Game 71, 2015

Dodgers at Cubs, 5:05PM PT, TV: WGN, SPNLA

This the first time the Cubs and Dodgers have played each other this season. The Dodgers send lefty Clayton Kershaw out to face the Cubbies’ lefty Tsuyoshi Wada. Kershaw is 5-4 with a 3.29 ERA. He’s given up as many home runs this year as he did all of last year, which hasn’t helped. On the other hand, his last five appearances have been quality starts. He’s struck out double-digit batters in his last three starts and five of his last seven. Wada is 1-1 with a 3.68 ERA in six starts. He played nine years in Japan before signing with the Orioles in 2011, but he’s had injury troubles including Tommy John surgery, which has made for a slow start to his American MLB career. He’s 34 years old.

Lineup when available.

The only notable thing about this lineup that I see is that it’s Turner’s fourth consecutive start, something Mattingly has said he’d prefer not to do. Ethier’s undoubtedly out of the lineup because the Cubs’ starter is a lefty. Rollins’ absence may be just a needed day off.

89 thoughts on “Game 71, 2015

  1. Can Turner play left? You put him in left, move Ethier to right, bring up Olivera for 3B, bring up Seager for SS, rotate Guerrero and Van Slyke off the bench.
    I would move Puig for pitching, Hamels or Cueto & Chapman. Puig is one of those Dodgers I have seen in the past who has an immense amount of potential, shows us flashes. Just my opinion, but I would trade him for as much pitching as I could.

      • Hard to say, several names come to mind…Austin…Brock….yes, Marshall….yeah, I know Puig is the ultimate incarnate, everything anyone could ever want in a ballplayer….but I am not sold on him as others are

    • Danger! I made a post to that effect last night and was roundly criticized. When management makes the move, it’s a great idea; when we suggest it, we’re fools…

      • Don’t understand. You want to be provocative and when you are you become sensitive to the responses? You said something to the effect that we have more than enough outfielders so let get rid of one of them and choose Puig, as if he were comparable to the others.

        • What makes you think I want to be provocative? I want to be helpful. I’d gladly trade, Ethier, Crawford, or SVS (not to mention Heisey but he’s Andrew’s good friend) for Hamel. What would you have said if I had suggested one of them? I’d still have been wrong in your book.

      • Why would you want to trade a 5-tool star player with superstar potential who’s still very young and learning on the job? Are you one of the buttoned-down purists who dislike his flamboyance and think he should “play the game the right way”?

        • I would gladly buy Carl’s Six Dollar Burgers for the price of cheaper burgers if I could. Short version: It would take at least a Puig to get Hamels. And no, I don’t really want to trade him at all, he makes the game interesting, which some other players don’t

        • sorry, but I don’t know what the “right way” is….I don’t mind flamboyance or any eccentricities….I mind his reluctance to take instruction and learn from mistakes…

          • Some stories this season have quoted him as trying to learn and get better and appreciating instruction. But he’s still a young “wild horse” who has lapses and could use more self-discipline. He absolutely has to learn that great talent and physical gifts aren’t enough at the MLB-level.

            He hasn’t played much this year and may be trying too hard to make up for lost time. Didn’t see his TOOTBLAN last night. But shouldn’t have happened, especially after a pump fake throw from Ross.

            DM said earlier this year, in so many words, that Puig is a star who can be a superstar if he harnesses his potential and focuses himself. Hope he does, but he’s still likely to have more issues than many players. And he will be center stage when they do, as is his style.

      • “Roundly criticized”? There were just two comments. One trying to make light of the timing of the suggestion (right after Puig made a bonehead play) and another questioning the notion that Puig was just another “good” outfielder who we could live without.

    • Puig has demonstrated more than potential and flashes. He has an OPS+ of 150 in his three years (278 games). A guy like Mondesi, for example, averaged OPS+ 123 over his first three years (293 games) and reached OPS+ 140 in once in his career.

      • No matter, we have enough good outfielders to replace him and to get a pitcher like Hamels for him would be a good move.

        • We have warm bodies. Crawford is on his last leg, Dre still can’t hit lefties and Guererro is lost in the outfield. That leaves Joc and SVS as “good” outfielders.

      • Think we were just trying to guess on which past Dodgers you were referring to and he popped up. Believe that Turner can play left in a pinch (and has in the past), but Donnie has already shown reluctance to have him even at third base for more than 4 games in a row. (believe there may be an issue of his wheels)

        • Yeah, I have heard about his knee problems. My opinion of Puig aside, Olivera and Seager would be a huge upgrade on the left side, with Turner in left. Keep Puig if they are in love with him, with what we have now, we are killing Greinke and Kershaw.

          • Not against the suggestion on getting more pitching and believe that the FO will try to make a deal. Guerrero, perhaps in a three-way with an AL club, might be good bait, along with some second tier prospects.

          • Guerrero’s contract, which allows him to become a free agent at the end of any season in which he’s traded, makes his trade value near zero.

          • I think DM is holding a grudge against Guerrero since he exercised his right to stay with the team and not accept a slot in the minors. No matter how well he hits, his opportunities are sporadic, which affects any hitter.
            I think he would accept a trade and would accept reworking his contract if he thought he would get a regular chance to play.

          • Unless he and Boras–mainly Boras–agree to have it bought out, if that’s even possible.

  2. Kershaw is a good pitcher, maybe even great. But the magic of the last 2-4 years is certainly gone thus far this season.

    • If you look at the record–especially given his age–there’s no question of his greatness.

      But even the greats hit rough patches.

      He’s been so dominant the last couple years that expectations for him to be superhuman every time out are off the scale. So when he’s not, the what’s-wrong questions pop up.

    • Kershaw is great, but even Koufax had rough patches

      We are seeing that Kershaw and Greinke and 3 days of rain just won’t do it….

    • Yeah — unfortunately the phenom for both teams — the Cubs’ star rookie had a better game. . . . Bryant is a product from Vegas, like Bryce Harper. They played with and against each other as they grew up.

      • Bryant had a better game because he is batting in the middle of the lineup and Joc is at the front. If they put Joc in the middle, and had one or two guys who knew how to get on base regularly, things might be different. May Joc can teach the others that art.

  3. I heard a show about betting baseball today and they were saying how Kersh is automatically one of the higher bets among pitchers.
    I don’t think that is going to be the case much longer based on his performance this year (not bad for a good pitcher, but he is definitely more than that) . . . and the performance — and lack thereof — from his “offense.”

  4. Sure would be nice if they could manufacture runs instead of waiting for the undependable HR.

  5. Unfortunately, it looks like last night’s offensive showing is the aberration.
    Even Kersh couldn’t get down a good bunt.

  6. Perhaps it is better for me that we are going for a family bike ride for the next hour. Hopefully when I get back it will be better news.

  7. We have excess outfielders, we really could get along without Puig, we proved it when he was on the DL for what, six weeks? Anyway, you think Philadelphia would give up Hamels for Puig?

    • You can sometimes get along without your most talented player for a brief period, but none of the backups is remotely close to Puig’s ability.

    • Should have done that before he got picked off. Doubt that the fillies would take him now.

  8. I have to get on the road soon to visit a freind at the Motion Pictures home, but at least I get to listen to the game. Goooo Dodgers!!!!!

    • That reminds me of the “Drabble” strip where dad is stuck in traffic but listening to Vin — he’s just where he wants to be! (Unfortunately, no Vin tonight.)

  9. Turner could be in: a) he has the highest batting average of the starters and/or b) he is just a solid contributor to the team and/or c) Mattingly doesn’t want to play Guerrero 2 days in a row

  10. Yesterday Dish said I could watch today’s game. Today they say no. Not the first time this has happened. You learn to take nothing for granted.

  11. My grandmother used to live about 3 miles from Wrigley, just off Addison, so it was only a matter of walking about three blocks to catch the bus.
    I would visit her when the Dodgers were in town. This was 30 years ago, so no Internet, and she would call me as soon as the Cubs’ schedule was released to let me know when LA (and I ) would visit.
    I remember attending a July day game and FREEZING.

    • Was always an added reason to visit my daughter when she was in school in Chicago. I would be so obviously excited about seeing the Dodgers that she wouldn’t even object when I dragged her to Wrigley.