Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Blog Kiosk: 8/3/2016 - Dodgers Links - Robinson Highway, Puig Problems and Brandon McCarthy

Brandon McCarthy came out to make his sixth start since coming back from Tommy John Surgery last night and didn't seem right.  Maybe it was the high altitude that did him in.  Or maybe it was the 38 minute rain delay in the middle of the first inning with him on the mound that did it.  I dunno.  Per Ken Gurnick at
"Never felt like that on a mound before," said McCarthy, whose first four starts were sharp, followed by one bad inning in a four-inning start, then Tuesday's three-run outing. "Coming back, there's a lot of ups and downs, but when the feeling was off, I was able to get through it. Tonight, just the opposite. There were just some horrific, bad pitches in there. I just felt very weird."
McCarthy needed 85 pitches to get through three innings.  He gave up three hits, walked five, struck out only two and allowed three earned runs.  You can listen to Dave Roberts talk about the outing here.  BTW, reliever Jesse Chavez did not impress in his first outing as a Dodger.  He came in to pitch the sixth inning and gave up three runs.  If not for an inning ending double play with the bases loaded it would have been much worse.

Fortunately, the slumping Giants couldn't get past the moribund Philadelphia Phillies.  They lost to keep the Dodgers two games behind in the division race.

Photo of Brandon McCarthy above via @Dodgers on twitter.  Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodger History: In 1959 the second All-Star Game of the season is played at the LA Memorial Coliseum.  The AL defeated the NL, 5-3, on a third inning two-run homer by Yogi Berra off Don Drysdale.  In 2013 the Dodgers set a franchise record by winning their 13th consecutive victory.
  • ICYMI:  Josh Reddick (#11) and right-handed reliever Jesse Chavez (#58) were activated by the Dodgers yesterday.  Rich Hill continues on the DL and will be available to pitch on the August 4th (this Thursday).  Of note, Rich Hill becomes the 23rd Dodger to be on the DL this season - setting a National League record.  Josh Fields, Ross Stripling and Yasiel Puig were sent to the minors.  
  • Following up on a note I mentioned in late June, the resolution introduced by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) and Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) to rename a portion of the I-210 freeway (between State Route 2 and Orange Grove Blvd) the "Jackie Robinson Memorial Highway" has advanced past the California State Assembly.  It passed by a vote of 76 to 0.  It now goes to the State Senate.  Per a press release:
“It’s only fitting to honor Jackie Robinson by naming this stretch of highway near the home he grew up and lived in,” said Gatto.  “The sacrifices and differences he made will always be remembered.”     
Will Ferrell will co-host the celebrity ping-pong tournament with Kershaw and his wife Ellen. 
In this case, Puig, according to people in the know, simply wore them down with a personality marked by “hardheadedness” and an “inability to accept instruction.”

One Dodgers person put it this way: “He’s not easy to handle.”
Bill Plunkett at the OC Register adds more:
If Puig’s time with the Dodgers can be salvaged it will clearly require a commitment on his part to become more professional in his preparation and work ethic.

“We can all continue to grow. But – Yasiel can continue to grow. I’ll leave it at that,” Roberts said. “I mean, there’s definitely been good moments of quality work. But that needs to continue to be consistent.

“This is something that we expect him to understand is not punitive. It’s for his growth, to become ultimately a better baseball player.”
But the Dodgers also are responsible for Puig’s descent into mediocrity.

The organization never figured out how to handle him, never finding the right balance between Don Mattingly’s no-nonsense approach and Dave Roberts’ love-him-to-death form of diplomacy. 
Dylan also reminds us of Puig's former minder, Tim Bravo.  He was a constant companion of Puig's during his first season, and might have been the only person capable of watching over the guy.
  • Via the Great Lakes Loons at MiLB; "Loons, Dodgers Agree to Partnership Extension: Player development contract with the L.A. club runs through 2018."
"Our relationship with the Great Lakes Loons and the Great Lakes Bay Region has blossomed beautifully in 2016," Dodgers Director of Player Development Gabe Kapler said. "We feel lucky to be in a partnership with the Michigan Baseball Foundation, Bill Stavropoulos, Paul Barbeau and Scott Litle. We're thrilled to continue our relationship with the organization for two more years." 

    * Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
    * Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

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