I’m pretty optimistic heading into the second game of this series in which the Dodgers got punched in the mouth in the first game. Wondering why? A guy by the name of Clayton Kershaw is taking the mound. He has pitched a total of 40 innings at AT&T Park. The Giants have managed to score in just two of those innings. His current innings streak without an earned run is up to 32.2. In his last four starts in San Francsico, he has only allowed one run total.
So needless to say, barring a Eovaldi-type breakdown, I think the Dodgers will be in good condition to win this ball game. With that being said though, expect a very low scoring game. Ryan Vogelsong is on the mound for the enemy and he has been anything but inconsistent this year. He has only had one start this entire year that didn’t result in a quality start, which requires a minimum of six innings pitched, and only three earned runs allowed. That’s impressive. I’d still take Kershaw’s track record in SF though.
Dee Gordon looks to continue his hot streak, just three days out of having a one-on-one session with Maury Wills. In those three days, he is batting .500 with three stolen bases, two runs scored (impressive considering the Dodgers lack of runs) and a walk. He has been definitely improving his offense, despite the inconsistency in the field. Posey is also in the lineup tonight after getting the first game of the series off.
And wouldn’t you know it!! My DREAM lineup has finally come. No kennedy…No uribe…No loney. I really hope this works out to show that this is the way it should be. This is the time to shine for the Dodgers. Here is what Donnie and Bruce Bochy have scratched in for tonights game starting at 7:15 PT.
1. Dee Gordon, SS
2. Elian Herrera, 3B
3. Andre Ethier, RF
4. Juan Rivera, 1B
5. Bobby Abreu, LF
6. Jerry Hairston Jr., 2B
7. Tony Gwynn Jr., CF
8. AJ Ellis, C
9. Clayton Kershaw, SP
1. Blanco, RF
2. Theriot, 2B
3. Cabrera, LF
4. Posey, C
5. Pagan, CF
6. Sandoval, 3B
7. Belt, 1B
8. Arias, SS
9. Vogelsong, SP
It’s that time again…that time where we are forced to be made sick by watching the team that turns the stomachs of Dodgers fans across the nation. Where we are forced to stare at these awful colors of black and orange. To be honest, I’ve never been fond of Halloween because of the colors. I laugh at the people that thought the Angels-Dodgers had a “hardcore” rivalry this past weekend. To them, maybe it is. To us, this is the team; these are the hated ones that will always have that special place in our hearts as the grossest team in baseball.
It’s also time to face another reality…we sucked tonight. There’s no way around it. The Dodgers are losing steam, and they need a pick-me-up. This road trip has been anything but good for us. We have now lost six of our last seven and on the border of losing the lead for the NL West. Where to point the finger? Well, in all actuality, no one in particular. These have been team losses. But ya know what? I’m going to do it anyways. I’m pointing the finger at — Ned Colletti. NOT Don Mattingly.
Ned Colletti has been ruining this Dodgers team for a lot longer than just this year, but he’s really out done himself as of late. The reason I’m not blaming Mattingly is because about a month ago, every button this guy pushed, whether we agreed with it or not at the time, was working. There was nothing but praise for him, and now that we’re in a bit of a bind, people want his head. It’s not his fault. Donnie has been an extraordinary manager ever since he got here. All of the players love him, the only problem is, he has just had nothing to work with, and that is Ned’s fault. He looks at players like Uribe and Kennedy, thinks they’re good and signs them for deals in which we are still paying for. I’m actually not even going to get into Uribe, because I literally need to take a night off from thinking about him. It just frustrates me at this point, as it does you, I’m sure. So I’ll save my negativity towards him for the bad game he’ll have tomorrow night. Unless of course, he’s not in the lineup!! Haha yeah right…I crack myself up.
Back to the game though, as well all know, Eovaldi got knocked around for the first time in 2012…hard. But weirdly enough, I have to hand it to the guy. I know he gave up 7 runs in the first two innings, and pretty much took us out of the game early, but he battled. I’d be lying if I wasn’t one of the many yelling “Get him out of there!!” in the second inning, and was slightly irritated when he came out for the third inning, but he definitely proved me wrong. Eovaldi grinded out another three strong innings, while having a span of 9 consecutive batters that he retired. On Twitter, I always point out the fact that every time that Nate had given up a homerun this year, he has followed up the next batter by striking him out. I thought this showed amazing maturity from him, and the same can be said for tonight. In a much larger scale, he showed maturity by not letting the lead get to him and falling apart (more than he already had). Was there more pressure on him being the first time pitching in the Dodgers-Giants rivalry?
Before the game, Mattingly seemed optimistic about the way Nate would handle that pressure. “If he’s going to be any good, he’s got to pitch here,” he said. “I have no real concerns. I look forward to seeing how he handles it.”
Unfortunately for us all, he didn’t seem to have handled the initial pressure very well. Although when asked about it in the locker room after game, he didn’t agree.
“It’s a great baseball atmosphere, a great rivalry, but I didn’t feel like there was extra added pressure,” said Eovaldi.
“It was a good experience for him,” Mattingly said. “He’s going to be fine. He’s not the kind of kid to get rattled. He is a work in progress.”
Dee Gordon had another great game which put him at three straight after receiving a one-on-one coaching lesson from Maury Wills. I hope, for his sake, that he can continue this hot streak and work on his defense a little more. I am one of the few that still have faith in Dee and think if he can find a way to get on base, day in and day out, he will be an incredible force to be reckoned with, especially with the arrival of Mark and Matt from the DL. Do you remember how that used to go?
1. Dee singles to get on first.
2. With Mark Ellis batting, Dee steals second.
3. Mark Ellis sacrifices, Dee moves to third.
4. Matt Kemp singles, doubles, triples, or homers in Gordon.
But for now, we deal with what we have; and that is a desperately struggling team which we all still love. Game two of this rivalry continues tomorrow with Kershaw on the mound against Ryan Vogelsong. Game is scheduled to start at 7:15 PT. Be sure to follow Dodgers Insider on Facebook and Twitter as well!
Reports are saying that Kevin Youkilis is leaving Boston by this weekend. Question is — Where is he going?
For those of you that have read anything I’ve posted before, you would know that I never liked this Youkilis trade. However, in the past 24 hours, my tune has 100% changed. I’ll tell you why.
Now Dodgers sources are saying something a little bit different than before. They are saying that they would use Youkilis to replace Uribe at third, rather than Loney at first. Now this I love. I never thought Loney was our number one problem. He is a problem, for sure, don’t get me wrong, but not our number one problem. I think Youkilis would give a slightly bigger threat in the middle of the lineup than Uribe would anywhere.
Last night was fantastic. It gave me hope of a Uribe-less future. Adam Kennedy may have only gone 0-2 with a walk, but not seeing that haggard swing that tries to blow the guts out of every ball he sees in the lineup was so refreshing. If we want to improve this team – Uribe HAS to go. No questions asked.
Now Youkilis will not be our savior. He will not come to the team and have a Manny-like impact back in 2008. We still need a big bat. I thought a perfect example of the impact he’ll have would be a Casey Blake. Someone that is in the lineup, and stays consistent with a homerun every now and again. Youkilis obviously isn’t having the year that he would have hoped, and his numbers have dropped off immensely. His batting average is .225 and his wOBA is .306. However, I think these numbers could change when he leaves Boston. Here’s why:
If you remember back in 2008, Manny’s numbers were no where near where they were compared to his career. It’s because he was practically doing it on purpose to make a point that he was unhappy in Boston. Now I’m not saying this is a case of “Youk being Youk” but it could very well be a morale problem that has his numbers down. Bobby Valentine has recently sat down and told him that his playing time is getting cut because of how well Middlebrooks is playing at third.
“He doesn’t necessarily totally agree with it and doesn’t wake up in the morning and hope that’s the case,” Valentine said. “But I think the professional person that Kevin is, he understands it,” Valentine told reporters. “Yes, I think he’s fine.”
So Youkilis definitely wants to move, and he definitely wants no part of the Red Sox anymore. So could his numbers improve with a better morale? Absolutely. And who better to help that than Donnie who is an absolute player-friendly manager.
Like I said before, Youkilis is not the only answer to our offensive problems. But he does help. If by some off chance that you still aren’t convinced that Uribe is a detriment to the team…let me help.
Back in 2010, when Uribe was signed on, Ned Colletti said this about Uribe. “He will provide more power, he has thunder in his bat.” Funny part about that is…he has no thunder in his bat. In fact, there isn’t even a storm brewing. This year he has one homerun. One. That was hit May 11th, at Coors Field. For those of you that don’t know, baseballsfly out of that stadium. Point in case…Dee Gordon also has one homerun this year…at Coors Field. See where I’m going with this? When Ned wants to give an argument about how Dee has thunder in his bat, I’ll be all ears, but until then, my argument stands.
In June, Uribe is hitting a horrendous .179 with two RBI’s, eight strikeouts and no walks. That means every 3.5 at-bats that he gets, is a strikeout. On the year, Uribe is hitting a line of .231/.278/.324.
I wanted to bring up that statistic wOBA. This stands for weighted on-base average. It’s a great stat that tells you in a little bit more precision exactly how much someone gets on base. The league average this year is .309. Just for a bit broader understanding of where a player should be, last years average was .316. So anywhere around there is average.
Youkilis’ wOBA for this year is .306. Just 3 points below the leagues average. Uribe’s is .283 — 26 points below.
I did the math for our potential lineup before (without Youkilis) and after (with Youkilis). Keep in mind the lineup will change drastically after the trade deadline with the arrival of Kemp and Ellis from the DL.
Our team’s wOBA goes from .309 (not bad, considering league average) and shoots up to .333 with Kemp, Ellis and Youkilis. Only three teams have wOBA’s better than that.
I like this trade, I think it would be a great addition, however I still think we need to add another big bat in July. We’ll see what happens. But sources are saying that talks are getting very intense with regards to Youkilis and this deal could happen anytime from as early as today, to at least the end of this weekend. So be looking out for more updates on this.
For those of you that are wondering what we’ll have to pay — not much. Boston will most likely be eating most of, if not all of, the remaining $12 Million on his contract, and the $1 Million buyout. However, with that being said, Boston is paying more of the contract in order to get a better prospect. Who that is will probably determine which team Youk goes to. As of right now, the top two teams are the Dodgers and the White Sox. Check back to see if any updates have occurred.
Hey Dodgertown!! Grab the popcorn — put on your lucky articles of clothing — sit down and get ready for round 2 of the Freeway Series. Here’s to hoping that the Dodgers remembered to bring their bats to Anaheim, considering they seemed to have forgotten them in L.A. when they visited Oakland this past week. I’ve got some good news and bad news for everyone. Let’s start with some good news. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to say that:
Good News: Mr. Juan Uribe is OUT of the lineup!! It will be so refreshing to get a break from seeing that haggard swing every ninth at bat. Now I don’t mean to bash on any of our Boys in Blue, and I know its not fair to single any one person out considering the recent offensive slump the entire team is in, but this is one that I just don’t agree with. Let me explain my reasoning. Juan Uribe, even after a DL stint because of his recent wrist injury, is batting a mere .185. I double checked myself, and to answer your question, no, that’s not a typo. Remember how hopeful everyone was back in 2010? And the hope that Ned Colletti gave us after he signed him by saying, “He will provide more power, he has thunder in his bat.” Really Ned? Cause that so called “thunder” has only struck five times since you’ve signed him. Mike Petriello for Mike Scioscia’s Tragic Illness wrote a great article about Uribe describing why he is actually the third, possibly second worst Dodger signing in history. Click Here for a great read about more on that. Despite all that criticism, that was my good news: Uribe. Is. Out. Celebrate.
Bad News: Kennedy is in at third instead. As much as I’d like to rejoice that Uribe is out…we’re really not gaining much here. Oh well, at least Adam’s swing isn’t as atrocious as Uribe’s is. Plus, Adam provides the slight gleam of hope that he can come through sometimes. Whereas Uribe really doesn’t give you that hope. Ever.
But hey! I’m not here to be all negative. Here’s some more good news. That DH spot that we get to use in Anaheim is allowing Ethier, Abreu, and Rivera to hit together in the middle of the lineup. Maybe that could potentially spark some offense that we’ve so desperately needed the past couple series. Here’s what else Donnie scratched in for tonight’s lineup against the Orange County Angels of Anaheim.
1. Dee Gordon, SS
2. Jerry Hairston Jr., 2B
3. Andre Ethier, RF
4. Bobby Abreu, DH
5. Juan Rivera, LF
6. James Loney, 1B
7. Adam Kennedy, 3B
8. AJ Ellis, C
9. Tony Gwynn Jr, CF
Chad Billingsley, P
The Dodgers are not getting any luck with the Oakland Athletic’s this week. For a pitching staff on a sub .500 team, we have run into two incredible pitching performances. Tommy Milone, pitched a 112 pitch complete game and only allowed one run in nine innings, and at one point, retiring 14 batters in a row. To prove this was no fluke…after just allowing that one run, his home ERA actually increased. Ridiculous, right? I thought the same thing.
In the second inning, the Dodgers took the lead with a two out double by Juan Uribe that scored Juan Rivera. Dodgers lead “Juan to nothing.” ….Sorry, that was terrible, but I had to. From then, I was thinking to myself that this could be the day that Nate Eovaldi could finally get his first victory after some great outings. Nope. In the fourth inning Nate gave up the tying run with a double by Seth Smith that scored in Yeonis Cespedes. In the fifth inning, after not getting any help offensively, Nate began to show his youth and inexperience on the field. With runners on first and second with no out and a man with a lot of speed comes to the plate, you can almost guarantee a bunt will be called. When this happens, it is the pitcher’s job to focus on the ball and let his catcher tell him where to throw it. Weeks bunted the ball straight to him, and Nate decided to look to third after he fielded the bunt instead of going straight to first. This gave Jemille Weeks plenty of time to reach first safely, and no outs were recorded. This gave them the bases juiced with a lot to work with. Nate did get Josh Reddick to ground into a double play, but that also allowed a run to score. Dodgers trailed 2-1. With a runner on third and two out, Yeonis Cespedes hit a sharp double that scored Coco Crisp. Dodgers then trailed 3-1 and that would remain the score when Eovaldi came out of the game.
Scott Elbert came in to relieve him and was facing Yeonis Cespedes when he barely missed a homerun. This was a towering shot to left that Bobby Abreu jumped to make the catch at the fence. I was relieved for a brief moment, until the next batter, Brandon Moss, hit a solo shot to the other end of the park and extended the Athletic’s lead to 4-1.
Clayton Kershaw looks to end this weird skid and get the Dodgers out of Oakland with a win. The game for tomorrow is scheduled for 12:35 pm PT.
Then the team will travel to Anaheim to play the Anaheim Angels for another three game series, then head back up to Northern California to play the hated Giants.
I can honestly say I have no idea where to begin or what to even write about this game. It was…embarrassing. I don’t know about any of you reading this, but there was zero emotion or energy until the ninth inning, when it was WELL too late. I don’t know what has happened to our gritty, always coming at the opposition type play that I loved watching. I hate to say it…but for the first time this season, our injuries are starting to show. Our offense is just not producing runs like we used to be. Especially, and I mean especially, when Nathan Eovaldi takes the mound. This poor kid. In four starts, his ERA is SUB TWO (1.93). He’s getting us deep enough into the game (averaging around the sixth inning, tonight the seventh), and his record is 0-2. He’s the Dodgers version of Cliff Lee. In four games, the Dodgers have backed him by scoring — are you ready for this? Buckle up –two runs. In four games.
I’ve been reading a lot of threads and forums saying “Jansen blew the game again,” this and that. Not to me. This was entirely and one hundred percent a team loss. It would have felt weird to win, because the bottom line was, we didn’t deserve it. Jansen had never given up a homerun when the ballgame was tied in his entire career before tonight. It was a fluke pitch, and a lucky swing by Aybar, who has no power to begin with. I know I’m not in my usual, “let’s look at the good things” type attitude, and I apologize. Maybe it’s seeing the Giants celebrate in perfection or maybe its just an accumulation of both that and tonight’s game, I’m not sure. All I do know is that seeing players like Uribe consistently in the lineup night after night just bums me out. Uribe is 1 for 7 since coming off the DL (shocker to us all, I’m sure) and he is the last person I’d want to see up when the games on the line. I’d honestly rather see Kennedy in.
But my job isn’t to bash players, so I won’t. I’ll have to end this here, and maybe bury this post with other posts that are a little more enjoyable to read. The Dodgers get a very much needed day off tomorrow, so check back to see some posts I don’t get to do very often. Maybe I’ll throw in an interview or an interesting historical read. I’ll surprise ya. In the mean time, have a good night Dodgertown. Until next time…
I feel like I’ve said this quite a bit this year…but what a game!! These guys just never stop fighting. Although, most of tonight’s was quite frustrating to watch, it was still an incredible race to the finish.
I need to be a little negative at first. I want to get this out of the way, because I told myself that I would talk about it, but overall I’m pleased with tonight’s performance. Now, I’m not a major league manager…obviously. Nor do I claim to be. However, with that being said, I have no idea what we’re doing with Uribe and Kennedy; mainly Kennedy. Today, he had a very costly error that cost the Dodgers a run early in the game. Then in the fourth inning, after a Juan Rivera single that scored Ellis and moved Ethier to third, Kennedy grounded into a double play to end the rally. I just don’t feel like there’s any energy from him. Not only from him alone, but it just seems like the team never plays the same with him in the lineup. I dunno, thats just my opinion, and like I said, that’s probably why I’m not a major league manager…but if it were up to me…I definitely wouldn’t have him in, unless it was a last resort type situation. Uribe and Kennedy combined to go 0-6 on the night.
Anyways…now that I have that negativity out of the way. Time for some good reports. I think its safe to say that Andre Ethier was very thankful for his new contract extension. At the press conference today, and while interviewing him, you just saw this constant glow and that famous Ethier grin. It was like it was pasted on all day, even in the dugout before the game. Ethier loves L.A. and he always has. “This is the place I’ve wanted to be all along and I hope to finish my career in LA,” Ethier said after the conference. Tonight, he showed Dodgers fans everywhere that he’s not taking that money for granted. He played a huge factor in tonights game from not only making a superb catch in right field to save a run, but also added on to his NL Leading 54 RBI’s as he knocked in the game tying run with two outs in the bottom of the eighth. I’ve heard a lot of people, both Dodgers fans and non-Dodgers fans, say that they don’t think ‘Dre is worth near $100 Million. After tonight’s game, have their opinions changed? Only time will tell. All I know is…I’m happy to know that we will have Kemp and Ethier going back to back for at least the next five years.
I can’t only talk about Andre though…he definitely wasn’t the only one that made an impact tonight. Dee Gordon (DeeGo) had an incredible game as well. For the third time this season, he had three stolen bases in the game. THREE! He made a costly catching error in the sixth inning, however, if you watch, I want to blame that on Kennedy as well. And no, not just because its Kennedy. With two outs and a soft grounder like that, you go to first base to get the automatic out. Sure, second base is a shorter throw, but its also a shorter run. When you have the pitcher (Jerome Williams) running down to first, its an easy, easy play. That error also scored another run that put the Angels ahead 2-1.
And theeen there was Rivera. Juan Rivera hit a go-ahead three run homerun in the bottom of the eighth inning immediately after Ethier tied it up. And honestly…I have not heard that stadium erupt like that in a LONG time. It honestly gave me flash backs of the 2008 and 2009 playoff runs. With a sellout crowd of over 50,000 fans, every single one of them were on their feet. It got so loud, that when I rewatched the telecast, they had to blackout the sound just because it was peaking so much. It was absolutely breath taking. I know that’s kind of a ridiculous term, but I honestly don’t know how else to describe it. Seeing Matt Kemp jumping for joy, being that incredible cheer leader that he is, seeing the faces of the young guns that haven’t gotten a chance to see that stadium erupt, everything about it was just amazing.
I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, this team is an absolute “Wonder Team.” They never give up, and I couldn’t be happier to see where this season will go. Here’s to hoping that the Stanley Cup Champion, L.A. Kings will give us some good luck when they throw out the first pitch tomorrow, with the Stanley Cup right beside them, inside the stadium.
The rubber match is set to start at 7:10 PT at Dodger Stadium. Nathan Eovaldi takes the mound, looking for his first win since being brought up. He has pitched amazing, but just ran into some bad luck along the way with run support. Hopefully tomorrow the Dodgers can take the series and give this kid the Win that he’s deserved for a while now!