Game 120, 2015

Jerry Hairston, after last night’s bullpen failure: “That’s the 25th time in his career the bullpen has blown a game Kershaw was in line to win.”

Dodgers at Athletics, 12:35PM PT, TV: SPNLA, CSNCA

Ordinarily this would be Mat Latos’ turn in the Dodgers’ rotation, but he’s temporarily moving to the bullpen “to get the most starts possible out of Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke.” In other words, the Dodgers are going to a four-man rotation for a few weeks. They can do this because of days off this week and next.

That means Alex Wood will pitch for the Dodgers today. He’s 8-7 with a 3.74 ERA and got his first win as a Dodger his last time out. He went 6 1/3 innings against the Reds on August 14, giving up five hits and three earned runs while walking three and striking out three.

His opponent will be Jesse Chavez, who’s tied for most losses in the AL with twelve. He’s 4-5 with a 2.92 ERA at home, though, and that’s where the game will be played.

Lineup when available.

103 thoughts on “Game 120, 2015

  1. Astros lost 1-0 against Archer and the Rays. Houston got a lead of walk and a 5th inning single. They will be as hungry for a win as the Dodgers.

  2. I wonder if it is possible the Dodgers obtained Utley more to keep him away from the Gnats as opposed to actually needing him although Kendrick is real iffy right now.

    • After Pence went down, the Gnats were even more desperate for outfield help, and picked up one of baseball’s worst defensive outfielders whose offense was exaggerated by playing in a small ballpark.

    • Hard to imagine that being the main objective. Imagine that they see benefits in having Chase on the team given uncertainties surrounding Howie and wouldn’t weaken the team just to keep him out of the hands of the giants (sic).

  3. Jon has selected quotes from Farhan Zaidi about the Utley acquisition and other team things. On the bullpen’s performance:

    “It’s been a rough stretch. Bullpens in general are part of the team
    where performance tends to be the most volatile. The thing with us is
    every guy in our bullpen has had a track record and stretches this year
    where they’ve been really good. Part of it is a few of our guys
    hitting speed bumps at the same time. … We have to find ways to get the
    most out of their ability, whether looking at their mix of pitches,
    sequences, getting them in the right matchups, which I actually think we
    have done. But there’s a track record and an ability record with these
    guys. There’s a reason they’re on the team.”

    On improving or adding to the bullpen:

    “This [Utley] move is obviously not (preventing
    us) from adding in the pen or frankly anywhere else on the roster. …
    Anything we think will improve the team, we’ll continue to pursue.”

  4. So Sweeney goes in the Utley deal along Richy (not familiar with this pitcher prospect). Surprised it took someone like Sweeney to get Utley – who seems like an old and run down two month rental. I would love to be proven wrong and have Utley turn back the clock to 2008. However, that doesn’t seem likely and so, I don’t want to rate this deal too highly.

    • Since coming back from injury, Chutley’s done well in small sample size. Hendrick’s return may be delayed, so Chutley and Quique could split time, with Quique also in the OF if Puig misses much. Richy’s apparently not doing well in the minors, and Sweeney is pretty fungible.

      • I see they have DFA’d Callaspo. Dodgers are doing a real number on third basemen this year. Trade Uribe. Trade Oliveria. DFA Callaspo. Turner is a wonder but it feels like they have capable back ups everywhere but third. I don’t like Guerrero’s glove there and sounds like they want Hernandez more in the outfield or shortstop. Perhaps they really do see Seager at third sooner rather than later.

        • Some of the suggestions:

          Zaidi said it was likely that Hernandez and Alex Guerrero would be the primary backups at third base to Turner, and mentioned Utley as a possibility to play some third base once Howie Kendrick returns from his hamstring injury, expected somewhere near the first week of September.

        • Not sure they want to mess with their future SS, but I guess it’s worthwhile to see if he starts getting any reps at 3rd down in OKC. Hard to see a call up before September in any event unless there are more injuries or things start going down the tubes.

  5. Dodgers gutted their International Scouting Dept this week. http://dodgersdigest.com/2015/08/18/report-dodgers-dismiss-bob-engle-and-many-international-scouts/ No explanation but Eric Stephen pointed out that none of them were hired by Friedman. Did he sell O’Malley’s Statue yet? At some point even the name “Dodgers” will have to go…. He better come up with a winning team pretty soon or the big money guys will lose patience with his ego trip.

    • Wait – what? Why would the name Dodgers have to go? Are you trying to say that he would change it and name the team after himself or his pet turtle or something?
      As for the “come up with a winning team” – despite the 2 brutal losses in Oakland (ouch they were bad), aren’t the Dodgers a winning team right now? Or do you mean in the playoffs – which no team has won a single game in yet this year because it’s not here yet?

        • Not trying to be provocative, guess I just care too much, which is always a mistake. I’ll concentrate on World Hunger and let the Dodger Blunders take them where they will…

          • We do know that no matter how much we gnash our teeth and yell we have no effect on the team’s performance at all (unless we’re in the stadium itself). But does that stop us? No!

  6. I went today with an A’s fan friend who detests Billy Bean. The results were just as bad as last night, but not quite so aggravating.

    Scoop, I looked for you at the indicated places and nobody had ever heard of you.

  7. The (apparently) once-and-future weakness — bullpen — was joined by another frequent failing — the bats. If it’s not a failure to hit in clutch situations (last night), it’s a failure to get hits at all — this has to be at least the 6th time this season they failed to get more than a handful of hits.

    With seven more to go against the Giants (four in SF the last week of the season) — and the fact they can’t even get one win against a team 18 games under .500 (now, thanks to LA, only 16) — I don’t feel that confident about this team’s chances.

      • — and many times over the last three months, when they have been basically break-even.

    • Chavez came into the game 6-12, albeit with a 3.84 ERA. We made him look like the second coming of Catfish Hunter or some other As pitcher of yore. Two hits, two runs, six strikeouts.

      • They have that incredible talent to make any opposing pitcher look like a Cy Young Award candidate.

        And the bullpen can make any hitter look like an MVP candidate.

        Combined, they make us fans candidates for the nuthouse!

  8. Okay. Back to my life. I’m glad we have another day off. I need a break from this team. Hopefully we’ll still be alone in first place on Friday. (Do the Gnats play tomorrow as well?)

  9. Seemed to be a pretty well rounded loss. Starter gave up 3 and the pen 2, and the offense scored 2.

  10. Hey RBI – my son just suggested you should change your name to FBI – because the RBI’s are missing.

        • Bad one. Jerry Hairston just commented that the team doesn’t seem to have found its identity yet. I agree. They’d better do it soon, though! Houston is going to be tough.

          • Boy your telling me. Houston has a great team and getting better. The team can’t afford a real slide at this point. Do you like Utley?

          • He seems harmless to me. If he goes on a hitting tear, maybe that will be a spark. He’s been hitting well recently.

  11. I know this is not the case in reality, but it feels like that the Dodgers are disinterested in today’s game.

    • Baez and Garcia can’t be considered retreads. Relief pitchers’ performances are notoriously hard to predict, so I don’t know how you go about finding non-retreads who will get the job done.

      • C’mon Link, you know what I mean. The Dodgers could have a better bullpen than what they have and you know it.

        • On paper. They thought they had a super bullpen last year on paper, with League and Wilson and Perez all former closers who’d done the job repeatedly.

          You can’t predict what relief pitchers will do from year to year unless they’re named Mariano Rivera.

          • Relievers aren’t as predictable but there were a few I think that would have helped.

          • Of course there are. But look. The Padres thought they were getting a superstar closer in Kimbrel, and he didn’t get his ERA under 4 until June. He was getting saves, but he wasn’t untouchable. And he was a closer. Middle relievers are notoriously less predictable.

            The Dodgers thought they had a good bullpen at the start of the year. They went out and got two more bullpen guys at the deadline. Both of those guys had been successful in the past with their old team. And now both of them are struggling with their new one.

            You can’t predict.

      • Báez and Yimi are young pitchers with considerable upside, as is Avilán. Retreads were League, Pérez and Wilson. Chapman might have been available for Urias, Seager, Puig, Turner and Kershaw.

  12. Mattingly, now would be a good time to pull Jim Johnson. How can you not have anyone warming up?

  13. It’s strange how some teams just seem to have our number. Oakland may be faltering elsewhere, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at how they play us.

    • You mean one hit might be enough to win? I’m shocked.
      They will come around soon, I’m sure.

  14. More on that $2M coming from the Phillies: “Utley is owed about $3.85MM for the rest of the 2015 season and also comes with a $2MM buyout for his 2016 option.”

    Money’s fungible, but it looks like that’s the buyout money.

    Also from that source: “He’s slashed a robust .484/.485/.742 over 31 plate appearances in the month of August. That’s a small sample, of course, but it does suggest he’s healthy”

    And Kendrick may be out for a month.

    • Thanks, Link. Let the gnashing of teeth and rendering of garments begin. Oh, wait, that has already started.

    • Hey Link, whatcha think?? I like it, this time I think the FO did a good thing. I know Chase is old but I think it will make Rollins better and I think Utley can still hit. The only drawback is injury. If he doesn’t get hurt it is a real plus in my opinion.

  15. Nice to have the lead, but miles — and the Bullpen — to go before any true celebrating.

  16. Apparently two minor leaguers and $2MM to Philadelphia. What a waste! Next they’ll be buying Babe Ruth’s corpse…

      • 2:30pm: The deal under consideration would deliver two minor league players to Philadelphia, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets. Los Angeles would also take on about $2MM of the remaining money left on Utley’s contract.

        • Obviously the money is not an issue regardless. The question is what 2 prospects are going over and what player will be replaced on the 25 man roster.

        • Take on means owe. If the Phillies send $2M to help defray the cost, the Dodgers still owe him, it just means they’re not out of pocket that $2M.

          From Phillies.com: “The Phillies reportedly would include cash in the deal and get two Minor Leaguers in return.”

  17. What the what? Just had an update flash on my iphone that the Phils and Dodgers were getting closer on a deal for Chase Utley. Why? I’m mean really – why?

      • For whatever anyone thinks of this years FO – it doesn’t seem like a deal they would go typically go after.

        • Left-handed bat off the bench? I don’t know, I’m straining to figure this one out. He’ll take up a spot on the 25-man roster, too, which means somebody has to be optioned.

    • Guessing that they find KeeKAY too valuable as fill in at Cf and SS to give him job until Howie returns.