Dodger Thoughts

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

Bumgarner delivers maverick performance to stifle Dodgers

OK, maybe Madison Bumgarner will win the NL Cy Young Award.

In the kind of pitching duel that helped catapult Clayton Kershaw to top pitcher honors in the league last year, it was the San Francisco lefty who delivered the extra squeeze, shutting out the Dodgers with 10 strikeouts and no walks over eight innings in a 2-1 Giants victory.

Kershaw also had 10 strikeouts in eight innings – not to mention two of the four Dodger hits off Bumgarner, and a diving catch in foul territory – but he gave in for single runs in the first and sixth innings, each driven in by Pablo Sandoval, and ended up on the short end. The second run was safe at most by milliseconds.

Kershaw has the lowest career ERA against the Giants that any pitcher has against any single team in major-league history since 1920 – 1.32 going into tonight’s game, 1.39 now – but after going 5-0 with a 1.07 ERA against San Francisco last year, he is 1-3 despite a 1.74 ERA against the Giants this year.

Folk hero Luis Cruz had the other two hits against Bumgarner, who threw 123 pitches while getting the rest of the Dodgers to go 0 for 21. Hanley Ramirez homered off Sergio Romo with two out in the ninth, but lefty Javier Lopez came in to shut down Andre Ethier to end the game and put San Francisco back in first place in the National League West by half a game.


Looking ahead to a wild finish


Rubby De La Rosa is back


  1. Should have tried Billingsley instead of Ethier. He would at least have had a chance. I kid, I kid. Sorta.

    • Anonymous

      Ethier down to 216 BA vs LHP
      before the game SLG Ethier 323, Treanor 435, Cruz 558 all vs LHP

  2. Anonymous

    Who is the tall dark stranger there? Maverick is the name. Wild as the wind in Oregon, blowing up a canyon, easier to tame.

  3. The episode with Magnum guest-starring as the nice-guy PI still kills me.

  4. Anonymous

    Dodgers need to pretend they are playing up at AT&T.

  5. Anonymous

    This was a good opposing pitcher, but still, two disquieting recent trends:

         Dodgers don’t play as well at home as on the road (at least with the results)
         Andre’s offense is rubbing off on Matt . . . instead of the other way around

  6. I understand pinch-hitting for Kershaw in the 8th…except with $@&!ing Uribe, who has fewer hits in a month than Kershaw had in the game. Hell, might as well send Mattingly up there, or Lopes, or Vin, or a damn Fernando bobblehead. Anybody! Uribe is a liability, and putting him up there in a critical AB is lunacy. I thought this kind of organizational face-saving move was done. $2.5 billion and they’re worried about sending Uribe and his sub-.500 OPS off into the sunset with a couple unearned mil? Cut him loose for godssake! Are the new owners truly serious about winning, or are they still stubbornly trying to squeeze blood from turnips–the Dodgers’ m.o. for the last 20 years?

    • Anonymous

      Rarely is the pitcher’s BA higher than the pinch hitter that bats for him. Kershaw’s is a cool 60 points higher than the slug’s

      • Anonymous

        While I don’t agree with your point of view, against lhp Kershaw is now 138 points higher than Uribe.

        • Anonymous

          Point of view??? I just posted the stat. I didn’t say Kershaw should have been allowed to hit, tho I wouldn’t have disagreed with it.

    • Anonymous

      At the risk of a rule 7 violation, Urinnedy did have an eight-pitch AB the day before. For all I know, it was career-best.

      On another topic entirely: When the Dodgers play in the Eastern time zone, do they send the pitcher (e.g. Kershaw) home a day early so he’ll be well-rested? This would make sense to me, but I’ve never heard the topic addressed.

    • To add to WBB’s point, it can’t be easy to sit on the bench most of the time and then grab a bat and try to warm up, get a hit, especially when you’ve been struggling anyway, and then facing a guy who is totally dealing. Frankly, some of the Dodgers’ far superior hitters like Kemp did nothing against MadBum either, so it seems a little scapegoat-y to pin things on Uribe.  That said, I really don’t like the short bench the Dodgers are using now, I do agree that Uribe seems pretty useless other than defensively (and they can’t really afford to have a defensive only guy with such a thin bench), so I hope they don’t wait til 9/1 to fix that. It is frustrating, for sure, but again with a short bench and a lefty dealing it’s not like Donnie had other vastly superior options (kennedy, a lefty? Loney a lefty… or Treanor? Meh.)  Anyway, I agree that they need to make some changes to the bench, we saw the problem with it as it stands, last night.

      • Anonymous

        We certainly wouldn’t want to risk putting Sands or Castellanos up there. They might strike out.

        • Well you already know I’m on the Free Jerry Sands bandwagon. ;) And as I think about it now, if they really don’t want to lose a position player in exchange for him (I actually think Rivera is ok as a RHH PH option, just not as someone who starts), they could option a pitcher down for 10 days since we really don’t need a 13 man bullpen right now imho, but DO need an expanded bench. 

      • Anonymous

        The Dodgers roster as it is presently constructed doesn’t leave them many options for a late inning pinch hitter. And the way Bumgarner was pitching, you might as well have just sent an empty chair up to pinch hit because maybe it could have been hit by a pitch.

        • Anonymous

           The chair would probably have a better chance of beating one out.

        • Anonymous

          I miss the old Jason Kendall trying-for-HBP ABs vs hot pitchers.

          The NL doesn’t have many real elbow artists these days.

        • Anonymous

          I screamed the minute I saw Uribe come into the on deck circle.  
          Whether or not he should be on the bench is beside the point.  He had no chance of getting a hit in that situation.  Even if Mattingly planned to remove Kershaw for the ninth, he could have let him hit in that situation. After all, he and Cruz had the only four hits against Bumgarner up to that point.  The guy with the best chance of getting a hit in that situation was Kershaw.FYI: Hanley’s homer in the ninth made for a total of 5 dodger hits.  

          The roster as it is presently constructed is a recipe for last night’s kind of disaster.  You can’t leave yourself with a bench of three guys, especially when Uribe is one of those guys.  The timing of the decision makes it even dumber.  Why would you want a long bullpen and short bench when you’ve got Billingsley and Kershaw starting the next two games?  Both of those guys have been pitching deep into games.  

          The bullpen may be suffering from rust at this point. Jansen has pitched once in a week.  Good for his prospects down the stretch, but who knows if it affects him tonight or tomorrow.  It’s nice to have two lefties in the pen for the stretch run, but they make Jamey Wright expendable.  Or Tolleson a candidate for a 10-day demotion.  

          I’m not saying Bobby Abreu, a leftie, or Elian Herrera would have gotten a hit in that exact situation last night.  But you can’t go into a game with that kind of bench.

          Frankly, why not let Treanor give it a shot in that situation, with his gold-medal-winning wife in attendance.

        • Anonymous

          I think we need a modern-day Eddie Gaedel.  :)

      • Anonymous

        While I agree with your general point, Treanor has 5 XBH against LHP and is SLG 435

    • Anonymous

      Lunacy indeed.

      Just when I was starting to think that Donnie was beginning to get a grip on the team, we see moves like that that make us question his grip on reality.

      Maybe he was hoping to help Juan pass up Shone and seal that bottom-5 title?

      • Read comments above. Mattingly’s options against a lefty who was dealing last night were, aside from Uribe, Kennedy (a LHH) or Treanor (backup catcher, weak hitter). Or Loney. Uribe had had a bit of success against Bumgarner in the past. I really would bash Colletti (and maybe Mattingly for this instead) for having such a weak bench right now. I fail to see how this particular instance is “lunacy” but I do think it’s a bit crazy to not help the bench be better before Sept 1. Obviously by then they’ll have Hairston back, and can also call up someone like Herrera, and Sands if they want to do it even if Isotopes are in playoffs, etc etc. But I’d prefer they not wait that long, as I said above. 

        • Anonymous

          Remember this 2-1 Kershaw loss at home to the Giants?  And we’ve still let the guy have about 100+ PAs since.  Lunacy.

          “J Uribe bunted into double play, catcher to third to first, J Rivera out at third, J Loney to second.”

          • Anonymous

            he answered you; Uribe was the best choice on a lousy bench and had hit Bumgarner fairly well

        • Anonymous

          good post except for the parenthetical comment about Mattingly it’s all on Ned

        •  Well-constructed defense of the manager.  In THIS instance.

          I’m firing him for an egregious collection of these – many of them without
          any defense but, ‘the book.”

    • Anonymous

      No, we don’t have a right-sided Jim Thome on the bench, or even Andruw Jones, but cutting Uribe is not going to magically create a good bench player out of nothing, and the fact that the new ownership doesn’t expect magical creation of good bench bats shows neither cynicism or ineptitude on their part. The new ownership made it possible for Ned to grab Hanley and Victorino, who are currently 1st and 3rd in WAR produced by trade-deadline players for their new teams. 

      • Anonymous

        No one expects anything good.  We just want someone with an OPS significantly over 500 at the plate in a one run game in the eighth.

        J Fields had an .810 ops in KC in ’10 (on not many PAs, granted). 

        • Anonymous

          Josh Fields currently has a .660 OPS on the road at the AAA level in a hitter-friendly league.  No thanks.

      • Anonymous

        good post; 1st and 3rd among position players though

    •  Nicely corralled and controlled anger.

      Donnie can no longer be my manager, as good as he is at the larger things.
      He’s just way too “bookish” when it comes to in-game moves.
      Andre should sit against most lefties, and not be anywhere near the heart of
      the order even if the old-school rules require his attendance as a starter.

  7. Anonymous

    I am surprised that Kershaw has the lowest ERA against any team since 1920 at his 1.32 against the Giants.  There have been some really dreadful teams over a lot of years— the Browns, Senators, the Philadelphia A’s for long stretches, etc. I’d have thought a top pitcher against one of those teams would have beaten a 1.32 ERA.   

  8. Donnie: What do you think the chances are of a guy like Uribe  getting a hit here?

    Trey: Well Donnie, that’s difficult to say. I mean, we don’t really…

    Donnie: Hit me with it! Just give it to me straight! I came back from a two game suspension, Trey. The least you can do is level with me. What are the

    Trey: Not good.

    Donnie: You mean, not good like one out of a hundred?

    Trey: I’d say more like one out of a million.


    Donnie: So you’re telling me there’s a chance… *YEAH!*

  9. Anonymous

    It’s not going to be a happy end to the season if Matty and Ethier don’t start hitting.  What do we do when Dee comes back as far as Cruz versus Dee?  Maybe platoon?  Then Hanley is playing a different position every night, but he can’t be worse in the field than he is now, right?

    • Anonymous

      I’m a little worried about Dre vs lefties, to be honest.  I almost don’t want him vs lefty starters in the postseason, that hit last week (which was great) aside.

      I think Hanley and Cruz on the left side is a no-brainer for the remainder of the year.

      • very much a no brainer. Not only is Cruz hitting and playing a solid 3b but Hanley is hitting at SS with a .954 OPS. No need to make room for a guy who hasn’t played in a few months and when he did led all SS in errors and was OPS’ing a solid .562 and getting on base at a .280 clip vs Cruz who has an .814 OPS this year

    • Anonymous

      Agree with Isotope – no way Dee platoons with Cruz – SS is Hanley’s position now, he’s comfortable there and hitting. Cruz has entrenched himself at 3rd now with his play. Dee will be a fine pinch runner, and should be putting in A LOT of work on his bunting, specifically the drag bunt.

      • Anonymous

        Dee needs to start preparing to be the Dodgers’ second baseman of the future.  Or trade bait.  Hanley has short locked up for a while, and Cruz isn’t going anywhere for a while.  Even if his hitting falls off, his defense is so good that I would be loath to remove him from the lineup.  Seeing him in person only confirms everything I have thought about him in the past. He’s just so smooth and easy-going in the field. 

        • Anonymous

          For now I agree, but Jon made the best description of Cruz in his text above, “folk hero”.  He’s having a nice year and in no way should be displaced at this time,  However, there’s a reason he’s never had a shot before.  He’s a satisfactory utility player, but he’s also this year’s version of Oscar Robles.

          • Anonymous

            David Eckstein wasn’t a great player, but he was good enough at times to be the starting shortstop on two championship teams. I’m not expecting Luis Cruz to make anybody forget Honus Wagner, or Cal Ripken.  But he is certainly capable of putting up an Ecksteinian performance. 

          • Anonymous

             I wouldn’t classify Cruz in Ecksteins category.

        •  moving from SS to 2b is hard. It was one of the things that they tried to do with me as a kid who had up until being 17 was always a SS. of course I was just an above avg player in little leage or pony league, not anywhere close to MLB talent. The angles are so different, the pivot is so different and the way you see the game is different..It will be interesting to see how they handle it this offseason.

          • Anonymous

            I have to disagree. So many players who make the major leagues were their high school team’s starting shortstop.  If you can play short, you can play anywhere.  I can’t think of a player who was a good shortstop and failed to make the transition to another position. Meanwhile, the list of shortstops who went on the excel at other positions includes numerous Hall of Famers like Ripken, Yount, and Ernie Banks.  

            The pivot is different and the angles are different, but the throw is so much shorter that you have plenty of time to adjust.  It might take a season, but 2B is infinitely easier than SS. 

          • it’s much easier. i agree, just saying it will take the offseason and will they do it, that’s all. most good SS move to 3b (or even CF) more so than 2nd, unless u can give me a few examples..Gordon has alot to learn in general. adding a new position might not be best for him, if they truly believe in him…

          • Anonymous

            Eckstein and Clint Barmes come to mind immediately.  So does Alfonso Soriano, although he’s such a bad defender at any position I hate to include him.  I’d venture to say that most 2B started out as SS, then switched when they couldn’t make the throw. 

  10. Anonymous

    Yeah, the bench is too short right now, but I agree with SaMo – Kershaw was a better option to send to the plate there – he’d already shown he could hit Bum, TWICE. If he gets on again, could always send Uribe out to pinch ru…. uh, well he could run the bases, and then just come out of the game.
    Man, Uribe is more useless than moldy bread.

    • Anonymous

       The use of bread with a blue mould (presumed to be Penicillium) as a means of treating suppurating wounds was a staple of folk medicine in Europe since the Middle Ages.

  11. Anonymous

    Getting rid of Juan Uribe will help the Dodgers in the same way they got a boost when Garret Anderson was released. Or when Andruw Jones was put on the DL and made to disappear. Or when Jason Schmidt was released. 

    Blaming a team’s failure on the inability of its worst player to get one hit seems to miss the point that there was many far better players on the team who had several at bats and they didn’t do anything either.

    After every loss, you can’t form a firing squad and kill everyone you think failed you. 
    For starters, it’s really hard to find high quality firing squads now.

    • Anonymous

      Yes, but it’s better to have a bench player who has at least a prayer of getting on base (and I say that as an atheist).

    • Anonymous

      “For starters, it’s really hard to find high quality firing squads now.”
      Another skilled profession replaced by automation.  Where will it end. LOL

  12. Anonymous

    Didn’t the last time Lincecum face the Dodgers he looked like the old Lincecum, and hand the Dodgers a loss? Blanton does not inspire confidence for tonight, then Cain goes tomorrow. Dodgers better bring some bats tonight, or this could be an ugly series.

    • Anonymous

      The last time the Dodgers faced Lincecum they were in the process of making every pitcher in the National League look like a 1966 Sandy Koufax.
      The team has been streaky. There are dizzying highs and terrifying lows. Please keep your hands inside the vehicle at all times.

    • Anonymous

      But Blanton is overdue!!!

      Of course, that’s what we said last year about Eugenio Velez.  :)

  13. I’ve been waiting for someone to call for Velez to replace Uribe. So I guess that’s left for me to do.

    In fact, I’ll go you one better.  I want them both on the roster!

  14. Anonymous

    Thinking about Velez makes me wonder whether there will always be one guy (or more) who attracts the ire of fans, no matter how well the team is playing.  If 13 guys were hitting .300, and only Mark Ellis were hitting .280, would we have the same vitriol for him? If every pitcher had a winning record and a sub 3.00 ERA except Blanton’s 4.10, would he be the subject of Bret Tomko invective?  
    FAJ initialization?  
    Swny abbreviation? 
    Garret Anderson damnation? 
    Pierre Slapdowns? 

    • Anonymous


      • Anonymous

        Bombko, as I recall. And Timberrrrrr, for Hendrickson. 

    • Anonymous

      Every team has to have a worst player. There’s no way around it. No team has 25 guys who are nonpareil. 

      This isn’t like putting together a fantasy baseball team and you can just delete the player who has a bad day and put a new one on the roster. 

      There are, you know, human beings involved.

    • Anonymous

      Good thing that Dick Tracewski played before the advent of the internet.

    • Anonymous

      >> If every pitcher had a winning record and a sub 3.00 ERA except Blanton’s 4.10, would he be the subject of Bret Tomko invective?

      I don’t know, but in his three starts with the Dodgers, Blanton’s ERA is more than twice the 4.10 figure you mention.

      • Anonymous

        Off with his head, then.  How shall we sully his name?  

        Bland-ton?  Seems too easy.
        Blankton would be better if he were a bad hitter (actually, he is that too) than a bad pitcher.  But I do like the connotation of him being whale food. 
        Joe Blah?  Penn State comparisons–too soon?

  15. Anonymous

    I’m certainly not a fan of either Velez or Uribe being on the team, but our season will probably come down to 5 starters and 3 middle of the order hitters hitting their stride at the right time.  If we need Uribe to leave to win the division, then we have bigger problems than any of us think.

  16. Anonymous

    Just noticed that Corey Seager is on a bit of a tear in Ogden. His OPS over the last 10 games is 1155 with 3 hrs. He has 6 hrs and is OPSing 878 for the year.  He seems to make a lot of errors, but I’d like to think that the rate will decline as he matures. Nice to see him doing well at such a young age versus struggling.

    • Anonymous

      Looking further, all of his home runs have come in August, in fewer ABs than in July.

      • Anonymous

        he is almost 2 years younger than any other player on the roster, also

  17. T.M. Brown

    Rubby is back and Guerra is heading to Albuquerque (Wait, really?). 

    • Anonymous

      Guerra’s 2012 has been a real bummer. He’s gone from the Opening Day closer to off the 40-man roster in less than five months. 

      Is Jamey Wright so valuable? 

  18. Anonymous

    Could Guerra be stolen in the Rule 5 drafte?

    • Anonymous

      He’s on the 40-man roster, so no.

      • Anonymous

        My understanding is that he was removed from the 40-man to make room for Rubby.  If not him, then who?

  19. Anonymous

    This isn’t the series to decide a playoff spot, BUT, would it have been completely wrong to have juggled the rotation so that Bills could have pitched in this series?

    • Anonymous

      I think it would have been pointless. The Sunday game was important enough that it got the Dodgers back into first place.

    • Anonymous

       Despite it being a moot point, isn’t it wonderful that we’re considering it?
       Back in May or June, who’dve thunk we would WANT to juggle the rotation to ALLOW Billz to pitch in a clutch series?  :)

  20. Anonymous

    I thought Guerra was coming around finally.

    • Anonymous

      He had options. I’m sure he’ll be back on September 1.

    • Anonymous

      Guerra’s last outing was awful, and he might benefit from a chance to straighten himself out in ABQ. I’m not convinced that this is the right moment for Rubby, who may still need to be nursed back into regular service. It might be better after rosters expanded in September.

      • Anonymous

        But if the Dodgers make the playoffs, they have the option of putting De La Rosa on the playoff roster now. 

  21. Anonymous

    Bills is probably happy to see Stephen Drew leave Arizona.  Drew always destroyed his pitches for some reason.

Comments are closed.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén