Sunday, August 31, 2014

Blog Kiosk: 8/31/2014 - Dodger Links - Losing Tough Again and Ryu & Uribe are Back

Just another tough loss for the Dodgers last night.  The Padres are showing that they are a team not to be ignored.  Sure, they can't hit a lick, but when you can send out hurlers who can pitch effectively it means you are always in the game.  Given some time and proper development we could see this franchise become relevant again.  BTW, four heirs to former Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley are part owners of the Padres, so the focus on pitching shouldn't be a surprise.  The Dodgers won due to pitching, and in a pitchers ballpark like PetCo there's no reason not to start there.

Last night, Zack Greinke matched wits and skills with Padres starting pitcher Ian Kennedy.  They both gave up just one run apiece and didn't figure in the final decision.  Defense ruled the day for the Dodgers.  They made some spectacular plays to help their pitchers along; including a diving catch into the stands by Justin Turner.  Check out some videos of the more remarkable Dodger defensive plays here, via Jon Weisman at Dodger Insider.  The photo above is of Turner making the death-defying catch, via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014Go here to see more photos from the game.

For the second straight game these clubs went into extra innings, and the Padres pulled it out again with walkoff victory.  The Dodgers just couldn't capitalize on their opportunities.  They left ten men on base, and only scored because Adrian Gonzalez homered to tie the game in the sixth inning.

They play their rubber match this afternoon.  Hopefully, the Dodgers can salvage the series with a victory.

As it now stands, the Dodgers hold a perilous 2.5 game lead over the Giants.  I'm starting to sweat as we come down the stretch.  Now, below are more links to check out:
  • ICYMI, Hyun-Jin Ryu has been activated off the DL to start the game this afternoon.  Carlos Frias is option to AAA, but you should expect that too last long.  Rosters expand on Monday, and I suspect Frias will be immediately brought back then.
  • Juan Uribe has also been reinstated from the DL and will bat sixth in this afternoons lineup.  Infielder Miguel Rojas was optioned, but like Frias you should expect him back once rosters expand on Monday.
  • Via Jon Weisman at Dodger Insider, "Dodgers remain on record strikeout pace."
Back in April – admittedly, when the season wasn’t even a month old – I couldn’t help but comment on the remarkable number of strikeouts that were piling up in Dodger games.
"I started thinking about it the previous at-bat," said Wallach, who left third baseman Justin Turner in his normal spot with the rest of the left side of the infield unprotected. "I thought it for sure was the right thing to do for Smith. Almost every ground ball he hits to the right side."
"The season is long, and it wears you down," Mattingly said. "It's part of learning to regulate yourself here, as far as rest or anything else. We've seen Dee Gordon and how much more consistent his approach is day in and day out now, staying at a certain level. I think Yasiel's really emotional, and it's hard to be really emotional and play 162."
Don Mattingly said: “I don’t know if he’s just getting healthy after a couple years of injuries. Is he getting more confident that he’s been able to stay out there and he’s feeling good, you know? … But he’s definitely getting back to looking like himself.”
  • Holy Mackerel!  Via Mina Kimes at ESPN The Magazine, "Curt Flood's monopoly man."  A single collector has been hoarding 1964 Topps Curt Flood cards for decades, and is thought to own a quarter of all those that exist.  His efforts have caused values to be unreasonably high for set collectors.
  • Via Mark Townsend at Big League Stew, "Japanese high school game spans four days and 50 innings."  Wha...?

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