Results tagged ‘ San Deigo Padres ’
Ok so what has gotten into the Dodgers? Morning of June 22nd this team was 12 games under .500 and 9.5 games back of 1st place in the NL West. Many of the media and fans wrote the team off and even said that they should be come sellers when the deadline comes. Well from then on the Dodgers managed to go on a hot streak surging them past the Giants, Padres, Rockies, AND Diamondbacks. The last two series after the break shown something that has fans really excited. In the 2nd game of the Nationals series and the 2nd and 3rd game of the Blue Jays series the Dodgers trailed late in the game but rallied back to win. Something that we haven’t seen much of from this Dodger team this season. So the question remains….What has gotten into the Dodgers?!
Well if you ask me I think it’s a few things. One they’ve finally gotten healthy. Through the 1st half of the season the Dodgers have been banged up and missed players when they needed them the most. If you remember this was the same thing that hurt the Dodgers last season. Another thing you have to throw in there is the fact that guys are finally producing. Early in the season the Dodgers had a low Average with RISP and the Bullpen ERA was as high as a kite. If you listened to what Adrian Gonzalez said before yesterday’s game in Toronto the guys are finally feeling the pressure fall off. They can take a few pitches, get walked, and do their part to help the batter behind them and have the confidence that they will cash in. Everyone is doing their job to help the team out and that’s what’s we’ve wanted out of them. Let’s also not forget that the Dodgers have gotten some help from the Giants and Padres cooling off.
This team is playing up to their potential and even in late games they’re finding ways to pull through and come away with wins. Dodgers don’t have to win EVERY game but just keep taking series and hold off Division rivals. If they can do that they’ll take the NL West and play onto October. The Dodgers are on fire right now and on top of the NL West. Lets hope they can keep this up.
In a season full of expectations and a new era of Dodger baseball there has been a lot of umm Drama around the Los Angeles Dodgers. If you looked at the roster you’d think this team would be in first place in the NL West by the All-Star break right? Right now as of today the Dodgers find themselves 2.5 Games out of first place which is being held by the Arizona Diamondbacks and are 4.5 Games back of the Wild Card. They also have a record of 47-47. So you might be wondering what on earth happened? Let me answer your question with this: A LOT! The start of the 2013 Season seemed very promising after opening day but from then on things kind’ve sent south. Losing games due to lack of offensive and defensive production, Bullpen issues, Mismanagement of the team, and Injuries were the main issues that hurt the Dodgers in the first half of the season. It seemed like an ever lasting nightmare from April to Mid June. It got to the point where the Dodgers found themselves below .500 and 9.5 games out of 1st place in the NL West. Come Late June things took a turn for the better. Lets break down the 1st half of the Dodgers 2013 season.
Injuries: Dodgers kept getting hit with Injuries left and right. From the begining of the season and on the Dodgers have struggled to keep healthy and that has hurt the Dodgers from producing. Think of it like this, Pretty much majority of the Dodgers roster has been on the DL at some point. Hanley, Kemp, Crawford, Aj Ellis, Scott Van Slyke. The group that took the hardest hit when it comes to injuries has to be Pitching. At the start of the season the Dodgers had Starting Pitchers like there was no tomorrow but with injuries that number quickly fell. Chad Billingsley and Josh Beckett will miss the season which hurt the 4 and 5 pitching spot before the Nolasco trade, Zack Greinke broke his collar-bone in the bench clearing fight with Carlos Quentin and the San Diego Padres, and Fife/Capuano missing time as well. Last season the Dodgers injuries cost them and this season it has hurt them at the start.
Lack of production and bad play: Outside of injuries the lack of production was another thing that killed the Dodgers. Whenever there were runners in scoring position it seems as if the Dodgers failed capitalize on the chance given. Yes we all understand about the injuries and pitching but there’s no excuse for the Dodgers not getting runs when the chance is there. Leaving men on base, below average with RISP, It just doesn’t add up with a Line up like this. This season Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier who are usually key factors have really under produced and many Dodger fans aren’t happy about it. Lack of bench production hasn’t been all that great either and defensively the team just hard to watch. Overall it was just bad baseball.
Pitching issues and Bullpen Problems: Where can I start? Well lets put this out there the 1-2-3 Starting pitching slot was not an issue at all. We kind’ve got that but when it comes to the 4-5 spot and bullpen….thats a different story. The Dodgers came into the season with a loaded starting pitching staff and a bullpen that was one of the best in the NL last season. As the season went it was the complete opposite of that. Chad Billingsley went down to an ongoing arm injury that required Tommy John Surgery, Josh Beckett was winless during the season after he had an amazing Spring Training. A nerve injury forced him to have surgery and miss the season as well. As for Ted Lilly? He continues to struggle with injuries and had multiple rehab stints and continues to have a set back. Steven Fife tends to have solid outings and has potental but Chris Capuano has been very inconsistent and has given up a lot of hits in his outings. The bullpen on the other hand as really been an issue for the most part of the season. Josh Wall who is no longer with the team has really not helped and struggled before being sent down and later traded in the Ricky Nolasco deal. Ronald Belisario has hurt the Dodgers and come in only to give up hits and runs. His ERA has sky rocketed as the season went but seems to get the hang of things towards the break. Brandon League on the other hand as took a complete turn south. After closing games last season and showing that he can be a solid reliever League has blown saves left and right. Many of us kept wondering why Mattingly sending him out to close games but finally he got it together and had Jansen as closer. Jansen out of the two is a no brainer right there to have as closer. The Dodgers also brought up guys like Chris Withrow and Jose Dominguez who can really throw the ball in the high 90′s. Paco Rodriguez and JP Howell also have had solid outings and can also get the team out of innings as well so things won’t be all doom and gloom for the pen from the looks of it. As far as Starting pitching? The Ricky Nolasco deal solidified their Number 4 starting pitching but still the 5 spot is the big question mark.
Puigmania- Something uplifting here that really took Los Angeles and the Baseball world by storm. Yasiel Puig. They hype started up when he played in rookie leagues and Single A but it was Spring Training where many started to hop on the bandwagon after posting impressive numbers but due to the lack of room for him on the 25 man roster Puig, As expected my many scouts, was sent to Double A Chattanooga for more development. Once the injuries hit the Dodgers Yasiel Puig was called up to the Dodgers and from there everything played itself out. Puig lived up to the hype he generated batting above .400 while playing and exciting fans around baseball. Before All-Star Break he had many write his name in on the All-Star ballot and came in 2nd in the Last Chance vote. Yeah he didn’t make the All-Star game but his presence provided a spark for the Dodgers that helped them make up ground in the NL West.
From 9.5 to 2.5: By June 21st the Dodgers found themselves 9.5 games back of the NL West and pretty much left for dead by many but when June 22nd hit things changed. The Dodgers would go on and hit a streak that would really shape up the NL West for them. Winning 17-22 Games from June 22nd to July 14th. The Dodgers ended up gaining ground on the Padres, Giants, and Rockies in that stretch of games. Now that Los Angeles find themselves in a great position come All-Star break it’ll be interesting to see what they can do in the 2nd half of the season.
Many Dodger fans were calling for it and last night at Dodger Stadium they got what they wanted. After the Dodgers loss to the Rockies Sunday the Dodgers wasted no time in calling up their top prospect in Yasiel Puig. This move came after Carl Crawford injured his hamstring in Colorado. Sunday Puig was left off the Lookout’s Line-up (Dodgers Double A Affiliate) and was seen in street clothes being congratulated by teammates. That was a for sure indication that he was going to the Dodgers. Monday night Puig lived up to his hype against the Padres. He went 2-4 with two singles and made an incredible throw to get the last out of the ball game. Yes you can say Puig was impressive in his debut.
I was at the game and had a chance to see him play in Spring Training in Arizona. Without a doubt he is indeed a very good ball player. I was impressed with his debut last night but I was shocked Mattingly had him leading off. I was looking for him to not try and hit a Home Run every at bat and he did a good job of doing just that. I do hope he keep this up consistently and help this team. Yes he will have bad games and that will be expected but so far he did pretty good. His plate discipline and how he handles the curveball will be something to keep an eye on. He has Speed but it won’t mean much if he can’t get on base.
Is Puig here to stay? Who knows? When Kemp and Crawford get healthy Puig will likely get sent back down. Scott Van Slyke has been playing good for him to earn a stay if there’s room. Well there has been rumbling of Ethier getting traded in the near future and with his play as of late that could come by trade deadline (It’s a guess). Another thing is how he play’s during his time with the Dodgers. If he continues to impress then there has to be room but if there’s things that shows that he still needs work then he’ll be back in the Minors. While Puig is not the answer to the Dodgers problems he has shown in one game that he can be a spark. Weather he keep’s this up or not will be on him but Yasiel Puig will be a very good player and can only get better….Pretty good if you’re a Dodger fan and scary if you’re not.
I’m going to take a few minutes to talk about something that I’m sure all Baseball fans out in the west coast (Basically California coast) can agree with me on and that is the landscape shift in Baseball. You see most of the time you have either the East (Yankees, Red Soxs, Phillies, Braves) or Midwest (Brewers, Cardinals, Cubs, White Soxs, ) Ruling the baseball world and getting most of the attention and well deserved because of how they play and the division. From the last year or 2 that landscape is slowly but surely moving out to the west. About a year ago after the Angels signed Albert Pulojs and CJ Wilson I said that the baseball landscape would shift once the Dodgers get their new owners. So far I was right but I didn’t expect the extra stuff like the Dodgers trading for Hanley, Adrian, Beckett, and Crawford as well as becoming very active in the Trade Market during the season, The A’s beating out the Texas Rangers and The Angels to win the AL West, The Giants winning the Division and World Series (YUCK!!!) and the Padres got new ownership in the O’Mally’s (Former Dodgers owners and Yes the Family of the great Walter O’Mally). Baseball in California is getting interesting and moving on up.
You might be wondering how is that happening? Well let me go ahead and point it out for you. If you look at it right now the Yankees, Who would use to get pretty much any player they want, haven’t been really signing players like that and teams like the Dodgers and Angels this winter have been very active in the market. The Dodgers currently have a larger Payroll than the Yankees. YES THE YANKEES!!! Star players like Zack Grenike (Dodgers), Josh Hamilton (Angels), Albert Pujols in 2011(Angels) are moving to the west due to the Angels and Dodgers having the money to grab those big time players. The rivalries are also starting to grab more attention out west. The Yankees/Red Soxs has lost it’s luster due to the Red Sox’s decline and last season the Dodgers/Giants were in a heated Division race through out the summer. While the Red Sox/Yankees will have that historical bad blood the Giants/Dodgers will most likely be a divisional battle every year as will the A’s up and coming in the same division as the Star studded Angels will be something to keep an eye out for as well. Interleague out west is also starting to grab the attention of a lot of baseball fans. The Freeway Series with the teams the Dodgers and Angels have is starting to become a must see. If things go their way then the Freeway Series could go as far as a World Series Match up. Field wise the Yankees records were at least one W/L better than the A’s and Giants who went on hot streaks down the stretch. Think of it One and I don’t even like the Giants but it’s not about that right now. The Dodgers and Angels barely missed the playoffs which was disappointing for each teams fan base because of the current roster. What about San Diego you ask? Well now that they have new ownership it leaves the potential for them to become something in the NL West. While they won’t be like the Dodgers or anything in terms of ownership and having a major impact the O’Mally’s are no stranger operating a MLB Team. They have the challenge of not only fielding a team that can compete but filling the seats at Petco Park. The Padres played role of the spoiler towards the end and won 78 Games which gives the new ownership something to build on.
While I am a Dodger fan and live out in Los Angeles I am not blind at whats going on here. Yes the media will always have some east coast bias to it and the results on the field will have to back me up but the shift is starting to happen. We already seen a team have a higher payroll than the New York Yankees (Dodgers). It’s all right there. Weather you agree or disagree Is solely up to you but I can tell you in my opinion the West is starting to become an attention grabber so far and if the results on the field are what we hope it is then watch out.
It’s back to work for the Boys in Blue now that the All-Star Break is over it’s time to resume where the Dodgers left off. The 1st half of the season started great with the Dodgers having the best record in MLB and a good lead in the NL West only to take a turn for the worse when the Injuries began to stock pile, offense disappeared, and a slump happened. The Dodgers went into the break finding themselves a half game over the Giants and the Diamondbacks not too far off also the Dodgers find themselves 7 games over .500. Makes you say yikes the Slump did a lot of damage. However there’s help with Matt Kemp Andre Ethier and Mark Ellis Back in the line up the offense will have less pressure off. While there’s some solutions theres also plenty of questions to be answered that plague the Dodgers.
One question that many will ask is the Trade Deadline and what the Dodgers will do. The Dodgers need to address starting pitching help, LHP help, and add another bat to the corner position to help the Dodgers. We’ve heard so much about the Dodgers intrest with the Cubs on getting Matt Garza or Ryan Dempster which is a sign but with teams like the Brewers and Phillies being possible sellers it could be something if Cole Hammels or Zack Grenkee is available. Dodgers will likely have to give up prospects but to get players like that the Dodgers have to be cautious on the asking prices of these teams. Likely the Cubs and Brewers will not have high asking prices. As far as a bat the Dodgers have been real aggressive on trying to land a bat and missed twice. Missed out on Kevin Youkillis to the White Sox and Carlos Lee Vetoed a trade to LA only to land in Miami. The Dodgers could be aggressive again for a bat again but weather they strike gold or not is a question. It’s obvious this team wants to win THIS YEAR. A bat to the 1st and 3rd Base position looks to be a area as Juan Uribe and James Loney have been under performing at this point to make a solid contribution to help but the emergence of Eillian Herrara has been huge to the LF 3rd base position.
Another issue is the health and performance of the Dodgers again. The Injuries played a huge part in the wheels falling off in that slump that cost them that huge lead. What scares me personally is will key players stay healthy? Injuries happen but on slaught of injuries will be very bad to The Dodgers in the dog days. The performance of certain Dodgers will also be in mind like starting pitchers Chad Billingsley and Clayton Kershaw. Will they be able to get it together to make a big run into September October? Billingsley’s meltdowns has been really bad in games and Kershaw hasn’t played like his usual Cy Young self. If they can pull through the the Dodgers will be dangerous. Another is the team itself. Will they bring it together to once again be the team that had the MLB talking? It all starts with the team but there’s no doubt Management and Mattingley will have this team ready to do battle.
All in All the Dodgers are in first place and will resume the season to keep that lead. But it won’t be easy. They start off with San Diego at home then go into a series at Dodger stadium with the Phillies. The same team that they swept in Philadelphia. After that a road trip in New York with the Mets then travel to ST Louis to play the Cardinals then conclude the road trip in San Fran against the hated giants in what could be a pivotal series in the NL West so the Dodgers have their work cut out. The 2nd Half is under way and the Boys in Blue have work to do.
The Start is finally here!! Opening Day for Dodgers Baseball. After the last pitch of the 2011 Season All Dodger fans waited and a lot of things have happened between the final out of the World Series to now. Frank McCourt agrees to sale the team, Sitting through the Anaheim Angels make a big signing, Owner Auctions, Big players signings, Magic Johnson and Group buying the Dodgers, You name it it happened. Yesterday signaled the end of Spring training for the Dodgers and the begining of the real deal. It will be a wild season for the Dodgers but for many of us We’re ready for the challenges.
Today the Dodgers open with a 4 Game series against the San Deigo Padres and while the game is in San Deigo you can expect A LOT of Dodger blue in the stands for the weekend. Cy Young Award Winner Clayton Kershaw becomes the first Cy Young Award winning Dodger pitcher to Start Opening day since Sandy Koufax in 1964. Dodgers have beaten the Padres in the Season Series 13 times while SD only beat the Dodgers 5. This is the 11th time these two teams will meet on Opening day as they split Opening Day meetings 5-5 with the last meeting being a Padres victory in San Deigo. So much excitement for today’s game.
I expect this series to be highly in the Dodgers favor but it will all come down to Dodgers Pitching. In the Pre-Season games vs the Angels the Bullpen really got worked and while most were rookies it still becomes a worry of mine. If the Dodgers Bullpen can hold up then theres no reason why the Dodgers shouldn’t take this series. Overall I believe the Dodger bats will be good for this game today and the series.
Prediction: Dodgers take the Series 3-1
Next Week!! Thats right we are One week away from Opening Day as the Dodgers travel to San Diego to take on the Padres. In a Stadium where it’s expected to be A LOT of Dodger fans in attendence in San Diego there will also be fans at Dodger Stadium watching the game on the big screen at Dodger Stadium that day as well. As we approach opening day I looked up some Dodgers facts when it comes to Opening Day and came across some that you may or may not know about the Dodgers on Opening Day. Some quite Interesting and Schocking as we count the Few days till the Start of the Dodgers Baseball Season.
-Through out their time in Brooklyn and Los Angeles the Dodgers have played 128 Opening Day games. April 5th will be the 129th Opening Day Game the Dodgers have played.
-In those 128 Games the Dodgers have played their record on Opening Day is 63-61-4. The Boys in Blue are currently on a 4 game winning streak on Opening Day with 3 of the 4 wins over the heated San Fransisco Giants.
- The Dodgers open with the Padres. Dodgers and Padres met only 10 Times on Opening day prior to April 5th. Dodgers and Padres Split the Games against each other on Opening Day 5 to 5 (Last game on Opening Day 4-5-2004 Dodgers loss 8-2)
-Clayton Kershaw will be starting on Opening Day. The Last Cy Young Award Winner to pitch on Opening Day was Sandy Koufax on April 14th 1964 vs the St Louis Cardinals (9 Innings Pitched, 6 Hits, and 5 Strike Outs in a 4-0 Dodgers win)
-The Largest Margin of Victory on Opening Day was 14 Runs in 1969 vs the San Diego Padres (14-0)
-The Largest Margin of Defeat on Opening Day was 15 in 1912 by the Hands of the Then New York Giants (18-3)
-The First Game at Dodger Stadium on Opening Day of the 1962 Season was a 6-3 Loss against the Cincinatti Reds. Johnny Podres was the Pitcher for the Dodgers on that day.
(Credit to Baseball almanac for facts and stats)