And in 1992, the Dodgers lost 99 games.
Offensively, defensively and strategically, the LA Dodgers made every mistake in the baseball book last night as they lost their ninth straight game, the team’s longest losing streak since 1992, and the first such streak including only home games in more than 30 years. Yesterday morning I wrote about “The Whirling Darvish and the Sinking Dodgers” and seemingly everything I wrote, and more, came about later in the day during the game.
While the article focused primarily on the Whirling Darvish, other items I mentioned that were specifically relevant in the game included the following:
I mentioned starter Alex Wood having gone 3-2 with an ERA of 5.12 since July 15. After last night’s outing in which he allowed five earned runs on eight hits and three walks in
five innings pitched, his post-July 15 record now stands at 3-3 with an ERA of 5.44. All of the runs charged to Wood were earned, but the fourth run should have been unearned. And that brings us to Yasmani Grandal.
I wrote yesterday about Grandal’s extremely poor defensive play, and that was more than apparent in the second inning when the Rockies scored their first four runs off of Wood. After a two-run home run by Travis Storey and an RBI single by Charlie Blackmon scored another, with Blackmon on second, Nolan Arenado singled to left, and Joc Pederson, playing left field for the first time this season, and maybe ever – but that is another issue – made a perfect throw to the plate, hitting Grandal in the glove, a couple of feet ahead of the sliding Blackmon. Grandal dropped the throw, and as the ball slowly rolled away from the stationary Grandal, Blackmon scored. It was a perfect throw right to Grandal and it would have ended the inning and the Rockies would have scored one less run in what turned out to be a one-run loss. Somehow, the official scorer ignored Grandal’s OBVIOUS error, and ruled the run earned against Wood.
As to Grandal’s offense, in the eighth inning with the tying run on base, Manager Dave Roberts chose to pinch hit Austin Barnes for Grandal against lefty Jake McGee. Grandal is a switch hitter, but he might as was well not be, hitting significantly poorer right handed against lefties than left handed against righties, and with very little power from the right side. Conversely Austin Barnes, who deserves to be the Dodgers’ full time catcher, is hitting .361 against lefties, about 140 points higher than Grandal.
As to Pederson in left, while the disappointment with his stagnant offense mounts, when he is in the game, he HAS to be in center field. Chris Taylor has come a long way in
becoming an outfielder, but when it comes to center field, he is still light years behind Pederson and that was very evident in the ninth inning when Taylor misplayed an out into a run-scoring double that produced what proved to be the losing run for the Dodgers. Maybe next season Taylor will be the team’s every day center fielder, or maybe the everyday second baseman, or maybe the every day left fielder, or maybe he’ll continue to move around from position to position, but for now, he should not be in center if Pederson is in the game.
Finally, the Dodgers today turn to the $48 Million Man, Rich Hill, to try to stop the bleeding, and that should not be too tough. Hill, 1-3 with an ERA of 4.41 in August and September, has a lifetime 0-2 record and 8.80 ERA against Colorado. But the Dodgers are facing Tyler Chatwood who has never done too well against them, going 4-8 with an ERA of 4.27, and 10.57 ERA this season in two prior starts.
Could be a few runs scored today at Dodgers’ Stadium.