Game 123, 2015

Dodgers at Astros, 11:10AM PT, TV: SPNLA, TBS

It will be Clayton Kershaw (10-6, 2.34 ERA) going against Lance McCullers (5-4, 3.17 ERA). McCullers has spent the last two weeks in AA ball at Corpus Christi in an attempt to limit his innings in his first year in the big leagues. I guess it worked: he only threw three innings there in those two weeks. In his last big league start he went 1/3 of an inning and gave up seven hits and six earned runs.

Lineup when available.

144 thoughts on “Game 123, 2015

  1. Excerpt from Mike P piece yesterday about non-use of Kenley and bulllpen usage generally, not just DM style–

    “But nearly no matter what happens tonight, short of a blowout on either side, I want to see Kenley Jansen. He’s having arguably the best season of what’s shaping up to be an elite career… and he’s thrown all of 19 pitches since last Friday. That’s partially unfair — there were two off days in that span, of course — but he didn’t appear in either game in Oakland as the bullpen melted down, and he’s thrown just 98 pitches in the entire month of August.

    “I know that will open the floor to Mattingly-bashing by those who choose to perceive it that way, and I can’t say I’ve been a huge fan of the way the bullpen has been managed. But you know as well as I do that an overwhelming majority of the managers in baseball won’t use their closers in non-save situations. Hell, you have pitchers like Huston Street actually saying he’d rather retire than work that way. It’s a stunningly inefficient use of resources when Jim Johnson, J.P. Howell, and Pedro Baez have all thrown more pitches than one of baseball’s top relievers.

    “I’m not sure when that viewpoint is going to change. Doesn’t seem likely that the Dodgers are going to be the ones leading the charge. Might be that it takes another decade. It’s just frustrating, is all. Jansen is really, really, really good. You should want to use him as often as possible. Because what happens when you don’t — and watch this happen tonight — is that he sits idle for so long that you’re all but forced to “get him some work” in an unnecessary situation, and then he’s not available the next night, or at least not at full strength, when you really need him. It’s not great. But welcome to baseball, 2015, which in some ways still looks like baseball, 1995.”

    • That, apparently, was the original idea behind the acquisition of Brandon League – to let him close and use Kenley in critical situations. Unfortunately, League was awful and so were Chris Pérez and Brian Wilson.

      • How good was Bud Black on using pitchers? As an ex-pitcher, he might have some insight into that. I wouldn’t mind seeing him replace Donnie Baseball…

        • I’m no Mattingly fan, but neither do I want the team to play so poorly as to get him fired.

  2. Let’s end the weekend/start the week with a win today. 3-2 Dodgers. Feeling like they got a bit more comfortable at the plate yesterday and will do just enough today to squeak it out. Think they will need to have a homerun with some one on to do it though.

      • Sorry. I thought I heard Rick Monday say the throw beat him by 15 feet and assumed it was not a good decision.

    • From what I can tell without paying Baseball-Reference $36 for its Play Index, Steve Carlton is the career leader by a country mile: 145 in his 20+ years.

      So says somebody at this forum (scroll down about four posts) who actually did have access to the P-I, anyway. It’s through 2012, and he had Kershaw as active leader even then.

  3. Nice to leave the runner stranded at 2nd and not give back that run right away. Hope Kershaw can go 8 or perhaps all 9 today. 58 pitches through 5.

  4. Another double against Kershaw. Hope we can strand Altuve – or throw him out on base again.

    • I like being aggressive and trying to make things happen . . . but these guys aren’t making anything happen offensively.

    • Just checked in and saw the TOOTBLAN. Was there an earlier one too?

      Of all the Dodger problems, wouldn’t be surprising if their bad baserunning was what kept them out of the postseason or cost them dearly during it.

  5. One more for Kershaw and then bring in Jansen. That would be a good scenario at this point.

    • Counting today’s game, Kershaw has only had one start in his last 9 in which he gave up more than one run. 5 times it has been 0 runs.

      • He has definitely lived up to past years, having a better 2nd half (MUCH better this year).

  6. Not giving up on Puig for this season, but next season has to be easier/better – doesn’t it? Seems like between the injuries and the struggles, it has been such a lost year for him.

    • Sure hope you’re right . . . for his sake AND the Dodgers’.
      But I’m concerned with his maturation as a player — there’s no question about his talent.

    • 0-7 with runners in scoring position. 5 left on base. 2 thrown out on base. That just kills a team.

      • Winning teams find ways to win.
        The Dodgers find ways to lose.
        “One day more” (apologies to “Les Miz” — tho Dodger fans ARE miserable) Kersh leaves in line to win and doesn’t.

        • Almost any song from Les Miz could work:
          Empty Chairs at Empty Tables, where my friends will win no more.
          On My Own – the Clayton Kershaw story.
          Beggars at the Feast
          Bring him home – okay that strikes a lttile too close.
          I Dreamed a Dream – that’s what we have left after today’s game.

          • Bravo, maestro!

            “Master of the House” was a big part of the magic year of ’88 — I believe Nancy Bea played it when Orel was pitching.

            Regardless of the standings, it looks like “One Year More” will be the motto for hopes of the glory of ’88.

  7. Dodgers can’t do anything with that lead of hitter. Hatcher will get them through the 10th but will they find a way to score in the 11th?

  8. In consecutive games, they played the last-place and the 1st place team . . . . and were feeble/impotent/ineffective etc. vs. both.
    Poor Kersh.

  9. The victory was stolen from LA . . . legally.
    The SB is a wonderful weapon — too bad the Dodgers don’t have it in their arsenal.

  10. Oh, brother… Somehow we’e still 1 1/2 up, but this bullpen and the offense are getting worse. Which I didn’t think was possible.

    • The Dodgers are showing that they can lose in your absence as well as they can in your presence, so you might as well enjoy yourself in the Rockies. 😉

  11. I am sure I do not know as much as DM or the Dodger brain trust. But if it were me, I’d have stuck with the 5 man rotation, even if there are a couple off days sprinkled in here. And I would have let Kershaw pitch the 9th, pitch count be damned. He would have won his last 2 starts if we stay out of the bullpen. Better yet, maybe its time they spent another $100MM or so and got a couple relievers who can throw strikes. Or maybe bring up some young relievers from this self proclaimed great farm system.
    Hard to watch another season about to end prematurely.

  12. I’m sure the Dodger’s performance over the last week/month/half season hasn’t made anyone but the Giants feel good. And I can’t believe bringing Roenicke onboard at this point was a random thing. Lundy may have made some mistakes, all third base coaches do, but the vast majority of base-running faults are on stupid players, not the coach they didn’t look at. I don’t think any of us believe any longer that the Dodgers are a sentimental club, just giving an ex-player and coach a job. Not at this point. I think he is a dagger threatening Mattingly: Right the ship or you’re gone. This last week may have been the straw that break’s the camel’s back. Fine with me, Torre forced him on us and I never liked Torre either.

    • No question that Roenicke is a threat to Donnie but I still say that the FO put Donnie in a bad position. Their new philosophy is terrible

        • I am saying their philosophy is one where they get less than average players and then hope they perform or get well from injury or some other reason. Also, it is apparent that even though they have the money they will not get free agents such as Cueto, Hamels and Price among others.

          • I also said that Donnie would be fired for anything less than a World Series before the season started and during all the changes this FO made in the off season.

          • You could be right, but not picking up these fellows is not an indication of unwillingness to spend money, more the unwillingness to part with top prospects.

  13. From the search for silver lining dept., via TBLA:

    ‘It was the fifth start this season for Kershaw with double-digit strikeouts and no walks, surpassing Sandy Koufax in 1965 for most ever by a Dodgers pitcher in one season.”

  14. I only saw the first few innings, but I can’t say I was surprised. Unless someone can contradict me on this, putting a rusty Kenley out there was not necessarily a wrong decision, but it was risky. Had Kenley pitched in Oakland, for instance, he would probably have been sharp and the Dodgers would probably have won the first game there, but that’s what we’ve grown to expect the from the Mattingly School of Bullpen Management.

    • I know you and others will disagree with me but… Kenley has a lot of talent, could be as good as any closer in the business, but, he’s a head case. There are times he doesn’t want to pitch, or thinks he can’t, or something. He’s not the only ballplayer or non-ballplayer with that problem, it’s just that he has such a high ceiling when it doesn’t bother him. I cannot even suggest a solution, just get what you can out of him, like you do with any other ballplayer. If you could download Andrew McCutchen’s attitude to Kenley’s body, you’d have the greatest pitcher there ever was…

      • So, you’re Kenley’s analyst, or have you hacked into some confidential database?

        Kenley IS one of the best “closers” in the business. The problem is Mattingly’s unwillingness to use him in anything but a “save situation.”

      • A couple of times this season Kenley has seemed a bit uncomfortable on the mound, but I believe that in each case he was recovering some ailment and had indicated his availability. Seems more head strong than head case, but perhaps you can point to some other occasions.

      • Glad to see we have taken this forthright action to once and for all solve our bullpen issues.

          • From Eric Stephen: “Garcia is 3-3 with a 3.55 ERA in 46 games this season for the Dodgers, with 58 strikeouts — second among Dodgers relievers to Kenley Jansen — and just nine walks in 45⅔ innings. Garcia has also allowed a bullpen-high seven home runs, which first got him sent down just before the All-Star break.

            But Garcia hasn’t allowed a home run since July 6, and in his last six appearances with the Dodgers has allowed just one run in 8⅓ innings with five strikeouts and no walks.”

            Only perfection, though, appears to be good enough for you.

          • I believe you said that Nicasio has been pretty good. I was not referring to Garcia. I don’t expect perfection but they need to be better than bad.

          • Looking at Juan’s hold and IS numbers, he seems to have been as effective as Howell.

          • Nicasio has a 3.06 ERA, 52 K’s and only 39 hits in 47 innings. His BB numbers are higher than I prefer, but overall stats still very good.

    • That is your favorite Front Office. Problem is, it doesn’t seem to be working very well.

    • Get the feeling that Ballslinger is being kept in the back pocket as possible starter, if needed. Frias would normally be an option as a reliever, but not sure how his rehab is going. (update: just saw that Frias had been placed on 60 day at some point).

      • He went 4.1 relief innings at AAA last night, did pretty well. The team may be trying to keep him stretched out enough to long relieve or start, depending on need.

        Saw somewhere he takes a while to warm up. If so, relief not too likely.