Game 72, 2015

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

Two righthanders battle one another this evening. Zack Greinke hasn’t gotten a win since May 5; he’s pitched well enough to win in most outings since, but his team’s lack of offense has let him down. He’s still 5-2 with a 1.81 ERA. He’ll face Jason Hammel, who’s also 5-2 and has a 2.89 ERA.

Lineup when available.

Turner gets a day off.

  • Bob_in_Vegas

    Continuing the discussion about Kershaw, his record, like Zack’s, reflects a lot on the lack of offense he’s received.

    But focusing just on his pitching, he’s getting the Ks, but he’s giving up the HRs — the #s on both are obvious.

    He’s not going as deep as he usually does — not sure if that can be blamed as much on the lack of offense as his pitch count (lack of faith in the bullpen could also be part of that, but in the past, he would either take it all the way or hand directly to KJ).

    He doesn’t seem to have the ability to put people away when he gets two strikes on them. Bob H., you always seem to have these #s — is there something on the outs Kersh gets this year when he gets two strikes on a hitter vs. years past?

    • Bob_Hendley

      The outcomes are actually better this year than last when the count is 0-2 (OPS .208, 0 dingers, versus .298, 1 dinger). Numbers a bit worse after he gets an 0-2 count (.359, 2 dingers versus .297, 2 dingers). When the situation is more generally “pitcher ahead” there is a drop of from OPS .381 in 2014 to .468 in 2015.

      • Bob_in_Vegas

        Thanks!

  • WinnipegDave

    New day. New game thread. Renewed hope. Let’s win this one!

    • Bob_in_Vegas

      Yes, POOC!
      (President of the Optimists Club)

      • WinnipegDave

        Ha! Thanks Bob. I’m glad we weren’t taking a poll last night. I get overly frustrated when Kershaw loses.

        • Bob_in_Vegas

          Same boat . . . I’m the same with the ineffective offense no matter WHO is pitching — which means a lot of games since mid-May.

          • John_from_Aus

            It’s really has been a problem for us the last several years

  • scooplew

    A big part of our problem is wasting much of Greinke’s remarkable pitching, Here are his last eight starts:
    Innings — 54.1 (average of 6.8 innings per start)
    Hits — 47
    Earned runs — 12
    ERA — 1.99
    Walks — 8
    Strikeouts — 49
    Wins — 0
    Losses — 2
    Team’s mark in those eight games: 4-4
    Let’s hope he picks up a win tonight.

  • john galt

    Puig, RF
    Pederson, CF
    Kendrick, 2B
    Gonzalez, 1B
    Grandal, C
    Ethier, LF
    Callaspo, 3B
    Rollins, SS
    Greinke, PCHC

    • foul tip

      4 against 9?

      Puny offensive output lately may have seemed like 4 on 9, but surely they’ll let the Dodgers have a full lineup. ;-])

  • RBI

    Once again, I have a commitment tonight, so I will be listening in at the very start, and hopefully back around the eighth inning or so. Let’s score many runs in between, please, Dodgers.

  • Bob_in_Vegas

    This offense has caught us in a Groundhog Day of frustration.

  • Bob_in_Vegas

    If the Dodgers don’t start supporting Zack with runs he won’t WANT to re-sign with the team.

    • WinnipegDave

      I don’t relish the Dodgers having to face Greinke next year if they don’t re-sign him.

      • Bob_in_Vegas

        Very good point!
        The FO better know what they have in him.

  • Man, has the dead ball era been resurrected?

    • WinnipegDave

      And it’s happening in Wrigley!

    • Bob_in_Vegas

      We weren’t saying that before May 13!

      • WinnipegDave

        Putting the mean in “regression to the mean.”

        • Bob_in_Vegas

          Funny, but sadly true.

  • john galt

    A What-If Question for someone who likes working with stats:
    Assume the Dodger hitters score four runs per game for Kershaw and Greinke, and that their relief pitchers allow zero runs, What would their W-L record be?

    • Bob_Hendley

      Clayton 11-2 (and 2 ties); Zach 13-1.

      • foul tip

        And the team running away with the division, no doubt.

      • john galt

        Thanks, but I’m sorry I asked. That’s painful.

    • WinnipegDave

      Zero relief runs is not sustainable for that many starts.

      • WinnipegDave

        I meant to say – not realistic.

        • WinnipegDave

          But I understand why you are asking the question. 🙂

  • Bob_in_Vegas

    Zack knows that a single run means he loses a chance for a tie.

  • WinnipegDave

    Greinke’s pitch count much higher than Hammel’s. I think that has been the case recently with Zack and he hasn’t pitched as deep into games as he could have.

  • scooplew

    I just checked Gameday to see how this game is going. It would be funny, virtually game after game after game, if it weren’t so disappointing. With an occasional exception, It really doesn’t seem to matter whom we face. The team is simply incapable of often scoring many runs. Our 22-10 start has been followed by a 17-22 record. Where will we be in a month?

    • WinnipegDave

      Hopefully still in first place.

      • Bob_Hendley

        We are the only team in the division that the giants can seem to beat.

      • scooplew

        Not unless we start hitting.

        • WinnipegDave

          Sad but true. Perhaps they will hit again someday.

  • john galt

    Clicking on “Highlights” on Gameday for the Dodgers, a sign drops down that says,”Sorry”. (Actually, there are no highlights.

    • WinnipegDave

      Gameday is as polite as the typical Canadian. Sorry is one of our favourite words. If one person bumps into another here, both people apologize.

      • Ah, but that’s a great way of avoiding ascribing blame to either one!

      • foul tip

        If that translates to the highways, no doubt you have fewer road rage incidents than we do.

        • WinnipegDave

          Sometimes I have a few choice words going under my breathe – or out loud – towards drivers when I’m on my bike.

          But yes, less road rage in general I believe.

  • WinnipegDave

    Who will blink – or score – first?

  • WinnipegDave

    Based on nothing but my own desire – I will say the Dodgers score 2 runs here this inning.

    • WinnipegDave

      Even when we catch a big break, we can’t cash it in.

  • Wasting a triple. Rats.

  • scooplew

    For the Dodgers RISP might as well be an acronym for Remarkable Inept Situational Production.

    • foul tip

      Or, maybe Reliably Incompetent Slugging Performance… ;-])

  • 108 pitches in 5 1/3 innings??? Holy sliders, Batman!

  • WinnipegDave

    Fortunately the Cubs don’t take advantage of the Dodgers fielding miscue.

  • john galt

    According to Orwell’s NewSpeak, Not Losing is winning.

    • WinnipegDave

      But does it translate down to Not Hitting is scoring?

      • john galt

        It is a kindness to not hurt the baseball.

        • WinnipegDave

          Ah yes. Thank you wise teacher. I have much to learn.

  • Bob_Hendley

    While manufacturing a run is nice, would like to see Grandal hit a dinger for his batterymate.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Guess he was thinking the same.

  • WBBsAs

    At the moment, the Dodgers are uninteresting.

    • WinnipegDave

      And even though I hope I’m wrong, it doesn’t feel like their uninterestingness will end any time soon this evening.

  • WinnipegDave

    Hammel looks like he has got another inning left in him. An easy 1,2,3 inning and at 93 pitches through 7.

  • WinnipegDave

    Runner on second with one out. We got this.

    • We do?

      • WinnipegDave

        Yes. Wait – we don’t get to have 4 outs this inning? Maybe not then.

  • scooplew

    Anyone know what Rollins is hitting with RISP? What the team is hitting?

  • Bob_in_Vegas

    The offense with RISP is more like RIP.

    • WinnipegDave

      Or RRSP – trying to save their hits and runs for after they are retired.

  • WinnipegDave

    Make them pay Puig.

  • scooplew

    Counting tonight, Greinke is now 0-2 in his last nine starts with an ERA of 1.70. Overall, he has an ERA of 1.79 this season and is 5-2. Will he re-sign?

    • Bob_in_Vegas

      Not if he wants to be on a winning team.
      Yes, LA is in first right now, but this does not have the feel of a team that will go far in postseason, IF it makes it that far.

  • In play, out(s). On the first pitch.

    • WinnipegDave

      Just like when Joc popped up on the first pitch after Puig’s fortunate triple.

  • john galt

    The floodgates are open. Grab your lifejacket. Women and children first.

  • Eight games left on this road trip, which will take us to almost exactly halfway through the season. Surely the second half will be better than the last month-and-a-half have been, right?

    • Bob_in_Vegas

      One would think.
      But a coin flipped 100 times COULD be heads every time.

      • scooplew

        And on each flip the chance that it would come up heads would be 50-50.

        • Bob_in_Vegas

          Exactly — but no guarantee.

  • WinnipegDave

    Won’t RBI be excited to see how few runs the Dodgers have given up? And how econonmically prudent they have been on offense?

  • Bob_in_Vegas

    The Cubs sure aren’t the team they were last year.
    The Dodgers sure aren’t the team they were early last month.

  • john galt

    Joc will hit his usual home run, Kenly will set them down, we win 1-0.

    • john galt

      He misread his line…

  • scooplew

    I’d be delighted with one of our patented bases-empty home runs.

    • Bob_in_Vegas

      That’s why they’re not playing as a “team.” I don’t mean disharmony, but that they need to string together more than one person successfully executing.

      • scooplew

        Agreed. But Mattingly does very little “managing,” in my humble opinion.

  • john galt

    It will take at least a triple to score Agon, maybe a homer…

    • WinnipegDave

      I would be thrilled to have a batter hit a triple or home run this inning.

  • Ok, Andre, hit a double.

  • scooplew

    The Cubs are trying to give us this game on a platter. We rebuffed them.

    • WinnipegDave

      Ethier grounded out on ball four.

  • Double rats.

  • scooplew

    Donnie should be using Kenley right now, not Yimi. I think the game doesn’t get to the 10th inning because of his (lack of) strategy.

    • WBBsAs

      Don knows he must save Kenley for the save.

  • WinnipegDave

    Extra’s!

  • scooplew

    After Rollins had his best weekend of the season, Mattingly benched him yesterday. I didn’t understand that.

  • WinnipegDave

    Guerrero blast time.

  • WinnipegDave

    Okay, need to find a way to get it to the 11th for the top of our order.

    • Because they are so dangerous? 😉

      • WinnipegDave

        Because, you never know…

    • scooplew

      I admire your spirit. I am, on the other hand, deep in the doldrums.

  • Peralta now?! ?

    • WinnipegDave

      Gutsy call by Mattingly to bring him in.

  • scooplew

    Sending out one (non-Jansen) reliever after another is a bit like playing Russian Roulette.

  • scooplew

    Nice way to bring back Peralta gradually.

  • WinnipegDave

    This is not looking too good.

  • WinnipegDave

    Need a strike out here.

    • John_from_Aus

      or an around the horn triple play 🙂

      • WinnipegDave

        That would be so sweet!

  • WinnipegDave

    That last pitch looked perfect on gameday.

  • Mattingly bullpen mgmt.

    • scooplew

      Unbelievable. A move of a desperate, panicky, inept manager, Jansen should have started the inning.

  • WinnipegDave

    The Dodgers are interesting now. Can the best reliever in the game get out of the worst possible jam?

    • John_from_Aus

      He’s the most likely to get 3 strikeouts

  • WinnipegDave

    in play outs!

    • WinnipegDave

      Hoping somehow they would get more than one there.

  • RBI

    Oh, good Lord… What a time to rejoin!

    • WinnipegDave

      Never say we don’t miss you when you are gone! Perhaps your timing is perfect here though.

      • RBI

        The right timing to give me an ulcer…

        • WinnipegDave

          Consider it good training for October.

  • RBI

    Yikefest.

  • John_from_Aus

    still alive, just

  • RBI

    Dang it!

  • WinnipegDave

    Ah well, we’ll get them tomorrow.

  • RBI

    Three hits? Three?

  • Hitless wonders.

  • scooplew

    If Donnie is going to violate his almost sacred rule of not using Jansen in a non-closer situation, then he should have started the inning with him, not throw him into an almost untenable and likely completely unfamiliar situation: based loaded, nobody out in a tie game in extra innings on the road. Yes, I know I am very frustrated at this juncture, but I hope the FO does what many of us hope and relieve Mattingly of his command.

    • WBBsAs

      He put him into a near impossible situation.

      • Bob_in_Vegas

        I agree with you both — it was a terrible situation, but who else do you put in there at that time?
        And if you put Kenley in at the start of that inning, why not the start of the 9th?
        Not arguing here, questioning.
        Let’s face it, the onus — AGAIN — is on the offense. They get a run anywhere during the game and there’s no question but KJ starts the 9th, going for the win (save for him).

        • Howard Fox

          Usage of KJ is not the issue. There was a time not too long ago when that was exactly when you put in your aces out of the bullpen, not like it is today.
          Issue is the hitting, whether that is DM or McGuire or we never were as good as we all thought when the season started, I don’t know.
          I never thought this team was as good as the headlines early on. We don’t have enough pitching, same as the last couple years, and now we don’t have the depth of hitting. This all compounds DM’s moves as manager. This is an organizational problem, there are issues with this team top to bottom.
          Then again, they could embark on a 20 game win streak today.

        • WBBsAs

          Putting a recently DL’d reliever in a high-leverage situation was inept bullpen management. You have to go with your best, and give the top of your order a chance to win it.

  • WBBsAs

    I’m not gonna call for Don’s head but, if I saw it rolling off the guillotine, I probably wouldn’t be upset.

    • scooplew

      Well said.

  • foul tip

    Jon W. takes on the myth that small ball is the best way to win via a look at the 2014 WS. As usual, deals in those pesky things called facts. Good stuff, but length warning. Bring lunch.

    http://dodgers.mlblogs.com/2015/06/23/manufacturing-a-world-series-champion/#more-2093115

    • foul tip

      My take that the oft-repeated claim of late that the Dodgers suffer because they “wait” on the HR and should play small ball instead is just not borne out.

      If a major league hitter gets a meatball, hitting a HR is exactly what he should do with it.

      Hitters don’t have the luxury of deciding whether they’ll hit a single, double, triple, or HR. But some of the fan chatter sounds like they think hitters do.

      They’re “waiting” on something they can hit, period, however successfully–or not.

      Joc’s BA may suffer a bit from swinging for the fences, but that’s a big part of his game, as are Ks. And he’s making it work at the ROY level. No complaints here about that.

      • Howard Fox

        and that being Joc’s apparent m.o. he should be batting in the middle of the lineup, probably 3rd?

        • scooplew

          I don’t think Pederson’s batting average, at least this early in his career, merits batting him third, but I think fourth, fifth or sixth would be suitable. Ron Cey. who had a career batting average of .261 and hit 316 homers, usually batted fourth, fifth or sixth in the lineup.

          • Howard Fox

            then 4, 5 or 6 in the order, I am good with that…but someone does need to teach others on the team how to get on base ahead of him

          • scooplew

            And that brings up another point. We don’t have an adequate leadoff hitter. With the makeup of this roster, that is not an easy fix..

          • Howard Fox

            hmmm, maybe we could trade for a second baseman, maybe Gordon…oh wait, we need defense, got to keep the other team from scoring because our only chance is a shutout…

      • scooplew

        I think a successful team can be the product of both: HR and small ball. We have demonstrated the former this year as we lead the NL in HR. But we have shown little of the latter. Mattingly eschews small ball. How often does he try the steal, double-steal, hit-and-run or squeeze? The Dodgers have stolen 14 bases this season. Our first-base coach, Lopes, in 1975, stole 28 bases by the end of June. As far as Joc is concerned, his 19 HR have produced a total of 25 RBI. He has not once this season batted third, fourth, fifth or sixth, where his homers would produce more runs. In doing some research last night, as I was recovering from the defeat, I came across this, from 2013:

        Fewest RBI for a player with 20+ home runs

        1.
        Chris Hoiles
        : 20 HR and 40 RBI (1992 Orioles)

        2.
        Kevin Maas
        : 21 HR and 41 RBI (1990 Yankees)

        3.
        Chris Duncan
        : 22 HR and 43 RBI (2006 Cardinals)

        Fewest RBI for a player with 15+ home runs

        1.
        Scott Hairston
        : 17 HR and 31 RBI (2008 Padres)

        2.
        Daryl Boston
        : 15 HR and 31 RBI (1988 White Sox)

        3.
        Lucas Duda
        : 15 HR and 33 RBI (2013 Mets)

  • foul tip

    TBLA stat of the day: “The Dodgers have scored two or fewer runs in 21 of their last 37 games. This was the sixth time the club has been shutout in 2015.”

    Once again, those hollering about the team needing more pitching stand to be right longer term, but pitching has not been the main problem over the last 37.

  • foul tip

    TLBA stats of the day, Vol. 2. Meet Zack Greinke, owner of your #1 ERA in MLB.

    “Greinke pitched well yet again with six scoreless innings, lowering his ERA to an MLB-best 1.70. He allowed five batters to reach base, and struck out five. But Greinke also labored and threw 111 pitches in his six frames. In his last nine starts Greinke is 0-2 with seven no-decisions despite a 1.79 ERA.”

  • john galt

    So Mattingly’s head has been mentioned. I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing him go but I think there is little chance of it. Remember one of a manager’s functions is to take the blame and shield the high command, so until the fans start finding fault with the FO, Mattingly’s job is safe. Not my desire, just my opinion. To paraphrase Strother Martin in “Cool-hand Luke”, “What we have here is a failure to communicate”. That too is part of a manager’s function, although sometimes they get lucky and one or two of the players are leaders. Not so on today’s Dodger team, too many new (to the Dodgers) players, the players who could and should lead (I’m looking at you, Agon) don’t want to, and Mattingly isn’t capable of it. Remember how some of us have kept moaning about Matt Kemp being traded? That was the Dodger leader they traded, not just a guy who couldn’t put up Triple Crown Numbers anymore and was now overpaid. (And was that his fault too?) Remember how he used to get into the other player’s faces and push them to do more? Oh, I forgot, that was dissension, making Agon and Either uncomfortable, expecting them to cheer-lead and show emotion. Well, the man at the top (Friedman) has the ultimate responsibility. He has assembled a very talented team, a young team, but they have no leader. So maybe he does need to replace Mattingly, but that is the easy part; Who do you get to replace him, that will correct his deficits without adding too many of their own? I don’t know. I have a lot of respect for Bud Black, I’d like to see them give him a try with a good team, which he never had in San Diego. But that’s all moot, I really don’t think they’ll change.

    • foul tip

      “He has assembled a very talented team.” Who’s “he”? Not DM.

      • john galt

        Friedman

    • scooplew

      Good analysis. I also feel that the team lacks leaders. It’s hard to be a leader if you are not producing. Perhaps that is the case with Rollins, although I don’t know his demeanor. Perhaps Turner could be a leader. He certainly is producing. As for Mattingly, I am no fan of his for reasons I have expressed more than once. I would expect that Friedman is not happy with what is happening on the field. Friedman is not going to fire himself and he is not going to fire (too many) players and he inherited Mattingly. If the team continues to flounder — we’re 17-23 in the last 40 games and that is one-fourth of the season — then I think Mattingly becomes toast before the season ends. If the team fails to make the post-season or is eliminated before the World Series, then I think we will have a new manager next season.

    • Howard Fox

      I am not sold on the fact that we have assembled a very talented team. I think the hype machine was working overtime since the new FO got here. I do believe a good job has been done with the minor leagues, but I have been skeptical of the major league team all along.

      You take a team that is one round from the WS for two years, a team lacking pitching, you add and subtract players galore, but play the same game with retreads filling out your starting rotation and bullpen, how can you expect improvement?

      • Bob_Hendley

        I would have liked them to have acquired a front line starter myself (heck, at one point I was willing to trade Joc for a couple months of Lester), as well as shore up the pen. So far, however, our overall pitching has improved to date over the 2014 season (not sure how long that will hold and still want a frontliner, especially with Ryu and McCarthy out). RA/G is 3.5 versus 3.81 last year and ERA+ is 112 versus 103 in 2014. Where we are lagging a bit is on the offense. RS/G is 4.22 versus 4.43 last year, though OPS+ is 113 as against 110. (our RISP over the last month is reducing our yield even though we are hitting a bit better so far).

  • john galt

    LADBolsinger(4-2, 2.87 ERA)
    Hernandez, 2B
    Pederson, CF
    Turner, 3B

  • john galt

    The only thing consistent with this club has been its inconsistency. Therefore, I predict multiple runs tonight…

  • NPUT