Game 102, 2014

Dodgers at Pirates, 4:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA

Josh Beckett has come off the 15-day DL and will pitch tonight, no matter that his hip has a torn labrum and two cysts. He’s making a bid for the National League’s Comeback Player of the Year with a record of 6-5 (okay, not real impressive) and an ERA of 2.26 (very impressive) and his first career no-hitter. He’ll face Vance Worley, who is 2-1 with a 3.38 ERA. Worley started off in the Pirates’ rotation in June with three good starts, but he’s gotten out of whack in his last three appearances: his ERA in those games is 5.79 and opponents hit .298 over that stretch.

Puig and Ramirez each had follow-up X-rays on their hands yesterday and they came back negative, showing no breaks. The speculation is that Puig is closer to returning than Ramirez.

Lineup when available.

72 thoughts on “Game 102, 2014

  1. It’s informative if a bit depressing to look at Haren’s last 10 starts and then last 10 for old acquaintance Volquez. Volquez has been better in every way.

    Volquez has often been described as having #2 starter stuff. His problems have been harnessing it and consistency.

    Yeah, he’s not highly regarded. Yeah, the Dodgers handled him well the two times he’s faced them. The rest of MLB, not so much. From June 11 through Thursday’s complete-game six-hitter, 9-1 over the Cardinals, Volquez was 5-1, ERA 2.51. In winning 4 consecutive starts for the first time in his 10-year career, Volquez allowed 3 earned runs in 30 innings (0.90 ERA). And, yeah, the Dodgers signing someone like him instead of a declining bigger name like Haren is just not the kind of thing that ever seems to happen.

    He’d have re-signed with LA in a heartbeat but not been in a position to negotiate much of a contract if he didn’t work out. If the Dodgers had been interested, he probably would have asked for a starting role guaranteed, which the team would have balked at. Yet they did offer one to Haren, who probably was just as much a gamble. Which increasingly isn’t looking too good.

    http://mlb.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=450172#sectionType=gameLog&gameType=%27R%27

    Haren: http://losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=429717#gameType=%27R%27

  2. 2 positives so far:

    1) Gonzalez and Kemp are starting to hit regularly
    2) At least they were only solo shots

    • He would seem like a natural. Probably safer as well for the other OFs if he was put into CF.

      • I like the idea too, that way Crawford and Eithier could mix and match in left and Van Slyke could cover all 3 and well as 1st base

  3. At this rate acquiring another starter is looking more likely. Pitching “through” injuries usually works about as well as hitting through them. Yet Beckett says he’s dealt with it all year.

    Next start probably tells more than this one, given a longer time without pitching and such.

  4. Polanco, from the MLB Preview linked above: “The rookie right fielder is hitless in his last 11 at-bats and is 3-for-35 (.086) with 10 strikeouts in his last eight games. The
    left-handed-hitting Polanco is hitting at a .143 clip against southpaws
    in 42 at-bats this season.”

    Josh, there was no need to let him get healthy on your watch.

  5. It’s like the offense has said ‘Hey, we got you 2 runs, what more do you want?’

    On the other hand, there WERE two consecutive games with at least 4 runs scored . . . I’m sure not done in a long time in a park not named for a beer.

  6. These last 4 batters faced by Maholm — as well as his great pre-ASB start — raises the question again for me: why isn’t he starting in place of Haran?

    That said, I hope Dan makes me eat my words tomorrow. I’d glad do so with some buffalo wing sauce.

  7. with AJ on second, I wonder if it was tempting to pinch hit for Malcolm

  8. Playing off John from Aus’ silver lining search from earlier, this is now THREE GAMES IN A ROW scoring at least 4 runs.

    Of course, they need to score at least one more to win, but this is a veritable offensive explosion for this team.

  9. What a disaster!
    I was on the phone and started hearing cheering . . . NEVER a good sign when visiting the park (except for Petco — I think Dodger fans were louder than Padre supporters on the last trip to SD).

    • I just saw the recap on Gameday — all that with two outs and MORE wildness from the bullpen — walk, HBP, WP.

  10. Compared to the STL ump, nice to see this one has more to do with balls than calling them, vis a vis ejecting.

  11. So far, the pitchers have given back each time LA has scored.
    Cant do it again.

  12. It wasn’t pretty, but it was the first pitching “stop” after LA scored.

    Let’s get some more runs . . . we want bottoms of the 9th for the rest of this road trip!

  13. SVS homers (9) on a fly ball to LF. 9 HR, 136 AB….one every 15 AB, if my math holds up.

    Meanwhile, Dre and CC have 4 each on the year and Kemp 8, Kemp in about 320 AB.
    Dre has about 275 AB, CC about 170 AB.

    Do not adjust your Internets. The Dodger outfield is having power outage difficulties.

    • Please forward that to Donnie and management . . . play the people who are producing, regardless of what you’re paying them!

  14. Why is Perez still a Dodger?
    Why do Dodger bullpen pitchers give up soooooo many walks?

  15. I know pitchers have bad outings — Zack, Kersh, and Josh in the last four games — but I don’t remember Perez ever really having good outings. . . . And then this!

    • When the bullpen as a unit it sooooo bad with walks — especially compared to the starters — doesn’t it seem to indicate something inherently wrong with their warmup procedure?

      Someone jokingly suggested that the bullpen plate is larger than the real one . . . but don’t the starters use the same bullpen mound, plate, etc?

        • Last Dodgers reliever (before future former Dodger Chris Perez) to walk 4
          in a game was Ramon Ortiz in 2010. 4 in an inning? Jose Nunez 2001

          — Eric Stephen on Twitter

      • Something has changed in the warmup procedure since last year when the pen didn’t walk so many?

        • One way to find out would be to look at those who were in the pen last year as well as this year and compare how they’re doing. . . . You’re the man with the plan/stats — is that something readily available? (Read: I’m too lazy/trying to catch up on things I’ve neglected to do it myself. 🙂 )

  16. Guess it’s fair enough . . . the offense too often betrayed the pitchers that turnabout is fair play.

  17. I’m happy we didn’t score in the 9th, otherwise it would have been a case of ‘what might have been’

  18. Don’t think I recall the Dodgers ever cutting a player after a game, no matter how bad the performance.

    But, based on his increasing awfulness capped off by tonight, that is exactly what they should do with Perez. Do they have the courage to be that bold?

    Bullpen spots on a pennant contender are too valuable to waste.

    No one in the minors is exactly kicking the doors down, but there are several who would do better. For one, Elbert might be close to ready. His results have improved lately.

    And Paco belongs in LA ahead of Perez.

    Maholm has done much better lately. But he needs to be on a short leash to also becoming an ex-Dodger if he struggles much again. Since he’s a lefty and had that great recent start, he’ll probably have a longer leash than he should.

    • with Maholm, I think he probably just deserves to stay. I think all clubs need someone who can come in and throw deep into games if the starter needs to leave early for one reason or another. A few years ago we had Weaver to play that role.

    • They should have cut Pérez loose some time ago. Even when Paco struggled last year, he was far better than Pérez is now.

    • I don’t believe that Paco can come back for ten days, unless Perez goes on the DL, so Scotty might be the best internal option if he is ready.

  19. Cliff Lee is no longer the best pitcher in the MLB, but he still has something left. He also has a ridiculous contract that nobody wants. But could we live with it if the Phillies took Carl Crawford in trade? This would basically be a trade of bad contracts but we’d need to throw in something else. Lee replacing Haren is a win, the ‘loss’ of Crawford is a win because it allows bringing up Pederson.

    • Lee’s velocity has dipped in both his first MLB start after rehab as well as in minor league rehab, so that’s a concern. But important to keep in mind those were just that–rehab. Velocity might pick back up as he settles back in. If not, potential red flag.

      Agreed that the most likely way to get out of some of these atrocious contracts is to swap them for someone else’s, which just might work in this case.

      Not so sure Ethier shouldn’t be the one to offer, given his falloff. Numbers-wise there may not be a whole lot of difference.

    • Would have to be an awful good something else, since they have no need for CC. Lee’s FIP is as good as previous seasons so would really love to have him.

  20. Might the relief pitching fiasco have begun when Mattingly didn’t pinch hit for Mahalom because he didn’t want to use too many relief pitchers with Haren pitching the next game?

    • Seems like a separate (though important) issue, as Jamey wasn’t (W)right either.

  21. Trade Puig for Hammels and hope to get Puig back when and if he exercises hit out clause in two years.

  22. “”Definitely a step backward,” Mattingly said of Perez, whose roller-coaster season brought him into this game having allowed one earned run in eight appearances after making some mechanical adjustments. “He had been pitching good, making progress.”

    Translation from Dodgerese: Perez isn’t going anywhere. They think he’s fixed, or close.

    His last 10, including last night: 10 IP, 8 H, 7 ER, 9 BB, 5 Ks, 6.30 ERA. Some clean innings, but still….

    Even the video on his Last 10 page at dodgers.com shows him “getting out of a jam.” (Likely of his own making.)

    Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I submit that he IS a jam.

    http://losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=453198#gameType=%27R%27

  23. From Mike P’s DD game recap:

    “To Beckett, first: Yikes. He allowed homers to Ike Davis and Neil Walker in the second, and another to Gregory Polanco in the third, which is what we call “the full Haren.”

    Recap has other goodies, IMO worth a read: “Pirates 12, Dodgers 7: The Dumbest Game In The History Of Baseball”

    http://dodgersdigest.com/2014/07/22/pirates-12-dodgers-7-the-dumbest-game-in-the-history-of-baseball/

    Noticed that even when Beckett struggles, he still manages to stay near his K per inning pace.

    This is for offseason, but as well as he has pitched, he’s on borrowed time physically. IIRC he gave thought to retirement before this season. Odds are he’s gone after this year. So, at least one new face in the rotation next year very likely.

  24. Lost in the shuffle? We scored 7 runs without Puig and Hanley in the lineup.

    • Very good point.

      I think/hope Adrian is returning to the A-gon I immediately depended on.

      • And that was the 3rd game in a row with 4 or more runs . . . is the long drought over?

  25. Maybe the team should go sign Carlos Marmol again. He’s available and would cost nothing. Maybe we’d get him on one of those stretches where he can find the strike zone, in which case he probably strikes out the hitter with that wipeout slider. He showed signs of being fixed in LA last year.

    [Takes tongue out of cheek.] At least not even Marmol walked 4 in a row.