Day Off Musings

April 9, 2015

clayton-kershaw

 

Just some random thoughts on a Dodgers day off.

  • Too bad Adrian has the day off – he’s hot!
  • Good thing the starting rotation has the day off – Kershaw pitches again on Saturday!
  • Donnie should use the day off to reconsider his overuse of the bullpen.  Do what you did on Monday – one inning, one reliever.
  • Going to Arizona, where not only do we own the D-Backs (we were 15-4 against them in 2014), we own their pool!
  • Uribe finally got a hit.  Now Puig needs to get going.
  • Crawford is this year’s Hanley – all hit, no glove.

 

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Scoreboard Watching

September 5, 2014

World Series - San Francisco Giants v Detroit Tigers - Game 3

After Donnie mismanaged Wednesday’s game, the Dodgers find themselves just two games ahead of the Giants with twenty-two games left to play.  A big chunk (six of the 22) will be head-to-head matches with the Giants.  But this weekend, the Dodgers play the GM-less D-Backs while the Giants take on the Tigers in Detroit.  This difference in strength of schedule will hopefully advantage the Blue, and give us a chance to increase our divisional lead over the weekend.

So, will we be watching the scoreboard?  You betcha.  But the Dodgers need to take care of business on the field.  It won’t be easy, as the offense has been pathetic.  Yes, Justin Turner is still red-hot.  Carl Crawford is pulling his weight.  But Dee Gordon and Yasiel Puig have gone stone cold at the top of the lineup.  Hanley Ramirez and Adrian Gonzalez are not helping a lot.  Matt Kemp can help, but will Donnie put him in the lineup?  Meanwhile, Joc Pederson has misfired in his first three games, contributing five strikeouts in his first eight at bats.

As for the bullpen, an article by Dustin Nosler in yesterday’s Dodgers Digest pretty much sums it up.  http://dodgersdigest.com/2014/09/04/dodgers-bullpen-needs-saving-but-dont-expect-pedro-baez-to-do-it/  Our bullpen stalwarts are Kenley Jansen and JP Howell.  Other than that, the bullpen is weak.

With a little help from the Tigers, we may still win the division.  Another big determining factor in that success is the fact that Clayton Kershaw is scheduled to start games against the Giants in both of our final head-to-head series against them.  But success in the playoffs looks gloomy given the offense and the bullpen.


Dodgers Look for NLCS Revenge

June 26, 2014

NLCSPuig

With the Cardinals in town for a four game series, the Dodgers look to improve on their lifetime record of 1,047-1,078 against the Redbirds.  The Blue are throwing their best four starters, Josh Beckett, Hyun-jin Ryu, Zack Greinke, and Clayton Kershaw.

The last time the Dodgers played St. Louis, Clayton Kershaw performed like a mere shell of his current self (Game 6 of the NLCS).  This time, Kershaw has the momentum working in his favor, as he works to improve on his current streak of 21 scoreless innings.

Puig thought he hit a home run in Game 3 of the NLCS, but when the ball hit the wall, he had to turn on the hyper-drive to turn his hit into a triple.  We’ll be looking for more of this hyper-drive gear, not only from Puig, but also from Gordon.

Dee may or may not steal many bases off the stingy Yadier Molina, but look for the possibility of extra bases with every hit to the outfield.  Gordon has been on an extra base tear of late, as he has hit three of his league leading nine triples in the past nine games.


First Quarter Extrapolations

May 13, 2014

nofibgraph1333

 

Lying with statistics.  We all do it, yet we all hate to be fooled by it.  It’s fun to do, yet exasperating.  Let’s see what happens when we apply it to the 2014 Dodgers:

  • Their final record will be 85-77, good enough for third place and 18 games behind the Giants.  The Giants finish the season at an incredible 103-59.
  • Adrian Gonzalez leads the Dodgers with 36 HRs and 108 RBIs.
  • Yasiel Puig finishes his sophomore season with 28 HRs and 116 RBIs.
  • Dee Gordon steals 96 bases and is caught just 12 times.
  • Zack Greinke and Dan Haren lead the pitching staff with records of 24-4 and 20-4, respectively.
  • Clayton Kershaw is only able to chip in with eight wins on the year.
  • Kenley Jansen has 48 saves, but 8 blown saves.
  • Brian Wilson finishes with an 0-8 record and 4 blown saves.
  • AJ Ellis has eight walks in 58 plate appearances.

Obviously, none of the above is going to happen.  That’s why they play the games.

Here’s looking forward to the last three quarters of the season being more successful than the first one quarter.


Lineup Prognostication

April 24, 2014

1963WSG1

Here it comes. The Dodgers are facing a right-handed pitcher tonight. But last night, both Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig raked. Kemp had a breakout night with two doubles and a run scored. Puig had two RBI hits, including an amazing triple that might have been an inside the park home run, if only he would run immediately after hitting the ball. Meanwhile, all Andre Ethier put up were goose eggs, including an 0-2 with RISP.

So which players will be in Don Mattingly’s lineup tonight? The Phillies are starting right hander Kyle Kendrick against the Dodgers. His career statistics against lefties compared to righties are as follows (BAA/OBPA/SLGA/OPSA):

Lefties            .284/.351/.420/.737

Righties          .272/.313/.381/.669

 

As we can see, left handers on average have had a mild advantage. But let’s look in depth, as Donnie probably will, at the specific batters’ career numbers against Kendrick: (BA/OBP/SLG/OPS in PA(plate appearances):

Kemp              .400/.400/.400/.800 in 15 PA’s (six singles)

Puig                .833/.833/1.333/2.167 in 6 PA’s (double, triple)

Ethier             .273/.360/.636/.996 in 25 PA’s (with 2 homers)

Crawford        .333/.333/.333/.667 in 3 PA’s

Van Slyke        never faced him

 

Just for fun, here is the rest of the team:

Ramirez          .257/.278/.429/.706 in 36 PA’s (with 1 homer)

Gonzalez        .333/.500/.444/.944 in 12 PA’s

Uribe              .400/.400/.600/1.000 in 5 PA’s

Gordon           .000/.333/.000/.333 in 3 PA’s

In the outfield, Puig rakes, while Ethier and Kemp are very good against Kendrick. Carl Crawford hasn’t seen a lot of time against him. I’m guessing that Donnie will look at these numbers, not see any extra base hits from Kemp, and decide that it’s Kemp’s turn to ride the pine.

 

My Projection of Donnie’s Lineup:

Gordon 2b

Crawford lf

Ramirez ss

Gonzalez 1b

Puig rf

Ethier cf

Uribe 3b

Federowicz c

Haren p

 

My preferred lineup (okay, I stole it from Kahliforni):

Gordon 2b

Puig rf

Ramirez ss

Gonzalez 1b

Kemp cf

Ethier lf

Uribe 3b

Butera c (though we could say FedEx)

Haren p

 

The real meat of this lineup is 1-5, with Gordon setting the table and confusing the pitcher and catcher. Then Puig, Ramirez, Gonzalez, and Kemp just drive the ball like crazy. Ethier and Uribe chip in the best they can, then the 8-9 spots are basically just place-holders until we get back to the top of the lineup.


Last Place Phillies Coming to Town

April 21, 2014

kurodavictorino

Hit me here, not there.  Hit me here, not there.  Hit me in the ribs, don’t go for the head.

Oh, those were the days.  The Phillies were a good team.  Now they are languishing.

 

Meanwhile, the outfield conundrum continues.  I assume that Cliff Lee will be facing three right-handed outfielders, by name of Kemp, Puig, and Van Slyke.  Scott Van Slyke has really raked against lefties, leaving little chance that either Ethier nor Crawford will be starting tonight.

Kershaw and Ellis are on the mend, but still won’t be back for a little bit.  So the Dodgers’ job this series is to take two or three from the Phillies, while the Giants and Rockies battle it out for second place.  San Diego visits the red-hot Brewers.  The Diamondbacks are already eight games down.


Dodgers Disability Update

April 8, 2014

Hospital Ward

 

If it’s April, then it’s time to update the Dodgers DL.

 

On the DL

AJ Ellis – Surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.  Second time around for this meniscus.  Likely out until late May.

Clayton Kershaw – Back muscle tear, hopefully he will be back sometime in May.  The sooner the better, but make sure you are ready.

Chad Billingsley – Coming off a Tommy John surgery, he may be available in May, and boy, do we need him.  He could replace Paul Maholm in the starting rotation.

Onelki Garcia – He’s on the 60 day DL recovering from left elbow surgery.

Brian Wilson – Dead arm disease – he hopes to return by tax day.

Scott Elbert – Surgery on his left shoulder will likely keep him on the DL all of 2014, if not longer.

Josh Beckett – Recovered from losing a rib, now trying to stave off an ankle injury, he may move off the DL on Wednesday just in time to start against Detroit.

 

Off the DL

Matt Kemp – returned on Friday April 4th, hit two HRs on April 6th and hopefully he will stay of the DL for the remainder of 2014.

 

One foot in the DL

Yasiel Puig – Bonehead play sliding into first base has him sitting on the bench with a sore left thumb.

Drew Butera’s bat has been on the DL since 2007, which was the only year in professional baseball that he hit above .220.  And that was in AA ball.

Ned’s brain – Why else do we have Figgins on our bench?  At least we got rid of Baxter.