Game 77, 2015

Dodgers at Marlins, 10:10AM PT, TV: SPNLA

Zack Greinke (5-2, 1.70 ERA) goes for the Dodgers. He hasn’t allowed a run in his last two starts, but he hasn’t gotten a win in either game. The Dodgers’ offense remains mired in a team-wide slump, at least when Kershaw and Greinke start. The Marlins send rookie Jose Urena to the hill. He’s 1-3 with a 4.34 ERA, but 1-1 with a 3.57 ERA at home.

The Marlins have their own scoring problems, now that it’s known they won’t have Major League home run leader Giancarlo Stanton for about a month due to a broken bone in his wrist.

The Marlins have declared it Josh Beckett Appreciation Day. Beckett pitched the last three injury-plagued seasons of his career with the Dodgers, but he broke in with the Marlins in 2001 and pitched the next four seasons for them, including their 2003 World Series-winning season when he was named MVP of the Fall Classic.

Lineup when available.

  • scooplew

    Today’s Dodgers Lineup:
    Pederson CF
    Kendrick 2B
    Gonzalez 1B
    Puig RF
    Grandal C
    Ethier LF
    Callaspo 3B
    Rollins SS
    Greinke P

  • scooplew

    With that strikeout leading off the game, Pederson has now fanned in exactly 36 percent of his at bats — 90 out of 250. Despite all of his walks and his power, that is unacceptable. With the injury to Stanton (frozen for now at 95 strikeouts), Pederson will soon take over the league lead in strikeouts. I think he has a great upside, but the strikeouts are a factor in our failure to score many runs.

    • WBBsAs

      His .386 OBP is fifth in the league, behind only Goldschmidt, Harper, Rizzo and Votto. That’s pretty elite company.

      • scooplew

        I would prefer his OBP to appear lower in the lineup. We would get more advantage from his HRs then. The total number of RBIs produced by his 16 homers is 25. Also, and this is subjective, I feel it sets a bad tone for the game when he begins it with a strikeout.

      • scooplew

        His OBP is great, but with so many Ks, he doesn’t have the number of productive outs that advance runners as do players with lower OBPs and fewer strikeouts.

        • Bob_Hendley

          Guessing that there is some sort of trade off here (i.e, what level of productive outs would compensate for lower OBP?). Would be interesting to crunch the numbers. You would need to deal with “double unproductive outs” such as GIDP. Sounds like a project. I’ll check the available data base.

      • package206

        He’s not talking about OBP, he is talking about strike outs.

        • WBBsAs

          An out is an out. Matt Kemp strikes out a bit less (79 K’s v. Joc’s 92, but his OBP is .283. Who’s a bigger hole in the lineup?

          • package206

            It is also not about Matt Kemp. It is about Joc Pederson and how much he strikes out! Way too much!

          • WBBsAs

            Denialism doesn’t accomplish anything, so I’d be curious to know what alternatives you offer. The reality is that Joc is a major talent, a brilliant outfielder who hits for power and reaches base at an elite level, with one notable but hardly fatal shortcoming.

          • package206

            It does not require an alternative. No one said Joc was not a good outfielder or that he walks a lot or he hits with power. The only point was that he strikes out too much. You may excuse a weakness but others don’t.

          • WBBsAs

            Since context is irrelevant, I shall likewise refuse to excuse flagrant weaknesses: A.J. fails to reach base frequently. And he failed to throw out Dee Gordon stealing second yesterday.

    • package206

      If you say Joc strikes out too much some will make an excuse every time. I totally agree with your thought.

  • john galt

    Is Agon leading the league in GIDP?

    • scooplew

      Through yesterday, he was in a four-way tied for fourth with 11 GIDPs, trailing McGehee (15) of the Giants, Simmons (15) of the Braves and Cuddyer (12) of the Mets.

      • WBBsAs

        McGeehee is undoubtedly the percentage leader.

        From McCovey Chronicles (best Gnatblog by far): “51.7% of Casey McGehee’s plate appearances have ended in double plays this season. He came in as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the sixth inning to face Chris Rusin who was definitely going from solid to shaky late in his start. It was the most favorable matchup you could give him…” Of course, he GIDP’d again.

        • scooplew

          McGehee has GIDP in 11.8 percent of his ABs, a remarkably high percentage. Simmons (5.4 percent), Cuddyer (4.7 percent), Gonzales (4.0 percent). I expect McGehee, whom Giants fans have little use for, leads the league in percentage; not sure where the others rank.

        • scooplew

          They must have meant 11.7 percent (actually 11.8) , not 51.7 percent. Big difference.

          • WBBsAs

            Grant is a master of hyperbole.

      • john galt

        Maybe he should hit leadoff to minimize that possibility… (Tongue in cheek)

  • WBBsAs

    Grandal nabs Dee! Oh, wait, he can’t throw out runners…

  • scooplew

    Greinke’s streak of scoreless innings is now at 16.

  • scooplew

    A balk and a botched DP are needed but, hey, we score a run!

    • WinnipegDave

      We took a page from the Marlin’s play book to score that run!

  • WinnipegDave

    What’s the difference between Greinke pitching with the lead as opposed to without the lead?

    Apparently nothing.

  • scooplew

    Was Turner benched because this is an early-afternoon game after a late-afternoon game? (Being facetious).

    • WBBsAs

      He’s had some injuries making him a most-days player.

      • scooplew

        Has Turner said that he doesn’t have the problems that Mattingly says he has?

  • scooplew

    Great catch by Ethier or that is a triple or perhaps an inside-the-park homer by Gordon.

    • WinnipegDave

      Yeah, I think Gordon circles the bases if that gets by Ethier.

  • WinnipegDave

    That looked like kind of a lassez faire catch by Puig to end the inning.

  • scooplew

    Joc, Joc, Joc, Joc. What are you swinging at?

  • Now would be a good time for a double, Andre.

    • scooplew

      Thank you. I want you to let us know what it would be good for SVS to do now.

  • WinnipegDave

    Let’s go SVS.

  • WinnipegDave

    2 is nice. 4 would have felt amazing.

  • WinnipegDave

    With Greinke coming up third in the 8th, I’m guessing he is done for the afternoon. Nice game, and his era goes down to 1.59.

    • WinnipegDave

      I stand corrected. He is in the on-deck circle.

  • WinnipegDave

    Wow – Zack must have been really struggling this inning to get pulled. Oh wait, he struck one out and got an easy ground out. I guess 101 pitches was his limit.

  • WBBsAs

    I see no reason to pull Greinke, except than Don has to show he’s the manager.

    • Ah well, it worked.

      • WinnipegDave

        Go with Liberatore and his pitch count of 2 in the bottom of the ninth or bring in Jansen?

        • Steiner is assuming Jansen. Mattingly will probably bring him in, because “he’s the closer, man.”

          • WBBsAs

            Also because he’s the best.

  • WinnipegDave

    Bottom of the ninth. Here’s to no drama.

  • WinnipegDave

    Refreshing not to hear the beat LA chant with the runner on 2nd in the bottom of the ninth.

  • WinnipegDave

    Jansen got away with one to strike out Ozuna.

  • WinnipegDave

    We win!

  • WinnipegDave

    Well a bit of drama after the lead off double, but Jansen brings the heart-rate down very nicely after that. 2 strike outs and a pop up to close out the win.

  • RBI

    Woo-HOO!!!

    • scooplew

      That’s right! If wins can be painstaking, this was certainly one of them.

  • scooplew

    We needed pitching like Greinke, Liberatore, and Jansen delivered today when we only scored two runs which seems to be our norm.

  • John_from_Aus

    just checked in to good news

    • scooplew

      All’s well that ends well. It was a gritty win.

  • scooplew

    Arenado hit a two-run homer off Bumgarner in the first, but the Giants, down 2-0, now get to face Kendrick and his nearly 6 ERA.

  • Bob_in_Vegas

    Watched it on Gameday — what a masterpiece by Zack.

    Gotta give props to the “offense” for the 2-out rally (AGon!) . . . but without Zack’s sac bunt in the 5th, that would’ve been the only run they scored. . . . ANOTHER game under 10 hits and 2 runs or less?!!!! Can’t blame it on the humidity, unless something happened indoors.

    Now fairly well into the 2nd month of this anemic output, something needs to be done, but I’m not sure what — Puig’s return didn’t do it. There was talk of Donnie getting the ax, but I’m not sure a new manager can get them to execute better, other than trying to make things happen/”small ball” — or maybe stabilizing a lineup.

    Yes, they’re still in 1st — but equally yes, they aren’t beating winning teams . . . or even consistently beating up “weak” teams. It could be a case of a frustrating road to making the postseason . . . then a quick elimination.

    Or there could be that frustration, then a hot streak.

    Or . . . ?

    Tune in tomorrow — same bat channel, different bat time.

    • scooplew

      I think you said it all.

    • Bob_Hendley

      .694 wining percentage against ,.500 teams is pretty good, so its really the Cards, giants and Rangers that have been vexing (6-17). Five more wins there would have put us at about.500 against >.500 teams. Not sure that this is a situation that calls for a new manager at this point. Hopefully the bats awaken in the Snake Pit.

      • Bob_in_Vegas

        I’m not calling for a new manager, just SOMEthing to get the offense to step up.

        No fudging the #s can change the fact that this team has not been able to consistently beat “playoff” teams. That doesn’t mean they won’t — I’m the first to bring up the Mets in ’88. But it’s not encouraging, at least to me.

        And with the Giants in that group that LA hasn’t been able to beat, there’s the real possibility of not even making the playoffs since there’s no guarantee a wild card will come from the West.

        • Bob_Hendley

          Realize that YOU weren’t calling for such, I was just responding to the “talk”. Don’t know what you mean by fudging the numbers. We have the second most wins in the NL, so we must be beating someone (hence showing our record against ,.500 clubs as being not so bad as you imply) As regards our record against ..500 clubs, I acknowledged such, but noted that the difference between our losing record against >.500 clubs and being at least .500 against them is not all that great and at least five more of the games were winnable to my mind.

          • Bob_in_Vegas

            By fudging, I meant playing the “if only” game — if only LA had won 5 more games . . . bottom line is they didn’t.
            I get frustrated when I play the “if only they would hit like they did during the April/early May stretch” — they aren’t.

            They still might.

            But even if they have the 2nd-most wins, right now they have the 3rd-best % and the Nats are a team 1/2 GB, (even in the loss column) — so LA is not even numerically the clear-cut 2nd-best team in the league.

            The good news is that three of those strong teams are in the Central and two of them have to contend with the Cards, so hopefully they’ll beat each other up.

            And hopefully, if they make the playoffs, the Dodgers will find a way to consistently beat these teams which so far they haven’t.

          • Bob_Hendley

            Wasn’t playing the “if only” game as you call it. Rather, I was putting actual numbers on display so that it was clear, first that we do well against <.500 clubs, contrary to your evidence-less claim. Second, I provided numbers that suggested the distance we might be away from becoming a good team. Basically five games against quality teams that went the other way. Whether one thinks that this is significant or not is up to them.

          • Bob_in_Vegas

            Regarding my “evidence-less claim” about them beating up on weaker teams, I’m talking about their record since May 13 (“Now fairly well into the 2nd month of this anemic output”).
            Crunch your numbers again for just that time frame and I’m sure they will not be as impressive.
            If they are, my feeling is wrong.

          • Bob_Hendley

            Thanks for the clarification. The game is “if only” we don’t count the first 33 games of the season. Would that include the 4 losses to the giants during that period?

        • WinnipegDave

          Bob in Vegas – I agree. From a “how do you feel about the Dodgers?” standpoint, losing so many to the Cards and Giants feels like we haven’t gotten past the hurdle of beating the teams we most want to beat. Our recent playoff nemesis and our historical rival are casting a dark cloud and large shadow across an otherwise predominantly sunny season.

      • WinnipegDave

        I noticed that as well. Looking at Baseball Reference, I see the Dodgers have played against 11 teams so far this season. BR has them listed in alphabetical order and the Dodgers are .500 or better against the first 8. It’s just the last half of the S’s and the T giving the Dodgers trouble – as noted by Bob Hendley above.

        The biggest issue seems to be the Dodgers record in tight games as their run differential this month is +14, which certainly could have produced a better than 14-14 record at this point in June.

  • WinnipegDave

    4-3 on this road trip so far and 4-1 since I predicted they would go 6-3 to close the first half. They are 14-14 so far this month and 15-16 thus far in their span of 34 games with only one day off (with 3 games left in that stretch).

    On the positive side, they could finish with 16 wins for the month and 18 out of 34 for the above mentioned run of games. Not great by any means, but not devastatingly bad either (18/34 = 85.8/162).

    • Bob_Hendley

      Weathering the “storm” (i.e., cold bats) with a .500 record is not a bad thing. Going forward (just when does that start!?), we may find out that they are somewhere between April-mid May and mid-May June offense-wise. Let’s hope so! If I were them, I would put my efforts into shoring up the starting pitching based on the idea that we may have been somewhat lucky in how Ballsliger and Frias have been holding up so far.

  • foul tip

    A comment on another board says this sign appears in the Dodger locker room. Whatever, kinda funny.

    • foul tip

      Fouled up something and image didn’t appear.

      Sign read: “Players and coaches must wash hands before returning to field. Zack Greinke is watching.”

  • NPUT