Game 81, 2019

Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 6:40 PM PDT, TV: FS-A, SPNLA

Manager Dave Roberts says the Dodgers will slot RHP Ross Stripling (3-2, 3.08 ERA) in Rich Hill’s spot in the rotation while Hill is out with a bad flexor tendon. Stripling has been better as a starter than a reliever when judged by ERA and WHIP (2.65/1.09 to 4.02/1.34). He’ll face the D-Backs’ LHP Robbie Ray (5-4, 3.87 ERA) who gave up just four hits in six innings in his last start but got no decision, as two of the hits were HRs by Ian Desmond and Charlie Blackmon.

I hope after this theft of a base hit that Will Smith doesn’t get discouraged and think the only place where he’s assured of hitting safely is over the wall.

Here’s some analysis of the Dodgers’ bullpen situation. It’s not pretty.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1968 Bobby Bonds hits a grand slam in his third at-bat of his first major league game, going deep off Dodger right-hander John Purdin in the Giants’ 9-0 victory at Candlestick Park. The 22 year-old Giant outfielder joins Philadelphia National pitcher Bill Duggelby (1898 – first at-bat) as the only other player to hit a base-loaded home run in his major league debut.
  • 1984 Dodger infielder Bill Russell plays his 1,953rd game to become the team’s leader in games played. The shortstop, who will extend the mark to 2181 during his 18-year tenure with the club, is hitless in three trips to the plate but will walk twice in LA’s 9-4 loss to San Diego at Chavez Ravine.

Lineup when available.

102 thoughts on “Game 81, 2019

  1. Another day, another lefty starter goes down to defeat. 18-9 on the season and six in a row despite Doc sitting all the best home run hitters.

  2. Joe Kelly’s fielding percentage this season, including his error tonight, is .667: 3 putouts, 3 assists and 3 errors. He hasn’t fielded above .857 since 2015. His career fielding percentage is a shade under .900 now.

    • I’d fallen asleep, but woke up when Kelly was pitching. My first not very clear thought was that Kelly Time had come awfully early. My second was wondering how he’d managed to drop that pop foul. Then I went back to sleep figuring it was all over.

  3. Most wins ever by a Dodgers team was in Brooklyn in 1953, when they went 105-49, for a winning percentage of .682. Their current winning percentage is .679. Their most wins ever in L.A. was in 2017 at 104-58, for a winning percentage of .642.

  4. Kenley did not look happy, even with the win. I think that last batter Kelly was frustrating.

  5. Lead is back to a comfy 13 games over the Rox, 15 over the Snakes and Pads, and 19.5 over the Gnats. At 55-26, Dodgers are 2-1/2 games better than the Twinkies.

  6. We’re officially at the halfway point of the season at 55-26. If we continue to play at that pace, we’d end the season at 110-52.

  7. I had a meeting tonight but started listening in the car when JT hit the home run. So that was nice.

  8. The way Taylor has been hitting the ball lately, he is reminding me of Joe Hardy as played by Tab Hunter in the film “Damn Yankees.”

  9. Maeda up next? The Dodgers have one hit. Does Doc think Bellinger and Muncy, etc are going to be any worse than that?

    • I couldn’t agree with you more. Our lineup looked weak at the start and hasn’t improved thus far during the game.

      • The Dodgers have a big enough lead that they can afford to rest regulars and even experiment. I expect we’ll see Bellinger and Muncy before the end of the game.

        • Just thinking: I am OK with resting regulars, but I’d prefer to do it in stages, not put our three leading home run hitters on the bench in the same game, even though two of them have not had success against Ray and the third has only faced him once.

    • The late great Tiger announcer Ernie Harwell’s description of an at bat like that:
      “He stood there like a house by the side of the road.”

    • I still find the missed foul pop up being an error funny when the batter ends up striking out.

  10. We began the game with 62 of our 128 home runs on the bench. I hope Arizona brings in a righty reliever before too long.

  11. Gameday’s account is imprecise. How did the Diamondbacks score in the first inning?

      • Thanks. The run was ruled unearned so I guess the official scorer didn’t think the runner would have scored from first on the double. Was it a ground-rule double?

  12. If Stripling wants to go deep in this game, he is going to need to finish off hitters when he gets two strikes on them.

  13. According to Gameday, Barves starter Max Fried is 25 years old, but he looks about 15.

    • Maximizing right-handed batters, but without Freese, I’d rather have either Cody or Max at first than Beaty (who isn’t right-handed, either).

  14. It’s not just the Dodgers’ bullpen. Tom Verducci has an article over at For the first time since the mound was lowered in 1969, bullpen ERAs are higher than starter ERAs. There are some historically bad bullpens out there.