Dodger Thoughts

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

Category: Uncategorized (Page 3 of 63)

Think Blue Review: 2015-16 edition No. 2

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The latest in our weekly series keeping tabs on the Dodger offseason …

— Jon Weisman

Video: The return of Think Blue Review

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It’s time to offer a laurel and hearty handshake to Think Blue Review, the Dodgers’ weekly video series updating the team’s offseason activities. In the first 2015-16 edition, topics include award season, Adrian Gonzalez’s recent charity softball game and a look ahead to cricket at Dodger Stadium.

Below, a bonus video: general manager Farhan Zaidi talking about the Dodgers’ offseason from this week’s GM meetings in Florida.

— Jon Weisman

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Save the date: 2016 Dodger FanFest is January 30

FanFest Save the Date

As announced in October’s Dodger Insider magazine, next year’s Dodger FanFest at Dodger Stadium will take place January 30. (For a recap of the 2015 event, click here.)

— Jon Weisman

On 27th anniversary of 1988 homer, Kirk Gibson continues fight against Parkinson’s disease

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On the 27th anniversary of his unparalleled 1988 World Series Game 1 home run, Kirk Gibson is the subject of an in-depth feature by Scott Miller of Bleacher Report, detailing the Dodger hero’s battle with Parkinson’s disease.

— Jon Weisman

Yasmani Grandal ’50-50′ to start NLDS Game 5


By Jon Weisman

Yasmani Grandal catches most Zack Greinke starts, as well as most games against right-handed pitching, but his ailing shoulder might keep him doing so Thursday in Game 5 of the National League Division Series.

Don Mattingly said that Grandal is able to play defensively, but it’s a question whether he can bat effectively, saying that Grandal is “a bit more on the 50-50 line” about whether he could start.

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All hands on deck: Bullpen report for NLDS Game 5

Jeurys Famila (Mike Strobe/Getty Images) and Kenley Jansen (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Jeurys Famila (Mike Strobe/Getty Images) and Kenley Jansen (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

By Jon Weisman

With Jacob deGrom and Zack Greinke facing off Thursday in the deciding Game 5 of the National League Division Series between the Dodgers and Mets, you don’t expect to need much in the way of relief. But should the need arise, nearly every pitcher on either roster will be ready to go.

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Bartolo Colon nearly prevented Utley-Tejada

Patrick Gee/Los Angeles Dodgers

Patrick Gee/Los Angeles Dodgers

Colon closeupBy Jon Weisman

Here’s how close Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon came to catching Saturday’s seventh-inning line drive by Howie Kendrick that ultimately went through on one bounce to second baseman Daniel Murphy, who then tossed to shortstop Ruben Tejada ahead of an oncoming Chase Utley. (Click the photo above to enlarge.)

Reports today are the appeal of Utley’s suspension won’t be heard before Game 3 of the National League Division Series tonight, which would mean Utley will be in uniform when the Dodgers play at Citi Field.

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Emotional reward: Ella Annear’s first pitch

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The video speaks for itself. In a world that always needs a dose of good news, we got some in the moments before Friday’s playoff opener. There’s no cheering in the press box, but last night I wondered if there could be crying. We’re so very happy for the Annear family.

— Jon Weisman

Dodgers-Mets NLDS remaining game times

NLDSYou already know that National League Division Series Game 1 starts at 6:45 p.m. Friday, and Game 2 starts at 6:07 p.m. Saturday.

Today, MLB revealed the schedule for the rest of the series (all times Pacific):

  • Game 3 at New York: Monday at 5:07 p.m. (if there are four MLB playoff games that day) or 5:37 p.m.
  • Game 4 at New York (if necessary): Tuesday at 5:07 p.m.
  • Game 5 at Los Angeles (if necessary): October 15 at 5:07 p.m.

Remember, plan to arrive early for any playoff game you attend!

— Jon Weisman

Jimmy Rollins to guest-manage Dodgers today

By Jon Weisman

Jimmy Rollins will be the guest manager for today’s regular-season finale, and Kenley Jansen will be the guest pitching coach, Don Mattingly told reporters today. The opportunity arose when the Dodgers clinched home-field advantage for the National League Division series, which will now begin Friday at Dodger Stadium (game times to be announced).

Clayton Kershaw is expected to throw roughly 50-60 pitches in his final start. Kershaw needs six strikeouts to become the first pitcher since 2002 with 300, and needs 3 1/3 innings to lead the Majors in innings (which he probably cares more about).

Kershaw lost one milestone Saturday, when Max Scherzer surpassed him with most strikeouts (17) ever in a no-hit, no-walk MLB game.

The Dodgers have not set their NLDS rotation yet, Don Mattingly told reporters today, and will wait until after this week’s workouts to finalize their NLDS roster — including the number of pitchers vs. position players that they will include. Rosters aren’t due until the morning of the first game.

Clayton Kershaw chops the Giants’ beanstalk

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Clayton Kershaw against the Giants in September: Two starts, 18 innings, one run, seven singles, no extra-base hits, two walks, 28 strikeouts, and one hellacious at-bat against Madison Bumgarner.

In 227 1/3 career innings against the Giants, Kershaw has 243 strikeouts with a 1.54 ERA, the fourth-lowest career ERA against a single opponent in MLB history, and a 0.82 WHIP, the lowest against a single opponent ever.

— Jon Weisman

Corey Seager, starting shortstop?

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

When the torch passes, it can burn. But the Dodgers are hoping when it goes from Jimmy Rollins to Corey Seager, it is warm and fuzzy — and winning.

Reports from Don Mattingly’s pregame session with reporters today indicated that Seager has become the Dodgers’ starting shortstop, seizing his September callup when Rollins was injured and supplanting the veteran.

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Video: Dodgers, Giants and Vin being Vin

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Vin Scully’s unparalleled narration from the September 1 Dodger victory over the Giants fit just right for an “THIS” commercial.

— Jon Weisman

So many pitchers, just enough time

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By Jon Weisman

It was nine innings that featured 16 pitchers, 35 baserunners, 232 minutes and 338 pitches. It ended with Kenley Jansen doing what Kenley Jansen needed to do, striking out Mike Trout and Albert Pujols and then getting a fly to right by David DeJesus to preserve a 7-5 victory for the Dodgers at Anaheim.

Scott Van Slyke became the Dodgers’ first No. 8 hitter with four hits and four RBI since James Loney hit a single, double and two grand slams at Colorado in 2006. His two-run hit off the pitcher in the seventh inning provided the Dodgers with the runs they needed to win, one day after Andre Ethier cleared the bases in the seventh inning with a comebacker to the pitcher that was thrown away.

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Justin Ruggiano had another big hit for the Dodgers, a two-run double pinch-hit while pinch-hitting for Ethier in the fifth. Corey Seager and Joc Pederson each reached base three times, including the first two walks of Seager’s career.

The Angels used nine pitchers, tying the most the Dodgers have ever faced in a nine-inning game. The last time it happened was the Loney two-slam game.

Oh, and while he did allow three runs in a game for the sixth time in 29 starts this year, Zack Greinke had his 26th quality start and still has a 1.68 ERA.

Los Angeles now leads the National League West by 8 1/2 games, the Dodgers’ biggest lead since the last day of the 2013 season.

Corey Seager’s first two hits

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Corey Seager not only doubled in his second big-league at-bat tonight, scoring on a Joc Pederson single, but Seager also singled in the tying and go-ahead runs for the Dodgers in his third at-bat — getting the green light on a 3-0 pitch.

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I am older than Corey Seager and Joc Pederson combined. That is all.

— Jon Weisman

Update: After the Dodgers rallied from a 4-0 deficit to take a 7-5 lead, a controversial call seemed to open the door for the Padres to rally back, which they did, for a 10-7 win — the most runs ever allowed by the Dodgers at Petco Park. With San Francisco losing to Colorado, the Dodgers’ lead in the National League West remained 6 1/2 games.

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