Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

What Jon hasn’t written about recently

Mark Ellis.

Scott Van Slyke.

The standings.

Dodger Stadium parking-lot violence.

Clayton Kershaw, player of the week.

How much I enjoy my kids’ piano playing.

The latest fun Dodger lineup.

Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 6:40 p.m.
Tony Gwynn Jr., CF
Elian Herrera, 3B
Andre Ethier, RF
Scott Van Slyke, 1B
Jerry Sands, LF
Ivan De Jesus Jr., 2B
Matt Treanor, C
Justin Sellers, SS
Chris Capuano, P


Chad Billingsley and the truth about meltdown innings


May 22 game chat


  1. Anonymous

    Treanor seems to be CC’s dedicated backstop.

    • Anonymous

      If Treanor plays every 5th or so game, it might as well be with the same pitcher

      • Anonymous

        Even his offense has been OK, by backup catcher standards.

        • Anonymous

          Hey Nostradamus, could you please post similar comments about all our players right before gametime?  :)

  2. Hey Jon, are your kids taking piano lessons? When I’m not watching the Dodgers or reading your blog, I’m a  piano teacher myself.

    • The kids are mad piano players, as they say. My 9-year-old daughter and my 7-year-old son. I referenced this briefly in my post last year about my oldest son’s retirement from baseball, which I recall you left a nice comment on.

      I have no expertise in these matters, but I think they’re stars. I remember being impressed by this guy in my college freshman dorm who could play piano, and I’d say I’d almost be ready to put my 7-year-old up against him.

      My 4-year-old hasn’t started piano yet … we’re thinking in the next year or two, although he’s the one kid who seems to have an interest in sports, as I wrote here a week or so ago.

      • Anonymous

        My daughter sings (no idea where she got the talent).  Almost always brings tears to my eyes, in the good way.  Enjoy!

      • Jon, you were either very easily impressed as a college kid, or your 7-year-old is pretty good! 

        Thanks for remembering my comment about your son. Though I’m a daily reader of your blog, I’m such an infrequent commenter that I’m flattered you know me by name.

        As a teacher, one of my favorite things is to get my students accompanying their own singing, as Ali is doing in this video:

  3. Anonymous

    Interesting in the fielding positioning of SVS and Sands.  I would have speculated those would be reversed.
    Cappy keeps winning, Treanor can keep catching him.

  4. Last time the Dodgers had a 7-game lead in NL West was 8/2/09. Last time they had an 8-game lead was 7/31/09, after Jason Schmidt pitched 6 shutout innings.

    • Anonymous

      Did he pitch that much!?!

    • Anonymous

      In a row???

    • Anonymous

      That was one of three games that Jason Schmidt ever won as a Dodger.

      • Anonymous

        Expensive wins for sure, but it did cause the Gnats to give Zito his deal. Gnats would have been better off getting 3 wins from Schmidt for 45 million

  5. Christopher Staaf

    Wow, today’s lineup looks like split squad game in Tucson. 

    • Anonymous

       I would say SVS, at least, has earned a start.

    • Anonymous

      I was going to say it looks like Ethier was making a rehab appearance in AAA

    • Anonymous

       Especially with Corbin starting for the Snakes.

  6. Anonymous

    Is Elian a “natural” 3B? Is that the position he has played most in the minors?

    • Anonymous

      Nobody is a “natural” anything in baseball, which is a cultural activity that is learned. That said, some players may be more suited to certain positions according to their genetic makeup – it’s hard to imagine C.C. Sabathia as a shortstop.

      • Anonymous

        WBB echoes one of my pet peeves. Although Artieboy did use quotes. 

        In hockey, players are described as “natural” centers. Because everybody naturally has an ability to put on skates and handle a weirdly shaped stick and hit a frozen rubber disk.

    • Anonymous

      Herrera’s minor-league career:
      2B 226 G
      LF 108 G
      CF 82 G
      3B 60 G
      SS 45 G
      RF 14 G
      DH 2 G
      1B 1 G
      P 1 G (1 IP, 18.00 ERA)

  7. KT

    Nice bunt hit Herrera

  8. Anonymous

    Beauty of a bunt by Herrera.

  9. Anonymous

    Nice catch by Ethier.

  10. Anonymous

    Is Prime Ticket doing some kinda commercial-free broadcast tonight?

    • Christopher Staaf

      No, the commercial outlet is malfunctioning. Which is good for us :)

    • Maybe the endless repeats of that lion commercial probably caused someone to get fired for Chinese water torture. “NO! NO! Anything but the bank with the lion commercial! FEED me to the lion; I’m not going in there!” It was cute about the first billion times, admittedly.

  11. Anonymous

    After holding the Gnats to three runs in seven innings, Randy Wolf’s ERA (6.02) is better than Tim Lincecum’s (6.04).

  12. KT

    Thought that was going off the bat…too bad it hooked

  13. KT

    Way to start it off Jerry

  14. KT


    • KT

      Didn’t think I would be writing that for a long time ^_^

    • Christopher Staaf

      Wait, Kemp’s back already?? lol

  15. Anonymous

    Treanor channels A.J.!

    • KT

      I really like they way he’s been playing behind AJ…Dynamic Duo

  16. KT

    Corbin is supposed to be really good until 50 pitches…He’s at 40 and we already touched him

    • Anonymous

      A starter who is only good for 50 pitches should probably be used in a different role.

      • KT

        I agree but that what vinny said before the game…Bavg’s go up to over.300 after

  17. KT

    Nice hit Chris and great at bat running up the pitch count

  18. Treanor hits a home run. What IS it with this team? Isn’t there anyone who’s incapable of contributing?

  19. KT

    my son loves that bobble head promotion…he’s also learning to cheer at the right time…almost 23 months now

  20. KT

    It’s soo nice seeing an AZ home game with Vinny making the call…I’m not looking forward to tomorrow

    • Christopher Staaf

      Wait, is he driving back to LA tomorrow?? Oh man. :(

      • KT

        Nope it’s KCAL tomorrow night and that means the opposition feed for me

  21. Anonymous

    Ryan Braun has just homered off BadGums to tie the Gnats in the eighth.

  22. KT

    now 3-3 vinny

  23. KT

    Chris pitching very good tonight

  24. I just figured out that the Dodgers are on track to get 92 RBI’s out of the catcher’s slot this year. Ellis has 19, Treanor has 4, and the year is one quarter done. Makes me feel a lot better about letting Martin go.

  25. KT

    Nice catch and throw Tony

  26. Anonymous

    I tell ya, I have never seen a baseball player who could throw while on the run as strongly and accurately, consitently, as Tony Gwynn, Jr.  I’m still fuming from Francona’s ignorant remark about him not having a good arm last night.

    • KT

      yea and he was going away from the play when he made that throw so it wasn’t as strong

    • Anonymous

      BTW, that first sentence should be read in the voice of Tim McCarver.

  27. KT

    Chris seems to be getting the ball up this inning

  28. KT

    Where was that pitch ump

  29. Anonymous

    Capuano hasn’t fooled anyone this inning.

  30. KT

    Nice catch to save a run chris

  31. Awesome reaction by Capuano.

  32. KT

    Chris and Rick talking about how one of his pitches is flattening out instead of dropping

  33. KT

    good hit Dre
    Come on Scott

  34. Anonymous

    So all the Fox regional networks are going without commercials tonight because of a studio problem in Houston, where everything is run out of.

    Just like going to the moon.

  35. KT

    He was out

    • Christopher Staaf

      We got away with one right there lol

      • KT

        just allowed us to have an extra batter get up…and only 1 extra  pitch so not much
        But maybe it will make a difference near the end of the game

  36. KT

    Good eye Ivan

  37. KT

    Nice bunt Chris

  38. KT


  39. Anonymous


  40. Anonymous

    Ethier can’t hit lefties.

  41. Glitch spikes Fox Sports commercials

  42. Christopher Staaf

    Dre day! That was even more impressive because Breslow isn’t a pushover. 

  43. Anonymous

    This is looking like the pre-DUI Belisario.

  44. Anonymous

    Goldschmidt seems to have really regressed this year.

  45. Anonymous

    Is this the 42nd straight home game for AZ? The field looks terrible.

  46. Anonymous

    I know that I am biased towards the Dodgers, but it seems to me that SI is over-thinking this a bit too much.

    • Anonymous

      Agree, but they don’t mean all that much anyway. How about the Giants over the Braves or Rays? Those rankings are almost comical.

  47. Anonymous

    RIP LA basketball.

    • KT

      Well at least now I know not to watch the Laker Game I DVR’ed

      • Anonymous

        If it were a tape, you’d want to burn it.

      • Anonymous

        oh man, I apologize. I should have realized that there may have been some moratorium on commenting on the basketball game.
        Sorry about that.

        • KT

          You just made it so I didn’t have to get extremely upset after being so happy watching this game

  48. KT

    Nice Justin!!!

    • Christopher Staaf

      He keeps doing this, we might not see Dee for a little while. 

  49. KT


  50. Christopher Staaf

    And this is why I have a love/hate relationship with James Loney. Why can’t you do this more consistently???? 

    Great home run BTW lol

  51. Anonymous

    James kills the rally. And the ball. :-)

    • Christopher Staaf

      It’s getting so good we might have a cup of Coffey tonight :)

      • KT

        that or another Elbert sighting

      • Anonymous

        If we get Mr. Coffey, we need more Joe DiMaggio stories from Vin.

  52. peter drysdale

    Does anyone else think this team is similar to the ’88 team? Seem to be coming from out of nowhere, have regulars hitting so badly, kick butt pitching.

    • Anonymous

      Stuntmen, baby!

    • Anonymous

      What about the 63 team.  Is Scott Van Slyke the 2012 version of the 1963 Dick Nen?   Nen’s major league debut was September 18, 1963 (not exactly May) with the Los Angeles Dodgers. As a pinch hitter in the top of the ninth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals, he hit a key, game-tying home run that eventually resulted in a three-game Dodger sweep over the Cardinals.

  53. KT

    Right in the family jewels

  54. Anonymous

    Contributions from all over.  Are we borrowing positive feelings from those on the DL?

  55. KT

    Scott did the circle route to get to that ball….good inning by Javy

  56. KT

    Nice numbers since joining the Dodgers

  57. KT

    Very nice save by Matty with the HR tonight (you know the other matty)

  58. KT

    Another good win by the band of misfit toys we call our boys in blue

    • peter drysdale

      That’s a perfect discription of them. I was worried about them making it to .500 this season. Who’da thunk it? Best record almost two months in.

  59. KT

    Night all

  60. Anonymous

     The Dodgers have scored exactly six runs in each of their last four games — not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  61. Anonymous

    I look at the lineup and then final score and can’t help but ask how?  Like many, I thought the Dodgers would struggle without Kemp, but had a big enough lead to stay near the top.  I keep wondering which player is the one that makes this thing work.  It doesn’t seem to be one person, but the right mix, but even the mix has been blown up.  I just can’t figure it out.  While Mattingly frustrated me many times last year and he’s made questionable decisions at times this year, he seems to be the glue for this team.  Although they win even when he’s booted, so I don’t know.  I think I appreciate a team like these Dodgers than I do a team like the Rangers.    The Rangers are supposed to win with that lineup and pitching staff.  The Dodgers aren’t and it makes it that much more sweeter.

    • Anonymous

      Much like the Nats this year. Everyone knew they would be better but I don’t think anyone thought they would contend.

      • Anonymous

        I’m not sure folks around here were sold on the assumption that this year’s Dodger team would be better.

    • Anonymous

      The Dodgers are 9th in MLB in runs scored, and a close 2nd in runs allowed on the season (vs 1st and 3rd for Texas); in May, the Dodgers are 7th and 1st.  So they’re doing it more with pitching than with hitting.  The Dodger rotation includes three of the top 15 starters in MLB in most stat categories.  The bullpen struggled in April but has been much, much better the past couple of weeks.  The offense has been scoring through a team effort in May, with contributions seemingly coming from different players every day, unlike April when it was the Matt and Andre Show.

      • Anonymous

        Yeah, clearly the strength of the team has been it’s starting pitching.  However, even that is a surprise as there wasn’t much excitement about the additions of Cap and Harang.  The expectations weren’t very high in regards to those two plus Lilly.  You could argue that to this point Lilly and Cap have been the Dodgers best pitchers.  (No I’m not saying they are better than Kershaw)  For me, the biggest wonder is how they’ve managed to still score with the lineup they’ve had.  While we are all amazed at how well the Dodgers have done with all the injuries, I think it balances out some since so much of the competition is also hurt.

    • I’ve been thinking that ever since Matt started limping: “Wait, this is fun, but WHY are we winning? What’s going on?!”

      It was especially acute during the Cards series. Prior to the 09 NLDS, I associated going to St Louis with the start of the Dodgers’ worst slump each season (small sample size, but it seemed that way for a few years). So I was bracing for our AAA backup team to get a thorough mauling in that series. Nope.

      I am reminded that I need to find myself a copy of Damnyankees and watch it. I have only heard about it. I suspect that somebody may have struck a Mephistophilean deal this season to account for our enjoyable run with Messrs. Backup, Scrub, Meat, Decrepivet, Ethier and Loney’s Glove.

      (Loney’s Glove may actually explain part of this; beyond Kershaw, our pitching is good but not THAT good; however, Loney can catch almost any pinwheeled throw lobbed in his general zip code. Too bad his O is as random as Dee’s throws towards him.)

      • Anonymous

        >> beyond Kershaw, our pitching is good but not THAT good
        Yes it is.  Dodger pitchers are 2nd in MLB in runs allowed on the season, and 1st in May.  Which means it really is THAT good.  Of course, that’s based on how well it has been doing (rather than what anyone expected at the start of the season).  Capuano and Lilly have both been having outstanding seasons.  Yes, they are both pitching at career-best levels, but it is what it is.  They and Kershaw rank in the top 15 in MLB in major stat categories. And to offset that, Bills has been somewhat disappointing thus far; Harang started slow but at this point he’s about even with expectations.  The bullpen started slow but has been terrific since Javy was moved out of the closer role a couple of weeks ago.  Sure, it could change, and we’re only one quarter through the season.  But so far, Dodger pitching has indeed been THAT good this year.

        • Anonymous

          Yeah, it still bothers me when I think about the several losses we had where the winning runs were scored in the last inning.  The good news is the bullpen issues do seem to be resolved.  I can’t help but think what our record would be if pitched a little better late in those games.  I know these things tend to balance out, so I’m not losing sleep over it.

      • Anonymous

        The Dodgers have actually won 7 straight games over the Cardinals in the past two seasons. Their last loss to them was at home on April 16, 2011. The Cardinal won the first three games of a four-game series at Dodger Stadium.
        The next day, it was scoreless in the 9th when David Freese singled in the go-ahead run with two outs to tie the game off of Jonathan Broxton. In the bottom of the 9th, Ethier lead off with a double against Trever Miller. La Russa then brought in Ryan Franklin to face Matt Kemp, who hit a 2-run homer to win the game.

      • Anonymous

        Loney has hit .298 over his last 30 games.

  62. Anonymous

    Anybody here know why Zach Lee was sent down to Ogden yesterday?

  63. Anonymous

    I always thought that what a manager did behind the scenes was just as if not more important than what they did with play calling/lineups etc.  Mattingly is proving this point this year.  He seems to have been a huge positive influence on the team’s confidence, cohesiveness and attention to detail.  His play calling might be what we see and what gets second guessed, but it is his “managing” of the team that is clearly successful so far.

    • Anonymous

      Completely agree. Mattingly seems to have installed a winning culture, one that has both high expectations of players and high levels of support toward meeting those expectations. I also think that Kemp and Kershaw (and maybe others) have grown into leadership roles and other players are following their example. Looks like the virtuous cycle is under way and gaining strength. This season could be special.

    • Tycho

      The big club staff looks good right now, but who else other than Lee should we be looking at in the farm system.  Any mid-summer call-ups from the minors?  All I hear is that the Dodgers have an awful farm system and not enough for trade bait this coming July.  But is any young arm ready that we may move a starter for bat or depth?

      • Anonymous

        Just to throw out a few:  Eovaldi, Withrow, Tolleson, Webster, and Martin.
        Not so much on offense.

        • Anonymous

          Yup.  The Dodgers have a very, very good farm system, stacked with good prospects, most of whom are pitchers.  dalegribel mentioned some; also worth mentioning are our most recent #1 picks (Zach Lee and Chris Reed), also Garrett Gould, and to a lesser extent Fife and Wall.  Our best position player prospects include Federowicz at catcher, Jake Lemmerman at short, 2B/OF Alex Castellanos (on the DL), and outfielders Joc Pederson and James Baldwin.  Not all of these are close to being ready for the majors, but they’re all quality prospects.  (With as many injuries as the team has had, anyone who’s close to ready for a callup has already been called up, including Van Slyke and Herrera.)
          As for who might be traded, the players with the most trade value are always the ones with the most potential.  Everyone likes to talk about getting great value back in trades while keeping our best prospects, but it doesn’t work that way.

          • Anonymous

            Is the lefty Leach still with the franchise?

          • foul tip

             Think I saw Leach’s name in ABQ pitching stats the other day.

            His numbers were downright U-gly.

            Don’t know if there are mitigating circumstances.

      • Don’t forget Rubby, too, our secret weapon late in the season. ;) As mentioned below… but he could be an August call-up for the bullpen after he July rehabs from TJ surgery.

        • Anonymous

          Yep.  I guess in my mind he was no longer a prospect but rather a bona fide major leaguer.

  64. Anonymous

    Wow, this sure is fun to watch. Although I don’t consider myself a fair-weather fan when it comes to the Dodgers, I must admit that over the past two seasons my enthusiam for watching the games had diminished somewhat. Now I look forward to watching, or at least listening, to every game. And the way they’re winning – with great pitching, great defense, and a different player coming up with big and timely hits every game is a joy to see. And you can count me in with the other commenters here who have become big Mattingly fans – guy seems to be making all the right moves. Winning sure is grand.

  65. Anonymous

    hurray, new day, new adventure, who is going to hit today, De Jesus, Sands?

  66. Anonymous

    So what injury has people concerned the most?  Clearly Kemp is our best player, but he should only be gone about 2 weeks, maybe 3.  I think the worst injury situation for us currently is Mark Ellis.  He’ll be lucky if he’s back in 2 months.  His defense has been excellent and has really made our infield complete.  I know he doesn’t have great offensive numbers, but he does what you want in a #2 hitter.  Consider also the fact that he plays a position that is much harder for us to fill.  I’m afraid his injury will have the greatest impact on the Dodgers.

    • Anonymous

      Ellis wasn’t a popular signing, but I think he was underrated because his offense has been up and down, and he has been injury-prone. His defense, though, is flawless, and will be hard to replace. I fear it could mean more playing time for Uribe who, though I don’t like speak ill of anybody, has done the team a favor by going on the DL.

      • Anonymous

         I fear it could mean more playing time for Uribe who, though I don’t like speak ill of anybody, has done the team a favor by going on the DL.’
        Roger that!!!

    • Anonymous

      Actually, I would say that the injury with the greatest impact on the Dodgers this year is Rubby de la Rosa.  If he had been healthy, we probably wouldn’t have signed both CC and Harang.  He’s missing a lot of time with his Tommy John surgery; he may or may not be back after the All-Star break, and he’ll need some rehab stints before returning to the Dodgers.
      Also, I would disagree when you claim Mark Ellis doesn’t have great offensive numbers.  He’s fifth out of 14 qualified NL second basemen in OPS, and is among the league leaders in runs scored.  At age 35, his BA, OBP, and OPS are all higher than his career averages.  While he is not a superstar, he’s exceeding most folks’ expectations and is an important part of the team.  You could say similar things about Jerry Hairston, whose absence is also having an impact.

      • Anonymous

        I wasn’t considering Ruby since his injury was last year.  I’m talking Dodgers 2012 as of opening day.  In regards to Mark, my point wasn’t that he’s not a great offensive player, but that losing him will have the biggest impact.  I seem to recall people bashing him a lot for his offense.

  67. Dee Gordon starting tonight in the No. 8 slot.

    • Adam Luther

      Great spot for him with the pitcher hitting next.  At least you’d think he’d have to be more patient with two outs and not wanting to have the pitcher lead-off the next inning.  Kudos to Mattingly.

  68. Anonymous

    Gwynn leading off again huh? Hopefully Dee gets his bat healthy soon. Yes, Marks’ injury does seem to be the worst of the bunch mostly because it will keep him out the longest – with the possible exception of Rivera. But Rivera is much easier to replace than Marks’ ability at 2nd and the 2-hole. In the past, I would be bitchin and moanin to the Baseball Gods for this rash of injuries to the Dodgers, but thankfully Mark was taken to the hospital in time to avoid a much more debilitating fate concerning his leg – and with the way things are going, I’d be a fool to do anything but praise and lavish those Gods with gifts.

  69. From the Dodgers:
    Today we were informed of two scoring changes that were not reflected in today’s stat packs/daily notes:

    Sellers was credited with a single on his ground ball to third base in
    the sixth inning last night, which was originally ruled as an error on
    D-backs third baseman Josh Bell.

    -Andre Ethier was credited with a
    double and RBI for his line drive to deep center field in the top of
    the fifth inning on May 17 at San Diego. The play was originally scored
    as an error on Cameron Maybin

    • Anonymous

      Now they just need to fix Kennedy’s triple :)

      • Anonymous

         Clean single and a two-base error.

    • Anonymous

       Vin called it an error all the way, and I agree. Bell’s attempt on Sellers’s ball was a borderline call.

      • Anonymous

        You are tough.  For me, if him making that play would have evoked a “wow, good/great/excellent play”, it shouldn’t be an eror if he muffs it.

    • Anonymous

      Ha!  Vindicated on the Maybin call.  The rule of thumb is whether an average CF would have caught the ball not whether Maybin should have caught the ball (which he should have).

    • foul tip

       Can this retroactive ruling change thing be extended to umpire calls, like a certain Yankee outfielder deliberately sticking his hip out in a certain WS game years back?

      No doubt there are other very worthy reversibles…

  70. I’m already appreciating Mattingly these days but even more so after observing Jim Tracy. His roster has many holes but he doesn’t help matters. 
    Why does Tracy continue to bat Tulo 5th?
    To give him the best chance to succeed.
    Jim, aren’t you worried about cutting down his number of at bats?
    No, not right now. See above.
    Should you be dusting off your resume, Jim?
    No, I have a solid contract.

    • Anonymous

      The fact that Tulo has started only 2 games batting 5th this season cut down on the humor value for me.

  71. Via Chris Jackson on Twitter: Dodger rehab update: Hairston will start for #Topes tomorrow and Thursday. No news on that other guy yet.

  72. foul tip

    “Suspects in Giants fan beating face new charges”

    But it’s not anything very dramatic, like the headline kinda makes you think.

  73. foul tip

    Kinda hard to read this and not think the gold diggers are alive and well among us.

  74. KT

    Great job Tony!!!!

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