Game 144, 2017

Dodgers at Giants, 7:15 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, NBCS BA

RHP Kenta Maeda (12-6, 4.02 ERA) takes the mound against RHP Chris Stratton (2-3, 4.10 ERA) in San Francisco.

Maeda allowed one unearned run over five innings on Wednesday against the D-backs. He’s 3-1 with a 4.58 ERA in four career starts against the Giants. Stratton has both started and relieved this season; he’s been much better as a starter. He’s got an 8.59 ERA in relief. As a starter he’s made five starts and has gone 2-1 with a 2.28 ERA since the All Star break.

A sad note: former Dodger (and nine other teams’) scout Mel Didier died Sunday night at home in Phoenix. He was 90 years old. His most memorable find was probably his analysis which showed that the Athletics’ Dennis Eckersley liked to throw backdoor sliders when the count was full and first base was open. He told the Dodgers’ hitters that before Game One of the 1988 World Series. What was the count to Kirk Gibson when he hit that game-winning home run? 3-2. What was the pitch? A backdoor slider.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1959 The Dodgers end Elroy Face’s consecutive win streak at 22 with a 5-4 victory over the Pirates. The reliever, who will end the season with an 18-1 record, is beaten by Chuck Churn, the winner of only three major league career victories.
  • 1966 In his first major league at-bat, John Miller homers off Lee Stange in the second inning of the Yankees’ 4-2 victory over Boston at Fenway Park. The 22 year-old left fielder, whose total of 10 hits in his 32-game career will include just two round-trippers, will become the only player to hit home runs in his first and last major league plate appearance when he goes deep as a pinch-hitter for the Dodgers in his final turn at bat in 1966.
  • 1998 Kevin Malone is named as the Dodgers’ general manager, replacing Tommy Lasorda, who is promoted to Senior Vice President of the team. The “new sheriff in town” tenure in Los Angeles will be marked by the signing of high profile players to huge contracts, including Kevin Brown’s seven-year deal making the right-hander the first $100 million man in baseball.

Historical note of more than passing interest to Cody Bellinger fans: today in 1956 Frank Robinson ties Wally Berger’s 1930 National League record for home runs by a rookie for home runs with his 38th in the Reds’ 11-5 victory over the Giants at Polo Grounds. A’s first baseman Mark McGwire established the major league mark for freshman homers with 49 round-trippers in 1989. Bellinger has 36 with 18 games to go in the season.

Lineup when available.

Granderson again? Why not Ethier in LF? And since A-Gon had to have an epidural shot four days ago, why not Cody at 1B?

Roberts, I’m beginning to question your judgment.

202 thoughts on “Game 144, 2017

  1. Sorely regret not being able to fully participate with my fellow community members over the past couple weeks of nosedive. Will be able to make it home and be in the stadium for the 3 games series against the Nats to cheer our boys on!

    • Doc going with the older players with Gonzales, Utley, Granderson, and Grandal. If he wants old, why not put Ethier in LF.

      I know Joc isn’t getting base hits but either is Granderson. Joc is getting walks so it isn’t like the team needs Granderson for his walks. At least LoFo isn’t in the game again against a righty.

  2. I won’t be around the next few days because of the Gnatblackout, and because I refuse to listen to the insufferable Steiner.

  3. Two & 1/2 thoughts:

    Last time AGon played 1B and Cody OF, the ROY was injured.
    Granderson?!!! Leading off?!!!!

    Still, may it be productive and may the pitchers give up less than the bats score!

    • We don’t want to over-reach here. With this lineup, it’s like we are spotting the Jints a few runs, just to be sporting.
      Granderson leading off, well, this way we start the game with one out. It’s better than him in the middle of the lineup to kill a rally. Oh wait, what am I thinking…rally? These days a rally is stringing together a couple hits, a force play, and an error for a run.

  4. Roberts’ lack of judgment and common sense is worse than the losing streak. Granderson is hitting barely .100 as a Dodger. He’d have to go 8-for-8 to reach the Mendoza Line.

    • I’m wondering if the FO is soo confident about postseason that they want to justify their deal and want him to play.

  5. Doesn’t Ethier have three hits in his last three ABs including a pinch-hit HR? So why isn’t he starting?

  6. Turned on the radio 4 minutes after gametime — and they were in commercials.
    Rolled over already? No, rain delay — YAHOO!
    But rain delay = longer time before end of game.

  7. Doc quoted on radio as saying they’re playing Granderson because he has to get ready for postseason.
    But isn’t that forcing the issue? If he can’t play, he can’t play!
    Of course, managers have to remain positive, so perhaps he was saying he’ll play to prove if he can play in the post. (Same with Darvish, in my opinion — not that the others are proving their case.)
    I think we’ll know the panic button has been pushed when he doesn’t start.

    • But, but he doesn’t have to get ready for the post season if he isn’t on the post season team. He’s a rental. He’s some other teams’ veteran. Start Ethier instead, He is our vet or better yet, get Joc ready for the playoffs.

      • If he was playing like Manny, all of that wouldn’t make a difference.
        But he’s not.
        I think Doc gives him another game or two, then sits him.
        Depends on how much FO wants HFA. But they’ve been losing at home as well, so perhaps that doesn’t make that much difference.

        • I think that Roberts is so stubborn he will continue to put Granderson in the lineup regardless. The worse case could be that Granderson goes 1-for-4 with another homer, and then we will be stuck with him through October 1.

          • I know how tempting it is to put the blame on Doc, but this kind of epic failure creates enough blame to spread around, and spread around again. Plus, we had an inexplicably long run of W’s, enough that we still have the best record in baseball. I hate the way we have managed to cram all our L’s into a terrible sequence of failures, but I just have to believe – at least today and don’t ask me why – that we will right this ship. And if we don’t, I still love this team, and you guys, and baseball. Okay. Rant run out.

          • You have more patience and are more sanguine that I am. I know that I should just chill for awhile.

          • I don’t blame Doc. I think he has to always put a good face forward, to motivate his players. I go back to what I was saying probably after the Verlander game: win, THEN experiment. (Whether it’s innate pessimism or following proper accounting procedures of chickens, but I don’t like taking anything for granted.)

  8. I’m so tired tonight. Ha! I even fell asleep after typing that first sentence.
    Don’t know how I’m going to make it to the end of the game.

  9. It’s kind of perfect that every time I check Gameday, Granderson has struck out…like Grandy-hog Day.

  10. Diamondbacks-Rockies 2-2 after 7. Greinke was pulled for a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the 7th.

  11. I think that Seager just set a Dodger record: most time in the on-deck circle (figuratively, not literally) at generic telephone stadium.

  12. RBI, you mentioned about going for postseason tickets.
    I was also planning to go, clearing my schedule for the potential home games, based on LA having HFA.
    Have you — or anyone — heard about when the lottery for buying tickets will happen? I believe MLB has to give teams permission to sell tickets.
    Then I’ll have to assess my availability, based on the HFA situation.

  13. Arenado just hit a three-run homer for the Rockies with two outs in the top of the 8th. It is now Colorado 5, Arizona 2.

  14. Arizona got two in the bottom of the 8th and left two on. Rockies’ lead sliced to 5-4 entering the 9th.

  15. Phew and ugh.
    Phew the D-backs lose.
    Ugh that it has come to cheering for other teams to help the Dodgers.

  16. No eyes. Any indication when and if the Dodgers-Giants game will resume? Is it raining hard there?

  17. Are they ever going to call this game? Feels like all we have been doing as Dodger fans the last 2 or 3 weeks has been waiting. Endless waiting for something positive to happen.

  18. 10:50 west coast start time.

    Like I’m going to stay up for that.

    Maybe I’ll set my alarm for 4 in the morning and catch the last inning.

  19. even though the game is a friendly time for me, (3.55pm) I am about to have parent teacher interviews for an hour or so. Hopefully there is good news when I can next check in

  20. Apparently the majority of fans left are pulling for the Blue . . . they made the trek, they wanna see the game!

  21. And the game begins at 10:50PM PDT with LHP Ty Blach, 8-12, 4.81 ERA taking over for Stratton on the mound. Walks Turner after inducing Seager to ground out to Posey at 1B. And Bellingerr pops to Sandoval at 3B.

  22. Sports Illustrated cover jinx strikes again. Az Cardinals RB David Johnson was on my edition of the NFL Preview issue. Promptly sprained/dislocated his left wrist yesterday in Game One, probably out 8-12 weeks.

  23. Bats have it tough enough without a deficit.
    Hopefully Kenta rights this like Rich did . . . then the bats need to come alive.

  24. It seems like every game in this streak the starter has given up runs in the first. I know that’s not altogether true, but it’s close to absolute.

  25. Vegas radio station didn’t pick up the game after the delay — not sure if that’s a statement from them or someone blew it (past history leans to that).

  26. The pitcher and the leadoff hitter come up — who gets the hit? Hint: Granderson is the leadoff hitter.

  27. Since I’m trying to cut down on masochistic tendencies, I’m turning it off. It’s up to you, Link & John.

  28. I actually got onto Twitter: #Dodgers “Starters are making you swim uphill every game & none of the usual strokes (fly, breast, crawl, back) work. This is unbelievable.”

  29. I decided not to go to sleep yet. Wish that I had. It looks like another shellacking tonight. This is against a Giants team that was outscored 21-2 in its last two games.

  30. If we lose tonight, the streak reaches 11, which would be the longest since the Dodgers moved west in 1958.

  31. I can see the headlines now, “World Famous Dodgers blog goes silent mid game, as contributors either lose interest or simply just fall asleep”

  32. If Ravin and Cingrani are auditioning for the post-season, they aren’t likely for a second call.

    • Ha” I woke up here in Italy and the game was still on! Yes, not a happy camper, but we will get them, uh, today!

  33. Roberts said Chase Utley “has earned” increased playing time at second base, where a struggling Logan Forsythe has most of the starts. (Ya think!!) Austin Barnes could similarly take playing time from catcher Yasmani Grandal.(Ya think!!!) And left field is a scramble, with Granderson and Joc Pederson now joined by Andre Ethier, looking to duplicate another late-season emergence after missing most of a second season if his back holds up.

    Ethier probably still has lots of fans so starting him would please them.
    Granderson’s fans live in another city.
    Joc still has fans and would be the only one of the three that could be on the team next year.

    • Yeah, Roberts said he is about to settle on the lineup for the postseason. Not sure what this means, exactly.
      11 straight. I know many do not believe in momentum, either good or bad. I, for one, am a firm believer. You win alot, you believe in yourself, you continue to win. Pretty simple to me.
      This team is toast. And I put it all on Roberts and the management. You make one of the great runs in baseball history, then 30 days out, you break up some of the parts and insert players into the lineup who should not be starting, maybe should not even be on the team. You trade at the deadline for parts to improve the team for the run to the title. Not sure how much better you could get than 56 of 67, but so be it. Now that things are changed, maybe 20% of the mix of players has changed, we are where we are. New players who had nothing to do with our success are brought in and awarded key roles. I just don’t get it, I’m sorry. I know all the new fangled ways of evaluating players means something and is the future, but to my way of thinking, a player gets hot and is hitting, you play him, period. Likewise, a player cannot figure out which end of the bat to hold, you don’t play him, numbers be damned. I just don’t get it.

  34. Just awakened and learned of the latest loss, one that took nearly seven hours from start to finish. Beyond belief and comprehension. Went to bed at 6-6 after 5 2/3 innings. Now see that we not only didn’t get another hit, but that Roberts, as promised, used Baez again in an important situation and that Baez gave up the winning run. Baez’ ERA in September is now 20.25. The game started with Granderson striking out and ended with Forsythe grounding out. How apropos. These two have been particularly inept. Roberts’ stubbornness has made Mattingly look like a piker in that area. I agree with the two posts just before mine, by Bumsrap and Howard Fox.

    • What a truly painful game, for the team as well as for us fans. Your post clued me in on what happened, Scoop. Thanks for that.

    • There is a method to Doc’s madness, you won’t have Baez to blame once the playoffs start.

      • I DO believe in Doc. Not sure how much input he had in getting Granderson, but if it wasn’t explicit, it’s definitely implied that he play the guy they just acquired.

        • Joc pretty much forced the FOs hand, that and Dre’s extended convalescence. Don’t think that Grandy’s performance has been make or break during the losing streak, particularly given the options. Doc does have the “luxury” of trying to play him out of his slump. He does have a babip of .091 after all.

  35. I actually admire Doc for sticking with the plan to use this period to experiment and audition various players for the playoffs, and continuing to publicly back his players, instead of panicking. Of course, would have been nice to get some wins and since I am traveling I haven’t had to endure all of this by watching the games as you all have.

    • I agree with the latter part of your first sentence, but still stick with what I said when this all started — win the division first, THEN experiment/audition.

      • Not happy with how things have gone, but the probabilities for the Dodgers to win the Division were and still are, despite the losing streak, at 100% according to Fangraphs and Baseball Prospectus. Magic number at 10 with 20 to play ( i. e. 5 Dodger wins and 5 Snake loses). HFA is more of a horse race with magic number at 16 over the Nats with the 3 game series coming up. Same number vis-a-vis the Spiders. Highest probability Hillary had was 85%.

        • So stats say this disaster won’t hurt their chances of winning the division.
          But what does it do to them and their belief in themselves and each other?
          BTW, not sure how anything can be 100% certain, especially when we’re dealing with humans in competition. Look at all the “David vs. Goliath” match-ups since . . . David and Goliath.

          • It’s the probability 3 weeks ago and now. Things can change of course and when it gets down to 85%, I will start sweating along with you. At least the Dodgers don’t now think of themselves as Goliath. Wondering if an 11 game losing streak might have been better than an 11 game winning streak? I reserve the right to change my. If it goes to 12. 😉

          • Cleveland now at 19 wins in a row. We will be able to compare the fates of two teams with opposite streaks soon enough.

            Right now it is more believable that AZ will lose 10 games than … the Dodgers will win 5.

          • That’s an interesting benefit from this — I don’t think ANYONE thinks of the Dodgers as Goliath anymore. I prefer to go in under the radar and surprise, than to have all the expectations and nowhere to go but down.

  36. At halftime of Sunday Night Football (at least there, my team beat the Giants), Al or Cris said New York’s defensive squad will probably be getting on the offense about the game.
    I wonder if that’s happening with the Blue — if bats are blaming pitchers, or vice versa.
    Before, they were excited with the many different ways they would win . . . now they’re probably waiting for the different ways they will lose.
    What a great performance by the bats, tying it up three times. But then they went MIA
    At least no one got hurt. Physically, anyway.

    • With ERA during the streak at above 6, and runs scored at below 3, don’t think that anyone is looking further than their own nose.

  37. Logan is a favorite scapegoat around here, but over the past week he has hit better than either Bellinger or Seager.

  38. “Late and close” is a clutch stat that has been used to gauge Grandal’s contribution to the team. Might surprise that his performance, bad as it is in those situations relative to his overall performance, is comparable to Seager’s

          • Not saying that Grandal is good, but that Seager relative to his overall performance has been just as bad in these situations. I don’t think that the stat defines their contributions to the team, however.

          • Agree. Was referring to his performance in this “clutch” situation for which he has been dragged over the coals here saying that it sums up his lack of contribution to the club. I disagree with the notion that it is the sole indicator on which he should be measured. Further, that if this is the measure, then Seager would be considered as well as a negative for the club.

          • Given the depth of catching in the organization, and Grandal’s pending free agency (2019, I think), it might make sense to sell high on him and then give Barnes the No. 1 job.

          • A.J. was never an “impact player,” but it’s sad that the previous regime wasted his prime years while signing retreads for the position. He could have been a solid No. 1 catcher for several seasons.