Thoughts on Dodgers/Padres Series, Looking Ahead to Cubs Matchup

“We got outplayed.”

These words uttered by Los Angeles Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts after being swept by the Padres succinctly described what happened to his team while they were in San Diego. They got outplayed, in all facets of the game.

The Dodgers never led in the entire series. They allowed the Padres to score in each of the three first innings, and it seemed like the air was gone for the Dodgers from the very beginning of each game.

Los Angeles only scored seven runs total while stranding 21 men on base. They were 4-for-19 with men in scoring position.

The starting pitching failed them also. As stated, Julio Urías, Clayton Kershaw, and Trevor Bauer all surrendered runs, and home runs, in the first inning, allowing the crowd to really dictate the direction of the game. Urías ended up allowing a total of six runs through four innings, and Kershaw and Bauer both allowed three runs through six. While Kershaw and Bauer both technically had quality starts, it was not enough to help out the struggling offense.

Other issues were at play. Manny Machado and Jake Cronenworth have seemingly made it their personal mission to just demolish the Dodgers. Cronenworth homered in all three games, Machado in two. Never known for his effort while he was with the Dodgers, Manny was employed all over the field in various shifts, standing anywhere from short center to deep right field. He even booked it down the base path to beat a throw by Justin Turner, who had to get a better grip on the ball before throwing to first.

Mookie Betts battled what the team is calling the stomach flu through most of the series. He left the game early on Tuesday night and was sent back to Los Angeles early on Wednesday after receiving IV fluids. Roberts was unsure if Mookie would even be back in the lineup on Thursday.

Regardless of all of these issues, there was just a flatness to the team. Even when they tried to mount a comeback on Wednesday night, there still didn’t really seem to be any urgency or hype about it.

The Padres are a team that feeds off emotion and the energy of the crowd. The Dodgers, for how good they have been over the last five or so years, seem to employ a slow and steady approach, which does not always translate to getting up for the what fans and media seem to be an important series. They say all the right things ahead of time, but many times, it doesn’t translate to the field.

The Dodgers are missing that spark, whatever that may be. Love him or hate him, Yasiel Puig always brought it. Joc Pederson and Kiké Hernandez infused a child-like love of the game into the clubhouse also, and those fun sparks are missing off the bench this season.

To me, this is something they desperately need to find before the playoffs roll around, or worse, find themselves out of the playoffs entirely.

Now the Boys in Blue return home to Chavez Ravine for a tough, six-game stretch. They’ll begin on Thursday evening with a four-game set against the Chicago Cubs and then two with the NL West leading San Francisco Giants.

Joc will receive his World Series ring before the opener. The former Dodger is batting .243 on the season with 11 home runs. The Cubs as a team are second in the NL Central, 0.5 games out of first behind the Milwaukee Brewers.

All of the probable starters for the Cubs are right handers. With the return of Cody Bellinger and Max Muncy to the lineup, it would be a great time for the Dodgers offense to get themselves going.

The probable pitching matchup for Thursday is Zach Davies and Walker Buehler. Davies is 4-4 on the season with a 4.66 ERA, a pitcher who the Dodgers should be able to handle. Buehler is looking to take sole possession of the Dodgers franchise record of consecutive games started without a loss. He is at 23 regular season starts and 30 when the postseason is included.

Friday will see Jake Arrieta and Tony Gonsolin, Saturday will be Alec Mills and Urias, and the Sunday Night ESPN Game will be Adbert Alzolay against Kershaw.

Hopefully the home crown and the embarrassment at how they played in San Diego will light a fire under this team or they could find themselves further down in the division than they already are, with a long climb back to the top.

13 thoughts on “Thoughts on Dodgers/Padres Series, Looking Ahead to Cubs Matchup

  1. Instead of winning games, it feels to me right now that there is more of an emphasis on getting a group of Dodgers to this year’s All-Star Game. Maybe the lack of urgency can be attributed to the fact that the franchise finally won a World Championship after such a long hiatus. Although the more traditional duties of an MLB manager are dwindling, I think team motivation would still be one of them. Tommy so great at this—even well into the years of his retirement.

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    1. Tommy wasn’t only a rah rah guy, he would also kick a player in the ass if he thought it was necessary. That may be what’s missing from Doc’s managerial method.

      Gibby was another one who did that for the team. I agree, we need that kind of guy in the clubhouse.

      I’m also getting concerned about Mookie. I don’t even care if the rest of the year goes this way for him and he comes back next year as “the real Mookie”. I’m just concerned that there might be a serious health or emotional problem that the team just doesn’t want to talk about. Hopefully I’m totally off base here and we see the Mookie we had last year sooner than later.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. As usual Dennis, you’ve got your finger on the pulse of the team.
        Do you think they are giving themselves concussions by hitting themselves on the head all the time? That would explain the dazed looks and play we’ve seen lately.

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      2. Hopefully the beginning of a turn around for both Mookie and the team.

        Is it my imagination or has the opposition been the first to score in the majority of our games this year? Don’t know how easy a stat that is to find, but it seems like our poor starters are always pitching from behind or, if not behind, tied. That adds lots of stress if it consistently happens throughout the year.

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      3. Starters seem to be giving up a lot of home runs lately. Baez hit a tubed fastball tonight. Buehler has a tendency to center cut pitches.

        Roberts hasn’t had to do a lot of ass chewing since he’s been here. The teams Tommy was managing weren’t as good as the teams Roberts has had. Tommy finished first 8 times in 21 years. Roberts is 6 for 6. Tommy never won 100. Roberts has done it twice already.

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      1. Muncy is leading the voting at 1st. He leads the league in OBP. Others are in the top 5. Me, I think Taylor, Muncy, Urias, and Buehler are worthy of a spot. The rest, not so much.

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  2. Ok I admittedly haven’t been able to follow as closely this year so far but can someone tell me why Mookie Betts is hitting .250?? Is his back still an issue or what’s the deal? Also I don’t understand how the hell the Giants are leading this division. I expected SD to be a dogfight but there’s no way that group of nobody’s can really keep this up all season is there? I’m all about LSU players in the pros but Kevin Gausman should not be a CY Young candidate. This feels like the weirdest season.

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  3. Hard game to watch last night. Davies gave up 8 runs in his last start against St. Louis. Then he totally shuts down the highest scoring team in the league. And the Cubs bullpen has been lights out, so if the Dodgers are to win games here against these guys, they are going to have to score early and often. And how good do the Giants feel coming in here and seeing the Dodgers floundering like a wounded moose the last week or so? Do not give those guys the confidence that they can just run roughshod over you. Jones now a free agent.

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