Game 21, 2015

Giants at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA

It will be Zack Greinke v. Ryan Vogelsong in the rubber match of the series. Greinke didn’t pitch in last week’s series against the Giants, while Vogelsong gave up two runs in six innings in the Giants’ 10-inning 3-2 victory. That was the game Kendrick saved with his headlong dive behind second base in the ninth inning only to watch Maxwell single past third base to drive in the winning run in the tenth.

Greinke has been the best pitcher the Dodgers have so far this season, going 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA in four starts, all of them quality ones. Vogelsong is 0-1 in four starts with a 7.71 ERA, and righthanded hitters have been particularly troublesome for him, hitting .298 so far this year.

Puig and Crawford are on the DL, but Van Slyke, who’ll probably replace one of them, has a seven-game hitting streak of his own. If Guerrero replaces the other all he’s done is hit five home runs in limited duty.

Lineup when available.

My goodness, what have we here? Joc leading off, Rollins in the two-hole, Uribe in the eight-hole, and something which will cause lots of talk, no Guerrero in the starting lineup.

171 thoughts on “Game 21, 2015

    • Just seems like a natural step up for Seager that likely would have happened regardless of Rollins performance on the way to a September call up, but, as you say…

    • It’s premature to write off Rollins. That said, he’s primarily Seager’s placeholder.

      • As I noted, they wouldn’t make a change right away–if they did. But he’s on the dark side of 35, where declines can bite very quickly, unfortunately.

    • I would love to see that happen sooner rather than later. Rollins has not played well so far this season IMHO

  1. Nice to see Joc doing well. I believe he is a good example of my opinion that most players will do what they are going to do wherever they are in the lineup. So to no one’s surprise, the old saw about starting out a young player at the bottom of the lineup is B. S. If anyone has earned the right to hit eighth, it’s the 5 or 10 year veteran who has proven he’s not a good hitter. I do admit, however, that there are some players who will hit better or worse, in various positions but it has to do with their individual makeup, not their time on the roster.

    • Starting off the rookie in a low-pressure position isn’t a bad idea. Moving him up when it seems he’s getting it right is a better one. I would add, however, that none of the veterans have yet proved they’re not good hitters. We’re still in very early season.

      • I imagine there are theories on that philosophy that go beyond baseball. Getting someone adapted to low stress situations for some people can make it more difficult to adapt to high stress situations, that is, they get too used to low stress and never learn to handle high. Starting them out in higher stress has advantages in that they may never need to learn low stress and also that you quickly learn that person’s ceiling.
        On this, as on many other aspects, we disagree. I must remember not to try to change your mind, because it is not likely to happen, it has no point and I have no desire to engage in pointless conversation. No bad feelings intended, I just don’t see any benefit in spinning my wheels.

        • There are great differences of degree. You can’t put a secretary into the CEO’s chair from one day to the next. I doubt that hitting Joc eighth has caused him irreparable damage.

          • If Joc had not batted 8th, he may have not performed as well as he has and that may have hurt him in the end. That was definitely the right move for Joc. Thus, he may have been protected. We don’t know.

        • We don’t know which stress situation would have been best for Joc but we know last year whenever and wherever he batted he did not do well. In pinch hitting situations he may not have done well. Also, batting him higher in the order last year maybe didn’t work well. We just know last year he did not perform well. Lower stress was definitely in order IMHO.

    • Joe Torre liked to use this “throw them into the fire” approach, often with struggling vet to see if they might respond ( talking to you, Dru). Recall once in 2008, Repko was called up to replace Matty for one game (believe he had been suspended for an altercation). Anyway, Torre had him in leadoff spot against Oswalt. He struck out four times and was on his way to a platinum sombero when a balk was called on an apparent third strike. Repko then flied out.

  2. From Eric Stephen’s April summary:

    “The Dodgers rank first in the National League in scoring (4.76 runs per game) and on-base percentage (.345), and lead the majors in home runs (32), slugging percentage (.486) and OPS (.832).

    The bullpen is fourth in the majors in ERA (2.25), first in FIP (2.13), first in xFIP (2.95), second
    in strikeouts (79) and first in strikeout rate (29.9%).”

    • Here’s a link to the full post WBBsAs cites above. What isn’t mentioned is that the starting pitching hasn’t been nearly as good as hoped. When was the last time Kershaw went unmentioned in a month-end review?

      • . . . with a losing record!

        I hope the offensive output remains the same but the SPs return to traditional Dodger form.

      • He does mention Greinke. Kershaw’s been almost as good, but the rest of the rotation’s been a question mark, especially since McCarthy went down (his peripherals were good, even if there were some ugly traditional stats). Ryu’s return should make a big difference.

        • I dunno. I haven’t looked. It just seemed unlikely that Kershaw could go unmentioned, given the excellence he’s exhibited over the past four years or so.

          • I posted a couple of threads ago his numbers after his first five games in 2014 and 2015. They are surprisingly similar. Perhaps he was mentioned, but guessing it was along the lines of “what’s up with him”. Believe he went on DL a short time later (but need to check).

    • Hitters rank 5th in NL in Ks. Last year they finished 6th. While Donnie complained that the team was “all or nothing” last year, I believe that this year’s “all or nothing” is agreeable to him, all in all.

        • Joc has struck out 5 more times than Kemp. Joc has 57abs and Kemp 92

          • I hadn’t looked at the numbers, but Kemp’s relatively low K number surprises me. Of course, Joc has 17 BB to Kemp’s 5, a .461 OBP to Kemp’s .357, and a 1.057 OPS to Kemp’s .835. I can live with that, not to mention Joc’s superior defense.

          • To complete the (partial) picture, Rollins has K’ed 3 more times than Hanley in a like number of PAs; Dee and Howie have same number of K’s, but Dee has 15 more PAs.

          • Our overall K rate is along the lines of last season. Just looking at how the new players are doing relative to the previous ones. Donnie had complained about the “all or nothing” approach of hitters last year. We seem to have the same overall approach but with better results in terms of dingers. So, “partial” picture in terms on looking at only a couple of indicators.

  3. Word is the Angels will be looking for a left fielder now that Hamilton is gone. I pray the FO is talking up Crawford with them. I know, I know he’s not an outfielder but let’s keep that to ourselves… What could we get for him? The sound of the door closing behind him would be payment enough for me.

    • Without picking up nearly his entire contract, which is a bundle, there is no market for a Crawford – even one who is not frequently injured. There might be a developing market for Ethier, though the Dodgers would still have to pick up most of his contract.

    • He’s a fine writer, but made one big mistake: In reality, it was a fun game.

      It’s always gnice to hear that Kevin Correia is in the Gnats’ system, though.

    • Hadn’t realized that Livan had pitched for the giants (sic). List of who he didn’t pitch with is short. Nat’s are giving him a bobblehead night.

    • Mike often makes good statistical arguments, but presumably you want your best hitters to get the most plate appearances.

  4. Bochy says Vogelscheiße will remain in the rotation. At least when the Gnats face the Dodgers, please!

  5. If you’d told me the Mets and Astros would be leading their respective divisions at the last day of April I’d have said you were crazy.

  6. With this starting staff, who would’ve thought the only pitcher to lose a game in this series would be Kersh?

  7. Good offense, good defense, and a lights out bull pen tonight. See you Friday, though I have grand-babies coming this weekend, so my posts may be limited.

  8. First place after the first month. Dodgers getting both more healthy and less all at the same time. Hopeful to see Kenley, Ryu and Puig all in action in May.

  9. I would have to go back and find it, but I recall predicting the Dodgers would go 13-8 in April.

  10. I’m half way through the conference I’m directing – next week I should be more present on the comment board.

  11. Hey friends. The Dodger home team is back tonight. Last night they may as well have worn their grey road jerseys. Anyway, fun night thus far with all the long balls. Greinke pitched well – but Kershaw certainly pitched better last night!

  12. Every Dodger outfielder is outhomering Kemp except for Crawford and SVS (who are tied with him).

          • Not an exact comparison, because Dodger OFers have been platooning and filling in because of injuries. But they’re right up there, the team leading all of baseball in dingers.

          • No, I’m not. But I don’t have the time or will to calculate the statistics by LF, CF and RF, because several players have played at each one of them, sometimes several in the same game. All of them, except for Crawford, are defensively superior to Kemp (whom I wouldn’t mind having in LF, but then there’d be no playing time for Guerrero and SVS).

  13. Talk about economy — every hit = a run!
    I missed the earlier innings, came home and checked in here to see there was good news, then turned on the radio for a double dose of good news: the score increasing, and Vin giving that good news.

  14. No blackout tonight, since the Gnats are broadcasting the game locally. Still, after three innings I get Steinered.

    • Does that mean you could hear Miller and Fleming? I hear them on the radio on weekends once in a while. Miller’s a star broadcaster and Fleming’s quite good, as far as I’m concerned.

      • Miller’s among the best, but I don’t care for Phlegming. Kuiper and Krukow are horrendous homers.

  15. Finished my writing for the day. Huzzah! Time to exercise, make dinner, etc. but I’ll be back. Go Dodgers. Feeling hopeful with Greinke on the mound, and someone other than Rollins leading off.

  16. After talking about seeing games in San Diego, it made me think about the different stadiums I’ve visited for a game. I have some friends whose hobby was summer trips to see games and they went to every stadium!

    I’ve been to just 11, including some now-defunct (and the three oldest, I just realized). I’ll bet between everyone on this site, we’ve got them all covered . . .

    Dodger Stadium
    The Big A
    Qualcom
    Petco
    The BOB/Chase Field (obviously, I preferred the old name!)
    Wrigley
    Old Comiskey
    Camden Yards
    Coors Field
    Old Busch
    Fenway

    • I’m one ahead of you:

      Dodger Stadium
      Jack Murphy (SD)
      Candlestick (SF)
      The Phone Booth (SF)
      Oakland Coliseum
      Safeco (Seattle)
      Kingdome (Seattle)
      Sick’s Seattle Stadium (Pilots, 1969)
      Mile High Stadium (Denver)
      Coors (Denver)
      Memorial Stadium (Baltimore)
      Fenway

        • I just added RFK (I had forgotten about a spring training game between the Orioles and Cardinals).

        • Shea stadium, lots! Camden, Candlestick, Fenway, Coliseum (recently), Dodger Stadium many, many times.

        • L.A. Coliseum
          Dodger Stadium
          Big A
          Candlestick
          Mile High Stadium
          Coors
          Memorial (Baltimore)
          Fenway
          Yankee Stadium
          Crosley Field) Cincinnati
          Great American Ballpark (Cincinnati)
          Forbes Field (Pittsburgh)
          Turner FIeld (Atlanta)
          Fulton County Stadium (Atlanta)
          Fenway
          The 1st two Busch Stadiums in St Louis, not the newest 3rd one.

      • Dodger Stadium
        Fenway
        Peeked in from a restaurant at the back in Toronto for a few minutes
        and…. The Sydney Cricket Ground 🙂

      • You went to both Candlestick and The Phone Booth? How could you? Were you carrying explosives? You gave the Giants money? Twice? Are you really a Giant fan trying to fool us? I’m shattered. Who can you believe in? Next you’ll tell me theres no Easter Bunny or maybe Santa Claus….

  17. Someone with eyes may know this….saw a reference to Alex G. “looking confused” as a ball went over his head in LF last night.

    ???

    • Saw that. He misjudged a fly ball that ended up hitting low on the wall and it went for a triple, I think. Three points:
      1. It’s not like Carl Crawford doesn’t misjudge and misplay balls quite a bit, he’s a DH for God’s sake…
      2. Even the Giant announcers whom I had to bear said the balls were carrying unusually well.
      3. He could have, should have caught it but he did play it off the wall cleanly and held the batter to a triple, if I remember correctly.

    • Kimbrel came into the game trailing 3-1 and made it worse (with some help from his teammates).

    • I find it strange having to root for the Padres to lose — it’s been a while since they were a threat, but they definitely are now!

      BTW, I love going to Petco — gorgeous stadium, easily accessible thru mass transit (trolley), and great additional view of SD Harbor. (My parents live south of SD — but north of the border — and I’ve seen several games there, including at Qualcomm.)

  18. I would have tried the squeeze with Turner in that situation last night. Normally, I’d say no in that spot because one hopes for a big inning with second and third and none out and the middle of the lineup coming up. But Turner is not normally a #3 hitter. In fact, it was only the fourth time in 250 career starts in the big leagues that he had batted third. Also, it was generally assumed — and demonstrated by the final score — that there would be a premium on runs last night. Had Hernandez not been thrown out foolishly trying to go from second to third on Kendrick’s grounder, the inning could have had a different result. A separate issue is that Mattingly almost never tries the squeeze, so there might have been the element of surprise.

    • Giving up an out in that situation is indefensible. You only use the squeeze to tie or go ahead, or with a pitcher in the early innings.

      • I’m really not trying to be argumentative nor snarky in any way…..
        ….
        However, if I’ve got Kershaw on the hill for me, I’m happy to simply play the percentages and try to at least tie the game, and get Clayton even. I’d then feel better going forward having pulled even, handing the ball back to Clayton, and seeing if our offense can find a way to get the winning run during the next 6 innings…. and, having some faith in my pen.
        ….
        Looking at last night’s lineup….. I’d be more than happy to trade a run for an out in any inning. The way I see it, I’d rather give up an out or two and have a better chance of winning, than ‘going for a big inning’ vs. K-Bum and walking off the field a loser. IMHO.

          • Well, the way I saw things potentially stacking up….
            Runners on 2B and 3B…. with nobody out.

            1. Turner’s squeeze gets 1 run home.
            2. Then, we have Howie Kendrick up with a runner on 3B with 1 out.

            And, I like my chances of Howie hitting a ground ball to SS (which he did), hitting a fly ball, or even singling the runner in. Also, with the runner on 3B, most pitchers tend to take less chances with the really nasty stuff in the dirt since they don’t want to have a ball get by the C, to push a run over…. so, I’d like to think Howie’s chance of seeing some better pitches would figuratively increase, if only by a small amount, it’s something.

          • You surrender an out. Statistically, bunting reduces your chances of scoring, except in special circumstances (such as a poor-hitting pitcher, who may also be a poor bunter).

      • If you want to have an honest disagreement with me on strategy that’s fine, I suggest you don’t characterize an opposing point of view as “indefensible.”

        • Well, let’s say that with the middle of the order coming up it’s incomprehensible, especially in the early innings.

  19. Re #3: You’d squeeze with no one out? The book says play for a big inning with none out and men on base, and I think I agree with the book here. – Linkmeister…. Absolutely!! – Link-man!

    Why? – Because runs are customarily hard to come by in MLB…. (Especially when a guy as good as M-Bum is on the hill, and we have a back-up player at bat…..) And no, I don’t care if he does have decent #’s vs. M-Bum, he’s still Justin Turner, and when a truly great player, and a very competitive one at that, ‘dials it up a notch’ (2nd/3rd with 0 outs) vs. an average player….. superior talent usually wins no matter how much focus and adrenaline may be flowing through the lesser player. He’s simply out-matched …. Such was Turner last night with the ‘whif’ …. And, he’d probably ‘K’ 3 out ofevery 4 times in this situation vs. M-Bum…. though he may get more success in the 2nd inning with nobody on base vs. M-Bum. In short – M-Bum’s ceiling is much higher than Turner’s because he’s that much better. And, it’s ‘situational baseball’ which I really tune into. Situations- ‘separate the men from the boys’…. and that’s what we saw in Turner’s AB – IMHO.

    • BTW – By using ‘superior’ player to describe M-Bum vs. Turner….
      I was referring to not only the physical attributes, but the mental ones as well….
      I’ve always been of the opinion that even though all these guys are ultra-talented in order to even be out on an MLB field, certain players (super-stars) are not only supremely physically gifted, but there’s an intangible that … well, …. “They just GET it….” Kinda like the kid in art class (certainly not me) that was better than the teacher, and no matter how much you may practice…. If you both sat down to do your best work, his/hers would always win…. period. That’s Madison Bumgarner in a situation like last night’s 4th inning…… Justin, Fuhgetabowtit!!!!!!!!…. You’d have better odds buying a Lotto ticket….

      So, you just go ahead and lay down that ‘squeeze’ for us, ok?… 🙂

    • BadGums is not a “truly great” player. He’s a very good starting pitcher who’d be no better than the No. 3 starter if he were a Dodger (arguably No. 4 behind a healthy Ryu). He’s overrated because of post-season success in a very small sample size. I don’t begrudge him that success, but he’s not remotely close to Kershaw’s sustained dominance.

  20. Looking back at last night’s starting lineup, I wonder when was the last time that we had had none of the following in the starting lineup: Puig, Ethier, Crawford, Pederson or Kemp.