More Thoughts on Giants vs. Dodgers Series, NL West Divisional Race

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Over the last couple of days, the Dodgers on multiple occasions were an inning away from moving into first place in the NL West. After losing three out of four games to the first-place San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles now stands three games out first. Even though the Dodgers are still 20 games above .500 with all their injuries, the fans still expect more with all the team’s talent.

Kenley Jansen has blown three consecutive saves and unfortunately has received quite a few boos at Chavez Ravine the past couple of days. A string of a few bad games has overshadowed the good year he’s had so far.

A wild ninth inning on Thursday gave the Giants a 5-3 win, providing San Francisco with a huge momentum swing. Although the two teams meet next week in a three-week series in San Francisco, the Dodgers will have to put together the pieces before it’s too late.

You really can’t do anything regarding the injuries, but perhaps adding some talent to the clubhouse can change that. For those fans not confident in Jansen, I’d like to know whether they’d consider trading for Craig Kimbrel, who is having a career year and is expected to be on the trading block. Other options could be the Pirates’ Richard Rodriguez or old nemesis Ian Kennedy from the Kansas City Royals.

Overall, the main problem the Dodgers need to address is adding starting pitcher depth, as injuries have decimated the starting rotation. Some position players after coming back from injury are not getting their mojo back. Cody Bellinger has struggled tremendously this year. Over his last 20 games he’s 5-for-69.

The NL West is going to be one huge dog fight the rest of the way. Many wondered how long the Giants could keep up their good baseball. It looks like they’re here to stay. The Dodgers can very easily erase the bad memories from this week’s series if they take care of business next week in San Francisco.

However, this may very well turn out to be the hardest divisional race the Dodgers have had in the past eight years. At the end of the season, it is quite likely the Dodgers will be in the playoffs, but they’d obviously prefer to be divisional champs to avoid the dreaded Wild Card round.

Next week’s series against the Giants may be the most important one of the year. If the Dodgers do not take care of business then, it might mean the Giants eventually capture the division.

Before the Dodgers meet the Giants, they will have to take care of the Rockies who come to town for a three-game series beginning Friday. Pitching matchups for the series are righty Chi Chi Gonzalez vs. David Price, left-hander Kyle Freeland vs. Tony Gonsolin, and righty Jon Gray vs. Josiah Gray.

The two teams last met right after the All-Star Break with the Dodgers taking two out of three and being an inning away from a sweep.

The first pitch for Friday’s opener is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. Pacific.

13 thoughts on “More Thoughts on Giants vs. Dodgers Series, NL West Divisional Race

  1. Most of you have a lot of knowledge about the players. I cannot understand why Bellinger cannot get going. The man is a ROY a MVP and now the water boy. Can’t understand with all the help at major league level they can’t figure out what is wrong at the plate

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    1. It seems to me Larry that there are three possibilities:
      1) He’s getting bad advice from the coaching staff
      2) He’s getting advice but is unwilling or unable to follow it
      3) There is something physically wrong with him which is preventing him from regaining his former skills

      If I were his manager I would insist he lay down a bunt and/or try to hit against the shift to left field at least twice a game. They don’t appear to have any interest in having him do that. So what that leaves us with is a guy who has had 3 hits in his last 46 at bats batting 5th in the lineup tonight (.065 batting average during that span).

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      1. Actually jeff there is a 4th possibility. He can’t hit major league pitching. It all started half way through his mvp season. He’s basically a 210 hitter sinse then with limited power. It happens occasionally that the league adjusts to the batter, and the batter is unable/incapable of adjusting. That appears to be the case with Ballinger. It’s not even a dramatic. Each and every season his 2nd half stats have declined dramatically. This is not a 2 month bllp. This is a 3 year trend. To expect a 150 hitter to hit 300 is silly. Players can adjust but Bellinger obviously can’t. Good defense centre fielders a…re z dime a dozen. I hope I’m wrong but I don’t think so. He nay well go on a tear and end up at 220.

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      2. 3 year trend?

        That is simply not true. Check his splits for ‘19 and ‘20. You will be surprised.

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    2. His swing is way too long. He Takes too long to get to the ball. He needs to shorten up his swing to meet the ball. Later if that goes well, lengthen his swing. Also, he is too upright in his stance, so when he strides, his eye level changes dramatically, (lowers). This stance worked before for a while but not now. His power will come when his bat meets the ball. He does not need to try to hit the ball into the next county on every swing. He could lay a bunt down to get on base but he seems too stubborn to do that.

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  2. What a total excuse the expression, shit show. Roberts made every bad decision possible and the bullpen did an absolutely horrid job.

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    1. I can’t get too upset about it. Last night the Dodgers’ bullpen was 5 AAA pitchers. The lineup was without Betts, Seager, Muncy, and Lux. At this point replacement pitchers and position players are no better than replacement level in productivity. Three position players who started the game would not normally be starters on a team that was going to do well.

      The other problem the Dodgers have is that poor teams will play their hardest again them. The only high points in the season for a poor team is winning a series against a team like the Dodgers.

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      1. Cannot use that as an excuse. If Betts was not available to at least pinch hit, why is he still not on the IL> Bad management in my book. If he can swing the bat, and by everything I have read his hip hurts only when he does a lot of running, Roberts missed a golden chance to win the game by not having him pinch hit for Neuse, who is a disaster at the plate.

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  3. We don’t know as much as we would like to think we know. The fact that Betts did not pinch hit when we thought he should pinch hit says to me that Roberts, the trainers, and Dodger analytics know more than we do. We have no idea what is going on in the locker room, the training room, or on the bench.

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