One Step Up

“We’ve given each other some hard lessons lately
But we ain’t learnin’
We’re the same sad story that’s a fact
One step up and two steps back”

~Bruce Springsteen

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Well, this past series with the Pittsburgh Pirates could’ve gone better. But for some reason the Pirates always seem to have the Dodgers‘ number.

It seems as though when one thing that needs to happen happens, something else doesn’t. The Dodgers bullpen is overworked, so the team hopes for a long outing from their starter. They got that Friday night from Ross Stripling, who only gave up six hits over seven innings. Unfortunately, the Pirates scored five runs off of those six hits. Then the Dodgers offense sputtered, only scoring one run on 12 hits.

Saturday did not see a pitcher go seven innings. Brandon McCarthy started, and his mechanics still are not right. He walked three batters and hit one to allow a run in the first. Dodgers tie it up in bottom of first. This tweet sums up the inning:

McCarthy gets the first two outs, and then gives up single, double, walk, and walks in another run, and his day was done. Josh Fields was brought in to relieve him after only 1-2/3 innings. After the game, it was revealed that Brandon was dealing with a hip issue, going back to when he pitched in Colorado, and went to field a bunt. He was placed on the 15-day DL. The Dodgers did fight back to win the game, 8-4.

Brett Anderson started Sunday’s game, his first start of the season after having back surgery earlier in the year. And he promptly gave up five runs, courtesy of two home runs. He fell on his left hand trying to field a dribbler off of Adam Frazier‘s bat, and after getting pitcher Chad Kuhl to end the inning, was replaced in the second inning by Brock Stewart. It was a precautionary move, as he was diagnosed with a mild left wrist strain. The Dodgers went on to lose the game, 11-3.

One has to wonder if the baseball gods are against the Dodgers pitching staff this year. They truly cannot catch a break. There still is not a date for Rich Hill to make his Dodgers debut. Hill pitched 37 pitches in a bullpen session Sunday, and told Dave Roberts he felt good afterwards. He will pitch in Arizona either Wednesday or Thursday of this week. That rules out a start for him in Cincinnati this weekend.

There is one cautious bit of good news. Clayton Kershaw has played catch every day for the past week, (in a completely fabulous tank top), almost doubling the distance in his throws, from 65 feet to 120 feet. No time table for when he will throw off the mound was given, and he will not travel to Philadelphia or Cincinnati with the team this week. It seems like it’s taking forever for Kershaw to return to pitching, but I would much rather have him back completely healthy than to have him come back only to lose him again.

On the offensive side, Corey Seager continues to impress. He now has a .309 BA with 21 home runs. He was 12-for-26 in the last six games with two homers. Rob Segedin has been a great addition to the team, being able to take over for Justin Turner at third while Turner battles a right hand contusion. Segedin has batted .300 since being called up. Joc Pederson is heating up, with a .429/.500/.952 slash line in his last seven games. Josh Reddick might be turning his offense around, going 4-for-9 in the last two games. (He does however need some work in right field during day games, as he lost two fly balls in the sun)

And yet, and yet, the Dodgers are still only one game back of the Giants. San Francisco is struggling as much as the Dodgers, allowing LA to stick around. And with the way things are going, that’s all you need. As my friend Jim says:

 

 

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