Looking ahead to a wild finish

Giants at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Kershaw CXLII: Kershawleanna
Shane Victorino, LF
Mark Ellis, 2B
Matt Kemp, CF
Hanley Ramirez, SS
Andre Ethier, RF
Juan Rivera, 1B
Luis Cruz, 3B
A.J. Ellis, C
Clayton Kershaw, P

Within the National League standings you’ll find the following four teams separated by only two games:

67-54 Pittsburgh
67-55 Los Angeles
66-55 San Francisco
65-56 St. Louis

What would happen if these four teams finished the regular season tied, with two playoff spots available to them — one for the NL West champion, one for the second NL wild card spot — under the new MLB playoff format for 2012?

Unless I’m mistaken …

1) The Dodgers and Giants would play for the NL West title on October 4.
2 & 3) The loser of that game would be involved in a three-team playoff for the second wild-card spot that would take two days. In theory, this could mean two of the teams (chosen by lottery) play each other Oct. 5, with the winner of that game hosting the third team October 6.
4) The survivor of that two-day set would play the No. 1 NL wild-card finisher October 7.
5) The wild-card champion would then host the NL team with the best record to start their NL Division Series on October 8.

Keep in mind that potentially, these five games against five different opponents could each require overnight travel from a different city. Wild!

* * *

  • Jim Peltz of the Times writes that Hanley Ramirez has been getting lots of off-field support for his transition to Dodger-hood from Manny Mota.
  • Triple-A outfielder Jerry Sands has set the Albuquerque franchise record with a 20-game hitting streak. According to the Dodger press notes, Sands is hitting .440 with two doubles, a triple, nine homers, 33 RBI and 20 runs scored during the streak.

 

  • http://www.twitter.com/ElJefedor Jeffrey Thomas III

    LAT’d:
    Looks like Hanley got a new glove, he posted this pic on twitter with the caption: “My baby blue just got in!!!!”

    Also still wondering when Shane is going to get his blue batting gloves…

  • Anonymous

    I still expect the Dodgers to pull away from the Gnats and win the division by five over the Snakes. The only “wild card” I worry about is Mattingly’s bullpen management.

  • Anonymous

    I’m going to have to learn to read roman numerals!

    • Anonymous

      142

  • Anonymous

    Congrats to Jerry Sands. That’s our LF next year right?

    • Anonymous

      First baseman?

      • http://www.twitter.com/ElJefedor Jeffrey Thomas III

        Except Donnie isn’t even aware that he can play first.

        • Anonymous

          I know you don’t really mean this but it is not humorous. You should take it down before a young reader thinks it is true.

          • http://www.twitter.com/ElJefedor Jeffrey Thomas III

            Huh? I’m referring to when Jerry was called up Donnie said he didn’t have any ideas of starting him at first. Your comment confuses me.

          • Anonymous

            Do really think Mattingly doesn’t know Sands has played 33 games at first this year, after 45 last year, after 62 in 2010, after 22 in 2009?

  • Anonymous

    The Pirates are starting Kevin Correia, who pitched in relief yesterday. According to the AP, the last Pirate to do that was Pascual Perez in 1981. He faced one batter in relief on August 15 (walking Steve Henderson of the Cubs) and then started the second game of a doubleheader the next day at Wrigley.

    The Pirates and Cubs were supposed to play on Fri, August 14 but got rained out. They played a single game on August 15 that went 15 innings. The first game of the doubleheader the next day went 11 innings.
    The nightcap went 9 innings.
    The Pirates went home the next day to play the Giants. That game went 11 innings.

    • Anonymous

      Is that the pitcher of the infamous drivers license? While pitching for the Braves he got his license but got lost driving to the stadium and missed his start.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-Hitchcock/1676059435 Jim Hitchcock

    The best part of the Braves broadcast yesterday came after Cruz launched his L/F blast, and Joe Simpson, in apparent astonishment, said ‘who is this guy?!?’.

  • Anonymous

    What an interesting mess the two wild-card system will lead to. And two interesting minor leaguers are John Ely and Sands.

    What jumps out to me is that I always check at Dodger Thoughts, because Jon puts out the interesting news, and figures out what it means,among the earliest. Thanx.

    Ely is different because the dodgers put their valuable prospects at AA, and don’t let them get creamed at batter heaven Albaquerque!  But Ely isn’t getting creamed.Its tricky, but it’s fair to say that some guys will have better stats at LA than they have with the Dukes( I don’t want to spell that city again).

    And Sands just does many things well and looks like a ball player. I wish he would get a chance and hit well, but we all know about wishes.

    • Anonymous

      I believe Ely will get another shot in the majors, but probably not with the Dodgers.

  • Anonymous

    Hard to believe that 20 games is the record hitting streak for Albuquerque, or any team in the PCL.  Is that because most guys who make it to 19 get called up?  

    • Anonymous

      Thats actually a good guess.Because that league should support all kinds of records, except that players who flair up will almost invariably get called up!

    • Anonymous

      The PCL record hitting streak is 61 games. It was done by Joe DiMaggio for San Francisco in 1933.

      • Anonymous

        Mien Gott. Really? So that proves a consistant bent towards that kind of record. Makes Joe D. even more amzing.!

        • Anonymous

          I love when Vinny references DiMaggio :)

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7VN5CNNJSLBZQXS3NX7DTIUTA4 jasonu

             Didn’t DiMaggio also start another long hit streak the day after the 56 game one ended, like 15 or 20 games or something? Crazy. What streak do you guys think would be broken first if ever, that 56 game streak or Wayne Gretzkys consecutive point streak in hockey. 51 straight games! He had 153 points in those 51 game which would have won him the scoring title even if he didn’t play the rest of the 30 something games. 61 goals and 92 assists in 51 games.

          • Anonymous

            here is something I didn’t know about the PCL:The mild climate of the West Coast, especially California, allowed the league to play longer seasons, sometimes starting in late February and ending as late as the beginning of December. This allowed players to hone their skills, earn an extra month or two of pay, and reduce the need to find off-season work. The longer playing season also allowed for additional games on the schedule, letting team owners generate more revenue.

            Teams sometimes played over 200 games in a single season. The high-water mark was the 1905 season, in which the San Francisco Seals set the all-time PCL record by playing in 230 games.[4]

      • Anonymous

        Yankee scouts must not have known that PCL batting stats are inflated.

      • Anonymous

        Now that’s a hitting streak.

    • Anonymous

      I’m guessing this record is a record for just the Albuquerque Isotopes, a team that started in 2003 esp since the old record of 19 games was held by Eric Reed in 2006 (Eric started that year with the Florida Marlins which was supplying the players at that time. He hit 114, went down to Alb. hit 303, was called up in Sept. went 0 for 12), Jamie Hoffman in 2009. (He is now in AAA for Balt. Jamie was called up in the spring of ’09 used mostly as a PH. He had a 4 RBI game when he started in a loss to the Angels), and Elian Herrera earlier this year who was also called up. 
      The Calgary Canons relocated to Alb. in 2003 and the Salt Lake City Gulls moved to Calgary in 1985. The Gulls were a name change from Angels. The SLC Angels started in1971.
      As long time Dodger fans know, the team had a minor league affiliate in Alb. known as the Dukes for many years. Here is a nice history of baseball in Alb.
      http://www.milb.com/news/page.jsp?ymd=20090118&content_id=497563&vkey=news_t342&fext=.jsp&sid=t342

  • Anonymous

    Thanks to hitting eight home runs in their last four games, including four on Saturday, the Dodgers are no longer last in MLB in that department.  They are now 29th with 78 homers.  The Giants are last with 77 homers.  Just ahead of the Dodgers on the list is San Diego, 28th with 86 home runs.

    • Anonymous

      However, SF and SD play in extreme pitchers parks.  Colorado, we all know about.  Here are HRs/game, home and away:

      LAD:  0.53 Home, 0.73 Away
      SFG: 0.33 Home, 0.95 Away
      SDP:  0.48 Home, 0.90 Away
      ARI:   1.14 Home, 1.02 Away
      COL:  1.20 Home, 0.91 Away

      So 3 pitchers parks and 2 hitters parks, as expected.  But SD and SF are much more extreme than Dodger Stadium.  SF hits nearly 3 times as may HRs on the road as at home!  Looking only at away games, they have the 2nd best HR-hitting team in the division (tho, there, you probably need to control for the fact that more of SF’s away games are in Denver and Phoenix than is true for COL and ARI. 

      • Anonymous

        You are right in your analysis.  And your statistics are there in black and white.  However, when statistics are compiled and looked at such factors aren’t considered.  Remember all the homers that the Braves hit when they played at Fulton County Stadium or how the ball flew over the fence in right field when the new Yankee Stadium opened a few years ago?  I am curious.  Do you know how many homers per game opposing teams hit in San Francisco and in San Diego?

    • Anonymous

      and that’s why I love following the National League West. Give me good pitching over HR athons any day

  • peter drysdale

    Would the LA/SF game to resolve a tie not be counted as a 163rd game? In that case the loser should be out by virtue of worse record than the other two teams that hadn’t played.

    • Anonymous

      that is the way it has been done. Jon is a careful writer so, at present, I am assuming that rule was changed but I did find it surprising. 

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    The loser of the division playoff game would be a half game behind the other wild-card contenders but would have a chance to beat them and essentially move ahead of them.

    • peter drysdale

      OK I guess it’s a way to keep from screwing the loser of that game. It’s so strange

  • http://www.twitter.com/ElJefedor Jeffrey Thomas III

    Sands has now hit in 21 straight with a two run double in the first.

    • Anonymous

      replied to you below, sorry for the delay.

  • Anonymous

    Because of the Gnat blackout in the East Bay, I am without visuals tonight, and may ask for explanations of anything that’s unclear on the radio or in Gameday. Equally unfortunately, I get Steinered.

    • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

      I got your back

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    I got your back

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Time for a K Clayton

    • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

      1 batter late

  • Anonymous

    Pagan should not even make contact off Kershaw.

    • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

      He squared that ball well it hit right at the base of the fence in the LCF alley

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Let’s get that run back boys

  • Anonymous

    Kershaw vs. Giants in his career:
    7-3, ERA of 1.32, WHIP of 0.902, 102 Ks, 24 BBs
    Bumgarner vs. Dodgers in his career:
    4-2, ERA of 3.62, WHIP of 1.259, 27 Ks, 11 BBs

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Shane to the base of the wall

  • Anonymous

    Vin Steinered me!

    • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

      I initially thought it was gone until the LF pulled up at the base of the wall

  • Anonymous

    This year, Kershaw seems to often give up one run early. he tightens up so much that it rarely matters, Because he wins X to 1 in the end. However this may not work against Bum and Cain.
    But I will hope the Dodger’s offense gets a run or more against the Giants starters. Can They!!

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Come on Luis

  • http://twitter.com/MJKing805 Morgan McReynolds

    Ethier needs to step his game up. This squad needs him.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Nice hit Luis
     
    Come on AJ

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Great diving catch Clayton!!

    • peter drysdale

      Yep, it was a beaut

  • Anonymous

    The Albuquerque Dukes  (the minor league team in that city before the Isotopes) all-time record hitting streak was 31 games by Pedro Guerrero in 1979.

    When the Dodgers called up Guerrero at the end of the 1979, he played five different positions (all 3 in the outfield along with first and third). In 1980, he played SIX positions, adding second base to the mix.

  • Anonymous

    Including tonight, AJ has struck out in 26.8 percent of his at bats this year.  Through last year, he had struck out 17.5 percent of his at bats.

    • Anonymous

      i like that someone else has noticed

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Come on Clayton start it off

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Good hit Clayton
     
    Come on Shane

  • Anonymous

    This is like real baseball from the Forties. If Kershaw can get a hit off of the Bum, any of the Dodger position players are shamed if they can’t get a hit for their best pitcher.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    He was safe

  • Anonymous

    Hard to believe, Le Poseur rarely throws anybody out.

    • Anonymous

      Would that have been a good opportunity for a hit-and-run or was the pitch too far out of the strike zone?

      • Anonymous

         I didn’t see it – under a Gnat-enforced blackout – but I say it’s a hit-and-run situation.

      • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

        I rewind during the commercial break

      • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

        It was a letter high fastball

  • Anonymous

    Ah our  lead-off hitter! I think he may have been safe, but it surely was close enough to be an out.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Come on DP

    • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

      Thank you

    • Anonymous

       Fatsoval in form.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Great stop Luis

  • peter drysdale

    Nice play by Cruz. Some good D tonight

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Come on Matty start us off

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Start it off Juan

  • Anonymous

    I hate to say this—but it comes from long experience, and I hope I am wrong. When teams get into intense rivalries in their league of division, it often plays out that each team will lose every series at home with its main competitor, yet beat them on their home ground. I don’t know why but I have seen this when the Dodgers had intense rivalries with the Reds and the Braves, before the Giants.For some reason the Home team loses every series in that year. I hope this is a psych effect and not really true–maybe someone can get stats.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Come on Luis

    • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

      I almost want them to move him up in the order but He’s so comfortable where he is and if they did we wouldn’t get any production from the lower half

  • peter drysdale

    Cruz for MVP!!

  • Anonymous

    Cruz is now hitting .296.

  • Anonymous

    Hillman trying to talk Donnie into a hit and run. (and he did!)

    • Anonymous

      Too risky, and it could eliminate the DP.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    there goes your run and hit

  • Anonymous

    I endorse the concept, even if the execution was poor.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Hanley should have had that one…Didn’t bend down far enough

  • Anonymous

    The problem with the hit and run with AJ and Cruz is that Ellis strikes out more than 26 percent of the time and Cruz is not fast — 34 steals in 71 attempts in 12 years in the minors.  Putting those two together for a hit-and-run play is like running the shot putter in the relays.  

    • Anonymous

      Unless they are using a shot instead of a baton.

      • Anonymous

        LOL.

      • Anonymous

        I recall that some track meets used to have a relay race for the weight men, i.e. shot putters, discus throwers, etc. Fun to watch.

  • Anonymous

    Hanley’s cousin scoring this game.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    BULL

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    1st leg never touched the bag

    • Anonymous

      Yeah bad call.  In today’s LLWS game between Taiwan and Mexico there were two close calls at the plate.  They used replay, but both times the ump was right.  Of course those guys have like 30-35 years of experience.

      • Anonymous

        Little League is played at a considerably slower speed than MLB, making calling a play correctly far easier.

        • Anonymous

          Good point.   Though there was a kid throwing 74 mph the other night and the announcer said that at those distances the equivalent in the Bigs, in terms of batter reaction time, would have been 96 mph fastball.

  • Anonymous

    Giants TV announcer Mike Krukow:  ”Technically, he was out.”

    • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

      I saw it live and when I slowed it down…they caught a break after hanley’s gift “hit”

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Good hit Clayton
     
    Come on shane your due

  • http://farinella.com/ David Farinella

    I’m just getting in, or actually back to the office… what in the sam hill is going on here?

    • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

      two blown calls tonight 1 one victorino’s caught stealing the other on the play at the plate for the Gnats second run

  • Anonymous

    Kershaw has seven hits in his last 10 at bats, raising his average this season from .114 to .244.

  • peter drysdale

    This has been a frustrating game, especially in light of the offense they’ve had recently

    • Anonymous

      I don’t think there has been that much offense recently either. A lot of 0-fors in recent games, especially at the top of the lineup. 

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    ball 4

    • Anonymous

      Heck, that was a bad enough pitch to be ball 5.   What was he swinging at and why?

      • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

        He’s struggling and trying to due too much

  • http://www.twitter.com/ElJefedor Jeffrey Thomas III

    Man that was a bad looking swing.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Come on DP

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Just a base hit Hanley come on

  • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

    Man, it’s gonna be a bummer if Kershaw loses this game. 2-3 bad pitches at most and some bad luck. Bumgarner’s pitched a gem, too, alas. Just detaching myself from my biased fan POV for a moment this has been a tremendous duel, everything you could expect, would be a shame if either had to lose it. As a Dodgers fan, I hope Dodgers come back and MadBum doesn’t win it anyway.

    • Anonymous

       No, it would be justice if BadMum lost it.

  • Anonymous

     Games like this can happen after a long road trip and a cross-country flight.

    • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

      Mos def. Especially facing a good pitcher. Would’ve been nice to have a day off, frankly (not to whine too much). 

  • Anonymous

    Fatsoval is no Gold Glover.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    We’ll take it
     
    Come on Luis

  • Anonymous

    Dodgers are now 0-for-28 in the three through six spots in the batting order Sunday and today  They were 3-for-13 on Saturday — two homers by Ramirez and one by Loney.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7VN5CNNJSLBZQXS3NX7DTIUTA4 jasonu

    this other guy has a CY Young shot as well. He is real good. got to give it up to him..

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Let’s scratch this inning

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    URIBE??

    • Anonymous

      Uribe is our only hope.

  • Anonymous

    The DBacks might be running up the white flag. They sent Stephen Drew to the A’s.

    • Anonymous

      Well, he’s having a bad year, hitting just .193 with only two homers.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7VN5CNNJSLBZQXS3NX7DTIUTA4 jasonu

    may as well let Kershaw bat.

  • Anonymous

    I think it would be a boost to the morale of Dodger fans, and perhaps the other 24 players on the active roster, if the new owners ate that huge contract and released Uribe, but, hey, it’s not my money.  I cannot recall the Dodgers keeping such a relentlessly unproductive player on the squad throughout an entire season, but I expect I am forgetting someone.

    • Anonymous

      2008 Mark Sweeney who also came from the Giants

      • Anonymous

        I forget.  Did Sweeney stay all season long?

        • Anonymous

           Yes, even though he, unlike Urinnedy, had no defensive value whatsoever.

          • Anonymous

            And he was worse than Uribe.  I just looked up his stats.

        • Anonymous

          yes, and then became some sort of a Dodger employee

    • http://farinella.com/ David Farinella

      I dare say that Ned has a long history of keeping players looooooooooooooong past their productivity has fallen into the netherworlds. 

  • Anonymous

    Looks like the game of 1st place hot potato will continue tonight

  • Anonymous

    Madison Bumgarner is trending worldwide on the Twitter machine.

  • Anonymous

    Bumgarner threw a complete game last time out – he’s really on a roll. Kershaw pitched great, Bum a little better.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Good inning Belli

    • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

      I’ll say! Ay caramba. 

  • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

    Meanwhile… 

    Albuquerque Isotopes ‏@AbqTopes:

    On to pitch for the ‘Topes.. Josh Fields, who is making his professional pitching debut. ‘Topes trail 19-10 T-9 One of those nights

  • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

    Frustrating game. But we figured this would be a low scoring tight game, and possibly that way all series. Still 8 more games against these guys this season, in addition to all the rest… 

  • Anonymous

    Kemp has really been stinking it up lately. 

    • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

      Yeah he’s been bad today and in Atlanta. To be fair, he absolutely raked in Florida and Pittsburgh, batted almost .500 in those series with 4 doubles. Hopefully this is just a very mini-mini-slump.

      • Anonymous

        Yeah, I’m sure he’ll be fine. Just hard to watch him right now.

  • http://www.twitter.com/ElJefedor Jeffrey Thomas III

    Hey a consolation.. if only somebody was on base.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Hanley!!!
     
    Now the play at the plate looms large

  • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

    HANRAM!!!! 

    Man… if only Kemp or MEllis could’ve set the table for him…

  • Anonymous

    dre 0 for last 10, 4 K vs LHP

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Frustrating game
     
    Night all

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    NPUT

  • Anonymous

    And the 1st place lead changes teams again.
    “We don’t want it, you take it!”
    “No, you!”
    “No, it’s yours!”

  • http://www.facebook.com/bret.nelson.21 Bret Nelson

    I would love to see a four way tie not involving the Dodgers.  Hopefully the Dodgers can pull away in the division.  Let Arizona move up and be part of it with the other three.  That would be a lot of fun to watch.