Dodger Thoughts

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

From 0-8 to 39-8: Dodgers have every reason to appreciate success

Those were some sad times in May ...

Having captured the attention of the entire baseball world with their 39-8 run, it remains hard to believe that the 2013 Dodgers had another memorable “something-and-8” this year — beginning the month of May with an 0-8 start.

It’s a trip down Bad Memory Lane that should make you feel fantastic about the journey back. Here’s how it happened — how this team was once that team …

Rockies 7, Dodgers 3 (May 1)
Main event: Josh Beckett was still a part of the Dodger rotation. He allowed three runs in the first inning, and was replaced after the fourth inning, having given up five runs (four earned) and eight baserunners on 83 pitches.
Sidelights: The Dodgers were only down 5-3 when Kenley Jansen faced two batters in the seventh inning, retired neither and was charged with two runs. Los Angeles also wasted a three-hit game from Hanley Ramirez, only his second complete game of his injury-riddled year.
Takeaway: Ineffective starting pitching and ineffective relief pitching is an unfortunate combo that the summertime Dodgers obviously haven’t often seen. But buckle up — we’re just getting started with these Dodgers of early May.

Giants 2, Dodgers 1 (May 3)
Main event:
Overtly, it was Buster Posey’s walkoff home run leading off the bottom of the ninth against Ronald Belisario. But arguably, the key aspect of the loss was the Dodgers’ parlaying 11 hits and seven walks into one single run. The team left 13 runners on base and hit into three double plays.
Sidelights: As part of a trend that hasn’t entirely abated, Clayton Kershaw was not rewarded for pitching well: seven innings, six baserunners, one run, no decision. He allowed his run in the sixth inning, the same inning that Ramirez pulled up lame running from first to third, his last game action for more than a month.
Takeaway: The Dodgers still haven’t gotten completely away from stranding runners, but they certainly have done better recently. Those with backbone saw the Dodgers’ ability to get runners on base in the first place, even if they didn’t score, as a good sign.

Giants 10, Dodgers 9 (May 4)
Main event:
In one of the wildest games of the season, Los Angeles had a seven-run fifth inning and still lost, once again on a walkoff homer, by none other than Guillermo Quiroz off Brandon League.
Sidelights: After a mostly encouraging first start April 27, Matt Magill’s problems surfaced boldly in this one: 14 batters, 10 baserunners, four outs, five runs. Nick Punto walked to start the seven-run inning and an RBI double to cap it, all for naught.
Takeaway: Four different Dodger relievers allowed runs, and three of them remain on the roster: J.P. Howell, Belisario and losing pitcher Brandon League. Over recent weeks: same guys, different results.

Giants 4, Dodgers 3 (May 5)
Main event:
Down 4-0 in the eighth, the Dodgers rallied for three runs, thanks in part to a pinch-hit, two-run single by Adrian Gonzalez, but Jerry Hairston, Jr. stranded the tying run at second base.
Sidelights: Hyun-Jin Ryu allowed four runs in six innings.
Takeaway: This was the three-game sweep that prompted Don Mattingly to comment, in fashion that raised the eyebrows of T.J. Simers and a number of others, “I feel better about our club walking out of here than I did walking in.” Simers called Mattingly ridiculous, but it turns out that focusing on the subtext, rather than the text, was the right call. Of course, this wasn’t the last time that comments by Mattingly would be scrutinized.

Diamondbacks 9, Dodgers 2 (May 6)
Main event: Chris Capuano got blasted in his first start after 20 days on the sidelines, allowing three runs in the second and three runs in the fifth.
Sidelights: The Dodgers trailed by one heading into the fifth before being blown away. Javy Guerra capped things by allowing three runs in the ninth.
Takeaway: In their past 48 games, the Dodgers have lost by more than four runs once. The timing of a loss of this nature, which dropped Los Angeles into last place for the first time in 2013, just as Mattingly’s comments were generating controversy, could hardly have been much worse.

Diamondbacks 5, Dodgers 3 (May 7)
Main event:
A two-run home run by Paul Goldschmidt off Brandon League in the top of the ninth decided this one. At the time, this was just a cruel mismatch.
Sidelights: Beckett held together to allow three runs over six innings, and the Dodgers tied the game in the bottom of the seventh on a Skip Schmaker walk and Punto double. Jansen threw 18 pitches in the eighth inning, so there was little chance he would pitch the ninth even if Mattingly were inclined to use him then.
Takeaway: This was the third bullpen loss of the past week. Dodger relievers have had one loss charged to them in their past 49 games.

Diamondbacks 3, Dodgers 2 (May 8 )
Main event:
Goldschmidt again, but this time his tiebreaking home run came in the eighth off Jansen.
Sidelights: Leading 2-0 in the sixth, Kershaw allowed his own homer to Goldschmidt after Didi Gregorius (love that name) reached on a Dee Gordon error. Gordon was the only Dodger with two hits in the game.
Takeaway: Home runs off Kershaw and Jansen? When things were going badly, they were going very badly.

Marlins 5, Dodgers 4 (May 10)
Main event: Adrian Gonzalez hit a three-run home run in the first inning, propeling the Dodgers to the end of their seven-game losing streak. Except, not.
Sidelights: Belisario took another loss, thanks to a two-run Marlins seventh that broke a 3-3 tie. The Dodgers’ scored once in the eighth on A.J. Ellis’ third hit of the game, but after a one-out wild pitch, he was stranded. Magill allowed three runs in five innings.
Takeaway: Not enough offense, not enough pitching. Again.

When I look at the Dodger team that has chosen to spread its eight losses over eight weeks rather than compressing them into one week, I have trouble quite believing they could be that good — just like I had trouble believing they could be quite that bad.

But with a bullpen taking five losses in eight games, you had to hope for some kind of change. Thankfully, that change did arrive, and it’s just surreal.

Mets at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.


Dowdgers make Harvey invisible, 4-2


They just keep making a splash


  1. stolenmonkey86

    Yeah, there was a substantial part of the year when I didn’t think the Dodgers had a chance of playing in October. Now they’re poised to hit 20 games over .500 on the year tonight for the first time since 2009.

  2. Bob_Hendley

    Wow! and I watched those games. What was I thinking?

  3. dalegribel

    If I remember correctly, after the loss to the Marlins, you wrote a piece about Mattingly perhaps not making it back to Yankee Stadium. I’m glad he did.

      • dalegribel

        Perhaps I spend too much time here.

        To quote Comic Book Guy: “Life well lived!”

    • Bob_Hendley

      We were on the verge of being the worse team in the NL with that Friday loss to the Fish, but took the next two.

    • WBBsAs

      He’s still a pretty poor game manager, and utterly replaceable.

    • ASW1

      I agree – while Mattingly is certainly replaceable – as are all MLB managers, the Dodgers play of late proves that their ugly start had very little to nothing to do with Mattingly – he has done an excellent job handling the ballclub and all the stars in the clubhouse to foster the great, dare I say it, CHEMISTRY, that has developed on the team.

  4. btimmer

    The Angels fresh off a 14-7 loss to the Yankees yesterday are down 8-0 after two innings.

  5. Bob_Hendley

    Bottom of the 14th and O’s starter Norris brought in. Walked first two batters on eight pitches.

  6. gobaers

    Just reading about those 1-run Dodgers/Giants games is infuriating me. No, even now I can’t laugh about it.

  7. Markbleedsblue294

    Watching their futility at the start of the season has made this run, not only unbelievable, but so, so satisfying!

  8. KT

    Los Angeles Dodgers ‏@Dodgers20m
    Cover boy, @yasielpuig:

  9. ASW1

    Funny how memory works – while I remembered the Dodgers lost 8 in a row to start May, I completely blocked out the fact that 7 of the 8 were against the NL West – and 3 each against the Dirty Snakes and the Hated Ones to boot – Can’t wait to face those teams again down the stretch to set things right.

  10. KT

    Did you guys watch the magician teach Uribe how to do his own hidden ball trick:

  11. Bob_in_Vegas

    Bummer AZ came back — again — but encouraged that Hanley’s back! Hope he’s healthy . . . and productive!

  12. 4d3fect

    Tagged Byrd’s helmet off, heh

  13. KT

    Nice play Hanley

  14. That was an AMAZING throw.

    • KT

      and people were saying Marlon Bird is fast…my comment so were Bryce Harper and the others

    • 4d3fect

      Throwing to the infielders is key, hitting the cutoff man. Preaching to the choir here, but still.

  15. KT

    Chad Moriyama ‏@ChadMoriyama1m
    [GIF] Yasiel Puig guns down Marlon Byrd at third, ho hum

  16. scooplew

    As Capuano won’t be allowing 0 earned runs tonight, I hope he is not on the way to putting up another 5 spot.

  17. Bob_in_Vegas

    The Return of Hanley! . . .

  18. Here’s a nice big replay of it:

  19. Bob_in_Vegas

    Bad Cappy.

  20. Jack Dawkins

    so one more for Cap’s quota?

  21. KT

    ok guys let’s scratch

  22. scooplew

    What is Fife’s status?

  23. foul tip

    Does the immediate future feature a League sighting?

    • Bob_in_Vegas

      Wasn’t he thrown into Cap’s last fiasco, when the Rays were up 6-0? . . . That turned out fine. :)

  24. KT

    could have been caught in my judgement

  25. Bob_Hendley

    Like the fellow’s gumption.

  26. KT

    Got this from MSTI:

    My pick for ROY

  27. ASW1

    Here we go

  28. Bob_in_Vegas

    CC says “No no-no!” Now let’s get rid of the shutout and a W for LAD!

  29. ASW1

    I don’t know about that

  30. Bob_in_Vegas

    This looks like a blue night for the Blue — and us. But they might as well all go wrong at once and get it out of the system!

  31. foul tip

    DM has said that when things go well for Cappy, he pitches off his fastball.

    Dunno if he’s pitching off it tonight. But the Mets definitely are hitting off it.

    Along with whatever else he’s throwing up there.

  32. KT

    bad call Blue

  33. ASW1

    Oooooh that pickoff BURNS…..

  34. Bob_in_Vegas

    Bring ’em home, Mark! gotta score here!

  35. KT

    Nice Hanley!

  36. KT

    Good eye Nicky!

  37. 4 hits no runs? Aargh!

  38. Not our night, I fear.

  39. Spence

    Cant see Capuano making the playoff roster.

    • foul tip

      On the sorta bright side, allowed 4 ER instead of the usual 5. ;-])

      86 pitches, 51 strikes, 10 hits, 2 BB , 5 IP.


      • Spence

        The should just bring Fife back and DFA Capuano. He’s not going to be here next year, he’s not going to pitch in the playoffs either. I think Fife’s done enough to deserve that 5th spot.

    • ASW1

      OK, Nelasco can have the #4, Fife #5

  40. ASW1

    Puig’s former teammate, Jose Abreu, seeking the fame and fortune that has befallen some of his peers

    • Spence

      Wow “The exodus of players is attributed to state-controlled salaries they earn of only about $20 a month, contrasting sharply with the potential big money abroad.”

      $20 bucks a month!

  41. KT


  42. KT

    Bases loaded

  43. KT

    That’s 1

  44. KT

    That’s 2

  45. KT

    Come on WP

  46. ASW1

    Hindsight 20/20 and all that, but an AJ pinch hit for Fedex in that last AB too outlandish there?

  47. Spence

    Withrow’s pitching better in the majors than he did in the minors.

    • ASW1

      No doubt – when the next move has to be made, Withrow should go nowhere – there are others in the dugout who are less important to the teams winning ways right now.

      • Spence

        Weakest 3 pitchers on the staff IMO are League, Marmol, and Capuano. Those guys are the one’s that should be on the chopping block.

  48. John_from_Aus

    Gee, chat has gone quiet, we must be losing :)

    • KT

      having trouble with my new phone…some reason loss contacts and all appointments trying to fix

  49. John_from_Aus

    Time for (real) Dodger baseball!

  50. KT

    bad call

  51. scooplew

    OK, we’ve got the Mets just where we want them through 8 innings.

  52. KT

    Ok 2 to keep going 3 to win…just get runners on

  53. Bob_in_Vegas

    Now let’s get some runs!!!!!

  54. Bob_in_Vegas

    HEre’s the start!

  55. Bob_in_Vegas

    At least there’s still a runner.

  56. scooplew

    Let’s get Puig another at bat.

  57. Jack Dawkins

    Think that tagged him in the unfairest place of all.

  58. Bob_in_Vegas

    This doesn’t qualify, but remember the Year of Andre’s Walkoffs?

  59. Bob_in_Vegas


  60. btimmer

    As Jim Caple once dubbed him, LaTroy “Screaming Line Drive” Hawkins.

  61. Jack Dawkins

    Youve got to be kidding me. It keeps happening!

  62. Bob_in_Vegas

    Ya asked for it, ya got it . . . Mr. Puig!

  63. Jack Dawkins

    I think you run CC? So at worst you start next inning with Puig?

  64. Bob_in_Vegas

    Says a lot about Marmol that Donnie stays with him, huh?

  65. Bob_in_Vegas

    Now let’s end it!!! (Gotta get to sleep . . . and it took forever to wind down after Friday’s game!)

  66. John_from_Aus

    just came back after a little while away, wow!!

  67. KT

    Let’s end this now

  68. KT

    Gonzo and Hanley FTW

  69. Bob_in_Vegas

    This game is a microcosm of the season: shutdown for 3 innings . . . wasted opportunities . . . scrapping and not giving up, to ultimately . . .

  70. John_from_Aus

    Will Grienke bat for Marmol if needed I wonder?

  71. Bob_in_Vegas

    Lotta pressure on Marmol . . . not at the plate . . .

  72. John_from_Aus

    I think we needed to stretch that out beyond 4 lousy pitches

  73. scooplew

    That was Marmol’s first plate appearance since he had two in 2008.

  74. KT


    • Bob_in_Vegas

      cool . . . I like Steiner’s description of the smile on his face

  75. Wow, just got home. Andre with the clutch home run? Marmol with a great contribution? This team seriously. I hope they can finish it off.

  76. Bob_in_Vegas

    This game provided fuel for the earlier talk of relative worth — favoring Marmol, the opposite for Cap

  77. Bob_in_Vegas


  78. “Just a loud strike,” he said foully.

  79. Bob_in_Vegas

    When I used to pitch (softball), I would do an opposite-Fisk and wave the flies foul.

    I was doing the same with that first one.

  80. Bob_in_Vegas

    Get the K!

    • Bob_in_Vegas

      OK — I saw the future again before hearing it . . . I like it when it’s good news!

  81. Adam Luther

    Dodger record in extra’s??

  82. ASW1

    Man, that was close!

  83. ASW1

    Whatever happens in this one, a good night for extra innings with the day off tomorrow.

  84. Bob_in_Vegas

    Get the K!

  85. Bob_in_Vegas

    Hope we don’t need Kenley.

  86. Bob_in_Vegas

    Seriously . . . let’s get a run!

  87. KT

    CC to start it off

    • Bob_in_Vegas

      — and one of them to end it . . . right here, right now!

  88. Bob_in_Vegas


  89. Knew he was going for two, maybe three if he didn’t slide.

  90. Bob_in_Vegas

    C’mon, Adrian!

  91. Bob_in_Vegas

    Glad Puig is on the basepath and Adrian at the plate!

  92. KT

    Ball Game Dodgers Win!!!!

    20 games over .500

    8 straight wins, longest streak of the season

    won 13 of last 14 gms, 23-3 since ASB, 40-8 since 6/22

    7.5 gms ahead of the Dbags,

    #3 seed, 3.5 gms back of the #1 seed

    16 straight series win or tie 12-0-4

    Still Streaking!!!!

  93. Bob_in_Vegas

    Agon — again!!!!!!!!!

  94. scooplew

    Vinnie: “The wild horse is in position to win it.”

  95. Bob_in_Vegas

    Worth staying up for . . . can you believe the AZ fans, wondering what they have to do to gain ground?

    • ASW1

      My thoughts exactly – sweep the O’s and gain no ground!

      • Bob_in_Vegas

        And all with walkoffs, come-from-behind victories.

        • ASW1

          Dodgers say, “Anything you can do, we can do better.”

  96. John_from_Aus

    Is there anything we cannot do!!!

  97. KT

    Dodgers in 3rd place in the NL standings.

    1.5 games behind the Bucs.

    3.5 games behind the Barves….very obtainable…Go BLUE!!!!

  98. Bob_in_Vegas

    Sorry, Disneyland . . . Dodger Stadium is The Happiest Place on Earth!

  99. RBI

    What a team!!!!!

  100. Bob_in_Vegas

    The homestand began and ended with Cappy non-quality starts . . . but Dodger victories.

  101. A little sad there will be no magic to take in tomorrow night. On to Philly for the weekend!

  102. scooplew

    Oh, c’mon, this can’t be real.

  103. Giddy. That’s the only word for this team’s fans. ;)

  104. KT

    Los Angeles Dodgers ‏@Dodgers3m
    Curtain call for @AdrianTitan23:

  105. John_from_Aus

    At 0-4 I was doubtful, at 2-4 I was hopeful, at 4-4 I was excited, at 5-4 I was estatic!

  106. KT

    Los Angeles Dodgers ‏@Dodgers1m
    Yo Adrian! Watch @AdrianTitan23 send everyone home happy in the 12th:

  107. Spence

    I can usually tell by the frequency of KT posts whether the Dodgers are winning or have won.

  108. KT

    Los Angeles Dodgers ‏@Dodgers2m
    RECAP: @AdrianTitan23 rips #walkoff double in 5-4 win over Mets in 12 innings:

  109. KT

    Night all…It’s been another great Dodger day…too bad we don’t play today so It’s going to be a long 40 hours

  110. Spence


  111. Bob_Hendley

    This is ridiculous. As an Eastcoaster bagged it in the 5th when Mellis flied out with the bases full. Woke up to this. Wow, just wow!

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