Game Eight, 2015

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

David Huff is a 30-year-old veteran with a lifetime 25-28 record and a career ERA of 5.02 in the major leagues. He’s been called up from Oklahoma City and is filling the fifth starter role for the Dodgers this evening. I imagine his 2-0 record with a 1.32 ERA over 13 1/3 innings during spring training had a lot to do with his call-up for this start. Darwin Barney was sent down to OKC to make room for Huff.

He’ll be opposed by RHP Hisashi Iwakuma, whose first start didn’t go well. He’s 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA. He’s a good pitcher, though, as witnessed by his 38-21 record with an ERA of 3.11 in his four years in Seattle. That’s after eleven years in the Japanese league where he compiled a 107-69 record and had an ERA of 3.25.

Lineup:

Puig gets the night off. I wonder if this is just to keep Andre fresh.

209 thoughts on “Game Eight, 2015

  1. One thing I’ll give DM credit for: his willingness to bat Kendrick fourth, instead of the usual slugger in that spot. It shows he’s not totally impervious to unconventional thinking, but he still has a ways to go.

    • Think he’d do it if he hadn’t seen Scioscia bat him there first?

      I look forward to DM using his best reliever v the most dangerous part of an opponent lineup and it’s not yet the 9th inning. Which would make him a trailblazer since there haven’t been more than 1-2 times it has ever happened–IF that.

      • I didn’t know Scioscia had batted HK fourth. Part of the idea of acquiring so many “closers” the last two years may have been to use Kenley in those high-leverage situations, but that strategy failed along with Pérez and Wilson (who doesn’t have any job, even at minimum wage).

          • Good point, but not many players walk away from everything at age 33 (presuming somebody wants him). I’m a little surprised that nobody’s taken a chance on him.

        • Kendrick really only starting batting fourth last year, even then he hit more often 5th or 6th. Still…

  2. Talking about the comebacks, DM said everyone is having quality ABs, giving none away.

    Also said that wasn’t the case last year. Other times he’s mentioned an all-or-nothing approach at the plate last year but hasn’t–and I’m sure won’t–spelled out who he had in mind.

    AJE said something similar at season end, praising the Cards for the way they approached hitting and played as a team and wished the Dodgers did that.

  3. Interesting interview with Huff. He was really clear on what he did wrong, what he did right, and the importance of eating up a few innings.

    • He may be trying to figure out how to blame the front office’s bullpen construction.

    • It’s a new year. Last year if we were behind late in the game, forget it. Apparently we came back three times last year after the seventh. Three.

  4. The Dodgers are killing my sleep patterns! I am going to head off now. Chat again tomorrow.

  5. What a difference from last year’s team — no game seems to be out of hand!

    • My favorite thing about this team so far. Also, no absolute heart-sinking dead holes in the line up.

  6. Rodney had a serious meltdown in Oakland a few days ago, blowing a four-run lead in the ninth, but the M’s came back and won it.

  7. Silver Lining Dept.: hitters as a whole are doing their job
    Cloud Dept.: pitching staff as a whole are not

    Silver Lining Dept. 2: it’s only 8 games
    Silver Lining Dept. 3: this game ain’t over yet

  8. Not a great AB by Howie. Grandal, this would be a great time to get things going.

  9. Okay, I’m back on line. Was exercising and eating. Go Dodgers! My husband is in Las Vegas at the NAB show, but I resisted the temptation to eat cold cereal for dinner.

    • Seventh inning appearance suggests that he may have moved down on Donnie’s totem pole.

    • Agreed.
      As easy as he made it look in 2013… is exactly how hard he made it look in 2014.
      Things look no better in 2015. You just never feel like this guy is ‘ in control of things. ‘
      ….
      I think I made a similar comment here last year and was beaten down…
      I mean… had every rule violated on me….
      I mean… uh. You know. 🙂

      • He certainly is in a bad streak starting in late 2014, but I would not characterize his 2014 in that way. After all, through 64 appearances to Sept 10, 2014 he had an ERA of 1.17. Three of is next four apearances in the regular season were ineffective, and then we had the NLDS.

        • Bob…. I luv ya!…

          Yep! – Statistically, JP wasn’t bad at all last year….
          But, why did my sphincter pucker every time I watched that guy pitch???
          🙂

          “Hold on to them hats and glasses… cause this here’s the wildest ride in the west !!!” – Yee Haw!

          Perhaps we’re just spoiled by the “line ’em up and mow ’em down” days of Eric Gagne.

          • Yeah, a bit of a nibbler and walks a lot of guys. They say that he has no stuff and wonder how he ends up being effective (when he is).

          • It must be magic …
            Well then, perhaps he has a career in Vegas when he retires…
            He can take over for David Copperfield…. :-()

    • Hey WBB, is Grandal some of the power and defensive expertise you are referring?? Just wondering.

      • Grandal outhomered A.J. 15-3 last year, and figures to improve rather than decline (though I like A.J., and it’s unfortunate Ned went after disasters like Navarro rather than giving A.J. the job when he was younger).

  10. BTW – Is Brandon League ever going to pitch ???? (not that I really want him to)

    This guy’s got the best seat in the house.
    If I were him, and management (for fear he might actually be called upon) would allow it….
    I’d sell my bench spot as like they sell a ” Time Share ” ….

    Brandon could really “clean up” …. 🙂

      • I don’t dislike Dre but, though I think he’s probably past his, he may not be washed up. It’s a tossup between him and Crawford.

          • There seems to be plenty of power. Again, I expect they’ll exceed last year’s HR numbers, perhaps by plenty.

          • They’ll get lots more from Kendrick than from Dee, more from Grandal than from A.J., good bench power from SVS and AG, more from Puig than last year. I expect at least 150 (v. 135 last year).

          • What about the huge loss from Hanley and Matt. Hanley did not play all year last year??

          • He missed about a third of the games, and was a big defensive liability when he did play. I wouldn’t have minded his coming back, but the Dodgers could not offer him a DH position as Boston will be able to in succeeding years. Getting the high draft pick was the best-case scenario.

  11. Another exciting one tonight….

    Say, I don’t know if any of you guys also had this experience this off season as well, but….
    Sure, there was Rollins and Kendrick…. However, aside from those two, did any of you find yourself hearing the reports of Dodger signings (especially with regard to the pitching staff) and having them go like so?…

    Reporter: “The Dodgers signed >> Insert no-name, has-been, +/or career minor leaguer<<"

    Me: "Who?????" (googling the name) – somewhat perplexed….

    Maybe it's just me. I don't know. 🙂

      • After that awful display of signing this off season I wouldn’t be to cocky.

    • A hear that but I was actually alright with them signing McCarthy and Anderson. Perhaps in the pen I was a bit more curious.

    • Well they signed a lot of NRIs as they always do, perhaps less of the veterans knowns that Ned would normally sign. Hatcher was not on my radar screen, but Peralta and Nicasio were recognizable to me.

    • Hey…. I wasn’t making any statement as to the quality of the players (well, maybe just a little bit… Ha) However, I just meant that it just seems like kind of a “Leap of Faith” if you will…. with the new GM.
      Hey, I just hope that, in the end…. this guy proves to know his stuff…
      If that happens, we’ll all be happy ! 🙂

      • I would hope that the FO would not base its acquisitions on whether they are familiar to me.

        • Bob… As long as the phrase… “Dodgers in 1st Place” is familiar to all of us in 2015… it’s all good in the hood.

  12. So it is it helpful to remember that perhaps this was the game we figured we might not win?

  13. Don’t understand the thought process where the O’s didn’t resign Cruz.

    • There’s little doubt he can hit. The question is whether his bat is good enough to offset his defensive shortcomings.

        • You can bet this new FO would have traded him in a heartbeat if they could have. They want to get rid of as many of the old team as possible.

          • Seems a bit harsh. The contract was very rigid in terms of sending him down or trading him. Would be nice to have the flexibility.

          • Lots of Ned’s moves made the roster inflexible and handicapped the team. The new FO would not move someone without getting something of value in return.

          • With a bullpen of “proven closers” like Pérez and Wilson who were utterly useless when it counted.

          • We will just have to wait and see who or if anyone is useless this year. Also if the team can win 94 times.

          • Or perhaps more importantly, win enough to make the playoffs and then make it to/win the World Series.

  14. I miss Puig tonight. I know it hasn’t been very long, but I really like the Puig/AGon combination hitting back to back.

  15. Drat. I was really hoping Huff could get through this inning without giving up a run. I realize that I hope this for each Dodger pitcher for every inning they pitch, but I think you know what I meant.

  16. I just returned home from umpiring a youth baseball game and see it’s the same story as most of this young season — fall behind and give up runs in the first inning. What I am most perturbed by, however, is why is Huff the best option this team had for a fill-in fifth starter. He has a career MLB ERA of 5.02 and the only success he has had lately was with the Yankees as a non-closer reliever last year, not as a starter.

    • I think part of it is the whole 10 day rule about calling people up from the minors (except in case of injury). I forget exactly how it works but I think the Dodgers would have had different options if the fifth starter was needed tomorrow even instead of tonight.

  17. Only silver lining, we made their pitcher work a little, unlike the usual seven or eight pitch first inning.

  18. c’mon Andre (hit like old times). Mind you a double like last night would do

  19. Maaan! Just checked in, and we’re already down by three! This is getting to be a habit. Let me guess, Cano and Cruz?

  20. Hey Dave, Don’t know if you play golf but I had a double eagle today. My first.

    • Wow! That is so cool. I haven’t golfed for a very long time – but it was rare for me to get par on a hole, I could count the number of birdies I ever got on my fingers for sure. So yeah – that’s exciting to get a double eagle. How long was the hole?

    • Which, if it goes the way last night did – I at least like the ending a lot!

  21. Puig apparently has a hamstring issue. Uribe back in the lineup and so we will see if he can begin to warm up his bat to go with his defense.