly 2 years older than Vargas (11/17/99). Neither one is headed to Cooperstown, so pick one and deal the other. I trust AF will know which to keep and which one to jettison.

I do think Barnes’ future with LAD could be tied into what happens with Kershaw. I do believe that the Dodgers thought that Kershaw would probably retire after 2024, and thus extended Barnes through 2024. If Barnes is moved, Feduccia will get the backup job. But it could also be that Feduccia is moved to a team in need of a backup catcher. 

Deluca will get a chance to win the LF or RF job (if Mookie moves to 2B). Vivas is going to be a utility player. The Dodgers are chock full of utility players at the ML and the MiLB level.

The Dodgers need starting pitching at the front end of the rotation. Whether that comes via FA or trade I do not know. But with the question marks surrounding Walker Buehler, someone needs to be at the top of the rotation (1 or 2). How good would that rotation be with Bobby Miller or Buehler as the #3? They also need a RH bat with slug, which is why I am not all that gung-ho on Vargas as THE GUY.
 

Singing the Blue

Agreed that Barnes’ job is greatly dependent upon whether CK comes back for another year.

If he should happen to sign with Texas we should expect to see Barnes sent there. If he retires it’s probably 50-50 as to whether Barnes or Feduccia is the backup next year.

OhioDodger

We definitely need a better option than Barnes. A good backup that can play 2 or 3 times a week to give Smith more rest and time at DH.

tedraymond

Nice breakdown Jeff. AF’s main objective is to sort out all these prospects in the off-season. They all can’t be Dodgers, but should be able to leverage for top of the rotation starting pitching. After we win the world series the team will restock for 2024. It’s a baseball player generating machine. I’ve never seen a team produce quality prospects for such a extended period of time like the Dodgers have done.

Bobby

I have a feeling Texas Baltimore will be a pretty good, long series.

I also hope Minn/Toronto beat the living F out of houston, although it’s quite hard rooting for any team that has correa.

Last edited 7 months ago by Bobby
Badger

We can hope Minnesota wins and Correa pulls his pleziacnemius muscle.

Oldbear48

Rays eliminated, Rangers win 7-1.

Bobby

AZ showing no quit in these 2 games. That will definitely help them coming to LA Saturday, should they hold on.

Then again, if Milwaukee came back in this game, and won tomorrow, THAT would definitely help them coming to LA Saturday.

Last edited 7 months ago by Bobby
tedraymond

Looks like Arizona is going to be in LA this weekend.
I was checking out the schedule for the next round. Way too much time off. This is where these wild card teams catch their breathe and reset their pitching. It’s bullshit. A wild card team should get minimal time off. The teams who get a pass initially certainly don’t need time off. Until they correct this we’re going to continue to have inferior teams winning the WS.

Badger

The Arizona bullpen will be fully rested for this series. They didn’t need Kelly, so we’ll see him right away.

I didn’t really care who came out of that series I just wanted them worn out. Didn’t happen.

Oldbear48

Kelly is 0-11 against LA lifetime. He is 0-5 at Dodger Stadium. I like our chances in game one. Arizona would be smart to not start Gallen in game 2. He also has a losing record at Dodger Stadium, 0-4. He is 1-1 at Chase Field.

Last edited 7 months ago by Oldbear48

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