Cubs at Dodgers

cubs-fan-catch-dodgers-0623bullpenfire

State of the Team

As the Dodgers enter into a crucial three game series with the Cubs, let us take a look at the state of the Dodgers.  The pennant race is on.  The Dodgers are just two and a half games above the Giants.  If the Dodgers fall behind the Giants, a wild card spot will be difficult to come by, as the Dodgers are behind the Cubs by three games.  While the Cubs still have to play six games each against the Cards and the Pirates, they also have six games each against the Reds and the Brewers.

The Dodgers have played well against weaker teams, except in the recent series against the Oakland A’s.  The boys in blue swept the Reds in each of their recent two series against the team from Cincinnati.  However, Houston, historically not a good team, but leaders in their division this year, swept the Dodgers.

The team’s first strength lies in its Ace starting pitchers, Ace #1 Clayton Kershaw and Ace #1A Zack Greinke.  The team’s second strength is the number of hitters who can supply power.  Eight of the hitters on the current team have ten or more home runs (Gonzalez 24, Pederson 23, Grandal 15, Turner 15, Rollins 13, Ethier 12, Puig 11, and Guerrero 11).  Howie Kendrick has nine.  Kike Hernandez, Scott Van Slyke, and AJ Ellis also have some punch.

However, the team has considerable weaknesses as it goes into the final push for the pennant race.  The hitting can be sporadic at times, as they have hit only .219 over the past ten games.  Hitting with the bases loaded has been poor this year, though not quite as bad as last year (2014 OPS was .460, while the 2015 OPS has been .604).  Injuries to position players Kendrick, Turner, and Puig are troublesome.  Turner has not yet got the timing on his hitting back to where it was prior to his MRSA issue.

The bullpen has been a sore spot, especially over the past two months.  Let’s take a look at the bullpen’s WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched) and ERA by month for 2015:

April 1.109 and 2.25

May 1.173 and 2.82

June 1.255 and 4.20

July 1.621 and 6.27

Aug 1.390 and 5.34

Whatever was broken in the bullpen in July (and June) has not been fixed in August.  This dones not bode well for September, let alone October.

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140 thoughts on “Cubs at Dodgers

  1. While the picture shows the Tigers’ bullpen on fire in Detroit, that’s basically a very good visual of what’s going on in our bullpen. Yesterday was the exception, not the rule.

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    • Hopefully we can get some help from the likes of Cotton and Urias in the bully down the stretch.

      Then you have to have a manager that’s willing to use them and use them wisely by putting them in a position to succeed…

      NEVERMIND.

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      • Yep. Urias is a treasure. Cotton is very good. Friedman and Kasten should be asking themselves: “If we put these guys in Donnie’s hands, (1) is he going to know how to use them and (2) are they going to survive it?

        The last thing I’d want to see is Donnie over-using Urias and blowing him up, aka a Scott Proctor. Not that I expect that to happen. But who knows?

        I don’t expect that the addition of Urias, Cotton, and Seager are going to improve our chances significantly. Not in September and not in October.

        Seager may help by giving Turner and Rollins the adequate rest they need. But’s that’s not what’s going to win the division for us.

        In order to win the division, fucking Donnie needs to listen to his starters when they tell him they can do a better job than the bullpen. Like why did he take out Alex Wood so early?

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  2. Nice post crash…I’m headed out for a bit, the doc gave me orders. Someone needs to keep an eye on the front door in case any of our friends decide to join us. The first comment has to be approved for them to get in.

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  3. Somebody claims that Latos is going to start game 2 of this series. What has that guy been doing?
    The giants took 2 of 3 from the Cubs. The dodgers need to do at least as well.

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  4. Where’s Bear?

    I think he was the one that said we can’t lose this September no matter what happens. Either we play well enough to win the division or play poor enough for Donnie to get fired. Its a rare win/win with this team.

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    • Yeah, we need Bear here. We were all happy when the Guggs bought the Dodgers. Bear didn’t believe it, and rightly cautioned us about the Guggs. Now look – things haven’t changed at all. The Dodgers are still playing on the margins, not playing to win. If they wanted to win, they would have cleaned house right away.

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    • What I worry about is that the Dodgers make it to the playoffs, but lose in the first round. Then the Guggs will be like, okay Donnie, that’s three straight years in the playoffs, you’re okay. Or, we’ll give you one more chance.

      At least if we completely miss the playoffs, Donnie should certainly be fired.

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  5. Funny how not that long ago some of were calling for Puig to be traded. Now I am not happy he can’t play. And what about all those expectations that Ethier would not last through spring training? Sometimes the best deals are the ones not made.

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  6. I’ve added a couple of sections to the sidebar, which I will try and update regularly. You may always make request as well, as I will do my best to fulfill them.

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  7. HI dem bums’
    Is this live? I biikmarked and it came here, looks like the current subject matter, got to get a win with kershaw tonight! if not, the message would be bad news?

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  8. I see we’re hitting up a storm again tonight. There’s so many holes that need attention on this ship that I don’t know how they’re going to be able to address them all this winter.

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  9. What a great night. First, the announcement that Vin is coming back next year. Then, Kershaw pitched with a sense of urgency and kept the ball out of the hands of relievers not named Jansen.

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  10. KKKKKKKKKKKKKK
    .
    Rollin’ down the Imperial Highway
    With a big nasty redhead at my side
    Santa Ana wind blowin’ hot from the north
    And we was born to ride
    .
    Chalk off another spectacular day!

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  11. Utley is beginning to earn his pay. Did not like CC PHing for Dre. and the darn gnats find a way to win, come down the chimney this time, with a GS hit by Byrd, who does not hit wacha well, the cardnals gave the game away with errors, and today Lynne is pitching who does not do well at the phone booth.
    So can a rested Latos fair well? Im just kinda feed up with L/R pitching match ups, Dre is a professional Hitter, let him have his whacks, but just for CC, I have to give him hell, because he deserves it. and Oh brother it is an ESPN game on Sunday, but Curt schilling won’t be there!

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  12. I don’t know how you confuse Crawford with SVS when that was SVS PH for Ethier not Crawford. Crawford was batting behind Ethier It doesn’t make sense for Crawford to PH for Ethier when a lefty was coming in.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Lineup for tonight:
    Rollins, ss
    Kike, cf
    Adrian, 1b
    Turner, 3b
    Scotty, rf
    Carl, lf (BOOO!)
    Ellis, c
    Peraza,2b
    Latos, P

    Now, this is pure crap!

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  14. Turner’s no clean-up hitter to begin with, and he sure as hell isn’t a clean-up hitter since he’s come off the DL. I just can’t fathom this line-up when you’re trying to win a division.

    Think I’ll move along tonight. Nothing to see here.

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    • They should have given Turner some rehab games when he came back. Not too late to do it now. Either that , or move him way down in the lineup until he gets his hitting timing back.

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  15. From the South Bay to the Valley
    From the West Side to the East Side
    Everybody’s very happy
    ‘Cause the sun is shining all the time
    Looks like another perfect day

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  16. Maybe Kenley was inactive earlier in the year and isn’t as strong as he normally would be? It is nearly the end of August.

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  17. Nice win. Now to more important topics. With Vinny saying next year will be his last, the Dodgers, or more specifically, the Guggenheim dictatorship, had better make sure he’s on TV for EVERYONE. If this ownership group dares to drop the ball on this not-so-little matter, I say to hell with them once and for all. I’ll put a 100-year curse on the Dodgers to rival the Cubs!!!

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  18. Kahli, like you I am still not convinced there is nothing the Dodgers can do to resolve this issue. I have to assume there has not been enough demand by Direct TV customers to change its position while Time Warner has been too busy working on mergers. It will be interesting to see if Vin’s situation changes anything but I have my doubts.

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    • lbirk, I have to believe if the Guggs don’t fix the problem it will be a public relations disaster unlike ANYTHING we’ve seen in LA sports the past half century. Frank and Jamie buying houses on Dodger profits is minuscule compared to this blunder, now reaching its second full year. Zero excuse, across the board.

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      • The pressure needs to start now but with Magic Johnson’s arrogant and plain stupid comment earlier this year that the TV situation has not hurt the Dodger brand, I really wonder if anyone at Guggenheim really cares.

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  19. Good morning folks!
    I just thought I’d pass along an article on Manny Ramirez and the Cubs.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/columnists/ct-sullivan-cubs-manny-ramirez-spt-0829-20150828-column.html

    Plus another one about the Giants being a little banged up.

    http://www.sfgate.com/giants/article/Giants-lack-punch-blanked-by-Cardinals-6473791.php

    Also, we have a solid chance (if we can hit Arrieta) of picking up another game on the Giants tonight, I do believe.
    Arrieta 2.22 vs Wood 4.34

    Like

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