Game 63, 2015

Dodgers at Padres, 1:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSSD

Mike Bolsinger brings his 4-1 record and his 2.08 ERA out on the road, where his ERA is 3.78. He’s going to try to get the better of James Shields, who’s unbeaten at 7-0 with a 3.79 ERA. Shields has made three career starts against the Dodgers and has never lost to them.

Howie Kendrick and Jimmie Rollins have both had success against Shields in the past, each hitting a cool .500 in 32 and 14 ABS, respectively.

Lineup (From ESPN; the Dodgers haven’t tweeted it yet).

J. Pederson, CF
Y. Puig, RF
A. Gonzalez, 1B
H. Kendrick, 2B
Y. Grandal, C
A. Ethier, LF
J. Rollins, SS
A. Callaspo, 3B
M. Bolsinger, P

  • WBBsAs

    Ballslinger’s been consistently excellent, and a park like the The Litter Box should be a good fit for him. My concern is that he might prove to be a one-trick pony – not many pitchers throw the big curve ball any more, and he uses it a lot. The hitters might eventually catch up with him, and there’s always the risk of a hanger.

    • john galt

      No room for error. The best he can do is a scoreless tie. If the “hitters” don’t produce, what he does doesn’t matter. They might like Mattingly, but he doesn’t bring out the best in them, which is his job. Being best friends just doesn’t work.

      • I don’t understand how Mattingly can be blamed for the entire team going into a hitting slump (or regressing to a more reasonable norm) two or three weeks ago.

        • package206

          For the same reason he got all the credit when the Dodgers were knocking the cover off the ball. He is the manager.

        • john galt

          Fair! Who promised you Fair? Baseball tradition; when a team does poorly (and that’s a relative term), the manager gets the blame, is fired for it. Makes a lot more sense to blame the GM but Baseball has it’s traditions…

      • WBBsAs

        You’ve presented a whole list of non sequiturs here.

  • RBI

    Really hoping the offense reappears today. Link, we need the bad odds to fall our way this time.

  • RBI

    I’ll be flying home during the game. Maybe I can get gameday on United. Anybody ever tried that?

  • foul tip

    I’m under no illusions that Alex G’s defense is more than mediocre at best–he’s a DH in waiting.

    But is the narrative that his D is too awful to risk playing him even semi-regularly accurate, or just that–only a narrative? When the team falls short, quite often offense is the culprit. And he’s a serious threat with that stick.

    Can’t get too caught up in drama and game-winning hits like he’s had a couple of. But is the risk so great that they can’t play him at third–and then not if he turns out to be a butcher? Several knowledgeable folk have said they don’t think he’s terrible there.

    Callaspo over him @ 3b–repeatedly–says the team believes he is. Whoever’s 3B now likely is placeholder for Olivera. But Olivera’s not up yet.

    Now they’re trying to pigeon-hole Alex only as a good pinch-hitter; that he has shown to be. DM on his decisive pinch-hit Friday: “”Pinch-hitting is a perfect role for him,” Mattingly said of Guerrero, who is 6-for-17 (.353) with three homers and eight RBIs pinch-hitting and 27-for-99 (.271) with seven homers and 20 RBIs in all other situations.”

    Those “all other situations” numbers aren’t exactly shabby. All numbers he has in any situation are small sample sizes–too small given that bat.

    Why limit that bat to only one appearance a game, if that? Didn’t even get one last night in a one-run loss. That’s not a good thing.

    • package206

      In 69 innings, Guerrero has no errors at 3b and 2 errors in 152 innings in LF. Go figure? Love to see him in the lineup regularly.

      • WBBsAs

        Errors by themselves tell you little about defense. He’s looked awful in LF.

    • RBI

      Especially with Pederson and Gonzalez slumping so badly. (And Rollins, below the Mendoza line again.)

      • package206

        I did not want to suggest that with Pederson and Rollins for fear of being hit with a bat or worse.

        • RBI

          Ha! Funny, Package.

          • package206

            Glad I made someone laugh.

        • RBI

          People feel passionately about this team.

          • package206

            Are you onboard now?

          • RBI

            On board? Not sure what you mean. My feelings are fluid. I really liked the article on Mattingly that Link posted a link to yesterday. My son is very on board with the new FO, and his POV has gone into the mix. I was fascinated to see that one of our prospects we just drafted had a struggle with substance abuse, which has made him stronger, apparently, and I believe in second chances. I hated the Kemp trade, but understand making it. And at times Mattingly makes me nuts. So… fluid.

          • package206

            What is POV? Sorry for being uninformed.

          • WinnipegDave

            POV is point of view.

          • WBBsAs

            Ethier’s made an impressive comeback. Now a very good platoon player.

          • RBI

            Really happy to see him doing so well. We would have been a lot worse without him this year.

          • RBI

            Oh, did you mean on board the plane? Boarding now. Hahaha. One track mind here!

          • package206

            Have a safe flight RBI.

    • WBBsAs

      I’m going to agree, partially at least – Guerrero’s looked adequate at 3B, and his bat can do some serious damage.

  • RBI

    Speaking of harsh losses… My nephew is a huge Rockies fan – his beloved dog is called Tulo – and he was describing watching the Guerrero grand slam game. “Baseball is brutal,” says he.

    • WBBsAs

      I’ve been to Rockies games with my cousin – my mother’s twin sister’s son – but he’s only a casual fan, very strongly prefers Broncos handegg (about which I couldn’t care less).

  • WinnipegDave

    Yes. Always happy to see other teams’ runners get thrown out too.

  • WBBsAs

    Grandal guns down another potential base stealer.

  • WinnipegDave

    Wow – didn’t realize that the Padres have scored more runs than the Dodgers this year. And the Dodgers are 6th in MLB in runs scored.

  • WinnipegDave

    So our triple equals their three singles: no runs for either team.

  • Bolsinger needs to practice bunting.

    • WBBsAs

      Shields and Norris need to practice not colliding.

  • WinnipegDave

    More bad base running by the Dodgers.

    • Was it that or just a good throw from Matt?

      • WinnipegDave

        I was thinking of Joc not getting to second. But I suppose it ended up not mattering.

      • WBBsAs

        A really good throw. Bundy, arguably, might have held Callaspo with Puig coming up.

  • WinnipegDave

    What a wasted opportunity.

  • 8th in MLB in grounding into double-plays, with 51 (possibly higher; I don’t know how quickly the team stats are updated).

  • WinnipegDave

    Ok. I’m changing my tune. I’m going to assume that all these opportunities mean that the Dodgers will break through soon and very soon.

    • package206

      Hey Dave, where is John_from_Aus? Haven’t seen his posts lately? Probably eating lunch, huh?

      • WinnipegDave

        Yeah I can never figure out what time it is for him – especially for afternoon games like today.

        • John_from_Aus

          I’m here and the time right now is 10.40 in the morning, so I have just come off class. We have been having internet issues at school and the last week or so at home has been crazily busy

  • WBBsAs

    Ballslinger looking a little shaky for the first time.

  • package206

    Dodgers should have signed Shields when they had the chance.

    • WBBsAs

      Overrated and aging.

      • WinnipegDave

        That is true but apparently he helps the teams offense to score when he is pitching – so maybe it would have been worth it.

        • foul tip

          Kept Mike P’s take on Shields regrets from a couple weeks back. Pretty good summation, especially last 2 paragraphs.
          ============================
          “As for Shields: Right now, would it be nice if the Dodgers had him? Sure. Absolutely. But a few things, there: Please, please, don’t be fooled by Shields’ 6-0 record, because it comes with a 4.40 FIP and terrible home run issues. Another reminder that Shields was just as likely to blow out his elbow as Brandon McCarthy was. Shields and McCarthy were extremely similar pitchers in 2014, and McCarthy is younger and cost less.

          “Signing Shields would have cost the Dodgers the No. 24 pick in next week’s draft.

          “Shields didn’t sign until Feb. 11, reportedly because he felt he could find the $100m+ deal that never arrived. Had the Dodgers signed him earlier in the winter, it probably costs a lot more than he got. Had they waited for the price to drop and counted on him to be there, they maybe they miss out on the other options, still don’t get him, and land in real trouble.

          “Now, all that being said, the choice doesn’t look great now, because the 2015 Dodgers would be better off with Shields than without him.

          “But I don’t like to change opinions based on hindsight that couldn’t have been known at the time. It’d be one thing if we were all screaming for the Dodgers to go with Shields at the time and they hadn’t. We weren’t, most of us. That it hasn’t worked out well doesn’t mean that we should pretend we thought otherwise.”

          http://dodgersdigest.com/2015/06/01/mailbag-26-shields-regrets-cubans-sliding-and-batting-orders/

  • 47 of the Dodgers’ 80 HRs have come with the bases empty.

  • Get a DP here, guys.

  • WBBsAs

    Lazy D by ‘Dre.

  • Hatcher! Let the whining begin! 😉

    • WinnipegDave

      So far, so good. Strikes out Upton.

      • foul tip

        Maybe DM should have left him in considering the results he was getting. Could have helped him build confidence, and he could have been pulled if needed.

        Although Lipitor is doing the job, too.

    • WBBsAs

      Brief, but perhaps his best outing of the year. Time to score off Benoit and avoid Kimbrel.

  • WinnipegDave

    I keep thinking – maybe the Dodgers will score 3 or 4 runs in one inning again soon.

  • Now, Dodgers, get some hits and runs. You don’t want to face Kimbrel in the ninth.

  • WinnipegDave

    Maybe, just maybe, the Dodgers’ hitting can come through to win this game. The pen is working hard to do their job today.

    • WBBsAs

      Howell looked erratic but got away with it.

      • WinnipegDave

        But he did an excellent job getting the final out of the 5th inning with the bases loaded.

        • WBBsAs

          True, but he was all over the place in the sixth.

          • WinnipegDave

            Hence the working hard part of my comment. 🙂

  • WinnipegDave

    I’m always bad at remembering who hits right and who hits left, but shouldn’t Guerrero be pinch hitting here instead of Hernandez?

  • WBBsAs

    Rubby de la Rosa blanking Gnats through eight on only 91 pitches.

    • foul tip

      So after Webster yesterday, 2 old minor league friends are obliterating Gnats.

      May it continue.

      • WBBsAs

        Swatting Gnats.

  • WinnipegDave

    Cool! Dodgers tie it up.

  • WinnipegDave

    Need a Kendrick single to go ahead.

  • WBBsAs

    Joc’s covering a lot of ground today, looks very DiMaggio.

    • package206

      DiMaggio had only 369 SOs in his whole career and 39 was the highest in any one year of his 13 year career. By the end of next year Joc will have surpassed Joe easily.

      • WBBsAs

        In case you hadn’t noticed, we’re talking defense here.

  • WinnipegDave

    So, I guess it will be Grandal, Either and Guerrero in the top of the ninth.

    • WinnipegDave

      And not facing Kimbrell I imagine.

      • WinnipegDave

        I’m wrong once again. It is Kimbrel coming in.

    • WBBsAs

      Expect a lefty.

  • WBBsAs

    At The Phone Booth, the Busted Poseur closes it out with a GIDP. Final 4-0 Snakes.

  • WinnipegDave

    Turner on deck.

  • WBBsAs

    The Gnats GIDP’d five times today.

  • WinnipegDave

    Is that it for Kimbrel? He did throw 21 pitches so hopefully if there is extra innings he is not going to pitch another inning.

    • WBBsAs

      Probably that’s it, even presuming it goes another inning.

  • foul tip

    Gameday thinks Kimbrel is mixing in a knuckle curve…???

    Wasn’t long ago it seemed hardly anyone threw the pitch.

    Now it seems several pitchers do. JP Howell does, for one.

    • WBBsAs

      I have a knuckle curve, but don’t throw it much.

      • WinnipegDave

        Ah the knurve. What a pitch.

        • WBBsAs

          It’s lots of fun to throw.

      • foul tip

        Is that out of sympathy for hitters or fear of batted balls your way? ;-])

        Didn’t the Dodgers’ Burt Hooton put it on the map? Believe he said he learned it accidentally trying to learn a regular curve.

        • WBBsAs

          It’s very effective. I just don’t play very much any more.

  • WinnipegDave

    Walking a very narrow tight rope here.

  • WinnipegDave

    Oh my! Joc is a wizard.

  • SportsCenter Top Ten!

  • WinnipegDave

    Now all he needs to do is hit a home run to put the Dodgers ahead.

  • WinnipegDave

    Double play!

    • RBI

      Let’s hope!

  • RBI

    Bad luck.

    • WinnipegDave

      Welcome back to the fight RBI!

      • RBI

        Driving home. Nails being bitten.

  • And nope.

  • RBI

    Tension.

  • RBI

    Wow. Ravin!

  • Gameday is still stuck in the bottom of the tenth.

    • RBI

      Kendrick got a single. Grandal immediately GIDP.

    • foul tip

      I closed and reopened my browser thinking it was the problem. I take it SD appealed the force but lost?

      • SD appealed and won in the bottom of the tenth, but Ravin got out of it with a fly ball and a strikeout, leaving Kemp on at 2nd.

  • RBI

    Phooey.

  • RBI

    One more, Josh!

  • RBI

    Callaspo! Double trouble.

    • foul tip

      “Double trouble,” for SD, since he managed to hit one? ;-])

      • RBI

        Yes!

  • foul tip

    Gameday still struggling. Guess it can’t count higher than 9 (innings).

    • My version is okay now.

      • foul tip

        Mine finally figured things out, seemingly.

    • RBI

      First and second. One out. Joc is up.

  • RBI

    Bases loaded. Guerrero up. Wow again!

    • foul tip

      Can’t argue with his use here, no matter the outcome.

  • RBI

    Up to Agon.

  • RBI

    Yes! AGon!!!

  • Yahoo!

  • C’mon, Howie, add some runs here.

  • Kenley, I presume.

  • I sure wonder why Puig was replaced by Heisey. I hope not the hamstring again.

    • john galt

      Double switch, I think.

      • Let’s hope. I wouldn’t want to lose Puig’s bat no matter how good the switch might look at the time.

        • foul tip

          Why in the world would you not want Puig and that RF arm–along with his bat–in at key times like this?

          • WBBsAs

            The ‘pen was a bit short-handed – by the time the game ended, only Yimi was left, so the double switch made some sense.

  • Yabba-dabba-doo!

  • foul tip

    Dodger pen flat out did the job today.

  • John_from_Aus

    A nice close win

  • RBI

    Woo-HOO!!!

  • WinnipegDave

    We win!

  • WinnipegDave

    Nice way to come back from supper!

  • john galt

    They beat you and wring you out, so when it’s all over, you wonder if not having the games would be better. You got to be a masochist to be a fan…

  • WBBsAs

    Had there been two outs, I think Guerrero’s line out would have been a base hit. Kemp was playing relatively shallow because he needed to be able to throw out the runner at the plate.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Advanced fielding stats starting to show some love for Joc. In about a week his dWAR has risen from 0.1 to 0.7! Stats place him second in NL behind Pollock in CF. BTW, Kemp is rated as third best RF in the NL.

    • WBBsAs

      Kemp made two tremendous throws on Callaspo yesterday, but he also looked poor chasing balls down in the OF – poor route on Callaspo’s first, and let Ethier’s ball get past him for a triple.

      • Bob_Hendley

        Our own dear Alberto has some good advanced defense stats for the year, including in his short time with the Dodgers. He has also put up an OPS+ of 100 in 38 PA. While we have been spoiled by our supposed utility infielders swinging a big bat (see Turner, Justin), Callaspo hasn’t been as worthless as some might claim. To complete the circle, old friend Uribear has put up an OPS+ of 121 for ‘Lanta.

        • WBBsAs

          Callaspo is a decent bench player, I think, but not Uribe quality.

          • john galt

            We dislike Callaspo for what he isn’t (Seager) rather than what he is…

          • Bob_Hendley

            I suppose there are scenarios where you might see Seager before September, but the current situation doesn’t seem like one of them.

  • john galt

    Long post warning…
    Lineup I would like to see: Grandal; Agon; Olivera; Rollins (or Seager when he’s ready); Guerrero; Ethier; Pederson; Puig
    Following players available by July Trade Deadline: Crawford; Kendrick (Trade now, he might accept a $15MM Qualifying Offer if we hold out and try for a draft choice). Some other players available on request but these two I’d actively shop

    • WBBsAs

      Crawford has no trade value whatsoever. Kendrick has value, and would undoubtedly decline a qualifying offer in search of what’s probably his last big contract. He’s played well, and deserves to be in the lineup.

      • john galt

        I’m not so sure he’d decline. You think someone is going to offer him more than $15MM a year? Crawford has little value, agreed, but let’s move him out for what we can get…

        • WBBsAs

          You won’t get anything whatsoever for Crawford, even if you pay his entire salary. Kendrick won’t get $15 million a year, but his total contract will exceed that.

    • foul tip

      If that’s a long post, you must think some of mine are War and Peace level. ;-])

  • foul tip

    Wonderful. Just won-der-ful.

    By Ken Gurnick
    8:32 AM ET

    SAN DIEGO — The Dodgers’ Sunday night charter flight from San Diego to Dallas was diverted to Los Angeles with mechanical problems and made a safe landing at Los Angeles International Airport.

    After a two-hour delay in Los Angeles, the team traveling party boarded another plane and landed at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport at 4 a.m. CT.

  • foul tip

    Mattingly clarifies crowded third-base situation

    Dodgers skipper names Turner starter, says Guerrero will primarily pinch-hit

    http://m.mlb.com/news/article/130593580/dodgers-manager-names-justin-turner-starting-third-baseman

    Harrumph.

    Basically just acknowledging what’s already reality.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Trade bait. Make a great DH. Just looking at FAs, Price seems like the AL target, but with Bengals in the race hard for them to give up number 1 starter, even though they seem to need a DH. Not up on the AL, so don’t know who else might be available among starters who isn’t an upcoming FA (call into Billy Beane). Guessing that Alex (and Boras) would be willing to be traded into a situation where he could start everyday. Of course an NL team might also be willing to have his bat.

      • WBBsAs

        Guerrero’s opt-out contract makes him almost impossible to trade.

        • Bob_Hendley

          Haven’t seen the wording, but if he and Boras feel that it would be better for his career, wouldn’t they not exercise that right?

          • WBBsAs

            Boras always opts out.

          • Bob_Hendley

            Guessing that Boras would certainly try to leverage the situation, but opting out might not be the best route for that, if it means that the status quo prevails. Alex would, for example, also be forgoing $1 million bonus for 500-600 PAs.

          • WBBsAs

            I suppose that, in theory, the clause could be bought out, but Boras always goes for the jugular. The responsibility for that clause lies with the previous regime.

          • Bob_Hendley

            They were counting on him being able to play 2nd. Too bad that didn’t pan out!

          • john galt

            Didn’t it? They gave him damn little chance to demonstrate his ability there. Along came Kendrick, Hernandez, Olivero, Callaspo, and I’m probably missing a few, they just moved too fast and got ahead of themselves. In another post i suggested they start training him for First Base since they won’t resign Agon.

          • WBBsAs

            So, you appear to be complaining about having a surplus of good players.

          • john galt

            Not really, but a couple of good pitchers would better serve our purposes now. Of course you’ll disagree with that too but, no matter…

          • Bob_Hendley

            Beyond what he showed in the minors, his time this year in the Bigs suggests that fielding is not his forte. You seem to understand that in your proposal that he replace Agon at first. If you thought he might be an adequate 2nd baseman, the obvious guy to replace would have been Kendrick.

          • john galt

            Perhaps. Problems started when the Dodgers changed Front Offices (And don’t take this as a whine to get Ned back). Last year the plan was Guerrero to 2nd base, Seager to 3rd or SS. Arrabueno (sp) was around too. Kendrick, Hernandez, Rollins, Olivero, Callaspo, et al were just names on other teams or even countries. The FO changed, the plan changed, a certain amount of redundancy, even chaos, was generated. It will be some time before it is all worked out. There will be some losses, some cries of outrage, hurt feelings, but eventually it will all smooth out. So then they’ll change FOs again and here we go… That’s baseball.

          • WBBsAs

            Guerrero is not going to get 500-600 plate appearances for the Dodgers or anybody else, this season at least. It’s too late.

          • Bob_Hendley

            The point is that there are reasons why Alex would not be content with the status quo such that the use of the clause could be detrimental to his interests.

        • foul tip

          Could that provision be bought out?

          • john galt

            As a practical thing, yes. Guerrero has it in place to protect himself from a trade to a bad situation on another team. He knows the obstacles on the Dodger team. If someone can offer him regular playing time, I’m sure he would waive it. The Giants or Atlanta would maybe offer him starting job at third; Angels might be willing to turn left field over to him. I’m sure there are teams he would accept trade to. I personally think he is a perfectly adequate third baseman or left fielder. Playing him would improve him a lot. If management finds him inadequate there, perhaps they should start thinking of him as their next First Baseman. It is a cinch they will not resign Agon, too much money.

          • Bob_Hendley

            Agon will be 36 in after 2018, when his contract is up. Not sure that anyone will be signing him then to a lucrative contract. Alex is ours until 2017.

          • WBBsAs

            First, you don’t offer a Gnats a player who will improve their lineup dramatically (especially when BadGums has told him “You’re not that good”). Second, they already unloaded Uribe to the Barves. But, most of all, Boras would never let him do that.

            The Angles need OFers, but we’ve already seen that Guerrero’s another Hanley in LF. Personally, I’d like to see him get more playing time at 3B, but Turner is no slouch with the bat and a much better defender.

  • foul tip

    From Dodgers.com– “Manager Don Mattingly said he hadn’t decided who will serve as designated hitter for Monday’s game at Globe Life Park in Arlington, at 5:05 p.m. PT”

    Sure he hasn’t…

    Probably just more Dodger dissembling for opponents’ benefit, a game he and the FO play at every opportunity, for dubious advantage. Other teams aren’t stupid.

    DM and most everyone else with half a baseball brain should have a pretty good idea who.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Why so harsh?

      • foul tip

        Not intentional. Reading back, can see how it could sound that way.

        Have run into large piles of bovine excrement today and apparently let frustration from that bleed thru.

        Substance stands, tho it may have been “a mite stout,” to use an old country term. ;-])

      • john galt

        I know how he feels. Consider this: Maybe the FO hasn’t told him yet. A good baseball fan thinks Guerrero, 100%. But, IF he is allowed to make the decision, Mattingly may choose Callaspo, just to be inane. Or he may choose Ethier and play Heisey. With this club, take nothing for granted!

        • Bob_Hendley

          Not understanding. According to your thought, if Heisy or Callapso plays who is deciding, FO or DM?

          • john galt

            Who knows and what difference…

  • john galt

    Padres fire Bud Black. It must be a relief to him. He won’t have any trouble finding a job.

    • WBBsAs

      Probably on ESPN.

  • john galt

    Mets DFA Dillon Gee. Think there’ll be any Dodger Interest?

    • WBBsAs

      The guys who’ve filled out the rotation so far – Ballslinger and Frías – have been much better than Gee. They could pick him up as minor league depth, though.

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