Dodgers Hope to Learn from Yankees Series, Head to San Diego to Take on Padres

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Well, the Dodgers series against the New York Yankees didn’t go how any players or fans wanted it to go. Los Angeles managed to scrape out one win in the weekend, but couldn’t muster much more offensive firepower to win the other two.

The series has fans feeling reminiscent of past postseasons when the bats also couldn’t muster enough runs, and when the pitching failed the rest of the team. It also has some fans and pundits going into worry mode about what this one series means for the Dodgers in the upcoming postseason, thinking it can’t possibly be anything good and that the Dodgers are doomed to lose their third straight World Series in a row.

Worrying about how your team will do in the postseason is what any fan might do. Jumping straight to the conclusion that this series against the Yankees means the Dodgers can’t possibly beat them if they were to face them in October is asinine and detrimental to one’s personal sanity.

It’s true that the Dodgers had a very lackluster showing against the Yankees. The only offense to speak of was a 2-run home run by Justin Turner on Saturday, and a solo shot by Joc Pederson on Sunday. They cobbled together two runs on Friday night, and that was it. Five total runs in five games. That’s usually what the pitching staff allows in that amount of time.

Strikeouts were up, and when batters did get on base, they were unable to get them home, something they have excelled at previously this season. Most glaring Maybe was Hyun-Jin Ryu‘s poor performance on Friday. An anomaly on the season to be sure, but disheartening nonetheless.

However there were a few bright spots. Tony Gonsolin once again dominated in his outing, with his only blemish allowing a solo homerun to Aaron Judge, who hit one in every game of the series. The much maligned Kenley Jansen worked himself out of trouble that wasn’t entirely of his doing to get the save on Saturday, hopefully giving the Big Man some confidence moving forward. And while he got the loss, Kershaw struck out 12 batters while allowing only four hits in seven innings (the three solo home runs not withstanding).

The Yankees came into the game having been swept by the Oakland A’s, and are too good a team to be held down for that long. The Dodgers offense had been stagnant going back to the Toronto series. Not really an ideal time to be facing the Yankees for the Dodgers.

I think once the Dodgers get into the swing of the postseason they’ll be better able to take on a team of the Yankees or Astros quality. Having been through the last two postseasons, the Dodgers know what it takes to win the Championship. I also kinda think that since some of the big bats are slumping now, means they won’t be in October.

The Dodgers now head into San Diego to start the first of their last 30 games of the season, 21 of which are against division rivals. The Padres are 24.5 games behind the Dodgers in the NL West, and no doubt looking to play spoiler to their superior competition.

Pitching matchups include Monday, Dustin May and Eric Lauer, a lefty who is 6-8 with a 4.47 ERA. He last pitched August 19th and went only four innings against the Cincinnati Reds. Tuesday will be Walker Buehler and Cal Quantrill. The righty is 6-4 with a 3.32 ERA. He struck out nine over six innings in a loss to the Reds last Tuesday. Wednesday will see Kenta Maeda and a yet-to-be-determined starter for the Padres.

Monday and Tuesday’s game will be at 7:10, and Wednesday’s game will be at 6:10 PDT.

31 thoughts on “Dodgers Hope to Learn from Yankees Series, Head to San Diego to Take on Padres

    1. Good pitching beats good hitting. They have been out pitched the last 5 days and they still won 3 of those games. Bellinger has not been the same player for about a month. Over the last 28 days, he is hitting .236. He has struck out more than a quarter of his at bats. 24 in 89 trips to the plate. He went 1-10 in the Yankee series with 6 K’s. Shades of the 2017 world series when he struck out 17 times. I do not know why you are worried about Seager. He is one player who is getting hot. .310 over the last 14 days and he is becoming a doubles machine again. Muncy has also been slumping over the last 28 days. Striking out 25% of the time and hitting .231. He and Bellinger still showing power, but no consistency at the plate. It is pretty much a team wide malady right now. But they have 30 games left to right the ship. To answer an earlier question by Gordon60. Dodgers against teams with a .500 record, 39-25. They are 47-21 against the teams they should beat up on. If anything the team really misses two important pieces in Verdugo and Freese. Verdugo is a spark plug type of player and Freese in a Dodger uni has been nothing short of clutch. They can beat good teams and good pitching.

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  1. They still have not decided if they are going to add Lux to the roster on the 1st. I see the biggest impediment to him as being playing time. Verdugo not ready or even close right now. Stripling had a minor set back from things I have read. But Urias will be reinstated on the 2nd. We all remember Santana. Kid has a lot of tools on the mound, but has struggled as a starter. I read a report the other day that he has been used out of the pen down at OKC and is doing quite well. Hill threw on Sunday for the first time since his injury. We might see him in some relief roles in September. Not much time for re-hab unless he goes to Arizona. Martin is supposed to be back tomorrow, Barnes will be re-called on the 1st, but it is doubtful he even leaves the team and returns to OKC. Rios, Garlick, Barnes, and a couple of pitchers most likely candidates for recall. Floro and Schultz come to mind. 30 games left. Mostly against the weak sisters of the league. Only remaining teams with a winning record they face are the Giants, who are right at .500 for 6 games, the Mets for 3 and the Rays for 2. When the Rays series is over, they have 9 games left and that is it. If anything, they should be wary of the Braves, who since taking the last 2 in the ATL have caught fire and won 8 straight. The American league will take care of itself. They need to get the job done in the NL before anyone starts worrying about who they MIGHT face IF they make it to the big dance. Joc Pederson was accused by Yankee super fan Nick Tuturro.

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  2. Here’s a link to a good article about the Muncy play at second base and the ump calling time out (game 2 of the series).
    https://baseballrulesacademy.com/umpire-calls-time-while-runner-sprints-toward-home/
    We got lucky or we might have lost all three. As others have said though, maybe a good slap upside the head will be a positive thing as we head into the playoffs. The Yanks looked very good this weekend. I still think the Astros are better.

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    1. If the runner was standing on third when Kenley asked for time (and he was) the ump can grant it. His reason for granting it sounded rather lame.

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  3. It just is starting to annoy me that so many fans complain so much about a team that is running away with it’s division, has a 99.9 percent chance of clinching and making the playoffs, and has a 29 percent chance of being in the series. The playoffs are a crap shoot. Rarely have the pundits and prognosticators been right. The Dodgers will win or lose with the team they have. We, as fans have absolutely no control over that. Let the games play them selves out. Rarely is it a star player on the team who is key to a championship. I have seen over the years so many fringe players become Babe Ruth or Walter Johnson come the playoffs. If I am not mistaken, and I do not remember anyone else, Kike is the only Dodger in their history to hit 3 HR’s in a playoff game. Pearce, a Red Sox utility player won the MVP last year in the series. In 88 when Hershiser won the MVP, it just as easily could have been a member of the Stunt Men as they were called, Mickey Hatcher. He hit 2 home runs in the series after hitting 1 all year. His 2 run HR in game 1 off Dave Stewart started the Dodger scoring. Hatcher batter .368 with 2 HR’s and 5 ribbies. He also hit a HR in the deciding game in Oakland. You never know who will step up and be the hero. Duke Snider hit 4 HR’s in a World Series twice, still the only player in MLB history to do that. They won 1 of those series, and he was not the MVP of that series, Podres was.

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    1. You need to get out of that den of peeves Bear. Those guys would boo a championship.

      It’s true you don’t know who will step up. You also can’t predict who will fail and who might get ribs cracked at a most inopportune time.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Scott is basically pulling away anyway. There are only a few posters there anymore and you know who can be the most annoying and they are getting worse. Since Oscar became ill, he is the only writer.

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  4. But to be honest Scoop. that is not the only place full of complainers. I myself have come to grips with a lot of things I railed against earlier because I know that there is no way the game is going back to the way it was when we were young. We have changed and baseball has changed even more. I guess I have mellowed a lot over the last few months. I still do not always agree with the way AF and the team does things, but at least now, I am trying to understand it.

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    1. I went through the same thing Bear. If it wasn’t working I’d still be blasting management. Friedman took over a winner with a stacked system and moved the club forward. I too miss the game we played being played by Major Leaguers, but that it is still being played. Did you see the Little League World Series? It’s better without 13 year olds swinging titanium bats. Those kids are better at fundamentals than Major Leaguers are! And today’s Major League players are the size of linebackers and are hitting harder hardballs over shorter fences. It is what is. We are most fortunate to have a winning team. I choose to be grateful for that.

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      1. Yeah and those kids have great enthusiasm too. Pollock got the error on that play, but Turner totally missed a throw that was right on the money and skipped through Turner’s legs. May missed making a fundamental play and did not back up 3rd and the tying run was allowed to score. It also moved the other runner all the way to third so he scored on a dribbler through the hole. Basic plays made and the runners are on second and first and only 1 run scores on the hit. May cannot get out of a 6th inning. Maybe they should limit him to 5 for now. The big bats are slumping. Belli, Muncy and Smith all in minor slumps. Muncy and Belli hitting below .240 for the last 28 games or so. Both are swinging at pitches they had been letting go before. Joc doing the same thing, and even Seager is a total sucker for that down and away pitch. Get it in his wheelhouse though and he is at least making contact. Muncy and Belli both are whiffing on fast balls that are center cut. They have 29 games to get right.

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      2. Basic fundamentals not being used will lead to unearned runs. When the offense is slumping, unearned runs lead to lead to losses.

        Something I’m a firm believer in – defense never slumps. If you are working on it daily, and have your head in the game, unearned runs should be a rarity. These guys play on perfect fields (virtually no bad hops) so catching the ball should be easy if you position yourself properly. And think about…. this is all these guys do. They get paid millions and they don’t even back up a base? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’ve seen better defense played in softball tournaments all over the West. The difference between the guys playing tournament softball and Major Leaguers is ONE skill – hitting 95 mph fastballs. That one skill separates them. You do that and you can play Muncyesque defense and make a minimum of $3,364 a day playing baseball.

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  5. 2 unearned. Didn’t back up a base. 1 for 10 WRISP. 13 Ks. Against the Padres.

    The Braves are 6 games behind and playing well. You don’t think…… nah. That won’t happen.

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  6. Wow! Bear has made peace with AF! That’s amazing! Fact is this team is plenty good enough to win a WS. They just have to step up and do it in October! You’re right bear there has been many instances where an unknown player steps up and plays beyond their norm like Pearce last year. But it also helps when your best players step up as well. Turner and Freese have done that. Time for Seager, Belli, Muncy, Kersh, Ryu and Jansen to follow suit!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They have to get there Rich. Nobody walks over. The Yankees will have to face that Astro staff if both meet in the playoffs. Right now they both have the same record. DC is playing with their hair on fire, and so are the Braves and Cardinals. The Dodgers have more depth than most teams and they use it every game. Sometimes it works and sometimes it does not. But when you are sitting with a record of 86-47, your closest pursuer is 19.5 games behind you with 29 to play, you are doing something very right. They are in a slump right now. But even at that, they have not had an extended losing streak since April. Lost 6 in a row then, but since have never lost more than 3. Their starting pitching has been for the most part stellar. They still give up HR’s too often, but those only matter when the offense is playing like they are now. And another thing about last nights game. That home plate umpire was awful. He missed a ton of calls. His strike zone was wider than the 405 freeway. You rarely see JT or Taylor get upset with calls. But Turner went ballistic after the strike 3 call in the 9th. They will make it to the playoffs. Whether they limp in or roar in is out of our hands.

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    2. It was and is more a case of making peace with myself and not getting all riled up over things which I cannot control. I was pissed they decided to trade Kemp again, but ultimately it was the right move. The outfield defense has been stellar. Just look how many assists they have and defensive runs saved. Belli is great out there in right, but Verdugo, Pederson and Pollock have all made some great plays. Even Negron and the other day Taylor have made catches that Matt would not have made. They do not miss Puig at all simply because everyone who has played out there in the outfield has stepped up and performed. Even if only here for a short time. Garlick and Beaty have made contributions. One thing that has really improved over the last month or so, is the catching. Smith has brought stability. Now if they can get the bullpen straight and the bats working again. I feel pretty good about their chances. But the playoffs> Those are a crap shoot and anything and everything can happen and usually does.

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      1. Taylor is no rookie. He didn’t backup Muncy at second, the runner gets to third and Barnes gets the error. Ridiculous. How often do you see a right fielder running to back up first? I can’t emphasize this enough. The defense is a team. Everybody on the team has an assignment on every pitch. Move! A ball in play? All 9 guys should be moving. You see someone standing and watching they are letting their team down. I see every single game I go to. Professionals standing and watching in the outfield. By the time they react a base is given up. And it’s ALWAYS a base in scoring position. You just can’t give those bases away. If there isn’t an algorithm for that there should be.

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  7. Bellinger is swinging at pitches like he did when he was a rookie. He is missing them more often than not and he is not making hard contact. He is popping out, striking out and flying out a lot more than he did early in the year. Give him a blow for a game or two, get Beaty and Gyorko some time out there. Give Muncy a blow too. They both are in the same funk. Dodgers now considering calling up Lux. Good, they need some fire and fresh blood. They obviously miss Verdugo and Freese. The troops are coming soon.

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    1. Amen to that Bear.

      I figured this schneid was coming. Time off is part of the plan. It might mean losing the home field but we need to be peaking then. The one game I saw in the Yankees series the team looked lethargic. The Yankees looked jacked. Hopefully their slump comes later. Same with Braves. Astros are 7-3 with 4 in a row, but at .644 are still behind us. September is going to be interesting. Not necessarily in a lot of Divisions, but in race for home field. It’s a bigger deal for some, and the Dodgers are one of the some – 52-18 at home, 34-29 away.

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    1. The DH should be adopted for both leagues and I think it comes sooner than later. E-zone is being tested in the independent league as are a few other things. Pitchers are terrible hitters anymore. Dodger rally’s last night DIED because a rookie pitcher was up in those spots. And I for one, even as entertaining as it is am not anxious to see Rich Hill hit as others I know.

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      1. Friedman has just announced that although he sees no path toward resigning Hill as a pitcher, he is planning to sign him as the team’s DH as soon as the NL adopts it. Another case of thinking outside the box.

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      2. Hill will be a well rested 42 when the DH finally gets to the NL. Gives him plenty of time to work on his lunch angle …. which will allow him to be higher weighted on base…….

        that’s all I got……

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      3. I always like my DH to be well rested. Sitting in the dugout for most of the game and having to walk to the plate 4 times can take a lot out of a guy, not to mention he might have to run the bases once or twice.
        Lunch angle/higher weighted on base. Well done! You, my friend, are a national treasure. Problem is no nation wants to claim you. 🙂

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