Game 122, 2015

Dodgers at Astros, 4:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA

Zack Greinke has been emulating Superman recently. He’s made 11 consecutive starts without a loss, and he’s now 13-2 with an MLB-leading 1.58 ERA. He’s also the second-best hitting pitcher in the NL behind Madison Bumgarner of the Giants. His opponent will be left-handed Scott Kazmir (6-8, 2.43 ERA), who’s given up nine earned runs in his last three starts. He’s 1-3 with the Astros after coming over from the As at the trade deadline.

Lineup:

Puig’s back in right, Utley’s at second, and Kiké is in center. Van Slyke’s in left because Kazmir’s a lefty and neither Crawford nor Ethier hit southpaws well at all.

  • WinnipegDave

    Today’s game should be better than yesterday. Let’s start with that and see how it goes.

  • WBBsAs

    LAT’d: If we only had Hanley (per MLBTR): Cherington says he misjudged how Hanley Ramirez would transition from the infield to the outfield. “We didn’t know what he would be defensively,” Cherington says. “We made a bet based on the history of what players look like going from middle infield to outfield. … It hasn’t gone well.” Ramirez has rated as well below average in left field, and his defensive struggles this season have coincided with a decline on offense, arguably making Ramirez one of MLB’s worst position players while still in the first year of his contract.

    • package206

      I would certainly expect Cherington to make these comments since he was relieved of his duties and replaced by by Doubrowski of the Tigers. Got to blame the Red Sox woes on someone. He also had comments about others. If Hanley had stayed with the Dodgers I feel confident he would not have been an outfielder and would have continued to play in the N.L. where he was familar.

      • john galt

        And played just as badly. The string has run out, Package, every man reaches his point of decline someday.

        • package206

          Pure speculation on your part. Hanley may be old but that does not mean that he wouldn’t have bettered Rollins poor attempt at SS.

          • john galt

            You are loyal, albeit blind. Rollins has been much better than Hanley would have been. Boston would eat a lot of that contract, let’s see if they have any offers. I consider it payback for hanging Crawford et al around our neck three years ago…

          • package206

            Sorry I don’t agree, Rollins has been bad. His hitting terrible to say the least. He is old and slow and does not have near the range he had. To have kept Hanley would have been the correct move in my opinion.

          • WBBsAs

            And you’re wrong. By any reasonable measure, Rollins is more valuable than Hanley, especially to the Dodgers.

          • package206

            Rollins has played terrible and I am sorry you can’t see it. He is not more valuable than Hanley and I am surprised even you would make that kind of statement. Perhaps you should check somewhere to find out who is more valuable? That is crazy.

          • WBBsAs

            Hanley has been a real difference-maker for the Sawx…

          • package206

            Yea, like Rollins has been a real slugger.

          • WBBsAs

            Rollins has played perfectly good defense and, recently, his offense has improved considerably.

          • Particularly when you consider Hanley’s moodiness and apparent inability to get along with teammates.

          • package206

            Tell us about that Link, I would love to hear about it as you must have been in the dugout.

          • Go read Molly Knight’s book.

          • WBBsAs

            I liked Hanley, but it was time for him to go.

          • Bob_Hendley

            Hanley actually isn’t old. Hope he gets well and better. Loved him as a Dodger.

          • WBBsAs

            Hanley’s not “old,” but he is an injury-prone player with no apparent position.

        • package206

          It is not Hanley’s fault that the Red Sox missjudged whether or not Hanley could transition to the outfield. He is an infielder.

          • WBBsAs

            Hanley’s only viable defensive position is DH, but he may no longer be a good enough hitter for that.

      • WBBsAs

        So, Cherington hopes to get another front office job by acknowledging his own poor judgement?

        • package206

          I doubt he will get another shot. Its not good to burn bridges.

          • WBBsAs

            Well, then, he should at least get credit for acknowledging that signing Hanley was a terrible mistake. So was signing Phlablo, for that matter.

  • WBBsAs

    Gnats lose on walk-off dinger by Starling Marte.

    • scooplew

      If we win today we can erase what happened yesterday and move back to 2 1/2 up, three in the loss column.

      The Pirates beat the Giants today on three solo homers — two by Kang and the walkoff with two outs in the 9th by Martin. The Pirates’ only other hit was a Marte double. The Giants also had four hits, all of them singles.

      The Giants are 2-4 on their road trip; we are 0-3.

  • WBBsAs

    Steiner makes losing streaks even worse.

  • scooplew

    Here’s to a big top of the first inning. It’s been a long time coming as I believe Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young used to sing.

  • package206

    Glad to see that Pederson is not in the lineup tonight. Maybe if he sits a little he can get his game together. There is a big old place on the bench for Rollins too.

  • scooplew

    What time is this game supposed to begin?

    • package206

      710 ET. Think there is a Biggio thing tonight.

      • WBBsAs

        It’s a Biggio deal there.

        • WinnipegDave

          That’s a better pun than mine above.

          • WBBsAs

            I actually admired Biggio’s style of play – and the results.

          • WinnipegDave

            He was the Chase Utley of his day – except better, longer.

  • WinnipegDave

    Puig to break the hitless streak?

    • WinnipegDave

      I guess not.

  • WinnipegDave

    Odds of Dodgers getting a hit is Astro-nomical today.

    • scooplew

      Houston, we have a problem. (A cliché, but accurate.}

      • WinnipegDave

        Nice. To bad RBI is not here she would love these.

  • WinnipegDave

    Well, one team is getting off to a good start. Baseball is dumb.

  • scooplew

    Neither watching nor listening. Would Pederson have caught Altuve’s hit?

    • WBBsAs

      Not if he was playing where Quique was.

      • scooplew

        Thanks.

  • WinnipegDave

    What’s up with Turner these days? Low throws,bobbled balls etc.

  • WBBsAs

    Great throw by Grandal there.

    • WinnipegDave

      Yes. Nice being able to throw out Houston’s rookie sensation.

  • WinnipegDave

    SVS launched that one. But to the wrong part of the park.

  • scooplew

    12 1/3 innings, 74 hours since our last hit. I am taking a break.

  • WinnipegDave

    Have Dodgers won on the road against AL teams yet this year? I know they lost vs Texas, Oakland and last night. Not sure how they did against LA of Anaheim or other AL teams.

    • WinnipegDave

      Just looked at Baseball Reference. I guess they haven’t won on the road vs AL teams yet – but have only played 5 of those games thus far. So 0-5. 3% of their total season.

  • WinnipegDave

    2 innings and a 2-0 lead for the Astros. Up hill battle to be sure again today,

    • package206

      Its early Dave. Keep the faith. I am counting on you!

      • WinnipegDave

        I was just thinking that at least there is a hill there in the park that the Dodgers can climb!

      • WinnipegDave

        It is early, but it feels like the Dodgers are really beginning to press at the plate to try and break the hitless streak.

        • package206

          I think you are right, they seem to swinging at balls on my tv.

  • WinnipegDave

    I have a new family friendly slogan for the Dodgers on the road:
    “Today a hit. Tomorrow a run.”

    Actually, I am confident they will accomplish both today.

  • WinnipegDave

    Nice play by Utley – and Gonzo.

    • package206

      WOW!

  • package206

    Time for the Dodgers to breakout!

  • package206

    Nice going Rollins.

  • WinnipegDave

    Classic! First hit and perhaps Rollins got thrown out at second.

  • Bob_Hendley

    A base hit! But…

  • Bob_Hendley

    Looks safe.

    • package206

      Its tight.

    • package206

      Got the monkey off our back though.

  • WinnipegDave

    Another challenge lost.

  • WinnipegDave

    Amended slogan: Today a hit. Tomorrow a baserunner.

    • WBBsAs

      Technically, Rollins was a baserunner. And the Dodgers did have baserunners yesterday.

      • WinnipegDave

        Okay then: Yesterday baserunners. Today a hit.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Geez, it wasn’t a perfect game, we had three base runners yesterday.

  • package206

    Turner’s cooled off some.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Shaky in the field as well.

      • WBBsAs

        Two difficult but makeable plays on Wednesday.

        • package206

          Have you ever seen him this cool. He played great last year as well.

          • WBBsAs

            He played very well this year until going down with the infection.

          • Bob_Hendley

            So far, but a long shot, this is his worst month since his first month with us in 2014.

          • package206

            I hope he comes out of it. Seems like we were always counting him.

    • WBBsAs

      Since he returned from the leg infection.

  • WinnipegDave

    My guess is that Cincinnati will cure some of our hitting woes.

    • package206

      Certainly an excellent opportunity.

  • package206

    Greinke’s ERA is all the way up to 1.65. Uh Oh!! Just kidding.

  • package206

    Atta Boy, Chase!!

  • WBBsAs

    Dodgers can’t catch a break.

    • WinnipegDave

      Not at all. Utley would have scored from third on that fly ball.

      • WBBsAs

        I hate to admit it was the right call.

        • WinnipegDave

          True but still right about not catching a break.

  • C’mon, Alex, pretend you’re that earlier Guerrero the Dodgers had.

  • WinnipegDave

    At least lots of pitches from Kazmir.

    • scooplew

      When you stop being optimistic, I know we will be in big trouble.

      • WinnipegDave

        Ha. I can fluctuate wildly with the best of them, but I do feel optimistic about this team despite some lackluster play recently.

  • Rats.

  • WinnipegDave

    Okay Dodgers are starting to get their groove back.

  • C’mon Yasiel!

  • scooplew

    It is dismaying to have Guerrero tail off so badly after his solid start:
    April — .423 batting average
    May — .239
    June — .220
    July — .091
    August — .167 (including tonight)

    • WinnipegDave

      So he is rebounding, and if he continues that he should be hitting about .250 in October.

      • scooplew

        Ha!

    • Bob_in_Vegas

      Mirrors the solid start by the team as a whole.
      Since that great start, .500.

    • Howard Fox

      This I put a little on DM. The better Alex hit early on, the more infrequent his appearances. But actually that is DM’s m.o. A hitter goes 3 or 4 for 4, the next day he sits, without fail, to give him rest because he must be tired from running the bases. Now don’t ask me when was the last time a Dodger hitter had 3 or 4 hits in a game.

  • WinnipegDave

    Dude!

  • package206

    Justin’s back!!

  • package206

    Here we go, here we go!!

    • scooplew

      There we went, there we went!

  • Drat.

    • WinnipegDave

      How exactly do you choose between when to use rats and when to use drat. Is there a technical quality to it or do just go by feel?
      (tongue in check)

      • Whichever I didn’t use the first time gets used the second time. After that it’s devil take the hindmost.

        • WinnipegDave

          Thanks Professor.

          • Not at all, grasshopper.

          • WinnipegDave

            Ha!

  • package206

    Into the bullpen. Its over for the Stros!

    • package206

      Guess I missed that one.

  • scooplew

    Tuesday was aggravating, Wednesday was numbing, Friday was embarrassing, today is what I have come to expect.

  • package206

    Dodgers need to get home.

  • It’s a puzzle why entire teams go into hitting slumps at the same time.

    Although we’ve doubled the number of hits the Astros have. Greinke by rights should be really annoyed.

    • package206

      They say hitting is contageious, maybe slumps are too?

  • WBBsAs

    This would be far more aggravating had the Gnats gnot already lost.

    • Bob_in_Vegas

      They havta know they will still face SF 7 more times . . . so they are going to HAVE to do what they have only infrequently done all summer: get it done themselves.

  • scooplew

    Here is my analogy. A hitting coach is to a team as a mechanic is to a car. When you are having problems with your vehicle, you take it to the shop and expect the mechanic to analyze the problems and fix them. McGwire is our mechanic. The Dodgers are the car. Maybe we need a new mechanic.

    • Except unlike the car, here you have to rely on people to execute what they’re told to. The car’s mechanical, the people are not.

      • scooplew

        Well, it was worth a try.

        • If McGwire reads this blog it might work. 😉

    • foul tip

      But the mechanic can’t keep drivers from fouling up and running the car off into the ditch.

  • package206

    Do it Chase!!

  • WinnipegDave

    Joc hit a hitable pitch.

  • scooplew

    If Greinke is Superman (see above), the Dodger hitters are Kryptonite.

  • package206

    Drat, Rats!!!

  • WinnipegDave

    Improvement from yesterday. Hope to come away with a win tomorrow. Enough for today.

  • If there’s a more frustrating way to end a game than a strikeout, I don’t want to know about it.

  • scooplew

    45-45 in our last 90 games, seven straight losses on the road, 3 runs in our last 29 innings and still, somehow, in first place by 1.5 games and two games up in the loss column. Kershaw goes tomorrow. The ship has not completely sunk.

    • Listing, though. The only consolation is that the players, coaches and management are probably even more frustrated and ticked off than the fans are.

      • foul tip

        And in the case of the players, likely pressing, trying too hard instead of playing with a loose, relaxed confidence. Not having fun.

      • Bob_Hendley

        As Foul Tip suggests, not sure I want them ticked off. What are you ticked off about?

        • Poor performance. Continued poor performance by the hitters, which affects: the bullpen which might be a little better if it didn’t frequently find themselves in situations where one pitch can tie or lose the game.

          • Bob_in_Vegas

            Totally agree.
            Having to be perfect affects the starters as well — they can’t trust the batters or the bullpen for support!

          • Howard Fox

            But that is what stretch run and playoff baseball is about….pitching….
            The successful teams in postseason aren’t the ones scoring a lot of runs, its the one where the pitching does the job.
            The big hitting teams right now…Toronto, Yankees…they are going nowhere…the teams with the pitching, they are the ones to fear. Unfortunately, while we do not hit, we pitch even less.

          • package206

            The Dodgers have huge resources yet refuse to spend money on big name players. To me, it only makes sense to acquire 1st rate players and I agree pitching is key. To continue to buy retreads and less than available good players is not smart. Their payroll gets higher and higher but their performance appears to be worse and worse. They passed on Cueto, Hamels, Price and others for starters and who knows how many relievers for what? They are not the best team money can buy.

          • Howard Fox

            But isn’t that what a bullpen is about? being in situations where one pitch can tie or lose the game? if they weren’t in that situation, the current pitcher would not be replaced….
            I like to rail on DM, and most times with good reason, but this team, at this price, and it is no better…maybe worse…than the past few years. Same issues…more money….same issues….hitting, bullpen, manager.
            Yes, still a game and a half up in the division, but if they cannot stay ahead of the Giants, they do not make the playoffs at all. Pretty pathetic.

    • WinnipegDave

      My co-President of the Optimist Club!

    • Bob_in_Vegas

      Unfortunately, the fact the Dodgers are still in 1st is less a reflection on the quality of the Dodgers as it is on the rest of the division.

      I know we’ve been saying it since mid-May, but maybe, maybe, maybe they can once again be that team which got off to such a great start.

  • scooplew

    We needed RBI today.

    • Bob_in_Vegas

      Dodgers need some RBIs.

  • 11:10AM game tomorrow, remember. That’s 8:00AM my time. Baseball for breakfast on TBS!

    • John_from_Aus

      i might catch some action before going to work

    • Bob_Hendley

      Tequila at the ready.

  • Howard Fox

    This team mirrors last year’s. Last year, the team lived and died on the bat of Hanley. This year it is Turner. But last year we got the glove of Hanley, this year Turner. Hmmm…..

  • john galt

    Interesting article: http://nypost.com/2015/08/22/forecasting-harsh-fallouts-from-10-most-disappointing-mlb-teams/
    Read somewhere about escalating FO salaries. Friedman’s contract is for $35MM, don’t know the term. Apparently he is highest paid.

  • john galt

    What’s going to happen to Callaspo? He turned out to be a better and more useful player than I thought when we first got him and I hate losing him for the Ghost of Utley. I know he was DFA’d several days ago. That means he goes through waivers where other teams can claim him. If he is claimed (and he is good enough and cheap enough that he will be claimed) the Dodgers can try to work out a trade with the claiming team or simply give him up, along with responsibility for his salary. What I am wondering is this: If the Ten Day DFA Period runs into September 1st, could the Dodgers simply stall until the First when the roster expands, then re-activate him?

    • WBBsAs

      DFA means he’s no longer on the 40-man roster so, even if he accepts a demotion, they could not bring him back without promoting him to the 40-man. Unlikely anybody will claim him at his full salary, but somebody might want him as depth. They’ll get little or nothing for him, in any event.

  • WBBsAs
    • Another band from my day that I didn’t realize was still around.

      • WBBsAs

        Around and regularly rejuvenated by Ray Benson. We see them every year at Nicasio.

  • NPUT