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

177 thoughts on “Game 63, 2015

    • 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.

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

  2. 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.

      • 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. ;-])

      • 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!

    • 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.

        • 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?

          • 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.

          • 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.

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

          • 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.

          • 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…

          • 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.

          • 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.

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

          • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

    • 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.

      • 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…

        • 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.

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

  5. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

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

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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…

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

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

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

    • 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.

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

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

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

      • 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.

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

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

        • 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/

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

    • 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).

  18. 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.

    • 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.

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

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

          • 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.

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

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

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

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

  21. 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.

    • 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.

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

        • 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…