Win for Vin

VinScullyOK

On the eve of the 2015 Dodgers-Mets National League Division Series opener, news broke that Vin Scully will not be broadcasting during the 2015 postseason due to a medical procedure.  This news closely followed the announcement that Vin would not be able to broadcast the final regular season home series against the Padres due to a cold.  We sincerely hope that Vin is okay, in terms of his general health.  We wish Vin a speedy recovery.  Get well soon.

Next season is shaping up to be Vin’s last year for the Dodgers.  What a great thing it would be if he could start off each game with “It’s Time for World Champion Dodgers Baseball”!  Let’s win this one for Vin.

The first game of the postseason is shaping up to be a dandy of a competition.  Two great young pitchers will be pitching against one another.  Both Jacob deGrom and Clayton Kershaw are just 27 years old.  (Did you ever notice that Clayton was born in 1988, the last year these Dodgers won the World Series?)

This is deGrom’s second year in the major leagues.  deGrom was not drafted out of high school.  At Stetson University, Jacob played his first two years as a light-hitting, strong armed shortstop.  He first pitched in May 2009, was drafted by the Mets in 2010, then underwent Tommy John surgery in October 2010.  deGrom’s first really good year was 2012, when he had a 0.997 WHIP (Walks plus hits per innings pitched) pitching for A/A+ minor league teams.  The following year of 2013 was a transition year, when he was pushed through both AA and AAA, amassing a mediocre WHIP of 1.449.  The work that year was worth it for both Jacob and the Mets, as his first two years with the Mets have been spectacular.  Those two years include a Rookie of the Year award last year and an All-Star performance this year.  His WHIP this year is a low 0.979.

Clayton Kershaw took a very different path to the major leagues.  Clayton was drafted in the first round (seventh pick) straight of high school in 2006.  He spent just two and a half years in the minor leagues, being promoted straight from AA Jacksonville to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2008.  During his minor league work, he was always unhittable, giving up 6.4 hits per nine innings.  After the rookie league, he struggled with his command.  His walks per nine innings were at first high, but shrunk each year (4.6 in 2007 and 2.8 in 2008).  His command improvement record has continued throughout his MLB career – he just gets better every year.

This mindset of Kershaw – wanting to surpass himself every year – has led him to be one of the best pitchers ever.  He has lead the majors in ERA four years in a row (2011-2014).  He led the National League in strikeouts three of the last five years.  Clayton has won the Cy Young Award three times, and last year won the Most Valuable Player award.  His career ERA of 2.43 is the lowest of any starting pitcher who pitched after the dead-ball period.  His career WHIP of 1.033 ranks fourth all-time.  In order for Kershaw to achieve the best all-time career WHIP, he will have to best the following three men:

  • Addie Joss, WHIP 0.968, pitched for Cleveland Bronchos/Naps from 1902 to 1910.
  • Ed Walsh, WHIP 1.000, pitched for the Chicago White Sox from 1904 to 1917
  • Mariano Rivera, WHIP 1.000, relief pitcher extraordinaire for the New York Yankees from 1995 to 2013

During 2015, Clayton Kershaw and his career WHIP bypassed the following great pitchers

  • John Ward 1.044 (1878-1894)
  • Pedro Martinez 1.054 (1992-2009)
  • Christy Mathewson 1.058 (1900-1916)
  • Trevor Hoffman 1.058 (1993-2010)

Other active pitchers who have low career WHIPs include:

  • Madison Bumgarner 1.111, 27th all-time
  • David Price 1.132, 43rd all-time
  • Cole Hamels 1.147, 64th all-time

Pitching and defense are key in the postseason.  Last year, the Dodgers had the starting pitching, but had a weak bullpen.  So weak, that Clayton Kershaw was arguably left in too long twice against the Cardinals.  This year, the bullpen appears better, with a resurgent Chris Hatcher taking on the 8th inning setup man role.

Shoring up the defense was a key off-season priority for the front office.  Matt Kemp, whose hips, legs, and ankles won’t allow him to move fast in the outfield like he did in earlier years, was traded.  Hanley Ramirez, always known as a great bat but a liability on the field at shortstop, was allowed to go the free agent route.  Joc Pederson was installed as the everyday center fielder and even now, Kike Hernandez has also done a solid job in center field.  Other positive changes up the middle included trades for Yasmani Grandal, Howie Kendrick, and Jimmy Rollins.

Which brings us to Corey Seager.  Yes, Jimmy Rollins provides the necessary stellar fielding at shortstop.  However, we all know, and have written about, his shortcomings offensively this year.  Corey Seager may not be quite as good as Rollins defensively, although he has shown that he is more than competent out there.  Where Seager really shines is at the plate.  Since he was called up from the AAA Oklahoma Dodgers, Corey has had consistently good at bats.  He is quite calm at the plate and gets the job done, whether against right-handed pitchers or left-handed pitchers.  His calmness is amazing given his age (21 years old).  Much of this is likely attributable to his spending time with his older brother, Kyle, during the off season.

Here are your 2015 National League Division Series Dodgers:

Starting Pitchers – Clayton Kershaw (L), Zack Greinke (R), Brett Anderson (L), Alex Wood (L)- possible bullpen?

Bullpen – Kenley Jansen (R), Chris Hatcher (R), JP Howell (L), Luis Avilan (L), Pedro Baez (R), Yimi Garcia (R), Joel Peralta (R)

Catchers – AJ Ellis (R), Yasmani Grandal (S)

Infield – Adrian Gonzalez (L), Howie Kendrick (R), Chase Utley (L), Corey Seager (L), Jimmy Rollins (S), Justin Turner (R)

Outfield – Carl Crawford (L), Joc Pederson (L), Andre Ethier (L), Justin Ruggiano (R), Kike Hernandez (R), Yasiel Puig (R)

Let’s win this one for Vin.

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78 thoughts on “Win for Vin

  1. Dodgers Lineup:

    Crawford LF (L)
    Kendrick 2B
    Seager SS (L)
    Gonzalez 1B (L)
    Turner 3B
    Ethier RF (L)
    Ellis C
    Pederson CF (L)
    Kershaw P (L)

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    • Look at Corey Seager – batting third. He did that only twice in the regular season. Don Mattingly just professed to the world that Corey Seager is the Dodgers’ best hitter. I agree with that, at least right now, as Gonzalez and Turner have been a little off lately. Hopefully that changes tonight!

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  2. On paper this lineup looks good. Let’s hope it looks even better on the field. Must be tough for Jimmy Rollins but with the way this team hits (or lack thereof) how could Donnie not put Seager in the lineup?

    I have said it many times but I cannot help saying it again: the Dodgers will need to find a way to score runs against good pitching, something that has challenged them (and most other teams) all season. Championship teams find a way.

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    • He’s got his best friend catching him. He’s got Pederson in center field, who can track down just about anything hit out their. He’s got the solid play of Kendrick at 2B. He’s got the defense behind him, that’s for sure.

      Stay hydrated, Clayton! It’s hot out there.

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    • Dildon should have pulled him sooner. It was clear that he was running on fumes. He still isn’t very confident in his bullpen. And rightfully so. He brings in Baez to put out the fire and he fails. Geez!!

      I just hope an early post season exit will mean a long over due exit for Dildon.

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    • Crap!! I blame Dildon for not using Hatcher or Jansen with the bases loaded in the 7th inning. Alot of times the game is on the line before the 8th or 9th inning. Who etched it in stone that the closer or your best relievers have to be saved for the last 3 outs.

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  3. Seriously, bring in Jansen in the 7th inning? I cannot imagine any manager bringing in the closer in the 7th inning in that situation, or just about any situation. I do understand the need to get extra outs in playoff games; the TBS announcers talked about it. But not Jansen. I have not heard Donnie’s explanation for bringing in Baez but it doesn’t much matter. Kershaw uncharacteristically walks the bases loaded. Did Donnie leave Kershaw in too long? Should Donnie have let Kershaw stay in the game? My question is if Kershaw was tired, why didn’t Donnie know that before the third walk and make the change then?

    The issue tonight is once again a top line pitcher outpitches Kershaw. The Dodgers had more opportunities to score than the Mets and yet the Mets hit the home run and get the big hit. Kershaw just cannot get past the 7th inning in playoff games and the Dodgers continue to provide him with little run support.

    Hopefully tomorrow will be a different story and the Dodgers will come out with a win.

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  4. Thanks, crash, this is great.
    *
    All too familiar. You can’t win if you can’t score, and you can’t blame Donnie for this one. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t.
    *
    I think Greinke can get it done tonight and MAYBE our guys can scratch out a run or two. But Anderson will have to turn it up in NY.

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  5. Lack of timely hitting for the Dodgers, with a lead Kershaw may of been pulled earlier, but niether happened and as a yogism “dejavu all over again” Im stunned still. GO Dodgers!

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  6. The Dodgers inability to play as well in the postseason as they do in the regular season prevailed last night, helped by the fantastic pitching of Jacob deGrom. He’s absolutely amazing.
    I don’t think Syndergaard will make it much easier tonight.
    The best thing we have to prevent the Dodgers from coming to Queens down 0-2 is Greinke.

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  7. It’s interesting to me to watch the playoffs and other worthy teams. The impressive thing to me is to watch teams that I’m not really familiar with during the season, because after two games I feel like I pretty well know their lineup and makeup on the field. It’s also refreshing to see that lefties can indeed hit lefties, including some really good lefties like Kershaw, and other teams don’t shy away from keeping them in the lineup just depending on who is on the hill for the other side. With the Dodgers you never really know who is in the lineup today, who will be in the leadoff spot, and on and on, you know the drill. I think Mattingly and the people above him who analyze everything and accomplish very little on offense have basically killed the idea of a recognizable team over the last several years. We’ll see yet with another playoff season where that gets us, but I’ve always maintained that if you have the right players in place, it will matter very little whether you face a righty or a lefty; a good player should be able to simply produce. If we fail yet again in another playoff, I would dismantle the entire front office and the entire coaching staff and start with some people who know baseball from the ground up the old fashioned way, and that is clearly not the Dodgers today.

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  8. Once again, the Dodgers prove they cannot hit quality pitching. Their MO this season was to roll the also-rans with their terrific one-two punch of Kershaw and Greinke. But then, here come the playoffs and GREAT opposing pitching–every game. 13 Ks in 27 outs. Wow.

    And in listening to game in real time, I had the same thought as JhallWally when Mattingly removed Kershaw: the game is on the line at 1-0 with the bases loaded in the 7th. You bring in your best relief pitcher not named Jansen. According to Mattingly, that’s been Hatcher the past month. So why wait for the meaningless 9th to finally use him? These pre-ordained bullpen “roles” may fly with a computer. But as I’ve always felt, Mattingly lacks that intuit feel to make crucial in-game decisions.

    I loved that Pedro Martinez equally called out Honeycutt on the post-game show for not seeing the mechanics of Kershaw and the deteriorating sequence unfolding. He even dissected Kershaw’s arm angle and delivery, pointing out what one sees when Kershaw is “right” and when he’s not. Hell, hire Pedro as pitching coach!!!

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  9. I did not watch the post game show on TV or listen to much of the radio show. I do agree that it is interesting that the Mets were not afraid to put in left handed hitters in the lineup and agree in theory that a major league player should be able to hit lefties or righties. We know that is just not the case with many players but it worked out ok for the Mets. Both pitchers had high pitch counts last night and I still do not know for sure if fatigue was the reason Kershaw walked three hitters in the 7th inning. However, one would think given the nature of the game and Kershaw’s past history in the 7th inning in tight playoff games, any manager and pitching coach would have been concerned after the first walk (or hit if that had happened) in that inning. Yet I read in the paper that Donnie had decided at some point in the inning that if Wright came up to bat, a pitching change would be made then.

    As Kahli said, the Dodgers rolled over once again to top quality pitching. Yes, they beat Bumgarner and Lester but for the most part, opposing pitchers had little trouble shutting down Dodger hitters when they had to (with runners in scoring position). I wonder how many hittable pitches Dodger hitters fouled off last night.

    As to the comment that the front office should be removed and replaced by people “who know baseball from the ground up the old fashioned way” where are such people? Who hires these folks in the first place? The Dodgers have an “old fashioned” guy in Stan Kasten, an executive who has had success in other places. He replaced an “old fashioned” GM that most folks familiar to these pages criticized for almost every move he made. I am not saying the front office does not share responsibility for wins and losses; I most certainly think it does. But to seek the removal of all these people after only one year on the job sounds a bit harsh.

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  10. Philly Cheese Steak on a hoagie roll

    Hot Pastrami with horseradish and hot deli mustard

    Club Sandwich on sourdough

    I can’t decide??? Well, I’ve decided on tater-tots and beer….

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  11. Disappointing as usual, but not shocking. Kersh folds in the 7th. Team can’t hit good pitching. Donnie makes a mistake with the bullpen. All too familiar a recount of playoffs past.

    According to an article on the team’s home page, it pretty much all but says Donnie’s a brown noser to Walters, who evidently thinks he’s the bees knees. It also quotes Faz as saying a manager’s more valuable in the clubhouse keeping everyone happy and on an even keel, especially the prima donnas.

    What nobody wants or dares to see is that Donnie is NEVER going to get this team to the next level. They play in the playoffs like they do in the regular season – like they have 161 more games to right the ship. Other teams elevate their play in the playoffs, but not even keel Donnie. They plod and poke along like they always do.

    Here’s the deal. You have prima donnas that need Donnie to hold their hands all season? Get rid of the prima donnas. That problem out of the way what are you now left with? A dumb asshole that can’t manage his way out of a wet paper bag. Donnie’s ho-hum demeanor is exactly what his team projects. No fire. No playing for each other. Nothing. What good is winning the division 3 years in a row when you can’t win in the playoffs? Hell, forfeit or step aside and let the Giants play in their place. They might be a bunch of jerks, but they know how to win when it counts. Donnie doesn’t. Never did as a player, and never will as a manager.

    If it wasn’t for this Seager kid, I’d probably walk away and not follow them at all next year. Fuck ’em. We’ve all been saying the same things since 2009 (or was it 2007?) when I first started on here. I’m getting too old and tired to give a shit anymore.

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  12. Sports wise this weekend sure has gotten off to crappy start. Everyone under the sun knows how well the Dodgers punishing offense did last night and today my heavily favored Sooners were embarrassed by a Texas team that hasn’t done anything this year but shoot themselves in the foot. So the odds tonight ought to be in our favor. Back to back play off losses coupled with your football team not showing up is a little much. I’m able to be philosophical, sort of, to this point, but a poor showing tonight might be a little much. Anyway, nothing broken yet.

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  13. Post-game geek squad on TBS is going crazy over the Utley play…mainly because, after reversing the call, they put Utley back on second, despite the fact he never touched second. For me, it’s not complicated. If an umpire calls you out, you leave the field. Tejada then has no reason to tag Utley and Utley has no reason to touch the base. Once the call is reversed, you don’t go back and continue the play from the point of the slide. It’s impossible. If the umpire had called neither safe nor out, then the players know the play is still live and somebody reacts first to decide the play. And, of course, they’re all saying the play was dirty. For me, Utley is a throwback to Pete Rose and another time. Nobody wants to hurt anyone; I’m sure that was not his intent, though the TBS boys seem to think it was, indeed, with bad intent. I don’t. And by the way, Utley, thanks for waking this dead-ass team up!

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  14. Chase Utley now has a page in Dodgers history. It was a gritty play from old school country hardball. It was too bad that Tejada got hurt. Utley didn’t get away unscathed either. He got his bell rung twice, first by Tejada’s knee to his head, knocking off his helmet, then bouncing his head off the ground.
    Next stop New York City.

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  15. It is too bad Tejada was hurt. I hate to see that in athletics, especially on the high school and college level. I was surprised, though, how much of it was made by the post game commentators, particularly Pedro Martinez with the way he approached the game. As I said earlier, I thought Darling was going to break down and cry. Dusty Baker and Sheffield were a bit more realistic.

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  16. It was great to get the win which adds another night to the series and a chance for the Dodgers to win it. I didn’t expect them to win last night and it’s a pleasant surprise. I just wish that the injury to Tejada didn’t happen. It puts a much different slant on the games. But as we all know it’s a part of the game.

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  17. The suspension is confusing to me. On the field, in the moment, he eventually was ruled safe at first, after review, if he made an illegal slide why was it not called in the moment, especially since there was a review? then utley would be out, and kendrick too, I believe?, although there is no predictability that the throw would of beat kendrick.
    What I really believe is this is torre telling mattingly cant have Utley play in NY, something tragic might happen, and a elevated hostility may pervail? “Get him out of the dugout donnie” says Joe

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  18. The play at second base will be discussed and dissected for quite some time but our “friend” Joe Torre has decided the slide was illegal and suspended Utley for two games. Perhaps he is trying to prevent problems when the teams meet for game 3 but I cannot help feeling Torre is not the most unbiased person to rule on this matter. As I recall, he has ruled against the Dodgers on other matters that came before his jurisdiction. I had a bad feeling when I heard he was looking into this play.

    I was at the game and I have to admit I was caught up in the moment of being excited about the play and the tying run scoring while also being aware Tejada was hurt. But after seeing replays then and later, I can understand why some people think the slide was out of line. Others have said Tejada should have realized he could not get the double play and gotten out of the way. One thing I can say for sure: the toss from Murphy put Tejada in a bad position and Utley’s only goal was to prevent a double play that probably was not going to happen anyway. Utley didn’t know it and Tejada didn’t know it. The play happened quickly. Some say Utley went into the slide late and honestly, he never hit the ground and went straight for Tejada’s legs. Was it a dirty play? Not to me. Was it over aggressive? Probably. Tejada was in a vulnerable position but could Utley really have time to comprehend this? I don’t think so. Of course, if I were a Mets fan, I might think differently.

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  19. What bothers me is most of the media (read NY) is whipping the nation into a “retaliation is inevitable” slant. That’s irresponsible. Yeah, the guy broke his leg. Yeah, the slide was aggressive and high. But you don’t call for players to take “care of the problem” themselves. The only guy with any common sense has been Terry Collins. I’ve gained a lot of respect for him.

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  20. Well, I know I am biased. As a Dodger fan, I was super excited to see Utley play hard-nosed baseball. That’s what a team leader does, and now he can expect all the other players to play hard and stay in line. Maybe this is what it takes to get guys like Puig to pay attention and learn how to play the game the right way and show up on time every day.

    I will tell you one thing. This play by Utley, somebody already said it up above, really woke up the Dodgers. I hope it woke up Mattingly, too. Chase Utley knows how to win. I wish Mattingly could learn that from him.

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  21. Koufax is right – If the umpire(s) thought that Utley intentionally went out of the basepath to break up the double play, then Kendrick is out at first. Rule 5.09(a)(13) says that. The rule says nothing about a suspension. JoJo always goes against the Dodgers.

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  22. This is the 1st time Utley did this way back in 2010 and Turner was Tejada teammate and best friend. Dang Utley got great career number against Harvey..

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  23. Apparently time has passed me by. I didn’t think Utley’s slide was out of line at all, and I get the anger coming out of NY and I get they will want to get even. If Utley plays and gets nailed, I think he will accept it as part of the deal. What I don’t get is all this sniveling coming from some of the media, especially Pedro Martinez. I never was impressed with him as a person, much less so now, considering some of the crap that he pulled.
    *
    So if all this hoopla has lit a fire under the mets and Dodgers, so be it, it’s the play offs. But I’m wondering why it took a late season acquisition from the Phillies to finally light a fire under these guys.

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  24. The Mets have hit HR’s off of each Kershaw (1) and Greinke (2). Will the trend continue with Anderson on the bump at Citi Field tonight (S. 7 mph)? N. would be the LCF bleachers.
    It looks like Anderson’s never faced the Mets before, but back with Oakland he did face the Yankees in the Bronx, losing twice, with a no-decision.
    .
    Game-time weather
    .
    Citi Field map
    .
    Enjoy the game Oldbrooklynfan…Go Dodgers!

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  25. In a few hours my daughter Claudine (A Met fan) and I will be leaving for Citi Field. We’ve been to many Dodger/Met games together but I have a feeling that tonight will be a lot different. I can’t imagine the atmosphere.
    Now it so happens, I will also attend Tuesday night’s game as my buddy TrueblueWill, who will be with us tonight has another ticket for me, for that game. TBW and I will be back tomorrow night.
    BTW tonight’s tickets cost me a fortune but tomorrow night’s is free. WOW.

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  26. Bring the Dodgers luck, OBF, and have a great time. It’s going to be a wild game. The latest news that I heard is: (a) appeal will not be heard before tonight’s game, (b) Utley will be starting against Matt Harvey, and (c) the Mets are already talking about retaliation.

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  27. Where was Torre with his suspensions last year when they threw at Hanley and cracked his rib? Total bullshit from as big a dildo as Donnie.

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