Dodger Thoughts

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

Tag: Roberto Hernandez

Starting pitching becomes startling pitching

ColoBy Jon Weisman

Ten games to go. Ten games to find starting pitchers for.

That’s the puzzle I imagine most Dodger fans are trying to solve after Carlos Frias managed the near unthinkable – a game score of 0 – in today’s 16-2 loss at Colorado.

In allowing eight runs on 10 hits in two-thirds of an inning, Frias produced the lowest game score by a Dodger starting pitcher in 28 years, since Jerry Reuss allowed nine earned runs and 15 baserunners in four innings against the Phillies. Frias also recorded the fewest outs by any Major League starting pitcher who allowed at least 10 hits since at least 1901.

And Frias might have been lucky to get those two outs. One was an inexplicable caught stealing on a 2-0 pitch after the first five Rockies had combined for three singles, a double and a home run, the other an equally inexplicable squeeze bunt attempt when the team was 7 for 7 off Frias.

Asked to mop up, Kevin Correia fared well only by comparison, allowing five earned runs on seven hits and a walk in three innings without a strikeout.

The Dodgers have allowed at least 10 runs in three of their past six games, a disturbing ratio to be sure, though I would argue that in defeat, it doesn’t matter whether you lose by one run or 10.

Milwaukee lost its game to St. Louis tonight, lowering the Dodgers’ magic number to clinch a playoff spot to four. But San Francisco cut the Dodgers’ National League West lead to two games by scoring two in the ninth to defeat Arizona, and with the divisional magic number at 9, it’s natural to wonder how the Dodgers will play out the final 10 games of the season.

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Dodgers send Arano to Philadelphia to complete Hernandez deal

By Jon Weisman

Single-A Great Lakes pitcher Victor Arano has been sent to the Phillies to complete the August 7 trade for starting pitcher Roberto Hernandez.

Arano joins former Loons teammate Jesmuel Valentin as a component of the trade.

A 19-year-old righty from Mexico, Arano had a 4.08 ERA in 86 innings for Great Lakes with 83 strikeouts against 108 baserunners.

Troop reinforcements in two weeks?

For more photo highlights from Saturday’s game, visit LA Photog Blog.

Brewers at Dodgers, 1:10 p.m.
Dee Gordon, 2B
Yasiel Puig, CF
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Matt Kemp, RF
Carl Crawford, LF
Justin Turner, 3B
Darwin Barney, SS
Drew Butera, C
Dan Haren, P

By Jon Weisman

It’s been a frustrating 40 hours, with two defeats compounded by the recognition that practically every day, the Dodger roster gets thinner and thinner because of injuries. But in two weeks, the pendulum could swing the other way.

Hanley Ramirez, Juan Uribe, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Josh Beckett, Paco Rodriguez and Chris Perez will all be eligible to come off the disabled list before August 31, and while not all figure to, enough could to make a difference.

The following day, team rosters expand to up to 40 players, enabling the Dodgers to improve their overall depth. This could not only mean adding a third catcher like Tim Federowicz or extra arms in the bullpen, there could also be another bat off the bench like Alex Guerrero (though Guerrero has only OPSed .545 since his return from the minor-league disabled list).

Speedly slugger Joc Pederson is where the most intrigue for a September callup probably rests. Pederson offers multiple tools off the bench, though he isn’t currently on the 40-man roster.

For now, the Dodgers will hope to stop the bleeding — figuratively and literally. The team remains 4 1/2 games ahead of San Francisco in the National League West heading into play today.

* * *

Saturday, the Dodgers sent infielder Jesmuel Valentin, the 51st overall pick in the 2012 draft, to the Phillies as one of two players to be named (or cash considerations in lieu of the second one) in the August 7 trade for Roberto Hernandez. The 20-year-old Valentin had a .349 on-base percentage and .430 slugging percentage with 24 steals in 31 attempts for Single-A Great Lakes this year.

Rotation rolls on, Dodgers roll home after 6-4 win completes 6-3 trip

Back endBy Jon Weisman

With Roberto Hernandez scattering three hits and four walks over his six innings in the Dodgers’ 6-4 victory at Atlanta today — admittedly needing 118 pitches, second-most for a Dodger this year behind only Josh Beckett in his no-hitter — the Dodgers’ No. 4, 5 and 6 starters continued their roadtrip dominance, lowering their ERA to 2.01 with 7.5 strikeouts per nine innings.

Seemingly toying with the Braves offensively, the Dodgers took a 5-1 lead into the eighth inning. Dee Gordon (3 for 4 with a walk, two bunt singles and two steals) scored the first of his four runs while coffee was still being sipped in Los Angeles, and Drew Butera added a big blow with a two-run homer in the second inning. Los Angeles had 58 baserunners in the four-game series in Atlanta, including at least 10 hits in each game.

Yasiel Puig was picked off again and thrown out at home but had three hits, a hit by pitch and the defensive play of the game.

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The Dodgers had to hang on after Brian Wilson gave up hits to the first three batters in the bottom of the eighth, all of whom scored. Kenley Jansen allowed one inherited runner to score before striking out Evan Gattis to end the eighth inning. Adrian Gonzalez drove in his second run of the game in the ninth for some welcome insurance. Jansen then completed the save in the ninth, despite allowing a single and a double, finishing with four strikeouts.

Los Angeles finished off a 6-3 trip against the Angels, Brewers and Atlanta, and the pitching staff had a 2.65 ERA. The Dodgers are 16-10 (.615) since the All-Star Break, 15-8 (.652) against teams with winning records.

Josh Beckett sidelined


Dodgers at Angels, 7:10 p.m.
Justin Turner, 2B
Yasiel Puig, CF
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Hanley Ramirez, DH
Matt Kemp, RF
Scott Van Slyke, LF
Juan Uribe, 3B
A.J. Ellis, C
Miguel Rojas, SS
(Hyun-Jin Ryu, P)

By Jon Weisman

Josh Beckett is not going to make his next start Friday in Milwaukee, and newly acquired Roberto Hernandez is on his way there to take the mound for the Dodgers.

Mattingly told reporters that Hernandez would make the start “as long as that plane gets there,” Bill Shaikin of the Times tweeted.

Beckett, who is having hip issues and is going to see Dr. Neal ElAttrache today, has a 2.88 ERA and 107 strikeouts in 115 2/3 innings for the Dodgers this season. He passed the 2,000-inning plateau for his career earlier in 2014, but has not pitched more than five innings in a game since June 26.


Dodgers add to starting pitching depth with Roberto Hernandez

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By Jon Weisman

The Dodgers have acquired right-handed pitcher Roberto Hernandez from the Philadelphia Phillies, in exchange for two players to be named later or cash considerations.

“Roberto provides us with another big league starting pitcher, who has pitched well this year, particularly the last seven starts,” said Dodger general manager Ned Colletti. “He has postseason experience and helps fortify the rotation down the stretch.”

Hernandez is not to be confused with the relief pitcher of the same name whose 17-year MLB career ended with the Dodgers in 2007.

The Dodgers’ newest Roberto Hernandez, who turns 34 on August 30, has a 3.87 ERA with 75 strikeouts against 108 hits and 55 walks in 121 innings for the Phillies this year. He has started 20 games and relieved in three others. On May 23, he lost a 2-0 duel to Clayton Kershaw in Philadelphia.

In his past seven starts, Hernandez has a 2.85 ERA with one home run allowed in 47 1/3 innings, allowing 52 baserunners while striking out 19.

His top season came in 2007, when he had a 3.06 ERA in 215 innings with 148 strikeouts and finished fourth in the American League Cy Young Award voting. Hernandez was known at that time and until early 2012 as Fausto Carmona.

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