Week 10 In Review: The Comeback Kids

 

Summary:

The nice thing about doing these Week In Review pieces is that they offer little snapshot of the season, but because of that small window, perspectives can shift dramatically due to one moment. For instance, entering the bottom of the 8th inning on Sunday, the Dodgers were trailing 7-3 and on the verge of finishing the week at .500. While the Nationals are a good team, and the Reds have been competitive, going 3-3 on the week would have been disappointing. Two swings later, the Dodgers were up 9-7, completing the sweep of the Reds and headed to Cleveland with a winning streak.

The NLDS rematch got off to a rough start. Despite Ryu’s longest outing in 3 years, the Dodgers couldn’t get the offense going and dropped the first game. That didn’t get any easier the following day when Scherzer took the hill. McCarthy battled along with him but the Nationals manufactured two runs on sacrifice flies. The Kershaw vs Strasburg game was as advertised, as both pitchers surrendered solo home runs in otherwise effective starts. Grandal would double in the go ahead run and help the Dodgers salvage the series.

Justin Turner returned from the DL and immediately made an impact hitting a two run shot in his first at bat, The Dodgers jumped out in front again on Saturday and Wood was solid in his return from the DL, the only mistake was a costly one, however, a three run shot by Mesoraco tied the ballgame. The Dodgers would break that tie on an RBI double by Seager, his first walk off win of his career. Ryu battled in his second start of the week, surrendering 4 runs on six hits in four innings, the offense kept it close until the Reds scored 3 in the top of the 6th. Following Bellinger’s home run to begin the 8th, the Dodgers loaded the bases, in large part to a 13 pitch at bat by Kike that resulted in a walk. That set up Corey Seager, who hit a change up into the stands giving the Dodgers a 9-7 lead. The would go on to win by that score.

The team has made it a habit of coming back late in the game this year. Earlier in the year they were able to close 10-0 deficits earlier in the year against the Rockies and Marlins. They were able to complete the comeback in Milwaukee on a grand slam by Chris Taylor. Dave Roberts commented on the teams makeup following the game:

“There’s a fight in that clubhouse. When you look at a season, a winning season, a championship season, these are games that are a reason why we’re going to be right there in the end.” Dave Roberts

6/5     5-1      L   WAS
6/6     9-4     L   WAS
6/7     1-2      W  WAS

6/9     2-1      W   CIN
6/10   10-8   W   CIN
6/11   0-3      W   CIN

Record For The Week: 4-2

Playoff Odds:

Injury Update:

  • Adrian Gonzalez Placed on 10-Day DL (back)
  • Sergio Romo placed on 10-Day DL (ankle)
  • Joc Pederson returns from DL (concussion)
  • Alex Wood returns from DL  (shoulder)
  • Justin Turner returns from DL (hamstring)

Player of the Week: Corey Seager
Highlights for the Dodger’s shortstop include a game tying home run off of Stephen Strasburg, walk off double Saturday, and game winning grand slam on Sunday.

Key Moments:

  • Maeda 4 inning save
  • Turner homers in return
  • Kershaw vs Strasburg
  • Seager walk off double
  • Bellinger  homers twice agains the Reds
  • Kike’s 13 Pitch At Bat
  • Seager game winning grand slam
  • Jansen picks up 200th save

Week Ten Puig:

You got “Bat-less Puig!”

Puig was pretty quiet offensively. He did cut down on his strikeouts, however, 4 in the 6 games, but he also hit .188 with 0 home runs.

Swing of the Week: Could it be anything else?

Pitch of the Week: That High Cheese

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Week 9 In Review: Dodgers Taste First Place, Spit It Out

Summary:

The Dodgers picked up where they left off last week by taking the first two games, of a four game set, in St. Louis. That put the winning streak on the line in game three with  Ryu on the mound. Ryu, coming off a great outing in relief, responded his best start of the season. However, the offense fell silent and the Dodgers and the winning streak was snapped at six. The offense disappeared again on Thursday, and the Dodgers ended up with a split in the series. Kershaw kicked off the Milwaukee series by pitching masterfully, he struck out 14 and collected his 2,000 career strikeout. Santana drilled his one mistake, however and that gave the Brewers a 1-0 lead. A big 9th inning home run by Grandal tied it, and Bellinger broke the tie in the 12th with monster shot of his own. The bullpen was dominant, and helped secure the victory in game one. That success didn’t last long, as the following game, the bullpen allowed 5 earned runs in the 7th inning, including a grand slam. The Dodgers battled back, and after trimming the lead in the 8th, they came back in the 9th, with a Chris Taylor grand slam. This helped secure a series win, in a series where they easily could have been swept. Their loss on Sunday dropped them back out of first place by .5 a game, but if they play like they played this week, they’ll be back in no time (aside from the days when the offense doesn’t show up)

5/29  5-1 W @STL

5/30 9-4 W @STL

5/31 1-2 L @STL

6/1 0-2 L @STL

6/2 2-1 W @MIL

6/3 10-8 W @MIL

6/4 0-3 L @MIL

Record For The Week: 4-3

Injury Update:

  • Luis Avilan begins rehab assignment (tricep tightness)
  • Adam Liberatore (left forearm tightness)
  • Joc Pederson (concussion) begins baseball activities
  • Rob Segedin moved to 60 day DL (toe)
  • Justin Turner (should begin rehab this week)
  • Alex Wood (shoulder) placed on DL

Player of the Week: Kenley Jansen

Really could have gone a number of ways with this one as there was no obvious standout, though, a lot of nice moments from many. However, Jansen has been great and this week was no exception. He also has 40 strikeouts this season and still hasn’t walked anyone. Insane.

Key Moments:

  • Bellinger throws out runner at home
  • Forsythe first Dodgers home run
  • Utley smiled
  • Kershaw’s 2,000th Career Strikeout
  • Grandal’s game tying home run  in the 9th
  • Bellinger’s game winning home run in the 12th
  • Chris Taylor’s game winning grand slam in the 9th
  • Dodgers strikeout 26 brewers over 12 innings

Week Nine Puig:

You got “ That’ll Do, Puig!”

I usually have an idea of what to expect when I look at Puig’s stats from week to week, because he’s either swinging at everything or tearing it up. This week, his success was pretty low key. He cut down on the strikeouts this week, in fact he walked just as much as he struck out and hit .368. He didn’t have a home run or make a bunch of crazy plays in the outfield but he was still pretty productive. Not bad for your number eight hitter…

Pitch of the Week: HAHAHA

Swing of the Week: Comeback Complete

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Week 8 In Review – Just Keep Winning

Summary:

The Dodgers have been fun to watch this year. It could be because I’ve been able to watch more. I’ve been able to watch them more with the acquisition of Spectrum and I’ve attended more games than I did last year. Could be that the new exciting players like Bellinger and Taylor. Puig is always entertaining and guys like Utley can surprise you. It could even be that I’m just paying more attention working on this site. But probably the biggest reason is I like watching them win, and this week they did just that. The Dodgers opened the week with a 13 inning game which saw them lose Joc Pederson. After being shut down offensively the following day in a rough Rich Hill start they bounced back to take the rubber game against the Cardinals. Alex Wood pitched a gem against the Cubs and McCarthy did the same, and the Dodgers were able to get to Lester in the finale to sweep the defending World Champion Cubs. The pitching looks like it’s hitting it’s stride and the veteran hitters are starting to heat up which is great, but above all, it’s fun to watch.

5/23  2-1 W STL

5/24 1-6 L STL

5/25 7-3 W STL

5/26 4-0 W CHC

5/27 5-0 W CHC

5/28 9-4 W CHC

Record For The Week: 5-1

Player of the Week:  Chase Utley

The veteran had struggled most of the season prompting most, including me, to wonder if his days of being productive were over. However, he turned things on big time and showed how great he still is, it’s really remarkable.

Key Moments:

  • Forsythe Walk Off
  • Ryu picks up his first save
  • Utley and Gonzalez hit their first home runs of the season

Week Eight Puig:

You got “ Baseball Is Hard Puig!

This was a rough week for Puig. He didn’t look like he was locked in at all. Not that he was swinging at bad pitches, but he wasn’t hitting pitches in the zone either, and the numbers reflect it. Despite his .130 average for the week, his 8 strikeouts didn’t even lead the team this week, and not many Dodgers walked this week either so his 0 walks certainly stack up there. So, I can’t say I’m overly concerned, (he did absolutely crush one in a game he wasn’t supposed to start so maybe he’ll turn things around next week.)

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Episode 10 – Happily Pessimistic

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Episode 9 – Getting Good Wood

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Week 7 in Review – Don’t Mess With Brett Eibner

Summary:

“Most days of the year are unremarkable. They begin and they end with no lasting memory made in between.”

We just got a week full of them.

This isn’t to say stuff didn’t happen. Turner got injured, Rich hill came back, Bob Geren and Don Mattingly had a moment. But the Dodgers continued to struggle against the underperforming Giants and they dropped the first two games of the series until Kershaw helped secure a win in the finale. The Dodgers also beat up on a team they should beat up on, in the Marlins. Aside from Ryu running and jumping, the most thrilling part of the series was a bench clearing incident following Ross Stripling’s ejection for throwing behind Giancarlo Stanton. The warning was a response to a Brett Eibner hit-by-pitch.  The series win helped secure a 4-3 record on the week. Not great, not horrible, simply…shrug emoji.

 

Record For The Week: 4-3
5/15 4-8 L @SFG
5/16 1-2 L @SFG
5/17 6-1 W @SFG
5/18 7-2 W MIA
5/19 7-2 W MIA
5/20 6-10 L MIA
5/21 6-3 W MIA

 

Playoff Odds:

Injury Update:

  • Rich Hill returns from DL (hamstring)
  • Adrian Gonzalez returns from DL (back and elbow)
  • Justin Turner placed on DL (hamstring strain)
  • Logan Forsythe continues rehab assignment (hamstring and toe)
  • Kenta Maeda makes rehab start (hamstring)
  • Yasiel Puig is day to day (back)

Player of the Week: Chris Taylor
.450/.560/.900
Went 9/20 with 3 doubles and 2 HR.

 

Key Moments:

  • Rich Hill returns
  • Ryu shows his athletic side
  • Corey Seager swung at an 3-0 pitch after the 7th
  • Brett Eibner homers, gets hit, starts to convert self to pitcher
  • Justin Turner pulls hamstring
  • Joc Pederson finally hits his second home run

Week Seven Puig:

You got “Broken Puig!”

Puig injured his back and is currently day to day. But at least he did us the courtesy of hitting a home run we could watch on repeat for a week. And it was off a fastball, A FASTBALL.

Swing Of The Week:

Pitches of the Week: Two curves, two arm angles. Rich Hill is fun.

 

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Week 6 In Review: I Think We’re Gonna Be Okay

Summary:

If being a baseball fan has taught us anything, it’s how to maintain an unhealthy relationship. Every year you invite this summer fling into your life with caution and the hope that things will be different this year. And the way the Dodgers are playing lately, they’ve successfully charmed their way back into your life and it’s time to access how you feel:

Stranger Necessary To Execute This Bit:
So, how are things between you and the Dodgers?

Me, an intellectual:
(optimistic)
Actually things are going really well. We had a couple of great nights this week, and I don’t know… I just really like where this is going…

There was some great pitching this week, Alex Wood put together two great outings, striking out 11 hitters in 5 innings of work before putting on another dominate start  in Colorado. Julio Urias took a no hitter into the 7th before watching it painfully slip away, and I mean painful in the most literal sense as Andrew Toles tore his ACL on the play. This effectively killed the “youngest starter since…” and “on Mexican Heritage Night” narrative but they still got a walk off win out of it, so that was nice of them. Maeda delivered a strong start as well and helped the Dodgers sweep the Pirates. Ryu’s start was less then ideal – actually it was ugly – obscene, even. The Dodgers did manage to turn a 10-0 blowout into a respectable 10-7 loss. Overall they split the series in Colorado and sit just a game and a half out of first and between the offense and the pitching, things are looking pretty good right now…so how are things between you and the Dodgers?

5/8 12-1 W PIT
5/9 4-3 W PIT
5/10 5-2 W PIT
5/11 10-7 L @COL
5/12 6-2 W @COL
5/13 4-0 W @COL
5/14 6-9 L @COL

Record For The Week: 5-2

Playoff Odds:

Injury Update:
Totes Torn ACL Out for season
McCarthy “Left shoulder dislocation”
Maeda “Left hamstring tightness”
Rich Hill- Returning from the DL on Tuesday
Gonzalez-Right Elbow Soreness, minor league assignment

Player of the Week:
Alex Wood put together two great starts this week and is making it really hard for the Dodgers to remove him from the rotation. He had 21 strikeouts on the week with 0 earned runs allowed. (Grandal also hit .591 on the week – wow)

Key Moments:
– Wood 11 strikeouts in 5 innings
– Urias 6+ no hit innings
– Taylor hits grand slam
– Ross Stripling Ran (Oh, and a walk off win for Barnes)
– Seager hits a towering bomb in Colorado
– Puig hits a missile that barely leaves the ground

Week Six Puig:

You got “Decent Puig!”

If this is Puig on cruise control, I’ll take it. Nothing Earth shattering but he hit .280 on the week and had a couple of home runs. That’ll do Puig, that’ll do.

Swing Of The Week

I’ll have what he’s having

Pitch of the Week
Wood gets all the K’s

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Episode 8 – Phantom Limbs and Hamstring Pulls

Adam and Seth recap the previous week for the Dodgers and discuss phantom injuries, Cody Bellinger staying hot, and the Rockies as a threat.

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Breaking Really Bad

Now pitching for the Dodgers, number 54, Sergio Romo…

And at that moment, Dodger fans around the world groan in unison – at least that’s what it feels like. It’s not completely unjustified either, if you look at his numbers on the year, you’ll notice that they don’t exactly spark confidence. In fact, they’re pretty horrifying. After averaging a 3.20 ERA over the past 3 years, he has an ERA of 7.94 with 8 walks in 11 innings of work (but hey, at least he has a win…). Some might say it has only been 11 innings, he’ll turn it around, BABIP, regression to the mean, blah blah blah. They’re probably right. Romo will most likely turn into the Romo we all knew and hated on the Giants. And this might sound like our podcast motto of “I’m not worried,” but what if he doesn’t turn things around? What are some things we should pay attention to before we relive another Brian Wilson nightmare.

The most obvious point of concern is his age. Romo turned 34 in March, and after averaging 50-60 IP for 7 years there may be some wear and tear on his 5-11/185 body. One of the main signs of pitcher aging is a velocity drop, and while we can see that his velocity has steadily dropped over the years, it has actually risen in 2017.

Another reason to not worry about the “age factor” is that he is still getting K’s and giving up HR’s at his career norm rates. If a change/drop in velocity was something to be worried about, we would see those numbers getting worse. If anything, it’s hard not to wonder if those numbers will change as the season wears on, but it’s safe to say they’re not a factor right now. So if he is striking out the same amount of batters, and giving up the same amount of home runs, why is his ERA so bad?

Walks.

In this case it’s really that simple. All of his other numbers are in line with career norms, but take a look at his walks.

That’s a big jump. Over 3x his career average. The reasons for this are unclear since other parts of Romo’s game remain unchanged. The one thing that is clear, though, is that he cannot continue to walk a batter in almost every inning and stay competitive. This is the thing to focus on going forward. Can he stay in the strike zone while keeping the other numbers in line? If he can, then expect Romo to remain a high leverage option for Roberts to use. If he can’t, then his Dodger career will be short and not so sweet.

Either way let’s not worry, it’ll be fine.

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Week 5 In Review: Baby Bellinger Bashes Ball

 

Summary:

The week didn’t get off on the right foot. Kershaw struggled a bit and the offense was a no show and they dropped the first game by a run. The loss snapped the Dodgers 4-game winning streak. Then in usual Dodger fashion they scored all their runs in one game in a 13 run blowout on Tuesday. Perhaps they should have rationed some of those runs because they only mustered one run, on six hits, over 11 innings, and dropped the series finale on Vin Scully day (how dare you!). Then the Dodgers went down to San Diego and where the Bellinger Show began. In the first game, Bellinger smacked two home runs including a 3 run shot in the 9th to secure the win. Kershaw swapped starts with McCarthy and responded with a solid star. The offense scored 10 runs on only 8 hits. Capped off with Bellinger’s grand slam. Sunday’s finale was rained out, so we can just pretend it’s a little 2 game sweep.

5/1    3-4     L SFG
5/2   13-5    W SFG
5/3   1-4      L SFG

5/5   8-2    W @SD
5/6   10-2  W @SD

Record For The Week: 3-2

Injury Update:
Adrian Gonzalez placed on 10 – Day DL
Rich Hill Rehab Start
Logan Forsythe Begins Rehab Assignment experiences hamstring tightness

Player of the Week:
Cody Bellinger, not much of surprise here. (though Chris Taylor’s great week shouldn’t be overlooked) Bellinger hit .429 with three homers this week including his first career grand slam. Hell, he even had a stolen base because why not?

Key Moments:
– Puig somehow dives backwards into a wall to make a catch.
– Bellinger hits his second multi-homer game.
– Kike plays Puig and nails a runner at third on the fly.
– Vin Scully ring of honor ceremony

Week Four Puig:

You got “Lackluster Puig!”

I mean he was okay this week. He had six hits on the week, though, they were all singles. While things could be worse, he hasn’t showed the same promise he was showed earlier in the year. Not exactly worried here yet, just not impressed.

Swing Of The Week

How do you even get to that pitch?

Pitch of the Week

91 MPH Slider? Yes please

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