Results tagged ‘ Los Angeles Dodgers ’

Dodgers and Giants make no trades on July 31st

Per Hank Schulman, the Giants made no deals and per Tim Brown, the Dodgers also made no deals. The teams look the same, and will dig through the waiver wire to get in on a possible deal for another player, which they can do through the rest of the regular season, but only players picked up in the month of August will be eligible for postseason play.

The Giants were linked to players like Emilio Bonifacio, Alex Rios, Bartolo Colon, and Chase Utley but were not linked to the likes of David Price, whom was traded to the Detroit Tigers today in a three-team trade, first reported by Ken Rosenthal.

The Giants resume baseball games on Friday as they go up against the New York Mets, whose field I heard was attack by some shark tornado.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are in first place all by themselves. The Giants are in second.

Just thought you should know. The Dodgers beat Cleveland 1-0 and so the Giants are now in second by a half game. The Giants have played three fewer games than the Dodgers. The Dodgers are 16-7 in their last 23 games while the Giants are 8-15, so it shouldn’t be a big mystery how the Dodgers all of a sudden caught up in June. This is the first time the Giants have been in second since April 23rd.

Just thought you’d like to know.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June was awful.

Videos: All the moving pictures you could need from Clayton Kershaw’s no-hitter on Wednesday

Wednesday night, Clayton Kershaw threw his first career no-hitter, and the second no-hitter for the Dodgers of the season. This performance was easily more dominant than Josh Beckett, as Kershaw compiled fifteen strikeouts (a career high) and none of the twenty-eight hitters he faced received a free pass to first. The lone baserunner came on Hanley Ramirez‘s throwing error on a slow ground ball. This play brought back memories of Juan Uribe in Jonathan Sanchez‘s no-hitter, which was also a twenty-eight batter no-walk-no-hitter. MLB has uploaded a lot of videos from last night’s performance, so if you need them, just come back to this post to see what you need to see, because last night was certainly a performance for the ages.

Vin Scully’s call on the game, a treasure in itself, no-hitter or not. The clip includes Hanley Ramirez’s error in the seventh, a play which was similar to the one he made earlier in the game.

Miguel Rojas, a rookie, completing a difficult play down the third-base line to preserve the no-hitter with the help of Adrian Gonzalez at first.

Clayton Kershaw’s interview with Alanna Rizzo, complete with gatorade bath, dancing, and bubbles.

Clayton Kershaw talking about his no-hitter in their post-game press conference.

Clayton’s wife, Ellen Kershaw, talks a little bit about the no-hitter. My wife loves her because “she looks like she’s twelve… like me.” Didn’t know the woman with Ellen in the stands was Chad Billingsley‘s wife. Mrs. Kershaw seems adorable.

In case you want the video of only the twenty-seventh out.

MLB.com put some video together of the Beckett and Kershaw no-no’s.

Some of Clayton’s teammates gave their thoughts. I felt the most meaningful words came from A.J. Ellis, his battery-mate, and close friend.

After years of watching Clayton Kershaw, baseball fans know this is the kind of performance he is capable of, and it’s a wonder that it’s taken this long for him to be able to achieve this accomplishment with the help of all his teammates and coaches. No hitters and perfect games involve a little luck going your way, some more lucky than others. This was not one of the luckier ones, this happened to be more of the ones that we are lucky to have watched. A great performance by a stellar talent and from all reports I’ve heard, an outstanding human being. Congratulations, Clayton Kershaw.

It’s OK to still be worried about the Dodgers

In 2013, the Dodgers were 9.5 games back on June 22nd, 2013 and still won the West by 11 games. The arrival of Yasiel Puig helped, but it wasn’t the only helping factor as Hanley Ramirez exploded and the Dodgers pulled off two consecutive six-loss months in July and August for a combined 42-12 (77.8 win%). That they had a 12-15 record in September tells you about how the NL West finally decided it wasn’t going to let the Think Blue crowd push them around. To repeat, the Dodgers went 12-15 in September and still finished up 11.0 games on the West. The Giants had 76 wins and finished in fourth, a whole 16.0 games back. On paper, the Dodgers have a lineup worth being scared of, and a 1-2-3 punch that makes you understand why Dodger fans dream large if this team makes the postseason.

The Dodgers starters are putting just about the same number of innings the Giants starters are, striking out about the same percentage, walking fewer players, getting ahead of players better, and the list goes on what a good rotation like that can do. Their offense has better OBP, wOBA, wRC+ numbers, but don’t have the same numbers the Giants do with RISP and 2 outs. Their defense has speed on their side, but hasn’t been able to post the overall numbers of converting fly balls and ground balls to outs like the Giants have, and have a middle of the road BABIP against. Their bullpen hasn’t been as lights out as I thought they could be, walking a bottom-five ratio while the Giants bullpen has walked the lowest. There are a lot of things that the Giants doing right, but it’s not like the Dodgers are pooping the bed every which way.

If you want to attribute it to chemistry, you can, but I’m not sure that just because the Yes! Movement is popular in San Francisco and not in Los Angeles it describes the ten-loss difference between the Giants and Dodgers. I doubt chemistry is the thing that’s knocking two out hits, that made Saturday night’s walk-off happen for the Giants. It’s not the reason Dee Gordon or Yasiel Puig are day-to-day, the reason for Brian Wilson being awful, why Matt Kemp was injured and why Carl Crawford is injured, nor is it the reason Clayton Kershaw had to take some starts off or why Bruce Bochy‘s in-game strategy is what it is. The Giants are playing great, and unless the Dodgers implode on all levels, they are still a legitimate threat to the Giants. There are still 100 games left for the Giants, after all. The Giants can go 50-50 and if the Dodgers hit 92 wins and go 60-39 in that span they win the West.

I’m waiting for the Dodgers to use their resources and options, internally and externally to field a more competitive club (because we know they have them), and perhaps get a little luckier in the process, netting more wins. They’re better than a one-game over-.500 club. The distance between the Dodgers and Giants is great, but not insurmountable. The Giants are looking like a team on a mission to setting a San Francisco record for wins, and this is looking like it might be a pretty fun ride. If it keeps up, I say no worries. But if it doesn’t, well, don’t think those Dodgers can’t make up ground.

After Saturday Goes the Way We Expected, Cain and #SFGiants Go For Sweep Against Greinke and #Dodgers

Saturday’s showcasing of Madison Bumgarner throwing double-digit K’s against Paul Maholm and the Dodgers, I was relieved that the Giants took care of a game they should have had. Maholm is a back-end guy that hitters can take advantage of, while your chances are normally fewer against a starter like Bumgarner. While the Giants bullpen isn’t perfect, they’re not an awful bunch, especially when you get into the higher leverage situations. Still, having a 7-1 lead when Bumgarner left and winning 7-2 is right along the lines of what I expect to see when the Giants throw out one of their top four guys and the opposition sends out someone that is not of the front-line variety. Tonight’s game will not fit that description, as Matt Cain and Zack Greinke are both solid #2 guys in a top-heavy rotation, and while I hope the Giants sweep and win 18-0, seeing a low-scoring one-run game should be the expectations of near everybody.

The Starters — A recap of their first games

Zack Greinke and Matt Cain both went five innings in their first starts, not really reaching the distance fans know they are capable of. Both saw their pitch counts get into the nineties at the close of the fifth inning and each walked two batters. Cain saw seven hits get allowed, but no home runs, while Greinke fell victim to only two hits, one of which suffered the wrath of the hot start by Seth Smith. Both are pitching on four days of rest.

The Bullpen — Who’s Probably Out

Santiago Casilla threw thirty-seven pitches for the Giants in five outs of relief, so I’d say he’s to be used in emergency situations only. For the Dodgers, Jose Dominguez has been used in two straight games, so I’d expect him to be in the same boat as Casilla. Jamey Wright has also pitched in two straight, but only needed two pitches to do his work on Saturday, though I’d imagine Don Mattingly would like to avoid using Wright tonight. Paco Rodriguez leads the league in appearances at five, and it’s not difficult to remember that Paco got tired at the end of 2013, possibly due to overuse. The Dodgers have played seven games so far, and I’d hope Paco is getting a day off.

The Lineups

For the sweep-minded Giants:

Thoughts on the lineup: A good lineup, I just might like Buster up in the 3-spot a little better. No Giants player has more than ten plate appearances against Greinke, so the players are still getting used to him, relatively speaking. That, as opposed to some of the Dodgers and Matt Cain, who’s been pitching in the NL West since 2005.  For the close-to-.500 Dodgers:

Thoughts on the lineup: Andre Ethier has a .441/.467/.574 career line against Matt Cain and Adrian Gonzalez has four career HR off of Cainer, so it’s no surprise that they are in the so-called “heart” of the lineup, but I don’t think I agree with him being this far down. I think you can take Dee Gordon and put him behind Juan Uribe and get better results.

The Prediction

The Giants have won five straight at Dodger Stadium dating back to September 13th of last season, and have won seven of their last eight meetings with LA. I think they continue to deliver the pain, winning tonight against Greinke with most of the damage coming against and often-used bullpen in a 4-2 victory on national television.

Larry Baer Gives “Informal” But Important State of the Organization

If you’ve read Andrew Baggarly’s piece or Hank Schulman’s piece on the Baer interview, you’re probably all caught up on the news, so I’ll do my best to throw in my opinions as we go along so you don’t feel like you’re reading the same thing over, and over, and over again.

One of the many elephants in the room is the Los Angeles Dodgers and their sky-high payroll. The Giants brass will not, as Baer put it, “match them dollar for dollar,” and any baseball fan will tell you that having the highest payroll doesn’t buy you a championship, but it can definitely better your odds. Even though we shouldn’t expect the Giants to try and sign the biggest free agent out there, what Baer said (emphasis mine), was pretty important to put away for later:

“You can look at where the Dodgers are now. If you look at their track and other teams’ tracks, it’s pretty wild swings. There was a period recently before the new Dodgers ownership that we were $30-40 million ahead of them. They’ve gone up, they’ve gone down. I don’t know where they’re going to go from here. Maybe they’re going to go way up. We think we can get it done with a plan where each year, as long as business stays strong, we can go up. But we’re not looking for wild swings up, because usually what that necessitates is wild swings down.

Baer said ownership is willing to spend more money in midseason to acquire players if the Giants are in the hunt.

There’s some firepower left if warranted,” he said.

This saves the whole world a blog post later if the Giants are trying to add an outfielder, a starting pitcher, or maybe even a high-priced reliever. It saves us the speculation of saying, “Can the Giants add the contract of this player that has almost eight digits of dollars of money left for 2014.” We’re just left to wonder how much money equals “some firepower.” I also found the first sentence I bolded pretty insightful. It may not be my money they’re spending, but as a fan, I also don’t want to see the Giants in a rut because of their spending.

Baer doesn’t think Pablo Sandoval is necessarily gone from the Giants if an extension doesn’t get done. After all, Hunter Pence‘s deal still got done right before Pence hit the market. I agree with Baer here. I don’t see why a deal has to be impossible. If Pablo sees the Giants throwing out stupid money to him like they did to Lincecum, why should he say no? For those wanting the draft pick instead of Pablo, I’m guessing you haven’t seen what’s out there on the 3B market (or in-house) that could replace Pablo. It’s not good.

The A’s and Giants possibly sharing a park if the A’s need somewhere to go while they build a new stadium (if they ever get there) would be a nice gesture. It would give A’s fans a chance to watch baseball where baseball should be played: in a baseball stadium. Kind of like how Candlestick was the dump that belonged to Giants fans, the Coliseum is the dump that belongs to the A’s fans. Except their dump is probably starting to smell like one.

Not from the report that the beat writers talked about, but on the radio today I heard Baer mention that teams were calling the Giants about Brandon Belt. A player going into his first arbitration year that’s just starting to blossom? Why wouldn’t you want one of those? Not everybody has a Joey Votto, Prince Fielder, or Paul Goldschmidt on their team, so you can understand the need for the teams to kick the tires on Belt. Baer told Flem and Jon that the Giants made it clear Belt belongs to the Giants without saying the word “untouchable,” that’s what it seems like Belt was this winter.

Speaking of the Giants and the A’s, the Giants lost 10-5 today to the A’s. I’d recap it for you, but I didn’t watch it, nor did many other people outside of Scottsdale.

#Rockies Chacin to Undergo Shoulder MRI, #SFGiants Pagan Has Minor Back Pain, #Dodgers Have Intrasquad

Jhoulys Chacin had a fantastic year in 2013. He didn’t hit 200 IP, but he did drop his BB% from 10.2% in 2012 to 7.5% in 2013 in thirty-one games that he started. His K% was up from 2012, but not a career high. Still, his FIP at 3.47 was the best he’s ever had, and the 4.3 fWAR and 5.8 rWAR were career highs in a season. The Rockies need their starting pitchers to hold down the fort, especially if their starting position players keep getting injured. That necessity of everybody staying healthy is not having a good start in Rockies camp:

That doesn’t sound good at all. Hopefully it will be nothing and Chacin can get back on track — nobody likes to see somebody injured.

In another part of Scottsdale, Angel Pagan wasn’t out on the field because his back locked up in a meeting:

Games haven’t even started and Angel Pagan’s back is acting up, and of course, moves now are precautionary because we aren’t even in March yet. Good news on Marco Scutaro doing work, as well. You’ll remember he had that mallet finger in 2013 and played through it.

Tyler Colvin, who has a minor league contract, hopefully is healthy and provide some competition for the outfield bench. I would really like to see more competition for the infield bench, but hey, I can’t have everything. As lazy as this analysis might be, if Colvin’s healthy, he will probably be of some use to the Giants, and may even be able to be the 5th outfielder, with Gregor Blanco being the 4th. Out of Dodgers camp, they had their intrasquad game today, and so everything you would expect today happened, like:

Yup.

Juan Uribe not getting a triple is shocking.

Juan Uribe striking out is shocking. 

Chris Perez getting the save is something blog trolls are waiting to take advantage of.

That looks like that’s what’s going on in the NL West on Sunday. The Giants will begin their games against other teams on Wednesday.

Early Spring Training Videos of Some @Dodgers Players and a @SFGiants MVP Hitting

I have some spare time before heading out to a nice night with friends, so if you’re a baseball fan, would you like to see some baseballs being hit around? Of course you do. Let’s start with the Dodgers new 2B Alex Guerrero:

A Vine video of the scary part of the Dodgers lineup in Adrian Gonzalez, Andre Ethier, Hanley Ramirez, and Yasiel Puig:

I wasn’t sure whether to include this video or not of Kemp taking swings because of how far back the journalist is, but whatever. I’m starved for baseball.

We will finish with the MVP, Buster Posey:

The first Spring Training games start in Florida on Tuesday, February 25th. The first game for three-fifths of the NL West, including the Dodgers and the Giants, will be the next day on the 26th.

Saturday News Out of #Dodgers Camp: Billingsley, AJ Ellis, Maholm, Kemp, Australia Starters

There isn’t much happening in the Giants world and I’m not sure I’ve blogged this month, so let’s talk about the NL West favorite Los Angeles Dodgers, whom have reported for camp duties. You’ll remember that the Dodgers and Diamondbacks have a two-game series in Australia that will take place on Saturday, March 22nd, United States time. As the Dodgers get ready, here’s what we’re being told over social media:

On Chad Billingsley, forgotten pitcher by most other NL West fans:

Good news for the Dodgers as they increase their rotation depth, and it looks to be of a higher quality than in 2013. Add another left-handed pitcher to the mix in…

…Mr. Paul Maholm, whose stats really aren’t too awful for a Major League deal, it’s a wonder how he got scooped up by the Dodgers on a Minor League deal. Had other teams known that’s how they could have had Maholm, surely other teams (e.g., Giants) would have been in on that. Manager Don Mattingly isn’t commenting on the Maholm deal, but doesn’t anticipate changes in the 40-man roster, per beat reporters.

A.J. Ellis, clubhouse comedian, and also possibly in the Best Shape of His Life:

For those unaware, Dylan Hernandez and one of the beat writers of the Giants, Hank Schulman, normally take jabs at each other over weight issues. All in good fun.

On the starting pitchers in Australia:

Barring any injury, I think it’s pretty safe to assume Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, and having Hyun-jin Ryu and Dan Haren ready in your bullpen isn’t too bad for a two-game series.

As for Matt Kemp, coming off of ankle surgery:

A healthy Matt Kemp is great for baseball, but bad for opponents of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

That’s all the updates that came in recently. Now we await the complaints of everybody for the regular season to begin.

Kyle Crick and Edwin Escobar Make MLB.com’s Top 100 Prospects, Every Other NL West Team Features More Than SF

At mid-season in 2013, Kyle Crick (formerly #43) and Clayton Blackburn (formerly #94) held spots in the MLB.com Top 100 prospects list, and while Thursday it was announced that two Giants would still be on the list to give Giants fans hopes of help coming from the farm, the ranking, with one of the names changing. Since mid-season, Crick climbed eleven spots to #32 and now Edwin Escobar joins the list at #95. You’ll remember MLB.com named Escobar their eighth-best LHP prospect not too long ago. Looking at the rankings from the Top 100, Crick would appear to be the 14th best RHP prospect. Projections on Crick range from excellent reliever to a solid #2 starter, while the talk on Escobar is from a back-end starter to a #3 SP. Considering the Giants problems with depth in starting pitching in 2013, Giants fans saw why you can’t have too much pitching ready for the big leagues. Going around the NL West, here’s an update on what MLB.com saw for the other NL West clubs:

Diamondbacks

Three prospects made the list, beginning with the projected future frontline starter, RHP Archie Bradley. The #5 overall prospect, and the #1 RHP prospect on their list, Bradley could be the ace of the Diamondbacks staff for years, but that might change if he’s traded for a gritty position player, a pool security guard, or a veteran pitcher. Archie is expected to arrive in the bigs this coming season. I remember the days when I was scared of the Diamondbacks having Bradley, Trevor Bauer, and Tyler Skaggs. The new trio could be something like Bradley, #79 Braden Shipley, and perhaps the soon-to-be-20 year old Jose Martinez. The third Diamondback to make the list was #77 Chris Owings, a shortstop that profiles with a good power and better hitting tools, debuted in 2013.

Dodgers

The Dodgers have too many outfielders and it’s about to get more crowded with Joc Pederson at #36 on the way for sometime in 2014 and the starting pitching continues to gain MLB-ready depth with Zach Lee at #63. Pederson may not be at the level of a healthy Matt Kemp, but reports are that he would be a solid MLB OF. Lee would fit in nicely at the back-end of a rotation, with reports on the ceiling being #3. Other prospects that ranked highly but might be a a year or two away are #34 Corey Seager, a shortstop that is the younger brother of Kyle, and #64 Julio Urias, just seventeen years old and could reach the big leagues in 2015. He’s also left-handed. All these prospects didn’t even require a team having deep pockets, so don’t think that the Dodgers just went obnoxious on these guys like they did for Yasiel Puig.

Padres

Two in the top-half, two in the bottom-half of the Top 100, and while four on the list is great, the Padres aren’t the farm they used to be touted as. Still, they have some excitement coming their way, and leading the way is the great defensive catcher Austin Hedges at #24. As long as Hedges can hit, which I’m seeing people say he’ll be able to at least hold his own, you’re going to see him on All Star teams for years to come. 2012 first-round pick Max Fried comes out at #43, a lefty that could be a couple years away. Fried could be their best pitching prospect in terms of upside, but doesn’t get the #1 label put on him. RHP Matt Wisler (#78) and RHP Casey Kelly (#87) could help round out the middle-back end of the San Diego rotation right away.

Rockies

You know how the Rockies knew they needed to grow their own pitching because their park is not an attractive venue for pitchers? Well, that train is about ready to pull up to the stop, and it’s coming in the form of a possible 1-2 punch in Jonathan Gray and Eddie Butler, both first round picks from 2013, and 2012 (supplemental first round), respectively. By “1-2 punch,” it’s possible that could even mean a true #1 and #2 pitcher, and that could spell big-time trouble for the NL West. Should Gray and Butler stay true to their prospect status, I’m sure Rockies fans would love to see a team-friendly deal lock up those starters through their arbitration years. Gray is #14 on the list while Butler is #41. The Rockies have two more prospects on the list, first-rounder from 2012, OF David Dahl is #71 and years away, as is #99 Rossell Herrera, a shortstop.

This is just what MLB.com’s team thinks. Baseball Prospectus will release their version of their list on Monday. I’ll try to cover that one, but we’ll see. The weekdays are always busy.

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