Dodger Thoughts

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

Sufferin’ succotash

Injury updates

Ted Lilly and Matt Guerrier might pitch in relief for the Dodgers in September, but Jerry Hairston Jr. and Justin Sellers are eyeing season-ending surgery, reports Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A.

Heavens to Murgatroyd.

What a revoltin’ development.


These and other expressions summarize tonight’s 4-1 Dodger loss to the Giants.

For starters, the Dodgers lost by three runs on a night they gave away at least three runs – all after starting pitcher Joe Blanton surrendered two runs before he got an out.

Blanton allowed 10 of the first 19 batters he faced to reach base and was charged with all four San Francisco runs in another disappointing outing that actually lowered his ERA as a Dodger to 7.71. But even as Blanton struggled and Tim Linecum (who retired his first 10 batters) dominated through the first five innings, the game was very winnable, but for some ugly play by the Dodgers.

I’m not exactly a perfectionist, but I offer you the following from the top of the fourth:

  • With one out, No. 7 hitter Gregor Blanco singles to center on a ball that Hanley Ramirez seemed to approach glacially. Not an effort issue but a speed issue.
  • A Blanton pickoff throw goes awry, and suddenly instead of having a runner on first with one out and the No. 8 and 9 hitters coming up, he’s on third.
  • Brandon Crawford reaches and pokes a looper to left field. And again, I know it’s not an effort issue with Shane Victorino, but I thought it would be at best a sacrifice fly. Instead, it was an RBI single.
  • Because there is still only one out, Lincecum is able to sacrifice Crawford to second base.
  • And with two out, Angel Pagan hits a ground ball up the middle that again illustrated how important range is. Adam Kennedy (2 for 3 at the plate) couldn’t reach it, and in came the fourth Giant run of the game.

Now, it wasn’t exactly Three Stooges ball out there, but it was frustrating to know that if any one of those four plays were made, the Giants don’t score two runs in the inning, and if any of the first three plays are made, they don’t score at all.

To top it all off, the Dodgers finally got to Lincecum in the sixth inning, with their first four batters reaching base, but only got a single run out of it because A.J. Ellis was nailed at home trying to score from second on a Victorino single – down by four with nobody out. You’ll almost never see that.

The Dodgers lost in every facet of the game today. It happens. Sometimes my kids misbehave, sometimes they don’t clean their rooms, sometimes they skin their knees, and sometimes it all happens in the same day. Life can be hard to watch.

Most of me had given up on the game by the ninth inning, but thanks to Dodger relievers Scott Elbert, Brandon League, Randy Choate and Jamey Wright retiring 10 of the 11 batters they faced, part of me had hope – which grew when Matt Kemp singled with one out. (Kemp went 1 for 3 with a sacrifice fly and made hard contact in three of the four at-bats, including a deep fly to right with the bases loaded in that sixth inning, so I think you can see signs of him busting out of his mini-slump). But with Hanley Ramirez on deck as the potential tying run, Andre Ethier completed a long evening by grounding into a game-ending double play.

That’s all, folks.


Rubby De La Rosa is back


Home unfree


  1. Anonymous

    I like corn. I like lima beans. But if you put them together, I hate them. Why?

  2. i was at the game today and the ellis out at home was ridiculously bad

  3. Great post, Jon. This is exactly how I saw tonight’s game. Why does Mattingly continue to start Hanley at short instead of Cruz? Didn’t the Marlin’s move him to third base for a reason? It doesn’t make sense considering Cruz is clearly the better defensive player and in all honestly probably would have made that play. That’s the third instance I can recall in the last 4 or 5 games where Hanley’s play at short cost us an out. Maybe it’s just me but I think it’s time to move him back to the position he came to us playing. His play at short is a liability. 

    Anyway, tough loss but there were some positive signs like you mentioned. Expecting a big day from Kemp tomorrow along with a Dodger win. Can’t let the the Gnats sweep us in our own house. GO BLUE!

  4. Anonymous

    The G’s have good pitching.

    Wish I could be a little more homerish there, but, it is what it is.


  5. Anonymous

    Yuck.  Its only fun to be in a pennant race if you win.

  6. Anonymous

    I don’t want to flog it to death but, in the bottom of the ninth with a terrible defensive catcher behind the plate, how can Kemp not take advantage of defensive indifference? – especially when everyone else does so against the Dodgers. I would really like to see this team’s running game analyzed, and Mattingly questioned about it. Waiting for the GIDP should not continue to be a strategy.

    • Anonymous

      Maybe Kemp expected Ethier to strike out. Or he thought being down 3 it was just not worth it to try to steal, in which case he would be right.

      • Anonymous

        With a catcher as bad as Sanchez, it’s a no-brainer. That’s why every other team takes advantage of “defensive indifference,” to avoid the DP.

  7. Cruz made a couple of plays at third base that I’m not sure Ramirez would have made, for what it’s worth. 

    The reason the Marlins moved Ramirez to third was because they signed an All-Star shortstop in Reyes.

    • Anonymous

      The Yankees traded for an All Star SS and moved him to 3B. That said, if Hanley is unhappy at 3B and it hurts his offense, we are stuck with him at SS.

  8. Anonymous

    The fact is, this Dodgers team is not that good.  When we were watching the Dodgers cruise to the NLCS in 2008 and 2009, there was a FEELING about the team that just isn’t present this year.  Those teams took advantage of opportunities, and there was a chance of winning in every game, even when we were behind.  This year, it seems like there are way too many games in which the Dodgers fall behind, and that’s that, there’s no chance of coming back, because the offense just isn’t capable of doing the job.  You’re not going to win a lot of games when you only score one run (or less) in so many of them.

    •  Totally. I’m happy that were at least playing meaningful games right now. I expect next year to be much better based on how aggressive they were at the break this year to try and turn the team around.

    • Anonymous

      There wasn’t any FEELING about the 2008 an 2009 teams until after they won their first playoff rounds.  In 2008, the Dodgers were a .500 club until Manny arrived.  His ridiculously great performance gave them the FEELING you’re talking about.  In 2009, they looked primed for another disappointing performance against their nemesis Cardinals, only to have Matt Holliday give them a gift.  

      Intangibles are best viewed in hindsight. If the Dodgers keep pace with the Giants the rest of the way, the season will still come down to those last three games at Dodger Stadium.  In other words, there’s still plenty of time left for a feeling to emerge. 

      • Anonymous

        Actually, I was referring to the regular season, the wins that got them to the playoffs, not the playoff games themselves.  There were quite a few regular-season come-from-behind victories those years.  This year, not so much.

  9. Anonymous

    With Rubby’s activation, the 40-man roster is now full.  Which means someone will have to be waived (and possibly lost) if/when we want to activate Lilly or Guerrier, or bring back Abreu or Gwynn. If JHJ has surgery, he’s a candidate for the 60-day DL, but that only opens one slot.

    Just sayin’…

    • Anonymous

      I would think Matt Angle is a prime candidate. I thought he was a good pickup earlier this year, but he hasn’t lived up to his modest promises.

    • In September, guys like Matt Angle can be cut and that’ll do the trick.

  10. The worst moment, for me, was seeing Juan Uribe coming to the plate to pinch-hit.  Talk about giving away an out.  I have a thought concerning Uribe – what are the chances he was juiced in 2010 and gave it up after signing his Dodgers contract?  It seems to be going around. . . and, it’s time to release him – he can’t possibly be worse than whoever the Dodgers would replace him with… 

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